School Commitment to Safeguarding
Montacute School is committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of all of its pupils. Each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance and we undertake to provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for each and every child.
We recognise that some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse. We recognise that children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth and to view the world in a positive way. Whilst at school, their behaviour may be challenging. We recognise that some children who have experienced abuse may harm others.
We will always take a considered and sensitive approach in order that we can support all of our pupils. We also recognise that our children may display many of the traditional signs of abuse and that these symptoms may be part of their behaviour or SEND profile and not indicators of abuse. However, our children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and therefore require a very vigilant, highly skilled and consistent approach at all times.
Governors/Trustees and all staff will provide a school environment in which all children feel confident and able to discuss their concerns.
All staff have received additional training to further understand communication difficulties and are able to use these skills to support children to express themselves.
With a strong ethos where children are at the heart of everything we do at Montacute school, attention to pupil voice has always been a golden thread to our policies, procedures and day-to-day life.
For us, 'pupil voice' is about giving our pupils the opportunities to share their views, their feelings and their learning, and be enabled to communicate them, whether that be by spoken word, signing, symbols, gesture, AAC or combination of any of these. At the root of all of this, to ensure pupil voice is relevant and meaningful, are strong relationships with our staff. We get to know our pupils really well so we can understand how they best learn, how they can best communicate and how best to facilitate opportunities to share their news, views, and feelings.
Along with most schools, we have a school council, which includes a representative from all classes across the school. There is a regular safeguarding agendas asking pupils if they ‘feel safe’ at school and know who to talk to if they are worried or upset.
Montacute school has a robust and varied curriculum to help our children learn about themselves, safety, respect, relationships and the wider world and to support their needs in terms of mental and emotional health, physical health and behaviour.
Montacute shares a purpose with parents to educate and keep children safe from harm and to have their welfare promoted. We consider effective lines of communication to be essential to the safeguarding agenda, and work hard to ensure that parents and carers feel that they can trust the school when dealing with sensitive issues.
We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We comply with GDPR and respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child.
Inevitably parents and carers are aware that we must undertake intimate care for many of our pupils and therefore entrust us with many responsibilities normally only carried by a parent. Our Intimate Care Guidelines are therefore vital in ensuring that pupils are protected and staff can keep themselves safe from allegations.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Here at Montacute school we are proud to welcome families from a wealth of different cultures and backgrounds and we greatly value the rich diversity of our school community.
We love to recognise the rich diversity of language, culture and religion in our school and we have various activities across the school year, which promote and enable our pupils to share their culture in school; including multicultural weeks, art activities, workshops and other events.
Multi-Agency Partnership Working
The school works closely with other agencies and practitioners on all safeguarding issues. We welcome other professionals that are supporting our pupils and their families to our school so that they can see our school environment and information can be shared.
Visits by other professionals should be arranged and booked in advance, as much as possible. Visitors will be required to bring their identity badges on all visits, to wear and show them on entry to the site, for ID confirmation.
Visitors to our School
All those who come into contact with children through their everyday work, whether paid or voluntary, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of our children.
Visitors to the school are made aware of our Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures on arrival at the school.
All visitors are required to sign in and out using the school’s electronic Inventory system. Visitors will be provided with a sticky badge that will include their photograph, these should be worn at all times.
Relevant vetting checks are undertaken for all visitors speakers and other professionals. Speakers will be supervised at all times and will not be allowed to speak to children without a member of staff being present.
Domestic Abuse & Operation Encompass
Montacute school is part of a project, called Operation Encompass, that runs jointly between schools and Dorset Police.
Operation Encompass is the notification to schools, by Dorset Police, when a child or young person has experienced any domestic abuse.
All senior safeguarding members of the school staff, known as Key Adults, are trained to allow them to receive information from the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, while ensuring that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been involved in a domestic abuse incidents.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our pupils and we believe this will be extremely beneficial for all those involve.
As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind. Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
Montacute school recognises its responsibilities in relation to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2018. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty
Child Criminal Exploitation / Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Exploitation is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal activity a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. Our pupils receive education about CCE and CSE through the PSHE curriculum and are supported to keep themselves safe.
CUCKOOING - Cuckooing is when a drug dealer or a gang takes over a vulnerable adult's home for criminal purposes, usually as a site to supply, store or produce drugs from. Gangs will exploit an individual's vulnerabilities in order to make a profit and avoid Police detection.
Who is vulnerable? Individuals who suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction, those who are struggling financially, the elderly, people with mental health issues and individuals with learning disabilities are often targeted for cuckooing purposes.
The DSL attends regular training with other agencies to identify and reduce the risks of Child Criminal Exploitation / Child Sexual Exploitation and shares this training with all school staff. The school always refers to Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children's Partnership guidance and to local practice using the risk tool: Child Exploitation Toolkit.
Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Useful links for further information regarding the above headings can be found below.
Our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy can be viewed on this website. A paper copy can be made available upon request.
Other Policies, Procedures and Guidance can also be found on this website under About Us/Policies and are also available upon request.
Concerns & Information
Should you have any Safeguarding concerns relating to your child, any other child, a member of staff, any aspect of the School or should you require any further information relating to any subject matter then please, in the first instance, speak to your child's class teacher, a member of the Leadership Team or contact Tracey Smith, our Designated Safeguarding Lead and Partnership Co-ordinator.
Visitor leaflet information:
Montacute School Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy / other guidelines:
Keeping children safe from harm:
Preventing Sexual Abuse:
Child Criminal Exploitation / Child Sexual Exploitation: