At Richard Hill we are committed to keeping our children safe both in and out of school. We know it is of the utmost importance to have robust systems for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare.
The school ensures children learn in a safe, caring and enriching environment. Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, on and off line, to develop positive and healthy relationships and how to avoid situations where they might be at risk including by being exploited.
Our school feels it is of the utmost importance to have good systems for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare, throughout all the activities which the school undertakes. This means that staff and volunteers must be alert to possible concerns about every pupil, and to report these in a proper fashion. The school has a safeguarding and child protection policy which can be found on the school website.
It is important for parents to be aware that:
- Staff and volunteers in the school have a duty to report concerns about a child, whether this means the child may be in need of additional support or help of some kind or whether it is thought that a child may have been abused or be at risk of abuse.
- There are four categories of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect. We also have a duty to be aware of peer to peer abuse, sexting, children missing from education, child sexual exploitation, so-called ‘honour based’ violence, private fostering arrangements and those vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation
- In some cases the school is obliged to refer children to children’s social care team, the PREVENT team or local safeguarding team, for children to be assessed for their needs or if an investigation into possible child abuse is required. In many cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child, and the situation and concerns will not be a surprise to the parents. However, parents may not be told that the school has referred their child to children’s social care if it is thought that this might put the child at risk.
- Children’s social care tries to carry out its enquiries in a sensitive fashion. It has to gather information and generally it can be open with parents about the steps being taken.
- If you think your child may have been abused you should contact the children’s social care office. If you think the abuse may have happened in school, contact Mrs Sally Applebee, the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead or one of our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, Mrs McVeigh, Mrs Tack, Miss Farrell or Mrs Bausor. If you think your child has been hurt, arrange to visit your doctor or take them to the nearest outpatients immediately. Comfort and reassure your child.
- If school staff need to express concerns about a child or refer a child to children’s social care, it is understood that this can cause distress or anger for the child’s parents.
For parents’ enquiries please contact: Mrs Sally Applebee, Headteacher
The school has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular police, health and children’s services. Schools are not able to investigate concerns but have a legal duty to refer them. In most instances, the school will be able to inform the parents/carer of its need to make a referral. However, sometimes the school is advised by Children’s Social Care or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The school follows legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child.
We expect all staff, governors, parents and visitors to share this commitment and maintain a vigilant and safe environment. If you have a concern about the safety or wellbeing of a child you need to report this immediately, in person to one of our Designated Safeguarding Lead’s (DSL’s) in school as listed below. Safeguarding concerns relating to members of staff or adults in school should be reported directly to the Headteacher.
Mrs Applebee- Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs McVeigh - Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Tack - Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Bausor- Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Miss Farrell - Deputy Safeguarding Lead (Midday and After School Club)
Alternatively you can raise a concern with any member of staff in school and we will treat your concerns seriously within our safeguarding policies and procedures.
Useful contact details:
NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
Child Line 0800111
Social Services 0116 3050005
Non-emergency number for the police 0116 222 2222
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility - please help us to keep our children safe.
Do you need to contact someone about domestic abuse?
In School Early Help Offer
At Richard Hill we see safeguarding as a holistic element of our work where we look at the whole child. Please follow the internal links to find information on how we are supporting, developing and protecting our children. There's lots of information for parents. If you have any questions at all please come and speak with a DSL.