Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 46 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.56 Local authority education services have responsibilities towards children educated at home. Home educators and local authorities are encouraged to work together to develop trust, mutual respect and a positive relationship in the best educational interests of the child. The welfare and protection of all children, both those who attend school and those who are educated by other means, is paramount. Further guidance t o parents and local authorities on home education is under review by Scottish Government in 2021. 2.57 Specific forms of concern require appropriate levels of awareness, knowledge and skills within an establishment. These include recognition of neglect, mental health problems, parental alcohol and drug use, under-age sexual activity, child sexual abuse and exploitation, honour-based abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and bullying. Education establishments and early learning and childcare settings have a responsibility, in co‑operation with Child Protection Committees, to ensure that there are appropriate and regularly reviewed procedures and guidance in place. Early learning and childcare 2.58 Early learning and childcare (ELC) is a service consisting of education and care for children who are under school age. All three- and four-year-olds, and certain two-year-olds, are entitled to funded ELC. Local authorities also have discretionary powers to provide ELC in addition to the funded early learning and childcare entitlement to children deemed to be ‘in need’. ELC is delivered by local authority, private and Third Sector providers, including self-employed childminders. As with any service that works directly with children and their families, ELC providers are well placed to identify concerns, offer support, and participate in plans to reduce risk as appropriate. They are also expected to have effective child protection procedures in place to ensure staff have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and to respond appropriately. Grant Aided Special Schools (GASS) 2.59 GASS offer specialist support services for children and young people with complex additional support needs. They are all registered charities, charge fees for their services and receive direct funding from Scottish Government. Staff working in these schools share the same responsibilities in protecting children as all staff working in local authority education services. Independent schools 2.60 As for all staff in local authority establishments, all staff in independent and grant aided schools have a responsibility to ensure that the children in their care are not harmed. This applies to teachers and all other practitioners. The proprietors of independent schools have a responsibility to ensure that the school they are responsible for does not become objectionable on any of the grounds listed in section 99(1A) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. This includes ensuring that the welfare of learners is safeguarded and promoted at the school. 2.61 The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 strengthened the provisions which ensure that teachers in independent schools (as well as other persons in child care positions) meet the necessary standards to enable them to work with children. From 1 June 2021 all teachers in independent schools must be GTCS-registered under the Registration of Independent Schools (Prescribed Person) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (as amended in 2020).