St Peter's C of E Primary Academy fully recognises its duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, the safety and protection of children is of paramount importance to everyone in this school.
We want all our children to achieve their full potential by:
- being as physically and mentally healthy as possible;
- experiencing good quality education opportunities;
- living in a safe environment;
- learning and working in a safe environment;
- experiencing emotional well-being;
- feeling loved and valued;
- receiving support from a network of reliable and affectionate relationships;
- learning to look after themselves;
- coping with everyday living;
- having a sense of identity and a positive image of themselves;
- developing their confidence and their interpersonal skills.
How do we Keep Children Safe?
We keep children in our care safe by:
- Having an up to date safeguarding and child protection policy which is reviewed on a regular basis and used as a working document.
- Assessing the suitability of all our staff that work with children through stringent checking procedures.
- Promoting a culture of openness in which concerns can be shared by everybody.
- Ensuring all our staff have up to date child protection and safeguarding training.
- Sharing information with appropriate agencies if we have concerns and complete referrals when appropriate.
- Identifying members of staff who have responsibility for safeguarding.
- Ensuring that all visitors are aware of the importance of safeguarding within our school and know how to pass on any concerns they may have.
Please look at the links and bookcase below for our policies and relevant website links.
What do I do if I have a concern about the safety, care or welfare of a child or young person?
If you have a concern about a child or young person, you can contact:
- Mrs Salter (Designated Safeguarding Lead) or Mr Smedley (Deputy Safeguarding Lead).
Or you can:
- Contact the MASH team (Multi agency safeguarding Hub) on 01472 326292 / 325555
- Contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Many people worry that their concerns or suspicions may be wrong or that they are interfering unnecessarily or that someone else might report it. Our advice would be to report in any case to the school or to the MASH team where they can give advice and the professionals can process the information you have. Please remember that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility.
What are the signs of child abuse?
No parent ever wants to think about the possibility of their child (or any child) becoming a victim of abuse, and thankfully most children never have to experience this. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable happens.
If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember, if a child is being harmed in any way, they may be too frightened or reluctant to talk to you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s services for advice. Staff at St Peter's Cof E Primary School will always be at hand if you want to discuss your concerns, will provide a listening ear where appropriate and offer support on how to address the concerns.
Some signs to look out for are:
- Bruises or other injuries;
- A change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy to withdrawn;
- Pain or discomfort;
- Fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them;
- Secrecy around a relationship with a particular person;
- Reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with;
- Sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years;
- Being watchful, or always on edge, losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life;
- Alcohol or drug taking;
- Having money and refusing to say where it has come from;
- Wetting the bed;
- Becoming clingy.
There are many types of abuse. These include physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
It is not accidental – children who are physically abused suffer violence such as being hit, kicked, poisoned, burned, slapped or having objects thrown at them. Shaking or hitting babies can cause non-accidental head injuries (NAHI). Sometimes parents or carers will make up or cause the symptoms of illness in their child, perhaps giving them medicine they don’t need and making the child unwell – this is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII).
There is no excuse for physically abusing a child. It causes serious, and often long-lasting, harm – and in severe cases, death.
Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. It is sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development.
Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.
Children who are emotionally abused are usually suffering another type of abuse or neglect at the same time – but this is not always the case.
Sexual Abuse: A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This does not have to be physical contact, and it can happen online. Sometimes the child will not understand that what is happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it is wrong.
Sexual Abuse can also include Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. Children or young people may be tricked into believing they are in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol.
Neglect: Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents.
There are also many other types of abuse such as female genital mutilation (FGM), online abuse, child trafficking and drawing young people into terrorism. Visit the NSPCC website for more information.