Safeguarding the wellbeing of all students is something we take very seriously at Townsend Church of England School.
All staff who work at the school have a role to play in safeguarding and receive formal training every three years, although safeguarding items are regularly on the agenda during briefings and Pastoral Team meetings. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputies (DDSLs) receive more regular training and are trained regularly on current and contextual safeguarding issues.
If you have any safeguarding concerns, please do not hesitate to phone or email the school.
Other services that are involved in safeguarding young people include:
Social Services (Hertfordshire Children’s Services): 0300 123 4043
Hertfordshire Constabulary Police: 101 (or 999 in an emergency)
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000
Child Line: 0800 11 11.
The CEOP website is an excellent source of information if you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with a child online.
A child’s attendance is crucial to many things at school, and it affects progress, achievement, behaviour and social skills. We reward good, and improved, attendance through year group assemblies, house assemblies and house points. Competitions run school wide for highest attendance as a form group and year competitions run focusing on attendance also.
A child who has an attendance of under 90% is considered to be persistently absent from school and we will work with young people and their families to help improve this by overcoming any barriers that may be affecting school attendance.
If your child is absent from school and you do not inform the school of a reason, please expect an email or a phone call to ask for a reason as to why your child is not in school. Absence must be reported each day the child is off. As a school, we will attempt to make contact with you daily, if you do not contact us. We may use other contact numbers you have given us as well, so please ensure these are up to date. Form tutors will contact home after 3 days of absence to discuss why the child is absent and to see if there is anything we can do to support the young person. If a child is particularly vulnerable, we may do a home visit if absence continues to ensure the young person is safe.
If absence continues, after 10 days we must inform the Local Authority of the absence.
On each day of absence, parents or carers should provide the student’s name, tutor group and reason for absence before 9.30am by either:-
Telephoning the school office on 01727 853047 or
Absence for appointments during the course of the day
If a student needs to be absent during the school day for appointments that cannot be arranged outside of school hours, the following procedure should be followed:
- The school office is informed in advance by email or telephone
- The student must sign out before leaving the school premises and sign in on their return, so the school has a record of them being off site in case of a fire evacuation or other emergency.
Students feeling ill during the course of the day
If a student feels ill during the school day, they must go to the school office to be assessed. If the office staff feel it is appropriate for a student to go home, they will ask for the student’s Director of Learning to authorise this and then the school office will phone you and discuss it. Students should not contact parents directly or leave the school without following this procedure.
Requesting leave of absence for an exceptional reason
Any request for special leave of absence during term-time should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of the Headteacher, Mr Wellbeloved.
Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire have both created resources for families called "Families First ".
They are directories of organisations, services and groups in Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire that can help with problems you or your family may be facing, before things might get worse. This is known as 'Early Help'. There is advice and guidance on a range of issues and local and national support services, many of which are free for families to access.
You may not want or need to ask for help from a professional and there is a lot of support you can find yourself by looking on the portal.
Townsend School takes a positive approach to teaching our students about positive and healthy relationships. This includes teaching about the following topics in an age appropriate way and according to the statutory guidance Relationships, Sex and Health Education 2020:
- Safeguarding and how to stay safe-including online
- Healthy and respectful relationships, including kindness, privacy, respecting boundaries
- What respectful behaviour looks like
- Gender roles, stereotyping and equality
- Body confidence and self-esteem
- Peer-on-peer abuse
- Prejudiced behaviour
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment
We also make clear to students how we ensure we put relevant policies into practice i.e. Relationships, Sex and Health Education Policy; Safeguarding and Child Protection; Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying as well as our Mental Health Pastoral Intent Statement.
Through our explicit routines and guidance, we make it clear to students what behaviour is and is not acceptable including any kind of peer on peer abuse. We regularly remind students of the importance of raising any concerns which they may have and how to access support if they need it.
We have an online bullying reporting form, which can be accessed here
This page contains details of websites and other resources that both students and parents may find useful in supporting their well being.
Healthy Young Minds in Herts is a website that contains information on many services that can provide help for children and young people who may be experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties and has separate sections for young people and parents & carers
Young Minds - This website has lots of information to support young people as well as guidance for parents/carers
Childline - 'online and on the 'phone, anytime'
NHS Wellbeing Service - The Adult Community Mental Health Services provides a Wellbeing Service that offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents (over 16) experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as: worry, low mood, insomnia and stress. If you feel that you would benefit from the service, are over 16 years and are registered with a GP in Hertfordshire, you can self-refer via this website.
Herts Young Homeless - This is a Hertfordshire charity providing services to support vulnerable people. Their focus is on preventing homelessness and they can provide family mediation.
Samaritans - Information on their website re. ‘how we can help’ or telephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, every day.
Just Talk - Information and support for young people and parents with concerns regarding Mental Health
Hertfordshire Beacon Victim Care Service - provides support to anyone who has been affected by crime. The current situation may have a huge impact on someone’s ability to cope and recover from a crime or incident. They are still providing support via phone and email to victims and witnesses, regardless of how long ago the crime happened or whether it has been reported to the police. Please see website for further information.
Herts Mind Network have launched a new early intervention and prevention helpline for children and young people aged 10-17 in Herts. The helpline will provide a safe, non-judgemental space to talk to a Young People Advisor or Mentor who will provide emotional support, advice and information and discuss coping strategies. For opening hours and more information please visit the Young Peoples Helpline website. Helpline number is 01923 256391.
Herts Mind Network also have a Young People's online group for those over 15. You can find out more at the Young Peoples Online Group website
ChatHealth - Confidential text advice and support service for students aged 11-19. Text 07480 635050 for safe and secure messaging with a healthcare professional
Apps to download for self-help
There are a variety of apps for IOS and android devices that can support your mental health.
If you are concerned about online safety or bullying visit CEOP to learn about internet safety and report online abuse.
Calm Harm - Free app with password protection that provides a range of techniques to relive emotional distress. It’s particularly helpful if you often use self harm to cope.
Recharge – Move Well, Sleep Well, Be Well - Uses a free, personalised 6 week programme to help you improve your mood and energy levels
Smiling Mind - Provides free mindfulness meditations aimed at reducing stress, anxiety and concentration levels