Keeping Pupils Safe
Pupils learn effectively how to keep healthy, both physically and emotionally. Personalised packages of support, including a wide range of therapeutic interventions, are highly effective. Pupils understand how to keep themselves safe online. They feel safe and very well cared for in school. Ofsted 2017
Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They show care and consideration for each other. Pupils enjoy their learning, including learning about other people and their different beliefs, lifestyles and backgrounds. They are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Ofsted 2017
Cleaswell Hill School is committed to providing clear boundaries and guidelines for pupils to operate within. We create a learning environment where each pupil feels valued and respected through praise and positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviours.
All staff and visitors are responsible for creating this positive ethos and are expected to adhere to the schools values and positive behaviour policy. Staff will help to create an atmosphere of discipline through a calm, confident approach to behaviour support. Classes and groups identify, alongside the pupils, rules to ensure that everyone is able to learn in a safe environment.
Weekly assemblies identify and celebrate success focussed on behaviour objectives, which are linked to one of the six school values over the year.
Positive behaviour and effort are rewarded through the school merit and certificate system plus tokens for older students.
Karyn McMahon and Julie Brown are the Designated Safeguarding Leads in school, with support from Gill Finch, Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding. They provide advice and support to staff on child welfare.
School uses extensive audits and action plans, together with updates such as CASPAR weekly email alerts and the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board’s, ‘Safe to Learn’ bulletin to keep us up to date with the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
We have a comprehensive Child Protection/Safeguarding policy adapted for our context from Northumberland County Council policy and a Safeguarding advice leaflet for volunteers and visitors.
School also uses a secure, online system (CPOMS) for reporting, recording and monitoring incidents and referrals.
All child protection incidents and concerns are handled sensitively, with the well-being of the child influencing all other considerations. Staff are trained in the NSPCC ‘Speak out. Stay safe.’ programme. This is delivered to pupils so that they understand abuse in all its forms and recognise signs of abuse; know how to protect themselves and how to get help.
School leaders are trained in Safer Recruitment, developed in line with the DfE’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance, and all staff hold full DBS certificates.
Relationships and Sex Education is taught to pupils in a manner appropriate to their age and development. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons and support from organisations such as Thinking for Yourself (T4Y) and Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) ensure that pupils receive appropriate, timely information regarding puberty, body awareness, positive relationships and intimacy.
We recognise that some pupils will always require assistance with their intimate care needs. The management of these children will be carefully assessed and Intimate Care Plans will be written in collaboration with the child, parents/carers and health professionals as available.
Staff supporting pupils with feeding and drinking needs complete dysphagia training provided by Speech and Language Therapy service.
Moving and Handling Plans are written and followed closely for those pupils who require them. Staff working with these pupils receive Moving and Handling training from Centaur trained colleagues and are supported by Physiotherapy Services. Support for assessing and monitoring sling use is provided by Occupational Therapy Services.
Cleaswell Hill School will not tolerate any form of bullying or intimidation and any situations arising will be dealt with promptly. We are an associate member of the Anti-bullying Alliance and support Anti-bullying initiatives such as Blue Friday. We also work closely with organisations such as The Fed to support awareness of gender issues.
The emotional wellbeing and mental health of all of our pupils is prioritised through an active Pupil Voice working group and working closely with the pupils, families and multi-agency support.
Cleaswell Hill School also accesses Operation Encompass to support those children who may have been affected by Domestic Abuse, including Operation Encompass Next Steps Programme.
Useful Online Safety Websites
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) – https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
- A Parents’ Guide To Instagram
- A Parents’ Guide to YouTube
- CEOP webcam guidance
- E Safety – Connect Safely ( A Parents’ Guide to Cybersecurity)
- Think U Know
- Get Safe Online
- NSPCC – Internet Safety
- Cerebra – Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety – a Parents’ Guide
- parentinfo.org – Excellent site with lots of useful information
Articles for Parents
Keeping your child safe, happy and secure is always our top priority.
With the increased popularity of mobile devices and social networks, monitoring your child’s online activity can be challenging.
Monqi is a special phone designed specifically for children; with the accompanying free app, parents can:
- be alerted when a child attempts to access illicit content
- view a child’s online activity remotely
- set limits to ensure a child only uses the device at appropriate times and for appropriate lengths of time
- ensure only parent approved apps are installed
- approve contacts, ensuring a child only speaks to people that parents know. Monqi is available from https://www.monqi.co/
Monqi is designed to keep children safe and give control back to the parents.
Fortnite and other games
Many children enjoy playing computer games. However, it’s important that we make the right choices in providing games that are appropriate and safe. The NSPCC has produced a very useful article on the safe use of computer games:
One game in particular has been very popular recently – Fortnite. Again, the NSPCC have written a very useful article linked to the game, and we strongly recommend that parents read the article if they’ve chosen to allow their children to play Fortnite:
Other useful websites are;
- https://getsafeonline.org– very useful website with free online expert advice to help stay safe.
- E-safety helplines are available, with facilities to report concerns, including:
- Parent Info website has a range of useful information: http://parentinfo.org. Parents can sign up to receive a monthly digital newsletter
- Snapchat; Snapchat is a popular tool for communicating, but it comes with a range of risks. Parents are reminded of the importance of ensuring location tracking is disabled and to ensure only safe photographs are sent.
- Public Wifi; public wifi hotspots can be very popular with young adults but they can be dangerous. The following video clip link describes some of the dangers: https://vimeo.com/142180832
Many of our pupils have a good understanding of keeping personal information private and who to contact if anything online makes them feel unhappy. However, some of our pupils are using a game called Roblox. Roblox is an online multiplayer game, with the opportunity presented for unrestricted communication with strangers.
As such, we advise parents to be cautious if they allow children to play Roblox. We also advise parents to ensure that Internet access at home is carefully supervised at all times; Wi-Fi routers have options to restrict access to certain websites and to prevent access to the Internet beyond certain times. Devices such as tablets and mobile phones also have parental controls to ensure children are safe.
Information and guidance about all areas of E-Safety are available online. Recommended sources include:
* Think U Know
* Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP)
* Get Safe Online
* NSPCC – Share Aware and Net Aware
* Vodaphone Digital Parenting
The dangers of live streaming have been in the national news recently; you may have seen the article on the BBC news, where live streaming is described as an ‘urgent threat’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42224148
We thought it would be useful to direct you to information about what live streaming is and how you can keep your family safe from the risks. CEOP have produced detailed guidance on the Think U Know website that we would strongly encourage you to read:
Please do contact us in school if we can support or help with this, or any e-safety concerns you may have.
Social Media Age Limits
To keep our children safe, social networks have age limits. According to a recent survey by the NSPCC, more than half of the parents surveyed were unaware of such age restrictions. As such, we thought it would be useful to share the age limits with yourselves.
Facebook requires its users to be 13 before they create an account, including registering an account on behalf of someone.
WhatsApp The minimum age of use for WhatsApp was previously 16, but it has recently been changed to 13.
YouTube To have a YouTube account users must be 18, or 13 with parental permission.
Twitter To have a Twitter account users must be 13.
Instagram To have an Instagram account users must be 13.
Children can be subjected to peer pressure to have access to some or all of the above listed networks. We encourage our pupils to be resilient to such pressure, remembering that there are so many more valuable and enjoyable ways to spend time. In discussion with parents, quite often the line used by pupils is, ‘everyone else has it’; this, of course, isn’t always the case.
We’d also like to make parents aware of the dangers of pupils sharing mobile phone numbers to group chats. When shared to a group chat, all members of the group can access the mobile phone number.
We encourage our pupils to:
Zip, Block, Flag
Zip – don’t give away personal information online.
Block – block people/strangers who send inappropriate messages.
Flag – tell a trusted adult if anything online makes you feel unhappy.
Many apps available for Apple, Windows or Android devices have an option called ‘in-app purchasing’. In-app purchasing could take the form of extra features, characters, lives or content in a gaming app – all very tempting to a child using the app! With in-app purchasing, users could potentially end up paying a lot of money for using an app, which may well have originally been priced very cheaply or free when first downloaded.
Tips to ensure you don’t receive any unexpected bills:
- Apple users – setup restrictions on your devices to disable in-app purchases (General > Restrictions > In-app purchases), ITunes on a Mac or PC can also be configured with restrictions.
2. Android users – ensure authentication is turned on – guide from Google on preventing unwanted purchases
- Windows 10 users – make sure you take advantage of ‘family settings’ – guide from Microsoft
- Keep your App store/Windows Store/Google Play password safe, and ensure your children can’t change or guess it.
Ofcom have produced a series of video guides demonstrating how to prevent shocks from bills:
Documents underpinning Cleaswell Hill Schools approach to online safety
Online Safety in the Cleaswell Hill Curriculum
E-safety permeates our curriculum. Whilst we strive to educate our pupils, throughout their time at school and across the curriculum, our Computing curriculum also contains a strand entitled ‘digital literacy’:
To develop Digital literacy skills
- can use technology safely and respectfully
- Keeps personal information private when using technology
- knows they should ask for help if they feel unsure about any online content or contact and who to ask
- can describe common uses of information technology beyond school
- can use technology responsibly
- can recognize acceptable / unacceptable behaviour and content
- can appreciate how search results are selected
- is selective when using digital content
- understands how computer networks can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web
- understand the opportunities computer networks offer for communication
To develop Digital literacy skills
- can understand the importance of using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly
- can identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
- can appreciate how search results are ranked
- is discerning in evaluating digital content
- understands the basic workings of computer networks including the internet
- understands the opportunities computer networks offer for collaboration
- understands a range of ways to use technology securely, including protecting his online identity and privacy
- can recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.
- can create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
For further information please contact;
David Evans, CEOP Ambassador, Online Safety Coordinator (Curriculum)
Karyn McMahon Designated Safeguarding Lead
Cleaswell Hill School will not tolerate incidents of racism in any form and will report all incidents to the Local Authority. We are aware of the requirements of schools to counter extremist ideology and for the potential for pupils to be radicalised. All staff have completed the Government Prevent Duty and have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Cleaswell Hill School places a very high emphasis on Health and Safety and has a number of policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the school community. We comply with all Local Authority and DfE Health and Safety guidelines, including risk assessments, moving and handling and educational visits. An extensive educational visit online system (EVOLVE) is completed by visit leaders and checked by Educational Visits Coordinators before any visits off site.
The impact of Covid-19, social isolation and a rise in hateful extremism online is creating a ‘perfect storm’ which is making more young people vulnerable to radicalisation and other forms of grooming.
But parents, friends and families can now get specialist support to stop their loved ones being drawn into harmful activities or groups, with the launch of ACT Early – a new dedicated safeguarding website and advice line from the specialists at Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).
This new resource will provide advice, guidance and support for anyone who is concerned that someone they know may be at risk from being radicalised by terrorists or extremist content online.
Between 1st January 2019 and 30th June 2020, 17 children have been arrested in relation to terrorism offences. Some were as young as 14 years old, while nearly all will have been radicalised entirely online. In the same time period, more than 1500 children under the age of 15 were helped by the Prevent programme to choose a different path, away from hatred and violence.
Family and friends are best placed to spot the worrying behaviour changes which can indicate that a loved one is heading down a path towards terrorism, but currently just 2% of referrals into the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent come from that group of people.
Prevent is just that – a preventative programme, delivered locally by teachers, healthcare practitioners, social workers, the police, charities, and religious leaders. It places protection around people vulnerable to radicalisation, stopping them from being drawn into terrorism – regardless of the ideology.
It works in a similar way to safeguarding processes designed to protect people from gangs, drug abuse, and sexual exploitation.
And with Covid-19 preventing regular access to schools, social workers and mental health support, specialists at CTP are concerned that people who need help are not getting it – which makes it more important for friends and family to use the new ACT Early resources to understand what might be happening to their loved one and what support Prevent can provide.
“We are seeing more young people being drawn towards terrorist activity,” says the Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.
“Last year, 12 children under the age of 18 were arrested in relation to terrorism offences, some as young as 14-years-old. That is a relatively new and worrying trend in the UK, because just a few years ago we were not seeing anyone that young amongst our casework.
“What concerns me most is this – there has been a sharp increase in extremist material online in the last few years, and Covid-19 has meant that vulnerable people are spending a lot more time isolated and online, and with fewer of the protective factors that schooling, employment, friends and family can provide.
“In my opinion that is a perfect storm, one which we cannot predict and that we might be feeling the effects of for many years to come.
“But I remain hopeful, because there is something we can do right now to try and stop this. It requires parents, friends and family to help us by acting early, by talking to their children about what they view online, and sharing their concerns and seeking support if they fear someone they know is in danger of being radicalised.
“Asking for help is a difficult and emotional step, but we must see it for what it is – action which won’t ruin their lives but may well save them.”
Someone who knows all about the dangers that extremism and radicalisation can pose is Kath Jack from Families and Extremism Support, whose son was convicted of being a member of the proscribed Right Wing Terrorism group, National Action, after being radicalised online and who now works to help other families in similar situations before it is too late.
Kath said: “My son is now trying to rebuild his life in prison after being drawn down a path by extremists. But his story could have been so different if I had had advice and support like this available to me. I did know something was going wrong in his life but didn’t know enough about what it was, how to talk to him about it without arguments or where to go for help. When the police did try to intervene he refused to engage with them because by then it was too late.
“So I would encourage any other mums, dads or wider friends and families to Act Early and seek help and support. The police and other services can help turn lives around if you tell them what’s going on soon enough.”
If you are worried that someone you know is being radicalised, visit www.actearly.uk. You won’t be wasting our time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them.
For help and advice visit www.actearly.uk, or call the national Police Prevent Advice Line on 0800 011 3764, in confidence, and our specially trained Prevent officers will listen carefully to your concerns.