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Safeguarding training for governors

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Last updated on 19 January 2017
School types: All · School phases: All
In-depth article
Should school governors attend safeguarding training? We look at whether safeguarding training is a requirement for governors, and include information on safer recruitment training. We also set out what Ofsted says about training, and look at how often training should be refreshed.

Article tools


  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 body to identify whether this is necessary. 

Keeping Children Safe in Education, the statutory guidance on safeguarding, explains that 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.  

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

Safeguarding training is recommended

Paragraph 157 of 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."

A representative from the DfE told us governors' knowledge and understanding of safeguarding is "fundamental" to fulfilling their duty to safeguard and promote children's welfare. 

Ofsted inspection

When considering "how effectively leaders and governors create a safeguarding culture in the setting", 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. The DfE representative said Ofsted may have concerns if the governing body has not had any safeguarding training.

Another article from The Key looks at how safeguarding is inspected

Safer recruitment training

Recruitment panels in maintained schools must include at least one 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. 

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

A further article from The Key has more information on the requirements for safer recruitment training.

Updating training 

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

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

Governors are not required to have specific Prevent training. However, Joel MacInnes, one of our 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.

We have a further article with more information on the governors' role in Prevent

Sources and further reading

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

This article was updated in response to a question from the clerk to the governors at a medium-size rural primary school in the south east. 

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence.