Safeguarding

WE ARE AN OPERATION ENCOMPASS SCHOOL

Paper copies of all documents on our website are available on request from the school office.

BEP Child Protection Policy 2022 23

The Merton Primary School is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, all staff share this commitment.

The school provides a safe, secure and caring environment in which their children can flourish. To meet this expectation, we closely follow our school’s Safeguarding & Child Protection policy. Details of these policies can be found in the policies section of the website.

Safeguarding Children is everyone’s responsibility. If you are worried or concerned about a child’s safety you can contact the schools DSL’s or DDSL’s (Designated and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads) on 0116 2608150 or by sending an email to: dsl@merton.bepschools.org

Our team is made up of: Matthew Lee (DSL), Rebecca Elsome (DDSL), Sophie Lapworth (DDSL), Gary Trzcinski (DDSL)

DSL’s are trained in dealing with child abuse and safeguarding children. If, you are worried about a child’s safety out of school hours contact:

First Response Children’s Duty Team 0116 305 0005 (24-hour phone line)

Phone 999 if a crime is being committed or if a child is in danger

Contact Leicestershire police on 101 if you think a crime has been committed but there is no immediate danger.

Operation Encompass

Our school is part of Operation Encompass. Building upon the national success of Operation Encompass (Police in all 43 forces in England and Wales sharing information with schools about children experiencing domestic abuse) Leicestershire police are expanding the information that they are sharing confidentially with the safeguarding leads in Leicestershire schools.

From the 19th of September 2022 they have began a phased rollout across the Police Force sharing with us incidents that they have attended where they feel there has been an impact upon a child’s physical, emotional or mental well-being.

We are thrilled the force has made this decision as this confidential information will help us to support and care for the children in our care even more effectively.

More information about Operation Encompass including their statement can be found on their website www.operationencompass.org

As part of the Operation Encompass Information Sharing Platform our Police Force will also share with the Designated Safeguarding Lead information about police attended incidents where they feel that there has been a tangible impact upon a child is physical, emotional or mental well-being.

This information is shared so that our school can better understand children’s living experience and can support, nurture and care for them more effectively.

Our DSL has attended a briefing about this information sharing and has disseminated information to the safeguarding governor and to all members of staff.

Be Aware

Staff and volunteers in the school have a duty to report concerns about a child, whether this means the child may be in need of additional support or help of some kind or whether it is thought that a child may have been abused or be at risk of abuse.

There are 4 categories of abuse:

Physical, sexual, emotional, neglect.

In some cases the school is obliged to refer children to the Social Services Department, for children to be assessed for their needs or if an investigation into possible child abuse is required.  In many cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child, and the situation and concerns will not be a surprise to the parents.  However, parents may not be told that the school has referred their child to the Social Services Department if it is thought that this might put the child at risk.

The Social Services Department tries to carry out its enquiries in a sensitive fashion.  It has to gather information and generally it can be open with parents about the steps being taken.

  • If you think your child may have been abused, contact Leicestershire County Council First Response Team or
  • If you think that the abuse may have happened in school, contact the Headteacher.
  • If you think your child has been hurt, arrange to visit your doctor.
  • Comfort and reassure your child.

If school staff need to express concerns about a child or refer a child to the Social Services Department, it is understood that this can cause distress or anger for the child’s parents.  It is important that all parties (including parents and school staff) try to discuss these matters as calmly and sensibly as possible.

E-Safety

It is our aim to create confident e-learners, who:

  • Can find access and process information.
  • Have the skills to choose and use technology efficiently and adapt their skills to meet the challenge of new technologies.
  • Use a range of technologies to communicate effectively and appropriately.

At The Merton Primary School we have a strong commitment to E-Safety.  All our pupils are taught about keeping safe as a regular part of our curriculum.  We embrace the use of technology at school and ensure that our pupils not only master the skills of using this technology, but most importantly the knowledge and awareness of how to keep themselves safe while doing so.

We also feel that it is crucial for parents to fully understand how to ensure their child is safe when using the Internet at home and as a school we do all we can to support you in this.

Below are resources that parents, carers or foster parents may find useful.

Links to helpful sites:

CEOP

ThinkuKnow

Kidsmart(opens in new tab)

Childnet(opens in new tab)

BBC WebWise(opens in new tab)

Vodafone(opens in new tab)

Net Aware