Lewisham Safeguarding in Education - Spring 16/17 Schools Mailing  Archive
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4 Jan 2017
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11 Jan 2017
Safer Recruitment: Recruiting via agencies and other organisations
Following a recent incident, we are writing to remind schools/educational provisions about the importance of following due diligence with regard to safer recruitment checks, in particular for staff who are recruited via a third party organisation.
Please see the letter attached for more information and ensure that your school is undertaking all of the relevant checks and taking all of the appropriate actions with respect to third party recruitment.
1.5 Letter Regarding 3rd Party Recruitment - January 2017.doc

Domestic Violence

It is vital that we target children with early intervention and prevention work to challenge attitudes that promote gender based violence and to safeguard women and children. Children who witness domestic violence are as vulnerable as those who experience it directly. This will be addressed in the next LA S11 Audit in more detail.
In the meantime, a range of very useful resources can be found via this link.  Whilst it is an Australian site the resources transcend the geographical barriers!
The Hideout is a British based organisation, with equally useful resources:
Please also see attached a further resource, which also includes a list of several other agencies which can provide further support in this area.
An Assessment Tool produced by DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour-based Violence) Risk Checklist is also included for schools to use when relevant cases are identified.  It is crucial that staff receive training on this before implementing.  Please consult the link below for further information including details of who to contact for training:

Finally, SafeDate are also offering a FREE one hour workshop to all Lewisham Schools.  Please see attached flyer to book.
1.6 adva-education-pack.pdf
1.6 DASH Risk Assessment Tool with guidance.doc
1.6 Safedate Offer - lewisham schools.docx
LGBT Anti-Bullying Resources
Thank you to schools who have responded to Sara Williams’ request regarding organisations/resources colleagues are using to address LGBT issues.  As promised, below is a list of the suggestions put forward.  A special thanks to the Brindishe Schools who also shared a poster which may be useful for Primary settings:
Educate & Celebrate:
Metro Charity:
Stone Wall:
The METRO Charity has been funded to deliver comprehensive HBT Anti-Bullying Programme and is in the process of developing materials. The programme is free and will work with your staff to take an innovative and tailored approach to preventing and responding to HBT bullying, helping to create an inclusive school environment.  The project is for primary and secondary schools which have not yet participated in any HBT anti-bullying work and/or can benefit from the below programme. 
They ask that you complete the 3 minute survey here to evaluate your school’s current curriculum around this area:
Please see attached document with more details about their programme.
1.7 BF_Diversity Poster.pdf
1.7 HBT Project Brief.docx

18 Jan 2017
Reporting of Racist & Homophobic Incidents And
Logging Safeguarding Concerns.

Reporting Racist/Homophobic Incidents
You may recall sometime back in the Autumn Term, that I sent through the draft proposal of a form for reporting racist and homophobic incidents to the local authority.  Since this post, the decision has been made that the local authority will no longer collect this data centrally, however, schools should still continue to do this internally and report incidents to their governing body. 
I have attached the form again as schools may wish to use this template, but if you have another you prefer and are already using please do not feel that this suggestion in any way supersedes this.

Recording Safeguarding Concerns
The form also has a tab for reporting safeguarding concerns under various categories.  I have been in discussions with some schools about a standardised way of doing this and you may find this helpful to report to your governors with numbers under various headings.  If you feel there are any headings missing – please do let me know.

25 Jan 2017
Headteacher and Link Governors report on safeguarding
We have recently published a template for Link Governors to use to help prompt them with the relevant questions to ask of the Designated Lead when they meet termly to discuss safeguarding.  The questions link directly in with the information that headteachers should be reporting to the FGB on a termly basis. 
To support with this, I have produced a template for this report that corresponds with the information that we expect governors to be asking about and re-attached the Governor Template which has had some minor amendments (in blue text).

Please do pass on to your Safeguarding Link Governor.
1.3 Safeguarding Link Governor Report Template (Updated 24 jan 17).docx
1.3 Headteachers Termly Safeguarding Report to FGB Template.docx
Checklist for the identification of high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and ‘honour’-based violence
Further to my recent article in the mailing about Domestic Abuse and the use of the DASH Risk Indicator Checklist (RIC) Tool, please see the attached letter from Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney with further information.
It is really essential that Designated Leads in particular are aware of how to use this tool should they receive a concern about domestic violence with any of their young people.
Crime and Safeguarding Curriculum

At the local authority, we are looking into proposing a universal schools offer to support schools in the delivery of programmes around criminality including:
Gangs, drugs, knife crime, CSE, exploitation, on-line abuse etc.
Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney is currently trying to map what schools are presently using to deliver this curriculum content.

Please could schools complete the attached and return to myself at your earliest convenience but by the latest Friday 3 February 2017 so that this information can be collated and assessed in order for the next steps to be taken.
Thanks in advance.

1 Feb 2017
Safer Internet Day
I had the privilege of attending the 2017 BeTT show at the Excel on Friday, with the specific agenda to further investigate e-Cadets an e-safety curriculum that has been described as providing all the elements that Ofsted would class as “outstanding” for e-safety.  e-Cadets provides:
“An age-appropriate e-safety curriculum that is flexible, relevant and engages pupils’ interest; that is used to promote e-safety through teaching pupils how to stay safe, how to protect themselves from harm and how to take responsibility for their own and others’ safety.  Positive rewards are used to cultivate positive and responsible use.  Peer mentoring programmes.”
Ofsted Guidance on eSafety, 2015
Please visit to find out more about this programme and if you are interested, they have promised us a reduced local authority rate for a limited time only (until 10 February).
In addition, they have provided us with a link to access to film, posters, parent top tips as well as activities that you can deliver with your Year 1 pupils through to Year 6 on Safer Internet Day and beyond; simply click on this link to access.
Abbey Manor College has also kindly shared this excellent parent leaflet on e-safety which would be very useful to give out to help you promote Safer Internet Day – huge thanks to the AMC team.
1.3 E Safety Information for Parents.pdf

8 Feb 2017
Historical References
Last week, Andrew Hall raised in his weekly mailing an issue that we know that several schools are having in respect to historical references.
The DfE have not given definitive guidance regarding how far to go back to retrospectively acquire the second reference for staff who may not have one. At the INSET I recently attended run by Andrew Hall, Safeguarding Expert, he suggested that as there is nothing in writing regarding the 2 references for staff employed, many schools he is aware of have chosen not to seek a 2nd reference for staff who were employed over 5 years ago BUT this can differ dependent on what Inspector your get! What he did say is that schools should follow their LA guidance.
Please see the attached guidance in respect of this.
Another plug for Andrew Hall’s safeguarding briefing, if you have not already signed up for this free and very valuable resource!
1.3 Historical References Guidance.docx

Overseas Checks

DfE guidance in KCSIE 2016 is a little hazy on this topic, which is quite frustrating for all of us. Whilst the guidance in section 114 states that overseas checks “include a check for information about any teacher sanction or restriction that an EEA professional regulating authority has imposed using the Teacher Services’ system (NCTL)”.
It does also say that the school “will make any further checks [they] think appropriate, so that any relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered.”
Including the phrase, whatever we “think appropriate” means it is open to interpretation and discretion of the LA who oversee the schools to make the decision as to what is deemed “appropriate”.
Overseas checks are effectively the equivalent of our DBS checks, which detail all criminal activity an individual has done in this country. Crimes that they have committed outside of this country will not be reflected on these checks, and therefore, as a local authority, because of the current climate and what is feels like a constant stream of emerging historical sex abuse cases, we think it is “appropriate” that overseas checks will be undertaken for all staff employed in the Lewisham Local Authority.
Please see the attached letter that can be issued to staff, asking them to declare whether they have spent 3 or more months living/working overseas in order for these checks to be undertaken.
DBS Risk Assessments should be completed for staff who are waiting for these checks to be completed; a template for this is also attached.
1.4 Overseas Checks Guidance from LBL.doc
1.4 DBS Risk Assessment New Employees.docx

22 February 2017
Overseas Checks

Just before the half-term break an article went out providing the LA guidance regarding these checks.  Unfortunately, the wrong version of the DBS Risk Assessment template was attached – apologies for any confusion caused.  Please find the correct version, together with the following:
N.B. This DBS Risk Assessment template can also be used for any member of staff who is awaiting the outcome of their DBS renewal.

Letter of Assurance Template

In the bulletin sent on the 30th November 2016, I wrote explaining school’s responsibility in ensuring that the alternative provisions their schools were using had conducted the appropriate checks for all their staff.
A letter of assurance, similar to the vetting sheet that is sent by supply agencies, confirming the safer recruitment checks that have been undertaken by these provisions is important to have in place for any provisions you may be using.  This same template can be used for third party employers (contractors/agencies etc) who provide staff for your schools and should be indicated on the Single Central Record, in a separate column that confirms you have a ‘Letter of Assurance’ in respect to these safer recruitment checks.
If you have been visited by me in the past, you may have received a template previously, but this has been revised following feedback received.  Please ensure that the letters you have on file have all the relevant information required from third party employers.  It is still based on the template from New Woodlands School, so thanks once again to this team for sharing their good practice.

1st March 2017
How far should overseas checks go back?

There have been a number of queries requesting clarification on how far back overseas checks should go for existing staff members, some of whom have been in this country for several years.  Lewisham LA have made the decision to request these checks for any member of staff who has been out of the country for three or more months in at least one place, since the age of 18 years old.  
We understand that this is a highly sensitive issue and can be upsetting for some staff, however it is crucial that we follow this process to ensure criminal checks are done for periods overseas, with the same diligence as we pursue DBS checks.  The recent case of Mark Frost, who had a history of more than 25 years of offending, highlights the need for us to take these checks seriously.  Frost successfully managed to evade justice by moving from country to country including Spain, Holland, Toronto and Thailand.  None of these offences would have been reflected in the UK's criminal record system, therefore leaving children at risk of this predatory activity.
You can read more of his case, which was heard in February 2016:
There are instances where countries no longer exist, or for some other reason it is not possible to obtain these checks, on these occasions, please consult the guidance in the attached ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Home Office document published December 2016 – in particular, point 7).
There have also been concerns about Part One of the DBS Risk Assessment template we issued recently, which could be used if "information" had been found on a DBS.  For most of the cases we are referring to, this is not the case, as the risk assessment is just being used whilst we await the outcomes of the relevant DBS/Overseas checks.  Schools can therefore feel free to adapt the wording or add a "N/A" box at the beginning of this section.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries or questions.
Events and Visits Coordinators

Wide Horizons is the associated body that provides training for Lewisham Local Authority's Events and Visits Coordinators (EVCs).  If you have already had one of our safeguarding or Health & Safety visits, you will already know that we require every school to have a trained EVC in place.  Wide Horizons are able to provide this training, which can be booked via their website:  Training dates are available on their website.

Wide Horizons have also recommended that all school EVCs sign up to the monthly newsletters from the Outdoor Education Advisor's Panel (OEAP) who provide national guidance ensuring that you will be kept informed of any changes and updates in this area.  Follow this link to sign up: 
Escalation Policy

In November 2016, the LSCB published the attached protocol for partners to use when resolving professional differences externally.  Partners are responsible for having their own internal processes to resolve professional differences.

Where there is a difference of professional opinion and there are concerns that a child or young person is at immediate risk of significant harm concerns should be escalated to the relevant agency senior safeguarding lead without delay.
At no time must professional differences detract from ensuring that the child is safeguarded. The child’s welfare and safety must remain paramount throughout.
Professional differences and disagreements should not be viewed negatively as improvements to outcomes for children and young people can be found through learning.

Please consult the Protocol and Record Form for more information on how to raise safeguarding concerns where there are differences of professional opinion.

CSE Awareness Day

Anna Reilly of Safer London has kindly shared with us an Assembly PPT that she has prepared for schools to use to promote CSE Awareness.  She has added explanations of each slide so it should be relatively easy for someone to pick it up and use it with a bit of preparation. Whilst it is fine adapt this PPT to your school’s contexts, Anna has asked that no new information is added to slides with the Safer London logo on.
Lucy Angel John, also of Safer London ( is willing to deliver assemblies for any schools during the week of CSE Awareness week (week commencing Monday 20th March) – she has availability on Monday & Friday only. Please contact her if you want to take advantage of this as soon as possible as her time gets booked up quickly.
8th March 2017

Talking to your children about emotional resilience and self-harm | Free online course


Following survey results, we know that more has to be done to help the thousands of children and young people suffering from self-harm in the UK.

The Virtual College have been working in partnership with ‘selfharmUK’ to create the perfect course that not only allows parents to understand more about self-harm, but also how they can proactively raise the topic with their children in confidence.  Please see below a link for parents to enable them register to access this valuable training.

Please share this with the parents in your communities.

Importance of context in assessment, intervention and prevention of child sexual abuse

The NSPCC’s Impact and evidence series features a blog by Dr Carlene Firmin, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bedfordshire about the importance of context in assessment, intervention and prevention of child sexual abuse. Key issues include: the relationship a child has with the person or people who abused them; cultural norms in different environments; the legacy of space and culture of blame; and encouraging peer groups to challenge harmful behaviour, creating a safe peer environment.

I recently attended training run by Dr Firmin at the Authority and found the findings of her research incredibly useful.  Colleagues were recommend to sign up with The Contextual Safeguarding Audit Toolkit, which is an online interactive platform that supports practitioners to recognise how social environments and extra-familial relationships are relevant to safeguarding adolescents and the extent to which local responses are already contextual in nature.  The toolkit guides practitioners through the audit process.  To access the toolkit, visit: 

15th March 2017

Launch of the New Safeguarding Newsletter

As we seem to be having a regular stream of safeguarding items to post in the SchoolsMailing, it seemed to make sense to produce a weekly newsletter. You can access this week’s edition here.
We would like to start sending this out separately to all of your school’s Designated Leads, Events and Visits Coordinators and Health & Safety Representatives, in an attempt to ensure that valuable information is not missed.

Please email the full names and email addresses of your DSLs, EVCs and H&S Coordinators to me by Friday 24th March so that we can set this up.

Please do check the newsletter as some actions need to be carried out as early as Thursday 16th March.

Thanks in advance.

22nd March 2017

Safeguarding Newsletter - Issue 2
Thank you to those of you who have responded to my request to forward the names and email addresses of your DSLs, EVCs and H&S Coordinators to me. Please be reminded that you need to do this by Friday 24th March if you have not already done so. 
Please be sure to state which role is attached to which member of staff when you send.  The mailing list will be created over the Easter, so until this point, you will need ensure you forward to any recipients you wish to receive it.
This week’s newsletter has very important updates on the following. Click here to access:
  • Y6 Transition Day
  • Keeping Children Safe in London Conference – response to knife crime
  • No Recourse to Public Funds – updates and new referral form
I hope you find these useful. Thanks for reading.

29th March 2017

Safeguarding Newsletter - Issue 3

This week’s newsletter has very important updates on the following. Click here to access:
  • Y6 Transition Day - updates
  • No Recourse to Public Funds – repost due to faulty links
  • Register Audits
  • MASH Review – opportunity for your feedback
I hope you find these useful. Thanks for reading.

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