Safeguarding and Child Protection at Dunston Hill

All children have the right to be strong, resilient and listened to, in an environment where they are protected from abuse and harm. The DfE guidance DFE Keeping Children Safe (September 2021) sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply in order to keep children safe. Further guidance such as Safer Working Practice in Education (April 2020) provides a national framework for all agencies working with children to work in partnership to safeguard children effectively. Our school is expected to have regard to this guidance and to implement a safeguarding children and child protection policy, this outlines our procedures for responding to and recording concerns about children. All school practitioners receive training in child protection matters and have a good awareness of the signs and signals of abuse in children. Having a designated person who is responsible for co‑ordinating child protection procedures ensures that all concerns are addressed promptly and appropriately.

Designated Child Protection Officers:

  • Carl Sutherland (Headteacher)
  • Katy Anglesea (Deputy Headteacher)
  • Vikki Tuart (SENDco)

Safeguarding Link Governor:

  • Jacqueline Ridley (Business Team Lead)

Click here to view our Safeguarding Policy

Safer Recruitment

Dunston Hill Community Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share in this commitment. We are committed to selecting and retaining employees who will successfully and positively contribute to providing the very best education for our children. It is a statutory requirement that at least one member of the interview panel has completed safer recruitment training which aims to help deter, identify and reject applicants who might be unsuitable to work with children. Two members of our recruitment panel have attended the training:

  • Carl Sutherland (Headteacher)
  • Gillian McTeer (Chair of Governors)

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

All adults that have unsupervised access to children in childcare provision must be suitable to do so. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), was created to help prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, such as children. Dunston Hill obtains criminal record checks (DBS checks) for all adults working with children including volunteers.

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a project that all Gateshead schools and the Local Authority are involved in. It began in April 2015 and aims to support children who are affected by domestic abuse.

Following any domestic abuse incident reported into Northumbria Police, specialist Police Officers make contact with the school and communicate relevant and necessary information to nominated school staff. This ensures that the school is made aware at the earliest possible opportunity and enables us to provide support in a way that means the child feels safe.

Our school has two members of staff (key adults) who have been fully trained to liaise with the police, when required, and will ensure that necessary support is made available to the child following the disclosure of a domestic abuse incident.

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

You can also find out more information through accessing the following website:

Our Operation Encompass Key Adults are:

  • Carl Sutherland (Headteacher)
  • Katy Anglesea (Deputy Headteacher)

Supporting our Families

All agencies that work with families have a responsibility to work closely together with you to make sure every child and young person has the best possible chance to reach their full potential. Helping children, young people and families is everybody’s business. All agencies that work with children, young people and families are responsible for listening to your concerns and worries and taking the right actions to ensure you and your family get support at an early stage.

Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Early help can also prevent further problems arising.

Effective early help relies upon local agencies working together to:

• identify children and families who would benefit from early help;

• undertake an assessment of the need for early help; and

• provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child.

In order to achieve this a CAF may be suggested.

What is a CAF?

CAF stands for ‘Common Assessment Framework’. The CAF is a way of working out what is going well for a family, what extra support the family many need and how best to provide this support. Agencies that may be involved include: the Family Intervention Team, Health Visitor, School Nurse and a school representative who will meet with the family every 5-6 weeks in a ‘Team around the Family’ (TAF) meeting.

Our CAF Lead Practitioners are:

  •  (Headteacher)
  •  (Deputy Headteacher)

Other agencies who may support your family include:

The Family Intervention Team, works with families in their home, school or community setting to understand what is going well, what extra support the family may need and how best to provide this support.

Barnardo’s is a British charity setup to care for vulnerable children and young people.

The Safer Families Project support people who are assessed to be at high risk of harm from domestic abuse.


Technology has become integral to young people’s lives and it is important that they know how to stay safe online and make the most of the opportunities that the internet provides. Whether you are a young person, parent or carer, or working with children, there are lots of resources to help.

Please click on the links below to find resources regarding e-safety or visit our E-safety page.

E-safety at Dunston Hill

Promoting Health and Well being

One aspect of safeguarding children, is promoting their good health and well being. High standards of hygiene and cleanliness will help to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses in the provision. At Dunston Hill we also have procedures for administering medication and supporting children with medical needs or who appear unwell during the day. In identifying any allergies when children first register, practitioners can prevent contact with allergenic substances.

Our named First Aiders are: Miss Baud, Mrs Cox (Forest School), Mrs Moorhead, Mrs Rippon, Mrs Walton, Mrs Ion, Mrs Cusmano and Mrs O’Hara. 

Our lunchtime First Aiders are: Mrs Wishart-Yeomans and Ms Wardle

Risk Assessments

Regular risk assessments help to identify aspects of the school environment that need to be checked on a regular basis, decide what should be done to prevent harm and make sure that the relevant actions are taken and updated whenever necessary. Schools are not expected to eliminate all risk – children should be given the opportunity to take appropriate risks – but they must take ‘reasonable precautions’ and ensure that staff are trained and aware of their responsibilities.

Our Risk Assessment Manager is: Louise Briggs (School Business Manager)

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 have a duty 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.

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. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss any issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.

Dropping Off & Collecting Children

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that your child is dropped off and collected by a responsible person.  That person should be the person who normally collects the child and who is recognised by the class teacher.  If another person is required to collect your child, it is important to let the child’s teacher know, at the start of the day perhaps, or the School Office.  Whilst there is no clear minimum age set in law when a young person is allowed to collect or drop off a child at school, Dunston Hill Community Primary School is following the guidance given by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the NSPCC who recommend that no one under 16 should be left to care for a younger child.  If you wish for a person of 16 years old or above to collect or drop off your child on your behalf on a particular day, you would need to inform the class teacher or the School Office, as detailed above.

Please note that staff have been instructed not to release a child to an individual that they do not recognise or that we have not been informed will be picking up the child in the absence of the usual parent or carer.  This is to ensure the safeguarding of all the children in our school.