At St. Bede’s Catholic College, we believe that safeguarding the welfare of each individual member of our college community is our primary consideration and the foundation of all academic and social learning.
Our core values recognise that each individual is created in the image of God, and therefore we treat each other gently, justly and with dignity. Our college has high expectations for all, promoting stability, harmony and willingness to maximise the potential of all without discrimination. Through the use of Restorative Justice approaches, students are encouraged to be reflective often and discuss with members of the community how they can best be supported to grow. Positive educational experiences are provided where students are not afraid to make mistakes and see this as part of their learning journey.
We believe that there is a shared responsibility between families and the college team to work together in guiding and encouraging children so that they develop a healthy self-esteem, are optimistic and resilient, and have the capacity to develop positive and caring relationships in their lives with each other, with adults and as citizens in their wider communities.
There is a clear understanding that every person connected with our college community has a responsibility to protect children from harm, ensuring that awareness, preventative measures and swift responses are aligned to the highest standards of safeguarding. The promotion of positive physical and mental health is a similarly well-established collective responsibility across the college. The student support base is geographically located at the centre of the college site. It is accessible on the ground floor in a well signposted space, enabling children to visit voluntarily before and after school but also at break and lunchtimes. During the college day, including tutor periods and on occasion during lessons, children are directed to student support by adults in the classroom or those supporting around the college site. The purpose of the student support team is to provide 1:1 support for children by sensitively triaging their needs depending on whether they are related to academic, pastoral, spiritual or physical/ mental health needs. Specifically, physical health needs are directly managed by a member of the student support team responsible for First Aid, facilitated in the adjoining Medical room. If a child or adult presents with a mental health concern, they are supported and referred to the college Mental Health Lead.
The Vice Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead has overall responsibility for this area and with the support of the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, liaises closely with the student support team to manage safeguarding matters. The Heads of House and wider pastoral team work closely with the student support team, and families as appropriate, regularly sharing information so that all parties are well informed and therefore well placed to offer high quality and timely support to the children in our care.
Children who present with any concern within the spectrum of mental health are assessed and either offered 1:1 or small group support within the college setting. Parents and carers are very important contributors to the support plans offered and therefore regular and purposeful communication is maintained whilst protecting the dignity of the child and those responsible for them.
The overall care offer at St. Bede’s Catholic College is not restricted to in-house provision. Although the vast majority of the wide range of referrals are managed on-site, sometimes external agencies are involved. The student support team and the Safeguarding team work closely with external teams in the three local authorities, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Within the authorities, very positive working relationships exist with Children’s Services, the Police, medical practitioners and wider community support services.