Ways of Working
Our school has an assigned Schools Link Officer (SLO) who visits the school weekly.
The SLO works in partnership with our safeguarding team, other police officers and external agencies to achieve the following:
- Enhancing trust and visibility by being a regular visitor to lessons, break times and lunch times, getting to know our pupils and being approachable
- Increasing the impact of the character curriculum by contributing to lesson planning, leading assemblies and leading workshops
- Providing early-help and intervention for pupils identified as being vulnerable or at risk of harm
The purpose of our work with the police is not investigative. Our work is intended to provide advice, support and intervention.
When working on the school site, the SLO will follow school procedures and policies, deferring to school staff around any matters relating to behaviour management and breaches of the school behaviour policy, unless in exceptional circumstances.
At Ark St Alban’s Academy, we take our responsibility to maintain the privacy of our pupils and our families very seriously.
In our routine ways of working with police officers, such as their visiting lessons, break times or lunch times, or their leadership of assemblies for whole cohorts, information about pupils is not shared (beyond simple introductions such as their name and year group).
However, in providing early-help and intervention, there are occasions where more detailed information could be shared about a pupil:
- When a pupil has been involved with the police in the community, for example they have been arrested, stopped-and-searched or reported missing for a period of time, the police will share this information with the safeguarding team at school and it will be arranged for the SLO or a member of school staff to provide further advice and support to the pupil involved
- When providing a workshop or an advisory meeting led by the SLO, for a pupil or a group of pupils, the reasons why the pupils involved had been chosen by the school safeguarding team will be shared with the SLO
In both instances outlined above of individual pupils or small groups of pupils working directly with police officers in school, the school safeguarding team always contacts families in advance to share the purpose of the work and to consult with families about the suitability of their child’s involvement.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
Working with the police is sometimes an urgent and necessary part of our approach to safeguarding and child protection.
Where a pupil would benefit from an early-help assessment and intervention, the SLO may be involved in the initial meeting or as part of the resulting action plan. All early-help activities require the consent and participation of families.
There are also times where it may be necessary to share information with the police (and possibly social services). Such circumstances almost always relate to matters of child protection where a pupil is judged to be at risk of harm.
Our work with the police is led by the safeguarding team. To contact the safeguarding team or to request an appointment with the Schools Link Officer, please email email@example.com.
You can find out more about our approach to safeguarding here
There is more information on the work of Birmingham Police and Schools Panels available here and you can also find out more about the ways in which police and schools share information relating to instances of domestic abuse through Operation Encompass.