Child Protection and Safeguarding
Safeguarding at Heathfields and Wilnecote
Heathfields and Wilnecote are committed to the highest standards in protecting and safeguarding the children entrusted to our care. Our schools will support all children by:
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the schools
- Encouraging self-esteem and confidence
- Effectively preventing and tackling bullying and harassment
We recognise that some children may be the victims of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Staff working with children are well-placed to identify such abuse. In order to protect our children, we aim to:
- Create an atmosphere where all our children can feel secure, valued and listened to
- Recognise signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect
- Respond quickly, appropriately and effectively to cases of suspected abuse
As part of our Safeguarding role, we teach all children how to keep themselves and others safe (at an age-appropriate level). Our PSHE Scheme of Work includes work on anti-bullying, personal safety, healthy lifestyle choices, conflict resolution, secrets, relationships, cyber-bullying, internet safety and healthy relationships. Children are also given clear information about how to report things they feel upset, worried or uncomfortable about.
We are committed to monitoring and listening to all our pupils to identify possible problems. Where there are serious concerns about a child’s safety, we will share our concerns with the relevant authorities.
We work closely with other agencies such as the Police, Social Care and the Health Service to ensure all children are kept safe.
From time to time, many families may find themselves in difficulties. At Heathfields and Wilnecote we pride ourselves on building strong, positive relationships with our families. If you are struggling or need help, we can offer support. We can also signpost to other agencies who may be able to offer help and support. Mrs Debbie Thoroughgood is our key contact in school. Please just call and ask to speak to her (01827 213881).
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Senior members of staff (members of the leadership team) are nominated to have specific responsibility within the Academies for child protection matters, specifically:
- Taking lead responsibility for dealing with child protection issues
- Providing advice and support to other staff
- Liaising with the local authority and working with other agencies
- Providing support for individual children
The Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are:
- Mrs K Williams (DSL)
- Mr I Melloy
- Mrs R Harris
- Mrs N Glover
- Mr G Hancox
- Mrs D Thoroughgood
Staffordshire Childrens Advice and Support Services
Do you think a child or young person is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed? Are you worried that a child is living in circumstances where they are treated badly and not cared for properly? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, please contact the Staffordshire Childrens Advice & Support Service immediately. Phone: 0300 111 8007 and select option 1 - Opening Times are Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of these hours above, or on weekends and bank holidays, please contact the Emergency Duty Team by phoning 0345 604 2886.
The Academy recognises that staff are uniquely placed to have a positive role in child protection. As responsible adults outside pupils’ homes, they are in a position to observe children on a daily basis and therefore to spot physical or emotional signs that might indicate they are being abused. Close interaction can also make staff vulnerable to allegations being made against them. Such allegations may be unfounded and be either deliberate or innocent of such intent. Regrettably, on occasions, staff do commit acts of abuse or ill-treatment. However, whatever the basis of an allegation, once made there can follow a period of great difficulty and stress for the young person concerned, the staff member and for those ‘managing’ the situation, including Headteachers, senior staff and governors. While such difficulties cannot always be avoided, the Academy is committed to mitigating the effects on all children, young people and adults concerned. To achieve this objective the Academy has systems to:
- Prevent unsuitable people working with children and young people, through safe recruitment practices;
- Promote safe practice and challenge poor and unsafe practice, through its ethos, policies, practice and training;
- Identify instances in which there are grounds for concern and take appropriate action, using appropriate policies, procedures and systems;
- Contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved in providing services for children and young people.
In modern Britain, we have developed into a very multicultural society. For example, there are over 300 languages spoken across schools today. We see this as something to promote and be proud of. The growth of a diverse culture that strengthens humanistic thinking could be beneficial to many. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Within Britain, there are threats to our safety that are voiced in opposition to multiculturalism, against a multireligious, multiethnic existence. These are voices of extremism that come in many forms. They do not encourage the values that modern Britain seeks to uphold and better. This is the reason Prevent was introduced.
At Heathfields and Wilnecote we aim to prepare our students to become good citizens of the future. Through our curriculum we teach pupils British Values and how to celebrate diversity. We aim to raise their awareness of radicalisation and extremist views, whatever the source. We have adopted the principles and advice found in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. We believe that children should be given the opportunity to explore the issues of diversity and understand Britain as a multicultural society.
The school works jointly with Staffordshire Police. Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, prior to the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has experienced, any domestic abuse. Operation Encompass will ensure that a member of the school staff, (Designated Safeguarding Lead) is trained to allow them to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, while ensuring that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been experienced a domestic abuse incident. We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our pupils, and we believe this will be extremely beneficial for all those involved.