Safeguarding at St Stephen's Infant School
The safety of the children in our care is of paramount importance to us all.
'At St Stephen’s we are committed to enabling children to have the best possible start to their lifelong journey of learning and discovery.'
Vision Statement 2018-21
Mr Ruck is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Mrs Hayes and Mrs Stokes are the Designated Safeguarding Deputies.
Chris Bowden is our Safeguarding Governor and Darren Warr is an Associate Safeguarding Governor.
All teaching and support staff are trained in safeguarding and they are familiar with the school's system for identifying and sharing concerns.
If you have any safeguarding concerns please call the Access and Response Team on 01454 866000 or , in an emergency, call the police on 999.
Covid - 19 Safeguarding Arrangements September 2021 Update
If the school needs to initiate its Covid Outbreak Contingency plan we may need to adapt our safeguarding and Behaviour Regulation arrangements. Please click on the links below for details:
Link to ChildLine: https://www.childline.org.uk/ Telephone 0800 1111
School staff, both teaching and non-teaching,play an important part in recognising and taking appropriate action in cases of suspected child abuse, because of their day-to-day contact with pupils during term time.
All staff are required to report any concerns regarding child protection to the Headteacher, the Designated Teacher for Child Protection, immediately. The Local Authority Child Protection Procedures require schools to consult the Social Care Team over any concerns they have.
Child abuse is a particularly sensitive issue and involves strong emotions and feelings for those involved, particularly parents/carers.
However, whatever parents/carers may feel about the situation, it needs to be appreciated that it is a requirement for school staff to report, in line with set procedures, any suspicion of child abuse. If this is not done, a member of staff could be deemed to have acted improperly.
Parents/carers may seek guidance and advice from the Social Care Team if necessary.
There is a full security fence around the school site.
The lane gate is open from 8.20am-9am and from 3pm-3.45pm.
Classroom doors are opened at 8.45am and are closed promptly at 8.50am. If you are late you need to sign your child in at the office.
If you wish to gain access to school during the day please enter by the Lansdown Road gate.
All visitors and parents should report to the school office on arrival and if staying on the school premises will be issued with an appropriate 'Visitor' lanyard.
Safeguarding - the children's views.
Once a year Darren Warr (Associate Safeguarding Governor) and Mr Ruck (Headteacher) interview a group of 6 children from each year group to gauge their understanding of healthy lifestyles, behaviour and safeguarding.
We use the children's responses to measure the impact of our work and to identify any areas we need to develop.
We have identified the following actions from this year's Safeguarding Conference:
- to continue to use our Science, Personal, Social and Health Education programmes to develop the children's understanding of healthy food and drink choices
- to remind the children of being safe near roads. i.e. not to cross the road without an adult and to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.
- use Safer Internet Day to remind the children of why computer/video games have age certificates and that they should not play or watch inappropriate games
- to discuss 'Keeping Secrets' and what this means
Safer Strangers and Safer Buildings Code
As part of our Safeguarding commitment we discuss the
'Safer Strangers and Safer Buildings Code'
with the children.
Using the phrase 'Stranger Danger'
The phrase 'Stranger Danger' can make children fearful of all strangers. This means that if they get lost or feel unsafe or are approached by a stranger, they would not know who they could turn to for help.
The phrase 'Safer strangers, safer buildings' is a positive alternative, giving children an immediate strategy to use, as part of their growing understanding of stranger awareness.
A safer stranger is a person who is working at their job which helps people. Safer strangers will usually be wearing a uniform.
Safer strangers could be police officers, police community support officers, traffic wardens, shopkeepers, check-out assistants, paramedics and others.
Safer buildings could be banks, post offices, libraries, medical centres, shops, supermarkets, leisure centres and others.
Tell the safer stranger your name. Also, if you can, tell them the phone number of your parent or the person who looks after you.
Things to talk about with your child:The Safer strangers, safer buildings code can be used in two ways:
As an emergency strategy by children of all ages if they get lost when out with parents or carers.
To talk about with children when they get to the stage of going out without an adult.
Watch the Teigan gets lost film https://vimeo.com/105625340 with your child(ren), and talk together about the safer strangers and safer buildings in your area.
A stranger can be described as someone that we don’t know or someone that we don’t know well. Say that nearly all people are kind but that there are a small number of people who might not be. You can say that as we don’t know a stranger we don’t know if they are kind or not. We cannot tell who is kind just by looking at them. We must never go anywhere with a stranger or do anything for a stranger. It doesn’t matter what they say to us, we should always tell the grown-up who looks after us if a stranger talks to us.
You can say that even though these people are strangers we can call them safer strangers because everyone knows they are doing a job that helps people. Say that we can all recognise them quickly because of their uniforms.
Say that if your child(ren) can’t see a safer stranger outside, they should look for a safer building to go into, to ask for help from the people who work there. Ask your child(ren) to think of other examples of safer strangers and safer buildings besides those featured in the film.
You can say that safer strangers can be found in safer buildings and that there are many where we live. A safer building is one where often there will be a reception desk and there will be someone there to help you. If a child needs help, hopefully they will be quite close to a community facility of this kind, and it will be safe for them to go there.
Help your child come to assimilate the Safer strangers, safer buildings code gradually, so that it eventually becomes ‘second nature’. Talk about it in a low-key, matter-of-fact way, whenever the opportunity arises naturally.
Go on lots of walkabouts together in your neighbourhood, chatting about the safer strangers and safer buildings on the way, so that your child gets to know your locality and feels confident and at ease. Talk about how they might put the code into practice.
For example, if they get lost in a shopping centre, talk about how they could go into a shop and find the uniformed person at the till. If they are in a cinema, they should go to the ticket office to ask for help.
When you judge the time is right for your child, let them walk short distances with friends, to begin with. Gradually extend the routes and areas, going on ‘dummy runs’ together first.
When your child is ready, you could talk together about what they understand by the meaning of the words ‘trustworthy’ and ‘responsible’.
Self-harm is any behaviour where the intent is to deliberately cause harm to one’s own body for example:
- Cutting, scratching, scraping or picking skin
- Swallow Swallowing hazardous materials or substances
- Burning or scalding
- Banging or hitting the head or other parts of the body
- Scouring or scrubbing the body excessively
Staff observing any of the following warning signs will seek further advice from their designated safeguarding lead:
- Changes in eating/sleeping habits (e.g. child/ young person may appear overly tired if not sleeping well)
- Increased isolation from friends or family, becoming socially withdrawn, changes in activity and mood e.g. more aggressive or introverted than usual, lowering of academic achievement (in school), talking or joking about self-harm or suicide, abusing drugs or alcohol, expressing feelings of failure, uselessness or loss of hope, changes in clothing e.g. becoming a goth.
This link takes you to the page on NSPCC website where there are many different questions raised and answered on the reasons and strategies to deal with children who are self harming.
INFO AND ADVICE
We're here for you, whatever's on your mind. We'll support you. Guide you. Help you make decisions that are right for you.
Our tips and techniques, ideas and inspiration, can help you feel more in control. And you can access them in your own time, at your own pace!
We have a calm zone on our website which includes breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help children manage their stress levels: https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/.
Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
- Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
- Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Net-aware (support for parents and careers from the NSPCC)