Safeguarding runs through our school like a message in a stick-of-rock
Waterside Academy is committed to safeguarding children.
Let's just pause and say that again; Waterside Academy is absolutely committed to safeguarding children.
Should you ever have any concerns, regarding a child's safety or well-being, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Leader (DSL) or a Deputy DSL immediately - we are always here to listen and help out!
All of our safeguarding leaders can all be contacted via the school office or via e-mail:
DSL - firstname.lastname@example.org - this will get you through to me, the Headteacher and safeguarding leader.
DDSL - email@example.com - this will get you through to Mrs Powell who is a deputy safeguarding leader.
Our Safeguarding Team (2019-20)
DSL - Mr T Mills-Bishop (Head Teacher)
Deputy DSLs - Miss Wilson, Mrs Geaves, Mrs Powell and Mr Sal
All organisations that work with, or come into contact with, children have safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation, has a right to equal protection from harm.
Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk.
This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.
How do we keep children safe at Waterside...
At Waterside Academy we have a very robust culture of safeguarding - we take the well being and safety of all our pupils very seriously. Our work within safeguarding underpins everything we do. I am very proud to lead a team of five fully trained safeguarding leaders.
We are all qualified to hold the position of Designated Safeguarding Leader. I act as the leader of this group and the other members, listed above, serve as my deputies. We meet every second week (or more frequently if needed) to formally review all children in the school who require additional support or for whom there are/has been a concern as well as identify ways in which we can offer further support to ensure each and every child is kept safe both here at Waterside and whilst they are not within our care.
Our safeguarding leaders all receive regular 'top-up' training. We attend the official Herts refresher training each year as well as other, more frequent, training on specific national safeguarding challenges or trends such as 'County Lines' and 'FGM'.
Now, having introduced my 'child protection' team of leaders, I would also like to take this opportunity to say that safeguarding children is still everyone's job. Each and every adult who comes into contact with children has a duty to protect them and to bring concerns to the safeguarding team. This is something my entire staff team take on with absolute pride.
At Waterside, we use an online record keeping system to keep chronological records of all concerns. This on-line record keeping system is fully secure. It is a system that requires a dual-login system using both protected passwords and a secondary electronic 'key-fob'.
Our staff can quickly and easily alert the safeguarding team, via this system, should they need to raise a concern. There are also 'back-up' paper systems in place should technology not be in place or available at the point of need. Anything 'paper-based' is then securely locked away, in one secure location, and only ratified personnel can gain access. No paper-based records are ever taken off-site and if any information is removed for any reason, the DSL is always informed and the information returned as soon as is possible.
In terms of the wider staff team: Safeguarding is discussed, appropriately, at every single meeting the staff and I ever have. This includes morning briefing, weekly PDMs, middle-leadership team meetings, inset training and everything in-between.
We set aside time to regularly train and then re-train and then re-train and then re-train and then re-train and re-train (you get it), our staff, on how to safeguard all children - how to spot potential abuse and/or neglect, how to record concerns and ensure these are acted upon and how to offer and/or get pupils appropriate help and support when required.
Whenever we recruit a new member of staff we always ask them, at interview, challenging questions regarding safeguarding practices - we only want the best and most appropriate professionals working for us. On every interview panel there is at least one member of the DSL team present and at least one person (usually far more) who has done their safer recruitment training.
All staff and all volunteers are fully DBS (police) checked and we hold two full references (stating they are a fit and proper person to be working alongside children) on file. All staff and visitors sign in and out of the school building each day.
This one is fundamental... All our staff know who our safeguarding leaders are! Please do ask them! All of our staff know how to help children and what processes we follow.
The school site is secure and health/safety assessments are regularly made (often with the watchful eye of the governing body) with improvements to security continuously sought.
Our safeguarding processes have been externally verified and checked by a neutral third party.
No stone is ever left un-turned here - if you do ever have any feedback for us then our door is always open and my ear is always listening.
Covid-19 Risk Assessment
Whilst we are all really pleased to now be able to fully re-open to all pupils, in all year groups, everyone must play their part to help keep our community safe.
Please see attached our risk assessment for how we are working to stop the potential spread of Covid-19.
Child Protection Policy
Reducing the need for physical intervention
Anyone can make a referral to children's services should they be concerned about the welfare of a child. Children's Services in Hertfordshire can be contacted on 03001234043
NSPCC and Childline - website for under 12s...
Childline has launched a website aimed at children under the age of 12. This provides age appropriate content on topics including: bullying, family, friends, feelings, school, abuse and staying safe. It also includes games and therapeutic tools for young visitors to play and express how they are feeling. It will be promoted through the NSPCC's Speak out Stay safe programme.
View the website here: Childline website for under 12s
Read more on NSPCC Learning: Speak out Stay safe
Waterside Academy is a 'Rights Respecting' School
The Rights Respecting Schools Award puts children’s rights at the heart of schools in the UK.
Unicef works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. Our Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values in daily school life and gives children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.
Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as our guide, we are working with more UK schools than almost any other organisation. Over 1.6 million children in the UK go to a Rights Respecting School and nearly 5,000 schools up and down the country are working through the Award. Schools work with us on a journey to become fully Rights Respecting.
The Award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.
Further Reading (NSPCC)
NSPCC click here...
Designated Teacher for Children Looked After or Previously Looked After
Each school is required to have a nominated Designated Teacher - ours is Mr Mills-Bishop - The Headteacher
This is a statutory requirement whether or not a school has a Looked After Child currently on their roll.
This is to ensure that whenever one of the pupils becomes looked after, or if a new child in care is admitted to the school, there is a teacher who is already trained to carry out this important role.
Details of the role of the Designated Teacher are set out in Promoting the Education of Looked After Children (February 2018) and the Role and Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for looked after children (2018).
The member of staff who is appointed as the Designated Teacher must be:
• A qualified teacher
• A headteacher or,
• Acting headteacher
The Governing Body is required to:
• Ensure that the designated teacher undertakes appropriate training (section 20(2) of the 2008 Act).
• As a minimum governors must consider an Annual Report from the Designated Teacher.
• The governing body and school leadership team should consider the report and act on any issues it raises so as to support the Designated Teacher and maximise the impact of the role.
The Designated Teacher should:
• Promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for how looked after children learn
• Make sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets
• Be a source of advice for staff about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual children and in making full use of Assessment for Learning
• Make sure that looked after children are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home
• Have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) within the school.
Home School Agreement
Please click here...
Our school is part of Operation Encompass.
This is a police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people who experience Domestic Abuse.
Operation Encompass means that the police will share information about Domestic Abuse incidents with our school PRIOR to the start of the next school day when they have been called to a domestic incident.
Once a Key Adult (DSL) has attended at an Operation Encompass briefing they will cascade the principles of Operation Encompass to all DDSL’s.
The Operation Encompass information is stored in line with all other confidential safeguarding and child protection information.
The Key Adult has also led training for all school staff and Governors about Operation Encompass, the prevalence of Domestic Abuse and the impact of this abuse on children.
We have also discussed how we can support our children following the Operation Encompass notification.
The Safeguarding Governor will report on Operation Encompass in the termly report to Governors.
All information is anonymised for these reports.
The Key Adult has used the Operation Encompass Toolkit to ensure that all appropriate actions have been taken by the school.
Please see www.operationencompass.org for more information.
OUR KEY ADULT IS: Mr T Mills-Bishop (Headteacher and DSL)
One last reminder...
Waterside Academy is committed to safeguarding children.
Should you have any concerns or questions regarding safeguarding,
please do come and speak with us without delay.
Alternatively, feel free to e-mail me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is particularly useful during the school holidays, weekends and on other occasions when the school itself is closed. Even during those times, we are available to help.