Mark Rutherford School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and therefore supports and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
All staff at our school understand that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. Any member of staff, volunteer or visitor to the school who receives a disclosure of abuse, an allegation or suspects that abuse may have occurred should report it immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or, in their absence, to one of the Additional Designated Safeguarding Officers and to use the systems and processes our school has designed for this purpose. In the absence of an DSL, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.
The School has a Safeguarding (Child Protection) policy; all staff (including supply staff, volunteers and governors) must ensure that they are aware of the Policy.
All staff, including governors, are required to attend, annually, a Safeguarding Awareness Course. The training is delivered by a qualified train the trainer instructor (Level 3 Award in principles of safeguarding and protecting children and young people). As part of safeguarding awareness, it is also a requirement for all staff to be familiar with the Government's current Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance.
Parents and carers are welcome to read the school’s Safeguarding Policy and Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance document, which can be found with other related policies.
If you are worried about the wellbeing of a child, you need to speak to someone about it.
There are many possible signs of abuse and neglect, ranging from physical injury to changes in appearance or behaviour. Alternatively, you may witness an incident or a child may tell you that he or she is being harmed.
Child abuse is when a child is intentionally harmed by an adult or another child – it can be over a period of time but can also be a one-off action. It can be physical, sexual or emotional and it can happen in person or online. It can also be a lack of love, care and attention – this is neglect.
NSPCC - What is Child Abuse
If you are worried, please report it. You could help to save a child's life, even if you don't know them, or even their name. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.
In an emergency or if someone is in immediate danger, always call 999.
Childline - talk in confidence
If you are a child or young person and would like to talk to someone in confidence, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 even if you don't have any credit and it won't show on your phone bill.
When you call Childline, you'll go through to a switchboard where someone friendly will ask if you want to speak to a counsellor. You can also go to the Childline website to log in for a 1-2-1 counsellor chat (you might wait a little while before being connected with a counsellor). Or you can send Childline an email from your Childline locker.
You can find more information about types of abuse, what happens when you report abuse, and the work being done by social care services and other professionals to protect children in Bedfordshire on the Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Website
To report a child missing, telephone the Police by dialling 101 or in an emergency 999.