The Diocese of Sheffield Academies Trust has a duty of care to safeguard, protect and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice requirements. Safeguarding is the responsibility of every staff member, volunteer, local school board and Trustees.
We have two Trust Strategic Safeguarding Leads, Alison Adair (Deputy CEO) and Nevine Towers (Head of Business and Operations) that are part of the Executive Central Team at the Trust. They oversee Safeguarding on behalf of the Trust and report directly to the Trust Board in relation to safeguarding issues. The nominated Safeguarding Trustee is Jim Dugmore.
The Trust Strategic Safeguarding Leads ensure safeguarding is paramount in all we do by:
Conducting an Annual Safeguarding Audit to ensure schools are fully compliant is all areas of safeguarding, that staff are appropriately trained, safeguarding policies are in place to ensure the welfare of our children
Ensure our Building Managers and Schools have up-to-date policies on Health and Safety, statutory compliance is undertaken, our school building are subject to an annual audit to ensure our learning environments are fit for purpose
A Trust Educational Welfare Officer, to work with schools, families and children on the promotion and monitoring of attendance, investigate children missing in education and supporting families with early help
A robust ICT infrastructure which filters and monitors content to ensure our pupils are safe when online
Our People Director oversees recruitment and vetting, trains staff on safer recruitment, ensures the Single Centre Register is up to date and compliant and assurances are in place from partnership working. She also supports our staff workforce, updates HR policies and oversees the DSAT Well-Being Charter
A curriculum that teaches safeguarding (see below)
Safeguarding in the Curriculum
Pupil safeguarding is at the core of The Diocese of Sheffield Academies Trust and identifying opportunities for children to learn about safeguarding in the curriculum is key.
We value pupils’ questions and give them space to share their own thoughts, ideas and concerns. We give them opportunities across the curriculum to explore values, personal rights, responsibilities and equal opportunities. This enables our pupils to develop an understanding of moral concepts in a way that: impacts positively on safeguarding; promotes British values and prevents radicalisation and extremism.
Our broad and balanced curriculum allows pupils to develop their understanding of our diverse world and equip them with the skills and knowledge required for personal safeguarding. We give pupils opportunities to experience life in all its diversity, to acquire knowledge, understanding, and skills that significantly impact personal development, behaviour, and welfare, and equips every child with the knowledge and skills required for personal safeguarding.
Our PSHE and RSE curriculum covers all areas of Safeguarding through each of the strands to a different degree, however, some go into more detail. We are sensitive in our teaching and recognise that some more sensitive subjects need to be taught at an age-appropriate level, or at a small group or 1:1 level when appropriate.
We plan to constantly challenge children to think deeply about safeguarding matters and their own personal physical and mental wellbeing.
There are many opportunities throughout our learning in schools to explore safeguarding issues.
Practical safeguarding opportunities are planned into the curriculum. For example:
Road and rail safety (including out of school visits, bike-ability, work with police officers in the community)
Poolside and water safety through swimming lessons
Fire awareness (including visits from the local fire service)
Visits to school from medical staff
Visitors from charities such as Barnados, NSPCC, the dogs trust to do focused projects
Work from local voluntary sector services particularly around safe transition to Secondary school
Plays and shows
Online safety quizzes and training
Our visits and experiences incorporate “Stranger Danger”, being safe in the outdoors, what to do if??
What to do if you are separated from your group (in relation to school visits)
Safe use of technology including password security and privacy settings and age appropriate websites and keeping yourself safe online, cyber bullying
We have developed an open and safe learning environment in which pupils express their views, seek help, and help others. The promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity, for pupils and staff, helps prevent any form of direct or indirect discriminatory behaviour.
Our children learn to not tolerate any prejudiced behaviour. Our behaviour policies promote making good choices and exhibiting good learning behaviours. Class times are a time for sharing ideas, addressing concerns, and promoting important values.
Assembly time and circle times are used to promote personal safeguarding matters and explore themes. For example, we talk about anti- bullying including cyber bullying and British values including how these values are promoted in our multi–faith society. Staff and children are quick to challenge stereotypes and the use of derogatory language in lessons and around our schools. Our schools reflect the diversity of pupils’ experiences and provides pupils with a comprehensive understanding of people and communities beyond their immediate experience including the role of women in society and different family groups including same-sex couples.
Throughout the curriculum, there are planned opportunities to promote all forms of equality and foster greater understanding of and respect for people of all faiths (and those with no faith), races, genders, ages, disabilities, and sexual orientations, through their words, actions and in their influence. Opportunities are created in a variety of subjects to address areas of safeguarding, for example, themes are highlighted through novels in English lessons.
Time is taken at the beginning of every new school year to reaffirm school values, expectations, and rules for being part of a team. This good start to the year, with everyone clear about their roles and responsibilities, sets the tone for the rest of the year and leads to excellent safeguarding outcomes.
Keeping Children Safe
Whilst local authorities play a lead role, safeguarding children and protecting them from harm is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Operation Encompass is a police and education early information safeguarding partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support to children experiencing domestic abuse.
Operation Encompass ensures that there is a simple telephone call or notification to a school’s trained Designated Safeguarding Lead / Officer (known as key Adult) prior to the start of the next school day after an incident of police attended domestic abuse where there are children related to either of the adult parties involved.
Information is shared with a school’s Key Adult (Designated Safeguarding Lead or Officer) prior to the start of the next school day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident. This sharing of information enables appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.