Child protection and safeguarding in schools

The issue of safeguarding in education remains extremely prominent. Whether you are facing an allegation made against a member of staff, handling a disclosure of abuse from a pupil, discharging your legal duty to refer conduct to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or managing press interest in safeguarding stories, the importance of ensuring your pupils are safe and are seen to be safe cannot be underestimated.

The issue of keeping children safe in education remains extremely prominent. Whether you are facing an allegation made against a member of staff; handling a disclosure of abuse from a pupil; discharging your legal duty to refer conduct to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or managing press interest in safeguarding stories; the importance of ensuring your pupils are safe and are seen to be safe cannot be underestimated.

Everyone who comes into contact with children has a role to play in the safeguarding of them. As an academy or school, you are in a crucial position and play a key part in providing help for children and preventing any issues from escalating. From teachers and teaching assistants, to playground attendants and afterschool activity staff, each person should have children’s wellbeing at the forefront of everything they do.

What is safeguarding in schools?

Child protection and safeguarding in schools are often used interchangeably, but in fact child protection is one aspect of safeguarding. Safeguarding is defined as the protecting of children from maltreatment, ensuring children grow up in an environment consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking appropriate action to enable children to have the best outcomes. Child protection focuses on protecting children who are suffering from, or are at danger of suffering from significant harm.

Safeguarding in schools works most effectively when all aspects are integrated and used together. High quality training for your staff is paramount to ensure everyone knows what to do and to do it consistently across the establishment.

Every trust or school should have at least one designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to other staff members to ensure they can carry out their child protection and safeguarding duties effectively, and who can liaise closely with other services such as social care, health and the police.

Other key aspects of child protection and safeguarding include online safety and cyber bullying and how to manage this.

Cyberbullying in schools and the law

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that is carried out through the use of an electronic device such as a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or games console. This means that bullying is now far more widespread and reaches further than the playground.

Unfortunately with the 24/7 nature of this form of bullying it can be more difficult to manage and react to; and with 7% of children aged 10 to 15 reported to have experienced cyberbullying in a recent survey by the Department for Education, it’s important to put preventative measures in place and ensure your teachers are trained and advised appropriately.

While there is no legal definition of cyberbullying within UK law, there are a number of existing laws that can be applied to cases of cyberbullying in schools, such as the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Defamation Act 2013.

How Browne Jacobson can help with safeguarding in schools

Our expert lawyers can provide you with support on all aspects of safeguarding in schools to help ensure you are discharging your safeguarding duties. As well as providing urgent advice and support when child protection and safeguarding issues occur, we can also help you draft your safeguarding policy, train your staff, prepare for inspection and deal with non-urgent safeguarding issues such as parental requests for disclosure of safeguarding files.

As recognised experts in the field, we can also keep you up-to-date with new legal duties and help you deal with growing areas of safeguarding concern, such as radicalisation and extremism, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage and FGM.

Let our experts help and guide you through the ins and outs of keeping children safe in education and support your academy or school through any child protection issues or concerns you may have.

How can we help?

For expert legal advice on any child protection and safeguarding issues, please contact Dai Durbridge.

Did you know?

We offer a range of legal advice products for academies and schools that are fixed-fee, annual support services which provide you with immediate access to specialist advice when you need it most. For more information please visit our quickcall product and our MAT partner plus product.

Our resources

Free webinar: Understand the three main changes

Catch up on our webinar where Dai Durbridge and Ian Deakin explain the key changes and talk you through exactly what you need to do to implement them.

On-demand webinar

Resources: Need to update your policies?

Our suite of 30 education and HR polices – including Child Protection, Allegations Against Staff and Low Level Concerns, Safer Recruitment and Staff Code of Conduct – have all been updated ready for September. The full suite is available now.

Get policy suite

Bespoke advice: Immediate safeguarding support

Quickcall offers up to 30 minutes support on absolutely any issue including safeguarding, which means you get access to our safeguarding experts whenever you need them. Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) can get up to 60 minutes of support with MAT PartnerPlus.

Quickcall

MAT PartnerPlus

Training: Accessible safeguarding training for all

EduCompli – our very own online staff training platform – makes safeguarding training engaging and enjoyable for staff and provides you with a management platform to review and evaluate training outcomes so you can identify strengths and plan how to plug knowledge gaps.

Learn about EduCompli

Overarching support

Training: Safeguarding for governors and trustees

We offer safeguarding training for governors and trustees and additional training for your Lead Safeguarding governor/trustee.

Both courses are delivered remotely and provide your board and lead governor/trustee with high quality training so that they can provide strategic challenge to ensure safeguarding is effective in your setting.

Governors and Trustees

Lead Governors and Trustees

Governor and trustee training requirement

Briefing: Unpicking the new requirement

In this briefing, Dai Durbridge unpicks expectations, sets out pitfalls and builds a framework to help you understand how to deliver on this new requirement.

Read the briefing

FAQ: Online searches

In these FAQs, Dai Durbridge answers your questions about online searches and helps you avoid some of the pitfalls.

Read the FAQs

Training: Safer Recruitment – an interactive update

Given the 2021 changes around references and now the new online search requirement, is it time to refresh your safer recruitment training? Join other delegates on one of our interactive courses where we cover the requirements of Part 3 though the use of case studies, break-outs and plenty of Q&A.

Find out more

Resources: Safer Recruitment Support Pack

Everything from offer letters to interview questions, FAQs on references to managing positive disclosures and risk assessing online search results to application forms, this toolkit gives you everything you need help you meet all the requirements of Part Three of KCSIE.

Find out more

Safer Recruitment – online searches

Briefing: what is expected of DSLs

Read our short briefing to understand what is required of DSLs and how to ensure your school or trust is ready for next term.

Read the briefing

Appropriate Adult

Training: MAT DSL Continuous Development Programme

Running over 4-5 months and delivered by Dai Durbridge, this course offers 21 hours contact time in bite-sized chunks of one and two-hour sessions. Interactive, engaging and focused on your strategic leadership role, this course focuses on helping you deliver as a lead DSL in a MAT.

Find out more

Training: HR Pathways for school leaders

Led by Gill Martindale, our interactive course is designed to empower school leaders and those on the path to leadership to effectively manage your people. This course is delivered remotely and offers 20 hours of contact time in bite-sized chunks of one and two hour sessions, allowing delegates to absorb the learning from each session without being overloaded with content.

Find out more

Additional support

Free webinar: Understand the three main changes

Catch up on our webinar where Dai Durbridge and Ian Deakin explain the key changes and talk you through exactly what you need to do to implement them.

On-demand webinar

Resources: Need to update your policies?

Our suite of 30 education and HR polices – including Child Protection, Allegations Against Staff and Low Level Concerns, Safer Recruitment and Staff Code of Conduct – have all been updated ready for September. The full suite is available now.

Get policy suite

Bespoke advice: Immediate safeguarding support

Quickcall offers up to 30 minutes support on absolutely any issue including safeguarding, which means you get access to our safeguarding experts whenever you need them. Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) can get up to 60 minutes of support with MAT PartnerPlus.

Quickcall

MAT PartnerPlus

Training: Accessible safeguarding training for all

EduCompli – our very own online staff training platform – makes safeguarding training engaging and enjoyable for staff and provides you with a management platform to review and evaluate training outcomes so you can identify strengths and plan how to plug knowledge gaps.

Learn about EduCompli

Overarching support

Training: Safeguarding for governors and trustees

We offer safeguarding training for governors and trustees and additional training for your Lead Safeguarding governor/trustee.

Both courses are delivered remotely and provide your board and lead governor/trustee with high quality training so that they can provide strategic challenge to ensure safeguarding is effective in your setting.

Governors and Trustees

Lead Governors and Trustees

Governor and trustee training requirement

Briefing: Unpicking the new requirement

In this briefing, Dai Durbridge unpicks expectations, sets out pitfalls and builds a framework to help you understand how to deliver on this new requirement.

Read the briefing

FAQ: Online searches

In these FAQs, Dai Durbridge answers your questions about online searches and helps you avoid some of the pitfalls.

Read the FAQs

Training: Safer Recruitment – an interactive update

Given the 2021 changes around references and now the new online search requirement, is it time to refresh your safer recruitment training? Join other delegates on one of our interactive courses where we cover the requirements of Part 3 though the use of case studies, break-outs and plenty of Q&A.

Find out more

Resources: Safer Recruitment Support Pack

Everything from offer letters to interview questions, FAQs on references to managing positive disclosures and risk assessing online search results to application forms, this toolkit gives you everything you need help you meet all the requirements of Part Three of KCSIE.

Find out more

Safer Recruitment – online searches

Briefing: what is expected of DSLs

Read our short briefing to understand what is required of DSLs and how to ensure your school or trust is ready for next term.

Read the briefing

Appropriate Adult

Training: MAT DSL Continuous Development Programme

Running over 4-5 months and delivered by Dai Durbridge, this course offers 21 hours contact time in bite-sized chunks of one and two-hour sessions. Interactive, engaging and focused on your strategic leadership role, this course focuses on helping you deliver as a lead DSL in a MAT.

Find out more

Training: HR Pathways for school leaders

Led by Gill Martindale, our interactive course is designed to empower school leaders and those on the path to leadership to effectively manage your people. This course is delivered remotely and offers 20 hours of contact time in bite-sized chunks of one and two hour sessions, allowing delegates to absorb the learning from each session without being overloaded with content.

Find out more

Additional support

Featured experience

Allegation against staff member

Supporting a school where an allegation had been made against a member of staff. Advising on dismissal, obtaining disclosure from the police, dealing with the press and referring to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Primary schools

Advising primary schools on their legal duty to ensure staff are not disqualified from working in early years or later years settings.

Pupil risk

Helping a school manage the risk of a pupil with a history of abusing other children attending an overnight school trip.

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