Protocol for Visiting Speakers

September 2017

Since 1 July 2015, and under The Prevent Duty, schools and colleges are required to have a Visiting Speakers Policy (prior to 2015, policies on the management of visiting speakers, though useful, were not required).

The Prevent Statutory Guidance issued by the Home Office states at paragraph 68:
“Specified authorities will need to demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies in place … These policies should set out clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers – whether invited by staff or by children themselves – are suitable and appropriately supervised.”

The government website Educate Against Hate has published useful guidance Hosting Speakers on School Premises.

Schools and colleges must follow all usual safeguarding procedures. DBS certificates may be appropriate, however, most visiting speakers will not be in ‘regulated activity’. All visitors must be supervised at all times and not left alone with pupils unless they have confirmed DBS checks.

In addition, it is recommended:
  • all information about the visiting speaker and booking process is recorded on a suitable proforma
  • schools and colleges complete an evaluation form after the presentation, with an opportunity for feedback from staff and noting any contentious subject areas or comments. This will assist when making decisions about whether to invite the speaker back for future events
The visiting speakers policy should include:
  • a formal invitation procedure, to include a clear outline by the speaker of their presentation in advance, and approval by the headteacher. It is advisable to request the speaker provides a biography of themselves
  • appropriate suitability and background checks on the speaker and any organisation they represent, including an internet search
  • a formal agreement signed by the speaker outlining the school’s commitment to equality and British Values. This should also make clear that a presentation will be brought to an early end if the content proves unsuitable
  • an understanding that staff will be present during the visit including a member of the senior leadership team who will monitor the speech to ensure it aligns with the values and ethos of the school and British values
  • an understanding there will be no attempt to raise funds without the prior written permission of the headteacher

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