“Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility”
Children have a right to be cared for and protected, protecting them is everyone’s responsibility. Here at Hatfield Heath Primary School we have a duty of care to ensure that all users of the school are kept safe from harm. We are committed to provide a secure and supportive environment in which children can develop and grow into mature and responsible people. Safeguarding children is an essential part of our holistic approach to ensure that children are protected from abuse and neglect and that every child reaches their full potential.
The school’s staff, volunteers and service providers have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as a shared responsibility with parents and other carers. To support this statement, the school may signpost to services that are specialised to promote opportunity, prevent problems, act early and act effectively if and when concerns arise. Therefore, whilst we do not want to worry parents/ carers, we will report to Essex Children’s Social Care if we have any reason to believe that a child may be at risk of suffering abuse or neglect.
Parents/carers are normally our first point of contact, and if a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers will be informed at the same time that the record is made. We will support parents/carers and ensure we work in collaboration with them to protect children. Working with parents/carers to prevent abuse is our primary aim and only when that has failed or in emergency situations will a referral be made to social care. When a referral is made to social care parents will be notified beforehand, except when guidance from social care or the police does not allow this.
We cannot safeguard children alone. All children’s services agencies work in partnership with each other. There are duties and rules about information sharing but if staff, parents or carers have any concerns about a child, other parent, provider, agency or any person, they have a responsibility to report those concerns and we must record and act on them We have our Child Protection policy which is underpinned by Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2022 (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022); the Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) Procedures; the document “Working Together to Safeguard Children” and Essex HR Safer Recruitment guidance. The policy applies to all children and young people regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion. It is a requirement that all users are informed of these policies and practice guidance and what they should do if they have concerns.
If you have any concerns please speak to the Designated Child Protection Officers in the school – Elisabeth Gelston (Headteacher); Michelle Collier (Deputy Headteacher); Rebecca Godsafe (SENDCo) and Victoria Marrow (Business Director).
What you can do
Parents and carers play a role in safeguarding children in their community. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, you should report them to someone who you trust will listen. The school is required to have a designated child protection officer for this purpose. Parents and children should speak to the safeguarding officer if they have any concerns about a child or staff member.
If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999. Otherwise contact Essex Children and Families Hub on 0345 603 7627.