Ryecroft Academy gives the highest importance to the safeguarding and welfare of our children. The governors, Principal and staff will carry out their responsibilities efficiently, effectively and diligently to ensure that the academy is a safe learning environment for our children.

We recognise that, at times, our children may be vulnerable and we will always adopt a sensitive approach to support our pupils and families.

Everyone in our academy is aware of their responsibility to keep our children safe. All staff attend regular child protection training, in addition to this, staff and volunteers also access a safeguarding and child protection briefing and regular updates. Everyone working with our children has a responsibility to help keep our children safe by providing an environment that will allow our pupils to be happy, cared for and to develop a love of learning.

For all safeguarding issues or concerns, please speak to the Designated Leaders for Safeguarding and Child Protection; Mrs Helen Townsley, Mrs Jayne Forrow, Mrs Michelle Cattley and Mrs Suzanne Hodgkin.

The Underwear Rule

is for...

P is for...

P rivates are private.

is for...

A is for...

A lways remember your body belongs to you.

is for...

N is for...

N o means no.

is for...

T is for...

T alk about secrets that upset you.

is for...

S is for...

S peak up, someone can help.

Simple conversations really can help keep your child safe, and that’s what we will help you do. We want to help parents and carers talk to their children about staying safe. The Underwear Rule is just one way that – together – we can prevent child abuse.

We teach our pupils the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule using the ‘PANTS’ acrostic. PANTS stands for:

  • rivates are private
  • lways remember your body belongs to you
  • o means no
  • alk about secrets that upset you
  • peak up, someone can help

How well do you know the rule?

Test your memory by hovering over the cards below to flip them and reveal the meaning.

Online Safety

The internet – on the whole an inspiring and positive place

The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices.

However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge.

You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.

Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities. These have been grouped into 4 potential risk categories.

Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers. Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.

Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.

It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access. If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk). If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline. Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.

Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications. Encourage your children to keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, turn off inapp purchasing on devices where possible, and use a family email address when filling in online forms.

Safeguarding our children against possible risk is of upmost priority to Ryecroft Academy. Online safety is taken extremely seriously and is embedded into our curriculum. As a parent you can also ensure your child’s safety whilst online. Opposite are a number of links which offer support and guidance.

Games Console Safety

As a parent, it’s not always easy to keep an eye on your children’s time spent with entertainment devices. These guides have been created to help you do just that. Click the buttons below that is relevant to the device(s) your child is using:

Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.

Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.

The Department for Education has published advice for schools on the Prevent duty. The Prevent duty requires all schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism in the exercise of their functions.

We are already responsible for keeping children safe, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and for promoting the welfare of children in our care. The Prevent duty reinforces these existing duties by spreading understanding of the risks and current good practice across the country.

Ryecroft Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. Every member of staff recognises that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in to-day’s society.

If you are concerned about a child being at risk of extremism please speak to a member of the Safeguarding Team: Michelle Cattley, Suzanne Hodgkin, Helen Townsley and Jayne Forrow.

Helpline contact information
Preventing extremism in schools and children’s services helpline
Email counter.extremism@education.gov.uk
Telephone 020 7340 7264
Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm (excluding bank holidays).

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.

Children and young people witnessing domestic abuse

Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing and scary for a child, and causes serious harm. Children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children can experience domestic abuse or violence in lots of different ways. They might:

  • see the abuse
  • hear the abuse from another room
  • see a parent’s injuries or distress afterwards
  • be hurt by being nearby or trying to stop the abuse

How domestic abuse affects children

Living in a home where there is domestic abuse is harmful. It can have a serious impact on a child’s behaviour and wellbeing. Parents or carers may underestimate the effects of the abuse on their children because they don’t see what is happening. Children witnessing domestic abuse is recognised as significant harm in law and the effects of this can last into adulthood.

Hygiene Poverty

Many people in the UK struggle to afford life’s essential products, countless households are going without personal hygiene and cleaning products in order to ensure there is food on the table.

Hygiene poverty can have a detrimental effect on a child’s learning and enjoyment. The following extract has been taken from child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson;

“Children’s self-esteem is greatly affected by the reaction of those around them – and if they are stigmatised, ridiculed or rejected by their peers because of poor basic hygiene, their sense of self-worth will quickly nose-dive. No child wants to be taunted because they are dirty, or because their clothes are filthy. They’ll start to lose interest in their education, their friendships will suffer, and they’ll be reluctant to attend school.”

“That’s why hygiene poverty has such a devastatingly negative effect on a child’s psychological development, not just on their health but also on their confidence, self-esteem, social relationships and class work.”

“It is clear that hygiene poverty is hitting families hard and is having a huge impact on children’s wellbeing at school. No child’s education and future life chances should be compromised because of the stigma they face, simply because their families can’t afford the hygiene products to keep themselves clean.”

Please speak to Mrs Cattley or Mrs Hodgkin if you are concerned about your own children’s education due to hygiene poverty. In special circumstances school may be able to help with uniform and food in order to take pressure off the family budget.