This section of our website provides parents and carers with useful information if you are considering our school or have a child who is a pupil at our school.
If you would like a paper copy (or any other format) of any of our documents on our website please speak to the school office, who will provide them to you free of charge. If you require further information about any of the items shown in this section, please contact the school and we will do our best to help.
At Sedgefield Hardwick we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We expect all staff, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment.
Our principle safeguarding duties and responsibilities are achieved through:
1. Raising awareness of safeguarding among staff
At Sedgefield Hardwick we adhere to Keeping Children Safe in Education, statutory safeguarding guidance from the Department for Education (DfE). All staff have read this guidance and are aware of the safeguarding policies and procedures the school has in place and know how to recognise and report signs of abuse and neglect.
The designated safeguarding leads are:
Mrs Sally Newton Headteacher
Mr Paul Taylor Deputy Headteacher
Mr John Close Assistant Headteacher
Our Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding is Mr Ian Sturrock. The Board of Governors undertake an annual audit of Safeguarding which can be accessed here.
We are trained to support staff and liaise with other agencies and at anytime at least one Designated Safeguarding Lead is available to staff at all times during school hours. Staff raise any concerns about pupils’ welfare with the safeguarding leads, who will then make decisions about referrals. A referral will be made immediately where a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm.
2. Safeguarding training
All staff undergo safeguarding training that is regularly updated and training for the Designated Safeguarding Leads are updated at least every two years. Examples of school safeguarding training can be viewed here.
3. Safer recruitment
Everyone working at Sedgefield Hardwick including governors, third party staff and volunteers undergo appropriate safer recruitment checks, including the correct level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Checks are recorded on the school’s single central record (SCR).
When we appoint new membersof staff, at least one person on any appointment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training.
4. Specific safeguarding issues
All staff are aware of specific safeguarding issues such as radicalisation, child sexual exploitation, children missing education and mental health.
We use appropriate internet filters and monitoring systems to keep pupils safe online.
5. Safeguarding policies
At Sedgefield Hardwick we update our child protection policy and staff code of conduct annually to respond to the most up to date guidance and legislation. The child protection policy can be accessed within our Keeping Children Safe at Sedgefield Hardwick Policy. This also includes procedures covering particular safeguarding issues such as recruitment and selection, allegations against staff, peer abuse, children missing education, radicalisation, whistle-blowing, mobile phone usage and work experience.
Operation Encompass provides a method of sharing information between the Police and local schools. This provides the designated Key Adult (S.Newton and P.Taylor) within the school with information where a child has been present in a household where an incident of domestic abuse has been recorded. The information is aimed to be shared with the school prior to the commencement of the next school day so that the school can provide reactive support within the school environment for that pupil on that day. Operation Encompass does not replace or supersede existing safeguarding protocols that are in place, existing safeguarding procedures and guidelines continue. A referral will be made to First Contact from the Police when they attend any incident where a child is involved.
Operation Encompass is not about asking the school to do any more than provide immediate support to the child whilst in attendance at school following an incident in the home. It is designed to reinforce safeguarding and ensure children’s wellbeing is of paramount importance. In County Durham each school will have to opt into the Encompass scheme in order to receive Encompass notifications. Sedgefield Hardwick have opted into this initiative. Information is displayed on the school website within the safeguarding section and a newsletter will inform parents.
By sharing information through Operation Encompass it is hoped that children of school age who are witnessing domestic abuse at home will have access to responsive emotional health and wellbeing support within school after an incident. Schools will receive information during term time when:
- Police have attended a domestic abuse incident.
- The child is present in the household at the time of the incident, either in the same or a separate room.
- The child is of school age (between 4-16 years).
- The incident has been assessed to be a high or medium risk incident of domestic abuse.
- Police attend incident and capture relevant information including names, date of birth, home address and schools attended of any children residing/present in the house. They will include in their sequel to Comms – ‘TAG FOR OP ENCOMPASS’.
- The Dispatcher will tag the incident ‘Encompass’ based on the sequel that they receive. This will automatically generate an email containing the relevant information which will go to the designated Domestic Abuse Link Worker (DALW) based in the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
- The designated DALW on receiving the email shall search for the relevant Safeguarding Domestic Abuse Report which the officer in charge shall have completed by the end of their shift.
- The appropriate Key Adult will be identified by the DALW through the database of Key Adults and the relevant information will be shared to safeguard the child. The Key Adult will be informed of the time, date, location of the incident, the parties involved in the incident (including their relationship with the child) and the child’s involvement, i.e. asleep in another room, in the same room, etc. Incidents occurring on a Fri/Sat/Sun will be shared with the Key Adult on a Monday morning. Each Encompass notification will be given a unique reference number.
- The Key Adult will receive the information and develop a programme of support for the child within the school based on the information provided and the needs of the child. This will be designed on a case by case basis, utilising strong relationships with class teachers and Mrs Julie King, Teaching assistant with specific responsibility for emotional support.
There are two types of support given to children and young people through Operation Encompass, Overt support and Silent support.
Overt support: This includes meeting physical needs (e.g. providing breakfast or lunch, or a school uniform), 1 to 1 support with a mentor, providing a school buddy, making changes to their daily school routine or assessing and supporting their health or emotional wellbeing.
Silent support: This includes ensuring the child or young person knows who they can talk to if needed, lenience to school rules, different expectations regarding their behaviour and school work and checking collection arrangements at the end of the school day.
We believe that this project demonstrates our school’s commitment to working in partnership to safeguard and protect children, and to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.
Further information can be found via: http://www.operationencompass.org