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:
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
Mrs Lucy Hartman Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead for Early Years
Mrs Melissa Fennell Safeguarding contact for Breakfast and After school club
Mrs Sally Reckless Safeguarding Governor
The school’s Safeguarding Policy can be found on our School Policies & Procedures page.
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 guidelines (linked below) 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 (linked below) provides excellent information to help parents and school staff to protect children.
Safety for All
There are many different helplines and websites which are there to support adults as well as children out of hours:
Samaritans – tel: 116 123
Talk to Frank – Drugs advice
Young Minds – Well Being and Mental Health advice
Childline – tel: 0800 1111
NSPCC – tel: 0808 800 5000
Please see our Online safety page for information on being safe on the internet.