All diocesan schools regardless of their status (VC, VA, Academy) come under the statutory oversight of their host local authority (LA). LAs maintain statutory responsibility for ensuring the protection of the children within their area.
Where there is concern over a child protection matter or when a ‘disclosure’ has been made diocesan schools must contact their LA. For any matter involving a member of staff the LA is alerted but, in addition Ian Berry, the diocesan safeguarding officer, and the Diocesan Director of Education.
The diocese’s multi-academy trust is called the Good Shepherd Trust. The GST has developed policies and guidance papers relevant to all aspects of Safeguarding and trustees have been screened by the diocese through the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS).
All schools and academies have to appoint a designated safeguarding lead officer who has to undergo updated child protection training every 2 years.
New governors and staff in academy schools are DBS’d through GST’s partner firm Strictly Education. Others who were staff or governors immediately prior to the school becoming an academy retain their LA DBS status.
VA schools as employers of their staff have a responsibility to specify, preferably annually that the LA will be their umbrella organisation for the purposes of DBS and training. The LA provide an online service.
GST will specify annually which umbrella organisation will provide DBS and training services for Safeguarding. Again the LA online service may be used.
All VA and VC schools’ staff and governors are DBS’d through their LAs. For VA schools where governors are the employers their agreement for DBS checks is with the LA.
The GST has a safeguarding policy that specifies staff training requirements and levels.
All schools and academies have to implement Safer Recruitment procedures as set out in the latest guidance. (DfE: Keeping Children Safe in Education, April 2014)
Relevant policies will be available to see at the meeting.
All schools and academies maintain a Single Central Record of staff, volunteers, governors and trustees (for academies).