Schools

Ministers seek schools safeguarding tsar

The new post would help roll out social care reforms to strengthen the education sector's role

The new post would help roll out social care reforms to strengthen the education sector's role

Government is exploring making education a fourth statutory safeguarding partner

Ministers want to appoint a new tsar to strengthen schools’ role in safeguarding and consider whether they should become a “fourth strategic partner”.

The new “national child safeguarding facilitator” will focus on the education sector up until March 2025. The contract is advertised at £100,000.

A tender document states the postholder will help roll out the social care reforms, including “strengthening the role of education in early help, child protection and multi-agency safeguarding arrangements”. 

The tsar would hold discussions between schools and safeguarding agencies on “how effectively they work together” and “increasing the engagement of education settings”. 

They would also “support the department to explore whether or how to make education a fourth strategic partner”. 

The MacAlister review of child social care proposed schools should become “statutory safeguarding partners” alongside councils, health services and police. 

It warned leaving schools out at the moment meant the voice of education was “missing”. 

But in its response the DfE pledged only to consult on how to strengthen schools’ role.

Schools Week investigations have revealed how schools have become the new frontline as social care resources dwindle. 

The new tsar should be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of safeguarding in the context of the education sector and of improvement processes, the DfE said. 

The government is also looking for another safeguarding tsar to focus on local authorities and “strengthen multi-agency arrangements” for £130,000.

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