The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook for Schools fully outlines and explains child safeguarding policy and child protection policy, to aid you in implementing effective and thorough safeguarding of pupils and students in your school

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Children need to be safeguarded and sometimes, as we know from the tragic deaths reported recently, need to be protected from any form of harm that threatens them. The job of safeguarding children cannot be left solely to parents or carers. In today’s society all other adults in contact with a child or young person need to share responsibility for their wellbeing also.

The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook for Schools: A comprehensive guide to policy and practice provides you with the support and guidance you need to ensure that your school delivers consistent and effective child protection across the whole school.

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Schools play a critical role in keeping children safe from harm, though their importance to the child protection system has not always been recognised. Protecting children used to be seen as the preserve of social workers, but events in recent years have brought the school’s role into sharp focus. Of course the principal goal of a school is to teach, but in order to demonstrate equality of opportunity for all pupils, it is necessary to remove, or at least reduce, the barriers that impede learning. Children cannot concentrate on learning if their lives are disrupted by abuse and fear. In short – safer children are more successful learners.

‘It is always better to prevent failure than tackle a crisis later’
The 5th principle in the government’s Children’s Plan (DCSF 2007)

The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook for Schools is a brand new resource from Optimus Education that has been specifically designed with you, the designated person for child protection in your school, in mind. It provides everything you need to be able to meet statutory requirements for schools and fulfil the responsibilities of your role. The handbook has been written especially for schools so you can apply the contents to your setting, and the guidance applies to all phases.

Includes 2 training presentations for school inset days as well as staff sheets
The rest of your school’s staff cannot be expected to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils if they are not given the tools to do so. This handbook can help you with this by providing staff handouts that can be photocopied and distributed or held in a central place in school. Sheets include:

  • a quick guide on what to do in an emergency
  • a support directory for staff
  • a ‘quick guide to the child protection responsibilities and entitlements of all staff and volunteers’

Training materials include:

  • awareness training presentations with notes
  • awareness tutor guidance
  • child protection training presentation with notes
  • child protection tutor guidance

The first of its kind – guidance specifically for your school
This comprehensive handbook is the first to combine all of the information you need in one easy to use resource. It will help you in your important task of providing a strong, whole-school approach to child protection and safeguarding. The book includes guidance on:

  • your school’s safeguarding and child protection policy and what it should look like
  • what to do if you need to reform policy and practice in your school
  • how to achieve a unified agreement to which all parties involved have signed up
  • raising awareness of ‘staying safe’ to pupils and students through the curriculum
  • how to deal with an emergency (this is presented in a ‘quick guide’ format and can be reproduced and handed round to staff)
  • the relevance of the SEAL ethos as well as Healthy Schools within a child protection context
  • school-based abuse prevention programmes, what they are, how to implement one in your school and discussion of their effectiveness
  • children with special needs, social and emotional behavioural difficulties and looked after children
  • inspection and self-evaluation, what to expect and how to prepare, along with a quick guide for staff and a staff directory of support services
  • the role of the designated senior person for child protection, its statutory responsibilities and characteristics
  • safer recruitment
  • the roles and responsibilities of the governing body with regard to safeguarding and child protection
  • the challenges of inter-agency cooperation and working with parents and carers along with advice on best practice

…and much more.

This easy to use handbook contains all you need to know on current legislation, offers you advice and guidance on implementing and executing procedures and provides two presentations for whole staff training. It also includes useful pro formas and examples of how to use them.

Safeguarding and promoting welfare through the curriculum
Every stakeholder in your school should be involved in this very important issue. Allowing others to take on the responsibility for child protection and safeguarding is a tactic that is proven not to work and your pupils are included in this. It is your school’s duty to help pupils to understand how to stay safe. The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook guides you through what should be offered through the curriculum at each key stage.

Please read on for a summary of the chapters in The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook

The introduction of this handbook explains the following:

  • the importance of the role of the school
  • the development of a national framework for child protection
  • the difference between child protection & safeguarding and safeguarding & well-being
  • what to do in an emergency

Section 1: A shared responsibility
Section 1 takes you through the schools role in protecting children from harm. It covers;

  • how child protection and safeguarding should be tackled through each stage of the curriculum
  • how social and emotional learning helps with your goal
  • school inspections and self assessment
  • staff issues – such as staff knowledge and training
  • your role and the roles of the headteacher, and the governing body
  • cooperation between agencies as well as parents
  • what happens when a referral is made

Section 2: Essential toolkit for the designated person
This section focuses on school policies and procedures and takes you through the current legislation and guidance including;

  • basic legal requirements and references
  • confidentiality and information sharing
  • off the premises protection
  • training requirements for your school’s staff
  • implementing a safer recruitment process
  • what to do when allegations are made against staff members
  • how to recognise abuse
  • how to respond to concerns about a child
  • guidance on referring to social services
  • listening and talking to children

Section 3: Special considerations
In section 3 we look at children who are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse such as children with SEN. The section also includes:

  • information on sexually concerning behaviour
  • additional information for independent and boarding schools
  • additional information for residential special schools

Section 4: Training, support and further information
This section provides you with all you need to support you and your colleagues including:

  • support directory for staff – a quick guide booklet that can be handed out to staff including ‘how to respond to an emergency’ and ‘child protection responsibilities and entitlements of all staff and volunteers’
  • awareness training presentation with notes
  • Awareness training – tutor guidance
  • Child protection training presentation with notes
  • Child protection training – tutor guidance

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The Child Protection and Safeguarding Handbook for Schools will enable you to:

  • Increase your understanding of child protection and safeguarding
  • Know the general expectations and scope of your role and responsibilities as designated person
  • Apply policy and guidance to your own unique setting
  • Clearly explain to others what to do in an emergency
  • Know and share key facts, misconceptions and recent policy developments
  • Help your school to meet statutory requirements
  • Train colleagues in basic child protection and safeguarding
  • Work effectively with other organisations and understand your role in the context of a multi-agency approach
  • Respond sensitively and confidently to concerns from staff and parents
  • Act swiftly and sensitively to pupil disclosure
  • Create a safe environment for listening to children, staff and parents
  • Create, review, implement and communicate your school’s child protection policy

About the author

Ann Raymond is a freelance child protection and safeguarding consultant, specialising in services to the education sector. Ann has designed and delivered basic and advanced child protection training for schools, local authorities, ACPCs/LSCBs, voluntary agencies and the independent sector. Participants consistently rate the courses as excellent.

Formerly the NSPCC education adviser for South West England, Ann has extensive experience in supporting staff to meet their safeguarding responsibilities. She believes that all members of staff should receive key information and guidance to help them develop confidence and understanding, thus being empowered to raise concerns and support children appropriately and effectively.

Prior to moving into child protection, Ann taught in several schools and colleges and was deputy principal at a residential school for children with complex and challenging needs. Ann’s consultancy roles have included co-ordinating a surestart final delivery plan, assisting a voluntary agency to develop their first children’s home and undertaking a comprehensive review of a local authority’s policies and procedures following a major child protection investigation. Ann has also contributed to a children’s services authority review of provision for disabled children and has contributed to several publications on safeguarding.

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