Stronger Together – utilising the power of collaboration to deliver excellence in safeguarding

Why this is leading practice

LTE, Staff and Governors are committed to promoting the safety and welfare of all pupils and ensure all pupils are protected from harm. The LTE is a dynamic, forward thinking and innovative collaboration comprising highly experienced and effective leaders who believe that all aspects of school life are underpinned by ensuring children are safe, secure and happy in everything they do.
This LAA is an opportunity to celebrate and share the excellent practice developed as a collaboration in conjunction with leading professionals from Local Authority and the DfE

Impact to date

 Discussion was held with various members of the LTE Trust community including parents, governors, DSL, headteachers and students. There was a clear message in all discussions that the ethos and culture of the trust as a whole, and of each individual school, is underpinned by a belief that safeguarding is key to success (personally and academically).
Pupils were able to discuss what safeguarding means and give detailed examples of how to keep themselves physically and emotionally safe, where and how to access support and how to support others. Each school in the Trust is involved in the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award which supplements other work completed in schools about safety and wellbeing. Pupils were able to discuss how there is a safeguarding “tip of the week” in their newsletter and how this, in combination with displays prominently around school, the work on the Rights Respecting Schools Award and the use of school CCTV, helped to keep them safe.
Practice is effective as it is fine-tuned on a constant basis, through discussion and professional challenge, and it is shared across all stakeholders in each school. This includes in one school how lunchtime supervisors have been trained in all aspects of safeguarding and are proactive in asking for further training. Other schools have observed and shadowed this practice and supervisors have received an ASPIRE lunchtime accreditation award for this. Practice can be reactive to arising situations but also can be forward thinking, anticipating need through an analysis of data and inclusion of safeguarding and mental health in the SIP.
Members of LTE have worked with Birmingham City Council Safeguarding Advisers in implementing a peer safeguarding review model which they have used to support other schools in the Trust but also have undertaken reviews at other schools in Birmingham. Other good practice identified within LTE schools has been showcased at local area safeguarding conferences to schools across the city.
Impact of the LTE Trust model is that school leaders can work together at a strategic level as well as supporting each other on a very practical level to advise how to respond to particular situations. This was described as effective and supportive as colleagues know they will not be judged and so can be honest and hold each other to account for actions. One governor described the positive impact of the Trust as being the power that a mix of personalities brings, some are visionaries and strategic, others are realistic and practical, with all having a shared commitment to safeguarding. It was agreed that all that wouldn’t be possible financially or practically by just one school working alone. Safeguarding is also mapped by the DSL across the curriculum effectively. Policies are effective and show an awareness of pupils’ need to safeguard themselves outside of the school environment, for example in a policy discussion of not over-using filters on computers in school, rather to empower and teach children to know how to access support if they encounter something online which troubles them.
Parental engagement has been successful in strategies such as parent workshops and training on E-Safety issues which had a good uptake. Parents reported that this impacted on discussions at home between parents and children and that their own knowledge had increased, also they reported noticing an increased sense of caring and wellbeing when observing children role-playing “school” when at home.

Rationale / Start Point

Safeguarding is of paramount importance to schools and runs across all aspects of school life. The LAA arose as a result of the complex, sensitive and ever changing requirements of safeguarding practice in schools. All schools were working to address common challenges and issues and decided to come together to develop a coherent and comprehensive approach to ensure schools are addressing all current safeguarding requirements and demonstrating excellent practice in this area.
The collaboration established a partnership with the local authority and the DfE which contributed to the work reflected in this LAA which evidences the work undertaken since 2015.

Key Strategies

 There is an informal supervision of colleagues at all levels (LST, DSL, Governors) which is recognised as a strength that, in a non-judgmental environment, colleagues can question and challenge each other in order to improve practice. The fact that Chairs of Governors meet regularly to discuss their role and support each other is innovative as this role can sometimes otherwise be undertaken in isolation.
Staff from across LTE who have the same role meet regularly to discuss issues arising and best-practice - safeguarding is a standing agenda item in all meetings. Staff training (including comprehensive governor training) was evidenced to be wide-focused, incorporating safeguarding and emotional health and well-being topics. Use of the Trust model means that a small number of staff may attend external training but this can then be disseminated amongst a much wider group of staff ensuring good value for money. One school described how staff receive safeguarding training and complete a six-monthly quiz on safeguarding and how sometimes the quiz occurs before the training to show gaps in knowledge and the training is there a reaction to that, rather than a general overview.
Core values which reflect safeguarding topics are shared across Trust schools and good practice is shared. Each school can adapt the good practice and policies of each other allowing individual responses which share common values. Collaboration around safeguarding, sharing new information and practice and the ability to professionally support and contribute to peer challenge is a strength in the Trust model presented.
Pupils are involved in days where they look at the school and LTE values which underpin the safeguarding approaches used in the schools. This empowers children to be proactive and strengthens student voice in the schools, which is already evidenced through effective use of various school councils and the work undertaken via the Rights Respecting Schools Award.
Certain pupils are trained to be Peer Mediators to support and help others whilst also recognising when to escalate an issue and pass on to adults in schools. The effect was described as children feeling safe, reaching out to their peer groups to support each other. This message is shared across LTE.
Pupils’ knowledge of how to keep safe was wide-ranging, but they had learnt in a way that was not threatening to them – they could explain how to react to a “lock-down” alarm with practical strategies and reasoning. Parents interviewed were supportive of these strategies and felt senior staff were available daily (on the school gate) to discuss any concerns of a safeguarding nature.
Schools use a Parental Code of Conduct which parents sign and then parents can be held to account if staff witness any situation which does not adhere to the code. This is regularly raised in the newsletter and letters are sent to parents who do not adhere to the code. This ensures that there is a shared understanding of appropriate modelling of behaviour and language amongst the whole school community. Parents also commented on how they receive feedback after attendance letters have been sent home, so they can understand why children missing education can be of concern.

Sustainability and Further Development

 The model is sustainable as it was described as “persistence – not just an initiative to be ticked off a list”, rather as a culture and ethos change across all stakeholders.
In terms of further development, whilst safeguarding has been a feature of the SIP and as a LTE focus for some time, recently a focus has been set on well-being and in particular staff well-being as there is an understanding that staff need to be looked after, in order to look after children to their best ability. There is a Trust lead on mental health and emotional well-being who has received external training and will be disseminating this to colleagues. More practical solutions include offering “flu jabs” to all staff. Across LTE this is a focus and schools are following the Mental Health First Aid approach.

Lead Establishment

Name
Hollyfield Primary School
Address
Hollyfield Primary School
Hollyfield Road
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B75 7SG
United Kingdom
Telephone
0121 378 0672
Email
enquiry@hollyfield.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Catherine Lewis
Local Authority
Birmingham
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation

Additional Establishments

Name
Coppice Primary School
Address
Trinity Road
Four Oaks
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B75 6TJ
United Kingdom
Telephone
01214647022
Email
enquiry@coppice.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Richard Green
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation
Name
Four Oaks Primary
Address
Four Oaks Primary
Edge Hill Road
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B74 4PA
United Kingdom
Telephone
01216752685
Email
enquiry@fouroaksprimary.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Mr Benton
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation
Name
Langley Special School
Address
Langley Special School
Trinity Road
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B75 6TJ
United Kingdom
Telephone
01216752929
Email
enquiries@langley.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Jeanette Ashwin
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Special
Name
Little Sutton Primary
Address
Little Sutton Primary
Worcester Lane
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B75 5NL
United Kingdom
Telephone
01216752929
Email
enquiries@littlesu.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Rachel Davis
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation
Name
Moor Hall Primary
Address
Moor Hall Primary
Rowallan Drive
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B75 6RE
United Kingdom
Telephone
01216753966
Email
enquiries@moorhall.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Andrew Steggall
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation
Name
Whitehouse Common Primary
Address
Whitehouse Common Primary
Cotysmore Drive
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham
B75 6BL
United Kingdom
Telephone
01214641918
Email
enquiries@whitehousecommon.bham.sch.uk
Headteacher / Manager
Debbie Allen
Phase of Education
Primary
Type and Status of Provider
Foundation

Published: 28 January 2019
Expires: 28 January 2022

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