Section 175/157 Audits
One of Halton Safeguarding Children Board’s statutory functions is to:
“Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve” (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, 3.1)
In fulfilling this function the Board is required to ensure that schools, with regard to their duty under either Section 175 or 157 of the Education Act 2002, are meeting their statutory obligations regarding safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. One of the methods by which this task is executed is by asking schools to self-evaluate under a framework of benchmarks and then sharing results with the Board – commonly known as the “Section 175/157 Audit”. This audit provides schools with an opportunity to reflect upon their own safeguarding practice and procedures.
In agreement between HSCB and Halton schools, the requirement for a full audit to be completed will be once every 2 years, with an Action Plan update and Interim Audit document being submitted to the Board by the school during the interim year. If any changes to legislation or guidance are released during the interim year, schools will be required to report to the Board on their response and any specific actions. New schools are requested to complete a full audit document during their first year of operation, regardless of whether it is an interim year.