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Safeguarding Children

The children in our school are our main priority and we do everything within our power to make sure that they are safe and happy, both in school and outside.

Our school promotes an ethos where our pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.

We recognise that children who experience or witness difficult things in their lives may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth or view the world in a positive way. For such children school may be one of the few stable, secure and predictable components in their life. Other children may be vulnerable because they have a disability or they are in care. We seek to provide all our children with the necessary support to keep them safe and build their self-esteem and self-confidence. We want children at our school to feel able to talk freely to any member of staff or regular visitor if they are worried or concerned about something.

Whatever their background and culture, age, disability, gender, racial origin or religious belief we believe that children have the right to participate in a society and environment which is safe and free from violence, fear, abuse, bullying and discrimination. They have the right to be protected from harm, exploitation and abuse, and to be provided with safe environments in which to live and play.

We seek to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism from any background. The Cathedral School of St Mary will endeavour to provide activities and opportunities in the PSHE and RE curriculum that will equip our children with the skills they need to stay safe. This will also be extended to include material that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills.

At all times we will work to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies such as Health or Social Care (Children and Families within the Children and Learning Department).

Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. We will endeavour to ensure that our concerns about our pupils are discussed with their parents/carers first, unless we have reason to believe that this is not in the child’s best interests or we have been advised by Social Care.

 Operation Encompass

At The Cathedral School of St Mary, we are working in partnership with Plymouth Council and Police to identify and provide appropriate support to pupils who have experienced domestic abuse in their household or have been reported missing to the Police; this scheme is called Operation Encompass.

Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, prior to the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has experienced any domestic abuse or been reported as missing to the Police.

Operation Encompass will ensure that a member of the school staff, known as a Key Adult or SPOC (Single Point of Contact) , is trained to allow them to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, while ensuring that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children or their families.

We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our pupils and we believe this will be extremely beneficial for all those involved.

Early Help Offer 2024

The Early Help Offer describes the type of early support that is available to a child or young person whose needs are not being met by routine universal services. However, their needs also do not meet the threshold for a specialist service such as Children’s Social Care.

Our Early Help Offer

  • Safeguarding team (Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads and Safeguarding Governors)

  • Senior Designated Mental Health Lead: Mr Driscoll

  • Parent Support Advisor: Mrs Tracy Cook

  • Trauma Informed Schools Lead: Marianne Penelrick
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA)

  • External Agency support (Behaviour Support; MAST, Mental Health Support Team; School Nurse)

  • Additional Transition support for those that require it.

  • In school interventions

  • After school clubs

  • Signposting: Mental Health and Wellbeing support, SEND resources and support

  • Support with High School Applications; Free School Meal Applications

  • Breakfast Bagels

  • Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Mrs Roisin Wright
  • Our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are: Mr Moore and Mrs Bemand
  • Our Safeguarding Governor is: Mrs Lesley Peacock

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can take the form of cyberbullying, physical or verbal bullying, homophobia and racism, as well as others. We take a very serious approach to bullying and it is not tolerated in any form at our school.

Protecting vulnerable children is everyone’s business, and we all need to be alert, to know what to look out for and where to go for advice, as well as having the confidence to report any acts of abuse safe in the knowledge that they will be acted on.

Sources of help and information for parents and children:



If something is happening outside of school that is upsetting you, you can still tell an adult in school. You can tell your class teacher or your trusted adult in school.  They will listen to you and try to help you. Sometimes the adults will need to speak to your parents or other people to find the best way to help you. This might be difficult for you, but it is always best to try and solve a problem together. It is always the right thing to do to tell someone when something is upsetting you.



If there is something that you need to talk about, but you don't know who to talk to, you can ring Childline. Childline have friendly people on the telephone 24 hours a day (that's all day and all night!) who will talk to you and listen to your worries or problems. They will talk to you and try to help you work out your problems. They will also give you advice and they are always happy to speak to you, no matter how big or small your worries might seem. You can call them on: 0800 1111 or visit their website for more information: