At Montalbo, we regard the safeguarding of children as our main priority. We believe that we all have the right to be happy, to be safe and to learn. We all have the responsibility to make this happen.
We will ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains paramount.
- All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers working at our school have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated lead for Safeguarding.
Designated Safeguarding Team
Mr Minikin is our Designated Safeguarding Lead. Other Designated Safeguarding Teachers are Miss Richardson, Mrs Newton and Mrs Patterson. All our staff have regular safeguarding training and understand reporting systems within school.
Areas of Safeguarding
Our safeguarding policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff & Visitors- ensuring they are vetted, informed & trained.
- Children’s Behaviour- promoting safer & happier behaviours & lifestyles.
- Parents & Carers- promoting links & supporting families.
- Premises -keeping them safe, pleasant & fit for purpose.
- Curriculum -providing positive, life affirming learning experiences.
- Outside School- ensuring safer activities and environments outside school.
We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children is vetted, keeping our children as safe as possible. Ongoing checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current policy.
- Staff are trained in child protection issues and they are aware of the procedures to follow.
- Staff are encouraged to be vigilant in order to maintain the safety of our children.
- All Staff & Volunteers are given a copy of Safeguarding Information for Visitors and are directed to the document Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022
Child Protection with Safeguarding Policy
All staff have an up-to-date understanding of safeguarding children issues and are able to implement the safeguarding children policy and procedure appropriately. Policies are in line with current guidance and procedures.
Staff are able to respond appropriately to any:
- significant changes in children’s behaviour;
- deterioration in their general well-being;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse;
- signs of neglect;
- comments children make which give cause for concern.
All staff are aware of the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality.
We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents in advance of a child being admitted to school, including:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies the child may have;
- the child’s special health requirements;
- information about who has legal contact with the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child.
Written parental permission is requested, at the time of the child’s admission to the provision, to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice or treatment in the future.
PARENTS & CARERS MUST TELL US OF ANY CHANGES TO THESE DETAILS.
We hold data to help safeguard children including details of adults with parental responsibility, contact information of at least two trusted adults, addresses and telephone numbers.
We take confidentiality very seriously. Any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Links with External Agencies
Because our first concern must be the well-being of your child, there may be occasions when we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the local authority child protection procedures.
We are fortunate to be supported by a range of external agencies which can be called upon to support the work we do in school. These include School Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, Behaviour Support, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs.
Reporting Concerns or Complaints
Further to the above procedures, we have in place a concerns and complaints policy. This enables children, staff and carers to report anything they feel is of concern.
Concerns should be raised in the following order.
- To the Class Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Head Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Chair of Governors. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Local Authority.
Contact details are available from the school office.
The safety and well-being of young people is our greatest priority. Our school is one of many in County Durham that will be taking part in a new project aimed at providing extra support to young people who are affected by or witness domestic abuse in their home lives.
To find out more about Operation Encompass, please click here.
Visitors must sign in at the School Office, read our Visitors Safeguarding leaflet and wear a Visitors badge. Visitors to assemblies or those on a short visit, must stay with a member of the school staff. Regular visitors will undergo DBS checks and coaches will have this check plus qualification checks.
Review of Policy and Practice
In order to ensure that best practice is maintained, our policies are reviewed at least regularly to incorporate the latest statutory guidance emerge.
If you would like more information on safeguarding, please contact the School Office.
Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership
Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership website is a key place to visit if you are concerned about a child. There is important information about how the Durham Partnership works and who to contact if you have a concern.