The welfare and safety of our students will always be our priority. We do everything possible to secure our students safety in school and outside school. We work with relevant agencies to address any issues related to child protection as well as doing all we can to secure student safety within our community.
Oxford Spires Academy has specialist staff and a number of trained staff who have been designated to act and liaise with social service in cases related to child protection.
- Ensure we practise safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
- Raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
- Have in place procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse, working alongside outside agencies to protect our students.
- Support students who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan.
- Establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
- Be vigilant for signs of abuse.
Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school.
PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
The Child Protection Policy at OSA is based on the principle of fully recognising the academy’s responsibilities for child protection.
We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, academy staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The academy will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
- Ensure children know that there are adults in the academy whom they can approach if they are worried.
- Include opportunities in the PSHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
We will follow the procedures set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board to:
- Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer.
- Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed.
Designated Safeguarding Lead – Miss S Baker
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr Khan
The safeguarding team, fully trained, are:
- Rose Bhag
- Shazeb Khan
- Megan Minton
- Beverley Harry
- Melanie Tuck
- Elaine Austin
- Marysia Hermaswezwka
- Stephanie Fisher
- Katy Shuttleworth
- Linda Woodley
- Siuli Kadir
- Karen Dix
- Claire May-Smith
Safeguarding PoliciesAnti-bullying PolicyAttendance And Punctuality PolicyBritish ValuesChild Protection & Safeguarding PolicyGovernment Guidelines: Sexting In Schools And CollegesRegistration of Pupils Policy (under review)School Behaviour PolicySpecial Educational Needs Policy
Our Missing Student and Tackling Extremism policies are available upon request.
I would like to make you aware of our Safeguarding practice with respect to the home visits that we carry out as a school. There are a number of reasons that the school may wish to make a home visit, one being that we strongly believe that a link between home and school allows your child to be successful and happy. A member of our team may also visit when you child is absent and the school have received no contact with yourselves. May I take this opportunity to assure you that when we visit your children in their home environment, we are doing so with their best interests at heart.
Safeguarding Audit March 2016
We are delighted to announce that Oxford Spires Academy has passed its safeguarding audit from the trust with flying colours. They found exceptional practice especially in the speed of communication and alertness of staff. I quote, “Oxford Spires has well organised, effective, robust protection procedures in place to safeguard the well-being, safety and emotional and physical health of their pupils.
All staff demonstrated a high level of commitment and vigilance to safeguarding, and approach this in a connected, systematic and caring manner.
Pupils presented as enthusiastic, grounded and well behaved individuals who seemed happy to engage with the many opportunities that Oxford Spires offers.”
Students and parents may well have noticed that we have secured new fencing courtesy of our trust (Education Development Trust previously known as CfBT Schools Trust) to ensure that adults using the new fitness gym during the school day are clearly guided along the outside of the school and then up to the main entrance of the gym. There is an area just prior to the entrance to the gym where students can access the netball courts to play football that is not fenced. There are two clear safeguarding strategies in place. Firstly there is very clear signage about where adults should go. Secondly we have trained all students and staff to be clear and check that there are no visitors on site without a school badge having signed in at Main Reception in the appropriate way. Students are alerted to let a member of staff know should they see anybody who has not signed in appropriately and staff response to this will be immediate. We test the system regularly by having a mystery shopper on the school site to check that they are suitably challenged and that the whole community is alert to any visitors on our site.
We are a community school and we do welcome members of the community on to our site. This is balanced with vigilance and strong safeguarding practices.
Any parent who has any concerns and would like to know more please make contact directly with Miss Blake.
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Child abuse and what to look for
No parent or carer wants to think about the possibility of their child becoming a victim of abuse and most children are never abused. Even so, it is important for parents and carers to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable does happen. Most children know their abusers. They may be family members or friends of the family, someone who works with the child or someone who lives in the community. There are many signs, or indicators, that a child might be suffering abuse. There may be injuries, but it is more likely that you will notice some change in your child’s behaviour. If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember that if your child is being harmed, she or he may be too frightened to tell you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s social care services.
Some signs to look for are:
- bruises or other injuries
- a change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
- pain or discomfort
- fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them
- secrecy around a relationship with a particular person
- reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with
- sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years
- being watchful, or always on edge
- losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life
- alcohol or drug taking
- having money and refusing to say where it has come from
- wetting the bed
- becoming clingy
What we will do if we have a concern about your child
If we are concerned that your child may be at risk of abuse or neglect, we must follow the agreed safeguarding procedures. The procedures have been written to protect all students. They comply with our statutory responsibilities and are designed to support students, families and staff. The procedures are based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration.
In almost all circumstances, we will talk to you about our concerns and we will also tell you if we feel we must refer our concerns to children’s social care. If we think that talking to you first might in some way increase the risk to your child, we will report our concerns to children’s social care and take advice from them.
All child-protection records are kept separate from your child’s general school file. The only members of staff who have access to the records are those who need to know about the concerns in order to protect and support your child. Child protection is a very sensitive issue and it raises many questions and a range of strong emotions. We will do everything we can do to support our students and you can be assured that any action we take will be in the best interests of your child.
For more information please check the following document: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
If you still have concerns, you could contact one of the agencies listed below:
Click on each logo to visit their website