Sheffield primary school promises to ‘rebuild trust’ after Ofsted slam ‘ineffective’ safeguarding

A Sheffield school has pledged to make big changes and ‘rebuild trust’ after Ofsted found safeguarding to be ‘ineffective’ at the site, putting children ‘at risk’.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:13 pm

Inspectors discovered leaders and governors lacked ‘knowledge and understanding of how to effectively safeguard pupils’ at Clifford All Saints Primary School in Nether Edge.

Ofsted visited the school in November last year after concerns were raised about pupil safety.

The report found that, due to ‘weak’ training, ‘systems to recognise and record concerns, procedures for dealing with concerns and complaints, and the curriculum to help pupils learn about the risks they may face, are not good enough’.

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Pupils stand in line. Photo for illustrative purposes by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images.

It reads: “The headteacher knows that the curriculum for pupils’ personal development is weak and reactive. Staff confirm that the curriculum does not include safeguarding as a priority.

"Consequently, pupils have little or no knowledge of the risks associated with drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse. Many have no knowledge of how to stay safe online, other than what they have learned at home.”

Inspectors also found there had been ‘incidents of bullying and that there was ‘poor heating’ in the school’s Key Stage 2 building, posing ‘health and safety risks’.

But new executive headteacher Cathy Rowland said the school took health and safety of pupils ‘extremely seriously’ with positive changes firmly underway following the creation of a new senior leadership team.

Ms Rowland said: "Since the inspection, the school has had a change of senior leadership and many of the safeguarding policies have been overhauled and updated so that our procedures are now clear and robust.

"All staff have received thorough training on key issues to ensure that our safeguarding and health and safety practices not only meet the needs of our children but are embedded in the culture of our school.

“We know there is still more we need to do – and we will do it. I want to reassure parents, staff and children that we are putting the measures in place to address the concerns and rebuild trust, so you can be confident our number one priority is keeping our students safe and happy."

In November 2020, Sheffield City Council also undertook a safeguarding audit that identified ‘serious lack of governor oversight of safeguarding’- the authority has since ‘stepped up’ its intervention.

Councillor Abtisam Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Sheffield City Council, said: "Prior to the inspection in November, we had conducted our own investigation and been in contact with Ofsted to address a number of safeguarding issues at Clifford All Saints primary school.

"As a result we are now working closely with the school to address the concerns raised in the recent report. There is a new leadership team in place and many changes have already been implemented which is a great step in the right direction, however the school accepts there is still more that can be done.

"Safeguarding children and young people across the city is the absolute priority. We will continue to support the school as they continue to make improvements to ensure pupils receive the best education and experiences possible at school."

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