Safeguarding and Child Protection at Oak Green School
At Oak Green School, the protection, safety, health and well-being of every child is our first concern. Safeguarding and the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. All staff recognise this regardless of the role they undertake or whether they have direct contact or responsibility for children or not. We believe that every child has the right to learn in a safe and caring environment and we listen to our pupils and take seriously what they tell us.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. We consider that this COULD and probably is happening at Oak Green School. We are vigilant to all signs of this and respond quickly and appropriately.
The DfE describes safeguarding as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
- ensuring children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
We know that we will have children and families who will need support from Buckinghamshire Social Services, we know that we are part of the national Prevent terrorism strategy in Buckinghamshire and that in our community there are incidences of concern including deprivation, domestic abuse and County Lines, and we are aware that in some Buckinghamshire communities pupils may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). We also understand the many risks associated with the internet and we educate our children about these risks.
We make full use of Local Authority support and processes, many supporting agencies and charities to prevent, protect and support in cases of harm towards children.
We quickly identify children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm or where there might be concern about children’s welfare, and take prompt and appropriate action to make sure that they are safe both at home and in our school by:
- Ensuring that everyone involved with school understands our safeguarding policy and procedures
- Promoting safe practice and challenging poor and unsafe practice
- Effective partnership between all those involved with providing services
- Preventing unsuitable people working with us through rigorous ‘safer recruitment’
In order to promote a safe environment for pupils, our selection and recruitment policy includes all checks on staff and regular volunteers’ suitability, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks, as recommended by Buckinghamshire Council and current legislation.
In accordance with our child protection responsibilities under section 175/157 of the Education Act 2002, we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Mrs Donna Kelloway, Co-Headteacher, who has received appropriate training for this role. She takes overall responsibility for ensuring our safeguarding procedures are in place and are robust. It is her responsibility to ensure that all staff in contact with children receive child protection awareness training on a regular basis.
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSLs) are: Mrs Nicola Beesley (Co- Headteacher), Mrs Jackie Waring (Safeguarding and Family Support Worker), Mrs Jo Thomas (SENDCo), Mrs Penny Anyon (Office Manager), Mrs Verity Priest (SENDCo), Miss Louise Hague (EYFS Assistant Head) and Mrs Jane Gammell (Network Manager).
The D/DSL Team meet regularly, including with the Safeguarding Governor, Ms Jane Warman, to ensure effective practice and information is shared. The Headteacher reports regularly on safeguarding activity and systems in school to them. The Governing Board will not receive details of individual pupil situations or identifying features of families as part of their oversight responsibility.
The wider 'Safeguarding and Wellbeing Team' includes Mrs Louise Mourier (Wellbeing and Senior Mental Health Lead), Mrs Helen Wilkins (ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and Miss Fiona Hodge (Behaviour and Family Support Assistant).
Support Beyond School
There are occasions when our concern about a child may mean that we have to consult other agencies. Whilst we would always aim to work in partnership with parents there may be exceptions to this when concerns are raised for the protection of a child.
On rare occasions Social Care, undertaking an investigation under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989, may want to speak to a child without parents’ knowledge. This would be a decision made with partner agencies and only in situations where a child might be at immediate risk. To gain consent at this point may increase the level of risk to the child or cause loss of evidence.
Oak Green School Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy
This can be found in the Policies section of this website:
Our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy provides direction to all school stakeholders about expected practice in dealing with safeguarding issues. It makes explicit our school’s commitment to good practice and effective procedures, ensuring that safeguarding concerns and referrals are handled sensitively, professionally and in a way that supports and protects the needs of the child.
Procedures we follow, are in line with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. For further information on Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy and procedures, please speak to any of our Designated Persons or your child’s class teacher.
Reporting Concerns and Providing Support
We follow Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures https://www.buckssafeguarding.org.uk/childrenpartnership/ Sometimes it is necessary for staff to contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) / First Response to seek advice and to establish the right level of support needed for a family. Unless it is deemed that the child is at significant risk of harm, this will be done in partnership with families.
On rare occasions Social Care, whilst undertaking an investigation under S47 of the Children Act 1989, may want to speak to a child without parents’ knowledge. This would be a decision made in collaboration with partner agencies and would only be done in situations where a child might be at immediate risk. To gain consent at this point may increase the level of risk to the child or cause evidence of a crime to be lost.
The procedures, which we follow, have been laid down by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, and the school has adopted a Child Protection and Wellbeing Policy in line with this for the safety of all.
This policy applies to ALL who come into contact with children at Oak Green School, including:
- The Governing Board
- School Leaders
- Classroom Teachers
- Support Staff
- Learning Support and Special Support Assistants
- Administrative/ Office and Site staff
- Supply staff
- Midday Supervisors
- Visitors, volunteers and students
- contractors and regular visitors
- and any users of our school or site
All related policies are reviewed yearly by the Governing Board, which has responsibility for oversight of school safeguarding and child protection systems.
Related Policies include:
Positive Behaviour Policy
Child on Child Abuse Policy
All school staff are trained in Child Protection, and pupils are made aware of the trusted adults who they can talk to if they have any concerns. Staff are trained to look out for signs of physical/emotional/sexual harm or neglect and are required to report these to the Designated or Deputy Safeguarding Leads (D/DSL).
To promote a safe environment for our pupils, our selection and recruitment policy includes all checks on staff and regular volunteer’s suitability, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks (formerly CRB checks), as recommended by Buckinghamshire County Council and in accordance with current legislation. When staff commence their employment, they complete safeguarding induction which is completed by a member of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Team.
Site Security and Safety
Oak Green School is a secure site. All entrances and exit gates and doors to our school are secured during the school day. Access to the school during the school day is through the main office only and by electronic entrance only. All staff (including governors) and regular volunteers in the school undergo Enhanced DBS checks. Regular contractors and supporting agencies wear a school visitor lanyard and all visitors are required to sign in and out of the premises and issued with a visitor sticker via our InVentry system; staff will challenge anybody on site who is not wearing one. Morning gates are staffed by school leaders and after school all classroom staff are on hand to oversee safe return of children to parents, carers and responsible adults.
‘Prevent’ and Extremism
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal – pupils, staff or governors, or external sources – school community, external agencies or individuals. Our pupils see our school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our teachers encourage and facilitate this – we have a duty to ensure this happens. As a school we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences is a safeguarding concern and safeguarding procedures are to be followed.
We encourage the use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of our pupils, however we ensure that those external agencies, individuals or speakers do not share or promote extremist views. We also ensure organisations who use our premises do not use them for extremist purposes. We do not let groups or individuals use / let our site where their messages/views are in opposition to the school’s values and ethos.
Child on Child Abuse
Staff and the Governing Board are committed to the prevention, early identification, and appropriate management of child-on-child abuse, both within and beyond Oak Green.
Child on child abuse includes any form of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and financial abuse, and coercive control exercised between pupils, and within pupils’ relationships, friendships, and wider peer associations. It can take various forms, including (but not limited to):
- Serious bullying (including cyber-bullying)
Cyber-bullying can take many forms:
- Abusive or threatening texts, emails or messages
- Posting abusive comments on social media sites
- Sharing humiliating videos or photos of someone else
- Stealing someone’s online identity
- Spreading rumours online
- Trolling – sending someone menacing or upsetting messages through social networks, chatrooms or games
- Developing hate sites about another person
- Prank calls or messages
- Group bullying or exclusion online
- Anonymous messaging
- Encouraging a young person to self-harm
- Pressuring children
- Pupil sexual exploitation
- Harmful sexual behaviour and/or prejudice-based violence including, but not limited to, gender-based violence
- Racial abuse
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, hair-pulling, shaking, biting or other forms of physical harm
- Sexual abuse, violence and sexual harassment
- Abuse related to sexual orientation or identity
- Sexting (moving and still images)
- Initiation type violence and rituals
- Emotional abuse
All pupils have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment free from harm by both adults and other pupils. We will not tolerate any form of child-on-child abuse and will follow our policies to act on all concerns.
For parent information and tips please click the link below to take you to our Parent Information on Online Safety page.