This consultation ended 24 October 2013.
Details of outcome
This consultation seeks views on draft revised guidance for local authorities, school governing bodies and proprietors of independent schools on arrangements for safeguarding children.
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (external link) came into force in Wales on 1 September 2006 and created a legal duty for all local authorities schools and further education institutions in Wales to exercise their functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
In April 2008 the Welsh Government issued Circular 05/2008: Safeguarding Children in Education: The Role of Local Authorities and Governing Bodies under the Education Act 2002 to provide guidance on how to give effect to this statutory duty. These education providers must have regard to this guidance.
Proprietors of independent schools must comply with the guidance to satisfy the standards under section 157 of the Education Act 2002 (external link) about the welfare health and safety of pupils at the school.
The guidance applies to all:
- local authorities
- governing bodies of maintained schools (including pupil referral units voluntary aided schools and foundation schools)
- proprietors of independent schools
- principals of Further Education institutions.
The guidance has been revised in order to reflect legislative changes since the previous guidance was issued in 2008 and refer to the most up-to-date statutory guidance about related issues. In particular the revised guidance provides information on key changes to pre-employment vetting and barring checks introduced by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (external link).
Some of the information contained in the guidance has been expanded to provide a more comprehensive guide to the full range of safeguarding issues about which education providers must be aware. The revised document contains hyperlinks to guidance useful reports regulations and legislation in order to help readers quickly access more detailed information as and when they need it.
The revised guidance has also been restructured around 7 themes:
- the framework for safeguarding in Wales
- safeguarding roles and responsibilities in the education service
- safeguarding responsibilities in specific circumstances
- safer recruitment practice
- vetting staff and volunteers under the new disclosure and barring arrangements
- responding to allegations of abuse against staff.
- referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service.