Ofsted releases safeguarding best practice report

Written by: HTU | Published:

The “rigorous" monitoring of student absence and a comprehensive programme of staff training are among the keys to effective safeguarding, inspectors have reported.

The “rigorous" monitoring of student absence and a comprehensive programme of staff training are among the keys to effective safeguarding, inspectors have reported.

Ofsted has also said there is “no reason" why safeguarding good practice cannot feature in every school. Currently, three quarters of primary schools are rated as “good" or “outstanding" in this area.

In its report, Safeguarding in schools: best practice, the inspectorate looked at the outcome of inspections between September 2009 and July 2010 to evaluate features of “outstanding" safeguarding.

Crucial aspects cited in the publication include how well students are taught to stay safe and how well schools meet the needs of students with medical conditions.

In schools where safeguarding is effective, Ofsted says that school managers promote safe practice in classrooms and around the school, and ensure that staff attend a “comprehensive range of training".

The report said: “Training in safeguarding is given a high priority in effective schools. Expertise is extended effectively and internal capacity is built up. Managers ensure that staff regularly undertake a comprehensive range of training to promote safe practice in classrooms, around the school and off site."

According to the report, “outstanding" schools also far exceed the minimum requirement to ensure refresher training every three years and in actual fact many provide annual training with regular updates in staff meetings, and training records kept for every member of staff, volunteers and student teachers.

Elsewhere, the report said that “outstanding" features included high quality leadership which makes safeguarding a priority in school and it also emphasised the importance of having accessible child protection arrangements for students and families.

The report adds: “Senior managers give clear direction and harness the energy and commitment of their staff. They establish comprehensive and coherent policies and procedures which make clear the school's high expectations.

“High standards are set for all aspects of safeguarding practice; effective schools make sure that these standards are upheld by all concerned. Attention to detail is a crucial factor in their success, and pupils' safety and wellbeing are central to all that the schools do."

The inspectorate also said schools should monitor any school absences “rigorously" to ensure students regularly attend. The report said they found examples of schools carefully monitoring students' whereabouts at all times with unexplained or unauthorised absences followed up “speedily".

A statement in the report said: “Such close attention to the issue of attendance contributes strongly to the creation of an environment in which pupils' safety is paramount."

Chris Keates, general secretary, NASUWT welcomed the report for its “reassurances" about schools' practices in keeping children safe. However she warned that there is no room for complacency in schools.

Ofsted defines safeguarding as protecting learners from maltreatment and preventing impairment of children's health or development, among other things.

Chief inspector, Miriam Rosen said: “There can be no issue of greater importance to parents and carers, or to schools, than the safety of their children."

For the full report, visit www.ofsted.gov.uk

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