What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. (The term children, includes everyone under the age of 18.)
Safeguarding is what we do for all children and young people to keep them safe whilst in our care. Child protection describes the policy and procedures specifically for those young people who are at risk of serious harm or have been seriously harmed. At St Thomas More, we are committed to safeguarding children and young people and we expect everyone who works in our school to share this commitment. Adults in our school take all welfare concerns seriously and encourage children and young people to talk to us about anything that may worry them.
STM commitment to safeguarding
At St Thomas More Catholic School we take all concerns, worries and referrals seriously. We expect that all staff here take the same view and treat all cases with the utmost care and attention and that any disclosure is passed to the safeguarding team for dealing with. This links in with our gospel values and how we aim to go about our daily tasks in school.
How to report an issue to school
In school anyone can talk to a member of staff they trust. This will then be referred to the safeguarding team to deal with and take any necessary action if required. We also have the SHARP system, where reports can be made out of school and anonymously if anyone is worried about anything at all.
The safeguarding team
Children and young people spend lots of time on the internet. They may go online to research information for homework or to play games, chat with friends and make new ones. The internet holds a massive amount of useful information and can also be a really good way of learning about new things and keeping in contact with friends and family. It can also be a very dangerous place so it is important that children are protected and monitored when they are online.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) has lots of information about how to keep your children safe online and parental controls. A link to their website is provided below.
A link is also provided to our online safety advice and guidance. We are currently looking further into how we can continue to develop our online safety package and resources for parents and carers.
As per the requirements with the local authorities in which we work, we would always discuss concerns with parents/carers and consent would be sought for referrals made unless the following are a worry;
- It would place the child at risk of significant harm o further risk of significant harm
- If it were to place a vulnerable adult at risk of harm;
- If it might compromise any enquiries that needed to be undertaken by children’s social care of the police
To ensure we act in the best interests of the child there might be occasions where the school has to consult with other agencies without parent’s or carer’s prior knowledge. Our first concerns and responsibility to the welfare and wellbeing of the child and we have a duty of care to ensure this is upheld. We fully understand that this can be upsetting and we will endeavour to work with families in their time of need. We will always seek advice of the local safeguarding teams where necessary to ensure our students and their families are fully supported.
Reporting a concern
If you have concerns about a child you know or believe to be a serious risk of harm through abuse or neglect, it is important that you report these concerns to the correct body. The links below will take you to the relevant pages for both Walsall and Wolverhampton safeguarding pages for guidance and telephone numbers.