Keeping up to date with safeguarding is important. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) safeguarding and welfare requirements (p.16 sections 3.4 – 3.8) state “providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children.”
While the fundamentals of safeguarding have not changed; recognise, respond, refer, record; September brought us some updates and new resources in England that we need to be aware of. This blog talks about these key changes and documents that practitioners should have when it comes to safeguarding.
In the Education Inspection Framework (EIF)
The Education Inspection Framework (EIF) states ‘Inspectors will always have regard to how well children are helped and protected so that they are kept safe. Although inspectors will not provide a separate grade for this crucial aspect of a provider’s work, they will always make a written judgment in the report about whether the arrangements for safeguarding children are effective’ (Early Years Inspection Handbook for Ofsted registered provision point 41). There is a strong focus on safeguarding within Ofsted and as part of the EIF. Under the leadership and management judgements the inspector will be looking to see that you have effective arrangements to:
- Identify children who may need early help or at risk of neglect, abuse, grooming or exploitation.
- Help children to reduce their risk of harm by securing the support they need, or referring in a timely way to those who have expertise to help.
- Manage safe recruitment and allegations about adults who may be a risk to children.
Image from Ofsted Webinar 30 September 2019
It is important to read The Early Years Inspection Handbook for registered provision 2019. Ofsted have also published 'Inspecting Safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings' which provides guidance for inspectors to use when inspecting safeguarding under the EIF from September 2019.
There is now grade descriptor around online safety. Practitioners need to help children gain an effective understanding of when they might be at risk when using the internet digital technology and social media and where to get support if they need it (EIF leadership and management grading descriptors).
From September 2019, Safeguarding Partnerships replaced Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) and each local authority will now have their own Safeguarding Partnership. Don't forget that Safeguarding Partnerships may have different titles in different areas such as Safeguarding Children Partnership, Safeguarding Partnership for Children and Young People or Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP). It is important that you have up to date contact details for your Local Safeguarding Partnership.
Staying up to date
It is essential that practitioners keep up to date with safeguarding issues. You can do this in several different ways:
- Attend a face to face training course or take PACEY's safeguarding course (free for members) which is updated regularly and is endorsed by CACHE.
- Do regular reading and research. This is a useful way to keep up to date and PACEY has lots of resources you can take advantage of, including our spotlights on Safeguarding and Online Safety and our safeguarding policy template available to members. It is essential that all polices are personalised for your setting and kept up to date.
- Think about having copies of all relevant documents in your setting either as a hard copy or digitally. This means you can dip into them when you need and can also encourage other team members to discuss them together so that everyone is up to date and confident about their role in safeguarding.
- Ensure you have the relevant phone numbers of your local safeguarding partner and if you have children from different areas or boroughs the contact numbers you may need for them.
PACEY's Safeguarding Service
Remember that PACEY has developed its Safeguarding Children Allegations and Complaints Service for anyone with child protection or welfare concerns.
The service can provide you with information and support if:
- You have a concern about a child in your care.
- An accusation of harming a child is made against you or a member of your family.
- You are being investigated by the regulatory authority regarding a complaint they have received about the quality of care you are providing.
To make use of the service, call PACEY and ask to be put in touch with one of PACEY’s specially trained members of staff, known as “designated officers”.