Sheffield High School for Girls is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. This commitment remains the same in the difficult circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak. During this period the principles and practices of the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and the GDST Safeguarding Procedures (including the Code of Conduct) will continue to apply.
In order to ensure the safety and welfare of children whilst working in extraordinary circumstances, the school will adhere to the DfE coronavirus guidance, together with other relevant guidance and advice as this is published and updated:http://safeguarding.info/covid19safeguarding
In practice, the following procedures will apply:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
There will always be a nominated DSL or Deputy DSL available, either on site or contactable by phone or online video. Where a DSL or Deputy is not on site a senior leader will take responsibility for safeguarding on site if the school is open.
The name and contact details of the ‘duty’ DSL will be shared with staff via email prior to the start of each week.
Pupils or parents with a safeguarding concern should email Mrs A Reed (Designated Safeguarding Lead) firstname.lastname@example.org who will respond to any concerns within 24 hours during term time or forward the concern to the ‘duty’ DSL or Deputy DSL.
The school will continue to work with and support children’s social workers and local authority virtual school heads to help protect vulnerable children. This will include liaising with relevant providers and ensuring that vulnerable children and those on the edge of receiving social care support can attend school where appropriate.
Pupils and staff on site
As more pupils begin to return, we will ensure that the school site will continue to be a safe place for children:
- Safeguarding will be a key consideration of all risk assessments carried out in preparation for wider opening
- The school will continue to use relevant guidance published by the Government, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive to inform arrangements and decision making
- Appropriate staff will always be on site to maximise safety, and the school will maintain a record of all staff/volunteers on site on any given day
Pupils, both on site and learning remotely, will be registered and the school will follow up on any absence. Where a vulnerable child does not attend, the school will also notify their social worker, where applicable. No one with COVID-19 symptoms should come into school for any reason.
Remote Online Learning
The school will provide a safe environment for online learning. All pupils and staff must remind themselves of and adhere strictly to the Acceptable Use Agreements and Online Safety Policy, including any COVID-19 extensions to these policies.
We recognise that school can be a protective factor for children and young people, and that the current circumstances could affect the mental health of pupils and their parents. Staff will be in regular contact with pupils and will continue to be vigilant for signs of safeguarding risk or emotional distress.
Safeguarding concerns should be reported to the DSL as outlined above. Staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay.
Pastoral concerns will be addressed initially by the class teacher or tutor, who may involve the pastoral team or school counsellor depending on the nature of the issue.
All safeguarding and pastoral concerns will be logged on CPOMS in the usual manner.
Pupils or parents with a pastoral concern should contact their Class Teacher in the Junior School or Head of Year in the Senior School, via email, in the first instance.
Where a pupil is already known to the school as being in need, or is in receipt of pastoral-type support in school, the DSL will ensure that a communication and support plan is in place for that child. This may include email, phone or online video contact. The plan will be reviewed regularly and where concerns arise the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.
Where children move between schools, welfare and child protection information will be shared as required.
Working in partnership
We continue to work closely with our local safeguarding partners and other local agencies.