Safeguarding Policies and Information
Lancaster Independent School for Alternative Learning (formerly Lancaster Steiner School) regards each child as a unique individual and therefore seeks to support pupils’ development in ways which will foster security, confidence and independence. We recognise that high self-esteem, peer support, a secure school environment and clear lines of communication with trusted adults helps all children and especially those at risk of or suffering from abuse. These are regarded as central to the well-being of the individual and are therefore seen to be an intrinsic part of all aspects of the curriculum and ethos.
Safeguarding and COVID-19
On 27th March the DfE published guidance to schools in fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities during the pandemic restrictions. The guidance recommends that an addendum be written in order to make explicit what steps are being taken during Covid-19, as some aspects of the standing Safeguarding Policy might not be applicable during the pandemic. The addendum will be reviewed as necessary, in line with government guidance.
Our COVID risk assessment includes elements of Safeguarding.
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and procedures comply with:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
- Safeguarding Children Partnership Arrangements for Blackburn, Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire (CSAP)
- Lancaster Steiner School Values and Aims
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Ms Elspeth Mukerji
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Ms Katie Flasby
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Ms Ola Mustapha
Nominated Trustee for Safeguarding
Ms Maialen Galarraga Gallastegui
LISAL is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and requires all staff, volunteers and contractors to share and demonstrate this commitment in every aspect of their work. We have created a culture of safe recruitment and adopted recruitment and vetting procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might pose a risk of harm to children.
Alongside the College of Teachers and Office Manager, the Board of Trustees will act reasonably in making decisions about the suitability of the prospective employee and/or volunteer, and/or contractors, based on checks and evidence including: criminal background (via the Disclosure and Barring Service), barred list, prohibition status (in the case of teachers), and other necessary checks together with references and interview information.
Our Office Manager, DSL, Chair of Trustees and Trustee with Responsibility for Safeguarding are our key staff and volunteers with responsibility for safeguarding that have completed Safer Recruitment training.
At LISAL, we believe it is essential that children be given the opportunity to explore the notion of diversity and come to value and understand Britain as a multi-ethnic and very diverse society. Providing a safe learning environment in which children can raise sensitive issues and concerns without fear of reprimand or ridicule, and explore boundaries of what is acceptable, will foster an open attitude to diversity. Though our curriculum, values education, and our approach to critical thinking, we support all of our children in developing and nurturing kindness and respect for each other, and the world around them, irrespective of one’s race and ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, sex (as in gender), gender reassignment, religious belief or lack of.
LISAL adopts guidelines as dictated by Operation Compass to safeguard and support children who have been involved in a domestic abuse incident. Following an incident at home, children will often arrive at school distressed, upset and unprepared for the day. Operation Encompass has been developed so that by 9am on the next school day our Key Adult will be informed that a child at LISAL has been involved, heard or witnessed a domestic incident. This knowledge, given through Operation Encompass, allows the provision of immediate early intervention as appropriate to the child. In our school the DSL is the Key Adult for Operation Encompass.
We recognise that the use of technologies and social media present particular challenges and risks to pupils both inside and outside of school.
Children and young people may expose themselves to danger, whether knowingly or unknowingly, when using the internet and other technologies. Additionally, some young people may find themselves involved in activities which are inappropriate or possibly illegal. Staff are particularly alert to:
- Peer on Peer Abuse: Staff will recognise the signs of peer on peer abuse and will report any concerns using the school’s behaviour policy.
- Sexting: Staff will recognise that sexting is a form of peer on peer abuse, which needs reporting to the DSL immediately.
LISAL endeavours to ensure a comprehensive curriculum response to enable all pupils to learn about and manage the associated risks effectively. It supports parents and the school community (including all members of staff) to become aware and alert to the needs of keeping children safe online, for example by providing updates via the school newsletter.
The school network is not accessed by the children, however filters for key words related to safeguarding concerns, including Prevent, is monitored regularly.