Schools

Primary head named as first school safeguarding tsar

Jon Le Fevre will help the DfE explore whether schools should become a fourth safeguarding partner

Jon Le Fevre will help the DfE explore whether schools should become a fourth safeguarding partner

Government is exploring making education a fourth statutory safeguarding partner

A primary headteacher of nearly 20 years has become the first schools safeguarding tsar, tasked with helping leaders communicate better with other agencies.

Over the next year, Jon Le Fevre will help the Department for Education to explore whether schools should become a fourth safeguarding partner and help roll out social care reforms.

He will gather evidence of where safeguarding communication is working well between schools and others, such as councils and police, and strengthen their voice. One example is where schools sit on local safeguarding boards.

“I’m going to visit as many councils as I can. I think the more we have education at these boards, the better the conversation will be and safeguarding improved,” Le Fevre told Schools Week.

“I’m in a supportive role – it’s not accountability, it’s not an inspectorate. I’m there to facilitate better working together.”

With 17-years of headship experience, Le Fevre most recently led Pilgrims’ Cross primary school, in Hampshire, where they had “really good arrangements” with social workers and other agencies.

“We have to do what’s best for children but I’m very conscious of the stresses and pressures within schools at the present time,” he added.

Last year, DfE said it would “explore” legislative changes to include schools as a statutory safeguarding partner, alongside councils, health services and police.

The MacAlister review of child social care warned leaving schools out meant the voice of education was “missing”.

Le Fevre has a £129,000 contract to do the work, which runs until March 2025. He is working alongside two other safeguarding tsars, Deborah McMillan who leads on councils and Lorraine Parker, who focuses on police.

Schools looking to work with Le Fevre can reach him on jon.lefevre@education.gov.uk

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2 Comments

  1. wendy smith

    Safeguarding partners are held to account by the safeguarding partnership. My experience of this in healthcare is that it is a way to challenge practice of professionals as well as improving communication about children and their families.

    My 4 year old son experienced HSB witnessed by a TA and 3 children. The TA did nothing to try to prevent this penatrative assult. Various accounts were provided to social care no risk assessment or saftey planning untill I kept him off. Even then it was objected to and not followed.
    He was put on a pttt and eventually off rolled. He has been home educated since.
    Social care say safeguarding in schools isn’t their responcibility Ofsted say they don’t investigate individual issues. Noone safeguarded my son only their reputation and careers.
    He is not alone I am aware of a number of other children who have been sexually assaulted by peers and it’s simply passed off as normal by teachers with insufficient skill or training and ignored by the LA and Ofsted leaving these children with nothing then parents blamed for the consequences due to ‘anxiety’
    It’s widespread sexual abuse and it’s not good enough.
    Are schools really ready for the kind of challenge that kind of incident could result in?

    It can only be a good thing for their to be a route to challenge abuse and neglect in schools but I hope it won’t simply be about blaming parents but actually about safeguarding children

    • Rita Stevens

      I’m so sorry to hear this.
      I too am in a predicament where I sent my child to a private school just outside Bristol. I sent him there because I knew he was dyslexic and was told by the new head of the school she had everything in place for a child with dyslexia.
      This simply wasn’t the case. Through an SAR it was disclosed the head of acedemics didn’t think tests were good for children with dyslexia and simply didn’t assess my child. They didn’t assess him even before the diagnosis.
      I submitted a 14 page formal complaint with 48 attachments and 8 heads of complaints. The school made 25 changes to the school (that I was made aware of) but never accepted liability or aplolised. They then wrote to tell me what the head of the school promised was not contractual and therefore did not stand. The offered us £11,600 as hush money and when I wouldn’t take it, they increased it to £20k which I haven’t taken. This is not about money, it’s about protecting children.