Safeguarding and Child Protection

All children have the right to be strong, resilient and listened to, in an environment where they are protected from abuse and harm.

The DFE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply in order to keep children safe. 

Our school is expected to have regard to this guidance and to implement a safeguarding children and child protection policy, this outlines our procedures for responding to and recording concerns about children. All school practitioners receive training in child protection matters and have a good awareness of the signs and signals of abuse in children. Having a designated person who is responsible for co‑ordinating child protection procedures ensures that all concerns are addressed promptly and appropriately.

Designated Safeguarding Leads:

  • Louise Parks (Headteacher)
  • William Golding

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • Aimee Brand

Safeguarding Link Governor:

  • Tracey Pizl

Safer Recruitment

Sacriston Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share in this commitment. We are committed to selecting and retaining employees who will successfully and positively contribute to providing the very best education for our children. It is a statutory requirement that at least one member of the interview panel has completed safer recruitment training which aims to help deter, identify and reject applicants who might be unsuitable to work with children. The following members of our recruitment panel have attended the training:

  • Annalei Bartlett (Executive Headteacher)
  • Louise Parks (Headteacher)
  • Tracey Pizl (Chair of Governors)
  • Beth Brockwell (Primary Senior Office Manager)

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

All adults that have unsupervised access to children in childcare provision must be suitable to do so. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), was created to help prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, such as children. Sacriston Academy obtains criminal record checks (DBS checks) for all adults working with children including volunteers.

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a project that all Durham schools and the Local Authority are involved in. It began in April 2015 and aims to support children who are affected by domestic abuse.

Following any domestic abuse incident reported into Durham Constabulary, specialist Police Officers make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information to nominated school staff. This ensures that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and enables us to provide support in a way that means the child feels safe.

Our school has two members of staff (key adults) who have been fully trained to liaise with the police, when required, and will ensure that necessary support is made available to the child following the disclosure of a domestic abuse incident.

We believe that this project demonstrates the school’s commitment to working in partnership, to safeguard and protect children, and to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.

You can also find out more information through accessing the following website:

Our Operation Encompass Key Adults are:

  • Annalei Bartlett (Executive Headteacher)
  • Louise Parks (Headteacher)

Supporting our families

All agencies that work with families have a responsibility to work closely together with you to make sure every child and young person has the best possible chance to reach their full potential. Helping children, young people and families is everybody’s business. All agencies that work with children, young people and families are responsible for listening to your concerns and worries and taking the right actions to ensure you and your family get support at an early stage.

Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Early help can also prevent further problems arising.

Effective early help relies upon local agencies working together to:

  • identify children and families who would benefit from early help;
  • undertake an assessment of the need for early help; and
  • provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child.

In order to achieve this an Early Help Assessment (CAF) may be suggested.

What is Early Help?

Children, young people and their families have different levels of need depending on their individual circumstances and quite often these change over time with some families moving between universal, targeted and specialist services.

Children can be helped in three broad ways:

  • Prevention So that problems don’t arise in the first place
  • Early Intervention So that problems are cut off at an early stage
  • Protection/ Targeted intervention / treatment So that something is in place for needs or problems that are serious or will endure.

At any or all three stages, there will always be a need for some level of help which requires services to be equipped and able to respond to these changing needs and demands.

Early help is an approach and the need for early help can occur at any point in time. Central to this approach is a focus on increasing independence for families and communities, supporting and building resilience.

Other agencies who may support your family include:

One Point Hubs provide a focal point for children, young people and their families, with wider health and wellbeing needs all 'under one roof'. The Hubs bring together several children and young people's services. One Point Hub works with families in their home, school or community setting to understand what is going well, what extra support the family may need and how best to provide this support.

Barnardo’s is a British charity set up to care for vulnerable children and young people.

Durham Youth Offending Team work with young people aged 10 to 18 to prevent offending and re-offending.


Technology has become integral to young people’s lives and it is important that they know how to stay safe online and make the most of the opportunities that the internet provides. Whether you are a young person, parent or carer, or working with children, there are lots of resources to help.

Find our e-safety page here. 

Promoting health and wellbeing

One aspect of safeguarding children, is promoting their good health and wellbeing. High standards of hygiene and cleanliness will help to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses in the provision. At Sacriston Academy we also have procedures for administering medication and supporting children with medical needs or who appear unwell during the day. In identifying any allergies when children first register, practitioners can prevent contact with allergenic substances.

Our first aiders are: Miss Brockwell, Mrs Cossey, Mr Cain, Ms Henderson, Miss Marshall, Miss Oughton, Miss Searby, Mrs Tucker, Miss Wharton and Miss Winn. 

Risk assessments

Regular risk assessments help to identify aspects of the school environment that need to be checked on a regular basis, decide what should be done to prevent harm and make sure that the relevant actions are taken and updated whenever necessary. Schools are not expected to eliminate all risk – children should be given the opportunity to take appropriate risks – but they must take ‘reasonable precautions’ and ensure that staff are trained and aware of their responsibilities.

Our Risk Assessment Manager is: Beth Brockwell (Primary Senior Office Manager)

Prevent Strategy

Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent Strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.

How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?

From July 2015 all schools have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.

The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. However, it is about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss any issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.