This section seeks to provide information to senior leaders and governing bodies to support school monitoring and evaluation of safeguarding arrangements. The use of the safeguarding audit will enable school leaders and the governing body to monitor compliance with legislation and to identify any areas for improvement.

The inspection of safeguarding remains a key area within the framework for school inspection.

'Inspectors will always make a written judgement about the effectiveness of the arrangements for safeguarding pupils.  Safeguarding will be judged ineffective if a school's arrangements for safeguarding pupils do not meet statutory requirements, or they give serious cause for concern, or the school has taken insufficient action to remedy weaknesses following a serious incident.  The judgement on the overall effectiveness will be inadequate when any one of the key judgements is inadequate and/or safeguarding is ineffective.'

School Inspection handbook September 2019

A number of high profile incidents have put safeguarding firmly in the spotlight in North Yorkshire. Where schools have encountered difficulties, or children's safety has been put at risk, this has often been associated with one or all of the following:

  • a lack of clarity amongst stakeholders about safeguarding procedures
  • complacency or lack of rigour in implementing safeguarding procedures
  • failure to monitor safeguarding procedures
  • the failure of senior leaders to establish suitably robust safeguarding procedures

Safeguarding - A Definition

The definition used in the Children Act 2004, and in Working together to safeguard children 2018 can be summarised as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children's health or development
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Key Legislation

  1. Statutory guidance for schools  and colleges, Keeping Children Safe in Education, DFE 2020
  2. Working together to safeguard children, DfE 2018

DfE 'Keeping children safe in education', 2020statutory guidance for schools and colleges replaces the 2018 guidance.  The guidance document can be found here

Additional Ofsted guidance for inspection of maintained schools and academies

Safeguarding includes the establishment and implementation of procedures to protect children from deliberate harm. A school's child protection procedures, safer recruitment practices and the maintenance of a robust single central record remain key requirements.

However Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm (child protection). Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children and learners from:

  • neglect
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • racist, disability and homophobic, transphobic and biphobic abuse
  • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls
  • radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour
  • child sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • child criminal exploitation and county lines
  • risks linked to using technology and social media, including online bullying; and the risks of being groomed online for exploitation or radicalisation; and risks of accessing and generating inappropriate content, for example 'sexting'
  • the impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, for example Youth Produced Sexual Imagery, (sexting) and accessing pornography
  • teenage relationship abuse
  • peer on peer abuse/child on child
    • serious violence including knife crime
    • bullying (including cyberbullying and prejudice-based bullying)
    • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
    • sexual violence and sexual harassment
    • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery)
    • initiation / hazing type violence and rituals
    • upskirting
  • substance/drug misuse
  • issues that may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence
  • domestic abuse
  • So called ‘honour –based’ abuse
    • female genital mutilation
    • forced marriage
    • breast ironing
  • faith abuse
  • fabricated or induced illness
  • mental health issues
  • poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children

 It relates to aspects of care and education, including:

  • children missing from education
  • children with family members in prison
  • homelessness
  • children’s and learners’ health and safety and well-being including their mental health
  • meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • the use of reasonable force
  • meeting the needs of children and learners with medical conditions
  • providing first aid
  • alternative provision
  • intimate care and emotional well-being
  • online safety  and associated issues
  • appropriate arrangements to ensure children’s and learners’ security, taking into account the local context.
  • children not collected from school
  • lost children

 It relates to other policies including:

  • Private fostering
  • Complaints
  • Admissions
  • Safer recruitment
  • Key person
  • Teaching and learning
  • Partnership with parents
  • Confidentiality
  • Record keeping
  • Administering medication
  • Intimate care
  • Disciplinary procedure
  • Whistle blowing
  • Acceptable use of ICT
  • Educational Visits

The safeguarding audit sets out the responsibilities placed on schools and colleges to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Annual Safeguarding Report for the Governing Body

It is recommended that an annual safeguarding report is provided for the governing body on the school's safeguarding practice that enables the governing body to monitor compliance with the Education Act 2002 Section 175, and to identify areas for improvement. An annual report template can be found here (UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2022).

And also at


Useful downloads

2020 Keeping children safe in education Statutory guidance for schools and colleges - Full document new hyperlink

A full range of safeguarding resources, briefings and guidance can be downloaded from North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NYSCP) website

Advice from DfE regarding Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools and Colleges

Working Together to Safeguard Children - DfE Guidance

Information Sharing Advice for Practitioners - HM Government Advice

What to Do If You're Worried About a Child - Guidance for Schools

DfE How Social Media is Used to Encourage Travel to Syria and Iraq July 15

Home Office Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) - DfE Mandatory Procedural Guidance

NYCC Training and Learning service Training Guidance: NYES and NYSCB websites

NYCC Safeguarding Children Training Guidance