|COVID 19 SAFEGUARDING UPDATE|
When the Secretary of State for Education and the Prime Minister instructed schools to close from Monday 23 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it was with the aim of reducing transmission, to protect the NHS and save lives.
Schools were asked to remain open only for those of workers critical to the COVID-19 response and those pupils who are vulnerable, including those who have education, health and care plans. As a result, we remained open throughout, providing a timetable to those pupils who could come into school and a remote learning package to those who were required, or chose, to stay at home.
The government has now asked for all pupils to return to school full-time from the new academic year. The prevalence of COVID-19 has dramatically decreased and the scientific evidence shows that COVID-19 presents a negligible risk to children. The NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and as schools we continue to have proportionate measures in place to create a safe environment for pupils and staff. It is vital for children to return to school to ensure that their education and well-being is not further impacted
In line with government guidelines, we have assessed risk and put together a COVID plan , and our ‘safer classroom practices’, which we hope will be helpful in outlining our approach to reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19. We also refer to the coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers guidance.
We now expect all pupils to attend school, aside from those pupils or families who have significant medical needs which mean they must continue to shield. This decision will be governed by medical professionals and as a result, we will continue to offer our remote learning package to these few pupils only.
Leaders’ focus will remain entirely on the operational management of the schools. Events and trips will continue to be on hold (though pupils will now go off-site again for fresh air and recreation), in accordance with our stringent risk assessments)
Where meetings do take place, social distancing advice will be followed. There should be no unnecessary travel to meetings and if an online meeting, phone call or emailed report will suffice, then these options are preferable. Physical contact should be avoided where possible and excellent hygiene must be role modelled and expected of all staff and pupils.
Any safeguarding concerns, including peer on peer abuse and online safety concerns, during this time will be treated in the same way as prior to the pandemic. All staff know who the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) are; any concern is to be shared immediately and logged on a Record of Concern form.
The DSL/DDSL’s will always be contactable via email and their mobile phones, even if they are not present on site. The school will continue to work with pupils’ social workers, local authority SEN teams and child looked after (CLA) teams. For those pupils not attending, teachers and therapists will provide the best possible remote teaching, therapy and support they can. Teachers/ TAs will contact families on a regular basis, they will provide a range of learning activities in line with the planned curriculum in as many subjects as possible via post, phone and/or email. Therapists will contact pupils via telephone.
Remote teaching may raise some complex safeguarding issues, however ultimately, we are in a unique time and we want to ensure our pupils can access learning whilst at home.
It is important that all staff who interact with pupils, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per our ‘Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required the police. We are now following our usual day-to-day attendance protocol to follow up on nonattendance, contacting families to ensure that we are aware of each pupil’s individual situation and reason for absence.
School informs me everyday how my kid’s day has been. Staff put a lot of work into meeting his needs.
I’m very happy with the school overall, finally a school my son can learn in.
My son absolutely loves school.
I am happy with my son’s progress and with his learning in classes. I’m impressed with the communication.