Teacher Career Change Ideas - Safeguarding Management

Transitioning from a teaching career to safeguarding management can be a rewarding option if you have a passion for social justice and advocacy.

Could you be a safeguarding manager?

In today’s complex and interconnected world, the need for effective safeguarding measures has become increasingly crucial. Safeguarding managers play a vital role in protecting vulnerable individuals, ensuring their safety and empowering them to live their lives free from harm.

Transitioning from a teaching career to safeguarding management can be a worthy and rewarding option if you have a passion for social justice and a commitment to advocating for others, alongside a strong communication and relationship-building skillset. With a pay range between 25-50K+, there are opportunities in safeguarding management roles across a variety of sectors and specialisms.

Let’s take a closer look at the world of safeguarding management and explore what it takes to do this essential role and whether it might be the perfect next step for your career. 

So – what exactly is safeguarding management?

Safeguarding management is the process of planning, implementing and monitoring safeguarding policies and procedures within an organisation or community. It involves taking proactive measures to protect vulnerable individuals from harm, aiming to create a safe environment where people feel secure, respected and empowered.

A safeguarding manager oversees and coordinates safeguarding activities, ensuring all necessary steps are taken to prevent and respond to any safeguarding concerns. 

Safeguarding management might be for you if …

  • You possess high levels of empathy and compassion, putting you in a position to offer genuine care, support and understanding to vulnerable individuals.

  • You have strong communication skills, which allow you to listen actively, collaborate with diverse stakeholders, advocate for the needs of others, convey complex information clearly and adapt your communication style for different audiences.

  • You are resilient and will be able to cope with the emotionally challenging nature of the job.

  • You are a skilled critical thinker and problem-solver who can analyse complex situations, assess risks and make informed decisions.

  • You value collaboration and relationship-building, working well as part of a team and with partner organisations and agencies.

  • You uphold high ethical standards, maintaining confidentiality, respecting the rights and dignity of others and demonstrating a commitment to fairness and equality.

  • You are open to continuous learning and can adapt in a quickly evolving field. 

But what does a safeguarding manager actually do on a daily basis?

The daily responsibilities of a safeguarding manager vary based on the organisation or the community they serve, as well as the specific priorities of a role. Some of the common daily tasks and activities may include:

  1. Policy and Procedure Management: Regularly reviewing and updating safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure they are in line with legal requirements, changing needs and industry standards.

  2. Risk Assessments and Analysis: Conducting ongoing risk assessments by reviewing incident reports, analysing data and identifying patterns and trends.

  3. Training and Education: Organising and facilitating training sessions to equip all stakeholders with the knowledge and skills required to identify and respond to safeguarding concerns.

  4. Incident Reporting and Management: Ensuring individuals feel safe and supported when reporting concerns, guiding the process of incident investigation, liaising with relevant agencies and maintaining accurate records.

  5. Collaboration and Networking: Regular communication, coordination of efforts and sharing information to ensure a combined approach to safeguarding.

  6. Support and Advocacy: Connecting vulnerable individuals to support services, assisting them in the process of reporting and recovery, as well as ensuring victims’ rights are protected and voices heard.

  7. Monitoring and Evaluation: Reviewing incident reports, assessing the impact of interventions and identifying areas for improvement.                        

What should I consider doing if I’m thinking about getting into safeguarding management?

If you are considering a career as a safeguarding manager, here are some key steps to help you succeed:

Gain Experience: The educational requirements for getting into safeguarding management do vary, although degrees in psychology, social work or teaching (win!) are beneficial. Gain further experience in a safeguarding related role and work on developing the key relevant skills including strong communication, empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving and upholding confidentiality.

Volunteer: Seek opportunities to volunteer with organisations that focus on safeguarding. This will provide you with hands-on experience, deepen your understanding of safeguarding issues and help you to demonstrate a network of professional contacts.

Network: Build relationships with professionals in the field by attending industry events, joining relevant professional associations or groups and engaging with online communities. This could open up opportunities for mentorship, learning from experienced safeguarding managers and staying updated on job vacancies.

Engage in Continuous Learning and Professional Development: Safeguarding is a constantly evolving field so stay updated on the latest research, legislative changes and best practices. This could be done through attending workshops, conferences and training courses.

The path to becoming a safeguarding manager may vary for each individual so it is important to remain dedicated, flexible and open to learning throughout your journey.  

What are the career development opportunities in safeguarding management?

Here are some potential career development paths and opportunities within safeguarding management:

Specialisation: Safeguarding professionals can choose to specialise in a specific area of interest, such as child protection, domestic violent, elder abuse or human trafficking. Through specialisation, there can be further opportunities for advanced roles, consultancy work or becoming a subject matter expert.

Leadership and Management: Higher-level managerial positions or leadership roles in larger projects can involve overseeing multiple teams, managing budgets and setting the strategic direction for safeguarding initiatives.

Policy and Advocacy: There may be opportunities to influence policy development, contribute to research papers, participate in national and international forums and advocate for legislative changes.

Training and Consultancy: With experience, safeguarding managers can share their expertise through training and consultancy services. This could include conducting workshops, delivering training sessions and providing guidance to organisations and communities on developing their safeguarding strategies.

Research and Evaluation: Engaging in research and evaluation work can contribute to the evidence base of effective safeguarding practices.

International Opportunities: As safeguarding is a global concern, there can be varied opportunities to contribute to capacity-building initiatives in developing countries or engage in cross-border collaborations.  

Why do teachers make great safeguarding managers?

  • You have a deep understanding of child development so are well-equipped to recognise when a child’s well-being may be at risk.

  • You possess strong communication skills through working with students, parents and colleagues on a daily basis. You can communicate sensitively and clearly with diverse audiences.

  • You excel at building trust and establishing positive relationships and are confident in building a safe and supportive environment.

  • You already have a knowledge of safeguarding policies and procedures in education settings, which provides you with a solid foundation for transitioning into a safeguarding management role.

  • You have experience in observing and documenting behaviour, looking for changes or signs of concern.

  • You frequently collaborate with others and adopt a multi-disciplinary approach.

  • You are familiar with safeguarding training and versed in recognising signs of abuse, reporting procedures and implementing safeguarding measures.

Teachers’ existing expertise and experience provides a strong foundation for success in safeguarding management roles!