Agenda item

Safeguarding in Education


That the content of the safeguarding in education report be noted. 


            The Learning Adviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding providedan overview of safeguarding processes provided by the Council and Officer involvement on the Education & Youth Safeguarding Panel and with Children’s Services.  Information on the priorities around safeguarding training and sharing key information with schools to keep learners safe was also provided.   


            The Learning Adviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding provided information on the key focus around the Welsh Government (WG) Keeping Learning Safe guidance, which included an audit tool for schools to use and she explained that all schools had statutory duties especially around safeguarding.  During the summer all the audit tools and reports would be reviewed to enable feedback to be provided on key themes which would assist with training.  She provided an overview of the professional training, which was delivered online, and which had received positive feedback with the comments shaping future training programmes. 


            Information on the Education & Youth Safeguarding Panel Action Plan and the Estyn Action Plan was provided, and it was confirmed the WG Action Plan was still awaited.  An explanation was given on how this would be embedded in schools ready for the September term.


            The Senior Manager (School Improvement) thanked the Learning Adviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding for her work.  She re-assured Members that the team provided excellent advice, training, professional development, and support to schools to signpost them to different agencies.  The Education & Youth Safeguarding Panel sat under the Corporate Safeguarding Panel ensuring that all processes were up to date.


            Councillor Teresa Carberry commented that she had undertaken the training which she commended.  Following suggestions of additional online topics for training, the LearningAdviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding agreed to speak to Councillor Carberry following the meeting. 


Councillor Bill Crease recommended that all Members undertook this training and commended the work provided by the Council.  The Senior Manager (School Improvement) said that the new training and refresher training were excellent ways of learning.  She would be happy to circulate some suggestions and was open to receive any ideas for training for School Governors.  As this was held online more training sessions had been provided.


            The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Welsh Language, Culture and Leisure said that this was not just an issue for schools and social services, it was for everyone working at the authority.  He provided examples of concerns raised regarding at schools, modern slavery, controlling behaviour, domestic abuse, or abuse of vulnerable adults.  He urged Councillors to take up the offer of training to gain a better understanding of these issues which were operating in Flintshire.  He thanked officers who dealt with these matters daily in schools or across the whole of the Council. 

The Chief Officer (Social Services) reported that he was a co-chair with the Chief Officer (Education & Youth) on the Corporate Safeguarding Panel.  Referring to the corporate safeguarding training he urged Members to undertake the training so they could be fully informed to make decisions.  During the pandemic there had been a significant increase in reports, especially for vulnerable adults, and the training would enable Members to be fully appraised in these situations.  The Senior Manager (Safeguarding and Commissioning) suggested that the safeguarding contact numbers and information be circulated to Members of the Joint Committee following the meeting.


            The Chair referred to previous years when a poster was placed in secondary school toilets providing contact information for pupils who felt at risk and asked if this was still in place.   The Learning Adviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding   

agreed to check and make sure information on referrals was visible in schools.


            In response to questions from Councillor Carolyn Preece on mandatory safeguarding training and safeguarding button, the Senior Manager (Safeguarding and Commissioning) said there was a safeguarding button that everyone could press together with a telephone number.  The best way to report any concerns was via the safeguarding report form, and she agreed to circulate information on this.    The Learning Adviser for Health, Well-being and Safeguarding confirmed that the safeguarding lead or governor with level 3 training would be expected to undertake training every two years. Level 2 course training would be every three years but for best practice this was provided annually for the whole school staff.


            Referring to the Corporate Safeguarding Panel, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing, provided information of representations across the county.  She suggested that Members download the Wales Safeguarding Procedures App as it explained all the procedures for children and adults and was very simple to use.  It was a good reference tool and well worth having on your phone.  The Training was easy to complete and did not take a lot of time.


            Mrs Lynn Bartlett was pleased that that peer sexual harassment in secondary schools was included and suggested that the Joint Committee receive a report on Relationships and Sexual Education in due course to provide information on how this was contributing to reducing harm.  This suggestion was supported by the Committee. 


The recommendation, as outlined within the report, was moved and seconded by Councillor Bill Crease and Councillor Teresa Carberry




That the content of the safeguarding in education report be noted. 

Supporting documents: