Five Acre Wood School is a foundation school and all those directly connected (staff, governors, parents, families and pupils) have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure.

Five Acre Wood School recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.

Five Acre Wood School recognises the importance of providing an ethos and environment within school that will help children to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

In order to have an overview of all the children/young people the school conducts regular information sharing meetings with colleagues from other agencies such as the NHS and Social Services.

Our school core safeguarding principles are:

    • It is a whole school responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as its paramount concern
    • All children (defined as being on roll at the school) regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
    • All children have a right to be heard and to have their wishes and feelings taken into account
    • All staff understand safe professional practice and adhere to our code of conduct and other associated policies
    • All staff have a responsibility to recognise vulnerability in children and act on any concern in accordance with this guidance

Anti Bullying Statement

Five Acre Wood School and its Governors seek to ensure that bullying in any form does not happen.   We are committed to providing a caring, safe and friendly environment for everyone.

Bullying is defined as “behaviour by an individual or a group, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual either physically or emotionally”. (DfE “Preventing and Tackling Bullying”, July 2017) This may take the form of name-calling, violence, threatening behaviour, isolation, ridicule or indirect actions such as gossiping. The school recognises that within the context of a Special School environment, pupils may present bullying behaviours, without the conceptual awareness that what they are doing is bullying. However, bullying is recognised by the school as being a form of child on child abuse.

Bullying incidents are very rare, due to a very positive ethos in the school and the high level of care and support, although we do take the attitude that ‘it could happen here.’ We encourage our pupils to be kind, to develop respect for each other with a great emphasis on encouraging pupils to work and play together co-operatively.  We are very proud of the way in which our pupils care for each other and during out of school visits our pupils are frequently complimented on their behaviour. Parents and families have an important part to play in helping to deal with bullying. If you are worried that your child is bullying or being bullied in school, please contact the school immediately, so that any incident can be dealt with swiftly. All incidents of bullying are investigated, followed through and reported to the LA and DfE.

Prevent Duty

On 1 July 2015 the Prevent duty (section 26) of The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 came into force. This duty places the responsibility on local authorities and schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Five Acre Wood School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is as important as safeguarding against any other vulnerability.

All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We believe that children should be given the opportunity to explore diversity and understand Britain as a multi-cultural society; everyone should be treated with respect whatever their race, gender, sexuality, religious belief, special need, or disability.

As part of our commitment to safeguarding and child protection we fully support the government’s Prevent Strategy.

Staff have completed the DfE’s Channel General Awareness training. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.


Please click on the links below for useful guidance and information:

Child Protection policies and associated documents

Five Acre Wood School child protection related policies and associated documents:

Online Safety

Online Safety (E-safety) is also an important part of child protection and safeguarding. Because of the needs of the pupils who attend Five Acre Wood School, teachers work with pupils on an individual basis to develop their understanding of how to keep themselves safe whilst online.

Below are a selection of some of the resources used with pupils along with advice and guidance for parents/carers about keeping themselves and their children safe online.

Should you have concerns about your son/daughter and what they are accessing online please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Costain, who is our appointed e-safety leader.

For advice regarding protecting your children online please follow this link to the Think U Know website

To report online abuse or concerns follow this link to CEOP who work with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify threats to children and coordinate activity against these threats to bring offenders to account.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The Designated Safeguarding Lead at Five Acre Wood is Sarah Costain.  She has the overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of the safeguarding and child protection systems in the school.  The school has also appointed Deputy DSL’s – Tim Williams, Janine Hercock, Kirstie Hemingway, Peggy Murphy, Emma Athwal, Karen Robinson-Jones, Sam Hazle, Emma Russell, Matt Smith, Jaime Cronk, Leanne Bowden and Demi Lockett.  Whilst the activities of the DSL may be delegated to the deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the lead DSL.

All DSL’s and deputies have undergone appropriate and specific training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out their role.

The Governing Body have also appointed a named Safeguarding Governor – Dr Shobha Ravindra.

It is the role of the Governors to ensure their school has effective safeguarding policies and procedures in place that take into account local risks, any statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State, any local authority guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures.

Should you wish to contact any of the DSL’s or Safeguarding Governor, please contact the school on 01622 743925

Operation Encompass

Five Acre Wood School is an Operation Encompass School. This means we work in partnership with Kent Police to provide support to children experiencing domestic abuse. An Operation Encompass notification is sent to the school when the police are called to an incident of domestic abuse and there are children in the household; the police are expected to inform schools before the child(ren) arrive the following day.

    • Operation Encompass notifications help ensure that we have up to date and relevant information about children’s circumstances and enables us to put immediate support in place according to the child’s needs.
    • Operation Encompass does not replace statutory safeguarding procedures and where appropriate, a referral to the front door will be made if there are any concerns about a child’s welfare.
    • Where the school is unsure of how to respond to a notification, advice will be sought from the Education Safeguarding Service or the Operation Encompass helpline which is available 8AM to 1PM, Monday to Friday on 0204 513 9990.

If staff are concerned that a child may be at risk of seeing, hearing, or experiencing domestic abuse in their home or in their own intimate relationships, immediate action should be taken by speaking to the DSL or a deputy.

If you believe someone is in immediate danger and at risk from harm please contact the police.

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 (run by Refuge)
  • The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327 (run by Respect)
  • The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994