Trainee teachers don’t understand safeguarding role, says Ofsted

The Tes reports that inspectors find that trainees are unclear about their safeguarding responsibilities towards children. 

Understanding safeguarding was one of the areas for improvement flagged up from the first stage inspections of initial teacher education this summer, Angela Milner, Ofsted’s specialist HMI for initial teacher education, told a conference today.

Ms Milner told the annual conference of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) that it was “worrying” that safeguarding was one of the weaker areas of professional training.

“Trainees didn’t actually understand what safeguarding was about and their responsibilities as a teacher,” she said. There was also concern about trainees’ knowledge of the Prevent duty and teaching British values.

Ms Milner said that one of the problems that inspectors of initial teacher education were finding with safeguarding was that students were not being provided with the documents they need.

Since September 2016, schools have had to ensure that all trainee teachers are provided with the child protection policy, the staff behaviour policy and information about the role of the designated safeguarding lead.

Initial teacher education is inspected in two stages – the first stage is carried out at the end of the summer term, and no judgements are made on the teacher training provider at this stage. The second stage is carried out in the autumn term, when the trainees are then working as NQTs, and focuses on the quality of teaching.

Read more Trainee teachers don’t understand safeguarding role, says Ofsted

Do you understand the safeguarding role? If not, why not and what can be done to improve its teaching? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Learning, Safeguarding, Teaching and Training.


  1. ‘Safeguarding’ – a huge industry built on the premise that utopia is possible but which is incapable of stopping bad people doing bad things. The epitome of red tape.

    It is nice to know that trainee teachers are still sufficiently naive to believe that they are signing up for teaching, not social work or law enforcement.

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