The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust aims to promote and protect the wellbeing of the children in our care. Our first priority is the welfare of our children.
In 2020 the DfE revised ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – statutory guidance for schools and colleges’. This guidance contains information on what schools, including academies, should do and sets out the legal duties which they must comply with.
In law, individual academies are deemed to be ‘relevant partners’ of their local authority and as such are under a duty to co-operate in that local authority’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board arrangements. The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust ensures not only compliance at the local level but also assumes a strategic responsibility to ensure that safeguarding practice is of high quality.
The Trust has established a Safeguarding’s Leads and Safeguarding Governors Group from across the Trust schools to share good practice and develop the strategic Safeguarding policies of the Trust.
The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust has developed a Statement of Intent for safeguarding across its schools to ensure all:
- Have a designated professional lead and a designated governor for safeguarding
- Have in place safeguarding arrangements which are designed to take account of all possible safeguarding issues including Child Sexual Exploitation and Preventing Radicalisation
- Adhere to safe recruitment practices
- Have arrangements for working together with other agencies and for sharing information with other professionals
- Take account of their local authority’s procedures and practices established by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and comply with any requests from that Board
- Have in place effective child protection and staff behaviour policies
- Develop a culture of listening to children and take account of their wishes and feelings
- Provide appropriate supervision and support for staff including undertaking safeguarding induction and training
- Follow clear policies for dealing with allegations against people who work with children
- Have clear procedures in place to handle allegations of abuse against children
- Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities as part of a broad and balanced curriculum
- Appoint a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after and ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keeping looked after children safe
- Put in place appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education
- Fulfil all their statutory responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust will also:
- Monitor the quality of safeguarding practices and their impact on outcomes for children across the Trust through the Risk Management Committee
- Work with the Local Governing Boards of Primary and Secondary schools to ensure that the performance of vulnerable children is effectively monitored and that appropriate support is made available to those children who are at risk of achieving poor outcomes because they are the subject of a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) or Children’s Social Care intervention
- Report on the outcomes of vulnerable children who are in need, subject to Child Protection plans or who are Looked After.
- Liaise with local authority lead professionals for safeguarding, LSCBs, Ofsted, EFA and other agencies as required
Policy in respect of safeguarding is mainly determined at Trust and local authority level and it is the responsibility of each school to implement such policy. Each individual school is responsible for ensuring compliance with its Local Safeguarding Children’s Board procedures and policies and for publishing its own safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory requirements.