NTP: Putting safeguarding at the heart of your organisation and operating model

Posted by NTP Quality Assurance Team

As the Quality Assurance provider for the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) Tribal are at the forefront of working within the Tuition sector. We have always recognised the importance of our work in helping to raise the quality of service and provision for pupils and we’re delighted to share this thought leadership piece focussing on safeguarding. We’ve shared this widely with our Tuition Partners and we'll be sharing more thought leadership articles in the coming months to support sector growth, learning and expertise and improve outcomes for all. 

We are pleased to be sharing the first of our three-part thought leadership series on safeguarding. Each part will build on the previous, to provide you with a thorough and insightful guide to what best practice looks like and how to implement it. They are designed to be practical with clear links and signposting, so you will have all the information you need at your fingertips to raise the quality bar in your organisation and best serve our schools and pupils.
The first part deals with how to put safeguarding at the front and centre of your organisation in practical terms. Over the next few weeks, we will share the second part; Managing safeguarding risk and finally part 3 will look at raising the quality bar for safeguarding in our organisations and across the system.


Safeguarding is fundamental for all organisations working with children, including all of us working to improve outcomes especially for disadvantaged pupils as part of the National Tutoring Programme. Effective safeguarding must therefore be a priority for all of us, requiring consistent and ongoing focus. The NTP’s Quality Assurance (QA) Framework Criteria sets out key requirements for safeguarding and safer recruitment in Element 2 and establishes the relevant criteria. Further guidance is provided in the QA Guidance Handbook. An effective TP should have a clear understanding of the required criteria and must be able to provide evidence of the outlined criteria embedded within the core of its organisation.

Our recent Quality Assurance Reviews focused on safeguarding and identified many areas of good practice, including a strong commitment by TPs to the highest standards of safeguarding. Through these reviews, we have also noted some common areas which could be strengthened. We are therefore embarking on a three-part series on safeguarding which will be circulated via our newsletter in the coming weeks, which aims to help you strengthen safeguarding within your organisation:


Part 1: Putting safeguarding at the heart of your organisation and operating model

Safeguarding is fundamental for all organisations working with children. The NSPCC defines safeguarding as “the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm”. While this is broad, the responsibilities of those working with children are clearly set out in statutory guidance for safeguarding, specifically from Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE), and a range of other helpful resources. (See Appendix 1 for additional resources).

KCSiE notes that safeguarding is “everyone’s responsibility”. All TPs must ensure that safeguarding plays a pivotal role in informing their organisation’s policies, processes, and culture. This means that all personnel must understand what is needed, and why it is important, and be active champions of safeguarding. They should understand that the organisation’s approach to safeguarding can lead to authentic and meaningful action, which directly affects the wellbeing and safety of the children that they work with.

Putting safeguarding at the heart of your operating model
This is the first article in a three-part series focused on embedding safeguarding into your organisation. The diagram (shown below) identifies a set of components (and sub-components) which encapsulate how safeguarding must be fully integrated into all areas of an organisation, comprising policies & tools, processes & procedures, and culture & values.


Safeguarding must be embedded in an organisation’s policies and tools, meaning that relevant
policies exist, and are in line with statutory guidance (i.e. KCSiE). Tools such as the single central record or risk register contribute to creating a safe environment for pupils.

Processes and procedures must consider safeguarding at every stage of a tutor and pupil’s journey; this relates to how staff are recruited, managed, and trained, as well as having strong partnerships, timely and accurate monitoring and reporting, and delivery which puts pupil safety first.

To ensure that the processes and procedures are effectively implemented (and championed),
safeguarding must be rooted in the culture and values of all TPs.

Weaknesses in any of the three components can mean that the whole process is compromised; for example, poor monitoring and reporting (possibly due to low quality training, governance, inconsistent and unclear messaging, etc.) can negatively impact partnerships as schools may lose trust in their provider’s ability to monitor and report safeguarding concerns in a timely and accurate fashion. Poor monitoring and reporting may also delay and inhibit appropriate interventions. We will delve deeper into these key areas in the following
articles in this three-part series.

Common challenges for TPs
Our recent quality reviews of safeguarding practices by TPs have highlighted some common issues which could constrain effective safeguarding.

Policies and Procedures

A criterion that become an important topic for TPs is Criterion 2.1 – Policies and Procedures. This criterion relates to (1) following statutory guidance, (2) ensuring safeguarding is aligned with practice, and (3) establishing a risk register which effectively highlights and mitigates potential risks. For more guidance on what robust and effective safeguarding policies and procedures entail, please see pages 17-18 of the QA Guidance Handbook.

Recent Updates to the KCSiE

The KCSiE was last updated in September 2022. It is crucial that all TPs ensure that their organisation’s policies and procedures follow the most recent guidance. The NSPCC has published a summary of changes introduced in the latest KCSiE (2022) document. Some key changes include (but are not limited to) the following:
• Domestic abuse has been added to the list of safeguarding issues that all staff should be aware of.
• A new paragraph in the document sets out that children may not feel ready or know how to tell (disclose to) someone they are being abused.
• Governors and trustees should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training at induction, and then at regular intervals.
• There is an emphasis of the importance of providing LGBTQ+ children with a safe space for them to speak out or share their concerns.
• The DfE Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment guidance has been incorporated into KCSIE 2022.
• The term child-on-child abuse is used rather than peer-on-peer abuse.

For more information on the recent changes to KCSiE, you can go on the NSPCC website.



Safeguarding compliance should not be for compliance’s sake; the policies and tools, processes and procedures, and culture and values must truly sit at the heart of the organisation, and can make a real difference to children’s learning, lives and wellbeing.

Underpinning policies, tools, processes and procedures must be robust, dynamic, and continuously improving. Similarly, organisational values must be effective, meaningful, and fit for purpose. A strong culture and awareness of the importance of safeguarding by staff and leadership can help to drive this determination and commitment to improvement.

The components highlighted in the operating model above are closely linked and interdependent; therefore, a weakness in one component can expose organisations and (more importantly) pupils to risk.

All TPs are different and cater to different types of pupils who may have different needs. So while all TPs must be compliant with statutory guidance, given the diversity between TPs an organisation’s safeguarding strategy is most effective when it is designed specifically around their pupils’ needs.

A strong safeguarding approach can make a real difference to children’s learning, wellbeing, and lives. As stated in KCSiE, “everyone who comes into contact with [children] has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. It is “everyone’s responsibility”.


References and Further Reading
• National Tutoring Programme Framework Criteria for Tuition Partners – This document from Tribal breaks down the three elements (Organisation, Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment, and Quality of Provision) into different criteria.
• National Tutoring Programme Quality Assurance Guidance Handbook – This document from Tribal provides the key information required for your organisation to meet the quality assurance requirements for the academic year 22-23.
• NSPCC – Safeguarding and Child Protection – This link provides a helpful overview of safeguarding children and has access to additional resources and guidance.
• Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 – This is statutory guidance from the Department of Education that all people working with children should be familiar with.
• NSPCC - A Summary of Changes Introduced by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 – This document provides a summary of recent changes to the KCSiE (2022).
• Safeguarding Company - KCSIE 2022: Changes and updates to the guidance – This document provides a helpful summary of all the recent changes to the KCSiE.
• High Speed Training Podcast – Updates for Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2022 – This podcast discusses all the recent changes to the KCSiE.
• Safeguarding Webinar – This is a recording of the NTP QA professional development session – on safeguarding hosted by Tribal in October 2022.

For additional safeguarding references, see Appendix 1.

Appendix 1: Links to useful documents
Newsletters from Tribal, possibly interweave content (e.g., video webinars on different safeguarding topics like recruitment) from them into blogs:
Tribal Key Documents
Framework Criteria for Tuition Partners
Framework Template for Tuition Partners
Quality Assurance Guidance Handbook
Key Government Policy Documents
National Tutoring Programme: Guidance for Schools, 2022-2023 (Safeguarding)
Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022)
The Prevent Duty: for Schools and Childcare Providers
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
What to do if you are worried that a child is being abused (2015)
Tribal Newsletters
3rd of October 2022
31st of October 2022
14th of November 2022
28th of November 2022
Tribal Webinars
Introductory Webinars: Questions and Answers
Introductory Webinar (September 2022)
Safer Recruitment Webinar
Safeguarding Webinar
Tribal Safer Recruitment and Safeguarding Templates and Information
Safer Recruitment Excel Template
Template Letter of Assurance
Safer Recruitment PDF
Other Resources
EEF – Effective Tutoring Toolkits for School Leaders
NSPCC – Safeguarding and Child Protection
NSPCC - A Summary of Changes Introduced by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022
Safeguarding Company - KCSIE 2022: Changes and updates to the guidance
High Speed Training Podcast – Updates for Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2022


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