As a teacher, you must follow the school’s safeguarding policies regardless of your role, whether you’re the headmaster or a teaching assistant. Safeguarding refers to the rules that schools establish to abide by their responsibility of caring for their pupils. These policies prioritise the welfare of the students, keeping them safe from danger. They also include processes to save children from neglect and abuse. Here are the top safeguarding tips for teachers.
1/ Make Sure You Have a Designated Safeguarding Lead
Safeguarding is essential for anyone working with kids. As a teacher, part of your duty is to look after the welfare of your students, especially for the designated safeguarding lead. Organisations must have a designated safeguarding lead, also known as the designated safeguarding officer. This person should be well-informed and prepared for the responsibilities. They will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing safeguarding procedures and act as the first point of contact for anyone who has safeguarding concerns.
2/ Look for Signs of Child Abuse
Child abuse can come in different forms. Thus, the signs of abuse can manifest in different ways. Knowing the signs to watch out for will allow teachers to intervene and offer immediate help to the student.
Educators have a significant role in keeping students protected from all kinds of abuse. Unfortunately, many cases of abuse go unreported. That’s because most students are scared to report the abuse. Therefore, as an educator, you should be wary of any signs of abuse and act on any issues immediately.
3/ Take Your Time and Reassure the Child
Every reported case should be dealt with individually. Take your time, and ensure all facts are considered without excessive intrusion. Reassure the child that you are someone to be trusted. If the abused child starts to open up about what happened, teachers must display positive body language and support the child to speak more. Kids will feel more confident to speak out if they trust the person they are talking to.
4/ Don’t Be Afraid to Report Potential Issues
Do not hesitate to report any potential issues you have uncovered. Teachers should immediately raise the concern through proper channels and have serious discussions with the student and head teacher. If abuse is confirmed, teachers should take the necessary steps to remove the child from such dangerous situations.
Once a concern is identified, the school should report it to the proper authorities. When the local authority accepts the referral, they will conduct an investigation and may ask the teachers for assistance on this.
5/ Regularly Take Safeguarding Courses
Teachers should regularly undergo safeguarding training to be aware of the latest methods and legislation. In fact, everyone working in the school, not just the teachers, should be given up-to-date online safeguarding training. The training will also make it easier for educators to spot any signs of abuse. Schools must implement a proper approach to educating everyone about the potential abuse of kids. It’s also a good idea to tailor the training to suit the school’s needs and should cover everything about safeguarding children and young adults.