The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Safeguarding

John Viner

Keeping children even safer

With an updated Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance now in force, John Viner summarises what has changed and how schools need to respond. I usually try to kick off a new academic year with a quick review of what’s gone on and going on in the political world of education but, this year, it...
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John Viner

Ofsted is coming: demonstrate a safeguarding culture

The strength of a school's safeguarding procedures is usually the first thing Ofsted will inspect. Here's what you need to prepare. As the year winds to a close, let’s review what schools need to do in order to demonstrate what Ofsted is now calling ‘culture of safeguarding’. Since the target...
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Abi Clay

How to respond to peer-on-peer abuse

Children abusing other children has become a significant concern for schools. Abi Clay explains why staff should make use of what they know to respond effectively. Over the years I have spent supporting children, young people and teachers with all aspects of child protection, we have become more...
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John Viner

When the whistle blows...

Reporting malpractice in the workplace is now not only acceptable, but expected. What do school staff need to know, and who can they trust? Source: Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007 Few people would know the name of Dr Stephen Bolsin had he not become famous – some might say infamous – for making...
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Elizabeth Holmes

A proactive approach to keeping pupils safe

In addition to keeping pupils safe from physical harm in school, all staff must stay alert to signs of abuse - online or offline. All aspects of pupil wellbeing should be at the heart of what a school provides. This is made clear in the Teachers’ Standards 2012 , which emphasise teachers’...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Inspecting e-safety: an update

Schools are struggling to train staff and foster a collective e-safety culture, according to a recent assessment report. How can they ensure that policy and practice are inspection-ready? Attendees at last week’s Bett exhibition were invited to a half-hour seminar on ‘Inspecting Keeping Children...
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Jamie Bartlett

See no evil, fear no evil? Let pupils face dangers online!

I spent a year of my life immersed in the internet's darkest corners. Young people will do the same, and we need to let them learn from their mistakes. When it comes to teaching about the internet and media literacy, there are few words I dislike more than ‘safeguarding’. Not because the aspiration...
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Abi Clay

Prevent: a year in review

As we reach the end of the first year since the introduction of the Prevent duty, it is time to review the lessons learned and consider the changing landscape of expectations. For me and many colleagues across the country, inclusion of Prevent as part of the counter-extremism strategy and...
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Jack Procter-Blain

My day at the SRE conference: new insights for effective teaching

With Tuesday's one-day conference still fresh in my mind, here is some of the guidance our speakers had to offer for delivering effective, age-appropriate SRE. Our Relationships and Sex Education conference on Tuesday was (as event chair Jane Lees put it) a day of ‘little steps’ and ‘giant leaps’...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Online pornography: prevent or educate?

The Digital Economy Bill takes the government’s preventative approach to online safeguarding a step further. However, is restricting access the right way to go? One childhood memory I have is of lingering in the back aisles of Blockbuster, waiting for my mum to buy me the new Grand Theft Auto video...
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