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4 ways schools can safeguard children

Wooden blocks representing children being protected by an adult's hands
4 ways schools can safeguard children | Medical Tracker

It goes without saying that ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children within a school environment is absolutely paramount. After all, schools don’t only serve as centres of learning and education, they should also represent nurturing environments where children feel safe and happy. With this in mind, it's crucial for educational institutions of all kinds to implement robust safeguarding measures that are designed with the sole purpose of protecting the children in their care.

How to promote safeguarding in schools

With both legal and moral ramifications, ensuring your school remains safeguarding compliant involves a lot of different moving parts. From staff training and extra-curricular teaching to incident recording and medical record keeping, below we take a look at four essential ways schools can ensure the highest standards when it comes to safeguarding children.

4 ways schools can safeguard children

Ensure incident and illness data review policies are up-to-date

On a basic level, safeguarding issues can often come down to certain patterns of behaviour, illness, and/or injury. From repeated signs and signals that could represent indicators of physical abuse in children to patterns that could point towards a specific illness or injury, schools have a duty of care to spot these patterns as soon as possible in order to protect their students.

In many situations, school staff are in one of the best positions for spotting such signs, as school is where children spend the majority of their time outside the home. However, unless the child is in primary school, it’s likely that their supervision will be split between a wide variety of staff members for different lessons, making it trickier to spot patterns accurately. For this reason, keeping detailed medical and incident records, and regularly reviewing incident data is not only recommended, it’s a legal requirement for schools. After all, this simple safeguarding measure could help identify children at risk.

Recording and tracking incidents, injuries, and illnesses in your school helps you monitor what sorts of incidents are occurring. With our online health management software, you can also create, filter, and export medical reports. Instead of juggling multiple systems, utilising one comprehensive software can enhance efficiency and accuracy in identifying potential safeguarding concerns. This makes it far easier to identify patterns and keep your school environment and the students who use it as safe as possible.

Keep staff training up to date on safeguarding issues

A big part of preventing safeguarding issues from occurring in schools comes down to staff training. This means it’s imperative for schools to keep their staff well-informed and trained on the latest safeguarding procedures and in-house protocols. While we appreciate fulfilling this mandatory training can be tricky to fit into a term-time schedule - especially during busy exam seasons - neglecting staff training on safeguarding could have serious consequences, not only on your school’s legal compliance records, but, more importantly, on the safety of your students.

For this reason, training is essential to teach staff members the skills needed to recognise, report and address safeguarding concerns effectively. By prioritising staff training, schools not only demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students but also ensure the school remains compliant with UK safeguarding laws and regulations.

Educate children on common dangers and solutions

Education is another key part of maintaining school safeguarding standards and remaining compliant. The role of a school isn’t just to help children pass their exams, but also to prepare them for increasing independence in the next stages of their lives. By empowering children by giving them the basic knowledge they need regarding illnesses, injuries and other common dangers, your safeguarding efforts can be greatly improved.

Think about giving themed assemblies, school-wide talks, detailed PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic) lessons, and targeted mentoring sessions designed to educate students on various safeguarding issues. These additional sessions can help to teach children to better recognise the signs of a range of potential safeguarding issues, including abuse, exploitation and online risks. Even sessions on health and hygiene can help when it comes to safeguarding issues relating to sickness and injury.

By doing this, you’re helping equip your student body with the tools they need to protect themselves. On top of this, these sessions should also be used to highlight the support available to your students. This can encourage children to confide in trusted adults and remind them of the importance of seeking assistance when faced with potential threats to their safety.

Bring in external support

Schools should consider bringing in external support to address safeguarding concerns. This could involve, for example, inviting professionals such as the police, healthcare professionals, and representatives from relevant charities to provide specialised guidance and resources to students.

Not only does this ensure that students receive information on threats from experts - whether the topic is crime, drugs, sexual health or online safety - it also provides them with a more memorable point of contact. Children may feel more confident in reaching out to an organisation such as the police or a charity if they’ve met representatives before, helping to build their trust in these institutions.

Additionally, from a legal point of view, schools must also be prepared to promptly report any perceived safeguarding incidents to the appropriate external authorities. While having in-house expertise is crucial, seeking external assistance demonstrates a commitment to prioritising the welfare of children above all else. In a safeguarding situation, responsible educational authorities should report the issue to the relevant services as soon as possible in order to provide the best level of care, no matter what.

Overall, safeguarding children in schools requires a multipronged approach involving proactive measures, ongoing staff training, student education, and collaboration with external stakeholders. By implementing these strategies, schools can create a protective environment where children can learn, grow, and thrive safely.

Here at Medical Tracker, whether you run a nursery, work in a primary school or are responsible for safeguarding in a secondary school, we understand the importance of safeguarding. That’s why our comprehensive software solutions are designed to make the safeguarding of children in your care as straightforward as possible, improve student wellbeing in schools and keep you 100% safeguarding compliant.

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