What is Safeguarding?

Click here for the Hollymount Safeguarding Policy 2023-24

At Hollymount School we consider the safeguarding of children to be our most important priority. Children need to feel safe, cared for and valued in order to learn and thrive. In school we follow the guidance set out in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2022 which states that schools must ensure they:

  • Protect children from maltreatment
  • Prevent the impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensure children grow up in a safe and effective care
  • Take action to ensure children achieve the best outcomes
  • There must be a zero tolerance of any kind of abuse

To ensure the above guidelines are followed we take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes through our safeguarding measures regardless of their age, culture, physical needs, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and sexual identity. In order to do this we have clear procedures in place to ensure that disclosures or allegations are taken seriously, recorded correctly and investigated.

Who is Responsible for Safeguarding?

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. Staff are made aware that any safeguarding issues need to be reported through the correct routes to the designated leads. When staff are recruited we follow the procedures set out in our ‘School Recruitment and Selection Policy’. Also on-going safeguarding measures are in place for staff currently employed i.e. through training and DBS re-checks.

The following staff have received Level 2 Safeguarding and Child Protection Training for Safeguarding Leads in School:

  • Mrs Sharon Ricketts Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Mr Darren Davies Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Mrs Andrea Donnelly Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Mrs Razwana Hussain Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

In addition to this staff received Level 1 Safeguarding Training to ensure they could recognise signs and symptoms of abuse and report using our agreed procedures.

The Safeguarding Governor is Mr Nick Dunster.

What are the Areas of Safeguarding?

Child protection – ensuring that staff respond appropriately to any significant change in a child’s behaviour, report to the Designated Lead any unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse, report any deterioration in a child’s well being, are trained to know signs of neglect and respond appropriately to comments children make that cause concern

Training – ensuring that staff have access to quality training in aspects of safeguarding so they can recognise signs and symptoms of abuse and record/respond using the correct procedures, which staff use effectively.

Buildings and grounds – ensuring we offer a safe learning environment for children to thrive.

Outside learning – completing risk assessments prior to trips and visits for the establishment along with safe transport.

Visitors – checking DBS forms and qualifications and logging them on our Single Central Register.

Behaviour – promoting positive behaviours towards each other to create a warm, caring environment.

Parents/carers/families – offering a welcoming school and develop home/school links

Further reading for parents

The Centre of Expertise on Child Abuse are a multi-disciplinary team, funded by the Home Office, hosted by Barnardo’s and work closely with key partners from academic institutions, local authorities, health, education, police and the voluntary sector. To tackle child sexual abuse CSE must understand its causes, scope, scale and impact. They know a lot about child sexual abuse and have made progress in dealing with it. (Home – CSA Centre)

The Children’s Commissioner Group shine a light on the extent and impact of child vulnerability in England, focusing in particular on children with undiagnosed mental health issues. (Vulnerable children | Children’s Commissioner for England (

Childnet offers a range of support for parents and children to make the internet a safer place. (Childnet — Online safety for young people)

How does our Curriculum Support Safeguarding of children

Pupil safeguarding, well-being and the promotion of fundamental British values are at the heart of the Curriculum at The Black Pear Trust. We strongly believe healthy, happy children make the best learners. Our safeguarding procedures and training are of the highest standard to ensure that staff remain vigilant. We recognise the need to raise pupils’ awareness of safeguarding through different aspects of learning and school life and we use the NSPCC motto ‘speak out, stay safe’ in conjunction with the excellent relationships we foster within our school communities to ensure children both know how to keep themselves safe and know where to turn to if they need help or advice. Children are actively encouraged to have a strong voice and share their opinions but also to listen respectfully to the views of others.  We have a diverse population across each of our schools and we encourage positive relationships and educate children about the negative impact of hate/ prejudicial language. We are extremely proud of our community and the differences each child and family bring to the tapestry of Black Pear Trust Community.

Our staff are highly skilled and sensitive in our teaching and recognise sometimes that some more sensitive subjects need to be taught at an age appropriate level, or in a small group or 1:1 level where a more urgent need arises. Our curriculum enables children to develop strong communication skills however, we recognise that some children with specific educational needs may be more vulnerable. The investment in developing relationships between staff and children allows further vigilance and effective communication strategies.

Our broad curriculum gives pupils opportunities to experience life in all its diversity, to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that significantly impact on personal development, behaviour and welfare and equips every child with the knowledge and skills required for personal safeguarding. Our PSHE curriculum covers all areas of safeguarding through each of the strands (relationships, living in the wider world & health and wellbeing) to a different degree, however some go into more detail.

We plan to constantly challenge children to think deeply about safeguarding matters and their own personal physical and mental wellbeing. We value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns. We give them opportunities across the curriculum to explore values, personal rights, responsibilities and equal opportunities that develop moral concepts that impact positively on safeguarding, promote British values and prevent radicalisation and extremism. We endeavour to raise children’s awareness of their individual rights and provide opportunities to discuss through creating a climate where they feel confident, (UNCRC March 2010 – Equality Act for children).

Great importance is placed on identifying opportunities in the taught curriculum for children to learn about safeguarding. We do this in several ways: Planned opportunities through dedicated PSHE; Computing and RE lessons; conscious connections made through the broader curriculum offer; Special Focus weeks; intervention strategies and practical safeguarding opportunities and incidental opportunities.

We cover whole school national and global themes across the whole year such as Anti-Bullying week, Safer Internet Day, Safety Week, Celebrating Diversity and Different Families.

We learn about our ‘Core Values’ and British Values in lessons and assemblies to help children develop their sense of worth and confidence.

At break and lunchtime, we have Peer Mentors, who support their peers. (Please see the School Council page).

Our PSHE curriculum focuses on:

  • Myself and My Relationships
  • Healthy and Safer Lifestyles
  • Financial Capability
  • Citizenship

Links with External Agencies

In order to provide the best possible safeguarding for all pupils in our school we work with outside agencies to ensure we get expert advice and support. We follow procedures set out by the Local Education Authority and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ in accordance with child protection procedures.

Below are some of the links we have with external agencies:

  • School Nurse Service
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Educational Psychology Team
  • CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service)
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • Social Services
  • Parent Support Advisor
  • Health practitioners
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Team

Sharing of Information

We are required to have information from parents/carers prior to a child joining our school.

This includes:

  • Information about who has legal contact with the child and who has parental responsibility
  • Any special health requirements for the child
  • Information relating to food i.e. dietary requirements and food allergies
  • Emergency contact numbers (updated as required throughout the child’s time at school)
  • ‘Child Collected By’ form which specifies agreed adults who can collect a child

In our school we follow the Data Protection principles. Information regarding children is stored safely and securely and it is only shared with professionals permitted to have it.

Which Policies Support our Safeguarding?

  1. Safeguarding Policy (dealing with issues of child safety and reporting)
  2. Anti-Bullying (guidance from the Department for Education on bullying)
  3. Prevent Policy (school procedures on dealing with Counter Terrorism issues)
  4. Annual Safeguarding Audit (completed by the Safeguarding Scrutiny Team)
  5. Special Educational Needs Policy (guidance on identification and support for pupils with additional needs)
  6. Keeping Children Safe in Education Department for Education Guidance
  7. Anti-Bullying Policy (to provide guidance and response to bullying in school)
  8. Attendance Policy (to support pupils and families with attendance guidance and support)
  9. Whistle Blowing Policy (procedures to be used in case of serious staff concerns)
  10. Code of Conduct for staff, Governors (to ensure our Governing Body follow procedures and protocol)
  11. Complaints Policy (procedures for parents to support complaints)
  12. Drugs Policy (guidance on how we deliver our drugs curriculum)
  13. Sex and Relationships Policy (outlining our age appropriate delivery of SRE across the curriculum)
  14. E-Safety Policy (outlining our procedures for safely connecting through technology/internet)
  15. Medicines in Schools Policy (guidelines on administration of medicines in school)
  16. School Recruitment and Selection Policy (guidance and protocols for safer recruitment)
  17. Child on Child Abuse Policy (procedures for staff and parents to support any kind of peer abuse)

The above list is not exhaustive as many policies, procedures and protocols are in place to safeguard pupils. Policies are reviewed at determined intervals to ensure that the most up to date information is included in our guidelines in school.

Reporting Concerns and Complaints  

At Hollymount School we endeavour to provide the very best service for our pupils and families. To help us provide this we require feedback. This can be achieved through mechanisms we offer e.g. questionnaires we send to parents, through emails and telephone conversations.

However we feel that most importantly face to face discussions are effective at resolving concerns/complaints. In line with our policy, discussion of a concern would be with the class teacher in the first instance followed by the Head if that does not provide a resolution. After that the matter can be referred to the Chair of Governors where hopefully the matter can be resolved.

Our Complaints Policy sets out the procedures and this can be requested via the school office or downloaded from our website. Our aim is to always listen and try to resolve issues before they reach this stage.

If you would like more information on safeguarding, please contact the school for all our policies or view our policies section on our website.

Our Social Media Statement

Parents are increasingly using social networking sites such as Facebook to talk to their friends. Sometimes parents have used these sites to make inappropriate comments about schools or even individual teachers.

Making defamatory comments on the internet has exactly the same serious legal consequences as if they are made directly to someone else. Legal action could be taken against the person who has made the online comment. Similarly threats of violence can lead to criminal proceedings under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

If you have any concerns about anything which happens in school please speak to your child’s class teacher or the Head who will do their best to resolve things.

If you are still unhappy we have a complaints procedure which will ensure that your concerns are investigated thoroughly and appropriate action taken.