What is Safeguarding?
The NSPCC describes safeguarding as the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. This is always at the forefront of everything we do here at Gorse Hill School.
- Preventing harm to children’s health or development;
- Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment;
- Ensuring that children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care;
- Taking action to ensure that all children and young people have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
At Gorse Hill School, we promote a culture of safeguarding where the safeguarding of our children is everyone’s responsibility. All of our staff and volunteers have a duty of care to report concerns when they arise without hesitation or delay. Parents and carers will be informed of such concerns either by a phone call or a face-to-face meeting unless to do so would increase the risk to the child. A child’s voice is very important and therefore a safeguarding lead will speak and listen to any child who voices a concern to a member of staff.
A written record of any concern will be kept on our safeguarding software, CPOMS, and shared with other safeguarding professionals as and when necessary. CPOMS records will be transferred to the child's new school when they leave Gorse Hill School. Copies will then not be kept on site.
At Gorse Hill School, we have a strong culture of safeguarding. This is underpinned by our school’s CARE Values (Courage, Appreciation, Respect, Responsibility and Excellence) which encourage all members of our school community to take care of themselves, each other and the world we live in. We recognise the importance of educating our children to be safe, and so our curriculum is designed in a way where pupils are regularly exposed to content to help them to become risk aware and promote personal safety. This includes our pupils learning about online safety, positive and healthy relationships, healthy eating and anti-bullying.
Designated Safeguarding Leads
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is responsible for promoting a safe environment for children and young people. They are the first point of contact for all staff, visitors and volunteers to go to for advice if they are concerned about a child. The DSL has a higher level of safeguarding training and knowledge than the rest of the staff. The DSL can appoint deputies who should also be trained to the same level as the DSL. A Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead oversees and leads on safeguarding when the DSL is not present. The role of the DSL and DDSL is to promote a culture of safeguarding within the school, to train staff in safeguarding and child protection policy and procedure, offer support and advice to staff, make referrals to multi-agencies when required.
It is not the DSL’s responsibility to decide whether a child has subject to abuse or not. That is the responsibility of investigative statutory agencies such as children’s social work services or the police. However, keeping children safe is everybody’s responsibility, and all staff should know who to go to and how to report any concerns they may have about a child being harmed or at risk of being harmed.
Gorse Hill School Safeguarding Team
Mrs Candida Hutchinson, Principal, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs B Thompson Assistant Principal, SENCO, & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs R Ginger, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, & Inclusion Manager
Mrs L Francis, Assistant Principal, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
If you are ever concerned about the safety or wellbeing of any child, please speak directly to:
One of the named safeguarding leaders above, in the first instance Mrs Hutchinson, who is the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Further information about safeguarding at Gorse Hill School
The school has a safeguarding leaflet which all visitors read to ensure the safety of our children. We also have a lanyard system which is another measure to safeguard our pupils when we have visitors to our school site.
The Wider Context of Safeguarding at Gorse Hill School
All of our health and safety, medicine, first aid and intimate care policies can be found on our website: https://gorsehill.swindon.sch.uk/about/schools-information/policies-procedures
We have a dedicated team of First Aiders here at Gorse Hill School who receive paediatric first aid training regularly, first aid at work training and mental health training. We also work closely with our school nurse team to ensure all staff’s knowledge is up-to-date for any children in school they have to administer medication for.
Health and Safety:
A dedicated team of Estates staff works hard to keep our premises safe and secure. We undertake fire drills regularly and we also have an emergency plan. Alongside the fire drills, we also practice lockdown drills. Our Health and Safety team is also responsible for ensuring that all trips that the children attend are properly risk assessed.
We expect all staff and volunteers to share our commitment to safeguarding. All staff and volunteers are expected to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. We also carry out identity, professional qualification and disqualification by association checks before any person undertakes any role within our school. At least 1 member of interview panels are safer recruitment trained, if not two. All references received or written should be completed by the current or previous Headteacher.
All internet use by children is overseen by a member of staff. As a school, we also have an Online Safety Group, membership of which includes the Principal & DSL, DDSL, Chair of Governors and Computing Lead. We actively teach online safety and teachers use Project Evolve to ensure a broad and progressive online safety curriculum is taught. Through the South West Grid for Learning, we apply strong filters and safety systems on all our school computers and tablets.
How do we Keep Children Safe?
To keep up-to-date with local and national statutory guidance, training, serious case reviews and best practice, the White Horse Federation employs the services of an independent safeguarding consultant, as well as the training provided by Swindon Safeguarding Partnership. Our consultant supports the school through an annual, external review of the schools safeguarding and current practices, to ensure that the school is providing the best care it can for its pupils. They have also provided outstanding, bespoke training for the safeguarding leads such as peer on peer abuse, managing allegations and level 1 safeguarding training.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and therefore, all staff members receive annual update training from the safeguarding lead. This is updated through termly update training based on the contextual needs of the school and on the 4 areas of safeguarding.
- All members of staff receive Level 1 safeguarding training annually at the beginning of the year in September.
- Every member of staff is expected to read and understand Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education as well as Annex A.
- All members of staff are expected to undertake online Prevent Duty training.
- All members of staff are expected to read and follow Safer Working Practice guidance.
- All safeguarding leads have achieved Level 3 DSL training by an accredited partner.
- Termly updates and staff training have been mapped out and a focus for staff training for each term is identified on the school’s annual training map.
Domestic Violence and Encompass
Gorse Hill School is part of a project that runs jointly between schools and Wiltshire Police: ENCOMPASS. This is the way in which Wiltshire Police will send reports to schools, by the next school day, when a child or young person has been affected by a domestic incident.
ENCOMPASS will ensure that information will be shared in confidence, to the DSL, while ensuring that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been involved in, affected or exposed to a domestic abuse incident.
Domestic Abuse Quick links
Always call 999 in an emergency and/or 101 to log an incident.
Remember it's important to share information and report any domestic abuse incidents to the police.
Child Abuse Investigation Team
Any situation that puts children at risk of any kind of harm be it from sexual, physical, emotional, psychological abuse or neglect is a crime and should be reported. If someone tells you about a Domestic Violence and Abuse incident, there are several places you can signpost the victim to. These are as follows:
- National Domestic Violence Helpline - encourage the victim to call the Freephone 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247. Male victims can call 0808 801 0327.
- Swindon Women's Aid - they operates a free and confidential 24-hour helpline to anyone, male or female living in Swindon, who is or has experienced domestic abuse. Their 24-hour helpline for Swindon is: 01793 610610.
- Wiltshire Council Out of Hours Support Service - Wiltshire Council supply an out of hours contact number weekdays after 5pm and on weekends 01225 712880.
- Splitz - If you live in Wiltshire and need help, you can also call Splitz on 01225 775276 during the week 9am-5pm. The 24-hour helpline 01793 610610 can also be used by Wiltshire residents after weekday hours.
- The NSPCC - Children and young people can also call The NSPCC who have a FREE 24-hour helpline 0808 800 5000. They can also call Childline any time FREE on 0800 1111.
Web links and safeguarding posters for Parents and Carers.
Just like in real life, children need our help to stay safe online. Teach your child to be #ShareAware with @NSPCC.