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7 months ago by Adam Haggag

Common Safeguarding Interview Questions (with Answers)

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Preparation is key when interviewing for a job in a school. Regardless of the role, you should be prepared to answer safeguarding questions and demonstrate an understanding of child protection.

What is safeguarding

Safeguarding is protecting the health, wellbeing and rights of a person, allowing them to live free from harm, neglect and abuse.

Children and young people are one of the more vulnerable groups, requiring a high level of safeguarding. This in itself highlights the importance of understanding the process and knowing how to deal with concerns.

For children, safeguarding means:

- Protection from maltreatment and abuse

- Ensuring their health and development remain unharmed

- Making sure they grow up in a safe environment

- Being provided with the best outcomes

Most common Safeguarding Interview Questions and Answers

Who is the person responsible for safeguarding in the school?

This question assesses your knowledge of the school you are interviewing with. To successfully answer this question, read into the school’s safeguarding policy and familiarise yourself with it.

How to answer this question

Schools will have a Child Protection Officer or Safeguarding Lead who ensures the safety of the children. They are most commonly either the Head, Deputy, Inclusion Manager or SENDCO.

What is your approach to safeguarding at work?

When asked this question, they are looking to see what your understanding of safeguarding is. The response you provide will allow them to assess your knowledge of safeguarding and ensure you understand its importance.

Though the question is broad, be concise in your answer.

How to answer this question

Here you can demonstrate any knowledge of safeguarding you have. Emphasise skills such as listening to the needs of the child, ensuring you are taking any concerns they have seriously. You can mention the importance of taking a balanced view of what you hear, but how it’s good to be overly cautious when it comes to their concerns.

Why do you want to work with children?

Here the interviewer is looking to assess your motivations and confirm you want to work with children for a legitimate reason. It is their responsibility to ensure they are safeguarding children by solely allowing responsible adults to come into contact with them.

How to answer this question

Demonstrate your career goals and that the skills you have make you suitable to work with children. You can go into detail about your motivations. Some people want to make a difference in the lives of children, others were inspired to teach by a former teacher and some possess a love and passion for teaching.

Whatever your motivation, ensure you are answering honestly.

What are the responsibilities of a teacher surrounding safeguarding?

This question is specifically aimed at teachers but will still be relevant and you may be asked this during your interview, regardless of the role you apply for. What they look for here is a good overall understanding of your responsibilities to the children in your care.

How to answer this question

Discuss how you would take care of children in the classroom and how this responsibility also extends to what you come to learn about a child’s life outside of the class.

What do you see as your main responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant regarding safeguarding?

Here the interviewer is looking to understand your knowledge of the responsibilities you have regarding safeguarding as a Teaching Assistant. In your answer, be sure to include that you are not only looking out for the safety of the child in school but that your duty also extends outside of the school.

How to answer this question

The important thing you need to mention when answering this question is your responsibility to support the class teacher in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students to learn and develop.

What would you do if you were concerned about the behaviour of a child?

This question looks to assess your ability to make decisions as well as how attentive you are. Ideally, they would like you to acknowledge the significance of a behaviour change.

How to answer this question

When answering this question, talk through the steps you would take from the first sign of change to the conclusion of the situation. The first thing you would do is report your concerns to the safeguarding lead to ensure they are aware of the situation. From there they will be able to identify the best course of action to keep the child safe.

Show the interviewer your knowledge of the responsibility you have in protecting the child and ensuring they are safe.

Can you give us an example of a time you faced a safeguarding issue and how you dealt with it?

This question will give the interviewer an indication of your ability to deal with safeguarding issues. You aren’t expected to have dealt with something too serious. Additionally, they are not looking for precise details, but rather how you handled the situation.

How to answer this question

If you have previously dealt with a safeguarding concern, explain what it entailed and the steps you took to resolve this issue. Don’t give any sensitive or personal information.

Tips for answering the questions

Clarify the question

If you feel the question can be interpreted in several ways, don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. This shows you are cautious and are not making assumptions.

This is considered a valuable trait in a role involving safeguarding.

Take your time

We tend to want to give an immediate answer when it is often best to take a few seconds to think of what you want to say.

Don’t take too long, but don’t rush your response either as you may forget something important.

Be honest

The most important thing is the safety of children. That is why being honest in your answers is fundamental.

If you have previously made a mistake, describe it, and talk about how you learned from it and how you have improved as a result. 

It is okay to not know everything. Interviewers do not expect you to be perfect. 

Provide examples

Giving examples is always a great idea. It allows you to share your experiences and show them what you know.

Enhance your employability

This blog will provide you with a strong understanding of the type of safeguarding questions you may be asked during an interview and how best to answer them.

To further increase your chances of securing a job in a school, why not register with us?

You’ll gain access to 14 CPD courses completely FREE, including ‘Child Protection in Education’ and more.


Give us a call today on 0203 771 1138 to start your journey at Envision Education!