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Safeguarding Network

February 2024 - 2 minute read

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  • Our directors
  • Want to be sure that you can trust Safeguarding Network to support your safeguarding needs? Let us tell you more about the team behind Safeguarding Network.

    Established in 2017, the founding team behind Safeguarding Network is John Woodhouse and Andrew Martin. As social workers, we have over 40 years of combined experience in working with children and young people. We are concerned that there is an increasing requirement on organisations to fill the void left by decreasing social care budgets, with little by way of support, particularly when something is not deemed to meet the social care thresholds.

    Headteachers and designated safeguarding leads repeatedly tell us that they are teachers, not social workers and that they feel ill-equipped to lead their setting in relation to safeguarding responsibilities. The role of designated safeguarding lead is often in addition to an already busy workday, and the requirement of Keeping Children Safe in Education to ensure that staff are “regularly updated” is significant. Safeguarding Network is here to help reduce this burden.

    Alongside John and Andrew, we have an ever-growing team of full-time staff and associates, with a mix of skills including ex-Ofsted inspectors, designated safeguarding leads, education safeguarding specialists, ex-headteachers as well as staff with extensive customer support experience.  We believe that this mix of skills enables us to provide a rounded and informed base from which we can support and inform the debate on safeguarding in schools.

    Have specific questions that we haven’t answered?  Please feel free to contact us.

    Our directors

    Chris Freestone – Chris has broad experience in education, social care and health settings including as a headteacher and safeguarding lead. She has been an inspector and compliance manager and understands the vital role of front-line processes in education settings to keep children safe and support staff in doing so.

    Andrew Martin – Andrew comes with substantial social work experience working in front-line child protection as a manager, chair of child protection conferences and through undertaking independent reviews.  More recently, Andrew has been focusing specifically on supporting schools and designated safeguarding leads whilst maintaining practice links. Andrew also has experience as a safeguarding governor and chair of governors at a local primary school.

    John Woodhouse – John is a safeguarding specialist working with schools and other organisations to audit their safeguarding requirements and train staff. His background is as a senior manager for child protection services and as a chair of governors.