Safeguarding During Remote Education
At Bluebell Meadow Primary School, safeguarding and child protection remains paramount whether we are teaching face-to-face or remotely and we endeavour to take all steps to ensure all members of the school community are protected from any potential safeguarding concerns.
Safeguarding Pupils during Remote Education
During remote education, we continue to ensure outstanding provision for the safeguarding of all children. Children are expected to attend live ‘Zoom’ sessions with their class teacher and the teacher will maintain daily contact through on Class Dojo. A register is taken each day during these live sessions to monitor pupil engagement. Pupils should be aware of how they are expected to behave online. During Zoom calls, the use of the chat function will be disabled when it is not necessary for learning. If this is required, it will be monitored by the member of teaching staff delivering the session and children will be taught that this is to be used solely for responding to the lesson. If any pupil posts anything that is inappropriate, this will be reported to SLT who will contact the parents to discuss this matter further.
The leadership team have also identified vulnerable children and families who will receive regular telephone contact from our Family Support Officer at least once per week to check on the welfare of the family and enable early intervention should concerns arise.
If children do not engage with remote education or if a staff member has any concerns, these are discussed with SLT and the DSL. A member of SLT will contact the family and offer any further support required. If we are unable to contact a child for any reason, a welfare home visit will be carried out. Should any concerns be raised from this visit or if no contact is made, procedures will be followed. Where necessary, concerns will be reported on to the local authority.
All children across school will be taught a simple non-verbal cue to use if they have a concern or are worried at home and need to talk to a staff member privately. This staff member will then call the child directly or, if necessary, a member of SLT will carry out a welfare visit to speak directly with the child. Following this, appropriate action will be taken depending upon the concern of the child. This may include conversations with parents, referrals to external agencies for further support, or in the most serious of instances, an immediate referral to the Durham One Point Service.
As remote education increases the amount of time children will be utilising technology, there will be an increased focus on online safety and this will be explicitly taught through the curriculum as well as embedded into daily class catch-up PSHE sessions to ensure that children have the age-appropriate skills to stay safe online. For further information on the delivery of the online safety curriculum, please click on the Safeguarding Children Online tab on our school website.
Safeguarding Staff during Remote Education
All staff are familiar with the schools updated Safeguarding Policy in light of remote education. They know how to recognise and respond to the signs of abuse. Staff are familiar with the pupil and staff code of conduct.
During remote education, staff may use pre-recorded or live teaching sessions to support pupils’ learning. When conducting these lessons, staff follow the guidelines listed below:
- Staff will maintain their professionalism at all times.
- Staff will choose an appropriate location to record the session (e.g. neutral backgrounds)
- Staff and pupils are expected to maintain an appropriate dress code.
- Staff will ensure that any other tabs they have open in their browser would be appropriate for a child to see, if they're sharing their screen.
- Parents will be reminded to be mindful that other children might see or hear them and anything in the background.
- There may be circumstances where staff wish to do a 1-to-1 session with a pupil - for example, to provide pastoral care or to provide support for pupils with SEND. These will be carried out in line with the guidance above.
Staff will use school channels (Class Dojo, school email, Bluebell Meadow Parents Facebook Page) to communicate with pupils and their parents during school working hours. For vulnerable children or for those not engaging with remote education, staff will be expected to carry out telephone calls to the family. They will follow the guidelines set out below:
- When telephoning parents and pupils during periods of working from home, staff must always use ‘caller withheld’ to ensure the pupil / parent is not able to identify the staff member’s personal contact details.
- Use parents’ phones only to contact families (unless this itself poses a safeguarding risk).
- Call during school hours at agreed times where possible.
- Any concerns arising from a call or if no contact is made, this will be reported to the DSL and SLT.
- If there are any concerns with identified families, have another member of staff present on the call.
The following guidance has been utilised to review the school’s policy for safeguarding during remote education. The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy has been amended to reflect this.
The Department For Education (DfE) has published the following guidance on Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus:
The NSPCC have developed the following guide on undertaking remote teaching:
The Safer Recruitment Consortium have also made the following addendum: to