The Trust considers the safety and well-being of our students and staff to have the highest priority in all our academies and we have the following systems and procedures in place.
Raising awareness of safeguarding among staff - All our academies adhere to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021), statutory safeguarding guidance from the Department for Education; all our staff, Trustees, Members and Governors are directed and sign to say they have read this guidance.
All of our schools have a culture of safeguarding as it is embedded in all aspects of the curriculum and enrichment. We recognise that staff knowledge and awareness is a priority. Staff are made aware, through regular training, e-mail updates, bulletins, staff meetings as well as visible information within our buildings of the safeguarding policies. Staff knowledge is secure as schools test staff to ensure training is embedded. The Trust is secure that staff are highly trained, can recognise concerns and are confident in reporting signs of abuse and neglect.
Each academy has a designated safeguarding lead (DSL). Additional DSLs in all of our schools are trained to support staff and liaise with other agencies. The DSLs are always available to staff during school hours and can be contacted out of school hours in emergencies. Staff raise any concerns about pupils’ welfare with their designated safeguarding lead, who will then make decisions about referrals. A referral is made immediately where a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm.
Safeguarding training - All our staff undergo safeguarding training, this is recorded in each academy, and regularly updated to meet statutory requirements. All our DSLs receive annual training through the local authority and additional specific CPD. To ensure training is current our DSLs attend termly updates and further training in response to local and national issues. All DSLs complete the full retraining as required.
Safer recruitment - All adults working in our Academies, including members, trustees, governors, third party staff, casual staff and volunteers, all undergo appropriate safer recruitment checks, including the correct level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Anyone engaged in ‘regulated activity’ also undergoes an enhanced DBS check with barred list information. Checks are all recorded on each academy single central record (SCR) and LCT Central team on LCT’s SCR. The Company Secretary has access to all our academies SCRs and ensures they are up to date and compliant.
Certain individuals are disqualified from providing childcare or managing early year’s provision or out-of-school-hours childcare for under-8s. Our academies do not employ a disqualified person to work in a relevant setting.
At least one person on any appointment panel in our Academies must have undertaken safer recruitment training.
Specific safeguarding issues - All our staff are aware of the indictors of abuse and neglect. As well as specific safeguarding issues such as radicalisation, child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, children missing in education, mental health, serious violence and peer on peer abuse. All our teachers understand that they should speak to the DSLs with any concerns on female genital mutilation (FGM) BUT that they are required by law to report to the police any concerns about FGM carried out on a girl aged under 18.
Appropriate internet filters and monitoring systems are in place in all our academies to keep children and young people safe online. Our students receive regular assemblies and learn in curriculum time how to be safe on social media. Parents can access support and advice from their child’s school, we provide information on websites as well as parent sessions.
Safeguarding policies – Each academy has its individual child protection policy which links directly to the setting, key staff, and the local context. Each child protection policy is updated at least annually, and when legislation changes. This policy is approved by the Local governing Body and is published on each academy website.
There is a Trust wide staff code of conduct in place which staff receive annually or when they join the organisation.
There are also Trust wide procedures covering particular safeguarding issues such as recruitment and selection, allegations against staff, attendance, children missing in education, radicalisation, whistleblowing, mobile phone usage, lone working, alternative provision and work experience in place.
LCT Central Team – All LCT staff are based at HLC campus and therefore abide by HLC’s safeguarding policy and procedures. They all undertake annual safeguarding training as part of their role. If they are working in one of our academies, they follow the child protection policy of that academy. Within the LCT team we always have a minimum of one DSL who oversees all aspects of safeguarding . If a member of the LCT central team needs to report any concerns regarding safeguarding practices in one of our academies, they report it directly to the Trust DSL via the Company Secretary.