Safeguarding and Child Protection
Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment.
Attached is the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, the procedures of which are in accordance with government guidance, in particular the 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' document, that we follow as a school for any safeguarding issues.
If you have concerns regarding the safeguarding or welfare of any of our pupils, please contact Ms G Almond (Designated Safeguarding Lead), or Mr McGrath or Mrs Ward (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads).
Where it is believed that a child is suffering from, or is at risk of significant harm, we will follow the procedures set out in the document produced by Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board (2015) and follow the action chart in the appendices within the St John’s Catholic Primary School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
Online Safety information is in the Curriculum section of our website.
The Early Help Assessment is an intervention with a family to gather, explore and analyse with them information about all aspects of the child or young person (and their family's) life and then to identify areas where change will address support needs and positively impact on their lived experiences.
This is recorded on an Early Help Assessment form which includes the family's Early Help Plan. The Early Help Assessment is not a referral form for professionals to complete to access other services supporting children, young people and families. The Early Help Assessment should be completed by the professional supporting the family to identify the family's unmet needs and develop a plan of support with the family.
Your Family's Early Help Assessment is available to all practitioners and professionals working with children, young people, and their families across Lancashire. Working alongside families from a holistic, strength-based approach when areas of support are first identified will stop escalation towards crisis and the need for more intensive and specialist intervention.
Through the Early Help Assessment, Plan, and reviews via Team Around the Family meetings the wider partnership of services can provide families with the right support at the right time.
Pan Lancashire Operation Encompass
St John’s participates in Operation Encompass: https://www.operationencompass.org/
Following the report of an incident of domestic abuse, school will be advised that the child has been involved.
The purpose of Operation Encompass is to safeguard and support children and young people who have been involved in or witness to a domestic abuse, vulnerable child or missing incident.
Domestic abuse impacts on children in a number of ways. Children are at increased risk of physical injury during an incident, either by accident or because they attempt to intervene. Even when not directly injured, children are greatly distressed by witnessing the physical and emotional suffering of a parent.
Operation Encompass has been created to address such situations that create a safeguarding risk to young people. It is the implementation of key partnership working between the police and schools. The aim of sharing information with local schools is to allow ‘Key Adults’ the opportunity of engaging with the child and to provide access to support that allows them to remain in a safe, but secure, familiar environment.
The Key Adult at St John's is Ms G Almond.
Following the report of a domestic abuse, vulnerable child or missing incident, by 9am on the next school day, the school’s Key Adult will be informed of the child or young person’s involvement. This knowledge, given to educational establishments through Operation Encompass, allows the provision of immediate early intervention through silent or overt support, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
The purpose and procedures in Operation Encompass have been shared with all parents and governors, is detailed as part of the school’s Safeguarding Policy, and published on our school website.
What is the Prevent Strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in our school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity and tolerance
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy.
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils. We will carry out our Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of our community.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy. British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. Our School will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism