Safeguarding and Wellbeing
Information for parents/carers
At St John’s C of E Middle School Academy, we strive to make sure all our students are safe in school, home, online and in the community. Our staff are here to keep young people safe and secure and promote their personal safety and wellbeing.
The school has a duty of care and the right to take reasonable action to ensure wellbeing and safety needs are being met for all of our pupils. If a staff member has cause to be concerned that a child may be subject to any form of abuse outlined in our safeguarding policy, the school will take appropriate action and follow child protection procedures, informing Children’s Services if necessary.
A clear policy on Safeguarding is available below and is reviewed by staff and school governors on an annual basis.
Our safeguarding policy.
At St John's C of E Middle School we believe that it is unacceptable for a child to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard all children.
We provide staff and volunteers with guidance to follow when they suspect a child may be experiencing abuse or at risk of harm. We work cooperatively with other agencies to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children. We will ensure that our pupils' concerns are discussed with parents/carers first - unless we have reason to believe that such action could compromise the child’s welfare.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection is Mrs K. Gallinagh (Deputy Headteacher)
The Deputy Designated Leads for child protection are Mrs N. Hine (Assistant Headteacher), Mr. D. McEvilly (SENDOCo), Ms J. Alexander (SEMH) and Mrs A. Elwell-Thomas (Head of School)
The Governor with responsibility for child protection is Mrs A Lee.
We review our policy and procedures on an annual basis.
Disclosure & Barring Checks
St John’s C of E Middle School Academy meets statutory requirements concerning Disclosure & Barring Service – all staff and volunteers who work at St John’s C of E Middle School Academy are required to undergo an enhanced DBS check before employment.
All St John’s C of E Middle School Academy staff and governors undertake relevant safeguarding training and receive annual updates as appropriate. Our safeguarding training includes Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE,) Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) the Prevent Strategy, Online Safety, and Peer on Peer abuse; including Sexual Harassment.
Since July 2015, all schools (and other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. Prevent is part of CONTEST, a government strategy designed to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. This means we are responsible for protecting children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues to understand better how to protect themselves.
We already do many things in school to help pupils become positive, happy members of society that support the Prevent Strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation by using filters on the Internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material or vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
If you have any questions or concerns about The Prevent Strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
You will find more information about radicalisation in our safeguarding policy available on our website. British values form a key part of our values along with our Christian Values. The British values are:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
The following sources may be useful for further information:
Help and Support for Children and Families
At St John’s C of E Middle School Academy, we recognise the challenges families face in bringing up children. There may be times when you need extra help and support. If this is the case, please come and talk to us. There are many ways in which we can help, as outlined in our offer of early help. We can also help to plan specific support for families in the forms of Plans or Early Help Assessments where we can work together to set and achieve outcomes.
You can also download a copy of these below.
Online safety is part of our curriculum across both key stages.
Online Safety is an integral part of children’s education in today’s digital world and is embedded in their school learning. We strive to help our parents and children improve their own understanding of electronic safety issues to learn to use the Internet and all digital media safely and securely.
As a parent, you'll know how important the Internet is to children - they use it to learn, explore, play, socialise, and express themselves. It's a creative place of wonderful opportunities. However, the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting, and you might worry about the risks your child can face online - such as bullying, contact from strangers, or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content.
To help engage with your children regarding their use of the Internet while at home. Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com
- Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, find the safety advice, privacy settings, and how to report or block on the services they use.
- Could you encourage them to help? Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online, or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you use the Internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the Internet together and further enjoy your lives online?
Find out more about how to stay safe online :
Useful e-safety websites:
Smartphone Safe - If you would like to know more information on keeping your child safe when using a smartphone, here is a handy and informative link here.
Childnet is a great website resource for parents and children on online safety.
Internet Matters is another great site to use - it has advice on cyberbullying, how to talk to your children about internet safety, and quick guides to different social media types such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Here are quick links to a range of Internet safety sites that you may find useful too...
The digital world is moving at such a pace that it is necessary to try to stay on top of events in today's world. No child should have a Facebook account until they are 13 years of age. School cannot be responsible for many of the problems encountered from social media relationships and issues, and either the police or CEOP should be directly referred to for support.
CEOP Primary KS2: This short film is called 'Jigsaw' and is suitable for KS2 Primary School children (8 -10 years); the approximate running time is 8 minutes. This short film is produced by the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and is being delivered to schools all over the UK through their ‘ThinkUknow’ Programme.
The NSPCC have launched a series of videos and information links that can support parents/carers in talking to their children about the safe use of the internet. The campaign ‘Share Aware’ is aimed at parents/carers of children ranging from age 8 to 12 years and is helpful in understanding online safety. The campaign is intended to support parents/carers in having effective conversations about staying safe online.
Furthermore, the NSPCC has a free resource - Net Aware - to which they have now added 12 new sites, apps and games in their campaign for on-line safety. Parents/Carers are encouraged to use the interactive resources to assist conversations with their children.
The site explains what other parents and young people think about 60 of the most popular social apps and games, the right age, and details on privacy and safety settings.
An additional resource is available for parents to access, which informs specifically about child sexual exploitation.
This site helps explain the indicators of when a child might be being exploited, appreciate the impact child sexual exploitation can have on families and know what to do if you suspect a child might be at risk of this abuse.
Whilst we all hope that such situations will be far removed from our children, it is essential to be kept informed and so we trust by sharing this information with you, we are assisting in this process.
There is a lot of information on the Common Sense Media website that parents/carers will find useful regarding games, apps, videos, and age ratings and suitability.
Our Attendance Officer, Mrs E. Barnsley, works thoroughly on day-to-day conversations with parents, telephone calls, the first day calling and sending letters.
The government has set the persistent absence percentage at 90% and all schools have to show that they have a robust system in place to track and support any attendance below this level.
Teachers monitor the attendance in their class carefully and any concerns are referred directly to our Attendance Team. If your child cannot attend school for any reason, you must contact the school on the first day of absence to inform us. Please then remain in contact daily while your child is absent from school.
Parents are legally responsible for ensuring their children receive education under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 and that they regularly attend school.
This means that children must:
- arrive at school on time
- attend regularly
- be suitably clothed
- be in a condition to learn.
All children between the ages of 5 and 16 (compulsory school age) are required, by law, to attend the school at which they are registered. Legal action can be taken if it is considered that a parent or carer is not fulfilling their parental responsibility to ensure their child receives a full-time education.
Failure to ensure regular attendance may result in the matter being placed before the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444(1a) of the Education Act 1996. Penalties can include fines up to £2,500 for each parent, consideration of a parenting order, or a period of imprisonment.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced penalty notices as an additional sanction to address poor school attendance. This means that for pupils with unauthorised absence from school (i.e., any absence that the school has not permitted for), their parents or carers may be subject to a fine of up to £60 per parent for each child (increases to £120 if not paid within 21 days).
For more information from the Government, please visit the following website:
You must speak with the school at the earliest opportunity if you have any problems securing your child's attendance. The school and the Education Welfare Service will give you advice and support to help you fulfil your responsibility to secure improvement in your child's attendance.
There may be a time when you feel that you need to request leave for your child during term time. If this is the case, please contact 01527 832376 for guidance about whether the circumstances are exceptional.
Please be advised that in line with the government’s plea to parents not to take children out of school during term time, we encourage parents to book family holidays during the 13 weeks of school holidays. Headteachers may not grant leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. This means that, unless such exceptional circumstances exist, all absence for a holiday or similar reasons will be unauthorised.
Schools are no longer able to authorise any leave of absence during term time for holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances. This could result in a Fixed Penalty fine of £60 per parent, per child. If not paid in 21 days this will rise to £120.
Tips for Good Attendance
1. Talk to the school if there are any problems or worries
We can help! We can only help solve a problem if we know about it. Staying away from school because of a problem only makes matters worse. If you are struggling to get into school, please talk to us.
2. Eat healthily
A healthy diet can help keep children’s immune system strong so that they can fight general viruses.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital for staying fit and healthy.
4. Get lots of exercise
Keeping fit helps you to keep bugs away.
5. Make medical appointments outside of school time wherever possible
Most doctors and dentists are happy to oblige.
6. Take holidays in the school holidays
School will only authorise leave in exceptional circumstances. Unauthorised leave may result in a Penalty Notice fine being issued.
7. Pack school bags and get school uniform ready the evening before
Being organised means, you are much less likely to be late in the morning.
8. Come back to school as soon as you are feeling better after being ill
Do not miss school for minor upsets and don’t stay away longer than is really necessary.
Please find below a link to Worcestershire County Council, where you will find further information regarding school absence. Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is Bullying
Please find the Anti-Bullying Policy Below
“Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online.”
Wellbeing at St John’s C of E Middle Academy
At St John’s C of E Middle School Academy, there is plenty of support to help you and your child with well-being. The school has two Mental Health First Aiders:
- Mr. K. Medway
- Mrs. A. Elwell
Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, experience a mental health issue or emotional distress. They are not therapists or psychiatrists, but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.
Schools are on the frontline when it comes to supporting children and young people's mental wellbeing. Our school staff are ideally placed to recognise and respond to early signs of mental health difficulties.
Pupil and staff wellbeing are significant to us. Our staff are proud of their work, feel supported and want to see the school go from strength to strength.