safeguarding and child protection
Safeguarding and protecting children from abuse (Child Protection)
Keeping children safe is the most important thing we do in school. Everyone in our school has a part to play in keeping children safe from harm and abuse and we all take this responsibility very seriously.
To do this we create a safe learning and play environment, look out for and identify children who may be suffering, or at risk of, harm. We take appropriate action and do all we can to help children to be safe.
We have a number of measures in place to help protect children, including:
- ensuring all of our staff are trained to identify signs of abuse and know what to do if they or someone else is worried about a child
- we have a designated person responsible for dealing with child protection (we exceed this expectation by having additional staff trained in all our schools so there is always someone available to respond)
- we follow very careful procedures for checking on staff and visitors and volunteers before they are allowed to work with children
- everyone employed in our school will be vetted via a criminal record check (further information on disclosure and barring arrangements in schools is available from the Disclosure and Barring Service and the Department of Education website)
- we have a very comprehensive and current Child Protection policy which includes procedures to be followed if a teacher or any other member of staff is accused of harming a child
- we also have procedures to follow and actions to take if we receive a report of child-on-child abuse
As well as having child protection procedures in place, we teach children about their rights, how to report their concerns and how to protect themselves. Our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons include such areas as risky behaviour, appropriate and inappropriate physical contact, dealing with peer pressure, when and how to report a problem or worry and how and when to ask for help.
How do we respond to reported or suspected cases of abuse?
We will listen to, and work closely with, children and their parents and carers to make sure each child feels safe and protected both in and out of school. If we suspect that a child is being abused we tell our Designated Person(s) responsible for Child Protection. They will report to the police or Lewisham Social Services. We then take the appropriate action based on procedures set out by our local authority and local Safeguarding Children Board. Once the authorities are notified, they decide the best way to proceed and the school will follow their lead. Our role as a school is then limited because a school’s role is to report, it is not to investigate. School staff do not take part in an investigation, though we may be called on to give information. We may, of course need to give additional support to the child or children.
If you have any concerns about child abuse please contact the school and ask to speak to one of our Designated Persons or the Headteacher. You may prefer to contact Lewisham Children’s Social Care on 0208 314 6000 or the NSPCC 0808 800 5000.
Access to the DFE Keeping children safe in education policies can be found here
You can download a copy of our current Safeguarding policy from our Policies page.