A culture of safety is needed at nurseries to protect children from accidents and abuse

Date Published: 24 Apr 2013 @ 00:00 AM
Article By: Sue Learner, News Editor

Recent high-profile cases such as the death of a three-year-old at a nursery last year, have demonstrated that childcare providers need to establish a culture of safety within their settings, if nursery staff are to ensure the environment is safe for children.

The Pre-School Learning Alliance has just published the book ‘Safeguarding through Effective Supervision’ calling for well-structured and regular supervision procedures in nurseries.

Andrew Burroughs, lead safeguarding advisor for the Pre-school Learning Alliance, and author of the publication, said: “The specific processes for safeguarding vary from one local safeguarding board area to another and from one provision to another. Although there are some key aspects of safeguarding procedure which will always be present and which will always require the same issues to be considered.

“Understanding some of the processes of safeguarding will also help in understanding the practicalities of supervision. As the book discusses, it should not be a process separate from the normal language, principles and procedures of safeguarding. It should use them as its central theme and connect directly with the processes whenever possible”.

Mr Burroughs would like to see staff being supported to express any concerns they might have for children’s welfare and practitioners willing to challenge their own practice and the practice of others.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (2012) places an obligation on all providers to work with the wider safeguarding network and to focus on the safety and welfare within the provision through the introduction of a staff supervision process, stating that ‘supervision should provide opportunities for staff to discuss any issues - particularly concerning children’s development or well-being, identify solutions to address issues as they arise and receive coaching to improve their personal effectiveness’.

‘Safeguarding through Effective Supervision’ gives an overview of the safeguarding and child protection systems along with an exploration of the structure and content of the supervision process, which together will enable staff and managers to safeguard the children in their care.

The publication moves on to explore the practical requirements of safeguarding; the theoretical underpinning of supervision and finally consideration of the practical process of supervision. In order to aid the implementation of effective supervision within a nursery, templates are provided for recording supervision and a model supervision agreement.

Michael Freeston, director of quality improvement for the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said: “Many practitioners have sought advice from the Pre-school Learning Alliance on how to meet the new supervision requirement of the EYFS.

“This publication outlines clearly and effectively how they can ensure the supervision they undertake with staff works to maintain the safety of children in their care.”

To order the book go to www.pre-school.org.uk/shop

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