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Safeguarding in schools

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility, and everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play.

Schools and colleges and their staff are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children.

In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. Download the statutory guidance for schools and colleges about keeping children safe in education.

Devon County Council (DCC) is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and children and aims to provide schools with accurate, up-to-date resources, advice and guidance, in line with national and local regulations in a way that is clear, concise and easily accessible.

Further information on the Safeguarding Service can be found here

Pupils on reduced timetables

Following an inspection of DCC in early 2020, Ofsted have been clear to emphasise the safeguarding responsibility on schools for children who are not on a full timetable.

The Education Act 2007 sets out that schools have safeguarding responsibility for all pupils on roll. Schools must therefore must be aware that they are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of all pupils on roll who are off-site during school hours – even if a parent/carer agreement to any reduced timetable arrangement has been made.

The reporting form to DCC seeks to ensure that schools have effectively considered this through a multi-disciplinary team and seeks clarity on:

  • Any safeguarding concerns
  • How any safeguarding concerns have been assessed and mitigated
  • Any Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) referrals or missing episodes highlighted
  • Who is the adult responsible at these time of absence from school.


If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.