SAFEGUARDING INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The children at St. Thomas More’s know the Underwear Rule!
Our school works with NSPCC to help protect our children. The Underwear rule is a simple child-friendly way of staying safe!
For more information click on the links below:
In addition to the Underwear Rule and our work with the NSPCC, we also promote Childline as a point of contact for children to turn to should they need to.
What to do if you have a child protection concern
If you have any concerns about a child’s well-being, anyone can contact Child Services. They will be able to advise you and if the situation requires it, they are then in a position to take control of the situation.
Children's Services: 0300 555 1384 (8.30am – 5:00pm)
At all other times you should contact the out-of-hours Service: 0300 555 1373
If you believe a child to be in immediate danger, you should dial 999
If you think a child or young person under the age of 18 has been or is being abused by a person in a position of trust, contact the County Council's Allegations Officer, Click here for details or phone 01962 876364
If you are unsure of what to do, you can always contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead at school, Mr Sendall, who will be able to advise you.
What is child abuse?
Child abuse falls into four categories: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Click here for further details of what defines abuse
Anti-bullying: Click below for useful links and videos:
In school we educate children on how to keep themselves safe online. If they have any worries, they can immediately contact a member of staff by clicking on the Help button on the top right hand side of our Homepage. The button is also available on the children's desk tops.
In a world where technology seems to advance at an ever-increasing rate, and where children often appear to know more about technology than adults do, on-line safety can be very concerning for parents. Therefore, our school holds meetings for parents and friends of the school to enable them to gain a clear understanding of how to keep children safe on-line. We work together with agencies such as CEOP (Child Exploitation & On-line Protection), Children’s Services and the Police to provide support to parents as well as to educate pupils. For our next e-safety meeting, please look at the school diary or contact the school office.
Prior to attending one of these meetings, if you would like some advice on how to keep you child safe on-line please click on the links below.
CEOP: Think You Know – Smart phone safety etc (quite a lot for parents of teenagers too!)
Common Sense Media – A bit of a different site. Often it is difficult to know what films, games, apps and books are suitable for our children, so as well as using the certification guides, this site informs parents as to the content of films and games so that you can make an informed decision about what you let your child watch, read or play.
Visit our Policies page to view our Online safety policy and go to our School rules page to see our Online safety rules which the children follow.
Thinking of leaving your child at home?
With busy lives, work commitments and running errands, in some circumstances it may seem useful or indeed necessary to leave your child alone for a certain period of time. However, it is important that different factors are considered before this is done. There can be legal implications for leaving a child on their own, yet there is no black and white law which states what can and can’t be done. Therefore, the links below may help you in making that decision.
The Law on leaving a child on their own – Government guidance
OTHER USEFUL SITES: (All names are hyperlinked)
Barnardo’s: Tel: 0208 550 8822 e-mail:email@example.com
PACE (Parents against child exploitation) Tel: 0113 240 3040 e-mail:
One In Four (Advocacy service, counselling service and information service for those who have experiences sexual abuse) Tel: 020 8697 2112 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAFEGUARDING IN SCHOOL
Roles & Responsibilities
Designated Person for Child Protection (Designated Safeguarding Lead): Mr J Sendall
(Click here to find out more about the role and responsibilities of the DSL)
First Aid inc. Paediatric : Mrs B McCann, Mr C Flanagan, Mr J Sendall, Mrs R Miller, Mrs F Gibson, Mrs R Hill, Miss A Ridd,
Mrs H Gaylard, Mrs L Jackson, Miss J Cox, Mrs I Wingham, Mr S Harrison, Mrs S Bicheno
All Pre-School Staff are Paediatric First Aid Trained
Chief Fire Marshal: Mr C Flanagan
Fire Marshals: Mr J Sendall, Mrs A Hall, Mrs T Percival, Mrs C Mulreany, Mrs H Tyler, Mrs L Gauntlett, Mrs F Gibson
Mrs M Fowles, Mrs D Benn, Miss N Eastman, Mrs A Bradshaw, Mrs L Jackson, Mrs H Gaylard
Risk Assessor: Mr C Flanagan
Designated Teacher for Children who are Looked After: Miss A Ridd
Safer Recruitment Qualified Staff: Mr C Flanagan, Mr J Sendall
Safer Recruitment Governor: Mr D Redding
Health & Safety Governor: Mrs S Pratt
Safeguarding Governor: Mrs S Pratt
Safeguarding and Child Protection in School:
At St Thomas More’s we understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All members of staff, including Office staff, Lunchtime Supervisors, Tommy’s Childcare and Pre-School staff receive annual safeguarding training. This covers all areas in the DFE document, Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016- including the Prevent Strategy, FGM and Child Sexual Exploitation.
Mr Sendall is our Designated Safeguarding Lead and attends regular training to keep up to date with all issues relating to child protection and safeguarding. The School has tight procedures that record issues that relate to child protection. We work with an array of agencies including Children’s Services, the School Nurse and the Police. Additional updates and training are given to staff as needed throughout the year.
Mr Flanagan acts as the Designated Person in Mr Sendall’s absence.
The named Safeguarding Governor is Mrs S Pratt.
Training for Pupils:
The school has an annual training programme for pupils in order to help them stay safe and what to do if they don’t feel safe. This programme covers areas such as internet safety, stranger awareness, fire and drug safety, road safety and safety outside school.
All members on the school staff have to have a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service ) in order to work in school. This is regardless of the employee’s role so that cleaners, admin staff as well as teachers must all be checked. In addition, all volunteers, and anybody else who has regular contact with children, are checked, and all staff and volunteers have signed a Childcare Disqualification Form.
Visitors to the school either provide their own DBS on arrival or are members of professional bodies who are registered by their employer, such as OFSTED inspectors or Local Authority Employees who have a DBS through their own professional body. Any one-off visitor, such as a visiting author, provides their own DBS and/or is not left unsupervised in the presence of children. Parents who volunteer, even occasionally, on school trips or provide lifts for sporting events are all DBS checked.
All areas of the school undergo biannual risk assessments by the school’s qualified risk assessor. This means that whist we cannot remove risk we have looked at ways of minimising that risk. These risk assessments are undertaken on areas such as classrooms, corridors, the hall, playgrounds and the car park. We carry out risk assessments for all school trips and internal school events such as Fireworks displays, the School camp, and events link to topics such as ‘London’s Burning’.
Risk assessments are undertaken after poor weather conditions before the school is re-opened.
Playground equipment is annually inspected by Wicksteed and our PE equipment is annually inspected by Universal Services.
Access to the external doors of the school, other than the external door to the main reception, are only able to be opened from the inside or through key codes. All external gates have coded locks.
All fire exits are push-release exits.
Evacuation and Lock-down procedures are in place and are frequently practiced.
Mr Flanagan is the School’s Chief Fire Officer and Mr Harrison carry out regular checks such as weekly fire alarm testing and emergency lighting checks. Regular fire drills are carried out and the results are recorded in the School’s Fire Manual. There are many additional Fire Marshals so that we are able to respond swiftly and efficiently should an emergency occur. Staff are trained in the use of fire extinguishers.
We have an Online Safety Team, consisting of the DSL, the Computing Lead and a group of pupils known as our Digital Leaders. The adults are responsible for everything to do with keeping safe online, and the Digital Leaders help to promote online safety.
The school has an Internet Safety Policy to help children stay safe online. This is supported by a training programme for children, information sessions for parents and regular updates via our communications. The school system is “fire wall” protected so that inappropriate material can not be accessed by pupils or staff.
We have 18 qualified paediatric first aiders and two First Aid at work trained staff. The First Aid station is in the Medical Room opposite the school office.
Health & Safety:
Mrs Pratt is the Governing Body representative for health & safety in the school. Mr Ray West is our outside consultant.
The school has an Equality policy that monitors any possible discrimination in the school in relation to any of the nine protected characteristics (Equality Act 2010). The Governing Body is reported to annually on the effectiveness of the policy. The School also makes annual returns on any racist incidents.
The School has an annual cycle of review and we are always looking for ways of improving our safeguarding procedures. If you have any comments or suggestions then please contact Mr Flanagan or Mr Sendall.
The Prevent Duty:
PREVENT (also referred to as the Government’s Channel programme) is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation.
The aim of ‘Prevent’ is to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists and to do this by challenging ideologies, protecting vulnerable individuals and supporting schools. It is part of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST.
Click here to read the full document describing the Prevent Duty
Educate Against Hate is a website which gives practical advice and information on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation. It might seem like something which will never happen, but it is important that we are all vigilant to the signs of extremism and radicalisation, whilst ensuring that our children grow up understanding that extremist views are not what the majority of people think.
"Buddhist terrorist. Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong. Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam. All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline - all religious traditions.” -Dalai Lama
The school conducts an annual pupils’ survey with questions that directly relate to how safe pupils feel.