Keeping Children Safe

Keeping children safe is always our first priority.  We follow the latest guidance from the Department of Education and the new Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Board.  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.

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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.

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 MASH team.

BCP MASH (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)

Tel: 01202 735046
Full details for BCP MASH (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)

As a member of the public, the MASH 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 4 Designated (trained) Safeguarding Leads in school: Mr Ruffle, Mr Croutear, 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 the MASH team 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 MASH, 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 also set aside Tuesday mornings, when a member of our pastoral care team (see below) will be available to speak with you about more confidential matters—should you wish.


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, child welfare (including bereavement), exclusions and pupils on behaviour reports

Mr Croutear – Mental Health & CAMHS referrals, Online Safety Champion (including cyberbullying and issues with social media)

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

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

Miss Kelly – PSHE co-ordinator; responsible for promoting personal and social development through the curriculum and the introduction of the new Relationships Curriculum (as she is currently on maternity leave, please refer to Mr Ruffle)

Mrs Jennings – ELSA (Emotional literacy and social skills) in particular behaviour

Mrs Poulter – ELSA (Emotional literacy and nurture) in particular anxiety 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 directly by email or phone.

Name: Steve Cox O’Rourke
Mob: 01202 225724
Full details for Christchurch Family Partnership Zone (FPZ)

Further Support

We also are 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.   All of this will be overseen by a member of the ELSA team, and 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.