Safeguarding data & record-keeping in international schools
Safeguarding data & record-keeping in international schools
Jenny Lloyd CIS Affiliated Consultant

An exploration by the International Task Force on Child Protection

By Leila Holmyard, Associate Director Safeguarding, Well-being, Belonging, Frankfurt International School & Dr Jenny Lloyd, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire.

 

How do international schools maintain high-quality records of safeguarding and behaviour concerns while protecting and upholding students’ right to privacy and secure data protection? The International Task Force on Child Protection invites international school colleagues to contribute to a survey on practice in this area.

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International Task Force on Child Protection Survey
on data and record-keeping

Work at an international school? Complete the survey here by 11 April 2024.

 

Strong record-keeping systems allow schools to securely track safeguarding and well-being concerns about the students in their care. Record keeping is a vital component of keeping children safe: being able to see patterns and trends over time is key to identifying and responding to concerns.

Yet, record-keeping can be a place where bias, victim blaming, and criminalisation of children show up in schools. Further, the intersection between safeguarding and behavioural records can be complex, especially in the case of peer-on-peer harm.Recent years have seen several changes to the way international schools record safeguarding data, most notably the shift many schools are making from paper to electronic record-keeping systems. Electronic systems allow for more consistent and secure records, as well as the analysis of data over time. But they also bring challenges to schools in relation to data protection, retention, and transfer. International school contexts differ significantly, and schools need to take account of national privacy and safeguarding laws, as well as international recommended practice and the best interests of the children.

The International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) was formed in 2014 with a mandate to apply the collective resources, expertise, and partnerships of its members to help international school communities address child protection challenges.

One of the ITFCP working groups for the 2023–24 academic year is focused on safeguarding data and record-keeping, with the following goals:

  • Gather data from international schools on:​
    • How they categorise, record, and review behavioural and safeguarding concerns about both students and teachers
    • What the barriers and enablers are to effective practice in this area​
       
  • Issue guidance and generate resources related to:​
    • Categorisation of behavioural and safeguarding concerns​
    • High-quality record-keeping for behavioural and safeguarding concerns, including language to use when recording a concern, how to maintain a clear chronological record showing concerns, actions, plans and risk assessments ​
    • Reviewing records and data once obtained, to spot patterns and identify concerns at an early stage​
       
  • Articulate the uses and benefits of different systems for recording and tracking safeguarding and concerns, including centralisation, retention, and access considerations ​
     
  • Create guidance and example templates for reports on safeguarding data to the school owner or board, including the number and nature of concerns, patterns and emerging trends, and the use of a risk register ​

Complete the survey

As part of the work towards these goals, the working group is inviting all international school safeguarding leads, counsellors, and school leaders to Complete the 10-minute survey. The survey explores how international schools categorise and record behavioural and safeguarding concerns about both students and teachers. It also asks about the barriers and enablers to effective practice in this area. The survey will be open until 11 April 2024.

Survey findings will be analysed by the working group and shared back to the international school community on the ICMEC Education Portal, together with practical guidance and resources.

Thanks!

 


 

 

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Reasons why you and your school can benefit from attending a CIS workshop to manage allegations of abuse in April and explore online harm and abuse in May

Key reasons to register for our workshop to manage allegations in April

Child Protection Deep Dive Workshop: Managing Allegations. Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 23–24 April 2024. View details

  1. Low-level concern management: Learn to identify and appropriately respond to low-level concerns, a crucial aspect of early intervention in child protection 

  1. Understanding offender behaviours: Gain insights into how sex offenders operate within educational settings, enhancing your ability to implement preventative measures 

  1. Crisis communication strategies: Develop skills for effective communication during a crisis, a vital component of managing sensitive situations in schools 

  2. Expert-led case study analysis: Engage in an unfolding case study on managing allegations of child abuse in international schools, led by experts with in-depth knowledge and experience

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Key reasons to register for our workshop on online harm and abuse in May

Child Protection Deep Dive Workshop: Online harms and technology. Virtual. 29–30 May 2024 View details

  1. Expert-led training: Gain insights from industry experts like Will Gardner from Childnet International and David Wright from SWGfL, providing deep knowledge and practical strategies for responding to online harms 

  1. Focus on child mental health: Learn about the interplay between online harms, technology and child and adolescent mental health, an increasingly important aspect of a school’s student safeguarding work 

  1. AI & emerging risks: Understand the potential impact of AI and emerging technologies on student safety 

  1. Comprehensive resources & learning: Develop skills to manage the risks associated with rising online harms, using key resources that you take back to your school to facilitate community-wide learning and growth

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At both workshops:

  • Facilitate ongoing whole-school learning. Training and resources is tailored for your return to your school to facilitate community-wide learning
     
  • Practical skill development: Acquire practical skills for effectively identifying and deterring abuse, including strategies for responding to current and historic allegations and conducting inquiries 

 

Safeguarding data & record-keeping in international schools