At Cockton Hill Junior School, keeping our children safe is our main priority and is the key shared responsibility of everyone who comes into contact with our children.
All staff have a crucial role to play in shaping the lives of young people and are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources and protect pupils from discrimination and avoidable harm.
At Cockton Hill Junior School, we value and recognise that children maximise their potential in an environment which is safe, secure and supportive of all their needs, including any needs they have for protection from abuse.
At Cockton Hill Junior School, we will do all we can to ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains paramount.
- All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff and volunteers working at our school have a responsibility to report concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Leads.
Our Safeguarding Policies cover all areas of school life and include:
- Staff and visitors- ensuring they are vetted, informed & trained.
- Children’s behaviour- promoting safer & happier behaviours & lifestyles.
- Parents and carers- promoting links & supporting families.
- Premises -keeping them safe, pleasant & fit for purpose.
- Curriculum -providing positive, life affirming learning experiences.
Further information is detailed in our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. Please refer to our school policies page.
We have an obligation to obtain necessary information from parents in advance of a child being admitted to school, including:
- emergency contact numbers;
- the child’s special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies the child may have;
- the child’s special health requirements;
- information about who has legal contact with the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child.
It is the responsibility of parents and carers to inform school of any changes to these details.
We take confidentiality very seriously. Any information which we hold is treated as confidential and shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Further information is detailed in our Data Protection Policy.
Links with External Agencies
Our first concern is the well-being of your child and there may be occasions when we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we have to follow have been laid down in accordance with the Local Authority Child Protection procedures.
We are fortunate to be supported by a range of external agencies which can be called upon to support the work we do in school. These include Family Health Nurse, Health Practitioners, Educational Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, One Point, Crisis Response, NSPCC, Social Services and Specialists in supporting Special Educational Needs. Our school Designated Safeguarding Leads have strong links with other professionals and agencies and are very experienced in sign-posting families for support from outside agencies.
Reporting Concerns and Complaints
We have in place a school Complaints Policy. This enables children, staff and carers to report anything they feel is of concern. The procedures for concerns related to safeguarding are detailed in the Safeguarding Policy. Please see our school policies page for these documents.
Operation Encompass aims to support children affected in any way by domestic abuse. The project is a joint initiative involving Durham County Council, Durham Police and schools across the county.
Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a child or young person. They can often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries and distress afterwards, or be physically hurt themselves.
Following any serious domestic abuse incident being reported into Durham Police, specialist staff will identify which school that child attends, make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information. This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and they can subsequently provide support in a way that means the child feels safe and supported.
You can also find out more information at www.operationencompass.org.