Safeguarding at St Joseph's
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Liz Rippon
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads: Gerry Curran and Rebecca Crook
Pastoral Team: Sam James and Rebecca Crook
Online Safety Champion: Deputy Headteacher Gerry Curran
Anti-bullying Champion: Annemarie Lithgow
Keeping Children Safe in Education
Please read the latest DfE guidelines on Keeping Children Safe in Education.
We work hard at St Joseph’s to ensure our children are safe when with us, and also teach them how to keep safe themselves – both in and outside of school.
Stop it Now! Helping Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
This website provides lots of advice about keeping children safe from sexual abuse as well as confidential help and support.
Criminal Exploitation and County Lines
Definition of Child Criminal Exploitation
Child Criminal Exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of a person under the age of 18 and may coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under that age into any activity (a) In exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) For the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) Through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may be exploited even if the activity appears consensual (i.e. moving drugs or the proceeds of drugs from one place to another).Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. (Home Office 2018)
What is County Lines:
County lines is the term used for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market coastal towns using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”. It involves child criminal exploitation (CCE) as gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money. Gangs establish a base in the market location, typically by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion, a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
County lines is a major, cross-cutting issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and missing persons; and the response to tackle it involves the police, the National Crime Agency, a wide range of Government departments, local government agencies and VCS (voluntary and community sector) organisations.
County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.
The Home Office has produced a guidance: Criminal Exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults: County Lines Guidance for frontline professionals on dealing with county lines, part of the government’s approach to ending gang violence and exploitation.
What are the signs of criminal exploitation and county lines?
- Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing
- Being found in areas away from home
- Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them
- Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
- Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work
- Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery
- Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour
- Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know
- Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled
- Having hotel cards or keys to unknown place
What to do if you are worried about Child Exploitation:
Report anything you see as suspicious as intelligence to
Dorset Police: https://www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/ or 101
Or anonymously through Crimestoppers: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ or 0800 555 111
As a parent or member of the public – if you have concerns regarding a young person’s welfare:
Call Police on 999 if in immediate danger
MASH BCP area: 01202 123334 (9am- 5pm Monday to Friday; 01202 738256 after 5pm and weekends)
ChAD Dorset area: 01305 228558 (8am-10pm Monday to Friday; 9am-10pm weekends, and on call after 10pm)
Further information can be found at: Criminal Exploitation and County Lines - Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership (pdscp.co.uk) or by contacting a Safeguarding Lead at St. Joseph's.
SPACE is a self-funded organisation founded in January 2018, in response to the national prevalence of Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and the County Lines phenomenon which has entrenched thousands of young children and people into serious violence and organised crime. Please visit the website here.
Keeping Young People Safe in BCP
Educate Against Hate
Messages of hate can take many forms. Extremist groups use them to recruit young people. Parents can find answers to common questions and resources to help protect your child below.
Please see BCP's Family Information Directory which has information about BCP's Early Help Teams:
Find the information here: Family Information Directory
Operation Encompass and domestic abuse
Operation Encompass directly connects the police with schools to ensure support for children living with domestic abuse in their homes. Operation Encompass is a charitable organisation set up in 2011, which has since enabled effective interventions to many thousands of children who've experienced domestic abuse. Their aim is to provide an efficient, confidential channel of communication between police forces and safeguarding leads within schools. This enables the immediate and discrete recognition of the child's situation by the school, ensuring a secure and sympathetic environment is provided and the broader effects of abuse are addressed.
For more information please visit the Operation Encompass website: www.operationencompass.org
Please see the pdf document below: 'Working to break the cycle of Domestic Abuse'
Protecting children from domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are, or who have been in a relationship. It can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse. Children never just ‘witness’ domestic abuse; it always has an impact on them.
Local domestic abuse services:
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000247
Poole Domestic Abuse Outreach: 01202 710777.
Prevent Radicalisation and Extremism by Acting Early. www.actearly.uk
Advice about how to spot the signs of criminal exploitation and involvement in gangs and what support is available for children and young people. www.nspcc.org.uk
Child Sexual Explotation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse and is illegal. Please see further information and advice from Dorset Police on protection children against child sexual exploitation. www.dorset.police.uk
Harmful sexual abuse
Local procedures for safeguarding children against harmful sexual behaviour: Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership
Drugs and Alcohol
EDAS provides support to adults and young people affected by alcohol, illicit substances and over the counter or prescribed medication misuse across Dorset. www.edasuk.org
The Anti bullying Alliance provides a lot of advice for parents and young people.
Incidents of bullying are taken seriously at St Joseph’s. Children have been taught to identify bullying behaviour and are encouraged to report it. A great emphasis is put on developing the skills of being a good friend.
As pupils mature they are able to reflect on their own and others’ rights and responsibilities. Pupils are taught to behave in this way and are involved in drawing up codes of Conduct in their classes.
The school signposts access to support for pupils, by displaying Childline posters with helpline numbers.
At St Joseph’s we have a cycle of safeguarding assemblies that include:
The senior leadership team run fortnightly assemblies to celebrate achievement.
This provides an opportunity to reinforce St Joseph’s Golden Rules:
Everyone has a right to learn
Everyone has a right to be respected
Everyone has a right to feel safe
They are also reminded of how to ‘Keep safe and keep happy’
Useful websites for information on rail/road and water safety:
Rail safety: www.networkrail.co.uk
Road safety: www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk
Water safety: www.rnli.org
We use these slogans to make it easy to remember:
Tell any adult in the school
Use the Worry Boxes
Talk to our ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants)
We have a ’Play Buddy’ scheme in action at playtimes where some older children will support children who want help with finding a friend to play with. The friendship bench is a central point for children to come to and is seen as a friendly place to sit.
In Year 2 children are taken to Safewise where they experience full sized mock-up scenarios that teach them how to keep themselves and others safe, for example by the river, at home, or at the scene of road accident or a house fire.
We use the ‘Safe Schools Team’ from Dorset Police to run e-safety workshops with each class every year. In this way children are reminded of the ‘Zip it, flag it, block it’ slogan that is displayed in school at all times. These workshops extend to parents too in order to encourage our whole-school community to protect themselves. The school’s E-Safety Champion carries out an annual 360 degree audit – this shows our current rating is above average compared to the 10,395 schools using this audit.
We also use the ‘Safe Schools Team’ to deliver an annual workshop on preventing bullying. Please see the latest newsletter from the Safer Schools and Communities Team at the bottom of the page.
At St Joseph’s we will signpost parents to outside agencies whenever it seems useful. We have links to the Somerford Children’s Centre who offer parenting courses and many other helpful family provision.
The Department for Education website - Keeping Children Safe in Education
Thinkuknow - For information on how to keep your child safe on the internet
SWGFL - Top E-safety Tips to Staying Safe Online Guide
Childnet International - recommended by the Safer Schools and Community Team
Parent Zone - offers some practical advice on how you can stay calm when you’re online
Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership - safeguarding children in Dorset
BCP Children’s services
T. 01202 123334 Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 5.15pm, Friday: 8.30am to 4.45pm or email
Out of hours
T. 01202 738256 or email
The latest contact details for the assessment team are:
Tel: 01202 128885 or email
If you are worried about anything, it could be something big or something small – don’t bottle it up. It can really help if you talk to someone. If there is something on your mind, Childline is here for you.
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies
Dorset Police Online Safety Newsletter
For more school policies please see our Policies and Forms page.