Oakhurst Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Our school provides a safe, caring, positive and stimulating environment, free from discrimination or bullying, promoting the physical, moral and social development of the individual child, where children can learn and develop happily.
Sometimes, we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with parents/carers first. However, there may be a rare occasion when our concerns about your child may mean we have to consult other agencies even before we contact you. The procedures which we follow are laid down by the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership and we have a number of policies and procedures in place, that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
Do you have concerns or questions about a child’s safety or wellbeing?
If you have any concerns/questions in relation to a child’s safety or wellbeing, please contact one of the Safeguarding Team:
Mrs Christopher – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Mr Strange – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
Mrs Barkham – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
Miss Manchester – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
The above staff can be contacted via the school office or by calling the school on 01793 734754.
Mr Walsh is the school’s Link Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding and Child Protection.
Swindon’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Below are the contact details for Swindon MASH:
Telephone: 01793 466903
(during normal office hours, 8.30am to 4.40pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.00pm Friday)
To visit the Swindon MASH website, click here.
Statutory Guidance and Legislation
Any action is taken in-line with the following legislation/guidance:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE updated Sept 2020)
- South West Child Protection Procedures (SWCPP)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (Feb 2019)
- Swindon’s Safeguarding Partnership guidance
- The Prevent duty – Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers (April 2019)
Additionally, the school has chosen to appoint an independent advisor to assist with matters in relation to Safeguarding. Our chosen advisor is Sarah Turner Consulting Safeguarding Solutions. The school’s engagement with this provider permits the Safeguarding Team’s access to independent information, advice and guidance considered alongside that of our statutory agencies. Click here for more information about this service.
The school’s Whistleblowing Policy can be found here.
Our safeguarding policy can also be found within the document and policies area of the website.
We live in an ever-changing, digital world with children increasingly having access to the internet. Keeping safe online is a vital part of safeguarding the pupils at Oakhurst Primary School. We actively teach children about keeping safe online through our cross-curricular ICT curriculum. Further information is kept in our e-safety policy.
Click this link for the Oakhurst Community Primary School ‘Helping Your Child to Stay Safe Online’ Guide.
Using the internet can make learning fun, fast and easy. Whether researching a school project, chatting with friends or playing a game, you can help your child surf safely and feel confident about learning online. The following sites offer help to keeping you and your child safe online:
A very helpful guide to social networks, apps and games.
It can be hard to know how to talk to your child about online safety. From setting up parental controls to advice on sexting, online games and video apps, we can help you to understand the risks and keep your child safe.
A website to help parents make informed decisions when buying video games.
With the growing popularity of the social media platform ‘TikTok’, parents are advised to appraise themselves of the significant risks posed to children by engagement with this website. Click here for a parent guide.
The Parent and Carer Toolkit is a collection of three resources designed to help you talk to your child about their online life, manage boundaries around family internet use and point you in the direction of where to get further help and support.
Internet Watch Foundation – support website with information on filtering, protection, and an area to report illegal content.
Tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep your child safe online.
This site gives advice on not only keeping your child safe, but also gives tips on what adults should be doing for themselves too.
Helping parents keep children safe online.
If you have any e-safety concerns, you can contact Mr Strange via the school office, your child’s teacher or Mrs Christopher.
Extremism and Radicalisation
We actively support the Government’s Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism. It is vital that staff and parents are aware of the possible danger of extremism and radicalisation of children. Staff training is conducted regularly in this area.
We are committed to supporting parents and pupils to be aware of these dangers.
The document below provides further information on this.
At Oakhurst, we are concerned with supporting all our children so that they are happy, confident individuals who develop into positive learners and members of both the school and the wider community. We recognise that schools are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Oakhurst Community Primary School are committed to recognising and responding to the early signs and symptoms of potential mental health difficulties.
All staff at Oakhurst, teaching and non-teaching, have made a commitment to the Behaviour Policy and the Bullying and Conflict Policy. There is a very strong emphasis on encouraging children to express any concerns that they have to a trusted adult.
Parents are actively encouraged to contact the school if they become aware of any concerns expressed by their child.
We strongly believe in a multi-agency approach when working with identified students. We are fortunate to have access to the following agencies:
School-Based Family Support Worker (FSW)
Oakhurst Community Primary School employs a part-time Family Support Worker (FSW) who is able to work alongside parents, carers and families. The intention is to provide help, assistance and guidance in relation to parenting and home-school continuity. In addition, our FSW also has the capacity to support children who are facing challenging times and situations; these children are able to access regular support sessions or, alternatively, can be provided with a drop-in card to access the FSW as required. The school may identify children and families who may benefit from such support as a result of internal monitoring and observation.
In addition, parents and carers may wish to make a direct approach to the school for support. Any parent or carer can contact the school by phone (01793 734 754) and ask to speak with the FSW, or they can email the school (firstname.lastname@example.org) and mark their correspondence for the attention of the FSW. Parental consent will be sought before engagement with any identified FSW support streams.
School-Based Therapeutic Interventions
Oakhurst Community Primary School employs a team of teaching assistants who are able to work alongside children who may be suffering from difficulties or vulnerabilities as a result of a range of different circumstances. Our team have been specifically trained to deliver the following intervention programmes:
Supporting social and emotional learning.
Drawing and Talking
Child-centred therapy focussing on prevention, early intervention and recovery of mental health issues.
Improving social interaction and communication skills.
Supporting the development of social skills.
Parental consent will always be sought prior to the child’s engagement with any therapeutic intervention.
Targeted Mental Health Service (TaMHS)
This service work with children and young people with emotional and mental health needs that cannot be met by staff within universal settings such as schools and children’s centres. They can work with concerns such as: Anxiety, trauma, emotional distress, low mood and self-harm. TaMHS it is part of the Integrated Locality Service for Children and Young People, aged between 0 – 18 years and their families. The team includes Clinical Practitioners and Outreach workers who are skilled in working with mental health. All referrals in to the service are screened and may then be offered an assessment or a referral/ signposting to another service who may be better able to meet the needs of your family or child. The service may see the children, young people and families for an assessment and talk to the schools or other agencies involved. We may offer short term support ourselves on a one-to-one or group basis. The service can offer consultations and advice to families and schools or other agencies. Additionally, they may also offer parents support via their Family Links programme and Talking Teens programme.
Educational Welfare Services
The Educational Welfare Service aims to ensure all school aged children go to school on a regular basis. This means giving information, advice and guidance on welfare matters that may have an effect on a child’s attendance. The service works together with the child’s family to identify a way to support the child. This will depend on the child’s needs and the reasons for their absence.
School Nursing Service
School nurses support children’s health needs in school, this includes:
- Agreeing care plans and training staff when children need special medical help or medication in school.
- Offering immunisations as part of the National Immunisation Programme.
- Meeting with children and their families to support health issues.
- Vision, hearing, height and weight screening.
Every school has an allocated school nurse who works during term-times. A nurse also works specifically with the Youth Offending Team. This service is one of a range of integrated childcare support services that ensure all-round, comprehensive care for the child or young person.
Police Community Support Officers (PCSO)
PCSO’s work on the frontline, as part of our Community Policing Teams, providing a visible and reassuring presence, building links with local communities and assisting policing in non-confrontational roles. They can be called upon to give reassurance, establish appropriate boundaries with young people and act as an effective crime deterrent, especially regarding intelligence gathering, minor crimes and anti-social behaviour.
Swindon Young Carers
Young carers are children who look after someone in their family. This may be a parent, brother, sister or other family member who has an illness, physical or learning disability, a mental health problem or misuse of drugs or alcohol. A young carer usually takes on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally by expected of an adult.
Young carers help the person they care for with a variety of different tasks, such as:
- Getting up and washing
- Taking medication
- Looking after younger siblings
- Cheering them up and keeping them company
- Helping fill in forms
- Reminding them to do things
- Making sure they are safe
If you think your child may qualify as a Young Carer, you can make a referral yourself using the form from this website: https://www.swindoncarers.org.uk/young-carers/. Alternatively, you can contact the school for assistance with this application. Being recognised as a Young Carer can entitle children to several supportive benefits, including access to our regular school-based support group.
If you wish to discuss anything in relation to Pastoral Support for your child, please contact Mr Strange, Deputy Head Teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Useful Links for Parents
Click here to read the NSPCC’s guide “Is my child ready to be left alone?”
Click here for Swindon Borough Council’s guidance leaflet for separated parents.
Click here for Swindon Borough Council’s guidance leaflet for private fostering.
Click here for more information on ‘Pantasaurus’. ‘Pantasaurus is an NSPCC initiative designed to raise children’s awareness of how to stay safe.