The review will consist of Ofsted / Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) attending schools in highlighted areas to review the support systems in place and how well the responses are working. As well as talking to staff, pupils and leaders, Ofsted / ISI will consider whether further support is needed in teaching pupils about sexual abuse and relationships. The review will also make sure that other current safeguarding guidance is understood and carried out by schools and colleges. Ofsted / ISI will also consider how well schools are working with multi-agency safeguarding partners.

The review will ensure that the right guidance is provided to colleges, state schools and independent schools on how to deal with sexual harassment and violence allegations. Current inspection regimes will also be reviewed to ensure all schools are strong enough to address the issues and promote the welfare of children.

All schools are now required to provide sex and relationship education to secondary pupils and relationship education to primary pupils. This enables children to have a better understanding and to be aware of important issues such as consent, respect and personal privacy in order to understand how to behave towards peers.

The Department for Education will not hesitate to take action towards schools that have failed to meet the safeguarding standards. Where concerns are present Ofsted / ISI will ensure improvement in the failing practices or will be forced to close. This strategy will provide a whole system response to focus on the prevention and early intervention of sexual abuse.

Ofsted will work with representatives from social care, police, victim support groups, school and college leaders and the Independent Schools Council. The review will conclude by end of May 2021 and will seek to establish where safeguarding arrangements and processes are good and have worked well and where improvements are needed.

The NSPCC have provided a new direct helpline for abuse in education on their website 0800 136 663. An email is also provided This helpline is open to children and young people who have experienced abuse in education and for worried adults and professionals that need support and guidance for recent and none recent abuse. See here.

Guidance is provided on the government website by the Department for Education. See here.

Guidance is also provided by Ofsted on the government website. See here.


Although most of the population are working/learning from home, Key Worker’s children and vulnerable children may still have to attend school in a face-to-face environment due to the COVID pandemic. This is already unusual for children to understand therefore, protecting our children’s safety and wellbeing is crucial.

Staff members who are working in school during lockdown need to follow safeguarding procedures as normal with extra care and awareness due to the reduced amount communication and routine COVID has brought to all areas of education. This makes it harder for teachers to be aware of any problems a child is having whether that be educational or personal, then be able to provide them the correct support that is needed. It is expected for schools to have a trained DSL available on site If not able to work onsite, should be active to contact via phone or online while working from home. If a DSL is not on site a senior leader may take responsibility to ensure safeguarding on site.

Not only schools and academy trusts themselves are responsible for the safeguarding of children during the pandemic, school governors and academy trustees also have a role to play in ensuring safeguarding is carried out. Governors and academy trustees must talk through decisions with the leadership team, find out how the school is implementing safeguarding during COVID and finding out what support is needed from the school to keep children safe.

Schools and Academy trusts may already be aware of the safeguarding of children when attending school however, the extra care taken in safeguarding while children are learning in such unusual condition’s benefits safety and educational futures in many different ways.
Guidance is provided by the Department of Education advising schools, parents and guardians who should attend school during lockdown. (Page 44 of Restricting Attendance During the National Lockdown.) This guidance can be found here.

Guidance is also provided for governors and academy trustees on the NCPCC website here.

During the times of the COVID pandemic education has resulted to virtual learning. Online lessons are taking place all over the country across all ages constantly. Schools and Academy Trusts have an obligation to ensure the safety of our children when learning online. Schools still need to follow safer recruitment principles when considering new members of staff to work for their school.

There are many platforms that have been made available for people to connect online for work, education and just for fun, however when remote teaching, staff must ensure the platform used is suitable for the children’s age group, ability and stage of development. Staff must not set up personal accounts on the platform school accounts should be used only.

Parents, carers and children must understand the benefits and risks when learning online. They have to give consent for their child to be involved in online sessions. Staff members must also be comfortable planning and delivering lessons online.

Lives streaming and recording lessons are new to everyone therefore, some areas of this type of learning needs to be considered to minimise harm. Sat in front of a camera can be an unusual feeling, especially for children so it is important to be aware of how comfortable a child is when learning online. Any unusual behaviour during the online sessions should be followed by child protection procedures provided by the school. The NSPCC Learning provide an Education Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT) to ensure the correct safeguarding and child protection measures are in place. This can be found here.

Online teaching is different to a face-to-face environment, staff must remain professional and should be reminded of the code of conduct frequently. During recording or online streams teachers should not have anything personal that could be seen or heard in the background.
Keeping children safe online is a top priority, therefore following these guidelines to ensure the safety of children when learning is critical.

More information and guidance on safeguarding children when learning online can be found on the NSPCC Learning website here.

Do you have volunteers helping at your educational establishment? It is vital that the correct level of DBS check is requested for those coming into contact with children, whether or not they are a volunteer.

What level of DBS check do volunteers require?

If the applicant has an opportunity for regular contact with children but is not engaging in regulated activity, they are eligible for an enhanced DBS certificate (without the children barred list check). Regular contact, as defined by the Disclosure & Barring Service, is working at least 4 days within a 30-day period in a specified establishment. If the applicant is volunteering as a one off, it is at the school’s discretion whether or not a check is needed.

Some school volunteers are eligible for an enhanced DBS which includes a check of the children’s' barred list because the volunteer will be engaging in regulated activity. Applicants are considered to be engaging in regulated activity if, a a result of their work, they:

Does the applicant meet the DBS check volunteer criteria?

In order to be eligible for volunteer status, the applicant must meet the criteria below:

If the applicant does meet the criteria, the government fee of £40.00 for the enhanced DBS check is not applicable, although there may still be an administrative fee.

When should the check be completed for volunteers in a school?

An enhanced DBS check should be completed at the pre-employment stage. If the DBS certificate is delayed, a separate children’s’ barred list check must be obtained before the applicant has started to volunteer.

Are you interested in making safer recruitment decisions for your school?

Single Central Record combines all your educational employment checks – DBS checks, Children’s Barred List (List 99) Checks, Qualified Teacher Status checks, Prohibition checks, EEA checks and Section 128 checks – into one online portal!

Register with Single Central Record here for the solution to all your schools single central record issues!

At Online SCR, we have developed a state of the art online portal where schools can keep all their employee records in one place. Our cloud-based system is fully compliant with Ofsted and ISI and all you need to do is register on our website, pay an annual fee and you are good to go. Once you have an account with Online SCR, your school is invoiced on a monthly basis for services used and many UK schools and colleges are taking advantage of single central record solutions.

Access the Online SCR System from Any Location

As the Online SCR system is cloud based, you do not require any software installed on your device and you can login from any location. All you need is a device and an Internet connection and the easy to use interface is packed with powerful tools that are designed specifically for school administrators. We offer a complementary service for all our clients that includes the Children’s Barred List, Qualified Teacher Status and Prohibition checks, to name but a few. The ability to login from any location saves you a lot of time and with all of your data stored on our secure servers, you can hire with confidence, knowing that all the required checks have been carried out.

Mandatory Check Alert

We have incorporated an email reminder system that alerts you when mandatory checks are due and also records them in your records. This ensures that you are always up to date with all forms of checking and with all of your records safely stored on our secure servers, you have instant access 24/7.

Safer Recruitment in Education

All UK schools, colleges and universities are striving to provide safe recruitment solutions and our single central records software goes a long way towards achieving this. You can literally click and order any type of check on a potential employee and the results are sent to your account. We have collaborated with school administrators around the country to create a software package that simply ticks all the boxes and once you have registered with us, you can then start to key in all of your data into our customised software package.

Additional Recruitment Checks

We offer additional services to help school administrators when they are looking to hire new staff members, and these include the following:

All the check results are sent to your single central record, allowing you access at any time.

Our bespoke services allow you to tailor the software package to perfectly suit your needs and by using a single central record, your school will save time, become more efficient and most importantly, you will always be able to run any check that you feel is necessary at any time.

If you would like to take advantage of this highly efficient cloud-based records system, simply register your school using our online form and take the first steps towards creating a safer recruiting solution for your school.

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