Designated Safeguarding StaFF
In school we have a large and dedicated team of people who take the lead with regard to safeguarding procedures. Ultimately all adults in school (staff and visitors) must watch for signs that there may be something happening in a child's life that is causing them stress, pain, anxiety or harm. However, it is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Team to investigate any disclosures that are made whilst the children are in school and take the lead with any further actions that may be required.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) personnel for Morley Victoria Primary School are:
Mrs J Wood (Headteacher)
Mrs D Smith and Mr K Precious (Assistant Headteachers)
Mrs S Gilbertson (Emotional Health and Wellbeing Manager)
Mr P Rushfirth (Emotional Health and Wellbeing Manager)
Miss J Northfield (Learning Mentor)
These members of staff are fully trained and will follow up on all issues that are brought to them in a timely fashion and in accordance with the child protection policy. They are trained to listen carefully and consider the best course of action based on the information they have. This team ensure that the staff have all of the training and support they need to ensure that safeguarding is a priority in the classroom. They also hold the links to outside agencies who they can call upon to help and support.
Each year all staff, volunteers and Governors review the procedures that must happen in order to protect children from harm. These can be found in the Child Protection Policy (which can be found in the Policies section of the website) and in the Keeping Children Safe in Education document. Below is a brief overview of what will happen if a child discloses something of concern to a friend or an adult in school:
1) A child makes a disclosure to a trusted friend or adult. If it is a friend we take every opportunity to encourage the children to 'Speak Up' if there is something that is worrying them, for themselves or on behalf of a friend and that some secrets simply must not be kept. We will ALWAYS listen but NEVER promise to keep secrets.
2) The adult who is the first to be told writes everything down, as word for word as possible, on a Cause for Concern Form which are pinned to the Safeguarding Boards located in each classroom.
3) This form MUST be handed IN PERSON to one of the Designated Staff named above. The person who has written the form gives a verbal summary with as much information as possible but then leaves the responsibility to the DSL.
4) The DSL will discuss the case with other team members before deciding upon a course of action.
5) Usually the DSL will ask to speak to the child who has made the disclosure to offer help, support and kindness to know that they have done the right thing by sharing their worries. This will allow the DSL to gain further information.
*PLEASE NOTE that all Child Protection information, including disclosures and Cause for Concern forms (plus any actions taken) will be recorded on CPOMS our online monitoring system. All of this type of information is confidential and is only accessible to the Designated Staff.*
6) If the DSL feels that it is necessary given the nature of the disclosure, they will contact the family of the child to discuss the matter further - this is not done over the phone - we feel that face to face conversations are much better.
7) Should it be deemed necessary, the team of DSLs together may feel that the case needs to be referred to a service called 'Duty and Advice' - which does just that - the service will help and support the DSL to know whether the case needs to be investigated by Children's Social Work Services (CSWS) or whether it is a matter that can be discussed in school.
*Please be aware that in MOST cases, the DSL will inform parents/carers that they are going to make the call to CSWS. However, if we feel that someone may be put in danger by doing so, the team of DSLs may make the decision to call Duty and Advice without a family's knowledge.
8) If CSWS deem it necessary, a 'Family Assessment' may be carried out by them to determine whether any further support is needed. If not, CSWS will close the case. However, their investigations could lead to the family being placed on one of the following support plans: an Early Help Plan, A Child in Need Plan or in the most serious cases, A Child Protection Plan.
9) At this point, more outside agencies may be called upon to help and support a family at this time - some examples of these may include: The Morley Cluster, Forward Leeds, Leeds Housing, CAMHS, School Nurses and Police Teams.
It is our responsibility in all cases to be an advocate for the children and we will be here to help and support throughout. We will check in with the children on a regular basis to build a trusting relationship so that they can come to us if they need to talk about anything. We will also support families in whatever CSWS may ask of us to support the process. We will attend all meetings and conferences, writing written reports as required - we will always provide the opportunity to share these with families before submitting them but changes may not be made.
We are not here to judge - CSWS are qualified to determine the future course of action - ours is a supportive role.
As a parent or carer it is never easy to hear the conversations we may have to have with you from time to time. However, we hope that you will understand that it is our duty to do this to ensure the children's safety and welfare at all times - it is our number one priority to ensure that the children are happy, health and safe.