At Westleigh we recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and protect all members of our school community, and strive to ensure that effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support our children, families, and staff and that they are used consistently. The school will always seek to work in partnership with parents and relevant agencies to ensure the best possible outcome for the child and family. Any action taken by the safeguarding team is done with reference to statutory guidance and will always be in the best interests of the child.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our students is everyone’s responsibility. Every member of staff is expected to contribute to providing an environment in which all students are safe, secure, free from harm and respected.
At Westleigh we safeguard our students by:
- making sure all staff are provided with appropriate continued professional development, are able to recognise signs of physical/emotional harm and neglect, and know how to respond to concerns;
- creating a safe environment through robust and effective safeguarding practices;
- teaching them how to stay safe in school, out of school, and on-line;
- maintaining an environment where they feel confident to approach members of staff if they have a concern;
- ensuring we adhere to safer recruitment procedures as set out in KCSIE 2021.
Meet The Team
Safeguarding Our Students
If you have a serious concern about your child or any other student at The Westleigh School please contact the Safeguarding Team IMMEDIATELY by either telephoning school on 01942 202580 or sending an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you could contact the NSPCC.
Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2021
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) training is completed with all staff annually as part of the new academic year INSET day programme. School staff receive a comprehensive overview of the document, delivered by Mrs G Ashton (DSL) and Mrs D Morris (Deputy DSL), in addition to physical copies of KCSIE 2021 for the compulsory reading of Part 1 and Appendix A. Additional Child Protection and Safeguarding training is conducted at regular intervals throughout the school year to establish the strong culture of safeguarding that we have at The Westleigh School.
(Please see the copy of KCSIE 2021).
What is Operation Encompass?
Operation Encompass is an initiative that follows in the footsteps of a successful programme in Plymouth to safeguard and support children and young people following a domestic abuse incident. It directly connects the Police (GMP) with a Key Adult (Mrs Ashton) in the child’s school to ensure an efficient, confidential channel of communication. The school will then be better able to support the child.
The psychological impact of living with domestic abuse is no smaller than the impact of being physically abused. Children often develop anxiety, depression, aggression and even post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of living with domestic abuse. Approximately two thirds of child witnesses show more emotional or behavioural problems than the average child. Although by no means inevitable, exposure to domestic abuse is one of the most powerful predictors of becoming a perpetrator and a victim as an adult.
Being aware of the trauma a child has experienced enables professionals to better understand and support the child. Operation Encompass aims to ensure that appropriate school staff are made aware early enough to support children and young people in a way that means they feel safe and included.
How does it work?
Following a domestic abuse incident, children will often arrive in school distressed, upset, worried and unprepared. Operation Encompass aims to ensure school staff ( Mrs Ashton, Mrs Morris and Mrs Cain) are made aware early enough to take appropriate action and so help and support children in a way that means they feel safe.
For further information please use this link.
If you are worried about domestic abuse there are a number of organisations out there who want to help.
Concerned about a Child
Today’s children and young people are growing up in a digital world. As they grow older, it is crucial that they learn to balance the benefits offered by technology with a critical awareness of their own and other’s online behaviour, and develop effective strategies for staying safe and making a positive contribution online.
The Westleigh School is committed to ensuring that our students are safe online. Online safety is a priority for our school and forms an integral part of the school’s Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy.
The online world develops and changes at great speed, with new opportunities, challenges and risks appearing all the time. This can make it difficult for schools to stay up to date with the latest developments and technologies. However, we will strive to ensure our staff have an awareness of recent developments through regular E safety updates and training.
Embedded within our online safety provision are the following key priorities for our students:
- Enabling them to evaluate what they see online
- Enabling them to recognise techniques used for persuasion
- Supporting them to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable online behaviour
- Supporting them to appreciate that they create an ‘online reputation’ and digital footprint
- Enabling them to identify online risks
- Enabling them to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy online relationships
- Supporting them in knowing how and when to seek support, including reporting to CEOP
Radicalisation & extremism
Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2021) states that protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse.
All staff have completed face-to-face and on-line training in radicalisation and extremism. Furthermore, safeguarding leads have completed enhanced training in this area.
The website “educate against hate” has been developed by the Department for Education and the Home Office as part of the drive against extremism. The anti-radicalisation website provides “practical advice to protect children from the dangers of extremism”, with information from the government and groups such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
It includes information on:
- warning signs of danger
- how parents/carers should talk to children about extremism
- steps concerned parents/carers can take