Keeping our children safe
At Meryfield, we do everything we can to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all of our children is our highest priority. Safeguarding is the action that we take to promote the welfare of the children in our care and to protect them from harm. We believe that children have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse, where staff are vigilant for signs of any child in distress and are confident about applying the processes to avert and alleviate any such problems.
Child protection promotes the rights and welfare of all children. All schools have designated Child Protection members of staff who are responsible for dealing with concerns which may arise. We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection Policy which is available on the page link below:
Sometimes, we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with his/her parents/ carers first, unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.
We actively support the Government’s Prevent Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism.
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection is Katrina Davern.
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads for Child Protection are Alexandra Gage and Angie Bromwich.
We also highlight our responsibilities to protect children from harm online and Vrinda Thacker is our e-safety DSL in school. She organises yearly e-safety training for staff and parents as well as overseeing the computing curriculum across the school.
All DSL’s have completed Level Two Safeguarding Training, led by the Hertfordshire HSCB (Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board).
All staff (teachers, teaching assistants, midday assistants, admin staff and the Site Manager) have completed Level One Safeguarding Training (every 3 years) last completed in January 2021. Staff also receive refresher training yearly in September. Any safeguarding changes or updates throughout the year are sent to staff via e-mail
DBS Checks and Safer Recruitment
All staff appointed to work in our school, including governors, students and volunteers are subject to stringent background checks including clearance with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to ensure their suitability for working with children. Information relating to this is recorded on our Single Central Record (SCR) this is externally audited annually. All staff recruitment panels include at least one person who has completed appropriate ‘Safer Recruitment in Education’ training.
In order to protect our children, we aim to:
• Create an atmosphere where all our children can feel secure, valued and listened to
• Recognise signs and symptoms of abuse
• Respond quickly and effectively to cases of suspected abuse
• Monitor and support children at risk
• Use the curriculum to raise children’s awareness, build confidence and skills
• Work closely with parent/carers and support external agencies
• Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school.
Mrs Humberstone is our designated member of staff for managing medicines in school. As part of her role, she co-ordinates a care plan with parents/carers for any child that has a medical need. If a child has a food allergy, a photo card identifying the child and the allergy will be displayed in the classroom and in the kitchen so that all staff are aware. Our school meals are provided by Chartwells, if required due to allergies, they are able to create a specific menu. If a child needs an epi pen or inhaler they will be kept in a labelled box in the child’s classroom, alongside a copy of their care plan.
We have a significant number of staff that have received first aid training and every classroom has their own first aid kit. Staff have also been trained how to administer Epi pens.
Safe and Secure Environment
Our school site is secure, with key pad entry required for the main gate and the main entrance area. When visitors arrive at school, they report to the reception foyer waiting area. Office staff will verify their ID and reason for being on site. Once this has been checked office staff can allow them into the main school building where they will be asked to sign in. We have installed InVentry which is an integrated solution that allows us to accurately monitor who is in the building at any time. All visitors are required to sign in using this system which provides them with a photo ID badge, which they are required to wear for the duration of their visit.
Collection Arrangements for Children
We have strict procedures in place for the collection of children. No child will be allowed to leave school with an adult that is not named on the data collection sheet unless parents/guardians have informed us prior to collection. Please notify the class teacher of any changes in the morning. In cases of emergencies and you are unable to collect your child, please contact the school office to notify who will be collecting.
Please note the person collecting the child must be over the age of 16.
Good attendance to school is essential for children to succeed, therefore we monitor children’s attendance very closely. If a child’s attendance or punctuality causes concern or drops below 90%, we will work closely with the Hertfordshire Attendance Officer to monitor the situation.
We have high expectations for good behaviour. Our Behaviour Policy shows our strong emphasis on positive approaches, but also our clear boundaries in responding to behaviour choices that threaten the learning, wellbeing or safety of others.
We do not tolerate bullying in our school community, and as soon as we are aware of an issue we act promptly and effectively.
We have a clear Whistleblowing policy and if members of staff have any concerns about people working within the school, paid or unpaid, they have a professional duty to inform the Headteacher or Governing body accordingly.