Designated Teachers for Child Protection: Mrs Woodford, Mrs Bridgman and Mr Parvin
Designated Governor for Child Protection and Safeguarding: Rev Lynda Newman
Wellbeing Governor: Dr Kim Jenkins
Crynallt Primary School recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare all our of pupils and, as such, Safeguarding is our first priority in school. We take pride in providing a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
We help to keep pupils safe by:
- having up to date policies such as Child Protection, Internet Safety and Behaviour and Wellbeing;
- ensuring that we follow health and safety guidelines, including site security;
- building relationships with pupils so they feel safe in school;
- working in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals;
- checking the suitability of adults in school;
- sharing information with other agencies if we have concerns.
Internet and mobile phone safety:
Mobile phones and computers are a part of everyday life for many children and young people. Used correctly, they are an exciting source of communication, fun and education but used incorrectly they can be threatening and dangerous.
The risks include:
- cyber bullying, where hurtful or unpleasant emails and texts are sent to pupils;
- the risk of children accessing inappropriate material either accidentally or deliberately;
- strangers contacting children who may wish to do them harm.
It probably is not practical to simply ban your child from using mobiles and computers as they may well try to find a different way of using them. They need to learn how to manage the risks. Younger children will be much easier to supervise and you will decide if and when they should begin to use these technologies.
Here are some tips to help you to manage the risks:
- Try and put a computer in a family room where you can supervise your child’s online activity;
- Ensure your child knows they should not give out personal details on the internet;
- encourage your child to tell you if they are worried or upset about anything;
- Make sure your child knows they should NEVER meet anyone they have been chatting to on the internet;
- Use parental controls whenever you can or use a filter to reduce inappropriate material.
- Look out for changes in your child’s behaviour. For example: being secretive about where they are going, hiding their internet activity, talking about new friends you haven’t met or changes in their attitude to school.
For further advice and information visit:
Internet Watch Foundation: www.iwf.org.uk
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: www.ceop.gov.uk
Stop It Now! www.stopitnow.org.uk
Child abuse and what to look for:
No parent wants to think about the possibility of their child becoming a victim of abuse, and most children are never abused. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable does happen.
Although there is always a lot of media focus on ‘stranger danger’, the abduction of children is rare and the threat from strangers is quite small. You should still ensure that your child knows the rules about keeping safe when they are out alone. Sadly, most children know their abusers. They may be family members or friends of family, someone who works with the child or someone who lives in the community.
There are many signs, or indicators that a child might be suffering abuse. These include:
- Bruises or injuries
- changes in behaviour, such as being more withdrawn or exhibiting poor behaviour;
- fear or reluctance of being with a particular person;
- reluctance to discuss where they have been or who they have been with;
- becoming clingy or wetting the bed.
Remember that, if your child is being harmed, she or he may be too frightened to tell you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s social care services on 01639 686803.
Our designated person at school, Mrs Woodford, Mrs Bridgman or Mr Parvin will also try and help or give you advice.
You will find more useful information in the school’s Child Protection Policy on the policies page of this website.
If your child is being bullied
Bullying is NOT the usual arguments that many children have as they grow up. It is far more sustained and one sided. We define bullying as behaviour that is deliberate, repeated more than once and is designed to be
hurtful. Bullies tend to pick on children who they think are unable to defend themselves. Bullying is not only about hitting or fighting. It also includes name calling, threats, taking belongings, intimidating and making unkind or abusive remarks. Children may try to hide the fact they are being bullied because they are afraid or ashamed but you might notice some signs.
For example your child might:
- Change their behaviour;
- Come home with bruises or damaged clothing/equipment;
- Avoid going to school;
- Complain of illness.
We have anti-bullying procedures that help us to identify and deal with any case of bullying in school, but bullying does not only take place in school, it can also happen in the home or in the community.
Bullying can be serious and cause a lot of distress. If your child tells you that they are being bullied in school, ask for their permission for you to tell us. They may not have told us themselves because they are afraid that the bully will find out and the bullying will get worse. Try to help them to understand that the bullying will not stop while it is kept secret. As soon as we know it is happening we will follow our anti-bullying procedures to try to stop it.
It is also distressing to suspect that your child might be bullying other children. Our anti-bullying procedures include trying to support children who bully to change their behaviour, so please talk to us if you think your child needs some help.
What we will do if we have a concern about your child:
If we are concerned that your child may be at risk of abuse or neglect we must follow the procedures in our Child Protection Policy. You can look at the policy in school, on the school website or receive a copy to take home.
The procedures have been written to protect all pupils. They comply with our statutory responsibilities and are designed to support pupils, families and staff. The procedures are based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration.
In almost all circumstances, we will talk to you about our concerns and we will also tell you if we feel we must refer our concerns to children’s social care. We will ask your consent to make a referral, but in some circumstances we may need to make the referral against your wishes. We will only do this if we genuinely believe that this is the best way to protect your child, and the fact that you did not consent to the referral will be recorded.
If we think that talking to you first might, in some way, increase the risk to your child, we will report our concerns to children’s social care and take advice from them. We will normally tell you that a referral is being made and we will record the reasons why we decided to follow this course of action.
All child protection records are kept separate from your child’s general school file. Records are stored in a locked cabinet or drawer or on a secure computer programme called My Concern. The only staff who have access to the records are those who need to know about the concerns in order to protect and support your child.
You can ask to see what information is held on your child, and we will normally agree to this, but if we are unsure we will seek advice from the local authority designated officer or children’s social care first.
Child protection is a very sensitive issue and it raises many questions and a range of strong emotions. We will do everything we can to support our pupils and you can be assured that any action we take will be in the best interests of your child.
Useful phone numbers:
NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111
Kidscape: 08451 205 204 www.kidscape.org.uk (Bullying Advice)
Child Exploitation and Online Protection: 0870 000 3344 www.ceop.gov.uk
Internet Watch Foundation: www.iwf.org.uk
Social Service (NPT) Intake Team: 01639 686803