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Safeguarding

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:

Jun 19, 2017
We advise parents to visit this resource on the thinkuknow website which will help you to familiarise yourself with some of the Apps most commonly used by young people, including Snapchat and Instragram. The guide will tell you how the apps work, the service they are intended to provide and some of the risks that can be involved with their use.

Jun 15, 2017

We'd ask that parents/carers review children and young people's access to on-line streaming sites including Netfix and other websites. It has come to our attention that some children may be accessing age inappropriate materials. For example, Netfix currently offers a series exploring teenage suicide which is rated 18 and should only be watched by adults. Watching this may well impact on a young person's well-being especially if they are already low of mood.

We'd ask that parents take appropriate steps to safeguard their children so they are only accessing age appropriate materials. As always, parents should seek advice from their G.P. and school if they are concerned about their child's emotional well-being and mental health.

Useful links for families:

https://www.minded.org.uk

www.psych.ox.ac.uk/news/new-guide-for-parents-who-are-coping-with-their-child2019s-self-harm-2018you-are-not-alone2019/coping-with-self-harm-guide.pdf


May 3, 2017
The latest safeguarding update from School Improvement Liverpool is available for viewing here.

Feb 13, 2017

The growing phenomenon of young people sharing inappropriate pictures of themselves online has become a real issue, with recent reports suggesting that children as young as 7 have been involved.
 
The NSPCC has produced a guide to help parents talk with their children about the dangers and legalities surrounding this, to help empower them to say “no” to requests. Access to this guide can be found here: NSPCC GUIDE , along with guidance on a range of other issues relating to online safety. 

We advise all Parent-Carers to familiarise themselves with this guidance and we'd welcome any feedback you have - just email us in school using the reception@st-julies.org.uk email address, putting 'Online Safety Feedback' as the subject of your message! 


Jan 9, 2017

Safer Internet Day 2017 is nearly upon us. This is taking place on Tuesday 7th February 2017 – with the theme, 'Be the change: Unite for a better internet' 

More details can be found here - http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2017

The files below give information for parents and carers in how best to support their children in ensuring that their online presence and experience is safe and positive! 

Safer Internet Day Presentation

Safer Internet Day Factsheet

Safer Internet Day Conversation Starters


Jan 9, 2017

Well worth a read is this short report (24 pages), published 05/01/17, by the Children’s Commissioner for England. The report talks about giving children and young adults resilience, information and power to assist them in opening up the internet as a place where they can be citizens not just users, creative but not addicted and open, yet not vulnerable, to having their personal information captured and monetised by companies.


Jan 9, 2017

Facebook have recently launched a Parents Portal which you may wish to access - https://www.facebook.com/safety/parents

The portal is designed to help parents make the most out of their Facebook account, whilst also giving tips and information on how to keep themselves and their children safe online.


Jan 9, 2017

PSHE Day – Advent Term

All Year Groups received a variety of ‘safe messages’ on our first PSHE Day of the year, with Years 7-10 attending a powerful drama piece – written and produced by our own Performing Arts Department – that highlighted the issue of domestic violence.  The common theme across Years 7 – 11 was self-esteem and the following information gives a quick taste of some of the activities.

Year 7

Pupils were guided as to where they could go if they or another pupil ever needed to disclose a problem or was in need of help. The importance of real friendships and being there for each other were also outlined. The lessons delivered by teachers stressed the importance of the girls realising how social media can present images that do not represent real life. It was demonstrated that imperfections are OK and perfectly normal. The girls embraced their strengths and their weaknesses during the lessons and hopefully built a stronger relationship with their tutors.

Year 8

Year 8 competed self-esteem profiles to find out what their own self-image was like and how confident they were about themselves, as well as taking part in team building activities focusing on overcoming problems by working with others for support. They also took part in some meditation which highlighted the importance of having time to reflect on yourself and your own self-worth. They also looked at airbrushing and false self-images in adverts and in the media which can have a negative impact on what young people aspire to look like.

Year 9

Year 9 addressed the issue of self-esteem through a focus on using positivity and looking at each other’s talents. They gained a greater awareness of how having low self-esteem can affect the safety of a pupil as it can lead to mental health concerns, such as self-harm.


Year 11

The aim of the day was to give the pupils confidence in many aspects of their lives and equip them will all the information required to make their own informed decisions.

The year group had a variety of activities to participate in during the day.  The girls had a make-up demonstration, showing them how to achieve a natural look and this was followed up with a session on why girls wear make-up and the issues that may go on behind it. They also enjoyed a lesson in self-defence, giving them techniques for looking after themselves.  Important issues of drugs were addressed to provide all the information on emerging substances that may be accessible by young people of this age.  The final theme looked at by the year 11 group was sexual consent and empowering the girls to make their own decisions. 

Year 12 and 13

KS5 students participated in a half day 'BiteSize' Brook event, which enabled both information and active participation activities. Students worked in teams of 10-12 and rotated around a number of themed learning zones. The focus was very much on delivering accurate information whilst expanding knowledge around the key themes such as: sex and the law, contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), condom use, sexuality, gender and body image. Brook's educators guided pupils through each of the interactive learning zones which had been designed to provoke discussion and debate on issues young people face every day. Feedback from Brook and the students was very positive.


Dec 8, 2016

ooVoo

Please be aware of issues that have come to light both locally and nationally regarding a video chat App called ‘ooVoo’. This programme can be downloaded to electronic devices such as mobile phones ,laptops, iPads or PCs and allows users to make free video calls, search for other users and send ‘invites’ to become ‘friends’. The terms and conditions for oVoo state that users must be at least 13 years old.

There have been some recent cases in which adult males have allegedly set up false profiles, usually passing themselves off as teenage girls, and have then made contact with young females who have this app installed on their phones. There is some evidence that the profile pictures for these fake accounts are actually pictures of the girls then being targeted or of their friends – taken from things such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts - as this immediately grabs their attention.

Once contact has been made, the people behind the fake accounts have then sent sexually explicit videos of themselves and tried to encourage the person they have contacted to do likewise. Merseyside Police are currently investigating a number of cases but in the meantime we would advise you to discuss this issue with your daughter. ooVoo have been reported as co-operating with law enforcement requests to trace users and ban usernames. Users can set security controls to prevent uninvited contact and report other users through the ‘Support’ section of the App.

Use the following link to control security settings:

http://support.oovoo.com/link/portal/3908/4244/ArticleFolder/169/Privacy-Security

 Reporting users to ooVoo can be done via this link:

http://support.oovoo.com/ics/support/ticketnewwizard.asp?style=classic


Jul 12, 2016

From smartphones to satnavs, our lives are full of screens. We wake up to them, we come home to them, and we carry them around in our pockets all day. Click the link below for suggestions on how to start and stick to a ‘digital detox’.

http://www.independent.ie/business/technology/9-ways-to-start-and-stick-to-a-digital-detox-34766926.html


Jul 12, 2016

Research that can be viewed on link below has found that children as young as 11 post an average of 26 times a day, attract 100 followers to every one of their profiles – yet six out of ten of them are not real friends. Interestingly the survey states that Liverpudlian parents are the most protective parents – 72% have access to all or some of their children’s social media accounts.

http://www.internetmatters.org/hub/guidance/infographic-revealing-kids-use-of-social-mediasurvey-stats/


Jul 12, 2016

The LSCB has a Missing from Home Strategy and the partners of Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) have adopted the definition of missing and absent as determined by ACPO below:      

http://liverpoolscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/pr_miss_child.html

Missing - “Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.”

Absent – “A person not at a place where they are expected or required to be.”

The `absent’ category should comprise cases in which people are not presently where they are supposed to be and there is no apparent risk

Police classification of a child as missing or absent will be based on an on-going risk assessment. All children under 13 years of age will automatically be classed as missing. 

Management of missing and absent children in Liverpool:

The LSCB CSE sub group chaired by the Director of Children’s Services has strategic oversight of  the partnership response to missing and absent children.  A missing operational group is held on a monthly basis to review high risk missing children:

-       All missing young people age 13 and under

-       High risk missing cases as categorised by the police at the time of the episode

-       Repeat missing cases – those who have been missing or absent more than once the previous month

-       Children who have been missing for 4 weeks or longer

-       LAC from other Local Authorities placed in Liverpool

-       Liverpool LAC placed out of area


Jul 12, 2016

A Merseyside CSE problem profile was undertaken by Merseyside Police in October 2015. The data for Liverpool showed:

 

  • The age range of children and young people at risk of CSE is 12 to 17 years of age with 14 to 16 being the most prominent ages.
  • Intelligence linked teenage females to older males who are involved in acquisitive crime
  • There is a link between being repeatedly missing and risk of CSE
  • There is little intelligence of CSE occurring on a regular basis within gangs.
  • Intelligence highlights sexual activity within groups of young people some of which is of an exploitative nature.
  • There is no evidence of any pattern in terms of the ethnicity of either perpetrators or victims.

 

Strategic and Operational Response

There is a Strategic Multi Agency Pan Merseyside CSE group attended by the Director of Children’s Services which has been established to ensure a consistent approach to CSE across Merseyside. The office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is represented at these meetings.

The Director of Children’s Services chairs the Liverpool Safeguarding Childrens Board CSE sub group which is attended by the strategic leads from the partnership. This group provides the leadership in Liverpool and monitors progress against the Liverpool CSE action plan. Our Headteacher, Mr Alderman, represents the Liverpool Association of Secondary Headteachers on this sub-group.

Missing And Child Sexual Exploitation (MACSE) meetings, chaired by a senior police officer, are held monthly to co-ordinate the partnership support and agree risk management plans for young people who are at risk of CSE.  Between April 2015 and March 2016, 347 children and young people were referred to the MACSE of these 260 were female and 87 were male with the most prominent age being 14 and 15 years.

Actions delivered

A specific CSE post was established in September 2013 to co-ordinate the approach to CSE across the LSCB partnership and a gap in support was identified for those young people who did not reach the threshold for Childrens Social Care intervention and who were not subject to statutory Youth Justice interventions. As a result the Protect team was established within Targeted Services for Young People, this team takes referrals via the MACSE of young people who are not subject to any other form of statutory intervention. A CSE social worker post has been established and is the Single Point of Contact  (SPOC) for CSE for Children’s Services. 

A training and communications plan is in place delivering,

  • Awareness raising and training for professionals
  • Awareness raising and training for children and young people through schools
  • Information leaflets for parents and carers ( embed leaflet here )
  • Information and awareness training with local businesses , travel and leisure services and taxi drivers
  • A website has been developed www.listentomystory.com
  • A twitter feed to reach young people , parents and carers @liverpoolscb
  • Liverpool are signatories to the European Council One in Five pact.

The CSE co-ordinator attend the PCCs youth participation group to seek the views of young people on the services available the area. 

How St Julie’s has responded:

We have taken part in CSE day (18th March) for the last 2 years, focusing on awareness raising and preventative education to equip children and young people with the skills they need to make safe and healthy choices and to avoid situations which put them at risk of child sexual exploitation. This has involved publicising the ‘Listen to my Story’ website for students, parents and carers.

St Julie’s Students in Years 9 – 12 have seen the ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ drama production and we have been involved in piloting resources produced by the Ariel Trust

Further information is available at the twitter feed @liverpoolscb

We have been part of the pilot scheme for the Ariel Trust project.  This is a CSE based project which seeks to educate young people on how to spot the signs of being groomed and how to respond to them.  It is there to keep pupils safe.  We have completed the first module through our PSHE programme and this has been delivered to all year groups in Lower and Middle school.

You can see the work we have been doing at cse.arieltrust.com 


May 5, 2016

Action for Children’s latest research has found that nearly a quarter of parents struggle to get their children to “unplug” and take part in activities away from television, phone and computer screens. Their findings can be viewed by clicking the following link:

https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/news-and-opinion/latest-news/2016/january/unplugging-from-technology/

 

They give 5 'Top Tips' for parents to help ensure healthier use of technology by all the family:

1. Plan fun activities for the whole family that don’t involve technology.

2. Create a balance between technology use and other activities by creating a weekly schedule on the principle of an hour of 'energy in' (technology use) equalling an hour of 'energy out' (other activities).

3. Tap into your own experience: when you were a child, what was your favourite game to play? Share these with your children.

4. Identify the challenges your children enjoy in the video games they play and replicate them. Do they like games about sport? Encourage them to play the real deal in the park or go as a family to a local match. Are their favourite games puzzles or brain-teasers? Organise a board game night.

5. Practice what you preach: when your children are having screen-free time, turn off your devices too. Don’t waste the opportunity!

A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friends house. 

See the link below to access free resources to help you to create a family agreement

http://www.childnet.com/blog/family-agreement

May 5, 2016

1. Do not post or give out any personal information that could identify you. This includes your name, your address and pictures or links to your school. Make sure you use the security and privacy features on your social networks, so you only share what you want with who you want.

2. Don’t arrange to meet anyone you’re only ever met online. If your trusted adult says you may go, take them with you and meet in a public place

3. Learn how to block and report people on every chat app. you use. Only add people you know in the real world and don’t get involved in online arguments. Use an avatar as your profile pic, rather than a photo of you. Only post comments and photos/videos you’d be happy for your parents to see

4. Don’t open emails from people / places you don’t know. Only give out your email address to people you know or on official forms. Many viruses, malware and ransomware and other and similar files are spread by emails.

5. Keep all of your devices that connect to the internet secure with the latest security updates and virus protection.

6. Suspicious or abusive activity on the internet can be reported by the following methods: www.IWF.org  (Illegal websites) www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report (advice and make a report) www.beatbullying.org  (anti bullying)

7. Advice for parents and children is available from the following: www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre - www.getsafeonline.org  - www.commonsensemedia.org  (what’s good/safe to see and do; www.vodafone.com/content/parents.html  (for parents) www.parentport.org.uk  (for parents) www.childnet.com  (general advice).


May 5, 2016

What is child Sexual Exploitation?

  • CSE is when children and young people receive something as a result of performing, or others performing on them, sexual activities.  These things could include:
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Affection
  • Gifts
  • Money

 

Where does CSE occur?

With the technological advances in today’s modern society, the perpetrators of this crime are turning to the internet and mobile phones.  They are harder to trace using this media, making it difficult to catch them and therefore will keep doing it.

Why is this crime committed?

In all cases, those people exploiting children and young people have power over them.  This is because of the victims:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Intellect
  • Physical strength
  • Resources

 

Do victims report CSE?

Unfortunately for victims, the pain of their ordeal and fear that they will not be believed means they are too often scared to come forward.  This means we have a vital role in looking for this, as we may be that child's only hope and chance of escaping what they are being subject to.

Indicators of CSE

  • Offending behaviour
  • Increased online activity
  • Returning home with physical injuries
  • Drug/alcohol misuse
  • Estranged from family
  • Older partners
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Self-harm
  • Pregnancy and termination
  • Repeated STI’s
  • Missing from home
  • Unexplained gifts

 

Vulnerable circumstances

  • Living in a dysfunctional household
  • History of abuse
  • Recent bereavement/loss
  • Gang association
  • Learning disabilities
  • Sexually exploited peers
  • Unsure of sexual orientation
  • Homeless
  • Living in care/hostel
  • Low self-esteem
  • Young carer

 

The Law

  • Children's Act 1989.  Section 47.
  • “There is a duty on the Local Authority to make enquiries where there is a reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering harm, or likely to suffer harm”.

We ALL have a duty of care to our pupils to look out and report this.


May 5, 2016

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is behaviour that is done deliberately to harm oneself. At least 10% of adolescents report having self-harmed. Self-harm can include, for example:

  • Self-cutting
  • Hitting or bruising
  • Intentionally taking too much or too little medication
  • Burning
  • Taking an overdose
  • Hanging
  • Suffocation

Although some people who self-harm may be suicidal, self-harm is often used as a way of managing difficult emotions without being a suicide attempt. However, self harming can result in accidental death.

Is your child self-harming?

As a parent, you might suspect your child is self-harming. If you are worried, watch out for these signs:

  • Unexplained cuts, burns or bruises
  • Keeping themselves covered; avoiding swimming or changing clothes around others
  • Being withdrawn or isolated from friends and family
  • Low mood, lack of interest in life or depression
  • Blaming themselves for problems or expressing feelings of failure, uselessness, hopelessness or anger

“I think for a parent . . . it is important to know that you are not alone” Healthtalk.org parent interview

Reasons for self-harm

Self-harm can serve several different functions:

  • To manage extreme emotional upset
  • To reduce tension
  • To provide the feeling of physical pain to distract from emotional pain
  • To express emotions such as hurt, anger and frustration
  • A form of escape
  • An effort to regain control over feelings or problems
  • An effort to punish themselves or others
  • To elicit care from others
  • To identify with a peer group
  • Self-harm can also be a suicide attempt

Finding out about self-harm

Some children may tell their parents about their self-harm; other parents find out from teacher, friends or medical staff.

Discovering that your child is self-harming can be very upsetting and stressful. Parents may experience a range of emotions including anger, sadness, helplessness, shame or disgust. It is normal to feel strong emotions and important to try and understand and accept them so that you don’t risk misdirecting them at your child. Try to think of their behaviour as an expression of deep emotions they can’t handle any other way.

“We worked out that if she sent me a blank text, I knew that she needed some company or a cuddle or some distraction.” HealthTalk.org Parent Interview

Supporting your child

  • Have a conversation, but don’t bring up self-harm straight away
  • You could organise it around another activity, like a walk or drive
  • Ask if anything is worrying them and how they are feeling
  • Let them know you are not judging them or putting them down, and that you love them and that will not change
  • Show that you are prepared to listen to what your child has to say
  • If your child does not want to talk, see if they will write you a note, email or text message about how they feel
  • Ask if they would rather speak to someone else (e.g. a GP, counsellor or helpline)
  • If your child is able to be open about their self-harm, try to help them work out feelings and situations that may trigger it
  • Try to think together of ways to handle strong feelings that don’t involve self-harm (e.g. keeping a diary or blog, caring for a pet, exercising or playing sport, snapping an elastic band against the wrist, clenching an ice cube in the hand until it melts or drawing on the skin with a red pen)
  • Help them think through their problems and see possible solutions
  • Encourage them to think about the long view and how things may change in the future

Here at St Julie’s we have a dedicated safeguarding team who can listen, support and provide advice to parents who are dealing with self-harm. Further help can be sought through your general practitioner (GP), who may refer your child to a community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) where an assessment would be completed and a plan made for support and treatment.

More information on self-harm can be found at www.youngminds.org.uk


Jan 11, 2016

Action for Children’s latest research has found that nearly a quarter of parents struggle to get their children to “unplug” and take part in activities away from television, phone and computer screens. Their findings can be viewed by clicking the following link:

https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/news-and-opinion/latest-news/2016/january/unplugging-from-technology/

They give 5 'Top Tips' for parents to help ensure healthier use of technology by all the family:

1. Plan fun activities for the whole family that don’t involve technology.

2. Create a balance between technology use and other activities by creating a weekly schedule on the principle of an hour of 'energy in' (technology use) equalling an hour of 'energy out' (other activities).

3. Tap into your own experience: when you were a child, what was your favourite game to play? Share these with your children.

4. Identify the challenges your children enjoy in the video games they play and replicate them. Do they like games about sport? Encourage them to play the real deal in the park or go as a family to a local match. Are their favourite games puzzles or brain-teasers? Organise a board game night.

5. Practice what you preach: when your children are having screen-free time, turn off your devices too. Don’t waste the opportunity!

A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friends house. 


Click on the link below to access free resources to help you to create a family agreement

http://www.childnet.com/blog/family-agreement

Finally, the London School of Economic has published research into what parents need to know about the latest trends in children's internet usage. The findings can be viewed by clicking the following link:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/parenting4digitalfuture/2015/12/16/what-parents-need-to-know-latest-trends-in-childrens-internet-use/

Dec 15, 2015

Quite a number of our students have recently welcomed a new baby brother or sister into the world and with this in mind, St Julie’s are giving their full support to the new ‘Safer Sleeping for Baby’ campaign that has been launched across Merseyside.

 The campaign has been launched to highlight the importance of providing a safe environment for babies when they sleep, to reduce the risk of sudden death. It is based on research and messages from a successful campaign in Lancashire 'Give Me Room to Breathe'.

 ‘Safer Sleep for Baby’ is based around six simple steps, that will help parents and carers keep their baby safe. These steps are:

1. Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth.

2.  Put baby in a cot, crib or Moses basket to sleep - never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair.

3. Never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication.

4. Put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot.

5. Keep baby’s head and face uncovered and make sure they don’t get too hot.

6. Breastfeed your baby - support is available if you need it.

Further resources and information are also available on the LSCB web site: Liverpool SCB Web Site