Welcome to the second Spring Term Safeguarding Update. In this edition you will find an eclectic mix of articles and resources covering a wide range of safeguarding issues and I encourage you to read as many of them as you can. The Children's Commissioner report on the big increase in children coming off roll to be Electively Home Educated (linked to the recent Dispatches documentary on C4) highlights concerns which are definitely reflected in Devon where the number of EHE children has more than doubled in the past five years and the local SHEU Survey offers fascinating insights into children's behaviour, habits and lifestyles. Also included are some new and revised One Minute Guides and a new date for Operation Encompass training. The Operation Encompass charity doesn't offer a lot of training in Devon so if you do need a member of staff trained, in order to become one of your nominated key contacts, please book early to avoid disappointment. Finally, if you would like to book a safeguarding review for the summer term please contact Louisa.firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible in order to be certain of securing a convenient date for your school. I hope you find this update useful and I welcome any feedback on how we might improve future editions.
Beverley Dubash Safeguarding Lead for Education Head of Safeguarding & Vulnerable Groups, Babcock LDP
Launch of toolkit to tackle exploitation Changes to Early Help RfAS Operation Encompass Training New MASH enquiry form Safeguarding Forums DCFP - Quick guide SHEU Schools Report Increase in Elective Home Education News from Scomis One Minute Guides
Protecting Professionals Increase in gangs Abuse by people in positions of trust Counter-extremism in schools Mental health and well-being in schools FREE anti-bullying training Positive relationships FREE resources Children's use of media DfE Schools complaints procedures FREE internet safety guide for parents
Launch of online toolkit to help tackle exploitation
Exploitation involves being coerced into doing something that you don't want to do for someone else's gain. It is a hidden crime which often happens out of sight, leaving victims at serious risk of harm. Exploitation is a major local and national issue, and within Devon there are increasing numbers of vulnerable children and adults being identified as victims of exploitation. The Safer Devon Partnership, Devon Children and Families Partnership and Devon Safeguarding Adults Board are launching an online toolkit to tackle the threat of exploitation. This toolkit will help frontline colleagues learn about, identify and report exploitation happening in Devon and the surrounding area. You can access the toolkit at preventingexploitationtoolkit.org.uk on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Who is this toolkit for? The toolkit is designed for anyone who, through their paid or voluntary work, may encounter people who are vulnerable to exploitation. Why is this toolkit useful? The toolkit provides easy to understand, summary-level information about exploitation and vulnerability happening in and around Devon. It also contains an interactive reporting flowchart to help you take appropriate action if you are concerned that exploitation is taking place, or that someone is at risk of being exploited.
The toolkit will help you to:
gain an understanding of exploitation happening in your local area
gain an understanding of the factors that can make people vulnerable to exploitation
identify signs of exploitation
report concerns that someone is being exploited
receive guidance and support about working with people who are vulnerable to exploitation
support your professional development through gaining a greater understanding of exploitation.
Chief Superintendent Sam de Reya, Chair of the Safer Devon Partnership, says: "The Preventing Exploitation Toolkit is a great development to help tackle the exploitation of vulnerable people in our communities. The aim is to improve the understanding of issues and increase reporting, enabling agencies to safeguard those who are at risk. It will assist professional and volunteer organisations by providing simple guidance and information to assist in identifying individuals subject to exploitation, and in reporting concerns."
We encourage you to share this toolkit with your colleagues and anyone else who could benefit from using it.
Although the information within the toolkit will be relevant to frontline workers outside of Devon, the advice about reporting concerns is specific to the area covered by Devon County Council, except where stated.
Any questions can be emailed to email@example.com . Further information about exploitation happening in Devon can be found on the Safer Devon Partnership website
Local Safeguarding news
Changes to the Early Help Request for Additional Services Form Please see attached a message from Anne Garside, Early Help Locality Officer regarding changes to the RfAS Form. The new form is shorter and simpler to complete.
Operation Encompass Training In order to continue receiving Operation Encompass notifications from the police, you must have a member of staff who has attended the training. The next training date is as follows: Date: 30th April 2019 Venue: Police Headquarters, Middlemoor, Exeter EX2 7HQ Registration from: 9.30am Start Time: 10.00am Finish Time: 12.15pm Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place and provide a vehicle registration number if coming by car. On the day attendees will all be required to bring photographic ID.
The new MASH Enquiry form is now uploaded and live on the DCC website
This is not the proposed 'live' online enquiry form, it is an interim enquiry form which is more interactive than the last (i.e. you open additional boxes as you need them rather than scrolling through pages of spaces for information you don't have to add).
All staff wishing to make an enquiry should now use this form and this form should replace the current enquiry form that may be saved by personnel as a template.
If there are any questions or concerns regarding the form please contact email@example.com
Over the years our Safeguarding Forums have become increasingly popular and, as a result, we often have a reserve list of people wishing to attend. Unfortunately, we are finding that at each Forum we usually end up with spare places that we could have allocated, due to non-attenders on the day. For this reason, from 1 April 2019 we are introducing a cancellation charge for people who don't cancel their place within our Terms & Conditions (which can be found on the Babcock LDP website). We hope this will encourage people who have booked a place to cancel in advance if necessary (in which case we can offer the place to someone on the reserve list), or send someone in their place. That person will need to notify the CPD team so that they can be allocated the place; otherwise they will be unable to access any documents linked to the content of the Forum.
Follow here to read the results of last year's survey. It makes very interesting reading, covering everything from the percentage of children who have been offered drugs to having been approached by someone they didn't know online. Issues such as the prevalence of smoking, using alcohol, drugs, exercise, healthy eating and emotional/mental health are some of the other areas explored. Reading these results will help schools understand how effective you are being in getting some of the key safeguarding messages across to your children and young people. If your school would like to participate in this year's survey, please contact Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge increase in children disappearing from schools to be educated at home
The Children's Commissioner for England, has published a report, to coincide with the recent C4 Dispatches programme, highlighting the increasing number of children who are being educated at home. A number of these children disappear from sight and some suffer abuse and neglect. The Children's Commissioner is calling for a compulsory home education register, stronger measures to tackle 'off-rolling', more support for families who home educate, a greater oversight of home schooled children and decisive action against unregistered schools. Later this year, the Children's Commissioner's Office will also collect data from all councils in England and publish it, school by school, identifying which schools have high numbers of children being withdrawn into home education which may suggest practices of off-rolling. Read the full report Skipping School: Invisible Children (04/02/19)
News fromScomis Have your say! Changes to the education inspection framework: consultation Ofsted is consulting on proposals about how schools, early years settings and further education and skills providers in England are inspected, to take effect from September 2019. Ofsted has also published the research evidence underpinning the education inspection framework. This includes summaries of research on:
Our One Minute Guides all available to download from our website.
SCR (revised Nov 18)
Child Sexual Abuse
Making a MASH enquiry (revised Jan 19)
Sexting (revised Feb 19)
CP file transfer
Children Missing Education
11. Supporting Transgender Children 12. Child Protection Pathway 13. FGM 14. Peer on Peer Abuse 15. Modern Slavery 16. Disguised Compiance 17. Contextual Safeguarding 18. Disqualification Under the Childcare Act 19. Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews 20. To be confirmed 21. Section 128 checks
Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: online safety The UKCIS Education Working Group has developed two documents to help early years settings managers and staff consider their practice and to take steps to safeguard both children and adults online:
Safeguarding Children and Protecting Professionals in Early Years Settings: Online Safety Considerations for Managers This guide will help ensure that their online safeguarding practice is in line with statutory requirements and suggested best practice. The guidance also highlights a range of resources which can be used to support early years settings to develop a whole setting approach towards online safety in line with national guidance.
Safeguarding Children and Protecting Professionals in Early Years Settings: Online Safety Guidance for Practitioners This guide is provided as a resource for staff working in early years settings to help them understand their role in promoting the online safety and wellbeing of children in their care, as well as enabling them to consider their own professional practice. The guidance also highlights a range of resources which can be used by practitioners in early years settings to safeguard children, parents and themselves as professionals online.
27,000 'children identify as gang members'
Mistakes that led to child sexual grooming scandals are being repeated with gangs, a report by the Children's Commissioner for England has warned.
Protecting children from abuse by someone in a position of trust or authority The NSPCC has published information about protecting children from abuse by someone in a position of trust or authority. This includes teachers, care workers, youth justice workers, social workers and doctors. Topics covered include: recognising abuse; responding to concerns; and steps that can be taken to prevent staff and volunteers from abusing their position. The NSPCC is campaigning to close a loophole in legislation to make it illegal for all adults to engage in sexual activity with a 16-and 17-year-old in their care. Currently roles such as sports coaches, driving instructors and youth workers are not classed as being positions of trust.
Counter-extremism in schools A Research briefing on the duties placed on English schools to safeguard children from extremism and radicalisation and the promotion of British values has been published. The briefing includes an overview of: the role of schools in England in preventing extremism; how to raise concerns; the Prevent strategy; teaching British values in schools; out-of-school settings; home-schools children; Ofsted inspections. Further information: Counter-extremism policy in English schools (PDF)
Mental health and wellbeing in schools A Research briefing on mental health and wellbeing in schools has been published. The pack gives gives an overview of Government policy relating to mental health provision in schools across the UK and outlines progress in introducing mental health into the school curriculum in England by 2020. Further information: Mental health and wellbeing in schools (PDF)
Free Anti-Bullying training for your school Delivered through its renowned, peer-led approach, and backed by England's Department for Education, The Diana Award's one day Anti-Bullying Ambassador training equips young people, staff and parents with the knowledge, confidence and skills to effectively tackle bullying in their schools and communities online and offline.
To date the programme has trained over 31,000 young people from over 3000 schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and help ensure that the 11,000 hours young people spend at school are happy, safe and bully-free.
Anti-Bullying Ambassadors educate their peers on bullying, promote a culture which celebrates difference, take the lead on anti-bullying and online safety campaigns, and help keep their peers safe - both online and offline. Our training sets them up to be successful in these areas and will also:
Help to boost attendance and attainment by creating a happy and safe learning environment
Complement teaching and learning across the curriculum, including PSHE, Citizenship, and ICT
Develop resilience, confidence, and positive healthy relationships between young people
Provide CPD certified training for school staff
Contribute to positive inspection reports; our programme has been referenced in hundreds of inspection reports as good practice
Serena Evans, Assistant Head teacher, Coombeshead Academy, Devon said our training was 'one of the most useful days I have spent with students for a long time, and I think the work that you are doing is fantastic'.
All schools have to do to register their interest in attending or hosting training is fill in their details here. Further information is available here.
Teaching resources about positive relationships The NSPCC, in partnership with the School of performance and media production at York St John University, has developed teaching resources to help children and young people recognise concerning behaviour and identify characteristics of positive relationships. It's Not OK includes lesson plans, short films and accompanying activities about topics such as: harmful sexual behaviour; child sexual abuse; child sexual exploitation; sexting; and grooming. The resources are designed to be used with children and young people aged 11+.
Children and parents: media use and attitudes Ofcom has published a report on children's media use in 2018. Findings show that: 16% of children aged 8-11 and 31% of 12-15 year olds who go online have ever seen something online that they found worrying or nasty and, although parents whose children go online continue to be more likely to agree than to disagree that the benefits of the internet outweigh the risks, agreement continues to decrease among parents of 5-15 year olds.
School complaints procedures: guidance for schools An increasing number of parents with concerns about how their child's school has dealt with a safeguarding issue are complaining direct to Ofsted. The Department for Education (DfE) has published best practice guidance for school complaints procedures 2019. The guidance outlines procedures for dealing with complaints and includes a model complaints
Free Guide for Parents how to make the internet safer for children at home Parents and carers are still worried and concerned about how to make browsing online at home a safer experience in light of malicious internet challenges like the Momo Challenge that keep surfacing every few months. Spongy Elephant have developed this FREE 9-minute video guide for parents and carers, on what to do in apps like WhatsApp and YouTube to create a safer digital environment at home for children and young people. This smart video guide can be shared with parents and carers.