At St John’s Catholic Primary School, we hold safeguarding of our children at the heart of all that we do. We recognise that if children do not feel safe, they are unable to learn to the best of their abilities. The senior leadership, teaching staff and governors of St John’s are committed to the highest safeguarding principles and regularly review our practise to ensure we are following the latest guidance and advice.
Children have a right to be cared for and protected; protecting them is everyone’s responsibility. We have a duty of care to ensure that all users of the school are kept safe from harm. We are committed to provide a secure and supportive environment in which children can develop and grow into mature and responsible people. Safeguarding children is an essential part of our holistic approach to ensure that children are protected from abuse and neglect and that every child reaches their full potential.
The school’s staff, volunteers and service providers have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as a shared responsibility with parents and other carers. To support this, the school may signpost to specialised services that promote opportunity, prevent escalations, act early and act effectively if concerns arise.
Parents/carers are normally our first point of contact, and if a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers will be informed at the same time that the record is made; we will support parents/carers and ensure we work in collaboration with them to protect children. Working with parents/carers to prevent abuse is our primary aim; if this fails, or if we consider a child to be at risk, a referral will be made to social care. When a referral is made to social care, parents/carers will be notified beforehand, except when guidance from social care or the police does not allow this.
We cannot safeguard children alone; all children’s services agencies work in partnership with each other. There are duties and rules about information sharing but if staff, parents or carers have any concerns about a child, other parent, provider, agency or any person, they have a responsibility to report those concerns and we must record and act on them. Our Safeguarding / Child Protection Policy is underpinned by the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP), “Keeping Children Safe in Education” document and Safer Recruitment guidance. The policy applies to all children and young people regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion. It is a requirement that all users are informed of these policies and practice guidance and what they should do if they have concerns. The safeguarding policy is available from the school office.
What you can do
Parents and carers play a role in safeguarding children in their community. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, you should report them to someone who you trust will listen. The school is required to have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for this purpose. Parents and children should speak to the safeguarding officer if they have any concerns about a child or staff member.
Designated Safeguarding Lead
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is the person appointed to take lead responsibility for child protection issues in the school. At St John’s, the DSL is our Headteacher, Mrs Finula Farr. You can contact her via the school phone number ((01403) 265447) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our Deputy DSL is Mrs Rachel Clough, our Deputy Headteacher and SENCo. Her email address is email@example.com.
If you have safeguarding concerns regarding the Headteacher, you can contact the Governor responsible for Safeguarding, Mrs Lorraine Vinall can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your concern does not relate to a school matter, you can contact West Sussex County Council via their Raise a concern about a child page.
You can contact the NSPCC if you are worried that any child is being abused, either via the NSPCC website or by telephone (0800 028 0285). The NSPCC also has a Keeping Children Safe page, which offers excellent advice for parents, including online safety.
- Childline is a service provided by the NSPCC, offering children and young people a private, confidential service to talk about anything bothering them. They have a range of tools available online, or can be called on 0800 1111 twenty four hours a day.
ThinkUKnow is an education programme from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection), a UK organisation which protects online and offline. The site has information for parents and carers, and games for children of different ages, to help them learn about online safety.
The West Sussex Single Point of Access (SPoA) is a dedicated service which provides a simplified single route to access specialist emotional wellbeing and mental health support. The SPoA helps direct you to the right service, eliminating the need to refer to multiple services.