Safeguarding Children at The Polesworth School

As a school we of course recognise that our primary aim is to help our students achieve to the very best of their ability.  However, unfortunately for some students, circumstances, either inside or outside of school can affect their health and happiness, making it increasingly difficult for them to gain the most from their school experience.  In rare cases, students may be considered to be at risk of serious harm and on these occasions the school is obliged to intervene.

Statutory Guidance and Policy

Our school follows the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children in order to fully safeguard our students.  Our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is updated at least annually and is fully in line with these documents; it details our commitment to providing a safe, secure environment for our students and ensuring our students know that there are adults in the school who are there to help them if they are worried about their safety or the safety of others.

Designated Safeguarding Team

In order to ensure we are fully equipped to rapidly respond to need when it arises, we have a six members of staff who make up the Designated Safeguarding Lead Team.  These are the key members of staff who students, parents, other staff members or indeed anyone in the community can turn to if they have a safeguarding concern.  Each of these highly experienced individuals has received full training on how to deal with Child Protection and Safeguarding  concerns and will liaise closely with the student and whenever possible, their families, to deal with emerging issues sensitively and confidentially.

Providing the right support at the right time

Our aim is always to ensure that we respond rapidly and appropriately to the many various safeguarding needs that come our way.  This might be anything from students feeling anxious or unhappy to serious cases of abuse.  The DSL Team work with a range of individuals and external agencies to safeguard and support the young people in our care.  These include:

Children’s Services

To ensure students are fully safeguarded both in and out of school.

School Nurse

To offer medical and health advice.

Local PCSOs

To offer mentoring support and to address antisocial behaviour.

Warwickshire Young Carers

To offer support and access a monthly ‘Drop-In’   at school.

Counselling Service

To provide early support for  emotional and wellbeing needs

In addition, we also offer a number of support groups for our students, including the following:

Attendance Support Groups

To support students who are having difficulties to attend school consistently

Careers Advisor

To discuss post 16 options and further education.

Social Skills Groups

To address the importance of good communication skills.

Anger Management Groups

To address anger and develop skills to manage anger.

Behaviour Support Groups

To address concerning behaviour identified in school.

Early Help

Sometimes our young people need a little more targeted support, including support outside of the school environment.  On these occasions we work with families and sometimes make the joint decision to initiate an Early Help Assessment, which allows us to work closely with families to carefully assess need; an Early Help Assessment helps us to more easily access appropriate early support which is in addition to what the school is providing in-house.  This might mean securing a Family Support Worker who can provide off site support for the family concerned and ensures the school is doing everything in our power to meet any out of school need.  Further information on Early Help can be found here.

The Decision to Refer to Social Care

Sometimes it is necessary to refer a case to Children’s Social Care, if we feel that a student is at risk of serious harm.  On these rare occasions, we follow the relevant Local Authority’s guidelines on how to make a referral.  This process is outlined in more detail in our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.  Throughout the entire process we work closely with the student concerned, their family and Children’s Social Care to help resolve the issues of concern.

Conflict Resolution

It is our aim to communicate fully with anyone who raises a safeguarding concern and ideally both parties will be in agreement about the best way to proceed.  However, on occasion, a person referring a concern may disagree with the way we have handled the situation.  In these circumstances the following conflict resolution procedure should be followed:

  • Contact the member of the safeguarding team concerned to see if a resolution can be reached.
  • If still unhappy, contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Miss Howell, to discuss your concerns. If the initial disagreement is with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or if the situation is not resolved after discussion with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, contact the Headteacher, Mrs Favell, to raise your concerns.
  • In the event of unresolved conflict, Children’s Social Care should be alerted and a referral can be made to them directly. They will in turn investigate the concerns with the school directly.

Working Together

Our hope is that through excellent communication and by working together we will always be able to rapidly resolve any potential safeguarding issue that may arise, in order that every student can feel safe and happy, better enabling them to focus on enjoying life and achieving.