Safeguarding at St Thomas More
Here at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we recognise the importance of providing a Christian ethos and environment within school that will help children to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly; and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, the school practices safer recruitment procedures when interviewing and employing new staff and volunteers. All senior leaders complete safer recruitment training.
In order to work at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, all staff have an enhanced with a barred list check and prohibition check carried out, adhere to our Code of Conduct and school policies and must carry out safeguarding training annually which includes online safety and Prevent (training to alert staff to the possibilities of non-violent extremism).
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) complete advanced training at least every two years and hold regular ‘Safetynet’ meetings. Supervision is provided to the team externally and internally. In addition, staff receive a monthly ‘St Thomas More Safeguarding Bulletin’ to keep up to date with current topics and also to refresh their knowledge on how to keep children safe. Staff also attend staff meetings, drop-in sessions, question and answer sessions and take part in questionnaires to support their understanding of key documents and all staff know how and when to report a concern.
Safeguarding monitoring plays a vital role in ensuring the best possible outcomes for our children. Senior Leaders and Safeguarding Governors ensure that monitoring procedures are robust and carried out effectively. The school uses CPOMs (Child Protection Online Management System) to store and record information about children in a secure way and an advanced Online Single Central Record (SCR) to record and audit necessary safeguarding checks on staff for increased efficiency, and to ensure compliancy.
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is created in line with the latest documents such as; Keeping Children Safe in Education Keeping children safe in education 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk), Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (publishing.service.gov.uk) and the Education Act 2002 Education Act 2002 (legislation.gov.uk). Our priority for devising our policy is to ensure that all adults understand their responsibilities, know how and when to report a concern and know how to support the welfare and safety of all of our children.
The school is also a member of the multi-award winning National Online Safety platform Certified School Membership (nationalonlinesafety.com) which, provides staff and parents with up to date information on how to keep children safe online with parent guides on current topics, webinars, training and resources to support the curriculum.
Safeguarding is embedded within our curriculum. Ten Ten's new programme for Catholic primary schools, Life to the Full, will teach Relationships Education and Health Education within the context of a Christian understanding rooted in the wisdom and teaching of the Catholic Church. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development) is an area of the curriculum that focuses on the non-academic development of children, such as understanding and appreciation of different cultures or dealing with moral conundrums. It is essential for children and individual development as well as the development of society as a whole.
All staff demonstrate that standards of respect and behaviour contribute to a safe, unthreatening and inclusive school. We encourage all children to speak to a trusted adult should they be worried about something at school, home or in the wider community. We welcome visits from front line services such as the fire service, police, school nurse, social care workers, early help coordinators, and the NSPCC. As part of transition, our Year 6 children take part in ‘Safety in Action’ workshops centred around personal safety, fire safety, internet safety, road safety and water safety.
A child’s voice is important to us. Child focus groups are held termly and this enables leaders to understand the impact that safeguarding within our curriculum has upon their lives. Our school Beacons (Faith Leaders), Eco-Warriors, School Council, Sport Leaders, House Captains and Prefects provide meaningful ways in which children can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them and aspects of school life. Children also have access to emotionally available adults, class worry boxes, pastoral manager, workshops with a mental health lead, questionnaires, circle time, Childline posters and much more.
Our early help support and early identification of needs allows us to work closely with families and universal services such as Family Solutions. Family Solutions primary focus is to ensure that wherever possible children and young people have the chance to grow up in their family environment by offering a family based intervention that is timely and effective in keeping families together where it is safe and reasonable to do so.
As a school, we expect good attendance and punctuality from all members of the school community and make sure that children understand its importance. Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best possible start in life. The aim should be to attend 100% of the time. Children who miss school frequently are less likely to achieve in all areas of the curriculum including socially and emotionally. We work closely with our Attendance Advisory Practitioner and Pastoral Manager to support families whose attendance needs improving.
For more information, please refer to our parent or child section within our safeguarding area or our policy section of the website. If you are worried about a child or would like some advice, please do speak to a member of the safeguarding team or follow the links on our website to report any concerns in the community. If you would like to raise a complaint, please follow our complaint procedure also found in our policy section. Thank you.
If you are worried about a child:
If you are worried about a child in Medway we have information, help, support and advice and you may contact the school directly. Alternatively, members of the public and professionals can use an online referral by completing a form to report any safeguarding concerns about a child or young person. Once the form has been submitted, it will be reviewed and assessed and necessary action will be taken.
MSCP 24 hour emergency number 03000 419 191
NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
Child Line on 0800 1111
Medway Police on 0162 2690 690
Further advice and support for parents and carers can be found via the link below. There are various topics such as; Domestic Abuse, Online Safety, Separation & Divorce, Family Matters, Young People, Self-Harm and much more.