Safeguarding children in schools (England)
Produced in partnership with Katie Michelon of Browne Jacobson Solicitors
Safeguarding children in schools (England)

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Katie Michelon of Browne Jacobson Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Safeguarding children in schools (England)
  • What is safeguarding in education?
  • Responsibility for safeguarding in schools
  • Role of an educational provider in inter-agency co-ordination
  • Safer recruitment
  • Allegations against staff
  • Female genital mutilation
  • The Prevent duty
  • Host families
  • Practical steps to be taken in relation to safeguarding

What is safeguarding in education?

Safeguarding has a wide definition in the context of the education sector. The statutory guidance for schools and colleges, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (‘KCS’) defines safeguarding as:

  1. protecting children from maltreatment

  2. preventing impairment of children’s health or development

  3. ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and

  4. taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

This is also the definition used in ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018’ (‘Working Together’), which is the key guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Importantly for schools, it is also the definition which Ofsted uses when inspecting safeguarding in education settings.

Responsibility for safeguarding in schools

The governing body of a maintained school is required to make arrangements to ensure that their functions relating to the conduct of the school are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school. The governing body is also required to have regard to any guidance given from time to time by the Secretary of State. The current guidance is KCS.

The same duty applies to the proprietors of independent schools, including academies and free schools, under the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/3283.