Those working with children, whether it be in primary, secondary or further education, will be subject to Ofsted inspections to ensure they are doing all they can to safeguard their pupils.

Education professionals who work with children will be subject to Ofsted inspections throughout their career to ensure that they are doing all they can to safeguard their pupils. Whether this be in primary, secondary or further education, it is essential that these checks are carried out so that the highest standards are maintained.

If a teacher or school fails to meet Ofsted’s requirement, they will be told which areas they must improve upon and when they need to be improved by. While it is up to the schools themselves to determine their practices, the government also provides a ‘School Inspection Handbook’ for each educational body to refer to.

Here we take a look at some of the main areas Ofsted assesses when on inspection.

The Common Inspection Framework

With the introduction of the Common Inspection Framework in 2015, safeguarding in education has a much stronger emphasis than it ever has done before, with Ofsted focusing on how well schools have embedded a ‘culture of vigilance’ into their practices.

According to the government, the framework is designed to bring together the inspection of various education, skills and early years settings to provide greater coherence across different providers that cater for similar age ranges. When children and learners move from one educational setting to another, the framework hopes to ensure more comparability as well as supporting greater consistency across the inspection of different remits.

Ofsted wants to test whether or not pupils feel as though they are learning in a safe environment. One of the key focuses for schools is ensuring that all adults in the school community understand the safeguarding risks for young children and make sure training is given when necessary.

It is now expected that instead of the previous child protection training every three years, schools will raise awareness of a wide-range of safeguarding topics on a regular basis. However, inspectors want to see evidence not only of when these topics were discussed but also in regard to what the school did to ensure staff that were absent received training too.

Safeguarding evidence

According to experienced education consultant Andrew Hall, key areas that Ofsted inspectors will be looking for evidence include:

  • The creation of a positive culture, backed up by staff training at every level
  • The effectiveness of safer recruitment, vetting and safeguarding policies and procedures
  • Staff awareness of signs of harm from within the family and wider community
  • The response to safeguarding concerns
  • The quality of the school contribution to multi-agency plans for the child

 

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