“Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility"
Introduction and Ethos

“Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.  Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child”

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE)

The Bridge Trust recognises the importance of creating and maintaining a safeguarding culture that will help all pupils to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly; and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to. We are committed to providing an environment where children can play, learn, develop and achieve and where they are safeguarded and are enabled to disclose if they are being harmed in some way. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that all pupils receive effective support, protection and justice.

We recognise that some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse. We understand that children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way. Whilst at school, behaviour may be challenging and they may exhibit concerning behaviours and at times this may impact on other children either directly or indirectly. We will always take a considered and sensitive approach in order that we can support all of our pupils.

Our school core safeguarding principles are:
  1. That schools are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children.
  2. It is a whole school responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  3. All children (defined as those up to the age of 18) have equal rights to protection regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity.
  4. All children have a right to be heard and to have their wishes and feelings taken into account
  5. All staff understand safe professional practice and adhere to our code of conduct and other associated policies
  6. All staff have a responsibility to recognise vulnerability in children and act on any concern in accordance with this policy.
Safeguarding Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

We acknowledge that children with special educational needs and disabilities and/or certain health conditions can face additional safeguarding challenges as they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. 

Our staff are aware of the additional barriers which exist recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children, who can be more prone to peer group isolation or bullying (including prejudice-based bullying) than other children and disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs. They may also be more prone to assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability rather than abuse or neglect, without further exploration. Speech, language and communication needs may make it difficult to tell others what is happening and managing or reporting these challenges.

To address these additional challenges, our staff consider extra pastoral support and attention for these children, along with ensuring any appropriate support for communication is in place.