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‘About…Safeguarding’ was established in January 2022 and is part of the About…Consulting group.

I’m Madeline Dunckley, founder of ‘About…Safeguarding’. I’m a former Head Teacher with 18 years’ experience in education across diverse settings from extreme deprivation through to more affluent and religious schools. Each setting had its own safeguarding concerns and ways to deal with them, some more effective than others.  Sadly, I have seen what happens when policies and procedures are not followed, and the impact this can have on the whole school, not just the victims.

As an accredited safer recruitment trainer and safeguarding trainer, I am passionate about Safeguarding, so when I took the decision to leave education and become a Director of the ‘About…Consulting Group’, ‘About…Safeguarding’ was an obvious next step for us – it is very much my project!

‘About…Safeguarding’ supports all those who work with vulnerable adults and children.   We offer safeguarding training from accredited trainers with real-life experience as well as DSL supervision from NSPCC trained supervisors, safeguarding audits to provide insights into your policies and procedures, safeguarding support for governors and independent investigations officers for when things go wrong.

Our safeguarding services follows our group mission to ‘help ordinary people do extra-ordinary things’. Safeguarding can be tough, we know that, but I’ve always lived by the wise words of Rocky Balboa:

‘ Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.’ – Rocky Balboa

Doing the right thing is hard, especially when it comes to safeguarding.  But you do have to keep fighting to protect the vulnerable. So please take a look at our training and lets fight abuse together.

Meet the team
Dr. Holly Goodwin

Holly is an experienced DSL and safeguarding trainer with a master’s in advanced child protection and is trained to deliver DSL supervision.  She has over twenty years of teaching experience in UK schools including working as Head of Boarding and Deputy Head Pastoral in two independent schools.  She has led safeguarding teams covering all key stages from 3 years to 19 years, in junior, senior and sixth form settings.

She is passionate about making safeguarding personal and ensuring delegates who attend our courses, and staff who come into contact with her, go away feeling confident to undertake their safeguarding roles and responsibilities and further protect children and adults in their care.

Anne-Marie McAteer

Anne-Marie has recently retired after 30 years working in the police, predominantly as a detective and safeguarding specialist.  She has largely worked in the field of investigation within Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Vulnerable Adults.  With years of investigations and multi-agency working, she has also has extensive criminal/family court experience.  Anne-Marie has received judge’s commendations and holds a master’s degree in advanced child protection.

Anne-Marie holds a QA level three award in Education and Training and, for the last three years oh her policing career taught police officers in the areas of criminal investigations, safeguarding and interviewing.

Claire Stewart

Claire has experience as a Trust Director of Safeguarding with over twenty years experience working in London schools.  Her education leadership roles have included senior leadership and designated safeguarding lead mainly incorporating a pastoral focus – particularly in the areas of Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and mental health.  She has also been trained by the NSPCC in supervision Skills in Child Protection as well as having received training as a senior mental health lead.

Beyond the education context, Claire has volunteered as a Samaritan for several years; this experience has given her a unique perspective on mental health, crisis intervention and empathetic listening.

Sharon Barnes

Sharon has a wealth of experience in Safeguarding children with 30 years in education working within a wide range of mainstream, specialist, and alternative provision settings (including 12 years as Headteacher). 

Working alongside her Local Authority Early Help, Safeguarding teams, and other agencies, she provides Family Support to vulnerable families. She is also the Safeguarding link Governor for two schools and is a member of a locality Multi Agency Child exploitation panel, as well as the Chair for a locality SEND and Inclusion partnership.

Sharon truly believes that Safeguarding isn’t just a process or procedure in our schools and organisation; she believes it is an ethos and a culture that underpins everything, and we have to get it right to protect those in our care.