Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013.
Schools and colleges should work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
If staff members have concerns about a child they should raise these with the school’s or college’s designated safeguarding lead. This also includes situations of abuse which may involve staff members. The safeguarding lead will usually decide whether to make a referral to children’s social care, but it is important to note that any staff member can refer their concerns to children’s social care directly. Advice on Whistleblowing
If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
This diagram illustrates what action should be taken and who should take it when there are concerns about a child.