The Exe Valley Federation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment.
The federation aims to provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child and strive to make sure that every child in the federation schools feel secure, well cared for and able to reach their full potential.
The federation understands, and is committed to, the vital contribution that all governors, staff, parents and children can make to safeguarding children. We take the recruitment of new staff at every level very seriously and undertake a robust and thorough recruitment and vetting process before any appointments are made. We make sure that all staff are trained to recognise signs of abuse and know what to do if they suspect a child is at risk of, or is being, harmed. Every member of staff has a collective recognition of the importance of providing an environment that helps children feel safe and respected, and a culture that encourages children to talk openly, and have the confidence they will be listened to when they talk to a trusted adult.
Safeguarding is the proactive stance, which aims to protect children from abuse or harm and Child Protection is the reactive stance taken to support students, whom the school suspects may be in need of protection.
We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our safeguarding policy which can be viewed on the federation website in the 'policies' section.
We take allegations of ‘peer on peer’ abuse very seriously and if a child (anyone under the age of 18) commits an act of sexual violence or harassment against another child we will always investigate it. If an offence has been committed, we will report it to the police (even if the alleged perpetrator is under 10 – the age of criminal responsibility). We will ensure that no-one dismiss an incident as ‘banter’, ‘part of growing up’ or ‘having a laugh’.
Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies, when there are concerns about a child's welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with parents/carers first, unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child's welfare.
Operation Encompass is a police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership that supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse. All the EVF schools have signed up to Operation Encompass, which means that schools receive an email from the police after they have been called to an incident that was witnessed by children.
This helps us to be prepared for the child’s arrival in school and enables us to put the appropriate support in place as soon as possible.