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Last updated on 10 September 2018
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School types: All · School phases: All

You should have a senior board level lead to take leadership responsibility for safeguarding arrangements. Read guidance on the role of a link governor for safeguarding, including which staff member it can be, and find links to resources to support governors in the role.

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Contents

  1. Requirements
  2. The link governor's role
  3. Templates to help you monitor safeguarding arrangements
  4. Safeguarding policies 
  5. Safeguarding Training Centre from The Key

Changes to this article

We've updated this article to reflect the updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. You can find out more about the key changes in our summary.

In this article we use the term safeguarding governor. Some schools and local authorities (LAs) refer to safeguarding governors and some to child protection governors, but the role is the same. 

Requirements

Schools should have a senior board level (or equivalent) lead who takes leadership responsibility for safeguarding. This must be a member of the governing board or trust board.

In multi-academy trusts, someone on the trust board must have responsibility for safeguarding. Trusts can also have safeguarding link governors on individual local governing boards.

This person can be any category of governor/trustee, including a member of staff. However the individual must be separate from the designated safeguarding lead (DSL), in order to ensure there is sufficient challenge to the organisation's safeguarding arrangements and performance.  

This was explained to us by a representative of the Department for Education (DfE), and is set out in paragraph 53 of statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education

The link governor's role

Use our role description to help you understand the roles and responsibilities of an effective safeguarding link governor.

Do not deal with operational issues

Remember, you should take a strategic approach to monitoring your school's safeguarding arrangements.

You would not be expected to deal with specific safeguarding incidents and allegations against staff. The headteacher leads if allegations are made against staff. The chair will take the lead if allegations are made against the headteacher. They should immediately discuss these allegations with the local authority designated officer (LADO). This is explained in paragraph 194 of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Governors should have an overview of the number of safeguarding cases and be confident that systems and processes are working, but you should not know the details of individual incidents. Senior leaders will provide you with this information through regular safeguarding reports.

Raise concerns about staff with the headteacher or chair of governors

You should raise any concerns you have about staff with the chair of governors or the headteacher. If the issue is not being dealt with seriously enough, contact the LADO about your concerns.

Templates to help you monitor safeguarding arrangements

Use our checklist and audit to ensure that your school has effective safeguarding policies and procedures in place

Safeguarding policies 

All schools are required to have a child protection policy (often referred to as a safeguarding policy). Understand what a child protection policy should include with our checklist and model policy.

Safeguarding Training Centre from The Key

Safeguarding governors should make sure that all staff have had the appropriate level of safeguarding training and that this is regularly updated. 

The Key's Safeguarding Training Centre includes:

  • A downloadable INSET day safeguarding pack
  • A knowledge bank of factsheets explaining specific safeguarding issues, with separate factsheets for DSLs and staff
  • Training materials on how to conduct effective safeguarding training

More from The Key

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.