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Keeping Children Safe in Education – Safeguarding Assurance Declaration (previously known as Section 175/157 Audit)

Published
15.11.2022

It’s that time of year, when you would normally be completing the Safeguarding Section 175/157 Safeguarding Audit.  Please don’t worry you haven’t missed it! 

Following the independent analysis of last year’s audit there were a number of recommendations with the primary one being that the “audit currently in place does not meet the needs of the safeguarding partners or the settings themselves”.  Based on this and having listened to feedback from educational settings, the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership have completely revised the process. 

This year’s educational settings will be asked to complete a Keeping Children Safe in Education Safeguarding Assurance Declaration.  Please note that this is not an audit and it will not give you a judgement.  This toolkit will enable school senior leaders and Governors to be assured of settings own safeguarding practices and will provide invaluable for regulatory inspections (i.e Ofsted).

The Safeguarding Assurance Declaration will be launched on Monday 9th January 2023.  Settings will have until Tuesday 28th February 2023 to have completed their Assurance Declaration.  Following this the partners will undertake a statistically significant sample of settings to seek assurance that safeguarding practices and responsibilities are understood and that settings know themselves and any work needed to improve in this area of their work.  As part of the GSCP assurance process there will be a range of focus groups for selected settings during February and March undertaken by an independent reviewer working on behalf of the GSCP. There will be an opportunity for schools to put themselves forward as well as a random selection of settings for focus group sessions.

During December 2022, the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership in conjunction with the Safeguarding Traded Service team will provide a series of webinars to school staff and Governors on completing this new toolkit, a toolkit that is hoped will assist settings manage their KCSIE duties and through their OFSTED journey.  Further details on these webinars will be available via Heads Up and the DSL Support Hubs.

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