We are Companions on a Journey
At St Columba's we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our policy which can be viewed by clicking on the link below
As our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Baker (Headteacher), would be the first point of contact if you had a concern about one of our pupils. In her absence, our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads Mrs Hewson Assistant Head and Miss McCann EYFS lead, would be available be available.
All of our staff receive regular safeguarding training. This includes training on the Government's Prevent Duty to counter radicalism and extremism. The designated safeguarding lead and deputies receive further in-depth safeguarding training at least every two years.
The safeguarding leads also attend multi-agency meetings. Sometimes school may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child's welfare. School also participates in 'Operation Encompass', a Police initiative which informs us about domestic abuse incidents relating to any of our pupils.
School ensures that stringent recruitment and vetting procedures are in place for staff and other adults, and that nobody commences work unless all necessary checks are complete to a satisfactory level. The same rigour is applied when appointing volunteers.
Throughout school, safeguarding is taught as part of our curriculum. We appreciate that whilst adults in school are working hard to keep children safe, children too can play a large part in keeping themselves and their peers safe from abuse and neglect. An age-appropriate curriculum is rolled out in school to build capacity amongst our pupils in their understanding of particular issues, and what actions they can take to be safe.
Early Help is interventions that are offered to all our pupils to prevent problems developing and it targets support to particular children and families with additional needs.
The purpose of Early Help is to support the well-being of children and families by tackling emerging needs at the earliest opportunity and prevent them from getting worse. This means working with you to identify any support you may need and gain access to additional services that can promote positive outcomes.
Effective Early Help may be delivered at any point in your child’s life about any issue which is impacting or could affect their development and well-being, including education and health.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (a guide to Inter-agency working) identifies that supporting children to achieve positive outcomes is more effective when local agencies work together to:
· Identify children and families who would benefit from Early Help.
· Undertake an assessment with you (known in Bolton as the Early Help Assessment)
· Provide Early Help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family to improve outcomes.
We will ensure that we:
· Gain your consent and are open and honest.
· Seek your views and opinions.
· With your consent, work jointly with other professionals and services already working with your family.
· Empower you to gain positive outcomes.
· Allocate a lead person to help co-ordinate any support put in place.
· Consider the age and stage of your child’s development to make sure that actions are appropriate and inform our expectations and concerns.
· Keep you and your child involved and informed.
Referring a child who is in danger
If an disclosure was made by a child or something was spotted by a member of staff, we may as a school have to refer this on to a team of Social Workers. In Bolton this is now called the Integrated Front Door.
School would state their concerns and a social worker would triage this to see if there was any necessary action needed.
Parents would normally be told of this. However there may be incidents where it was felt the child would not be safe and therefore parents would not be notified first.
Encompass is a partnership between Greater Manchester Police, (in Bolton this is the (PPIU) Police Protection Investigation Unit), Bolton Safeguarding Children Partnership and designated school staff, known as Key Adults. Working together to safeguard children, Greater Manchester Police will inform the Key Adults within schools about any domestic abuse incident where the child or young person has been present. This will enable the school to take appropriate steps to support their pupil during what could be an emotionally difficult day. Key adults within the school are then able to accommodate the school day to lessen the impact and to support the child if they need it. In its simplest form, they are given some leeway, comfort and support. This can make a huge difference to children and allows them to have a safe space (see flow chart below).
See the link below for the letter sent to parents to explain encompass.
If you want any information or worried about a child the link below is very useful.