Safeguarding is at the heart of the school’s renewal and reopening this coming September. Some 18 months on from the school’s closure in January 2020 for, in part, a failed safeguarding culture, the school’s initial, pre-Covid task was to ‘fundamentally reinstall an invigorated safeguarding culture and practice in the school, ensuring children’s wellbeing and safety underpin and drive every aspect of the school’s work.’
The delay incurred to reopening, partly due to Covid, has been well used by the school and allowed that fundamental “reinstallation” of an invigorated and robust safeguarding culture to be thorough and secure. Reducing to just two staff members at one point, the re-establishment of the Board of Trustees and body of staff has further ensured that safeguarding is now at the heart of the school’s mission. This has seen a purposeful realignment of understanding in upholding that high quality Waldorf education, in its essential care for childhood, itself a pedagogy of safeguarding.
This has manifested in a high-calibre appointments, including that of Kathryn de Ferrer to the post of Vice Principal (Safeguarding and Wellbeing); the continued use of external expert safeguarding consultants to assure the quality of our safeguarding practice; the policy requirement for all senior staff to be trained to the level of Designated Safeguarding Lead; for all recruitment to be safe, fair and quality assured by both Trustees and external expert consultants in education and safeguarding; and an outreach programme of videocasts that contribute towards an ongoing shared ownership of an effective safeguarding culture. These videocasts have been supported and informed by best practice in safeguarding, and particularly by Richard Burrows of Impartial Outcomes, and Kay Joel of the NSPCC.
Outreach in Safeguarding: a shared ownership of safeguarding in schools
As we move forwards, our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy (shortly to be published) will demonstrate a commitment to the highest of statutory standards and best practice, and describe the school’s procedures and provision as we approach reopening.