It’s nearly here! On the 1st September 2021, the new Ofsted Inspection Handbook will come into place for all educational providers. There are a number of key changes for providers but in this short blog, we will focus on changes to safeguarding requirements.
Following Ofsted’s review into peer-on-peer abuse, there are new expectations for organisations and their staff to ensure that learners are safe and protected from sexual abuse in schools and colleges. Ofsted say that we should assume sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence is happening “in and around school, even when there are no specific reports”. Therefore, every school and college with learners under 18’s must be proactive and not assume this doesn’t impact on them.
New specific sections on peer-on-peer sexual abuse have been added to the new Ofsted Inspection Handbook around expectations on safeguarding in schools and colleges. Staff need to respond urgently to these expectations for the new academic year.
Schools and colleges without “adequate processes” to deal with the problem will likely be “considered ineffective” – this in turn “is likely to lead to an inadequate leadership and management judgement”. Educational organisations must ensure that policies and procedures are updated and fit for purpose.
Safeguarding leads need to be up to date in their understanding and able to provide information and support to staff to help them understand their role in recognising and protecting pupils and students from peer-on-peer abuse. The importance of recording keeping has also been highlighted.
All staff training needs to be considered, how are you going to inform staff about what peer-on-peer abuse is, how to recognise it and how they should respond to incidents? Do staff know what could make learners more vulnerable to abuse?
Consider the culture and curriculum you offer. Do you have a culture of respect and a ‘whole school approach’ to health relationships? Do you have conversions with your learners about consent, respectful sexual relationships and challenge it the negative stereotypes and violence in pornographic films and images? Is this part of your curriculum?
If you would like to learn more about peer-on-peer abuse and what actions your organisation should be taking; why not join our new CPD course which is specifically designed for designated safeguarding officers and leads to be ready for this new aspect of the Ofsted safeguarding requirement.
Friday 8th October 2021
9.30 – 12.30pm
This CPD training has been specifically designed for Designated Safeguarding Leads to update their knowledge and understanding of key issues within safeguarding in education. This training will include key information on the topic with links to the latest legislation and best practice guidance. The training will allow you to explore the topic and how to deal with the issues if they arise in your organisation. It will support you to update your working practices with your staff and learners to protect them more effectively.