Safeguarding & Welfare
At St. Mary’s College we recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected, valued and thrive. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
The procedures contained in our safeguarding and child protection policies apply to all staff, visitors and governors and are consistent with those of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB).
In essence our safeguarding policy principles are:
- The welfare of the child is paramount
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal right to protection
- All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest that a child is at risk of harm and to follow through with additional safeguarding measures if there is no sign of improvement
- Pupils and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy can be accessed through the Policies page.
A link to the DfE guidance document for schools Keeping Children Safe in Education is available here.
Key Safeguarding Staff
The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection: Vice-Principal, Mrs Julie Thomas
The Designated Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Head of Lower School, Mrs Suzanne Bartolo
The Nominated Governor for Child Protection/Safeguarding: Mrs Pat Old
The College has a Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection in each section:
- The Senior School : Vice Principal, Mrs Julie Thomas
- Preparatory School: Headmaster, Jonathan Webster
- Kindergarten: Head of the Early Years Department, Alice Haigh
Photography And Images
The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place. To protect pupils we will:
- Seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications)
- Seek parental consent
- Ensure pupils are appropriately dressed
- Encourage pupils to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them.
E-Safety Advice for Parents
In our ICT and PSHE lessons as well as in assemblies we cover all aspects of e-safety with our students.
Here are some helpful links for parents to highlight different aspects of e-safety
- The NSPCC campaign ShareAware is specifically aimed at ages 8-12.
- In this modern information age, parental engagement with their children about e-safety is absolutely vital. Research has shown that simply locking children out using specialised filters or software is not enough to keep them safe. They must learn how to cope with the technology. This ability to cope starts with the adults our children rely on including parents, carers and teachers. Openness, trust and mutual agreement is the most important safeguard there is. Useful links:
- The first is some conversation starters for you to kick off a dialogue about e-safety.
- The second link is a Parents Factsheet which has, within it, a whole host of other useful links. Though it may appear true that children know more about social networking etc., this does not mean that they are street-smart. Indeed, in studies, it emerges quite often how naïve children can be. As parents, you should always try to familiarise yourselves with the latest trends so that you keep in touch with the potential dangers that exist.
- Digital Parenting magazine
In this publication, published by Vodafone, you'll find all sorts of useful information and tips about aspects of e-safety. It is an extremely well put together publication and is extremely useful for parents.
- ChildNet International
This web page gives all sorts of useful information about how to support your children’s use of internet technologies.
As devices become more and more mobile, the peace of mind that previously came with having a family computer in a living room so you can be aware of what children are doing has more or less ended. This link will give you some useful information about smartphones and how to manage their use.
- Parental controls
Although parental controls are not the only tool that parents should use, they are part of the solution.
- Know the Signs
This link is very interesting for parents to know what signs to look for in children being potentially exploited online.
- Parent Info
The Education Department has launched a new free website providing information for schools and parents about many aspects of child safety. This e-Safety link comes from there and deals with the coded way children and young adults often communicate in when on-line.
Studies have demonstrated that there is a highly significant correlation between high levels of attendance and success at school. The Government expects pupils to have a minimum level of attendance of at least 97% and all schools are expected to aim for this target.
Every absence is rigorously challenged, with a phone call home to find out why a pupil is not in school. Attendance is analysed and fed back on via the reporting system. Permission from form teachers or heads of year must be sought for medical appointments, funerals, interviews, open days. The school policy on absence is:
- Absence from school should be notified by telephone on the day of absence. In addition, on the day of return, an explanatory note must be handed to the Form Teacher or Tutor.
- Permission for foreseeable absences, including holidays, should be requested in writing, from the Principal, well in advance.
- Pupils needing exemption from games on medical grounds must produce a note from a doctor or parent.
- Holidays should not be arranged in term-time. In exceptional circumstances, e.g. if it is the only means of having a family holiday in a given year, if the absence is related to a family member’s serious ill health, or a bereavement, or other such circumstances such absences may be authorised but only by the Principal in writing. In all other circumstances unauthorised absence will be recorded.
Health /School Nurse
At St. Mary’s we have an excellent relationship with the Liverpool NHS Trust School Nurse team and especially our allocated nurse Sharon Giblin. A highly qualified and experienced professional children’s nurse, who keeps up to date with current health issues and has an important role in promoting the health and safety of your child.
The School Nurse is also available to offer help, advice and a listening ear to all our pupils and staff, and is available at a drop-in clinic for any pupil on Monday lunch times. She is contactable for advice at all times via phone and website. We have two medical rooms which are ‘open’ throughout the school day where the school secretaries (both qualified first aiders) will monitor a child who feels slightly unwell. With parental permission, the office will supply simple medication such as painkillers, which are ‘age’ appropriate and ice packs for grazes or knocks. Staff qualified in ‘First aid at work’ will provide first aid and look after your child.
The School Nurse contributes to the Health Education, is involved in the development of health related policies and also develops Individual Health Care Plans for those pupils with medical concerns. She also assists with the vaccination programmes and all Health education delivered on EPR days. She is happy to get in touch with parents to give advice or pass your concerns on to a relevant department:
If you have any concerns or worries please contact:
Sharon Giblin, School Nurse, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, 0151 247 6354
St. Mary’s College - Promoting British Values
St. Mary’s College is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. We are dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students. Actively promoting these values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values.
The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values. Our teachers ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in our school. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy which clarifies how schools can demonstrate how they meet the requirements of the 2002 Education Act and latest guidance on the teaching of SMSC (November 2014). The five British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Fighting Radicalisation and Extremism - Prevent at St. Mary’s College
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for students to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with students.
Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Individual liberty and mutual respect
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect.
The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism
Where to go for more information
Contact the school: If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
See our policy: You will find more details about radicalisation in our safeguarding policy, available on our website.
External sources: The following sources may also be useful for further information:
Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales, HM Government
Frequently asked questions, Prevent For Schools
What is Prevent? Let’s Talk About It
All students from Year 10 upwards complete the College of Policing Certificate on Channel General Awareness.
Advice on protecting your child from the risk of Radicalisation and Extremism
Educate Against Hate
The Educate Against Hate website was launched on 19 January 2016. The website offers practical advice to parents, teachers and school leaders on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.
At St. Mary’s College our community is based upon respect, good manners and fair play. We are committed to providing a safe and caring environment that is free from disruption, violence and any form of harassment so that every one of our pupils can develop his/her full potential. We expect our pupils to treat members of staff with courtesy and co-operation so that they can learn in a relaxed, but orderly, atmosphere. All pupils should care for and support each other. St. Mary’s College prides itself on its respect and mutual tolerance. Parents/guardians have an important role in supporting the college in maintaining high standards of behaviour. It is essential that school and homes have consistent expectations of behaviour and that they co-operate closely together. Acceptance of this policy forms part of our standard terms and conditions. Our anti-bullying policy.
Safety on External Visits
We have An External Visits Coordinator (Mr Derek Williams) who ensure all college safety and safeguarding procedures will be followed whilst off-site. All trips from the school site are only run with permission form the SLT and only signed off when assessed by the EVC. Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own Safeguarding policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures. When our pupils attend off-site activities, we will check that effective Safeguarding arrangements are in place.
The Schools’ Liaison Police Officer can be contacted if advice is required. PC Rebecca Snape: 0151 777 3191
Useful links for students