Keeping Children Safe
At Green Oaks we take the safety and well-being of our children very seriously.
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
We make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both children and adults feel secure, able to talk and believe that they are being listened to. We will always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned. We therefore have rigorous policies and processes in place to ensure children are protected, safe and cared for.
Designated Safeguarding Leads
All schools have Designated Safeguarding Leads [DSL] who have the role and responsibility for ensuring children are protected from harm and maltreatment.
Our DSLs ensure all staff understand how to keep children safe and how to respond to concerns or disclosures.
At the Green Oaks Federation the following personnel are trained as Designated Safeguarding Leads:
- Sue Tadman: Executive Headteacher, Green Oaks Federation
- Catherine Macdonald: Inclusion Leader, Green Oaks Federation
- Jenny Cook: Head of School, Oakwood Infant School
- Ceri Johnston: Head of School, Greenfields Junior School
- Catherine Randall: Head of Early Years, Oakwood Infant School
All of our staff undergo a rigorous recruitment and selection process that includes vetting for suitability to work with children.
All staff undergo an induction period that includes understanding how to keep children safe in education and how to raise concerns. All staff are required to sign that they have read and understood our safeguarding and child protection policies, including Keeping Children Safe in Education [Part 1].
A Code of Conduct
Staff are required to act within our Code of Conduct and to make sure that they are acting in according with our policies and procedures.
This includes how to avoid unnecessary allegations, how to manage and respond appropriately to behaviour and how to notice and respond to safeguarding concerns. Any staff who have concerns regarding another professional’s conduct are required to report this under our ‘Whistleblowing’ policy.
Safeguarding is defined in the Children Act 2004 as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of health and development;
- ensuring that children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- working in a way that gives the best life chances and transition to adulthood.
All of our staff undergo Safeguarding and Child Protection training on induction and annually thereafter. This includes understanding the signs and symptoms of abuse and indicators that would raise a safeguarding concern. Everyone is responsible for safeguarding at our Federation and our safeguarding practice applies to every child.
All schools have a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
At the Green Oaks Federation we build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting our school and British values and enabling our children to challenge views and opinions. We do this by providing a safe space in which children and staff can debate key issues and challenge extreme viewpoints that are relevant to themselves and appropriate to their age and stage of development.
Supply and temporary staff
All supply and temporary staff undergo a vetting process to ensure they are suitable to work with children and conform to our high expectations for keeping children safe in education.
This includes induction in our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policies, reading and understanding Keeping Safe in Education [Part 1] and agreeing to our Code of Conduct. Whenever possible we will only use staff who are known to us. However, if we are required to use supply staff at short notice, or if we are unable to find cover, we will only use supply agencies that are recognised and recommended by Hampshire County Council.
At Green Oaks we value the support and experience that volunteers can offer to the school.
However, our priority will always be to keep our children safe. Therefore all volunteers are vetted for suitability and will only have access to children in accordance with our school policies and practice. All volunteers are required to undergo an induction briefing which includes understanding safeguarding awareness and our volunteer code of conduct.
Support for families
As a Federation we are committed to supporting our families in times of need.
This may be through family support and early intervention or through child protection processes. If you are finding it hard to cope or feel the need for support please speak to your child’s class teacher, one of our Head of Schools or our Executive Headteacher. We will be able to listen and work with you to find the support that may be needed for you and your family.
Responding and Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
Everyone has a duty to keep children safe from harm and maltreatment.
We expect everyone who is part of our community to take this responsibility seriously. If you have a safeguarding concern, always take this seriously. If you have any concerns because you think that a child is being abused or has been abused in the past, and you want someone to find out what is going on, contact the Hampshire Children’s Services Department, Monday - Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, on phone number 0300 555 1384. At all other times, contact the out-of-hours service, on phone number 0300 555 1373.
If you would like more information about how we keep our children safe at Green Oaks please visit the policies section of our website.