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Safeguarding Statement

Our Mission

“Together we work as one family to ensure excellence for all.”

Our Vision

To be an ambitious, inclusive, collaborative family of schools, ensuring fullness of life and excellence in education, whilst celebrating individuality.

To fulfil this commitment, comprehensive safeguarding and child protection systems are in place in line with the DfE statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021.

For note: This system is described in full in the DfE statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

Safeguarding Statement

One Excellence Multi Academy Trust is committed to outstanding safeguarding practices and promoting the welfare of children within its family of Academies. It expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The Trust aims to provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child, and strive to make sure that every student in the Trust feels safe from harm and abuse, secure, well cared for, and able to reach their full potential and fullness of life through nurturing and supportive endeavours individually, collectively and in the community.

One Excellence and its Academies believe that the child’s welfare is always of paramount concern, and that all children have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious belief or sexual identity. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately in accordance with One Excellence’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy. To maintain our approach effectively and consistently, we recognise that the Trust and its schools also play an important part in the wider local and national safeguarding system for children.

One Excellence and its Academies recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all its children by protecting them from emotional, sexual or physical harm and from neglect or bullying. Every member of staff has a collective recognition of the importance of providing an environment that helps children feel safe and respected, and a culture that encourages children to talk openly, and have the confidence they will be listened to. They acknowledge that child abuse can be a very emotive and difficult subject. It is important to understand the feelings involved but not to allow them to interfere with judgement about the action to be taken.

Every adult is expected to play their part in safeguarding our children. Each Academy supports this through safeguarding and child protection awareness training. Safeguarding is the proactive stance, which aims to protect children from abuse or harm, and Child Protection is the reactive stance taken to support children whom the school suspects may be in need of protection. All staff in all of our Academies know the procedures that should be followed should they have any concerns about a child. All staff know where to go should they require some information, help and guidance.

Culture of Safeguarding

The Trust believes that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is the responsibility of everyone. This is demonstrated through our shared culture of safeguarding. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play and all staff make sure their approach is wholly child-centred. This means that at all times, they consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Our culture of safeguarding demonstrates the Trust’s:

  • moral and statutory responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expectation that all staff and volunteers share this commitment.
  • expectation that everyone working within Trust schools will contribute to the creation of an environment in which all children and adults have an equal right to protection regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual identity or culture.
  • expectation that Directors, LAB members and staff maintain an open mind and attitude of it could happen here where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members always act in the best interests of the child.
  • expectation that all adults within the wider Trust community are aware that they have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm at home, in the community or in school. Everyone is aware that they can make a referral and reporting procedures are established in every Trust school to ensure information is shared with key safeguarding and child protection staff as soon as possible after any concern arises.
  • expectation that every school will follow the guidance provided by the Trust’s three local safeguarding partners (local authority, police and clinical commissioning group)

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

The Trust meets all statutory requirements in relation to Disclosure and Barring Service checks. All staff, members, trustees and volunteers are required to undergo an enhanced DBS check prior to employment or engagement. The Trust’s DBS Policy and Single Central Record (SCR) includes further detail of the Trust’s DBS procedures.

Safer Recruitment

All applicants for employment at One Excellence and its Academies will be fully vetted in accordance with DfE Guidelines Safeguarding Children: Safer Recruitment and Selection in Education Settings.

Safer Recruitment Practices

The Trust is committed to creating a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of this, adopts recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might present a risk to children. The Trust and its schools act reasonably in making decisions about the suitability of any prospective member of staff based on these checks and evidence, including criminal record checks, enhanced DBS checks, barred list checks and prohibition checks, together with references and interview information.

One Excellence supports each Academy in the following ways:

  • Fully adopting the Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance September 2022 and section 3 of the Early Years Framework March 2021;
  • Undertaking safeguarding external/internal reviews on an annual basis;
  • Ensuring each Academy adheres to One Excellence’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and other safeguarding policies and procedures that details Academy specific advice and designated safeguarding officer details;
  • Ensuring each Academy has a governor on its Local Advisory Board with special responsibility for safeguarding;
  • Having a Director with special responsibility for safeguarding, who liaises with One Excellence’s Trust Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Safeguarding link governors;
  • All staff receive regular training on child protection procedures, including Prevent and Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance.

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Although Trustees have ultimate responsibility for safeguarding, operationally it is overseen by Trust Safeguarding Lead who work alongside the Designated Safeguarding Leads within each Trust school. Every school has Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads who take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within their own school. They are clear about their role, have sufficient time and receive relevant support and training to carry out their duties.

Professional development and training

A programme of regular professional development and training is provided to Directors, LAB members and staff at every level. This ensures everyone has the knowledge and skills required to carry out their role and responsibilities safely and with confidence. Across the Trust and its schools all staff are aware of the systems, policies and procedures used to support child protection and safeguarding. These are explained as part of staff induction and reviewed with all staff at the start of each academic year.

This includes reminders about the Trust’s:

  • Shared Culture of Safeguarding
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and procedures
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) DfE 2022
  • Governance and leadership of safeguarding

Intended impact of our Trust wide culture of safeguarding

At child level:

  • Children tell us they feel safe, look forward to school and enjoy learning.
  • Children have a clear voice in matters that concern and involve them.
  • Children are active in the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Programme.
  • Children know what to do if they are being bullied or witness bullying.
  • Children know what to do if they experience child on child sexual abuse.
  • Relationships between adults and children are strong, supportive and nurturing.
  • Relationships between children are kind and caring.
  • Every child is noticed and their needs are responded to.
  • Children are listened to and their concerns responded to promptly.
  • Children are kept as safe as possible and risks are well managed at all times.

At Trust level:

  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is compliant and updated annually to include and changes to statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).
  • An executive leader and trustee are nominated as Trust Safeguarding Leads and have received appropriate training and support for the role alongside a clear role descriptor.
  • The Single Central Register at Trust and school levels is up to date.
  • A signed record of training attended by leaders, staff, trustees and members is kept in line with KCSIE 2022.
  • Resources are made available to schools to maintain the highest quality safeguarding practices.
  • All Trust staff receive an annual refresh of KCSIE and the Trust’s Safeguarding Policy and procedures and sign to say they have read understood and will follow. This includes the following policies: Whistleblowing, Child Protection and Safeguarding, Staff Code of Conduct, Health and Safety and E-Safety, Behaviour, Platforming.
  • Members and Trustees review the Trustee Code of Conduct annually and sign their agreement to follow it in their behaviours and relationships.

At school level:

  • A safe environment is maintained in which children can learn and develop confidently.
  • All schools are fully engaged in the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Programme.
  • There are clear lines of communication between the school DSL and the member of staff with responsibility for attendance.
  • At least one member of staff is trained to act in the absence of the school DSL i.e. deputy DSL and they have received appropriate training and support.
  • Appropriate supervision is in place to support the DSL and deputy DSL’s to feel confident in their role and to raise any issues.
  • Single Central Record is kept up to date and appropriate staff files are maintained (see Appendix for content of staff files)
  • A signed record of training attended by leaders, staff, trustees and members is kept in line with KCSIE 2022. This includes volunteers.
  • All certificates of training received by the DSLs, leaders, staff and volunteers are retained at school level for scrutiny.
  • There is a designated tab on school websites for safeguarding documentation and information including contact names and details of designated safeguarding leads and their deputies
  • All members of staff (including temporary, supply staff and volunteers) know the name of the school designated safeguarding lead and any deputies and understand their role within the Trust’s culture of safeguarding.
  • The school designated safeguarding lead and/or their deputy are always available during school hours and have made adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term time activities
  • Staff and volunteers understand their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated safeguarding lead or headteacher in a timely manner and are aware that they may also raise concerns directly with the Trust executive leaders, trustee safeguarding lead and local authority children's social care services if they believe their concerns have not been listened to or acted upon
  • All staff and volunteers have read (and signed to confirm) the Schools’ Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy including its appendices alongside Part 1 and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 as appropriate to their role.
  • All staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities and are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, including the specific issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Children Missing Education (CME) and Radicalisation and Extremism and maintain an attitude of it could happen here at all times.
  • Staff new to school are fully inducted about the Trust’s culture of safeguarding and provided with personal copies of important child protection and safeguarding information and documentation.
  • Community users/lettings organising activities for children are aware of and understand the need for compliance with the Trust’s child protection and safeguarding guidelines and procedures and compliance is monitored by individual schools as appropriate.

Reporting Concerns about a Child

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child at any of our Academies contact the relevant Designated Safeguarding Officer in each Academy. Details can be found on each Academy website.

Reporting Concerns about an Adult Working or Volunteering in Our Academies

If you are concerned about an adult working or volunteering in any of our Academies contact the Head teacher or if it is a concern against the Headteacher then the next most senior member of staff must be informed and the Chair of LAB