All adults working with children or young people have a legal responsibility to protect them; these responsibilities are outlined in child protection laws. As outlined in the children’s act 1989 the welfare of the child is paramount, this act gives guidelines for schools, local authorities and courts which they must adhere to in order to protect children.
Within a school, there should be a designated senior member of staff with specific responsibilities for child protection, they will also be aware of which children are on the child protection register and any other agencies involved with the child. The designated person should know the boundaries of confidentiality and full training in relation to child protection enabling them to give advice and guide other colleagues when needed who are unfamiliar with the child protection process. Guidelines recommend each designated person should not be responsible for more than 250 pupils. However, due to staffing restrictions larger setting may have more than one designated officer but this can cause additional issues for example accountability and understanding of roles.
Teachers and supporting staff within a school have a duty of care to their students by observing pupils. When caring for children attention should be noted of any changesstaff theory suggests early identification of abuse is paramount to protect children and young people. If a member of staff has any concerns that a child is at harm this must be reported to designated member of staff. Considering this, all members of staff need to ensure they are trained and familiar with policies such as safeguarding children and ensure as part of their role they remain up to date with key changes within legislation.
Policies should be available to parents as well this allows parents to understand the schools role in safeguarding