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Ofsted failing on safeguarding?

24 June 2014

You know there must be concerns with Ofsted’s approach to safeguarding when heads, such as Gareth Dawkins, are critical of Ofsted for not being more robust when inspecting safeguarding in schools. I agree with Gareth. Our education clients tell us that when it comes to safeguarding, inspectors focus unduly on checking that the single central record has been accurately completed and that no dates or initials are missing, rather than satisfying themselves that the school has strong safeguarding practices.

DBS checks are important, but they are not a magic shield, nor are they evidence of good safeguarding in schools. Inspectors ought to review a safeguarding issue to check that guidance was followed, that the local authority was involved and that if the duty was triggered, a referral was made to the DBS. Having done that, a conversation with the head and the designated senior person around what they learnt from that issue and whether it influenced future practice should take place.

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