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Our safeguarding expert Michael Clack provides some valuable insights for best practice

"It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, across the continents, there are still instances of teachers, even heads of school, starting the term without their references having been checked.

What an indictment of the often-repeated statement from schools that the safety of our students is paramount. If this situation is not serious enough to illustrate the necessity of safeguarding and, in this instance that of safer recruitment, then I am not sure what is."

Read the full article here

This is the second of Michael Clacks articles for the TES on safeguarding. Michael, a registered and qualified safeguarding instructor and trainer is Orbital's expert in safeguarding, knows what a critical topic safeguarding has become, even more so with the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to schools across the globe.

Safeguarding is top of the list for the schools at Orbital as Michael explains:

"As lead for Orbital on safeguarding and child protection, I am focused on ensuring that the schools in our group deliver on their commitment, ensuring that our students will be happy, safe, and challenged in their learning. There are 3 key areas that I focus on:

Our parents - it is vital that they are confident and that the learning environment is safe for their child. Therefore we ensure our schools offer a well maintained and well managed environment in which the safety and welfare of students and staff is paramount.

Our leaders - as a group, I ensure that we work to the highest expectations, ensuring the board is compliant with the regulatory framework for governance and, where appropriate, charity and company law. We ensure our leaders receive appropriate training or development on any issues of compliance."

The wider team - the approach is always to be pro-active, not reactive when advising and supporting in this critical area. Sharing best practice is vital to provide context and to ensure all members of the board and leadership team are acutely aware of their responsibilities and to execute them effectively and efficiently."

We are delighted that his vast experience in this area is being shared with the wider audience via the TES so that others can also benefit from his experience.

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Safeguarding in international schools: 4 vital issues

Keeping children safe is a challenge in any school, but international schools have extra challenges to overcome. A leading expert in international safeguarding offers his advice.

"The protection of the children comes above everything else in a school; it outweighs the importance of exams, it takes precedence over staffing costs, and it absolutely trumps the desire to maintain a school’s reputation.

For school leaders, the thought of making a safeguarding mistake is utterly terrifying, owing to the risks involved. But is it as straightforward as just ensuring all your paperwork is in order?

"Not really, says Michael Clack, a leading expert in safeguarding in international schools."

Read the full article here

About Michael

Michael has over 25 years’ experience in UK and International education. Michael is a registered and qualified safeguarding instructor and trainer and, as a Regional Head of Schools at Orbital Education he is the Board Representative and Designated Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection for all 9 Orbital schools.

He has a wealth of experience, not only as a Lead Improvement Partner and Peer Accreditor for the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), Team Inspector for British Schools Overseas, member of the International Task Force on Child Protection, Team Visitor and Team Chair for the Council of International Schools (CIS). Michael is also a governor at three UK schools.

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