Mobile Phones – 29% say no to ban

Our current survey has revealed that 71% of respondents so far believe that students should be banned from having mobile phones in school

YouTube PhoneHowever, there was a significant difference between the opinions of teaching staff compared to those in the senior leadership team. Only 68% percent of teaching staff agreed that phones should be banned, but this jumped to 82% among the senior leadership team.

One teacher who believed phones should not be banned commented “phones and other devices will be bigger and more prevalent than we can possibly imagine in young people's adult lives, so it's vital we teach responsible use rather than hiding the sweetie jar then wondering why they get sick when they sneak into it!”, while a school leader argued that “We have found this [a complete ban] to be very successful, we have never allowed phones in school and although we are aware some have them if we see them out they are confiscated and the students know that, so we hardly ever have to use that sanction. It also gives our students some hours within the day where they can walk away from electronic devices, they don't have to pander to the constant need to check social media and hopefully this is a little contribution to their mental health and well-being”.

Where opinion wasn’t divided was between primary schools and secondary schools, with an average of 78% agreeing with a ban. One primary school who currently require phones to be handed in / locked away during school hours added that “Parents are banned from using phones inside the building as well as staff. Teachers use in a designated area". In contrast, a secondary school who do not currently ban students from having phones suggested that “Phones are used where IT rooms are scarce".

Despite the large majority of respondents agreeing with a ban, 18% of respondents reported that their school does not currently do so, and of these schools, only 14% had plans to change the mobile phone policy.

Our survey is still live and we would welcome your input. Click here to complete the short questionnaire

In a recent speech to the Commons Science and Technology Committee, Anne Longfield (England’s Children’s Commissioner) said that “schools should have a consistent approach to the use of mobile phones”, adding "I would like there to be a commitment that there is consistency across schools in that it isn't relying on the will of the school or the interests of the school".

With this, and the mounting pressure on schools to ban mobile phones in order to help support a range of safeguarding issues (including bullying, mental well-being, grooming and so on), it would seem that at some point, the UK may well follow France in imposing a total ban. But will this solve the associated issues or simply create different ones?

Take part on our mobile phone survey - all responses are anonymous. Click here to complete the short questionnaire Full results will be published later in the year.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on November 29, 2018 11:48

Safer Internet Day 2019 Competition

Encourage pupils to work together for a better internet with our annual competition

SID2019 LogoThe next ‘Safer Internet Day’ will be the sixteenth edition of the event and will take place worldwide on Tuesday 5th February 2019.

The theme for 'Safer Internet Day 2019' will be ‘Together for a better internet’.

The day aims to inspire young people to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. The theme encourages us to consider what we do online, such as exploring the internet and thinking about how it works, considering where the information comes from and who owns it, being responsible for our own activity in the digital space and taking control of our own online lives.

SID2019 Competition - NOW CLOSED

To celebrate the fantastic work being done through Safer Internet Day activities around the world, we are delighted to be running our annual competition for schools. To get involved, all your pupils have to do is complete the grid as shown below and then tweet their entries from the school Twitter account.

SIS2019 Competition Grid

The grid template can be downloaded as part of our free Safer Internet Day assembly available to all members (if you are not already a member, you can join our free membership here), or you can create your own. This can be in simple text, an image or a video. As long as it can be Tweeted and includes @SafeguardingSGE in the message.

To submit your school entries:

1) Simply Tweet your entries including the @SafeguardingSGE from your school Twitter account,
2) Submit your entries by email to and we will Tweet it on your behalf

Entry is open now and schools can enter as many tips as they wish. All entries must be received before midnight on February 1st 2019 to be included in the competition. Please see the competition terms here.


The winners of our 2019 competition are:

SID2019 Primary WinnerBest Primary School
This entry was submitted by Cwm Glas Primary School in Swansea. Overseeing the project, Claire Howells from the school added "The boys really enjoyed the challenge of making a poster and used the example you provided as a template to build on. They took on board all the information they were given. They even created a background on a painting program so they knew it wasn’t a copyright image. They have been very excited for today to find out the competition winner!"

castleford tweetBest Secondary School
The winner in the secondary school category were the Digital Leaders from Castleford Academy.

Their winning entry can be viewed on Twitter here.

Mr Whitworth from Castleford Academy commented "Digital Leaders is something that we have been slowly developing over the past 12months. Giving pupils more ownership of Digital technologies and its development in the school. We are always on the look out for projects to get involved in. This one is particularly important to us as a school. We had a number of in-depth discussions about what our top tips would be. All pupils enjoyed the involvement in the project and it has been rolled out across the school as part of our Safer Internet Day (week) campaign."

Winning schools each receive one years free membership to Safeguarding Essentials.

St Wolstans E-safety Video

Highly Commended

We would like to make a special mention St Wolstans Community School. The pupils there put in a great deal of preparation and organisation to come up with an e-safety song. You can view their video on the school Facebook page

SID2019 Banner

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on February 25, 2019 14:29

Have your say: Local Safeguarding Arrangements

Changes to local safeguarding provisions have begun, but what does this mean for schools?

SGE Safeguarding MeetingThe Children and Social Work Act 2017 delivered an overhaul to national safeguarding procedures and serious case reviews (SCR) in England. Case reviews had highlighted that there were still lots of gaps in safeguarding and child protection, often attributed to variable practice, underfunding, stretched services and a range of other issues. A number of reviews, including the Wood Review 2016, had identified that things needs to change and improve, which is what the Act attempts to address. Many of us have been waiting to see when the changes would come into effect and, as we sit here in November 2018, we now have a clearer idea of the timeframe for transition.

What will it mean for us?
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) will disappear and local safeguarding arrangements will be the responsibility of the 3 local partners: the Local Authority; the Chief of Police and Health.

These partners are responsible for:

  • Geographical boundaries.
  • Organisation of safeguarding arrangements and their publication.
  • Which relevant agencies they should work with and how safeguarding arrangements should work in the area.
  • Schools and other educational partners.
  • Making arrangements for independent scrutiny of what they do.
  • Securing funding.
  • Resolving disputes.
  • Information requests.
  • Publishing an annual report about what they have done and how effective it has been.

    A new version of “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2018) is available. The guidance should be read by all relevant practitioners working with children and their families.

    “Local Safeguarding — Transitional Arrangements” has also been published to support the process. This describes the procedures to be followed during the transition from LSCBs to local safeguarding partners and to child death review partners. It also covers the transitional arrangements which should be followed during the change from the system of SCRs to the new national and local review arrangements.

    The timeframe
    Councils and their safeguarding partners will have up to 12 months to agree the new arrangements, and three months to implement the changes. The final deadline date is 29 September 2019. We will need to pay close attention in our local areas to ensure we understand the new arrangements as they come on board.

    Once the arrangements have been published and implemented, the LSCB for the local area will be given a "grace" period of up to 12 months to complete and publish outstanding SCRs and of up to four months to complete outstanding child death reviews.

    The guidance states that LSCBs must complete all child death reviews by 29 January 2020 and all SCRs by 29 September 2020 at the latest. Once outstanding SCRs and child death reviews have been completed, the LSCB will cease to exist.

    What will it mean in our local areas?
    Currently, we still don’t know what new arrangements will look like in our local areas. Many areas are currently going through a process of consultation with key stakeholders. In Brighton and Hove, for example, recent discussions have concluded that they are happy with the Local Safeguarding Board model and want that to continue in some form. What that will mean in practice is unclear. What is clear is that each local area final plans must be approved by the Department for Education before being implemented.

    The government has also announced that 17 areas of the country, covering 39 local authorities, will act as "early adopters", working with the National Children's Bureau to implement the new arrangements before they are established across the rest of the country.

    The early adopters will be tasked with "developing new and innovative approaches to set up multi-agency safeguarding processes and produce clear learning which can be shared across other areas".

    Schools: a relevant agency
    In the Children and Social Work Act, schools became a “relevant agency” rather than a safeguarding partner. The safeguarding partners are required to involve schools and other education providers in formulating the new arrangements and ensuring they are fit for purpose.

    “Working Together” 2018 states: “The safeguarding partners should make arrangements to allow all schools and other educational partners in the local area to be fully engaged and involved, making sure communication is effective.” (p 81)

    It acknowledges that schools have an important role to play in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements and that schools will continue to be held to account for this by Ofsted.

    For many in education safeguarding, this was disappointing as the majority of replies to the “Working Together” consultation document earlier in the year had asked that education become a 4th partner. The response was that, as this idea of education as a partner was not part of the original Act, this was not possible without amendments to the Act itself.

    An updated version of “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (KCSIE) went live on 3rd September 2018 to set out the role of education providers in safeguarding. One thing is clear. Those that see and work with children and young people every day will always have a pivotal role to play in local safeguarding.

    Updates on the local consultation should be available through your Local Safeguarding Board website.

    Have your say: Are the local safeguarding changes an improvement?

    Do you think the new arrangements will improve the safeguarding provision for your school or area? Do you think that the transition will be easy? Do you believe schools should be a safeguarding partner rather than a relevant agency? Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts and experiences.

  • Written by Michael Hawkins on November 15, 2018 10:32

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