The health, safety and welfare of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work at the Firs. Our children have the right to protection – regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school.
We are required to have rigorous policies and procedures in place to safeguard children. We have several members of staff who have undertaken specialist training and take on the roles of Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Safeguarding Lead (i.e. to deal with safeguarding and child protection concerns).
It may be helpful to know that the law places a duty on the Headteacher and her staff to report any obvious signs or suspected cases of child abuse – which include non-accidental injury, neglect, emotional abuse and/or sexual abuse. The procedures are intended to protect children at risk and all schools nationally are expected to take the attitude that where there are grounds for concern it is better to be safe than sorry. This does mean that the school staff risks upsetting some parents/carers by reporting a case which, on investigation, proves unfounded. In such circumstances, it is hoped that parents and carers would accept that the staff acted in what were believed to the child’s best interests of the child.
In line with government requirements the school maintains a central list of checks on appointed staff and adults who work in or visit the school. Any volunteer or parent working in the school is subject to full background checks. The school has an agreed Safeguarding (including Child Protection) Policy.
Useful phone numbers for parents
NSPCC helpline 0800 800 5000
NSPCC FGM Helpline 0800 028 3550
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
Our school is part of a project, which is run between Trafford Local Authority, schools and Greater Manchester Police. The project called Operation Encompass, has been designed to provide early reporting of any domestic abuse incidents that occur outside school, which might have an impact on a child in school. This is communicated through a secure email to school following an incident.
The project ensures that at least one member of the school staff, known as the Key Adult, is available to liaise with children's services and the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence.
In this way, we aim to support each child who has been involved in, or witnessed, a domestic abuse incident.
The Key Adult at Firs Primary School is Mrs Hitchcock.
If she receives an Encompass notification they will make sure that a person the child trusts is available to help - if the child needs this. Most of the time this support is silent; keeping a careful eye on him or her and making sure the child has a calm school day. The confidential information is ordinarily not shared with all staff, just an agreement on how to help, if needed.
All schools have a duty to share any information with other organisations if they feel a child is at risk of being hurt. The Key Adult may contact other organisations.
The sharing of information from the police allows the school to be ready to help your child straight away, and it means that parents are aware that the Key Adult knows that something has happened. Parents can come and talk to our Key Adult. The Key Adult can point you towards other people that can help.
Our aim is to support children and their families.