The Hartpury C of E Primary School Safeguarding Children Statement
The health and safety of all children is of paramount importance. Parents send their children to school each day with the expectation that school provides a secure environment in which their children can flourish. We therefore have to ensure that this expectation becomes reality. In order to do this a wide range of measures are put in place:
The government has published a policy “Safeguarding Children” (DfES/027/2004) and this school has used this in formulating its own safeguarding statement.
The Health and Safety Policy
The school has a health and safety policy, which is monitored regularly by the relevant committee of the school governors. Any concerns from staff are reported to any of the above who carries out an initial examination, assessing what remedial action needs to take place. Each term there is a fire drill that practises efficient evacuation from the buildings. The school conducts an annual Fire Risk Assessment. There is also a critical incidents plan that details what staff and parents should do in the case of emergencies.
In school there are always trained members of staff who volunteer to oversee first aid. There are a number of first aid kits situated around school. When a child is poorly, or has suffered an accident in school or on the playground there is a protocol for staff to follow:
- A trained first aider is consulted
- The incident is logged in the accident book
- For head injuries a Bumped Head Sticker is issued and parents consulted
School policy is that members of staff will only give medicines when the parent has completed and signed the appropriate form requesting that staff administer medicine; the decision to meet the request is at the discretion of the Head Teacher. For the majority of medicines, however, a dose before and after school is perfectly adequate. Naturally the parents should consult doctors before giving any form of medication. For matters of an intimate nature staff are informed to deal with a child with utmost sensitivity and always to seek guidance from the Headteacher. In almost all situations the parents will be asked to come into school immediately so that they are part of the decision making process for such matters. In rare circumstances the school nurse will be contacted as a matter of utmost urgency before the parent
We provide a secure site, but the site is only as secure as the people who use it. Therefore all people on the site have to adhere to the rules, which govern it. Laxity can cause potential problems to safeguarding.
- Gates should be secure at playtimes and lunchtimes.
- All Exit Doors should be closed to prevent intrusion.
- Visitors must only enter through the main entrance and after signing in at the office. They should be given a visitors badge on entry.
- Children will only be allowed home with adults with parental responsibility or confirmed permission.
- Children should never be allowed to leave school alone during school hours, and if collected by an adult, signed out.
- Should a child leave the school premises without permission then staff have been informed never to chase after a child, but rather to report immediately to the office. Then parents and police will be informed of the circumstances.
Excellent attendance is expected of all children, but when children are unwell parents are expected to confirm absence by telephone. If there is no notification school has a policy of phoning home to ascertain each child’s whereabouts (First Day Callout). The school works closely with the Authority’s Welfare officer whenever a child’s attendance and punctuality causes concern. Attendance rates are reported each term to the LA, annually to the government and to all parents. Positive measures are in place to encourage children to attend regularly and punctually and the school is aware of its right to take legal action against parents who do not ensure good attendance and punctuality.
Appointments of staff and induction of newly appointed staff and work placements
All staff that are appointed to work in school have a criminal records search called a DBS check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made against them. If staff are found to have a criminal record the appointment is reconsidered by the Headteacher and the Governing Body. The LA is informed directly by the Criminal Records Bureau. The Headteacher sits on all appointment panels where the candidates are external applicants. At least one member of the interview panel will have undertaken the GSCB training on Safer Recruitment. New staff are inducted into safeguarding practices. Newly appointed staff are assigned a mentor for the induction period. It is the responsibility of the mentors to familiarise new staff with procedures and policy, which affect the health and safety of all at school but especially the children.
Induction of volunteers
When an adult visitor may be in and around the school building and unsupervised a full DBS search will be conducted. The office performs this. Visitors who do not yet have clearance will under no circumstance be left alone with a child or group of children – occasionally volunteers are invited to help out under the supervision of school staff only on these occasions does a DBS check not need to be completed.
It is assumed that visitors with a professional role ie the School Nurse or members of the police already have relevant clearance but the office will endeavour to check this before admittance is granted and a note made of anyone entering without clearance. (See also Site Security).
Child Protection Policy
The designated adult for Child Protection is Rosie Marks and the designated governor is Joan Elmslie. It is the Governing Body’s duty to ensure the Child Protection policy is reviewed annually and any deficiencies within the policy addressed immediately. Certain governors and all staff have had appropriate child protection training, which is updated at least every three years. This school follows DfES guidelines 10/98 which asserts that physical restraint may be used if there is the possibility that a child may be about to cause harm to him/ herself or to another. It also asserts that on no occasion should such physical contact be used as a punishment. All allegations of abuse by or complaints of a teacher will be dealt with following the Local Safeguarding Board procedures. For any complaints about the Headteacher the Chair of Governors should be contacted directly.
The Design of the Curriculum
The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two ways. Firstly, the curriculum, in subjects such as Personal, Social and Health Education discusses relevant issues with the children. Topics include such themes as Drugs, Sex and Relationships and Stranger Danger. Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues. Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taken out of school appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained. The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are finally authorised by the Headteacher. Visiting speakers, with correct clearance are always welcome into school so that they can give specialist knowledge to the children.
Children are encouraged to use the internet when appropriate, but at all times in a safe way. Parents are asked if they agree to their child using the internet. Pupils must never be left unattended whilst online and teachers should ensure that this does not happen. If teachers know of misuse, either by a teacher or child the issue should be reported to the Headteacher without delay. As Child Protection Officer the Headteacher has overall responsibility for internet safety. The school follows its Internet Policy.
The school ensures that equal opportunities are available for everyone, regardless of sex, class and ethnic group or ability range. Children with disabilities must be able to take a full and active part in every lesson and every measure must be taken to ensure this.
Good behaviour is essential in any community and we have high expectations for this. Although the emphasis is always on the positive there are also times when children have to be disciplined in order to maintain the safety and security of all children. There are numerous rewards available to children.
Staff are discouraged from handling children, but on occasion this is necessary to ensure the safety of the other children and should be done only as a last resort.
Anti Bullying Policy
The school definition of bullying is: “A systematic and extended victimisation of a person or group, by another or group of others.” The school’s response to this is unequivocal. Adults must be informed immediately and action will take place. Children are told that silence is the bully’s best friend. Although bullying in this school is rare the school always acts swiftly with a process of investigation, communication and action. Bullies will not be tolerated. There is a more detailed Anti-bullying Policy.
Along with the equal opportunities policy there is also a Policy for Racial Equality. We want our children to be prepared for an ethnically diverse society. The school will work hard to promote racial equality and harmony by preventing and challenging racism. If anyone ever feels unjustly treated then the school welcomes and values a response. Racism is tackled in both the RE and in the PSHE curricula. The children take part in discussions designed to raise awareness and address prejudices. From time to time visitors work with the children also. All racist incidents are reported to the Local Authority as soon as they happen and the Governing Body on a termly basis.
Photographing and videoing
There has been a lot of controversy about adults photographing and filming young people. The concerns are genuine, however we have taken a sensible, balanced approach, which allows parents to photograph and film providing they follow certain guidelines:
Parents consent to school taking photographs by signing a permission slip. School photographs that are for use outside of school are anonymous unless specific permission has been received from parents.
If members of staff ever have any concerns about the behaviour or intentions of any person within the building, school grounds or within proximity of children, they have a professional duty to inform the management accordingly. This can be done in writing or verbally but staff should be prepared to discuss issues in the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the necessary degree of confidentiality. The school has a current Whistleblowing Policy.