Safeguarding in Practice During VISOs

In previous articles we’ve explained what safeguarding is and we have introduced the safeguarding team. I had mentioned that safeguarding the children in our care is a team effort and this is very true. There is a definite partnership. As a parent, you place your children into our care and, during term time, trust that they will be safe. During holidays children return home and it is there that they have the influence of family life, parents, siblings, relations and friends. However, there is a time when children travel from the care of parents or guardians, into school and back again.

Viso is an incredibly exciting time for our pupils. A chance to relax with family, or to enjoy a myriad of school events. Family and friends make the journey into school and the site is soon bustling with excited conversation. From here, pupils often travel out of school or up to the campsite. You may have noticed from emails home, that we are tightening up safeguarding procedures at these times. Gate Passes are issued to ensure children leave site with adults that they have permission, from parents, to leave with. This procedure aims to ensure that your child cannot be collected by a stranger and taken away without your knowledge. It is a scary concept as a parent but when it comes to keeping children safe, it is essential that we are aware of procedures and the ‘why?’ behind them. As I say, this is a team effort and we are always grateful for our parent body and the support they offer on a fun, yet busy weekend.
The campsite at Viso is growing in popularity. Never before have we had children so eager to sleep under canvas and, on occasions, in the rain! Children are often collected by parents or guardians to spend a night under the stars or to enjoy good food. However, as the number of people using the campsite increases, so must our awareness of how to keep children safe. While we recognise that the vast majority of people in the world have the best of intentions, we must not take that as given. Our children do not know everyone they meet at the campsite and we should be aware of that as they head out to camp or eat.
We have had instances of children going to the campsite alone and without the permission of an adult. Other dangers come into play here: what if they hurt themselves without anyone knowing? What if they make bad decisions about who they are with and what they do? We have recently asked parents to give permission for children to go to the campsite. They must then be collected by a trusted adult (and one whom parents have given permission for them to go with).  With this in mind, any child unaccounted for in the Boarding House will be looked for. Once again, we thank you for your support in this process.  We recognise that it is not always convenient to come to dorms to collect children and are incredibly grateful for the efforts parents go to, to ensure all pupils are safe and under the protection and watch of an adult.
Once again, thank you so much for your support. The world is a good place and, as I’ve mentioned, the majority of people have the best intentions. However, as adults who our children trust, we must recognise that they often rely on us to do the thinking for them.
I do hope we have successfully explained some of our systems. Many thanks for taking the time to read thorough our thoughts on safeguarding. We are doing our best to ensure your children feel safe in school and are grateful for the care they receive from you as parents and guardians.