Education Safeguarding Service
The Education Safeguarding Service provides support, guidance and challenge to schools, early years settings and education providers within the Directorate to ensure that children are kept safe and their welfare is promoted, as required by Section 175 of the Education Act 2002.
Statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), Keeping Children Safe in Education and Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-Agency Partnership (KSCMP) procedures help to inform the work of the service and any good practice guidance that is developed. The principles that underpin the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 provide a framework for our service standards:
- Paramount - the needs of the child are considered paramount at all times.
- Protection - we aim to promote high standards of safeguarding policy, procedures and practice in all schools, local authority services and early years settings that provide for Kent children.
- Prevention - we aim to raise the profile of children's rights and promote schemes of work in schools across the county that will help to empower children to better protect themselves. In addition, we need to ensure that care provided, particularly in specialist residential settings, conforms with the requirements of the National Minimum Standards (NMS) and outcomes for children are positively reinforced. Child protection training, awareness raising and the lead professional telephone consultation service is very much part of the preventative initiative.
- Partnership - we work collaboratively with internal and external customers and other stakeholders to ensure that these objectives are achieved and maintained. We will behave in a reasonable, transparent and proportional manner when working with individuals, schools, settings, parents and multi-agency partners. The work of the Education Safeguarding Service assumes the responsibility of the local authority lead officer for safeguarding children in education services and primarily focuses on supporting and challenging schools, early years providers and education services in all matters relating to safeguarding children. This includes education representation in the work of KSCMP, including serious case reviews as part of the core functions (non chargeable) that sit within the statutory framework.
Other core functions include:
- Provision of lead professional advice to education and early years staff on child welfare, policy, online safety or safe working practice issues
- Provision of a child protection policy template and acceptable use policy templates for education settings
- Publication of a child protection newsletter providing critical information and updates for schools and settings
- Policy lead, monitor and report on care standards in local authority residential special school provision under Standard 20 of the NMS.
Non-statutory services that can be commissioned for a fee include:
- Providing centralised training for designated safeguarding leads in education settings
- Provision of bespoke staff training in safeguarding or online safety
- Independent management investigations and safeguarding reviews when commissioned to do so.
For more advice, contact the Education Safeguarding Service.