Safeguarding Children

Morton Academy will remain vigilant in respect to all types of abuse and neglect; and the specific safeguarding issues highlighted in the most recent guidance: Keeping Children Safe in Education.

The Academy Policy for Safeguarding and Child Protection is available on the Website in the policies section. This policy details what the Academy will do to safeguard its students as well as detailing information about abuse and procedures within school to tackle this.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead at Morton Academy is Michelle Rigg, Deputy lead is Pam Hannah.

Morton Academy takes Safeguarding its students extremely seriously and will unapologetically do this to the highest standard. If you have concerns about a child, do not wait to act! Contact the police on 101, or if the nature of your concern in urgent, dial 999.

Click here for advice on Sexting.What is FGM?

FGM is s procedure where the female genital organs are deliberately injured or changed and there is no medical reason for this. The practice can cause short and long term physical and psychological effects. The age at which it is carried out can vary greatly from just after birth into adulthood.

FGM is another form of violence against women, it is illegal and must be reported. If you know or suspect a child is at risk of FGM or has experienced FGM, please contact the police immediately on 101 or in an emergency 999.

Academy staff are trained on what FGM is, signs and symptoms, the law surrounding this and what to do if FGM is suspected or disclosed. FGM is a criminal offence – it is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls. Cases will be dealt with as part of existing structures within the Academy, detailed in the Academy Safeguarding and child protection policy.

Academy Principles

The safety and welfare of the child is paramount.  The Academy will act in the interests and rights of the child.

FGM is illegal in the UK and is an extremely harmful practise – responding to it will not be left to personal choice, it is expected and demanded of all staff  Any and all interventions will be underpinned by the highest quality multi-agency support.

As FGM is often an embedded social norm within certain communities, engagement with families and communities play an important role in ending it.

Morton Academy is proud to be an accredited Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Champion School.

The Home Office definition of Domestic Violence is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

·         psychological

·         physical

·         sexual

·         financial

·         emotional

As a DV Champion School we promote Healthy Relationships and aim to educate our students about what a healthy relationship is, looks and feels like.

We do this in a number of ways:

Encouraging open and honest dialogue between staff and students

PSHCE Programmes and assemblies delivered by an external agency expert in Domestic violence.

Teaching our students and staff about the Law, how to identify if they themselves are in an unhealthy relationship and what to do if they need help or support.

Many of our staff are fully trained champions and able to support our students, staff and families appropriately.

                                                It’s never too late to get help!

What is Prevent? 

‘Prevent’ is part of the government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy.  The aim of Prevent is to reduce the threat from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent strategy has three specific objectives:

1. Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it

2. Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support

3. Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation.

What are we doing about it?

At Morton Academy we continue to work hard to safeguard our students from being radicalised and drawn into extremist behaviours. Academy Teachers and Support staff have received specific training around Radicalisation and Extremism from Cumbria Constabulary, delivered by a member of their counter terrorism team. Staff have also continued their training online through a police awareness course. Staff are clear about the vulnerabilities that that potential recruiters look for in students and as such have programmes in place to deliver to students who may be particularly vulnerable. Further to this the Academy delivers a bespoke curriculum through PSHCE and British Values to ensure students are aware of potential recruitment strategies and what to do about them. Morton Academy is committed to keeping its students and community safe. More information about Prevent can be found on the following pages. Recruiters will often try to target children and teenagers online through social media, gaming etc. To ensure you can support keeping your child safe online, please see our information on this under E-Safety.

What is extremism and radicalisation?

Extremism is ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The definition of extremism also includes calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas’.

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

Who may be at risk?

There is no one way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to terrorist ideology. If extremist views are held within a family unit, even very young children may be vulnerable to radicalisation and display concerning behaviour.  However, many studies show that radicalisation often occurs as people search for identity, meaning and community and this is why young people may be particularly vulnerable.

Factors that may have a bearing on someone becoming vulnerable

These may include:

• Peer pressure • Influence from other people • The internet/social media • bullying • crime against them or their involvement in crime • anti-social behaviour • family tension • race/hate crime • lack of self-esteem • personal or political grievances • Being at a transitional time of life • Being influenced or controlled by a group • A desire for status • A desire for excitement and adventure • A need to dominate and control others • Susceptibility to indoctrination • A desire for political or moral change • Opportunistic involvement • Family or friends involvement in extremism • Relevant mental health issues. • Learning Difficulties • A need to belong to something.

The Use of Social Media

Millions of young people use social media platforms every day to share content, but there are a small minority of users who exploit it to radicalise and recruit vulnerable people.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Ask.FM
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Private Messaging Apps including: WhatsApp, Kik, SuperSpot and Viber.

What to do if you suspect it 

The Department for Education has a dedicated telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly, or in non-emergency situations, they can be emailed at:

Here at Morton Academy we are dedicated to ensuring that all our students understand the importance of good mental health and can seek help and support regarding their mental wellbeing. Recent research from mind found that 1 in 8 young people have a diagnosable mental health disorder, which is roughly 3 students in every class, and 1 in 6 young people have experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety. To support our student’s mental wellbeing in school we have a dedicated Mental Health Team who work with students who are referred for one to one support. The Mental Health Team also provide school wide resources to promote the understanding and awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health.

MIND visited the school in the Autumn term 2019 to deliver Mates in Mind training to 100 of our students, this involved them developing their understanding of what to look for in a friend who is struggling with their mental wellbeing and how to seek support for this.  We are proud to say that 100 of our students have been awarded the Mates in Mind training.

Students in their GCSE years also have access to the ‘Mental Wellbeing Booklet’, this booklet has been designed around enabling our GCSE students to control stress and anxiety surrounding their upcoming exams. Each year 11 student is provided with one of these booklets in their revision packs.

At Morton Academy we have four staff trained by MIND in Youth Mental Health First Aid which includes suicide, self-harm, depression and anxiety, and eating disorder awareness. The mental Health Lead is also trained in Secondary School Mental Health Awareness by The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (March 2020). The Mental Health Lead also provides regular training for all staff on updates to students’ mental wellbeing and strategies to support.

If you have concerns about your child’s mental wellbeing there is a range of support available including:

Kooth; a website designed for young people’s wellbeing with trained councillors available and a range of blogs and posts based around supporting young peoples mental health.

Young Minds; a website with a range of help for both young people and their parents/carers.

Stem4; provides a range of advice for different mental health illnesses.

Within school we also provide one to one support for mental health issues, if you feel your child may benefit from this please get in touch with their Form Tutor or Head of Year who can make a referral to the Mental Health Lead.

Designated Child Protection Officers

Michelle Rigg
Designated Safeguarding Lead

Pam Hannah
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Sue Hatt
Safeguarding Governor

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