Safeguarding at STM
While not at school, your child will likely be spending more time on devices and online. It's an easy way to keep them entertained, and they might be using them for remote learning too. But higher screen time puts children at risk of being bullied or abused, seeing inappropriate content, and not getting enough sleep and exercise. Read these guides to find out how to keep your child safe and healthy.
Remember, if you have any concerns about the welfare of a child, please don't hesitate to contact us.
For further information on how to keep your child safe, please see HELP for parents
The government have just launched a new website - Educate Against Hate. Click here for more information.
Scroll down for information on:
- Safeguarding Children and Adults at STM
- Advice on online child sexual exploitation
- Dangers of Snapchat
- The PREVENT Duty
- Female genital mutilation
(Please scroll down)
Also, click on the following links for information on:
- A Practical Guide for Parents and Carers whose Children use Social Media
- Behind Closed Doors - Domestic Violence
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Forced Marriages
- Victvs Parents Guide to Extremism and Radicalisation
- Summary leaflet for visitors and supply staff
- Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2019
- Safeguarding Statement - St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi-Academy Trust
Safeguarding Children and Adults
This is adapted from the school’s Child Protection Policy and Safeguarding Policy
St Thomas More Catholic School recognises its legal duty to safeguard and protect pupils from abuse as defined in the Children Act 2004 and section 175 of the Education Act 2002. The overall intention and purpose behind the school’s safeguarding policy is underpinned by the fundamental principle of the 1989 Children Act:
‘the welfare of the child is the paramount concern’
Our school takes seriously its responsibilities to protect and safeguard the interests of all children. We recognise that effective child protection requires sound procedures, good inter-agency co-operation and a workforce that is competent and confident in responding to child protection situations. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
What Is Safeguarding?
*From the ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children Document’*
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in school refers to the process of protecting children from abuse and neglect as well as helping children to develop socially and emotionally and enabling these children to have optimum life chances ready to enter adulthood successfully.
Derbyshire County Council Safeguarding
The Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) is a multi agency forum which ensures that children and young people throughout Derbyshire are kept safe and have their needs met.
Key Personnel in Child Protection and Safeguarding
Safeguarding is led and promoted by the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher and the Business Manager:
Aoife Galletly (Deputy Head/Designated Safeguarding Lead) - 01298 23167
for issues re. pupils
Brendan Hickey (Headteacher/Safeguarding Lead) - 01298 23167
for issues re. staff (and pupils)
Sue Waldron (Business Manager) - 01298 23167
for issues re. site or premises
Jill Duncan (SENCo/Safeguarding Lead) - 01298 23167
Concerns about a staff member or volunteer, should be reported to the Head Teacher. If the concern is about the Head Teacher, it should be reported to:
- Dr Sur Hardman (Chair of Governors)
- Mrs Ann King - Nominated Child Protection Governor
When recruiting new members of staff the school follows the guidance provided in the Safeguarding Children: Safer Recruitment in Education. The school ensures that CRB checks are undertaken, that references are taken up and obtained and that qualifications are verified.
The school ensures that:
Visitors must only enter through the main entrance and must sign in at the office window. They will be given a visitor’s badge on entry. When new staff, volunteers or regular visitors join our school they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of our school’s safeguarding leaflet which provides a brief summary of the procedure and identifies key personnel. They will also be made aware of the safeguarding policy.
The safeguarding practice of the school is monitored by the Local Governing Board which meets 6 times a year and is informed of issues related to safeguarding, particularly those related to child protection.
Advice on Online Child Sexual Exploitation
What can parents/carers do to help children keep safe online?
Follow the Golden Rules
Discuss together as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what information should be kept private (such as personal information, photos in school uniform etc) and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Ensure your children know the risks of accepting friends’ requests from strangers online and make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline. Make sure your child uses strong passwords to protect their online accounts. It is important they know they need to keep their passwords safe and not share them with anyone or use the same password for several accounts.
Consider locating your child’s computers and laptops in a family area but be aware that children access the internet on mobile phones, games consoles and tablets so use can’t always be supervised.
Be especially aware of settings rules relating to your child’s use of webcams and any applications or devices which allow voice or video chat. Childnet have useful information for young people about using webcams safely www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/hot-topics/video-chat-and-webcams
Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact from unknown people. Research different parental control software and tools available for your home and select the tools which are most suitable to you, your child and the technology in your home. Visit www.internetmatters.org and www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide for safety information and advice about parental controls on consoles and devices and how to report concerns.
Make sure you read any parental guidance and safety recommendations (including age requirements – most popular social networking sites and apps are only for users aged 13+) for any apps or websites before allowing your child to use them - visit www.net-aware.org.uk
Always remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
Take an active interest in your child’s life online and talk openly with them about the things they do. Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together with your child can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online.
To start a conversation with your child you could tell them that you understand that some young people share images and videos online and that you’re interested to know what they think about it and how they think they can keep themselves safe.
Dialogue – keep talking
Ensure that your child knows that once a picture, video or comment is sent or posted online, then it can be very difficult to remove as other people can forward it and share it with others, without them even knowing.
Always ensure your child knows how to report and block people online who may send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply to cyberbullying and to keep any evidence.
Make sure your child knows it’s important that they tell an adult they trust if anything happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
Remember, the internet is an essential part of young people’s lives and provides them with tremendous opportunities. The vast majority use it without coming to any harm so it’s essential to be realistic: banning the internet or web sites often will not work and it can make a child feel less able to report a problem or concern, so education around safe use is essential.
Online Child Sexual Exploitation – Advice for Parents (September 2015)
There has been a recent increase in reports to Derbyshire police of children talking to and exchanging pictures with strangers online. Videochat websites and apps like Skype, Instagram, Omegle, Oovoo, Kik, and others, allow children to talk and exchange pictures on tablets and Smartphones or via a webcam. Whilst talking on webcam with known and trusted friends and family can be fun and exciting, children can be at risk of bullying and also abuse. Children and young people sharing pictures and videos online are vulnerable to exploitation. This can happen in the following way:
An offender makes contact with a young person online through an app, chatroom or game.
The offender begins a conversation and tricks the young person into sending them an indecent picture, appearing naked or performing sexual acts on webcam. They can trick them by pretending to be of the same age, someone the child knows, flirting with them or sending them sexual pictures or videos.
The offender records or captures the picture. They then threaten to show it to others including family members if they do not perform more sexual acts. Some young people have been threatened for money or have been told to hurt themselves.
This has happened to young people and is being reported in Derbyshire and nationally with children of both Primary and Secondary school age. This is sexual abuse.
What to do if this happens
When a child tells a parent they have experienced on or offline sexual abuse parents should react calmly and always:
Believe their child and tell them that they believe them.
Not blame them, it is not their fault, the person responsible is the offender.
Keep calm and talk to their child about how they feel and let them know that they’re here to listen.
Report the concern to Derbyshire Police via 101 or use 999 if there is immediate risk to someone’s safety.
You can also report to CEOP, a national agency that tackle exploitation of children and young people. For information, advice and to report concerns directly to CEOP, visit www.ceop.police.uk
Be aware that offenders may sometimes be targeting and abusing multiple children online. Your child may possibly be one of many victims and reporting online suspicious activity may help protect many children.
How to stop it happening
Set appropriate parental controls and use filters for home computers and devices (such as games consoles, tablets and Smart Phones)
Talk to your child about what they are doing online and ask them to show you the apps and sites they use.
Ensure your child understands how anyone can copy and share images or messages posted online and the importance of keeping their personal information and images safe
Ensure that privacy settings and age restrictions are discussed and in place for the websites and apps that your child uses.
Ensure that you and your child know how to block and report unwanted images and messages
Ensure you know how to report sexual abuse online.
If you are worried that your child is at risk of harm or a criminal offence has been committed then you can report your concerns to Derbyshire Police. For further advice visit www.nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety, www.childnet.com, www.internetmatters.org.uk or www.thinkuknow.co.uk , our school website or talk to our e-Safety Coordinator/Officer (Mrs Ryan)
The dangers of 'Snapchat'
Please click on thepicture below to find more about 'Snapchat'
Many of you will have seen press coverage reporting the upload of a large number of stolen Snapchat photos to the internet.
These images have apparently been taken from a third party site 'SnapSaved.com' which appears to have been hacked. 'SnapSaved.com' enables users to save Snapchat pictures rather than see them disappear but in doing so saves the images on its own servers. Press reports state that it is images from this database which have been uploaded and made available via the 4Chan discussion boards. This story from The Independent provides background.
From the press reports it would appear that:
· It is unlikely the images are linked to usernames so it would be hard to locate a photo of an individual.
· There is no additional personal information associated with images.
· Most of the images are not sexual.
Despite this, young people may be concerned that images of them have been uploaded.support is available and know what to do if they lose control of a sexual image. It's never too late to get help.
Young people can:
· If young people are being harassed, threatened or blackmailed because of a sexual image they can report to us at CEOP via the CEOP report form at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre
· If images end up on a site they can often report to the sites where they have been shared. Find out how to report to some popular sites in the 'Help' sections of our Thinkuknow for 11-13s &Thinkuknow for 14+ sites.
Pupils must remember:
Young people must understand that the age of criminal responsibility can be applied from the age of ten and facebook accounts should not be held until the age of 13
The Prevent Duty
From 1 July 2015 schools 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”.
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.
What is the Prevent Duty?
The Prevent Duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on schools, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
What it means for schools
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
Staff are expected to be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified.
Schools can build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views.
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.
Schools have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way as they protect them from drugs or gang violence.
Female Genital Mutilation
FGM Act 2003 and the Law
"Female genital mutilation comprises all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways". Statement from the World Health Organization, 2011
Child protection: The FGM law protects girls and women who are either British nationals or UK permanent residents and prevents their parents or guardians from taking them outside of the UK for FGM. ALL girls, however, no matter their immigration status, are protected while they reside in the UK from FGM and all other forms of child abuse through the UK Child Protection laws and the FGM Act of 2003. FGM is considered to be a form of child abuse. Local authorities may take action against it under section 47 of the Children Act 1989; they can apply to the courts for various orders to prevent a child being taken abroad for FGM.
It is illegal for a girl or woman living in the UK to have FGM either at home or abroad. The maximum penalty for anyone organising or carrying out FGM is 14 years in prison.
For more information contact: FORWARD – The Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development – for Africa women & girls. Tel: 020 8960 4000 www.forwarduk.org.uk or access local guidelines at www.swcpp.org.uk
What if you are worried that someone is at risk of FGM?
If you are worried that you, your friend, or your sister is at risk of FGM here in the UK or of being taken abroad for FGM, it is very important that you do something to stop FGM from taking place. Remember, FGM is against the law and is harmful to girls. Sometimes the warning signs may only be rumours, but it may be worth telling someone to be on the safe side. You will only be seen to be helping in the long run.
Take immediate action:
You can get help and advice. Do not stay silent.
Talk to a trusted adult about the situation – a teacher, school nurse, GP, family friend or close relative
Call the contact numbers at the back of this information guide
Contact Children and Young People’s Services at your local council
Speak to the Police Child Protection Team
If the girl is at immediate risk, call the police on 999
If you are abroad you can still contact the nearest British Consulate, Embassy, or High Commission for help.
Professionals are required to treat any reported case of FGM as a child protection issue and start a child protection referral. This means that Children’s Services will treat this as a serious concern and organise a meeting to assess the case. This investigation will also try to find out if other siblings in the family are at risk. Parents may be part of this meeting to discuss the concern. A girl will not automatically be taken away from her home. This will ONLY happen in rare cases when the parents fail to guarantee that they will not cut their daughter. Many professionals will be involved in a child protection case. They include teachers, nurses, children’s services, the police and voluntary organisations. They all have a duty to help stop FGM in the UK.