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Safeguarding Matters: Why Teachers Need to Be Proactive in Keeping Students Safe

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author: Tristan Hehir

​As a teacher, protecting your students is one of the most important things you can do. Safeguarding is the process of ensuring that all students are safe and protected from harm and abuse, and it’s critical that teachers understand why safeguarding matters and how they can be proactive in keeping their students safe. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of safeguarding and what teachers can do to keep their students safe.


What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the process of protecting children and young people from harm. It is an important responsibility of teachers working in schools, who must be proactive in keeping students safe. Safeguarding includes protecting children from abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as addressing the wider issues that can put children at risk. This includes providing a safe environment in the classroom and playground, promoting good behavior and discipline, and developing positive relationships with students.

It also involves making sure that all staff in the school are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities and ensuring that any concerns about the welfare or safety of students are reported and addressed promptly. In some cases, this may involve referring a student to social services or other external agencies for further support.

By understanding what safeguarding is, teachers can create a safe and secure environment for students, helping to ensure their physical, emotional and social wellbeing.


Why safeguarding matters

When it comes to the safety of students, there is no room for compromise. As teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that all of our students are in a safe and secure learning environment. Safeguarding is an essential part of this responsibility and it is important that we take proactive steps to protect the wellbeing of our students.

At its core, safeguarding is about keeping children safe from harm and preventing them from suffering any form of abuse or neglect. It is also about responding to and addressing any concerns that arise in relation to the safety and welfare of students. A good safeguarding policy will include strategies for addressing issues such as bullying, substance misuse, online safety, mental health, radicalization and other forms of harm or exploitation.

From a practical perspective, safeguarding involves taking measures to reduce the risk of harm to students and responding promptly and appropriately when risks are identified. This includes having appropriate policies and procedures in place, as well as providing staff training on how to recognize and respond to safeguarding issues. It also requires having systems in place for reporting concerns and liaising with external agencies when necessary.

By taking a proactive approach to safeguarding, teachers can play a crucial role in protecting the safety of their students and helping to create a safe and secure learning environment. By doing so, we can help ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential without fear of harm or exploitation.


The role of teachers in safeguarding

Teachers have a vital role in safeguarding students and ensuring that they are safe from any harm or abuse. Teachers must be aware of the signs and symptoms of possible abuse, neglect, and other forms of harm, and be prepared to take appropriate action if necessary.

Teachers are responsible for monitoring and reporting any suspected signs of abuse or neglect in accordance with their school's child protection policy. It is important for teachers to recognize that some students may be reluctant to report their experiences due to fear of reprisal or lack of trust. In these cases, it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the student, such as informing the student’s parent/guardian or social services.

Teachers should also strive to create a safe and secure environment where students feel comfortable disclosing any issues they may have. This could include activities such as establishing open communication with students, creating an environment of trust, and teaching age-appropriate lessons on personal safety.

Finally, teachers need to be familiar with their school’s policies and procedures on safeguarding and child protection. They must also stay informed of any new developments related to safeguarding in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students.


What to do if you have concerns about a student

It’s important that teachers take any concerns they have about a student seriously and respond appropriately. If a teacher has a concern, they should immediately tell the designated safeguarding lead at their school. This could be a senior member of staff, or a safeguarding officer. The designated safeguarding lead will help teachers to decide if a referral to social services is necessary.

The school will also have a clear procedure for reporting any suspicions or concerns about a child. This might include documenting the incident and submitting it to the school's designated safeguarding lead or the relevant local authority safeguarding team. It is essential that this is done as soon as possible to ensure any issues are addressed quickly and effectively.

If there is an immediate risk of harm to a child, then the police should be contacted right away. Teachers should make sure to document any reports made and follow up on any investigations or actions taken by the designated safeguarding lead.

Ultimately, teachers are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of students in their care. They need to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect and know how to report any concerns they have in a timely and effective manner. Taking the steps outlined above can help to ensure that children are kept safe in the educational environment.



Safeguarding is an important topic for teachers working in schools. It involves proactively protecting children from harm and promoting their welfare. Teachers play a vital role in safeguarding, as they are the first line of defense for their students. When teachers have concerns about a student, it is important for them to act quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of the child. By taking these steps, teachers can help ensure that all students have a safe and positive learning experience