Safeguarding firm raises funds for growth

A COMPANY behind a software system that helps schools protect pupils from porn, radicalisation, grooming and  bullying, secured a funding package to boost growth.

Salford-based e-Safe specialises in safeguarding and risk monitoring in the education sector. It has struck a six-figure deal with the Greater Manchester Loan Fund to provide e-Safe with development capital enabling it to take on more staff and expand its service in both existing and new markets.

e-Safe uses sophisticated detection technology and its own in-house specialist review team to tracksthe activity of pupils and staff at schools.

The service provides school and college leaders with an early warning of behaviours which may place students or staff at risk.

The unique hybrid human and interactive element of the monitoring service makes the e-Safe proposition different from conventional monitoring solutions. Markers picked up by e-Safe are reviewed by specialist forensic and safeguarding staff in Salford and any incidents requiring intervention are escalated to school safeguarding and pastoral care staff in line with a pre-agreed protocol.

Andy Thomas, investment director at Maven, which manages the Greater Manchester Loan Fund, said: “The emphasis on safeguarding children online has never been in greater focus than it is now.

“Increasing government legislation and the duty of care obligations which many institutions need to comply with generates increasing market demand amongst local authorities, colleges and schools to implement monitoring technology like e-Safe.

“The proven success of e-Safe’s safeguarding interventions has ensured that services and the business enjoys high customer retention levels due to the effectiveness of its procedures. Today’s funding will enable the business to develop further capacity to facilitate new contracts and support its next key growth phase.”

Mark Donkersley, managing director of e-Safe, added: “The partnership with GMLF is a significant milestone for e-Safe during a period when demand for our unique service has increased substantially from all areas of the education sector. The financial support from GMLF will be invaluable in the development of our specialist monitoring facility in Salford and its capability to deliver early warning of safeguarding risk to school leaders and local authorities.”

Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “This is a sensible investment in pioneering technology that will help protect young people. The funding will help the business to grow and create further numbers of new jobs and I am particularly proud they are based in Salford.

“With the explosion in number of people using computers and the internet in schools, there is a greater need than ever before to make sure we do all we can to keep people safe.”