As you would expect from any school, we take child protection very seriously. Our role is not only to educate children but to safeguard their rights, health and well-being. This takes many forms and parents can rely on us keeping them informed in all matters that affect their child, although we will act in the best interest of the child, even where this raises issues about parental care and responsibility.
It is vitally important that children feel safe and are free from worry and conflict, otherwise their time at school will be wasted. No one can concentrate on learning when their mind is elsewhere, for example on family disputes, concerned about family members, dealing with bereavement or other loss. We therefore attempt to solve, or at least help deal with issues as they arise. This help takes many forms and we believe strongly in supporting families through troubled times.
We employ a PSA (Pastoral Support Assistant), trained in family matters and knowledgeable in many areas of family support. Mrs Harris works with our families to offer advice, signpost to suitable services and perhaps offer direct help through parenting courses (Mrs Harris is trained to deliver Triple P parenting courses and runs these several times a year at Courthouse).
In school, we have two trained ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who can offer support to troubled pupils. They give one-to-one sessions to help children understand why they feel troubled and develop methods of dealing with their feelings. These sessions are usually for a period of six weeks, during which time they will be the child's first port of call at any time during the week when they need someone to listen to their woes.
Our ELSAs also run nurture groups most lunchtimes, where small groups of pupils with social issues can come together to explore ways of getting on with people and important aspects of social etiquette (e.g. taking turns, listening to others, giving 'constructive' criticism, etc).
We take great care over the people we allow into school who may have contact with pupils. For example, every member of staff and volunteer will have been CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked at the enhanced level before being allowed into school. As part of this vetting process, candidates must give two references and undergo an interview with the Head Teacher before being accepted into the school community.
Other visitors are not allowed unaccompanied onto the premises during school hours and we will turn away trademen, etc if they turn up unannounced and don't have their CRB certificate with them, especially if we cannot provide a chaperone for their visit.
We ensure our site is safe from intruders through a range of security measures, including the palisade fencing to the public front boundary; locked gates to playgrounds; a buzzer system at the main (only) public pedestrian entrance and further maglock doors that stop access into the main building without being buzzed through. Staff have special fobs which allow access to the building via the staff room and through the administrative wing.
Access at each end of the school day is closely managed and coordinated with Alwyn Nursery & Infant School, our neighbours, with whom we share and maintain the security of a larger school perimeter.
Governors review our Child Protection Policy annually and the current document can be downloaded from the sidebar on the left. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns. We always respond to suggestions made to improve security and act on any information received that indicates a weakness may be perceived by others.