The safety and welfare of the children at Vigo Village School is the prime concern of all who work with them. It is the head teacher’s responsibility to keep the children as safe as is possible. However, this is a shared responsibility, and all who are associated with the children, be they staff members, parents, visitors or governors, have an obligation to keep the children safe. In addition, the children themselves are responsible for their safety, as well as that of all children.
Safeguarding, incorporating Child Protection
Our school adheres to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' and ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and young People in Education Settings’.
Each member of staff receives formal training concerning safeguarding and child protection. They are trained to recognise signs of abuse and know how to respond if they have concerns about the welfare of any child in school. This training is renewed every three years and updated when necessary, including for new employees.
In addition to safeguarding and child protection training, all staff receive training on the following issues:
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Child Sexual Exploitation
The school currently has one Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) – Mr R Barber. Our Parent Liaison Officer, Mrs J Dawson, also works with the DSL when appropriate. Their training is updated every two years, and disseminated to all staff, as is all on-going safeguarding information. The DSL has an overview of all child protection cases, and shares these with the school governors, whilst maintaining the anonymity of all relevant individuals. Mrs J Pitchell is the governor responsible for Safeguarding and Child Protection. Her deputy is Mrs P Shelbrooke.
The school’s Safeguarding Policy incorporating Child Protection is updated annually or when changes in statutory policy dictate. It is ratified at governor level, and its contents are shared with the children as part of the curriculum delivery.
On appointment, the identity and suitability for work with children of new employees is verified. All staff are formally interviewed, their understanding of Child Protection is explored and two references are received prior to an offer of employment. Mr Barber and Mrs N Fry receive Safer Recruitment training every two years, and conform to the Safer Recruitment Policy. Mr Barber sits on all interview panels, and Mrs Fry administers the process from application to employment.
As part of their induction, all members of staff and volunteers are provided with the necessary information regarding safeguarding, including policies and, where necessary, children causing concern. Supply teachers are also provided with this information, so anyone working with our pupils is aware of the school’s safeguarding procedures.
Everyone who works with our pupils on a regular basis has been subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) verification. This means specific checks have been carried out to ensure their suitability to work with children. Staff have also confirmed that they do not live in the same household as another person who may be disqualified.
All employees abide by the Staff Code of Conduct. The school maintains a check of all relevant information via its Single Central Record, which is administered by Mrs Fry.
Keeping the Children Safe whilst in the Care of the School
Unless pre-agreed circumstances dictate, all children and parents enter and leave the school site via either the Reception, Infant or Junior gates at the start and the end of the day. At all other times, these gates are locked, and visitors enter via the car park gate. The head teacher and the premises manager strive to keep the borders of the school structurally sound and secure from incursion.
Every member of staff wears a photo identification name card. Visitors and volunteers also wear visitor badges or stickers to show they have followed the security checks at the reception. Everyone who visits the school during the day does so via the school office, where they are welcomed by a member of the office staff. Contractors must adhere to the school’s Code of Conduct (the blue card) whilst on the premises.
The school’s Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy and Race Equality Policy are ratified annually, and shared with all children. A shared responsibility is emphasised, and means of gaining support are discussed, as well as ways of reporting inappropriate conduct. All such behaviour is recorded by the DSL and shared, anonymously, at governor level. The impact of the actions on both the perpetrator and victim is monitored.
As part of the school’s annual pupil survey, the children are questioned on issues of personal safety.
All staff are trained in First Aid every two years. Mrs Dawson also holds the First Aid at Work certificate, whilst Mrs N Fry and Mrs G Grimwood have received training in Paediatric Care. In addition to Mrs Dawson, Mrs G Pearson and Mrs K Groves are trained First Aiders. In Year 6, the children receive basic First Aid training.
All activities that incorporate an element of risk are assessed, and this includes all off-site visits and extra-curricular activities. Risk assessments are carried out for all aspects of residential visits, and the accommodation is assessed for suitability prior to the visit. All rooms within the school building are also assessed for potential risk with any concerns being reported to the head teacher, Mr Barber, or to the school’s premises manager, Mrs P Wright.
Mrs Wright, Mr Barber and Mr M Germain, the governor responsible for Health and Safety, inspect the school grounds and buildings three times per year. Their findings are reported to the Full Governing Body, and defects actioned as part of the Premises Action Plan. The school is also responsible for ensuring that asbestos is effectively managed, that electricity does not represent a risk to children or adults, and that water is free from legionella, all of which are detailed in the school’s Health and Safety Policy.
The school has a sound procedure for evacuating the building in response to, for example, fire as per the school’s Evacuation Procedure. This procedure is practised by children and adults at least three times a year. Staff are trained in Fire Safety, including the use of fire extinguishers, and two employees – Mrs Wright and Mr Barber – are fire safety wardens. The school also follows a Lock Down Procedure. Again, this is practised during school time.
All staff also receive training related to counter terrorism (please see 'The Prevent Duty Guidance'), FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and children missing in education.
The school embraces the opportunities provided by internet access, but also acknowledges the inherent dangers. E-Safety forms a significant part of the school’s Computing curriculum, and is touched upon in many other curriculum areas. The Online Safety Policy is shared with the children, and the school is an active participant in Safer Internet Day.
The school’s filtering and monitoring systems prevent the children from accessing inappropriate content whilst not compromising their ability to learn from the internet. All children and parents sign our E-Safety Rules on joining the school, and the staff sign an Acceptable Use/ICT Code of Conduct which pertains to their use of technology both inside and outside the school.
Overall responsibility for Online Safety lies with the DSL, Mr Barber, although he works closely with Mrs V Philcox in fulfilling the duties.
If you are worried about online abuse, or how someone has been communicating online, talk to a parent, a teacher, or somebody else that you trust. Alternatively, seek advice from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command via the following link: https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre.
Keeping the Children Safe whilst not in the Care of the School
The school acknowledges its role in teaching the children to act in a safe way at all times. Safety outside the school gates is explored specifically as part of the PSHE curriculum, but is also covered in other curriculum areas as well as during school assemblies. Year 6 children participate in ‘Safety in Action’ where dangerous scenarios are explored and means of avoiding harm are detailed. Children also participate in Safe Cycling courses and road safety presentations, and visitors from the police, fire brigade and relevant utilities discuss dangers associated with their organisation.
Children are taught about the use and misuse of drugs at an age appropriate level. Our Sex and Relationships programme commences in Year 4 and, again, covers age-appropriate content. The school is also visited by the NSPCC, and children are told what to do if they are harmed or feel vulnerable.
In response to the Covid-19 outbreak the following addendums to policies now apply:
Other Relevant Policies
- Data Protection
- Use of Images
- Looked After Children
- Sex and Relationships Education
- First Aid
- Medical Care
- Managing Allegations Against Staff
- Premises Management
- Food Hygiene
- Manual Handling
- Educational Visits
- Dignity and Respect
- Positive Handling