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

Home education: where do schools and parents stand?

Parents have a right to choose to educate their child at home and may do so for several reasons. With little regulation and lack of clear guidance, John Viner explores the role schools, local authorities and parents play. As a headteacher it always troubled me that parents can withdraw a child from...
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John Viner

Knife crime: what can schools do?

For some children knife crime has become normalised. John Viner looks at the role schools can play in educating pupils about knife carrying and keeping them safe. We seem to have reached a point where knife crime is just another weekly occurrence, when the news reports another stabbing and we...
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Mike Williams

Protecting children from sexual exploitation: eight key messages for school staff

Mike Williams outlines findings from the NSPCC child sexual exploitation programme, Protect & Respect. Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse where an exchange of resource takes place for sexual activity with a child. In 2014 the NSPCC launched its child sexual exploitation...
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John Viner

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best: what impact could Brexit have on schools?

No one knows what a disorderly Brexit could mean for education, but we need to be prepared. How should schools respond to the potential disruption which may follow? The local authority officer looked across the room. “We are,” he said, “preparing for the worst, but rather hoping it won’t be as bad...
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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

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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