Message from NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman to members.
You may have seen that, over the weekend, the Department for Education (DfE) published new guidance on safeguarding during this period.
We have updated our FAQs to reflect this. One of the central messages is that schools do not need to re-write their entire child protection policies to reflect the new circumstances, and much of your existing policy will remain entirely relevant.
If you have had to make changes to your usual approaches, we suggest you include them in a short appendix to your policy. This will mean that your staff can quickly and easily access them.
Over the last few days, we have received an increasing number of emails about the use of ‘hubs’ to provide the reduced provision offer. In some instances, members have faced pressure to abandon their current approach and move to a more centralised hub model.
In section 16 of our updated FAQs, you will find an explanation of NAHT’s position on this. Fundamentally, we believe that it is in the best interests of pupils and staff to remain in small numbers in their schools, wherever this is possible.
Put simply: where schools have arrangements in place that are working well, we don’t think local authorities should be in any rush to move to a hub approach.
However, we do recognise that schools will need to continue to work with their local authority to explore long-term contingency planning should local offers start to become unsustainable.
You can read more about this in our online FAQs, which we continue to update regularly.
We recognise that not all the FAQs are relevant to our members in Wales and Northern Ireland, and we will continue to provide nation-specific advice as appropriate.
NAHT general secretary
First published 31 March 2020