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Secondary schools are neglecting child protection

13 September 2013

The Children’s Commissioner reports child protection is a "neglected area of practice" for many secondary schools, with staff often feeling unable to adequately deal with child protection issues.

‘Feeling Safe, Keeping Safe’ highlighted that schools with a "bottom to top" approach continually have good track records on child protection. Training all staff, including catering staff and bus drivers, to detect signs of abuse, means focus is upon the students in every part of their school day. Child protection can only be secured via a whole school ethos rather than being confined to the responsibility of senior leaders.

As the new school year begins, the report acts as the usual reminder of a school’s statutory safeguarding duties. The new safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe, will be released shortly, and many practitioners are concerned that the 85% reduction in that guidance and a move to a ‘you decide’ approach rather than directing schools on the appropriate course of action, will not help staff manage safeguarding concerns.

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