The one about safeguarding

Safeguarding Briefing - 18th November 2019

Dear Colleague,

Follow up to 'Safer Recruitment, Sex Offenders and Name Changes' from last week

After last week's safer recruitment article about sex offender name changes, I had some very useful feedback from several professionals.

The Police Officer (working in sex offender management)

"Any offender that changes their name has to notify the Police within 3 days of the change in accordance with Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act. This would be updated by Police on the Police National Database, which is one of the checks for DBS. Registered Sex Offenders are also visited at home by Police and we complete a number of intelligence checks on them periodically.

I would find it hard to imagine a situation where a registered sex offender could get through the DBS process to secure a job within a school. This group of offenders can be particularly devious and I would never say it could never happen, but I think it's highly unlikely if the correct safeguarding processes are followed."

The Lawyers (Kristine Scott, Partner and Head of Education Sector, and Emma Glazzard, assistant solicitor, both at Harrison Clark Rickerbys)

"When a person changes their name by enrolled deed poll (i.e. with permission from the Royal Courts' of Justice) a notice is published in the London Gazette advertising the change of name. This details both the former name and the new name, the person's address and the effective date of the change. This information is freely accessible online on the London Gazette website and the website has a useful search tool. This would be an easier way of checking whether a person has changed their name by enrolled deed poll.

A person on the Sex Offender register must notify the police of a change of name, and any other change in their personal circumstances within 3 days of the change. This has been the position since 1 May 2004. The 14 day notification period referred to last week was the previous position. Updated guidance is available here: Additionally, they must re-notify the police every 12 months of their name, address, and other personal details, even if there have been no changes.

A person's teacher reference number remains the same throughout their career. This would not change if a person changed their name. By searching a person's TRN and their date of birth (both of which you would have from an application form) would provide access to a teacher's individual teacher record which confirms personal details, qualifications, any DBS restrictions and any prohibitions on teaching status.

I hope that with the safer recruitment checks schools have in place, it would be very difficult for a person to successfully evade the safer recruitment process followed by schools."

The HR Professional (Kristen Hughes, HR Manager at the LEO Academy Trust)

"Further to this week's safeguarding briefing focusing on changing of names as a way of gaining employment following a conviction, I wanted to add that when I complete the TRN checks on the DfE's website, I always check DOB, rather than name. I feel this is a robust way of checking individual data that cannot be changed - and this DOB is cross-checked using methods provided for the DBS check. I download the excel spreadsheets, use control + F and type in the DOB."

Thank you to everyone who shared their expertise.

Single Central Record Online Tool (SCR Tracker)

Many schools use MS Excel for their single central record, but there are now new online solutions, one of them is SCR Tracker, helping schools ensure that they are fully compliant.

Luke O'Dwyer, co-founder of SCR Tracker, was a school business manager who felt that whilst Excel is easy enough to fill in, he needed further reminders on exactly what checks were needed for specific individuals and he was always anxious when his school received a call from Ofsted.

SCR Tracker is an upgrade to an easier, more secure way to track pre-employment checks. The system automatically raises alerts about missing data, new legislation and the interactive dashboard clearly shows what information is outstanding.

If you're unsure what checks are needed for a contractor, governor, new staff member, or volunteer, SCR Tracker prompts users to undertake all the correct statutory checks to ensure you comply with Department for Education guidelines.

Schools can also add custom checks, customise each profile, and manage checks across staff profile types.

SCR Tracker offers extra features for Multi-Academy Trusts, including central team linked profiles, user-level permissions, additional trust-wide custom checks, custom branding and staff profile transfers.

You can find out more about SCR Tracker here:

NEW! AUDIOBOOK Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019

I love listening to audiobooks, as I can drive or walk whilst listening. If you are visually-impaired, audiobooks are a lifeline to access everything others take for granted. Audiobooks can also be great for people who can speak and understand English, but find difficulty reading it.

As everyone working in a school needs to read and understand Keeping Children Safe in Education, I’ve created an audiobook version to increase accessibility.

Safeguarding.Pro members can find the audiobook here:

The KCSIE 2019 audiobook is available to purchase here:

Working with families affected by domestic abuse (Family Rights Group)

The goal of the Family Rights Group is to enable children to be raised safely and thrive within their family and community. The charity works with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home.

As part of a wide-range of resources, the group has an excellent guide to Working with families affected by domestic abuse. Sections in the guidance include:

  • Engaging and communicating with mothers
  • Safety planning
  • Working with resistance
  • Communication
  • Engaging and communicating with fathers and father-figures directly

You can download 'Top tips for working with families affected by domestic abuse' here:

You can find out more about the charity here:

Children showing parents round schools

This time of year sees many open days and tours for prospective parents. Schools often use pupils to show visitors round and this often gives a lovely insight into the school.

This week, I received a question asking about the use of child guides from a safeguarding point-of-view. Personally, I think it would be a shame if we stopped doing these tours, but visitors may also need to be supervised. As in most situations, the answer is a risk-assessment. Keeping Children Safe in Education says, 'Headteachers and principals should use their professional judgment about the need to escort or supervise visitors.'

The core question, of course, is what could possibly go wrong? The worst case scenario could possibly be that someone would take a child off and assault them. In most schools, this threat can be alleviated by never having children lead a tour on their own, having a clear route to take visitors around, and to have two or more visitors in the group, preferably three. The tour group could be shadowed by an adult; on busy days, having school adults around on the route would be useful. Large schools have other practical challenges to consider.

The second aspect of risk in this case is how likely is that any offender would be caught. To this end, it is necessary to have some information about each visitor, a name and mobile number at the very least, and, if practicable, an address. Visitors should sign in.

Five Government Consultations that haven't reported yet (Schools Week)

Schools Week has reported that there are five DfE consultations that have not yet reached their conclusion. Depending what happens on Election Day on December 12th, the outcomes may never be known. Two of these consultations are particularly important from a safeguarding perspective: Out of School Settings (Voluntary Code of Conduct); and Children Not in School.

Forthcoming Seminars

Seminars can be booked online using the links below, by replying to this email stating the course you wish to attend, or by simply phoning Emma or Hollie at our office on 01223 929269.

Advanced Safeguarding for DSLs

LONDON Thursday 14th November 2019 FULL
LONDON Tuesday 26th November 2019 FULL

LONDON Tuesday 3rd December 2019 One place left
MANCHESTER Tuesday 10th December 2019 Few places left
LONDON Tuesday 17th December 2019 Book Online
Friday 13th December 2019 FULL
Thursday 19th March 2020 Few Places left

Until next time, keep safe.

Best regards,

Andrew Hall
Specialist Safeguarding Consultant
Success In Schools Ltd.

Telephone: 01223 929269

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