Safeguarding Information for Parents
‘Our school recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils. We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We will be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and will follow our procedures to ensure that the children receive effective support, protection and justice.’
Our designated person for child protection is our Head Teacher:
Mrs Joanne Revill
Additional Designated Persons are:
Mrs Michaela Brown and Miss Anna Hodkin (Deputy Head Teachers), Mrs Rachel Darke and Mrs Jenny Stevens
Designated Governor - Mr Rob Guyler
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY OR WELFARE OF YOUR CHILD, OR A CHILD YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD ACT WITHOUT DELAY
You can ask for advice or report your concern to:
Children, Social Care Police
Tel: 0300 500 80 90 Tel: 101 or 999 (in an emergency)
Out-of-hours Duty Team NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
Tel: 0300 456 4546 Tel: 0808 800 5000
Pople worry that their suspicions might be wrong, or that they will be interfering unnecessarily. If you wish, you can telephone for advice without identifying the child. If the conversation confirms that you are right to be concerned you can then give the child’s details. You will be asked for your name and address too, but the agencies will take anonymous calls, so if you really do not want to say who you are, you do not have to. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Child abuse and what to look for
No parent wants to think about the possibility of their child becoming a victim of abuse, and most children are never abused. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable does happen.
Although there is always a lot of media focus on ‘stranger danger’, the abduction of children is rare and the threat from strangers is quite small. You should still ensure that your child knows the rules about keeping safe when they are out alone.
Most children know their abusers. They may be family members or friends of family, someone who works with the child or someone who lives in the community.
There are four types of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.
There are many signs, or indicators that a child might be suffering abuse. There may be injuries, but it is more likely that you will notice some change in your child’s behaviour.
If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember that, if your child is being harmed, she or he may be too frightened to tell you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s social care services. Our designated person at school will also try to help.
Some signs to look for are:
Bruises or other injuries
A change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
Pain or discomfort
Fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them
Secrecy around a relationship with a particular person
Reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with
Sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years
Being watchful, or always on edge
Losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life
Alcohol or drug taking
Having money and refusing to say where is has come from
Wetting the bed
You will find more useful information in the school’s child protection policy and anti-bullying policy in the 'Key Information’ section of the website.
What we will do if we have a concern about your child
If we are concerned that your child may be at risk of abuse or neglect we must follow the procedures in our child protection policy. You can look at the policy in school, or receive a copy to take home. Please just ask at the Office.
The procedures have been written to protect all pupils. They comply with our statutory responsibilities and are designed to support pupils, families and staff. The procedures are based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration.
In almost all circumstances, we will talk to you about our concerns and we will also tell you if we feel we must refer our concerns to children’s social care. We will ask your consent to make a referral, but in some circumstances, we may need to make the referral against you wishes. We will only do this if we genuinely believe that this is the best way to protect your child, and the fact that you did not consent to the referral will be recorded.
If we think that talking to you first might in some way increase the risk to your child, we will report our concerns to children’s social care and take advice from them. We will normally tell you that a referral is being made and we will record the reasons why we decided to follow this course of action.
All child protection records are kept separate from your child’s general school file. Records are stored in a locked cabinet or drawer, and if stored on computer they are password-protected. They only staff who have access to the records are those who need to know about the concerns in order to protect and support your child.
You can ask to see what information is held on your child, and we will normally agree to this, but if we are unsure we will seek advice from the local authority designated officer or children’s social care first.
Child protection is a very sensitive issue and it raises many questions and a range of strong emotions. We will do everything we can support our pupils and you can be assured that any ac