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Meet the Team – Education Safeguarding Leads

Date: Thursday, 29th Apr 2021 | Category: General

The Education Safeguarding Advice Service(ESAS) provides safeguarding information, support and guidance in order to enhance safeguarding policy in practice in all Staffordshire schools and colleges. The intention is not to do things to or for people but to empower members of staff to do these things; building capacity and enhancing knowledge. We support the Designated Safeguarding Lead’s in education to use Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) policies and procedures to inform their decisions about thresholds and the level of needs for children and families.

The Education Safeguarding Leads , who manage ESAS, are there to offer support and challenge to Staffordshire education settings about the safeguarding of Staffordshire children. Support can come through individual setting safeguarding audits, dealing with Ofsted complaints, directly supporting Designated Safeguarding Lead’s (DSL) though termly briefings, updating policies and procedures, attending appropriate strategic meetings (e.g. Child Death Overview Panels; SSCB Rapid Reviews) on behalf of education establishments and maintaining direct links with SSCB. The Education Safeguarding Leads deliver SSCB Level 4 Designated Safeguarding Lead training on a monthly basis, and are also now excited to be trainers of the new NSPCC Graded Care Profile2 neglect tool which they will be rolling out to all education settings. We also support education settings with professional challenge of multi-agencies work, key to achieving better outcomes for children and families.

Roz Randall

Hi my name is Roz and I am one of the Education Safeguarding Leads. I joined West Midlands Police as a young police cadet in 1978, and then a police officer before finally leaving in 1997. The role of a police officer develops so many skills, not least the need to be inquisitive and to look behind what is presented to your face. Coming in to contact with people when they are at a crisis point in their lives really did make me understand the need to be compassionate, to have empathy and to have great communication skills. Not always easy! Leaving the police I entered the world of education, first as a teaching assistant at a post 16 independent special school, then to a Staffordshire high school as the Inclusion Unit Manager until 2000 when I joined Staffordshire County Council as an Education Welfare Officer.

The progression to my current role came through the safeguarding knowledge I have developed throughout my work life and my strong belief that education settings are the one consistent agency in most children’s lives, seeing them on average 195 days of the year! Education is paramount to the safeguarding of children and I am passionate about supporting, and challenging at all times. The DSLs in those settings and they have a tough job! providing early help without recognising that is what they are doing at times. I believe in the strength that comes from multi-agency working and I have met so many amazing people in education, who strive to get the best outcomes for children, young people and their families. My one strong belief is in the voice of the child, listening to them and really hearing what they are saying which is key to everything we do.

I am also a mom of three beautiful, strong daughters, and a very blessed Grandma to six awesome grandchildren. My family is my everything. (and I do like food too!). Contact me roz.randall@staffordshire.gov.uk

Viki Hulme

Hello my name is Viki Hulme and I am one of the two Education Safeguarding Leads in Staffordshire. I also started my working life as a police officer and was always very curious to know and understand the story behind the behaviours, even in my very early days. This carried on throughout my career in a variety of roles and then in 2013, having worked for Staffordshire Police for nearly 25 years, I had a change of career and started to work in a Staffordshire high school as a mentor and then in a safeguarding role. I have to say that the two jobs were not actually that different !

As an Education Safeguarding Lead I feel passionately about supporting schools in their key role of safeguarding. They are integral in early identification of need and supporting children and their families to improve outcomes. I feel very strongly that opportunity, education and aspiration is key for ALL of our children. Every single child deserves a champion and this can only be achieved with strong multi agency partnership working. Contact me viki.hulme@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Lisa Farmer

Hi, my name is Lisa and I am one of Staffordshire’s two Education Safeguarding Advisors. I have always had an interest in helping and understanding people and after completing a degree in Psychology and Criminology at Keele University I knew that I wanted to enter a role where I could put these two things into practice within my local area. I started working for Staffordshire County Council in 2008 where I initially worked for the First Response Team. From here I transferred to the Emergency Duty Service, where I worked for over 10 years, expanding my knowledge in areas including adult social care and mental health. In 2019 I moved to my current role within ESAS, focusing once again on helping young people within Staffordshire.

I am sure that anyone who works in safeguarding will agree with me that at times this role is extremely challenging. We deal with issues that are often hard hitting and traumatic including child deaths, mental health issues and various forms of abuse. However those that know me well will know that there isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t face this with a smile and where I am not motivated to make a change or to make a difference to as many young people’s lives as I am able to. My wish is that every young person in Staffordshire is able to live the best life that they possibly can and to be part of an organisation that is able to contribute to making that difference, no matter how small, is an absolute privilege. Contact me lisa.farmer@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Caroline Boote

Hello! I’m Caroline, also one of the two Education Safeguarding Advisors for Staffordshire County Council. I have worked with young people and families for nearly twenty years in a range of roles, including as a First Response worker, primary school teacher and as a connexions personal advisor. What I love about all these roles, is working with professionals, children and families to make positive changes in a child’s life; empowering change by using professional challenge and taking into account the needs and feelings of those families.

The biggest thing I promote is thinking and asking ‘why’ a child is demonstrating aggressive behaviour. Is it as simple as that or is there something experienced or underlying that is causing this? What do you know? Ask! During my time at ESAS, I have seen some excellent practice by education professionals and due to this some major positive changes for children. It is key to document those conversations and your decision making. Contact me caroline.boote@staffordshire.gov.uk.