Safeguarding: a guide for training teachers

Author: Sue Wheeler
Published: 18/08/2020

Keeping students safe

Keeping children safe in education (KCSiE) is statutory guidance that outlines the legal duties that all staff within schools and colleges must follow in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18. It came into force in 2018 and was updated in September 2020. It is required that all school staff read Part one, which states what school and college staff should know and do in terms of safeguarding.

The wording in the document is very clear as to what staff must do (what they are legally required to do) and what they should do (i.e. follow the advice unless there is good reason not to).

The guidance stresses that it is important as a teacher to have an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.

What should your placement school do?

  • Regularly update their safeguarding policies and procedures to include changes to the statutory guidance (i.e. as of 2019, upskirting is a criminal offence)

  • Appoint a senior member of staff as a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who will provide support to staff to carry out their safeguarding duties.

  • Provide regularly updated safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety).

  • Ensure all staff receive safeguarding and child protection updates as and when they as required.

  • Make sure children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety.

  • Ensure appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place on school computer systems.

  • Obtain more than one emergency contact number for each student.
  • Ensure at least one person who conducts staff interviews has completed safer recruitment training.

  • Have clear whistle blowing procedures in place and be prepared for staff to use them.

What should you (as a trainee teacher) do?

  • Read and become familiar with Part one, but also look at the whole document. It contains essential information on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and on keeping children safe from abuse and neglect. 

  • Familiarise yourself with the processes in your placement school which support safeguarding. These should be shown to you as part of your induction and should include:
    • the school’s child protection policy

    • the behaviour policy

    • the staff behaviour policy (code of conduct)

    • the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education

    • the role and identity of the DSL and any deputies.

  • Be aware of your local early help process (providing support as soon as a problem emerges) and understand your role in it.

  • Be aware of your school’s process for making referrals to children’s social care if you have concerns about a child’s welfare. Be prepared to work with social workers and other agencies following the referral.

  • Know what to do if a child tells you he or she is being abused or neglected. You should know how to maintain a suitable level of confidentiality and involve only those who need to be involved such as the DSL.

  • Feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in your school's safeguarding procedures.

See the latest statutory government guidelines, published in September 2020: Keeping children safe in education 

Sue Wheeler

Sue Wheeler is a former teacher, now specialising in safeguarding and digital citizenship training through her consultancy @safeinyourhands.