Safeguarding and Child Protection

Our Policy on Child Protection, Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Students, and how it is implemented, is based on ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (March 2015, HM Government) and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (May 2016, Department for Education).

A key priority for the school is the safety and wellbeing of its students. We strive to achieve this by ensuring that the campus is safe and secure, as well as by educating students about personal and on-line safety.  Where a student’s behaviour impacts on the well-being of others, the school response is robust and educative.

Where the school has reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse, or of being drawn into extremist behaviour (radicalisation) we follow the Durham Local Safeguarding Child Board procedures.  This involves a referral to the Initial Response Team, usually done by the Designated Safeguarding Lead.  However, anybody can make a referral if they believe that a child is at risk of serious harm.  (See Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board website; phone the Initial Response Team on 03000 267979.)

Since March 2015, a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub has operated in Durham to gather, share and analyse information across a range of professionals including schools, Social Workers, Nurses, the Police and domestic violence support workers.

If a parent, carer, member of staff or visitor to the school has concerns about a child, they should share this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead who is Mr P Connor (Deputy Headteacher).  If he is unavailable, Mrs F Thompson (Deputy Headteacher) can deputise for him.  Governors with particular responsibility for safeguarding and child protection are Rev J Thorns and Ms K Passmore.

Please note that there is a distinction between

  1. a concern about the quality of an aspect of school provision;
  2. a complaint; or
  3. an allegation against an adult working with children.

In the case of an allegation, it may relate to somebody working with children who has

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.

(‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, March 2015, HM Government, P54)

Concerns and complaints should be directed to the appropriate member of staff following the school’s Complaints Procedure.  In cases of allegations against the Headteacher, the matter should be raised with the Chair of the Governing Board or the Designated Officer of the Local Authority.

The following summarises the situation: 

Nature of complaint Contact
General School Complaints Headteacher or other relevant member of School Leadership Team
Allegations against staff (not a complaint) (excluding the Headteacher) Headteacher or Designated Safeguarding Lead
Allegations against the Headteacher Local Authority Designated Officer and/or the Chair of Governing Board
Allegations about the regime of the school/Governors Local Authority Designated Officer and/or Ofsted

 

The following  illustrates what action should be taken when there are concerns about a child:

Raising ConcernsIf a parent, carer, member of staff or visitor to the school has concerns about a child they should share these with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).  The person with concerns may refer to Children’s Social Care directly in an emergency or if they have a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken. (Initial Response Team on 03000 267979 or 999 in an emergency.) There is a statutory duty on teachers to report to the Police where they believe that Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18 years of age.

Serious Crime Act 2015

 

The DSL will decide whether the concerns should be referred to the Initial Response Team. (This will be discussed with parents/carers unless to do so might place a child at risk.)The DSL may decide that an alternative response is more appropriate, for example a referral to another agency or an early help assessment.The DSL may decide that the most appropriate response is support and monitoring by the school or may be advised by the Initial Response Team that this is the case.
Children’s Social Care / the Durham Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will decide what action to take and feed back to the referrer.  The action may involve an assessment (early help assessment, a Section 17 or 47 assessment). If the child’s safety does not appear to be improving the referrer should press for reconsideration.

 

The School operates CCTV cameras on the campus and inside the buildings for safety and security reasons.