ASCL Guidance Paper: An Exploratory Evaluation Framework: safety, safeguarding and radicalisation

Download ASCL Guidance Paper: An Exploratory Evaluation Framework: safety, safeguarding and radicalisation

This exploratory evaluation framework is relevant to all school leaders and staff in all schools and colleges and outlines the statutory duties in relation to safety and safeguarding, the Prevent duty, equalities, British values and the curriculum.

It can be read in conjunction with ASCL’s guidance paper Statutory Duties Related to Safety, Safeguarding and Radicalisation

This paper does not provide a complete or comprehensive framework that will ensure compliance with all general and specific duties set out in each of the legislative frameworks referred to in the guidance.

For those school and college leaders who believe that they could or may be affected by any of the issues highlighted in the ‘Trojan Horse’ enquiry, it is intended to be the start of a process of evaluation of the school or college’s policies, processes and practices. It should be used in in conjunction with the relevant statutory guidance. In itself, this framework is not sufficient to ensure compliance across the range of statutory duties.

  1. Safety and safeguarding

  2. Radicalisation

  3. Equalities

  4. British Values

  5. Curriculum      

  6. Governance

1 Safety and safeguarding

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

  • The Department for Education’s statutory guidance for schools and colleges Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) is available on the DfE website.

  • All staff in schools and colleges should read part 1 of the guidance which is available as a standalone document.

  • The statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is available here.

Additional resources

Exploratory questions

  • Have we recently updated our safeguarding policy, including whistleblowing policy, in light of the latest statutory guidance?

  • Is our Single Central Record in order and up-to-date?

  • Might we want to review referrals made to the designated person for safeguarding, ensuring that any allegations against professionals were referred to the designated officer? Are we satisfied with the resolution/s? Have we recently reviewed records of staff training on child protection? When was the designated safeguarding lead last trained? Are we confident that all our staff and governors know the designated safeguarding lead and are familiar with the statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education?

  • Are we confident about our safer recruitment procedures and do we have the procedures in place for checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), criminal record checks and barred lists checks?

  • When we invite external speakers or volunteers into our school, do we have processes in place to do the appropriate checks?

  • Do we need to review our procedures for dealing with relevant staffing issues, for example, any suspension or disciplinary investigations/actions over issues of child protection and/or safety?

  • Do we have an e-safety policy and a coordinated team approach to e-safeguarding? When did we last do a risk assessment? Does it need updating? Do we have a procedure for regularly monitoring online activity?Back-to-the-top

2 Radicalisation

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

Additional resources

  • There are various training options available for schools and colleges since the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 introduced the Prevent Duty on all schools and colleges.

  • Free training is available to all schools and colleges in the form of a two-hour workshop: Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP). More information can be found by emailing WRAP@homeoffice.x.gsi.gov.uk

  • ASCL also offers training on this area according to demand, contact ASCL Professional Development at pd@ascl.org.uk for information about the latest seminars or to arrange a consultation for your school or a group of schools.

  • DfE helpline Preventing extremism in schools and children's services (open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm excluding bank holidays). Email counter.extremism@education.gsi.gov.uk Telephone 020 7340 7264

Exploratory questions

  • Have we carried out a risk assessment for our school or colleges, shared with local partners?

  • Have the SLT and staff received training?

  • Are there individual young people or groups in our school or college who may be susceptible to radicalisation? Have we undertaken an assessment of their vulnerability? Do they pose a risk to others? Have we liaised with the local Channel panel or local Prevent coordinator?

  • Are there proscribed individuals and/or groups in the community the school or college serves? Have we liaised with the local Channel panel or local Prevent coordinator about the potential risks to our student body?

  • If faith groups or societies are practising in our school or college, are they being guided and supervised by a member of staff? Are we confident that they are promoting beliefs and practices consistent with British values?

  • If and/or when we suspect students are or may be vulnerable to radicalisation or extremism, are we clear about our policies and procedures and what action to take? Have we sought advice on this or consulted with our local policy community support officer or Channel panel officer?

  • Note there is no requirement for an extremism and radicalisation policy but other safeguarding policies should refer to radicalisation as a potential concern or form of abuse.

  • Is our e-safety policy fit for purpose?

  • Do we have policies and protocols for visiting speakers?

  • Can we evidence the work we have carried out in this area to Ofsted or other inspectorate?Back-to-the-top

3 Equalities

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

Exploratory questions

  • Are we regularly considering and recording the assessment we have made about the equalities impact in any key decisions? Do we need to assess any recent decisions about the way in which our school/college provides education (the delivery of the curriculum) against the equalities duty and any implications for protected groups?

  • Do we have any concerns that in our commitment to be culturally sensitive to the community our school/college serves, we may be going too far and breaching curriculum breadth and/or compromising equalities legislation?

  • If/where we have chosen to segregate lessons, assemblies or other activities on the basis of, for example, gender or disability, can we justify this on secure educational grounds? Do our students understand the educational reasons for any segregation?

  • Is our uniform policy sensitive to the needs of different cultures, races and religions and do we act reasonably to accommodate these needs, without compromising important school policies, such as safety or discipline?

  • Are we confident that our religious education curriculum is appropriate, complies with the local SACRE (for non-faith schools), and prepares students for life in a diverse world?

  • Does our daily act of worship reflect the values of the curriculum, promote behaviours and beliefs which support British values and support students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development?

  • Have we published our equalities objective/s? How are we doing against our objective/s? Are we confident that we are actively promoting equalities in our school/ college?Back-to-the-top

4 British Values

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

Exploratory questions

  • How well do we ensure that the curriculum actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs? Can we provide evidence against each of these?

  • Could any of our policies, processes or practices contravene (even if unintentionally) democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs?

  • What more can or should we be doing to further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions and encourage respect for democracy?Back-to-the-top

5 Curriculum         

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

Exploratory questions

  • Is our curriculum broad and balanced, does it comply with legislation and does it provide a wide range of subjects, preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain?

  • If someone external to our school/ college were to visit, would they find any instances of narrowness in the curriculum we provide?

  • Do we promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles through the effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, including through the extent to which schools engage their pupils in extra-curricular activity and volunteering within their local community?

  • For schools without a religious character: do we offer a balanced approach to religious education that is broadly Christian but takes account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Britain?

  • Do we offer a rounded programme of assemblies that help to promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, providing clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong?

  • When did we last review our PSHE curriculum and how it links to issues of safety? Do we need to do this?

  • Do we have a comprehensive and developmental e-safety curriculum for students? Can we evidence this?Back-to-the-top

6 Governance

Statutory or non-statutory guidance

  • Governors’ Handbook

  • The new DfE regulations about the constitution and size of governing bodies in maintained schools, though this will most likely change with the forthcoming Education for All Bill

Additional resources

Exploratory questions

  • Do governors understand the boundaries of their role? Do we want or need a statement that clearly outlines the responsibilities and behaviours of governors and those of senior leaders?

  • Can we evidence how governors carry out their statutory duties, such as safeguarding?

  • Can we evidence that the governing body considers the impact of its decisions on protected groups and in light of equalities legislation? Is this robust enough to stand up to scrutiny?

  • Can we demonstrate how governors ensure that they and the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles, and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain?

  • If we encounter a problem with a governor or governors who are overstepping the boundaries of their role, attempting to narrow the curriculum or promote the views or beliefs of a single group inappropriately, does the governing body have a process for dealing with this, based on the provisions in the Governors Handbook?

  • Has the governing body reviewed its membership and constitution? Has it undertaken a skills audit? Where necessary, has the governing body considered commissioning an external review of governance to support it to become more effective?

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