As schools across the UK open for all students for the new school year, teaching professionals need guidance on how best to support and protect children and young people.
Will Ofsted or ISI Inspect whether schools are Covid Compliant?
Officially no, Ofsted is planning visits to schools to support them in getting back to work and has been clear that its visits from September would not be compliance checks on Covid safety.
Who is responsible for Covid Compliance ?
Technically it’s the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) who have a key role to play in ensuring that schools are “Covid compliant” for children and for the teachers and other staff who work with them.
Their guidance can be found here.
But the inspecting bodies also have responsibility for child safeguarding, which is also critical to the safe opening of schools, so this muddies the water a little.
Are you an overseas parent or student concerned about returning to school in the UK?
Read our article ‘Returning to Boarding Schools in the UK’
What should School leaders be prepared for ?
All school leaders want to ensure that both children and adults in MAT’s, Academies and Schools are safe. In order to become ‘Covid compliant’ we recommend schools consider their responses to following questions:
what happens if there is a local outbreak of coronavirus?
what happens if parents do not want to send their children back to school?
what happens if the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) need to self-isolate or become ill?
how should schools look after children mental health and wellbeing?
how should schools implement social distancing and additional hygiene measures?Source: NSPCC
How can we help your MAT, Academy or School ?
We can offer you three levels of service
Full Safeguarding Covid Compliance Audit
Our safeguarding team will carry out an onsite visit, meeting with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and other relevant members of your team.
This visit will:
Ensure full compliance with current legislation:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)
- The Children Act 1989 (as amended).
- The Children and Social Work Act 2017.
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
- The Education Act 2002.
- The United Nations convention on the Rights of the Child 1992.
- The Equality Act 2010.
- The Children and Families Act 2014.
- The Human Rights Act 1998.
Typically the visit will involve:
Review of all policies and associated documents
In-depth conversations with the DSLs and focus groups
- Discussion around best practice with current processes.
- Review of electronic Single Central Record.
Our overview of safeguarding strengths and challenges across your organisation, will enable you to build a clear improvement programme.
Full Audit Report
The Inspection Team will give verbal feedback to the HeadTeacher, DSL and other relevant members of the SLT during the visit.
After the visit we will follow up with a full written report which can be presented to the Governing Body.
Covid Safeguarding Review
We can provide an independent review of current practice on a smaller scale than a full audit, liaising with key staff and people who use services and reviewing relevant documentation to provide you with a clear understanding of what is working well. We can help you build on good practice and identify where things are working less well, what the barriers are to overcoming challenges.
Covid Safeguarding Policy updating service
JMC’s safeguarding team will support you to write, refresh, or review your organisation’s safeguarding policies, procedures and guidance.
Alternatively our Inspection team could deliver a training session for the DSL, School Compliance Officer and other members of the SLT and school administration team.