Safeguarding Interview Questions Teaching Assistants

Safeguarding Interview Questions for Teaching Assistants (UK 2022)

Safeguarding interview questions for teaching assistants are an essential part of assessing your suitability for the role. Apart from assisting the teacher, you have to keep the welfare of the children in mind at all times. It’s a responsibility you’ll be sharing with other school staff.

At your interview, you’ll inevitably be asked several questions regarding safeguarding, so it’s best to be well-prepared.

How to Answer Safeguarding Interview Questions for Teaching Assistant

When you’re asked about safeguarding in an interview, the interviewer is looking to see if you have a good understanding of the topic and if you can apply that knowledge to real-life situations.

Here are some tips on how to answer these types of questions:

  • Be prepared to explain what safeguarding means.
  • Give examples of how you would safeguard someone in a specific situation.
  • Discuss the importance of keeping up to date with changes in safeguarding legislation and policy.
  • Outline what you would do if you were made aware of a safeguarding concern.
  • Explain how you would work with others to safeguard vulnerable people.

8 Safeguarding Interview Questions and Answers for Teaching Assistants

1. What is the difference between a naturally quiet child and one who is withdrawn?

Sample Answer: I recently did some volunteer work in a classroom to gain practical teaching assistant skills, I saw first-hand how quiet and withdrawn some children can be.

What I’ve discovered is that a naturally quiet child usually appears to be at ease while playing or reading on their own. When other children ask them to join in, the child often complies and is seen to enjoy socialising for a short while.

I have also seen a child who appeared withdrawn and appear terrified when spoken to by other children. Nervousness, agitation and a reluctance to converse or play can be signs of abuse.

2. What would you do to help a shy or withdrawn child?

Sample Answer: I would devote extra time to a timid or quiet child. I firmly believe that many children just need some attention. I know from experience that some family members can stifle the social development of a quiet child.

Feelings of worthlessness or being kept in place can usually be overcome by a friendly attitude. For instance, I would tell a shy child that I need some help in tidying or preparing equipment.

As a regular activity involving a little responsibility, I would hope friendly conversation would eventually encourage the child’s confidence. A withdrawn child hiding reasons for being unsociable may never appear at ease. I would then discuss the problem with the teacher.

3. How would you proceed if a child confided in you about abuse at home?

Sample Answer: I fully understand that as a teaching assistant, I might sometimes have a greater opportunity of gaining a pupil’s confidence in owning up to a problem. I would stay calm and collected, and not display any sign of panic. I’d have to gently explain that I am not allowed to keep such information secret.

I would do all I could to reassure them that they can trust me to arrange for help in the proper manner. My first step would be to ask the teacher in charge to come and hear what the child has to say.

4. What would you do if a staff member behaved inappropriately towards a pupil?

Sample Answer: I am aware that education can occasionally attract people with unacceptable intentions. As a teaching assistant, it’s my duty to constantly safeguard the children in my care, regardless of their ages.

If I had any suspicions of a member of staff behaving inappropriately, I would have to inform the designated safeguarding member of staff.

My teaching assistant course impressed upon me the need for discretion, particularly as behaviour can often be misinterpreted. I would report my suspicions as accurately as possible. My tone would be a matter of facts and not resort to sensationalism or gossip.

5. What do you think working with children has taught you about yourself?

Sample Answer: I believe the experience has made me more aware of childhood psychology and behavioural problems. Even a small class of pupils has a mixture of personalities.

The more experience I gain, the more I am sure I can help disruptive pupils to see the good traits they possess. Working with children requires patience and a calm determination to be observant at all times.

I am positive I have learned a great deal in identifying abuse, neglect and bullying. Immediately following the recommended course of action is vital in safeguarding children.

6. How would you ensure daily health and safety in the classroom?

Sample Answer: I would make daily inspections of equipment, particularly electrical cables and plug sockets for computers. If any appeared to be loose or faulty, I would immediately place a ‘do not use sign’ over them and report my discovery to the teacher or the school caretaker.

In upstairs classrooms, I would check that window restraints are in place to prevent pupils from leaning out. I would make sure trailing cables are kept safely under or behind desks. It’s important for aisles between the desks to be kept clear of clutter.

Returning books and equipment to their allotted places is important in preventing access points from becoming blocked. Hazards such as broken glass, splintered tables or faulty equipment should be immediately and carefully removed to avoid children hurting themselves.

Spillages during art or craft lessons should be immediately mopped up to stop anyone from slipping over.

7. How would you define and deal with peer-to-peer classroom bullying?

Sample Answer: My teaching assistant training thoroughly explained why children of similar ages bully each other. Very young children are usually copying the behaviour they have witnessed or experienced from older siblings or parents.

Older children may have feelings of inadequacy and want to dominate others through intimidatory behaviour.

It’s part of my role to remain vigilant regarding bullying amongst pupils in my care. If I see any evidence, I would immediately explain to the child why such behaviour is wrong.

I would ask older children to explain why they behave in such a manner. I would then report my suspicions to the teacher. I would be supportive if the teacher decided to take the matter further and speak to the parents.

8. Why do you want to work with children?

Sample Answer: There are many reasons why I want to work with children. First and foremost, I love spending time with children and watching them grow and learn. It is very rewarding to be able to help shape young minds and help children reach their full potential.

Additionally, working with children is a great way to make a positive impact on the world. By teaching children about important topics such as empathy, compassion, and respect, we can help create a better future for everyone.

See Also15 Safeguarding Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview

What is a child safeguarding policy?

A child safeguarding policy is a set of rules and guidelines that are designed to protect children from harm. The policy may be developed by an organization or institution, such as a school, church, or daycare, that works with children. It may also be created by a government agency responsible for child welfare.

The purpose of a child safeguarding policy is to ensure that all adults who work with children are aware of the risks of abuse and neglect, and know how to identify and report any concerns. The policy should also specify what actions will be taken if abuse or neglect is suspected.

There is no one-size-fits-all child safeguarding policy, as the specific risks and needs vary depending on the setting and the age of the children involved. However, all policies should be based on the principle that the safety and well-being of children is paramount.

Why is safeguarding important in schools?

There are many reasons why safeguarding is important in schools. Firstly, it is vital to protect children from harm. Safeguarding also helps to promote a positive and safe environment for learning and development, it also promotes positive relationships between children and adults, and ensures that all children have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Wrapping up

Safeguarding interview questions for teaching assistants are as varied and extensive as the role itself. Many of them are deliberately designed to surprise you.

Overall, you should remain composed and reply in a considered, practical manner.

These teaching assistant interview questions are often asked to help provide an insight into your own personality. They also prove you fully understand your role when it comes to caring for children under your supervision.