5.2 Safeguarding and school life
Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It relates to all aspects of school life including:
- children’s health and safety
- the use of reasonable force (for example, what is appropriate and safe to contain a child who is exhibiting violent behaviour)
- meeting the needs of pupils with medical conditions
- providing first aid
- educational visits (out of school, for example when children go to a museum; and in school, for example, when professional musicians give workshops or perform)
- intimate care (such as changing a child’s clothes after an accident, or helping children dress for PE)
- Internet safety/e-safety
- appropriate arrangements to ensure school security, taking into account the local context.
Activity 4 Safeguarding issues
What kinds of issues in schools do you think safeguarding covers? Think for a moment and jot down your ideas.
Safeguarding can involve a range of potential issues such as:
- bullying, including cyberbullying (by text message or on social networking sites) and prejudice-based bullying
- racist, homophobic or transphobic abuse
- radicalisation and extremist behaviour
- child sexual exploitation
- substance misuse
- issues that may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence
- particular issues affecting children including domestic violence, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
If you volunteer or work in a primary school, you must be aware of safeguarding procedures and know who to report to if you have a concern. Furthermore, the school has a legal requirement to vet you, to make sure you are safe to be in the school with children. The next section reviews these vetting procedures.