What is Safeguarding and Child Protection?
These are terms that we hear a lot through school documents, the media and the like. Knowing exactly what these terms mean will help us understand why we take our responsibilities with regards to Child Protection and Safeguarding at St Francis very seriously.
Safeguarding is a broad term that refers to the actions, policies, procedures, curriculum and overall provision that we have in place at St Francis to:
- Protect children from maltreatment
- Prevent the impairment of a child’s health and development
- Ensure that children grow up in circumstances with safe and effective care
- Take action to enable all children to achieve the best outcomes.
(Taken from ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People, Government Publication, 2014)
Child Protection refers to all of the specific processes, policies and measures that we have in place to prevent, and respond to instances where a child may be suffering, or likely to suffer from harm as a result of neglect or abuse. We are part of a project run jointly between schools and Devon and Cornwall Police, known as Operation Encompass. This involves the police reporting to schools, prior to the start of the next school day, when a child has been exposed to, or involved in, any domestic incident. Operation Encompass will ensure that a member of the school staff liaises with the police and uses the information that has been shared, in confidence, to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been involved in, or exposed to, a domestic abuse incident.
We believe it is essential to offer the best support possible to all our pupils and that important information sharing is paramount for all those involved.
Essentially, it’s the things that we do at St Francis, day in day out, to keep everyone safe. At St Francis, this is overseen by Rachel Marsh (Designated Safeguarding Lead), Nicola Sleeman (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) and Hannah Stevens (Cover for Designated Safeguarding Lead). Our Safeguarding Governor is Christina Hourigan. Christina monitors and moderates our work in this area and supports us to ensure that our provision is constantly the best it can possibly be.
Click here to see our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
Click here to see our Safeguarding Statement.
At St Francis, the following staff have received training in these areas:
Hannah Stevens (Headteacher) Level 3 Multi-Agency Child Protection Training – Safer Recruitment
Rachel Marsh (Deputy Headteacher) – Level 3 Multi-Agency Child Protection Training
Nicky Sutton – Level 3 Multi-Agency Child Protection Training
Nicky Sleeman – Level 3 Multi-Agency Child Protection Training
Rachel McDermid – Level 3 Multi-Agency Child Protection Training
If you have concerns about a professional or volunteer working with a child you need to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on 01872 326536.
Click here to view the OSCP (Our Safeguarding Children’s Partnership) website. On the website there are areas for parents/carers, young people and professionals can be found, as well as a dedicated Coronavirus information area to offer advice links to families who may need support with emotional health and wellbeing issues at the moment.
Our Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (OSCP) launched ‘CE the Signs’, last week. It’s a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation across Cornwall. This campaign aims to increase public understanding of child exploitation, raise awareness of the signs and indicators to watch out for and to educate people on the routes for reporting concerns. Through the campaign, they aim to encourage people to take a second look at any. Further information can be viewed on the below link
Who to contact if you have concerns about a child:
- Multi-agency Referral Unit: 0300 123 1116
- Out of Hours Service: 01208 251300
- Police 101