THE ROLE OF SCHOOL STAFF

 

School staff is particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating.  All staff has a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

All staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help.

Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

Any staff member must have a concern about a child’s welfare.

Staff should expect to support social workers and other agencies following any referral.

Every school and college should have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care.

The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) is most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advice on the response to safeguarding concerns.

The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers, which includes head teachers should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.

 

What school staffs needs to know?

All staff should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction. This should include the:

Child protection policy;

Behaviour policy;

Staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct);

Safeguarding response to children who go missing from education; and

All staff should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition, all staff should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, and at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

All staff should be aware of their local early help6 process and understand their role in it.

All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected.

Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality. This means only involving those who need to be involved, such as the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) and children’s social care.

Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a report of abuse, as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.