Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding (DSL):
Adele McMurrough, Headteacher

Deputy Designated Senior Leads for Safeguarding:
Susie Betley, Deputy Headteacher
Helen Wilcox, Y2 Teacher

Designated Safeguarding Governor:
Emma Hampton, Parent Governor

SENDCo, Mental Health Lead, Child Looked After Lead, PSHRE Lead:
Susie Betley, Deputy Headteacher

SEND Link Governor:
Emma Hampton, Parent Governor

PSHRE and Mental Health Link Governor:
Rev. Kirsty Wainwright

Layston School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children. We expect all staff, visitors, and volunteers to share this commitment – please see our Safeguarding for visitors and volunteers leaflet.

We have several policies in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment; please find them on our policies page. Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with their parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare.

Protective Behaviours at Layston

Responding to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault
At Layston we are aware that ‘it could happen here’ and prioritise safeguarding. We plan opportunities to teach children a range of protective behaviours. Children understand that they have the right to feel safe and that they can talk to a trusted adult about any worry no matter how big or small. Trusted adults are identified on ‘Network Hands’, which are revisited across the year, every year. We teach personal space and boundaries, and consent through the PSHRE curriculum, as well as keeping our private parts private. We have a clear expectation that any touch is a physical intervention (see behaviour policy) and should be safe, respectful, and appropriate.

For further information, please see child protection policy on the school website. This will give details of the school’s reporting mechanisms.

Please also see the PSHRE policy on the school website. This will provide further information on how we teach protective behaviours, keeping safe and information about our sex and relationships education.

Useful contacts for reporting or seeking support:
Anyone with concerns can contact the following agencies.

NSPCC helpline 0800 136 663

Children’s Services 0300 123 4043

Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency

SARC – Sexual Assault Referral Centre 0808 178 4448

NSPCC resources

NSPCC whistle blowing advice line 0808 800 5000

Child exploitation and online protection (CEOP) resources centre/

Prevent Duty
The Prevent Duty aims to prevent young people from being radicalised by, for example, far right extremists or religious extremists. Layston works positively to protect young people from radicalisation and actively supports the government’s Prevent agenda to counter radicalism and extremism. In school we have a duty to care for the children and take note of any child who is at risk of radicalisation, regardless of their background. We also have to take steps to help prevent children being exposed to extremist ideas. Our overriding concern is that children feel safe and also express tolerance towards all cultures and religions, even when personal views may be different. Please read the prevent strategy for more information.

Developing healthy relationships & personal safety

  • Our Christian values of respect, love, friendship, trust, compassion, and forgiveness are embedded in everything we do.
  • The headteacher and/or deputy meets and greets parents at the start and end of every day on the playground, ensuring close links with our families and opportunities for conversations.
  • We work in partnership with our parents to support families with their child’s learning as well as social and emotional development.
  • Our Y4 Buddy system at break and lunchtimes enables our older children to support and nurture the younger children in the school. Y4 pupils are trained in this role by a member of SLT, where boundaries and expectations are made very clear. Y4 Buddies get voted by the children they have helped for ‘Buddy of the Week’ awards.
  • We also support working together respectfully with our class ‘helping hands’ or ‘monitors’.
  • During lunchtimes we have a Play Leader who supports children with healthy playtimes and playing together safely and kindly. The playground is zoned into areas to allow for quiet spaces as well as areas for football or physical play on the climbing frame and trim trail.
  • Teamwork and peer support are built into all learning opportunities from problem solving in maths, to team sports in PE and Forest School practical activities, as well as within play times and child initiated learning.
  • We teach our children the language of feelings and encourage them to talk about their feelings and respect the feelings of others.
  • Through the PSHRE curriculum and our therapeutic responses to behaviour (Therapeutic Thinking training January 2023) we teach children to reflect on their behaviours and how these impacts on others, how they can build and maintain healthy friendships, and who they can turn to for support.
  • We teach and promote the ‘5 Ways to Well-being’ through our PSHRE curriculum and collective worship.
  • We teach health education as part of the PSHRE curriculum, including safety around legal drugs (tobacco & alcohol) and medicines. Illegal drugs are covered within the middle and upper school curriculums. We also cover road safety and safety in the home.
  • We teach e-Safety to all children in class as well as in a termly collective worship and provide support for parents on the school website through an e-Safety page and the ‘internet matters’ link on the home learning pages.
  • We participate in the annual national Anti-bullying Week and Just Talk Week, discussing and promoting ways to develop healthy relationships and what constitutes a healthy/unhealthy relationship.
  • We participate in the annual national Children’s Mental Health Week as well as Hertfordshire’s Feel Good Week, reinforcing well-being, safety and healthy life choices.
  • We encourage pupils in Y1-4 to ‘meet and greet’ adults who visit the class, re-enforcing the idea that they should feel able to question adults who come into their space, and have a right to know why they are there.
  • Our half termly Talk Circles promote pupil voice and allow us to listen to the children and value their contributions.
  • We teach and reinforce the Protective Behaviours themes of 1) Everyone has the right to feel safe all the time, and 2) You can talk about a problem no matter how awful or small, through collective worship and the PSHRE curriculum. Susie Betley (DDSL, PSHRE Lead & MH Lead) is Protective Behaviours trained to Level 2.
  • Susie Betley is trained in Families First Assessment and the Early Help Module for supporting vulnerable families with our local Rib Valley Family Support Worker, Jane House, who is based at Edwinstree.
  • Susie Betley is also a Mental Health First Aider and can support families in crisis.
  • Susie Betley is an Advanced Practitioner in Drawing & Talking (therapeutic drawing and sand play).
  • All staff are trained in first aid and all EYFS staff and a member of the office team are trained in paediatric first aid.
  • All teachers are aware of our vulnerable families (PPG, CLA) and Adele McMurrough & Susie Betley liaise closely with them.
  • We use CPOMS to record and monitor any safeguarding issues.
  • All staff are trained in PREVENT, including recognising signs of online abuse, grooming, sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation and radicalisation. We take a child centred approach where the welfare of every pupil is paramount. We are vigilant advocates for our pupils, noticing how our children are feeling and behaving, and providing safety, stability, understanding and respect.
  • We are an Operation Encompass school so police will notify us of any incidents of domestic violence or children missing so that we can respond promptly and appropriately
  • All staff are up to date with safeguarding training, and work collaboratively to identify concerns, share information through the appropriate channels and to take prompt action. Safeguarding is seen as a collective responsibility.

Teaching consent

  • We encourage all children to respect other children’s choice to opt out or say no/stop and to respect differences and value inclusion.
  • We teach children about personal space and asking before hugging. Staff model this as adults in line with our policy on healthy and safe physical intervention (see Behaviour policy – physical intervention).
  • We demonstrate respect as staff between staff as well as towards the children, modelling healthy relationships.
  • We teach children that if anyone makes them feel scared or unsafe they are to tell a trusted adult.

Supporting families

  • Every child makes a network hand, reviewed throughout the year, to identify the key people in their lives that they can talk to if they need help.
  • Staff have strong relationships with their class and know the families well. We are always available to listen to concerns from parents and/or children.
  • Where a family needs support, this is provided with the agreement of the parents or carers, involving the child and family as well as all the practitioners who are working with them. It takes account of the child’s wishes and feelings wherever possible, their age, family circumstances and the wider community context in which they are living.
  • When we identify children and families who would benefit from early help we undertake an assessment of the need for early help in partnership with the family and then provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child.

Reporting concerns

  • Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff it is dealt with in strict accordance to our child protection policy.
  • Everyone has the responsibility to report concerns about the welfare of any child.