At Walter Halls Safeguarding is our number one priority and everyone's responsibility. The information below explains some of our key provision and systems. It is not intended to replace or substitute the reading of our Safeguarding Policy . For us safeguarding goes beyond what is statutory and is our highest priority. As a team we constantly reflect on our practise and look for any ways we can to improve.
Who leads in Safeguarding in school?
We have five school DSL’s (Designated Safeguarding Leads). These are currently:
Overall Safeguarding Lead & DSP
Emma Beardah: Head Teacher
Jodie Burton: Family Support Worker
Kerrie Chandler: Child Welfare Officer and Play Therapist
Jo Glover: Deputy Head Teacher
Mobeen Moazzam - KS1 Phase Leader
In our school the DSL’s responsibilities include:
Respond to any safeguarding concerns.
Liaise with social care and other agencies.
Talk to parents about concerns raised where appropriate.
Updates chronologies and school safeguarding records (Kerrie Adams oversees this).
Leads on whole staff training and updates.
Attend half termly safeguarding team meeting to go through cases and reflect on practise. The agenda for these meetings includes updates on cases, actions taken, feedback from case holders, review practise and procedures, reflect trends and any lessons learnt. Minutes are taken and distributed.
Meet with the safeguarding governor at least termly (Jo Glover Inclusion Lead and SENCo) and reports to Governors.
Attend Local Authority DSL networks.
Updating school safeguarding policy.
What training is given to staff?
Staff are regularly trained in safeguarding and it is part of our new staff induction. We find out about updates and training through the Local Authority DSL network and online services. Our DSL’s attend training and keep refreshed through the termly DSL networks run by the Local Authority.
Recent training includes:
DSL (designated Leader) Training on Disclosures and Reporting November 2018
Local Authority DSL Network November 2018
New DSL Training October 2018
Whole Staff Safeguarding Refresher September 2018
Positive Handling Refreshers April 2018
GDPR Training March 2018
My Concern Online Recording System Training February 2018
Domestic Violence Signs and Support January 2018
Paediatric First Aid Updates December 2017
We keep staff up to date through staff meetings where safeguarding concerns relevant to whole school are discussed (we are always mindful not to overexpose children or families, regarding casework information is shared on a needs to know basis). We also have a staff safeguarding notice board for general updates.
How are referrals made?
Child Protection and Safeguarding referrals are made by staff and sometimes pupils, parents or visitors to the DSL’s. Staff are trained in the referral process and this is part of new staff induction. Visitors are asked to read our safeguarding booklet and have a discussion with a DSL so they understand the procedures. We now use an online recording system called My Concern. Staff are trained to avoid asking leading questions and to support pupils by explaining what will happen, not showing disbelief and taking factual information from the child. The school DSL’s may investigate further once a referral is made.
Will parents be informed?
If a child makes a disclosure our practise is to inform parents and carers as long as this would not put a child in danger or we are advised not to speak to parents by social care. Likewise, we will usually inform parents if a referral to social care has been made.
What if a child or an adult makes a disclosure about a member of staff?
If there is an allegation made against a member of staff then the DSL’s will seek advice from the Nottingham City Safeguarding Team on the appropriate action to take. We will inform parents and in some cases a staff member may be suspended or put on altered or supervised duties until an investigation is completed. Where criminal activity may have taken place the police will be contacted. All staff are made aware of the school whistleblowing policy which you can find on our school website under Key Documents-Policies.
How does school make sure that staff and visitors are safe to work with children?
We carry out criminal background checks on all staff and visitors who work in school. This information is managed and kept by our business manager Diane Johnson. Staff are also asked to disclose any activity that may make them by association ineligible to work with children. Staff are trained to understand that they are all responsible for safeguarding and must immediately report any practise they are concerned about. We ask staff to also take precautions such as avoiding being left in a room on their own with a pupil and not using personal mobile phones in school to video or take pictures of pupils. These are outlined in our Staff Code of Conduct, Internet Use and Safeguarding policies.
Recent improvements made to safeguarding in school
We constantly reflect and review our school procedures. Most recently we have:
Implemented an electronic recording system called My Concern which provides secure and clearer tracking systems and chronologies for school. (February 2018)
Employed a Family Support Worker to give additional support to our families focusing on parental support and signposting for early intervention and help. (September 2017)
Had veranda fencing put up all the way along our school veranda to ensure the safety of all pupils. (March 2016)
Introduced colour coded lanyards for staff and visitors so the pupils know which are members of school staff and staff can politely challenge anyone without a lanyard in school. (September 2015)
Had the gates changed so that they are weighted and can only be released by staff with a key fob or by the office. Installed CCTV in school at each gate. This was achieved through a funding grant secured by our Business Manager and means the site is much safer. (May 2016)
Updated and enhanced some of our record keeping and systems including introduction of bound books for DSL’s to take to case meetings (December 2016 following advice from DSL Network).
What should I do if I have a safeguarding concern?
We ask all parents to help with safeguarding too. If you have a concern about a child, member of staff or the safety in the environment then please contact us immediately and ask to speak to one of our school DSL’s. If you have a child protection concern and you feel a child is at risk but cannot reach us or it is out of school hours, then you can also refer to Children and Families Direct on 0115 8764800. If it is out of hours and you believe a child is in immediate danger you should contact the police.
Most children have access to devices with online games and apps. It can be difficult to keep on top of everything and everyone they have access too. We have lots of tips and advice for getting to know what your child has access to, how to talk to them about online safety and, if necessary, how to take some control over their online activities to keep them safe. This information is all available in the e-safety section of the website.