Safeguarding Children in Education
In Halton there is a dedicated position of Safeguarding Children in Education (SCIE) Officer, to support schools in meeting and exceeding their statutory duties under Section 175 / 157 or the Education act 2002. The SCIE Officer is Nicola Noon and she can be contacted by emailing SCiE@halton.gov.uk
If children and young people are to achieve academically, socially and emotionally to the best of their ability, it is essential that their basic needs for safety and protection are met. All children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and the Safeguarding Children in Education Officer strives to raise awareness of child protection, early help, partnership working and high safeguarding standards across school settings to ensure that all children in Halton schools are kept safe and that adults working in schools are confident and supported.
The core function of the post is to provide support, guidance and challenge to schools to ensure that children are kept safe and their welfare promoted, as is set down by Section 175/157 of the Education Act 2002. Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) helps to inform the work of the post and the principles that underpin the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 provide a framework for the standards of practice:
The needs of the child are considered paramount at all times.
High standards of safeguarding policy, procedures and practice in all schools are supported and good practice acknowledged. Individual consultations are available to schools requiring advice regarding specific cases or areas of concern. The Safeguarding Children in Education Officer also works alongside LADO and offers a role within the Children’s Safeguarding Unit LADO duty system.
Single agency Basic Awareness in Safeguarding training is delivered as part of the role along with sessions more specific to the role of Senior Designated Person, including termly Network Meetings and Roles and Responsibilities training. Designated Governor safeguarding training and training regarding safer working practice in relation to managing Allegations Against Adults is also delivered, along with accredited Safer Recruitment training. Awareness raising and consultation is also part of the preventative arm of the post.
The Safeguarding Children in Education Officer works collaboratively with internal and external partners to ensure that objectives are achieved and maintained. This includes close working with both the Widnes and Runcorn East and West Early Intervention Locality Teams. The role endeavours to function in a reasonable, transparent and proportionate manner when working with individuals, schools and multi-agency partners.
The work of the Safeguarding Children in Education Officer primarily focuses on supporting and challenging schools in all matters relating to safeguarding children. This includes:
- provision of consultations and advice to school staff
- support for colleagues escalating cases using the HSCB Escalation Policy
- challenge to schools who are causing concern and not meeting Halton expected standards
- provision of exemplar documentation and some model policy frameworks
- provision of safeguarding audits and inspections for schools (including annual Section 175/157 audits)
- termly Network Meetings for Senior Designated Persons / Deputy Designated Persons
- promotion of relevant HSCB training
- provision of single agency Level 2 Basic Awareness in Safeguarding training for school based staff
- support for SDP/DDPs who wish to deliver Level 2 Basic Awareness in Safeguarding within their setting
- provision of single agency training offer (including SDP/DDP Roles and Responsibilities training, Designated Governor for Safeguarding training, Safer Recruitment training, etc.)
- provision and development of group supervision sessions for Senior / Deputy Designated Persons
- close links with the Early Intervention Locality teams and representation at weekly Working Together Meetings
- representation at HSCB sub group level (Safer Workforce and Development sub group)
- representation at HBC / HSCB multi agency meetings (Child Sexual Exploitation Operational Group, Private Fostering Development Group, Safeguarding Children Operational Group, Young Carers Strategy Group)
- representation of schools at HBC audits of practice (Multi Agency Audit of Practice and CAF Audit)
- development of links with Liverpool Hope University in order to support teaching degree students with safeguarding and safer working practice related lectures
Within Halton the following schools fall under the remit of the Safeguarding Children in Education Officer:
3 maintained Nursery Schools
45 Primary Schools
3 Primary Academies
2 High Schools
4 Secondary Academies
1 All through School
1 Secondary Free School
3 Special Schools
1 Special School Academy
1 Pupil Referral Unit
There are also 2 Independent schools who actively engage with the post.