At a recent safeguarding audit I was asked for evidence that staff had not only received the KCSIE part one but understood it. I reeled off a list of methods that we had used, including
- inset with staff signing to confirm that they had attended,
- weekly emails from different members of the SLT, either pointing out an area of the document that relates to their particular area of leadership or asking questions to get staff thinking
- and the fact that departments now have safeguarding as a agenda point in all their meetings, making sure that all departments take responsibility with safeguarding. However it was my last example that stopped them in their tracks.
I staple the new document to staffs pay checks and because I don’t expect them to be aware of the changes I bullet point key points at the front, with reference numbers. Obviously this is only possible if you use paper versions of pay slips but it works. Staff are well aware that the document has been updated and have to open it. This was a big tick in the audit, showing that staff receive it. They had never heard of this approach before and laughed, saying that they would steal this idea. I think that’s a compliment.
Another tick box was the fact that I had asked my ICT department to design a safeguarding app ( although they tell me it’s not an app but just links to web pages and then they start talking in a language I don’t understand). This app is on every teaching staff iPad. The front screen clearly states who the DSL are and how to get hold of them. It also has links to the KCSIE document, the schools safeguarding policy and basic tips on how to help a child and what to look out for. I have had really positive feedback from staff as it means it’s always there and always up to date. So I produced a similar one for students although it just has the front screen so they know who they disclose to including the Childlike number. Something I would argue is more effective that a poster up in the reception with photos of the DSL ( although I teach at a senior school and I realise visitors don’t have access to the app).I have been looking into developing this further and have been interested in the AS tracking app that Wellington have introduced. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to make sure that staff receive the document please let me know.
But does this give me evidence that they understand it? How do you make sure that 507 people ( that’s how many are on my Single Central Register) understand the document. One school I know sends out a little quiz for staff to complete. I wonder how this effects staff morale, and how much time must this take to manage and collate? And want about the staff who English is their second language? We employee Polish, Spanish, Czech and Lithuania support staff. My inset and Child protection training is edited to make sure they understand why safeguarding is important and how relates to their job, but attaching a document to their play slip must be a waste of time for them. Would a quiz work ? Not sure I have ticked this box yet. Why am I trying to make this a tick box exercise? surely safeguarding is anything but ticking boxes. I know my staff understand because I get referrals from all walks of staff, teachers, the health centre, lifeguards, technicians. Is that evidence enough? Not sure it is, and that’s sad. How do other DSL evidence their staffs understanding for Inspection purposes? perhaps I could steal your idea.