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St Columba’s is a Catholic school with Christ’s teachings of love, peace and justice at the heart of all we do

Safeguarding Information - safety online

The safety and welfare of children - or child protection - is everyone's business. You could be a neighbour, friend, parent, relative, childminder, teacher or doctor - or working for any organisation which has contact with children and young people.

Child protection means protecting children from physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. It also means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

Most children enjoy generally happy childhood experiences within their own family. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. During difficult family times, everyone who knows the child must do the best they can to protect them from future harm.

This section is about assisting parents or guardians in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.

We hope you will find the information useful.

The designated safeguarding lead will:


• refer cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care as required;

• support staff who make referrals to local authority children’s social care;

• refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern as required;

• support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme;

• refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required; and

• refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required.


Our designated safeguarding lead is:

Mrs L Southerton





All SLT are deputy designated safeguarding leads


Mrs Nixon                          

Mrs Simmons

Mrs Yarnold

Mrs Sirrell



Worried about a child?


If the child is in imminent danger, call 999


The school lead for safeguarding is Mrs Southerton, you can contact her with your concern via the school office or email on: 0121 6754841 or


CASS (Children’s Advice and Support Service):  0121 303 1888


LADO (Local Area Designated Officer): 0121 464 2612


Concerns should be brought to a DSL, if you have concerns about a DSL please contact Catholic Senior Executive Leader Paul Collins-Smith:  


Alternatively, contact Hollie Parrish for the attention of the Chair of the Board of Directors: 


Please go to the policy section in our website.

ThinkUKnow - for Parents and Carers

Developed by CEOPs and internet parenting charity, Parent Zone, Parent Info provides up-to-date, expert information for parents on a range of concerns they may have about children and young people, which is designed for schools to post on their own website.

From advice on how much sleep a teenager needs to information about relationships, sex and internet safety, Parent Info provides a range of content that can easily be hosted on a school’s website.

Parent Info’s content can be adapted for use in a variety of ways including: as advice for parents and carers; to explain the PSHE curriculum; or as a pointer to policies or guide to parents if issues arise. There’s also a specially-curated feed for primary schools, with information on topics of interest to parents of younger children.

Resources for parents and carers can be downloaded at -

Keeping children and young people safe

Clubs & Activities for Children & Young People

There are many clubs and organised activities for children, but as a parent you will want to know that any activity your child is involved with is safe.

It is important for you as a parent to feel happy and confident about the arrangements you make for your child.

To find out what is available in your area, talk to other parents who have children of the same age as your child or a little older – and talk to the children themselves.

Your first choice may be made by your child showing an interest in a particular activity or saying that he or she wants to join a particular group – perhaps he or she has a friend who is already a member. If possible, talk to the parents of children who are already involved. Are they happy about the organisation? Are the children happy about the activities?

If the activities are held on school premises, ask whether they are run by school staff and whether they are sponsored by the school. If the activities are held on council premises, church premises, etc. ask who organises them.

If possible, go and watch the group in action

  • Do the activities seem to be suitable for the children taking part?
  • Do you think the activities would be suitable for your child?
  • Does the group seem well organised?
  • Do there seem to be enough adults present for the number of children?
  • Do the premises and equipment look safe?
  • Do the activities seem to be carried out safely?
  • Do the children seem to be enjoying themselves?

If you and your child are still interested, ask about these points

  • How are the organisers recruited?
  • How are they trained and what experience do they have?
  • Do they have any qualifications?
  • Are any checks carried out to make sure that they are suitable people to work with children?
  • Is the group insured?
  • Are there any rules that staff and helpers have to follow?

Now talk to your child - are you both happy about this group? Listen carefully to your child

If your child joins a club or group, it is important to keep listening to what he or she has to say about it. If he or she becomes less willing to attend, listen carefully to what he or she is saying. Of course children do outgrow particular activities and lose interest in particular groups, but there may also be something else that your child is not happy about.

A child who has vague concerns may feel silly talking about them. Listen carefully and take what he or she says seriously. Are you still happy about the organisation, the activities and the organisers?

Remember that the final decision always lies with you as a parent. No guidance can guarantee your child's total safety from all dangers.

Picking the right activities for your child is all about listening

  • Listen to your child:
    What does he or she want to do?
  • Listen to other children:
    What do they say about local clubs and activities?
  • Listen to other parents:
    Do they think that local clubs and activities for children are well organised?
  • Listen to your own feelings:
    You often know when something is not right for your child even if you can't quite put your finger on why.
  • Listen to your child:
    If something is beginning to go wrong, he or she may notice it before you do.

If you have a concern about a particular club or activity please contact 0121 303 8454.



Is your child being bullied?

Is your child bullying other children?

Do you want to help your child stop the bullying?


National Helplines and Websites

Parentline Plus -

A national charity that works for and with parents



The Advisory Centre for Education is an independent advice centre for parents and carers offering a free telephone advice, a range of advice booklets, frequently asked questions, a jargon page a discussion forum and a booklet about tackling bullying

General advice line : (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm): 0808 800 5793

Domestic Violence

BSCB Information For Parents

If you are a parent experiencing domestic violence you may have many concerns over your children, including being:

  • Worried that you will be prevented from taking your children with you if you leave a violent relationship
  • Worried over contact your children may have with the abuser
  • Worried that you need financial or practical support to look after your children
  • Worried that your children have been traumatised by domestic violence and want extra support for them.
  • Worried that your children may be abducted.

If you are affected by domestic violence, you are not alone. You can talk over these concerns, confidentially, with a number of specialist, sensitive services. Services such as Birmingham Women's Aid will listen to you, support you and give you time and space to decide what you want to do. They won't judge you because of what you say or force you to make a decision you do not want to make.

It is important to remember that the abuse you have experienced, and your children have been exposed to, is not your fault.

Listed below are some of the organisations that can support you:

Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid (BSWA)

BSWA offers a range of services including advice, information, temporary accommodation and a counselling support service to women and children affected by domestic abuse.

The telephone helpline offers a listening ear, emotional support and practical information on BSWA services and other agencies.

If a woman decides that she no longer feels safe to remain in her home, Women's Aid can arrange for her and her children, to move to a refuge. They have refuge accommodation in Birmingham and Solihull which is accessible 24 hours a day. Refuge space can also be found elsewhere in the country if this is what a woman chooses

Helpline/ Refuge: FREEPHONE 0808 800 0028

Minicom: 0121 685 8519


Birmingham Crisis Centre

Birmingham Crisis Centre is an independent charity offering refuge to 23 women and their children fleeing abusive relationships. Trained Staff are available 24 hours a day and can be contacted through our helpline on 0121 507 0707.

Families each have access to a fully furnished bedsit with its own kitchen and bathroom . The refuge has communal facilities namely a residents lounge, laundry, children's play area and an 'outstanding' nursery provision. We provide professional counselling Support and facilitate a rolling Freedom Programme in addition to providing tailored housing related support.

Our motto is "Return to Happiness""

Please let me know when the website has been updated as we are the only refuge in Birmingham that provides a 1 24 hour helpline and this should be readily publicised.


Birmingham Women's Advice & Information Centre (BWAIC)

Free counselling, information and support and self help groups for women.

Tel: 0121 212 1881

Ashram Reducing Domestic Violence Project

RDVP is a specialised, but not specific, service for South Asian women living with or fleeing domestic abuse Provides comprehensive support, advocacy, information and advice to empower women to live more independently.

Ashram also runs a new counselling service for children and young people

Tel: 0121 764 3817

WAITS (Women Acting in Today's Society)

Support, advocacy & befriending for all women who have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives. There is a particular focus on black and minority ethnic women.

Tel: 0121-440 1443

National Domestic Violence Helpline 24 hour freephone

Tel: 0808 2000 247

If you are a male victim of domestic violence, contact:

Victim Support Men's Helpline

Tel: 0800 328 3623

Services available: Helpline for male victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Provides an opportunity to talk in confidence and anonymously

M.A.L.E: Mens Advice Line & Enquiries

Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic violence whether in straight, gay, bi sexual or transgender relationship

Tel: 0808 801 0327