Whilst most safeguarding systems focus on listening to adults, children may not want to readily share that information with them (Carlene Firmin, Contextual Safeguarding Assessment Framework, 2017). Through listening to students and putting them at the centre, schools will gain a more holistic view of their community and its safety. ‘Contextual Safeguarding in Action: The Key to Safer Communities’ gives a breakdown of how a contextual safeguarding approach can help schools and DSLs gain a stronger understanding of their community and the context influencing an environment, and how to respond.
Additionally, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, worry is growing over vulnerable children and gaps have appeared in reporting safeguarding concerns. A child-centred approach is needed now more than ever. We also present how our child-focused safeguarding tool fits into the contextual safeguarding approach, listening to young people and providing them with a voice that will be listened and responded to, whilst allowing schools to monitor and safeguard their students during this time of unprecedented disruption.