Rednal Hill Junior School is situated in the south west of the city, close to the Lickey Hills at Longbridge. The school aims to ensure a happy, caring and safe environment where children and adults are valued and fulfilled. Rednal Hill Juniors provides a sound education, meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum by providing a consistent programme of study which will promote the full development of each child.
All staff at the school are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This commitment to ensure the safety of the school community has led to the implementation of a safe, secure and streamlined solution to record and manage all safeguarding concerns. To find out more, we talked to Deputy Headteacher and Lead DSL, Rebecca McAnulty.
“We were previously using paper-based systems. My main concern with this method is that it is often the smaller concerns that don't get recorded, for example, the child who comes in without having breakfast or the child who is unusually teary. Because paper-based systems involve going to someone or getting a form and passing the form on, people tend to only record the more significant issues. In line with recommendations from Serious Case reviews, I wanted to encourage staff to record the 'little things', that can build up to give a comprehensive picture of any safeguarding issues for a child. Whilst being robust, we also wanted to ensure the system was manageable for DSLs. MyConcern had been introduced in my previous school just before I left and I was very impressed. I knew immediately that it was a system I would want to introduce in any school that I worked in. So, we began using MyConcern at Rednal Hill Juniors in May 2016. The training instantly showed that the system would have many benefits. We felt it met all our requirements.
The setup was simple with MyConcern integrating seamlessly with the school MIS data, so all we need to do is add the details of any concerns against an existing pupil record.
We are very happy with the MyConcern solution and it is good to see that improvements are being made all the time. The support forums are a good way for us to make suggestions and it is clear that One-Team-Logic (the people behind MyConcern) want to work closely with users to make the system as effective as possible.
One unexpected benefit has been ensuring that all concerns are followed up. Once a hard copy file goes back into a locked cupboard, it is harder to remember to complete any required follow up actions. However, we make sure that all concerns are left 'open' until all required actions have been completed. This means there is a constant reminder of outstanding actions to be completed.
I feel that we now record more information about a child. It has also allowed us to pull together a range of concerns about a child, including attendance and behaviour.
When reading any statutory documentation about safeguarding records, I have been confident that MyConcern meets all requirements.
The support package provided around MyConcern has been hugely helpful. Link2ICT’s Louise France (Training Manager) has always been willing to chat on the phone if there were any areas of uncertainty. Training was manageable and informative. It is now great to see that the system will be able to support us when completing our Section 175 Audit (the local authority safeguarding audit designed to help schools to develop their safeguarding practice).
The time saving element has been significant. It makes a huge difference not to have to go and access the paper files every time there is a new concern. It is also much quicker and easier to access old concerns to update them or just remind yourself of previous concerns when working with children and families.
As Lead DSL, I would definitely recommend MyConcern to any school. It has allowed the whole school community to work more collaboratively to ensure children are safe and looked after. Concerns can be raised by anyone, at any time, and all DSLs can access information about any pupil to monitor and update concerns. The ability to access this information at any time and for a number of different people who work with a child to separately update concerns, is a huge benefit when working under the pressures and time constraints faced by many DSLs.”
Headteacher, Robert Jones, has been impressed by the impact MyConcern has made on safeguarding in school, “I agree wholeheartedly with everything Rebecca has said. MyConcern has revolutionised how we deal with concerns at Rednal Hill. This solution has allowed our DSLs to work far more effectively and efficiently with the whole school community to ensure pupil safety. The fact that MyConcern is always accessible, is invaluable.”