Child protection training industry

I was just passed an email from an organisation called ‘Child Protection Training UK’, which advertises its services thus:

‘The New Ofsted inspection framework in place from January 2012 is bringing massive changes to the safeguarding procedures. Safeguarding will no longer be a limiting judgement, however it will fall under both leadership & management and behaviour and safety judgements. In addition, inspectors will be heavily scrutinising bullying and student’s abilities to assess and manage risk. In time of reform, are you confident your safeguarding procedures are up to date and aligned with the new Ofsted Inspection framework? Our courses provide information on how organisations can fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities.’

It then proceeds to offer levels 1, 2, and 3 child protection courses – as well as a ‘level 3 update’. It’s not clear how much of the course relates to child welfare, and how much to knowledge of recognised ‘proceedures’, ‘good safeguarding practice’, the latest guidelines and requirements, and so on. (One suspects more of the latter than the former).

What is interesting is how a child protection training industry has grown up around over-cautious state regulations – with more and more organisations like this offering their services. Apparently, this is ‘required by law’ that you undertake the update course every 2 years:

Are you the school’s designated person or deputy for child protection? Is your training up to date? You are required by law to have undertaken the recognised course and attend an update course every two years. In Line with Ofsted’s new safeguarding children Briefing for section 5 inspectors (January 2010), you should have already undertaken our level 3 full course to attend this update course.

When costs ‘start at’ £250 a day, and each person must repeat every two years, it’s not hard to see that this is a multimillion pound industry. There appears to be a complicity between regulations by state bodies, and the charities and companies who offer ‘training’ on how you can ‘fulfil your safeguarding responsibilities’ (ie, comply with regulations).

The point of the ‘update’ is less to remind you how to recognise child abuse – which any good teacher would know already – but to update you on the latest proceedures and guidelines for ‘safe’ comportment.