Safeguarding Children Statement

At Maple Court Academy the well-being and safety of all pupils is of utmost importance. It is expected that pupils will come to Academy feeling safe and that the Academy will provide a secure environment for them in which they can achieve their full potential.  Maple Court Academy therefore has to ensure that this expectation becomes reality. In order to do this a wide range of measures are put into place:

Site security

Maple Court Academy provides a secure site but the site is only as secure as the people who use it. Therefore all people on the site have to adhere to the rules, which govern it. Not doing so can cause potential safeguarding issues. Therefore:

  • Gates should be locked except at the start and end of each day.
  • External doors should be closed through the day to prevent intrusion.
  • Visitors and volunteers must only enter through the main entrance; will be required to sign in and will then be given a relevant badge before they enter the main building. 
  • All adults entering the academy should wear appropriate identity badges at all times.
  • Pupils will only be allowed to go home with adults who have parental responsibility or those with confirmed permission.
  • Pupils should only ever leave the school building / grounds with an adult who has permission to collect them and never alone during the academy day.
  • Should a pupil leave the school premises without permission, the Academy office should be notified immediately.  The pupil’s parents and the police will be informed of the circumstances.

Appointments of staff and induction of newly appointed staff and work placements

All staff that are appointed to work in the Academy have a criminal records search called a CRB check. This search highlights people who have a criminal record or if previous allegations have been made them. If staff are found to have a criminal record the appointment is reconsidered by the Principal and the Personnel committee of the Governing Body. The LEA is informed directly by the Criminal Records Bureau.

“Maple Court Academy is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people and expects all its employees to share this commitment. Any vacant post is exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and any successful applicant will be subject to an enhanced check by the Criminal Records Bureau"

The Principal sits on all appointment panels where the candidates are external applicants. The Principal has undertaken the NCSL training on Safer Recruitment

All new staff receive appropriate safeguarding induction.  They will receive the Induction Pack which outlines the safeguarding practices and their responsibilities within it. It is the responsibility of all staff to familiarise themselves with procedures and policy which affect the health and safety of all at the Academy but especially the pupils.

Child Protection Policy

The designated adult for Child Protection is Mrs Lesley Guard and the designated governor is Juliet Levingstone.  Our Child Protection Procedures are available from the Academy office with 24 hours notice. The Annual Safeguarding Audit will be used by the Governing Body to review the Child Protection and safeguarding procedures and to identify any deficiencies.  It is the Governing Body’s duty to ensure any deficiencies are addressed immediately. Certain governors and all staff have had appropriate child protection training, which is updated at least every three years.

The child protection policy includes a statement on physical restraint. This school follows DfES guidelines 10/98 which asserts that physical restraint may be used if there is the possibility that a child may be about to cause harm to him/ herself or to another. It also asserts that on no occasion should such physical contact be used as a punishment.

All allegations of abuse by or complaints of a teacher will be dealt with following the Local Authority’s  Managing Allegations policy. A copy of this is available through the following weblink: http://webapps.stoke.gov.uk/uploadedfiles/D01_Managing_Allegations_LADO_Dec_13.pdf For any complaints about the Principal, the Chair of Governors should be contacted directly.

The Design of the Curriculum

The curriculum deals with safeguarding in two ways. Firstly, the curriculum, in subjects such as Personal, Social and Health Education discusses relevant issues with the pupils. Topics include such themes as Drugs, Sex and Relationships, Internet Safety and Stranger Danger. Pupils are encouraged to explore and discuss these issues. 

Secondly, the curriculum is designed so that safety issues within the subject are discussed and safe practices taught, such as using equipment properly in PE and Design and Technology. At all times there has to be appropriate staffing levels and when the curriculum is taking out of the Academy appropriate and agreed pupil/adult ratios are maintained. The lead adult always assesses visits as to the level of risk and all trips are finally authorized by the Principal.

Visiting speakers, with correct clearance are always welcome into the Academy so that can give specialist knowledge to the pupils.

Equal Opportunities

At Maple Court Academy we try to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. All pupils are given equal access to the Academy and its curriculum and all at Maple Court are considered equal in the learning partnership. When adults and pupils have special needs we make arrangements to support them in their daily work and by designing specific programmes for them.

Pupils and adults with disabilities must be able to take a full and active part in every lesson and every measure must be taken to ensure this.

Racial Tolerance

At Maple Court Academy adults and pupils will be prepared for an ethnically diverse society. The Academy will work hard to promote racial equality and harmony by preventing and challenging racism.

If anyone ever feels unjustly treated then the Academy welcomes and values a response.
It is in working together that we will make Maple Court Academy even better.

Racism is tackled in both the RE and in the PSHE curricula. The Pupils take part in discussions designed to raise awareness and address prejudices. From time to time visitors work with the pupils also. 

Photographing and videoing

There has been a lot of controversy recently about adults photographing and filming young people. The concerns are genuine, however at Maple Court Academy we have taken a sensible, balanced approach, which allows staff and parents to photograph and file providing they follow certain guidelines:

  • Parents’ consent to the Academy taking photographs by signing a permission slip at the start of the academic year or upon entry to the Academy. School photographs that are for use outside of the Academy are anonymous unless specific permission has been received from parents.
  • Parents taking photographs are expected to do so for their own personal use and not to publish on social media sites.

Whistleblowing

If members of staff ever have any concerns about people working, paid or unpaid, they have a professional duty to inform the management accordingly. This can be done in writing or verbally but staff should be prepared to discuss issues with the confidence that any such matter will be dealt with sensitively and with the necessary degree of confidentiality. 

The Academy has a Whistleblowing Policy.  A copy of this can be made available at 24 hours notice.

Prevent

As part of Maple Court Academy’s ongoing safeguarding and child protection duties we are fully behind the government´s Prevent Strategy.
From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty for Schools.

At Maple Court, we build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling our pupils to challenge extremist views. You can read about what we do to promote British values hereThe statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify pupils at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. All our staff have received Prevent training from Staffordshire Police on what Prevent is about and how to deal with any issues they may see inside or outside school.

Further information about The Prevent Strategy has been published on our Academy website and has been sent out to parents.  This leaflet can be viewed here.