The Safeguarding Association (TSA) is a new organisation offering support to those responsible for Safeguarding in their respective organisations.
The aim of the TSA is to build a considerable Membership of both organisations and individuals who need support in their roles of Safeguarding Children and Adults.
Educational Establishments in particular are having to take more responsibility for the safeguarding and well-being of children and young people in their care. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of safeguarding concerns that schools are now having to record and manage as a result of government guidance. A much wider range of issues are now being managed by schools as emerging trends such as the use of social media and on-line abuse impact on the welfare and emotional well-being of their pupils.
In addition, spending cuts to local authorities has meant that schools are taking on more responsibility for interventions and support work previously undertaken by agencies such as Social Services and CAMHs.
The increasing work-load has meant that schools are having to invest in resources to manage safeguarding and in some cases, they are having to employ or buy-in additional specialist support such as school counsellors and family liaison officers.
The majority of senior schools and FE Colleges have established dedicated safeguarding roles to enable them to meet the demand and in most primaries and special schools the Designated Safeguarding Lead is supported by at least one Deputy.
The additional responsibilities and the increasing complexity of the safeguarding role in schools raises issues around competence, qualifications and support. For example, there are no formal qualifications necessary to undertake the role of the Designated Safeguarded Lead and no nationally agreed frameworks in place that can describe the skills and competencies required for the role.
Also, the fact that no professional networks or associations exist means that safeguarding practitioners are not benefiting from the sharing of best practice and mutual support that this kind of organisation might be able to provide.
On the 16th November 2017 a representative group of schools in Northants met at Greenfields Special School in Northampton to discuss the potential for setting up an association for safeguarding leads. There was strong support for the creation of an association. Support for an association has led to further meetings and a subsequent steering group led by educators. From these meetings a set of Visions and Aims were formed
Vision StatementThe Association Vision is
‘To Create an Association for Safeguarding practitioners that promotes the sharing of best practice, influences the development of policy and supports the professional needs of it’s members’
The creation of a Safeguarding Association for Safeguarding Practitioners with the following strategic aims:-
To enable the sharing of information and best practice on safeguarding between safeguarding practitioners in England
To create a network that enables safeguarding practitioners to communicate with each other, seek mutual support and attend conferences/events
To provide professional advice and guidance to members when required
To engage with key stakeholders such as government departments, relevant
charities, teaching unions and other professional bodies
To influence the formulation and development of national policy and guidance
To lead on and facilitate the development of the safeguarding roles including
the introduction of professional standards and qualifications
To promote the introduction of consistent, standardised and accredited
safeguarding training for all safeguarding leads