The Education Safeguarding Service offer two types of review of schools’ safeguarding or online safety practice. School safeguarding reviews are undertaken by an Area Safeguarding Advisor or one of the Online Safety Advisors, and are not simply about whether schools are meeting their statutory requirements but provide a focus on whether children in the school are safeguarded in the best way possible.
Desktop Safeguarding Review
School staff complete a self-review tool devised by the Education Safeguarding Service prior to a meeting held with key school leaders. The meeting attendees should include the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Governor, but others may attend, for example additional DSLs, pastoral staff and the Headteacher/Principal.
During the meeting, the information provided by the school will be discussed and questions will be asked to clarify points on policies and procedures and to explore how leaders and governors are confident all staff and volunteers know what is expected of them and are ensuring there is a safe culture within the school. For safeguarding reviews, areas covered will include the reporting and recording of concerns and follow up action taken, whistleblowing, monitoring of the Single Central Record, efficacy and availability of policies and training. A standalone online safety desktop review can also be commissioned.
There will be no separate report, but recommendations, including useful links and tools will be noted on the review tool. The review will take a total of one day.
Onsite Safeguarding Review
The process for this review is initially the same as the desktop review, with the addition of a Safeguarding Advisor visiting the school. During the visit, the advisor will speak with pupils and staff and check documentation to confirm the information shared by the senior leaders during the meeting to discuss the self-review tool. The visit will also provide an opportunity to observe whether the school is demonstrating a safe culture. A standalone onsite online safety review can also be commissioned.
Observations made by the advisor during their visit will be recorded alongside any recommendations on the self-review tool. In addition to the benefits outlined of the desktop review, the onsite review will provide further confirmation and reassurance that expected processes are in place.
Whilst school leaders and governors retain ultimate responsibility for the policies, procedures and processes in their school, the Education Safeguarding Service will be accountable for any advice and recommendations made through the process of the review. This includes highlighting practice which is believed to place children at risk of harm and advising the appropriate agencies where necessary.
A further monitoring visit can be completed from six months after the initial review to assess progress on any recommendations or observations made.
Please contact the service directly to discuss booking a school safeguarding or online safety review.