The head and governors
The head and the governors should make sure the school's child protection policy and procedures are robust, up to date and include:
- a definition of all forms of abuse
- information about the signs and indicators of abuse
- what staff and volunteers should do if they have concerns about a child.
They should ensure all staff read, understand and follow the school's child protection policy and procedures and code of conduct for adults.
The head and governors should also:
- ensure the school site is safe and secure
- read and understand the national guidance about preventing and responding to abuse
- ensure all staff and volunteers receive regular child protection training
- put support systems in place for children who have experienced abuse, for example by arranging school counselling or contacting external support services
- promote healthy relationships through the whole school ethos, lessons and assemblies
- make sure children know they can approach any member of staff or volunteer if they have a problem and that they will be listened to and taken seriously
- promote sources of help such as Childline around school so children know where to go to get help if they don’t feel able to talk to a trusted adult
- provide parents with information about abuse including what action the school is taking to prevent it and support children affected by it.
> See our range of child protection training courses for school staff and volunteers
> Browse our teaching resources
> Find out more about responding to disclosures
When recruiting new staff and volunteers to work in school, the head and governors must follow safer recruitment principles.
> Find out more about safer recruitment
> Take our safer recruitment in education training course
Responding to concerns about abuse
The head and governors should support the nominated child protection lead with the child protection referral process and challenge decisions if the school believes a child is at serious risk of harm and not receiving appropriate help.
They should also:
- help the nominated child protection lead inform parents about what's happening (unless there is reason to believe that doing so would put the child at further risk of harm)
- review policies and procedures in the light of any lessons learned from a child protection incident.
Our Child protection for school governors online training course ensures governors understand their safeguarding responsibilities and their role in creating a safer culture in school.