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 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 role of designated safeguarding lead is jointly held by:
- Mrs Sally Newton Headteacher
- Mr Paul Taylor Deputy Headteacher
- Mr John Close Assistant Headteacher
Our Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding is Mr Paul Faulkner.
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.
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 In Education Policy September 2020. 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 teaching assistants.
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
Acceptable Use Contracts
For more information and advice for parents and carers please follow the link below:
Children are growing up in a world with a bigger range of online activities than ever before and it is sometimes very hard for both children and adults to know how to stay safe.
Parents/Online Safety Information
Most parents will want to reduce the risks to their children, and remembering to set parental controls can reduce the risks to children, and reduce the risk to parents when children accidentally spend online money! The internet matters website explains this quite well. Online safety is not just about protecting children from some of the dangers of the internet – it is also about helping them manage their use of technology and most of the parental controls allow adults to set a maximum time for the use of a device or app.
Internet Matters is a site paid for by many British companies. It has a lot of good advice on adding parental controls as well as on most aspects of online safety. Parental controls will only help keep children safe. The best safety feature that a child has is their parent or carer. Take the time to talk to your child about the apps and games they are using and don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!
The range of online apps changes on a regular basis and the NSPCC have a site called Net Aware. This provides unbiased up-to-date information on current apps and sites along with advice to parents about dealing with issues.
The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002. They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.
ThinkUKnow is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency. It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues. It also has lots of games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.
For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue. LGfL have produced a lovely free video which has some great advice and a very catchy song!
Many children will at times suffer from online bullying. It is really important that they have someone they can talk to and know that it is not acceptable. Most apps and sites will have systems inn place that allow bullying to be reported. Your child’s school may be able to help.
Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice on anything that is worrying them.
Finally since 2015 is has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child (This is Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015). If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device. This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved. The Police can be contacted by phone or from the ThinkUKnow website.
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