Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022: updated Governor and Trustee training requirement

The two biggest changes in the new safeguarding guidance revolve around sourcing high quality governor and trustee training and the new requirement to carry out online searches for shortlisted candidates.

30 August 2022

The two biggest changes in the new safeguarding guidance revolve around sourcing high quality governor and trustee training and the new requirement to carry out online searches for shortlisted candidates.

This briefing focuses on the governor training requirement. To find out how to discharge the new online search duty, take a look at this article Safeguarding for schools and trusts.

Many ingredients are needed for a strong safeguarding culture, one of which is excellent safeguarding governance. To help governors and trustees succeed they need good training. The training requirement in Keeping Children Safe in Education was bolstered in the 2022 edition, so now is a good time to review governor and trustee knowledge and to consider update training.

Let’s start with the changes in Keeping Children Safe 2022. Two new paragraphs have been added (there are then a further 11 paragraphs talking about the Human Rights Act, the Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty):

“81. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all governors and trustees receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection (including online) training at induction. This training should equip them with the knowledge to provide strategic challenge to test and assure themselves that the safeguarding policies and procedures in place in schools and colleges are effective and support the delivery of a robust whole school approach to safeguarding. Their training should be regularly updated.

 

82. Governing bodies and proprietors should be aware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, (including the Public Sector Equality Duty), and their local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.”

 

Now for the detail.

1. The when:

The guidance is pretty clear on the when: “at induction” and “regularly updated”. Whilst “regularly updated” is not defined, my advice is that governor and trustee training should be updated at least every two years and, ideally, every year. Annually may seem onerous but given that is what we tend to do for staff, it makes sense that we also do it annually for governors and trustees too.

2. The why:

Again, the guidance gives a clear steer: “knowledge to provide strategic challenge” and so governors and trustees can “assure themselves that the safeguarding policies and procedures…are effective”. The devil is in the detail, but these statements are helpful because you can use them to set clear learning objectives/outcomes for the training.

3. The what:

Avoid the pitfall of providing operational training for governors and trustees; in other words, the training delivered to governors and trustees should differ considerably to that delivered to staff. Yes, some of the content will overlap – the basics of safeguarding, for example – but training for governors and trustees should be strategic and focus primarily on good safeguarding governance across the school or trust.

If you want to see what good safeguarding training looks like for governors and trustees, take a look at our course Safeguarding Training for Governors and Trustees.

4. The how:

As with any training, the more engaging and interactive it is, the better the outcomes. Giving top tips and tools to help governors and trustees undertake their role also makes it easier for them to effectively implement what they have learned.

Think about whether you deliver it in person or remotely via a platform like MS Teams or Zoom. There are pros and cons to both options but, with the right presenter and the right content, both approaches can work perfectly well.

5. The who:

There is no requirement to obtain this training from a particular source so instead of focusing on a specific provider, focus on making sure the content is correct and complete, the method of delivery engaging, and the presenter is knowledgeable and a strong trainer (remember, just because someone knows a topic inside out doesn’t mean they are a good trainer). In other words, do your due diligence.

If you want to see what good safeguarding training looks like for governors and trustees, take a look at our course Safeguarding Training for Governors and Trustees.

Finally, don’t forget that your safeguarding lead governor/trustee is likely to need additional training to provide them with the tools to effectively support and challenge your DSL. The points set out above apply equally to sourcing this specialist training. We also run a course specifically for safeguarding lead governors/trustees Safeguarding Lead Governors/Trustees.

Contact

Contact

Dai Durbridge

Partner

dai.durbridge@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)330 045 2105

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