Safeguarding and Child Protection

Our Keeping children safe in school policy has been updated in line with the latest guidance.

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Children maximise their potential in an environment which is safe, secure and supportive of all their needs, including any needs they have for protection from abuse.  St. Stephen’s CE Primary school is committed to promoting the welfare of all children by working in partnership with parents and carers, the Local Authority (LA) and multi-agency partners in early help and child protection, in accordance with locally agreed Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures and practices.

Our policy applies to members of the school community in its widest sense. Thus this includes children and young people, their parents/carers, school staff, governors, visitors, specialist staff, and the local and wider community where they interface with the school. Within its framework, the policy outlines entitlements and responsibilities in securing the protection of children who attend the school

To emphasise the caring ethos of our school, the staff and governors are committed to the following principles:-

  • The welfare and well-being of each child is of paramount importance.
  • Our policy works on the premise that abuse takes place in all communities and that school staff are particularly well-placed to identify and refer concerns and also to act to prevent children and young people from being abused.
  • We respect and value each child as an individual.
  • We are a listening school, and encourage an environment where children feel free to talk, knowing that they will be listened to.
  • The protection of children from abuse is a whole-school issue, and the responsibility therefore of the entire school community.
  • Our policy should be accessible in terms of understanding and availability. Regular training will ensure all adults in school are aware of indicators of concern or abuse and the designated safeguarding leads that such information should be promptly passed on to.
  • Our policy will be developed and kept up to date with information from our relevant partners in early help and child protection as well as national documentation issued by HM Government and The Department of Education.
  • We will use the school curriculum to resource our children to protect themselves from abuse, both as victims and as potential perpetrators.
  • The school runs in an open, transparent way.

Safeguarding within our school and throughout school life

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children working with social care, the police and health services both to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding children permeates all aspects of our work as a school and underpins every decision we make on a day to day basis.  Safeguarding takes many forms including the recruitment of new staff, risk assessments for trips, health care plans for children, site security, regular child protection training, e-safety lessons for children and staff with accredited first aid and medications training. Designated safeguarding leads take responsibility for child protection, including support for staff, developing policies and training and information sharing with other agencies.

Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:

  • staff and visitors – ensuring they are vetted, informed and trained
  • children’s behaviour – promoting safer and happier lifestyles
  • parents and carers – promoting links and supporting families
  • premises – keeping them safe, pleasant and fit for purpose
  • curriculum – providing positive, life affirming learning experiences
  • outside school – ensuring safer activities and environments outside school.

We aim to create and maintain a caring ethos where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued. If children feel happy and enjoy school this will encourage good attendance and then create conditions in which they can do their best in every area of school life.  Our school operates as a listening school where children are able to approach adults with concerns. These will be taken seriously and relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures followed without delay if there is a risk/likelihood of, or actual significant harm.

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Working with parents and carers

Our school believes in effective communication with parents and carers. We welcome parent/carer views and concerns about the welfare of their children and use this feedback to regularly review our practices. Parental views are obtained in the following ways: questionnaires, parent’s evenings, family learning opportunities, speaking to parents.

We keep parents informed about important and topical issues, including child protection elements of safeguarding, in the following ways: newsletters, texting service, letters home, website, training/information sessions e.g. e-safety, bullying etc.)

Safeguarding and Child Protection training for all staff/adults working in school

Our school complies with the advice laid down in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015 and ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016 to undertake regular training for all staff. A record of those trained may be found in the Single Central Record. Individuals have a certificate to verify their attendance.

Training for the designated safeguarding lead and other designated teachers in school is undertaken every 2 years. The designated safeguarding lead persons are:

Alison Richardson
Victoria Suddes
Deputy Headteacher
Judith Bulmer
Class teacher
Linda Edwards

The Nominated Governor with responsibility for Child Protection is Mrs Doreen Booth

We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children is vetted, keeping our children as safe as possible. Ongoing checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current policy.  The Head Teacher, other staff responsible for recruitment and nominated Governors have undertaken ‘Safer Recruitment Training’.

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Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in school. There are six main elements to the policy:

  1. Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop
  2. Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children
  3. Training and supporting staff to equip them to appropriately recognise, respond to and support children who are vulnerable and may be in need of safeguarding
  4. Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe
  5. Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse
  6. Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan

Information Sharing

We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents/carers in advance of a child being admitted to school, including:

  • emergency contact numbers;
  • the child’s special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies the child may have;
  • the child’s special health requirements;
  • Information about who has legal contact with the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child;
  • Written 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.

Staff at our school are aware of the need to share information appropriately. Our school takes care to ensure that information about a child is only given to the appropriate external people or agencies.  All staff within school will be aware of the confidential nature of personal information about a child and the need for maintaining confidentiality. They will seek advice about parental responsibility issues if unsure.

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Links with External Agencies

Because our first concern must be the well-being of your child, there may be occasions when we have to consult with other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the Local Authority and Child Protection Procedures.

We are fortunate to be supported by a range of external agencies which can be called upon to support the work we do in school. These include Schools Nurse, Health practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, Behaviour Support, Education Welfare, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs.

Universal services and specialist support staff

The following professionals are also available to support individual children in school:

 One Point Hub – Ferryhill Broom Road, Ferryhill, County Durham. DL17 8AN Tel: 03000 261 113

  • The school nurse team
  • Parent Support Adviser:  Julie Bray
  • Educational Psychologist: John Moore
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Learning mentors

Reporting concerns or complaints

Further to the above procedures, we have in place a Complaints Policy. This enables children, staff and carers to report anything they feel is of concern.

Review of Policy and Practice

In order to ensure the best practice is maintained, our policies are reviewed regularly to incorporate the latest statutory guidance. If you would like further information on safeguarding, please contact the school or view our policies section in our website.