Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, but schools are particularly well placed to support the safeguarding and welfare of children because we get to know children and families so well. Whenever a concern is raised, staff at NNA record it. This might be for a variety of reasons and not necessarily for a serious concern around abuse. Often concerns are low level and a conversation with the child and parent can resolve whatever worry a child might have.
The word ‘safeguarding’ for some families can be very scary… it shouldn’t be. Some people suddenly worry that by talking about problems that they’re facing that Social Services will get involved and want to take their children away. This really is not the case. All professionals want to help families get through the tough times and be able to meet their children’s needs so that they can thrive. It is rare that very serious concerns arise, but it does happen. In these situations the safeguarding leaders in school make a decision on what actions to take. Wherever possible this involves talking directly with the family, but sometimes legal guidance dictates that we must speak to other agencies or professionals first.
We’d emphasise that when dealing with any concern related to child protection or safeguarding it is imperative that confidentiality, sensitivity and professionalism are applied to managing the situation. It is vital that any person receiving a disclosure or raising a concern related to a child’s safety recognises that central to this is a child and/or family who are experiencing difficulty.
It’s also important to know that anyone can face a difficult time; none of us know what might be around the corner. The Academy’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy explains the expectations on staff and practices in much more detail. For those members of supply staff coming onto New North Academy, they are provided with this Induction Pack when they arrive. This pack enables those members of staff to ensure that they maintain our high expectations and standards set for safeguarding.