I never really fully understood what safeguarding was.
I mean, I knew you weren't supposed to be doing anything inappropriate with kids, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. I had never considered the idea that it might cover paying attention to my students well being or actually looking after myself.
These were things I've always done. For years I've always told my students that when I ask them how they are at the start of a driving lesson, it's a genuine question. not just a way of introducing myself. Many a time I've had a student open up to me about something personal. Not necessarily because they wanted me to do anything, more just that they needed to get it off their chest.
I just never associated that with safeguarding.
And that's the great thing about doing The Instructor Podcast - I get to talk with amazing people such as Cath Knibbs.
Talking to Cath was a real eye opener.
It made me realise that I had been doing some good stuff over my years as a driving instructor, but I can be doing more.
One of the big areas we covered was handling student data, in particular when it comes to peoples parents. When working with 17 year olds, and sometimes older, parents will often make the first call regarding driving lessons. they will be the ones that are paying and are keen to check into see how their kids are doing. Which is to be expected.
But sometimes the learner doesn't want mum or dad informed of everything, and that can be pretty awkward.
Talking to Cath about GDPR and how we're legally obliged not to disclose some information if the student requests it, was a bit of an eye opener. It was also interesting discussing how to actually handle that conversation with the parent. How often, just a 'We'll update you every few weeks" will suffice. And it does. Parents generally want what's best for their children and as long as their kept in the loop, they're usually happy.
In the promotion for this episode I mentioned that it was possibly the most important show I've done.
Reflecting back, I think it probably is.
Some of the feedback from this episode has been awesome and it's one that I've actually take time to listen to again. I'd suggest you do to. You can find the episode here.
I'd love to know what you thought.
Let me know in the comments.