The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Safeguarding

John Viner

Smart watches: new tech needs new solutions

In face of a booming wearable technology market, it’s high time we find ways to incorporate rather than exclude these gadgets in schools. Analysts at Research and Markets, a market research organisation, have estimated that the wearable technology market will grow at a compound annual growth rate...
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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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Matt Miller

Terrorism and schools: are we doing enough?

Following publication of a report into how prepared London is for a terrorist incident, Matt Miller considers what the implications are for schools. As autumn descends on a year that will long be remembered for a litany of terrorist atrocities across the country, notably in London and Manchester, I...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

No more Trojan Horses

In recent years, education in Birmingham has been the subject of national controversy. What can schools do to prevent history repeating itself? In March 2014, the press reported an alleged plot by so-called ‘hardline Islamists’ to take over a number of Birmingham schools. The substance of the plot...
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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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Dai Durbridge

Child Protection in Education: your top 5 questions answered

From safeguarding records and new KCSIE guidance to policies and risk assessment, lawyer Dai Durbridge provides answers to the most popular questions asked by delegates at our recent conference. 1. Does the duty of passing on safeguarding records when a child moves schools rest with the old school...
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Alan Mackenzie

Understand privacy settings to set pupils free online

Watch Alan Mackenzie’s screencast to learn how to set privacy settings for a number of social platforms and keep pupils safe online. The world can be a scary place no matter your age, and each generation faces new challenges. Yet there is one great difference between the world I or my parents grew...
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