In line with new Ofsted inspection guidelines, which place increasing emphasis on safeguarding, all 200 staff and governors at Reigate Sixth Form College are undertaking student protection training.
The online course, from Marshall ACM, enables each participant to fully understand how to best safeguard students in a variety of scenarios. Uniquely, Barnardo’s, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, provides guidance and practical advice.
Steve Oxlade, Deputy Principal, explains, “As part of our overall strategy, we need to ensure that all members of staff are fully aware of safeguarding issues and protocol. For us, it’s making sure safeguarding is a clear process, rather than having any blurred lines when working with children who are, in all intents and purposes, nearly adults”.
The e-learning programme not only provides staff with an awareness of the legislation and Government policy supporting child protection, it also underpins their knowledge so they can contribute and take necessary action to safeguard young people. Once they’ve taken the course, it helps them recognise and respond to concerns about a student in need, understand their own role and that of other agencies and to communicate and act appropriately. It is available in context for different ages of children and young adults.
Oxlade continues, “Everything in the course works in the context of a college. Teachers are not slow to let us know if training is not working or if questions are misleading or imbalanced, yet not one has flagged any issues. They access the training at times when they need it – in line with their availability, which they appreciate. Importantly, the online training lets us know who has completed the course successfully, so we can meet Oftsed’s requirements.”
David Marshall, CEO of Marshall ACM adds, “Reigate Sixth Form College needed this training quickly, to coincide with two staff development days. Staff response to the course has been extremely encouraging, with 141 out of 203 staff using the system in the first week. It seems they like this way of learning, rather than face to face, which takes a day out of their schedule”.
The Child Protection training from Marshall ACM is a social enterprise and beyond the original educational version, additional specific training courses are now available for NHS, councils and nurseries. Twenty percent of the total sale price goes to Barnados to continue its work.