Safeguarding Information for Parents

Our school recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils. We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We have put together this leaflet to give you some information about how we meet our safeguarding and child protection responsibilities. You can look at the policy in school, on the website or request a copy to take home. We keep parents up to date with Safeguarding information and issues via Schoop/Schoolpod.

Who’s Who?

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Cathryn Fyfe (cathryn@tcstadmin.co.uk)

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: M Emlyn Humphries & Nikki Savage (EYFS)

Designated Safeguarding and CLA Trustee: Carina Bowman

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding Children includes many aspects of education which applies to all children in our care, this includes:

  • Health and Safety – maintenance, security and cleaning of premises
  • First Aid, Medicines and Accidents
  • Fire Safety Policy
  • School Trips
  • Risk Assessments for activities.
  • Bullying
  • Behaviour management
  • Staff training
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Intimate Care and Reasonable Force and Restraint
  • PSHEE programme
    • Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking education.
    • Sex and Relationships Education

It also encompasses Child Protection which means protecting a specific child or children, who are suffering or liable to suffer significant harm., this includes:

 e-safety,

  • Child Sexual Exploitation,
  • Female Genital Mutilation,
  • Honour Based Violence,
  • Forced Marriage,
  • Children Missing Education
  • Peer on Peer Abuse
  • Preventing Radicalisation

We will be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and will follow our procedures to ensure that the children receive effective support, protection and justice.

What we will do if we have a concern about your child

We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. While we respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality we may share sensitive information with other agencies if it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child, or where parents have given us permission to do so. If we are concerned that your child may be at risk of abuse or neglect we must follow the procedures in our child protection policy. The procedures have been written to protect all pupils. They comply with our statutory responsibilities and are designed to support pupils, families and staff. The procedures are based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration.

In most cases we will to talk to parents directly about our concerns for their children. In many cases we seek advice from Children and Families Operations Hub Consultation Line (Essex County Council) who will give advice – including whether or not we should inform parents. This can be done anonymously.

If the concerns we report suggest that a child is at risk of significant harm the Children and Families Operations Hub will advise us to make a referral. In most circumstances, where it is possible for us to contact you first, we will tell you that we are referring our concerns to children’s social care. We will then ask your consent to make a referral, but in some circumstances, we may need to make the referral against your wishes, or before we have been able to make contact with you. We will only do this if we believe that this is the best way to protect your child, and the fact that you did not consent to the referral will be recorded.

If we think that talking to you first might in some way increase the risk to your child, we will report our concerns directly to the Children and Families Operations Hub (Essex County Council) children’s social care and take advice from them. We will record the reasons why we decided to follow this course of action.

All child protection records are kept separate from your child’s general school file. Records are stored in a locked cabinet or drawer, and if stored on computer they are password-protected. They only staff who have access to the records are those who need to know about the concerns in order to protect and support your child.

Child protection is a very sensitive issue and it raises many questions and a range of strong emotions. We will do everything we can support our pupils and you can be assured that any action we take will be in the best interests of your child. If additional support from school staff around Safeguarding matters is offered, which is above and beyond the scope of the school’s normal pastoral duties, we will ask for written consent from parents before giving any such support to the child or their parents.

Child abuse and what to look for

No parent wants to think about the possibility of their child becoming a victim of abuse, and most children are never abused. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable does happen.

You should still ensure that your child knows the rules about keeping safe when they are out alone. However, most children know their abusers. They may be family members or friends of family, someone who works with the child or someone who lives in the community.

There are four types of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.

There are many signs, or indicators that a child might be suffering abuse. This could be injuries, but it is more likely that you will notice some change in your child’s behaviour.

If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember that, if your child is being harmed, she or he may be too frightened to tell you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to our Designated Safeguarding Lead or call a helpline or children’s social care services. (see details above)

Some signs to look for are:

  • Bruises or other injuries
  • A change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them
  • Secrecy around a relationship with a particular person
  • Reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with
  • Sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years
  • Being watchful, or always on edge
  • Losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life
  • Alcohol or drug taking
  • Having money and refusing to say where is has come from
  • Wetting the bed
  • Becoming clingy

If you are concerned about the safety or welfare of your child, or a child you know, you should act without delay; Information on how to do this is available on the website: http://tcst.org.uk/documents/safeguarding-information/ or you can talk to one of the Safeguarding staff at school or telephone for advice without identifying the child. If the conversation confirms that you are right to be concerned, you can then give the child’s details. You will be asked for your name and address too, but the agencies will take anonymous calls, so if you really do not want to say who you are, you do not have to. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Contact Details

Children and Families Operations Hub (Essex County Council) 0345 603 7627 (9am -5.30pm Mon to Fri)

Out of hours number: 0345 606 1212

NSPCC Helpline for concerned adults: 0808 800 5000