Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
We are asked more and more frequently whether or not there are any specific safeguarding requirements on your school website. There is a requirement to publish information around safeguarding, even though this isn't currently listed on the standard checklist you may read. Of course the place you will inevitably publish information on safeguarding is on your website. Below you'll find a range of resources and information, including your safeguarding in schools checklist. As this is a critical part of your school website requirements, we're going to explain exactly what you need to cover.
This article explains how you can effectively publish appropriate safeguarding requirements on your school website.
A fundamental aspect of school life is rightly safeguarding in schools. Children should feel safe and secure and schools have a responsibility to cultivate a strong safeguarding in schools culture.
That basic right has become a primary concern of inspections. Schools will be judged inadequate or will require improvement if safeguarding is found to be ineffective and schools are also expected to ensure all staff are trained and to be vigilant. It's serious stuff, and rightly so.
From September 2018, schools are required to publish information on their websites around safeguarding. The details are listed below and can be found in our School Website Requirements Software and FREE School Website Requirements Guide.
Safeguarding is one of, if not the first thing an inspector will look at when they visit your school. In fact they'll look to see if safeguarding is effectively managed before they visit school. Your website is the place that inspectors will naturally look first to access this information.
The lead inspector will prepare for the inspection by gaining an overview of the school’s recent performance and any changes since the last inspection. They're going to use all available evidence to get a picture of the school’s performance. The information you have made available on your school website will inform the planning of the inspection. This means that inspectors are actively looking for your safeguarding information. They say first impressions matter, none so more important that your safeguarding information on your website
It's absolutely worth getting it right and getting it online!
One of the most important things to remember is that inspectors will be looking for how quickly you are able to access information they ask for. You should already have everything ready!
You need to ensure you are easily able to locate the information an inspector will be looking for.
Your website can be a strong tool in making sure content is easy to find. Make sure you are taking full advantage of it
Make this as prominent as you can, it is critical that your safeguarding information is easy to find. Ensure this is buried away, hidden on your website. Therefore, Bring it to the forefront, show it off and be proud of it
Two critical things to mention here:
If you read the documents linked near the bottom, you'll see the words, "everyone", "all" and "any" repeated over and over again. Safeguarding is everybody's responsibility. There are no excuses if you haven't ensured everyone from staff to governors aren't fully aware of their responsibilities.
It's also not good enough to just make sure you've got this covered. You've got to prove it; record it, publish it and have it readily available when an inspector arrives at your door. This should never be a last thought or a rushed job.
The other word that is critical - robust. Because of the nature of the issue the only acceptable approach can be one without compromise.
One of the best examples of a school who is taking safeguarding appropriately seriously is Fairfield Primary School in Cumbria. A few things stand out:
They've broadened the safeguarding remit slightly here but this is a fantastic approach!
Below you'll find a range of resources that should inform how you approach safeguarding in schools.
Safeguarding in Schools - resources from Andrew Hall, author of the Safeguarding Handbook for Schools.
NEW - NSPCC - New safeguarding tool for education professionals
Keeping Children Safe in Education - statutory guidance for schools and colleges
Ofsted Safeguarding policy - Ofsted's approach to safeguarding
Guidance to Inspectors; note specifically section 4 regarding what inspectors will be looking for
NSPCC - Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools
NSPCC: Writing a safeguarding policy - a great resource containing an example policy to adopt
The critical thing to remember is just how important safeguarding in schools is. Keep safeguarding among your highest priorities. Your school website should demonstrate how seriously you take safeguarding. It should make it clear who is responsible and provide a safe route to raise any concerns. It should also be reassuring to parents that you place the care of children right at the very top of the agenda.
For a complete picture of the statutory requirements for your school website visit our ultimate guide to school website requirements.
This course includes the very latest information and training for those working in school settings. Includes the latest guidance and statutory requirements for safeguarding training.
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