Primary schools should play a greater role in safeguarding vulnerable children, says the Children’s Commissioner Maggie Atkinson. Against the backdrop of cuts to services and changes in government guidance and legislation, schools must become more involved in spotting and helping children at risk or abuse or neglect.
Ms Atkinson commissioned the NSPCC to conduct a review of safeguarding in schools, looking at best practice and how schools work with outside agencies. The report, published today, points to early identification as the key to helping children most at risk. It says that teachers are uniquely placed to spot potential issues with pupils and drive the safeguarding process forward.
Alongside the report, You have someone to trust – Outstanding safeguarding practice in primary schools, the Children’s Commissioner has also published practical tips for teachers based on the NSPCC findings.
While the Commissioner believes that most primary schools “do a good job identifying and supporting children recognised as vulnerable and at risk”, more needs to be done by schools as cuts to local council services take effect, potentially placing greater numbers of children at risk.”This report and the accompanying practical tips for schools come at a time when local authorities and other support agencies are under financial pressure which is impacting on support services, and many families are facing greater challenges in the current economic climate”, says Ms Atkinson.
Together, the documents are aimed at helping education professionals identify and support children they are concerned about and develop a whole school approach to safeguarding.
The report and practical tips document can be found at: