HSE announces school inspections to support asbestos management
July Safeguarding Update
D & AHT Newsletter for July 2022
Big Telescopes Workshop
Next Step Cards – funded training places across Cheshire & Merseyside
HSE announces school inspections to support asbestos management
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced it will undertake school inspections from September 2022. These inspections are aimed at ensuring asbestos is being managed effectively in schools, in line with their duties under Control of Asbestos Regulations to keep children, staff and the wider community safe from asbestos.
HSE’s announcement sets out what they will be looking at and how schools should prepare for a possible inspection.
DfE has published the asbestos management in schools guidance for schools to help them understand and meet their responsibilities in managing asbestos safely, including having an asbestos management plan and register.
July Safeguarding Update
As you might be aware, I will be leaving my current role as the ‘Safeguarding Children in Education Officer’ at the end of the month to take up the position of Headteacher of Halton’s Virtual School. I have loved these past two years and enjoyed getting to know you all and supporting you in your incredible work across Halton. I am now excited to begin this next chapter and make a difference in my new role!
However, due to the crucial nature of my work in supporting you all in safeguarding, I wanted to begin by offering you assurances that I will not be disappearing! Jill Farrell and I will be working together to begin the process of appointing my successor, but in the meantime (wherever possible!) I will continue to offer guidance and support to schools. From September, this will include:
- Guidance and support concerning LADO allegations and Ofsted safeguarding complaints
- Regular safeguarding bulletins
- Essential training including DSL workshops and Safer Recruitment, to ensure schools remain compliant
- Support with all Stage 3 and Stage 4 escalations
Anything I have missed, or that needs clarifying, I will pick up with you all in September.
In addition to this, I can confirm that before the end of August you will receive an updated model safeguarding and child protection policy to reflect the new KCSIE and other changes. I will also be updating the whole staff training materials and the whole staff refresher training materials. Due to popular demand, this will also include updated narrated versions for those who prefer to have me deliver your training (even if I can’t be in the room with you!). I will also be finalising the whistleblowing policy and code of conduct with the aim that these will also be with you by the end of August.
A full safeguarding update will then follow in September!
However, all school visits and safeguarding health checks will need to be postponed until a new SCiE Officer is appointed.
Changes in your schools safeguarding team?
Since I joined Halton in 2020 and created a brand new safeguarding database, there have inevitably been a lot of changes to the teams in school.
Could I therefore ask that ALL SCHOOLS please complete this very short form to confirm the contact details for your school from September 2022. I will then update my mailing list and database accordingly: https://forms.office.com/r/aqxfVha5JQ
DSL Workshop & CPOMS Hints and Tips
A copy of the DSL Workshop slides are attached for your reference.
During the session, I went through my top tips for CPOMS (and other recording systems!) – Here is a summary of these, which might come in handy:
- Admin – Users – Check how often everyone last logged in – does this reflect safeguarding is ‘everyone’s responsibility’?
- Reports – Attendance – Show Filters – Attendance Below 90% – This then shows data for classes in an easy to use format. Click on (With Filters) to see who is persistently absent and if their attendance in on an upwards or downwards trend.
- Incidents – Make sure these are ‘reviewed’ as an action with a ‘so what’ attitude; have the actions taken resulted in the incident being ‘resolved’ or the risk of future occurrences reduced? If yes, on the left hand side, switch the incident from being ‘active’ to ‘closed’. If an incident is ‘active’ it should be regularly reviewed (which is recorded as an additional action) until the risk has reduced and the incident can be closed. (If you have lots of ‘active’ cases, these could be reviewed during your case review meetings or internal supervision.
- Begin every incident with a very short ‘one line summary’
….I think that will do for now…I will try to embed a ‘tip of the term’ within the updates moving forwards!
As discussed at the DSL workshop, I have attached the escalation slides as a handy reference.
What to do if you are concerned about a child
An updated version of this document is attached for your reference.
The Dark Web Explained
The Dark Web Explained resource link didn’t work in last month’s update, apologies! Here is a new link: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/resources/dark-web-explained/
In collaboration with Mark Higginbottom, we have developed a new reporting tool for incidents of discriminatory behaviour. This short form can be completed whenever there is an incident of a child being victimised or prejudiced due to a protected characteristic. This replaces any previous forms or reports for declaring a racist incident which you may still have or use. To be clear, this is not statutory. Discriminatory incidents must be reported to governors and school must considered their actions and response to individual incidents as well as identifying and responding to any patterns or trends in behaviours. However, by gathering this data as an authority, it will allow us to identify wider issues; which can feed into training, curriculum support and the work of the safeguarding partnership, for example.
Autumn Term DSL Cluster Groups
The dates for the cluster meetings for the autumn term are:
Secondary & Post 16 – 4 October 2022 @ 13:30 – Venue: The Grange Academy
Primary & Maintained Nurseries – Widnes – 12 October 2022 @ 10:00 – 11:30 – Venue: Brookfield’s School
Primary & Maintained Nurseries – Runcorn – 12 October 2022 @ 13:30 – 15:00 –– Venue: St Berteline’s School
These are different to the DSL workshops (which provide CPD and formal updates for everyone). Instead, the clusters are more informal, providing opportunity for discussion on key issues, areas of support and a chance to share good practice…concluding with time to discuss specific cases / group supervision. Booking will open in the new term…for now, please save the date!
Safer Recruitment FAQs
What is needed for the ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act’ pre-appointment check?
Following on from the previous ‘disqualification by association’, there is the updated ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act’, which came into force a few years ago. This covers anyone who teaches or cares for under 5’s OR wraparound care for under 8’s. It’s still there, but no longer ‘by association’ and not a separate ‘check’.
In terms of how to check it – there is no requirement for a separate self-declaration form or ‘confirmation’. The legislation states:
“It’s not necessary for schools to ask staff to complete a self-declaration form to obtain information about whether a staff member is disqualified.”
So what do you do now? Well, it is checked through the criminal record self-disclosure and their DBS. If there is something on the DBS which would mean that they are disqualified under the childcare act – one of the specific offences (full list in the link above), then they can’t work in that position without a waiver from Ofsted.
So, the date that goes on your SCR is the date you received and checked the DBS.
For historic staff, the guidance simply states ‘For existing employees, schools could consider using the DBS Update Service’
Now, it is likely that 99% won’t be on the update service. So, you could, in those circumstances, ask them to complete a self-disclosure as you do for shortlisted candidates, or just complete a new DBS. (If they were appointed before the introduction of DBS’s.)
For new employees is states: ‘For new employees an enhanced DBS certificate will help schools establish whether offences committed by individuals are relevant offences’.
What do we need to do from September regarding ‘Online Searches for Shortlisted Candidates’?
This is a new requirement from September in KCSIE 2022. My advice is, you do not need to start searching for them all on social media! If you did this, and found something on one of the candidates which resulted in them not being appointed, you would have to be absolutely certain that there was nothing negative for all other shortlisted candidates…but there is a chance you could miss something and could end up at an employment tribunal…
So, instead, the simplest advice is: Google them! If there is something in the public domain; newspaper articles, tribunal reports…it will come up. Record this as a check as part of the recruitment process and confirm this has been completed as part of your successful candidates personnel file.
But, just like the criminal record self-disclosure and references, candidates must have an opportunity to respond; so raise this in the interview so they can provide context, etc.
What checks are needed if someone switches to a different Halton school?
In a nutshell; new school: new job: new employer: new checks!
I have had a query from a school who had recently appointed someone for a position in their school who currently works at a different Halton school. However, even though they both use Halton recruitment, technically the schools are separate employers (although both use Halton HR). Consequently, KCSIE and the safer recruitment consortium advise that all checks are completed again.
If they are on the DBS update service, then this can be consulted, but checks should still be completed.
This is because, for example, the new post may have additional responsibilities or access to children / finance / materials, which may have been deemed appropriate based on the clearances for their previous post (such as if there was a conviction on their DBS or the medical clearance identified any necessary adaptations). Or they may have had a different threshold to you.
In addition, there could also have been changes in the medical checks since the previous appointment or other convictions which were declared during the time of appointment which now would not be on file with Halton HR but which are stored in school. Therefore the only way you can have a clear picture, is by completing the checks yourself.
When do I request references?
References and criminal record self-disclosures must all be requested following shortlisting before interview. These should all be back before the interview. This is in line with KCSIE. Why? Because candidates MUST have an opportunity to respond to any concerns or issues raised on any reference and also provide context around any caution or conviction. If you don’t have this information prior to interview, and something then comes to light afterwards, you would then need to recall the panel in order to provide this opportunity to respond. (You can’t just have a ‘no cautions or convictions’ rule).
We go through all these areas and more during the Safer Recruitment course! Dates for future sessions at the bottom of this update.
In order to monitor the implementation and impact of the neglect strategy, the partnership have asked me to send out the attached ‘Assurance Form’ for you to complete and return on behalf of your school.
Closing date for returns is Friday 23 July 2022
Thanking you in advance for your continued support and please do not hesitate to contact Angela should you require more information or wish to discuss this request further.
Don’t forget, the Home Office have created three training packages on Prevent. The first is suitable for all staff, volunteers and governors. The other two are aimed at DSLs and SLT.
If you have changes to your team for September, don’t forget the Operation Encompass website includes lots of handy resources: https://www.operationencompass.org/
Also, if your named contact for Op Encompass is changing, please update the police so they have an up to date record: email@example.com
What support or programmes are out there for perpetrators of domestic abuse?
https://respectphoneline.org.uk/ is the best one out there and worth considering.
Probation have the Building Better Relationships Programme but this is only available to those serving a prison sentence over 16 weeks, and only to those suitable for group work. Probation can also do one to one work.
The issue with domestic abuse programmes for perpetrators is that for them to work, the perpetrator has to have a genuine desire to stop their behaviour and want to complete the programme. They need to be able to reflect and recognise their behaviour is the problem. Any programme is entirely voluntary and by forcing a perpetrator onto such a programme you run the risk of making them a better abuser/manipulator!
By the time many perpetrators reach MARAC or Probation etc. … the behaviour is so entrenched that it becomes a behaviour that is extremely difficult to unlearn. It meets their needs and gets them what they want (usually control) so why would they want to change.
Changes to CSOG
Moving forwards, if a pupil linked to your school is due to be discussed at the ‘Contextual Safeguarding Operational Group’ (CSOG) due to them being graded as high risk for potential criminal or sexual exploitation, you will now be invited to attend the meeting at the allocated timeslot in order to share information and be involved in agreeing an action plan for next steps. Historically, I would always attend on behalf of education, but this way you are more directly involved and can link in directly as the people who know these young people best.
CAMHS have asked if I could share these links and resources with all schools
- Zero Suicide Alliance training that staff may want to access – https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training
- Myth Busting – https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else/myths-about-suicide/. There is also myth busting on the stay alive app that is really useful.
- Samaritans support with the media guidelines, there are quite a few documents around this. https://www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/media-guidelines/. We can flag media concerns to Samaritans if there is unhelpful reporting.
Young people resources; https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/resources/
Parents and carers resources: Resources | Anna Freud Centre Resoruce Centre for Parents and Carers
Young minds – General resources https://www.youngminds.org.uk/professional/resources/
Resources to prepare for summer holidays https://www.youngminds.org.uk/professional/resources/self-care-support-over-the-summer-holidays/
Better Health, Every Mind Matters
This national mental health campaign is aimed at:
- young people aged 13 to 18
- parents/carers of children and young people aged 5 to18
The Better Health campaign aims to:
- Help people protect and improve children and young people’s mental wellbeing.
- Build children and young people’s resilience to help them cope with the mental health challenges COVID-19 brings.
- Provide support for children and young people at greater risk of poor mental health.
The campaign was developed by Public Health England and is approved by the NHS.
There’s a range of free resources to help you promote the campaign. These include:
- social media resources
- a communications toolkit
- a PR film
- a radio advert
You can download the resources from PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre.
Time to Change is no longer funded but there are some useful resources on the site still for schools https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/take-action/resources-schools#toc-3 , some of the wording could be adapted. There is also a leaflet for parents that is quite useful.
This is a Warrington Website but there are some good links on here that still may be useful: https://happyoksad.warrington.gov.uk/children-and-young-people.aspx maybe some
All DSL’s and Deputy DSL’s must refresh their ‘Working Together’ Level 3 training once every 2 years (with regular updates during this time, such as the DSL workshops).
‘Working Together’ training is delivered by the safeguarding partnership & spaces can be reserved via the new Safeguarding Partnership Training Portal.
All partnership training is expected to be delivered via Teams and will presented by the most relevant agency.
- Working Together Full Course (For new DSLs) (9:30 -16:30)
26 July 2022
20 September 2022
16 November 2022
17 January 2023
23 March 2023
- Working Together Refresher (To be repeated every 2 years) (9:30 – 15:00)
19 August 2022
11 October 2022
14 December 2022
23 February 2023
- LADO Training (9:30 – 12:00)
14 September 2022
1 December 2022
3 March 2023
- Sexual Violence Awareness (9:30 – 12:00)
7 September 2022
13 December 2022
1 March 2023
- ICON Lunchtime Briefing (12:15 – 13:00)
9 September 2022
19 January 2023
- Domestic Abuse (9:30 – 12:30)
20 July 2022
6 November 2022
6 February 2023
- Mental Disorder and Parental Capacity (9:30 – 13:00)
6 December 2022
- Bruising in non-mobile children (12:00 – 13:00)
9 November 2022
- FII (12pm-1pm)
3 August 2022
5 October 2022
As all the courses above are delivered as a multi-agency offer, the spaces can be booked via the partnerships training portal: https://halton.accessplanit.com/accessplan/LMSPortal/UI/Page/Authentication/Login/Default.aspx
Or, if you can’t access the portal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Safeguarding in Education Training
All the courses below are offered exclusively for education settings. Spaces on any of the courses below can be reserved by emailing Benjamin.email@example.com
Unless stated otherwise, all advertised courses will be delivered via Teams. (In the autumn term, courses will move to a blend of face to face and remote delivery to try to cater to all preferences)
- DSL Workshop for ALL DSL’s. These are the main DSL updates and workshops. It is best practice for all DSLs & DDSLs to try and attend these meetings each term. (The agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting)
Autumn date TBC
- Safer Recruitment for Headteachers, Senior Leaders, Business Managers and Governors
27 September @ 9am – 4:30pm
- Safer Recruitment Refresher for Headteachers, Senior Leaders, Business Managers and Governors. (SR is valid for a maximum of 5 years) (A certificate from the full course must be seen before a place can be reserved on this course)
29 September 2022 – 9:30am – 12:30pm
- New to the role of DSL (Or infrequent user) This essential course is in addition to ‘Working Together L3 Safeguarding Training’ (which is delivered by the safeguarding partnership) and focusses on the role of DSL within a school setting – including managing referrals, specific areas of safeguarding and recording & reporting concerns.
Future dates TBC
- Designated Governor for Safeguarding Training. This course is aimed at any governor who has a specific safeguarding responsibility as part of their role. It will provide them with a clear understanding of suitable processes and procedures to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.
20 October 2022 – 9:30 – 4pm (Venue TBC – Face to face)
- Governor Safeguarding Training It is a statutory requirement that all governors should receive safeguarding training in line with all members of staff and volunteers who “should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety).” Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 states that the training should be regularly updated, at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
This can be delivered using the whole school training materials. However, if preferred, Governors can attend this course which looks at safeguarding in schools from a Governor perspective. (They will still need to ensure that they understand the school’s specific processes and procedures)
19 September 2022 – 9:30am – 12:30pm
- Single Central Record (For Headteachers, Business Managers and anyone responsible for the SCR and personnel files)
This new briefing will go through each column expected on the single central record, pre-employment checks and the management of personnel files. There will also be an extended Q&A with an opportunity to ask questions.
10 November 2022 @ 9:30 – 11:30
Places on all courses can be reserved by emailing Benjamin.firstname.lastname@example.org
So, that’s it! Have a great summer everyone & I will be in touch again towards the end of August with all the updated materials and policies.
D & AHT Newsletter for July 2022
Do you have an Assistant Headteacher, or Deputy Headteacher, who would benefit from joining the D & AHT network and training sessions next academic year?
There are over 60 D & AHT currently registered and always room for more! Please let me know if you have a new assistant headteacher, or deputy as they will be very welcome and will be well supported by other colleagues in the group.
Are you aspiring to headship? If so, please do join our group and benefit from meeting regularly with other senior leaders and colleagues.
Please email Hazel.Fryman@Halton.gov.uk to register for either of these groups, if you haven’t already.
See attached July 2022 newsletter
The meetings and training events for the autumn term are listed below. This year (for ease) we will be using Google forms for registration, so please click the links to the meetings and complete the (short) forms to register your attendance.
D & AHT Network meeting: Wednesday 14 September 2022
Aspiring to Headship: Wednesday 5 October 2022
D & AHT Training: Tuesday 8 November
D & AHT Network Meeting: Thursday 17 November
Aspiring to Headship: Thursday 1 December
Hazel Fryman Associate School Improvement Advisor, Halton Borough Council, 07867 370 555
Big Telescopes Workshop
Exciting news about a forthcoming workshop being held in the Community Cabin at Halton Haven Hospice.
Halton Haven has joined forces with Daresbury Sci Tech to deliver a free afternoon of summer learning and fun with their ‘Big Telescopes Workshop.’
Please see the attached poster for more details.
Funded training places across Cheshire & Merseyside
We are delighted to say that Beyond, Cheshire & Merseyside’s Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme have funded 540 places for Next Step Cards training across the nine Cheshire & Merseyside boroughs: Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Warrington, and Wirral. There are 60 funded places per area. See attached for more information.
Widnes Market and The Studio are hosting a FREE summer festival on the outdoor market on Sunday August 14 from 11am – 5pm. There’ll be loads of great local music throughout the day, entertainers, fun and games for the kids, a licensed bar, food and drink, festival hair and glitter and a selection of stalls selling fantastic goods throughout the day. Join us for a great day out for all the family at MARKETFEST 2022! see attached poster for more information.