Safeguarding and Child Protection
Meet the Safeguarding Team
At St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School we work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect, be helped to thrive and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.
We support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development. In our setting we strive to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and we promote acceptance and tolerance of other beliefs and cultures (please refer to our inclusion and equality policy for further information). Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the school’s other policies and procedures.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, in relation to this policy is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:
- Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image
- Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct
- Support staff to notice the softer signs of abuse and know what action to take
- Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
- Provide a safe and secure environment for all children
- Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities
- Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling
- Always listen to children
- Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need
- Share information with other agencies as appropriate.
The school is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our staff have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Our staff may often be the first people to identify that there may be a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse.
Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for children’s social care, health professionals or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team, where needed.
The school aims to:
- Keep the child at the centre of all we do
- Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour
- Be aware of the increased vulnerability of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and other vulnerable or isolated families and children
- Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, share information and seek the help that the child may need
- Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures
- Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by Milton Keynes Council
- Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest
- Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of our care
- Identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the Staff Code of Conduct and Whistleblowing Policy
- Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or working at the school including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities
- Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the school and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance.
We will support children by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. We will devise activities according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence and self-esteem within their peer group and support them to learn how to keep themselves safe.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.
What to do if you’re worried about a child or a family.
Contact the schools’ safeguarding staff or local authority social care team on 01908 253169/70. You can also go to MK Together website MK Together.
We are an Operation Encompass partner school.
This is an early intervention safeguarding partnership between Police and education to support young people who have been exposed to domestic abuse.
This operation reports to schools when a child or young person has been involved in or exposed to a domestic abuse incident involving the police. This information is given to the school Designated Safeguarding Lead in strict confidence to enable support to be given relative to the needs and wishes of the child.
Schools have a duty of care to their pupils and staff which includes safeguarding them from the risk of being drawn into terrorism – this includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit. Schools should be safe spaces in which children and young people can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and extreme ideas that are a part of the terrorist ideology and learn how to challenge these ideas. School staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021. Schools and colleges should work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Radicalisation is listed as a specific safeguarding issue within this statutory guidance and is addressed within the Government Prevent Strategy. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and Prevent strategy has 3 main objectives:
- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and threat we face from those who promote it
- Prevent people being drawn into terrorism and ensure appropriate advice and support is given
- Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation we need to address