Safeguarding update - October 2022

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.

Keeping Children Safe update from Miss Amy Smith, DSL. 

Welcome back Chessington family. I hope this finds you all well.

It was great to see that last year you stated that this safeguarding article was a useful way of communicating safeguarding updates with parents/carers. Having recently presented to Year 7 parents (link to presentation is here). I made clear the size of ‘safeguarding’ as a topic. I plan to deliver specific face-to-face safeguarding to parents through information evenings and then use this article to update you with small snippets of training that I have delivered to staff each term. 

Alongside these training updates, I will keep you updated with what’s in the news and signpost you to resources that you may find useful.

As we have entered a new school year, our child protection and safeguarding policy has been updated to include the changes in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education'.  Our Policy is here. To summarise the main changes to keeping children safe, please see below:

  • They have added ‘a child may not be ready to disclose a safeguarding incident’. At our initial training as staff members, we explored reasons why pupils may not be ready to disclose.

  • All governors must now be trained in Safeguarding, not just the safeguarding link. At Chessington School, we have always done this anyway.

  • LGBT has been added to the documentation. Being LGBT is not itself an inherent risk factor for harm However, children who are LGBT can be targeted

  • Peer on Peer abuse is now called Child on Child abuse. It also specifically lays out that professionals must reassure that the law is there to protect them not criminalise.

  • Staff should be aware of the filtering systems used to protect children on the Internet.

After delivering this training to staff, they were asked to complete several quizzes linked to what they had learnt - just like in a lesson! 

Our Chessington, priorities this year are:

  • Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Delivery of an outstanding PDW Curriculum

  • Prevention of Child-Child abuse supported by the above curriculum

  • Contextual Safeguarding (Local Context - Kingston borough Youth strategy click here)


In the news

Legislation - England and Wales

Implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022

The Act will raise the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 in England and Wales to protect children from the scourge of forced marriage. This means that 16 to 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent from 26 February 2023. It will not be possible for anyone under 18 to marry or enter a civil partnership after this date.

Currently, forced marriage is only an offence if the person uses coercion, for example, threats, to cause someone to marry, or if the person lacks the capacity to consent to marry under the Mental Capacity Act. The Act will expand the criminal offence of forced marriage in England and Wales to make it an offence in all circumstances to do anything intended to cause a child to marry before they turn 18. It will therefore now be an offence to cause a child under the age of 18 to enter marriage under any circumstances, without the need to prove that a form of coercion was used. The forced marriage offence will continue to include ceremonies of marriage which are not legally binding, for example in community or traditional settings.

In School Support

At the end of last year, I completed my Senior Mental Health Champion award. The emphasis on schools is to create a mentally healthy fit schools, which look at protective factors (such as our GREAT values) and problem-solving. Mrs Cooper will be delivering to staff about the ways we create mentally healthy fit schools alongside some specific zones of regulation work to help children recognise emotions and problem-solving strategies. We’ve also expanded our external support officer to include ‘Mind’ who are offering 5 students the opportunity to have virtual counselling, alongside our face-to-face counsellor (Catherine Bligh).  A massive thank you to the Grace Dear Trust who have funded us to have this incredible resource again this year.


External Support

As we start a new school year, parents may well be looking for after-school clubs, theatre groups or sports’ clubs. The DfE has a document that helps parents identify the safeguarding issues to consider when choosing a provider. Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition: Questions to help parents and carers choose out-of-school settings.

Guidance for parents and carers on safeguarding children in out-of-school settings/community activities/after school clubs and tuition can be read - here


Kingston Borough - Affluent drinking

Please find a webcast for parents and resources around alcohol and substance use at unsupervised gatherings and parties provided by Kingston AFC for parents - here.


Staff Training 

September 2022 - All staff trained in KCSIE 2022 Changes. Including but not limited to Children Missing Education, Exploitation, Early Help, Harmful Sexual Behaviours and Domestic Abuse. 

September 2022 - E-safety filtering systems

September 2022- Further Early Help and Mental Health work with Pastoral support officers.

October 2022 - Mental Health

October 2022 - Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriages and FGM


Parent Training

The Mental Health Systemic Therapist delivered a session to year 7 parents about ‘managing anxiety through transition. 

Miss Smith delivered to Year 7 parents about safeguarding and PDW. We will also deliver online safety to Year 8 parents and Child-Child abuse information to Year 9.

More to come…


This year Chessington School have partnered with the Mental Health Charities MIND (website) and The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families  (website) to ensure the children and young people in our community can access a wide range of mental health and well-being support.

As part of this service they are also offering support for parents and carers in two forms, the ‘connecting parents group’ and parent webinars. Below you will find explanations of both these services, if you wish to take part or find out more please contact Mrs Cait Cooper (email).

We hope that many of you can take up these offers so that we can continue to work together to ensure that Chessington School is a Mentally Healthy School. 


What is the Connecting Parent/Carer group about?

• These will run each half term, for one hour on Zoom

• The 4-week groups aim to provide a reflective space to think about the challenges of parenting adolescents, as well as a space for parents/ carers to attend to their own well-being. It is not therapy, and it is not a webinar – we are promoting a specific parenting stance called 'mentalizing' and will support parents to understand and practice this stance through video clips, PowerPoints and discussions

• An introductory meeting will run for each group, any parent/carer interested can attend to hear what the group is about

• After the introductory meeting, parents/carers will be asked to register for the actual group and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis

What are the Parent/Carer Webinars for?

 • The purpose of the webinars is to expand the reach of core information for parents and carers of adolescents

 • The webinars will reflect core developmental processes in adolescence and common difficulties parents/carers can struggle with 

• This is a repeat offer, held twice per term 

What are the webinar topics?

 • Managing Teen Behaviour that Challenges: Tips and Tricks 

• Weathering the Storms of Strong Teenage Emotions: Do’s and Don'ts and when to consider talking to someone

 • Building Resilience, Staying Connected and Nurturing your Relationship with your Teen • Adolescent Self-harm: How to make sense of it and when to seek support

 • Anxiety in Adolescents: How can parents/carers help

 • Managing Transition from Primary to Secondary School (summer delivery) 

• Managing Exam Result Stress (summer delivery)