Keeping children safe

The designated person for safeguarding and child protection is the Headteacher, Mrs. Helen Castell.

Our deputy safeguarding lead is Mrs. Tracey Wilson.

Our designated safeguarding governor is Mrs. Bobbie Charlick.

Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. If you have any concerns about a child, or would like to speak to any of the above, please call the school office on 01245 420963.

At Writtle Infant School, our first priority is to protect and secure the welfare of the children in our care. To this aim, we:

  • Establish and maintain an environment where pupils feel safe and secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to;
  • Ensure that pupils know that there are adults within the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty;
  • Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip pupils with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to develop healthy and safe relationships;
  • Include in the curriculum material which will help pupils develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills;
  • Make parents/carers aware of the school policies and practice for safeguarding and ensure that, wherever possible, every effort will be made to establish open and honest effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from partner agencies.

Schools have a statutory duty to report any suspected incidents of child abuse (e.g. physical, sexual, emotional, neglect) and any circumstances when it is felt a child may be at significant risk of child abuse occurring.  When we can, we will discuss our concerns with parents/carers before a referral is made to Social Services.  However, if we have concerns that this action could put a child at risk of harm then we would contact Social Services in the first instance.

All visitors to the school read our safeguarding guidance before entering and all staff and volunteers undergo all the relevant safety checks. Badges are worn by all staff and visitors.

ICT usageYour child’s safety online is very important to us. We have measures in place to ensure that all internet access at school is safe and appropriate.

Here are some useful tips on e-safety at home for parents and carers.

Talk to your child about what they’re up to online.

Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.

Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child.

The Thinkuknow website, run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.

Encourage your child to go online and explore!

There is a wealth of age appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.

Keep up to date with your child’s development online.

Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.

Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world.

Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.

Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space.

For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas, so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.

Know what connects to the internet and how.

Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety settings you set are being applied.

Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones.

Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they’re a good start and not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency's guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people, as well as a link for children to report abuse online.

Childnet's website for children about the Internet and being a SMART surfer.
Childnet is a charity helping to make the internet a great and safe place for children.
The UK Safer Internet Centre offers e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online.
Net Aware is a joint initiative between O2 and the NSPCC to create a guide with information and advice for parents on the most popular social networks, apps and games used by children and young people.
Educational resource about Internet safety from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Get Safe Online offers guidance to keeping your child safe online, as well as a host of information for parents to prevent phishing attacks, identity theft etc.

On 1st July 2015 the Prevent duty (Section 26) of The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 came into force. This duty places the responsibility on schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

As part of our commitment to safeguarding and child protection we fully support the government’s Prevent Strategy. Writtle Infant School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We believe that children should be given the opportunity to explore diversity and understand Britain as a multicultural society; everyone should be treated with respect whatever their race, gender, sexuality, religious belief, special need or disability.

The Headteacher, Mrs. Helen Castell, is Writtle Infant School’s Prevent Lead.

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