The Matthew Arnold School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We are fully committed to ensuring that consistent effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support families, students and staff at school.
- Through our curriculum, we teach the students about personal safety, and how to keep them safe from harm.
- There is a strong anti-bullying ethos evident throughout the school. We teach our students how to recognise bullying, how to keep themselves safe from bullying behaviour and how to report it.
- Our curriculum includes opportunities to discuss feelings and emotions and helps our students to think about their own personal safety and their rights as individuals to be kept safe from harm.
- We teach our students about the uses and misuses of drugs at an age-appropriate time and level.
- Our sex education programme teaches our students about keeping themselves safe from harm at an age-appropriate level.
- We have clear guidance to help students to use the internet (including social media) safely.
- Our policies and agreed practices for child protection, health and safety, behaviour management, attendance and looked after students all comply with the recommendations for safeguarding students at school. We have a trained designated child protection officer and deputy officer, and a designated governor with responsibility for child protection practices at the school.
- We have policies to manage potential allegations against staff, whistleblowing and the use of physical intervention.
- Our staff recruitment policies and practices are rigorous and comply with safe recruitment and selection requirements. We always pursue identity checks and qualification checks and we take up and scrutinise written references before confirming employment.
- We require clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before employing any staff, in addition to pursuing List 99 checks.
- All voluntary helpers, supply teachers, agency staff, and outside club and coaching staff are required to provide evidence of DBS clearance.
- The local governing committee is regularly updated about child protection, bullying and safeguarding policies and practices by the Headteacher.
- It is the responsibility of every adult in this school to ensure that we maintain the highest level of awareness about possible unsafe practices and deal with any issues immediately and appropriately.
All concerns are passed through the members of staff who are trained as Designated Child Protection Officers in school in compliance with the sharing of information guidance. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Rob Lawrence, Assistant Headteacher. The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Paula Sheedy. The Headteacher, Mary Gould, has overall safeguarding responsibility for the staff and students at The Matthew Arnold School.