The safety and wellbeing of all members of the Thirsk School & Sixth Form College community is our primary aim. We are fully committed to ensuring that we meet the highest possible standards in providing an environment where everyone concerned can flourish and feel safe. We constantly review our policies and practice to ensure that we fully meet all safeguarding requirements.
The school adopts the safeguarding definition used by Ofsted derived from The Children Act, 2004:-
- protecting children and young people from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children and young people’s health or development
- ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- undertaking that role so as to enable those children and young people to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
As a school we adopt the annually updated North Yorkshire Child Protection Policy, which outlines key information and procedures for staff, parents/carers and students. This policy is available in the policies section of our website. All school staff undertake annual training with regard to best practice and safeguarding updates that are disseminated from a national level to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfil their responsibilities. Staff receive regular updates via half termly newsletters. Staff are also trained to recognise signs of radicalisation through the Prevent Strategy.
All staff are trained in how to recognise and report safeguarding concerns. The safeguarding team always respond to concerns, swiftly, rigorously and robustly.
All students are fully of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and the Deputy DSLs via assemblies, tutor updates and the PSHCE programme links to this with age-appropriate content delivered.
Our Safeguarding Team:-
- Mr G Pentland, Head of Sixth Form/Assistant Headteacher : Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Mrs N Stimson, Head of Upper School/Assistant Headteacher : Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Miss J Marston, Head of Lower School/Assistant Headteacher : Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Mr A Rickard, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead/Parent Support Adviser
- Mrs R Elliott, SENDCo: Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Safeguarding mobile number : 07971701198
Safeguarding email : firstname.lastname@example.org
All students are aware that they can talk to their form tutor, any member of the pastoral or staff in the inclusion Unit if they are worried or concerned about themselves or a friend. Should parents have a concern about the welfare of a young person, they can access support by contacting the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the first instance or a member of the Safeguarding team. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to the young person’s Form Tutor, Head of Year who will contact the Safeguarding Team, if appropriate.
During periods of school closure, such as school holidays, you should contact North Yorkshire County Council whose details are given below.
If you are worried about a child or a young person under the age of 18, you should contact the Children and Young People’s Service through the Multi Agency Screening Team (MAST). If your concern is outside of normal office hours, you should contact the emergency duty team.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICE THROUGH THE MULTI AGENCY SCREENING TEAM (MAST)
During Office Hours
By Phone: 01609 780780
Outside Office Hours
Emergency Duty Team (for evenings, weekends and bank holidays): 01609 780780
E-Safeguarding Your Child
Technology certainly plays a big role in the lives of young people. It is therefore extremely important that safeguarding students extends to students using communication technology by way of computer networks both in and out of school. Both school and home should work hard to ensure all students access to the world wide web is very safe and level appropriate. The school internet connection has filters in place to avoid access to inappropriate sites and material and is monitored regularly.
However, parents and carers have a responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient filters in place on smartphones and home tablets and PCs etc so that their child cannot access inappropriate sites and material. Internet Service Providers offer filters for all devices in the form of parental controls.
It is extremely important that parents openly engage in conversation about internet safety with their child and are free to check their child’s devices to ensure that they are not accessing inappropriate material or communicating inappropriately. Having open access to their child’s social media accounts is seen as good practice.
Technology enhances learning, schools and colleges can do much to ensure students get the most from it by encouraging responsible online behaviour. Below there are some very useful websites, resources and documents which are available to download which will hopefully educate students and parents on how to improve and maintain the safety of their online presence.
As technology is playing a bigger part in our students’ lives and the access to uncontrolled internet content forever on the increase, it is becoming ever more important that we need to keep children safe from online threats through promoting E-Safeguarding. At Thirsk School & Sixth Form College we will continue to educate our students on the importance of being safe online.