Information about the Essex Schools and Colleges Safeguarding Audit

A web-based Schools & Colleges Safeguarding Children audit tool is available to all Essex schools and colleges to check the strength of their safeguarding arrangements, create action plans for identified gaps, and to evidence compliance to governing bodies, the local authority, Ofsted and the ESCB.  Web-links to statutory and local guidance documents are provided throughout the audit tool, alongside the associated standards.  The ‘Enable’ audit tool is hosted by Virtual College’s Safeguarding Children e-Academy – the UK’s largest provider of online safeguarding children training. 

The audit cycle for the 2015-16 Academic Year ended at the end of the Summer term July 2016. 

Please note: There is no requirement for schools to complete the safeguarding audit this academic year (2016-17). Thanks to a 100% completion rate from schools for the audit for the previous two years, there is now a sound baseline from which to work. 

Essex County Council Education services have therefore moved to a two-yearly reporting cycle to the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (in line with Section 11 audits undertaken by other organisations) and will not be reviewing schools and colleges’ safeguarding audits until the end of the Summer term, July 2018.

Details of the 2017-18 audit will be communicated in Autumn 2017. 

Meanwhile, an updated safeguarding audit is available for schools and colleges who wish to voluntarily complete it before the end of the 2017-18 year.  This is for school use only and there is no need to submit it elsewhere.

Schools and Colleges have a key role to play in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities (in relation to their education functions and governing bodies of maintained schools and further education institutions, which include sixth-form colleges) to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at a school, or who are students under 18 years of age attending further education institutions. The same duty applies to independent schools (which include Academies and free schools) under section 157 of the same Act. 

How does it work?

This Audit comprises 11 categories within which are a number of questions (standards) which require a response.  Users are required to assess whether their school or college meets each standard, selecting either yes, partly or no. There is an opportunity to upload a file in support of the self-assessment.  In addition there is a free-text box in which users are asked to provide written evidence to support their self-assessment. 

If the standard has not been fully met a manual action point can be entered, which can be assigned to any person registered on Enable.  Once information for the audit has been entered, it can be reviewed e.g. by your Headteacher, Principal, nominated governor before being signed off.  Summary charts and tables of the school or college’s safeguarding compliance can be viewed, downloaded and printed off, in addition to a summary of all action points.

What will happen to the information?

Your safeguarding audit is allocated to your school or college for you to complete, report on, and update as required.  The ESCB and the ECC Schools Safeguarding Advisor, who will be given additional administrative rights, will pull off summary reports from Enable, showing the level of compliance by category and standard, and by establishment type and locality.  Analysis will be done on the responses to allow the Board and ECC Schools Safeguarding Advisor to gain an overview of the general position around the County. 

How to login/register

The link to the Enable log in page is https://essex.vc-enable.co.uk/Home/Login

Pre-authorised users will receive an email from Virtual College informing them that their school or college has been allocated an audit.  

If a school or college has not already been added to the system, or you wish to register as a user, a registration request can be made at https://essex.vc-enable.co.uk/register

Your user name is the email address that is registered on the system for you.  Your password is the one you provided on first log-in. 

For a password re-set go to login page and select ‘Forgotten your password?’ at the bottom of page, or select https://essex.vc-enable.co.uk/Login/ForgottenPassword

Registration Links

The link to the Enable log in page is here.

For a password re-set go to login page and select ‘Forgotten your password?’ at the bottom of page, or select this forgotten password link. 

The link to the registration page for new users who wish to request a log-in is here.

Standards and Resources

Virtual College user guides are available within Enable under Help & Support.  Also available below.

Schools and Colleges online safeguarding audit user guide  

Virtual College frequently asked questions

System requirements

Audit standards and check sheet

Further Help

For any other queries about the process of completing the audit, including queries about the standards please contact:

Kay Pountney Performance Analyst ESCB or 0333 013 1668  

Jo Barclay, Essex County Council Schools Safeguarding Advisor 

For queries relating to logging in and technical issues with the Enable system please contact Virtual College or tel: 01943 885083