New to the Named Safeguarding Governor Role? Here's what you need to know.

Sam Preston 23 January 2023 3 min read
New to the Named Safeguarding Governor Role? Here's what you need to know. feature image

One of the roles of governance in schools, academies and colleges is to ensure that the organisation is carrying out all its safeguarding duties and is doing so effectively. The Designated Named Safeguarding Governor or Trustee mainly has a child protection focus, whilst the Governing Body or Trustee Board's takes on the responsibility for the wider context of safeguarding and will appoint other named appointees for specific areas e.g., health and safety.

What do Named Safeguarding Governors do?

There are four key dimensions to the Named Safeguarding Governor role:

Policy development
To set out expected standards and practice. This includes Safeguarding and Child Protection policy together with ensuring that safeguarding is firmly embedded throughout all policies for example SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), Use of Force to Control / Restrain, Online / e-Safety, Behaviour, Health & Safety, Educational Visits and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).
Conducting regular audits to ensure policy and practice is effective, you may wish to access my video on conducting a safeguarding audit
To ensure that policy both adheres to the latest statutory and advisory requirements and directs best practice. This includes immediate unscheduled review of policy following the occurrence of a serious incident.
As named governor / trustee, you are required to submit an annual report for review to the Governing Body / Trustee Board on the effectiveness of safeguarding.

What are the duties of the Named Safeguarding Governor?

Your role as Named Safeguarding Governor / Trustee is crucial to provide effective scrutiny to inform governance and ensure best practice is in place.

So, let's look at how you can fulfil this. It's important that you:

  • Fully understand the requirements of all statutory safeguarding legislation and advisory guidance and, that your organisation is compliant with it. This includes ensuring staff and governors are fully conversant with and receive annual update training on the statutory requirements of Keeping children safe in education and Working Together to Safeguard Children;
  • Ensure there are effective systems in place to keep vulnerable children safe;
  • Ensure preventative measures are in place to mitigate child on child abuse, particularly sexual harassment and abuse, and that robust procedures are in place to identify and effectively manage cases. This should include appropriate measures for victims and perpetrators;
  • Determine if there is a consistency in safeguarding across the whole organisation;
  • Ensure there are appropriate arrangements in place for continued professional development, including safeguarding training for staff and governors;
  • Demonstrate confidence and support governance in their challenge to senior leaders on strategies for monitoring and improving the behaviour and safety of pupils;
  • Ensure measures are in place to support the work of the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Leads) and Deputy DSLs;
  • Report back, at least annually, to governance about the effectiveness of the organisation's safeguarding arrangements.

For safeguarding to be effective, you and the DSL should work together to ensure that both the strategic safeguarding approach and day-to-day practice work well. You should meet on a regular basis to discuss safeguarding and include other people where appropriate. Discussion topics may include:

  • New or emerging issues within your school and your locality e.g., contextual safeguarding issues that exist outside the school setting which may however impact on the vulnerability of pupils and their families;
  • Vulnerable groups such as children with SEND, children with a social worker, Looked After Children and children with known mental health and / or behavioural difficulties. This may also involve working with school's Designated Mental Health Lead (DMHL);
  • Referrals;
  • Data relating to children with Early Help Assessments and Plans, Child Protection Plans, Child in Need Plans and Step-Down Plans;
  • Multi-agency support;
  • Online / e-Safety issues;
  • Thematic topics e.g., FGM, Prevent Duty, child on child abuse.

Although working in partnership with the DSL, your remit is a strategic role. It is not your remit to carry out the role of the DSL, make or contribute to decisions about individual cases.

Want to know more? Check out our in-depth training for the Named Safeguarding Governance role and the statutory measures that should be in place to safeguard pupils, staff, volunteers, and visitors.

Sam Preston

SSS Learning Safeguarding Director

Related Training Courses and Products by SSS Learning