What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is an umbrella term for the things we do in order to ensure that all children are safe from harm.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Sharron Peel (Wellbeing Lead)

Deputy Safeguarding Leads:Amy Kitson (Headteacher) Mark Wilson (Deputy Headteacher); Hannah Hall (SENDCo); Casey Coughlan (Wellbeing Support Assistant)

Outwoods Edge recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils. We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We will be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and will follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

The information on this page explains how we meet our safeguarding and child protection responsibilities and provides some tips and links to help you to keep your child safe.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact Miss Kitson, our Head Teacher.

How do we keep children safe?

  • having an up to date child protection policy

  • having other safeguarding policies, such as anti-bullying and internet safety

  • checking the suitability of all our staff to work with children

  • encouraging pupils to tell us if something is wrong

  • adhering to health and safety regulations

  • training all our staff to recognise and respond to child welfare concerns

  • appointing a designated person who has additional training in child protection

  • working in partnership with parents and carers

  • sharing information with appropriate agencies if we have concerns

  • managing and supporting our staff team

We work in partnership with Operation Encompass which directly connects the police with schools to ensure better outcomes for children who are subject or witness to police-attended incidents of domestic abuse. Rapid provision of support within the school environment means children are better safeguarded against the short-, medium- and long-term effects of domestic abuse.

Every school setting has to have a designated person to take lead responsibility for safeguarding. Children’s social care (and, in emergencies, the police) should be notified if there are concerns about the safety or welfare of a child. It is important that all childcare professionals understand how to respond to any concerns regarding child protection, but child protection is everyone’s business.

As a parent/carer, it is important to have an awareness of child protection and knowledge of what to do if you have a concern about a child’s welfare or the actions/behaviours of a staff member. Anyone who has concerns should make a referral to the local authority children’s social care (You can find details on how to do so on your Local Authority website under ‘Local Safeguarding Children Board’). Referrals (concerns for a child’s welfare) may come from: children themselves, parents, teachers, a GP, the police, health visitors, family members and members of the public, etc.

Guidance for Parents and Carers

For information and advice related to Online Safety, we have a separate page dedicated to this important issue.

There are 4 categories of abuse identified under the term of child protection – physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. It is an essential requirement that all practitioners understand what the categories of abuse are and what the signs and symptoms are for each. Equally as parents and carers too, it is also good to have an awareness of these

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately physically hurting a child. It might take a variety of different forms, including hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Of course children fall and bump themselves as part of growing up, this is not physical abuse. It is important to talk to your child’s teacher about any known injuries your child has. It is equally important for your school or childcare provider to inform you of any accidents and injuries that your child has whilst with them. Some of the signs that a child may be being physically abused are:

  • Children with frequent injuries;

  • Children with unexplained or unusual fractures or broken bones;

  • Children with unexplained: bruises or cuts; burns or scalds; or bite marks.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. Emotional abuse can be very difficult to spot but sometimes over a period of time there are signs. This could include deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, or unloved and inadequate. Not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. There are more obvious signs of emotional abuse in the form of bullying. This includes online bullying by a child’s peers through social networks, online games or mobile phones. Some of the signs that a child may be being emotionally abused are:

  • Children who are excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong;

  • Parents, carers or adults who withdraw their attention from a child, giving the child the ‘cold shoulder’;

  • Parents or carers blaming their problems on their child;

  • Parents or carers who humiliate their child, for example, by name-calling or making negative comparisons.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. A child may not understand what is happening and may not even understand that it is not what happens to everyone. Sexual abuse can have a serious and long-term impact on mental health. Sexual abuse includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Some of the signs that a child may be being sexually abused are:

  • Children who display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age;

  • Children who use sexual language or have sexual knowledge that you wouldn’t expect them to have;

  • Children who ask others to behave sexually or play sexual games;

  • Children with physical sexual health problems, including soreness in the genital and anal areas, sexually transmitted infections or underage pregnancy.


Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, supervision or shelter. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development. Like emotional abuse neglect is not always straightforward to identify. Neglect can also be present in an unborn child through drug and substance abuse for example. Some of the signs that a child may be being neglected are:

  • Children who are living in a home that is indisputably dirty or unsafe;

  • Children who are left hungry or dirty;

  • Children who are left without adequate clothing, e.g. not having a winter coat;

  • Children who are living in dangerous conditions, i.e. around drugs, alcohol or violence;

  • Children who are often angry, aggressive or self-harm;

  • Children who fail to receive basic health care;

  • Parents who fail to seek medical treatment when their children are ill or are injured

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment – a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.

Other Types of Abuse: Domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutation, child trafficking are more examples of child abuse. If you are concerned about a child suffering any kind of abuse, please contact a member of our Safeguarding team - see below.

Reporting a concern

If you have a concern, please contact the school to speak to one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads.

If you would like to report a safeguarding concern and you are unable to contact a member of staff at school, you can complete this from which will alert a member of our safeguarding team.

Safeguarding and Child Protection policy 2022.pdf

Child Protection Policy

Our child protection policy recognises the contribution that Outwoods Edge can make to protect and support pupils in school. The aim of the policy is to safeguard and promote our pupils' welfare, safety and health by fostering and open, caring and supportive climate. The pupils' welfare is of paramount importance.