Our approach to safeguarding
We take our safeguarding and child protection duties very seriously – and deem it to be everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of all of our children and young people.
As an organisation, safeguarding culture and compliance are two of the most significant areas of leadership. We have a dedicated, group-wide safeguarding team, which is led by the Executive Assistant Principal for personal development, behaviour and welfare (PDBW).
Each of our academies also have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and at least one Deputy DSL, who reports into the academy leadership team and Local Academy Board. The DSL takes responsibility for all safeguarding matters at an academy level.
Regime for safeguarding checks
On an annual basis, we carry out a ‘Full Academy Review’ (FAR), which is led by a ‘Lead Reviewer’ (an executive or senior member of staff) and supported by a team of educational leaders.
Within the FAR, the safeguarding culture of the academy is tested. The behaviour of both students and adults are observed, alongside a review of health and safety duties, to check how well the safeguarding policy is being adhered to. The observations are reported and areas for development identified – for which the responsibility to action lies with the Senior Executive Leader and Principal.
In addition to statutory policy and the FAR cycle, a rigorous and auditor approved system of academy safeguarding checks are also in place. Our audit process tests compliance on statutory aspects of practice, including:
- compliance on policy
- recording of safeguarding disclosures
- testing the efficacy of staff training
- safer recruitment
- single central record accuracy including DBS checks
- safeguarding culture
The audit process also cross references the FAR conclusions by assessing the management of behaviour, quality of reporting and the supervision of children.
Our regime of checks lead to the development and embedding of good and best practice across the organisation.
Safeguarding disclosures are recorded via an online system – My Concern. All identified adults (‘trusted users’) with a safeguarding responsibility in each academy are given a secure login. It is the responsibility of the trusted user to log a disclosure, for which the system generates an automated notification to the DSL. The DSL leads on the investigation and uses the system to support in managing the disclosure. An accurate chronology of events concerning the child is recorded within the system.
Training and development
All of our staff are expected to complete online safeguarding training modules, which are updated every two years. Additionally, everyone is expected to attend a face-to-face refresher briefing, which is usually led by a DSL. Our current training provider is Educare. Dependent on the role, some staff are subject to additional training requirements, which include modules such as safer recruitment.