Keeping Children Safe
At Todmorden CE School we have a Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures. The aim of this policy is to ensure that our school has effective measures in place to safeguard your children from the potential risk of harm and that the safety and wellbeing of the children are of the highest priority in all aspects of our school's work. Having the policy in place ensures that all members of our school community:
- Are aware of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and child protection
- Know the procedures that should be followed if they have a cause for concern
- Know where to go to find additional information regarding safeguarding
- Are aware of the key indicators relating to child abuse
- Fully support the school's commitment to safeguarding and child protection.
Todmorden CE J, I and N School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability.
All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
On 1 July 2015 the Prevent duty (section 26) of The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 came into force. This duty places the responsibility on local authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
As part of our School’s commitment to safeguarding and child protection we fully support the government's Prevent Strategy.
It is really important that if your child isn’t in school for any reason that you contact us as soon as possible. If we haven’t been contacted as to why your child is absent by 9:15am, you will become part of out First-day Calling procedure. The Calderdale Schools Safeguarding Advisor and the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) insists on all schools having a robust First-day Calling procedure in place.
What is First-day Calling?
If we haven’t received a message to where your child is by the close of registers, our office staff will start ringing down your child’s contact list to find out where your child is. They will ring and text message all contacts until we locate where your child is. If no contact is made school may have to visit your home or contact the police, after making a risk assessment.
Why is it necessary?
It is necessary so that we know all our children are safe. There have been incidents in Calderdale and in other authorities where a parent has died and the children have been left inside the house on their own with their deceased parent. Also, there have been incidents of older children not making it to school on their own.
What should we do?
If your child is not at school please ring as soon as possible and let us know. Please be reminded that school starts and registers close at 8:55am and our EWO (Educational Welfare Officer) regularly reviews all children's attendance.
Staying safe on the internet is an important message which we reinforce with our children at all times but we do look more closely at online safety in February as part of Safety Week. This important message is something that should also be discussed as a family at home. Please feel free to use this link to the CEOP website, where your child can access some fun activities to back up their learning.
Did you know the minimum age for most social media platforms is 13?
These include Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Musical.ly and Twitter. The minimum age is set at 13 so that our children are safe and protected from what they read, see and who they talk to online. It is extremely important parents know and monitor how their child is using the internet and social media.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a game played online with up to 100 players in each match, meaning players may encounter strangers and experiences that aren't monitored. This game is rated as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of violence. It is not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
It has come to our attention that many of our children are playing on Fortnite. As a school we are concerned about our children being exposed to the violent scenes contained in the game and about children being able to play against strangers with the possibility that they will be exposed to bullying, bad language and sexual exploitation.
We also would like to highlight to parents the effects that playing on a computer games for extended periods (over half an hour) can have on a child's behaviour and progress in school.
We ask that all parents monitor which games children are playing, how long they are playing for, whether an adult is present at all times and who children have contact with. Please consider whether Fortnite or any other game which contains violence is at all suitable for your child.
Important information about Fortnite from Calderdale School Nursing and Safeguarding Team (Nov 2018):-
'Many of you may be aware of the risks and concerns around children playing the online game Fortnite, which has a 12 rating but is played by much younger children. We have been made aware of an emerging trend, where people and children are playing 'Strip Fortnite' using webcams. The rule is that when you achieve a “kill” you have to strip off, potentially adding an additional risk from children being exposed to and/or sharing indecent images whilst playing the game.'
Keeping children safe online on new devices
We know that many of our children receive electronic devices for birthdays and Christmas. We ask all our parents to help them stay safe online. This can be difficult when setting up new devices.
NSPCC have joined forces with O2 and have a website that will help you understand the online world so you can be confident when you talk to your children. It is full of top tips! We want all our families to feel confident to talk about their child's online world, just as they would their day at school, so they can understand it. That way, you can remind them how to stay safe and they'll know they can come to you if they're ever worried.