Do you know how effective and how comprehensive your school’s Safeguarding Arrangements are?

The safeguarding of children is instinctive to the vast majority of people engaged in all levels of education provision. Over the years, safeguarding has become a core element in the Ofsted inspection process. Indeed, the measure of a school’s safeguarding arrangements applies a “limiting judgement” to a school’s overall inspection outcome. The latest Common Inspection Framework calls on inspectors to base their evaluations on “clear and robust evidence”. Schools are judged on the efforts made to safeguard the welfare and safety of their pupils.

For all schools the safeguarding objective is the same – to ensure that no harm comes to any pupil arising from an act or omission of the school or any of its community. Risk is defined as the effect of uncertainty on objectives and risk can affect the achievement of objectives either positively or negatively. In the context of safeguarding, the primary objective is achieved via a combination of a considerable number of things that take place in and around a school.

The safeguarding mantle encompasses everything from the provision of school meals to the management of medication; the school’s physical environment; the recruitment and vetting of staff; bullying in all its forms – including cyberbullying; and the most recent safeguarding worry – protecting children from the risk of radicalisation. Behind each aspect there are objectives to be achieved and each objective has its attendant risks which must be identified, assessed and evaluated. These aspects, along with others, make up a school’s safeguarding responsibility and are the basis for its Safeguarding Arrangements.

Safeguarding Risks within CalQRisk

There are facets of each of these identified risks which pose a threat to a school’s safeguarding objective(s) and which must be managed effectively. There are almost four hundred known issues captured within the CalQRisk knowledgebase that contribute to the complete view of a school’s safeguarding effort. This number will expand as new threats emerge and as the law, regulations and guidelines are changed and / or added to in order to address them. Generally, these issues include ensuring that the relevant policies are in place and circulated, ensuring that associated procedures are laid out and followed and ensuring that the responsible staff member is competent, fully trained and committed to the task.

Part of the evidence requirement outlined in the Ofsted guidelines underpins a concern that the controls which safeguard children’s welfare and safety are not always present all of the time. Recent highly-publicised incidents point to the fact that there have been cases wherein the risk controls have not been as robust as they ought to have been. The Ofsted response is to seek evidence of the controls and by extension send the message to schools that the evidence must exist.

CalQRisk Compliance Widget

What matters is the effort that is being made in the overall commitment to safeguarding by the entire school in both its ethos and the conducting of its day-to-day affairs. Today’s busy school needs an intelligent way to manage their effort; one in which the evidence of the effort is a by-product of that effort and not additional effort in itself.

Highlights Areas of “Non-Compliance”

Evidence of the school’s Safeguarding Arrangements must be up-to-date and easily accessible. CalQRisk enables a school to capture and assimilate the school’s collective knowledge, assign and oversee tasks and view the school’s Safeguarding position all in one place.

CalQRisk provides an integrated, whole-school solution for GRC management. Contact us today for a demonstration or ask your trusted advisor to do so on your behalf.

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