Delivering the best
Independent schools have a distinct desire to use the best and highest quality tools in education. From exceptional sports facilities to the latest learning software - both proven and new technologies assist in providing the best possible education for the students on roll.
Child Protection software has recently seen a huge uptake in all types of schools in the UK and internationally and is proving itself to be an invaluable tool for safeguarding.
But while many Child Protection concerns faced in mainstream schools don't occur as often in independent schools, there are a raft of unique concerns and tasks faced by independent schools that are equally uncommon in mainstream and that necessitate an improved Child Protection system. For example the amount of documentation required to be logged for international students is high, and in covering pastoral care and acting as a safe all-encompassing 'filing cabinet' for each pupil in school, this software helps immensely.
Another challenge faced by independents is that because Child Protection occurrences can be less common, it becomes more difficult to audit and show your working practice when requested by inspectors or others. You have to prove that very little is logged because there is little to log, rather than through improper logging. This is where a full audit trail provided by an online Child Protection system steps in as evidence. You can therefore demonstrate you are receptive to Child Protection concerns when they do occur.
The benefits of an online system for monitoring Child Protection and safeguarding concerns win praise unanimously for both the time saved and the improved communication between staff. Chronology building and reporting on incidents in school mean traditionally laborious and difficult tasks become quickly achievable.
Take for example when a schools is required to produce the number of incidents of cyber bullying recorded between two specific dates. Where would you start? Firstly you need confidence that all incidents have been recorded by staff, and next that they have all been stored uniformly in the same place. Perhaps one member of staff emails you concerns while another writes them on paper to go in the student file. Another member of staff within the safeguarding team puts any recordings directly into the students file. Do they put them automatically to the front of the file like you do? Or do they put them to back? One member of staff always folds written disclosures so they're less likely to be accidentally seen - therefore you'll have to look down to the bottom of the file to make sure you've got everything.
It's easy to see how a simple question can lead to a huge task depending on your safeguarding practices. But take an online system for example. If you ask it to filter any incidents of cyber bullying - all incidents can be filtered instantly. Previous constraints like different habits of staff monitoring become strengths - as next to each incident you'll be able to see information added automatically such as who added the incident, when, and importantly who has seen it.
But while the benefits are clear to see - when the subject is Child Protection you have to be 100% certain there are no risks or losses in moving to an online system. Understandably independent schools therefore have a range of questions and points that need careful clarification before the transition can be made to an online safeguarding system.
While solid answers to every question exist, leading to thousands of schools making the move, every school operates safeguarding differently. You want to be sure that an online system can match your school not only technically, but also in terms of how you are currently familiar with monitoring safeguarding in your own school.