VALUES AND VISION
I have spent the last 25 years working with schools on a range of welfare-related issues. I may not always tell you what you think you want to hear, but I hope I offer an independent, honest and well-informed voice that keeps the needs of every child and young person at the centre.
My personal vision is to help schools to be places of safety, with caring and compassionate staff who always act within the law and who are constantly striving to improve the quality of both their own practice and each child's overall educational experience.
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LINK TO NSPCC WEBSITE AND 'CHILDLINE'
This week the implications of the extension of the childcare regulations to schools has hit the news. Apparently there are hundreds of staff working with children under 8 who have had to be temporarily suspended while checks are carried out because they are now required to declare whether they are living in the same household as someone with a 'disqualifying' conviction. This is intended to ensure that someone they live with cannot exploit the relationship in order to pose a risk to children. It makes obvious sense for a childminder, for example, but why schools as well?
Much of this issue seems to be an understandably over-cautious approach by some schools and LAs, but clearly the Government did not think through the implications of issuing revised guidance. Not everyone who works in primary schools is required to make the declaration. Only certain offences are relevant. Those who are directly affected can apply to Ofsted for a 'waiver' but this is taking weeks because there aren't sufficient staff in place. Few if any of these people will pose any genuine risk, and they are subject already to a range of checks on their own history. So surely it's time for some common sense? If only it were that simple!
Another case this week where a child has been blamed for the fact that an adult sexually abused her. This was the 44 year-old RS teacher and his pupil who he assaulted in a store room among other places. He was found guilty of course, but the judge said that she had 'groomed' him. Poor man. It was obviously her fault.
This is ignorant and dangerous nonsense. When will we accept that adults, especially those in a position of trust, are entirely responsible for such behaviour? The fact that some young people are vulnerable, or behave in inapproriate ways (as we might expect) is not an excuse. It's a warning sign. No genuine professional would seek to exploit such a situation.
But is your school prepared? Do you have a proper Code of Staff Conduct? Are your governors aware of their legal responsibiltiies? Do you know the required procedure in the event of an allegation? Do you have a whistle-blowing policy in case anyone has concerns about a colleague? Have you explicitly told your pupils and parents of their absolute right to complain? if not, you can't be sure it won't happen where you are. Training, Training. Training.
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POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR CHILD PROTECTION IN SCHOOLS: HALF-DAY UPDATE INCLUDING
‘LEVEL 1 TRAIN THE TRAINER'
Wednesday March 18th 2015: 8.45 - 1.30
£125 per person (incl. lunch)
The Mount Hotel, Tettenhall Wood, Wolverhampton WV6 8HL
DETAILS AND HOW TO BOOK BELOW
Do you need a Child Protection Update for your staff or would you prefer to deliver your own regular 'Level 1' training? Would your school benefit from a Safeguarding or Attendance Audit? Do you and your governors need to make sure safeguarding policies and procedures are in place or receive training in developing a Staff Code of Conduct, Managing Allegations or in Safer Recruitment?
Are you sure your school is using the absence codes correctly and that everyone is clear about your whole-school attendance strategy? Do you have attendance workers who have never had any specific training?
I offer RESOURCE AND TRAINING PACKS by email for school leaders and managers. These practical up-to-date packages will help you address your school's pastoral and legal responsibilities in a cost-effective and flexible way. Study the packs at your own pace, identify what you need to do next and then cascade the information to your colleagues using the included Power Point presentations.
I also provide in-school audits and run face-to-face training primarily in the Midlands area (see below). I facilitate regular interactive day seminars for FORUM Business Training and contribute to journals and conferences.
Click for more details of each package and how to purchase them.
£75 each (no VAT).
Unlimited use in your school/college once purchased
'Thankyou so much for your great resources. The package was fantastic'.
Developing a Staff Behaviour Policy and Managing Allegations about staff and volunteers: 3 self-study Modules and Governor/Staff Training Pack with PowerPoint, handouts etc.
Attendance and Absence - an Audit, Study and Train Resource to help you manage registration and your school's statutory, strategic and pastoral responsibilities.
PLUS: Self-study + Portfolio course for school-based attendance workers A 4 Unit programme for LAs and other groups/consortia to purchase and manage. Provide accredited training for just a few ££ per person.
ALL THE MATERIALS USED IN TRAINING EVENTS ARE ALSO PROVIDED BY EMAIL FOR PARTICIPANTS' FUTURE USE IN THEIR OWN SCHOOL
(Scroll down page to download details of each event)
CHILD PROTECTION 'LEVEL 1' IN SCHOOLS
'Twilight' (in Wolverhampton/South Staffs area only) or half-day. An update for all or selected staff on current safeguarding issues and national priorities, DfE Guidance, Ofsted expectations and child protection procedures for schools; the definitions of abuse; signs and indicators; e-safety and sexual exploitation; staff behaviour and dealing with any allegations; best practice advice for in-school procedures and lessons learned from Serious Case Reviews. Presentation, groupwork and an opportunity for questions and discussion.
NOTE: This is single-agency training on in-school requirements and what everyone working with children needs to know and is suitable for both teaching and non-teaching staff. It is not training in multi-agency working ('Level 2') which should be provided via your Local Safeguarding Children Board.
'TRAIN THE TRAINER' WORKSHOP
Half-day. For groups of Designated staff in schools or on behalf of an LSCB on request. The previous expectation of an occasional session presented by an outsider may not now be the best way to keep all staff informed. There is no longer a fixed 3-year training timetable, so many Designated Persons wish to deliver their own more frequent 'Level 1' events, perhaps focusing on one issue at a time as an integral part of continuous professional development. This interactive seminar provides practical advice and resources to support those wanting to deliver training for their colleagues and explores ideas to ensure its effectiveness. Work through the included PowerPoint, practice the suggested exercises and activities and reflect on how best to use them in your setting.
CHILD PROTECTION IN SCHOOLS
POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Half-day (can be combined with 'Train the Trainer' or the Staff Behaviour and Allegations Workshop to make a full day) or be delivered as a specific session for Governors. Child protection is far too important to be left to chance. All schools and colleges for under-18s need to be sure that their policies and procedures are in line with DfE Guidance 2014 and Ofsted expectations. What is the role of the school within local inter-agency procedures and what should be expected of the Safeguarding Lead or Designated Senior Person? What management responsibilities do senior leaders and governors need to be aware of? An opportunty to explore a range of policy issues, deal with questions arising and plan for using the included Audit tool for further reflection and action.
A STAFF BEHAVIOUR POLICY AND MANAGING CONCERNS AND ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE
Half-day. All schools are vulnerable to those who wish to exploit their 'position of trust'. In the light of several Serious Case Reviews, a specific Code of Conduct or Staff Behaviour Policy is now a requirement in DfE Guidance and Ofsted expectations. An opportunity to look in depth at what constitutes a 'child protection' concern, potential risks and how to plan for them; reducing the likelihood of false allegations; developing agreed standards; how to manage any genuine concerns and allegations appropriately within local inter-agency procedures, the role of the LADO etc. Aimed primarily at governors, school managers and senior leaders. Abusers can be extremely devious or colleagues may unwittingly risk disciplinary infringements. In either case, you need to be prepared for the possibility.
'An interesting if challenging session that's really made me think. Thank you.'
TRAINING ON BEHALF OF THE SAFER RECRUITMENT CONSORTIUM
Schools must still have at least one person trained in Safer Recruitment on every appointment panel. I am accredited to deliver the 2014 updated materials devised by the Safer Recruitment Consortium, (which includes the NSPCC and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation) and can offer their one-day course, either on my own or, ideally, co-training with someone who is familar with the applicable local HR arrangements. Only an SRC-accredited trainer can present this content, which is copyright to them.
While there is no longer any nationally-defined Safer Recruitment course, these resources from such highy-regarded organisations, and which were produced at the request of the DfE, will be seen as setting the 'gold standard'. A whole day is required for a face-to-face event, including completing individual brief assessments in order to provide accreditation.
School leaders and governors should seek advice from your Local Safeguarding Children Board about what training is most appropriate in your setting. They may offer their own course, arrange for someone like myself to deliver or co-deliver an event on their behalf or suggest you host a bespoke event for local schools. Previous training may still be recognised or you may be advised to undertake a new course as there are additional elements not previously included. More details below.
MANAGING ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCE
Half-day. Attendance has never been better according to the published data, but every school needs to be constantly refreshing its practice. Even if overall attendance is high, there may be vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and individuals who are not attending as they should and who need a targeted response. Many of the things that all schools have to do are legal requirements, not just best practice. This interactive workshop for attendance staff in schools and their managers explores: the registration regulations and collecting absence data; the correct use of the codes; criteria for authorising absence; enforcement, pastoral and strategic approaches; Ofsted expectations; attendance tactics and ideas and evidencing the impact of what you do. An opportunity to audit and review your policy and procedures and plan for any changes.
I also offer a whole-day attendance and absence training Seminar PLUS the 4 Unit Sudy course as follow-up. Contact me for details.
FORUM BUSINESS TRAINING I am currently running a series of whole day Seminars: 'Child Protection 'Level 1' in Schools: Train the Trainer' and 'Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for Schools'. Click the link below for more information, dates, venues etc. www.forumbusinesstraining.co.uk/seminars/education
'One of the most useful days I have ever attended. Ten out of ten!'
I am also speaking at two 'Attendance Matters' Conferences in March:
AUDIT AND TRAINING FEES (NO VAT PAYABLE)
£200 for a 'Twilight' (Wolverhampton/South Staffs area only)
£250 for a 2 hour session (West Midlands area only)
£400 for a half-day + reasonable expenses
Whole day or where substantial travel or accommodation is required: £500 + reasonable expenses by agreement