Ofsted Inspecting Safeguarding September 2015

Inspecting Safeguarding under the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework from September 2015


NOTE: In September 2016, Ofsted updated the Inspecting Safeguarding document, you can download it here: Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years Education and Skills (September 2016)


On the 15th June 2015, Ofsted published the long awaited Common Inspection Framework. It comes into force on 1st September 2015, but the draft documents have been made available, with the proviso that minor amendments may be made. The Common Inspection Framework is of course wide-ranging, but, as you will expect, I have looked over the content from a safeguarding perspective.

In essence there is nothing in the new Ofsted documentation around safeguarding, but it is better organised and I think the expectations are clearer. There is, for example, a clear summary page about the responsibilities of governing bodies.

It is really important that we keep communicating that ‘safeguarding’ and ‘child protection’ are not the same thing. Safeguarding is what we do for all our pupils; child protection being the procedures we use for children and young people who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of such harm. Hence the emphasis on safeguarding as well as timely reporting of concerns.

The grade descriptors for outstanding are very clear about high expectations, for example, referring to “pupils’ impeccable conduct” or fundamental British Values are “at the heart of the school’s work”.

As I’ve talked about before, the best safeguarding is that which is embedded in the fabric of the school. Ofsted are now quite clear that they are looking for a culture of vigilance where “safeguarding is an important part of everyday life”.

I’ve put together a document focusing on the safeguarding aspects, from both the Ofsted Framework and the new Inspecting safeguarding guidance, you can download it here:

Briefing document: Safeguarding and the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (Andrew Hall)

Download Ofsted Documents

Inspecting Safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (Ofsted)

Schools Inspection Handbook (Ofsted)

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