Our Safeguarding Team
Joanna Shaw, DDSL and Learning Mentor
We work in partnership with parents, carers, staff and outside agencies to help our students achieve their full potential, in a supportive and caring environment.
The health, safety and wellbeing of every child is our paramount concern. We are proactive in ensuring that our young people learn how to keep themselves and others safe and how to respond or seek help when they feel unsafe. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and school staff are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop. Our staff are approachable and listen empathically to students. Staff know that no concern is too small – we have an open door policy and an ‘it could happen here’ approach.
In accordance with our responsibilities under section 175/157 of the Education Act 2002 and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, our Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection ensures all staff receive child protection training on a regular basis and our recruitment policy includes checks on all staff and volunteers.
Ashlyns School follows the procedures established by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership – a guide to procedure and practice for all professional staff in Hertfordshire who work with children.
New technologies and increased media coverage, have brought new challenges to safeguarding procedures in schools and for families at home. Learning about e-safety – how to keep yourself safe online and protect your digital footprint – is a pivotal part of our school’s curriculum delivered through PSHE, Computer Science, assemblies and tutor time. Regular updates are provided to parents through the e-bulletin, and we guide parents to be proactive in reinforcing these messages through their own discussions and digital practice in the home. Please read our Online Safety Advice for Parents.
Information for Visitors
We hope that your visit will be enjoyable, informative and safe. Please help us by reading and complying with the guidance below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff to assist. Click here for our guidance leaflet on Visiting or Working on a School Site.
All visitors and contractors must sign in at Reception and be issued with a badge which must be worn prominently so that staff and students can see you are a visitor. Depending on the circumstances you may also be asked to show identification and your DBS certificate.
If you are a regular visitor you will need to sign in on arrival on each occasion. When you leave the site please ensure that you sign out.
Visitors are prohibited from taking photographs whilst on the school site.
Fire & Evacuation
The alarm is a continuous bell. You must leave the building by the nearest exit. The assembly point for visitors is at the back of the school by the basketball courts where you will be recorded present by the administration staff.
We have several first aid staff, and a dedicated Matron; please alert a member of staff if you feel unwell and they will call for assistance for you. Alternatively, please go to the school office.
Health & Safety
Contractors must ensure that they are fully conversant with the safety rules and regulations to be observed by contractors working on site.
As a visitor to our school, it is essential that you follow health and safety guidelines that may apply.
Smoking anywhere on the school site is prohibited.
Safeguarding Guidance for Visitors to the School
Adults visiting or working on the school site play an important role. You can play a part in keeping students safe whilst working at or visiting the school by observing the following guidelines:
- Do not initiate verbal or physical contact with students unless it is appropriate and a part of the agreed reason for your visit.
- Do not give any personal information to students, such as your mobile number or address. Do not provide students with your personal email address, and only provide your professional work email if it is necessary as part of the reason for your visit.
- Do not give students details of your personal social network accounts or engage in any communication with students using social networking sites.
- If you have any concerns that a student may be at risk of harm, report it immediately to a member of the Safeguarding Team who can be contacted via the main school office. Do not discuss your concerns with the student, and do not carry out an investigation.
- If a student makes a disclosure to you, do not promise confidentiality. Explain that you will need to talk to someone else. Inform a Safeguarding Team member of your concerns immediately.
Thank you for helping to keep Ashlyns School safe.
Information on safeguarding can be found in our child protection policy online, including contact numbers for Children’s Services should support be needed when school is closed during holidays. Students also have access to the following self-help contacts on their year group google classroom page:
Children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from Government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations by:
- texting SHOUT to 85258
- calling Childline on 0800 1111
- calling The Mix on 0808 808 4994
Children and young people can also find online information d mental health on the Young Minds website.
The Think Ninja app (freely available and adapted for COVID-19) educates 10-18 year olds about mental health, emotional wellbeing and provides skills young people can use to build resilience and stay well.
The Rise Above website (adapted for COVID-19) aims to build resilience and support good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16.
Kooth is a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited digital mental health support service. It gives children and young people easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. Access is free of the typical barriers to support.