At St Benet’s, we review the safeguarding of children as our main priority. We believe that all children have the right to learn in a happy, safe environment and we all have a responsibility to make this happen. We are also committed to the safeguarding of all stakeholders in our school community.
We will ensure that:
- the welfare of the child remains paramount;
- all children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm;
- all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
- all staff and volunteers working at our school have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated leads for Safeguarding: Mrs Young, Miss Loughlin, Mrs Bissell, Mrs Sands, Mrs Prior and Mrs Wealleans.
Areas of Safeguarding
Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff & visitors– ensuring they are vetted, informed & trained;
- Children’s behaviour and welfare- promoting safer & happier behaviours & lifestyles;
- Parents & carers– promoting links & supporting families;
- Premises -keeping them safe, pleasant & fit for purpose;
- Curriculum –providing positive, life affirming learning experiences as well as teaching our children about internet safety;
- Outside School- ensuring safer activities and environments outside school.
Members of Staff Responsible
We are all responsible for ensuring that each child remains safe, however the designated lead for Safeguarding is Mrs Young. In her absence, Miss Loughlin will act accordingly. If you have any safeguarding concerns regarding a child, please contact the school without hesitation. Our safeguarding governor is Mrs Monica Kelsey.
Please click on the pdf link for the school Designated Safeguarding Team poster.
We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children is vetted, keeping our children as safe as possible. On-going checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current policy.
All staff are:
- trained in child protection issues and they are aware of the procedures to follow;
- encouraged to be vigilant in order to maintain the safety of our children;
- given a copy of the school’s safeguarding policy and are directed to the document ‘KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION 2023’. Governors are provided with a copy of this document too.
Child Protection with Safeguarding Policy
All staff have an up-to-date understanding of safeguarding children issues and are able to implement the safeguarding children policy and procedure appropriately. Policies are in line with current guidance and procedures.
Staff are able to respond appropriately to any:
- significant changes in children’s behaviour;
- deterioration in their general well-being;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse;
- signs of neglect;
- comments children make which give cause for concern.
All staff are aware of the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents 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 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 & CARERS MUST TELL US OF ANY CHANGES TO THESE DETAILS.
We take confidentiality very seriously. Any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
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 other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the local authority 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 One Point Services, School Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, Behaviour Support, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Review of Policy and Practice
In order to ensure that best practice is maintained, our policies are reviewed at least annually to incorporate the latest statutory guidance.
Staff are reminded that children are not always ready or able to talk about their experiences of abuse and/or may not always recognise that they are being abused.
New information has been added to explain the impact of domestic abuse. Information has been added to highlight the potential long-term detrimental impact on children’s health, wellbeing and ability to learn of experiencing domestic abuse at home or within their own intimate relationships.
The importance that governors and proprietors properly support the DSL role has been given prominence by adding it to the main body of the guidance and includes an expectation that they should read the full DSL job description in Annex C. There is a new emphasis on governor/proprietor safeguarding training to ensure their understanding of their important strategic role, as well as their legislative responsibilities, and those set out by their local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.
Relevant parts of Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty have been outlined and explicitly linked to safeguarding, particularly as regards to diversity inclusion, prejudicial and discriminatory bullying and sexual violence & harassment.
Regarding safer recruitment, the guidance clarifies that a curriculum vitae (CV) should only be accepted alongside a full application form. CVs on their own will not contain all the information required to support safer recruitment. The guidance now states that education settings should consider conducting online searches (including publicly available social media searches) as part of their due diligence during the recruitment process.
Allegations and safeguarding concerns about staff
Learning from all allegations against staff investigations should be incorporated by schools and colleges, not just from those that are concluded and substantiated. The guidance now makes clear that schools and colleges can choose to whom low level concerns about staff are reported to, so long as it is clear in their policies.