It’s that time when I finalise my safeguarding training offer for the next academic year. The new MPT brochure for 2021 – 2022 is now ready for your perusal. Included are my main offerings, Safeguarding Awareness, and Advanced Safeguarding for Designated Safeguarding Leads. These are the courses I am asked by settings to deliver to staff teams time and again, sometimes with content ‘tweaks’ for those settings who require refreshers but want something a bit different to keep the content relevant, fresh and engaging for participants. I am very happy to do this.
As well as generic safeguarding courses, I offer a whole range of different courses relating to safeguarding. These courses have changed in response to the requests I receive and the needs of our workforce. So included in the brochure are brand new courses like ‘Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation’, ‘Child Criminal Exploitation’ and ‘Contextual Safeguarding’, more recent and well received courses such ‘Single Central Record’ and ‘Managing Disclosure’, as well as courses on ‘Safeguarding supervision’, ‘Female Genital Mutilation’, ‘Prevent’ and ‘Domestic Violence and Abuse’ which I have delivered successfully for many years now.
As usual, I am offering all my training on either an ‘inhouse’ or an ‘open course’ basis. Inhouse courses are delivered to people in your setting and organised directly with me at a convenient time that suits you. As I say, I am also happy to make bespoke changes to inhouse courses according to your needs. Open courses are scheduled throughout the year and give participants the opportunity to train with participants from different settings; MPT open courses are organised in partnership with Delegated Services and booked through them.
What safeguarding training is essential?
One of the questions I am frequently asked is exactly what safeguarding training is required by statute. Unfortunately this important information is not collated in one key document – instead it must be derived from a number of different sources, which are constantly changing. Here are just some of the key documents which contain information on essential safeguarding training for the children’s workforce:
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 – last updated Dec 2020
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 – last updated Jan 2021
- Ofsted: Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings – last updated 2019
- Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation 2020 – last updated July 2020
- Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales last updated April 2020
See my brochure for a really detailed explanation of how training requirements are described in each document, with all the up to date links and quotes, but the purposes of this newsletter, I will just highlight the following:
(a) Safeguarding induction training which is mandatory for all staff, and which includes child protection, behaviour management, online safety, explanation of a safeguarding code of conduct for staff, and the risks associated with missing children.
(b) Safeguarding awareness training for all staff which again is mandatory and regularly updated, designed to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
(c) Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) training, updated every 2 years, to provide DSLs and their deputies with a good understanding of their own role, and the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care.
(d) Safer recruitment training for at least one person on any appointment panel.
(e) Prevent Training is essential for the DSLs and Deputies, but frontline staff should understand what radicalisation means and why people may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism as a consequence of it, to identify and refer children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.
(f) FGM Training which enables all staff to protect children from FGM, and the mandatory duty to report of some professions.
(g) Supervision training so that staff can receive regular supervision and support if they are working directly and regularly with children and learners whose safety and welfare are at risk (although supervision can be provided by an external service).
(h) Online Safety to enable staff to teach and support children in regard to online safeguarding.
Even if staff are working with children in unregistered settings, I would advise that setting to be guided by the statutory recommendations above.
Another issue I am often asked about is the matter of ‘levels’ – people request training at Level 1 or 2 or 3 (or even higher!). In fact, despite what was referred to as ‘levels’ in the past, right now there are no nationally agreed levels of safeguarding training (apart from within the health services who have their own unique training programme) – so talk of levels is generally misleading and confusing. Safeguarding training should focus on content rather than levels.
How often to have training?
The most recent update of the statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) says that all staff should receive safeguarding updates ‘at least annually’. Each setting needs to decide for itself what that updating should consist of. Some settings organise annual formal safeguarding training with an external consultant for all members of staff – others decide the annual updates should be briefings or emails and organise their in-house training refreshers. Other settings decide to offer safeguarding training every three years (as former guidance advised). The decision of how often to book external safeguarding training should be based on the safeguarding needs of the setting, the competencies of the staff, and pace of national and local changes to safeguarding laws, guidance and practice. The Designated Safeguarding Leads and their Deputy/ies will require training every two years.
What should settings look for in safeguarding training?
The Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership (KBSP) have helpfully set out a list of recommended safeguarding training standards and outcomes which could applied anywhere in the UK. Here are some of the recommendations made by the KBSP which illustrate how my training is quality assured:
- The organisation has a named person responsible for coordinating the training plan internally and ensuring that training records are maintained – I liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) of each setting to ensure the training is relevant and agreed from the outset.
- All training is delivered by trainers who are knowledgeable about safeguarding, child protection and promoting welfare. If training is for a specific topic (for example, Child Sexual Exploitation) then the trainer has specialist knowledge and experience related to that area – I have extensive knowledge of safeguarding and experience of delivering safeguarding training. I was a key member of the Bristol City Council Social Care training department. I take every opportunity to continually update their safeguarding knowledge through continuing personal development.
- Training explicitly contains the voice of the child and promotes the importance of understanding the child’s daily lived experience – The Voice of the Child is heard in my training by developing appreciation of child centred safeguarding throughout the session. Reference is made to the definition of Child Centred Practice as it is set out in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018)
- Training is informed by current research and includes lessons from Serious Case Reviews, and local and national policy and practice developments – I make frequent reference to key Serious Case Reviews within the training, including: Victoria Climbie, Peter Connolly, Daniel Pelka, Operation Brooke, Child D, Nigel Leat, Paul Wilson, Vanessa George. Training includes legal framework, key statutory, non-statutory and local guidance and new local safeguarding processes and procedures.
- Training encourages appropriate challenge and use of existing processes and practices, both local and national to achieve this – The concept of professional challenge and appropriate use of a formal escalation procedure is explored throughout all MPT sessions.
For more information: https://bristolsafeguarding.org/media/rgvhkbwf/kbsp-training-standards-2018-19.pdf
In addition my assurances in regard to the quality of my training, I aim to deliver my training within your timescale, so you won’t be waiting months for training. Online training means I can now deliver to settings anywhere in the country. And furthermore, in these challenging times, I can train as many people as your venue can hold, or online, making our training extremely cost effective.