At Greenfields, children’s safety and welfare is of paramount importance to us. Children have a right to be protected from harm. Families have the right to expect schools to provide a safe and secure environment.
We have clear and consistent procedures in place to ensure that your child is safe. The Acting Headteacher meets regularly with the lead governors for safeguarding to monitor the impact of what we have in place and to ensure that we are fully meeting all of our statutory duties.
We are committed to working with parents and carers to ensure that our pupils are safe both at school and at home.
As a school we have a legal duty to safeguard your child’s welfare. All members of staff are trained in safeguarding children and have a duty to ensure the safety of all of our pupils. If the school is worried that a child is at risk of harm, we must legally look into the matter. We do this by following the Department of Education’s statutory guidance for schools and colleges called ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and North Tyneside Safeguarding Children Board’s child protection procedures.
Every school must have a Designated Safeguarding Lead to support staff to carry out their safeguarding duties and to liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care. At Greenfields we have seven members of staff who have been trained as ‘Designated Safeguarding Leads’ in addition to their safeguarding children training. This is to ensure that all areas of our school have safeguarding and the safety and well being of our children a priority. The Acting Headteacher, Mrs Robertson leads this safeguarding team and is the main point of contact for any safeguarding queries or concerns.
What’s the difference between safeguarding and child protection?
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
How does Greenfields keep children safe?
- Safe recruitment of staff – including training of interview panels and requiring full Disclosure & Barring Service.
- Clear and regularly reviewed policies – Safeguarding & Child protection plus many other related policies, e.g. Behaviour.
- Site safety – our school has security doors at the main entrance. All visitors must report to the main office in order to gain access to the building. Outside gates are locked during school time as a form of added security. We have a secure fenced school boundary which is regularly inspected.
- Regular discussions with the children regarding what is in place at our school to keep them safe and to improve awareness of their personal safety, including what to do and who to speak to if they have any worries or concerns.
- E safety – all children are shown how to stay safe, whilst on the internet at school and at home. We also provide information for parents and carers about how to support their child with this.
- Mobile Phone Policy – pupils are not allowed to have their mobile phones or any other ‘SMART’ device with them at school. All visitors to school are required to switch off their mobile phones on arrival and must have permission from a member of the Senior Leadership Team to use their mobile phone in school.
- High standards of behaviour – We have a clear Behaviour policy that includes rewards and sanctions, which enables children to be clear about their responsibilities with regard to behaviour. This includes having clear anti-bullying procedures. We do not tolerate bullying and act swiftly if any concerns or issues are reported to us.We always try to work in partnership with our parents and carers to address any behaviour concerns.
- Educational visits are always risk assessed. We ensure the ratio of adults to children meets or exceeds requirements so that your children can enjoy their school trips.
- Fully trained First Aiders – If children are hurt or feeling poorly, our First Aiders are always available to give medical attention, a kind word and some ‘tlc’.
- We are an inclusive school – Greenfields has been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award, three years in a row and we are a Centre for Excellence for Inclusion.
- Rigorous Health and Safety procedures – Our governors monitor and discuss all aspects of Health & Safety termly at their Business & Operations Committee. The Chair of that committee has a specific responsibility for Health & Safety.
- Teaching aspects of personal safety – We incorporate discussions about safety in general and how to keep ourselves safe regularly throughout the curriculum.
- Annual safeguarding audit and report to governors – This ensures that our governors are fully up to date with all aspects of safeguarding in our school.
- ‘Open door’ policy – Staff are available on the playground before and after school every day to talk to parents and carers. We strongly believe that effective communication will support partnership working with our families.
- Partnership working within North Tyneside – we work closely with the Local Authority and the Local Safeguarding Children Board to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our children safe.
As a North Tyneside school, we have also signed up to ‘Operation Encompass’.
What is Operation Encompass? The purpose of Operation Encompass is to safeguard and support children and young people who have been involved in a domestic abuse incident. Following an incident at home, children can arrive at school distressed, upset and unprepared for the day. North Tyneside Council, the police and nominated key adults in school will be working together to make sure that school staff are made aware of an incident early enough to support pupils in school.
How does Operation Encompass work? Schools across North Tyneside have nominated two members of staff to be key adults for Operation Encompass. At Greenfields, the key adults are the Acting Headteacher, Mrs Robertson and the Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Cockman. All key adults have attended specific training in preparation for their role in Operation Encompass.
Each morning a police officer reviews all domestic abuse incidents that have occured outside school, but might have an impact on a child attending school the following day. Where children were present, witnessed or involved in a domestic abuse incident and aged between 4 and 16 years old, the officer will send this information to Children’s Social Care Front Door Service. Staff from the Front Door Service will send this information in a secure format to the identified key adults in school. The key adults check their emails every day and then speak to staff in contact with any pupils involved, so that they can support them in a way that is right for the child.
Information is shared on school days during school term and, when incidents occur on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or over a holiday period, the police contact the Front Door the following Monday.
For more information about Operation Encompass, please contact school or visit: http://www.operationencompass.org/