Ofsted adopts the definition of safeguarding used in the Children Act 2004 and in the Department for Education and Skills (now DfE) guidance document Working together to safeguard children, which focuses on safeguarding and promoting children’s and learners’ welfare. This can be summarised as;
- protecting children and learners from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s and learners’ health or development
- ensuring that children and learners are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- undertaking that role so as to enable those children and learners to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully
HOW THIS WORKS IN PRACTICE AT Brandles SCHOOL
The leadership and management team makes safeguarding a priority across all aspects of our school’s work. We ensure that all staff share the same philosophy. This process starts from the initial interview with staff, induction training, day to day practice with staff and pupils and regular review takes place using school, regional and national guidelines.
Our stringent vetting procedures take place for staff and other adults who work with us. This is supported by policy and practice and is overseen by a member of the governing body.
Ours policies (Health and Safety, Behaviour Management, Restrictive Physical interventions, Child Protection, Use of ICT and the Internet, School Security, Complaints, Equality, Bullying, Code of Conduct, Whistle Blowing are some examples) and procedures are in place, written in plain English, compliant with statutory requirements and updated regularly. They are reviewed and shared with staff and governors, as well as parents and pupils where appropriate.
Our child protection arrangements that are accessible to everyone, so that pupils and families, as well as adults in the school, know who they can talk to if they are worried and our excellent communication systems with up-to-date information can be accessed and shared by those who need it.
We have robust arrangements for site security, understood and applied by staff and pupils. Any adults that are seen on the site are challenged by staff and we allocate a high priority to this practice due to the nature of our pupils. We constantly review our security and make improvements when necessary.
Our curriculum is flexible, relevant and engages pupils’ interest. It is used to promote safeguarding, not least through teaching pupils how to stay safe, how to protect themselves from harm and how to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety. Examples include the appropriate use of equipment in cooking alongside food hygiene, how to use the Internet safely, how to behave in different social settings, how to adapt to the different seasons that we experience, what to do if an accident takes place, ‘bike ability’ courses, how to prepare for and take part in physical activities and how to interact in less structured times such as play.
We promote courteous and responsible behaviour by our pupils, modelled by staff enabling everyone to feel secure and well-protected and we have well thought out and workable day-to-day arrangements to protect and promote pupils’ health and safety.
Our rigorous monitoring of absence, with timely and appropriate follow-up, to ensure that pupils attend regularly ensures that safety and learning continue to have a high priority for all pupils and parents and we carefully risk assess our activities and procedures and put preventive measures into place to help such events take place. We do not stop children ‘being children’ and we do not believe in stopping staff and pupils taking any risks. We learn by carefully supported events where things may go wrong, however, a proportional and appropriate approach to risk is essential.