How to answer a safeguarding question in a teaching interview

09/06/2022 | All

When it comes to an interview for a teaching position, you can expect to be asked questions about safeguarding. This is because safeguarding is such an important issue in schools, and employers want to make sure that their employees are fully prepared to deal with any safeguarding issues that might come up. This blog will give you all the information you need to know on how to answer a safeguarding question in a teaching interview!

What is safeguarding in schools?

Safeguarding in schools is ultimately the process of keeping children safe from harm. This includes protecting them from physical abuse, emotional abuse and any forms of neglect. It involves making sure that students have a safe environment in which they can live and learn and that their rights are respected. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and it starts with creating a safe and supportive environment for all children.

How to answer a safeguarding question in a teaching interview

Safeguarding questions will inevitably be included in your teaching interview, so it’s crucial that you are prepared for these. Showing confidence when answering safeguarding questions is important, as you don’t want to show that you are uncomfortable in any way when having to deal with a difficult situation. i-teachers have put together some of the top safeguarding questions and answers to help you with how to answer a safeguarding question in a teaching interview! We will look at the following safeguarding questions:

  1. How are teachers responsible for keeping children safe?
  2. What is your attitude to child protection and safeguarding?
  3. How can you personally support the school/council’s safeguarding agenda? 
  4. Tell me how you dealt with a safeguarding issue, or a time where you took action to protect a child?
  5. How would you deal with bullying in school?

How are teachers responsible for keeping children safe?

This question is designed to demonstrate your knowledge regarding the teacher’s responsibility for wellbeing both in and out of school. It is important to include in your answer that you are not only looking out for the children’s safety in school but that you are aware that this duty extends to outside of school.

“As a teacher, I am aware that I have a duty to keep all children safe from harm, both in and out of school. It is important that teachers recognise signs of distress or small changes to a child’s behaviour and report it to the relevant authority in order to best safeguard the students”.

What is your attitude towards child protection and safeguarding ?

This question shows the employer your approach and how you will deal with safeguarding issues as a teacher at their school. It is crucial to show that you are comfortable dealing with sensitive issues. You should try to demonstrate that you will remain professional and have control over your emotions while still being empathetic. 

“Personally, I believe that it is extremely important to always remain open to every child’s concerns, to always put their needs first and to take their concerns seriously at all times. As a teacher, child protection and safeguarding remains top of my priority list and is something I am extremely passionate about and confident in dealing with. I believe that you should approach safeguarding issues with a balanced view of right and wrong and would look forward to demonstrating this given the chance”.

How can you personally support the school/council’s safeguarding agenda?

Here, you have the chance to demonstrate how your personal attributes will contribute to the school’s safeguarding policies. It is important that you have done your research beforehand and are aware of the individual policies of the school. Demonstrating this knowledge in your interview shows your genuine passion to work for them. You could also discuss previous ways in which you have supported a school’s safeguarding agenda here. 

“In my previous school, I always maintained a strong relationship with the children I worked with. I was very aware and familiar of the safeguarding agenda and policies at the school and ensured that my personal approaches always supported this. I believe that creating relationships based on respect and trust is essential. For me personally, it’s important to remain vigilant at all times, to be sensitive to changes in behaviour and to always take any sign of a child being in danger seriously”.

Tell me how you dealt with a safeguarding issue, or a time where you took action to protect a child?

This question gives the employer an indication of your hands-on abilities when dealing with safeguarding issues. You should remember that this doesn’t have to be a time when you formally dealt with a safeguarding issue. Employers aren’t expecting you to have dealt with anything too serious, especially if you’re not very experienced. But there will be a time where you have used your ability to spot a child in difficulty and stepped in to help. 

While I was working in my first school, I noticed a child, who was normally very chatty and would take part in class, suddenly became withdrawn and quiet. I recognised this as a possible sign that the child was experiencing a form of harm. Following the school’s protocol, I brought this to the headteacher’s attention, who then spoke to the child’s parents. Luckily, the child returned to their normal self in a short time”.

How would you deal with bullying in school?

You will no doubt come across some form of bullying within a school in your role as a teacher. It’s essential that you know how to deal with this and can show this in an interview. The employer is looking for evidence that you are able to identify bullying and that you know how to deal with it. The school will have their own bullying policy so it is worth familiarising yourself with this.

“If I noticed bullying happening in the school, I would deal with the issue by remaining sensitive to the child’s feelings. I would take the necessary steps to make sure the child feels comfortable and investigate the issue thoroughly, in line with the processes that are in place within the school. I would raise the issue with my superior and arrange a conversation with the respective children’s parents if necessary”. 

Tips for answering safeguarding interview questions

There’s a lot of information that employers are looking for in safeguarding interview answers. It seems a little overwhelming at first; however, practice makes perfect and preparation is key! 

  • Read and familiarise yourself with the school’s safeguarding policy
  • Provide example situations
  • Be honest with your answers 
  • Be mindful of confidentiality 

Read a copy of the school’s safeguarding policy beforehand, practice your interview answers to the questions provided above and you’ll be ready for whatever safeguarding questions the interviewers give you!

How can i-teachers help you?

At i-teachers, we pride ourselves on our fantastic interview preparation. We are the UKs highest rated education recruitment consultancy and our team are dedicated to making a positive difference to education through placing high quality candidates. The i-teachers approach is entirely personal – we pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our candidates and schools to ensure the best possible fit. Our dedicated education consultants provide thorough interview preparation advice to all of our candidates going for an interview for one of our teaching roles. Contact us to find out more and let us help you to prepare for a teaching interview!