The Folkestone school for Girls is a community and all those directly connected (staff, governors, parents, families and pupils) have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. The Folkestone School for Girls recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children with their best interests at the centre of our work.
The Folkestone School for Girls 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
Our school core safeguarding principles are:
• That schools are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children.
• It is a whole school responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as its paramount concern
• All children (defined as those up to the age of 18) 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
There are four main elements to our safeguarding strategy:
• Prevention (e.g. positive, supportive, safe school culture, curriculum and pastoral opportunities for children, safer recruitment procedures);
• Protection (by following the agreed procedures, ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns);
• Support (for all pupils, parents and staff, and where appropriate specific intervention for those who may be at risk of harm);
• Working with parents and other agencies (to ensure appropriate communications and actions are undertaken).
We aim through this section of the website to provide useful contacts and information to parents to ensure that our community is aware and able to support safeguarding the students that are the heart of our school. We define safeguarding as:
“Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It includes a wide range of issues relating to pupil’s welfare, health and safety.”
The school acknowledges that safeguarding will incorporate a range of specific safeguarding issues including (but not limited to):
• Bullying (including cyberbullying)
• Children Missing Education (CME)
• Child missing from home or care
• Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
• Domestic violence
• Drugs and alcohol misuse
• Fabricated or induced illness
• Faith abuse
• Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
• Forced marriage
• Gangs and youth violence
• Gender based abuse and violence against women and girls
• Honour based abuse
• Mental health
• Missing children and adults
• Online safety
• Prevent duty (radicalisation and extremism)
• Private fostering
• Relationship abuse
• Human trafficking and modern slavery
• Youth produced sexual imagery or “Sexting”
With all safeguarding concerns please feel free to contact the school Pastoral staff and we will support you with your concerns.
If you are visiting the school, please always ensure you sign in at our reception. If you do have a concern whilst visiting please do ask at reception for the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Additional information on what to watch out for and how to report a concern can be found in this leaflet:
Radicalisation and extremism has become a key concern for the UK. Schools are a crucial part to preventing extremism and radicalisation. The Folkestone School for Girls does this through education and the promotion of British values. This is done through our interactions with students and is closely tied in to our ethos. An example of this is through the use of elections in school to promote democracy or teaching our students to question critically information they read to spot propaganda.
The school also has a responsibility to pass on information that is feels may prevent a student being radicalised.
Should you encounter a website that would be promoting extremist ideas or your daughter has accessed this then please use the following link:
The school also runs annual drills to counter the threat of an extremist incident. These are unlikely to happen of course but it is better to be prepared even in the most unlikely eventuality. In school we use the C.L.O.S.E protocol and enter a state of lockdown.
We also teach the students the about the dangers outside of school and what to do should they find themselves caught up in an incident. The following link contains advice for this eventuality:
For many parents the battle to stay up to date and keep their children safe online is a hard one with new apps every day and ever complex technology. Here are some useful links to help keep children safe online:
As well as this, there is some information to help with other issues such as students “sexting” and accessing online pornography. These guides provide useful advice on how to have conversations with your daughter should the need arise.
Should you have serious concerns about your daughter and feel that the actions of someone online is putting them at risk then please read the information in the link below. There is a thinkuknow quick link on our home page if you need to report something of concern to the Police.
There is also advice for students:
There is an increasing number of students in Kent who are being exploited by criminal gangs. These students are often recruited and made to carry out illegal activities for the gang. They are often exploited, intimidated or bribed to help with criminal activities.
Below is a link to crime stoppers new website aimed at young adults. It provides information on criminal offences and also provides an anonymous reporting facility if you are worried about a crime that could impact your daughter.
For some students in any school mental health is a challenge and can place them in difficult situations or cause them to make decisions that place them in danger:
The Folkestone School for Girls is a head start school and uses this model as well as the range of personal development opportunities the FSGbacc offers to build resilience. Below is a link for parents and carers to help with some strategies to help their daughter.
There is also some fantastic information available at Mind which offers advice and possible ways to help with these issues:
We aim to ensure the students understand how to protect themselves from various dangers. This is usually delivered in PSHE sessions such as protecting themselves from things like STDs or understanding consent. Sometimes however situations occur which mean students may find themselves at risk despite attempting to avoid risky situation. For this reason we have trained our P.E staff to deliver so basics of self defense based on Krav Maga. The training for our staff was provided by the Krav Maga Centre in Folkestone.