COIVD-19 has left children exposed to potential dangers. Where the education environment once provided protection from safeguarding concerns – such as online dangers, county lines, drug abuse and violence – remote contact is restricting this level of support.
Schools should take a whole institution approach to safeguarding
Despite this, schools still have a requirement to offer full time safeguarding. However ensuring a holistic approach is a challenge, with DSLs now entirely dependent on digital means to ensure the welfare of children in their care.
As a result, schools dependent on traditional safeguarding records, such as daybooks or CP files are significantly limited and may struggle to meet their safeguarding obligations. Ensuring student records are digital now forms an essential lead in child protection. It’s the only solution to making safeguarding information accessible to multiple parties.
Implementing a digital approach to safeguarding records
Now is the time for schools to implement a digital approach to student records. Not least when it comes to vital safeguarding information. By adopting technology, such as Smoothwall Record Manager, schools can easily record child protection issues and safeguarding incidents electronically, without the need for traditional, paper-based files, which can’t be easily accessed during schools closures.
As one of the most reliable and trustworthy solutions available, Safeguard Record Manager ensures events are stored in chronology order. This enables school staff to easily see notes from meetings, interventions and behaviour reports. In addition, the software features alerts that can notify designated staff members about key incidents remotely. Body maps also identify emerging trends and patterns that can be downloaded as part of easy reports, allowing staff to see all concerns raised on a specific student.
What features should you look for in a digital record manager?
The challenge for educational organisations is to ensure students are protected from increased safeguarding concerns, even when learning remotely. To provide the most child protection support, there are specific features DSLs and IT Leads should be looking for as part of a comprehensive digital record management system:
- Chronology – Ensure the software allows for a full chronology of events that are stored against any concerns raised. This allows easy access to notes from meetings, interventions and behaviour reports
- Easy reports – Reports should be easy to create, within just a few clicks, so all concerns raised on a specific student can be viewed quickly. These reports should be easy to export, so they can be shared with ease if required
- Anytime, anywhere – Secure hosting of the software should allow access to the system from any device, allowing DSLs to raise concerns anywhere, at any time
- Alerts – It’s important that relevant team members are notified as soon as something happens. Alerts offer a great way to keep key colleagues in the loop and ensure the best possible child protection support
- Reviews – Reminders are important to ensure prompt viewing of CP files and keeping track of referrals and action plans
- Body maps – Software that allows body mapping helps to ensure that emerging patterns and trends are picked up on in real-time
- Dashboards – Digital record-keeping should be accessible where appropriate so that real-time reports for a school can be accessed remotely
- Tags – A software that allows tagging is vital to ensure children with specific needs can be easily proactively monitored. This can include tags such as Young Carer, CP Plans etc, Child of Critical Worker etc.
- Integration – Where possible digital record management should be integrated with digital monitoring services – this allows DSLs to view and incorporate online concerns to a student’s CP file for a fully holistic view of their welfare.
Streamlining safeguarding practices during COVID-19
During a global crisis, safeguarding must remain at the top of the agenda for education professionals. By ensuring you have an accessible and time-saving tool that can be used remotely, the chances of children falling through the gaps is reduced.
Now more than ever, schools and colleges need help to protect the young people in their care. Safeguard Record Manager helps to support the effective management of safeguarding and allows school staff to focus on educating and protecting instead of administration.