As we now approach half term, I'd like to start with a thank you on behalf of the whole team for your ongoing hard work and dedication. We recognise that the re-opening of schools has for many in a Designated safeguarding role been a huge challenge. As children return to school, many who have been absent for many months, incidents of disclosure and concerns have, as expected, grown in number. We've been delighted to speak in person or answer emails from many of you offing support and guidance. Please also continue to access both the Babcock LDP and Devon Children Families Partnership websites as both have a range of resources and information to support you, staff and governors. Services across Devon including MASH and Early Help continue to operate on a 'Business as usual' basis.
Last week, details of this year's s175 audit return were sent to DSLs. We have delayed this by a month recognising the challenges of schools reopening have created and extended its return by the same amount, by 18th December please. As ever this is a reflective tool to assess the schools compliance with current safeguarding expectations. We recommend that this process should involve the nominated Safeguarding Governor and where any areas for development are acknowledged, these should be included in any wider school development plans. Caroline is leading on this area of work and has taken into account comments from last year's return to improve the process further. Please contact her in the first instance should you have any questions or require additional information.
Jon Galling Senior Education Safeguarding Officer
S175 Safeguarding Audit now open for completion by all schools
Ofsted visits to schools
Social Workers in Schools
Elective Home Education - update
Use of School Attendance Codes
Babcock Safeguarding Conference and L3 courses
MASH Front Door - update
Multi Agency Impact (MAI) Chronology TRIAL North Devon
S175 Safeguarding Audit
It is now that time of year again where we are asking you to undertake the S175 audit for this year. We have purposely delayed the release of this audit to try and lessen the pressure on you all while you all get settled back into school.
We are mindful that although the audit is a statutory requirement we have tried to improve it so you can all use it as an annual audit tool and come up with your annual strategic safeguarding plan, we have also attached an action plan template for your use.
I will be taking a lead on the S175 audit this year across my team so if you have any questions please contact me directly.
The deadline for the completion of the S175 audit is Friday 18th December 2020.
Many thanks Caroline firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofsted Visits what safeguarding questions are being asked?
Interim visits are being made by Ofsted this term a number of Devon schools have received such a visit in recent weeks. Schools are being notified the day before the visit takes place. The reason stated by Ofsted is because, 'It will be helpful for parents, government and the wider public to get some insight on how schools and other providers are bringing children back into formal education after such a long time away.' (Amanda Spielman, HMCI July 2020). These are visits, not inspections. At the end of each visit a letter is written by the inspectors to the school which needs to be shared with parents and carers. A range of questions will be asked, including in relation to safeguarding, the sort of questions that we are anticipating can be found on this attached list.
Elective Home Education (EHE)
Since the start of term there has a significant increase in the number of parents deciding to home educate their children. In comparison with the same period last year there has been a fourfold increase; many of whom normally would not have considered home education, but due to the Covid situation have chosen this pathway. I should like to say a huge thank you to all DSL's who have been completing the updated EHE Safeguarding Pupil form and ensuring it is sent to us as soon as possible and before the child is removed from the school roll. The information you provide is invaluable in helping the EHE team to prioritise the most vulnerable and ensure appropriate support is offered to families. For any DSL who has not yet seen the updated EHE Safeguarding Pupil form, it can be found on our website at www.babcockldp.co.uk/EHE in the folder 'Information for Schools,' along with the latest 'EHE Guidance for Schools' There are a few key changes to the updated EHE Safeguarding Pupil form that have been made, some in response to serious safeguarding incidents that have taken place regarding home educated children in Devon.
Please click here to read full article with key points to remember.
Social Workers in Schools
A new initiative has been started in Devon: Social Workers in Schools. A number of schools have been randomly selected to participate in this new venture. Each of these schools will have a resident social worker with a caseload linked to the schools CP and CiN pupils. When not supporting these families, attending core groups etc. the intention is for these social workers to provide supervision, monitoring, possible Early Help signposting and early identification of safeguarding concerns (e.g. signs and indicators of neglect) as well as supporting the school in its proactive safeguarding of emerging themes. This initiative will be running until the end of March. We will be involved in the projects review and will share any good practice and headlines that we get to hear of.
Use of School Attendance Codes
We all acknowledge that schools and colleges have a tremendous amount of new policy and practice to get their heads around during these very challenging times. This request, relating to school attendance, is to remind schools of the need to maintain safe and well established processes in relation to the accurate recording of both attendance and absence. It is the intention of the government to collect data on the use of attendance codes in addition to the absence codes as from the next January census. Schools who incorrectly use codes (such as code B Educated off site), may well come under close scrutiny from Ofsted as this could potentially be seen as gaming. Miscoding, whether deliberate or by mistake, can seriously increase the vulnerabilities for any child and it is hoped that by taking time now to reassess working practice, will save undue heartache in the future. Any school wishing to get impartial advice concerning the recording of attendance/absence should raise the matter with their EWO in the first instance.
Peter Walker Professional Lead for School Attendance
Babcock Safeguarding Conference Tuesday 15th December Now being hosted virtually via Click Meetings. 09:30-15:30
The 2020 Conference focuses on the exploitation and abuse of children, both sexual and criminal.
Keynote speaker info:
Sammy left school with no qualifications, a criminal record and incredibly low self-esteem. At 18 she became a model and a lap-dancer. She viewed this as her taking back control and feeling empowered but she now realises it wasn't empowerment. It was simply a dark and seedy world. She was often sexually assaulted and told it was part of the job. Sammy talks about the drug dealing, money laundering, fraud, trafficking, prostitution and how women are treated appallingly within the world of Lap Dancing. Sammy was also the first survivor to disclose her abuse to South Yorkshire police who re opened every child abuse case in South Yorkshire which in turn exposed the biggest child abuse scandal in Great Britain. In February 2016, her abuser was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Dozens have now also been prosecuted. For Sammy her life started on the day her abuser went to prison and she made a decision to use her own experience to help others.
For further information and to book a place please visit our website
Safeguarding Courses and Dates
CPI | 16th & 17th November , 25th & 26th November and 3rd & 4th December CPR | 13th & 30th November, 10th & 11th December Forums | 30th November, 1st December and 9th December Safer Recruitment Initial | 23rd November Safer Recruitment Refresher | 4th November
To book a place on any of the above courses click here
MASH Front Door UPDATE
Good news! We have heard that great strides in the development of the much awaited MASH Front Door service have been made. Currently the new platform planned for reporting MASH concerns (aka MASH enquiries) is in the final trial stage and a number of schools are supporting this process alongside other partner agencies. Once the snagging issues have been corrected MASH are keen that the new platform goes live as soon as possible. We will of course keep you updated on progress, but the feedback so far is that the platform is a big improvement on the MASH enquiry word document you are currently required to complete. The new system includes 'prompted' communication at key phases of the MASH process so that both the referrer and CYPS team are kept informed of the MASH concern progress. Keep an eye out for MASH Front Door updates and proposed webinars on the DCFP website for further information and expect the new Front Door roll out to take place in the New Year.
Multi Agency Impact (MAI) Chronology TRIAL North Devon
Many Serious Case Reviews both historically and in the present day sadly identify the same findings. One consistent finding is that professionals should have shared more with each other when they have concerns about an individual or a family that they are working with. Currently in statutory cases social workers will begin a chronology (as will other agencies supporting the family). These chronologies are designed to collate events to form a history and view of the family, to record significant events and changes in a child or young person's life as well as being used as a live tool to improve practice in a case. The Multi Agency Impact Chronology (MAI) trial aims to amalgamate agency chronologies. This will support cross agency working and provide a shared perspective to assess impact of strategies and plans. It will also enable those working with the family to identify emerging needs, risks and strengths and flag when a change of plan or escalation in services may be required. Significant events are recorded on the chronology and also RAG rated. This RAG rating creates an historical picture of concerns and also supports the decision making for the future. The MAI trial will start at the beginning of November and will focus on North Devon. Schools in North Devon may be invited to join this trial. If a MAI chronology is required this need will be identified at the initial strategy meeting or by the social worker assigned to the case and they will be contacting the schools linked to the family/young person to participate along with further information. The Right for Children (R4Ch) system will be used by all agencies to input their historical chronologies and to record any future events (although this will not replace your safeguarding record keeping systems in schools). If you are a school in North Devon and you are contacted and would like further support in this process please get in touch with Lara Stead. email@example.com
One Minute Guides
We are continually updating our guides to ensure they are up to date with current information and legislation, these can all be found on our website If there are any subjects you would like to see as a guide please let us know.
Babcock Podcasts and Social Media
Remember to keep up to date with our latest information, including our podcasts on social media and our new blog page
Take a look at our latest podcasts on our YouTube channel:
How extremists are using COVID-19 to promote disinformation, misinformation, and conspiracey theories.
This briefing note is aimed at senior leaders, teachers and safeguarding leads. It provides a short summary of the extremist response to COVID-19, highlighting the additional radicalisation risks for children and young people and suggested actions for settings to take.
2019 Triennial Analysis of Serious Case Reveiws: Local safeguarding partnerships
This briefing summarises themes emerging from the 2019 Triennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2014-17, presenting key messages for local safeguarding partnerships.
Is TikTok safe for children?
Although it is very popular, and can encourage creativity, the app can also reveal children at their most vulnerable, expressive and, in some cases, provocative, in their bid to become the next internet sensation. The app encourages videos to be shared, and the use of hashtags (#) increases the viewing audience. It has had some bad press over the years due to concerns over deadly pranks, grooming and unsuitable content (eg. bad language, suicidal, pornographic). Inevitably, it attracts paedophiles due to its popularity with children. Follow this link to read full article