Safeguarding & Child
We take safeguarding very seriously. The Academy has clear policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of young people.
All adults who regularly work on our site are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to prevent unsuitable people from working with pupils. All visitors are closely supervised when on site.
We ensure staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep children safe through provision of regular training on child protection issues. A qualified Designated Safeguarding Lead (Child Protection Officer) within the Academy provides support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and liaises closely with other services such as children’s social care. We also have a designated lead Governor for safeguarding/child protection on the Governing Body.
Our staff are trained to be vigilant for all kinds of safeguarding concerns, including bullying, online safety, emotional or other abuse or extremist behaviour. We have clear procedures in place where any potential safeguarding concerns are identified. We share information with other public bodies – within agreed protocols.
As part of the Academy’s safeguarding measures, we also ensure our pupils are not exposed to inappropriate political or controversial messages. Through our pursuit to develop exemplary citizens, we promote fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. In line with this, we ensure all expressed views and actions contrary to these values are challenged. We are alert to the indicators of radicalisation and take steps to protect those who may be susceptible to messages of violence. All concerns are reported and, where necessary, referred to external agencies.
Online Safety – Advice for Parents
Whilst our Academy has comprehensive safeguarding arrangements in place to ensure our pupils’ online safety, it is equally as important for parents to talk to their children about online safety and monitor their internet usage at home, using age-appropriate parental controls to restrict their access to unsavoury material. Parental controls can be activated on home broadband, search engines, YouTube, mobile phones and games consoles.
Whilst it may not always be easy to talk to your child about challenging issues such as sexting, cyber bullying, and pornography, if you are open and honest with them about the dangers they may encounter online, it may encourage them to confide in you in the future. If you are concerned that your child is being secretive or spending too much time online, it may be worth moving their computer into a communal family area so that you can keep an eye on them.
You should encourage your child to act responsibility online, and treat others as they would wish to be treated. You should also warn your child that they should never hide behind an anonymous user name to make unkind comments, or say something they would be reluctant to repeat during face-to-face interactions. Remind your child that the comments they make and the pictures and videos they post online may end up having a wider audience than they anticipated – and even if they delete them, there’s no guarantee that someone hasn’t already saved, downloaded or taken a screen shot of their post.
Children under the age of 13 should not be using social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr – this is stipulated in the sites’ terms and conditions – but it easy for them to set up an account by claiming to be older than they actually are. If your child does have a Facebook or other social media account, it is important to encourage them to use enhanced privacy settings, so that only their friends are able to search for them and see what they are posting. Warn your child that they must never accept friend requests from strangers or people they don’t know very well. You should also encourage your child to accept you, or a trusted friend/relative, as their “friend” or “follower,” as this will enable you to monitor – at least to some extent – their online posts, conversations, and the friends they are choosing to accept.
Parents should also be aware that content filters may not always work if a child is using public Wi-Fi, so it is important to ensure their access to unprotected Wi-Fi is limited.
If your child has been targeted online, the website Internet Matters offers detailed advice about who to report the incident to. Links to other websites that you may find useful are included below:
- DfE Advice for Parents on Cyberbullying
- Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities
- Get Safe Online
- The UK Safer Internet Centre
- The Use of Social Media for Online Radicalisation (Home Office, 2015)
- NSPCC Online Safety
- StaySafe Online
- Staying Safe on Facebook
- ChildLine Online Safety
- YouTube Safety Mode
- Google Safe Search
- CEOP Safety Centre