2. Timing: With serious cases timing is everything, but even with a more simple incident such as a pupil being pushed over by a bully in the playground, it is important to have dealt with it in a timely fashion. There is nothing worse than the pupil going home and informing their family for you to receive a telephone call and discover that the member of staff who had dealt with it at morning break has already gone home and didn’t record anything. For major incidents or disclosures, staff should be given time to make records, safeguarding staff should have the time to investigate the information and gather additional pieces if required.
3. Actions: It is not just important to record the actions already taken, but also to record any planned future actions and who will be undertaking them and by when. This could form part of a bigger picture when a more serious safeguarding incident is reported, especially if social care become involved.
4. Records: Record-keeping is essential, and scraps of paper are not always helpful. They need to be accurate, reflect a true picture, be date (and often time) stamped, show details of the incident/disclosure, who is involved, who it is being referred on to, any actions, timescales, etc. They must also be stored securely and in the case of paper records should not be in the same location as the pupil files. With electronic systems it is easy to choose who can see what, but data protection is important, and those staff must ensure their screens are not viewable by all and that they keep passwords secure.
5. Responsibility: Ultimately, responsibility lies with the DSL, however each member of the safeguarding team needs to take their personal responsibilities seriously and ensure that any actions delegated to them are undertaken in a timely fashion, records updated and maintain a clear channel of communication. Any member of staff feeling overwhelmed with more serious safeguarding issues should be able to ask to be removed from the case or to receive appropriate counselling.
Using an electronic system such as Safeguard My School to record safeguarding concerns can help to address these things and ensure that our vulnerable pupils are looked after. Designed by teachers to meet the safeguarding obligations of every school, our brand new software makes it easy for staff to report their concerns and complies with all current legislation's so you can provide clear, auditable evidence for your Ofsted/Estyn inspection.
Visit www.safeguardmyschool.co.uk for more information.