Independent school governors: How often should they be retrained in their Safeguarding responsibilities?

governors safeguarding schools Sep 06, 2023


Governors of an independent school have a legal responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children in their school. This includes protecting children from harm, neglect, and exploitation.

The Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) guidance states that governors should be "regularly updated" on their safeguarding responsibilities. This means that each school should decide how often its governors need to be retrained, taking into account factors such as the size and complexity of the school, the level of risk to children, and the experience of the governors.

Best Practice

As a best practice, independent school governors should be re-trained in their safeguarding responsibilities annually. This will ensure that they have the latest knowledge and skills to keep children safe.

The training should cover a range of topics, including:

  • The definition of safeguarding and child protection: What is safeguarding? What is child protection? What is the difference between the two?
  • The signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect: What are the signs and symptoms of physical abuse? Emotional abuse? Sexual abuse? Neglect?
  • The school's safeguarding policies and procedures: What are the school's policies and procedures for safeguarding children? How do these policies and procedures work?
  • How to report concerns about safeguarding: How do you report concerns about safeguarding to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)? Is your DSL's Safeguarding knowledge up to date and have they had their two-year training updates?


In addition to annual refresher training, governors should also receive updates on safeguarding matters when there are significant changes to legislation or guidance. They should also be kept informed of any incidents that have occurred in the school or local community that have a bearing on safeguarding.

It is important to have a governor who takes the lead on safeguarding strategy in the school. This person should be responsible for liaising with the rest of the governors on safeguarding matters, ensuring that they are aware of their responsibilities and that they receive the necessary training and updates.

By taking safeguarding seriously and ensuring that governors are properly trained, schools can help to create a safe and supportive environment for all children.

Graffham Global provide an online course for this. For the course outline, please view here:
Safeguarding Responsibilities for Independent School Governors Course (Online)

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Further Resources - Online Training

Safeguarding Awareness CourseĀ (Online Level 1)

Safeguarding Advanced Course (Online Level 2)

Safer Recruitment for Schools and Colleges Course (Online)

Safeguarding Advanced Course (Online Level 2)

DSL Level 3 for Designated Safeguarding Leads Course (Online DSL Level 3)

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