A Virtual College Safeguarding case study
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“We realised that providing training to everyone who came into contact with children was essential. “Julie Evans, Training Manager
Bradford Safeguarding Children Board works towards keeping children in Bradford under the age of 18 safe from harm by supporting staff to help families and carers achieve this. This includes safeguarding disabled children and young people and spotting the signs of early abuse in children. They are the founding member of the Safeguarding Children e-Academy, joining us in February 2006. They needed to train large numbers of people in the basics of Safeguarding Children. Realising that this would be a huge challenge using conventional face to face methods, they decided to implement e-learning in their training to address this problem. This has proved extremely successful, since 2006 more than 20,000 safeguarding children courses have been passed in the Bradford SCB area.
E-learning was a new approach to Safeguarding Children training. Trainers were worried that they would be made redundant and there was a general feeling that such topics could not be handled by e-learning. We believed that if developed in a way that took the best elements from face to face training and married them with interactivity and animations, we would be able to capture learners’ imaginations and keep them engaged, as well as deliver an excellent quality training solution. Virtual College has a tradition of collaborative working and quickly convinced Sheffield, Barnsley and Newcastle SCBs to join the project. This joint project became the Safeguarding e-Academy. The course the consortium produced was the first of its kind and was quickly adopted by more organisations.
Bradford realised that providing training to everyone who came into contact with children was essential. They appreciated that often the people who spot the early signs of abuse or neglect may not be working in children’s services; they may be taxi drivers, playground assistants or GPs receptionists. To adequately train all these people was proving impossible. Trainers were delivering basic training and refresher training and it was taking too long, training was delivered out of hours and the delegates were tired, it was a situation that cried out for change.
The implementation of e-learning meant that all basic and all refresher training was delivered online which freed up trainers to deliver more focussed, frontline, face to face training for key professionals. It also ensured that significantly more people could access Safeguarding Children training than before. Also, a blended approach was implemented for more specialist courses and Julie Evans, Training Manager for Bradford SCB said, ‘blended learning allowed our trainers to concentrate on in-depth specialist training.’ As a founder member of the e-Academy, Bradford SCB has been able to train a large amount of people for exceptional value for money. There has been more than 20,000 safeguarding children courses passes in the Bradford SCB area and the average cost per person per course is around only £1.50 with an overall pass rate of 92%. They have also been involved in development process of many new courses including: Child Accident Prevention, Hidden Harm, Safeguarding Children from Abuse by Sexual Exploitation and Safe Sleeping.
- Blended Learning
- Certificate Printing
- E-Learning Courses
- Tracking of Learner Progress
Six years on from the development of the Safeguarding e-Academy, we have worked with over 80 SCBS and many more national organisations, children’s charities and health organisations. Bradford SCB and the Safeguarding e-Academy intend to continue to develop courses and drive forward the advisory panel together. Virtual College continue to work collaboratively with them to support the rollout of e-learning on an even wider scale, for example we recently supported Bradford Safeguarding Week 2012.