Schools play an essential role in protecting children from abuse. Staff have close, regular contact with children and young people. They are in a strong position to:
- identify child protection concerns early
- provide help and support
- help children understand how to stay safe from abuse
- refer a child to relevant agencies
Schools have a statutory duty to protect children in their care. They must have:
- a child protection policy
- child protection procedures
- a designated lead for child protection – both on the board of trustees and in the senior management team
- safe recruitment processes
The school environment must be a safe place for children. And schools must ensure that adults who work in the school, including volunteers, do pose a risk to children. Staff should receive training in how to identify and respond to child protection concerns.
Child protection training for schools:
All school staff need to attend child protection training so they are better placed to recognise potential signs of abuse or neglect. The designated safeguarding lead should attend more advanced training, as they will be responsible for taking appropriate action to safeguard children and making referrals to other agencies.
Identifying abuse and responding to disclosures Concerns about a child safety, allegations of abuse and disclosures must be reported. The school child protection policy and procedures should include details of how to report. The process should also form part of child protection induction and refresher training.
Any concern or disclosure should be recorded in the appropriate place described in the school child protection procedures, with a date and signature of the member of staff, and given to the school designated safeguarding lead.