KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN OUR SCHOOLS
The Federation of The Downs and Northbourne CEP Schools is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of young people.
Our primary concern is to ensure your child feels happy and safe while in our care – they are then free to focus on their work and be successful in their learning journey through school.
We ask for your support with this by sharing information and telling us if there is something going on outside school that may have an effect on them during the school day. Please don’t ever feel like you’re making a fuss or think the issue is too small to tell us – effective communication is key to your child’s happiness and we are always willing to listen.
You can contact or speak to your child’s class teacher after school, speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team or our Family Liaison Officer all of whom are happy to talk though any concerns or worries you may have.
All parents/carers are asked to sign an Acceptable IT Usage Agreement when their child starts school and it is expected that our parents and carers will uphold all of our school policies. When children reach years 5 and 6, and wish to bring a mobile to school, they are required to sign a Mobile Device Agreement.
Information regarding Health and Safety, E-Safety and information regarding collection from school clubs etc. is regularly included in newsletters, leaflets and letters that are sent out from school. If you are unsure – just ask.
Security and Safety on the School Site
Every member of staff wears a photo I.D name card. Visitors and volunteers also wear visitor badges or logo visitor 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 sign in and can be greeted by a specific member of staff.
The importance of personal safety is emphasised through our curriculum, during assemblies and by inviting special guests into school to talk to our pupils. We always encourage pupils to speak to an adult if they are worried or upset and regularly remind children of where they can go to find support in school.
At certain times of the year pathways can be slippery; we need all parents, carers and visitors to take care when walking around our site, particularly in winter. Further information regarding inclement weather and school procedures regarding this can be on the website or via our winter newsletters.
If anyone notices a Health and Safety issue they must report it to a member of staff immediately who will take the necessary action to inform specific staff/address the issue.
We have many other procedures in school in relation to Health and Safety, please see specific school policies for information related to this issue.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
Everyone who works with our pupils, including volunteers or Governors at our school who are involved in regulated activity (has regular contact with our children) has a DBS check. This means specific checks have been carried out to ensure their suitability to work with children.
Our school adheres to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and young People in Education Settings.
Every member of staff holds a current Safeguarding Child Protection Training Certificate from the Local Authority. They are trained in recognising signs of abuse and know exactly what to do if they have concerns about any child in school – this training is renewed every 3 years, however further extra training takes place at our school during this time. We have 6 Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL’s) at our school, they ensure that information regarding Safeguarding is shared with staff, new staff are trained and Safeguarding remains of highest priority. Their training is updated every 2 years. Our DSL’s are Mrs Karunaratna, Miss Leighton, Mr Westmorland, Ms Luxford, Mrs Mitchell and Mr Turner.
As part of their induction, all members of staff and volunteers are provided with important information regarding Safeguarding. Supply teachers are also given information so anyone working with our pupils are aware of the school’s Safeguarding procedures.
Please see our school’s Safeguarding Policy and other areas of our website for further information. If you ever have concerns regarding a child’s welfare, do not hesitate to contact one of us.
Online Safety is fundamental in our quest to keep children safe – at home and school. Online Safety is an integral part of the curriculum. Our school gives out regular information regarding Online Safety, how children should use the internet and other types of media safely and the risks if children have unrestricted access to sites they are too young for. If a site has an age restriction, then it is there for the safety of all children. All of our pupils are expected to keep to our Online Safety Rules.
It is not a school’s position to tell parents how to raise their children – we are obliged however, to advise and share concerns around internet use as the internet can also open the door to a world our children should be protected from.
If you would like further information regarding keeping your children safe on the internet, please see the Online Safety section of our website and our school’s Online Safety Policy.
Bringing and Collecting your Child from School
The school gates open at 8.00am for breakfast club and we would expect parents/carers to wait until breakfast club opens. Children in Years 3-6 will be expected to arrive between 8.35am and 8.45am; children in Years R-2 will be expected to arrive between 8.45am and 8.55am. Parents/Carers are expected to supervise their children until classroom doors open. Children should not be using the playground, adventure playground or field at this time.
At the end of the school day, parents/carers collect their children from their child’s class teacher at specific points around our school site. If parents/carers want their child to leave with anyone other than their named contacts they will need to let the office staff/class teacher know. We will not allow any child to go home with another adult without your permission. On the rare occasion that a parent/carer is going to be late picking their child up, they must contact the school office and collect their child from there.
We would anticipate that pupils may start walking home on their own from Year 5; however we must have written permission from you to allow this to happen.
Bikes/Scooters to School
We have a bicycle/scooter shelter where pupils can store their bicycles/scooter during the school day - we recommend bikes/scooters are locked. We would expect all pupils from EYFS – Year 4 to be accompanied on their bikes and expect cycling helmets to be worn by all children cycling to and from school. The school provides opportunities for bike safety training in Year 6 and we expect our parents/carers to spend time talking to their own children about safety issues if they are allowing their child to ride to school. No bikes or scooters are to be ridden on the school site.
We expect parents, carers and visitors to park safely and legally on the roads around our school site.
As a Federation we support KCC Highways and Transportation initiatives to promote road safety and reduce injuries and death amongst school populations. We have Junior Road Safety Officers who, alongside staff, promote ‘Road Safety’ and highlight hazards to children. We encourage our pupils to take an active role in keeping themselves safe but also recognise that parents can influence children’s attitudes and behaviour on journeys to and from school.
At The Downs CEP School we are working in partnership with Kent Police and Kent County Council to identify and provide appropriate support to pupils who have experienced domestic abuse in their household; this scheme is called Operation Encompass. In order to achieve this, Kent Police will assess and share information of all domestic abuse incidents where one of our pupils has been present or connected with the household with the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s). On receipt of any information, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide on the appropriate support the child requires, this could be silent or overt. All information sharing and resulting actions will be undertaken in accordance with the ‘Information Sharing Agreement’ between Kent Police and Kent County Council. We will record this information and store this information in line with our school safeguarding record keeping procedures.