Safeguarding is a huge part of your role as a supply teacher and it is essential to understand how safeguarding comes into play in your day to day role.
We want to make sure that you feel supported and encouraged in your position to be able to easily identify safeguarding issues and know where and how to report these. As a supply teacher your responsibility to uphold high safeguarding standards still applies and should be at the forefront of your actions.
We don’t want any of our teachers to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of it, so we have listed some tips below we recommend keeping in mind.
In order to protect yourself from false accusations supply teachers should take extra care to ensure that they communicate with students professionally and avoid talking about unrelated topics which could lead to lots of questions.
Pupils can be testing and can persistently ask questions, including personal questions, and they may try to gain as much information on you as possible. Make sure you keep answers to a minimum and always try and relate back to the topic, this will minimise any risk of oversharing from pupils and staff.
You must remember you are entitled to your privacy, and although it may seem like talking and sharing can build better working relationships you do not want to end up in an uncomfortable situation.
Remember, you never know who may be listening and it is important to think about how some answers and conversations may be misinterpreted.
It is important to make yourself aware of the Designated Safeguarding Lead within the school. Make sure any disclosures from children or anything you notice (no matter how small) are reported. Follow the schools safeguarding policy in terms of how you record and pass on this information to make the process smooth for yourself and the school.
Whistle blowing is still a responsibility for supply teachers. You can speak to the DSL, Headteacher, the local council or even your agency who can help and support you. It is important to remember your piece of information can be a piece of a much bigger jigsaw which without your information may have struggled to progress.
It is important to keep your safeguarding training up to date to ensure you are equipped with the latest information and updates on policies. This should give you confidence when entering the classroom that you are prepared and understand the expectations and processes of safeguarding within your role.
If you have any questions on safeguarding or would like any resources for training, please email the team at [email protected] – we would love to be able to help increase your knowledge further.