What do we do to keep our children safe?
As previously mentioned, keeping children safe is the main priority for anybody working within a school and, to ensure that our pupils are suitably safeguarded, we have designed a rigorous selection of practices which are under continuous review. Please see below for some examples.
Everyone is responsible for safeguarding - this includes staff, visitors and members of the wider school community. However, Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) hold an overarching responsibility for the practices in place and decisions made. It is a statutory requirement that all schools have a DSL but, at Chaucer Junior School, we have four trained safeguarding leads:
- Tiffany Smith - Headteacher & DSL
- Jane Mee - Assistant Headteacher & Deputy DSL
- Samantha Starling - Inclusion Lead & Deputy DSL
- Valerie Farrall - Attendance Officer & Deputy DSL
This means that we are able to ensure that a DSL in on-site at all times and, as three hold non-teaching roles, someone is always available to support staff and monitor any emerging concerns.
In addition to statutory annual training (which includes key documentation such as KCSIE), all members of staff take part in half-termly safeguarding training. Training follows a programme of reviewing familiar safeguarding concepts, introducing new aspects or practices and updates relevant to events in the community or trends amongst pupils (see contextual safeguarding).
School has a rigorous process of recruitment which is designed to ensure that staff within school are safe to work with children. In order to do this, we follow a list of requirements when advertising, shortlisting and interviewing posts - including ensuring that there is always at least one member of staff and/or governor who has been trained in safer recruitment on an interview panel. Staff appointed undergo a series of rigorous checks to ensure that they are suitable to work with children, sign a code of conduct and complete training in a range of relevant areas. Records are kept of any concerns around staff conduct, including low-level concerns.
Visitors and Volunteers
All and volunteers are expected to follow a process which sees them adhering to a strict list of rules and expectations to ensure that they are appropriately supervised at all times and not left in a position which leaves them vulnerable to accusations. This includes signing a code of conduct, any breaches of which could result in them no longer being welcome on site.
Like all schools, alongside general safeguarding concerns, there are aspects which are more relevant to the specific context of the school. Links with police and other local services ensure that safeguarding leads are kept updated as to events in the locality and how these could affect young people and families. In response to this, staff receive more specific training, safeguarding practices can be reviewed and improved, families can be kept informed and appropriate support can be put in place for children - this might include inviting professionals or specialist services to school to deliver suitable interventions.
Wherever possible, our curriculum is designed to give our children the necessary skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe and well - this is particularly relevant to PSHE and our Personal Development curriculum, details about which can be found under 'Personal Development' on the 'Our Curriculum' tab. Changes to the curriculum are also sometimes made in response to contextual safeguarding and relevant events in the locality.
Detailed and factual online records are kept about any concerns raised by staff, visitors, children or families. These will include any referrals, contact with parents or carers and the rationale for any decisions made. The system we use to keep these records if fully GDPR-compliant and information is only shared with key staff members.
At Chaucer, we appreciate that appropriate and safe information sharing is one of the most important aspects of safeguarding - collating information is an effective way of building an understanding of the bigger picture. With that in mind, DSLs meet weekly to discuss emerging cases, vulnerable families and risks, allowing us to be proactive in our approach to keeping our young people safe. In addition to this, half-termly monitoring meetings help to identify children who may need to be monitored more carefully.
Disclosures can be made to any member of staff but, if you have any concerns, we would encourage you to approach a DSL (members of our pastoral team are always available on the gate at the beginning and end of the day) or email email@example.com. Children are able to speak to any staff, use our Worry Box during school hours or use the QR code in their organisers to access the virtual Worry Box at any time of day.
DSLs will then meet to triage the concern and decide on the next steps in the best interest of the child - this will all be recorded, including rationale and decision-making. Please be aware that, due to GDPR and confidentiality, if you register a safeguarding concern with us about another child or family then we will not be able to advise you of any action we take.
If you have reason to believe that a child is being subjected to any form of abuse or you are concerned about their welfare, please use the following phone number to make a referral to Starting Point.
01629 533 190
If you are concerned that a child is in immediate danger, please call 999 immediately.
For further information, please see our Child Protection and Safeguarding policy which can be found on the 'Our Policies' page of the 'Key Information' tab.