Children are returning to schools for full time face-to-face education on the 8th March 2021. The excitement and relief that our children’s education will be back on track includes a lot of new guidance and methods of implementing safeguarding.
Safeguarding leaders should lead the revision of the school’s child protection policy due to more children returning to school. Schools should follow the KCSIE guidance as normal. Time must be allowed for safeguarding leaders and deputies to deal with referrals from social care and other agencies, alongside supporting staff and children with new safeguarding concerns. More Guidance is provided by the Department of Education on the government website under the Schools Coronavirus (COVID-19) Operational guidance (page 63). This guidance can be found here.
The Prime Minister announced that the catch-up on education will have an extra £400m funding from the government, this enables our children’s education to be supported. The ‘Extensive Programme’ will provide teachers with resources and materials including expansions of one-to-one and small group sessions to those who need it most. Under the programme funding is available for schools to support disadvantaged children and activity clubs, the funding is also available for extra classes in the holidays and language support for pre-school children. This is to enable our children to progress their education during the pandemic. More information can be found on Sky News.
It is so important to be aware of children’s vulnerability and wellbeing during the return of school as they have been deprived of education in a face-to-face environment since December 2020. Safeguarding guidance must be followed with extra care to ensure our children’s safety and wellbeing is promised while learning.
More information on the Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance provided by the Department of Education can be found on the government website.