Safeguarding at Bensham Manor
At Bensham Manor school, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
The Safeguarding Team are:
Kirstie Byrne – Safeguarding Lead
The Safeguarding Team is always available to support students, families and staff. They attend regular training and receive support from other organisations including Judiceum and Safeguarding in Schools.
All staff (whether permanent or temporary / full time or part time) and governors undertake Safeguarding Training either face to face with the Designated Safeguarding Lead or using high quality online resources.
Staff and governors have regular training sessions and there is a commitment to maintaining a safeguarding culture within the school.
Designated safeguarding lead:
Name: Kirstie Byrne
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org | 0208 684 0116
Deputy designated safeguarding leads:
Names: Fiona Robinson, Robin Barwick, Matthew Keane, Barrie Murphy
Contact details: name (all lower case) @benshammanor.com | 0208 684 0116
Designated CLA teacher:
Name: Kirstie Byrne
Nominated governor for safeguarding:
Name: Stella Bryan
Contact details: email@example.com
At Bensham Manor school, the safety of the pupils is paramount.
To keep the students of Bensham Manor safe there are a wide range of practices which are in place (including but not exclusively)
- A safe setting with locked gates
- A comprehensive duty rota so that all students are supervised at all times including break and lunch times
- A member of senior staff on the pedestrian gate every morning to monitor arrivals
- Use of electronic swipe cards so that students are unable to access any rooms where there might be potentially hazardous materials e.g. science
- CCTV and security staff (in the evening) to ensure site safety at all times
- Staff to supervise the students leaving the site on school transport, either by bus or by taxi and to regulate the collection of students by family members, designated adults.
- Comprehensive fire safety measures with regular fire and lockdown practices.
- Critical Incident Lockdown procedure in case of an intruder or other significant event.
Any concerns held by staff should be discussed in the first instance with the DSL (designated safeguarding lead or their deputies) and advice sought on what action should be taken. Where required, advice can be obtained from the SPOC Professionals Consultation Line on a no-names basis. Staff are trained that Safeguarding is of paramount importance and that if there is an urgent Safeguarding concern they must speak to a member of the Safeguarding team immediately.
Any concern will be recorded in our secure software platform – My Concern. All staff know what to do if a child tells them he/she/they is/are being abused, exploited or neglected. Staff know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality.
Staff will reassure students that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A student should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor will a student ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
Safeguarding monitoring records and Child protection records relating to pupils are highly confidential and will be kept in a designated welfare file separate to the pupil’s education records. These records will be securely held within Bensham Manor School.
The designated safeguarding lead is responsible for ensuring that records are accurate, up to date and that recording is of a high standard.
When a student transitions to a new educational provision, the master file is passed to the designated safeguarding lead at the new school pr provision, transferred securely and confirmation of receipt obtained. Designated Leads should also consider if there is a need to share any key information about the family ahead of their start date. This may assist the new school or provision in planning appropriate support for the family.
A copy of the child protection & safeguarding file should be retained by the school and kept in line with the school’s information retention schedule. Child protection & safeguarding records must be disposed of as confidential waste.
Dealing with disclosures
If a pupil discloses to a member of staff that they are being abused, the member of staff will:
- listen to what is said without displaying shock or disbelief and accept what the student is saying.
- allow the student to talk freely.
- reassure the student but not make promises that it may not be possible to keep, or promise confidentiality, as a referral may have to be made to children’s social care.
- reassure the student that what has happened is not their fault and that they were right to tell someone.
- not ask direct questions but allow the student to tell their story.
- not criticise the alleged perpetrator.
- explain what will happen next and who has to be told.
- make a formal record on My Concern and pass this on to the designated safeguarding lead.
Role of school
Bensham Manor school will work to the following policy documents in order to support the protection of pupils who are at risk of significant harm.
In line with these policies and procedures, Bensham Manor School will:
- identify those pupils where there are child protection concerns and make a referral to SPOC (Single Point of Contact)
- attend child protection case conferences in order to effectively share information about risk and harm
- contribute to the development and monitoring of child protection plans as a member of the core group
- carry out the school’s role in implementing the child protection plan and continually monitoring the child’s wellbeing, and liaising with the allocated social worker as required.
Visitor Safeguarding Protocols
At Bensham Manor School, we take the safeguarding of all our community very seriously
During your time at the school, if you have any concerns about the well-being of any person, please inform the safeguarding tram who can be contacted via the main school office
If a child makes a disclosure to you, please follow these guidelines:
- Stop and Listen. Take the child seriously and assume they are telling the truth
- Do no promise confidentially. Tell the child that you may pass on the information to someone who can help
- Do not ask leading questions or ask the child to repeat what they have to said to another member of staff not in the safeguarding team
- Keep the information confidential
- Record and report the conversation as soon after the disclosure as possible and pass it on the safeguarding team
Visitors are expected to read the Safeguarding Information which is presented upon arrival.
Visitors will be given an appropriate coloured lanyard which demonstrates whether they are able to be left unaccompanied with a student (a DBS must be produced and checked for this to happen).
If a staff member sees a visitor who is unaccompanied wearing a red lanyard then they will escort them to the school office, as they are not permitted to be left alone without a valid DBS.
Safeguarding and the Curriculum
In Bensham Manor school we are responsive to the needs of our students and this curriculum offer might be altered to address the needs of specific cohorts.
Attendance and Behaviour
The careful monitoring of attendance is key to improving the overall performance of pupil outcomes, but it is equally important in keeping children safe at Bensham Manor School.
Knowing who is absent and why, is fundamental to effective safeguarding.
Non-Attendance to school or unauthorised attendance, can result in safeguarding action. This is because persistent absenteeism and sudden changes in patterns of attendance and pupil behaviour, are a key indication that something is wrong and could lead to sudden extended absences.
As a school, we have a duty of care to take action.
We therefore scrutinise pupil absence, investigate the reasons for this and ensure our procedures are followed. For example:
Students who become withdrawn, or who start acting differently in class and who are then absent, would be flagged as a safeguarding concern to the Designated Safeguarding Leads and investigated
Absences may well be due to illness, but they could equally be linked to safeguarding issues such as bullying, family break-ups, domestic abuse, involvement in county lines or online grooming.
A great deal of work has to be done to protect children. The key to early intervention, of course, is good communication between our school and strong links with parents.
School action will include:
- Monitoring of attendance with accurate record keeping
- Speaking to parents/carers who we make aware that the procedures are rigorous and that absences will always be questioned. Our staff do their best to maintain relationships and trust
- Where there are causes for concern, we make contact with the Local Authority MASH Team, a family Social Worker and the EWO (Education Welfare Officer)
- A Child Missing Education form may also be filled in on the relevant Local Authority Website, to be followed up by the Local Authority
At Bensham Manor School, attendance is closely monitored, staff are well trained, we maintain positive communication links with parents and have effective systems in place to deal with any attendance issues quickly and sensitively, so that we are well equipped to keep children safe. If staff have any concerns that a student may be going on a visit abroad where FGM is suspected then the appropriate actions will be taken.
Parents/carers should ensure that if their child is unwell, the school office should be contacted by 9.00 a.m. The school will make the decision whether attendance will be authorised and if the student is at a medical appointment, proof should be sent in such as an appointment letter.
It is the aim of Bensham Manor School to ensure a positive school ethos which emphasises the promotion and reinforcement of acceptable behaviour and not just the elimination of unacceptable behaviour.
Bensham Manor wants to promote acceptable behaviour in order to develop relaxed, secure and content pupils. Therefore, to provide a secure, caring environment we aim to present an atmosphere based on mutual respect and concern, which is encouraged by devoting time and understanding to pupils’ problems and being active partners in an effective pastoral system.
Bensham Manor pupils are co-operative and positive participants in school activities. We believe that students can choose how they behave.
Bensham Manor school is committed to effective classroom management and the group management skills that develop our abilities to relate to pupils. We believe it is important that members of the school community should note other people’s viewpoints and develop self-respect.
We aim to encourage pupil participation by:
- Emphasising pupils’ successes and assisting them with their difficulties discreetly.
- Recording progress with pupils
- Setting up participative structures, such as a school council and a school eco council.
- For good behaviour and achievement merit marks and class points are awarded which earn meaningful rewards
- Promoting extracurricular activities.
Good lessons generate good behaviour and we aim to ensure that classroom management and teaching skills are designed to keep pupils involved and interested in their work.
As a staff we will:
- Begin lessons on time
- Welcome pupils each morning and make positive remarks to start the day or a lesson
- Ensure that structured and purposeful activities are available during morning tutor time
- Establish clear guidelines for what is expected of pupils each morning
- Where appropriate, make pupils responsible for their own personal organisation, e.g. pens, pencils, etc.
- Have a well-structured start and end to the lesson – a regular routine which is familiar to all with consequences well understood.
- Where appropriate, to ensure that a class lines up in the corridors before a lesson, is given permission to enter a classroom and that they enter in a calm and orderly manner.
- Ensure that lessons are well-prepared and structured towards motivating and stimulating the pupils’ interests
- Correctly differentiate learning activities and tasks so that pupils are purposefully occupied and motivated
- Mark work promptly and constructively
- Set homework regularly if appropriate, check that it has been completed and comment on it positively.
- Encourage creative dialogue with pupils e.g. through the use of open questions.
So that they are easily understood by the pupils, Bensham Manor has six simple school rules :
- Speak to students and staff politely.
- Walk in the corridors and in the classroom.
- Stay in the school grounds.
- Keep mobile phones turned off and in personal bags.
- Wear school uniform.
- Be kind always, no violent actions within school grounds.
A search may only be carried out if the adult has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a pupil is in possession of a prohibited item.
Prohibited items are:
- Knives or weapons
- Illegal drugs
- Stolen items
- Tobacco and cigarette papers
- Pornographic images
Any article that the member of staff reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used to:
- Commit an offence / Cause personal injury (including the pupil) or damage to property
The headteacher or authorised staff member should:
- Make an assessment of how urgent the search is, and consider the risk to other pupils and staff
- Explain to the pupil why they are being searched, how and where the search will happen, and give them the opportunity to ask questions about it
- Always seek the pupil’s cooperation
- The pupil should be searched in an appropriate location that offers privacy from other pupils e.g. the school meeting room.
Authorised staff can search a pupil’s pockets and require pupils to remove outer clothing, meaning clothes that are not worn directly next to the skin or over underwear. Outer clothing also includes:
We cannot ask pupils to take off any further items of clothing
Staff will be sensitive to whether a pupil is wearing outer clothing for religious reasons when conducting a search. For example, a female pupil will not be required to remove a headscarf she’s wearing for religious reasons if your witness is male.
Only police can conduct a strip search
School staff are not allowed to carry out strip searches, including the headteacher and authorised staff. Only police who have been asked to come to the school may decide whether a search is necessary and carry it out.
Calling the police into school will be a last resort
Staff should always put the best interest of the child first.
Staff will make a record on MyConcern (the school’s online safeguarding reporting system) of:
- Any searches for prohibited items
- Any search conducted by police officers
- Record these whether or not any items were found.
- Analysis of My Concern will be used to to look for any trends in the searches carried out and to identify any possible risks that may require a safeguarding response.
- Searching and confiscating electronic devices
Authorised staff members may examine any data or files on an electronic device that they have confiscated, if they have good reason to do so i.e. that they reasonably suspect that the device has (or could be used to):
- Cause harm
- Undermine the safe environment of the school or disrupt teaching
- Commit an offence
If staff discover inappropriate images, video, or other material, they will dispose of them unless they have reasonable grounds to suspect that their possession is related to a specific illegal offence. In this case, do not destroy the material. Instead, hand the material, or device containing the material, over to the police as soon as possible.
If staff suspect they may find an indecent image or video of a child on a device, avoid viewing it and never copy, share, or save it.
The incident will be referred to DSL (Kirstie Byrne) and a deputy DSL who will follow the DfE’s guidance on responding to pornographic image-sharing in education settings.
Relevant Policies linked to Behaviour:
Filtering and Monitoring
What is filtering and monitoring?
Filtering systems block access to harmful websites and content.
- Identify when someone searches for or accesses certain types of harmful online content on school devices
- Identify who is searching for or accessing the harmful content
- Alerts the school about it so we can intervene and respond
- Don’t block access to harmful content
At Bensham Manor, all staff responsible for filtering and monitoring.
No filtering and monitoring software is perfect:
- It might not be aware of all the websites that contain inappropriate content
- Abbreviations or misspellings in a search engine may slip past the software
- Inappropriate content may be found on websites considered ‘safe’
Staff can help to make sure the internet is used appropriately
- Monitoring what pupils are accessing on devices during school hours (e.g. by looking at their screens when
using computers during lessons)
- Alerting Stuart Woolley or Sean Fitzgerald – IT Services – if you become aware that content is not being filtered
If you have concerns about what a pupil is accessing online, always raise it with Kirstie Byrne DSL or one of the
Safeguarding Team – Matthew Keane, Robin Barwick, Barrie Murphy or Fiona Robinson.
Inappropriate content includes:
- Illegal content (e.g. child sexual abuse)
- Discriminatory content (e.g. sexist, racist or homophobic content)
- Sites that promote drugs or substance abuse
- Extremist content (e.g. the promotion of terrorism)
- Gambling sites
- Malware and/or hacking software
- Pirated material (copyright theft)
- Sites that promote self-harm, suicide and/or eating disorders
- Violent material
What systems do we use?
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 states that all schools should have appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place.
We have the following systems in place:
- We use LGfL as our provider for Filtering – WebScreen and LgFL maintain our firewall security.
- There is a list of blocked and restricted sites which is considered by the IT manager – Stuart Woolley and the DSL – Kirstie Byrne.
- An alert is received if there is an attempted breach of our security and if one of the allocated keywords are searched for and discussions are held with members of the Safeguarding Team.
- Concerns are also shared by members of staff from their monitoring of students’ use of the Bensham Manor computer system.
- Stuart Woolley will generate a half termly report which is discussed with Kirstie Byrne, the SLT and the Safeguarding Team.
- Staff at Bensham Manor know that it is part of their role to continue to be highly vigilant when the young people are accessing the internet and use My Concern to alert the Safeguarding team to any concerns they have.
- Stuart Woolley – Head of IT is responsible for maintenance and review of the software, this is overseen by Kirstie Byrne – DSL and Headteacher – Fiona Robinson. The Governor with responsibility for this area is Stella Bryan – Safeguarding Governor.
How to raise questions or concerns in school
Our filtering and monitoring system is designed to protect pupils online.
It shouldn’t have an impact on teaching and learning or school administration.
Contact Kirstie Byrne DSL and / or Stuart Woolley Head of IT Services, if you and/or pupils:
- Cannot access content that you need to carry out your work
- Have access to content that should be blocked
If you become aware of pupils accessing concerning content at any time, report this to Kirstie Byrne as soon as
Parents and Carers – How to raise questions or concerns
Please contact Kirstie Byrne DSL to discuss any questions or concerns you may have:
OFSTED Sexual Abuse in Schools – review and implications
On 10th June 2021, Ofsted published their highly anticipated review, based on visits to 32 schools and colleges, speaking to over 900 children and young people. The reviewing team also spoke to school leaders, governors, parents and local safeguarding partners.
What Has Changed as a Result?
There were 7 Recommendations for Schools:
Please see the italics underneath to see the response which has been taken by Bensham Manor school.
- Schools should have a carefully sequenced RSHE curriculum.
Please see the section on Safeguarding Curriculum to see the sequence of learning within the RSHE curriculum.
- High-quality training for teachers delivering RSHE.
Our PSHCE lead has attended specific training and is part of a Schools Learning Partnership where she attends regular network meetings to disseminate best practice. She has developed the curriculum and worked closely with colleagues from the authority to ensure coverage at the right level for our students’ developmental needs.
- Routine record-keeping and analysis of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including online, to identify patterns and intervene early to prevent abuse.
All concerns are categorised and there are weekly meetings (BEIT – Bensham Early Intervention Team) where concerns are analysed to identify patterns and to support students wherever needed. Monthly reports are created which are shared with the appropriate staff members, depending on level of safeguarding clearance – Safeguarding Team, wider school team.
- Behavioural approach, including sanctions when appropriate, to reinforce a culture where sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are not tolerated.
Staff at Bensham Manor have had specific training on Preventing Sexual Violene from the School of Sex Education. There is a zero tolerance approach at Bensham Manor and there is an open culture so that students feel they are able to report any abuse or harassment.
- Working closely with LSPs (Local Safeguarding Partners).
Members of the Safeguarding Team work closely with members of the LA and support other professionals as required. Collaborative working is encouraged to ensure the best outcomes for the students. Websites and Toolkits are used to follow a cohesive strategy.
The SPOC (Single Point of Contact) Professionals telephone line is a useful tool for professional dialogue. The Safeguarding Team is aware of the thresholds for intervention.
Link to this document: https://croydonlcsb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CSCB-Thresholds-Guidance-.pdf
- Provide more support for designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), such as protected time in timetables to engage with LSPs.
Bensham Manor is supportive of the Safeguarding Team and has provided further external support such as Judiceum and Safeguarding in Schools, ensuring an outward facing system which is open to reflection and improvement.
- Training to ensure that all staff (and governors, where relevant) identify early signs of peer-on-peer (now referred to as child on child) sexual abuse and consistently uphold standards in their responses to sexual harassment and online sexual abuse. Governance was also seen to be central to tackling sexual violence and sexual harassment, where Governors should provide support and challenge: “Our visits indicate that Governors could receive better training and be more involved in tackling harmful sexual behaviours.”
All staff receive clear induction training in Safeguarding. There are regular Safeguarding training sessions for all staff throughout the year, using specific trainers who bring their knowledge and expertise of a particular field within the wider Safeguarding remit. Governors are supported in their strategic leadership responsibility and the Safeguarding Governor consults with various stakeholder groups within the school community.
OFSTED review of sexual abuse in schools
Report a Concern
If you would like to raise a concern about a student at Bensham Manor school, please contact 0208 684 0116 and ask to speak to one of the Safeguarding Team.
Alternatively you can email:
Kirstie Byrne – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel that a young person is in immediate danger please contact the emergency services.