The Safeguarding Challenge
Safeguarding in schools is of the highest priority. First and foremost there is the imperative to keep children safe when they are on the premises. In addition, there is the necessity to ensure full compliance with regulatory requirements.
Achieving this is easier said than done. During the school day, the school is a highly secured environment, with every adult on site subject to rigorous approval. Even a one-off guest is subject to visitor management protocols operated by the school to ensure that unapproved individuals cannot have unsupervised access to children.
However, when you open up the school to the community, the level of safeguarding changes dramatically. Suddenly, there are strangers in the school, often hundreds of them, and coming in repeatedly, week after week. Not only is it impractical to carry out the full range of DBS and barred list checks on each individual, it is also illegal under data protection legislation. Yet there are still many children on site, some of whom will be your pupils, taking part in various activities. How can safeguarding – and compliance – be ensured in these circumstances?
The Schools Plus Approach To Safeguarding
We acknowledge our duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when they are on site. We are committed to ensuring that our safeguarding practice fulfils our statutory responsibilities, complies with government guidance under KCSIE, and is in line with our client schools’ requirements. Indeed, we have set ourselves the challenge of establishing best practice in safeguarding out-of-hours, and our safeguarding policy reflects this goal.
Specifically, it is our policy to ensure that:
- Our sites are safe places for children
- Children are protected from harm whilst participating in any activities on our sites
- Children have a positive and enjoyable experience of any activity held on our sites
- Our client schools are not exposed to any unmanaged safeguarding risk due to our activities
- We apply safer recruitment practices and ensure that our staff are trained and monitored for safeguarding purposes
- We comply fully with our regulatory obligations
We have a comprehensive armoury of processes and procedures to give effect to this policy, some of which are dependent upon very close co-operation with the school, in particular with regard to your pupils. We have successfully apprehended and dealt with risky situations and individuals, and we have a high degree of confidence in our ability to do so.
Please do not hesitate to ask for further information on this critical subject when you meet us.