The safety of students should be a priority for all schools, but organisations also need to provide a robust reporting solution for their staff should they become aware of safeguarding concerns. ‘Safeguarding 24’ is an incredibly easy-to-use system for reporting incidents or worries directly to safeguarding officers.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, the Google Workspace analytics company ‘Statistics 24’ were repeatedly asked by their customers if they knew of a simple but robust software solution for a key problem. Schools and colleges needed to allow the reporting of safeguarding concerns to their internal teams while their students and staff worked from home. After a lot of research, it turned out there wasn’t anything that met the required criteria, so Statistics 24 worked with their customers and top safeguarding experts to build their own system which has been welcomed and praised by its users.
Headteacher at Wapping High School, Gary Nelson, said:
“Safeguarding 24 helps our students to raise any concern they may have in an online space, and for our staff it provides an immediate insight into any issues relating to a student who may be dealing with cyber bullying or a wider issue. For our school, working in partnership with expert trusted advisers ensures we can deploy the right technologies with confidence rather than hope we are procuring the right tools.”
Safeguarding 24 allows organisations who provide their users with either Microsoft or Google Workspace accounts to fill out a simple reporting form where they can describe the concern. They can optionally choose from a list of reasons for the report to help safeguarding officers categorise the issue. By authenticating against their school, college or work account it means that the designated safeguarding officer(s) at the organisation can investigate the report and follow-up if necessary. Without that key piece of information, systems are open to abuse and incidents may prove impossible to look into.
The reporting form is available to users on the Safeguarding 24 website, or can be embedded directly into an organisation’s own websites with a single line, making it easy for their users to find and bookmark for quick access. There is also a free web browser extension available for subscribed organisations which adds a vital extra feature for users of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla’s Firefox browsers. The plugin can be installed on campus or home computers to allow the user to instantly grab a snapshot of the current browser window, which gets included in the report to provide evidence for the safeguarding team. If an incident occurs during a video call, on social media, in an email or private message etc. a screenshot can provide key information and proof to aid in the investigation. Upon submission, the form is sent securely and immediately to the designated safeguarding officer/team at the users school, college or workplace.
Jamie Smith, co-founder and C-Learning Executive Chairman, commented:
“We built Safeguarding 24 to provide a simple yet powerful solution for educators teaching in an online world. It was co-created with a community of educators seeking to provide assurances of a safe online learning space. No matter what platform you use, it can provide complimentary assurance to existing safeguarding procedures.”
Neil King, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer added:
“Safeguarding 24 is not only for reporting incidents which happen online. It can be used to report any concerns at school, home or elsewhere. By working with safeguarding experts, we have created a tool which we feel all schools and colleges should have access to. Hopefully their students will never need to use it, but knowing it is only a single click away provides peace-of-mind for them, their parents/carers and the organisation.”
[by Abigail King]