At St Mary’s RC Primary School, we regard the safeguarding of all pupils as our main priority. Safeguarding is at the centre of our practice and policies. We believe that all pupils have the right to be happy, to be safe and to learn and work in partnership with all members of the school community to protect our children from harm. It is the responsibility of everyone who comes into contact with children to keep them safe.
We will ensure that:
- All pupils, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender identity, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual orientation have the right to be safe and protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers at St Mary’s RC Primary School have a responsibility to report any concerns to the designated leads for safeguarding.
Members of Staff Responsible for Safeguarding
At St Mary’s RC Primary School the designated lead for safeguarding is Mrs Sowden and she is also the is the Single Point of Contact (SPOC). The deputy designated lead for safeguarding is Mrs Hargreaves. The governors with responsibility for safeguarding are Mr McMenamin and Mr Olivier.
Areas of Safeguarding
Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff and Visitors – we ask all staff and visitors to sign in and identification tags are issued for staff and visitors to wear whilst they are in school. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is vetted, informed and trained. Staff are trained in child protection issues and they are aware of the procedures to follow. Staff are encouraged to be vigilant in order to maintain the safety of our pupils. All staff and volunteers are given a copy of the relevant documentation outlining safeguarding procedures at St Mary’s RC Primary School. There are also referred to the document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016’.
- Safer Recruitment – we follow strict procedures to ensure pupils are safe. On-going checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current policy.
- Children’s Behaviour – we promote safe and happy behaviours and lifestyles. This is embedded in our curriculum.
- Parents and Carers – we encourage collaboration and support families, our Parent Support Advisor is Ashleigh Pratt
- Premises – we keep children safe in our environment and ensure it is fit for purpose, Mr Wheatley is our CAretaker
- Curriculum – we provide positive learning experiences and we teach children how to keep themselves safe. Our curriculum is enhanced by visits and visitors e.g. community police, road safety team, Hitachi Rail Safety Team.
- E-Safety – we work with a number of professionals to ensure that children are knowledgeable about dangers online and how to protect themselves, we are developing an E-safety team.
- Outside School – we work in collaboration with others to ensure that children work in safe environments and participate in safe activities when out of school, our Educational Visits Co-ordinator is Mrs Sowden
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
All staff have an up-to-date understanding of safeguarding children issues and are able to implement the safeguarding policy and procedures (see School Policies).
Staff are able to respond appropriately to any:
- significant changes in a pupil’s behaviour;
- deterioration in general well-being;
- unexplained marks, bruising or signs of possible abuse;
- signs of neglect;
- comments pupils make which may give cause for concern;
All staff are aware of the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
We have an obligation to collect necessary information from parents and carers in advance of a pupil being admitted to school including:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s special dietary requirements;
- the child’s special health requirements;
- information about who has the legal contact with the child and parental responsibility for the child.
Written parental permission is requested, at the time of the child’s admission to the provision, to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice or treatment in the future.
PARENTS AND CARERS MUST TELL US OF ANY CHANGES TO THESE DETAILS
Links with External Agencies
Our first concern must be the well-being of the pupil. There may be some occasions where we liaise with other agencies before we contact parents. The procedures we follow have been laid down in accordance with the Local Authority Child Protection Procedures.
Other agencies we work with include the school nurse, community police, health practitioners, social services, behaviour support, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), educational psychologists etc. and specialists who support pupils with specific needs.
Please request our complaints policy if you have any comments or complaints about our safeguarding procedures.
Review of Policy and Practice
Our policies and practice are reviewed at least annually to incorporate the latest statutory guidance and Department of Education information.
What is the Prevent strategy?
The Home Office explains that Prevent is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Page 1 of the strategy document says that it seeks to:
- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat posed by those who promote these views
- Provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
- Work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed, including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health
What must schools do in response?
We asked the Department for Education (DfE) what schools are obliged to do in response to the Prevent strategy.
A representative from the DfE's due diligence and counter-extremism division explained: All schools are required by law to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral and cultural development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
Publicly funded schools are required to promote community cohesion, a duty first introduced through the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
The DfE representative added that schools can help to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same ways that they help to safeguard children from drugs, gangs and alcohol. He suggested that a school’s work on Prevent could be seen in this context.
He also said:
The purpose must be to protect children from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and the country’s values.
Awareness of Prevent and the risks it is intended to address are vital.
What actions might schools take?
The role of schools in Prevent
The Prevent For Schools website explains that schools can provide a safe environment for discussing controversial issues, and help young people understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. It says:
We believe that schools of all kinds can play a role in enabling young people to explore issues like terrorism and the wider use of violence in a considered and informed way.
Schools can facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our strategy is founded and our system of democratic government.
It says that the tasks facing schools and colleges are to:
Staff can help to identify children whose behaviour suggests that they are being drawn into terrorism or extremism. These children can then be referred to the relevant agencies.
- Raise awareness
- Provide information
- Enable learners to make a positive contribution
- Safeguard young people
Possible school actions
The Prevent For Schools website goes on to suggest that schools could, for example:
- Review the curriculum, and pupil participation and safeguarding processes
- Explore and promote diversity and shared values between and within communities
- Challenge Islamophobia, anti-semitism and other prejudices
- Build ties with all local communities, seeking opportunities for linking with other schools
Single Point of Contact for Prevent (SPOC) – Mrs A Sowden Head Teacher
Child Sexual Exploitation
Everyone has a role to play in keeping children and young people safe.
Sexual exploitation can be hard to detect as abusers are very clever in their manipulation and young people may not even be aware that they are being exploited.
It's not always easy to know what our children are up to or if anything is bothering them. The ERASE website includes examples of tell-tale signs that something is wrong and what to do if you suspect a young person is being abused.
Visit www.eraseabuse.org for more information.
Keeping your child safe at home.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust website is a trove of information regarding accident prevention in and around the home from swallowing batteries to preventing burns.
Click on the link to go to their website.
The Underwear Rule - #TalkPANTS - is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from sexual abuse – without using scary words or even mentioning sex.
Talking PANTS teaches children important messages, like their body belongs to them and they should tell an adult if they're upset or worried.
Get together and singalong with Pantosaurus above to get the conversation started. Take our quiz to test your PANTS knowledge and download our PANTS guides for more support.
The NSPCC site has a wealth of information about addressing the topic of sexual abuse and body privacy.
Please click on the title above or the link below