At Stokenchurch Primary School, the health, safety and well-being of every child is our paramount concern. We aim for our children to learn well and to enjoy their primary education with us. We recognise parents as the children’s first teachers and value the relationships we build with families and our local community. We will always seek to work in partnerships to secure the children’s success. We know that ‘It could happen here.’
Reporting Concerns / Making Referrals
In accordance with our responsibilities under section 175 and 157 of the Education Act 2002, and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023, we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection, Ms Linfield, who has received appropriate training for this role. Mr Stevens, Mrs McCammond and Mrs Warner are also part of the Safeguarding Team. Ms Linfield, Mr Stevens and Mrs McCammond are also part of the Senior Leadership Team, whilst Mrs Warner is EYFS Lead.
All staff undertake child protection awareness training at regular intervals and there is a strong safeguarding ethos that recognises ‘It could happen here’. The responsibility for safeguarding our children and wider school community is shared by all staff. We provide all our pupils with the tools to recognise concerns and the opportunity to speak out, through PSHE & Project Evolve lessons, NSPCC sessions and school assemblies.
There are occasions when a concern about a child may mean that we have to consult other agencies. Whilst we would always aim to work in partnership with parents, there may be exceptions to this where child protection is concerned.
On some occasions, Children’s Services, whilst undertaking an investigation under S47 of the Children Act 1989, may want to speak to a child without parents’ knowledge. This decision would be made by the police and social care, never by the school. However, we are required to work collaboratively with partner agencies and would therefore co-operate with the directions given. This would always only be done in situations in which a child has been deemed to be at immediate risk of harm. To gain consent at this point may increase the level of risk to the child or cause evidence of a crime to be lost.
A key aspect of safeguarding is the vetting of applicants and prospective volunteers working with children to ensure that they are suitable. A thorough process is followed to ensure that the adults working with our children are safe and appropriate. This includes checks with the Disclosure and Barring Services, as recommended by Buckinghamshire County Council in line with current legislation. We extend this to our PTA, so that we can further protect our children.
Visitors, such as supply workers, peripatetic teachers or contractors to school are expected to read our Safeguarding Leaflet. Parents are expected to sign a visitor code of conduct upon arrival at school-run events, such as Stay and Learn.
All children attending school regularly is a key factor within safeguarding. We expect the children to be in school every day when they are well. When a child is unable to attend, we expect parents to provide timely communication regarding the reason for their absence. We recognise that an important risk factor in abuse and neglect is poor school attendance and tackling this is a key aspect of managing children’s safety. We have policies and procedures in place to allow for rigorous investigation and response to low attendance and poor punctuality.
How to recognise danger, evaluate and manage risk and to keep safe is woven throughout our whole curriculum but our children are also specifically taught key safeguarding knowledge and skills within their PSHE and Project Evolve lessons, as well as through additional Circle Times and Assemblies.
We follow procedures exemplified by The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and the school has a Child Protection Policy (found on Statutory Information page), which is ratified by Governors annually. Our governor with responsibility for safeguarding is Dr Murton.
Ms C Linfield