Safeguarding and Child Protection
Lead Safeguarding Director for Bedford Catholic Schools: Ilona Bond
Staying safe during COVID19
There is never an excuse for domestic violence or abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.
If you are feeling unsafe isolating in a house with a violent or abusive person, please seek help.
Whilst domestic violence and abuse often occurs between adults, Child on Parent violence and abuse is also a serious issue and may be:
- Physical – pushing, hitting, punching, throwing things, damaging property or harming pets.
- Verbal – shouting and yelling, arguing, challenging, being critical and unkind, name-calling and swearing.
- Psychological – you may feel afraid, intimidated or threatened.
- Financial – stealing money or belongings, demanding goods that you cannot afford or destroying property in the home.
Please remember that help and support is available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.
You are not alone and you have the right to feel safe.
(If you are worried you might commit domestic abuse, please also seek support from the services listed on this flyer.)
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER CALL 999 AND ASK FOR THE POLICE
If you are in danger and can’t speak on the phone, call 999, and then press 55.
This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will help without you having to speak.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline:
0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid Live Chat:
Men’s Advice Line:
0808 801 0327
Opoka (for Polish women experiencing domestic violence)
0300 365 1700
Karma Nirvana (supporting victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage)
Or call the school on 01234 352062, and ask to speak to a member of the Safeguarding Team
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:
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 the Domestic Abuse Notification Scheme (D.A.N.S) which works to safeguard children who may witness domestic abuse.
All staff have also been trained in the Prevent Duty.