St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College

With grace and humility,
glorify the Lord by your life

Safeguarding and child protection

Please find below our Designated Safeguarding Leads

Designated Safeguarding Leads (ID 1220)

 

Safeguarding at St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College

St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We recognise that this is everyone’s responsibility. We pay due regard to new legislation when carrying out our duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College works with the procedures set out by the Warwickshire Safeguarding Children’s Board, Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), Positive Environments Where Children Can Flourish and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022). We do this by: 

  • Ensuring that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility
  • Ensuring children in our school can share their concerns and ensure that they have a ‘voice’.
  • Ensuring our staff are trained, regularly and rigorously. 
  • Ensuring children in our school are educated through a broad and balanced curriculum offering advice and guidance which allows them to make decision to help keep themselves safe. 
  • Ensuring we work collaborative, knowing that no one agency can have the full picture, sharing information in a timely and accurate way and also ensuring that when required, we are not afraid to challenge professionals to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people.

If you have a concern that any student is being harmed, is at risk of harm, or you receive information (intentionally or unintentionally) you must contact school reception as soon as possible and ask to speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The Designated Safeguarding Lead at St Thomas More is Mr Dean Sherratt (sherratt.d@st-thomas-more.net).

 

 

 

 

Worried about a Child

 If you are worried about any child and think they may be a victim of neglect, abuse or cruelty, contact the Warwickshire Children and Families Front Door (Front Door) on 01926 414144. It is good practice to discuss any concerns with the family and where possible seek agreement to make referrals for a social work assessment. However, this should only be done where such discussions will not place a child at increased risk of significant harm or cause any significant delay. If you are not sure whether you need to make a referral, use the Thresholds for Services and discuss your concerns with your agency’s safeguarding lead. If you are still not sure after taking these steps, professionals can contact the Front Door using the consultation service. Call Front Door on 01926 414144 and select option 3.

Making a Safeguarding Referral for Children

 

Before making a referral please take a look at the Spectrum of Support document to decide whether your concerns require a referral to Children’s Social Care.

For urgent concerns

If you have an urgent child protection concern and need to get in touch, call the Front Door on 01926 414144. Lines are open Monday to Thursday: 8.30am – 5:30pm and Friday: 8.30am – 5:00pm You will then need to complete and return a Multi-Agency Contact Form (MAC) and send via email to TriageHub@Warwickshire.gov.uk

 Out of hours

If you need to get in touch of the usual office hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Team immediately on 01926 886922.

Emergencies

Complete the Multi-Agency Contact Form (MAC) and send to TriageHub@Warwickshire.gov.uk

Further information

Further information regarding how to keep children safe, identifying and preventing abuse and what help is available can also be found on the NSPCC website Our staff training programme ensures that above and beyond the statutory requirements of PREVENT and Level 1 Training, we provide regular information and communication on specific safeguarding issues, contextual safeguarding, early help, categories of abuse, amongst other topics. In accordance with statutory guidance, all staff are fully aware of and are in compliance with the following guidance: 

  • Working together to Safeguard Children 
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2022)
  • Positive Environments Where Children Can Flourish 

Further safeguarding information for parents

Relevant information relating to Safeguarding for Parents will be shared through our weekly newsletter. We strongly advise parents to read this information and discuss it with their child/ children. Useful websites for parents and carers are listed below:

Bullying and Cyber bullying

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/bullying-and-cyberbullying/

Sarah’s Story- Child sexual abuse

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/child-sexual-abuse/

Sexual Exploitation

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/child-sexual-exploitation/

Grooming

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/grooming/

Harmful Sexual Behaviour

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/harmful-sexual-behaviour/

E-Safety

 

We aim to ensure that all members of our community are able to work in a safe and secure environment, this includes when accessing the internet.  The following links can be used to report any concerns that you may have if you are not able to, or don't feel comfortable to, report to a teacher or other responsible adult.

 

We will raise awareness and educate students on safer online practices through assemblies, registration and tutorial programmes. Students will be taught about potential risks, how to report concerns and how to make decisions that will keep them safe online. At St Thomas More Catholic Academy and Sixth Form we have a system which monitors all members of our community when accessing any of our ICT networks, it monitors internet records and history, keystrokes and any use of software on any device accessing our network. This system flags up concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Safeguarding Leads. Any use of our network, which does not comply without Acceptable User Agreement will be followed up by staff. Parents/Carers can also support staff and students by monitoring their child’s use of social media, checking that they are safe by ensuring privacy settings are appropriate and set to ensure that children can only communicate with people they know, checking the nature of posts made online, paying regard to your child’s digital footprint that is being created when they post online and ensuring that interactions online are not in any way negative. Most social media platforms have age restrictions and we strongly advise parents to pay due regard to these. Where incidents occur, relating to inappropriate use of social media, it may be appropriate for the school to involve external agencies to support children and parents.

Further E-Safety Information for Parents and Carers 

Useful websites are listed below:

NSPCC Online Safety Help

From setting up parental controls to getting advice, parents can call the helpline on 0808 800 5002. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/about-us/partners/nspcc-o2-online-safety-partnership/

CEOP- Parent Information

Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations. https://parentinfo.org/

For-me ChildLine App

The first App to provide counselling to your smartphone.

https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/for-me/

Out of hours reporting of Safeguarding issues

To report a safeguarding issue regarding a student at St Thomas More Catholic Academy and Sixth Form College you may send an email to reportanissue@st-thomas-more.net or alternatively call 07551 493 572. This is a confidential service and you will receive a reply from a member of the safeguarding team within 24 hours

Other safeguarding numbers

Telephone number email 
Nuneaton's  Children Team 01926 414910 triagehub@warwickshire.gov.uk
NSPCC helpline 0808 8005000 help@nspcc.org.uk
Samaritans 116 123 jo@samaritans.org 
Police

Emergency 999

non emergency 101

opcc@warwickshire.police.uk.
Childline 0800 1111

  

Mental Health and Wellbeing

At St Thomas More, we take the mental health and well-being of our students very seriously.  Whilst we recognise our responsibility to ensure our students achieve academically, we also understand the importance of developing resilience and perseverance and how to cope when things don’t go to plan. This is undoubtedly helping them to prepare for the challenges of an ever-changing world. 

We aim to promote positive mental health through all we do, recognising that students need to be both resilient and mentally healthy in order to meet their full potential both academically in in life more widely. 

The impact of the pandemic 

The mental health and wellbeing of young people has gained much publicity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The press in particular has focused on children’s experiences in this time and particularly on their loss of routine and structure as well as their loss of social interaction and even opportunities.  As a school we recognise this and are determined to support our students as school life gradually returns to ‘normal’. 

Pressures of modern life 

Even without the added pressure of the pandemic, life for our young people can often prove overwhelming.  Pressure of exams and the challenges of full access to social media has resulted in an increase in anxiety in young people as they strive to meet often unrealistic expectations or perceived expectations. As a school, we recognise this and our team work together to ensure support is available to help students when those pressures start to impact on their wellbeing. 

Support for students in and out of school 

Our devoted pastoral team are on hand daily to support students feeling anxious or overwhelmed. We have a dedicated, trained counsellor Ayse MacKenzie who works in school to support students. Our Learning Mentors have undertaken mental health training and are equipped in supporting students maintain a positive mental health.  

We also have a designated email address reportanissue@st-thomas-more.net and mobile phone number 07551 493572 which is a confidential service if students don’t want to talk face to face or if there is something troubling them out of school hours. Students will receive a reply within 24 hours. Parents and carers also have access to this service.  

In addition to our school counsellor and learning mentors, students also have access to their form tutor who they see every day, as well as their Head of Year and any members of the Designated Safeguarding Team.   

External Support 

Despite having multiple members of our pastoral team who are mental health trained, sadly, for some students our expertise is simply not sufficient to meet their needs. In these circumstances, the school works with parents and carers, GPs and other external agencies including CAMHS and sometimes Social Care, to ensure referrals to specialist services are made rapidly and supported by the school to help our young people access appropriate specialist provision as rapidly as possible.  In the meantime, the school continues to work with the young person and their family, providing support to help them until external specialised support is in place. 

Mental health as part of the curriculum  

Mental Health and Wellbeing are topics which feature on the Personal Development (PSHE) programme for all year groups. and are addressed throughout the year in assemblies and form time.  Students are encouraged to support each other and to talk about their emotions.  They are regularly reminded that ‘it is okay not to be okay’ and are encouraged to ensure they have a ‘network of trusted adults’ who they feel they can turn to if they need help, or just someone to listen to them. This is part of the work with do on ‘Protective Behaviours’.  

Senior Mental Health Lead 

As part of the Government’s strategy, we have now trained a senior member of staff in school to be the Senior Mental Health Lead. This is Mr Dean Sherratt at St Thomas More. As part of the mental health plan, the Senior Mental Health Lead ensures staff are equipped with the skills to support and manage pupils with mental health needs