Safeguarding is the most important aspect of school life. It sits behind and runs through everything that we do.

Our current safeguarding policy is on our policies page:

Ashmead Primary School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Every year we brief parents during the Meet the Teacher meetings for each class on key safeguarding issues. This is a summary of the messages we give parents:

“Safeguarding” is the phrase we use to describe all the different ways we keep your children emotionally and physically safe. Nothing is more important to us. This includes things like risk assessing our trips, doing fire drills, making our entrance more secure, training first aiders, talking to children about how to keep themselves safe online, about what to do if they feel someone is being unkind or is bullying them or someone else.

It also means that we have a legal duty regarding child protection to seek advice or report any concerns we have over children being neglected or hurt. This sometimes means talking to other agencies. When we do this our intention is always to protect your child. The advice we get – and we’ve recently all had child protection training – is to ‘think the unthinkable’ and that it is better to be safe than sorry. Usually we will bring concerns to you directly but there are times when we can’t do that and that can sometimes lead to families feeling upset. This is understandable but I hope parents will understand that we are always doing what we think is best for the child.

We also give regular reminders and advice regarding e-safety to parents:

E-safety continues to be a growing issue and we are going to be raising the profile of this even more this year.

We also do lots of work each year on how to prevent bullying.

When we discuss bullying here are some of the key messages we give:

  • The most important thing is that children are safe.
  • This means being emotionally safe as well as physically safe.
  • Bullying is repeated unkind behaviour (physical, verbal, emotional, online).
  • (unkind behaviour that is not repeated and would not be called bullying can still be very serious and would be treated as such)
  • We discuss direct bullying, more subtle bullying and the role of bystanders in bullying.
  • We look at discriminatory behaviours as part of our work on anti-bullying
  • If children are aware of unkind behaviour towards themselves or others the most important thing they can do is to tell an adult (we also discuss other ways of handling situations assertively in the moment).
  • We tell children this is because adults have the power to stop bullying but it is also because there are far more children than adults so adults need their help in finding out if unkind things are happening.
  • We tell children that no school can guarantee that bullying will never happen but we can guarantee that we will always take it very seriously.
  • We remind children we have zero tolerance for children calling each other ‘snitch’ or equivalent as such phrases make children less likely to get help from adults.

As well as working on this during anti-bullying week we regularly discuss how things are going in terms of behaviour, safety, name-calling, road safety, etc. with children in assemblies and via our school council and fortnightly Circle Time sessions in class. We also use our fortnightly newsletters to reinforce these messages.

Safeguarding is a regular item in our staff meetings because we know that constant vigilance and re-visiting of key systems as well as regular opportunities to raise concerns are key to children being safe at school.

Staff are regularly trained in safeguarding, e.g. recently (2022) there has been a lot of training on contextual safeguarding.