December 2017 – Keeping Children Safe Consultation

Good morning safeguarding colleagues

Many of my school based safeguarding colleagues will have broken up now for the Christmas period others will be heading towards this swiftly having ensured their pupils have had a fantastic build up to the festive season with panto’s, nativities, carol concerts and much more so a hearty well done to all of you its an extremely busy period.

Late though this is I did just want to alert you all to the Government consultation on the anticipated update for the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education(KCSIE)

The consultation opened on 14 December 2017 and closes 28 February 2018. It is important that all professionals working in this area of safeguarding review and comment on this guidance review; as there have been changes made throughout KCSIE to reflect the changes being made within the review of Working Together to Safeguard Children (WT).  WT is being consulted on separately and any resulting revisions to the final version will be reflected in KCSIE

https://consult.education.gov.uk/child-protection-safeguarding-and-family-law/working-together-to-safeguard-children-revisions-t/  closes 31/12/2017

https://consult.education.gov.uk/safeguarding-in-schools-team/keeping-children-safe-in-education/ closes 28/02/2018

As professionals, you will have an opportunity to help shape and form the guidance; including expectations on you as safeguarding leads. So, do please try and take a little time to consider both, there is limited time left for Working Together as it closes on the 31st December 2017 – so it’s not too late, yet! You could get your staff involved on an inset day in reading and commenting on KCSIE too.

I feel sure it’s the last thing you wish to think about over the coming festive period but the changes will have long lasting impacts on your practice.

On a happier note, I wish to say to all of you who give the energy, time and effort working in your educational establishments supporting and directing the safeguarding and wellbeing of children and young people, in what are often difficult situations with competing demands on your resources and time, often with limited support you do an amazing job. I have seen first-hand the difference an observant and committed safeguarding team can make to the life of a child when they coordinate and refer concerns or work with families to support them.

On that note, I wish you all a peaceful and fun filled Christmas and new year period and look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Very best wishes and seasons greetings

Sandi

December 2017 – new guidance Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges

Dear safeguarding colleagues

Please see below some much needed government advice for schools regarding the management of sexual violence and harassment between children in schools that is just out.

I have had a quick read and it seems sensible and balanced, it requires further reading and consideration of how this is translated into practice. I will update following further reading in the new year but for now its important you are all aware of this document.

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges Advice for governing bodies, proprietors, headteachers, principals, senior leadership teams and designated safeguarding leads December 2017

Here’s the link

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/667862/Sexual_Harassment_and_Sexual_Violence_-_Advice.pdf

best wishes

Sandi

December 2017 – Planning for the Christmas break, a safeguarding reminder for educational establishments

Christmas for many children, young people and their families is an exciting time. Sadly, there are some children you will know in your establishments who may not be looking forward to Christmas as much, this can be for a variety of reasons.

Now is a good time for Safeguarding Leads and their teams to review the children and young people they have had concerns about over recent months. Have you liaised with their parents/carers or other professionals where appropriate, have you considered all the information you hold holistically considering all concerns, risks and all protective factors. Think about your analysis of need, are there supports that need to be put in place for the duration of the break, have you spoken with the child/young person and heard their views wishes and any worries they may have.

Are there services you can refer the family to such as foodbanks, Citizens advice and similar local charities if they have financial worries. Does the parent need to know about services to protect and support where alcohol or domestic abuse is involved? Perhaps Samaritans and other listening services for those who are experiencing poor mental health or emotional wellbeing. Has there been a bereavement that may make this time of year particularly difficult. Could you raise awareness of these services in a newsletter? I know it’s not the usual festive message but the benefits of this for children cannot be underestimated.

It’s good to remind children and young people of the contacts they can make if they are worried such as Chlldline, NSPCC and Young Minds.

It is also important to think about the children who may have additional needs due to disability, Autism, ADHD and other factors. Change and lack of routine can be difficult to manage, carers can at times find it a difficult time too and feel isolated in managing the level of care. Being able to plan prepare and talk can make a difference.

Finally does your risk analysis indicate there is a need for social care assessment? If so please make this in a timely fashion with full information of the concern, your assessment of risk, what has been tried and what your expectation is. Remember social care will need time to triage your referral and by making you referral at an earlier stage makes it easier for you and other services to work together in the best interests of the children and young people.

By working together, we can try and ensure everyone has the best Christmas they can.