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Catherine Armstrong

Catherine Armstrong is a safeguarding supervisor and consultant at CA Consultancy. She offers supervision for senior designated safeguarding leads and their teams, to ensure they are effective in their role and can ultimately keep the children and young people in their care safe.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT JOB? The consultancy is a new business launched this month. I have been in education over 33 years with seven years as a senior designated lead .

HOW IS YOUR JOB IMPACTED BY UNCERTAINTIES IN THE ECONOMY? Organisations such as schools and colleges will be buying the service for their safeguarding staff. External supervision is easily overlooked in its importance when reviewing budgets, but supervision gives assurance that the people in safeguarding roles are resilient, good decision makers and therefore children are safe. How do you put a price on the well-being and resilience of staff undertaking the difficult work of safeguarding and the safety of a child? 

WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – AN OPPORTUNITY, THREAT, OR BIT OF BOTH? I see it as a useful tool that we all need to learn to use while recognising that human interaction is important. 

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU?  Supportive, professional, committed, authentic. 

YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH IN THE WORKPLACE? Being a team player, supporting staff to develop and learn. Being the completer-finisher to a task or project.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR JOB? Getting the principals, head teachers, governors, trustees of organisations working with children and young people to see the value and importance of external supervision in safeguarding and prioritise the budget for regular engagement.

YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS?  So many in my years in education – being part of a process that gives a young person the opportunity to succeed is amazing. Growth in recruitment numbers through managing relationships. And being a parent of two happy and healthy boys, now men.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Don’t sweat the small stuff, have more belief in myself and my abilities.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? Walking my two golden retrievers, Milo and Charlie. We walk about 30 miles per week. I am getting into a pattern of going to the gym too. I love cooking for the family and gardening is a new hobby that I intend to explore more. 

FAVOURITE THING ABOUT SHROPSHIRE? The amazing walks right on the doorstep  that give breathtaking views. Being able to get to the Welsh coast and the cities easily as required.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OF CHOICE? Facebook is what I am more used to, but I'm learning to use LinkedIn too.

FAVOURITE MOVIE? Pretty woman- I love the shopping!! 


DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? If I could have dinner with my brother that would be a true gift (he passed away aged 21 when I was 16).

WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR THEM?  Absolutely anything and everything he wanted.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW. I’m a volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust. It’s a charitable organisation that supports people who are elderly, unwell, or in hospital, with dog walks so that they can keep their dogs at home without worrying about exercising them. Pets provide so much valuable love and support to people at at a time of poor health it's important to keep them together for well-being.  

AND FINALLY . . . WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAS IN STORE FOR YOU, AND YOUR BUSINESS? I aim to make the supervision service the key focus for people working in safeguarding in Shropshire. I know it's going to be hard work constantly telling the leaders of organisations about the benefits and impact so that they truly support staff to access it..