Safeguarding at Hexham First School

What is Safeguarding?

At Hexham First School we consider the safeguarding of children to be our most important priority. Children need to feel safe, cared for and valued in order to learn and thrive. In our school we follow the guidance set out in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ which states that schools must ensure they:

  • Protect children from maltreatment

  • Prevent the impairment of children’s health or development

  • Ensure children grow up in safe and effective care

  • Take action to ensure children achieve the best outcomes

Who is Responsible for Safeguarding?

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. Staff are made aware that any safeguarding issues need to be reported through the correct routes to the designated safeguarding leads. When staff are recruited we follow the procedures set out in our ‘School Safer Recruitment Policy’. Also on-going safeguarding measures are in place for staff currently employed i.e. through training and DBS re-checks.

The following staff have received required Child Protection Training for Safeguarding Leads in School:

  • Mrs Justine Overton SAFEGUARDING LEAD


 Our named governor for safeguarding is  Mrs Fiona Armstrong

In addition, all staff have completed an annual certificate in safeguarding via the National College. refresher Level 1 Safeguarding Training annually. All staff who are new toHexham First School receive safeguarding training as part of their induction package in order to ensure they can recognise signs and symptoms of abuse and report using our agreed procedures.

Where national issues come to the fore, whole school staff training is put in place, for example around the sexual violonce and harrassment agenda, PREVENT agenda, online safety.

Staff attend pertinent training throughout the year, for example – domestic violence, child bereavement, drug and alcohol abuse, adverse childhood experiences

Safeguarding updates are shared regular with our parents through Class Dojo, The Friday Flyer and specific safeguarding newsletters. All visitors to Hexham First are provided with our safeguarding leaflet.


What are the Areas of Safeguarding?


  • Child protection – ensuring that staff respond appropriately to any significant change in a child’s behaviour, report to the Designated Lead any unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse, any unexplained behaviour changes, any deterioration in a child’s well being, are trained to know signs of neglect and respond appropriately to comments children make that cause concern. Please remember that when the school refers a concern about a child to the Social Services Department, it is not accusing the parents of abuse but requesting that further investigation takes place to establish whether a child is at risk.

    Our Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually and is available below.

  • Training – ensuring that staff have access to quality training in aspects of safeguarding so they can recognise signs and symptoms of abuse and record/respond using the correct procedures

  • Reporting systems - robust systems are in place to report safeguarding concerns - CPOMs and SENSO

  • Buildings and grounds – ensuring we offer a safe learning environment for children to thrive, completing risk assessments and regular checks of the building and grounds. Acting promptly on any concerns.

  • Outside learning – completing risk assessments prior to trips and visits for the establishment along with safe transport. We have two members of staff who have completed the Evolve Risk Assessment training.

  • Recruitment

    We carefully check that all staff and volunteers are safe to work with our children. A number of checks are made including DBS checks, references, ID and employment history.  We keep a Single Central Record of all this information and this is regularly monitored.

  • Visitors – checking DBS forms and qualifications and logging them on our Single Central Register where they become more permanent visitors. All visitors are given our safeguarding information leaflet. Visitors and volunteers are rigorously checked in much the same way as staff, before they can have access to our children.  All adults in school wear an ID badge. Visitors and Volunteers are carefully screened to ensure that we are satisfied that they are suitable to work with our pupils.

  • Behaviour– promoting positive behaviours towards each other to create a safe, caring environment through the Hexham Way and school rules.  Risk assessing those children with significant needs

  • Parents/carers/families – offering a welcoming school and develop home/school links. Having safe procedures in place for parents entering the building for events and meetings

  • Curriculum – ensuring that our curriculum offers a wide range of opportunities for children to learn about safety and they have chances to talk and ask questions


Our Designated Safeguarding Leads receive termly training to ensure that their knowledge of local and national safeguarding issues remains current.




We offer a secure and encouraging environment where children feel safe and their spiritual, moral and cultural development is enhanced through the delivery of our whole school curriculum,  including our Religious Education and PSHE curriculum, core values, work with external agencies, charities and the local community.  Our school ethos ensures that pupils feel comfortable approaching staff if they have any concerns.  Staff always follow up any concerns expressed by a child.



How does our Curriculum Support Safeguarding of Pupils?

To support pupils with confidence and knowledge of safeguarding issues we ensure our personal, social, health education (PSHE) programme allows lots of opportunities to develop their understanding.

For example:

  • We cover whole school national and global themes across the whole year such as Anti-Bullying week, Safer Internet Day

  • We learn about our values and keeping safe in lessons and assemblies to help children develop their sense of worth and confidence

We have chosen to implement the Kapow scheme of work as part of our PSHE curriculum. It fulfils the statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education set out by the Department for Education. It also fulfils the National Curriculum requirement to teach PSHE (‘All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education ) and goes beyond the statutory requirements by referring to the PSHE Association Programme of Study (recommended by the Department for Education.) Our RSE & PSHE scheme of work is taught in conjunction with our Computing scheme, it also covers the government’s Education for a Connected World -2020 edition framework and Project evolve. Our PSHE curriculum focuses on 6 themes which run through each year group across each half term. These include:Family and relationships, Safety and the changing body, Health and wellbeing, Citizenship and  Economic well being.  Through these themes,  classes experiences sessions on  sex and Relationship Education, drug, alcohol and tobacco education, keeping safe and managing risk both online and in person, mental health and emotional wellbeing, physical health and wellbeing, identity, society and equality  as well as careers, financial capability and economic wellbeing.

Links with External Agencies

In order to provide the best possible safeguarding for all pupils in our school we work with outside agencies to ensure we get expert advice and support. We follow procedures set out by the Northumberland Safeguarding Board as well as ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ in accordance with child protection procedures.

Below are some of the links we have with external agencies:

  • School Nurse Service

  • Early Help Panel

  • Education Social Work Team

  • Educational Psychology Team

  • CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service)

  • Primary Mental Health Team

  • Behaviour Support Service

  • Social Services

  • Family support workers

  • Health practitioners

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Team

  • HINT High Incident Needs Team

  • Police

  • Probation Service

Safeguarding Curriculum


Pupil safeguarding and the promotion of fundamental British values as well as our school values known as the HExham Way underpin all aspects of school life and our curriculum at Hexham First SChool. Great importance is placed on identifying opportunities in the taught curriculum for children to learn about safeguarding. Our broad curriculum gives pupils opportunities to experience life in all its diversity, to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that significantly impact on personal development, behaviour and welfare and equips every child with the knowledge and skills required for personal safeguarding. Our PSHE curriculum covers all areas of Safeguarding through each of the strands to a different degree, however some go into more detail. We are sensitive in our teaching and recognise that some more sensitive subjects need to be taught at an age appropriate level, or at a small group or 1:1 level where a more urgent need arises.

We plan to constantly challenge children to think deeply about safeguarding matters and their own personal physical and mental wellbeing. We value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns. We give them opportunities across the curriculum to explore values, personal rights, responsibilities and equal opportunities that develop moral concepts that impact positively on safeguarding, promote British values and prevent radicalisation and extremism.

There are many opportunities throughout our Learning in school to explore safeguarding issues.

Practical safeguarding opportunities are planned into the curriculum. For example: 

  • Road  safety (including out of school visits, bikeability, work with police officers in the community, work with Northumberland Highways department)

  • Poolside and water safety through swimming lessons 

  • Mini First Aid training for all children in Yr 1,2, 3 and 4

  • Through Science curriculum - healthy balanced diet, teeth, 

  • Fire awareness (including visits from the local fire service) Bonfire night – safety – fire work safety

  •  Halloween (being safe).

  • Staying safe in school – stranger danger ( visitor lanyard colours), not opening doors, telling an adult if you see something strange

  • Visits to school from medical staff

  • Visitors from charities such as, NSPCC

  • Partnership work around safe transition to Secondary school

  • Through stories about safety and wellbeingSun Safe – using sun screen/ sun hats

  • Water safe – visit to the seaside keeping safe on the beach ( year 1)

  • Tolerance and understanding – taught through RE curriculum

  • Mental health awareness day = Place 2Be

  • The e safety computing curriculum, Safe use of technology including password security and privacy settings 

  • What to do if you are separated from your group (in relation to school visits) 

  • The promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity, for pupils and staff, helps prevent any form of direct or indirect discriminatory behaviour. Our children learn to not tolerate any prejudiced behaviour and know they will be listened to. Our behaviour policy promotes making good choices and exhibiting good learning behaviours.

  • Assembly times are used to promote personal safeguarding matters and explore themes. For example, we talk about anti- bullying including cyber bullying and British values including how these values are promoted in our multi – faith society.

  • Staff and children are quick to challenge stereotypes and the use of derogatory language in lessons and around school. 

  • Throughout the curriculum there are planned opportunities to promote all forms of equality and foster greater understanding of and respect for people off all faiths (and those with no faith), races, genders, ages, disability and sexual orientations, through their words, actions and in their influence. Opportunities are created in a variety of subjects to address areas of safeguarding, for example, themes are highlighted through novels in English lessons.

  • Time is taken at the beginning of every new school year to reaffirm school values - The Hexham Way ‘ expectations and rules for living and learning at Hexham First Primary. This good start to the year, with everyone clear about their roles and responsibilities, sets the tone for the rest of the year and leads to excellent safeguarding outcomes.



We have a policy that ‘it could happen here’ and no concern is too small to report to a DSL.  If anyone has concern that a child is being harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, they have a duty to share concerns.



If you live in Northumberland, these are the numbers that you can ring for advice and to make a referral:

  • During office hours (8.30am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 4.30pm on Friday) call Children’s Social Services Initial Contact Point on 01670 536400
  • At all other times, Social Services Emergency Duty Team on 0345 6005252
  • If you have reason to believe that a child is at IMMEDIATE RISK OF HARM, contact the police on 999
  • For all general enquirers, please contact Children’s Specialist Services on 01670 53640
  • To report a concern about an adult’s behaviour towards a child, please contact the Local Authority designated officer, / 


Operation Encompass is an innovative project in which schools in Northumberland are participating, and which is run in partnership with Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police. Many other Local Authorities both nationally and locally have successfully implemented Operation Encompass.  

Operation Encompass aims to support children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse.  Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing for a child or young person, who often see the abuse, hear it from another room, see a parent’s injuries or distress afterwards or can be physically hurt by trying to stop the abuse.  

As a result, following any domestic abuse incident being reported to the police, the Police will make contact with Children’s Social Care who will then communicate relevant and necessary information to nominated school staff.  This will ensure that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and can subsequently provide support to children in a way that means they feel safe and listened to.

I believe that this project demonstrates our school’s commitment to working in partnership to safeguard and protect children, and to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.  

In the meantime, if you would like to speak to someone further about the project or require further information please contact our key adults in school who are Justine Overton and Bernadette Noon.

You can also find out more information here




Operation Endeavour which commenced in November 2018, aims to support children and young people who go missing from home.  Children who go missing from home are at risk of significant harm and they may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violent crime, gang exploitation, or to drug and alcohol misuse.

As a result, following any report of a child going missing to the Police, the Police will make contact with Children’s Social Care who will then communicate relevant and necessary information to nominated school staff.  

Each school has members of staff (key adults) who have been fully trained in liaising with the Police and Children’s Social Care when required, and will ensure that the necessary support is made available to the child or young person following their return.  

I believe that this project demonstrates our school’s commitment to working in partnership to safeguard and protect children, and to providing the best possible care and support for our pupils.  


Northumbria Police

Northumbria Police's goal is to help keep young people safe and prevent them from becoming victims of crime by delivering tailored, interactive learning sessions whilst also building a positive relationship with police.   Their webpage contains more about the Prevention Through Education team and how we can work with you.  We are able to visit schools, so please get in touch to find out how we can support you