At The Academy of Cuxton Schools we believe that a child’s welfare is of utmost importance. It is essential to have good systems for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare, throughout all the activities a child is involved in whilst at school. Our schools will establish and maintain an ethos where pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to, and are safe. Children at our schools will be able to talk freely to any member of staff if they are worried or concerned about something, within a safe and supportive environment.
Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. We recognise that staff at our school play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All staff are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.
All staff and regular visitors will, through training and induction, know how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. We will not make promises to any child and we will not keep secrets. Every child will know what the adult will have to do with any information they have chosen to disclose.
It is important for parents to be aware that staff and volunteers in the school have a duty to report concerns about a child, whether this means the child may be in need of additional support or help of some kind or whether it is thought that a child may have been abused or be at risk of abuse.
In some cases the school is obliged to refer children to children’s social care staff, for children to be assessed for their needs or if an investigation into possible child abuse is required. In many cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child, and the situation and concerns will not be a surprise to the parents. However, parents may not be told that the school has referred their child to children’s social care if it is thought that this might put the child at risk.
Children’s social care tries to carry out its enquiries in a sensitive fashion. It has to gather information and generally it can be open with parents about the steps being taken.
If school staff need to express concerns about a child or refer a child to children’s social care, it is understood that this can cause distress or anger for the child’s parents. It is important that all parties – parents and school staff – try to discuss these matters as calmly and sensibly as possible.
The school has a Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, and this is available on the school’s website. Parents may also request a copy of this.
The school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead is Miss Monique Harlin, Head Teacher
The Deputy DSL is Mrs Charlotte Aldham-Breary, Deputy Headteacher
The Governor for Safeguarding is Mrs Angela Street