More than 85% of educators believe there are more safeguarding concerns compared to five years ago

A survey from magazine Tes has revealed 85% of educational respondents believe there are more safeguarding concerns compared to five years ago, as staff within schools and children feel more confident in identifying and reporting.

This was backed by 70% of respondents believing their school has effective safeguarding policies and processes in place to deal with concerns, and the figure rising to over 91% for designated safeguarding leads (DSL’s).

Almost a third of teachers and educators attributed this rise in safeguarding concerns to the increased use of social media. However, there is now an increase in the availability of solutions that enable teachers and pupils record and report concerns. Over 15% of DSL’s attributed the rise of safeguarding concerns to a rise of awareness.

Matthew McVarish, safeguarding advisor for Tes, said: “Safeguarding is incredibly important for school communities and for supporting the individual.

“It’s encouraging that so many feel able to report potential concerns, which can enable schools to take action early and effectively resolve potentially challenging situations.

“With more people having the courage to bring these safeguarding matters into the light, we hope that all people will soon be supported in tackling these issues until they become a thing of the past.”

The survey also found that just over 70% of respondents felt safeguarding policies and procedures at their school were effective, a sentiment shared by 85% of DSL’s.

This was supported by 67% of DSL’s feeling confident in dealing with a safeguarding issue, no matter what it may be. Importantly, 63% of DSL’s feel pupils feel confident in reporting concerns to school staff.

Mike Glanville, safeguarding expert at Tes, said: “The rise in reported safeguarding issues is encouraging as more of us realise the importance of identifying and tackling these matters that can so negatively impact a child or young person.

“Modern technology can also mean concerns can be identified and raised with ease in comparison to the past.

“Schools are increasingly equipped with better technological tools and training that helps teachers and pupils alike detect issues, intervene, and resolve matters, meaning a safer more positive environment for the child and colleagues.”

Tes’ Safeguarding Awareness Week has seen a variety of activities taking place, including the ‘Big Debate’, a panel discussion with Tes Magazine senior editor Dan Worth and safeguarding leads, Sue Bailey, Kathrine Tyler, and Luke Ramsden.

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