“Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility”
Children have a right to be cared for and protected, protecting them is everyone’s responsibility. Here at Fernhurst 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 you, we will report to 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 but where there is a concern, a referral be made to West Sussex so that the right support and guidance can be put in place. When a referral is made, parents will be notified beforehand, except when guidance from social care or the police does not allow this or when the school are unable to make contact with parents.
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 a University of Chichester Academy Trust Child Protection policy which is underpinned by the West Sussex, Hampshire and Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and the document “Working Together to Safeguard Children” and 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. The safeguarding policy is available from the school office or on our policy page.
If you have any concerns about the practice of our staff team please speak to the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) (Miss Sarah Allen, Mrs Jennifer Thornton or Mr Jon Reilly).
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 Safeguarding Lead 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 West Sussex Integrated Front Door to discuss your concerns with the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Team on 01403 229 900
Their role is to:
- Research information held on professional databases to inform decisions.
- Continuing to provide support to professionals working in Early Help. Especially identifying families who need key working services, and family network responses.
- Providing a secure and confidential environment for professionals to share information.
- Identifying low–level repeat referrals which taken in isolation may not appear concerning, but do when the child’s journey is reviewed.
- You can call or complete an online form to request support. If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.