EQUA Mead Learning Trust

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Safeguarding is the proactive approach to keeping children and young people safe, and child protection is the reactive process in place when concerns arise about a child or young person.

We recognise our legal and moral duty to promote the wellbeing of children and young people and keep them safe. Safeguarding and child protection is at the core of everything we do and is of paramount importance, overriding all other considerations. Regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability our children and young people have the right to be safe in our schools.

We actively listen to our children and young people, and take seriously what they tell us. We ensure that our staff are aware of, and have the skills to deal with, any child protection or safeguarding concerns, including through statutory training around current initiatives in safeguarding and child protection. All new staff have induction training in safeguarding and the Single Central Record (SCR) is updated to reflect this. We have robust recruitment procedures and professional development programmes which ensure that all of our staff uphold our strong ethos and values.

Schools are legally required to follow set procedures to protect children at risk and the Local Authority requires the Headteacher or a designated senior leader to be responsible for Child Protection. They must report any obvious or suspected cases of child abuse, which includes non-accidental injury, severe physical neglect, emotional abuse and / or sexual abuse. In our schools, the Headteacher has the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). In addition, the Inclusion Lead in each school is the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL). Anyone who works with us in an unsupervised capacity with children, whether paid or voluntary, requires DBS (Disclosure Barring Services) certification.

Full details of our safeguarding commitments are available in our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

We ensure all staff and adults with responsibility for children’s safety and welfare are trained to deal with incidents involving distressed or dysregulated behaviour. Whilst we consider safe touch to be appropriate (for example, comforting a child by putting an arm around their shoulder), staff only use physical intervention as a last resort, in line with DfE and Local Authority advice. If used at all, it will be in the context of a respectful, supportive relationship with the pupil. Our priority is to always keep everyone safe and we always aim to ensure minimal risk of injury to pupils and staff.

If you are concerned about the wellbeing or safety of a particular child or young person, please contact a staff member at their school to discuss your concerns further. Alternatively, you can contact either the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at County Hall via 0300 4560108 (out of hours 0300 456 0100) or the NSPCC.

Details about who is responsible for safeguarding in each of our schools can be found on the individual school websites.