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Safeguarding training for governors

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Last updated on 1 May 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 Is safeguarding training required?
  2. 2 Updating training 
  3. 3 Prevent training

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  • 9 external links

Is safeguarding training required?

There is no requirement for governors to attend any specific safeguarding training, including training on Prevent. It is for the governing board to identify whether this is necessary. 

Safeguarding training requirements are set locally. You should contact your local safeguarding children board (LSCB) for details of what training you need, and what it should cover.  

This is explained in Keeping Children Safe in Education, the Department for Education's (DfE's) statutory guidance on safeguarding.

Governors' knowledge and understanding of safeguarding is "fundamental" to fulfilling their duty … 

Safeguarding training is recommended

The Governance Handbook says it is helpful if all governors have training about safeguarding "to make sure they have the knowledge and information needed to perform their functions and understand their responsibilities."

Ofsted's expectations

A DfE representative explained that having knowledge and understanding of safeguarding is "fundamental" in order for you to fulfil your duty to safeguard and promote children's welfare. Additionally, Ofsted may have concerns if the governing board hasn't had any safeguarding training.

Ofsted 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 paragraph 18 of Ofsted's guidance on inspecting safeguarding.

Understand how safeguarding is inspected in another article.

Safer recruitment training

Recruitment panels in maintained schools must include at least 1 person who has been trained in safer recruitment. This is set out in the School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, as amended by the School Staffing (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. 

Keeping Children Safe in Education (linked to above), says this training should cover, as a minimum, the content of that guidance document. 

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

Updating training 

There is no statutory requirement for how often governors should refresh their safeguarding training

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

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

For example, Wokingham Borough Council and Medway SCB recommend that governors refresh their training every 3 years. 

Prevent training

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

Some safeguarding courses may already include sections on Prevent. 

The Home Office has produced a catalogue of training courses and resources on Prevent, which explains the target audience for each course. 

For example, the Educate Against Hate website is aimed at governors, as well as parents and teachers. It says:

Educate Against Hate has been designed as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to equip teachers, school governors and parents with the skills, tools and resources they need to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.

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


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


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