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What does Safeguarding mean in Inspection? An (ex) Inspectors insight…

There is nothing more important to the childcare industry than safeguarding.  Here are the things that inspectors will be looking for:

Safeguarding means keeping children safe. This is divided into two clear parts, risks in the environment in which children play and learn and risks of abuse that may occur wherever children live and learn.

Risks in the environment are found outside and indoors. Risks are not objects. Some risk assessments I have seen suggest the door is a risk. The door will not jump out and bite a child. The risks are that a child may exit unaccompanied or someone will enter who has not been checked and is not authorised. Other hazards such as children getting fingers caught in the door must be considered. You need to monitor how well staff manage risks across the premises.

Risks involve people. This is how people are deployed to adequately supervise children’s safety and deliver a good education. Practitioners must provide an exciting and interesting environment so that children making their own entertainment does not create a risks to their safety and health. The Health and Safety Executive has more to offer  Here. The rules stipulate  that: “You only need to record your risk assessment if you employ five or more people”. However, how will you monitor success if you do not make a record?

You need to record:

            the significant findings — what the risks are, what you are already doing to control them and what further action is needed”

Safeguarding children from abuse is paramount. Child Protection is found in the EYFS; the opening statement is:  “3.1.  Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them”.

Child protection starts with recruitment and training of staff. It requires good relationships with parents and carers and good documentary recording systems. If you need help with any of these, help is available from…. The NSPCC who provide training and guidance is found Here.

Finally be aware of the statements made recently by  HMI Amanda Spielman, where she  advocates that you promote the ability of children to learn to keep themselves safe and how children face challenges both in the childcare setting and at home. Where she says schools  you can be sure this will also influence the way inspectors consider early years settings. This is found Here. The commentary states that: “new training later this summer will remind inspectors what safeguarding is really about. It will ask them to focus on what schools are doing to identify children potentially at risk of real harm; how these children are being helped; and how they manage accusations and other serious problems with staff”.

Ensure ALL staff, qualified, practitioners and ancillary staff are able to safeguard children’s Health and Safety and this aspect of your inspection will score high marks. MBK Training have a range of courses that ensure all your responsibilities are met these include, Risk Assessment, Child Protection, Health & Safety, Safeguarding in Practice and Designated Safeguarding Lead. You can read more about our Safeguarding courses and other courses.

If you would like an ex-Inspectors view over your setting, then Esther is available to come and provide an assessment for you. Contact us for more information.

About the author: Esther Gray

Esther Gray Early Years Consultant Ofsted

Esther is a renowned and respected expert in early years education and regulation in England. She qualified as NNEB and achieved a BTEC Level 6 in Investigative Practice, amongst others, while working for Ofsted.

For four decades she has honed and used her skills to support and advise providers of childcare and education. Until retirement from Ofsted in March 2017, Esther was focused upon the legal requirements, regulatory matters and compliance with the EYFS required by the Department for Education.

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