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3 min read

Safeguarding in schools: Section 15, the forgotten section.

safe guarding in schools

Safeguarding is the key focus in schools; school provision is centred around providing staff with training on identifying signs of the four areas of abuse and the associated process to support the child as best as possible. Headteachers and CEOs must ensure all learners are protected from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act, it is often forgotten that this includes other aspects that are not inherently in the direct line of safeguarding but do still come with increased risk of harm.

In this article, we unpick what section 15 is and how headteachers and Multi Academy Trust CEOs can create a culture of vigilance across the breadth of safeguarding and risk in their schools. 

 

What is section 15 of safeguarding guidance in schools? 

Section 15 in the Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills document highlights the breadth of safeguarding. Expanding from the four areas of abuse to include risk of harm. These include: 

  • Pupils’ health and safety, wellbeing and mental health
  • Meeting needs of all learners, including those with SEND (and medical conditions)
  • The use of reasonable force
  • First-aid 
  • Educational trips and visits 
  • Intimate care
  • Emotional health and wellbeing 
  • E-safety and Online bullying

 

How to create a culture of safeguarding in your school

Ofsted inspectors look at the positive culture created in the school, whether the school's ethos is underpinned by safeguarding and if it is an important aspect of the daily management and running of the school. This includes the daily recognition and actions to manage the risk of harm within the school setting. 

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What do good safeguarding arrangements look like in schools? 

Schools and MATs that recognise the need to record, monitor and evaluate school accidents and incidents show good safeguarding arrangements. 

 

A whole-school approach 

Section 17 explains that schools must have a whole-institution approach to managing these additional risks. This includes involving all staff in training to recognise the risk of harm involved in the school premises and school day. Schools that comprehensively protect their pupils from safeguarding and risk concerns have a whole-school tracking and reporting approach. 

Find out more about how Medical Tracker is used across Multi Academy Trusts.

 

Identify clear risks in the school environment 

“Leaders and staff make clear risk assessments and respond consistently to protect children and learners while enabling them to take age-appropriate and reasonable risks as part of their growth and development.” Schools can use incident reporting software that can highlight near-misses and create reports to identify where the potential risks of harm may be. Acting on the information collected is excellent evidence to show proactivity when safeguarding pupils. 

 

Physical environment safe 

Ofsted will look at the physical environment during inspections and if they are safe for children and learners, evaluating if the risk management procedures protect them from harm or the risk of harm. By pinpointing areas of high injury or incident rate, your senior leaders can make essential changes to reduce possible risk: increasing supervision during lunchtime, organising additional training or even simple room furniture organisation. 

 

Incidents reviewed with the use of reasonable force 

Reasonable force, including restraint, has to follow legislative guidance to protect all involved. Any use of reasonable force during a school incident must be recorded, evaluated, and monitored. Using an online incident recording system allows your staff and learners to be kept safe if reasonable force is used. 

See how Medical Tracker helps track injury hotspots

Join 100's of schools that trust Medical Tracker

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How can Medical Tracker promote a culture of safeguarding in your school? 

Using an online first-aid, incident and risk software system, schools can track all recorded incidents, near-misses and medical information for all pupils and staff. Reporting any incidents to the parents immediately and notifying headteachers and CEOs of any serious incidents resulting in hospitalisation.  

Learn how Medical Tracker sends automatic injury information to parents. 

 

Report creation 

Instant reports can be created for governor or trustee boards, demonstrating the areas of concern and helping to develop an action plan to tackle the concerns. These reports can include the number of students with specific medical conditions or allergies to help target whole-school training and the hotspots in the school (or across the MAT) where incidents are most likely to occur. 

Explore how easy insights and reports are to create with Medical Tracker. 

 

Near-miss incidents 

Including recording mental health concerns, the near-miss feature allows staff members to highlight where potential incidents or injuries may have occurred—resulting in actions such as a movement of supervising adults and equipment safety audits and checks. 

 

Medication expiry warnings 

With Medical Tracker, all medication used in the school will have a 4-week warning for expiry, sending an automatic notification to parents for ease and responsibility. This feature can also be applied to backup medicines such as frequently used inhalers. 

Discover more about tracking expiring medication with Medical Tracker. 

 

Whole-school consistency 

Medical Tracker is designed to be used by every team member, regardless of technological understanding and confidence. By implementing Medical Tracker across your school or MAT for your first-aid, incident and injury software system, your parents will receive a comprehensive explanation of their child’s injury or incident during school time as well as actions are undertaken to ensure their needs are met.

 

Next steps

Contact one of our UK-based Medical Tracker customer service team members to discuss a quote for your school or MAT and book a short demo of the software and its features to keep your school a safe place for all learners and staff. 

 

 

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