Safeguarding at Winterbourne Earls CE Primary School
Safeguarding, promoting and protecting the welfare and wellbeing of our pupils is our prime concern at Winterbourne Earls CE Primary School. We aim to act to enable all our of children to have the very best life chances and ensure they grow up experiencing safe and effective care. We value the happy and supportive relationships we create in school and actively promote good mental health and wellbeing. Our effective and child-centred pastoral support is a strength and our spiritual and emotional support, which we also rate highly, has been further enhanced with the provision of a new school chaplain from September 2022.
We do our utmost in the support of each individual child to ensure that school is a safe place full of trusted adults where everyone can develop as individuals and fulfil their potential. The curriculum that we are in the process of designing is a values-based one, full of enquiry questions to promote personal development, creative thinking and encouraging an understanding of the love of God. We have already seen an impact in the children's confidence in voicing their own opinions and challenging others as a result of initial evaluations.
With a child-centred approach that we are proud of, we regularly listen to our children's views through our School Council, Faith Committee and 'Head's Hot Chocolate Monday' and aim to act on suggestions made in order to further improve every aspect of our care. When asked what each child was most proud of recently, a Year 5 child responded ,' Teachers looking after children and older ones looking after little ones'.
How we can further build positive relationships through warm, caring attitudes combined with restorative practice has also been a focus for this academic year. In January 2022 we launched our new Relationships Charter, recognising that we hold the highest expectations of behaviour amid an inclusive ethos linked to our vision that 'As each one does their part, we grow in love.' We celebrate those who regularly go 'above and beyond'. We aim to further build on our Winterbourne Earls Team holistic approach to every child through our charter:
Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be Kind
Our Relationships and Sex Education curriculum is also in the process of being reviewed alongside Online Safety, which we need to always keep abreast of in this ever-changing technology-driven world.
We are proud of the fact that children leave us in Year 6 as confident, well-rounded individuals who have experienced the very best foundations we can offer. Feeling safe, being confident to speak out and building trust are core elements of our safeguarding ethos.
Safeguarding encompasses issues such as keeping children safe, including online, that incorporates pupil health and safety; school behaviour management and preventing child on child abuse; supporting children with medical conditions; Relationships and Sex Education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) education and providing First Aid and site security. Please see some of the relevant policies below.
We are extremely fortunate to have the outstanding support of Mrs Ali McEwan, our Senior Mental Health Lead and Pastoral and Wellbeing Manager, who champions every aspect of wellbeing. With a degree in Youth Mental Health, she is an expert in her field, working alongside children, advising and supporting staff and coordinating our Bourne Forces work. Her understanding and expertise is much appreciated by parents and carers. She has a 'drop-in' club for children who may wish to chat and also listens to children referred by staff. Mrs Sarah Morgan-Tranter has now completed her Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training to support our wellbeing programme. Pastoral and wellbeing support is mainly offered in our specially built 'Treehouse.' As both members of staff work part-time, please contact them via Mrs Hyde in the office.
We seek to safeguard, protect and recognise the vulnerability of our Special Educational Needs (SEN) children. Hence, Mrs Kate Woodfine, our SENDCo is also fully involved in our safeguarding team meetings, supporting staff and parents to ensure the very best outcomes for these children. She works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning as Reception Class teacher, and Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning as SENDCo.
Mrs Georg Knights is our chaplain who works alongside us on Tuesdays. She leads wellbeing/social skills courses, sees any children in need and is available at break and lunchtimes to support both staff and children. She can be seen by parents at Pop-In After School Club at St Michael's Church and can be contacted via the office.
Mrs Harriet Upton, one of our new parent governors, has recently taken over the role as Safeguarding Governor (April 2023) and is in the process of accessing training and familiarising herself with school policy and procedure. Mr Adrian Burrows, our Chair of Governors, is fully trained in this role and either can be contacted, if needed. You can contact both Governors through the Clerk to the Governors via the school office.
Should you have any queries or wish to raise concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, Mr Tom Ackland (the Deputy Head) and Mrs Vanessa Kerley, an experienced teaching assistant in KS1 who also co-leads Winterbourne Fox Cubs, our onsite out-of-school provision or Mrs Sarah Hyde (our Admin Officer), who has recently completed DDSL training, recognising the importance of her role as the first port of call with our parents.
Our email@example.com email address is monitored out-of-hours and throughout the holidays, so, if you need to report a concern or would benefit from any form of help, advice or assistance, please contact the leadership team via this address.
Please refer to the wealth of information below on many aspects of safeguarding including advice for parents, which we try to update regularly.
Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Wiltshire Safeguarding Vulnerable People Partnership (WSVPP)
In order to follow correct procedures for reporting concerns, we refer to the guidance from the following address: https://wiltshiresvpp.org.uk
Promoting Mental Health
Do you have any concerns about your child or children's mental health?
If you have any questions, do drop in and ask for one of the Senior Leadership Team.
Mrs McEwan heads up our Mental Health and wellbeing support, Mrs Morgan-Tranter has now completed her ELSA training and has regular support planned in for our Bourne Forces Children. Georg Knights, our Chaplain is always keen to help encourage good spiritual and emotional wellbeing. It may be helpful for Mrs Woodfine, our SENDCo, to offer support if you or your child has a specific additional need.
Online Safety can also be called E-Safety, Internet Safety or sometimes Web Safety
This can be interpreted as 'the safe and responsible use of technology which can connect to the internet.' This includes many means of communicating such as mobile phones, smart watches, tablets, computers/laptops/notebooks and other forms of electronic media, for example gaming platforms and smart devices. (e.g. TVs) .Online safety can include electronic security ( e.g. firewalls/age restrictions on devices, or gaming platforms) but it is also about developing a wider knowledge, attitude and behaviour toward the digital world that we live in today. Not every device that we will encounter has the same electronic 'online safety net' and it is vital that we develop an secure understanding of how to work and play safely online, out in the wider community beyond the safety of school and home.
Online Safety in this context can be classified into four areas of risk;
1. Content- exposure to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material.
2. Conduct- personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes harm.
3. Contact- being subjected to harmful interaction with other users.
4. Commerce-risks such as gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams.
Our approach to online safety at Winterbourne Earls Primary School is to embed the learning across the curriculum whilst building greater awareness about the safe, respectful use of the Internet. We are developing a whole school programme of 'Education for a Connected World' which includes regular online safety 'bitesize' lessons through UK Council for Internet Safety's 'Project Evolve'.
We aim to create a whole school culture of empowerment where children are actively encouraged to stand up for what they believe and speak out about content that they find uncomfortable. More vulnerable children are given support with understanding the concepts during these lessons and help to grasp why they might be at greater risk. Good safe practice is encouraged at all times, with the language of consent discussed, specifically with regard to keeping safe online. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their online learning at home through close partnership with parents.
We recently organised a Safeguarding For Parents evening focusing on the online pressures of Social Media, presenting our own responses through Mental Health and Wellbeing support and Online Safety procedures at school and those recommended for home. We invited two Designated Safeguarding Leads from Wyvern-St-Edmund's School (our local secondary school) who gave us insight into the challenges presented once the children leave us. We were also pleased to hear from one of our parents who is a senior Safeguarding Lead through Social Services. Parents who attended commented that it was incredibly informative and helpful.
The Online Safety presentation by Mr Ackland is below:
Relationships and Sex Education
Children form bonds with others at all stages of their development. Forming healthy, positive relationships helps children and young people feel safe and supported as they grow up. However, being in an unhealthy relationship negatively affects a young person’s wellbeing. They might feel anxious and nervous or not free to make their own decisions. They might have low self-esteem and depression, experience headaches or have other ongoing physical health symptoms (Women's Aid, 2015).
It's important for every adult working at Winterbourne Earls School alongside our children is able to recognise if something is wrong in a young person’s relationship and take appropriate action to keep them safe. We provide staff training accessed through NSPCC ensuring we teach children about sex and sexual behaviour from Reception age. We recognise that it’s often a healthy and normal part of a child’s development, but concerning behaviour can also start to emerge. As part of our safeguarding procedures, we can then respond early and can help prevent children from harming themselves and others.
We are currently reviewing RSE to ensure the curriculum offer upholds our child protection and safeguarding principles.
Preventing Radicalisation at Winterbourne Earls
What is PREVENT?
All schools and registered childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It applies to a wide range of public-facing bodies who must have regard to the statutory guidance. Paragraphs 57-76 of the guidance are concerned specifically with schools and childcare providers.
The Prevent duty: what it means for schools and childcare providers
In order for schools and childcare providers to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part of our wider safeguarding duties at Winterbourne Earls, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.
The teaching staff aim to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values alongside our own core values and Relationships Charter to enable them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. On the contrary, schools should provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. The Home Office has developed a core training product for this purpose – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP). All staff who have regular face to face contact with our pupils have taken part in this training.
NSPCC Radicalisation helpline 0808 800 5000
Use of Digital / Video Images
The use of digital / video images plays an important part in learning activities. Pupils and members of staff may use digital cameras or i-Pads to record evidence of activities in lessons and out of school. These images may then be used in presentations in subsequent lessons.
Images may also be used to celebrate success through their publication in newsletters, on the school website and occasionally in the public media.
The school will comply with the Data Protection Act and request parents'/carers' permission before taking images of members of the school. We will also ensure that when images are published that the young people cannot be identified by the use of their names.
In accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, parents/carers are welcome to take videos and digital images only of their own children at school events for their own personal use. This ensures respect of everyone’s privacy and in some cases protection. Please refer to the Mobile Phone Policy for further guidance and explanation.
Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Guidance from Keeping Children Safe in Education (Part 5) states the following: “It is important that schools and colleges consider sexual harassment in broad terms. Sexual harassment creates a culture that, if not challenged, can normalise inappropriate behaviours and provide an environment that may lead to sexual violence”.
At Winterbourne Earls, our response is to carefully consider how we can teach our children in an age-appropriate way so that they are empowered to speak up. We want our children to understand the language associated with consent, fully preparing them for the next stage of their education. Our approach is child-centred; we consider resilience, good mental health and an understanding of self worth all key attributes to build and consider this element of their personal education paramount. We want Winterbourne Earls children to be confident in who they are and what they believe, guided always by our Christian values and our respectful attitude towards positive relationships. We also understand the role of technology in this area of safeguarding.
Through our comprehensive safeguarding record keeping we classify inappropriate touching, upskirting, kissing, derogatory language and unwanted conduct which intimidates all as examples at a primary level of sexual harassment and will use this language when we report back to parents. We believe that addressing these behaviours at an early age and helping children understand about consent will help create a culture where the children will recognise what they are/are not comfortable with.
UK Feminista report 'It's Just Everywhere- a Study on sexism in schools and how to tackle it' recommends: 'Sexism in schools is endemic - but it is not inevitable. Consistent and ongoing action is required from schools, Government and education bodies to tackle it.'
Ofsted's Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges 2021 reports that, 'Adults, including parents, need to be better informed about sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online, between peers.'
At Winterbourne Earls we are committed to creating a child-centred whole school culture where sexual violence and sexual harassment is not tolerated where we can identify issues and intervene early to protect the children in our care.