Advice to Governors and Trustees

CURRENT LEGISLATION FOR STATE & INDEPENDENT SECTOR – JUNE 2012

Trustees, Governors and heads of educational establishments have an obligation to have aSINGLE CENTRAL RECORD file of Risk Assessment on ALL staff. 

CRB checks must be implemented by the appropriate organisation i.e. LEA. For Independent schools the proprietor applies to the Secretary of State not the local LEA.  Head/Proprietor and allocated staff have personally checked AND seen and recorded the number of the CRB certificate which must be no older than 3 years.

The Single Central Record – the information below is from Ofsted.

“There is key information about the single central record in Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education.

Who should be included on the single central record?

Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education makes it clear in paragraphs 4.49 and 4.50 which staff schools and colleges should list on the single central record. Below is a summary of the two paragraphs. Schools, sixth form colleges and further education colleges (but no other education or training providers) must keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks on the following people:

 All staff who are employed to work at the school or Sixth Form College, and those staff in further education colleges providing education.

 All staff who are employed as supply staff to the school or sixth form college or as supply staff providing education to the further education college, whether employed directly by the school, college or local authority or through an agency (checks required in respect of agency staff are described in the ‘Is written confirmation required’).

 All others who have been chosen by the school or college to work in regular contact with children; this will cover volunteers, governors who also work as volunteers within the school or college.

 People brought into the school or college to provide additional teaching or instruction for pupils but who are not staff members; for example, a specialist sports coach or artist.

 It does not include peripatetic staff supplied by the local authority who are entered as recommended in the local authority’s single central register. For all visitors not included on the single central register, schools and colleges should require them to sign in. Where unsupervised access to children is likely – for example, visiting local authority staff – schools and colleges should check their proof of identity.”

Management should satisfy themselves they have made a reasonable judgment regarding teachers and other staff and that they have undertaken appropriate levels of safeguarding training and if not they be offered a course as soon as possible.

ALL staff including peripatetic status must have an ENHANCED CRB check if they are to be working with children.

INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY OUT FOR FINANCIAL REASONS IN COURT CASES.  
Unless you have proof that a correct and thorough risk assessment has been carried out, it is impossible to insure against the risk of potential abuse. As your organisation is responsible for the children it looks after, it has a legal duty of care.  If your risk assessment is found to be inadequate, your insurance company has the right to invalidate your cover.

Child Sexual Abuse is a criminal offence and as such not an insurable risk. 

Child Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.  There is a legal duty of care and obligation to any child or vulnerable adult in your care/ establishment, it is the TRUSTEES AND GOVERNING BOARDS responsibility which, in law, stands aside and separately from any other situation.

Ofsted decide and judge accordingly whether or not the establishment has clearly exercised due diligence and best practice for all individuals.

APPROPRIATE TOUCH:
For subjects such as Music and Sport, some touch is necessary. So it’s important to be clear about what is appropriate, what could be misconstrued and what might actually be ‘grooming’ behaviour. Governors and Management should consult with the Head of Department and the relevant subject teachers to remove as much ‘grey area’ as possible.

It is difficult to remove staff if clear parameters are not in place. For example; a Music teacher has to position a cello for a pupil. But it’s not necessary to hold a child’s chest when they’re learning a wind instrument this can be done through demonstration. A Sports teacher has to demonstrate a Rugby scrum or tackle but it is absolutely inappropriate to lark around in the showers with pupils after games.

The ‘Appropriate Touch’ agreement should form part of the employment contract. An initial breach of the guidelines will secure a warning and the situation should be closely monitored.

Parents should also be made aware of the ‘Appropriate Touch’ regulations so they are fully informed if their child makes an accusation and can correct any misunderstanding or take the necessary course of action.

Useful Contacts:

England:

There may be times when those working with children wish to report concerns about practices and procedures please contact:

whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk – Tel 0300 123 3155 – Mon to Fri 8am to 6pm

For guidance and advice access the contacts below.

Legislation is being updated all the time by Government – ensure your knowledge is up to date

Governor Helpline- 08000 722 181 Free advice

http://www.education.gov.uk

http://www.offsted.gov.uk Click on “schools” then “safeguarding children “then “additional advice and FAQs “

Safeguarding children and safe recruitment in Education – Dept of Ed Act 2006. Chapter 2 features extra information for the Independent Sector.

Wales: 

www.estyn.org.uk for Wales – it is their Ofsted Tel 02920 446446

Scotland:

www.hmie.gov.uk for Scotland and for  customer services 0141 282 5000 plus