Safeguarding and Prevent
At Herne Bay High School we fully subscribe to the Government’s view that there can be no issue of greater importance to parents and carers, or indeed to schools, than the safety of their children, and as such it is an area that we place as our highest priority.
The nationally accepted definition for safeguarding stems from the Children Act 2004 and the Department for Education and Skills (now DfE) guidance document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and can be summarised as:
- protecting children and learners from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s and learners’ health or development
- ensuring that children and learners are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- undertaking that role so as to enable those children and learners to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
It is on the basis of this definition that in our Ofsted inspection of June 2011, we were graded as ‘Outstanding’ for the effectiveness of our safeguarding procedures – to put this into context, between September 2009 and July 2010, only 19% of all maintained primary, secondary and special schools, residential special schools and pupil referral units, that were inspected, were judged as being outstanding in this area. The Ofsted inspectors made the following comments in their June 2011 inspection report regarding our school:
- arrangements for safeguarding students are exemplary.
- safeguarding procedures are very effective and the academy is a leading practice in this field.
- relationships between staff and students are very good, and there are appropriate procedures for safeguarding and supporting students, which are applied effectively.
In our Ofsted inspection of March 2014, we were pleased that this area of work was again viewed very positively.
As a school, that is nationally recognised for excelling in the ways that we safeguard our young people, we are deemed to be highly effective in the following areas:
- the positive impact of our safeguarding approaches on the outcomes of our students, including in the areas of staying safe, being healthy, making a positive contribution, enjoying and achieving, and developing skills for economic well-being.
- the quality of the approaches we use to inform, encourage and support our students in making appropriate decisions in keeping themselves safe.
- how well we protect our students from bullying, racist abuse, harassment or discrimination, and the effectiveness of the methods we use to promote good behaviour.
- the effectiveness of our health and safety policies and procedures.
- the effectiveness of the arrangements we have in place to provide a safe environment and secure school site.
- how well we meet the needs of our students who have medical conditions.
- how appropriately we identify and respond to child welfare and child protection concerns.
- how effectively we work with key agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of our students.
- the rigorous approaches we adopt to monitor absence, and the timely and appropriate follow-up work we undertake, to ensure that pupils attend regularly.
- the high priority we give to safeguarding, and the methods we adopt to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and practice.
- the extent to which we ensure that the adults working within our school are appropriately recruited and vetted, trained, guided, supported and supervised to ensure that our high standards of safeguarding are upheld.
If students feel unhappy or need to talk through any issues that may pertain to safeguarding in its broadest sense, they are encouraged to talk to their Mentor, their Mini Community Support Officer or their Head of Mini Community. This is also the case for parents who would like to discuss any issues.
In some cases , for a variety of reasons, situations may be referred to members of the Leadership Team, including Dr Owen and may be referred to one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads, either Mr Harris (Senior Vice Principal), Mr Jones (Vice Principal) or Mr Waters (Vice Principal).
The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Herne Bay High School makes every effort to ensure that pupils are provided with a safe and secure learning environment. This means ensuring that children are not put in any position where they are vulnerable to abuse or neglect. We enforce a school safeguarding policy for permanent and temporary staff members, volunteers and all school visitors.
It is our duty to ensure that our school pupils are provided with the highest protection whilst in our care and, as far as is possible, during their time outside school. As part of our safeguarding policy we appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to oversee the child protection and safeguarding provision in our school. The designated person is a member of the senior leadership team.
When the senior person is absent or unavailable, the deputy designated members of SLT take up their responsibilities.
It is the duty of the school to ensure that the training and professional development of the DSL and deputy DSLs is ongoing, in order to enable them to deal effectively with changing child welfare concerns and the extra responsibilities that the job requires. This means being able to identify possible abuse, and knowing the right level of action to take, depending on the individual situation and circumstances.
The school will ensure that the DSLs attend relevant new or refresher training throughout their time in this role to make sure that they are up to date with all statutory policy and legislation and in the best position to deal with concerns, incidents and allegations, as well as feed back to the rest of the school staff, including school governors, on updated safeguarding provisions and policies, and any available support resources.
Herne Bay High School’s key personnel for safeguarding children:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Mr. C. Harris
Contact details: email:firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01227 361221
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are Mr. B. Jones and Mr. S. Waters
Contact details: email: B.Jones@hernebayhigh.org // S.Waters@hernebayhigh.org tel: 01227 361221
The nominated child protection governor is Mr. P. Harden
Contact details: email: A.Clifton@hernebayhigh.org tel: 01227 361221
The Principal is Dr. C. Owen
Contact details: email: Principal@hernebayhigh.org tel: 01227 361221
The purpose of the DSL is to:
- ensure that child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures are correctly in place, all laid out clearly, and are accessible to all staff and parents
- ensure that that all staff, pupils and parents are familiar with and understand all aspects of the school’s safeguarding provision
- ensure that the school operates in line with, and the staff are up to date with, all safeguarding legislation and that information, support, and resources on the topic of child protection and safeguarding are readily accessible to all staff. (See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447595/KCSIE_July_2015.pdf for the most recent statutory guidance for schools and colleges)
- be a personal advisor to all staff, pupils and parents and to promote their role to ensure that everyone is aware of who they are and how to contact them
- be the first point of contact for any staff, pupils or parents who have concerns about a child’s welfare
- notify children’s social care if a child with a child protection plan is absent for more than two days without explanation
- coordinate the school’s contribution to child protection plans
- attend and/or contribute to child protection conferences
- refer concerns to the relevant external agencies as required by individual circumstances
- be a link from the school to external agencies concerning safeguarding and child protection
- use their specialist skills and training in child protection to support the identification of possible abuse and decide on actions that need to be taken
- ensure that all staff are taking responsibility and following procedure for the safeguarding of the school’s pupils
- help to ensure that allegations against staff, pupils, parents or carers are dealt with according to statutory requirements and guidance, and as set out in the child protection policy.
Outcomes of the role
The DSL acts in accordance with the school policy and procedures
- The child protection and safeguarding policy is available to all staff (including temporary), volunteers, parents, pupils and school governors
- Children are aware of the role of the DSL and the wider safeguarding team; and when and how to contact them
- Parents are aware of the school’s process of investigation and its procedure for contacting child protection services when and if required. This is to avoid conflict or allegations of misinformation from parents if this action is taken for any reason
- There is an open-door policy for staff, pupils, and parents which enables concerns to be raised quickly and confidentially
- Staff are encouraged to talk to the DSL for any reason and are given details of contacts to report concerns anonymously
- There is an organised training programme for other school staff, including updates on new legislation, safeguarding resources, and what to do if they have a concern
- All information regarding individual pupils is transferred from feeder schools or to receiving schools during any school transfers. Meetings may be set up between the DSLs from either school to discuss continued provision and child welfare support
- When a pupil with a child protection plan leaves the school their information is passed to their new school and the pupil’s social worker is informed
- There are strong links, regular communication and good understanding between the DSL and external agencies
- All concerns are recorded, reported and referred as required depending on the DSL’s judgement and in consultation with the external agencies and/or the LADO
- There are detailed and accurate records of complaints, concerns, issues, investigations and outcomes kept securely
- All personal information is shared only on a need-to-know basis and is handled and stored according to Data Protection requirements
- The DSL has regular meetings with the headteacher and named governor in order to monitor and evaluate school safeguarding provision and discuss particular concerns or issues
- There are open channels of communication between all parties involved in an investigation of an allegation. Parents, social workers etc. are informed in advance of meetings, parents evenings, progress report meetings and action planning meetings; everyone is kept up to date and able to prepare for and attend necessary meetings
The key document that details the responsibilities of schools is 'Keeping children safe in education (July 2015)' - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447595/KCSIE_July_2015.pdf
Herne Bay High School's Prevent Strategy
Statement on preventing extremism and radicalisation
Herne Bay High School’s Prevent Strategy has been written in response to and in line with government guidance and forms part of the government’s counter terrorism strategy which seeks to:
- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat faced from those who promote these views
- Provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
- Work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed, including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health
- All schools are required by law to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral and cultural development of students and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.
The purpose of the Herne Bay High School’s Prevent Strategy is to protect students from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and British values. To this end it acts to;
- Raise awareness
- Provide information
- Enable learners to make a positive contribution
- Safeguard young people
The current threat from extremism and radicalisation in the UK can include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. Herne Bay High School is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and that both Staff and Governors, under their duty of care for students, have explicit responsibilities to safeguard pupils from the risk of falling under the influence of extremist groups and individuals and potentially even being drawn into terrorism. The Staff are alert to the potential dangers of institutional complacency and/or suspended professional disbelief – ‘it could not happen here’ – and will put in place strategies to ensure that governors, staff, parents and pupils understand the potential threat and are aware of the indicators of vulnerability. All staff receive regular full safeguarding training, and update training when required, and also undertake online training - see http://course.ncalt.com/Channel_General_Awareness/01/index.html
In discharging its duty of care, Herne Bay High School seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism delivered using any means or medium to express views which:
- Encourage, justify or glorify political, religious, sexist or racist violence
- Belong to rigid and narrow ideologies that are intolerant of diversity and so leave those who hold them vulnerable to future radicalization
- Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts
- Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts
- Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
What has already been done to address this risk?
Within Herne Bay High School children participate in a curriculum that promotes active learning and develops critical personal thinking skills. The focus on active learning and questioning enables students to explore social and emotional aspects of learning throughout the curriculum. Herne Bay High School actively promotes diversity and shared values between the local school communities, the community local to the school, the national and global community. We do this by celebrating our own school values. These values form the basis of our students understanding of wider communities and there are numerous academic and pastoral opportunities that embed this ethos.
Herne Bay High School challenge all prejudices recognising students who are at risk of isolation. The emphasis on pastoral care, the use of school policies, school assemblies, the PSHEE scheme of work, school events and enrichment activities ensure that the school is a safe place to learn and socialise. Herne Bay High School seek justice for inappropriate behaviour choices and use restorative approaches to repair harm when caused.
Herne Bay High School has already undertaken a range of activities / initiatives to raise awareness of the issues with both staff and pupils and to ensure that the school community understands what to do and who to go to if they have any concerns around the potential radicalisation of a member of the school community. These include:
- Mr Harris (Senior Vice Principal) will act as the Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and as such will be the lead for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism.
- The Designated Child Protection Coordinators (Mr Jones or Mr Waters) should be contacted if Mr Harris isn’t available and someone is concerned regarding matters pertaining to extremism and/or radicalisation or related issues.
- The Prevent Training that has been undertaken by all staff and governor representatives
- IT filtering systems are used both passively to block users from accessing inappropriate websites/fora and proactively to identify the use of a library of key words by users of school equipment which can then be acted on quickly and effectively
- A newly renewed Safeguarding Policy that takes account of the Prevent Strategy is available on the school website.
- Relevant approaches/polices have been adopted/amended in order to limit the opportunity of extremist speakers and events taking part in school or students/staff being subjected to such out of school on visits.
- The school takes active measures, within the recruitment and selection processes, to limit the chance of engaging any person who holds extremist or radicalised views.
What we plan to do in the future?
- Keep all safeguarding polices under review and make changes/amendments as and when required
- Provide Prevent training for new staff/governors as part of their induction
- Ensure that all staff, governors, pupils and parents are aware of the indicators of vulnerability
- Foster a climate that ensures that the whole school community takes the threat of radicalisation seriously
- Liaise with outside agencies as requires, should there be concerns that a member of the school community is being subjected to, or indeed is subjecting others to, extremist or radical views.
- Please come and talk to the school if you have any concerns or questions about our role in the wider UK PREVENT strategy.
- DFE Guidance: Preventing children from radicalisation
- Home Office: Prevent duty guidance from England