Policies and procedures
Updating safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures
Schools should be changing or adding addendums to their safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the current situation (Department for Education (DfE), 2020a; EANI, 2020b; Welsh Government, 2020a).
Any changes to policies and procedures need to be agreed by the board of governors or trustees. But it may be necessary for the chair to act on the board’s behalf to approve changes and make urgent decisions (DfE, 2019; Department of Education, 2019; Welsh Government, 2013).
If this is the case the chair should, as much as possible, work with the governor or trustee responsible for safeguarding and child protection to review any changes to the policies and procedures.
Notes of discussions and decisions, including minutes from video meetings and emails, should be properly recorded (Welsh Government, 2020b).
Also check that the nominated child protection lead has shared any new updates to safeguarding policies and procedures and ensured all staff, volunteers, parents, carers and children know how to raise any concerns or who to speak to about any issues.
> Read our five steps for updating safeguarding and child protection policies during the pandemic
Monitoring safeguarding and child protection
This is a busy time for everyone involved in running a school and decisions need to be prioritised (Department for Education (DfE), 2020b; EANI, 2020a; Welsh Government, 2020b). But the welfare of children and young people is of paramount importance.
You should make sure safeguarding and child protection continues to be a key part of all your meetings and decision making, and monitor how policies and procedures are working in practice. Talk to the headteacher and nominated child protection lead about this - what challenges are they facing? How can these be overcome?
Some schools may be working together so they can stay open for vulnerable children during the pandemic. If this is happening in your school, check that there are robust safeguarding processes in place. Does everyone know how child protection and welfare information should be shared and how to report a concern?
It’s especially important that schools are working closely with other agencies, such as children’s social care. This will help ensure any concerns about a child’s wellbeing are acted on quickly and families get the support they need.
Ask your nominated child protection lead about multi-agency working and check it’s happening effectively. Make sure they’re continuing to share concerns with children’s social care and any other relevant agencies.
Get help and advice
If you need help reviewing your safeguarding and child protection policies, we are offering free 30 minute sessions with our expert consultants to help support your safeguarding arrangements.
> Find out more about our consultancy service