Welcome from our Designated Safeguarding Leads
Ark Academy, its staff and governors, are committed to safeguarding the welfare of our pupils and to providing a safe environment with robust systems to ensure the safety and healthy development of all our pupils, within the academy and on related school trips and other activities.
Everyone working in or for Ark Academy shares the objective of helping to keep children and young people safe by contributing to:
- ensuring that Ark Academy provides a safe environment in which children and young people can learn and develop, and
- identifying children and young people who are suffering, or at risk of suffering abuse and taking appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in school.
We recognise that some children may be more vulnerable. We are committed to doing our best to identify such children and to working with the appropriate authorities to support and safeguard them.
We are committed to providing all our pupils with a safe learning environment, free of bullying and other forms of harassment, and to teaching pupils to act safely in and outside school and on the internet.
We will always take a considered and sensitive approach in order to support all our pupils.
It is not the responsibility of academy staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff have a duty, however, to recognise concerns and maintain an open mind. Accordingly, all concerns regarding the welfare of pupils will be recorded and discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL), prior to discussion with parents, Ms Rogers. If a pupil, parent or member of staff should disclose concerns about the welfare of a pupil at Ark Academy, we will first consider the following:
- any urgent medical needs of the child,
- discussing the matter with other agencies involved with the family,
- consulting with appropriate persons e.g. Safeguarding Officer, Brent Children’s Social Care,
- the child‘s wishes.
Then decide, in accordance with the procedures or advice of the local safeguarding children’s board:
- where possible to talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk;
- whether to make a child protection referral to children’s social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately;
- not to make a referral at this stage;
- if further monitoring is necessary; or
- if it would be appropriate to undertake an assessment and/or make a referral to other services.
All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented. Any referrals to children’s social care will be accompanied by a standard referral form.
Recording and monitoring
Accurate records will be made as soon as practicable and will clearly distinguish between observation, fact, opinion and hypothesis. All records will be signed and dated.
All Child Protection documents will be retained in a ‘Child Protection’ file, separate from the child’s main file. This will be locked away and only accessible to the Principal and Senior Designated Person.
Supporting the child and partnership with parents
- Ark Academy recognises that the child’s welfare is paramount and that good child protection practice and outcome rely on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents.
- While, on occasion, we may need to make referrals without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect any child, acting with the advice of the local children’s safeguarding board as appropriate.
- We will provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for the child.
- Children will be given a proper explanation (appropriate to age & understanding) of what action is being taken on their behalf and why.
- We will endeavour always to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents. However, no member of staff can necessarily promise confidentiality to any child who should make a disclosure of abuse. If it is felt that a child is at risk of harm or is being harmed, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) has a responsibility to share this information with Social care. In turn, the DSL will determine which members of staff need to know personal information and what they need to know to support and protect the child.
If you, as parents, should have any further questions about any of that which has been written above, you should contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Ms Irene Flandrin.
Below are links to resources where you can annoymously report concerns and find further support.
Report a safeguarding concern
If you have a concern that a child or children are being harmed, at risk of harm, or you receive a disclosure (intentionally or unintentionally) you must report it immediately to one of our designated safeguarding leads.
Mental health and wellbeing
Find practical tips, resources and information about supporting your child’s mental health and wellbeing.