At St. Mark’s C of E Primary School, we regard the safeguarding of children as our main priority. We believe that we all have the right to be happy, to be safe and to learn. We all have the responsibility to make this happen.
We will ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains paramount.
- All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers working at our school have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated leads for safeguarding: Mrs S Rand (Headteacher), Mrs L Connor (Assistant Headteacher), Mrs D Carr (Assistant Headteacher), Mrs R Ashford (SENCO), Mrs P Thornton (PSA) and Mrs C Cooper (Teacher).
Areas of Safeguarding
Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff and visitors- ensuring they are vetted, informed and trained.
- Children’s behaviour- promoting safe and happy behaviours and lifestyles.
- Parents, carers and families – promoting links and supporting families.
- Premises -keeping them safe, pleasant and fit for purpose.
- Curriculum -providing positive, exciting, interesting and life affirming learning experiences.
- Outside school – the curriculum we teach and the values we promote help encourage children to be safe during times when they are not in school.
Members of staff responsible
We are all responsible for ensuring that each child remains safe, however the Designated Leads for safeguarding are: Mrs S Rand (Headteacher), Mrs L Connor (Assistant Headteacher), Mrs D Carr (Assistant Headteacher), Mrs R Ashford (SENCO), Mrs P Thornton (PSA) and Mrs C Cooper (Teacher).
We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children have appropriate checks before they start working with children or spend time in our school. Ongoing checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ policies are up to date and in line with Local Authority and national guidance.
- Staff are trained in child protection issues and they are aware of the procedures to follow.
- Staff are encouraged to be vigilant in order to maintain the safety of our children.
- All Staff and volunteers are given a copy of ‘Behaviour Guidelines for Staff and volunteers’ and are directed to the document ‘Keeping Children Safe In Education’.
- All staff and volunteers are receive an induction which covers areas they need to be aware of, for example procedures to follow if they have a concern about a child, behaviour policy and are directed to relevant documents to support them with this.
Child Protection with Safeguarding Policy
All staff have an up-to-date understanding of safeguarding children issues and are able to implement the safeguarding children policy and procedure appropriately. Policies are in line with current guidance and procedures.
Staff are able to respond appropriately to any:
- significant changes in children’s behaviour;
- deterioration in their general well-being;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse;
- signs of neglect;
- comments children make which give cause for concern.
All staff are aware of the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents in advance of a child being admitted to school, including:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies the child may have;
- the child’s special health requirements;
- information about who has legal contact with the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child.
Written parental permission is requested, at the time of the child’s admission to the provision, to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice or treatment in the future.
Parents and carers must tell us of any changes to these details.
We take confidentiality very seriously. Any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Links with External Agencies
Because our first concern must be the well-being of your child, there may be occasions when we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the local authority child protection procedures.
We are fortunate to be supported by a range of external agencies which can be called upon to support the work we do in school. These include Parent Support Adviser, School Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Behaviour Support and Social Services.
Reporting Concerns or Complaints
Further to the above procedures, we have in place a concerns and complaints policy. This enables children, staff and carers to report anything they feel is of concern.
Concerns should be raised in the following order.
- To the Class Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Head Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Trust.
A full copy of our complaints policy is available in the school policies section of the school website.
Parents can also contact the Durham Local Authority if they are concerned about a child. For more information, click here.
We have information on our Online Safety page to support parents keeping their children safe online.
Educate Against Hate is the Government’s one-stop-shop providing teachers, school leaders and parents with practical advice, support and resources to help them build young people’s resilience to extremism and keep them safe from radicalisation. More information can be found in ‘Prevent and Countering Extremism in Young People’.
Review of Policy and Practice
In order to ensure that best practice is maintained, our policies are reviewed regularly to incorporate the latest statutory guidance emerge. Child Protection and Safeguarding policy is reviewed annually.
Please click here to see the policy.
If you would like more information on safeguarding, please contact the school for all our policies or view our policies section on our website.