Keeping Children Safe
Keeping our children safe is our highest priority. In assemblies we often talk about children needing these things first, in order to learn well:
To be SAFE, HEALTHY and HAPPY
This page is all about safeguarding our children – keeping them safe in every way within our community, and helping them to learn about how they can keep themselves safe.
At Old Bank Academy the health, safety and well-being of all of our children is our highest priority. Parents and families send their children to our school each day, trusting us to provide a secure environment in which their children will flourish. We do everything we can to ensure that this expectation is a reality in our school.
In order to do this, a wide range of measures are put in place detailed below.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads are:
Child Protection & Safeguarding
The designated adults for Child Protection/Safeguarding are Mrs Wood, Miss Taylor, Mrs Cooper and Mrs Bird and the designated governor is Mr Andrew Eastwood.
There is a detailed Child Safeguarding Policy, which is available on our Policies and Information page.
It is the Governing Body’s duty to ensure the policy is reviewed annually and any deficiencies within the policy addressed immediately. All staff has had appropriate child protection training, which is updated every year.
Physical restraint: This school follows advice that physical restraint may be used, using the Team Teach approach, if there is the possibility that a child may be about to cause harm to him/ herself or to another. On no occasion will any form of physical contact be used as a punishment.
Health & Safety
The school has a health and safety policy, which is monitored by the relevant members of the school governing body.
We have regular H&S inspections and meetings to ensure we are compliant with all Health and Safety responsibilities. The Headteacher, Caretaker and Governors with responsibility for Health and Safety oversee this comprehensive list.
Any concerns from staff are reported to any of the above and an initial examination takes place immediately, assessing what remedial action needs to take place. Our children are also encouraged to be involved with the Health and safety in school and report any concerns they may have.
On at least a termly basis, there is a fire drill to practice efficient evacuation from the buildings. The school conducts an annual Fire Risk Assessment and receives regular visits from the Fire Service and the Local Authority Fire Officers.
In addition to the Health and Safety Policy there are policies and risk assessments in place regarding Food and Drink and Food and Hygiene. These determine safe practices in school and the Kitchen/ Dining Room.
The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two key ways.
Firstly, the curriculum – through cross-curricular topics and planning around Personal, Social and Health Education – discusses relevant issues with the children. Specific topics include such themes as Drugs, Sex and Relationships and Stranger Danger. Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues together and with their teachers/learning support assistants. We also discuss a wide range of issues around safety and wellbeing on a very regular basis in assemblies. Our School Welfare Team is also playing an integral part in keeping our children safe and caring for their wellbeing on a daily basis.
Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taken out of school, appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained.
The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are authorised by the Educational Visit Co-ordinator (EVC) and the Headteacher.Risk assessments are conducted for all activities beyond the school grounds, and these are signed off by the Headteacher.
We have key trained members of staff, designated to oversee first aid and there are a number of first aid kits situated around school.
Where there is any cause for concern, staff deal with children with the utmost sensitivity and always seek guidance from a member of the school leadership team. Wherever necessary, parents will be contacted or asked to come into school immediately so that they are part of the decision making process for such matters.
In the case of an emergency, the school will call for emergency treatment first before contacting the parent.
Old Bank Academy is a secure site with door access controls and a visitor register. We have clear routines and procedures in place, but the site is only as secure as the people who use it and the whole school community has a responsibility to help us maintain security. Our children and parents are crucial to this process and we encourage you to report any concerns to the school office.
We take great care to maintain a secure site around the perimeter of the school and all children are supervised at all times. We lock our school gates during the school day and visitors must always report to school via the main reception.
Excellent attendance is expected of all children. However, in the event that a child is unwell parents are asked to report absence by 8.30 am on the first day using our main school number 01924 495790.
On occasions where a child’s attendance and punctuality cause concern, this is dealt with by our school attendance officer- Mrs Cooper. Attendance rates are reported each term to the LA, annually to the government, and to all parents. Positive systems are in place to encourage children to attend regularly and punctually, and the school is aware of its right to issue fixed penalties to parents who do not ensure good attendance and punctuality.
In exceptional circumstances, leave of absence may be requested in writing by submitting a letter to the head at least 30 days in advance, and explaining in detail what the exceptional circumstances are.
Appointment and Induction of Staff
All staff appointed to work in school, including work/student placements, have a criminal record search called a DBS check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made against them. If any member of staff is found to have a criminal record, the appointment is reconsidered by the school with support and advice from the Local Authority.
Several members of school staff and the school’s governing body have received training on Safer Recruitment and all appointment panels where the candidates are external applicants will be attended by at least one appropriately trained member.
Newly appointed staff are assigned a mentor for their induction period. It is the responsibility of the mentors to familiarise new staff with procedures, policies and Old Bank Academy’s safeguarding practices, which affect the health and safety of all at school, especially the children.
All volunteers must have an induction session and also have DBS clearance. For any extended contact with children, when children may be left alone with an adult, or when an adult visitor may be in and around the school building, a full DBS search will be conducted. Visitors who do not yet have clearance will under no circumstance be left alone with a child or group of children.
Children should be encouraged to use the internet, but at all times in a safe way. Pupils must never be left unattended whilst online and teachers should ensure that this does not happen. If any adult or child suspects misuse, either by a teacher or child, the issue must be reported to the Head (Mrs Wood) without delay.
Lots of useful fact sheets and links to useful websites are available on this school website on our Online Safety page.
Photography & Filming
At Old Bank Academy we have taken a sensible, balanced approach, which allows parents to photograph and video, providing they follow certain guidelines: introducing the Acceptable Use Policy for parent’s forms part of this approach.
Parents taking photographs are advised in advance of all school events that photographs must be for their own use within their families, and are not to be used in any social media.
Old Bank Academy uses images of children, both on our website and in press releases. However, parents are given the option at intake to refuse the use of their child’s image. Parents can change their preferences at any time by requesting a consent form from the office.
Disability Equality Scheme and Equal Opportunities
At Old Bank Academy we work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. All children are given equal access to the school and its curriculum and all are considered equal in the learning partnership.
When children have special needs, we make arrangements to inform parents and design specific programmes. We ensure that the outcomes for all groups of children allow them to reach their full potential.
Children with physical needs and disabilities must be able to take a full and active part in every lesson and activity, and every measure is taken to ensure this.
Good behaviour is essential in any community and we have high expectations for this. Our Behaviour Policy shows our strong emphasis on positive approaches, but also our clear boundaries in responding to behaviour choices that threaten the learning, wellbeing or safety of others.
If members of staff ever have any concerns about people working within the school, paid or unpaid, they have a professional duty to inform the Headteacher or Governing body accordingly. This can be done in writing or verbally but staff should be prepared to discuss issues in the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the highest appropriate level of confidentiality.