The Greenwood Academies Trust (GAT) currently has 31 open academies educating approximately 16,000 pupils across eight local authority areas including Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, Derby City, Leicester City, Northamptonshire, Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Central Bedfordshire.
The Trust’s mission is to enable every child within its academies to be the best they can be. The Trust is a ‘not for profit’ organisation. Support services for finance, ICT, procurement, human resources, catering, data, curriculum development, staff development, health and safety and personal development and welfare are led by a Central Team operating across the Trust.
Safeguarding is a major consideration for any academy or Multi Academy Trust and the Greenwood Academies Trust is one of the few trusts in the country with a dedicated Safeguarding Manager with overview for the strategic development of safeguarding within the Trust.
It was quickly identified that current methods of recording and sharing safeguarding information was clunky and in many cases ineffective. This made it difficult to build an accurate picture of safeguarding across the Trust and also meant that performing regular central QA of case files was limited to during site visits. It also reduced the impact of the case support provided by the Central Team due to limited access to case files.
We began to look for a secure electronic safeguarding system record and manage safeguarding issues and cases effectively. After carefully considering a number of systems CPOMS clearly became the preferred system and through the procurement process it was identified as the most secure, user friendly and cost-effective product.
Initially we rolled the system out in one secondary academy and five primary academies to undertake testing and ensure ourselves that CPOMS met our needs.
CPOMS has now been rolled out across the Trust and is used to manage all safeguarding issues and cases. The benefits of using the system have far outweighed our initial expectations. The key benefits of the system are:
- Staff are able to report concerns using a quick and simple single reporting form
- DSLs receive concerns quickly and are able to respond to and track cases from anywhere they can access the Internet
- Information sharing is easier and more secure
- DSLs are able to quickly get an over-sight of the nature of concerns that have been raised for pupils
- Safeguarding data is easy to access and analyse to identify trends in incidents
- Areas of need are more easily identified along with training needs
- Staff are able to securely access records in meetings using tablet computers and update case files ‘live’
- The system works seamlessly with a number of MIS systems used across the Trust
- The QA process is more effective and records can be viewed without the need for a site visit
- The support provided by the CPOMS team is outstanding. Nothing is too much trouble
- The system allows us to set minimum recording standards for the Trust but also allows academies to personalise it to ensure it meets their needs in different Local Authority areas
- The Trust Safeguarding Manager is able to access records in real-time to provide individual case support to academies
- The Trust Board are able to use CPOMS to support their duties around safeguarding governance
Since rolling CPOMS out across the Trust a number of academies have received OfSTED inspections with inspectors making positive comments about the system and quality of records it allows each academy to maintain.
Trust Safeguarding Manager
Greenwood Academies Trust
Telephone: 0115 748 3260
Mobile: 07432 134642