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.