Director of Safeguarding, Highgate School, London

Posted on: 24-01-2022 | Deadline: 31-01-2022

Job Description

Reference: JAN20223449
Expiry date: 08:00, 31 January 2022
Location: Highgate, North London
Salary: £70,000.00 – £75,000.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Define benefit (final salary) pension scheme, free access to our sports facilities (including a swimming pool), generous holiday allowance of 33 days (including bank holidays), complimentary lunch and family friendly policies.
Attachments: RecruitmentPackDirectorofSafeguardingAT180122.pdf
THE ROLE

In a period of unprecedented challenge for schools and young people following the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ movement, Highgate School has engaged with its many stakeholder groups, including statutory agencies and an Independent Review commissioned by Governors and led by The Rt Hon Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC, a former Lady Justice of Appeal. One significant response to these challenges is the School’s commitment to increasing its provision in the area of safeguarding and child protection, the creation of a new role, a Director of Safeguarding. Hitherto the Deputy Head (Pastoral) has had lead responsibility for safeguarding; the new post-holder will assume these safeguarding responsibilities, including those of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and will answer for these responsibilities to the Deputy Head (Pastoral) and, through her, to the Head and to Governors. The appointment to the new role has been prepared for: Mr Graeme Robertson, the previous Deputy Head (Pastoral) is acting as Deputy Head (Safeguarding) for the Lent Term 2022, alongside the newly-appointed Deputy Head (Pastoral), Rebecca Baxter. It is hoped that the new Director of Safeguarding will be able to take their role in April 2022 on Mr Robertson’s departure.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the safeguarding of all pupils in the School, will be the Lead Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and have overall accountability in any matters relating to safeguarding. The appointee will be required to continue to develop the strategy relating to safeguarding and ensure its delivery to help create a safe environment for our pupils and that all stakeholders are able to and feel comfortable to raise any concerns.

This is an excellent opportunity to join the senior team within an award-winning charity.  If you are interested in being part of one of this country’s top independent school where kindness is at the heart of what we do, then this is an ideal opportunity for you.

We would be interested to receive applications from those either with a background in primary or secondary education and/or with recent, relevant experience within social, health or child protection services. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will have had significant safeguarding responsibility in a previous role. The London Borough of Haringey will be supporting Highgate School in making this appointment.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

Systems and policies  

  • To ensure that the School is compliant with all aspects of relevant Safeguarding legislation, including Working Together to Safeguard Children, Keeping Children Safe in Education and guidance from local Safeguarding Partners including the London Child Protection Protocols;
  • To oversee and direct effective Safeguarding induction and training for all staff including a three-year strategic cycle of training;
  • To oversee Safeguarding and Welfare policy updates, staff training and independent safeguarding audits and Anti-Sexism and Sexual Violence (ASSV) matrix review, working with the Compliance Director and the Director of Inclusion (the School’s sexual violence lead) to ensure best practice across the School;
  • To produce and update a whole school approach to safeguarding documentation
  • To monitor and evaluate the impact of all safeguarding policies, procedures and initiatives on the culture of the School;
  • To take the lead in ensuring that the School is ISI ‘inspection ready’ in relation to our policies and procedures for safeguarding and pastoral care, and their implementation;
  • To ensure that the School maintains meticulous safeguarding records, with an awareness of specific safeguarding software (eg CPOMS);
  • To work closely with the HR Manager (Learning and Development) to ensure the Safer Recruitment records are accurate and all staff who are involved within recruitment have completed the necessary training;
  • To review, amend and contribute to the implementation of the School’s Anti-Sexism and Sexual Violence (ASSV) plan and to lead the ongoing development and implementation of the Peer-on-Peer Abuse Policy;
  • As Lead DSL, to manage allegations and low-level concerns relating to staff including ongoing liaison with the LADO;
  • To have oversight of attendance, pupils missing from education and the transfer of pupil information for leavers and joiners;
  • To fulfil the obligations regarding the PREVENT Duty and be the point of contact for any queries; to help train staff to enable them to protect pupils from radicalization;
  • To attend any relevant training which will include Level 3 Safeguarding & Child Protection.
  • To assist the DH Pastoral in assessing the impact of PSHEE on the effectiveness of and the culture of safeguarding, reviewing all aspects of PSHEE relating to safeguarding regularly
  • To work with the Director of Pupil Wellbeing to ensure the counselling service is aligned to contextual safeguarding issues
  • To have oversight of all pupils with safeguarding concerns and maintain the Serious Pastoral Concern list.
  • To organise the annual safeguarding audit and ensure all suggestions are taken forward.
  • To lead pupil safeguarding training including start of year assemblies (or their equivalent) and termly safeguarding scenarios for tutor time.
  • To have oversight of the school duties and supervision rota to ensure pupils feel safe around the school.
  • To provide supervision for the Principals of Junior School and Pre-Prep in their safeguarding roles.

Communication  

  • To foster effective working relations with all the Local Authorities/safeguarding partner from where the School draws its pupils, in particular Haringey;
  • To lead the team of DSLs across the School (Support, Pre-Prep, Junior and Senior School staff), chairing regular DSL meetings;
  • To have direct access to the Chair of the Governors and the Safeguarding Governor to update them on safeguarding issues.
  • To prepare termly reports for the Governors’ Safeguarding Committee, the Governing Body (including the Governor with specific oversight of Safeguarding and Welfare) on safeguarding matters and serious pastoral issues. ?These would include a brief termly review of the consistency of decision making.
  • To prepare for and minute the Governors’ Safeguarding Committee Meetings;
  • To oversee the work of the Head of E-learning and Digital Health, in conjunction with the Director of IT Services and other staff, in developing strategies for keeping pupils safe online (including annual training for all stakeholders);
  • To prepare and communicate regular updates to all stakeholders;
  • To work with the Pupil Wellbeing, Inclusion and Safeguarding Committee (‘WISC’) to ensure that pupils have sufficient opportunities to voice their opinions on issues regarding safeguarding;
  • To attend the weekly COBRA meetings relating to COVID-19 and help advise on actions to safeguard the pupils.
  • To ensure safeguarding information for all stakeholders is up to date (including Hero, ParentPortal and Venn).

THE SCHOOL

A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a different kind of independent school.  We are a school whose charitable ethos is an inextricable part of both staff and pupil DNA. Highgate doesn’t exist in a bubble, but is connected to, and part of, a community. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and, in 2017, Highgate co-founded the free sixth form school, The London Academy of Excellence Tottenham (LAET), with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club as principal business sponsor.

From the Pre-Prep right up to the Sixth Form, we are actively seeking to embed a real sense of belonging at Highgate. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of an environment that:

  • welcomes them
  • enables them to be themselves
  • understands them
  • encourages questioning, self-knowledge, and self-expression
  • helps them not just to manage, but to thrive, to discover and pursue their passions, and to develop as individuals and members of a community.

To do this, we are evaluating diversity in our professional, curricular and co-curricular life, exploring how to attract pupils and staff from all backgrounds to work and learn at Highgate and providing opportunities to share our own experiences as well as learning from alternative perspectives. Our work on inclusion at Highgate involves pupils, staff, alumni, parents and carers.

Award-winning success

Founded over 450 years ago in 1565 by Sir Roger Cholmeley, Highgate is one of the UK’s leading co-educational independent schools for pupils aged 4-18. There are currently in the region of 1,900 pupils split across our Pre-Preparatory School, Junior School and Senior School sites, in conjunction with approximately 600 teaching and support staff. We are proud to be able to claim some of the top academic results across the UK, as well as titles of Independent School of the Year 2019 and Independent School of the Year for Social Mobility 2019. Highgate has recently been named the Sunday Times London Independent School of the Decade by Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide. “Ranking in the top 25 independent schools in the UK for its results in the examination hall, Highgate achieves well for its children. But it also makes a difference for many more children beyond its own gates.” Alistair McCall, The Sunday Times.

Staff wellbeing

Highgate recognises the value of staff wellbeing which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance, trying our best to support flexible working requests, providing a nutritious food offering and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool. Our ethos is to be a reflective community and we encourage mindfulness throughout our school, for example by offering weekly prayers in our chapel. We also encourage an open culture throughout our school, with our directors having an open-door policy and making use of regular staff surveys.

We also encourage our employees to be continuously engaged in their role by providing opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

Charitable work and sustainability

We remain committed to our original status as an educational charity. Highgate offers a significant number of bursaries to pupils who would otherwise be unable to access our excellent teaching and enriching activities. We are also the principal educational sponsor of the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, which was opened to provide an academically-selective, well-governed free sixth form in a community where such opportunities were lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake a number of charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield. Additionally, we founded the Great Lakes High School in rural Uganda and continue to sponsor it, as it works to become sustainable in its own local community.

Highgate endeavours to be a sustainable school and we support a number of environmentally-friendly local and national initiatives on a daily basis. For example, our staff have embraced our initiative of no longer having single-use cups and, by providing everyone with a re-usable cup, our usage of plastics cups has fallen by 1,000 per week! We also encourage and have been recognised for a number of green transport initiatives.

Highgate School supports anonymous recruitment. This means we hide your personal, identifying information to remove bias from the hiring process. We encourage applications from candidates who experience barriers and inequity due to their ethnicity, gender identity, physical or mental health, sexuality, and/or socio-economic background.

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, overseas police check if necessary and the Disclosure and Barring Service.

For more information, or to apply, please click here.

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