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Safeguarding: role of the link governor
Know who you can appoint as the safeguarding link governor and understand what their role is.
The information in this article is taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).
Who can it be?
A senior board level (or equivalent) governor should take leadership responsibility for safeguarding.
Multi academy trusts: You must appoint a member of your trust board to be responsible for safeguarding.
The safeguarding link governor must be:
- A full governor (either elected or appointed) – they can't be an associate member
- Separate from the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) – this is to make sure there's sufficient challenge to your school's safeguarding arrangements and performance
The DfE told us this.
Monitoring your school's systems and procedures
The safeguarding link governor should make sure your school has an effective:
- Child protection policy – you'll find our child protection checklist and model policy helpful for this
- Staff code of conduct
- Policy for handling allegations against staff and volunteers
- Safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education
- Online monitoring system and online filters
They should also:
- Make sure the school has appointed a DSL and:
- Meet them regularly to make sure policies and procedures are effective
- Make sure the DSL has sufficient time, resources and training to carry out their role effectively
- Ask the DSL the right monitoring questions
- Make sure the school has appointed a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of looked after children
- Make sure the curriculum covers safeguarding, including online safety
- Update the governing board on how the monitoring is going
- Make sure that checks for the single central record are happening – but note that they shouldn't do the checks themselves because a governor's role is strategic, not operational
Use our checklist for safeguarding to help you monitor effectively.
The link governor won't write these – that's the job of the headteacher or DSL. Find out what you should expect to see in the report here.
They shouldn't deal with incidents
The safeguarding link governor isn't expected to deal with specific safeguarding incidents, but senior leaders should notify them of these.
When this happens, they shouldn't ask for any specific details, like who the child is.
Being your board's specialist
The safeguarding link governor should:
- keep the board up to date with statutory safeguarding and child protection guidance, including anything issued locally by your school's safeguarding partners
- Inform the board whether it needs to make any changes (e.g. in light of new regulations)
To make sure they're up to date with the latest statutory guidance, the link governor should regularly attend training.
They should also make sure safeguarding training is attended by:
- Governors (see page 93 of the governance handbook)
- Staff – this should happen at induction and regularly thereafter
- A downloadable INSET day safeguarding pack
- Elearning courses covering essential safeguarding information, the Prevent duty and safer recruitment
You might have to update your membership to get access.
Download a printable version of the role description
Give it to your safeguarding link governor so they know what their role is.
Follow your school's procedures to raise concerns
Everyone, including the safeguarding link governor, should follow your school's procedures where there's a safeguarding concern about a member of staff. Raise the concern immediately to the headteacher or chair of governors.
A staff member may go the safeguarding link governor, or another governor, with a concern. If this happens, you should follow your school's procedures, and expect the headteacher or chair of governors to lead the discussions. Expect them to immediately discuss these allegations with the DSL(s).
If the issue isn't being dealt with seriously enough, you can contact the local authority designated officer (LADO) about your concerns.
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