Keeping Children Safe




Keeping children safe is always our first priority.  We follow the latest guidance from the Department of Education and the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership.  We work closely with external organisations, such as Dorset and Bournemouth social care teams, Christchurch Family Partnership Zone, Dorset Police and the NHS to protect all our children.

We regularly update our policies and constantly remind staff.  It is always an agenda item at our Governors’ meetings.  Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Our Child Protection Policies, including our Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and how we deal with allegations of abuse, are available to view on the ‘School Policies’ page of this website.

Our key reference documents are ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, both of which can be downloaded below. If you require further information relating to safeguarding, such as the school’s prevent strategy or approach to children missing in education, please contact the school office in the first instance.

COVID-19 School Response

This is a hugely challenging time for families. The school has written an annex to our standard Child Protection Policy, which can be accessed below.

Together We Can is an initiative led by BCP Council, working in close partnership with many other public, private and voluntary sector organisations as well as community groups and residents who have offered to help and support the vulnerable people in our Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole communities to get through the coronavirus crisis.

To access this support, please click the link below.

Families in BCP can still access the Family Information Directory for general enquiries. It contains a wealth of useful information:

For those in urgent need of food or essential household items, please call 0300 1237052

How to raise a concern

If you’re concerned that a child or young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, and you believe it requires urgent action, call the Police on 999.

If you are worried, you can contact BCP First Response Hub

Call 01202 735046 from 8.30am to 5.15pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.45pm on a Friday

Or e-mail direct on:

As a member of the public, the First Response team will ask you for any details you may have about the child or young person and the concerns you have about them. All information you give them will help them to make further enquiries. You will also be asked for your name and contact details so that they may contact you again if necessary. Your personal information will be treated as confidential.

You can also speak to someone in school about any concerns which you have. Please contact the school office and they will arrange the appropriate meeting. 

We have 3 Designated (trained) Safeguarding Leads in school: Mr Ruffle, Mrs Kelly and Mrs Sibbald

These staff will see you or speak to you as a matter of priority, in private. The information you share will be dealt with in the strictest confidence, but we can not agree to keep any information a secret as we may need to inform social care for advice or support. The safety of the child is our primary concern.

If you are in any doubt about making a referral or sharing anything, you can always contact us or the First Response Team, and we will advise you as to what should happen next.

Communication with the School

One of the historic strengths of the Priory School has been our care for individuals.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs showed that wellbeing and feeling safe have to be met, before learning can take place.  If you need to share a concern regarding your child, you should usually first inform the class teacher as they are the ones with the day to day responsibility for your child and can often make the biggest difference.

In the morning you can pass on messages to Support Staff, who will be on the playground gate, or one of the Senior Leaders who will always be on the front gate.  

We have reviewed our staffing structure and designated certain staff as ‘specialists’ in different areas.  Some of us will need time to develop in these roles, but we will be able to support you when you need further guidance in these areas.

School Pastoral Support

Mr Ruffle – Safeguarding lead, Prevent lead, parent separations and court orders, bereavement, exclusions, Online Safety Champion (including cyberbullying and issues with social media)

Mrs Kelly – Pastoral, Attendance and Behaviour concerns. The School’s anti-bullying champion. Mrs Kelly may also complete risk assessments if a child has injured themselves. Pupil Premium Champion.

Mrs Sibbald – Inclusion leader; responsible for concerns relating to learning difficulties (including medical and health) and designated teacher for Looked After Children

Miss Webber – PSHE co-ordinator; responsible for promoting personal and social development through the curriculum and the introduction of the new Relationships Curriculum alongside Mr Ruffle. Miss Webber will also be picking up mental health and Camhs referrals following the promotion of Mr Croutear.

Mrs Poulter – ELSA (Emotional literacy and nurture) in particular anxiety, bereavement and attachment

Working with Christchurch Family Partnership Zone – Early Help

Christchurch family partnership zone have lots of expertise working with families facing the following issues:

  • parents who are separating or have separated
  • where there’s historical or current domestic abuse 
  • Parents who are finding it difficult to manage their child’s behaviour
  • children who are self-harming or are thinking of self-harming
  • a family member who uses alcohol or substances
  • Families who are struggling to cope financially
  • families don’t know where to access information

More information about the Family Partnership Zones can be found on the following website:

If you feel that you would benefit from their help, you can contact them through school or through the First Response Team.

Prevent strategy

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) places a duty on certain bodies (including primary schools), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This guidance is issued under section 29 of the Act.

The 2011 Prevent strategy has three specific strategic objectives:

  • respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.

The Priory Primary School has assessed the risk of our pupils being drawn into terrorism, including far-right extremist views. A copy of our risk assessment is available on request.

Radicalisation – sharing your concerns

If you believe someone is at risk of radicalisation you can help them obtain support and prevent them becoming involved in terrorism by raising your concerns with Mr Ruffle who can make a referral to:

The safeguarding referral unit of the police 01202 222229

For discussions about appropriate referrals you can also talk to the SafeSchools and Communities Team 01202 222844

You can also take direct action:

  • Report any concerns to the BCP First Response Team or for immediate response call the Anti Terror hotline on 0800 789 321
  • If you have concerns about pupils travelling to a conflict zone seek Home Office guidance and refer to First Response if still concerned.

Further Support for families

The Priory Primary School is also a member of the Christchurch Learning Federation, who organise regular parenting workshops.  We will continue to advertise these through personal invitations and our fortnightly newsletter.

At lunchtimes, for those children who can be nervous in social settings we will be using Teaching Assistants to support co-operative play.  This ’watchful eye’ will replace fun club, as we want children to be engaging in active play outside.  For those children who are learning to control their emotions, we have a time out area and a separate safe space area. 

The Hub is a purposeful built space to develop social play such as role play and ‘keep calm and colour’ activities.  A member of our Senior Leadership Team is always on duty at lunchtime.

Our primary role is as educators, but I hope that through these actions and initiatives, we can continue to ensure the Priory School remains a caring and safe school.