Updated - 16.9.23
Safeguarding & Child Protection
Why is safeguarding & child protection important?
All children have a right to protection against abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence and many organisations have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. A successful approach requires multi-agency collaboration and a recognition of child well being at the heart of what we do.
What is the difference between child protection and safeguarding?
Safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of children, is a broader term than child protection. It encompasses protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children's health or development, and ensures children grow up in safe circumstances. Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
Child Protection & Safeguarding
Child Protection and Safeguarding are a priority to everyone at Wheatley Hill Community Primary. If it is felt that any child is at risk in anyway the Designated Senior Leads will take the necessary action. In the reception area of WHPS there is a notice board which shares photographs of the members of staff who are DSLs. If you have any worries or concerns that a child is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed, or if you receive a disclosure then please contact, Mr Alan Scarr (Headteacher), Miss Hodgkinson (Deputy Headteacher) or any other adult within the school who will report your concern and direct you to a DSL. All DSLs have up to date training and it is their duty to take necessary action depending upon the information shared with them.
At Wheatley Hill our first priority is always the child and their welfare is paramount to us. On rare occasions when a child is at risk it may be necessary to consult with other agencies prior to contacting parents. All members of staff have had Level 1 Safeguarding training. staff are required to read and sign for all necessary policies related to safeguarding. All staff have read and signed for the latest document related to child protection - Keeping Children Safe - September 2022 .
Please feel reassured that confidentiality at all times is imperative . Any information shared will be treated sensitively and with confidentiality.
To help children manage their own behaviour, we need to establish clear boundaries related to acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
It is essential that all staff members and parents work together to operate this strategy in a highly consistent manner so that children are enabled to develop positive behaviour at all times.
At Wheatley Hill Primary, we have very high expectations of pupil behaviour and have created our Behaviour Policy to reflect this. All of our systems and procedures are developed to enable pupils to:
Be a good listener
Try their best
Share with others
Ensuring positive behaviour within the classroom is the responsibility of each teacher. It is vital that consistent boundaries are established and reinforced from the first moment a child enters a classroom.
A calm, respectful atmosphere in a classroom is conducive to effective learning. Teachers and members of the support staff should model positive behaviour at all times by the way they speak and behave to each other and to the children.
A proactive approach to ‘nipping in the bud’ any low level disruption, at the earliest opportunity, is a key element discovered in all effective classroom environments.
It is also vital that the focus is upon those children who display positive behaviour rather than on negative behaviour.
At the beginning of each term, each class will agree to a Class Charter, that the children believe will help them learn most effectively. This will then allow the children, within each class, to take ownership and responsibility for creating a positive working atmosphere.
It is also vital that these sanctions are followed very consistently as this will also help to reinforce the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. In order to facilitate this we use a school - Ready to Learn approach.
If a child began to show a recurring pattern of unacceptable behaviour then the pupil will be referred to the school Assistant Headteacher & Department Leader and parents will be informed.
All of us at Wheatley Hill Primary are committed to actively promoting the fundamental British Values within our school.
At Wheatley Hill Primary, we want to support our children to not only achieve their full academic potential but also embed skills that will enable them to be good citizens and make valuable contributions to the society in which they live.
We have a strong whole school approach and integral to our school vision, aims and values is the use of a ‘common language’ that promotes mutual respect, tolerance, diversity, communication and responsibility. We have a rich Moral, Spiritual and Cultural curriculum that offers a wide range of opportunities for children to learn about similarities and differences.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the Prevent Duty. These values, such as democracy, following the rules of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
Below are just some examples of how we promote British Values in different subject areas.
English: Throughout our English curriculum, we incorporate themes covering tolerance, mutual respect and democracy. Poetry, songs and languages from other cultures are used to explore the meaning of concepts such as liberty, democracy and tolerance.
PSHE: Pupils learn to understand their personal rights and freedoms, and are taught about how to exercise these safely. Pupils have the opportunity to learn about different models of democracy and regularly take part in votes, pupil voice questionnaires and pupil councils. Topics such as anti-homophobia, equal rights, and e-safety are revisited each year.
Religious education (RE): Our lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Children have the opportunity to visit places of worship that are important to different to faiths. At Wheatley Hill, we actively promote diversity through celebrations of different faiths and cultures.
History and geography: Pupils analyse events in UK and world history where British values have been tested such as both World Wars. In geography, pupils look at how different cultures live and work throughout the world.
For further information please refer to our PREVENT information, British Values Policy, Our Vision, Values and Aims.
Anti - Bullying
All schools have a duty of care for pupils and staff alike and, to this end, Wheatley Hill Primary School strives to create a safe and happy environment, believing that all bullying is unacceptable, whether at home, at school, at work, in the local community or when social networking. We feel that school should provide a safe, caring and happy place for children to learn and for adults to work. If this is achieved, the school will be able to develop teaching and learning, whilst fostering an attitude of responsible behavior at all times to promote safety, both on the premises and out of school hours.
Anti - Bullying Policy
This policy’s primary objective is to ensure that members of the school community are clear about their roles and responsibilities, and how to manage a bullying incident if it occurs. However, bullying is not confined to school and this policy aims to make children aware of what action they can take both now and in their adult life, whether victims of bullying, or as bystanders. Our aims are to:
Produce a safe and secure environment where all can learn without anxiety.
Produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur.
Make all those connected with the school aware of school opposition to bullying.
Make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the school’s position towards bullying.
The Role of Parents
Parents who are concerned that their child might be being bullied, or who suspect that their child may be the perpetrator of bullying:
Should contact their child’s class teacher immediately in order that difficulties in relationships in school can be sorted out in school rather than parents intervening themselves.
Actions should be agreed at this meeting and parents will be given feedback as to the outcome.
Should also make further contact if the difficulty does not appear to have been addressed or the behaviour is being repeated.
Parents have a responsibility to support the school’s anti-bullying policy actively encouraging their child to be a positive member of the school. Parents and Carers, will be encouraged to work in partnership with the school in order that high standards of behaviour are maintained both in and out of school, and that pupils respect both similarities and differences themselves and other members of the school and the wider community. Pupils will be expected to take responsibility for their own behavior and will be made fully aware of the school’s anti-bullying policy, the procedures arising from cases of bullying and the rationale behind them. All pupils have a collective responsibility to ensure that they are considerate towards one another and respectful of each other’s differences.
All children are encouraged to report all forms of bullying, whether carried out by another child or adult. The hope is that by reporting the problem in the first instance, this will become the first step in empowering the victim to overcome the bullying through the defined stages that will then be put into action. Whenever a pupil experiences bullying, it should be reported, whether by the victim, friends of the victim, bystanders or via parents, who would contact the school. Information can be reported to any member of staff. All staff should first immediately secure the safety of the child before following school procedures. When a problem occurs outside of school and immediate advice or support is require, Childline, for example, would provide an alternative, particularly if a child did not feel comfortable talking to a family parent or carer. The school would hope that all pupils would feel able to discuss the matter with a member of staff upon their return to school.
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff or governors, or external sources - school community, external agencies or individuals. Our pupils see our school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our teachers encourage and facilitate this – we have a duty to ensure this happens.
As a school we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in this policy. We also recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views we are failing to protect our pupils. Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of young people.
Education is a powerful weapon against this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way. Therefore we will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that our pupils are enriched, they understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised. Furthermore at Wheatley Hill, we are aware that young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which emanate from a variety of sources and media, including via the internet, and at times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Behaviour Policy for pupils and the Code of Conduct for staff.
As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities school staff will be alert to:
Disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups.
Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images.
Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites.
Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance.
Partner schools, local authority services, and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings.
Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives.
Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence.
Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture.
Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others.
Anti-Western or Anti-British views
Our school will closely follow any locally agreed procedure as set out by the Local Authority and/or Durham County Safeguarding Children Board’s agreed processes and criteria for safeguarding individuals vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.
At Wheatley Hill Primary School, we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and ability to participate fully in school life.
We tackle discrimination through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all.
At Wheatley Hill Primary School, we believe that diversity is a strength which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit us.
Equality in Teaching and learning
We provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. We do this by:
Ensuring equality of access for all pupils and preparing them for life in a diverse society.
Using materials that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community without stereotyping.
Promoting attitudes and values that challenge any discriminatory behaviour or prejudice.
Providing opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures.
Seeking to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education.
Utilising teaching approaches appropriate for the whole school population which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils.
Equality in Admissions and Exclusions
Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent and do not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, religion, belief, disability and/or socio-economic background.
Equal Opportunities for Staff
All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. We are keen to ensure that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.
The school has a full and separate Equalities Policy. Please consult this for further details if you wish.
Health & Safety
At Wheatley Hill, we take the health and safety of all pupils, staff members and our whole school community very seriously. As a school, we have worked very hard to ensure all systems, policies and procedures for H & S are effective and followed rigorously. Detailed below are some of the measures undertaken by school to ensure health and safety is a priority for all.
Local Authority Health and Safety Inspections
Health and Safety discussions with Governors
Health and Safety Monthly Inspections with Health and Safety Co-ordinator and Site Manage
Whole school fire bell testing weekly
Clear Fire Evacuation Procedures & Fire Evacuation Plans for those who may need them.
Clear signing in procedures, staff identification badges and fobs
Fire Drills each half term
Ensure there is a consistent approach to planning trips and visits whereby risk assessments are completed and consideration is given to for example:- staff pupil ratios, children with Special Educational Needs, children with health needs, transport requirements. All trips and visits are checked by the Educational Visits Co-ordinator before the visit takes place.
Complete Risk Assessments for subjects and key areas e.g. Science, Design Technology, Outdoor playgrounds.
Purchase equipment and materials that are safe and suitable for their intended use.
Ensure the prompt and efficient maintenance of equipment in safe working order.
Report all accidents occurring on school premises to the Head teacher, Deputy Head teacher or H&S Co-ordinator.
To provide effective monitoring systems to ensure that safety standards are being complied with we regularly review our procedures to ensure that health and safety standards are being complied with.
We invest in high quality training to ensure staff have a full understanding of the need to keep themselves and others safe. Recent training has included Moving and Handling Training and Fire Awareness Training.
We have a consistent approach to security within school and work hard to maintain a secure environment.
At Wheatley Hill Primary School, we have taken steps to ensure the safety and welfare of our children, staff and visitors when on school premises. We have a consistent approach to security within school and work hard to maintain a secure environment. We ensure all visitors, parents, staff, children sign in and maintain an up to date Single Central Record.
We use the SIMS data system to maintain all pupil records which is on a secure drive within school. All records are retained by the school for six years.
Mental Health & Well Being
As a healthy school, we promote the health and well-being of all our pupils in school. We fully understand the role we have to help children to succeed and support them to be resilient and mentally healthy. We are aware that children can experience a range of events both happy and sad throughout their time at school. Staff at school are sensitive and skilled at working with children who may have experienced loss or separation, life changes such as moving house, a birth of a sibling and events of a traumatic nature.
'Almost 1 in 3 Childline counselling sessions related to mental health issues last year.' NSPCC
At Wheatley Hill Primary, we have a range of support that children and families can access. We aim to work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure we provide timely interventions to meet mental health needs.
If you have a concern please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Alternatively you might like to read the information pages about our Inclusion & Family Support Worker.