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What is Safeguarding?

The Department for Education define safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
We prioritise keeping our children safe.  Safeguarding is a term that includes all aspects of keeping children and adults safe from abuse in our schools and, beyond the school gates; child protection.  A safeguarding concern is when you are worried about the safety or well-being of a child or adult because of something seen or heard, or information which has been given to you.

Our Safeguarding Policies can be found here.


Phil MacBeth - Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)


Our Federation's Safeguarding Team

Phil MacBeth, DSL 

Stephen Hoult-Allen - Executive Headteacher, Deputy DSL

Manda Sides - Head of Operations, Deputy DSL

Gemma Luke - Safeguarding Governor


St Luke's School Safeguarding Team

Phil MacBeth, DSL 

Stephen Hoult-Allen - Executive Head, Deputy DSL

Jamie Caple - Head of School, Deputy DSL

Julianne Bensissi - Teacher, Deputy DSL

Clara McDermott - Teacher, Deputy DSL

Amy Tallantire - Head of Upper School, Deputy DSL


The Collett School

Phil MacBeth DSL 

Stephen Hoult-Allen - Deputy DSL

Jennie Witter - Head of School, Deputy DSL

Anu Gray - Head of Inclusion, Deputy DSL

Christina Self - Assist. Head of Upper School, Deputy DSL

Melanie Lulham - Teacher, Deputy DSL

Current 7 Safeguarding Issues Facing Schools in the UK 2023

Child Protection: Everyone's Responsibility

Every adult in school is responsible for child protection and is trained to look out for signs of neglect and abuse.  Every visitor in our school is also responsible for reporting information they are concerned about with regard to safeguarding and child protection.

We are vigilant in looking for signs of:

  • Neglect
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Radicalised behaviours

If you suspect a child is in danger of being hurt or abused, call:

  • The Police on 999
  • Children’s Services – 0300 1234043 (Out of Hours Service-Children’s Services) – 0300 1234043
  • Any member of staff in school

Senior staff in the schools work with the relevant local agencies, including the local Safeguarding Children Board. Pupils in our schools are supervised at all times by qualified and experienced staff. Named staff are qualified first aiders and there is a clear procedure to document and inform parents of any accident or injury sustained at the school. Through social skills development, each pupil learns to treat others with respect and any form of bullying is taken seriously.

Our Federation staff have in-depth training on a regular basis to remind everyone of the procedures for identifying and reporting issues of neglect/abuse that may likely constitute a child protection matter.  Staff are also trained to identify and report children suspected of being 'radicalised' through a national programme called 'Prevent'.  The schools' staff use the federation's usual reporting procedures and information is then shared through the 'Channel' duties and accountabilities with the Local Authority, as such, this ensures the correct pathways of information sharing and action taken.

PREVENT duty and accountabilities information

CHANNEL duty and accountabilties information

Keeping Your Child Safe Online

Keeping Your Child Safe Online

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Staying Safe Online / e-safety

You might be struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online; you might wonder whether what they are doing is safe; and you might also be thinking ‘How can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?’

We encourage you to visit the Think U Know website.  It has tips and advice about how you can help your children grow up safely with the internet. Below are more links to get you started.


Parent Zone, making the Internet work for families.


Parent Info is a collaboration between CEOP and Parent Zone. It provides high quality information to parents and carers about their children’s wellbeing and resilience.


The NCA’s CEOP  Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account.


The UK Council for Child Internet  Safety (UKCCIS) is a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

Internet Matters - Information on how to keep your child safe online.

NSPCC: Keeping your child safe online


Protecting your child in school

In our schools we use the Hertfordshire Internet and Connectivity Service (HICS) Filtered Web Service who provide us with a firewall to protect the children from harmful content.


Mobile Phones & SMART Watches

In our schools, we understand that the majority of children will at some point own a mobile phone, some children also have a Smartwatch that can access the Internet.  Whilst we are more than happy for them to be used on the journey to and from school we have a policy of collecting devices as children arrive. They are then stored in a locked room until they are distributed at the end of the day. For more information about our mobile phone policy please see below.

We do however allow children to use mobile phones and Smartwatches when accessing Travel Training.  Your child's class teacher will inform you when this forms part of the curriculum.

For more information on e-safety and how to protect your child online please click on the following links:

Internet Matters

NSPCC Online Safety

Online Safety Library: What Parents Need to Know about...

National Online Safety provides a huge amount of information, training and resources for school staff and parents in order to enable us to better ensure children and young people are safe online. Below are their "What Parents Need to Know about..." for a wealth of topics:

What your child is watching online: What Parents Need to Know about...


Protect Children from Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse can have devastating consequences for children, and can have lifelong impacts on their mental and physical health and behaviour into adulthood.

Domestic abuse occurs between those who are, or have been, in relationships. It can also occur between family members, such as between teenagers and parents (known as adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA)).

Find out how to recognise and spot the signs of domestic abuse.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse:

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are unable to talk on the phone, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

For help with parental conflict and relationship abuse:

  • Co-Parent Hub - information for separated parents and advice to help you and your ex-partner to be good co-parents

Teenage relationship abuse

Teenagers can experience abuse in their own relationships, even if they aren’t living with the abuser:

Brook Traffic Light Sexual Behaviours Tool (age-related behaviours)

Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere – in person or online. It’s never a child’s fault they were sexually abused – it’s important to make sure children know this.

Call 999 and ask for the police if your child has been a victim of child sexual abuse – online or offline – and you believe they are in immediate danger.

When a child or young person is sexually abused, they are forced or tricked into sexual activities. They might not understand that what is happening is abuse or that it is wrong. They might be afraid to tell someone.

Sexual abuse can happen anywhere – and it can happen in person or online. It’s never a child’s fault they were sexually abused – it’s important to make sure children know this.

See the government’s definition of child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation.

These are resources that can help:

  • Together, we can tackle child abuse – how to recognise child abuse, and how to report it
  • report to the National Crime Agency-CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) if you are concerned that your child has been a victim, or is at risk of becoming a victim, of online sexual abuse, or you are worried about the way someone has been communicating with your child online
  • contact the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 for support and advice if you have any concerns about your own or another child’s safety
  • Stop It Now! - information and advice on concerns about someone’s behaviour, including children who may be displaying concerning sexual behaviour
  • Talk Pants Guide for Parents – how to have age-appropriate conversations to help protect children from sexual abuse using simple, child-friendly language and give children the confidence and knowledge to stay safe
  • Coronavirus: support for parents and carers to keep children safe online - resources to help keep children safe from different risks online, including child sexual abuse and ‘sexting’, and where to go to receive support and advice

Sexual assault referral centres

Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer support services for children who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence, either recently or in the past.

Specially trained medical and support staff care for the child in a safe and comfortable environment and can arrange for ongoing support to help them recover physically and emotionally.

Steps are taken to ensure the child is protected from immediate harm and from any future harm. Partners, such as the police and social services, support the process and may be involved in arranging the initial referral to the SARC.

For additional advice and support, find your local sexual assault referral centre.

More support for victims of sexual violence and abuse.


Actively Preventing Children Committing Crimes 

Crime, Criminal Exploitation and County Lines, Violence and Gangs

Call the police on 999 if you feel that your child is in immediate danger. You can report concerns to the police on their non-emergency number, 101.

Children and young people involved with gangs, county lines and criminal exploitation need help and support. They might be involved in violence, be pressured into doing things like stealing, carrying drugs or weapons or be abused, exploited and put into dangerous situations.

If your child is missing from home

Contact Missing People SafeCall service - or you have concerns about them being involved in gangs, drugs dealing or county lines exploitation.

SafeCall provides confidential and one-to-one support to children, but they also offer advice and guidance to parents and carers who are concerned and need support.

To speak to someone urgently, contact Missing People’s free, 24/7 confidential helpline.

Phone or text: 116 000 Email:


Radicalisation of Children

Children can be exposed to different views and receive information from various sources. Some of these views may be considered radical or extreme.  Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in extremist ideologies (including religion and extreme right wing politics). It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm.

Protecting Children from Radicalisation

Call the police on 101 or contact your local authority safeguarding team if you are worried that a loved one is being radicalised - you can get advice or share a concern so that they can get safeguarding support.

Although rare, increased online activity and feelings of stress and isolation may be exploited by online groomers to target vulnerable children and young people – including extremist influences seeking to radicalise vulnerable people.

Extremists may use the coronavirus outbreak to promote hateful views, for example through conspiracy theories blaming a particular group for the virus, or through spreading misinformation about these groups’ responses to it.

Online exploitation is often hard to recognise. Sometimes there are clear warning signs - in other cases the changes are less obvious. Although some of these traits may be quite common among teenagers, taken together they could indicate that your child may need help. The Let’s Talk About It lists some of these signs.

You know your child best and you will want to speak with them first. Check in with them and ask about what they are viewing, who they are speaking to and how they are feeling.

These are resources that can help:

Let’s Talk About It - support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation.

'Prevent' and 'Channel'

Prevent can help your child get support to move away from harmful influences. The support can include help with education or careers advice, dealing with mental or emotional health issues, or digital safety training for parents.

Call the police on 101 to get advice or share a concern so that they can get safeguarding support through Prevent, if you are worried that a loved one is being radicalised.

You can also contact your local authority safeguarding team for help. Receiving support through Prevent is voluntary, confidential and not any form of criminal sanction.

Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism

You can report terrorist content you find online. More information about what to report and what happens when you make a report can be found on the Action Counters Terrorism campaign.


Mental Health  

We all have 'mental health' to protect and keep healthy.  Where issues mount up, we need to be able to access help and support (children and adults alike). 

Mental Health 

Hertfordshire NHS Single Point of Access 24/7 Mental Health Helpline

Herts residents of all ages, including carers, GPs and other professionals can contact our 24/7 Single Point of Access (SPA) Mental Health Helpline team at any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year. The team can provide support for Herts residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis, need some mental health support or just want to talk on:

  • Freephone 0800 6444 101 or
  • NHS 111 and select option 2 for mental health services
  • If they are seriously ill or injured, dial 999 for the emergency services.


If you are worried that someone you know is suicidal, including your child, Samaritans provides advice on how you can support others.

Call Young Minds’ free Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 for confidential, expert advice, if you have urgent concerns about your child’s mental health and wellbeing.

This may be a difficult time for children and young people. Some may be struggling now, while others may be affected later.

During this time, it’s important that you take care of your own and your family’s mental health – there are lots of things you can do, and support is available if you need it.

  • Action for Children - helps parents to spot the signs of poor mental health in their child and explains what to do to help
  • NSPCC - a range of advice on how to support your child if you are concerned that they may be struggling with their mental health or be anxious about coronavirus
  • Public Health England advice - helps adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities
  • Young Minds - tips, advice and where to get support for your child’s mental health - parents can also access activity ideas for use during isolation
  • Every Mind Matters – simple and practical advice to support your mental health and wellbeing, including advice on looking after children and young people.
  • NHS England has published advice for parents, guardians and carers on how to help and support a child or young person

Information about the Mental Health Support Team (MHST)

The Mental Health Support Team (MHST) in SEND schools in Herts and West Essex.

The MHST works closely with SEN Schools, an early intervention service working with mild to moderate mental health difficulties and challenging behaviours in educational settings. The MHST supports children, their families, and school staff, and is currently based in several SEN schools across Herts and West Essex. The service is ‘hosted’ by PALMS in Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, but is separate to the PALMS team.

The MHST helps to support mental health at The Collett School and St Luke's Schools in several ways:

  • Workshops with young people or parent/carers or staff.
  • Group based work with young people or parent/carers.
  • Guided 1:1 self-help sessions (6 – 8 weeks) with young people, parent/carers around proactive prevention and support for mild to moderate mental health difficulties and challenging behaviours
  • A ‘whole school approach’ to understanding and improving mental health, which may include supporting the school’s mental health lead, supporting with the wellbeing curriculum, identifying mental health resources, creating posters and displays etc.
  • Signposting staff and families to appropriate support.

The team is made up of Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs), supervising clinicians, an Assistant Psychologist, and administrator support.

If you are interested in further information and/or support, please contact the team on the following email address  or email 



To join our school, we ensure safe staffing measures are stringently in place.   We prevent abusive adults joining our settings.  We are active in ensuring no adult harms a child in our settings - staff, volunteers and professionals.

Staff in Our Schools and Selection Procedures

All our staff, supply staff, volunteers and those working with our children have Enhanced DBS checks against police systems to ascertain whether they are barred from working with children.  All staff (permanent and temporary) are fully inducted by the school as part of our stringent Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures including Safer Staffing Recruitment

Before commencing employment all staff in our schools:

  • Qualifications are checked, including contacting universities etc. for confirmation
  • Are fully DBS checked
  • Have two satisfactory references, seen and checked
  • All gaps in employment history are identified and checked at interview
  • Right to work in the UK is ascertained
  • Certificate of Good Behaviour obtained
  • List-99 checking
  • Barred List check
  • Occupational Health check
  • Are interviewed by staff with Safer Staffing in-date accreditation

All offers of employment are made with the conditions at all these checks are complete and satisfactory.


Further Information:

For more information about keeping children safe: 

If you or your child are being targeted online contact the police at:

Families First is Hertfordshire's programme of early help services for families: