Parents and carers should be aware that the school does maintain a Child Protection Register and has a duty to record any suspected incidents. Information recorded is confidential and only shared on a need to know basis. It is the duty of all staff to protect children from harm. The school follows Government and LA (Local Authority) guidelines for safeguarding. The Head teacher is the person responsible for Child Protection. The school operates the LA confidentiality policy.
You can find a range of safeguarding advice leaflets at the bottom of this page.
Definition of Safeguarding
“Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.“ KCSIE
Stow Heaths's Commitment to Safeguarding and Child Protection
Stow Heath Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection/Safeguarding Policy which can be viewed on the right hand of this page
Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.
We actively support the Government’s Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism.
At Stow Heath, we take our role in safeguarding very seriously as we believe all children have the right to feel and be safe.
Our Designated Officer is Mrs L Scoffham
Our Deputy Designated Officers are Mrs E Nicholls, Mrs J Raju & Mrs C Roberts
Please remember, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
Safeguarding Contacts in School
Designated Safeguarding Leader – Mrs L Scoffham
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leader – E Nicholls
Communication with Parents
Our school will always discuss concerns with parents/carers and consent for any referrals should be sought unless to do so would:
Place the child at risk of significant harm or further risk of significant harm.
Place a vulnerable adult at risk of harm.
Compromise any enquiries that need to be undertaken by children’s social care or the police.
The school will endeavour to ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the school and staff for safeguarding children.
In the best interests of safeguarding children there may be occasions when the school has to consult with other agencies without a parent or carer’s prior knowledge. Our first concern and responsibility is the child’s welfare and we have a duty to protect children first and always. Such consultation may result in a formal referral which could prompt visits from social care and/or the police. We fully understand that this can be a very distressing set of circumstances. Our school will follow the procedures required by the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together.
We are very pleased that we are now linked to the Operation Encompass Scheme.
Operation Encompass is a unique Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse.
Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools before the start of the next school day when a child or young person has been involved or exposed to a domestic abuse incident the previous evening.
The information is given in strict confidence to a school’s Key Adult to enable support to be given dependent on the needs and wishes of the child.
Further information about the scheme is included on the Operation Encompass website.
Child safety issues and child protection will be addressed through the curriculum where appropriate, especially through PSHE, Computing and E-Safety, Citizenship, Sex and Relations Education (SRE) and British values.
We use a variety of resources and approaches to teach the children how to keep themselves safe, build their resilience and manage risks.
The curriculum, and in particular the personal, social and health education development strand of the curriculum, includes an emphasis on relationships (relationships and sex education), building confidence and resilience in pupils and in developing preventative strategies to ensure their own protection and that of others. Opportunities are provided for pupils to develop the skills and strategies they need to stay safe from abuse, including age appropriate discussions about healthy relationships, their bodies and being able to say no to requests that they do not want to carry out. Clear advice and guidance is built into the curriculum to ensure that pupils understand that there is a range of contacts they can turn to for advice and support and that they know where and how to report abuse.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse which sees children/young people being manipulated or coerced into sexual activity for receiving ‘something’ such as; gifts, money, food, attention, somewhere to stay etc. Technology is very often used to groom victims. This may occur through social networking sites and mobile phones with internet access. CSE has gained a large amount of media attention over the last year as lots of services involved with children and young people have noticed a big rise in cases involving CSE.
Do you know all the friends who your children invite into your home? Are you sure? If your child has a Facebook profile, they may be ‘friends’ with all sorts of people who are not known to you, and possibly not the sort of people you would be happy for your children to have as friends.
The school’s position is that we do not expect any of our pupils to be active on unregulated social networking sites.
For advice on family internet safety try the excellent website: www.thinkuknow.co.uk. It has specific advice about sites like Facebook.
If you believe your child is receiving illegal or seriously messages from an adult in a chatroom or on a social networking site, then report it to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), a police organisation dedicated to child protection.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
In April 2014 every school in England received new safeguarding guidelines and detailed information on identifying and responding to Female Genital Mutilation. FGM is a procedure carried out on young girls between the ages of infancy and 15 years of age.
Female Genital Mutilation is classified as a form of Child Abuse in the UK. It therefore makes the procedure of it a serious Child Protection issue. It is illegal for anyone to perform FGM in the UK or to arrange for a child to be transported to another country for the procedure. The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.
There is lots of information and support available online for parents/carers concerned about this subject or if you know someone who is at risk:
Contact the Police if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM and is still in the UK.
Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (020 7008 1500) if she’s already been taken abroad.
The NSPCC has detailed advice on how to spot the signs, symptoms and effects of FGM and provides support for people who are concerned about a child or who have been affected themselves. The link to the website is below.
Reporting a Concern of Abuse or Neglect
If you have concerns that a child you know is at risk of serious harm through Abuse or Neglect it is important that you report your worries to the correct agency.
The link below will direct you to the City of Wolverhampton Council's Social Service page, which tells you how to report a concern.
Below is the link to the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together. Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together (WST) is a statutory board which has been set up as part of the Every Child Matters government reforms. WST ensures that all organisations that work with children work together to keep children and young people safe from harm. WST undertakes this role through providing training, the development of policies and procedures and awareness raising.
Please click on the links below for information and ideas about how to keep your child safe online.
Find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. If you look after young people there’s an area for you too – with resources you can use in the classroom, at home or just to get with it. Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to report if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they're chatting to online.
Other Useful Websites for Parents
www.childnet-int.org - A non-profit making organisation working directly with children, parents and teachers to ensure that the issues of online child protection and children’s safe and positive use of the internet are addressed. Childnet International produce an online CD guide specifically for parents KnowITAll - www.childnet-int.org/kia/
www.getsafeonline.org/ A beginners guide to using the Internet safety, including a quiz and some video tutorials about how to ‘stay safe’ on-line.
www.kidsmart.org.uk/ - Kidsmart is an award winning internet safety website for parents and those working with children. It has been developed by the children's internet charity Childnet International and has excellent information on many of the technologies used by children, with guidance on how to ‘stay safe’ online.
www.bullying.co.uk - One in five young people have experienced bullying by text message or via email. This web site gives advice for children and parents on bullying.
www.chatdanger.com/ - This website is about the potential dangers with interactive services online like chat, IM, online games, email and on mobiles. It provides information, advice, true stories and games. The resource page also contains a number of links to other useful websites.
http://parents.vodafone.com/ - Vodafone have developed this website in conjunction with mumsnet. It is very accessible and provides information and guidance to parents with understanding their child’s digital world and get more involved. There is even an on-line test to see how much you know!