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safeguarding in education – still everybody's problem

13 September 2011

The flurry of activity which has followed the publication of various reports about Pembrokeshire Council by the Welsh inspectorate bodies, CSSIW and Estyn shows how important it is to get childrens safeguarding systems right, whether that be in regard to social care or, crucially, in education settings. The most recent report recommends that the council evaluates all safeguarding work within the education department and its schools and takes urgent steps to remedy deficiencies in the governance and management of safeguarding, including associated functions in human resources. Pembrokeshire have appointed a new Cabinet Member with responsibility for this.

Its going to be a tough job. Particularly in the teeth of a "special investigation" by the Wales Audit Office. It's all very well writing policies and procedures, but the true test will be whether staff at the coal face know about the procedures and are confident about using them. Once everyone has been trained in the sensitive area, will and should employers be prepared to performance manage or discipline those who fall short?

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