THE FOREST SCHOOL SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT 2023-24
The Forest School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety of all our students and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We strive to ensure that consistent and effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support our families, students and staff.
Designated Safeguarding Leads
Ms Shirley Austin (Headteacher)
|Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead||Mrs Charlotte Deer (Pastoral Care, Student Support)|
The Safeguarding Lead team all have the Level 3 DSL Safeguarding Training which is refreshed every two years.
The Forest School has policies and procedures in place to deal effectively with child protection and safeguarding issues, which include tackling radicalisation and extremism, together with recording and monitoring processes. To promote a safe environment for students, our school employs a strict selection and recruitment policy which includes all statutory checks on staff and regular volunteers including Enhanced DBS (disclosure and barring service) checks.
The Forest School adheres to the following DFE safeguarding documents:
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (updated) 2022
- Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2023
- The Prevent Duty 2015
All concerns are passed through the Safeguarding Lead Team on the ‘Expression of Concern form.’ Concerns and resulting actions and referrals are meticulously logged and monitored in a confidential and secure area, accessed only by our Safeguarding Lead Team. The staff complete in-school Safeguarding Training, the ‘Universal Safeguarding Course’ and are also knowledgeable about the guidance within ‘Keeping Children Safe In Education’ 2023. Our staff have a clear understanding of the steps to take when they have a concern about a student’s welfare and safeguarding and who to share these concerns with.
Student attendance is monitored closely and concerns shared as appropriate with parents and carers, the EWS (Educational Welfare Service), Social Care and the school’s Safeguarding team. The Forest School works closely with other relevant agencies and families when necessary to safeguard our young people.
If you have any serious concerns about your child, another student or a member of staff at The Forest School, please do not hesitate to contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who will be able to provide you with the best advice and help using the appropriate degree of confidentiality.
Further advice and guidance, including actions to take during a disclosure, can be read on the school’s ‘Safeguarding Leaflet’ which can be found as a paper copy in our school reception area or by clicking here.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Safeguarding Statement. Please do not hesitate to contact our Safeguarding Lead team if you have any questions or concerns.
HELP AND ADVICE IN SCHOOL
There are lots of places you can go to for help and advice, including our own Safe School Zone. You can also contact the organisations listed below. As well as supporting young people, they often have separate support sections for parents.
FOR STUDENTS - NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO?
Visit the Pastoral Zone in the Raising Achievement Centre for information on what to do if you are being bullied, and for contacts like ChildLine etc. The Safe School Leaders team is available before school, and at break and lunch time. Talk to or get advice from trusted peers.
A problem aired is a problem shared
Radicalisation and Extremism
Safeguarding pupils from Extremism and Radicalisation.
Schools have a vital role to play in protecting students from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, a role which will be underpinned by the new duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
This is due to come into force on 1 July. Keeping children safe from radicalisation risks are a safeguarding matter and should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from other risks. We recognise that as a school we should engage with government advice and support to carry out effective counter-extremism work. In the first instance, we seek help from the local authority and local police.
The Safeguarding Leads at the school have engaged with the PREVENT training at a local authority and also have delivered this training to all staff. Parents who have concerns about their children may look to the school as a trusted source of advice on how to keep their children safe from these risks. In addition, to materials produced by local authorities and the police – such as the new “Prevent Tragedies” online campaign launched by the Police www.preventtragedies.co.uk
A website set up by the Government, providing a plethora of information to help protect children online across the UK.
Think U know - secondary school information link. If you’ve got a problem or something you’re worried about, or want to know how to report a crime such as abuse, you'll find lots of people and places that can help on this site.
Parent info.org - expert information to help children and young people stay safe online
e-Safety Support for Parents
The following provide relevant support and advice.
Net aware: Parents review kids’ social networks, apps & games
Netware is a parents’ guide to the social networks children and young people use. Stay up to date and keep your child safe in today’s digital world. www.net-aware.org.uk/
Staying safe on Minecraft /ParentInfo https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/minecraft/
Anti Bullying and Cyber Bullying
Bullies out - understand the different types of bullying and read our top tips for keeping safe.
Bullying UK - get support and advice whenever you need it.
Government Advice for Cyber / Anti Bullying
- Advice for parents and carers on cyberbullying
- Cyberbullying: Advice for headteachers and school staff
- School support for children and young people who are bullied
- Preventing and tackling bullying - Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies
- Direct Link to Department for Education website for latest updated documents
www.childline.org.uk. By phone: 0800 1111 Calls are free and confidential.Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, lonely or down—ChildLine is a private and confidential service, meaning that what you say stays between you and ChildLine.
www.getconnected.org.uk By phone: Call FREE on 0808 808 4994. Open from 1pm - 11pm every day.The Mix (formerly Get Connected) is the UK's free, confidential helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don't know where to turn.
Child Exploitation and Grooming
Know and see - when is a friend .. not a friend
PACE - Parents against child sexual exploitation
Dealing with Sexting? What it is, and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Zipit App Stay in control of your chat game. Deal with a sexting crisis
Wokingham Borough Council - Dangerous Substance Notification
Wokingham Borough Council have recently shared information about a possible Dangerous Substance Alert. Please read the following document. Should you have any concerns or would like further advice please contact
Senior Programme officer
Public Health and Wellbeing Team
West Berkshire Council
Tel 01635 503435
Mobile 07879 242123
The Edge Young Peoples Substance Misuse
Service Tel-01635 582002
www.westberks.gov.uk/edge Frank Tel:03001236600
Drugfam 01494 442777
Thames Valley Police Tel- 101
Mental Health Information and Support
Mental health awareness and support is important. These are some useful and relevant websites:
Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk
https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/ with wide range of tips for self-care; https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/https://nopanic.org.uk/coronavirus/ with their section and resources designed for Young People;
Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services
Our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) works with young people who are experiencing significant, severe and complex difficulties with their mental healthâ. For more information and help visit:
- Safeguarding Information