The safeguarding of students of all ages is the responsibility of all staff within a school!
Taking a class register ensures that we as teachers know where students are. Pretty self-explanatory, right! Whilst it may seem old-school and a by-gone tradition, accurately taking the register confirms which students are present at that time and importantly which students are not.
Reguarly taking a register prevents students answering on behalf of their friend who is may not be present or at least provides you with the tool to challenge such behaviour. This works especially well when you have a register or seating plan with each student's picture next to their name asyou can locate where the student should be sat accordingly.Taking the register and looking at the students as you do so enables you to put the name and face together more quickly. This helps you on your journey to build a professional and respectful relationship with your students. Students like the fact you know their names and on the other side of the coin, dislike it if you don’t! Once you know the students by name, it helps in dealing with positive and negative behaviours.
It pays to take time in getting to know your students by name.
The register can be done during your “to do now” excercise so that it does not intrude on your teaching time. Looking at the student whilst doing the register will enable you to watch body language and tone in the answer. This could alert you to the possibility of a problem. You may not need to deal with an issue right there and then but it should prompt you to ask about that student later.
Your professional gut feeling may be that you need to talk to that student. Complete the register and then speak in private with the student. You may want the student to go to Inclusion or pastoral. Do you know the school system for ensuring that students arrive safely? This is something you need to know and again reinforces to all the other students that you are on the ball.
So let's assume you have accurately taken the register. You notice that one student is missing, despite the fact that the system shows they have been marked present during the rest of the day. Ask the rest of the class to see whether they know why the missing student is not present. This is another important part of the school system that you must familierise yourself with! The school will have a system detailing the safeguarding steps to reporting a missing student.
It is vital that you report any case of a missing pupil so that your role in safeguarding is covered and the situation can be escalated further within the school sanction system.
Once you have raised the report, you can then continue with your teaching and learning in the classroom. By following the system of safeguarding, you will positively demonstrate to the rest of the students that you are not only professional in your conduct, but that you are also a caring authority figure. That way, you gain respect from your classroom. If you do fail to report the absense of a student who comes into harm of any kind, you will have failed in your responsibility within safeguarding.
Remember! The register is more than calling out some names!
About our Community Expert
Community expert and former Detective Inspector, Paul Raynor has direct experience in teaching educators how to better manage behaviour within secondary education.
Paul has experience with safeguarding, and has supported schools with writing behaviour policies in conjunction with senior leaders. He is an expert in his field.