I attended my WRAP training in September but now the school year has almost come to a close, feel that it’s a good time to review how the Prevent policy has effected safeguarding in schools.
The course was a challenge to get on. The Police ( yes police not your LSCB) are only willing to train up one member of staff in each school, meaning that one person could be responsible for training all the ( appropriate ) staff, a challenge when you school hires over 400 people. The training was a lot more daunting to start with than other safeguarding insets, as they asked for my passport number and asked me to sign what felt like my life away. However once we moved past this point the course was actually very good. The first 40 mins looked at the background of prevent and why the police wanted schools to be trained up on how to prevent radicalisation. After this point he referred to these kinds of concerns as grooming and told us of all the groups that he was concerned about. These included the obvious but also mentioned far right extremists and animal rights groups. I found this a lot easier to relate to. My school isn’t in the middle of a big city, in fact in one inspection we got told off because the area was to green and “pupils had little realisation of the real world”. However just down the road is a animal testing facility and many of our students don’t agree with this. The course then focused on safeguarding issues. Signs of change in students behaviour, guest speakers and how to encourage freedom of speech without introducing students to possible grooming situations, normal points that DSL would be aware of in their Safeguarding training. I actually enjoyed the training and felt they pitched it perfectly.
Now that I had done my training, I had to train up my staff. All of them? Well this has not been clarified. Does a cleaner need to know the same level of information that a teacher does? According to my WRAP training yes, however speak to other LSB staff, they say suggest we make our own judgement. We have almost trained everyone up, but new staff will start in September and although my school has 5 DSL to deliver the safeguarding training, this won’t cover the WRAP. At the time of doing the course, there wasn’t anything online. However recently I have noticed there is one by the government which uses the same videos as WRAP. Ok MOAN WARNING – why oh why didn’t they email to tell everyone they trained up about this course? Why do I need to get egg on my face (after nagging people who failed to attend the fourth organised session) to have one of them tell me about the course, how stupid do I look now. ( thanks) Surely the online course is just ticking a box, making the training very generic and not really focused on specific issues the school may come across. I have done the course and it’s very easy to fudge. I don’t want to question my staff professionalism but……….. Perhaps I am just a bit negative at the moment with egg on my face.
This has been the most tedious bit, first there is the risk assessment. How to judge the risk? It’s not like a normal Health and Safety Risk assessment when you can use experience to help judge the worse that can happen and the possible frequency. Over the last few days, schools have had loads of hoax calls about bombs, and this has been all over the country, some areas that you would consider low risk. I suppose I know my area so know what type of issue would be more prominent, animal rights for example. But as 80% of grooming or radicalisation happens on line, how can we as a school, prevent the risk. Our internet is filtered, but them most students use 3G and access info at home. We try to educate parents but the ones that you want to educate rarely attend sessions or read the info that you send out. I am constantly updating the Risk Assessment and I suppose this is what PREVENT wanted us as a school to do. It shouldn’t be just a tick box exercise.
So once we have judged the risk and tried to put things in place to reduce the risk, we need to make sure that we have evidenced all of this in all our policies. Safeguarding, anti bullying, guest speakers, trips, ICT policy, and the list can go on. This can take time and I know I will have missed one. Then we had to make sure that everyone was aware even 6 months after their training. So posters went up everywhere.
Its going to be an on-going process and this has been the tough part of implementing PREVENT. I have made one referral, so I know the training has been beneficial and successful, just hope that I can keep managing the risk and acting upon it.