‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE 2022) requires all schools to follow the procedure for protecting children from abuse which are established by the Hertfordshire Children’s Safeguarding Partnership. Schools are also expected to ensure they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or at risk of abuse.
Safeguarding Leads at Whitehill
The headteacher, Mr Steve Mills, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) within the school.
There are two deputy DSLs (dDSL). Mrs Heidi Burniston (Assistant Head – Curriculum) and Mrs Antonia McConnell Smith (Assistant Head – Inclusion).
The governor with the responsibility of overseeing safeguarding is Mrs Laura Cole.
The two key policies relating to safeguarding are the Child Protection Policy and the Online Safety Policy. Both follow the County model policies which have been adapted for the school. The Child Protection Policy is reviewed and amended at least annually. The Online Safety Policy is reviewed on a two-yearly cycle unless additional reviews are required sooner. Printed copies are available via the school office.
Whitehill Junior School is involved in Operation Encompass which is a project run jointly between schools and police in Hertfordshire. This join initiative between police and schools came into force at the beginning of December 2019.
Operation Encompass is the notification to schools by the police, prior to the start of the next school day, of incidents in which children have experienced or been exposed to any domestic abuse. Witnessing domestic abuse is itself a form of abuse and so it is important that children experiencing this are supported appropriately as soon as possible.
The Designated Senior Person, or Deputy, will liaise with the police and use the information shared in confidence, whilst ensuring the school makes suitable provision for the children or their families, who have experienced domestic abuse, depending on the difficulties they have experienced. We wish to give our pupils as much support as possible and believe that this prompt reporting of domestic abuse will be in the best interests of our children.