Safeguarding at Walton
Walton High School, Stafford ensures that all children learn in a safe, caring and enriching environment. Children are taught and offered support to keep themselves safe, to develop positive and healthy relationships and to avoid situations where they might be at risk, including being exploited by others.
We have a statutory responsibility to share any concerns we might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular with police, health and children’s services.
In most instances, we will be able to inform the parents/carer of the need to make a referral. However, sometimes we may be advised by Children’s Social Care or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset.
We always follow legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child. If you have any questions about this information, please speak to a member of staff.
Walton High School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. We believe that:
- All children/young people have the right to be protected from harm
- Children/young people need to be safe and to feel safe in school
- Children/young people need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse
- All children/young people have the right to speak freely and voice their values and beliefs
- All children/young people must be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other
- All children/young people have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, and social needs as well as their educational needs – a happy healthy sociable child/young person will achieve better educationally
- Schools can and do contribute to the prevention of abuse, victimisation, bullying (including homophobic, bi-phobic, trans-phobic and cyber-bullying), exploitation, extreme behaviours, discriminatory views and risk-taking behaviours
Should you have a safeguarding concern please contact a Designated Safeguarding Lead without delay:
TIER 1 – SAFEGUARDING FOR ALL
Tutor Support –
All of our students are assigned a tutor when they arrive at the school. The form tutor is an essential link between school and home, and often the first port of call if a student or parent/carer has a query or concern. Tutors will support students with homework, uniform, equipment and organisation, as well as providing emotional support if they feel worried or overwhelmed.
HOH Support –
Part of the HOH (Head of House) role is to support students in a variety of ways through their educational journey and to provide pastoral care
School Nurse –
RSHE Programme –
We have created a new curriculum for RSHE following guidance from the DfE. RSHE will focus on three core themes:
- Health and wellbeing
- Living in the wider world
We want our students to be happy, healthy and well-rounded and the changes to RSHE will support them on this journey.
SANDBOX – https://sandbox.mindler.co.uk/
The Sandbox is an ‘online hub’ for children and young people in South Staffordshire and Hertfordshire where they can feel safe and take care of their Mental Health. You can find lots of really helpful resources on The Resource Zone.
The Sandbox is powered by Mindler, contracted by the NHS
How you feel about yourself, your family, friends and life in general changes all the time. Having problems with how you are feeling is part of growing up.
The Sandbox is here to help you understand how you are feeling, talk with other people, and find different ways to feel better.
KOOTH – https://www.kooth.com/
Kooth is a free online service that offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people. When you sign up you can choose an avatar, which helps to keep you safe and anonymous. You can have a “drop-in” chat with a counsellor or therapist or book a one-to-one session.
Kooth’s counsellors and therapists are available until 10pm, 365 days a year. You can talk to other young people anonymously on the forums whenever you like, and keep an online journal. Subscribing to Kooth means you can read its online magazine and maybe even write for it. You can also use Kooth to set goals with your online counsellor or therapist and keep a record of how you are doing. Evidence suggests that Kooth can help children and young people with a range of emotional and psychological problems.
Kooth is suitable for children and young people aged 11 to 19 (25 in some areas). It can help with lots of different problems, including family problems, eating disorders, loneliness, bullying, anxiety and depression. If you’d like to sign up with Kooth go to www.kooth.com and enter a user name and password.
Papyrus – Prevention of suicide and promotion of positive mental health- https://www.papyrus-uk.org/
Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide is the UK Charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people. We believe that no young person should have to struggle alone with thoughts of suicide.
TIER 2 – EARLY HELP
This support is accessed via our internal referral system.
HOH Support – Part of the HOH (Head of House) role is to support students in a variety of ways through their educational journey and to provide pastoral care
Thrive – Thrive helps us to check children’s readiness to learn, to identify any gaps and then plan to meet them. Through doing so, we will be able to make sure that all of our pupils have what they need to make the best possible progress in their learning
What does it take to develop healthy, happy, confident children who are ready and open to learning? Recent advances in neuroscience, attachment theory and child development have provided some of the answers to this question.
The Thrive Approach draws on insights from these fields to provide a powerful way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development. In addition, the Approach can equip you to work in a targeted way with children and young people who may have struggled with difficult life events to help them re-engage with life and learning. Mrs Parkes is our qualified Thrive practitioner.
Counsellors/Well Being Practitioners – We currently have 3 part time counsellors across the school. To access a school counsellor please contact your child’s Head of House.
ELSA – ELSA is emotional literacy support for our SEND students. There is a recognised ELSA training course aimed specifically at Teaching Assistants in schools and Mrs Jones is our dedicated practitioner. Examples of things covered on the course are social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship.
FAMILY SUPPORT –
Is our local drugs and alcohol advisory service. They work with students on their own goals, whether that’s making small changes, stopping an unwanted habit altogether or just getting some advice. Support can be offered for students who live with a family member with an addiction also.
ACTION FOR CHILDREN – https://www.staffordshire-ewb.actionforchildren.org.uk/
We support children and young people aged 5 to 18 years in Staffordshire who struggle with their emotions and need a bit of help. The help we offer is based on listening to children, young people and their families or carers. Together, we talk about what the problem might be. This way, we can explore new solutions and make positive changes.
TIER 3 – EXTERNAL SUPPORT & CHILDRENS SERVICES
CAMHS is a support service for young people. It offers support for and advice on a wide range of emotional difficulties that young people may experience. There are many people that work within CAMHS, such as nurses, doctors, therapists, youth workers and very friendly reception staff.
There are people who you see at the moment who you can talk to, such as teachers, GP, school nurses or counsellors. They may suggest a referral to other services. Ask them about whether CAMHS is right for you. If it isn’t, they may suggest a different service that can help you.
Early Help Team –
The Early Help service provides integrated support to children, young people and their families. The service is there to offer practical advice, support and direct case work to prevent issues escalating and requiring statutory intervention. If you have a concern over a child or young person’s general wellbeing or an issue with families in the community that needs to be addressed at an early stage to stop the problem getting worse
(Level 2-3 on the Continuum of Need e.g. school attendance problems, alcohol abuse or anti-social behaviour)
TIER 4 – Staffordshire Local Safeguarding Children Board
A child protection or safeguarding concern where you are aware of a serious problem and are worried that a child is suffering or is at risk from suffering harm or a child is living in circumstances where maltreatment is resulting in a lack of safe and effective care or an impairment of their health and development
(Level 4 on the Continuum of Need)
The link below will take you to the parents and carers section of their website https://staffsscb.org.uk/children-and-families/parents-and-carers/
Walton High School in partnership with Staffordshire Police, are part of Operation Encompass, an early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people who experience Domestic Abuse.
Operation Encompass means that the police will share information about Domestic Abuse incidents with our school, when they have been called to a domestic incident.
We are not informed of the detail of the incident, only that it has occurred. This enables us to monitor and support the students(s) concerned.
If we have additional concerns we will discuss the need for further safeguarding actions with Social Care. This information will only be shared with other staff on a restricted need to know basis.
Where a multi-agency risk assessment meeting occurs, the school may be asked for information and appropriate school related information may be shared with the school after the meeting.
Key adults at the school have completed Operation Encompass training to allow them to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, to ensure that the school is able to make provision to support the young person, or their families, who have been exposed to a domestic abuse incident. This includes not doing anything that would put the young person and their family at risk.
The school is committed to offering the best support possible to all of our students and their families and believe the Operation Encompass partnership is beneficial for all involved.
The key adults at the school are
- Mrs Cashmore Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
- Mrs Simmons Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
- Mrs Cooper Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
THE SHARP SYSTEM
The Sharp system allows young people to report any incidents which occur within the school and local community anonymously and without fear. Aside from the reporting tool SHARP delivers educational content to raise awareness on a wide range of subjects including: Bullying, Health, Community Issues, Weapons and Hate Crime.
How to access
Click on the SHARP SYSTEM icon on our website and you will then be taken to the ‘report a concern’ form.
This requires you to name the person(s) you are concerned about, write a sentence outlining the concern, indicating when this concern occurred, and then as much detail you can give us about your concern.
You can choose to remain anonymous or if you are happy to include your details you can do.
- If possible, we would always prefer you to speak directly to a member of staff if you would like to share a concern, as many of you do.
- If using The Sharp System we would like you to include your name when reporting a concern (although you do not have to do so).
- If you don’t wish to share your details, we cannot feedback to you what action has been taken to address your concern in instances when it may have been appropriate for us to do so.
- This is NOT a place for reporting concerns about a member of staff. These must be reported directly to the Headteacher.
- This is NOT a forum through which to complain, please use existing processes to share these with us.
- Parents/Carers and members of the local community can also share their safeguarding concerns through The Sharp System and will receive a letter about this.
Any abuse of this system will not be tolerated and in the event that concerns are reported that are deliberately false or malicious, we will refer to Police as this behaviour may be considered a crime.
All students remain subject to the school’s Behaviour Policy and concerns about the misuse of The Sharp System may result in sanctions.