Safeguarding in schools

13 Oct 2009

I've just started filming a programme on safeguarding in schools for Teachers TV. Yesterday we went to a school in Hampshire and - for the first time in over 20 years of reporting in schools - I was asked, as a visitor, if I had a Criminal Record Bureau check and required to show some photo-identification to prove I was who I said I was.

An interesting development - is this the way all schools will move? I though the photo id was a good idea, and fairly simple to fulfil. I was not prevented from entering by the lack of a CRB check but was not allowed to be left alone with pupils (not that I would expect that anyway with a camera crew in tow).

I was also asked to read, and to sign, a Child Protection Declaration. Again, it seemed a reasonable idea, although more bureaucracy for the school reception. 

When the new Independent Safeguarding Authority's Vetting and Barring rules come into mandatory force next year, it will be interesting to see whether journalists visiting schools will have to be registered.

The school was very impressive and seemed to be handling the new safeguarding requirements. Failure to do so, of course, carries a high penalty: you can fail your Ofsted inspection on this count alone.

The programme - in Teachers TV's Need To Know series - will be broadcast later this year. I will give details here when I have them. 

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