St. Matthew’s Catholic Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We are fully committed to ensuring that consistent effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support families, children and staff at School. We believe all staff and visitors have an important and unique role to play in child protection.
At St. Matthew’s we believe that:
- All children have the right to be protected from harm
- Children need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse
- Children need to be safe and feel safe in school
Designated Child Protection Officers at St. Matthew’s:
The Lead DSL, Mr Martin Gray, Headteacher. The Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer is Mrs Patricia Hatherley, who is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The Designated Governor is Mr Richard Paisley. These Officers have undertaken the relevant training.
Cause for Concern
Staff are expected to report any causes for concern to the DSL or Deputy DSL using a written Pro-forma. Concerns may range from children being visibly upset to persistent lateness to children “disclosing” concerns.
When the school has concerns about a child, the DSL will act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies. In general, we will discuss concerns with parents/carers before approaching other agencies and will seek their consent to make a referral to another agency. Appropriate staff will approach parents/carers after consultation with the DSL. However, there may be occasions when school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers if the school decides that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.
Child Protection information will be dealt with in a confidential manner.
General information about safeguarding related policies and practices within our school can be found in the Policies section of the website. Guidance and advice on how to keep your child safe online can be found in the E-Safety section of the website. Links to these sections are below.
We are involved in a new innovative project that schools in Northumberland participate in. The project, called Operation Encompass, is being run in partnership with both Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police. The project, which will commence in April 2015 and aims to support children who are affected by Domestic Abuse.
Operation Encompass aims to support children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse. Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a child or young person, who often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries or distress afterwards or can be physically hurt by trying to stop the abuse.
As a result, following any domestic abuse incident being reported to the police, the Police will make contact with Children’s Social Care who will then communicate relevant and necessary information to nominated school staff. This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and can subsequently provide support to children in a way that means they feel safe and listened to.
Each school has members of staff (key adults) who have been fully trained in liaising with police and Children’s Social Care when required and will ensure that the necessary support is made available to the child or young person following the disclosure of a domestic abuse incident.
Our Key Members of staff are:
Mr M Gray- Headteacher, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs P Hatherley – Acting Deputy, Safeguarding Lead