Hartlepool Governor Support Service


Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings

The Issue Questions for Governors to Ask Tasks for Governors Governors Comments
1 Children and learners are protected and feel safe.  Those who are able to communicate know how to complain and understand the process for doing so.  There is a strong, robust and proactive response from adults working with children and learners that reduces the risk of harm or actual harm to them.  Adults working with them know and understand the indicators that may suggest that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is suffering or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or harm16 and they take the appropriate and necessary action in accordance with local procedures and statutory guidance.

How do you know that children feel safe?

How do you ensure that all adults have accessed relevant and up to date CPD training? 

 Refer to the Annual Safeguarding Audit provided by HT to triangulate evidence.  Review pupil voice evidence i.e. Questionnaire.

2 Leaders and managers have put in place effective child protection and staff behaviour policies that are well understood by everyone in the setting. Who could show me where they are (all relative policies inc staff code of conduct etc...) What evidence do you have to support staff understandably?  DBS checks - are they up to date? We would like to see them with evidence of them being kept up to date. Checking staff have I.D/visitor badges.
3 All staff and other adults working within the setting are clear about procedures where they are concerned about the safety of a child or learner. Who is your lead child protection person? Tell me your procedure regarding child protection/safety. How do we know and how do you ensure this is disqualified to all extra staff (student leaders, NQT's, supply teachers etc)? Speak to members of staff and ask what the procedure would be if they had concerns about the safety of a child. Check the records of all staff and be updated with extra staff. Ensure CPD takes place throughout the year and reviewed annually.
4 Children and learners can identify a trusted adult with whom they can communicate about any concerns.  They report that adults listen to them and take their concerns seriously.  Where children or learners have been or are at risk, the trusted adult has been instrumental in helping them to be safe in accordance with agreed local procedures.  Children who are unable to share their concerns, for example babies and very young children, form strong attachments to those who care for them through the effective implementation of the key person system. Who trusted adult?  What concerns have been reported? What actions have been taken by the trusted adult? What steps taken to notify children who are/is the trusted adults. Where recorded i.e. who is trusted adult? Policy document to be checked. Records of concerns? Evidence of action taken.Evidence of positive outcomes.Evidence process is working? If not review?
5 Written records are made in an appropriate and timely way and are held securely where adults working with children or learners are concerned about their safety or welfare. Those records are shared appropriately and, where necessary, with consent. How is consent recorded? Who has access? Key password? Where are the documents held?Frequency of updates for all records including racist/homophobic bullying comment book? Are parents encouraged to complete questionnaires? Are there records for every issue? Check security of documents. Check completed parent questionnaires.
6 Any child protection and/or safeguarding concerns are shared immediately with the relevant local authority.  Where the concern is about suspected harm or risk of harm to a child, the referral should be made to the local authority for the area where the child lives.  Where the concern is an allegation about a member of staff in a setting, or another type of safeguarding issue affecting children and young people in a setting, the matter should be referred to the local authority in which the setting is located. Who is the contact for L.A. Does the procedure identify the nominated person? Review procedure against national policy.  Confirm contacts are up to date.
7 A record of that referral is retained and there is evidence that any agreed action following the referral has been taken promptly to protect the child or learner from further harm.  There is evidence, where applicable, that staff have an understanding of when to make referrals when there are issues concerning sexual exploitation, radicalisation and/or extremism or that they have sought additional advice and support.  Children and learners are supported, protected and informed appropriately about the action the adult is taking to share their concerns.  Parents are made aware of concerns and their consent is sought in accordance with local procedures unless doing so would increase the risk of harm to a child. How are children/wider family supported?  Where is the evidence of action taken?  Where is it kept?  Who has access? Ask staff if they are aware of referral procedure/data protection/confidentiality.
8 There is a written plan in place that has clear and agreed procedures to protect a child.  For children who are the subject of a child in need plan or child protection plan or who are looked after, the plan identifies the help that the child should receive and the action to be taken if a professional working with the child has further concerns or information to report. Can I view a CP Plan/PEP (with names removed)? Check child protection policy has been updated to reflect new legislation.
9 Children who go missing from the setting they attend receive well-coordinated responses that reduce the harm or risk of harm to them.  Risks are well understood and their impact is minimised.  Staff are aware of, and implement in full, local procedures for children who are missing from home and/or from education.  Local procedures for notifying the local authority and parents are available, understood and followed.  Comprehensive records are held and shared between the relevant agencies to help and protect children.  In relation to early years settings, providers are aware of and implement the requirements of the 'Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage' when children go missing while in the care of the provider. How would you implement your local procedure for children who are missing?  Tell me about the requirements of the statutory framework for early years. Speak to designated person and staff members to ensure they know the procedure.
10 Any risks associated with children and learners offending, misusing drugs or alcohol, self-harming, going missing, being vulnerable to radicalisation or being sexually exploited are known by the adults who care for them and shared with the local authority children's social care service or other relevant agency.  There are plans and help in place that are reducing the risk of harm or actual harm and there is evidence that the impact of these risks is being minimised.  These risks are kept under regular review and there is regular and effective liaison with other agencies where appropriate. How often are risks reviewed? And when are appropriate adults in for med? What is the process when someone is in the risk areas? Can you show me examples? Who are the load people? What do you do in their absence? Proof of meeting to prove updates are taking place?  What evidence does the school have in place to show plan is in place?
11 Children and learners are protected and helped to keep themselves safe from bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.  Any discriminatory behaviours are challenged and help and support are given to children about how to treat others with respect . What is the process for reacting to an incident?   Does our behaviour policy address discriminatory behaviours?  How do you ensure our curriculum equips learners to be knowledgeable regarding types of discrimination? Proof of policy and who it's available to?  View any records i.e. Bullying, racial incidents. Audit of curriculum. Pupil dialogues - pupil voice.
12 Adults understand the risks posed by adults or learners who use technology, including the internet, to bully, groom, radicalise or abuse children or learners.  They have well-developed strategies in place to keep children and learners safe and to support them to develop their own understanding of these risks and in learning how to keep themselves and others safe.  Leaders oversee the safe use of technology when children and learners are in their care and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or children's well-being.  Leaders of early years settings implement the required policies with regard to the safe use of mobile phones and cameras in settings. What has been done to keep children and staff safe in relation to internet safety and use of social media?       Show me the E-Safety policy? Does it cover everything? What training is given to staff? Briefings to pupils? How do you monitor IT use day to day? How do you track the acceptable user agreements? Check policies, CPD, firewalls etc.  Speak to staff and pupils to see if they are aware of the schools approach to E-safety.
13 Leaders and staff make clear risk assessments and respond consistently to protect children and learners while enabling them to take age-appropriate and reasonable risks as part of their growth and development. What training do leaders and staff receive?  Are leaders and staff monitored capably and knowledge appropriate and companies.  Where are the risk assessments kept? Are they revised regularly? Records of training identified.  Refresher training for staff are offered.  Staff have access to relevant policies.
14 Children and learners feel secure and, where they may present risky behaviours, they experience positive support from all staff.  Babies and young children demonstrate their emotional security through the attachments they form with those who look after them and through their physical and emotional well-being.  Staff respond with clear boundaries about what is safe and acceptable and they seek to understand the triggers for children's and learner's behaviour.  They develop effective responses as a team and review those response to assess their impact, taking into account the views and experiences of the child or learner. What are these developed effective resources and how often are they reviewed. Are those resources effective and how are they measured to ensure positive results. Obtain examples of these resources and any evidence that they are effective.
15 Positive behaviour is promoted consistently.  Staff use effective de-escalation techniques and creative alternative strategies that are specific to the individual needs of children and learners.  Reasonable force, including restraint, 19 is only used in strict accordance with the legislative framework to protect the child and learner and those around them.  All incidents are reviewed, recorded and monitored and the views of the child or learner are sought and understood.  Monitoring of the management of behaviour is effective and the use of any restraint significantly reduces or ceases over time. Is there an up to date behaviour policy?  Where is behaviour policy?  Where is the legislative framework?  Where is the incident book?  Can we see evidence of all above? Show me CPD register.  Show me policy and challenge reviewed.  Look at the policies.  Look at the legislative framework?  Look at incident book. Examine the evidence and make sure these are carried out in school.
16 Staff and volunteers working with children and learners are carefully selected and vetted according to statutory requirements.  There is monitoring to prevent unsuitable people from being recruited and having the opportunity to harm children or learners or place them at risk. Do you have DBS's in place (if constant visits)?  Do you have a policy and procedures in place.  Can I see the paperwork for induction?  Is there a disqualification notice staff?  Is there daily monitoring of Central Record System?  What about Governor monitoring? Look at process from start to finish of induction. Look at SAFM recruitment. Step by step of process.
17 There are clear and effective arrangements for staff development and training in respect of the protection and care of children and learners.  Staff and other adults receive regular supervision and support if they are working directly and regularly with children and learners whose safety and welfare are at risk. Show your record for staff/governor training.  Talk to staff and ask them if/when they had training. What training is provided and how often?  Training for governors and associate staff - how is that facilitated?  How is that monitored?  How do you know who has had training?  Who is responsible for organising training?  What supervision is offered and by whom/to whom.
18 The physical environment for babies, children and learners is safe and secure and protects them from harm or the risk of harm. Is the environment safe/secure/protective?  System for checking security?  What happens when visitors need to access site?  PAT test records?  Who and When?  Who checks health and safety for labs etc? When?  Up to date?  Does anyone on Governing body have responsibility for health and safety? Check risk assessments.  Visual check or perimeter fences, outside security.  Visual check of electrical equipment for PAT test stickers.  Visual check for safety notices e.g. in technology rooms.
19 All staff and carers have a copy of and understand the written procedures for managing allegations of harm to a child or learner.   They know how to make a complaint and understand policies on whistle blowing and how to manage other concerns about the practice of adults in respect of the safety and protection of children and learners. Do the staff know the procedure for managing allegations of harm and procedure of whistle blowing?  What are the procedures?  Are allegations dealt with seriously and quickly?  What is whistle blowing?  What would you describe safety and protection as?  Would this be covered in the safeguarding policy? Look at the procedures.  Ask teachers about procedures. Any evidence on allegations and how quick they were dealt with. Any documents on whistle blowing?  Look for document on safety and protection? Check policies?