Safeguarding children is a vital part of the work of schools in all sectors, maintained and independent. It is also a key element of Ofsted inspections.

All schools are in a strong position to support children through early intervention and to recognise when a child or young person may need protection from abuse or neglect and to refer to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub MASH. See what do do if you are worried about a child

The role of schools in safeguarding children is set out clearly in HM Government guidance:

The government expects that all schools will ensure that all staff are given a copy of the statutory guidance The MSCB recommends that this is also issued by schools to all Governors.

Each school must have a designated safeguarding lead to support the school and staff in safeguarding awareness and procedures. Schools should also have safeguarding policies.

We have adopted the following multi-agency procedures

In 2015-16 the MSCB expects schools in Merton to implement the revised local strategies and procedures for Child Sexual Exploitation; and Preventing radicalisation and extremism.

From October 2015 schools and other statutory agencies will have a statutory duty to report cases where they have reason to believe that Female Genital Mutilation has occurred.

Schools are also in a strong place to identify children who may be privately fostered; that is, children who are not living with their parents or very close relatives.

Schools should also be aware of the specific procedures for dealing with investigating allegations against staff and volunteers.

Schools and the Merton Safeguarding Children Board

Schools are represented on the MSCB by four Head Teachers; this important representation enables the Board to take into account schools’ perspectives when agreeing local priorities, strategies, policies and procedures; and when identifying training needs to develop the MSCB multi-agency training strategy and annual training plan. (Link to Membership page)

Schools can contribute to the work of the MSCB through supporting the participation by and consultation with young people for the MSCB.  

The MSCB also expects schools to assist in the duty to learn and improve by taking part in multi-agency case auditing or case reviews when a family case is identified for audit and a child attends a local school. These multi-agency audits and case reviews are led by the Quality Assurance Sub Group

In supporting schools Merton Council has produced a safeguarding audit tool, endorsed by the Merton Safeguarding Children Board, to enable all types of schools to asses their safeguarding capacity. Download a copy: Merton Schools Safeguarding Audit Toolkit. The MSCB reviews the outcome of these audits annually and will comment on them in the MSCB Annual Report.

Supporting Merton Schools in their Safeguarding Children Duties

Vulnerable Children Team (VCT)

Merton schools have access to safeguarding support from the Vulnerable Children Team, an enhanced level service operating at Level 2 of the Merton Wellbeing Model

The VCT Manager and a named Social Worker who provide safeguarding and child protection advice and guidance to Designated Safeguarding Leads and safeguarding training to whole school staff; Designated Safeguarding Leads and Governors.

Access to the MSCB Training

Local schools can attend the MSCB Training courses, Briefings or use the e-learning to support staff in raising awareness in child protection.

There is a range of advice and information available below to support Merton schools' self evaluation of safeguarding:

Contact us

Vulnerable Children Team
Children, Schools and Families Department
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Tel: 020 8545 3374
Fax: 07837 564 102
Email: vctmanager@merton.gov.uk