Whilst we all worked very hard every day to ensure our school, and all schools, are as safe as they can be for children we are faced recently with compelling evidence that for many school is not a safe space.
Today, 1st April, a dedciated NSPCC helpline 0800 136 663 for victims of sexual violence and harassment in schools has been opened.
We are unequivocal in our message that sexual harassment, abuse or any mistreatment of any member of our community is wrong and will not be tolerated at Heartlands High School. When victims of such treatment bravely come forward we envelop them in support and care. We have onsite counselors, support workers and trained staff to assist them in telling their story and we always report all allegations to the police immediately and where necessary social services or professional bodies. You can read more about our local safeguarding arrangements and other policies HERE.
We have a well trained, experienced and highly effective safeguarding team, their work is reviewed externally every year. This team is led by the Headteacher and Ms Attreed, our designated safeguarding lead. We support students daily in making sure that they are welcomed into a calm and safe place of education.
The education we provide includes strong and regular messages around abuse and mistreatment: what it is, how to spot it and what to do if it is happening to you or someone you know. Our SEARCH days provide the landscape for this and include touch points throughout the year, along with assemblies and form time sessions to ensure that this a regular message not a once a year reminder. Our PHSE and SRE curriculum are reviewed every year and keep in line with advice from leading charities and advisory bodies
We will be undertaking some additional work around abuse in schools when we return from Easter break.
We hope that no member of the Heartlands family have ever endured abuse from any of their peers or staff members. We hope that no member of the Heartlands family will ever endure abuse from any of their peers or staff members. However we also know that to be blind to the possibility is to be blind to the problem.
We are reaching out to all our existing and previous students to ensure they know who they can talk to and how both now and in the future should they wish to share their story of abuse and be helped to take action. In the Summer term we will also be undertaking ‘The Big HHS Ask’ a survey asking students anonymously about their school experiences and their feelings toward how the school manage issues such as peer on peer abuse. This will frame any development work we may undertake in the coming months and years and hopefully give us a clear and honest picture of the landscape at HHS.
Together we can and will stop abuse in schools.
Other services which may help
- Childline (24 hours)- 0800 11 11
- Crime Victims – Victim Support 0808 16 89 111
- Crimestoppers – Crime Prevention 0800 555 111
- NSPCC – Child Protection Helpline (24 hours) 0808 800 5000
- Samaritans (24 hours) -116 123
- The dedicated NSPCC helpline 0800 136 663 for victims of sexual violence and harassment in schools.