At Poltair School we are committed to ensuring that our students and staff are protected from abuse and harm. In Poltair it is the responsibility of everyone who works with children to ensure they are safeguarded from harm. Safeguarding is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing the impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Our Safeguarding Team at Poltair are committed to supporting the school community and receive regular training and updates to ensure they can keep all of our children safe.
- Designated Safeguarding Lead: David Lewis
- Operational Designated Safeguarding Lead: Heidi Spurgeon
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Laura Ghiblawi
- Safeguarding team: Kim Taylor
- Safeguarding Admin: Alison Parsons
The designated person ensures all confidential records are kept securely. It is the responsibility of the designated member of staff to have oversight of all discussions with Social Care when concerns arise regarding the safety of a student in this school. All such students are closely monitored, including attendance, and where extra concerns arise these are always passed on to the appropriate agencies. The DSL & DDSL ensure that all staff are trained with regard to Safeguarding and Child Protection.
If you wish to raise a concern about a student who you feel is at risk of harm, please use the email@example.com email to report this to us, with some key details and one of the team will respond to you as soon as they can.
Social Media and Internet Safety
During the ‘lockdown’ period, our young people and parents had to develop a greater knowledge of the use of online learning to support their educational progress. We thank you for your support to allow them this access to their online learning, but can we please remind you of the challenges of online safety and particularly their use of social media. On a regular basis, we see warnings of inappropriate images and videos in the news that are embedded within some of the social media avenues that our children access. Please can we ask for your vigilance at this time with their internet use, as well as remind you of the suggested age restrictions of each of the platforms:
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat suggest children should be allowed access from 13 years and over.
- TikTok and Whatsapp are both 16 years and over
Children may often alter their details to ensure they are allowed access to these sites, but they are age restricted as a result of the possible appropriateness of the content displayed.
Further guidance on online safety and how to support your son/daughter in their safe use of social media can be found on this page and also the following links:
- http://paceuk.info – Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation
- https://www.nspcc.org.uk – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
- https://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ – Child Exploitation and Online Protection
- www.thinkuknow.co.uk – Parents/Student guidance to staying safe online
- www.kidsmart.org.uk – Staying safe in a digital world
- www.childline.org.uk – Advice, guidance and support for children and families.
- www.tigermobiles.com – How to protect your children on their smartphone.
Information, Advice and Guidance to keep our young people safe
Poltair School recognises that it has a duty to ensure arrangements are in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
All members of the school community (including volunteers and governors) will at all times establish and maintain a safe and stimulating environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk to adults they can trust and are listened to.
Through training, all staff (teaching and nonteaching) will be able to recognise the signs of abuse and understand their responsibilities when a child may be at risk of harm. Training of all staff will be updated annually and the school has a large team of Tier 3 trained professionals.
The school will ensure that it provides written referrals in the correct format and recognises the importance of attendance at all meetings called when there is a concern regarding the safeguarding of a student.
Working together to safeguard children – a guide!
This booklet offers an easy to read guide for safeguarding.
This provides an overview for our young people in terms of the concept of ‘safeguarding’ and identifies key actions, questions and possible outcomes from raising concerns. Please have a look and if you have any more questions contact: Miss Gemma Owens, Assistant Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead on firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Spurgeon, Operational Designated Safeguarding Lead on email@example.com
In line with the guidance ‘Safer Recruitment’, the Headteacher and Chair of Governors have completed Safer Recruitment training. All staff including volunteers who have access to children in our school have been carefully selected and screened and all have had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check prior to commencing work. All details of all appointments/checks are held in a central record. Staff will be inducted into the school and training will be given with regard to child protection.
Our school has a designated safeguarding governor, Mrs D Vincent, who will act as the link person between the governing body and the designated leads. The governor will review safeguarding procedures/practices including access to training through termly meetings with the safeguarding officer. The governors will ensure that sufficient time is given to carry out the duties including accessing training. Where safeguarding concerns arise regarding a member of staff, the governor will liaise with the Chair of Governors.
This school believes in working closely with parents and there is an open door policy so that parents can feel able to visit at any time to discuss concerns. Email is used extensively by parents to contact members of staff directly including the Headteacher.
This school is fully signed up to the Safeguarding of Children and the Policy is in place and can be found on the website as can all other policies e.g. SEN – Behaviour and Attendance – Anti Bullying.
ViST Reports/ Operations Encompass
From time-to-time the school receive highly confidential reports (Vulnerable Individual Screening Tool) from the Police. These will contain brief details regarding any incidents dealt with by the police that have connections with young people attending Poltair School. We always log these and ensure that any appropriate actions are followed up.
In addition to this, we are occasionally contacted by Devon and Cornwall Police following challenging situations in which our young people are in the home when incidents of domestic violence are reported. These are received and actioned by the Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Safeguarding Lead only and actions then directed to allow us to support our young people.
Child Sexual Exploitation is one particular risk, laid out in the KCSIE 2019 Guidance (Keeping Children Safe in Education- 2019). This is an area which is included in update training for staff and we ensure that we log to track any concerns. More guidance can be found here.
Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It’s dangerous and a criminal offence. More information can be found, including ways to support.
The Prevent Strategy – A Parents’ Guide
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes. Guidance for schools on the Prevent Duty can be found here.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy. These include:
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils. Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Prevent relate to British values? Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy. British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. These are both key in our school values and what we already do. The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support and be involved with extremist causes.
Useful Guides & Bulletins
Useful Websites for parents/Carers/Children to access Information, Advice, Guidance and Support.
http://paceuk.info/ – Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation
https://www.nspcc.org.uk – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
https://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/– Child Exploitation and Online Protection
www.thinkuknow.co.uk – Parents/Student guidance to staying safe online
www.kidsmart.org.uk – Staying safe in a digital world
www.childline.org.uk – Advice, guidance and support for children and families.
www.tigermobiles.com – How to protect your children on their smartphone.
bt.com – Snapchat: How the photo-sharing app works and dangers parents need to be aware of