This section of the website contains the following topics:
- The rules on Safeguarding Children – child protection
- Ensuring children’s safety at school – necessary documents
- Health and safety issues
The rules and regulations on Safeguarding Children – child protection
The information is taken from the Department for Education.
As supplementary schools, all the Polish Saturday Schools in the UK have a responsibility to comply with the regulations issued by the Department for Education.
Safeguarding children is a legal duty of every local authority (LA) in the UK. All organization working with children (including voluntary groups) are expected to comply with the government rules regarding child protection (see point 43 of the document: Working together a safeguard children).
The Department has issued guidance for schools on safeguarding titled: Keeping children safe in Education, which is available here.The document replaces the documents published earlier (e.g. Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment from 2006).
This document sets out the responsibilities of all local authorities, schools and higher education schools in England to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Governing bodies should ensure that the head teacher and all other staff who work with children undertake appropriate training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for child protection effectively. This should be kept up to date at three yearly intervals.
The Department for Education does not prescribe what level of training is appropriate, so it will vary in different boroughs. It means you have to look for information about the training in the appropriate department in your LA. The rules regarding the level of training may differ dependable on the different boroughs. That is why, it is essential to contact directly with the appropriate the office in the borough, in which your school is based.
Safeguarding Children and DBS checks
According to the safeguarding children document, school governing bodies have a responsibility to ensure that all the school’s employees who have contact with children are DBS checked.
Please contact your local authority for information on how to apply for a DBS check for the employees at your school. Relevant department within the authority will be able to advise you on agencies (umbrella bodies) that can assist you with the application process (as schools do not usually have the minimum number of applications required by the Home Office Disclosure and Barring Service for direct application).
Detailed regulations regarding DBS checks (e.g. who must be DBS checked and who is exempt), can be found on the page 59 in the Keeping Children Safe in Education document.
Safeguarding Children and schools recruitment process
The Department for Education has set up one more requirements regarding the school recruitment process. At least one person in school management committee must complete the Safer Recruitment training.
The Safer Recruitment training is open for all of the employees working with children. For more details about the training, please contact your local authority. The course is also offered on-line, e. g. by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
Reviewed: November 2015.
The article based on the recommendation of the Department for Education.
Ensuring children’s safety at school – necessary documents
Ensuring children’s safety is one of the primary aspects of any supplementary school’s work.
Everyone involved in the functioning of the school, including teachers, other employees, volunteers, school’s management committees, parents – must be equipped with detailed knowledge about how the school ensures children’s safety.
The document detailing principles implemented by the school with regards to children’s safety, as well as detailed procedures that are being followed should be prepared by every school and made accessible to all parties. The rules laid out in it must be thoroughly followed.
The principles implemented by the school with regards to children’s safety should be included in a document called Safeguarding Children Policy, or Child Protection Policy and the practical procedures should be included in Safeguarding Children Procedure.
Both documents can be combined into one document describing the policy in the first part and then the procedures in the second part. Documents accompanying Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure are: The school’s insurance certificate, DBS checks for all involved in working with children; pupil registration forms; application forms used in staff recruitment.
There is no such thing as a single, universal Safeguarding Children Policy and procedure that could be used by every school. Schools and the conditions in which schools operate vary from school to school. and these must must be taken into consideration every time when preparing your documents.
The essentials that need to be covered by each school’s Safeguarding children policy and procedure:
- designated person’s (Child Protection Officer) details and description of their responsibilities
- policy statement
- good practice – a list of good practices that the school will follow with regards to safety
- outings and trips
- use of premises by other people/organisations
- safe recruitment
- responding to allegations of abuse
- responding to suspicion of abuse
- the date of entry into usage of the document and the expected date of revision of the document
The document should also include:
- definitions of abuse
- information helpful in recognising abuse
- a list of useful contacts
- appropriate forms (for reporting abuse, incident reports and others)
An example of Safeguarding children policy and procedure
We would like to thank JC Korzeniowski Polish School in Canterbury for kindly allowing us to publish the document on our website.
Health and Safety issues
All employers, including one that employs volunteers, are obligated with general legislation of Health and Safety.
The detailed information might be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Documents about health and safety regulations in school related environment can be found here.
Health and Safety Executive publishes on its website a checklist which is very helpful to ensure safety in the rooms in which classes are being held (in the section on education).
What is more, it is advisable to read the tips given by the DfES’s Minister on health and safety in schools. The document is available over here.
All schools should develop their own policy concerning health and safety and the accompanying risks assessment documents.
Samples of the abovementioned documents are available on the Health and Safety Executive website.
However, this is (as always in the case of standard documents) only a template of the document that will require revisions appropriate to the context in which it operates each individual institution.
Due to working with children, supplementary schools have a number of additional obligations beyond the general policy of health and safety.
To read about the other responsibilities in protecting the safety of children in school, please go back to the top of the page.