This informal CPD article, ‘The Importance of Safeguarding and Child Protection in Education’, was provided by Prospero Teaching, an Award-Winning education recruitment agency offering an exciting range of teaching jobs in the UK. They work with thousands of Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Academy, Special Needs and Further Education Schools & Colleges.
Safeguarding is the most important element of any educator’s role. As part of our safeguarding responsibilities, we need to ensure that we undertake regular safeguarding and child protection training that is in-line with the latest updates and guidance from the government, including updates to Keeping Children Safe in Education which are typically released every year.
One of the best ways in which you can do this training is online, as it gives you the opportunity to take the course at your own pace, go back and review information, and stop and pause so that you can take comprehensive notes. Since child protection and safeguarding can be a difficult and upsetting topic for many educators, the ability to train at your own pace and take regular breaks is invaluable to ensuring that you look after your own well-being whilst meeting training requirements.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding and child protection refers to the proactive approach that educators, and anyone else working in close contact with children, take to protect children from harm. It requires us to create an open, safe and supportive environment where children feel safe to share their fears, concerns and worries so that they can thrive and develop as individuals.
Why is safeguarding important for educators?
As teachers, we play a vital role in protecting children from harm: we are able to provide a safe environment for the children we teach, an environment where they feel supported and listened to, and where they know that their concerns will be listened to when they share them. This safe, secure environment that we create for our students can be the key in helping to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring or stopping it from continuing. In order to do this though, we need to be armed with the knowledge and skills required to spot the signs that a child may be suffering so that we can act accordingly.
What should be included in safeguarding and child protection training?
Comprehensive safeguarding and child protection training should provide you with everything you need to know so that you can recognise the signs of abuse and neglect, as well as the different forms of these that you need to be aware of. It should equip you with the knowledge you need to be able to respond effectively to disclosures and safeguarding concerns, including who you should report concerns to and the information that you should provide.
Furthermore, it should provide you with up-to-date information about legislation and guidance that educators must follow in order to meet their safeguarding obligations, as well as providing you with contextualised case studies so that you can see the importance of acting upon and responding to concerns in the appropriate manner.
As a minimum, educators need to know about and be able to recognise the signs of:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Online abuse
- Child criminal exploitation
- Child sexual exploitation
- Modern slavery and child trafficking
- Domestic abuse
- Child-on-child abuse
- Harmful sexual behaviour
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- So-called honour-based abuse (HBA)
Whilst this list can feel overwhelming, it’s important to remember that proper safeguarding and child protection training will comprehensively guide you through each of these forms of abuse and neglect, provide you with key signs to look out for, and empower you with the knowledge of how to support a child you suspect may be suffering from any of these.
Remember, safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone who works or has contact with children and young people. It is important, as educators, that we arm ourselves with the comprehensive knowledge and skills that are required to keep children safe and protect them from harm. By undertaking regular training, at least once a year, we can ensure that we able to create safe and supportive environments for the children and young people with whom we work so that they can be protected from harm.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Prospero Group, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.