At Elemore Hall School, we regard the safeguarding of children to be our main priority. We believe that we all have the right to be happy, to be safe and to learn. We all have the responsibility to make this happen.
We will ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains our principal aim.
- 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 Safeguarding Leads: Richard Royle (Headteacher), Michael Hunter (Deputy Headteacher), Hilary Johnson-Browne (Head of Support Services), Phill Brette (Assistant Head – Windlestone), and Andrea Davies (Assistant Head – PACC).
Areas of Safeguarding
Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff and visitors – ensuring they have the required level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance to be working on the school premises whilst children are present. They are suitably informed to ensure safety is maintained at all times whilst on school premises and have received relevant training and/or information where appropriate.
- Children’s behaviour – promoting safer, happier behaviours and lifestyles whilst in school.
- Parents and carers – promoting links and supporting families.
- School premises and grounds – keeping them safe and secure, pleasant and fit for purpose.
- Curriculum – providing positive, life affirming learning experiences.
- Outside School – ensuring safer activities and environments for pupils and staff.
Internet and Social Networking
In line with the school’s Code of Conduct Policy no information should be posted on social networking sites which is confidential to the school, its pupils, its staff, parents or carers. Any information posted, including images, which can be deemed to be derogatory, defamatory, discriminatory or offensive in any way will be dealt with immediately using the appropriate channels. This also includes information posted by pupils relating to other pupils, staff, parents or carers or anyone else in connection to the school.
All staff are responsible for promoting pupil’s health and safety, however if there are any concerns regarding a child, one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads should be informed as soon as practicable.
We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children has an up-to-date DBS check, for new members of staff all pre-employment checks are carried out before commencement of working with our children, keeping our children as safe as possible. This is a continual process and ongoing checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current school policy.
All contractors who are employed by the school to carry out work on our site when children are present are required to have satisfactory DBS clearance.
- All staff have regular Child Protection and Safeguarding training that now includes information relating to Anti-Bullying, Child Sexual Exploitation and preventing extremism.
- All staff are aware of the procedures to follow if they have any concerns regarding pupils, staff, visitors, contractors etc.
- Staff are encouraged to be observant at all times in order to maintain the safety of our pupils.
- Staff are directed to the document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. This applies to volunteers too.
- Keeping Children Safe in Education
All staff and volunteers are directed to the staff share section of the schools intranet where all relevant safeguarding policies are stored.
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. School policies are in line with current procedures and guidance information. Staff are able to respond appropriately to any:
- significant changes in children’s behaviour ie becoming withdrawn, aggressive, verbally abusive, reluctance to return home at the end of the school day;
- deterioration in their general wellbeing and presentation;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse;
- signs of neglect, the child is constantly hungry, poor personal hygiene, dirty clothing, regularly tired;
- comments children make which give cause for concern, for example these can be of a sexual nature, aggressive language, bad language, issues at home.
All staff are aware of the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality when dealing with sensitive issues. Staff are encouraged to discuss their concerns with parents or carers in the first instance if this is appropriate, if it is deemed too sensitive then the appropriate designated leads for safeguarding should be informed as soon as practicable.
As a school we have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents or carers in advance of a child being admitted to school, this includes:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s health requirements including any specific dietary information on allergies to certain foods, medication(s) the child is required to take in school hours and any other relevant health information that may have an impact on the child’s wellbeing in school;
- relevant information regarding who has legal contact with the child and who has parental responsibility.
Written parental or carer’s permission is requested, at the time of the child’s admission to the school, to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice or treatment in the future.
PARENTS AND CARERS MUST INFORM THE SCHOOL OF ANY CHANGES TO THESE DETAILS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
At Elemore we take confidentiality very seriously, any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only. Staff are aware they are not able to tell a child they can ‘keep a secret’ or promise them they won’t pass relevant information on if they have a concern regarding the child’s welfare.
All efforts are made to ensure every child has a safe, secure place to talk to any member of staff in school if they are upset, frightened or worried about anything.
Links with External Agencies
It is important to note our first concern must be the wellbeing of your child and with this in mind there may be occasions when we need to liaise with other external agencies before we contact you. The actions we are required to follow are outlined within 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 School Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Behaviour Support, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs.
Reporting of Concerns or Complaints
At Elemore we have a Complaints Policy which outlines the procedure for the reporting of any concerns or complaints that parents, carers, staff or visitors may have. Any such concerns should be raised using the following route:
- Personal Tutor or Class Teacher – discuss concerns to hopefully address any issues. If there is no satisfactory resolution then refer to the Head Teacher.
- If no satisfactory resolution can be achieved then a referral to the Chair of Governors can be sought. If the issues still persist the matter can then be referred to the Local Authority at County Hall. The contact details for County Hall are 0191 30010 260 000.
Review of Polices and Practice
Our policies and practices are reviewed on a regular or annual basis to ensure we keep up-to-date with current legislation and Local Authority guidance. Any new statutory guidance is incorporated into our practice to ensure all children in our care receive the best possible education delivered through our curriculum and by having staff trained in safeguarding procedures.
Child Sexual Exploitation
If you live in County Durham or Darlington you can find information about child Sexual Exploitation on the Erase Abuse website.
The Educate Against Hate website provides information and resources for parents, teachers and school leaders.
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