Safeguarding, Child Protection and Online Safety
What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is ensuring the safety and welfare of all students in the school. In the broadest sense, safeguarding covers much of what we do day-to-day (e.g. ensuring students enter by student reception, ensuring visitors sign in, requesting that parents report child absences). In a more specific sense though, safeguarding is protecting vulnerable adults or children from abuse or neglect. In some cases, where children are at risk or likely to be at risk of harm, we speak about child protection. This page gives you a brief summary of how we fulfil our obligation to do this, and signposts you to sites and resources that will help you do this in partnership with us.
Our core safeguarding principles are:
• safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility
• the school’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance
• safer children make more successful learners
• safeguarding practice is at its best when representatives of the whole-school community of pupils, parents, staff and governors are included in the practice, development and review of the policy. Our current policy can be found on our website (https://highstorrs.co.uk/our-school/policies-and-Forms).
Who are our Safeguarding Leads
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Ben Lacey, Assistant Headteacher, and our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) is Louise Hamnett, Assistant Headteacher. Both members of staff sit on our Senior Leadership Team. We believe strongly in child-centred safeguarding systems, reflecting upon our practice and listening carefully to our partner agencies, parents and carers, colleagues and students to constantly improve how we discharge these duties with sensitivity, professionalism and integrity.
Where a safeguarding concern is identified, the member of staff will alert a member of the safeguarding team and appropriate action is taken. Our Learning Mentors, House staff and Sixth Form support staff work with the safeguarding leads to support students and raise concerns. Regular reviews are carried out where there are particularly complex or significant safeguarding needs. As of September 2020 we have brought in CPOMS, which is an electronic system of recording, reporting and responding to safeguarding concerns.
All of our members of staff are given appropriate training in safeguarding, commensurate with their role in school. We believe that safeguarding training should be drip-fed throughout the year, not just a twilight training session each year and that it should be engaging and relevant, taking account of our specific context.
Where a safeguarding concern is identified, the member of staff will alert a member of the safeguarding team and appropriate action is taken.
As schools increasingly work online, it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate material. The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. We teach about online safety through our extensive PSHCEE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education) curriculum, and have assemblies around the safe of use of phones and technology. Parents of new Y7 starters are offered advice as part of our Induction programme and we have a part of this website dedicated to mental health and wellbeing (click https://highstorrs.co.uk/our-school/mental-health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-and-wellbeing).
Students have an IT induction when they arrive and have their own username and password. Students use computers in school and are able to access our school’s MLE (student school site), internet and to send email. The school MLE and email is also accessible from home once they have logged in at school. Internet access and devices using our school WiFi is provided through a filtered system which prevents access to the majority of undesirable material. Please encourage your child to speak to a trusted adult and make the school aware if they ever have any concern about something they have seen online. Our Acceptable Use Policy is provided to every child when they are admitted in to the school.
Mobile Phones and Devices
We recognise that mobile phones are part of many children’s lives. By the start of Y7, national research states that over 50% of students own a smart phone. This rises to over 90% by Y11. Although the risks and challenges of smart phone ownership amongst children are evident to many of us, we want to help students to establish a healthy relationship with their electronic devices and use them well.
Where students bring mobile phones in to school, they may use them in designated Phone Zones. These have been updated in light of the year bubbles that must be maintained from September 2020, but broadly speaking they are wherever a child is allowed to eat (e.g. dining room, deli bar, LF5, outdoors). This helps students to limit screen time in school, and helps us to keep the focus on learning in school. Please note that the school cannot be held responsible for what students access through their personal electronic devices using data available through the phone’s contract. We make it clear that students must not take photos of each other without consent, and that phones will be confiscated if they are seen outside of the phone zones. Similarly, smart watches should not be worn in school if they can receive calls, text messages etc.
Children are sometimes allowed to use mobile phones in the classroom. Children are not expected to have a smart phone for this purpose and provision will always be made for children who either do not want to use a phone, or who do not bring one to school.
You may also have agreed some rules for home to help them to stay healthy and happy. One of the best boundaries to have at home, is that devices are left out of bedrooms after a certain time. We would certainly advise that children do not take their devices into their room at night, but leave them charging elsewhere to ensure they get a good night’s sleep.
Designated SAFEGUARDING LEAD
Ben Lacey - Assistant Headteacher (Behaviour, Welfare and Safety)
0114 267 0000
DEPUTY DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD
Louise Hamnett - Assistant Headteacher (Inclusion and Learning Support)
0114 267 0000