13 September, 2019

"It takes a village to raise a child"

This week we have been reviewing our safeguarding policies and procedures in line with the latest DfE guidance, "Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2019".

In the next few weeks, we will be ready to publish our ratified policies, but in the meantime I thought it useful to share the basic principles with you.

The overriding intention of course is to ensure that children both feel and are safe and secure. We believe that this is the responsibility of everyone who comes into contact with children and their families.

We believe that the best way to achieve this is through timely and effective communication, most notably talking to each other and sharing information and concerns so that fast and effective support can be put in place to help both child and family.

Therefore we strongly encourage parents and families to speak to us whenever they see anything that worries them, no matter how small.

In the same spirit, we will also speak to parents and families about our concerns, sharing information we receive.

Operating under the assumption that "If you can't count it out, count it in," these conversations help to shed light on situations and ultimately ensure that the right support is given at the right time.

Parents and carers can contribute to this by speaking directly to us, using Dojo, email or phone. The overseeing staff, Designated Safeguarding Officers [DSOs], are:

Mark Pratt

Neil Sleigh

Katie Burke

Cheryl Bradley

Alternatively, they could contact Solihull Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub [MASH] on:

0121 788 4300

0121 605 6060 [out of hours].

A problem shared is a problem halved. Whatever doubts, niggles or concerns you have, please support the community by sharing.

I've also had a few approaches about holidays in term time this week. As a school we very much follow the principles laid out in Solihull's policy.

We only authorise absence in term time under "exceptional" circumstances. This would normally mean emergency situations, unavoidable circumstances or special cases. Family holidays do not normally fall within this description. We would also expect, where practical and possible that requests are made at least 24 hours prior to the absence.

Anyone taking an unauthorised absence would leave themselves open to a fine of between £60, for an unauthorised holiday, and £2 500, community service or a custodial sentence, depending upon the severity and persistence of the absences.

As with our safeguarding policy, it is always best to come in and talk to us about any attendance matters so that any misunderstandings can be avoided.

Have a great weekend!