Safeguarding is about keeping children safe from abuse. It is one of our highest priorities at Hanover. We believe that safeguarding is a responsibility of our whole community. As a parent or carer, you can play a vital role in helping us educate your children about staying safe. By acting on any concerns you may have about other children, you can help us safeguard all our pupils. This page is intended to help you do that.
Our key messages to you are:
- Together, we can tackle child abuse
- We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect
- All children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect
- Recent evidence suggests that a third of people who suspect child abuse, do nothing. A number of people do not act on their suspicions because they’re worried about being wrong. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions; if you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to the NSPCC, the school or your local children’s social care team who can look into it (see below for details)
- Information is usually gathered from many sources, and your report could form one part of a bigger picture
- In 2014/15, more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help
Parents at our school often express the worry that reporting a concern to social services will lead to dramatic action, including children being removed from their families. This type of action is extremely rare and occurs only when children are in very serious, obvious danger. In Islington, the Children’s Social Care Team receive around 1000 referrals a month. 40% of these are found to be groundless and no action is taken. 40% lead to some extra support going to the family. This may well be financial, housing or health support. Only 20% lead to direct action by social services.
Social services are very keen to keep children with their families. They work with parents to help them care for their children well, when there are problems preventing this. The first steps they take when they receive a referral are almost always to simply investigate. Often they find nothing wrong. If this is the case, no action is taken and there is no negative record kept that can affect a parents’ job prospects or standing in the community.
However, some children are very badly treated by the adults who are meant to care for them. There is no particular community at our school in which child abuse might not happen. At Hanover, we act on every concern we have. Many of the concerns we raise turn out to be groundless. However, some don’t. We believe that it is vital we take every concern seriously. This is the only way to ensure that nothing slips through the net and that children who need help, get it. We ask you to take the same approach.
The following tools will help you understand more about what abuse is, how to spot it and what to do if you have a concern:
- What is child abuse and what are the signs? – Click here to go to the NSPCC child abuse website, with clear guidance and advice.
- What can I do if I am concerned about a child? – You don’t need to be sure that a child or young person has been abused – it’s OK to report a suspicion. If you are an adult concerned about a child you can come and speak to one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads, or call the NSPCC advice line on 0808 800 5000, or you can call Islington Children’s Social Care on 020 7527 7400 (Mon – Fri, 9am-5pm) or 020 7226 0992 (out of hours). To find the number for other Local Authority Children’s Social Care Teams, go to gov.uk/report-child-abuse.
- What will happen after I report my concern? – You can call all the numbers above anonymously and simply seek advice. You can find out more about what might happen after you report a concern by clicking here.
- How can I get help if I am a child? – Call Childline on 0800 1111. Your call will not show up on your phone bill from a landline or on most mobile networks.
- How can I keep my child safe on the internet? – Go to our Online Safety page for more information on this.
How can the school help? – If you have a concern about a child, even if they not at our school, we can give you advice and help you report it. We will gladly see you in private if you want. Come into school and speak to our office or contact us via email or phone. Alternatively, come to one of our parent sessions on safeguarding. You can download a copy of our Child Protection and Safeguarding policy on our Policies page.