Under the Education Act 2002 (section 175/157), schools must “make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”.
Here at St Mary's we will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The school should make parents/carers aware that records of welfare concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies. However, in situations where the child is suspected to be at risk of harm, the law says that schools may take advice from other agencies without informing parents/carers.
In accordance with local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service.
Schools will seek advice from Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, schools or any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the police investigate any concerns further.
Here at St. Mary's the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is our Headteacher, Mr Ben Hodson. Our other trained Designated Persons (DP's) are Clare Robinson (Deputy Head) and Veronica Cassey (INCO).
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, 2015 requires that all schools must
have arrangements in place to mitigate the risk posed by radicalisation.
At St. Mary's we believe radicalisation should be seen as a safeguarding issue. Vulnerable children and young people may be targeted in the same way as other areas of risk such as on-line abuse and sexual exploitation. All school staff are aware of their responsibilities in this area and have received training in the recognition of signs of radicalisation and referral routes.
The trained Prevent Lead in the school is our Headteacher, Mr Ben Hodson.