Safeguarding insights

Researched and referenced articles aiming to provide you with a broader understanding of a specific topic.

Key proposed changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education. Whilst there are no new statutory requirements, the changes introduce greater emphasis on issues which are seen to be at the fore of safeguarding currently. Many of these issues are already known and staff should be aware of them, however this version of KCSiE looks to bring all these areas together. We take each section in turn and consider the proposed changes – we have also added to links to show how Safeguarding Network is already helping schools to meet the identified areas. Find out more.

Professional dangerousness. Tony Morrison described child protection as “anxious work”. It triggers issues and difficulties not just for the families concerned but for the professionals and organisations working with them. These issues can be a catalyst to situations where children are not put first. We draw on the work of Brandon, Davies & Townsend to set out some definitions of aspects of professional dangerousness drawn from the learning of practice reviews. The challenge for professionals is to use them to pre-empt and prevent future incidents. Find out more.

Leading a safeguarding cultureSafeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, or so we are told in Keeping Children Safe in Education, but a culture of safeguarding doesn’t simply evolve. This article explores how we understand the nature of our safeguarding culture in schools and colleges, then how to influence your setting’s approach through effective strategy and leadership. Find out more.

Courting trouble…?Court cases are on the rise, both in private and public law. Staff are often approached by a parent to hear their account of events, to raise or concern or to complain they have not been treated fairly by the school, especially where separations are acrimonious or parents fear the local authority may get involved. There is also an increasing chance that you may be approached by either family members or the local authority to produce a statement for or give evidence to the court. Whilst some organisations are used to going through the court process, including giving evidence in court, for many it can be a difficult and unknown process. We look at what is required. Find out more.

Childhood obesity – a safeguarding issue?Obesity in children is on the increase with 20% of children starting primary school either overweight or obese and a third of children leaving primary school either overweight or obese. Whilst in a lot of cases there is a need for health professionals to take the lead, there are occasions when childhood obesity can become a safeguarding matter. This however leads to the question as to what are the indicators that would make it a safeguarding issue? Find out more.

What is safeguarding? – Teachers are amazing. It takes most people seconds to think of a great teacher from their childhood, an inspirational teacher who significantly affected their lives. Children grow up in all kinds of places with positive and more challenging experiences. It’s hard for them to see what is ‘normal’, they see only their own experience until moving through adolescence. How do we make sure children are safe?  Find out more.

Croydon’s Vulnerable Adolescents Review – In the summer of 2017, three teenage boys in Croydon died in the space of four weeks.  A 16 year old looked-after child died as a result of his injuries when the moped he was riding with two others crashed, a 15 year old on a child protection plan died from multiple stab wounds in a gang related incident and a 17 year old died after ingesting a highly toxic drug.  All 3 children had been known to Children’s Social Care by the age of 2.  Key themes were identified including commonalities in the children’s school experience.  Find out more.

Knife crime and safeguarding – The increasing problem of knife crime is rarely out of the news, however there is a need to ensure that response are measured and informed, not guided by knee-jerk reactions to media headlines and what is trending on social media. There is also an overriding need to look at the safeguarding issues for the young people involved in knife crime, particularly for those who are then labelled as the perpetrator and the connotations that label brings with it.  Find out more.

Knowledge dispels fear – children and young people’s mental health – Mental ill health and specifically children and young people’s mental health is an emotive subject.  Often staff will avoid talking about mental health with both peers and the young people they work with because of fear of the unknown.  This stigma however serves to isolate the young person further at a time when they need help and support the most.  On other occasions a young person may be seen as having behavioural issues and work is done with them to address this as opposed to recognising that the behaviour is linked to and an expression of mental ill health.  Find out more.

Shrinking Services, Growing Needs – As we move into budget planning for 2019/20 many head teachers, governing bodies and business managers are struggling to balance the growing costs of seemingly increasing needs in the context of diminishing budgets. We look at the picture through a safeguarding lens, recognising the priority that needs to be placed on the most vulnerable children (while there is still a school to run!)  Find out more.

Fabricated or induced illness: a matter for schools? – Fabricated or induced illness (previously commonly known as Munchausen’s by proxy) is a lesser known form of physical abuse.  Although the illness is primarily a health issue, there are significant implications for schools.  Fabricated or induced illness is considered to cover a spectrum of issues, ranging from over anxious parents to parents who are deliberately harming their children for their own gain.  Find out more.