Safeguarding in Schools: The Checklist
This checklist is a useful tool that you can use to identify any gaps in your existing safeguarding policy. Read the questions below and think about your answers honestly. Or, you can print out this blog and tick off the items honestly.
Whichever option you choose, consider what you currently do well and improvements that could be made. The positive changes you make will ensure that all of the children who pass through your school are protected.
Is Your School Doing Enough to Protect Children?
- Is there a process in place where children can raise any concerns they might be having?
- Are there trained individuals at the school that are responsible for safeguarding who children can approach?
- Do children know who these individuals are?
- Does your school have a written safeguarding and child protection policy statement?
- Is this statement available to view by staff, volunteers, families and children?
- Do staff feel comfortable enough to raise concerns about safeguarding at your school without being penalised or ignored?
- Are children at your school able to offer their thoughts and opinions on the current safeguarding policies that are in place?
- Is there a clear written procedure that deals with allegations of abuse made against an adult at the school?
- Is there a clear written procedure that deals with allegations of abuse made against a child at the school?
- Do you have a process in place where you can learn from previous safeguarding situations and make policy changes if necessary?
If you’ve not been able to tick all of the above questions, then your school has some work to do to ensure the protection of every child. The measures you need to make sure are in place are there to protect all children and young people from abuse, harm and neglect.
It can be incredibly difficult for a child to feel comfortable enough to come forward with details of abuse, so you need to make sure the procedure you have is as comforting and effective as possible.
All procedures should be communicated to all members of staff so that whatever the situation, a young person can receive the vital support they need.
How Is Bullying Prevented at Your School?
- Is it clear that bullying is completely unacceptable in your code of behaviour (or something equivalent)?
- Is there a written procedure that outlines how your school will respond to any cases of bullying or cyberbullying?
- Do all members of staff receive regular training that covers how to prevent and respond to bullying?
- Is inclusivity encouraged and celebrated at your school?
- Are children and young people included in conversations about bullying and how it can be prevented?
- Are children aware of the rising issue of cyberbullying and how to stay safe online?
Bullying takes many different forms so schools must regularly update their procedures to aid with prevention. It can have a long-lasting impact on a child’s happiness and wellbeing, so effective measures need to be in place.
It can sometimes be a difficult conversation, but it’s important that children and young people are asked about bullying at your school. Does it take place? How easy is it for someone to get the support they need?
There’s no place for bullying or cyberbullying in any school environment. It’s your responsibility to implement preventative measures that ensure that no child or young person feels isolated or alone.
Are Young People at Your School Kept Safe at All Times?
- Do all members of staff comply with relevant health and safety regulations?
- Are staff trained correctly in health and safety and able to deal with scenarios like first aid, fire safety and reporting injuries?
- Are sufficient safety measures put in place when extracurricular activities are planned?
- Do children have to seek parental consent before they can take part in these activities?
- Are all staff members aware of any special dietary information, allergies or care needs for each child?
- Is this special information easily accessible during an emergency situation?
- Are fully-trained first aiders present at all times?
- Is there a comprehensive process in place for reporting accidents and injuries?
Safeguarding measures at your school should extend to any trips or extracurricular activities that children take part in. You’re responsible for children while they’re taking part in these activities so you need to ensure every precaution has been taken.
Correct supervision, trained members of staff and risk assessments are all crucial parts of safeguarding children outside of the classroom. If you can confidently tick all of the above questions, then you’ll be providing a safe and protective environment that allows children to explore new hobbies and make lasting memories.
Is Private Information Recorded and Shared Responsibly?
- Do you have written guidelines in place that outline your responsibilities when it comes to sharing personal data?
- Are children and their families aware of the information you record and are they consulted when it needs to be shared?
- Are all members of staff aware of the procedures regarding data and what they can and can’t do?
- Do staff know what the process is for identifying and communicating with children and families who might benefit from third-party support and advice?
- Are there nominated members of the school hierarchy who can escalate any concerns if they’re unhappy with the action that’s previously been taken?
- Is sensitive personal data removed from the record after a certain period of time?
Any member of the school hierarchy who utilises pupil information needs to be aware of their responsibilities when handling personal data. Keeping detailed records is important for everyday practical reasons but also for high-level planning and analysis.
However, children and parents should know exactly what their data is being used for and be able to make requests if necessary. Only when a child’s safety or wellbeing is in question should it be passed to a third-party.
You should be clear about why you’re recording information and how much detail is actually needed. Once a child leaves the school or a trip is over, details can be removed or minimised to protect someone’s privacy. There’s no need to maintain full records of pupils who’ve long since left.
This checklist is a useful resource to keep coming back to so feel free to bookmark it. It’s important to regularly audit your procedures because safeguarding is an ongoing process that constantly needs the time and attention of senior members of the school.
The Safeguarding Handbook
Download our free handbook today and ensure your school is doing everything it can to protect children. It features the essential information that you need to know and the steps you should take when you suspect a child’s safety might be at risk.
It’s the responsibility of all members of staff to create an environment where children feel safe and supported. Get our free handbook now and ensure you have all the resources you need.