Safeguarding and Child Protection
Lead Safeguarding Director for Bedford Catholic Schools: Ms. Mary O’Sullivan
The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. We believe that:
- All children/young people have equal right to be protected from harm;
- Children/young people need to be safe and to feel safe in school;
- Children/young people need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse;
- All children/young people have the right to speak freely and voice their values and beliefs;
- All children/young people must be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other;
- All children/young people have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, and social needs as well as their educational needs – a happy healthy sociable child/young person will achieve better educationally;
- Schools can and do contribute to the prevention of abuse, victimisation, bullying, exploitation, extreme behaviours, discriminatory views and risk taking behaviours; and
- All staff and visitors have an important role to play in safeguarding children and protecting them from abuse.
There are five main elements to our policies and practices:
- Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in line with national legislation by using at least one suitably trained recruiter on all interview panels and by checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and ensuring any unsuitable behaviour is reported and managed using the Allegations Management procedures
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe
- Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan
- Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The school therefore is committed to:
- Establishing and maintaining an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to
- Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried
- Include opportunities across the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
All of our staff are fully trained in safeguarding and child protection at St Joseph's & St Gregory's. This training is based on the Trust policy (see below) as well as two national documents which can be accessed here:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (last updated 2016)
- Working together to Safeguard Children (last updated Feb 2017)
The key elements of this training involve:
- The role of all staff in safeguarding our children
- How to spot signs of abuse
- What to do if a child makes a disclosure
- Referral processes
- The role of the designated safeguarding lead
- External agencies who can be contacted out of hours.
Designated safeguarding leads meet weekly in order to ensure that actions are ongoing and are proactive.
The school also has strong links with social care as well as the “Relay” Scheme which works to safeguard children who may witness domestic abuse.
All staff have also been trained in the Prevent Duty.