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Statutory safeguarding duties on schools and colleges

Schools and Colleges have an important part to play in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities (in relation to their education functions and governing bodies of maintained schools and further education institutes, which include sixth-form colleges) to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at a school, or who are students under 18 years of age attending further education institutions. The same duty applies to independent schools, academies and free schools under section 157 of the same act.

The Safeguarding in Education Team can be contacted on 0330 222 3337.

Statutory guidance for schools can be found on the Gov.UK Keeping Children Safe in Education pages

CSE Screening Tool and Risk Assessment

If you are a professional making a referral for a child or young person who is at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation the screening tool (Part A) would usually be completed . This is not mandatory so please do not let it delay making a referral, however it may assist you in being clear about the key areas of concern and the level of risk. Where a child has a social worker, or a lead professional, and there are concerns about CSE the risk assessment tool (Part B) will be completed. If you have any of the information required by the risk assessment please share this with MASH when making your referral.

Female Genital Mutilation and Mandatory Reporting

There are new Mandatory Reporting duties on staff working in schools. See our FGM pages for more information

Safer Recruitment

On-line Safer Recruitment training is available from the NSCPCC.

Protecting children from radicalisation: the prevent duty

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act became law in February 2015. The government issue the new prevent duty for specified authorities to take effect from 1st July 2015. Schools, colleges and universities, prisons, the health sector, the police and local authorities will now be required by law to put in place measures to stop would-be extremists from being drawn into terrorism. They key education and childcare specified authorities in Schedule 6 of the Act are as follows:

• the proprietors (i.e. the governing body) of maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, maintained nursery schools, independent schools (including academies and free schools) and alternative provision academies;

• Pupil Referral Units.

Therefore, for the first time and in association with local partners, the ‘education specified authorities’ are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism or supporting extremism, and will need to demonstrate to Ofsted that they are protecting children from those risks by having robust safeguarding policies to identify and intervene where appropriate. Staff should know where and how to refer children for further help, for example, to Channel or Children’s Social Care.

The Department for Education has issued advice and social media guidance to schools and childcare providers to help them keep children safe from the risk of radicalisation and extremism.

The prevent duty advice is for:

  • school leaders, school staff and governing bodies in all local maintained schools, academies and free schools
  • proprietors, governors and staff in all independent schools
  • proprietors, managers and staff in childcare settings

It will be of particular interest to safeguarding leads.

The social media guidance is for:

  • headteachers
  • teachers
  • safeguarding leads

The guide:

  • includes a short summary of some of the main Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) propaganda claims
  • identifies social media sites which ISIL is using
  • advises what actions schools and teachers should take to protect pupils

For more information about who to contact and the support available visit our Radicalisation page.

Online and face to face Prevent training is available via the WSSCB training programme

Supporting documents