At Our Lady of Lourdes, we adhere strictly to the requirement from the Education Act 2002 which included a provision requiring school governing bodies, local education authorities and further education institutions to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
We are a Rights Respecting school. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (among other articles setting out children's rights and needs) states:
"Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them"
The school is alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the procedures as laid out by the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) to ensure that children receive rapid, appropriate and proportionate, effective support to protect them from harm or abuse and to maintain their health and well-being.
We always want to work with families through this process so that we follow this model:
The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL’s) are here to action any concerns. At OLOL we have 6 DSL’s to ensure that groups of classes have their own assigned DSL, After School Wraparound Care has one and the Pastoral Lead is one also. The HT is the Senior DSL who line manages and supervises all DSL activity and sees all CPOMS entries.
Parents of Our Lady of Lourdes should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional, domestic violence in the home or sexual abuse.
The DSL's (Designated Safeguarding Leads) will always try to discuss these concerns with our parent first, and try to get informed consent to support our intentions to refer to Social Services if this becomes necessary. Referrals to outside agencies should always be seen as a supportive way to keep all of the children in our community safe and parents should not fear this help. Sometimes we are unable to discuss these concerns with you directly. This will only be the case where such a discussion could place the child at increased risk of significant or immediate harm – in this instance a referral will be made with no warning to the parent.
This process is never done lightly and we appreciate the cooperation and understanding of parents if we have to go around the parent to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to protect the pupils of OLOL. It is important that parents understand our duty of care and that we are working with you to support the wellbeing of your family, we are not accusing you of abuse or neglect. Many disclosures are easily resolved once discussed and the school has a good track record of pastoral support with families.
Since it is everybody’s responsibility to safeguard children and young people, we expect parents and visitors to our school community to share this same commitment to safeguarding at Our Lady of Lourdes, and to show the necessary understanding if we have to have those difficult conversations with them. Our aim is always to support families where we can and refer families on to other agencies for support if necessary.
If you have concern surrounding a child's safety contact the Birmingham Children's Advice and Support Services (CASS) Team on
0121 303 1888
When staff share concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Leads it is always about putting the child’s well-being first – failure to share suspicions, disclosures or third party information could allow a child to be further neglected or placed in harm’s way and so all staff understand their personal/individual responsibilities in regards the legislation. In accordance with local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively but it will always be shared.
Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. We hope that parents will understand that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the DSL) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
All staff and Governors receive annual training to support them in discharging their duties linked to three key documents (see below) and are trained to be aware of:
Please note that OLOL Policy does not allow children to be collected by anyone under the age of 16 in order to help keep pupils safe. We know that this can be inconvenient but our strong belief is that in the event of an emergency on the way home or in the family home unsupervised, it should not be a child's responsibility to protect their sibling. Please keep the contact list at school up to date with those adults you allow to collect your child. We will not send your child with anyone not on your approved list so we will telephone you if someone new comes to collect. It would help if you can let the school office know in advance if someone new is collecting your child.
Our class based DSL’s are not on call after 6.00 pm or at Weekends and if parents need to make a disclosure or report a concern at these times they should call CASS immediately on 0121 3031888 for advice and support. CASS has emergency contacts for all schools and there are ways to contact the Head Teacher out of hours.
The SDSL (Mrs David) is available to staff 24/7 for disclosures by email and telephone and will action any staff or parent concerns immediately. Parents should not email Mrs David with child protection or Safeguarding disclosures out of hours in case the message is not picked up - in the event of an emergency where you believe a child may be in danger (even if you are not sure) please contact CASS first to ensure immediate action is taken.
At OLOL we provide a curriculum that helps you teach your child about the risks they may face and how to protect themselves from those dangers. It is important that all children are equipped to risk assess all situations that life will throw at them. Our PSHEE curriculum, SRE (Sex and Relationships) Curriculum and our Pastoral Team offer many opportunities for the pupils at OLOL to develop digital literacy and safety, awareness of self, ability to identify risk, knowledge to know when something is a threat to them, and protective behaviours (who to tell and when if something is happening to them that they do not like or that they know is harmful, unsafe or frightening).
We work with outside agencies such as the NSPCC to support this work in school.
Operation Encompass/Domestic Abuse Act 2021
Operation Encompass is a police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership enabling support for children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. The government definition of domestic violence is… Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
At OLOL we have a Key Adult who takes phone calls from West Midland's Police when an incident of Domestic Abuse is reported. The purpose of the Key Adult is to be available each day to receive Operation Encompass calls, take details of police attended domestic abuse incidents, and then assess the types of support needed for the child. By working together as part of the Operation Encompass initiative, police and schools are able to intervene early on and support children and young people experiencing domestic abuse.
Children at OLOL learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships as part of their PSHEE and RSE so that they start to be empowered to recognise those unhealthy relationships and know how to keep themselves safe.
The Key Adult at OLOL is Mrs David. Our families need to know that knowledge of Domestic Abuse will only be shared on a need to know basis and that staff at OLOL will never take an action or share information that could put members of your family at risk. Our school is a safe place for you to talk about Domestic Abuse and we will provide help and advice to those who need it.
For those seeking employment at Our Lady of Lourdes
Please be advised that as part of the recruitment process we will complete all necessary checks on your identity, your qualifications, your right to work in the UK and your status with the relevant Disclosure and Barring Services for those wishing to work with children and young people. We never make an offer of employment in advance or unconditionally, and we never make an offer of employment until all references and supplementary information is gathered, and your application and those documents are scrutinised.
If you intend applying for a position at Our Lady of Lourdes (or to be a volunteer in school) we recommend that you read the documentation on this page and the school’s Safeguarding Policy.