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
Click on the images above to view tips
It is pretty much impossible to keep on top of all the apps and websites which children are accessing, so below are some tips on ways to keep your child safe when they are online. Some of the most important messages about keeping safe online, which apply to all websites, games and apps, that can be shared with children are:
Make informed choices:
It is vital that parents and carers fully understand the capabilities of the technology within their homes. It’s important to make informed decisions about new games, smart toys and devices, before giving them to children as a gift.
Do your research; ask the shop about pre-installed apps or tools, and check whether the device or game has an online component which allows them to connect with others online.
Always check the PEGI age rating and descriptors on games before buying them for your child and carefully consider whether the content is appropriate for them. CEOP has some helpful advice about making decisions regarding what is ‘appropriate’ for your child:
Familiarise yourself with the privacy, safety and security tools on new devices; ensure you can teach your child how to make their accounts private and how to block and report other people online.
Use the parent guides and shopper’s checklists from UK Safer Internet Centre and Internet Matters to help you ask the right questions and make informed choices when buying new technology:
Talk to your children:
Take an active interest in your child’s online life and engage in the digital world with them.
Let your children teach you about their online world and how they use technology; playing new games and exploring websites together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour and can also be lots of fun!
Make sure your children know that you are safe and approachable; remind them that they can tell you if something happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable, without being told off or punished.
You can find more advice about talking to you child about online safety from CEOP: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/having-a-conversation-with-your-child/
Filters and Parental Controls:
Children can accidently or deliberately be exposed to unwanted or unpleasant content online, but there are some simple things you can do at home to help minimise this risk.
Make sure you install anti-virus software, filters and parental controls on your child’s device before giving it to them.
Ensure that you are role-modelling good behaviour by using strong passwords yourself; make them difficult to guess and don’t share them with your children.
Remember that blocks and filters are not 100% effective and you can’t rely on them alone to protect your children, so remind them to tell you if they see something upsetting online.
The interactive guide to parental controls available from Internet Matters will have helpful information to help you set up devices: www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/
Much like the ‘real world’, parents should set boundaries for children online; this provides them with a clear understanding of the limits, expectations and consequences of their behaviour.
Agree as a family, how the internet and technology will be used in your home; encourage children to use the online safety messages they learn in school and adapt these into your own family rules.
Discuss online boundaries; for example, if your child loves to chat or share content on the internet, talk to them about what is and isn’t appropriate to share online.
Remember to role-model positive behaviour online; consider asking your child’s permission before posting photos of them on social media this Christmas and empower them to have control over their ‘digital reputation’. Also, why not make sure you spend time together as a family and set aside some tech-free time over the Christmas break.
Take a look at the family agreement template available from Childnet International for some ideas: www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/have-a-conversation
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 within the Contact section of our website. The button is also available on the children's desk tops at school.
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.
Anti-bullying: Click below for useful links and videos:
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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 J Sendall, Mrs R Miller, Mrs F Gibson, Mrs R Hill, Mrs A Takacs, 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 J Sendall
Fire Marshals: Mrs A Hall, Mrs T Percival, 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 J Sendall
Designated Teacher for Children who are Looked After: Mrs S Silk
Safer Recruitment Qualified Staff: Mr J Sendall
Safer Recruitment Governor: Mrs C Davis, Mrs S Pratt, Fr G Flynn
Health & Safety Governor: Mr F Leigh
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.
Mrs Miller 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 Sendall 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:
Mr F Leigh 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 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.