Coronavirus: Revise safeguarding to protect vulnerable

Ministers have asked schools to 'review and revise' their safeguarding policies to clarify how children who do not meet the definition of 'vulnerable' are supported

Catherine Lough

child sitting in corridor

The government has published new guidance on safeguarding for schools and colleges during the coronavirus outbreak, advising them to "review and revise" policies as the epidemic evolves.

On Friday, the government published guidance on safeguarding during the pandemic, stating that while schools and colleges "will have an effective child protection policy in place" for use during normal operations, "it is likely that the policy will not accurately reflect new arrangements in response to Covid-19".

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It calls on schools to "review and revise" safeguarding policies and keep them under review. The government said schools could also revise policies through adding an annex to an existing policies.

These updated child protection policies should reflect "any arrangements to support children the school or college are concerned about who do not meet the ‘vulnerable’ definition", the government said.

They should also consider what arrangements were in place to keep children safe while they were not physically attending school, as well as how victims of peer-on-peer abuse might be supported "given the very different circumstances schools and colleges are operating in".

The government said headteachers should be aware of who their most vulnerable children were in school and "have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edges of receiving children’s social care support".

And it said that "whilst acknowledging the pressure that schools and colleges are under, it remains essential that as far as possible they continue to be safe places for children" and that the principles outlined in statutory safeguarding guidance - Keeping children safe in education - should continue to apply.

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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