The Trust considers the safety and well-being of our students 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, statutory safeguarding guidance from the Department for Education; all our staff, Trustees and Governors are directed and sign to say they have read at least the first section of this guidance.
Staff are made aware, through regular training and updates, as well as visible information within our buildings of the safeguarding policies and procedures each academy has in place and know how to recognise and report signs of abuse and neglect.
Each academy has at least two designated safeguarding leads (DSL) who are trained to support staff and liaise with other agencies. The DSL or his/her deputy are available to staff at all times during school hours. 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 that is regularly updated, training for the DSLs and his/her deputy is updated at least every two years. DSLs and other staff also refresh their safeguarding knowledge and skills regularly annually.
Safer recruitment – Anyone working in one of our Academies, including governors, third party 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).
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 need are aware of specific safeguarding issues such as radicalisation, child sexual exploitation, children missing education and mental health. Teachers are required by law to report to the police known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) involving 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.
Safeguarding policies – each academy has its individual child protection policy and there is a Trust wide staff code of conduct in place. Each child protection policy is updated at least annually, and when legislation changes, approved by the Local governing Body and is published on each academy website.
There are also Trust wide procedures covering particular safeguarding issues such as recruitment and selection, allegations against staff, peer abuse, children missing education, radicalisation, whistle-blowing, mobile phone usage and work experience in place.