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Safeguarding – Importance of Information Sharing

By Aegis UK January 24, 2023

Information sharing between educational guardians and schools is vital for effective safeguarding of international students.  The government published useful advice for those working with children and young people in the form of: Information sharing July 2018. Although the guidance is non-statutory, it provides support and aids decision making in terms of the information which should be shared in order to reduce the risk of harm to a child/young person and promote their welfare.
Many serious case reviews (SCRs) show that poor information sharing led to missed chances in protecting children.  This might seem extreme when we are talking, for example, about the suspension or exclusion of a student, however, a guardian needs to know as soon as the event occurs in order to support the student mentally, and also to make practical arrangements for the care of the student outside of school, often in a homestay at short notice.

“The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children and young people safe.” Information sharing July 2018

Case Study from an AEGIS Accredited Guardianship Organisation

“We were guardian to a child who moved schools after GCSEs to begin an A-level programme elsewhere. The child had experienced a lot of mental health issues during her time at the first school, and was supported by us.
She was moved to a new school by her father but her health details were not disclosed. The father asked us not to inform the new school but we explained it was our duty to share the information we had. We made sure that the new school was entirely aware and put them in touch with the DSL at her previous school so all issues were clear. The student made a successful transition to the new school and continued to stay with her regular host family, who knew her well, during the half terms for continuity.“

AEGIS recently updated its School Guardianship Policy Guidelines to emphasise the importance of effective information sharing, available to member schools on the AEGIS Member Portal. Please contact Sophie Lindsay for further details: sophie@aegisuk.net.
AEGIS guardians have also been reminded of this important area and it forms part of their knowledge base as AEGIS accredited members.