Bexhill Academy recognises its legal duty to safeguard and protect students from abuse as defined in the Children Act 2004 and section 175 of the Education Act 2002. The overall intention and purpose behind the school’s safeguarding policy is underpinned by the fundamental principle of the 1989 Children Act:
‘the welfare of the child is the paramount concern’
Our Academy takes seriously its responsibilities to protect and safeguard the interests of all children. We recognise that effective child protection requires sound procedures, good inter-agency co-operation and a workforce that is competent and confident in responding to child protection situations. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
The Academy has updated its Safeguarding and Child Protection policy (Sept 2020) in line with the updated Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020. This policy is available in the policies section of the website. The key changes included in KCSIE 2020 include:
Please feel free to contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mrs Hillman) or the Safeguarding Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bexhill Academy is participating in Safer Internet Day Feb 2021. This is a global annual event and supports the academy’s wider Online Safety education programme. Once the event finishes, the materials will remain on our website as they contain many useful references and contacts for our students and parents/carers.
The theme for February 2021 is “An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world”.
The internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we separate fact from fiction? Dueto the national school closures because of the Covid pandemic, and the increased use of technology to support remote home learning, the Academy is increasingly aware of the need to support students, parents and carers to use the internet safely.
The Academy has regularly sent parents and carers information via the academy newsletter to support this (copies available on the website).
Further information and advice for parents/carers can be found in the parent/carer Information and support section on our website. In addition, further information is available in the Covid 19 section on the website, including advice on supporting your child to keep safe online at home. This is a key focus in the updated Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020.
Information for Parents/Carers on County Lines
Advise for young people worried about gangs and violence
Information for parents and carers
The Professionals Online Safety Helpline (POSH) was setup in 2011 to help all members of the community working with or for children in the UK, with any online safety issues they, or children and young people in their care, may face. Tel: 0345 381 4772. Email : email@example.com
December 2020: We have been made aware that there is a website that some students have been accessing www.takethislollipop.com which is an anonymous video chat room which poses safeguarding concerns for young people.
Updated Information from Sussex Police Feb 2021 – Young males and Instagram
Recent online “sextortion” blackmail cases have been recorded, targeting young males aged 15-20 years, via Instagram, being befriended by what seem to be attractive young ladies. Victims are encouraged by the suspects to use different chat rooms where video-chat is enabled. The new acquaintances quickly become very flirtatious and sexual, appearing to strip etc. and enticing the victim to do the same. As soon as this occurs, the victims see their own actions replayed to them, along with requests for sums of money, often along with a story of helping suspect’s mother with cancer treatment.
It is often the case that the victim feels so upset and anxious, that they don’t know what to do and will be tempted to pay money. People should be encouraged to report fake accounts to the internet app being used, and to alert those on their friend list if they are targeted.
This information, produced by Sussex Police, is the latest guidance in relation to various social media platforms to make them safe for young people.
Bexhill Academy demonstrates a clear commitment to the promotion of diversity and equality as highlighted in its Friendship and Anti-Bullying Policy and other policies and related documents.
Bexhill Academy aims to create a fair and just school community that promotes social inclusion, community cohesion and equality that respects diversity and which challenges and acts upon all forms of discrimination and inequality, including bullying.
Bexhill Academy works actively to celebrate difference and challenge racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of prejudice through assemblies, the curriculum and special projects throughout the year.
There is a continuous focus to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to achieve to the best of their ability regardless of their gender, ethnic or racial background,religion, ability or sexuality.
We actively promote the British Values of tolerance, fairness, respect for other faiths, and the rule of law and democracy. Our Bexhill Academy Values underpin our whole school behaviour and rewards system.
EXTREMISM AND PREVENT
Building the resilience of young people and the promotion of fundamental British values is at the heart of preventing radicalisation. Schools can do this by providing safe places in which children can discuss controversial issues, and be given the knowledge and confidence to challenge extremist beliefs and ideologies.
Schools play a vital role in keeping children safe from harm, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and in promoting the welfare of children in their care.
For an introduction to the Prevent duty and an explanation of how it aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being radicalised, HM Government has created an e-learning module following consultation with a range of individuals and organisations. The module has been created withthe feedback of teachers, local authority officials, community-based groups, youth workers and many others.
It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a growing cause of concern in schools.
FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore it is dealt with as part of existing child and adult safeguarding/protection structures, policies and procedures. It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM) or to take a child abroad to undergo the procedure – Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. Despite the harm it causes, FGM practising communities consider it normal to protect their cultural identity. The age at which girls are subject to FGM varies greatly from shortly after birth to any time up to adulthood. The average age is 10 to 12 years.
At Bexhill Academy, our staff are trained in dealing with FGM and are alerted to the following key indicators:
Any female child born to a woman or has a sister who has been subjected to FGM will be considered to be at risk, as much as other female children in the extended family. Any information or concern that a child is at risk of FGM will result in a child protection referral to Children’s Social Care.
The new mandatory reporting duty for FGM under the Serious Crime Act 2015, requires teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the police. Guidelines on mandatory reporting can be found here.
Every year, private tutors help children catch up with missed work or address area they are struggling in, or with extra-curricular activities. Lockdown has led to major growth in this area, especially online, and this is expected to continue with further bubble and school closures. Please see the link which provides information and advice for parents/carers if they wish to recruit a tutor
A resource that helps and advises young people who may find themselves in a situation where they (or a friend) have put a sexting image or video online and have lost control over that content and who it’s being shared with
The School Health Service provides support to students, families and schools around school health needs that may affect a student’s access to education. School Health Service provide a range of intervention including, confidential drop in within secondary schools, health promotions and packages of care for specific health needs.
Contact them on 01424 728368
Our Academy participates in an operation that runs jointly with Sussex Police called Operation Encompass.
Operation Encompass has been designed to provide early reporting to schools and colleges of any domestic abuse incidents that occur in which a child was present, ordinarily resides at the incident location or with an involved party. We know that children can be significantly affected through witnessing or being exposed to domestic abuse and this operation will allow us to better support our students and their families.
Nominated members of staff at the academy regularly liaise with the police, including our Safeguarding Team. They will be able to use information that has been shared with them, in confidence,to ensure that the right support is available should it be required by a child and/or their family.
We are keen to offer the best support available to our students and we believe this is going to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.
If you have any concerns or questions then please contact the Safeguarding Team and we will be happy to discuss this further
All schools have safeguarding duties under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 in respect of their students, and as part of this should investigate any unexplained absences and gives due regard to this responsibility and the attendance policy is written in accordance with “Children Missing Education:Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities” (January 2015)
The academy collaborates closely with the education welfare service (ESBAS), other schools and local social services to ensure that children do not go missing from education: no child of compulsory school age is removed from the school roll at the Academy without the authorisation of the designated safeguarding lead and without confirmation from the school the student is joining or without the academy notifying the local authority/ESBAS.
Nationally, students with school attendance average of 90% or less are considered persistently absent and therefore at risk of becoming NEET or being the victim of abuse or exploitation. As such, the Academy can refer students with an average attendance of less than 90% to ESBAS. ESBAS and the academy will work collaboratively with families who have children who are at risk of becoming persistently absent in order to improve the attendance of their children.