In order to ensure the safety of all children in our care, we are required to follow the child protection procedures as agreed by the local education authority. We will endeavour to share with parents/guardians any concerns we may have regarding any injuries noted or other specific issues regarding the welfare of their child. We will keep a record of any concerns raised and will share them with the parents/guardians if it is appropriate to do so.
We do have a duty to refer to social care if we suspect a child is at risk of significant harm. If we make a referral to social care, we will inform the parents/guardians concerned; unless to do so would place the child at increased risk of significant harm. Our first concern will always be the welfare of the child.
We will also advise the designated officer of the local education authority (LADO) if there were concerns about the actions of an adult in a position of trust. Please note that, in some areas, this role has been renamed to designated officer for allegations, or DOFA.
Designated Safeguarding Leads
The designated safeguarding lead is responsible for promoting a safe environment for children and young people. They are the first point of contact for all staff and volunteers to go to for advice if they are concerned about a child. This may also need to be available out of hours, so staff and volunteers always know how to contact them, or alternatively a deputy can be appointed.
The designated safeguarding lead has a higher level of safeguarding training and knowledge than the rest of the staff and should have completed Working Together to Safeguard Children and Young People. Their role includes supporting staff to assist in information regarding concerns and support decision making about whether staff concerns are sufficient enough to notify children’s social work services or whether other courses of action are more appropriate, such as the completion of an Early Help Approach (CSWS).
It is not the designated safeguarding officer's responsibility to decide whether a child has been abused or not. That is the responsibility of investigative statutory agencies such as children’s social work services or the police. However, keeping children safe is everybody’s business, and all staff should know who to go to and how to report any concerns they may have about a child being harmed or at risk of being harmed.
Whitelands Academy Safeguarding Team
When Whitelands Academy has appointed its safeguarding team, details will be available here.
Prevent Duty & Educate Against Hate
As a parent, you may be worried about how extremism and radicalisation might affect your child.
Messages of hate can take many forms. Extremist groups use them to recruit young people. There is a website where you will find information to help parents, teachers, and school leaders to understand the issues and protect children in our community.
For practical advice and information on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation, please visit Educate Against Hate.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to procedures that intentionally alter, mutilate, or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is medically unnecessary and can have serious health consequences, both at the time it is carried out and in later life.
FGM is prevalent in 28 African countries and areas of the Middle and Far East, but it is increasingly practiced in the U.K. in communities with larger populations of first-generation immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
FGM is deeply embedded in some communities and is performed for cultural and social reasons. It is usually carried out on girls before they reach puberty, but in some cases it is performed on newborn infants or on women before marriage or pregnancy. It is often justified by the belief that it is beneficial for the girl or woman, but FGM is an extremely harmful practice which violates basic human rights.
The most significant risk factor for girls and young women is coming from a community where FGM is known to be practised and/or where a mother, sister, or other female family member has been subjected to FGM. Practitioners should be aware of this and provide families with advice and information which makes it clear that FGM is illegal.
Please visit the FGM resource pack for more information and guidance.