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Michael Bichard speaks about safeguarding children in schools

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With so much in the press about sexual exploitation, extremist radicalisation and the dangers posed by children's use of mobile technologies, we've seen rising interest from both school leaders and governors in articles on 'safeguarding children', and statutory safeguarding guidance.

We asked Michael Bichard for his thoughts on safeguarding in schools. A former permanent secretary at the DfE, Lord Bichard led the 2004 public inquiry into the murders of 10 year old Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in Soham, Cambridgeshire.

Lord Bichard will be delivering the opening address of The Key's Safeguarding in Education conference later this month. He says:

Safeguarding pupils is the first responsibility of any school and although we always think we have it covered, most tragedies derive from complacency and poor practice.

Lord Bichard points to five important things for schools to remember:

  1. Be vigilant
  2. Believe that it really could happen here
  3. Revisit regularly our policy and practice
  4. Ensure that everyone plays their part
  5. Never believe it is someone else's responsibility

The Key’s Safeguarding in Education conference will take place on Tuesday 17 March in central London. It is open to all school leaders and governors, and includes sessions led by safeguarding consultant Andrew Hall and lead inspector Gulshan Kayembe. Topics covered include e-safety, sexual exploitation, mental health, radicalisation, extremism and FGM.

(For more information and to book your place, please Click here)

Below is a list of the five safeguarding articles viewed most frequently by school leaders, and the questions that prompted them:

  1. Is there a summary of the safeguarding issues listed in the statutory guidance? (includes a downloadable KeyDoc)
  2. Do you have a childcare disqualification declaration form? (includes a downloadable KeyDoc)
  3. Do you have a single central record template? (includes a downloadable KeyDoc)
  4. Do you have a checklist of welfare requirements in the EYFS? (includes a downloadable KeyDoc)
  5. What are the childcare disqualification requirements and who do they apply to?

And here is a list of the five safeguarding articles viewed most frequently by school governors, and the questions that prompted them:

  1. What are the responsibilities of safeguarding governors?
  2. Are there examples of annual audit templates for safeguarding children?
  3. How can the governing body monitor safeguarding? (includes a downloadable KeyDoc)
  4. Do governors need to be DBS checked?
  5. What do governors need to know about safeguarding?

Members of The Key can log in to see each article in full, as well as asking us their own questions. If you’re a school leader or governor who hasn’t used The Key before, you can register for a free trial here.


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