Safeguarding CPD for schools

Andrew HallSpecialist Safeguarding Consultant, Andrew Hall helps schools keep children safe in school and out.

Andrew aims to provide Safeguarding CPD sessions that are engaging, well-researched and up-to-date. “I want people to understand, so they can take action’, he says.

The most important part of CPD isn’t on the day, it is what happens next. Does the learning actually make a difference? Are children and young people safer simply because adults know more. Does anyone put into action what they have learnt?

Whilst in-person events can be very powerful, what I’ve learnt during the Coronavirus lockdown is that online learning can be just as impactful. I’ve also realised that I can engage with more schools than ever before, without the travel costs, hotel stays or time away from my family.

Online learning will probably never take over from in-person, but I’ve now seen how people have benefitted just as much without taking a day out of school, without getting cover and without travelling to London, Manchester or Birmingham.

“I have been really motivated by the online training. Andrew’s anecdotal but incredibly informed knowledge of Safeguarding and its implementation in real-time has been so useful. Despite the often upsetting subject, the units have been the most enthralling I have ever completed as DSL (and I’m a veteran)”. Trudy, Headteacher, Essex

Why I talk about Continuing Professional Development (CPD), rather than “training’

Those of you have heard me speak will know that I am totally against the word ‘training’, but instead prefer to use the phrase Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Until now, I’ve continued to use ‘training’ because everyone else does and it’s a kind of shorthand that people understand. Since last September I’ve made the switch more seriously than ever before and I’m trying to encourage others to do so too.

For me, the key difference between training and CPD is that training is specific, skill-focused and task-related; it’s the reason MacDonalds is constantly the same across the world. Continuing Professional Development, on the other hand, is just that, ongoing, relies on professional judgement and evolves over time.

Learning about safeguarding is a process and it is never finished. However long you’ve been involved, there is always something new to learn, another viewpoint to take. This has never been more important than today.

Over the last few years developing my work as a specialist safeguarding consultant and speaker, I’ve realised that the quality of the learner’s experience is not driven by the content alone. After a CPD event, there has to be an action, something has to change.

Continuing Professional Development events should always move someone along their knowledge journey, so they, know something they didn’t know before, see something they hadn’t seen before, and, importantly, motivate them to take action.

Best wishes,