Schools have a responsibility to ensure, as far as possible, that students are safe from harm or abuse by others, be this in school, in the community or in their home. This is most commonly referred to as the school’s Child Protection Policy.
We have a statutory duty to refer a concern where information would indicate that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed. Such information may arise directly from a disclosure by the child, from behaviour presented by the child or from another party. For children and young people who live in West Sussex referrals are forwarded to the Children’s Social Care (Social Services) via the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) County Hall North in Horsham. Oathall’s policy is in line with guidance from the Sussex LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board).
At Oathall any such child protection issues that arise are reported to the school’s designated safeguarding leads Miss L Gyngell, Assistant Headteacher, Mrs J Newnham, Associate DSL or Mr. T Houghton, Deputy Headteacher.
A copy of the college’s Child Protection Policy can be downloaded from this page or is available on request from Miss Gyngell.
Raise a concern about a child
If you think a child is at risk of being harmed, abused, or neglected, Oathall would always advise parents to contact West Sussex County Council Children’s Social Care. The best way to raise a concern with them is to complete their online form. This form can be found on their website here along with other information and contact details. If you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
Looking for information about keeping your child safe?
We would recommend the following sources of information and advice for parents and young people to parents
e-safety – advice about using digital devices and the internet
- Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.
- CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre www.ceop.police.uk
- Thinkuknow – thinkuknow.co.uk
- NSPCC Net Aware – https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
Drugs or Substance Misuse:
- FRANK – talktofrank.com
Internet and Mobile Phone Safety
Periodically we like to remind parents about the potential vulnerability of students using social networking sites and mobile technology. Recent highly publicised cases where young people have been groomed into exposing themselves and performing sexual acts on web cams should be a reminder of what can potentially result. We are aware that “Sexting” where young people take indecent photographs of themselves and post these on social networks or send them by text is an ever increasing trend amongst young people. These safety guidelines aim to provide a reminder of the importance of ensuring internet safety just as we would ensure our children cross the road safely.
Anti-bullying information for parents
Here at Oathall Community College we firmly believe that our pupils and staff have the right to learn and work in a safe and caring environment which values individuals and embraces differences. We do not tolerate any form of bullying, intimidation or discrimination.
We aim to deal with any incidents that occur quickly and effectively through education, support and mentoring.
We have put together a leaflet for parents and carers to help them understand this issue better and learn more about the systems and measures that are in place at Oathall to address any issues swiftly.
Read the ‘Bullying, Discriminatory and Hate Behaviours Leaflet’ here.
Further information and advice