‘The school ensures children learn in a safe, caring and enriching environment. Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, on and off line, to develop positive and healthy relationships and how to avoid situations where they might be at risk including by being exploited.
The school has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular police, health and children’s services. Schools are not able to investigate concerns but have a legal duty to refer them. In most instances, the school will be able to inform the parents/carer of its need to make a referral. However, sometimes the school is advised by Children’s Social Care or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The school follows legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child.
We have three members of staff trained in child protection; each is known as a Designated Safeguarding Leads or DSLs. The Headteacher Richard Stone is the lead DSL, Emma Tuffey and Mel Lockton are the main Deputy DSLs. We have three other staff who have received DSL training - Laila Turner, Foundation Stage Leader and two Higher Level Teaching Assistants, Lucy McNamara and Patricia Leal. Our Family Support Worker, Edwina Osbourne, is also trained as a DSL. These staff members receive training in leading child protection every two years. All other staff receive refresher training every year. Our training for 2020 - 21 was held on August 26th 2020.
The school has adopted an on-line reporting system called CPOMS which allows members of staff to record information in a central repository and have relevant people alerted immediately. Senior leaders are able to build a chronology around a student and can produce reports for in school use, reporting to governors, case conferences and core group meetings.
Operation Encompass - domestic violence reporting
This is a system that alerts schools whenever the police have been called to a domestic incident where children were present.
Incidents of Domestic violence have risen considerably over recent months and we have a duty of care to support children who may have been affected.
We will ‘check-in’ with the children concerned to make sure they are OK. We do this in a sensitive and non-judgemental manner without necessarily referencing what may have happened.
We will also phone the parent or carer concerned to check that they are alright and to offer help and support including referral to our Family Support Worker or signposting to other agencies
We understand that this is a difficult subject and while we do not pry into family affairs it is important that we support adults subject to domestic abuse in order that we can work together to safeguard their children.