Safeguarding in specialist colleges

Colleges and their staff are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for young people. They play a key role in protecting young people from maltreatment, preventing impairment of their health or development, ensuring that they develop and thrive in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and taking action to enable all young people to have the best outcomes.

Colleges should be adopting safeguarding practices consistent with the guidance set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education. Although this guidance is not yet statutory for specialist FE colleges, Natspec recommends colleges should treat it as such.

In July 2020, Natspec commissioned a webinar from the safeguarding lead at National Star College which provides an overview of the fundamentals of safeguarding in the specialist college context.

We are in the process of establishing a safeguarding network for designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) in Natspec colleges. You can register your interest in this network by contacting Ruth Perry.

Prevent Strategy

The government published the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011 as part of its overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.

‘Prevent’ duty guidance, first published in March 2015, was put into place in the further education and skills sector on 18 September 2015. As a result, all further education and skills providers in England must have ‘due regard’ to the need to ‘Prevent’ people from being drawn into terrorism.

In July 2016, Ofsted published a report entitled “How well are further education and skills providers implementing the ‘Prevent’ duty?” This report assessed the impact of the work being done to protect learners from those who wish to promote extremism. Consequently, Ofsted identified some weaknesses and recommended that providers should:

  • ensure policies are in place
  • develop stronger partnerships to share information
  • provide staff training
  • review IT policies and procedures.

Prevent resources and presentations

A variety of presentations and resources are available to download in the box below. Natspec held two Prevent conferences in December 2016 and May 2018, from which some of these resources are drawn. These include keynote presentations from national experts and example practitioner resources from colleges who have developed them to engage particularly vulnerable groups of students, including those with learning difficulties and/or complex needs.

Useful resources

Download practitioner resources and presentations from recent events:

Prevent Conference Resources:

There is further help and support from the Prevent and Further Education and Training website.

If you would like to discuss more about having a prevent training in your area, please contact the Natspec office on 0115 854 13 22 or email info@natspec.org.uk

In 2019, Natspec was commissioned by the ETF to produce Prevent resources for FE learners with SEND. Click on the SEND tab of this page of the Excellence Gateway to view the full set of material.

Home Learning

As part of Natspec’s Home Learning Project, we put together some best practice guidelines. These include advice on how to ensure safeguarding measures are following, even outside the usual college environment.

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