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Safeguarding and support for pupils

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NAHT members are at the forefront of safeguarding children. School leaders are committed to keeping children safe, so they can learn well. NAHT believes that all pupils should receive the support they need to maintain their well-being and achieve their potential, both within school and from wider services including health and social care.

NAHT is campaigning to:

Enable schools to play their part in supporting pupils' well-being

  • Lobby for pupils and schools to get the support they need from wider services including health, social care, police and youth services
  • Influence the implementation of the proposals from the mental health green paper, including the senior lead for mental health and mental health support teams
  • Support schools to access relevant, high-quality training and resources to enable pupils to exercise their right to support for their mental well-being.


Support schools to safeguard and protect pupils

  • Engage with the DfE over proposed changes to the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Influence changes to Keeping Children Safe In Education, Working Together and Sexual Violence and harassment guidance
  • Campaign to improve online safety for children and young people
  • Press the government to ensure home educated children are adequately safeguarded
  • Promote guidance and resources to support schools to protect children at risk of harm including involvement with violence and other crime.


Enable schools to support vulnerable groups of pupils

  • Campaign to ensure pupils with SEND can receive the support they need from schools and wider services
  • Press for improved alternative provision and collaborative approaches across communities to support pupils excluded from school
  • Provide information to schools to help them to support disadvantaged children
  • Enable schools to make informed decisions regarding parental requests to home educate
  • Ensure reforms to behaviour guidance and networks is evidence-based and appropriate for all schools and a diverse pupil population. 

The DfE sets out new plans for the provision of laptops and tablets for certain pupils from autumn 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced it will provide laptops and tablets to certain pupils to enable remote education in the event of a disruption to face-to-face education because of the coronavirus. This is in addition to the previous provision of 200,000 devices and 4G wireless routers between May and July 2020.

School settings will be able to order the devices in the following circumstances:

  • Face-to-face education at a school is disrupted following official advice
  • A school is supporting a clinically extremely vulnerable child who is shielding or self-isolating
  • A school is supporting children who live in an area subject to local restrictions, which means they're unable to attend educational provision in person.

Which pupils will be eligible for laptops and tablets?

Schools will receive an allocation of devices for pupils in years three to 11 (not year 12 or year 13) who do not have access to a digital device through other means.

Examples of this include the following:

  • Children with no digital devices in their household
  • Children whose only available device is a smartphone
  • Children with a single device in their household that they share with more than one other family member.

NAHT recommends its members prepare, in advance, a list of pupils in their school(s) that may require a laptop or tablet if it becomes necessary to undertake remote education according to the criteria set out in the DfE's guidance.

How can digital devices be requested?

Before the start of the autumn term 2020:

  • Local authorities and academy trusts will be contacted to request details of people within each school responsible for placing orders if required. Academy trusts can manage the ordering process for all their schools
  • All nominated contacts will receive detailed instructions for how to place an order in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak that affects their school(s) or pupils.

If schools need to request devices for their pupils because of a disruption to face-to-face learning, they must place an order with the DfE. The DfE will then do the following:

  • Assess the allocation of devices at the time of ordering (this is based on availability and the extent of coronavirus outbreaks)
  • Deliver the devices within two working days of a school receiving an order confirmation, subject to stock availability.

All devices received are then the property of the schools or academy trusts; you don't need to return them to the DfE at a later date. Schools are then responsible for either delivering to or arranging collection by pupils and their families.

You can find further guidance on the DfE's plans here. The DfE has also created a technical guidance hub for technical contacts at local authorities, academy trusts and schools. It includes guides to share with the children, families and young people that receive these devices.

Connectivity support for disadvantaged children is also available through free BT wifi hotspots and increased mobile data allowances.

First published 12 August 2020