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Schools support and safeguarding

Children and young people have a right to be protected from harm, and families have a right to expect schools to provide a safe and secure environment.

All schools have a legal duty to work with other agencies to safeguard children welfare.

Your school has a senior member of staff responsible for child protection matters affecting pupils at the school (the ‘designated teacher'). It also has a child protection policy, to explain how your school deals with child protection concerns, including allegations about the behaviour of members of staff. You are entitled to see a copy of this should you ask.

Schools must follow: 

  • The law
  • Guidance from the Department for Education
  • Local multi-agency child protection procedures

If the school is worried about a pupil's welfare, they must refer this on to a social worker. The school will normally let the pupil's parent(s) know when they do this. But they should not contact parents if they think this could put the pupil at risk of harm. When a school refers a child protection concern to a social worker, they must share all relevant information about the pupil.

The Data Protection Act allows schools to share personal information with other agencies when there are child protection concerns.

Within 24 hours of receiving the referral, the social worker, usually in consultation with other agencies, will decide what should happen next.

If they decide it needs looking into further, the appropriate action will depend on the circumstances. It could include:

  • An initial assessment
  • Child protection enquiries, including agencies assessing the risks to any children based upon information shared, research and talking to those concerned
  • If the referral is an allegation about a member of staff, usually a strategy discussion will take place between the school, the local education authority, social services and the police, to decide what should happen next

They will contact you to let you know what is happening as soon as possible.

Support for schoolchildren

The Wiltshire Primary Mentoring Scheme aims to enhance early intervention and prevention through the provision of a mentoring programme for primary school age pupils (8-11 year olds). The scheme specifically targets pupils in years 5 and 6, who are at risk of developing social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

This will help build resilience and resolve many emerging difficulties, thereby preventing these problems from getting worse and progressing into a more serious emotional wellbeing or mental health problem.

Children need the right help, in the right place, at the right time to prevent mental health difficulties such as anxiety, low mood, depression, conduct and eating disorders reaching crisis point and stopping them from achieving positive life outcomes. The service is targeted for use by pupils in schools which are geographically located in areas of most need (deprivation and poverty). 

Volunteer mentors meet with the children in their schools and carry out various activities to meet the assessed goals.

For further information, please contact:

Sue Nash
Early Help Team Leader
01225 716623
07789940970
sue.nash@wiltshire.gov.uk

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Go Girls Programmes are offered for years 8-0 across secondary schools in Wiltshire. The programmes provide the girls with opportunities to engage with sessions on issues that affect girls. They also aim to promote self-esteem, assertiveness, healthy relationships, keeping safe, stress and anger, substance abuse and, on the final session, the girls get the opportunity to learn how to make jewellery. We have volunteers who help out with the programmes.

For further information, please contact:

Sue Nash
Early Help Team Leader
01225 716623
07789940970
sue.nash@wiltshire.gov.uk

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The Education Welfare Service is able to provide some support, advice and guidance regarding concerns of irregular school attendance and will undertake to assess the situation as presented and take action where necessary to include formal notice of prosecution or issue a Penalty Notice.

As part of assessment, officers will investigate the situation through a series of consultation discussions with school colleagues, formal and informal meetings with parents/carers and young people. Support will be offered in the form of Education Welfare Officer support, Common Assessment Framework consideration, signposting to other agencies and supporting the use of Personal Education Plan. where medical needs are a barrier to accessing education.

Parents electing to educate their children other than at school (Elective Home Education) will be offered visits by the Education Welfare Service in order to be satisfied that the educational arrangements for the young person are satisfactory.

Referrals can be taken direct from a variety of sources, including directly from parents/carers, schools and health professionals.

The Education Welfare Service can be contacted via the single point of contact on 01225 718230, option 3.

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The Traveller Education Service (TES) provides learning support directly to children within school settings via a small team of teaching assistants and advisory teachers. The service works with children of primary school age who are identified as of Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) heritage; alongside fairground families (showmen), New Age Travellers, circus families, bargees and other families living on boats.

TES also has access to an Education Welfare Officer to support school attendance issues and Elective Home Education (EHE) requirements. The service works to support children who reside in Wiltshire on a temporary or permanent basis. The service also undertakes some limited family support and liaison. 

Advisory teaching staff will support the school to assess a child’s learning need; alongside offering general advice to support the school environment. Additionally, TES staff will form part of a team around the child for children with additional needs, as required.

The service is funded through contributions from schools. Maintained primary schools de-delegate a share of DSG funding to the service. Other schools can choose to buy-in, as appropriate.

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Last updated: 28 July 2016 | Last reviewed: 28 July 2016