Parents and carers play a role in safeguarding children within our local community. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, you should report them to someone who you trust will listen. The school is required to have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for this purpose. Parents and children should speak to the DSL if they have any concerns about a child or staff member.
Safeguarding is a priority at Whitmore Primary School and Nursery and we have several policies in place to help keep our children safe.
At Whitmore Primary School and Nursery, we are committed to safeguarding children and young people and we expect everyone who works in our school to share this commitment. Adults in our school take all welfare concerns seriously and encourage children and young people to talk to us about anything that worries them. Staff must identify and the school must action any concerns brought to them.
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and all staff working in school receive regular training and are familiar with the statutory guidance of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023. Training includes a range of safeguarding issues, including the Prevent strategy to protect children from radicalisation and extremism, child sexual exploitation and Online Safety.
Health & Safety
Whitmore Primary School and Nursery has a health and safety policy, which is monitored regularly by the Head of School, the Health and Safety Governor and the site Manager. Any concerns from staff are reported to any of the above who carry out an initial examination, assessing what remedial action needs to take place. Each term there is a fire drill that practices efficient evacuation from the buildings. Electrical safety testing (PAT) takes place annually. There is also a critical incident plan that details what staff and parents should do in the case of emergencies.
Within school there are always trained members of staff who volunteer to oversee first aid. There are a number of first aid kits situated in the medical room. When a child is unwell, or has suffered an accident in school or on the playground, there is a protocol for staff to follow:
- A trained first aider is consulted
- The incident is logged in the accident book
- For head injuries, a bumped head slip is sent home with children as well as a text message.
- If there is any doubt at all, a parent is contacted
Our school policy is that members of staff will only administer medicines when the parent has completed and signed the appropriate form requesting that staff do so; the decision to meet the request is at the discretion of the Headteacher in line with our policy. For the majority of medicines, doses are able to be administered at home before school, after school and before bed.
Whitmore Primary School & Nursery provides a secure site however, the site is only as secure as the people who use it. Therefore all people on site have to adhere to the rules that govern it. Laxity can cause potential risks to safeguarding, therefore:
- The gates leading in to the playground will be closed and locked at all times excluding 15 minutes during arrival time in the morning and departure time at the end of the school day.
- All security exit doors should be closed to prevent intrusion.
- Visitors must only enter through the main entrance and after signing in at the office. They should be given a visitors badge on entry. ID will be required.
- Children will only be allowed home with adults with parental responsibility or confirmed permission.
- Children should never be allowed to leave school alone during school hours and, if collected by an adult, signed out.
- Should a child leave the school premises without permission, staff have been informed never to chase after a child, but rather to report immediately to the office. Then parents and the police will be informed of the circumstances.
Excellent attendance is expected of all children, but when children are unwell, parents are expected to confirm their absence by Studybugs or telephone. If there is no notification, the school will phone home to ascertain each child’s whereabouts. The school works closely with the Local Attendance Officer and CME (Children Missing Education) whenever a child’s attendance and punctuality causes concern. Attendance rates are recorded and maintained by the school office staff. Positive measures are in place to encourage children to attend regularly and punctually and the school is aware of its right to take legal action against parents who do not ensure good attendance and punctuality.
Parents are reminded to take holidays in school holiday periods and if possible, to try and make dental, doctor's appointments etc. after school hours or in school holidays.
Appointment of Staff
All staff that are appointed to work at Whitmore Primary School and Nursery have a criminal records search called a DBS check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made against them. If staff are found to have a criminal record, the appointment is reconsidered by the Headteacher and Governing Body. The Headteacher, Deputy Headteachers and Office Manager have all undertaken the training on Safer Recruitment. New staff are inducted into safeguarding practices. Newly appointed staff are assigned a mentor for the induction period. It is the responsibility of the mentors to familiarise new staff with procedures and policies which affect the health and safety of all at school, but especially the children.
All staff appointments are subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the school is completely confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.
Volunteers in School
Volunteers must also have a DBS check. For a brief activity, such as a school visit, which does not involve lone supervision or close contact with children, the school may telephone for a List 99 check. For extended contact with children, when children may be left alone with an adult, or when an adult visitor may be in and around the school building, a full DBS search will be conducted - the school office performs this check. Visitors who do not yet have clearance will under no circumstances be left alone with a child or group of children.
The school follows our Child Protection Policy. This policy is available to view on the school website.
The designated safeguarding team for Child Protection is at the top of this page. It is the Headteacher's duty to ensure the Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually and any deficiencies within the policy is addressed immediately. The Headteacher and all staff have had appropriate child protection training, which is updated regularly (annually for all staff and Designated staff have update every two years). All allegations of abuse by or complaints of a teacher will be dealt with following the Local Safeguarding board procedures.
The school recognises that there is risk in many school activities. Through its risk assessment procedures, the school works to recognise risk and limit it as far as possible. Risk assessments are kept either electronically or in a file in the school office and reviewed regularly.
Visits off-site are subject to particular scrutiny and the school’s Educational Visits Coordinator, who has received appropriate training, is available to assist staff in the preparation and planning for such visits.
Design of the Curriculum
Our curriculum deals with safeguarding in two ways. Firstly, the curriculum, in subjects such as Personal, Social Health and Economic Education discusses relevant issues with children.
Topics include such themes as drugs, sex, relationships and online safety (age appropriate content). Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues in a safe place. Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as road safety, using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times, there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taken out of school, appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained. The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are finally authorised by the Headteacher. Visiting speakers, with correct clearance, are always welcome into school so that they can share specialist knowledge with the children.
Children should be encouraged to use the internet during lessons (e.g. research), but at all times safely. Pupils must never be left unattended whilst online and teachers should ensure that this does not happen. If teachers know of misuse, either by a teacher or child, the issue should be reported to the Headteacher or DSL without delay.
If members of staff ever have any concerns about the behaviour or intentions of any person within the building, school grounds or within the proximity of the children, they have a professional duty to inform the Headteacher. This can be done in writing or verbally, but staff should be prepared to discuss in the confidence that any such matters will be dealt with sensitively and with the necessary degree of confidentiality.