What is safeguarding?
Schools have a statutory responsibility to keep children safe from harm. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) defines safeguarding as:
- Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- Preventing harm to children’s health or development
- Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
What are schools expected to do?
Schools must comply with the current safeguarding guidance from the Department for Education, called Keeping Children Safe in Education. This means, for example:
- Having a designated safeguarding lead (DSL),who is trained to support staff, contribute to assessing children and liaise with other agencies. The Headteacher, John Musgrave Bolanos, is the DSL at Shapla and is responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place for safeguarding children. The deputy DSLs are Dawn Pritchard and Kieran Baker (Assistant Headteachers). Our Safeguarding Governor is Jill Hankey.
- Having a child protection policy, and procedures covering specific safeguarding issues.
- Ensuring that adults working in the school are safe to work with children, by carrying out background checks (through the Disclosure and Barring Service) and having someone on interview panels who is trained in ‘safer recruitment’.
- Ensuring that all staff receive safeguarding and child protection training, and that this is regularly updated. All staff are regularly updated in safeguarding procedures and the school has a comprehensive monitoring system to ensure that all safeguarding issues are regularly followed up and that families are supported to maintain the safety of our children.
What does safeguarding look like in our school?
There are many ways we keep children safe at Shapla, for example:
- We protect information about your child and only share it appropriately.
- We respond appropriately to an unplanned absence, or to a pattern of poor attendance.
- We track concerns about children confidentially.
- We teach pupils about safeguarding issues, including how to respond to concerns, in lessons on personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.
- We supervise pupils as they enter and leave the school building at the start and end of the day.
- We undertake risk assessments for school visits to make sure that children are kept safe when they go outside of the school.
The school offers a variety of services to support families and can offer information on external services including:
- Early Help assessment and support
- Access to the School Nurse
- Access to Children’s Centres
- Mental health support for children
- Access to behaviour support services
- Drop in groups to support vulnerable children
Abuse – abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check – a certificate of checks carried out on those working with children and vulnerable people. Those who work regularly with children require a more in-depth DBS check.
Safer recruitment – recruiting staff using thorough checks on their suitability to work with children, including the right to work in the UK, and mental and physical fitness to carry out their responsibilities.
Who should I speak to for more information, or if I have a safeguarding concern?
You can speak to any member of staff, but we recommend that your first point of contact is your child’s teacher or the Headteacher.
Who should my child speak to if he/she has a concern?
Your child can speak to any trusted adult in school. The adult will refer to the DSL if there is a concern about the safety of the child.
How can I access more relevant information or policies?
The school’s safeguarding policies can be viewed online – the links are shown on this page. Alternatively, paper copies can be requested from the school office.