Friday, 4 March 2011

Questions Governors should ask about Safeguarding

The Key Roles of the Governing Body are to:

 Provide a Strategic View
 Act as a Critical Friend
 Ensure Accountability

All the above involve asking questions.

It is often said that School Governors fulfil their key roles by Asking the Right Questions.

My next series of blog article are a selection of framework questions based around key topics which are supplied online by Sheffield City Council for their School Governors. Today I will cover Safeguarding, tomorrow dedicated headship time, then healthy schools, risk assessments, target setting and finally Special Educational Needs.

Sheffield also provide question frameworks around the following subjects which I am not covering in this series.

Adopting a Policy
Black and Minority Ethnic Student Achievement
Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance (Secondary)
Continuing Professional Development
Early Years Foundation Stage
Extended Services (formerly known as Extended Schools)
Home School Agreement
Looked After Children
Modern Foreign Languages
Occupational Health and Safety
Parental Involvement
Personalised Learning
School Improvement Cycle

They can be found on Sheffield City Council website here


A Questions Framework for Governing Bodies

Does the governing body receive and discuss an Annual Safeguarding Report in the Summer term?

Is the report sent to the Local Authority?

What are the school’s Safeguarding priorities and how do we plan to address them?

What issues do we share and how do we work with other schools in our Family of schools?

What other agencies do we work with within our Family of Schools or area and how effective are these partnerships?

Is there anything we can do as a governing body to enhance partnership working?

Are there any implications for our staffing model ?

What is the impact on the workload of teaching staff and does this need addressing?

Do we need more staff dedicated to Safeguarding work (e.g. Learning Mentors)?

Are there any other resourcing needs?

Steve Barker Associate Trainer for Babcock 4S asks a different set of questions:

(1) How do we as governors, know pupils are safe?

(2) How safe to pupils feel?

(3) How do Head/SLT monitor safeguarding and what do they feed back to us as governors?

(4) What are the quality of links with outside agencies to protect pupils?

(5) What has changed in our policy this year and why?

(6)How many pupils have individual child in need or child protection plans?

(7) What more could we do to ensure our children are safeguarded?

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