No one likes red tape but there are situations where effective record keeping is essential – school safeguarding is one of them and an area closely monitored by Ofsted.
For example, an Essex school was recently downgraded from Outstanding to Inadequate in it's Leadership Effectiveness, largely over concerns about poor record keeping: “Leaders have not ensured that the systems and processes around child protection and safeguarding are systematic and robust. Written records for child protection are either very poor or incomplete, and do not consistently record the actions taken to ensure pupils’ safety. Leaders do not know whether their safeguarding and child protection systems are effective. Leaders, governors and the local authority need to take urgent action to ensure that the school’s child protection and safeguarding arrangements are effective by: – establishing a rigorous monitoring system for child protection which records the actions taken to secure the safety of vulnerable pupils.”
There are many safeguarding processes which should be supported by robust form-keeping – incident reporting, medication administration and personal care to name a few. Best practice procedures should ensure:
- discussions and decisions are recorded in writing - there is a structured capture of information - information is all stored in a central place - as a minimum, a form should include: Day (as well as date and time) - this helps to identify patterns Name (enter the full name) - sometimes people only put initial or first names Action taken - important for follow-up and to show an accountability trail
Jason Allison, SG World Customer Insight Specialist commented, “SG World have been working with schools for the last 20 years to develop robust record-keeping solutions. Our safeguarding range keeps the paperwork to a minimum without compromising on the protection of children and staff alike.”