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Safeguarding


Older notices are available in the parent section.

St Julie’s Catholic High School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment

St Julie’s Catholic High School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment.

The school policy regarding safer staff recruitment can be found here.

On this page you'll find updates and news items that we have received regarding safeguarding information, which we would then like to pass on to you for your information.

You might also be interested in the regularly published 'Digital Parenting' magazine that you can find here, as well as the online safety advice issued by Merseyside Police.

Click on each items headline for further details.

Latest Items:

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Jan 30, 2020

We would advise all parents to read the following link in relation to the TikTok App that has become popular with young people:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-tiktok

In summary:

  • TikTok is a free social media app that lets people watch, create, and share videos -- often to a soundtrack of the top hits in music -- right from their phone. However, it can also be used to make videos that could constitute 'cyber bullying' 
  • When you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location information.
  • Because of TikTok's emphasis on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, so it may not be age-appropriate for kids to use on their own. It's also easy to find people wearing revealing clothing and dancing suggestively
  • TikTok requires that users be at least 13 years old to use the app and that anyone under the age of 18 must have approval of a parent or guardian 
We recommend the app for age 16+ only, mainly due to the privacy issues and mature content

Jan 27, 2020

As parents and carers, you will be well aware of the stresses and pressures facing young people and sometimes it can be hard to know how best to support them. 

The Childline website has lots of valuable information and their Calm Zone provides a range of activities that aim to help children feel better when they're feeling anxious, scared or sad. 

Although children could be encouraged to visit the website themselves, these are good techniques for adults use with children. Ideas include: breathing exercises, a 'let it go' box and creating a 'sense drawer'.

Go to the Childline website here: https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/


Jan 10, 2020

Does your child attend an 'Out Of School Setting' such as community and youth centre, sports clubs or out of school tuition?

If so and in order to reassure yourself that this is a safe an appropriate environment, please be aware of this linked document:

https://consult.education.gov.uk/regulatory-framework-unit/out-of-school-settings-voluntary-safeguarding-code/supporting_documents/Safeguarding%20questions%20for%20parents%20and%20carersDraft%20guidance.pdf

The document gives guidance about questions you may want to ask of this provider in respect of things such as employment checks on staff, supervision arrangements, staff training, data protection and a range of others issues. It also identifies a number of 'red flags' that might give rise to concern about a provider and what you should do if you were to have concerns. 

Please also be aware of the following website: https://www.safeguardingresourcehub.co.uk/Resource-Hub?user_group=3

This is a free hub of national safeguarding resources to em,power children, young people and all adults supporting them. 


Dec 18, 2019

The Safeguarding Resource Hub is 

  • A free online directory with links to hundreds of key national resources
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Free to all children, young people, adults, parents and carers, and professionals
  • Targeted resources for each usergroup
  • Empowers everyone to find the advice and guidance they might need

Find out more at www.safeguardingresourcehub.co.uk


Dec 13, 2019
Click here to read some really helpful advice for students about saying safe over Christmas.

Dec 2, 2019
The Mental Health Foundation have released this useful guidance offering advice about how to talk to your children about scary world news.

Oct 11, 2019

There has been much recent research into the detrimental impact on young people when either or both of their parents/carers is affected by any one of the three issues referred to by professionals as the ‘Toxic Trio’, namely:

  • having a parent who is a victim of domestic abuse
  • parental substance misuse
  • parental mental ill-health

Where any two or all three of these factors are present, research demonstrates that young people are at a greatly heightened risk of coming to significant harm.

A report into 139 Serious Case Reviews (conducted when a child dies or suffers significant harm) carried out between 2009 and 2011 shows that in 95% of all cases, at least one of the ‘Toxic Trio’ was a contributory factor.

In 63% of all cases, two of the Toxic Trio were contributory factors.

All three issues were present in 24% of cases.

Please click here to for more information and to read about our response.


Oct 7, 2019

XenZone, a digital mental health pioneer, has been commissioned by Liverpool NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide its popular Kooth mental health and emotional wellbeing support service to all 14-25-year-olds in Liverpool.

Kooth will be closely integrated with the Liverpool CAMHS Partnership (Alder Hey, Mersey Care, YPAS, MYA, PSS, Barnardos Young Carers, Bullybusters, ADHD Foundation, ADDvanced Solutions).
The service, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), offers young people free and anonymous access to self-help materials, live moderated discussion forums, tools such an online journal and mood tracker – and the ability to contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences.

Kooth also offers young people drop-in or booked online appointments with professional counsellors. Sessions are conducted via online instant messaging and are completely anonymous.

The site is available anytime; counsellors are on hand to offer support from mid-day until 10 pm on weekdays and from 6 pm until 10 pm at weekends.

Dr Fiona Lemmens, Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We’re delighted that XenZone is launching in Liverpool. Like many other areas of the country, we have seen significant growth in demand in recent years for mental health support for children and young people – and this service is a fantastic resource which is helping to address some of that need.”

According to Elaine Bousfield, founder of XenZone, “We welcome the chance to offer mental health and wellbeing support to young people in Liverpool. I’d encourage anyone living locally who is between the ages of 14 and 25 to access Kooth with issues they’ve been experiencing for some time, or equally, for anything that seems ‘minor’ but which they’re struggling with. Kooth is anonymous and free to access – and we’re here to help.”

The website can be accessed at http://www.kooth.com.


Oct 1, 2019

West Yorkshire Police and Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership have launched a campaign warning young people to be wary of invites to free parties from older people who they know little about.

A tactic used by perpetrators of child sexual exploitation is to lure children to parties through social media and word of mouth, where they then ply them with drinks and drugs before pressuring them into sex. They may also bribe them into doing things they aren't comfortable with in return for a lift home, as the 'party' is often held in an area that the young person is unfamiliar with.

Advice to Young people

If you do accept an invitation to a party or gathering there are things that you need to do keep yourself safe:

  • Make sure you know the location of where you're going and whose party it is.
  • Read the road signs if you accept a lift.
  • Tell a trusted adult where you are going and who you're going with.
  • Tell someone what time you're expected back.
  • Make sure you have credit on your phone.
  • Make sure your mobile battery is fully charged.
  • Take enough money with you to get you home

Read more: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news-appeals/if-you-dont-know-dont-go-campaign-highlights-party-tactic-used-perpetrators-child

Sep 24, 2019

For use at home and in school, Swiggle is a child-friendly search engine developed by South West Grid for Learning and built on the Google Safe Search technology. It is free, ad free, has a reporting page for children and adults, active blocking of inappropriate search strings and even a Swigglebot to give advice.

For more information go to the link below and look at the menu (top right of page)

https://swiggle.org.uk/


Sep 24, 2019

Google Family Link has been around for some time, but has recently had a much-needed update. You can now limit screen time per app (instead of the whole device) as well as track activity, set daily limits, view device location and more.

See here for more information:

https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/18/googles-parental-control-software-family-link-gains-much-needed-features/


Sep 20, 2019

Guidance for children and young people, families and professionals facing unwanted or hurtful online messages

Social Media apps can be a great way for children and young people to talk to friends, but cyberbullying is a growing issue that many children and young people face.

There are a few simple steps children can take to protect yourself themselves.

Most social media platforms allow you to block any comments and report and block profiles that are sending you negative or unpleasant messages.

When you block someone, it means they are unable to see anything you post, and you can’t see their profile, comments or messages either.

You can do this in the “settings” section of whatever app you are using. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask a trusted adult to help you.

If you’re being added into group chats that you don’t want to be in, block the numbers which are adding you and exit all the groups.

It can be hard but try not to get involved in the chats. Take screenshots of any hurtful messages instead.

Make sure you screenshot everything said to you before blocking anyone as you might need this as proof, to evidence what’s happening.

If you feel unsafe, always tell someone. Make sure you take these concerns to an adult you trust and let them know what’s been going on.

If you’re being threatened with violence, either online or offline, you should contact the police.

The most important thing is to not suffer in silence.

Consider Ignore, Block, Report when dealing with unwanted or hurtful messages.

There are excellent resources that you should take a look at:

 

‘Own It’ App

 ‘The BBC is launching a new app to try and help the wellbeing of young people online. It's called Own It and it encourages young people to stop and think before they hit the send button.It monitors how they interact with their friends and family online and uses artificial intelligence to try and see how a child is feeling.’

The APP can be found here: https://www.bbc.com/ownit/take-control/own-it-app

 

“Being Bullied? Five things you need to do RIGHT NOW!”

https://www.bbc.com/ownit/curations/bullying-and-trolling

Internet Matters, step-by-step guides to set controls on popular social media apps

https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/

The Safeguarding Resource Hub provides additional resources that can support children, young people, parents/carers and professionals:

https://www.safeguardingresourcehub.co.uk/

 

And don’t forget you can also contact Childline on 0800 1111

https://www.childline.org.uk/

 


Sep 13, 2019
We have recently received updated guidance from the Local Authority about Domestic Abuse, which sadly remains a real issue within our City. Some of the information in the guidance that may be helpful to raise awareness among parents is available here.

Jul 12, 2019

https://www.childline.org.uk/ - a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, we’re here for you online, on the phone, anytime.

https://www.rlss.org.uk/Pages/Category/water-safety-information

https://www.capt.org.uk/drowning

As the summer approaches, please remind you children of the dangers around water. Sadly each year more than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland and many more have non-fatal experiences, sometimes suffering life-changing injuries. The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), work to educate people to enjoy water safely, to keep their families and friends safe and to know what to do in an emergency.

http://www.juniorcitizen.org.uk/kids/railsafety/

Please also remind your children of the dangers of playing around railways and perhaps use this resource to remind them of some dos and don'ts. 


Jul 8, 2019

Stem4 is a teenage mental health charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage

Young people have just as much right to accessing facts about good mental health as they do good physical health, and yet there is a lack of accurate information. Embarrassment or social stigma surrounding mental health issues can so easily lead to confusion with what may be normal development, as opposed to the early development of a mental health issue.

By raising awareness, sharing information on how to recognise early warning signs and by providing effective strategies in how to deal with them, it can be possible to identify and stem these conditions early on. Find out more at  https://stem4.org.uk/


Jul 8, 2019

If you are considering booking your daughter into summer camps, activity days and child-care settings then you may wish to give consideration to the draft DfE guidance 'Safeguarding questions for parents and carers (DfE, 2018) so that you can ask the appropriate questions of the people they intend to leave their children with.


Key questions include:

 

  • Have staff and volunteers undertaken DBS checks? How recent were the checks?
  • Will any adults besides the instructor be present at the venue while my child is there? If so, will they be there on a regular basis?
  • What training have staff had?
  • May I have a copy of your child protection policy?
  • Who is your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and what training have they had? How recent was this training?
  • My child has Special Educational Needs and / or a disability (SEND). What steps will you take to accommodate this?
  • My child needs help with: using the toilet; changing; feeding; their medication, etc. How will these personal care needs be addressed?
  • How are you securely storing the information you hold on my child? Who has access to it and are you giving it to anyone else?
  • Is my child allowed to access the internet unsupervised?
  • Do you have filtering and monitoring systems in place? What are they?
  • What are your systems for First Aid, health and safety and fire evacuation? 

 

More information can be found here:

 


Jul 8, 2019
Although Glastonbury, perhaps the biggest music festival, has passed there will be many more festivals over the next couple of months including Boomtown, Camp Bestival, Leeds and other more local events. Your daughter may be attending one of these events this summer and the Festival Safe website offers lots of very good information about the fun side, but also about dangers such as alcohol and drugs, crime, what to do in an emergency and how to stay sexually safe.

https://www.festivalsafe.com/

Mar 25, 2019
The social aspect of gaming is hugely important to many children, who will want to keep in touch with other gamers, such as their friends. An app that seems to be increasing in popularity is Discord. This app plugs into lots of other apps (i.e. Twitch, YouTube, Reddit) so potentially information is going to be shared across different platforms. As with many other apps you have to be 13 or over to use it, but surprise surprise there's no age verification at all in place. For a brief explanation have a look at the review on the Common Sense Media website HERE.

Mar 1, 2019
Internet Matters have produced this great infographic with tips on how to create a good online reputation.

Mar 1, 2019

Childnet have produced this simple checklist to help you manage your Online Reputation, show your children and talk to them about it:  

https://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Online-Reputation-Checklist.pdf


Feb 28, 2019

You may be aware of recent press and social media coverage about Momo or the Momo Challenge. 

The following article from the BBC News website gives a good overview of this issue and makes the following key points, based on police advice:

Parents should:

  • Ensure they know what their children can access online
  • Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Tell their children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
  • Use parental controls to keep children safe

The challenge is essentially a hoax as ‘Momo’ is clearly not a ‘real’ character and there is no evidence that anyone purporting to be ‘Momo’ can hack people’s devices of force their image to appear on anyone’s phone. 

The main lesson to remember is that is vital that parents have regular conversations with their children about their online activities and create an environment where their child is able to share any concerns they have about things they have seen online that has caused them upset.

Please also read this summary notice of useful information.


Dec 17, 2018

As we know, Christmas is not always a happy time for children and young people for many different reasons. We have highlighted some key issues below with links to further information and resources that you may find useful. 

Who to talk to if you are worried about the safety of a child

Childline 0800 1111 

Advice for parents regarding Online Safety 

NSPCC and O2 Partnership   

Children affected by loss and bereavement

Children may be facing Christmas after experiencing the loss of a loved one, this can stir up strong and difficult feelings. Yet sharing and talking about emotions are important for children. It could be through photos, games, memory boxes or stories. Child bereavement UK have developed some resources to help children explore and talk about their emotions. You can also visit the NHS website for a list of useful contacts

Children and young people who have a family member in prison

We know that children who have a parent or family member in prison may find it difficult to talk about it and worry about what others will think. The National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO) provides a service for all professionals who come into contact with the children and families of offenders. If you are working with a child or young person who has a family member in prison there are some really useful resources on their website so it’s well worth a look!

Domestic abuse

 

New UN data reports an average of 137 women across the world are killed by a partner or family member every day. In the UK, domestic abuse is a factor in half of serious case reviews and 1 in 5 children have witnessed it. The impact of repeated exposure to domestic abuse has been likened to the trauma and distress experienced by children living in war zones and often presents. Whilst we often see behaviour changing due to the excitement of Christmas, for some children it may be caused by the anxiety of the Christmas break. Money tensions, unrealistic expectations and excessive alcohol consumption make the festive holidays a peak period for domestic abuse. For further information and support you can visit  NHS website , Disrespect Nobody Campaign , Childline and Innerworld

 

Mental Health

For many, the holiday season can be a time of loneliness or anxiety. Young minds have released some tips for children who may find the holidays difficult. For urgent concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing, parents should speak to their GP or call the Young Minds parents helpline on 0808 802 5544 for advice. Further information and support can also be found at Action for Children and Young Minds have produced blogs for young people and parents of children who find Christmas difficult.


Dec 14, 2018

As the nights become darker, it is important that everyone takes the time to remind themselves of road safety. 

The following links give useful advice and guidance about how we can all keep ourselves safer on the roads in the winter months.

https://www.think.gov.uk/
http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/
http://www.brake.org.uk/info-and-resources/resources/guide-to-teaching-road-safety
https://thebobbycollerantrust.org.uk/


Dec 13, 2018

As Christmas approaches and many young people will be receiving new electronic devices such as smart phones, it is a good time for parents and carers to be aware of some of the popular Apps used by young people - and the possible risks associated with them.

One of these is Kik Messenger; a free messaging app aimed at users aged thirteen and over. Used by more than 300 million people worldwide, Kik lets users exchange messages, photos, videos, GIFs and web pages with friends, family, chatbots and even strangers.

Unlike WhatsApp, Kik doesn’t require a user to sign up with a phone number. Instead, friends can be added via their username, making it easier for users to receive unwanted contact from strangers. Police in the UK issued a safety warning earlier in the year, claiming that Kik has featured in ‘more than 1,100 child sexual abuse cases in the last five years’ and that ‘children are at risk’ on the app. (BBC News Story).

Click this link to access a free safety guide for parents.


Dec 5, 2018

As Christmas approaches , many young people will be hoping to receive the latest smartphones or other portable devices that allow internet access.

Whilst these technologies brink lots of exciting opportunities, it is important that children and parents are aware of some of the risks  that exist in the online world - and are aware of how best top stay safe.

Click on the document links below to find out more information about some popular apps and to download the National Online Safety tips to help keep children safe.

Guide to YouTube

Guide to Fortnite

Guide to WhatsApp


Nov 23, 2018
Samaritans have launched a new campaign and video called 'Small talk saves lives'. The campaign has been produced in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry. Samaritans says, 'if you see someone you think might need help, trust your instincts and start a conversation. You could help save a life'.

British Transport Police data shows that in 2016/17, there were 6 potentially life-saving interventions made for every suicide/suspected suicide on the railway. Engaging someone in such circumstances might be all it takes to interrupt someone's suicidal thoughts and start them on a journey to recovery.

Upset or distressed people can be found in many different places, not only by the railway, and the same strategy might be important. There is no evidence that intervening when someone is at risk will make the situation worse. And there’s no perfect way to make an intervention, we just have to do our best. 

If it’s not safe to make an approach or you don’t feel comfortable then speak to a passer-by, call 999. You could help save a life.

For further information and to watch the video, go to: https://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/our-campaigns/small-talk-saves-lives

Oct 29, 2018

If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis, you can text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free, 24/7 support. 

The YoungMinds crisis messenger service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258.

The service aims to connect every texter to a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes to provide support in a crisis. They will listen to you and help you think through how you’re feeling, and will aim to help you take the next steps towards feeling better.

Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

This service is powered by Crisis Text Line, a trusted partner of YoungMinds.

You can find out more information about the service here.


Jul 2, 2018

Although we are all enjoying the current warm weather, please be mindful of some of the dangers that can present themselves in such conditions.

The following links give reminders regarding water safety:

https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/about-us/recreation-sites/reservoir-safety/

And also sun safety:

Sun Safety
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/YDD2fTqHVfWJbV5qkHPL7D/sun-safety

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun (CBeebies)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/watch/sun-safety-for-kids

Sun safety in schools (Skcin)
http://www.skcin.org/sunSafetyAndPrevention/sunSafetyInSchools.htm


Jun 19, 2018

The Safeguarding Team at St Julie’s recently received information from a Coroner who is conducting an Inquest into the death by suicide of a 15 year old boy in the Bury area, earlier this year.

Evidence obtained by the Coroner suggests he had used an online game called DOKI DOKI, which is known to NSPCC online safety officers.

The police investigation into the death uncovered the following information. Whilst we do not necessarily advise that you share this with you child, it is important that you remain vigilant in monitoring all of your child’s online activity across any devices to which they have access.

 “ Doki Doki, also known as Doki Doki Literature Club, was developed in 2017. It does warn it is not suitable for children, however the graphics etc are clearly aimed at young people.  It was launched in August 2017.  It was downloaded over 2 million times in the first 4 months.

In essence the story plot seems to be that a male character joins a literature club and interacts with female members. There are alternative endings depending on choices made during the course of the game.  The story plot uncovers suicidal thoughts the members have.  The multiple outcomes follow things such as mental health issues (voices in their head), self-harming, suicide and violent scenes such as one of the player’s neck snapping.  All of this then links the reader back to an outcome whereby you are made to think the game has taken control of your computer and you have to continue playing. 

Some outcomes lead you to consider what you could have done to prevent one of the characters deaths.  One even shows you messages from the players who have passed away saying “now you can all be happy I am gone”.  This is a psychological horror game with suicide as a main feature

This game is free of charge but an upgraded version can be purchased for £10 to unlock extra content.

NSPCC have reviewed information from their Childline Counsellor Facts notes since April 2017.  Two counselling sessions had made notes with regards to Doki Doki – these were in November 2017 and January 2018.  One talked about a friend playing the game.  It was noted the game can trigger emotional responses. The other session noted the young person had been playing it and their favourite character had committed suicide – the young person was thinking about ending their life the same way.”


Jan 15, 2018

Teenage years can be a testing and challenging time, both for young people and for their parents/carers. Research by the Anna Freud National centre for Children and Families highlights the importance of good communication in helping to provide a safe and positive environment for young people. Download this document for more tips and guidance on how to strengthen your connection with your children.