Protecting your child
This page is all about safeguarding our children - keeping them safe in every way within our community, and helping them to learn about how they can keep themselves safe.
Safeguarding children statement
At Spring Cottage Primary School the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our children is our highest priority.
Parents and carers send their children to our school each day, trusting us to provide a secure environment in which their children will flourish. We do everything we can to ensure that this expectation is a reality in our school. Paperwork can be found on the policies and documents page on this website.
- The Designated Senior Team (DSPs) are Andy Rhodes (Executive Headteacher), Hannah Chamberlain (Head of School), and Julie Keogh (Safeguarding support)
- The Safeguarding Governor is John Harrison.
- The Chair of Governors is Terry Dunn.
There is a detailed Child Protection Policy, which is available as a download on the school website. It is the Governing Body’s duty to ensure the policy is reviewed annually and any deficiencies within the policy addressed immediately. Certain governors and all staff have had appropriate child protection/safeguarding training, which is updated at least every three years. DSPs have further training and all staff have undergone Prevent training.
Health and safety
The school has a Health and Safety Policy, which is monitored by the Governing Body.
Horizon Academy Trust provides an inspection service and we use their monitoring checklist to ensure we are compliant with all Health and Safety responsibilities.
The headteacher, chief operations officer and governors oversee this comprehensive list. Any concerns from staff are reported to any of the above and an initial examination takes place immediately, assessing what remedial action needs to take place.
On a termly basis, there is a fire drill to practice efficient evacuation from the buildings. The school conducts an annual Fire Risk Assessment. There is also a Critical Incident Plan that details what staff and parents/carers should do in the case of emergencies.
We have trained members of staff, designated to oversee first aid, including paediatric first aid.
There are a number of first aid kits situated around school. Where there is any cause for concern, staff deal with children with the utmost sensitivity. Wherever necessary, parents/carers will be contacted or asked to come into school immediately so that they are part of the decision making process for such matters. In the case of an emergency, the school will call for emergency treatment first before contacting the parent. The school has a First Aid Policy, a Medical Conditions Policy and an Intimate Care Policy.
Spring Cottage Primary School is a secure site with door access control.
We have clear routines and procedures in place, but the site is only as secure as the people who use it and the whole school community has a responsibility to help us maintain security. Our children and parents/carers are crucial to this process and we encourage you to report any concerns to the school office.
We take great care to maintain a secure site around the perimeter of the school and all children are supervised at all times. In the unlikely event of a child leaving the school premises without permission, staff have been asked never to chase after a child, but rather to report immediately to the senior leadership team. Then parents/carers and police will be informed of the circumstances.
We encourage all pupils and staff to consider their means of travel to school.
This will include walking, car sharing and the use of public transport.
Parents/carers are asked to be considerate of others when bringing their child to school by car and park where they will not be causing a problem to pedestrians or residents. The safety of our children is a key priority for us all.
Excellent attendance is expected of all children.
However, in the event that a child is unwell parents are asked to report absence by 9.20 am on the first day.
On the rare occasions where a child’s attendance and punctuality causes concern, the school may work closely with the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO).
Positive systems are in place to encourage children to attend regularly and punctually. The school may issue fixed penalties to parents/carers who do not ensure good attendance and punctuality.
In exceptional circumstances, leave of absence may be requested in writing by submitting a letter to the headteacher at least 30 days in advance, and explaining the exceptional circumstances in detail. For more information, see our Attendance Policy.
Appointment and induction of staff and work placements
All staff appointed to work in school have a criminal records search called a DBS check.
This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made against them. If any member of staff is found to have a criminal record, the appointment is reconsidered by the headteacher and the Governing Body. The LA is informed directly by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
We have a Safer Recruitment Policy. A number of staff and governors have undertaken relevant training. They sit on all appointment panels where the candidates are external applicants. Newly appointed staff are assigned a mentor for their induction period. It is the responsibility of the mentors to familiarise new staff with procedures, policies and safeguarding practices, which affect the health and safety of all at school, especially the children.
Induction of volunteers
All volunteers must also have DBS clearance.
For any extended contact with children, when children may be left alone with an adult, or when an adult visitor may be in and around the school building, a full DBS search will be conducted. Visitors who do not yet have clearance will under no circumstance be left alone with a child or group of children.
We confirm that all visitors with a professional role - e.g. visiting teachers, the School Nurse or members of the police - have relevant clearance.
Students who work within our school community also have their DBS clearance confirmed. Anyone who spends time in school without this confirmation will be accompanied at all times.
This school follows advice that physical intervention may be used if there is the possibility that a child may be about to cause harm to him/ herself or to another.
On no occasion will any form of physical contact be used as a punishment. All allegations of abuse by or complaints about a teacher will be dealt with following clear procedures, initially by the head teacher. For any complaints about the head teacher, the Chair of Governors should be contacted directly.
The design of the curriculum
The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two key ways.
Firstly, the curriculum - through cross-curricular topics and planning around Personal, Social and Health Education - discusses relevant issues with the children. Specific topics include such themes as Drugs, Sex and Relationships, Stranger Danger and e-Safety. Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues together and with their teachers/learning support assistants. We also discuss a wide range of issues around safety and well being on a very regular basis in assemblies.
Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taken out of school, appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained. The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are authorised by the head teacher.
Risk assessments are conducted for all activities beyond the school grounds, and these are signed off by the Educational Visits Coordinator and head teacher.
Disability equality scheme and equal opportunities
At Spring Cottage Primary School we work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.
All children are given equal access to the school and its curriculum and all are considered equal in the learning partnership. When children have special needs, we make arrangements to inform parents/carers and design specific programmes. We ensure that the outcomes for all groups of children allow them to reach their full potential. Children with physical needs and disabilities must be able to take a full and active part in every lesson and activity, and every measure is taken to ensure this. For more information, see our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Good behaviour is essential in any community and we have high expectations.
Our policy shows our strong emphasis on positive approaches, but also our clear boundaries in responding to behaviour choices that threaten the learning, well being or safety of others. For more information, see our Behaviour Policy.
Photographing and filming
There has been a lot of controversy recently about adults photographing and filming young people.
The concerns are genuine, and at Spring Cottage Primary School we have taken a sensible, balanced approach, which allows parents/carers to photograph and video, providing they follow certain guidelines: Parents/carers taking photographs are advised in advance of all school events that photographs must be for their own use within their families, and are not to be used on any social media.
Spring Cottage Primary School uses images of children, both on our website and in press releases.
However, parents/carers are given the option at intake to refuse use of their child's image. Parents/carers can change their preferences at anytime by requesting a consent form from the office.
If members of staff ever have any concerns about people working within the school, paid or unpaid, they have a professional duty to inform the head teacher or Governing body accordingly.
This can be done in writing or verbally. Staff should be prepred to discuss issues in the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the highest appropriate level of confidentiality. For more information, see our Whistleblowing Policy.
Children Looked After
Our designated teacher responsible for Children Looked After is Mrs Hannah Chamberlain.
She will lead PEP meetings, liaise with social workers and Virtual Schools. For more information, see our CLA Policy.