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The Ofsted framework for school inspection (2012)

A girl in a specialist chair

In the 2009 inspection framework, ‘the extent to which pupils feel safe’ was one of the limiting judgements. Within the 2012 inspection framework, safeguarding is inspected under two of the four limiting judgements:

  • The behaviour and safety of pupils.
  • Leadership and management.
This includes assessing and managing risk, keeping safe (eg from bullying and harassment) and management and standards of safeguarding.

NB This section is one person’s perspective on safeguarding issues drawn from a range of Ofsted and Department for Education documents (see the list of references at the end of this package). It is not an alternative to reading
the documents.

Concerns around safeguarding

Concerns around safeguarding are:

  • The health, safety and welfare of all children and young people across a school’s environment
    and jurisdiction.
  • That all children and young people have an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.
  • That children and young people are empowered to keep themselves safe through knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Based upon statutory safeguarding requirements, the ways that schools ensure children and young people’s welfare, safety and protection from harm.
  • How well teaching on safe practices and a culture of safety are integrated within
    the curriculum.

Ofsted will look for a range of qualitative and quantitative evidence on behaviour and safety over an extended period.


Areas of interest

A child wearing a cover being pushed
                  in a wheelchair

Important areas of interest are:

  • How well safeguarding is prioritised.
  • How well practice is supported and underpinned by policy and implementation.
  • The appropriate identification of and response to child welfare concerns.
  • The quality of safeguarding outcomes.
  • Effective, collaborative working relationships with organisations and individuals to identify, safeguard and promote the welfare of potentially vulnerable groups of children.
Responses to safeguarding

School responses to safeguarding should include:

  • Arrangements for the safe recruitment of staff.
  • Engaging with parents and carers in supporting a child or young person’s behaviour and safety.
  • The effective identification of children in need or at risk of significant harm and their protection (eg following up absence rigorously).
  • Underpinning policies/strategies (statutory, mandatory and good practice) in a range of areas related to behaviour, safeguarding, privacy, dignity and respect.

Have a look at Children England’s practical guide to safeguarding:

The focus of the inspection framework
  • Equality issues (eg race, etc.)
  • Consideration for others and their environment (eg behaviour, respect and courtesy).
  • Bullying and harassment by peers and adults in different forms (including cyber-bullying).
  • Safe and unsafe behaviour (in life
    and online).
  • Assessing and managing hazards and risk across a range of areas
    including relationships.

There is a focus on student knowledge, skills, understanding, views on and responses to a range of issues around behaviour, safety and safeguarding including:

Supporting staff
Two teachers at a computer talking

Staff can be supported to improve all practice – including around safeguarding – through:

  • Seeking out and modelling best practice.
  • Developing staff through dialogue, coaching, training, mentoring and support.
  • Leading a coherent programme of professional development.
  • Training including, for example, in child protection.
Literature search

Carry out a literature search in one of the following areas relating to children and young people with SLD/PMLD/CLDD:

  • Bullying and harassment.
  • Promoting safeguarding, respect, privacy and dignity in physical interventions
    (including restraint).

Identify key issues and action points for your school, and draw up a plan of implementation.

NB Other sections of the full document not included here are relevant to all modules.
Read the full paper here: