The end of the academic year is nigh for Designated Safeguarding Leads in School!
Hi colleagues, as we enjoy this burst of sunny weather its worth reflecting over the year that seems to have flown by. Reflection seems to be a luxury for many who work in schools due to the nature of the job and the burgeoning work load that so many of you face each day. Recently there has been two court cases in Derby and Burton where the Judges in both cases have praised the work of the respective schools DSL for identifying subtle changes in children’s behaviours which led to interventions and successful prosecutions. In both cases children were identified as being at risk of CSE and the DSL’s used the appropriate resourses to help the children to understand what was happening to them which helped immensely in planning what support was required for the children and just as importantly for their families as well.
So much of this work often goes unheralded and rarely gets a mention in the media when these news stories break so it was nice to see Judges praising DSL’s in open court and giving them the respect that they deserved.
As we move on towards the end of term its worth thinking about those children who you will not see over the long six-week break, what support is going to be put in place to monitor and support children and families when you are not there. These are questions that need to be answered now so children and families will be aware of what support will be available during the school closure period. All to often schools are calling support agencies on the last day of term desperate to know what happening over the summer, I recall so many conversations with Head teachers and DSL’s at the end of term who were stressed and anxious about some of their pupils as they were not sure what is happening. Many of you will be feeding and clothing children on an all to regular basis and in significant numbers for free as well and some of your children will be involved in exploitation cases so its vital that you are aware of what is happening support wise for the children and families. Call the support agencies now and ask about what’s happening, if you do not get the appropriate response then use the full escalation procedure for your local authority and inform the LSCB business manager if you are escalating concerns. Hopefully you will be given reassurances that will allow you to be able to leave school at the end of term and to enjoy the summer break, recharge your batteries and start all over again in September.
I am leaving my role as Education and Communities Lead for the Response Unit and moving into a new project funded by Sport England about raising awareness of abuse in sport. This project is aimed at grass roots sport clubs and venues who hire out their facilities to private providers, so as the summer approaches is your school being hired to provide sporting activities over the break and are you sure that the correct level of due diligence has been taken to ensure the safety of the children attending these paly/sport groups. Do give me a call if you would like to discuss any issues such as this or support for your sports club particularly as sports clubs and organisations are now included in the new “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018” guidance that was published by the Government this week.
My colleague Steve Baguley is covering the education and communities role in my absence, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org tel 01332 585371
I hope you all have a good summer break and that England also win the World Cup!
Response Unit: Safeguarding in Sport Lead
01332 585371, mob 07399 4449045