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Keeping our Children Safe

Keeping our children safe is our highest priority. In assemblies we often talk about children needing these things first, in order to learn well:

To be 

SAFE, HEALTHY and HAPPY

This page is all about safeguarding our children - keeping them safe in every way within our community, and helping them to learn about how they can keep themselves safe. We have a wide range of measures in place to ensure the safety of our pupils.

Safeguarding Children Statement

At Bovingdon the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our children is our highest priority. Parents and families send their children to our school each day, trusting us to provide a secure environment in which their children will flourish. We do everything we can to ensure that this expectation is a reality in our school.

Where necessary, the school would make a referral to Children’s Services if it suspected a child was being neglected or abused.

Health and Safety

The school has a health and safety policy, which is monitored each term by the relevant members of the school governing body. 

At our request, the Local Authority provide an annual inpection service and we use their monitoring checklist to ensure we are compliant with all Health and Safety responsibilties. The Principal, School Business Manager, Site Manager and Governors with responsibility for Health and Safety oversee this comprehensive list.

Any concerns from staff are reported to any of the above and an initial examination takes place immediately, assessing what remedial action needs to take place.

On at least a half-termly basis, there is a fire drill to practice efficient evacuation from the buildings. The school conducts an annual Fire Risk Assessment.

There is also a critical incident plan that details what staff and parents should do in the case of emergencies.

In addition to the Health and Safety Policy there are policies regarding Food and Drink and Food and Hygiene. These determine safe practices in school and the Kitchen/ Dining Room.

First Aid

We have key trained members of staff, designated to oversee first aid and there are a number of first aid kits situated around school.

Where there is any cause for concern, staff deal with children with the utmost sensitivity and always seek guidance from the Principal. Wherever necessary, parents will be contacted or asked to come into school immediately so that they are part of the decision making process for such matters.

In the case of an emergency, the school will call for emergency treatment first before contacting the parent.

Site Security

Bovingdon is a secure site with door access control and CCTV systems. We have clear routines and procedures in place, but the site is only as secure as the people who use it and the whole school community has a responsibilty to help us maintain security. Our children and parents are crucial to this process and we encourage you to report any concerns to the school office.

We take great care to maintain a secure site around the perimeter of the school and all children are supervised at all times. In the unlikely event of a child leaving the school premises without permission, staff have been asked never to chase after a child, but rather to report immediately to the office. Then parents and police will be informed of the circumstances.

Attendance

Excellent attendance is expected of all children. However, in the event that a child is unwell parents are asked to report absence by 9.30 am on the first day using our designated absence reporting line. Call 01442 406545 and select Option 1.

On the rare occasions where a child’s attendance and punctuality causes concern, the school may work closely with the Local Authority’s Welfare officer. Attendance rates are reported each term to the LA, annually to the government, and to all parents. Positive systems are in place to encourage children to attend regularly and punctually, and the school is aware of its right to issue fixed penalties to parents who do not ensure good attendance and punctuality.

In exceptional circumstances, leave of absence may be requested in writing by submitting a letter to the Principal at least 30 days in advance, and explaining in detail what the exceptional circumstances are. 

You can download our attendance information sheet here.

Appointment and induction of staff and work placements

All staff appointed to work in school have a criminal records search called a DBS check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made against them. If any member of staff is found to have a criminal record, the appointment is reconsidered by the Principal and the Personnel committee of the Governing Body. The LA is informed directly by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The Principal has undertaken the NCSL training on Safer Recruitment and sits on all appointment panels where the candidates are external applicants. 

Newly appointed staff are assigned a mentor for their induction period. It is the responsibility of the mentors to familiarise new staff with procedures, policies and Bovingdon safeguarding practices, which affect the health and safety of all at school, especially the children.

Induction of volunteers

All volunteers must also have DBS clearance.  For any extended contact with children, when children may be left alone with an adult, or when an adult visitor may be in and around the school building, a full DBS search will be conducted. Visitors who do not yet have clearance will under no circumstance be left alone with a child or group of children.

Welcoming Visitors

We confirm that all visitors with a professional role - eg supply teachers, the School Nurse or members of the police - have relevant clearance. Students who work within our school community also have their DBS clearance confirmed. Anyone who spends time in school without this confirmation will be accompanied at all times.

Child Protection/Safeguarding

The designated adults for Child Protection/Safeguarding are Mr Watts and Miss Fenton and the designated governor is Paula Bradbury. If you have any safeguarding concerns you can email safeguarding@bovingdonacademy.org.uk.

There is a detailed Child Protection Policy, which is available on our policies page.

It is the Aspire Academies Trust's duty to ensure the policy is reviewed annually and any deficiencies within the policy addressed immediately. Certain governors and all staff have had appropriate child protection training, which is updated at least every three years.

Physical restraint: This school follows advice that physical restraint may be used if there is the possibility that a child may be about to cause harm to him/ herself or to another. On no occasion will any form of physical contact be used as a punishment.

All allegations of abuse by or complaints of a teacher will be dealt with following clear procedures, initially by the Principal. For any complaints about the Principal the Chair of Governors should be contacted directly.

The Design of the Curriculum

The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two key ways.

Firstly, the curriculum - through cross-curricular topics and planning around Personal, Social and Health Education - discusses relevant issues with the children. Specific topics include such themes as Drugs, Sex and Relationships and Stranger Danger. Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues together and with their teachers/learning support assistants. We also discuss a wide range of issues around safety and wellbeing on a very regular basis in assemblies.

Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taken out of school, appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained. The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are authorised by the Principal.

Risk assessments are conducted for all activities beyond the school grounds, and these are signed off by the Educational Visits Coordinator and Principal.

Laptop

e-Safety

Children should be encouraged to use the internet, but at all times in a safe way. Pupils must never be left unattended whilst online and teachers should ensure that this does not happen. If any adult or child suspects misuse, either by a teacher or child, the issue must be reported to the Principal without delay.

Lots of useful fact sheets and links to useful websites are available in the left-hand column of the page above.

Our Network Administrator has overall responsibilty for internet safety and is also the internet and email manager for school.

Disability Equality Scheme and Equal Opportunities

At Bovingdon Academy we work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. All children are given equal access to the school and its curriculum and all are considered equal in the learning partnership.

When children have special needs we make arrangements to inform parents and design specific programmes. We ensure that the outcomes for all groups of children allow them to reach their full potential.

Children with physical needs and disabilities must be able to take a full and active part in every lesson and activity, and every measure is taken to ensure this.

Behaviour

Good behaviour is essential in any community and we have high expectations for this. Our policy shows our strong emphasis on positive approaches, but also our clear boundaries in responding to behaviour choices that threaten the learning, wellbeing or safety of others.

Anti-Bullying

Our definition of bullying is:

"When we talk about bullying, we mean one or more people repeatedly behaving in an intimidating or aggressive way, with the intention of causing emotional or physical harm to another person."

The school’s response to this is unequivocal. We do not tolerate bullying in our school community, and as soon as we are aware of an issue we act promptly and effectively.

Adults must be informed immediately and action will be taken.

Our children know that we pride ourselves on being a 'telling school'. If any child tells us that they feel they are being bullied, they know that we will support them and deal with the problem very quickly. Although bullying in this school is rare the school always acts swiftly with a process of investigation, communication and action. Bullies will not be tolerated.

Photographing and Filming

There has been a lot of controversy recently about adults photographing and filming young people. The concerns are genuine, and at Bovingdon we have taken a sensible, balanced approach, which allows parents to photograph and video, providing they follow certain guidelines:

Parents taking photographs are advised in advance of all school events that photographs must be for their own use within their families, and are not to be used in any social media. 

Image Consent

Bovingdon uses images of children, both on our website and in press releases. However parents are given the option at intake to refuse use of their child's image. Parents can change their preferences at anytime by requesting a consent form from the office.

Whistleblowing

If members of staff ever have any concerns about people working within the school, paid or unpaid, they have a professional duty to inform the Principal or Governing body accordingly. This can be done in writing or verbally but staff should be prepared to discuss issues in the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the highest appropriate level of confidentiality.

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