Annual S175/157 Safeguarding Self-Assessment 2024


Completion and return deadline - 14th May 2024

Copies of completed and submitted surveys will be sent to the email address provided within 5 working days of the return deadline. 


There is an expectation that all Suffolk schools, regardless of status, complete this audit.  This maybe alongside the completion of a separate evaluation outlined by a Trust or Independent school. In 2023, we received 100% returns from all schools including academies and independents. Thank you for showing your dedication to a whole-system approach to safeguarding. 


We continue to work with the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership (SSP) and the Suffolk Education Partnership and are hoping that this self-assessment audit will be a helpful management tool for schools. In addition, completion of the audit ensures schools are fulfilling their statutory duty to provide the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership with information that helps to inform their view of the effectiveness of safeguarding across Suffolk schools and colleges.

The aim of the audit is to support school leaders as a tool that can be used as they consider how well the school is fulfilling its safeguarding responsibilities. Responses also enable the LA and SSP to identify any potential gaps in safeguarding and any emerging trends. This helps to map any associated resource provision and training gaps partners need to be aware of. By completing the annual audit schools are contributing to a whole-system safeguarding approach. In this spirit we would ask schools to complete the audit reflecting on any gaps and areas for improvement, including any school actions and feedback for the LA and SSP.

Statutory basis for request that Suffolk schools complete this audit:
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023) states that Multi-agency Partnerships (MAP) have statutory duties which include coordinating what is done by each person or body represented on the MAP Board for the purposes of promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children in the area and ensuring the effectiveness of what is done by each person or body for those purposes (this includes schools). Under Section 14b of the Children Act 2004, the MAP may request information from relevant people or bodies that will enable or assist the board to perform its functions, and, in the case of schools, you are being asked to complete this self-assessment audit for that purpose.

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 introduced statutory safeguarding duties for schools, governing bodies and local authorities (LAs). Section 175 guidance requires governing bodies to carry out an annual review of the school’s policies and procedures and to provide information to the LA about how the duties set out in the guidance have been discharged. Independent schools and academies are covered under Section 157 of the same Act. Completion of this audit fulfils this requirement for school governing bodies.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Safeguarding and Welfare requirements cover schools providing Early Years facilities for children. We would suggest that the named governor for safeguarding, together with the headteacher and/or designated safeguarding lead (DSL) complete the audit within the given timeframe, and for action points to be reviewed on a regular basis, ideally termly. Any reviews should be formally recorded within school leadership and governing body meetings. This is recognised good practice and will provide an informative document as evidence for Ofsted.