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Devonport High School for Girls

Safeguarding and welfare

Child protection

DHSG has a responsibility to safeguard and protect the welfare of students. The law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a student’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. This obligation applies to all employees and child protection training is mandatory for all.

"Under the Education Act 2002 (section 175/157), schools must “make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”. 

We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where students are respected and valued.

We will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) procedures to ensure that students receive appropriate and effective support and protection.

We will discuss any child protection concerns we may have with parents/carers prior to contacting outside agencies, however, in situations where the student is suspected to be at increased risk of harm by doing so, the law says that schools may take advice from other agencies without informing parents/carers.

In accordance with local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively.  Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that students are safe and receive the right service.

Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, schools or any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare”.  This means that on very rare occasions, we may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the police investigate any concerns further.

If you have any concerns about the safeguarding of a young person contact:

The Designated Safeguarding Lead: Ruth Morgan rmorgan@dhsg.co.uk

The Governor with Responsibility for Safeguarding is Jill Dolan

Please consult the following policy documents on the school websites policy page, for further information:

Child Protection
Safeguarding
Anti-Bullying
Equality
ICT and E-Safety

Student Welfare 

At DHSG the pastoral care of our students is of integral importance to everything we do.  All students belong to a tutor group and the form tutor will support your child holistically, focussing on both academic achievements and their emotional wellbeing. The form tutor is the main advocate for your child at school and your main contact for the welfare of your child.

The role of the Head of House supports the work of the form tutor in getting to know and understand students and to develop meaningful partnerships and relationships with parents/carers.   Heads of House work cohesively to support students and their families and also have the support of the wider Student Support Team.

The Student Support Team is heavily involved in supporting students across all year groups providing bespoke support to meet students need. This specialist support includes SEND support, academic and pastoral mentoring, literacy support, counselling, behaviour and attendance support and links to outside agencies.

We know you want the best for your child and so would ask for your cooperation in keeping us informed of any circumstance that may affect them.

If your child is diagnosed with any new medical condition after they join us in Year 7 please remember to contact your Head of House to update us and allow us to work with you to support your child.  If your child becomes ill and is unable to attend school we will work with you to ensure that their education is not disrupted if at all possible.  We will support their reintegration back into school after illness with a variety of measures to reduce any potential anxieties.

We know you will be keen to assist us in removing any potential barriers to progress as you are as keen as we are to see your child achieving their full potential in school.  If you wish to seek advice about any matter of a confidential nature that may affect the wellbeing of your child, please contact Mrs Ruth Morgan who is the Assistant Head Teacher in charge of Inclusion and also the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

 

DHSG School based Counselling offer 

Rationale

  • The counselling service at school is there to support student welfare and mental health in the context of holistic Pastoral Support and is a confidential service.
  • We employ counsellors through who currently see students on site at DHSG two days a week.  The counsellor manages their clients via the procedures and practices of Young Devon.
  • The service is a limited resource and will be targeted efficiently and strategically to be most effective in its aims and outcomes. Primarily, this is to support students in accessing their education by reducing stress and anxiety.  Students approaching key examinations will be prioritised.
  • Additional professional services are available for referral in cases of high need, such as CAMHS and the early help assessment will be actioned where student welfare is impacted significantly by multiple factors.

Referrals to the Counselling service

  • No referral should be made without the prior knowledge of the student.
  • All recommendations made by staff for the referral of students to the Counsellor, should be made via the Heads of House/ Head of Sixth.
  • Heads of House/ Head of Sixth will discuss each recommendation with the SLT lead for Inclusion and complete a Student Support Team referral. This is so that the waiting list can be managed effectively to target highest need.
  • Students may self-refer directly, but if they choose not to share their reasons for requesting the service, it may not be possible to prioritise them above other known high need cases.
  • Parents/carers may refer via their child’s tutor or Head of House.
  • We will always seek to work closely with Parents/carers to support good mental health but will not routinely inform that their child is accessing this service.

If you have any questions about the school counselling offer please contact Mrs Ruth Morgan, the Inclusion Lead.

Young Carers 

Young carers are under 18’s who have to emotionally or physically support a family member who have a disability, illness or addiction.  On average there are 250,000 young carers in the UK alone.  As a school we give the opportunity to all young carers to attend a young carers drop in, where they can receive support and guidance from one another and from a member of staff.  As a group we are planning trips and use this time to talk and relax, and be ourselves for a while.

 

For more information on internet safety and CEOP's work, visit the CEOP website: