There are good arrangements to safeguard pupils. This view was unanimously supported by parents and carers
Ofsted October 2011
At St James
- We are committed to providing a safe environment in which our pupils can learn.
- We feel that it is of the utmost importance to have good systems for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare throughout all the activities which the school undertakes. This means that staff and volunteers must be alert to possible concerns about every pupil, and to report these in a proper fashion.
- We have a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place which is reviewed annually at the start of the academic year (parents may request a copy of this). This policy is guided by Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- All appointments are made in line with safer recruitment practice and guidelines.
- All staff and Governors receive regular training in line with our safeguarding responsibilities as laid down by the Local Authority.
It is important for parents to be aware that:
- Staff and volunteers in the school have a duty to report concerns about a child, whether this means the child may be in need of additional support or help of some kind, or whether it is thought that a child may have been abused or be at risk of abuse.
- There are four categories of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect.
- In some cases the school is obliged to refer children to children’s social care staff for children to be assessed for their needs or if an investigation into possible child abuse is required. In many cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child, and the situation and concerns will not be a surprise to the parents. However, parents may not be told that the school has referred their child to children’s social care if it is thought that this might put the child at risk.
- Children’s social care tries to carry out its enquiries in a sensitive fashion. It has to gather information and generally it can be open with parents about the steps being taken.
If you think your child may have been abused you can contact the children’s social care office or the Local Authority’s Allegations Manager, Safeguarding Unit direct. If you think the abuse may have happened in school, contact the Headteacher or Senior Pastoral Leader, who are the Designated Senior Persons for Child Protection. If you think your child has been hurt, arrange to visit your doctor. Comfort and reassure your child.
If school staff need to express concerns about a child or refer a child to children’s social care, it is understood that this can cause distress or anger for the child’s parents. It is important that all parties – parents and school staff – try to discuss these matters as calmly and sensibly as possible.
Within St James, the lead professional is Laura Quinton Maryon with Georgia Newman, as the lead representative for the Governing body.