98% of schools are getting safeguarding right
The NAHT has welcomed Ofsted’s confirmation that 98 per cent of schools are getting safeguarding right.
In its report on best practice for safeguarding children in schools, Ofsted claims that just two per cent of schools it inspected were considered to have inadequate safeguarding procedures in place.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said “Away from their family, the safest place a child can be is in school and, unfortunately, for some children, schools are the safest place full stop.
“We must never become complacent and we cannot eliminate all risk, but Ofsted’s review shows a rigorous and intelligent framework of protection in place in our schools. We know the backgrounds of people who work with children, school property is secure and school staff are on the lookout for the warning signs of danger elsewhere and ready to share that information with other agencies.”
However, while acknowledging Ofsted’s appreciation for the strengths of safeguarding and its definition of good practice, Mr Hobby suggested that Ofsted itself was to blame for some of the myths about safeguarding listed in the report.
“Ofsted says it wants to dispel myths that have built up around the way it conducts its inspections. Yet Ofsted itself contributes to those myths because there is sometimes a world of difference between what Ofsted says and what its inspectors actually do,” he said.
“When new criteria are introduced, as they often are, inspectors interpret them differently. The decisions of one rogue inspector can cast a long shadow. We have always said that it is not just the inspection framework that matters therefore, but the quality and consistency of the inspection team. With a new framework coming into effect soon, this will become more pertinent than ever: be prepared for more myths and misunderstandings.”
Page Published: 02/09/2011