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 means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life. If there is a problem you will be invited to fill in an Early Help form with school staff so that we can assess ways that we can help.
In Bolton staff must refer to Bolton’s Framework for action, which provides guidance on how Early Help should be delivered to facilitate a high quality, collaborative approach to holistic assessment, support and planning and enable positive outcomes. For this to be effective, all agencies are required to work together to:
St Columba's is committed to early help and the identification of unmet needs and vulnerabilities of its pupils and works in partnership with other agencies to promote the welfare of the pupils and to keep them safe. All staff are aware of the early help process and understand their role in identifying emerging problems, sharing information with other agencies and for some staff acting as the lead professional in undertaking early help assessments. St Columba's adheres to Bolton’s Framework for Action and will implement the Early Help process to support the wellbeing of children and families by tackling emerging needs at the earliest opportunity and prevent them from getting worse.
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.