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Valentines High School

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.  Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.  In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals make sure their approach is child-centred.  This means that they consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.  If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. 

Safeguarding encompasses the arrangements that are in place for all children.  Child protection refers to the policy and procedures for children who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of harm. 

The KCSIE Document is statutory guidance for schools, colleges and other institutes of education and is written by the Department of Education. It applies to all school staff as well as to governing bodies, management committees and proprietors. Every member of staff within a school must read at least part 1 of the guidance, as it sets out what legal duties must be followed to ensure the correct safeguarding and welfare of children under the age of 18.  You can read it here

If you would like to translate the document click here. 

Our Safeguarding Team 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection Policy which can be viewed in the Policies section of our website.

Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.

Prevent Statement

On 1st July 2015 the Prevent duty (section 26) of The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 came into force. This duty places the responsibility on local authorities and schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Valentines High School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is as important as safeguarding against any other vulnerability.

All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We believe that children should be given the opportunity to explore diversity and understand Britain as a multi-cultural society; everyone should be treated with respect whatever their race, gender, sexuality, religious belief, special need, or disability.

As part of our commitment to safeguarding and child protection we fully support the government’s Prevent Strategy.

Operation Encompass

Valentines High School has been given the opportunity to take part in a project that will run jointly between all schools, academies and colleges.

This project, Operation Encompass, has been designed to provide early reporting to schools of any domestic abuse incidents that occur outside of normal school hours and that might have had an impact on a child attending our premises the following day. This information will be shared at the earliest opportunity between Monday to Thursday and, when an incident occurs on a Friday, Saturday or a Sunday, the police will contact us the following Monday.

Our Designated safeguarding lead, will be able to use information that has been shared with them, in confidence, to ensure that our school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children or their families. Information will be shared where it is identified that a child or young person was present, witnessed or was involved in a domestic abuse incident.

We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our children and we believe this is initiative is going to be extremely beneficial and supportive for all those involved.

Parents and Carers

We, the Governing Body, Headteacher and all members of staff, strongly believe that our school should be a welcoming and safe place for our children, staff, parents and visitors alike and that our parents share that belief. We have legal responsibilities for the safeguarding and wellbeing of children and staff, and a duty of care to all users of our school.

All adults who enter our school site at any time set examples of behaviour and conduct which influence children and young people and we believe that they should therefore demonstrate high standards of conduct in order to encourage our pupils to do the same. Parents and carers must show respect to all other parents and carers, children and staff.  Please read our safeguarding leaflet for parents and visitors.

Behaviour which is regarded as unacceptable includes:

  • Physical abuse, threatening, oppressive or aggressive behaviour or use of offensive language towards other adults, staff or children
  • Entering the school site under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Smoking anywhere on the school site (this includes e-cigarettes)
  • Bringing dogs, with the exception of Assistance Dogs, on to the school site without the explicit permission of the Headteacher
  • Mobile phone use on the school site, without the explicit permission of the Headteacher (or in the case of an emergency)

School-related issues which parents or carers have concerning school, pupils or their families must be brought to the attention of a member of staff. Parents or carers must not try to resolve any issues themselves by direct action on site. If issues cannot be successfully resolved by speaking to a staff member, parents’ and carers’ correct course of action is use our Complaints Procedure as appropriate

We expect all communication between parents and school to be conducted in a polite and respectful manner. Communication may be similarly restricted if it becomes unacceptable

Mental Health and Wellbeing Including Physical Wellbeing

At Valentines High School, we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events.

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that: “in order to help their children succeed; schools have a role to play in supporting them to be resilient and mentally healthy”. Schools can be a place for children and young people to experience a nurturing and supportive environment that has the potential to develop self-esteem and give positive experiences for overcoming adversity and building resilience. For some, school will be a place of respite from difficult home lives and offer positive role models and relationships, which are critical in promoting children’s wellbeing and can help create a sense of belonging and community.

Our role in school is to ensure that children are able to manage times of change and stress, and that they are supported to reach their potential or access help when they need it. We also have a role to ensure that children learn about what they can do to maintain positive mental health, what affects their mental health, how they can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and where they can go if they need help and support.

Our aim is to help develop the protective factors which build resilience to mental health problems and to be a school where:

  • All children are valued and know that they are all unique.
  • Children have a sense of belonging and feel safe.
  • Children feel able to talk openly with trusted adults about their problems without feeling any stigma.
  • Positive mental health is promoted and valued.

We offer different levels of support:

Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For example developing resilience for all.

Additional support– For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement. 

Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as wellbeing groups or personal mentors

Please look at the policy page to read our Mental Health and Well Being policy.

Online Safety

Online Safety Advice for Parents and Students

Information for Parents and Students about online safety, with home learning activities can be accessed from ThinkUKnow by clicking  Online Safety Home Learning Activities  and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport by clicking here.

Parent and Carer Helpsheet: keeping your child safe online while they are off school

Our Tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep your child safe online can be downloaded here.

Cyber Security Advice during Coronavirus can be found here

Safeguarding from harmful influences online advice can be found here  

Online Safety Factsheets on the following can be found be clicking on the relevant name:

Online Safety Advice for Parents and Students

The internet is an amazing resource if used properly. If not, it can be a minefield. As a parent, it is very difficult to stay on top of social media, apps, online gaming, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snap Chat and the latest online crazes. More importantly, do you know what your child is doing on line? Do you know who they are talking to? Do you know what they are posting? Do you know how to take control and so ensure your child’s online safety? The following tips will help you to keep your child safe online.

If you are concerned with your child’s online safety please contact our Safeguarding Team on mail@valentines-sch.org.uk or your child’s Head of Year for support.

Online Safety Tips for Parents:

1.If you are a parent of a Year 7 or Year 8 child under the age of 13 it is illegal for them to have a Facebook profile or be on Instagram as the minimum age is 13.The profiles must be deleted.

2.Make sure your child uses their online privacy settings at all times to keep their personal information private.

3.Make sure your child regularly changes their password and does not share this with friends.

4.Make sure your child knows not to share personal information like their name, address, mobile number, email address online.

5.Inform your child that they should not post anything online that they wouldn’t want you to see. The Golden Rule is that if they wouldn’t want their parents to see it, don’t post it.

6.Monitor their selfies. Ask them to show you what they are posting.

7.Make your child aware that whatever they post online may come back to haunt them at a later date, whether it’s college or university leaders checking them out before offering a place or employers checking them out before a job interview. Once it is posted, there is no going back.

8.Make sure your child only talks to real life friends or family on social media sites and in chatrooms.

9.If your child talks to a stranger online or games with them online, please make them aware that they could be talking to or playing with anyone pretending to be something else, such as pretending to be a member of the opposite sex, pretending to be younger or older than they say they are, pretending to have a different job to the one they have.

10.Ensure your child knows not to make arrangements to meet up with complete strangers online.

11.Make sure that your child is not sharing their geo-location when they are online. Ensure they have geo-location disabled to keep their whereabouts private.

12.Make sure your child knows that any messages and photos shared on Snap Chat no longer disappear but can now be saved. The sender is then informed that the recipient is saving what they have posted.

13.Monitor that your child uses secure and legal sites to download music and games.

14.Monitor that your child only uses online games, apps, films and social networks that are appropriate for their age. Age ratings come with all online games, apps, films and social networks.

15.Is your child an internet gaming addict? Do they play for hours at a time? Do they talk about online gaming non-stop? Do they get defensive or angry when asked to stop? Are their sleep and meal times disrupted because of online gaming? Do they have red eyes, headaches, sore fingers, back or neck? Discuss with your child how long they play for. Set rules on how long they play for. Ban tech in their rooms after lights out or remove all tech from their rooms so they can’t play all night long when you think they are asleep. Arrange offline activities such as sports or clubs to get your child out of the house and away from the online games.

16.The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to talk to them about it and to ask them to tell you and show you what they do, what sites they access, what things they post online.

17.Ask your child how many followers do they have? Their followers should be only family and friends. Explain that some followers may not be who they say they are.

18.Ask your child if they are taking part in online streaming. Online streaming is the process of delivering continuous multimedia forms, such as music and films. Paedophiles can use this to contact your child and abuse them by asking them to do a variety of things.

19.Ask your child if they are being cyberbullied. Make sure they know how to block abusive comments and report content that worries them. This can be done on the CEOP website Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP): www.thinkuknow.co.uk

20.Parents can gain a greater control of online safety at home by ensuring that parental controls are set on home broadband and any internet devices, including your child’s mobile phone. Parents can find out how to do this at your broadband provider’s website. Additionally, Google provide information and advice on how to set up online safety at home on : https://www.google.co.uk/safetycenter/

21.Talk to your child about the benefits and risks of social networking before they join any sites. Let them know that anything they upload, email or message could stay around forever.

22.Make your child aware that using public Wifi might not filter inappropriate content, so they should look for friendly Wifi symbols when they are out and about.

23.Inform your child that they should check attachments and pop ups for viruses before they click or download anything.

24.Have a family agreement about where your child accesses the internet. If they are accessing it in their bedroom, do you really know what they are doing? Would it be better to place devices in the living room only so you can monitor your child’s online activity? Can your child use their mobile phone in your living room only?

25.Have a family agreement about how much time your child spends on the internet and stick to it or reduce it, especially if they are not completing all their school work.

26.Have a family agreement about the sites they can visit. Ask them to show you.

27. Have a family agreement about the type of information they can share online. Ask them to show you information before they post it. Ask them to show you recently posted information.

28.Make sure they know that they can come to you if they are upset by something they have seen online.

29.Talk to your child by explaining that if they are talked into bullying someone on line or send inappropriate images it may get reported to us at school and even to the police.

30.As we would say to our children in life, treat others as you would like to be treated, it is the same principle online. Talk to your child about not sharing anything online that can hurt others. Tell thin to THINK BEFORE THEY POST.

31.Parents can download free online safety resources at: Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP): www.thinkuknow.co.uk

32.Internet Matters: www.internetmatters.org

33.Childnet: www.childnet.com

34.Parentzone: www.parentzone.org.uk

35.  NSPCC: www.nspcc.org.uk

36.Talk Talk: https://help2.talktalk.co.uk/top-tips-staying-safe-online

37.Sky: https://www.sky.com/help/articles/safety-and-security-on-your-sky-products

38.Virgin Media: https://my.virginmedia.com/customer-news/articles/online- safety.html

39.BT: bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/50602

40.Vodafone: https://www.vodafone.com/content/sustainabilityreport/2014/index/operating_

responsibly/child_safety_online.html

InternetMatters.org are a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of empowering parents and carers to keep children safe in the digital world.

Learn more about what they do by clicking on the image to the right. Unnamed  

Thinkuknow Campaign

CEOP have produced a short film to watch:

  

Valentines Personal Development and Safeguarding Newsletter 

    Academic Year 2020/2021