SAFEGUARDING CONCERN REPORTED JANUARY 2019
Dear Parents/ Carers,
I am writing to you regarding a safeguarding concern drawn to our attention by the Local Authority. It reads as follows:
A primary school received information from a parent that someone purporting to be a School Nurse contacted them by text to ask questions about their child. This was reported to the Police and has been confirmed as a hoax. Virgin Care wish to ensure all schools are aware of this and to provide the following advice to schools to share with parents:
School Nurses do not send text messages as their first contact with parents.
If you receive a text message requesting information about your child from anyone purporting to be a School Nurse, please DO NOT engage.
To check the validity of any request received, please contact the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service Single Point of Access:
Mid Essex 0300 247 0014 (option 2)
North Essex 0300 247 0015
South Essex 0300 247 0013
West Essex 0300 247 0122
If you have any further concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact the school.
HDHS Weekly Online Safety Guide – #WakeUpWednesday
WEDNESDAY 29th JANUARY 2020: #WakeUpWednesday – Minecraft
Previous #WakeUpWednesday Guides can be viewed and downloaded here: #WakeUpWednesdays
Please follow this link for our most recent November 2019 safeguarding newsletter: Safeguarding-Updates-November-2019.pdf – 34 KB
Please follow this link for the October 2019 safeguarding newsletter: Safeguarding-updates-October-2019.pdf – 81 KB
Please follow this link for the September 2019 safeguarding newsletter: Safeguarding-Newsletter-September-2019.pdf – 64 KB
All of our safeguarding processes and procedures conform to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2
Please also see our recently updated Child Protection Policy (September, 2019) in the policies section of this website.
In particular, we would like to draw your attention to the following issues:
- Child Sexual Exploitation: https://www.essex.police.uk/getmedia/6319c2f9-5b97-4c68-9173-04ec37936740/cse-leaflet1.pdf – this detail how to protect your children from grooming, online abuse and other similar risks.
- Mental Health in Schools: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-schools-make-it-count
More and more school children are struggling to cope with their mental health. Amidst rising rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm in children and young people, there is a new Make it Count campaign. Please follow the above link for more details and guides for parents and pupils alike.
We believe that good mental health is fundamental to be able to thrive in life. If we’re not tackling mental health problems early, then we risk failing the next generation right at the start of their lives.
Please see the NHS website for tips on good mental health: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/
3. Reporting inappropriate online content/ behaviour:
If you or your son/daughter come across inappropriate content or are subject to any inappropriate online behaviour, please refer to this website to report your concerns: https://reportharmfulcontent.com/
Do you really know what your children are doing online? You may have internet filters already in place; do you really know how secure the filters are? What are YOU doing to safeguard your youngsters’ electronic activity? If in doubt click on the CEOP link at the bottom of this page.
What to do if you have a safeguarding concern involving a child.
i) Inform a member of the Safeguarding Team. The Safeguarding Team at HDHS are:
Mr J. Loten – Deputy Headteacher and Designated Lead
Mrs N. Prior – Inclusion Manager and Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mrs K. Finch – Headteacher
Mr S. Garnham – Senior Assistant Headteacher
Mrs C. Elmer-May – Centre Manager
Mrs L. McCullough – PE Teacher
Mrs S. Parker – Head of Sixth Form
Mrs C. Manners – Assistant Headteacher/ Executive SENCo
Miss C. Doyle – Assistant Headteacher
ii) If you are concerned that a child or young person is being harmed or neglected, or is at risk of this, you should go to the Essex Effective Support website where you can make a referral to the Children and Families Hub.
Where a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, call the Children and Families Hub on 0345 603 7627 and ask for the ‘Priority Line’ or call the Police.
(Out of Hours: [Mon-Thurs 5:00pm-9am. Fri & Bank Holidays 4:30pm-9am) 0345 606 1212 or Email: Emergency.DutyTeamOutOfHours@essex.gov.uk)
The Children and Families Hub also offers a consultation line for professionals providing advice and guidance. This can be accessed by calling 0345 603 7627 and asking for the ‘Consultation Line’.
Previous Safeguarding Messages
*STOP PRESS* Do you really know what your children are doing online? You may have internet filters already in place; do you really know how secure the filters are? What are YOU doing to safeguard your youngsters’ electronic activity?
Be FEARLESS against crime
If you know something that has happened, have information about a place or person that has been involved in a crime or you know a crime is being planned you can let Fearless know safely without passing on any of your personal details using the Secure Online Form – https://www.fearless.org/give-info-anonymously
It’s important to remember that they are not a replacement for the emergency services so our advice if something is happening that needs immediate action – ring 999.
Remember that you can also contact the school using the ‘Report an Issue’ link (see below) or by talking to your Community Team.
We are aware that many students have people in their “friends” list on social networking accounts who they do not actually know. We are advising all our students to delete “friends” from Facebook, or similar social networking accounts, if they do not know them in person, and are not actually friends with them.
The dangers of having strangers on these sites are increasingly concerning. Our staff have supported a number of our students through differing social networking incidents and we know that there are still some students who are accepting strangers as “friends”.
Parents: please encourage your children to –
- Delete anyone who they do not know in person as a friend.
- Talk to yourselves or staff at school if they feel compromised.
- Report anything they feel uncomfortable about to CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection); details of CEOP can be found below on this page.
Please take this advice very seriously, and parents should always be vigilant.
We take E-Safety very seriously at HDHS
As a school we have produced an E-Safety Advice Leaflet which can be downloaded using the link belowHarwich and Dovercourt High School E-Safety Leaflet – 380 KB
At Harwich and Dovercourt High School we educate and protect our students in their use of ICT and the internet. We aim to constantly reinforce the responsibilities that our students have when surfing the web through ICT lessons, PSHE lessons and Community Assemblies.
Within school, filtered internet usage is monitored.
Obviously, we can only provide these safeguards within school – it is equally important that students are encouraged to use the internet safely and responsibly on mobile devices and outside of school.
It is vital that parents and carers also keep abreast of the latest developments in technology that now present our children with new dangers.
“The risks that children face may have changed but basic parenting skills remain the same” is the central message from the UK’s national centre for child protection – the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
The use of online social networking sites is increasing, it is vital to remember that while the internet is a great resource, it is unfortunately open to abuse. As technology moves forward so do the criminals and risks can appear where they have not been before.
CEOP commissioned a MORI poll that showed around 80% of UK children aged between 5-15 years are regularly online everyday, while OFCOM findings for the same age group reveals that 61% of parents had failed to set adequate online controls or didn’t have filters in place to keep their children safe. (For more information about protecting your computer, identity and your children on-line go to ‘Get Safe Online‘).
Parents’ fear of understanding technology still seems to be a major obstacle so the Centre has gone back to the 50’s with newly styled material that encourages parents to take their parenting skills into the online world.
The centre-piece is a new online show – “The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet” – takes a light hearted but thought provoking look at internet safety from a parental point of view. It provides practical advice on what children may be doing online, covers issues that are sometimes hard to discuss and helps parents talk to their child about online worlds that for the child are often very private and vitally integral to their lives.
A simple Message from CEOP – “Protect your Online Identity Profile”
For further information and practical advice on staying safe on-line, please take the time to visit the following websites:
For Parents / Carers
- Childnet International – Know IT all for parents
- Parents Centre – Using computers and the internet
- CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
- Virtual Global Task Force – Making the internet a safer place
- PACE – Parents Against Child Sex Exploitation
For Students & Parents / Carers
- CEOP Channel on YouTube
- Childnet International – ChildNet Hub for Young People
- CBBC – Stay Safe
- CBBC Newsround – Safe Surfing
- TUK? – Think U Know
- Kidshealth – cyberbullying
- Bullying uk – advice against bullying
- Teen Talk – Supporting Students
Useful ‘Know Where to Go….’ films on CEOP’s YouTube Channe
- Report a video to YouTube for Removal
- Report a picture or video to Facebook for Removal
- Report Internet content to the Internet Watch Foundation
Self Taken Images – ‘Sexting’/Nude Selfies
Someone taking an indecent image of themselves, and sending it to their friends or boy/girlfriend via a mobile phone or some other form of technology is sometimes referred to as ‘sexting’.
Once these images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere. They could be seen by friends and family, a future employer, or even, in some cases, end up in the possession of an offender!
This also puts the person who originally sent the images in a vulnerable position, as somebody they may or may not know now has these images and could use technology to bully, harass or even try to locate them.
Just think – if you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school or show your Mum or Dad, they are not appropriate to share via phone or other technologies.
Take 15 minutes to look through these advice videos produced by CEOP.
Reporting Radicalisation and Extremism
The media is alive with reports of concern over radicalisation, extremism and terrorism. There are worrying numbers of young people who are putting themselves at risk by travelling to Syria and other conflict zones. There are steps that can be taken to intervene early on to protect our young people before they have started to consider travelling to Syria or high risk countries. Mothers are often, though not exclusively, the ones in a family who are most likely to spot signs and notice changes in their children’s behaviour. Through active steps such as taking an interest in what children are looking at online, and encouraging open conversations about issues that are of concern, we will all be able to help prevent further tragedy.
If you have a concern you should call the Police on 101. Call 999 in an emergency. They will provide confidential help and advice.
If you feel uncomfortable speaking to the Police direct about your concerns, there are other people who are trained and able to provide practical help and advice for you and your family. This includes healthcare professionals, social workers, teachers and local authorities. The most important thing is that you seek help from someone at an early stage.
HDHS has colleagues trained under the PREVENT Duty and there is monitoring within the school. Should the school have any concerns, our safeguarding protocols will be followed alongside the guidance offered by the PREVENT Duty.
Information leaflet from UK Police and Partners UK-Police-and-Partners.pdf – 1 MB
Website link www.preventtragedies.co.uk
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
The symbol on the ‘Report Abuse’ button, which looks a bit like an eye on legs, represents the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), a group of law enforcement agencies who work together to fight online abuse relating to children. If you click on the button you will be reporting a problem directly to someone at CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency). You are then likely to be contacted by a social worker or a police officer, to talk through your report in more detail. They need to do this to make sure you are safe. It is also a good idea to talk to your parents about your report to CEOP, although if your report concerns a family member, CEOP will not make contact with them until an investigation has been completed.
If you do not want to make a report by pressing the CEOP button but are still worried about something that is online, related to self harm, mental health or anything you consider abusive, then please talk to your Head of Learning Community, Assistant Head of Learning Community or Student Services at school, or to an adult you can trust. Alternatively, you can make a report 24/7 by clicking our ‘report an issue’ button and key people in the school will be notified straight away. This allows us to support you even more effectively.
You can also get guidance from NEFLT NHS Foundation Trust. Any young person up to the age of 18 (25 if you have Special Educational Needs) can contact NEFLT’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS), or any parent, guardian or teacher of a young person who is experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health difficulties.
You can find out more about NELFT by accessing: www.nelft.nhs.uk
Harwich and Dovercourt High School is a subscriber to the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) who are international leaders in providing support to stay safe online.
Please use this link if you have any concerns, or require specialist advice on how to respond and deal with online issues.
You can get support that relates to Facebook, AskFM and Sexting, amongst others. For families, there is a toolkit as well as more specific support for early years or older children progressing onto university.
REMEMBER: If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the school and we will support you.