Safeguarding and E-Safety

Safeguarding and Child Protection

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We are fully committed to ensuring that consistent, effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support families, children and staff at school. As part of this we ask all parents/cares to enter school through our main reception and to sign in and out.
We follow the procedures set out by:
Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016 
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) 

School Safeguarding Team

Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. We do however have a safeguarding team who focus on safeguarding. Their role involves:

  • Ensuring that staff recruitment and selection procedures ensure all staff (including volunteers) are properly checked for suitability through DBS.
  • Raising awareness of child protection issues to all and equipping all children and staff with the skills needed to keep them safe.
  • Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting causes of concern sometimes including sharing information with outside agencies.
  • Supporting children on child protection plans
  • Establishing a safe and nurturing environment with no discrimination or bullying where children reach their full potential.

If you want to know more about any of our procedures or have any concerns, please speak to one of the following:

Mrs Breda Bowles Principal & Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Helen Skertchly Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Miss Lucy Coleman Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead for Early Years
Mrs Nickie Rogan Safeguarding Governor

Policies

The school’s Safeguarding Policy can be found here – 

 

Cause for Concerns

Our first priority is of course your child’s welfare and school is required to take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of its pupils. However, there may be occasions when we have reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse. We will ensure that our concerns about a child are discussed with his/her parents/carers first, unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare. In this case school is obliged to follow the Child Protection procedures established by the Oxfordshire Area Safeguarding Team and inform the appropriate authorities.

Safeguarding is the responsibility of all of us. If you ever have a concern about the safety or well-being of a child out of hours you can call the MASH on 0345 050 7666. MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) works to enable the sharing of information so that risks to children can be identified at an early age. It is a link between services such as schools, GPs, police and social care.

If we aren’t sure about a child but have worries we contact our Local Community Support Service (LCSS) with a ‘no names’ consultation which means we don’t give the child’s name. We are able to talk to a social worker who then advises us on what to do next and if a MASH referral is needed they advise us of this.

Prevent Duty & Educate Against Hate

Under the Prevent Duty schools are required to help prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. We are all too aware, through the media, of how extremism and radicalisation can affect children. Messages of hate can take many different forms and extremists use these to recruit young people. The Educate against hate website provides excellent information to help parents and school staff to protect children.

See

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Safety for All

There are many different helplines and websites which are there to support adults as well as children out of hours:

 

Internet Safety

The everyday use of technology is continuously growing. It is a vital tool for communication, entertainment and education for children and adults alike. Our school children are using the internet more and more for research and recreation. At St Thomas More we want to ensure our children are educated to be safe on the internet and to support families with this too. At school, we use filters which are regularly updated to help protect use. See our Online Safety Policy for further information.

We follow the SMART rules to help keep us safe:

  • Safe: Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
  • Meet: Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
  • Accepting: Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, images or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages!
  • Reliable: Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information by looking at other websites, in books, or with someone who knows. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat to your real world friends and family.
  • Tell: Tell a parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone, or something, makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

Internet Acceptable Use Agreements

All our children and staff sign Acceptable Use agreements which help focus on important safety rules to follow.
Click below for links:

ThinkUKnow have provided some excellent top tips for staying safe whilst online.

 

Internet Safety Website Links

 

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is the name that is used when people on the internet send nasty and upsetting things over the internet. It can also be done by people using mobile phones, by sending messages and making nasty phone calls.

  • If someone is being nasty to you in this way is don’t respond and don’t reply. You should tell a trusted adult straight away if someone is upsetting you, or if you have been getting upsetting messages.
  • Save all nasty messages and emails. You don’t have to read them, but save them in a folder so you can show an adult if you need to.
  • Tell a trusted adult. If you tell someone about what’s been happening, they will be able to help and maybe stop it.

If you feel you can’t talk to someone just yet, call Childline in confidence on 0800 1111.

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