Safeguarding and child protection
Policies and procedures
You should continue to review and adapt your safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures as things change during the coronavirus pandemic.
Your policies and procedures should reflect any changes that need to be made depending on how you are operating. For example, if teachers in school are working with children they don’t know very well, they will need to be informed of any support needs or child protection issues that affect the children in their care. You should have a contingency plan in case your nominated child protection lead becomes unavailable. Who will take the lead on child protection if they can’t be on site?
Any changes to your safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures should be approved by your school governors.
You should review your plans for managing any outbreaks or changes in coronavirus restrictions to make sure children are always safe and supported.
It’s good practice to share any changes you make to your policies and procedures with parents and carers.
> Follow our five steps to updating your safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures
> Read our briefing on safeguarding and child protection guidance for schools during coronavirus
> Check out our safeguarding guidance briefing for early years and childcare
> Find out what school governors should know about safeguarding during coronavirus
Recognising and responding to concerns
As more children return to school in person, your staff might notice more child protection concerns. You might also find out about problems that children and families have been having over the last few months.
Make sure everyone knows what to do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare. This is a good time to refresh everyone’s memory about your procedures for responding to concerns.
Make sure your nominated child protection lead and any deputies have enough time and capacity to respond appropriately to all concerns that have been raised. Nominated child protection leads should check they have up-to-date contact details for other agencies and know whether referral procedures have changed during the pandemic.
> Learn more about child protection roles and responsibilities in schools
> Read more about recognising and responding to concerns
> Browse our child protection training courses for schools
Contact the NSPCC helpline for expert advice on 0808 800 500 or by emailing email@example.com.
Children not in school
It might take time for all children to be back in school every day. If you are using a mixture of home- and in-school learning, your policies need to reflect this. Think about how you will keep in touch with those you aren’t seeing on a daily basis and how you can make sure they are safe and well.
> Find out more about undertaking remote teaching safely
You might be thinking about filling vacancies and recruiting new staff or volunteers. Make sure you continue to follow safer recruitment practices to help ensure everyone working with children and young people is suitable.
> Read more about recruiting safely during the pandemic
> Take our safer recruitment in education elearning course