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.
- In order to fulfil their safeguarding duties, these bodies should have in place the arrangements set out in Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children (HMG, 2015).
- Schools and colleges must also have regard to the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016).
The ESCB has a statutory responsibility to assess how effectively its partners are fulfilling their safeguarding obligations and the audit supports this work.