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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. 

New multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation

This new multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (FGM) has been published for all bodies in England and Wales. For schools, this guidance must be read alongside other safeguarding guidance including (but not limited to):

The guidance covers the following topics:

  • Understanding FGM, the types of FGM and its prevalence.
  • The law in England and Wales, including:
    • the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003
    • FGM protection orders
    • anonymity of victims of FGM
    • mandatory reporting for professionals (including teachers)
  • Principles of working together to tackle FGM, including victim-centred and multi-agency approaches, working with communities, awareness training and information sharing.

The guidance sets out additional information and consideration for schools and colleges (p60-62). This includes information on how to raise awareness of FGM within the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and how to act on concerns about a student being prevented from attending an education setting as a result of FGM.  Also of use to members may be Annex D (p.48) which runs through different safeguarding scenarios in relation to FGM, Annex H (p.73) which contains a list of useful contact numbers and Annex I (p.77) which presents further resources.

First published 03 August 2020