Safeguarding in the classroom
A description of safeguarding and how it can be applied in a classroom or other learning environment.
What is safeguarding and how can it be effectively enacted in the classroom?
Safeguarding can be defined as the process of ‘protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect’ (Care Quality Commission, 2016, n.p.). Safeguarding’s key aim is to create an environment in which pupils are ‘staying safe, being healthy, making a positive contribution, enjoying and achieving, and developing skills for economic well-being’ (Ofsted, 2011). In an educational environment, it is a teacher’s responsibility to closely monitor the learners they come into contact with for any signs that they may be affected by safeguarding issues. Key ways to do this include being mindful of any changes in learners’ behaviours, noting if learners seem withdrawn and noticing any individual care needs which may be going unmet. It can be difficult to know sometimes if something is a safeguarding matter or not, but teachers have a duty to report any issue which may be a cause for concern. Every learning institution should have a designated safeguarding officer who any concerns can be reported to: a Department for Education (DfE) report in 2015 stressed that all institutions should ‘appoint a member of staff of the school’s or college’s leadership team to the role of designated safeguarding lead. This should be explicit in the role-holder’s job description’ (p. 19).
Care Quality Commission (CQC) (2015). Statement on CQC’s roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children and adults. Available online.
Department for Education (DfE) (2015). Keeping children safe in education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges. London: Department for Education.
Ofsted (2011). Safeguarding in schools: Best practice. Manchester: Ofsted.