Ofsted Annual Report

Highlights from the 2017/18 report relating to Safeguarding


InspectionOn Tuesday (4th December), Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's Chief Inspector, launched their annual report.

Some of the headline findings highlighted by Ms Spielman included:

  • 95% of early years providers are at least good
  • as are 86% of schools
  • and 76% of general FE colleges
  • and 82% of children’s homes
  • and, the number of local authorities judged good or outstanding for children’s social care continues to rise
  • While the report praises the progress that has been made, it also acknowledges that there is still much work to do, and four key themes were identified:

  • the first is the crucial importance of getting the basics of education and care right
  • the second is our concerns about the impact of lack of capacity in certain areas and its effect on standards and rates of improvement
  • the third is the danger of expecting schools to become a panacea for all of society’s ills
  • and the last is the importance of focusing on the substance of education and care
  • Of course, all areas of education were discussed in the report, however, we will today pinpoint just a couple of the areas specifically relating to safeguarding.

    Knife Crime and Gangs
    Two of the more worrying areas of safeguarding now dominating concerns (and indeed the media), are knife crime and the criminal exploitation of children.

    The report identifies that both these areas are on the rise, but that schools are teaching children how to stay safe. It recognises that these issues cannot be tackled by schools alone and must be supported by external agencies such as the police, health services and LAs etc.

    Schools at risk of poor quality safeguarding
    The report identified a number of settings where safeguarding arrangements were potentially at risk. These included unregistered schools as they "can evade scrutiny of safeguarding practices". Where unregistered schools had been inspected, 35% were identified as having safeguarding or health and safety issues.

    Other groups of schools identified were independent schools (with 10% having ineffective safeguarding arrangements) and secure training units.

    Also, and somewhat surprisingly, schools who are currently graded as outstanding are on the 'at risk' list. Due to the exemption from inspection, some of these schools have not been inspected for over 10 years, leaving Ofsted with a lack of clarity on the quality of continuing safeguarding practices in these schools. While poor performance data will trigger an inspection, there is no such trigger for safeguarding. And in schools which fell from outstanding to inadequate, safeguarding is typically not effective.

    You can read the speech delivered by Amanda Spielman here or the full annual report here, and you can let us know your thoughts on the report using the comments section below.

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on December 06, 2018 14:59

    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 like you 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

    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,
    or
    2) Submit your entries by email to competition@safeguardingessentials.com 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.

    Winners

    There will be 2 categories, Best Primary School Tweet and Best Secondary School Tweet. Winners will be chosen and announced on Safer Internet Day. Winners will receive one years free membership to Safeguarding Essentials for their school.

    Good Luck!

    SID2019 Banner

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on November 22, 2018 11:42


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