Meeting the safeguarding needs of all children and young people

02 October 2023
Volume 4 · Issue 5


Information sharing is key in safeguarding work; however, there has been much disparity between the state and independent school sectors. Claire Ashworth details her journey to improve access to information and communication in her setting in order to better meet the needs of the children in her care.

During my time spent in state sector school nursing I often questioned the disparity in the Healthy Child programme offer and information sharing between state and independent school sectors, only to be informed this wasn't a commissioned service with an assumption that pupils in independent schools were of privileged backgrounds, who did not require the same health offer as their education was privately funded and their health needs would be met by private means. This never sat comfortably with me. In my primitive view, a child of any status or background has similar needs, which should be adequately and equally met. At this point, this cause felt too overwhelming to take further with the NHS hierarchy.

Commencing my nurse manager role in the independent sector many years later, only confirmed and evidenced my initial view. Boarding away from home, brings its own challenges and many pupils in independent schools are bursary, charity or local authority funded and often have had upbringings in areas of high deprivation. The link between deprivation and health inequalities are well evidenced, therefore my curiosity quickly grew as I questioned how we could achieve equity in the healthy child offer and how vital information sharing between Stonyhurst, and the NHS could be improved.

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