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Local Authority and Safeguarding in Education Team updates.

There has been changes in leadership within Bristol City Council - welcome to Abi Gbago, Executive Director of Children, Families and Education, and Reena Bhogal-Welsh, Director of Education . There will be wider structure developments within Bristol City Council Education Directorate. 

The Safeguarding in Education Team resourcing and capacity continues to be limited. This means:

There are many meetings that the Safeguarding in Education Team attend that are strategic. Attendance to these will need to be reviewed. In the spirit of the National Independent Review of Children’s social care members of the KBSP Education Reference Group felt it important to ensure that education is represented at these strategic meetings. It is proposed at the next KBSP Education Reference Group we identify whether members of the education workforce can represent education and feedback to the group. This would be a good professional development opportunity to participate in city wide strategy and development around topical safeguarding work.


Examples include but not an exhaustive list:

Further correspondence will be sent around expressions of interest from colleagues if they wish to nominate themselves for meetings.


Think Family Education App Progress report

This launched January this year and has replaced the vulnerable children’s lists that were going to settings with statutory school aged children. 

It is the vision that all statutory school settings Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputies are signed up to ensure that they can identify and monitor those children who are open to Local Authority teams (child in need, child protection, families in focus and those who have education health and care plans). This will allow for them to monitor the educational outcomes for children who have a social worker outlined in statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Further actions:
- The Insights Team to develop access for early years and post 16 settings.
- The Insights Team to include Targeted Youth Services to be included on the app.
- Settings who have access to the app to consider developing systems to ensure that they use the app and access information in a timely way. 
- Safeguarding in Education Team and the Insights team to monitor access and prompt/support settings who have not accessed the app or are interacting with the platform.
- Safeguarding in Education, the Virtual Hope and Insights to consider how the Think Family Database can be used to get access for all Bristol children who may be attending in other local authority settings.

The Safeguarding in Education team, Hope Virtual School and Insights to work with relevant phase representatives to develop plans around the above.

Child Safeguarding Practice Review Actions for Education Workforce

There were a few actions to be developed in relation to recent rapid reviews.

Education Reference Group to propose a plan for what changes are required to enable education settings to ask and understand who is in a child’s family more consistently.

- Progress practice around the Think Family Education App to ask more consistently when reviewing cases who else maybe involved with having conversations with families. This could be updated and developed through the s.175 Audit.
- Applications and admissions paperwork could be another point where details are obtained, however families may grow since this information is collated and families do not have to disclose.
- Colleagues agreed that the Think Family Education App and developing practice around this was most robust.
- Families in focus and the team around the school are also a useful way for schools to be able to obtain more information with consent from parents.
- There is a lot of information being held by the Bristol City Council Early Years’ service. There needs to be developments and consideration in partnership with the Insights team around how this can be accessed by schools.

Education Reference Group to consider developing protocols to enable schools to consider safeguarding reasons for attendance related issues which may require a more trauma-informed response, in line with new guidance Working together to improve school attendance (due to be statutory in September 2023).

- Work is being undertaken by the Attendance and Belonging group where practice support is being cascaded through the School Attendance Networks and Attendance Weekly Updates

Other lessons that will be integrated into the next s.175 Audit are:

• When transferring safeguarding files, confirming using a follow up email with new setting’s DSL to highlight which children have had previous or current involvement with Children’s social care
• Settings to use termly safeguarding meetings (internal) to reflect on calling a Team Around Family and highlight shared concerns requiring multi-agency actioning.
• Settings to use their safeguarding reporting systems more analytically and review safeguarding team meetings to highlight any patterns/trends for families that require further professional curiosity, information sharing, or action planning.

City Wide Safeguarding Data

There are issues around how we are managing safeguarding Data around the city which causes practice concerns.
• Huge variation of categories being used between settings, even those in the same MAT.
• Impacts on case transfers, risk of missing crucial information/building picture of concerns.
• Increasing demand on DSLs to analyse information for individual child records to assess risk, need and actions.
• Skews data and subsequent analysis and reporting, on a setting/trust, and city-wide level.
• Not consistently testing the effectiveness of city-wide projects.
• City wide data gathering is reliant on the roll out of the S175 audit. This hasn’t been resourced or consistent with meaningful timings for schools.

There are areas that also working well –
• Strategic partnerships working on topical safeguarding issues across the city to develop a community of practice. An example of this being the Child-on-Child Abuse working group.
• Workforce safeguarding practice has developed, however this is not consistently reflected in our systems, recordings, and data.
• Most settings use similar safeguarding systems; CPOMS rolled out.
• CPOMS functions:
- copies of risk assessments, body charts, maps etc.
- includes actions, prompts and delegations.
- supports triangulation of information and contextual safeguarding approaches.

Next steps:
• Set up a working group with cross-phase representation under the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership Education Reference Group.
• Purpose: to consider recording/CPOMS practice, city-wide data collection and data drops.
• Working Group to determine Terms of Reference.

Please email if you would like to be a part of this group.


Child on Child Work Group Update

The child on child working group have been working to develop practice around tackling incidents of physical attacks between children. The following areas of development were identified:

  1. Schools to work together (share information and identify involved children) to respond to conflict between groups.  
  2. Consider consistent early help support for individual and group of children in/and around schools.  
  3. Consider early help support and prevention strategies for groups of children between settings. Consider how these impacts on behaviour and belonging policies and procedures.

The work group are going to review actions around:


Operation Encompass – Police safeguarding notifications.

Avon and Somerset are now an Operation Encompass Force. There are currently no changes to existing processes to the Bristol Police Safeguarding Notification process.

Operation Encompass delivers face to face Key Adult briefings to schools and educational settings and now provides a free online training package in partnership with Virtual College. The training updates staff members' knowledge concerning child victims of domestic abuse. Operation Encompass briefing materials for Designated Safeguarding Leads help ensure that the confidential information we supply to them is treated with appropriate care and sensitivity. Operation Encompass also provides a range of handbooks, guides, posters and videos to schools and education settings to help them support children effectively.

Operation Encompass resources for schools can be found via this link:

You can register for the free online Key Adult training via this link:

We are looking to convene a small task and finish group to consider where how we can effectively implement Operation Encompass and align it to existing practice and work within Bristol. If you are interested in helping us shape this strategically on a city wide level, please email

We are particularly keen to receive nominations from colleague who actively use the Think Family Education App and or receive the Police Safeguarding Notifications for their setting.



If you have any further questions or queries, please do visit the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership Education Reference Group webpage and submit via the online webform.