|At Ormiston Horizon Academy it is our vision that no child should suffer harm, either at home or at the academy. Everyone who works in our Academy has a responsibility to make sure that all our young people are safe. The Academy acknowledge the importance of child protection and will ensure that sufficient resources are made available. Child protection issues will be addressed through the curriculum, where appropriate, particularly on Personal Development days.|
Executive Summary September 2106
The recent OAT review stated that ‘Safeguarding is effective and a strength of the academy’.
The LA has confirmed that OHA assumes its statutory safeguarding responsibilities appropriately:
The LA Virtual School commented ‘Thanks so much for you your support and all your colleagues’ xxxx may not have made as much progress without you guys. This has been a difficult case with lots of complex safeguarding issues – well done, and thanks again for your support’ (May 2016).
A comment from a LA Social Worker commenting ‘that it was through perseverance of the academy that xx has now completed his allocated counselling sessions and is in a much better place emotionally. Thank you again for all your help in organising this for him’ (May 2016)
Personal development, behaviour and welfare are good. Students are very positive and their attendance is good. Persistent absence is low. Fixed term exclusions are reducing. Alternative provision is good and students can study the full range of subjects. Inclusion is a very strong feature of provision.
The academy has a good record of supporting some very vulnerable students. The pastoral team is strong. The academy provides a meaningful environment for its students.
Students are positive in lessons and this supports their progress. There is mutual respect, with very few exceptions. OAT EA 1/10/15
As your child grows and becomes more independent, it is only natural that they take this independence online. In our teenage years we explore, try new things and sometimes push boundaries and take risks, this is an essential part of growing up.
With all of the potential that the online world and new technology offers, young people now have access to huge opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore, and be creative; it has changed the way they communicate.
The internet has changed all of our lives, and your child has grown up during this change. Many of the things that confuse, baffle or even scare us, are part of the everyday for them. For many of us, this can all be a bit too much.
Whether you’re a technophobe or a technophile, it’s still likely that you’ll be playing catch-up with the way your child is using the internet.
You might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?
This site aims to make online parenting simple.
Digital parenting magazine from Vodaphone, please click here
As you may have seen in the media, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has recently warned of a concerning increase in sexual offending on the internet involving webcams.
CEOP have investigated a number of cases in which sex offenders have used extortion to force young people to perform sexual acts on webcam.
Typically online sexual extortion happens in the following way:
This has happened to hundreds, potentially thousands, of young people in this country.
This is sexual abuse. The emotional impact can be devastating. A number of young people have attempted suicide as a result of finding themselves in this situation.
To help prevent further harm, CEOP are calling on parents and carers to talk to their children about this type of crime and to support them to come forward should they find themselves in difficulty.
It’s great to take an active interest in your child’s life online and we’d encourage you to talk openly with them about the things they do. Remember, the internet is an essential part of young people’s lives and provides them with tremendous opportunities. The vast majority use it without coming to any harm.
To start a conversation with your child you could tell them that you understand that some young people share sexual images and that you’re interested to know what they think about it. We have also developed a fact sheet that you can share with your child with top tips on how they can Stay Safe on Screen, which you can download here.
If your child were to tell you this has happened, your response as a parent will be crucial in helping them cope. It is important to take it very seriously whilst reacting calmly. When a child tells a parent they have experienced sexual abuse parents should:
Through your local council or fostering agency, you may feel equipped to deal with the vulnerabilities your child faces as a ‘looked after child’ in the real world, but how confident are you with the online world?
Rules and boundaries you set in the real world can apply online. It is advised that you take the time to read all of the information available on the parents and carers (link back to main page) pages and follow the top tips for your child’s age group. It is important to learn the technologies they use, the positive aspects of being online, but also what can go wrong.
As well as this there are specific risks looked after children may face online;
There are preventative methods you need to take as their carer pre, during and post placement to create a safer online environment.
Many adopted children and young people encounter negative experiences in childhood. These experiences such as loss, grief and disrupted family lives can make them more vulnerable to risk both online and in the real world.
In the online world, they may be additional vulnerable to the range of risks that all children and young people face. Adopted children also face the possibility of contact from their birth family. This can pose additional risks. Sometimes birth families bypass the traditional route of using an adoption agency to find their relatives and instead use online sites such as Facebook to trace and locate them. Some adopted children also actively search for their birth relatives in secret; where they are successful, this can place them in risky situations.
For a child, finding their birth family when using the traditional channels can be emotional and challenging. Offline this would involve preparation and significant support; however the speed of the internet means online contact can be instant, direct and can happen without anyone knowing.
This contact causes additional complexities; what may start well and feel like a ‘honeymoon’ period, can quickly spiral out of control. The child could find themselves facing demands from additional relatives looking to make contact. These individuals may have varying accounts of the events leading up to the adoption which could leave the child confused and upset.
As an adoptive parent, it is important that you:
Take an interest in your child’s online life.
Use the internet as a family. Discuss their favourite sites and the “friends” they have in these spaces.
Talk to your child about what they would do if they did hear from a member of their birth family online.
If the situation does arise having a plan in place means they will be more likely to come to you for support.
Recognise that your child may be curious about their past and the people in it.
Let them know that you understand their curiosity and that it’s ok to talk about it with you. Emphasise that you won’t be upset or angry.
Ask your child to set privacy settings on the sites they use online.
This will ensure that they have more control over their personal information and who can gain access to it. Do the same on the sites you use and be careful what information you and the rest of the family post about your adopted child.
Don’t be afraid to seek further support.
Contact your child’s adoption agency if you have any queries about online contact from birth families and if you are concerned that your child may be in danger – call 999.
New technologies open up many exciting benefits and opportunities for children and young people but they can also present some risks. Technology is becoming all pervasive, touching all areas of society, with children and young people having increasing access to personal technology such as web-enabled phones.
Becta: Safeguarding children in a digital world
If you or your child would like more information please contact either:
Esafety Officer is Mr P Shufflebotham firstname.lastname@example.org