Safeguarding at Highfield Littleport Academy
Highfield Littleport Academy is committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all our children in school. We believe that pupils have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse; where staff are vigilant for signs of any pupil in distress and are confident about applying the/our safeguarding processes to avert and alleviate any such problems.
Safeguarding is about ensuring that everyone is safe from harm – safe from bullying, safe from people who could abuse, safe from discrimination or harassment – and that we all feel safe in our environment. All staff are to read, understand and adhere to the contents of the document 'Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023' which can be viewed by clicking the title of the document.
If you are ever concerned about the safety or well‐being of someone at our school please talk to one of the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs).
This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This means that we have a Child Protection Policy and procedures in place. Guidance of what to do if you feel a child is being abused can be found in the following document link:
Parents and carers are welcome to read the policy on request. Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils 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. If a member of staff is concerned about a child’s welfare, they will record their concern, and any observations or conversation heard, and report to one of the DSLs as soon as possible the same day.
If a member of staff has concerns which relate to the actions or behaviour of another member of staff (which could suggest that s/he is unsuitable to work with children) then this will be reported to one of the DSLs in confidence, who will refer the matter to the Executive Headteacher (or the Chair of Governors if the concern relates to the Head of School) who will consider what action to take. This may be progressed through reporting to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) are:
Nominated Lead Member of Staff: Yvonne Skillern
Nominated Deputy Lead Members of Staff: Lyn Houghton, Tilly Newbury, Barbara Rajya (Simon Bainbridge our Executive Head is also a designated person who is able for consultation if none of the named staff are available).
Designated Teacher for Children in Care (and previously in care): Yvonne Skillern
To access our most recent local Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and the Active Learning Trust wide policy, please follow the links:
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
‘Prevent’ at Highfield School
Highfield School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. We recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from other safeguarding.
At Highfeld Littleport, all staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Please see the policies page for more information.
The Prevent statement links to the following policies:
Aims and principles
The main aims of this statement are to ensure that staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; that they overcome professional disbelief that such issues will not happen here and ensure that we work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm.
The principle objectives are that:
- All staff, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are and why we need to be vigilant in school.
- All staff teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on anti-radicalisation and extremism and will follow the policy when issues arise.
- All parents and pupils will know that the school has policies in place to keep pupils safe from harm and that the school regularly reviews its systems to ensure they are appropriate and effective.
Definitions and indicators
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
Procedures for referral
Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the appropriate channels (via Designated Safeguarding Officer).
The role of the curriculum
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to share their views and recognise that they are entitled to have their own different beliefs which should not be used to influence others.
Our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), RSE (Relationships and Sex Education), Citizenship and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of the school. This linked in with our Preparing for Adulthood strategy ensures that all of our learners are well equipped to manage their next steps in education, life and work.
It is recognised that children with low aspirations are more vulnerable to radicalisation and therefore we strive to equip our pupils with confidence, self-belief, respect and tolerance as well as setting high standards and expectations for themselves.
Children are regularly taught about how to stay safe when using the Internet and are encouraged to recognise that people are not always who they say they are online. They are taught to seek adult help if they are upset or concerned about anything they read or see on the Internet.
Through INSET opportunities in school, we will ensure that our staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation; are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on.
Please click this link to access our Prevent Strategy.
We have also conducted a risk assessment which can be viewed here.
Our nominated lead for Prevent is our Head of School, Yvonne Skillern.
Under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), *the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (as amended) to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Parents/carers should know that records of safeguarding concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies.
Local procedures state that “Consent should always be sought from an adult with parental responsibility for the child/young person before passing information about them to Children’s Social Care, unless seeking consent would place the child at risk of significant harm or may lead to the loss of evidence for example destroying evidence of a crime or influencing a child about a disclosure made.” This includes allowing them to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, if it cannot be reasonably expected that a professional gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern.
Schools will contact Children’s Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.