The first question lots of parents ask is 'What is safeguarding?' One of the best definitions I have heard is:
'It's looking out for everybody and making sure everyone is ok. Like, asking Tommy how his family are because I know they are going through a tough time.'
A mid day supervisor
Safeguarding, as our insightful mid day supervisor points out, is about making sure everyone is ok and develops to the best of their ability.
'Keeping Children Safe in Education' explains that safeguarding is:
Protecting children from maltreatment
Preventing impairment of children's health or development
Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
We work hard in school to ensure safeguarding is effective. We do many things, a flavour of which is detailed below:
The first week of term is always dedicated to the topic of 'Keeping Healthy, Staying Safe.' This topic is designed as a whole school project but is taught in an age sensitive manner (e.g. our youngest children learn about the importance of thorough teeth cleaning whilst our older children learn about the importance of regular exercise. Similarly, E-Safety is taught to all children but in a way that reflects the age of the children). Whilst this topic starts the year, it is not left there but is constantly reinforced throughout the year.
The school has a well thought through 'Relationships and Health Education' curriculum. For our younger children, this focusses on developing healthy friendships with their peers and how to have safe relationships with adults. For our older children, it moves on to a deeper understanding of what healthy relationships are. This is complemented in Year 6 where our children take part in the GREAT project that focusses on domestic violence. Similarly, our older children learn in greater depth how to keep themselves physically, and mentally, healthy. The mental health of our children is something we have taken seriously for a number of years. That is why we have employed the counselling service, Place2Be, since 2015.
Our Year 6 children take part in the DARE program to ensure they are aware of the dangers of drug abuse.
We aim to teach to the highest standard and to give our children access to the widest possible variety of opportunities. This includes a wide range of extra curricular sporting and musical opportunities. Our curriculum aims to develop our children into responsible, global citizens. We believe this approach will help our children feel a part of the global community and contribute to it. We believe this approach will develop a healthy, positive mindset.
We always follow statutory safeguarding policies and procedures, as well as ensuring the school site is safe and secure.
All schools must have a member of staff who has overall responsibility for safeguarding. This role is called the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). At Burford, that role is filled by Mr Farrington, the headteacher. He has day to day responsibility for safeguarding, as well as being responsible for its strategic overview. If you have any safeguarding questions, or concerns, he is the best person to speak to. Ms Chapleo (DHT), Miss Ashurst (AHT) and Miss Ogle are the school's deputy DSL's. They are fully qualified to deal with safeguarding concerns and do so in Mr Farrington's absence.
We have a safeguarding team in school who meet once a week to discuss safeguarding issues. The team is made up of Mr Farrington, Ms Chapleo, Miss Ashurst and Mr McGuire (Place2Be manager). Miss Ogle is deputising for Miss Ashurst as SENCO whilst she is on maternity leave. Miss Ogle has taken Miss Ashurst's role on in the safeguarding team too.
Rob Denzel is our safeguarding governor. He monitors the quality of safeguarding provision for the governing body. There is also a safeguarding team within the trust central team, and local authority, that is available to offer advice to the school's DSLs, as well as to monitor the quality of safeguarding within school.
If you are a child, parent or family member that feels they need further help with safeguarding but feel school is not the right place to seek advice, there are many organisations out there who can help. I have listed a few of these organisations below:
The NSPCC - www.nspcc.org.uk
Childline - www.childline.org.uk - 0800 1111
Child Exploitation and Online Protection - www. ceop.police.uk This organisation can help you if you are a child, or parent, who is worried that someone has been contacting your child, or a child known to you, on online for inappropriate reasons.
Thinkuknow - www.thinkuknow.co.uk - this website is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, an organisation that protects children both online and offline. It offers advice about staying safe when you're on the phone, tablet or computer.
I have shared some links below that you may find useful. If you type them into any search engine they will take you to the correct page (the links won't copy directly into this page for reasons unknown to me. I am seeking advice on how to correct this). I have also shared several safeguarding documents with you in the section below.
CEOP - New and articles surrounding internet safety
Think You Know - Great advice to keep children safe whilst using the internet
Parent Info - Expert information to help children and young people stay safe online
UK Safer Internet Centre - E-safety tips, advice and resources
NSPCC Online Safety - Helpful advice and tools you can use to help keep your child safe whenever and wherever they go online
Childnet International - Parents and Carers information to keep your child safe online
Action for Children - Action for Children supports and speaks for the UK's most vulnerable and neglected children and young people