The academy takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously. We understand that it is our duty to keep children safe whilst they are in our care. Our recruitment processes are rigorous and conform to current recommended guidance to do our utmost to ensure that only those suitable to work with children are employed. The lead for safeguarding within the academy (and the first point of contact for a safeguarding issue) is Ms Laura Humble, acting vice-principal. The senior designated person for the academy is the principal. Our governor with oversight of safeguarding is Ms Natalie Allan.
There is a code of conduct in place which sets out detailed policies and procedures for staff to follow – these have been put in place to keep everybody safe. Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy (available to download from the policies page of this website) also ensures that if a child makes a disclosure about an event outside the academy, there are appropriate procedures in place to ensure that action is taken to support the child.
Pupils who feel bullied are encouraged to any member of staff. Pupils are taught to ‘stop, talk and walk’ and not to retaliate if they feel bullied which is the advice of 'McGruff the Crime Dog'.They are reminded about this with a poster that is displayed in each classroom. All reports of bullying are recorded, dealt with and then monitored to ensure that they do not recur. We also explain to scholars who have used specific inappropriate language/actions (for example the word 'gay' in an offensive manner) that use of these types of words and actions are not acceptable and introduce them to the concept of different types of bullying. In most instances ‘bullying’ is a fall-out between friends and the situation is quickly rectified, in fact the term 'bullying' only truly refers to behaviour that is repeated over time rather than a 'one-off' incident. McGruff the Crime Dog has a very useful website with lots of additional advice and resources about bullying. There is also an excellent video on the site which is shown to pupils at the start of each term. You might also find the information on this link helpful.
We teach our pupils all about the NSPCC 'underwear rule' which is an age-appropriate way of teaching children that no-one has the right to touch certain parts of their body. Posters explaining the rule are also displayed throughout the academy. Pupils are taught to remember 'PANTS' which reminds them that 'Privates are private; Always remember your body belongs to you; No means no; Talk about secrets that upset you and; Speak up, someone can help.
There are some very useful resources on the NSPCC underwear rule webpage. These include a video for parents, downloadable leaflets in a variety of languages and advice on specialist situations such as discussing personal safety with children who have a learning disability.
We would request that all parents take some time to read the NSPCC advice and talk with their children about this sensitive but important subject.
At the academy, we teach the children the SMART rules of Internet safety. Safe, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable and Tell. Posters are displayed throughout the academy about the SMART rules and pupils are also shown There are some very useful resources on the Kidsmart website. These include helpful videos, downloadable leaflets and posters and a wealth of advice for parents and children on how to keep themselves safe online. Please note that, although we have a Facebook website page, we specifically tell our pupils not to 'like' or post any comments to it as this makes them potentially identifiable to online predators (officially the minimum age to have a Facebook account is 13!).