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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 well-being

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

Thinkuknow Campaign

CEOP have produced a short film to watch: