Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Safeguarding Audit at St. Augustine's

Mrs. Gumley Mason included the following in her letter to parents on 1st April.
Tom Galvin, the Safeguarding lead in Ealing Children's Services will do an audit of the School's safeguarding policies and procedures next Thursday, 7th April. His findings will be communicated to you and any recommendations implemented.
I don't know about you, but reading that, I would be thinking in terms of an "audit" being a fairly detailed and comprehensive review. Audits are performed to ascertain the validity and reliability of information; also to provide an assessment of a system's internal control. The goal of an audit is to express an opinion on the person / organization / system (etc.) in question. So, an audit would consist of more than looking to see what the school's written procedures contain, but would also look into whether the written procedures have been and are being followed properly.

At the least it would take a full day to conduct. Given the failings already identified by the ISI, I would expect a properly conducted audit of safeguarding at the school to take a good bit more than one day for one person.

I am reliably informed that on 7th April, Mr. Galvin arrived at the school at 3pm. So he can't possibly have spent anything even vaguely approaching a full day on this. Maybe a couple of hours or so. That isn't time to do anything approaching a thorough audit of safeguarding policies and procedures. So this is not an audit.

But you can be sure that if he hasn't found anything untoward (which is probable, because he won't have had time to find much of anything at all), then this will loudly be trumpeted by Mrs Gumley Mason as an endorsement of the school and a vote of confidence in its policies.

I wonder if Mr. Galvin realises he is being used?

UPDATE: By the way, the way this is going seems to bear a remarkable resemblance to the travesty of an "independent review" that Abbot Martin Shipperlee commissioned at St. Benedict's. Philip Wright, the safeguarding officer of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton was used in just the same way.

Eventually, the pressure mounted to the extent that the Abbot decided he needed to commission Lord Carlile to conduct a somewhat more detailed inquiry. We have yet to learn the outcome of that one.


  1. Yet another attempt by GM to use official channels for her own ends. No surprises there then. Also no surprise that one of the deputy heads is leaving. I wonder whether she will try some devious stunt to get rid of them all. She must be a nightmare to work for. What sort of teachers will be left? My daughter is petrified that all The best ones will leave. Who can blame her...

  2. Can you please confirm that one of the deputy heads is in fact leaving, and if yes which one?

  3. We can all expect GM to wave anthing around that hints of a validation of the patchwork safeguarding policy - no matter how thin and non existent the "audit" was.

    Q: How many staff have not received whole school training?

    Q: Why have they not received whole school training?

    Q: Why does the school not commit to the clear Ealing Safeguarding Childrens Board statement on reporting allegations as featured in clause 15.2.1?

    Q: How many Governors have received Delegated Officer trained?

    Q: How many Trustees are Delegated Officer trained?

    Q: When were the governors and trustees last trained?

    Q: Have all Governors and Trustees now been Enhanced CRB checked?

    Safeguarding is everyone's business, but I suspect Galvin turned up, was talked at for 100 minutes, and left.

    Did he ask any of the questions above?

  4. Seems a total fudge

  5. None of the deputy heads is leaving.
    Malicious gossip obviously spreads far and wide

  6. I don't think it was Malicious - It was fear as he is a great teacher!

  7. If you are right Mr West, as I suspect you are, they were getting the bunting out as the poor used fool left! If she can't gag them, she'll blindfold them, bamboozle them or simply rely on 'charm' or bull! Maybe in the run up to 'Holy Week', she simply relied on the 'Holier than thou' approach . Let's face it, it's got her this far!

  8. It was not malicious gossip how can anyone interpret it as that, as 10.27 he is a great teacher and would be a great loss to the school.

  9. 02:58 - wrong

    10:27 - just incorrect - it' not a guy

  10. Surely not the mother of her godchildren?!

  11. 16.16 correct.

    After being in Coventry for 18 months why would you stay?

  12. The best part is that she's going to join a certain local Catholic school well known to readers of this blog.....

  13. 23:40 - There is no "best Part" to this at all. St A's loss will be St B's gain. Its so sad that another good teacher has been forced to take this action.
    The governors and trustees have probably been given yet another one of GM's coverup stories as to why the teacher has decided to leave.