Safeguarding

Safeguarding Statement: Dowdales School is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. To achieve our commitment, we will ensure continuous development and improvement of robust Safeguarding processes and procedures that promote a culture of Safeguarding amongst our staff and volunteers.

We are committed to inspiring, challenging and Safeguarding our students, enabling them to become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve.
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution, both socially and economically, to society.

ACCESSIBILITY

Dowdales School Commitment to Accessibility Planning

Dowdales School is committed to:

  • The continual improvement of access to all facilities and services for all those with disabilities
  • The provision of quality services to all members of the community with disabilities

Site Audit of Facilities

The Health and Safety Officer completes a survey of the facilities to assess any barriers that may exist and recommend solutions to removing those barriers in order to comply with the current legislation.

Review and Monitoring of the Process

Dowdales School is committed to following through with this plan. This plan will be reviewed and updated annually thus allowing visitors and staff to monitor the barriers identified and the progress the School achieved by the school to remove all barriers.

Disability Discrimination

We do not discriminate against any student on the grounds of disability. We assess their needs and take all reasonable steps to meet the need whatever it is. The school is equipped with lifts to ensure access to the majority of school buildings.

COLLECTIVE WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Dowdales is a secular school, however, we see a student's spiritual development and the acts of collective worship, which we have as important parts of school life. However, parents have the right to withdraw their child from acts of collective worship and lessons in Religious Education. If you wish to do so please put your views, in writing, to the Headteacher and alternative arrangements can be discussed.

SEX EDUCATION

The school has a policy for Sex Education which all parents are welcome to see. Sex Education is part of Health Education and Citizenship courses. The values of family life and stable relationships are fundamental to this programme of work.Parents who wish to, may see the teaching materials we use. As a parent, you also have the right to withdraw your child from all or part of our Sex Education.

CAREERS EDUCATION

We are proud of our Careers Education which is acknowledged as one of the best in the area. There is a co-ordinated programme of guidance and students have access to a wide range of up to date information. There are Careers talks and Careers conventions and all students have individual guidance interviews with a Careers Officer. Individual action planning in small tutor groups is at the heart of our Careers programme in Year 11.

ASSEMBLIES

Students in Years 7 - 11 are required to attend school assemblies. The subjects chosen for assemblies are about aspects of school life and are often about our duties towards each other and towards the wider community in which we live. Visiting speakers also help and our assemblies are broadly Christian in their character.

INSURANCE

Students in schools are covered by personal accident insurance.
* The County Council can only be held responsible for accidents where they or their staff are proved to be negligent.
* Whilst in school and during school activities.

The provision of personal accident insurance is considered to be the responsibility of parents. Parents who are interested in this kind of insurance can contact their local insurance broker.

CHARGING FOR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

The admission of a child to Dowdales School and the formal curriculum offered to a registered student are not subject to statutory charge nor the parent's willingness to make a voluntary contribution. Voluntary contributions may be sought for activities during the school day which entail additional costs, for example a visit to a museum, historical site etc. In these circumstances no student will be prevented from participating because his/her parents cannot or will not make a contribution. No child will be denied the opportunity of attending an activity, however, it is possible that unless sufficient voluntary contributions are received to cover the cost, the
experience will not go ahead. A charge is levied for individual tuition in the playing of a musical instrument, although this is subsidised by the school. Any parent who is in receipt of Income Support, Income based Jobseeker's Allowance, support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Child Tax Credit (with provisions) is entitled to claim remission of charges for board and lodging on residential trips that are not optional extras. In accordance with current legislation the school has a detailed policy for charging. Parents who wish to see this should contact the school.

FORMAL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

If you become concerned about your child's education it is important that you tell us about this. We will do all we can to resolve your concerns and to ensure you are happy with your child's education. In the first instance you should contact your child's Head of School or Form Teacher. Parents are also welcome to speak to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher who will always listen to all enquiries. More serious complaints should be addressed to the Headteacher, in the first instance. Parents also have the right of complaint to the Governing Body or the Local Authority. Advice on how to pursue a formal complaint is available from Children's Services, 5 Portland Square, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 1PU.

SCHOOL POLICIES

Parents may obtain from the school copies of any school or Local Authority policy, the Ofsted report, the action plan arising from this report or any other data covered by the Freedom of Information Act in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN POLICY)

As defined by the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, children have special education needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children, which is differentiated to meet individual needs and abilities.
The progress made by all students at this school is regularly monitored and reviewed. The school does not identify students as having special educational needs unless we are taking action that is additional to, or different from, that which goes on in the classroom as part of our differentiated approach.

Allocation of Resources

The SENCo is responsible for the operational management for special needs provision within school, including the provision for students with statements.

The Headteacher informs the Governing Body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.

The effectiveness of the resources for special needs will be monitored as part of the on-going process of self-evaluation in school.

In January 2011 we gained Dyslexia Friendly School Status for the second time by the Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Students (CReSTeD).

Wherever possible we do not withdraw students from the classroom; this reflects the schools acknowledgement that all students have an entitlement to share the same learning experience as their peers. There are times however, when, to maximise learning, we ask the students to work in small groups or in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom eg. Dyslexia Teaching, literacy and numeracy groups, pre-teaching sessions and as required sessions with the SERID counsellor.

Partnership with Parents

At all stages of the SEN process the school keeps parents fully informed and involved. We take account of wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents and encourage them to make an active contribution to their child's education.

Links with other Agencies

The school works closely with all of the Local Authority's Student and School Support Units when identifying, assessing and making provision for special needs students including the Specialist Teaching Service, Educational Psychologists and the School Nurse. There is a thorough Transition programme for Year 6 students which includes extra visits to Dowdales and visits by Dowdales
support staff to the Primary Schools in the Summer term.

We have the same careful planning for our Year 11 students as they prepare to leave Dowdales. The SENCo meets with staff from Inspira (Connexions) and all the local colleges. Extra visits are arranged as required.