Safeguarding in schools in the UK is a critical issue that cannot be overlooked. It is essential for schools to provide a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors.
Safeguarding involves a range of measures put in place to protect children and young people from harm, abuse, and neglect. It is a vital aspect of education, and schools have a legal responsibility to ensure that children and young people are safe from harm.
What is meant by safeguarding in schools?
The government defines safeguarding as protecting children and young people from maltreatment, preventing impairment of their health or development, and ensuring that they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
It includes taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes, promoting their welfare, and protecting them from neglect and abuse.
Safeguarding in schools covers a wide range of issues that can affect children and young people, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, discrimination, and radicalisation. Schools have a crucial role to play in safeguarding children and young people, and they are responsible for identifying and responding to any safeguarding concerns.
Safeguarding in schools’ legislation
Schools have a legal obligation to safeguard children and young people under the Children Act 1989 and 2004 respectively. The Children Act 1989 outlines the responsibilities of local authorities, courts, parents, and others in relation to children, while the Children Act 2004 provides the legal framework for children’s services, including education.
In addition to legal requirements, schools must follow the statutory guidance on promoting the welfare of children and safeguarding in schools. The Department for Education’s guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. It covers a range of issues, including staff recruitment and training, information sharing, online safety, and responding to safeguarding concerns.
What is safeguarding training in schools?
One of the most critical aspects of safeguarding in schools is staff recruitment and training. Schools must have robust recruitment procedures in place to ensure that all staff and volunteers are suitable to work with children and young people. This includes conducting thorough background checks, obtaining references, and ensuring that staff and volunteers receive appropriate safeguarding training.
All staff and volunteers who work with children and young people must have a good understanding of safeguarding issues and be able to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. They must also know how to respond to safeguarding concerns and who to report them to. Schools must provide regular safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers, including updates on new legislation and guidance.
Safeguarding policies and procedures
Schools must also have effective policies and procedures in place to safeguard children and young people. These policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they are effective and up to date. Schools must also ensure that children and young people are aware of these policies and procedures and that they know how to report any concerns they may have.
Promoting online safety
In addition to staff recruitment and training and policies and procedures, schools must also promote online safety. The internet is a valuable resource for children and young people, but it can also pose risks. Schools must ensure that children and young people are aware of the risks associated with using the internet and that they know how to stay safe online. This includes teaching them about online bullying, grooming, and radicalisation.
Preventing radicalisation and extremism
Schools must also be aware of the signs of radicalisation and take action to prevent it. Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies. Schools must ensure that they have effective policies and procedures in place to identify and respond to radicalisation concerns. This includes providing training for staff and working with external agencies, such as the police and local authorities.
From 1 July 2015 all schools and childcare providers became subject to a duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as The Prevent Duty.
The role of safeguarding software in schools
Safeguarding software is designed to help schools identify and respond to safeguarding concerns more effectively. It can help schools to monitor online activity, identify potential risks, and provide alerts when there are concerns. Safeguarding software can also help schools to manage their safeguarding policies and procedures more efficiently. It can provide a central point for storing and managing safeguarding information, making it easier for schools to track safeguarding concerns and ensure that they are addressed promptly.
There are many different types of safeguarding software available, and schools should choose the software that best meets their needs. Some software is designed to monitor online activity, while others focus on managing safeguarding policies and procedures. Some software is also designed to help schools identify and respond to concerns around mental health and wellbeing.
How does Securus monitoring software help with safeguarding in schools?
Securus develops some of the most powerful and widely used school monitoring software on the market, going far beyond filtering and basic online monitoring. With Securus 360, schools can monitor all school devices both at the device-level and the network-level.
This enables coverage of Windows, Chromebook & Mac computers, as well as iPads, iPhones, Android and other mobile devices – in line with the schools BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy.
This capability, combined with our unique OCR technology, allows the capture of many safeguarding incidents not seen by other monitoring software. Securus is able to capture virtually any on-screen safeguarding incident regardless of the application used, whether the incident was typed or untyped, or happened online or offline.
Furthermore, Securus offers schools the option to outsource the monitoring and reporting of incident captures to our team of safeguarding experts, with our managed full monitoring service – Securus FMS. When a high severity incident of concern is discovered, Securus will send an immediate Alert via SMS & Email to designated staff. For the most severe incidents which pose an immediate risk of harm, the school will also receive a telephone call.
The importance of safeguarding in schools
While safeguarding software can be a useful tool for schools, it should not be seen as a replacement for staff training, policies and procedures. It is important that schools continue to provide regular safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers and ensure that their policies and procedures are up to date and effective.
In conclusion, safeguarding in schools in the UK is a vital issue that cannot be overlooked. Schools have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that children and young people are safe from harm, abuse, and neglect. This includes having robust recruitment procedures, effective policies and procedures, and regular staff training. Safeguarding software can be a useful tool for schools, but it should not be seen as a replacement for staff training, policies and procedures. By working together, schools can create a safe and supportive environment for all children and young people.
At Securus, our aim is to help schools fulfill their safeguarding responsibility in an ever-changing digital world. To learn more about how our products help make safeguarding in schools more effective and efficient – take a look at our safeguarding software solutions.