Safeguarding at Waterside Primary School

At Waterside Primary School, Safeguarding is the golden thread of our school practice. We advocate high expectations and at Waterside our practice is exemplary. We have supported a number of school across the country in Safeguarding and work positively with families to ensure the best outcomes for all, especially the children. 

At Waterside Primary school, it is everyone’s responsibility to keep children safe and create a culture of vigilance. The Safeguarding Team below make sure that everyone has someone to go to if they see or hear anything that concerns them.

Safeguarding Inside of School

Should you wish to speak to anyone about Safeguarding at Waterside, you can email any concerns to, send a message through the link below, call us on 01782 234 630 or come and drop into school - our door is always open.


Safeguarding Out of School

If you are concerned for the safety of a child or young person or see something in the community please report it to the Stoke on Trent Safeguarding Team on 01782 235100 - anyone can make a referral.

You can also phone 101 to report any concerns. 

Remember we all have a care of duty.


What is Safeguarding?


At Waterside Primary school we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our children.

We have high expectations in respect of safeguarding and expect all staff, volunteers and visitors to share this in this commitment. 

All staff have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils at all times. 


Safeguarding means  


Protecting children from any abuse or maltreatment 

Preventing any harm to children's physical health, mental health or development

Ensuring children grow up with their basic needs being met with the provision of safe care.

Taking action to ensure that all children are safe, protected and have the best life chances. 

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance applies to all children up to the age of 18 years old. 


Some common themes in Safeguarding include - 

- Neglect 

- Emotional Abuse 

- Physical Abuse 

- CME (children missing in education)

- CSE (child sexual exploitation) 

- Bullying/ Child on Child abuse (including cyber bulling) 

- Domestic Abuse 

- FGM (female genital mutilation)

- Forced Marriage 

- Gangs and Youth Violence 

- Mental Health and Wellbeing 

- Preventing Radicalisation 

- Sexting 

- Trafficking 



The school aims to protect the children in its care by working consistently and appropriately with all relevant agencies to reduce risk and promote the welfare of the children.  


As part of our safeguarding, we follow child protection which is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. As a school, we do not only recognise and identify children who are at risk but take action in the aim to prevent this.


At Waterside we have other elements to safeguarding by ensuring certain processes are met - 


  • Safer Recruitment -  ensuring that all members of staff at Waterside are suitably qualified and safe to work at the school. 
  • Online Safety - ensuring that children and parents know how to keep children safe online.
  • Risk Assessment - ensuring adequate risk assessments are in place for school trips and activities to minimise risk and keep the children safe. 
  • Curriculum - ensuring that we have a broad and balanced curriculum with activities that are fun and engaging, but safe;
  • Referrals and information sharing  - working with other agencies to share information and to make necessary agency referrals 
  • Attendance - ensuring that children have good education, all absences from school are accounted for and ensuring no children are missing from education.

What is Early Help?


Early Help means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge, or when there is a strong likelihood that problems will develop in the future. 


Early Help:

  • is for children of all ages and not just the very young;
  • can be very effective in supporting a child, young person and/or their family to step down from statutory services as well as preventing the escalation of issues; and
  • is important because there is clear evidence that it results in better outcomes for children.



Why would I want Early Help intervention?   


At Waterside Primary School we understand that family life can, at times, be difficult and complicated and we recognise that there may be situations where you need extra help and support.

Sometimes families need support from a wide range of agencies or people, for example, health services, housing services, family support workers, social workers and local police.  As a school, we may be able to signpost a range of services to support families beyond the educational setting.   

It could be that you are worried about your child’s health, development or behaviour. It may be linked to money or housing. It could also be linked to domestic abuse, drugs, alcohol, or crime. 


The following list provides examples of areas where, without intervention a family may break down or a child may be put at risk of neglect, emotional, physical or sexual harm: 


  • Parenting skills - establishing routines and boundaries/discipline/toileting/feeding/education/health
  • Poor diet – obesity, malnourished
  • Financial difficulties - low family income or poverty
  • Loss of job/employment
  • Homelessness/living in refuge/temporary accommodation/overcrowding
  • Frequent house or school moves
  • Addiction - substance/alcohol abuse
  • Arrival of a new baby/new (step) brother or sister
  • Parents separated/divorced/left
  • Domestic Violence
  • Serious illness in the family 
  • Family member arrested
  • Witness to a crime or accident
  • Death in the family
  • Bereavement
  • Being a young carer
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Child mental health
  • Adult mental health
  • Disability of a child
  • Disability of an adult/family member
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Poor attendance and punctuality
  • Poor behaviour and risk of exclusion
  • Child unaware of how to keep themselves safe online
  • Child unaware of danger and how to keep themselves safe
  • Child demonstrates sexualised behaviours
  • Extremist views
  • Involved in anti-social or criminal activity
  • Is associated with gangs
  • At risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation


Where can I get Early Help intervention?


If you feel you and your family might need support to solve some problems, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the safeguarding team


Mrs Willis  (Deputy Headteacher ) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Twigg  (Child Protection and Welfare officer) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Miss Roberst (HLTA and Safeguarding Support) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead


A member of the safeguarding team will meet informally with you in the first instance and this can be followed by an Early Help Assessment. Early Help Assessment undertaken by the school is only available during term time.


What is an Early Help Assessment?


Children and families will be supported through the Early Help Assessment process by the school.   

What happens following an Early Help Assessment will be different for every family.  The level of need is assessed on an individual basis and different levels of services can be accessed as a result.  This may include support from a range of professionals from within and beyond the school.     

Early Help meetings may be held in school to identify what is working well, what needs to change and to agree actions to help and support families. This ensures that we work together and meet regularly with professionals to get the best outcome for the family.    

The Early Help Assessment is a voluntary process. You choose whether to be involved and can withdraw from the process at any time. 


What Early Help support could be made available to my family? 


Support for families includes: 

  • Providing information and signposting to other services in your local area 
  • Liaising with external services e.g. Housing and Children Social Care
  • Attendance and support at school
  • Support during appointments and in meetings
  • Help to complete paperwork and forms e.g. housing, school letters, grant applications and benefits
  • Advice and support to promote good attendance
  • Referrals to outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapists
  • Guidance with access to training and parent workshops in school
  • Emotional support for parents
  • Lead on Early Help Assessments and meetings 
  • Give parents access to training events

Online Safety

Please be vigilant on the websites and apps your children are speaking on and check their settings to ensure they are not at risk speaking to inappropriate adults or peers. If you feel there is a situation that is not appropriate call the police immediately and photograph any evidence of such behaviours. 
If you identify any online any websites or individuals through social media prompting terrorism and extremism  please log these with the police and the government portal.



Online life and offline life is just life

For many of us, we see our online lives and offline lives as different, but children are growing up with technology and the internet and for them there isn’t a difference; online life and offline life is just life.

Technology can move at an extraordinarily fast pace and it can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online, who they might be speaking to or discussing the potential risks and issues.


Starting the conversation

Talking regularly with your child is the greatest tool to help keep them safe online. Talking regularly and making it part of daily conversation, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed. It also means when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you.

But it can also be easy to become overwhelmed with the different technology, the language that children use, the huge number of games and apps which are available and the potential risks.


Age-appropriate conversations


A big factor to consider when we’re talking to children is age or cognitive ability, which also impacts on the language we use and what we can talk about. As children get older, their needs and behaviour will change, particularly as children are moving through their teenage years and are more prone to risk-taking, mood swings or whether they will even talk to you about something that they may be embarrassed or ashamed about.

For example if you suspect grooming or exploitation, you may not wish to talk about this directly with a younger child, but instead report directly to CEOP. But you can also use resources such as PANTS to help with the conversation.

With an older teenager you may be more comfortable talking about these issues. There are some tips in our Positive Parenting guide and our page on talking about difficult topics which you may find useful.



What are the risks for children online?


There are potential risks for children online. Consider these things when you talk with your child about what they're doing online:


What they might see

When they’re playing a game, using an app, watching YouTube channels, what sort of content is there? Have they seen any inappropriate content and if so, what did they do? How did it make them feel?



Who they might speak to

Most games and social media apps have various communications features, from text chat to voice chat, messaging and private messaging, video and image sharing, livestreaming and more. Ask about the friends they play with. What is the difference between online and offline friends? Do they talk to people they don’t know online? If so, why and what are they sharing?

There can be lots of different reasons why children talk to people they don’t know online, such as same interests, talking gaming tactics and even for support and advice.


How they behave

When they play those games or use those apps, what is their behaviour? Do they feel anxious? Do they sometimes get angry, e.g. playing fast-paced games and constantly losing?



Tackling difficult conversations


Some conversations are going to be more difficult than others, but it's so important to have these open and honest conversations, so you can help your child with any worries or issues they might be facing online.

For example, if you’re worried they have been viewing online pornography, if they have been sharing nudes, if they have seen upsetting, inappropriate or explicit content, or perhaps being bullied. These more difficult conversations will heighten feelings of fear, anxiety, worry, shame and embarrassment.



  • As with any conversation, it is important that we try to stay calm, balanced and non-judgemental.
  • If it's something that has made you angry, fearful or concerned, don’t tackle it straight away if possible. Those feelings will affect the way we talk. Take a little time and, if possible, talk to someone else about it. Your child’s school can be a great source of information, particularly the class teacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead and you can always contact us for advice.
  • Don’t be too forceful otherwise there is the risk that they will close down.
  • Consider a subtle approach instead of a head-on approach. For example, you could ask if the subject is discussed at school and what they learn about it, or it could be something that has been on the TV or you heard about it on the radio.
  • Keep listening, try not to interrupt even if there is a period of silence. They may be thinking how they word something.
  • Provide context. Allow them to understand why some things are wrong, age inappropriate or even illegal. In order to critically think and assess, they need information.
  • Remind them of your family values; some parents may think that something is okay for their children, but explain why you don’t think it is appropriate for your children.
  • Children often talk of being punished. For example, if they open up to you and say that they have seen explicit content by accident, they are fearful of their devices being removed from them. This is seen as a punishment and consequence for something that was out of their control. This is a judgement call that needs to be carefully handled.

How could my child feel talking about online safety?


For children, online life is life. It can help to think about how your child could feel sharing what they’re doing online before you talk to them. There could be a range of different emotions, such as:


Discomfort or embarrassment about something they have said online.

Shame or fear if they're worried about something they have seen or done.

Annoyance or confusion if they don’t understand something.

Happiness because they have received validation for what they’ve posted – such as likes or follows.


Tips for if you have concerns


  • Try to remain calm and balanced. It can be very easy to show shock, even anger about something you may have heard.
  • Be positive but also open about anything you’re worried about. You could say “I think this site’s really good,” or “I’m a little worried about things I’ve heard about this app.”
  • Ask if they’re worried about anything and let them know they can come to you or another adult they trust.
  • Listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or sites you don’t think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
  • Ask your child what they think’s okay for children of different ages, so they feel involved in the decision making.

Next steps to take


Having a conversation with your child can give you a good insight into their online activities so that you can consider:


  • Are further options, such as parental controls, are required?
  • Are the games and apps they’re using appropriate to their age? Have a conversation and agree some rules with your child about what games and apps they’re allowed to use. While there are risks with most online platforms, we'd recommend only letting your child use apps that have privacy settings and a 'report and block' feature.
  • Do they know about the safety and privacy features of the apps they're using? Such as:
      • Privacy settings. Are their accounts public or private?
      • Do they know how to block and report? Are those features available?
      • Can you turn features off, such as chat and in-app purchases?
      • Do they know what personal and private information is, and what is and is not appropriate to share online?
      • What are their profiles on their games and apps? What does the profile say about them? What does the image or avatar say about them?


Being a good digital role model


Children get lots of messages about online safety in school and at home, but this can be confusing for them if the adults around them appear to not be following the advice they’re giving. Your children look to you for guidance, so it’s not just about what advice you give to them, but also what you do yourself. Avoid the example, ‘do as I say, not as I do’.


Do you keep passwords safe?

Make sure you aren't sharing passwords or writing them down where others can find them. Talk with your child to remind them that passwords are private and shouldn't be shared.


Do you turn notifications off sometimes?

It can be good for all of us to have a break, so set an example and use device settings to turn off notifications sometimes.


Do you talk about things you read online?

There has been a huge rise in fake and false information shared online, talk to them about what you have seen (if it’s appropriate to do so) and why you have questioned it. This helps them to develop critical thinking skills.


Do you think about what you’re sharing?

We tell children to be careful about the pictures they share online, such as in their school uniforms, but at the start of every school year, many parents do this. It can be confusing for your child, but also an opportunity to discuss how you are doing this safely, e.g. privacy settings.

Modelling good behaviour includes asking their permission first and not over-sharing. You could show them the image you want to share, assure them you are only sharing with family and that you have privacy settings in place. If they say they don’t want that image shared we should respect their feelings on the matter.



Deciding what’s appropriate for children to see online


The online world gives us access to a huge amount of information and services, but the scale of information available also means that there is content that is inappropriate for children. What is or isn’t appropriate is up to individual parents and carers to decide, and could be based on things like age, ability, beliefs and family values.


What are parental controls?


Parental controls allow you to block and filter upsetting or inappropriate content. They work across your WiFi, phone network, individual apps and devices.

Parental controls can help you to:

  • plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
  • create content filters to block apps that may have inappropriate content
  • manage the content different family members can see.




Setting up parental controls on:


Home broadband and WiFi

Home internet providers can offer parental controls for your family. You can:

  • use a filter from your internet provider to control the content that you and your family see.  Some providers allow different settings for each user
  • set up any device connected to your home broadband. How you do this depends on your provider and you'll need to access your home router. You can ask your internet provider for help setting this up.  Remember that this only affects your child accessing the internet through the WiFi – if they are using 4G or 5G etc to connect you need to check the settings on their mobile device too (see below).


Games consoles

Most games consoles have internet access, which means your child can go online and chat with other players or make in-game purchases. On many consoles there are parental controls which allow you to manage which features are available to your child. On some devices you can:

  • turn off chat functions to stop your child from talking to people they don't know
  • restrict games based on age
  • turn off in-game purchases, or set a limit.

Check the website for the console your child has for a parents section and details of features.  Some games also allow you to change settings for that individual game.


PlayStation Family Management

On PlayStation consoles you can set up a Family Manager account which allows you to manage different accounts for different children/users. Within this you can manage a range of features, such as restricting communication with other players, restricting content, setting play time controls and set spending limits. See all the features available for PS4 and for PS5.


Mobiles, tablets and computers

All mobiles, tablets and computers have parental control settings, which can differ between devices, these include:

  • allowing or disallowing in-game or in-app purchases
  • settings such as location settings and what information your child is sharing
  • wellbeing settings to help with limiting screen time.

You can get more advice about setting up controls on different devices from your mobile provider and the UK Safer Internet Centre.


On Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV etc. there are features available for parents all tied into an account. You can set content and privacy restrictions, prevent purchases, allow or disallow apps and more. See what parental controls are available on Apple iOS devices.



Apps and online services

Many social media, apps and online services such as film and TV streaming services have features such as:

  • content filters
  • chat filters
  • privacy settings
  • in-app purchase settings.

You can find out about these features by looking in the settings on each app, or take a look at their website for more information. They might be called settings, family features, privacy or security.

Facebook has a Parents portal which helps explain the features available. 

For Netflix, you need to visit the website to set up parental controls – we suggest you do this as soon as you create an account.


Microsoft Family Safety – by creating a family group you can manage many settings, such as setting screen time limits, blocking inappropriate content, receive activity reports, set app and game limits and more. To learn more about Microsoft Family Safety see the Microsoft page and Xbox Family Settings.


Search engines

Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results.  If you're worried:

  • make sure the content your child sees online is appropriate for their age by using parental controls and filters in search engines like GoogleYahoo and Bing
  • make sure you have set parental controls on the home broadband and devices.


Google Family Link - a very useful app to manage a range of features such as restricting content, approving or disapproving apps, setting screen time and more. For lots of useful information see the Google FAQ page.



WiFi and being away from home

The controls you've set up on your child's device and your home broadband won't work if they use 3G or 4G, public WiFi or log onto a friend's connection instead. Remember:

  • public WiFi is often available when you're out and about, but it's not always safe
  • some public places and businesses offer family-friendly WiFi. When you see the family-friendly WiFi symbol it means there are filters to stop children from seeing inappropriate or upsetting content
  • talk with your child and agree what they can and can't do online. If your child is visiting friends or family, remember that they might not have the same controls set up.


The limits of parental controls


Whilst parental controls are a helpful tool there are limitations. So they shouldn’t be seen as a whole solution. Even if you’ve put things in place on your home broadband and your child’s device, they won’t help if your child connects to a different WiFi with no controls in place.

Parental controls are just part of the way you can help keep your child safe online.

More top tips include:

  • Talking to your child. Explain why you are setting parental controls; to keep them safe. But also let them know that they can talk to you to discuss why certain settings are in place.
  • Set good, strong passwords where you are able. On some parental controls you can set a password which prevents settings and features from being changed.
  • Age is a significant factor; as children get older, restrictions and controls you use will change, but only at a pace that is appropriate for your child, not pressure from your child “because everyone else is allowed”.
  • Content filters are never 100% effective, it is likely at some point that your child will see inappropriate or upsetting content and it is important that you are able to talk to them about this.




If your child has seen inappropriate content

Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results.  And sometimes, children may look for things because they're curious.
It’s important to know how to reassure young people and help them know what to do and where to go for support if they see inappropriate content online.

If your child has seen inappropriate content online, you can:
•    talk with them about what they've seen – let them know what is, and isn’t, appropriate for their age.
•    they may have questions about what they’ve seen – you can get support for yourself by contacting our helpline to support you with tackling difficult conversations.
•    find out how they came across the content so that you can minimise the risk in future e.g. by blocking certain sites and setting up parental controls, or educating your child about following links.
•    reassure them they can come to you, another trusted adult or Childline if they're worried about something.
•    get advice on setting up parental controls and make sure you review them regularly to ensure they are right for your family.
•    avoid ‘sharenting’ or sharing explicit or inappropriate content you’ve seen online to raise awareness. Sharing content of physical or sexual abuse is illegal and can be upsetting to the child and others who come across it.
•    report any inappropriate, illegal, explicit, identifying or distressing content to CEOP through their website. We also have more information about reporting content on our online reporting page.

Understanding how your child may feel

Children may experience lots of different emotions when they see inappropriate, upsetting or distressing content online. It’s important to talk to your child about what they’re doing online and let them know to come to you if they see anything that upsets them.
Children who see inappropriate content might feel:
•    confusion or uncertainty
•    shame or guilt
•    shock or disgust
•    sadness
•    excitement or happiness.


Useful links and resources

Childnet is a UK-based charity who empower children, young people, and those who support them in their online lives, and its mission is to work with others to make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. 





The UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), established in 2011, is a leading global partnership helping to make the internet a great and safe place for everyone.

They provide support and services to children and young people, adults facing online harms, and professionals working with children.




The National Crime Agency's CEOP Education team aim to help protect children and young people from online child sexual abuse.

They do this through an education programme, providing training, resources and information to professionals working with children, young people and their families.

What is Abuse? 


In Keeping Children Safe in Education, abuse is defined as 'a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.'  

Waterside recognises that any child may be at risk of harm or abuse; there are no social, geographical, cultural or faith boundaries.  However, it is noted that children that have special educational needs and/or disabilities are of greater risk of abuse.


There are 4 categories of abuse.  These are:







Physical Abuse


This is a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.


Emotional Abuse


This is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.

It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.


Sexual Abuse


This involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. 




This is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to undertake one or more of the following:

-  provide for the child's basic needs eg adequate food, clothing and shelter 

- education is also considered a basic need;

- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;

- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);

- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. 

What does County Lines mean?


County lines is a form of criminal exploitation where urban gangs persuade, coerce or force children and young people to store drugs and money and/or transport them to suburban areas, market towns and coastal towns (Home Office, 2018). It can happen in any part of the UK and is against the law and a form of child abuse. 


Who can be involved?


Children can be vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation for a wide range of factors from living in poverty to a desire to earn “street cred” amongst their peers. It can also be carried out under the threat of severe violence or intimidation. Typically, gangs use mobile phone lines to facilitate drug orders and supply the users. They also use local property as a base; these often belong to a vulnerable adult and are obtained through force or coercion (known as ‘cuckooing’).


The County Lines process is now understood as a driving causal factor in youth violence and, in some cases, includes elements child trafficking.  An updated report by the National Crime Agency (NCA) has found that the use of ‘county lines’ by gangs, is a growing issue, and is exploiting ever-younger victims.


Signs and signals of County Lines or other forms of criminal exploitation include:

  • Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing
  • Being found in areas away from home
  • Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
  • Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work
  • Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery
  • Having a second, old phone (i.e. not a smart phone)
  • Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour
  • Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know
  • Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places.



What should you do if you suspect a girl or boy is involved in County Lines or other gang activities?


If parents suspect a boy or girl is involved in County Lines or other gang activities, they should report this as a child protection issue to a member of the designated safeguarding team: 

  • Mrs Willis (Deputy Headteacher) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Mrs King (Headteacher) is a Deputy Safeguarding Lead
  • Mrs Twigg (Child Protection and Welfare officer) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead 



Alternatively, parents can report concerns directly to the Police or to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Members of the public should report County Lines or related concerns to the police or to MASH.



What is the Prevent Strategy?

Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.

The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.


How does the Prevent Strategy apply to schools?

From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.

This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.  Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.


What does this mean in practice?

We recognise that we play a vital role in keeping children safe from harm, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and in promoting the welfare of children in our care.

Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.

These include:

  • Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
  • Challenging prejudices and racist comments
  • Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
  • Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy

We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.  Different schools will carry out the Prevent

Duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.


What are the risks?

Children and young people can be drawn into violence or exposed to messages of extremist groups by a number of means, including the influence of:

  • Family members or friends and/or direct contact with extremist groups and organisations.
  • The internet and social media to share extremist ideologies and views.  Online content/social media may pose a specific risk as it can be seen to normalise radical views and promote content which is shocking and extreme; children can be trusting and may not necessarily appreciate bias, which can lead to being drawn into such groups and to adopt their extremist views.
  • Exposure to extremist groups increases the risk of a young person being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to cause significant harm. 

If we assess a child as at risk, we will refer to the local MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) team for advice.


Potential Indicators include:

  • The need for identity and belonging
  • Use of inappropriate language
  • Behavioural changes/becoming emotionally volatile
  • The expression of extremist views
  • Possession of violent extremist literature
  • Advocating violent actions and means
  • Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology
  • A conviction that their religion, culture or beliefs are under threat and treated unjustly
  • A tendency to look for conspiracy theories and distrust of mainstream media
  • Being secretive about who they have been talking to online and what sites they visit
  • Switching screens when you move near the phone, tablet or computer
  • Possessing items - electronic devices or phones - of which the parent/carer is unaware 


What we do if there is a concern

If we have a concern about a particular pupil we will follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, and where deemed necessary, with Children’s Social Care. 


If parents have a concern

If parents have concerns about their own or another child they are most welcome to contact Police or the NSPCC directly or they can speak to a member of the safeguarding team:

Mrs Willis  (Deputy Headteacher) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead

Mrs King (Headteacher) is a Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Twigg (Child Protection and Welfare officer) is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead


Some key terms

Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism

Frequently Asked Questions


How does Prevent related to British Values?

Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.

British values include:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty and mutual respect
  • Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Isn't my child too young to learn about extremism?

The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. However, it is about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.


Is extremism really a risk in our area?

Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. In future, we do not know where the children who currently attend Waterside Primary school will find themselves living and working, or who they may come across. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.  


What is Operation Encompass?


Waterside Primary school is part of the project that is run between schools and Staffordshire Police.

Operation Encompass is a police and education early information safeguarding partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support to children experiencing domestic abuse.


Operation Encompass ensures that there is a simple telephone call or notification to a school’s trained Designated Safeguarding Lead /Officer (known as key Adult) prior to the start of the next school day after an incident of police attended domestic abuse where there are children related to either of the adult parties involved.


Information is shared with a school’s Key Adult (Designated Safeguarding Lead or Officer) prior to the start of the next school day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident. This sharing of information enables appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.