West Oaks SEN Specialist School and College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety of all pupils and expects all staff, governors and volunteers to share this commitment. We strive to ensure that consistent and effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support families, pupils and staff at school.
Safeguarding legislation and government guidance says that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is defined as the following aspects:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children and young people’s health or development
- Ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
How is this carried out in practice?
At West Oaks SEN Specialist School and College we believe that our ethos and values are the essential starting points for the school’s approach to safeguarding and child protection. Throughout our practice we strive to be:
- Establishing a safe environment in which children and young people can learn and develop
- Ensuring we practice safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children and young people with the skills needed to keep them safe in our modern society.
- Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse
- Supporting pupils who have been identified as in need of early help or at risk of harm in accordance with his/her agreed Child Protection, Child in Need or Early Help plan; and contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved with providing services for children and young people
Safeguarding includes, health and safety, site security, safety on school trips, health care plans, anti-bullying work and so much more.
Policy and Procedure
We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our policy for Safeguarding and Child Protection ( which can be viewed in the Policies section of our website. These policies apply to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school.
The school adheres to the following three DFE safeguarding documents:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- The Prevent Duty 2015
We recognise that because of the day to day contact with pupils, school staff are well placed to identify concerns early and to observe the outward signs of abuse. The school will therefore:
- establish and maintain an environment where pupils feel safe, secure, valued and respected and are encouraged to talk, believing they will be listened to.
- ensure pupils know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried
- include opportunities in the curriculum, specifically through Relationships and Sex Education, Personal, Social, Health Education and IT, for pupils to develop their understanding, awareness and resilience and develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe and know who they should turn to for help.
All our staff receive training and regular updates on safeguarding (see below for more detail on staff safeguarding training) under the leadership and guidance of our safeguarding team who meet regularly to ensure current practice, case studies and issues within our school are all considered and dealt with appropriately. Any safeguarding issues are reported immediately to the safeguarding team using the secure online My Concern recording system, and are dealt with promptly.
Key Safeguarding Team Members
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Anna Stevens (Safeguarding and Welfare Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Keeley Murray (Head of School – Woodhouse Learning)
Child Protection Designated Officers
Katie Hurley (Family Support Manager – both sites)
Jemima Lutter (Family Support Worker – both sites)
Laura Green (Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator – Woodhouse Learning)
Abigail Armstrong (Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator – Woodhouse Learning)
Bryony Bolland-Wai (Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator – Boston Spa Learning)
Kathryn Nelson (Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator – Boston Spa Learning)
Our safeguarding team meets monthly to ensure we are all aware of current practice, case studies and issues within our school. The team is made up of key staff from across the school to ensure we have continuity and clear communication. The team also receives supervision on a monthly basis.
Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child or young person’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. We make no apologies for being extremely vigilant and may cause offence, but the safety and well-being of our pupils is our number one priority.
Staff Safeguarding Training
Staff induction will include:
- Sharing of the schools vision, aspirations and expectation of all staff as well as to what is considered acceptable and what is not.
- All new staff will also receive information about systems within the school which support safeguarding, including log on information for CPOMS. This includes the child protection/safeguarding policy, Code of Conduct for Staff, the Behaviour Policy the role of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and the name of the designated governor.
All staff will:
- Receive an electronic copy of, read and sign to say that they have read and understood Keeping Children Safe in Education: for school and college staff (part 1 and Annexe A) (2019)
- Receive safeguarding training which is regularly updated so they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep children and young people safe.
- Be aware of the Early Help process and understand their role in it.
- Know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected and how to share this information appropriately.
- Be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse and be clear about the school policy on peer on peer abuse
- Receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates via ‘The Golden Thread’ our weekly safeguarding newsletter.
The school has a suite of Safeguarding documents which are reviewed regularly. These are:
- Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
- Visitors’ Safeguarding Procedures
- Information for Visitors pamphlet (including Safeguarding)
- Health & Safety and Security Policy
- Fire and Evacuation Policy
- Lockdown Policy
- ICT: Staff and Visitors Acceptable Use Policy
- Attendance Policy
- Behaviour Policy
- Equality and Diversity Policy
- Whistle-blowing Policy
- Safer Recruitment Policy
- Extremism and Anti-Racism Policy
- Administration of Medication Policy
If any members of the school or local community have concerns about the welfare of a child or young person in the school, please pass them on to the School Safeguarding Team.