Keeping Children Safe

Keeping Children Safe

We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where all our girls are respected and valued.

Safety education is the teaching of specific knowledge, skills and understanding that children need in order to stay safe in a given situation. At Bowdon Prep the focus of safety education is to prepare children and young people for the world outside of school, now and in the future. Educating our girls on how to look after themselves and make good choices in both the material and the digital world is vitally important.

We recognise that safeguarding is as much about the emotional and mental well-being of children as it is their physical safety. Personal, social, health, economics education (PSHEE) enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We provide our girls with opportunities for leadership and enterprise and encourage them to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing we help develop their sense of self-worth. Assemblies aim to build and reinforce valuable characteristics in the girls and all staff support the school’s Positive Behaviour Policy.

We ensure that our girls are safe on the roads when on their bikes by providing a cycling proficiency course in Year 6. In addition, the Year 6 pupils learn about safety in the home and how to seek help, raise the alarm or respond in emergency situations during the Crucial Crew course.

Parent Links

Helping children learn about safety

www.juniorcitizen.org.uk

Childnet

ThinkuKnow

General information for parents

Keeping children safe in education: for schools and colleges

eSafety

Parent information evening presentation

Internet Safety: CEOP

Parent checklist

Internet Safety

Family agreement template

Internet Safety

Useful information and resources

Cyber-Bullying

Information leaflet for parents

Anti-Bullying

Information leaflet for parents

eSafety

As parents would expect, we have a comprehensive eSafety policy in place, as well as providing children with lessons on safe searching on the web and the dangers of linking up with strangers on the internet. This precautionary approach recognises the child’s likely access to computers and iPads outside the school; within the school, of course, a secure screening filter ensures that the children are not exposed to inappropriate material. To support families faced with possible out of school access to undesirable websites and social media, we offer parents an annual update in an evening course on e-safety.

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Training of all teaching and support staff in identifying and reporting child protection – as well as emphasising a duty of care - takes place throughout the year. We are alert to the signs of different types of abuse and follow clear procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. We are committed to ‘Keeping Children Safe In Education’. This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2015. Schools and colleges must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

         Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)                             

Mrs Sophie Hughes

        Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)               

Mrs Helen Gee

        Child Protection Governor                                                 

Mrs Tessa Myatt

Health and safety

The school has a Health and Safety Policy, which is monitored each term by the relevant members of the school governing body. We employ a Health and Safety Consultancy Company who provide an inspection service and we use their training and support to ensure we are compliant with all Health and Safety responsibilities. The Bursar and Headmistress, site manager and governors oversee this. 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 at least a half-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 should do in the case of emergencies.

In addition to the Health and Safety Policy, there are policies regarding food. These determine safe practices in school and the kitchen/dining room.

First aid

We have trained members of staff designated to oversee first aid, including paediatric first aid, and 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 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.

Medicines

We ask parents to inform the school if there are any changes to their child’s health which the school should know about.  Our Medical Needs Team, constantly update our Medical Needs registers and check any medicines the children should have in school  eg epi-pens, asthma inhalers, piriton etc. If a child is receiving on-going medication, parents are allowed to come into school to administer this or complete a record of “Medication to be Administered,” form.  Medication cannot be administered by school staff without prior agreement; please visit the school office to discuss this. 

Bowdon Prep School is a nut free zone because we have a number of children with nut allergies, some of whom can have severe allergic reactions.  It is important to ensure that all food stuffs particularly packed lunches do not contain nuts, either in their whole form or cooked within other foods such as cereal bars etc.

Site security

Bowdon Prep 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 pupils and parents 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 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 and police will be informed of the circumstances.

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 Headmistress and the Governing Body.

The Headmistress along with two other members of staff have undertaken training on Safer Recruitment. At least two of these staff members will 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 Bowdon Prep 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.

Welcoming visitors

We confirm that all visitors with a professional role - eg visiting teachers, 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

Whistleblowing

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 Headmistress or Governing Body accordingly. This can be done in writing or verbally. Staff should be prepared 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.