The management of safeguarding
Governing bodies, trustees and proprietors (including headteachers)
See Keeping children safe in education – sections 52 – 58
Governing bodies and proprietors (in Part two, unless otherwise stated, includes management committees) must ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They must have regard to this guidance, ensuring that policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.
Governing bodies and proprietors should have a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to take leadership responsibility for their school’s or college’s safeguarding arrangements.
Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.
This should include:
- Individual schools and colleges having an effective child protection policy. The child protection policy should describe procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed multi-agency safeguarding arrangements put in place by the three safeguarding partners. It should be updated annually (as a minimum), and be available publicly either via the school
or college website or by other means.
- A staff behaviour policy (sometimes called the code of conduct) which should, amongst other things, include – acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media.
- Governing bodies and proprietors should put in place appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.
- Where reasonably possible, schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil or student. This goes beyond the legal minimum17 and is good practice to give the school or college additional options to make contact with a responsible adult when a child missing education is also identified as a welfare and/or safeguarding concern. Further information for schools can be found in the department’s School Attendance Guidance.
- Further information on schools’ duties regarding children missing education, including information schools must provide to the local authority when removing a child from the school roll at standard and non-standard transition points can be found in the department’s statutory guidance: Children Missing Education.
- Further information for colleges providing education for a child of compulsory school age can be found in: Full-time-Enrolment of 14 to 16 year olds in Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges.
- General information and advice for schools and colleges can be found in the Government’s Missing Children and Adults Strategy. The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list. These policies and procedures, along with Part one of this guidance and information regarding the role and identity of the designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies), should be provided to all staff on induction.
Governing bodies and proprietors should take a proportionate risk-based approach to the level of information that is provided to temporary staff and volunteers.
Headteachers and principals should ensure that the above policies and procedures, adopted by governing bodies and proprietors, and particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by all staff.
Designated safeguarding leads and deputy headteachers
See Keeping children safe in education – sections 59 – 65
Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school or college leadership team, is appointed to the role of designated safeguarding lead. The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. This should be explicit in the roleholder’s job description (see Annex B, which describes the broad areas of responsibility and activities related to the role).
It is a matter for individual schools and colleges as to whether they choose to have one or more deputy designated safeguarding leads. Any deputies should be trained to the same standard as the designated safeguarding lead.
Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, as set out above, remains with the designated safeguarding lead. This responsibility should not be delegated.
The designated safeguarding lead and any deputies should liaise with the three safeguarding partners and work with other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children.
During term time, the designated safeguarding lead and/or a deputy should always be available (during school or college hours) for staff in the school or college to discuss any safeguarding concerns. It is a matter for individual schools and colleges and the designated safeguarding lead to arrange adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities.
The designated safeguarding lead and any deputies should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training should be updated every two years.
In addition to their formal training as set out above, their knowledge and skills should be updated, (for example via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments), at regular intervals, and at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
Updates and changes
These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information. Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.