At Montem, we consider keeping children safe and promoting their welfare to be one of our highest priorities. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. For us, safeguarding is a matter of culture as well as process. We follow best practice in recruiting both staff and volunteers and vet everyone who has regular contact with children. We ensure that our staff are well trained and regularly updated on best practice in keeping children safe. We ensure that our whole school safeguarding practice is reviewed annually by Governors and biennially by the Local Authority. We write a safeguarding action plan and are continually seeking to improve our practice. We teach children how to keep themselves safe, especially online. We develop trusting, nurturing relationships with children and listen to them openly and without judgement. We provide information and support to parents around safeguarding their children and communities.
We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. For key statutory guidance for schools from the Government, see Keeping Children Safe in Education. We actively support the Government's Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism.
Safeguarding involves working in close partnership with a range of other agencies, including Children's Social Care (CSC) and the Police. Key to this work is sharing information openly, comprehensively and promptly. If we have a concern about a child that meets a safeguarding threshold, we will contact CSC. This can be a difficult process for parents and families. Whilst we will be as sensitive as possible, our priority is always to keep children safe. When we have a concern, we inform CSC and follow their advice. We do not have choice in this; it is both our legal responsibility and best practice around keeping children safe. It is the proper responsibility of trained social workers to investigate concerns, judge their validity and take action if necessary. The action CSC take is almost always to support families to improve things. We strongly urge parents to work in partnership with social workers, for the benefit of their children.
Where we have concerns about a child's wellbeing that do not meet a safeguarding threshold, we engage with families in work we call Early Help. This work can be varied and is based around the needs of individual children and families. It involves school staff and external agencies, such as Families First. As with safeguarding, the focus of Early Help is always to work with families, as far as possible, to improve things.
If you have a concern about a child, whether it is your child or not, no matter how small the concern, please do tell us. The school's key safeguarding staff are below. There is always one of us available when school is open. Numbers you can call to report concerns are all available on our safeguarding page for parents.
Safeguarding at our school is led by our Inclusion Manager, Ben Pritchard, who is our trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). A small number of people have a similar level of training and are Deputy DSLs. See all members of our safguarding team here.