The school takes its duty of care to safeguard children very seriously.

We have a designated safeguarding team:

  • Headteacher & Designated Senior Leader (DSL) for Safeguarding: Adele McMurrough
  • Deputy Headteacher, Deputy Designated Senior Leader (DDSL), SENDCo, PSHRE Lead & Mental Health Lead: Susie Betley
  • Deputy Designated Senior Leader (DDSL): Helen Wilcox
  • Designated governor for Safeguarding and Child Protection: Liz Salter
  • Designated governor for SEND, PSHRE and Mental Health & wellbeing: Margaret Lawrence

Contact us through the school office 01763 271235 or via email

Child Protection and Protective Behaviours at Layston

Responding to sexual harassment, abuse and assault

The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership have prepared the following statement for your information:

Bill Jephson, Assistant Chief Constable at Hertfordshire Constabulary and Chair of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership

“We welcome the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website ( for providing a platform where anyone can anonymously share their experiences of sexual harassment, abuse and assault. It’s important that victims and survivors feel empowered to tell their story, we want to emphasise, not only to young people but to all residents, that there is confidential help and support available to anyone affected in Hertfordshire. Schools, colleges and universities can offer support and advice directly and importantly, if a crime has been committed, they can work with those affected and the Police to investigate and ensure that abuse is dealt with effectively. The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) work closely with schools and partners across the county, including Hertfordshire County Council, the Police and the NHS, to help safeguard and protect children and to raise awareness around risk factors, support and how to report concerns. Both children and adults who are victims of sexual abuse in schools can get support and advice from the dedicated NSPCC helpline on 0800 136 663. This will include advice on how to contact the police and report crimes if they wish.”

Other useful contacts for reporting or seeking support:

Anyone with concerns can contact the following agencies.

Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency

Children’s Services 0300 123 4043

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:

At Layston:

Designated Senior Leader for Safeguarding (DSL): Adele McMurrough

Deputy Designated Senior Leader for Safeguarding (DDSL): Susie Betley

Designated Governor for Safeguarding: Liz Salter

Please see Child Protection Policy on school website: Statutory information – School policies – Child Protection policy. This will give details of the school’s reporting mechanisms.

Please also see the PSHRE policy on school website: Statutory information – School policies – PSHRE policy. This will provide information on how we teach Protective Behaviours, keeping safe and information about our sex and relationships education.

Healthy relationships & personal safety

  • Our Christian values of respect, love, friendship, trust, compassion and forgiveness are embedded in everything we do.
  • The headteacher (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 (see website – Parents – Parental Engagement).
  • Our Y4 Buddy system at break and lunchtimes (when not in social bubbles due to Covid-19) 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. 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.
  • Team work 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 (PSHRE, RE, literacy, geography, history, art and music).
  • Through the PSHRE curriculum and our therapeutic responses to behaviour (STEPS training 2021) we teach children to reflect on their behaviours and how this 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 wellbeing’ through our PSHRE curriculum and collective worship (see website – Parents – wellbeing & Positive Mental Health).
  • 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 teach eSafety to all children in class as well as in a termly collective worship, and provide support for parents on the school website through an eSafety page and the ‘internet matters’ link on the home learning pages.
  • -We participate in the annual national Anti-bullying 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 wellbeing, 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 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.
  • All teachers are aware of our vulnerable families (PPG, CLA) and Adele & Susie 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.
  • 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 twice a 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 child and their 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 (see website – Statutory Information – School Policies – Child Protection policy)
  • Everyone has the responsibility to report concerns about the welfare of a child.

NSPCC helpline 0800 136 663

Children’s Services 0300 123 4043

Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency

Key sources of support for teaching & learning about healthy relationships & personal safety