Safeguarding at Acre Rigg Infant School
At Acre Rigg Infant School we believe that children maximise their potential in an environment which is safe, secure and supportive of all their needs, including any needs they have for protection from abuse. Our policy applies to members of the school community in its widest sense. Thus this includes children and young people, their parents/carers, school staff, governors, visitors, specialist staff, and the local and wider community.
All children have the right to be happy, to be safe and to learn.
Safeguarding children permeates all aspects of our work as a school, with a preventative role to inform and boost the resilience of all students by enhancing protective factors in their lives. Accordingly this policy links with many other related policies in school.
PSHE, RE, Science, English, Rights Respecting groups, Computing, History and Geography are some of the areas of the curriculum in which children can discuss and debate important issues including lifestyles, health, safety and well-being (physical and emotional), healthy relationships, family life, child care and parenting, domestic abuse, religious beliefs and practices as well as human rights issues.
Definition of ‘safeguarding’
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfES, 2016, defines safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
‘Protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. ‘Children’ includes every one under the age of 18’.
Our school is committed to promoting the welfare of all children by working in partnership with parents and carers, the Local Authority (LA) and multi-agency partners in early help and child protection, in accordance with locally agreed Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures and practices.
Safeguarding within this school
- We aim to create and maintain a caring ethos where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued. If children feel happy and enjoy school this will encourage good attendance and then create conditions in which they can do their best in every area of school life. Our school operates as a listening school where children are able to approach adults with concerns. These will be taken seriously and relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures followed without delay if there is a risk/likelihood of, or actual significant harm.
To emphasise the caring ethos our school believes in the staff and governors are committed to the following principles:-
• The welfare and well-being of each child is of paramount importance.
• Our policy works on the premise that abuse takes place in all communities and that school staff are particularly well-placed to identify and refer concerns and also to act to prevent children and young people from being abused.
• We respect and value each child as an individual.
• We are a listening school, and encourage an environment where children feel free to talk, knowing that they will be listened to.
• The protection of children from abuse is a whole-school issue, and the responsibility therefore of the entire school community.
• Our policy should be accessible in terms of understanding and availability. Regular training will ensure all adults in school are aware of indicators of concern or abuse and the designated safeguarding leads that such information should be promptly passed on to.
• Our policy will be developed and kept up to date with information from our relevant partners in early help and child protection as well as national documentation issued by HM Government and The Department of Education.
• We will use the school curriculum to resource our children to protect themselves from abuse, both as victims and as potential perpetrators.
• The school runs in an open, transparent way.
Training at Acre Rigg Infants School
All staff receive:
o Level 1 ‘Introduction to Safeguarding and Child Protection’ training which is reviewed every 3 years.
o Governors are also invited to this training.
o March 2015
Georgina Beckensall – Date of Training March 2015
Sheila Simpson – Date of Training March 2015
Training for the designated safeguarding lead and other designated teachers in school is undertaken every 2 years
Level 2 Training for Designated Teachers in school was undertaken by:
Kate Longstaff- March 2016
Judy Ramshaw- September 2015
Nicola Armstrong- October 2015
Sarah Taylor- November 2015
Mrs Longstaff and Mrs Ramshaw have completed PREVENT training and all other staff members have attended a staff meeting.
o If a concern is raised regarding a child the designated safeguarding lead is informed immediately and a written entry is made on the child’s welfare monitoring file. The decision of the next step is then made and recorded.
o If a concern is raised regarding a member of staff this must be given to the Headteacher.
o If a concern is raised regarding the Headteacher this must be given to the Chair of Governors.
o All of these concerns are taken very seriously and correct procedures are followed as stated in our ‘Keeping Children Safe in School: Child Protection within Safeguarding Policy’ which can be found on our Policies page.
Staff at our school are aware of the need to share information appropriately.
Within school there is a delicate balance to be struck between alerting members of staff to concerns about a child and the need to protect the child from too many people knowing. Information therefore is only divulged on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Our school also takes care to ensure that information about a child is only given to the appropriate external people or agencies. Staff will take names and ring back if unsure.
All staff within school are aware of the confidential nature of personal information about a child and the need for maintaining confidentiality
Visitors to Acre Rigg Infant School
All visitors, students and volunteers are expected to report to the main entrance, sign in using the electronic signing in system and there they will be given a sticker to identify them.
Our school is one of many in County Durham that will be taking part in a new project aimed at providing extra support to young people who are affected by or witness domestic abuse in their home lives.
Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a young person. They can often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries and distress afterwards, or be physically hurt themselves.
A new project, called Operation Encompass, aims to support children affected in any way by domestic abuse. The project is a joint initiative involving Durham County Council, Durham Police and schools across the county.
Starting from January 2017, following any serious domestic abuse incident being reported into Durham Police, specialist staff will identify which school that child attends, make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information. This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and they can subsequently provide support in a way that means the child feels safe and supported.
believe our school’s involvement in this project demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.
In the meantime, if you would like to speak to someone about the project or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the school on 0191 5864437. You can also find out more information at operation encompass.
Recruitment at Acre Rigg Infant School
The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Any offers of employment are subject to receipt of:
o a satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure
o a minimum of two satisfactory references
o completion of a “disqualification by association” declaration form.
All DBS checks are renewed on a continuous cycle.
You can find our more about safeguarding at our school buy viewing or downloading our ‘Keeping Children Safe in School: Child Protection within Safeguarding Policy’ in the School Policies section of our website.