As the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill has now come into force (FE and HE external speaker protocol remains to be agreed for these sectors) it is a timely reminder for those working with young people to re-assess the effectiveness of what we do to support our students.
In this final Section it is your turn to respond to 5 emerging strands/indicators of ‘good practice’ as outlined by Ofsted:
Leadership and governance*: e.g. does your institution have a clear and comprehensive safeguarding policy and relevant strategies in place which permeate from the top?
Have all staff been made aware of their duties, roles and functions in respect of safeguarding and wellbeing without exception?
Training and briefing*: e.g. is the institution’s safeguarding officer up to date with current legislation?
Are appropriate staff trained in relevant fields?
Does the safeguarding officer have a clear understanding of PREVENT and does he/she have access to open lines of support?
Curriculum – formal and informal*: e.g. does your institution employ relevant curriculum interventions which actively promote the development of thinking skills and critical thinking, which underpin British values and which debate and challenge e.g. all forms of extremism and intolerance/violent extremism/grooming/internet abuse/peer group pressure?
Does your institution have close, regular and mutually respectful relationships with your local communities/parents/ mosques? Do you meet on a frequent basis to share issues and to accept joint responsibility for them?
Policies and practices*: e.g. does the institution have clear policies and strategies for dealing with internet and intranet abuse and does it monitor use on a regular basis? – including a protocol safeguarding staff researching in security-sensitive areas?
Do you have a protocol in place for monitoring the use of prayer facilities on site?
Referral pathways*: e.g. does your institution have strong mentoring and counselling support for students?
Does the institution engender an ethos of trust with its students, so that they will seek advice if they are worried for themselves or their friends?
Are staff equipped to pick up concerning changes in a student’s attitude or behaviour and know appropriate referral routes?
Are you confident that when a situation arises that your institution’s response is timely and that it appreciates that in some instances immediate action is necessary if students are to be protected?
*The 5 'emerging strands of good practice' outlined by Lead Ofsted inspector at the AOC conference in London, 25th March 2015
N.B. Accompanying examples are produced by current authors of the Pocket Guide
In ‘Supporting Muslim Students – A Pocket Guide for Teachers and Lecturers’ (2015)