Safeguarding our students
Willenhall E-ACT Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and visitors to share this commitment.
The academy’s first priority is the welfare of our students. We are committed to the highest standards in protecting and safeguarding the students entrusted to our care at all times.
We recognise that some students may be at risk, or are the victims, of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or specific issues such as child sexual exploitation or radicalisation and extremism. The academy ensures that all staff receive training so they can identify such risks. The academy leadership team also ensures effective safeguarding processes and procedures are in place to support staff to take appropriate action when required.
In order to protect our students at Willenhall E-ACT Academy, we aim to:
- Create an atmosphere where all our students can feel secure, valued and listened to.
- Recognise signs and symptoms of children who are victims of harm and abuse, or who may be at risk.
- Respond quickly and effectively to any disclosures of children who may at risk, or who are victims of harm.
Our academy will support all students by:
- Educating students on how they can keep themselves and others safe.
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the academy.
- Operating an open door policy enabling students to access support and guidance at all times
- Working in partnership with external agencies and professions for specialised support where it is needed
Everyone visiting the academy and working with our students must be aware that:
- A disclosure of abuse or harm can be made at any time (lesson times, break times, after school etc.).
- Their role is to listen and note carefully any observations which could indicate abuse.
- They should not attempt to investigate once the initial concern is raised.
- They should involve a member of the safeguarding team immediately using their purple card or contact details below.
- If a member of the safeguarding team is not available, the headteacher should be contacted.
- Before outside agencies are invited into the academy, staff are required to ensure that all relevant DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks and identification has been seen.
If you have a concern that a student is being harmed or at risk of harm or you receive a disclosure (intentionally or unintentionally) you must contact one of the safeguarding team members immediately.
The NSPCC Share Aware campaign has useful facts and advice for Parents/carers: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/share-aware/
Think U Know is a set of resources developed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre at website: www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
Know IT All is a set of resources developed by Childnet International at website: http://www.childnet-int.org/kia
Omegle is an app and a website and last week the BBC have reported that they carried out an investigation and found a significant amount of disturbing content.
Omegle has been around for many years, it isn’t new and there have always been significant concerns. If you don’t know what it is, essentially it’s a place which openly advertises ‘come in and talk to a stranger’. You simply click a button and you are randomly placed in a video chat room with a completely random person. There’s no age verification, no warnings and it’s doubtful whether there is any meaningful moderation.
Why has it increased in popularity? Surprise surprise, because certain high-profile influencers have been talking about it on TikTok. According to the news report, videos tagged with Omegle have been viewed on TikTok more than 9.4 billion times.
The issue is the boost in popularity due to so-called influencers who are cross-posting over other apps (e.g TikTok) thereby raising interest/curiosity.
You can view the BBC news article HERE
For Parents – TikTok Family Safety Toolkit
The DQ Institute is an American-based charity and, along with TikTok, have created a comprehensive TikTok Family Safety Toolkit which I’m sure many parents would find really helpful. It’s quite a large guide (26 pages) and throughout there are links to digital citizenship tips and more in-depth subjects.
You can download the guide (PDF) HERE
Child Criminal Exploitation
Criminal exploitation is also known as ‘county lines’ and is when gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children to sell drugs. Often these children are made to travel across counties, and they use dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to supply drugs.
You can find more information about Child Criminal Exploitation, including signs and where to get help from:
Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in extremist ideologies. It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
You can find more information about Radicalisation, including signs and where to get help from:
Peer on Peer Abuse
Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person (under 18 years old) is exploited, bullied and/or harmed by their peers, who are the same or similar age. Peer on peer abuse can include physical and sexual abuse, sexual harassment and violence, emotional harm, bullying (including cyberbullying) and teenage relationship abuse.
You can get more information about Peer on Peer Abuse from:
Domestic Abuse can be any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological; physical; sexual; financial; and emotional.
You can get more information on Domestic Abuse:
Black Country Women’s Aid – to support families regarding Domestic Abuse
9am – 5pm – 0121 553 0090
24 hour Helpline – 0121 552 6448
Text or WhatsApp – 07384 466 181
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited they’re given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they’re in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they’re being abused.
Children and young people can be trafficked into or within the UK to be sexually exploited. They’re moved around the country and abused by being forced to take part in sexual activities, often with more than one person. Young people in gangs can also be sexually exploited.
Sometimes abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten or force a child or young person, making them feel as if they’ve no choice. They may lend them large sums of money they know can’t be repaid or use financial abuse to control them.
Anybody can be a perpetrator of CSE, no matter their age, gender or race. The relationship could be framed as friendship, someone to look up to or romantic. Children and young people who are exploited may also be used to ‘find’ or coerce others to join groups.
For advice and support:
Walsall Children’s Services
MASH contact details: Telephone: 0300 555 2866 option 2
Monday – Thursday 8.45-17.15
Address: Civic Centre, 2nd floor, Darwall Street Walsall WS1 1TP
Outside these hours, you should contact the Emergency Response Team
Telephone: 0300 555 2922 or 0300 555 2836
999 – Emergency calls
101 – Non-emergency calls
Childline – NSPC
Kooth on Line – Need to talk – on line support
Mermaids – Helping gender-diverse kids, young people and their families since 1995.
0808 801 0400
Frank – (Support Line for substance Misuse)
0808 801 0400
The Beacon Integrated Substance Misuse Service
Walsall School Nurse Health Service
Health for Teens Service – 07520 634 909
Text service for Young people
If you are worried about your health and wellbeing our School Nurses are still here to help – you can text them for confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues such as:
- Emotional health
- Healthy eating
If you are aged 11-19 years old you can send a text to:
The School Nursing Service also delivers the Healthy Child Programme (5-19) for children and young people who are in full time education up until the age of nineteen years old or to the age of 25 years if they have additional health needs or special educational needs.
Phone: 01922 423292
Breaking Bread Food Bank
Phone :07936 744 177
93/94 Walsall Street, Wednesbury, WS10 9BY
Wed : 10AM – 3PM, Fri : 1PM – 7PM
Bloxwich & Blakenall Foodbank
Blakenall Village Centre,
Walsall Bereavement Support Service
THE SWING – (Children’s/Young People’s bereavement service) – 01922 645035
Walsall Young Carers Project
Walsall Carers Centre, The Crossing at St. Pauls, Darwall Street, Walsall.
Kooth.com is a fully commissioned service which provides a free, safe, anonymous and non-stigmatised way for young people to receive advice and support online. Staffed by fully trained and qualified team members (including counsellors), and available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year, it provides a much needed out of hours’ service for advice and support. As well as 1:1 support, peer to peer support can also be accessed through our moderated message forums and online magazine.
Our experienced practitioners are available to provide emotional support to young people with a wide range of issues, from having a bad day to more serious issues such as bullying, stress, anxiety, depression, family relationships, sexuality, eating disorders, self-harm, abuse etc. During such unprecedented times, lots of young people are also seeking support around isolation, predicted exam grades, change of life, their future outlook, employment options and fear of COVID19 to mention a few.
With no long waiting times and no minimum criteria, Kooth is a fantastic way for young people to get the help and support they need, when they need it, rather than having to wait weeks for an appointment or in current times unable to access face to face support.
Everyone has mental health – some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health. Everyone’s mental health is different. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem. This can happen to anyone.
You can get more information about mental health, including signs of poor mental health, and where to get more help from:
Crisis Messenger Text YM to 85258
Parents Helpline 08088025544
- Place2B: Support for improving mental health
- Black Country Minds – Mental Health support for Young People
Free, safe and anonymous support