Are you really, really confident that everyone in your setting understands their safeguarding role? I mean their individual responsibilities within it. Do they really, at a deep emotional level?
As Paulette and I were out training with a fabulous Early Years Setting yesterday …. (A Safeguarding Awareness course), the news was breaking about the Early Years’ Trainee, Sophie Elms, who has been convicted of sexually harming very young children. She is described in a number of sensationalist ways according to where you read reports, what struck me though was her emotional immaturity.
I asked a member of the setting team to read a section of 3.6 of the EYFS Guidance yesterday,
“inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with children, for example inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images”.
We discussed what this really meant in terms of team working, including working to the setting’s Professional Behaviour Policy (behaviour at work, at home and online), and Whistleblowing Policy. Individual Practitioners cannot fulfil on their role though unless they are empowered, supported and encouraged. That encouragement and support comes from the Manager’s philosophy for the setting.
Is actively building professional confidence a cornerstone of your setting’s philosophy?
Confidence comes from actively ‘feeling’ your individual role, embodying it and being supported in taking confident ownership of it.
‘Building Professional Confidence’ is our mantra at Catherine Rushforth & Associates, everything we do starts and ends here …. you can know loads, but if you don’t feel it you are unlikely to act on your concerns.