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Safeguarding training for governors: guidance

Ref: 3968
Last updated on 7 September 2018
School types: All · School phases: All
In-depth article
It is recommended that governors have regularly updated safeguarding training in order for them to fulfil their duties. Read guidance on what evidence of training Ofsted will expect to see, and understand requirements around safer recruitment training.

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  1. 1 Safeguarding training is recommended
  2. 2 Safer recruitment training is required
  3. 3 Prevent training is recommended
  4. 4  
  5. 5 Updating training 

Safeguarding training is recommended

There is no statutory requirement for you to attend any specific safeguarding training, but it is helpful if everyone on the board has training about safeguarding to ensure they understand their responsibilities and can carry out their functions. 

This is explained in paragraph 157 of the Governance Handbook

Ofsted's expectations

Ofsted may have concerns if your board hasn't had any safeguarding training. This was explained to us by a Department for Education (DfE) representative.

Inspectors will want to see evidence that:

  • Staff, leaders, governors and supervisory bodies (where appropriate) and volunteers receive appropriate training on safeguarding at induction, that is updated regularly
  • They demonstrate knowledge of their responsibilities relating to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults

This is set out in section 5.3 of Ofsted's guidance on inspecting safeguarding.

Understand how safeguarding is inspected in another article.

We have a safeguarding elearning course on Safeguarding Training Centre from The Key, which you can take if your school has access to the full package. Ask your headteacher or designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for more information, and try a demo here.

Safer recruitment training is required

At least one of the persons who conducts an interview in maintained schools must have completed safer recruitment training. This may or may not be a governor. This is set out in the School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, as amended by the School Staffing (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

This training should cover, as a minimum, the contents of Keeping Children Safe in Education. 

Safer recruitment training is coming soon to Safeguarding Training Centre from The Key.

Read more on the requirements for safer recruitment training in a further article. 

Prevent training is recommended

You are not required to have specific Prevent training. However, Joel MacInnes, an associate education expert, recommended that at least the governor responsible for safeguarding should have the training. 

  • The Home Office has produced a catalogue of training courses and resources on Prevent, which explains the target audience for each course
  • We have a 30-minute Prevent elearning course on Safeguarding Training Centre, which you can also take if your school has access to the full package. Ask your headteacher or designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for more information, and try a demo here
  •  Some safeguarding courses may already include sections on Prevent

Get to grips with your role in Prevent with another article. 


Updating training 

There is no statutory requirement for how often you should refresh your safeguarding training. 

You should contact your own LSCB for advice on local expectations, as these may vary. 

For example, Wokingham Borough Council recommends that governors refresh their training every 3 years. You can find this set out on page 9 of its model safeguarding policy.   


Joel MacInnes is a national leader of governance. He is chair of governors of a secondary academy in London. 

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