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Last updated on 25 June 2020
Ref: 5540
School types: All · School phases: All

Read our 1-page summary of your board's role in keeping children safe in your school, and the duties of your safeguarding governor. Download a copy to share with your colleagues.

25 June 2020: updated to reflect changes to KCSIE from 1 September 2020

We've added your new responsibility to make sure your school has clear systems in place for identifying mental health problems. 

Your governing board and school have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, according to the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).

You must comply with your duties outlined in part 2 of KCSIE, and make sure that policies and procedures in your school are effective and comply with the law.

This means you should:

  • Make sure that all staff read at least part 1 of KCSIE
  • Make sure that all staff receive regularly updated safeguarding and child protection training
  • Have policies and procedures in place that support safeguarding, including policies on child protection, pupil behaviour and staff behaviour
  • Make sure you have clear systems and processes in place for identifying pupils with possible mental health problems, including routes to escalate and clear referral and accountability systems
  • Make sure that pupils are taught about safeguarding, including online safety
  • Make sure that an appropriate senior staff member is appointed as the designated safeguarding lead (DSL)

You also need to follow safer recruitment procedures to prevent people who pose a risk of harm to children from working with them. This includes section 128 checks on governors in maintained schools, and trustees and local governors in academies. 

Responsibilities of the safeguarding governor

Your governing board should appoint a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to take leadership responsibility for your school's safeguarding arrangements.

This person must be a governor or trustee. Associate members can't take on safeguarding responsibilities.

Responsibilities of your senior board level lead include:

  • Keeping up to date with statutory guidance and any advice issued by your safeguarding partners
  • Making sure you have suitable and up-to-date policies for child protection, staff behaviour, and handling allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Making sure you have clear systems and processes in place for identifying pupils with possible mental health problems, including routes to escalate and clear referral and accountability systems - read the DfE guidance on mental health and behaviour in schools to get help with this 
  • Supporting the board to develop its understanding of its safeguarding responsibilities, and reporting back to the board about safeguarding issues and development
  • Meeting regularly with the DSL to monitor your school's policies and procedures, and check that all staff, governors and volunteers have had appropriate training
  • Monitoring the single central record with the DSL to make sure your school carries out appropriate recruitment checks

Download and share this QuickRead with your governing board:


The information in this QuickRead was taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education, published by the Department for Education. 

Read further guidance on changes in the 2020 Keeping Children Safe in Education, and the actions you need to take.

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