The service is responsible for ensuring that all children in Cheshire West and Chester schools “feel safe and are protected”. They will achieve this by ensuring that all schools are aware of and effectively discharge their safeguarding responsibilities by providing advice, support, challenge and training in respect of safeguarding policy, procedure and practice. The service also offers advice, support and challenge to schools regarding the Ofsted inspection process upon which they base their programme of preventative and responsive whole school audits and reviews.
Purpose and Function
If children and young people are to achieve academically, socially and emotionally, it is imperative that their primary needs for safety and protection are met. All children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. The Safeguarding Children in Education Service strives to raise awareness of safeguarding responsibilities and children’s rights across the parameters of educational provision, in order that children in Cheshire West and Chester schools “feel safe and are protected” and that adults working in schools are confident and supported in assuring this.
The core function of the SCiE Service is to provide support, guidance and challenge to schools and associated teams to ensure that children are kept safe and their welfare promoted as required by section 175 of the Education Act 2002 for maintained schools (including maintained nurseries, FE colleges and PRU’s) and section 94 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 for Independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies). Additional safeguarding responsibilities within the service include – Children Missing Education (CME) and Elective Home Education (EHE).
Operational guidance and legislation contained within Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020, and the principles that underpin the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, provide a framework to inform the service delivery.
- Paramountcy – the needs of the child are considered paramount at all times.
- Protection – we aim to promote high standards of safeguarding policy, procedures and practice in all schools and associated teams that provide services for Cheshire West and Chester children. Support of the Local Authority Designated Officer (DO) is also a critical function in this respect.
- Prevention – we aim to raise the profile of children’s rights and promote the voice of the child in all schools and educational settings to empower children to better protect themselves. The comprehensive safeguarding training package delivered by the service, including scrutiny and oversight of safeguarding practice through audits and the consultation service, ensures high standards of safeguarding across all schools and educational settings in Cheshire West and Chester.
- Partnership – we strive to work collaboratively with internal and external partners to ensure that these objectives are achieved and maintained. Clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Cheshire West and Cheshire Safeguarding Children board procedures help to provide a focus for this objective. We endeavour to function in a reasonable, transparent and proportionate manner when working with individuals, schools and multi-agency partners.
Complaints about the safeguarding practice and/or procedures of a school
If you have a complaint about the safeguarding practice and/or procedures of a school or educational setting, you must follow their complaints procedure; for further information please follow this link: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/contact-us/complaints-and-feedback/complaints-about-schools.aspx.
The SCiE service do not form part of the complaints process and are therefore, unable to discuss individual cases or concerns.