Safeguarding training for governors: guidance

Governors should have regular safeguarding training. Find out what the recommendations and requirements are for various types of safeguarding training, so you can keep pupils safe.

Last reviewed on 9 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3968
  1. All governors should receive safeguarding training
  2. Safeguarding governor: Prevent training is recommended 
  3. Interviewers are required to get recruitment training
  4. Refresh safeguarding training regularly
  5. Where can I get training?
9 June 2022: This article has been updated to reflect upcoming changes to Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). From September 2022, all governors:
  • Should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection (including online) training at induction, and this training should be regularly updated (pages 23 to 24)
  • Should be aware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) (page 24). Note that these duties haven’t changed

All governors should receive safeguarding training

As a board, you have overall responsibility for safeguarding.

Governing boards and school proprietors should make sure all governors receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training at the point of induction. Such training should provide governors with the knowledge they need to:

  • Provide sufficient challenge
  • Assure themselves that policies and procedures are effective
  • Ensure there's a whole-school approach to safeguarding in place

What's the difference between 'must' and 'should'?

According to page 3 of KCSIE:

  • Must is when you're legally required to do something
  • Should is when the advice should be followed unless there's good reason not to

For example, new governors should receive safeguarding training at the point of induction unless they've already received safeguarding training as staff members at the school.

In addition to safeguarding and child protection training, governors should also be aware of their:

Having the training ensures all governors understand their responsibilities both individually and collectively. This is explained in pages 23 to 24 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) and page 111 of the Governance Handbook.

Safeguarding governor: Prevent training is recommended 

Someone on your board should take leadership responsibility for the school's safeguarding arrangements – this includes the Prevent duty.

It's a good idea that the governor responsible for safeguarding receives Prevent training, even though it's not required (see the last section of this article for training resources on this). Our associate education expert, Joel MacInnes, told us this.

See pages 19 and 111 of the Governance Handbook. 

Interviewers are required to get recruitment training

Maintained schools: at least 1 of the people who conduct interviews must have completed safer recruitment training.

Academies: it isn't a requirement, but you should make sure that those involved with recruiting and employing staff to work with children have received appropriate safer recruitment training.

Ideally you should have at least 1 governor trained in safer recruitment. This will come in handy where:

  • The board needs to recruit a new headteacher 
  • A trained member of the selection panel is unable to attend an interview, so a governor needs to step in

This is outlined in the School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, page 51 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), page 13 of non-statutory guidance on staffing, and advice from One Education.

Find out about the requirements for safer recruitment training

Refresh safeguarding training regularly

There's no statutory requirement for how often governors should refresh their safeguarding training, but KCSIE does say it should be 'regularly updated' (pages 24 to 25) – ask your chair of governors or clerk when you need a training refresh.

The chair: if you're unsure how often governors need to refresh their training, you can:

  • Contact your local authority (LA) for advice on local expectations (maintained schools)
  • Ask your clerk if your trust has set out any guidance on this (academies)

Where can I get training?

Speak to your chair first about what training your school offers. 

Find some additional sources of training below:

Safeguarding Training Centre

Safeguarding Training Centre (STC) from The Key features various e-learning courses, including:

  • Safeguarding
  • Prevent
  • Safer recruitment

You can take these courses if your school has access to the full package. Try a demo here. Ask your headteacher or designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for more information. 

The Key: safeguarding link governor course

If you're the safeguarding link governor for your board, feel more confident in your role with our course – this is included in your school's membership of The Key for School Governors.

Government catalogue

The Home Office has a catalogue of Prevent training resources here.


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

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