Safeguarding at Sugar Hill Primary
Our Safeguarding Team
At Sugar Hill Primary School, keeping our children safe is our main priority and is the key shared responsibility of EVERYONE who comes into contact with our children.
All staff have a crucial role to play in shaping the lives of young people and are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources and protect pupils from discrimination and avoidable harm.
At Sugar Hill Primary School we value and recognise that children maximise their potential in an environment which is safe, secure and supportive of all their needs, including any needs they have for protection from abuse.
All visitors to Sugar Hill receive a Safeguarding Leaflet outlining how we endeavour to safeguard all pupils.
Office staff record on our signing in database that visitors are in receipt of this information. Safeguarding our children IS and MUST ALWAYS be a shared responsibility.
Visitors to our school who can work with children unaccompanied by Sugar Hill staff wear a Blue Visitor Lanyard. Visitors who need to be accompanied by Sugar Hill staff wear a Red Visitor Lanyard.
At Sugar Hill Primary School we will do all we can to ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains paramount.
- All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers working at our school have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated Safeguarding Leads
Our Safeguarding Policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff & Visitors- ensuring they are vetted, informed & trained.
- Children’s Behaviour- promoting safer & happier behaviours & lifestyles.
- Parents & Carers- promoting links & supporting families.
- Premises -keeping them safe, pleasant & fit for purpose.
- Curriculum -providing positive, life affirming learning experiences.
- Outside School- ensuring safer activities and environments outside school
Further information is detailed in our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
The Designated Staff for Safeguarding at Sugar Hill Primary School are as follows:
Mrs Paula O'Rourke Head Teacher
Mrs Kathryn Legge Deputy Head Teacher (Safeguarding Lead)
Mrs Jennifer McCormack Assistant Head Teacher
Mrs Sharon Rowntree Assistant Head Teacher
Mrs Belinda Atkinson-Jones Social Learning Mentor
Mrs Sarah Woodhead- Designated Governor for Safeguarding and Online Safety
Recruitment and Training
We follow strict procedures to ensure that everyone who works with our children is vetted, keeping our children as safe as possible. Ongoing checks and ‘whistle-blowing’ are in line with current policy. Further information is detailed in our Safer Recruitment Policy
- Staff are trained in Child Protection issues and they are aware of the procedures to follow. Whole School staff and governor training is led by Mrs Legge our Safeguarding Lead.
- Safeguarding Team attend Designated Safeguarding Training and also complete E Learning in Safeguarding.
- Mrs Legge, our Safeguarding Lead, attends Safeguarding Briefings and Training Events throughout the school year.
- Staff are encouraged to be vigilant in order to maintain the safety of all our children.
- All Staff & Volunteers are given a copy of our Staff Handbook, ‘Visitors and Volunteers Policy’ and are directed to the document ‘KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION SEPTEMBER 2023'. Staff sign to acknowledge they have received, read and understood this document. Staff are regularly updated with Safeguarding Messages and our Safeguarding Team meet weekly with our Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Legge, to discuss direct case management and coordinate support for children and families. Attendance at these meetings is recorded on a weekly basis throughout the school year.
- Visiting staff to our school also receive a Safeguarding Leaflet that demonstrates our commitment to sharing Safeguarding Procedures with them.
We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents in advance of a child being admitted to school, including:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies the child may have;
- the child’s special health requirements;
- information about who has legal contact with the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child.
Written parental permission is requested, at the time of the child’s admission to our Nursery and school, to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice or treatment in the future.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS & CARERS TO TELL US OF ANY CHANGES TO THESE DETAILS.
We take confidentiality very seriously. Any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Further information is detailed in our Data Protection Policy.
Links with External Agencies
Our first concern is the well-being of your child and there may be occasions when we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the Local Authority Child Protection procedures.
We are fortunate to be supported by a range of external agencies which can be called upon to support the work we do in school. These include School Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, One Point, Crisis Response, NSPCC, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs. Our school SENDCo Mrs Legge and our Social Learning Mentor Mrs Atkinson-Jones have strong links with other professionals and agencies and are both very experienced in sign-posting families for support from outside agencies.
Reporting Concerns and Complaints
We have in place a School Complaints Policy. This enables children, staff and carers to report anything they feel is of concern.
Concerns should be raised in the following order.
- To the Class Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Head Teacher. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Chairman of Governors. Then, if there is no resolution;
- To the Local Authority.
Contact details are available from the school office.
Further information is detailed in our Complaints Policy
Review of Policy and Practice
In order to ensure that best practice is maintained, our policies are reviewed at least annually to incorporate the latest statutory guidance.
Sugar Hill Primary School is committed to promoting the welfare of all children by working in partnership with parents and carers, the Local Authority (LA) and multi-agency partners in Early Help and Child Protection, in accordance with locally agreed Local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements and Procedures.
Our Safeguarding Policy applies to members of the school community in its widest sense. This includes children and young people, their parents/carers, school staff, governors, visitors, specialist staff and the local and wider community where they interface with the school. Within its framework, the policy outlines entitlements and responsibilities in securing the protection of children who attend our school.
Our policy is underpinned and shaped by legislation and guidance contained in a variety of documents including
- The Children Act 1989; Children Act 2004
- The Education Act 2002; Education and Inspections Act 2006
- Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018
- Local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Arrangements and Procedures
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – DfE 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges. September 2023
- Use of reasonable force. Advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies. DfE. July 2013
Use of reasonable force in schools - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Information Sharing Agreement: County Durham Safeguarding Adults Inter-Agency Partnership
- Procedures for locating missing pupils and the removal of pupils from roll. June 2017 See DfE document “Children Missing Education” Sept 2016 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550416/Children_Missing_Education_-_statutory_guidance.pdf
- Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales: HM Government 2021
Revised Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The Prevent Duty Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers
Department for Education June 2015
Protecting children from radicalisation: the prevent duty - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
To emphasise the caring ethos of Sugar Hill Primary School staff and governors are committed to the following principles:-
- The welfare and well-being of each child is of paramount importance.
- Our policy works on the premise that abuse takes place in all communities and that school staff are particularly well-placed to identify and refer concerns and also to act to prevent children and young people from being abused.
- We respect and value each child as an individual.
- We are a listening school, and encourage an environment where children feel free to talk, knowing that they will be listened to.
- The protection of children from abuse is a whole-school issue, and the responsibility therefore of the entire school community.
- Our policy should be accessible in terms of understanding and availability. Regular training will ensure all adults in school are aware of indicators of concern or abuse and the names of our Designated Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Staff that such information should be promptly passed on to.
- Our policy will be developed and kept up to date with information from our relevant partners in Early Help and Child Protection as well as national documentation issued by HM Government and The Department of Education.
- We will use the school curriculum to teach children how they can protect themselves from abuse, both as victims and as potential perpetrators.
Through the implementation of our Safeguarding Policy we aim to create and maintain a caring ethos where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued. We believe if children feel happy and enjoy school this will encourage good attendance and then create conditions in which they can do their best in every area of school life. Our school operates as a listening school where children are able to approach adults with concerns. These will be taken seriously and relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures followed without delay if there is a risk/likelihood of or actual significant harm.
All children have access to an appropriate curriculum, differentiated to meet their needs. This enables them to learn to develop the necessary skills to build self-esteem, respect others, defend those in need, and resolve conflict without resorting to violence. Children learn skills to question and challenge to enable them to make informed choices now and later in life. A protective factor for children is personal resilience including strong social and emotional skills. All work with children which boosts confidence and self-esteem is valuable to protect them from peer pressure and outside influences detrimental to their physical and mental well-being.
All children are encouraged to express and discuss their ideas, thoughts and feelings through a variety of activities and have access to a range of cultural opportunities which promote respect and empathy for others. As part of our Prevent Duty we are aware of the importance of building pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British Values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. Working within a multi-professional framework we can build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping children and young people understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. To this end we continue to further develop cultural opportunities to promote and enhance respect and empathy for others through our Global Curriculum.
Through our Jigsaw PSHE curriculum, Religious Education, Art, Music, Drama and Literacy children are encouraged to discuss and debate important issues. These subjects are used to teach children to recognise and manage risk, make safer choices and recognise when pressure from others threatens their personal safety and wellbeing. We work with pupils to ensure they can develop effective ways of resisting pressure, including knowing when, where and how to get help.
Working with parents and carers
Our school believes in effective communication with parents and carers. We welcome parent/carer views and concerns about the welfare of their children and use this feedback to regularly review our practices. Parental views are obtained in the following ways: surveys, questionnaires, parents’ evenings, school events, at the school gate etc.
We keep parents informed about important and topical issues, including Child Protection elements of Safeguarding, in the following ways: weekly newsletters, letters home, school website, and training/information sessions e.g. E-safety, Anti-bullying etc.
We aim to have good working relationships with parents and carers and to work in partnership with them through transparency and honesty. However, we do not forget that their child’s needs and welfare are our paramount concern, thus obtaining consent to take matters further is not always appropriate. This obligation is set out in our school Safeguarding Policy.
The following regarding parents/carers taking photographs at Inter-school competitions is important information. This advice has been given to all schools in Durham Local Authority.
Due to several safeguarding concerns that have been raised recently, the following text should be incorporated in any correspondence that is sent to parents informing them of their child’s participation in Inter-school competitions/school games;
Should you require further information about Safeguarding Policy and Practice at Sugar Hill Primary please do not hesitate in contacting Mrs O'Rourke or Mrs Legge.
RE: Operation Encompass
The safety and wellbeing of the children attending our school is our greatest priority. Our school is one of many in County Durham that will be taking part in a new project aimed at providing extra support to children and young people who are affected by or witness domestic abuse in their home lives.
Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a child or young person. They can often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries and distress afterwards, or be physically hurt themselves.
Operation Encompass, aims to support children affected in any way by domestic abuse. The project is a joint initiative involving Durham County Council, Durham Police and schools across the county.
A major part of the project is the training of school staff, known as a ‘key adults’ in each school to liaise with police and work with the young people affected. At Sugar Hill Primary, Mrs Legge has attended this training.
Since January 2017, following any serious domestic abuse incident being reported into Durham Police, specialist staff will identify which school that child attends, make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information. This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and they can subsequently provide support in a way that means the child feels safe and supported.
We believe our school’s involvement in this project demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.
In the meantime, if you would like to speak to someone about the project or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Legge who will be more than happy to answer your questions.
You can also find out more information at www.operationencompass.org/
Mrs K Legge Deputy Head Teacher (Safeguarding Lead)