Safeguarding & Child Protection
Safeguarding within St Margaret’s Primary Academy.
Safeguarding and Child Protection is extremely important to all the staff at St Margaret’s Primary Academy. We take the safety of children very seriously. If you have any concerns about the protection or safeguarding of a child, please immediately contact one of the Child Protection Team below or inform a member of the School Office who will contact them for you.
COVID Annex update
Child on Child Abuse letter to parents
Child on Child Abuse letter (April 2021)
Safeguarding pupils while remote learning – guidance for parents
If any of our pupils need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or where there are local restrictions that require pupils to remain at home, schools are expected to be able to immediately offer access to remote education. It is important to us that this education is safe and is of a high quality. This guidance tells parents/carers how we will work safely with your children while providing remote learning, and how we will support both staff and pupils to stay safe.
Even though your child won’t be learning in the classroom in the normal way, the language, resources and materials used to support their learning will be similar to those that would have been used to teach in the classroom, and they will be appropriate to the age and level of understanding that your child has. Remote learning will be delivered in the safest and most effective way possible, and every possible step will be taken to promote the safety of our pupils throughout this process.
Our usual school policies that keep pupils and staff safe – including the safeguarding and child protection policy, the staff code of conduct, the pupil behaviour policy, and the online safety policy – still apply while children are learning remotely, and staff will respond to any concerns about a pupil in line with these policies. During remote learning, if you have any concerns about the safety of your child, or about any other child in our school, please immediately contact the school and ask to speak to a member of the leadership team.
Safeguarding pupils if they are learning online
Many schools are choosing to deliver part or all of their remote learning via the Internet. Our chosen platform for this is Microsoft Teams. You and/or your child will have received your own unique account to this platform, which is for your use or your child’s use, and should not be shared or used by anyone else.
Our staff have received training to help them to deliver remote learning on this platform safely and effectively, and as part of our approach to remote learning we will adhere to Government-endorsed safety guidance from the NSPCC that two members of staff will be present when any live video communication is taking place. In exceptional circumstances, it may be appropriate for a member of staff to work alone with your child during live video communication, but this will only take place with prior permission from parents/carers and school leaders, and where an appropriate risk assessment has taken place.
We have also taken additional steps to ensure that only the right people can use our platform, and use it in the right way. You may notice that some features have been removed or restricted – this helps us to ensure that everyone can stay safe if they are learning online.
Support for parents/carers to help keep their child safe while remote learning
This may be a period of uncertainty and worry for both you and your child. Try to help them structure their day and their week in a similar way to how it is structured at school, with allocated time for learning, rest and play. Help them to see the importance of getting up and going to bed at a regular time, and getting properly dressed in the morning, even though they aren’t coming to school. If it is possible, encourage them to have a separate space for learning, somewhere different to where they rest and play, which will help them keep to a good routine.
Our Pastoral Team
The Pastoral Team are able to support with behavioural concerns, friendship issues, worries regarding school or home and health issues.
Developed over the past 25 years, Thrive is a leading provider of tools and training to help adults support the social and emotional development of the children and young people they are working with. The Thrive approach, is a rewarding and gratifying process that improves children’s outcomes by helping them to become more confident, happy and emotionally intelligent. We offer Thrive to our children throughout the school.
Play therapy is used at St Margaret’s Primary Academy with the child at the centre and leading the session. We offer this to our children so we can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future.
At REAch2, our actions and our intentions as school leaders are guided by our Touchstones:
We recognise that we lead by example and if we want children to grow up to behave appropriately and with integrity then we must model this behaviour
We act judiciously with sensitivity and care. We don’t make excuses, but mindfully answer for actions and continually seek to make improvements
We acknowledge and celebrate that all people are different and can play a role in the REAch2 family whatever their background or learning style
Providing learning that is relevant, motivating and engaging releases a child’s curiosity and fun, so that a task can be tackled and their goals achieved
Inspiration breathes life into our schools. Introducing children to influential experiences of people and place, motivates them to live their lives to the full
Children and adults will flourish in their learning and through learning discover a future that is worth pursuing
REAch2 aspires for high quality leadership by seeking out talent, developing potential and spotting the possible in people as well as the actual
We recognise that academies and academy personnel are in a unique position in their care of children. The responsibility for all staff to safeguard pupils and promote their welfare, as stated in Section 175 of the Children’s Act (2002) is one that is central to our ethos, our policies and our actions. All children are deserving of the highest levels of care and safeguarding, regardless of their individual characteristics or circumstances, and we are committed to applying this policy to ensure effective levels of safeguarding and care are afforded to all of our pupils. This policy sets out guidance and procedures that our academy will take to ensure appropriate action is taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils. Its contents are intended to be in accordance with all relevant Government guidelines and legislation, as well as the inter-agency procedures provided by Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- To enable all pupils to feel safe and cared for whilst at our academy, and to ensure that they have a safe place to which they can turn;
- To enable all adults involved with our academy to be fully equipped to fulfil their responsibilities in effectively promoting the safeguarding and welfare of all of their pupils.
Roles & responsibilities
- Pupils will: adhere to academy rules regarding conduct and safe behaviour; report anything that worries them to a trusted adult;
- Parents/carers will: work collaboratively with academy staff to promote the safety of their children and other pupils; support our academy to teach pupils about keeping safe by reinforcing key safety messages; report any safeguarding concerns regarding their own children or another pupil to the academy;
- REAch2 academies will: ensure that all pupils have a safe learning environment and are taught about how to keep safe; train and support all adults involved with our academy to appropriately identify and respond to any pupil at risk of harm; work collaboratively with parents and professional agencies to safeguard our pupils;
- Governors will: ensure this policy is applied robustly throughout the academy; review it regularly (annually at a minimum) to ensure the effectiveness and rigor of safeguarding practice at our academy;
- REAch2 central staff will: learn, understand and follow the safeguarding procedures for each academy within which they work; undertake relevant regular training and updates to ensure their skills and knowledge support them to meet their safeguarding responsibility;
- REAch2 Regional Safeguarding Leads/ASL for Safeguarding will: advise and challenge academies and their staff to support them in deploying best practice to meet their statutory safeguarding responsibilities.
How this relates to national guidance & requirements
Statutory safeguarding and child protection practice for schools and academies is outlined in the following legislation and documents, with which this policy intends to be in accordance:
- Section 175 of the Education Act (2002)
- Section 26, Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015);
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020);
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018);
- Children Missing Education (2016);
- What To Do if You’re Worried A Child is Being Abused (2015);
- Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (2016)
Policy Role in Principle
The role and responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- We will appoint a senior member of staff from our academy’s senior leadership team to act as our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) This person will coordinate all safeguarding and child protection procedures at our academy, and will take lead responsibility for this area, which will be specified in their job description;
- We will also appoint one or more Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, who will be trained to the same level as the Lead, and to whom activities may be delegated;
- During school hours, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy will be available to discuss any safeguarding concerns, either in person or, in exceptional circumstances, via phone or other modes of communication;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will undergo suitable training, including Prevent training, to equip them with the skills and knowledge required to undertake their role, which will be updated at a minimum every two years; in addition, their skills and knowledge will be refreshed at regular intervals, annually at a minimum;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will ensure that all staff know and understand the safeguarding and child protection procedures at our academy, as well as learning and working effectively with the local inter-agency procedures for assessment of early help needs and for referrals of suspected cases of abuse;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead is expected to oversee and manage all referrals of suspected abuse that are made to Social Care, Police, Channel, and other agencies, and will also support and liaise with any academy staff who have either been involved in making such referrals or who have concerns about a pupil which may subsequently require a referral;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will maintain detailed and secure written records of any concerns and referrals.
Induction and training
- We will train all academy staff and volunteers to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to support them to fulfill their safeguarding responsibilities. This will take place upon induction and will be refreshed regularly, no less than annually, throughout the course of their work with our academy;
- Training and refresher sessions will reinforce understanding of: the types of abuse, including specific safeguarding issues; the adult’s role in recognising and responding to abuse; the academy’s processes for recording and following up on any concerns. Policies, policy updates, and statutory information will also be shared during induction and refresher sessions
Safer recruitment and the Single Central Record
- We recognise that it is critical to ensure that our pupils are taught and supported by adults who are safe to do so, and that we must promote a culture of safety within our academy environment by preventing unsafe adults from having access to it;
- In line with best practice for safer recruitment, a minimum of one member of academy staff will undertake a training in ‘Safer Recruitment’, and will be present on any interview panel;
- Our School Business Manager/Office Manager will maintain a Single Central Record, detailing the required and relevant recruitment and vetting checks undertaken on all school employees, Governors, agency workers and third-party staff;
- The Single Central Record will be supported by files containing appropriate supporting evidence for recruitment and vetting checks, held in line with Data Protection legislation
Teaching pupils to stay safe
- We recognise the importance of teaching our pupils how to stay safe, and that opportunities to do so form an inherent part of a broad and balanced curriculum;
- Learning opportunities will take the form of: PSHE lessons, Computing lessons, Sex and Relationships education, assemblies, circle time, class/form time, and visiting speakers, as well as smaller group and focussed intervention for particular vulnerable pupils as needed;
- The ethos of our school and its curriculum will support the promotion of British Values, which is known to build resilience to exploitation and radicalisation;
- We will model and teach safe behaviour and appropriate language (including how to stay safe online), and will promote a culture of safety within our academy where everyone’s opinion is valued and everyone has someone safe to whom they can turn;
- We will actively collect feedback from our pupils, and will regularly engage with Pupil Voice to seek the views of pupils on their experiences of feeling safe at our academy.