Keeping Children Safe
This page is all about safeguarding our children - keeping them safe in every way within our community and helping them to learn about how they can keep themselves safe.
At the bottom of this page you will find links to school policies that we use to make sure we have the right strategies and ideas in place.
At Meridian Primary School the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our children is a high priority. Parents and Carers send their children to our school each day, trusting us to provide a secure environment in which their children will flourish. We do everything we can to ensure that this expectation is a reality in our school.
In order to do this, a wide range of measures are put in place:
Health and Safety Policy
The school has a health and safety policy which is monitored regularly by the Leadership Team, EMCOR (our premises management company) and Whole Governing Body. The policy is created in line with East Sussex County Council regulations and recommendations and they conduct Health and Safety audits to ensure good practice is in place. This policy is reviewed annually.
Any health and safety concerns from staff or parents are reported to the Headteacher and Business Manager who immediately take an initial examination, assessing if there any immediate actions that need to take place. If any further actions are required, this is then reported to EMCOR.
There are regular fire drills that practises efficient evacuation from the buildings. The school and EMCOR conduct an annual Fire Risk Assessement.
There is a critical incidents plan that details what will happen in the case of emergencies.
Risk assessments are in place for curriculum activities and all educational visits.
First Aid Policy and Practice
At Meridian Primary School there are key trained members of staff who oversee first aid, including play times and lunchtimes. Mrs. Jeffries is the First Aid Co-ordinator and she oversees the First Aid practice and provision in the school. The vast majority of our Teaching Assistants and Individual Needs Assistants are First Aiders and some of our teachers are too.
When a child is unwell or has had an accident in school or on the playground there is a protocol for staff to follow:
- A first aider is consulted (when on the playground the first aider has an orange high-visibility jacket on)
- For head injuries a bumped head sticker is issued and parents are informed at the end of the day
- All first aid treatment is documented and copies are kept in the school office
- If there is any doubt at all about a child's well-being, a parent is contacted by a member of staff
In the case of an emergency, the school will call for emergency treatment first before contacting parents.
For children with specific medical needs, a medical health care plan is produced with parents, Assistant Headteacher, School Nurse and class teacher (where appropriate) to ensure the individual needs of the child are met.
There are strict guidelines for administering medicines in school and we always need parents to complete a consent form. Ideally the medication should prescribed in dose frequencies which enables it to be taken outside the school day i.e. three times per day (breakfast, dinner and bedtime). However if the dosage exceeds this, parents will need to complete a consent form. Please note: only prescribed medicines will be given in school.
Site Security at Meridian Primary School
Meridian Primary School provides a secure site which is controlled by clear routines and procedures. The site is only as secure as the people who use it and the whole school community, including parents/carers, are vital in maintaining this. Our children are also members of the whole school community and we encourage them to tell us about any concerns.
- Gates are locked except at the start and end of each day
- Parents do not use the school as a thoroughfare to access the school office or other classrooms
- Visitors, volunteers and students must only enter through the main entrance and after signing in at the office window
- All visitors, volunteers and students must wear visitors sticker
- Children will only be allowed home with adults with parental responsibility or others with confirmed permission
- Children should never be allowed to leave school alone during school hours, and if collected by an adult, they must be signed out
- The school car park is for staff only and only designated spaces can be used so that emergency vehicles can access the school grounds
We take great care to maintain a secure site around the perimeter of the school and all children are supervised at all times. In the unlikely event of a child leaving the school premises without permission, then staff have been asked never to chase after a child, but rather report immediately to a member of the leadership team. Then parents and police will be informed of the circumstances.
Excellent attendance is expected of all children but when children are unwell parents are asked to confirm absence by telephone as soon as possible. If there is no notification before 9.30am the school office will call parents to ascertain each child's whereabouts.
The school works closely with East Sussex Attendance Team to support the children's attendance. The Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher regularly monitor attendance and letters are sent to parents whose child's attendance is causing concern. If any child's attendance falls below 85%, then a referral to East Sussex Attendance Team is made and this may lead to legal action being taken.
Appointments of staff and induction of newly appointed staff
All staff appointed to work in school have a criminal records search called a DBS check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegation have been made against them. If any member of staff is found to have a criminal record, the appointment is reconsidered by the Headteacher and Whole Governing Body.
The Headteacher sits on all appointments panels and has undertaken Safer Recruitment training. Where possible a governor who has undertaken safer recruitment training will sit on the panel.
New staff are inducted into safeguarding practices and are supported through understanding the policies and procedures which affect the health and safety of all at school but especially the children.
Occasional helping parents are not required to have a full DBS check but they are expected to work in either a classroom with a teacher or in an open space in view of adults, including school trips.
Regular volunteers are expected to have a full DBS check.
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
The designated adults for Child Protection are Ms. Westcott (Headteacher) and Ms. Maslen (Assistant Headteacher) and the safeguarding designated member of the Whole Governing Body is Janet Anthony and the deputy is Diane Francombe.
There is a detailed Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy in place. This is reviewed annually by the Whole Governing Body. The designated adults for Child Protection are required to have undertaken the initial designated member of staff training and subsequent refresher courses every two years.
All members of staff are provided with ‘whole-school’ child protection training every two years and know the signs and symptoms of concerns; how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse; what to do if they are concerned about a child.
All allegations of abuse or complaints about a teacher will be dealt with according the policy, initially by the headteacher. For any complaints about the headteacher the Chair of the Whole Governing Body should be contacted directly.
A copy of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy can be found here.
The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two key ways:
Firstly the curriculum teaches children relevant issues such as Drugs and Alcohol, Sex and Relationships Road Safety and Stranger Danger. Children are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues together and with their teachers. We also discuss a wide range of issues around safety and wellbeing on a very regular basis in whole school assemblies with Ms. Westcott, Mrs. Dollings, Ms. Maslen and Mr Doody.
Secondly the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices are taught, such as using equipment properly in P.E. and Design Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is being taken out of school appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained.
Children should be encouraged to use the internet as much as possible but at all times in a safe way. An acceptable use policy is sent out every year to support staff, parents and children in safe online practices.
If any adults or child suspects misuse the issue must be reported to the Headteacher without delay.
The Headteacher has overall responsibility for E-Safety and works with EMCOR on ensuring safety throughout the school.
The school has a social media policy to support all adults in school in ensuring their use of social media is appropriate.
At Meridian Primary School we work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly so as to: eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity; foster good relations between groups.
All children are given equal access to the school and its curriculum.
When children have Special Educational Needs or Disability we work closely with parents to ensure they reach their full potential. See also our Local Offer website and SEND policy.
Excellent behaviour is essential in any community and at Meridian Primary School we have high expectations of all children. Our policy shows our strong emphasis on positive approaches as well as clear boundaries and consequences for behaviour choices that impact on the learning, safety or well being of others.
At Meridian our definition of bullying is:
“Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally"
We do not tolerate bullying in our school community and as soon as we are aware of an issue we act promptly and effectively. Adults must be informed immediately and action will be taken. Although bullying in this school is rare the school always acts swiftly with a process of investigation, communication and action
Photography and videoing
There has been a lot of controversy recently about adults photographing and filming school events. The concerns are genuine and at Meridian we have taken a sensible and balanced approach which allows parents to photograph and video school events providing they follow certain guidelines:
- Parents, legal guardians, family members and friends can take images of their child and friends participating in school activities for family and personal use
- Before they are allowed to take images during school activities, parents or legal guardians have to sign an agreement that any images they take will not be used inappropriately.
We have a policy and consent form that is sent out every year.
Confidential Reporting (Whistleblowing)
If members of staff ever have any concerns about people working within the school they have a professional duty to inform the headteacher or Whole Governing Body accordingly.
This can be done in writing or verbally but staff should be prepared to discuss issues in the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the highest appropriate level of confidentiality.
For more information on our policies please click here