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  • April Safeguarding Update 2022

  • FREE CYP wellbeing workshops

  • Covid Funding Opportunity

  • FREE Cyber Programme at Sci Tech Daresbury

  • Become a Care Home Friend

  • Admission of foreign nationals

  • Early Years Training Programme – Summer Term 2022

  • Cancer Support




April Safeguarding Update 2022 – Benjamin Holmes

Happy new term everyone!

Hope you are well and managed a nice break over Easter?  Also, a big welcome to anyone who has started in a new role this term.

A few updates and handy links to share this month, as well as the upcoming training dates from the partnership as well as the ‘school’ focussed training from me.

DSL Cluster Groups have arrived!

As announced at last terms DSL workshop, this term sees the launch of DSL cluster groups!  These are informal meetings where you can meet together with other DSLs to discuss practice, any issues and network within the group.  I will be at all the meetings and it is hoped that these will also be the start of the group supervision for DSLs, for those who would find it beneficial.

Secondary & Post 16 – 17 May @ 13:30 – 15:00 –  Venue: Saints Peter and Paul High School

Primary & Maintained Nurseries – Runcorn 23 May @ 10:00 – 11:30 ….VENUE REQUIRED!  Could you host?!!  Please!

Primary & Maintained Nurseries – Widnes 23 May @ 13:30 – 15:00 –– Venue: St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School

I will send out a link closer to the time to register for these so we have an idea about numbers.  A HUGE thank you to our hosts for these first sessions… I will bring the biscuits!

SVSH Spring Term Data Collection

Following on from Ofsted’s review into child on child abuse & sexual violence and sexual harassment in schools, I need to collect in the data for all schools within the authority on the number of recorded incidents.  This can then be used to identify spikes and trends and ensure support is offered in the areas it is needed the most.

Please can someone from every school spend a couple of minutes completing this short form based upon your spring term data:

Thanks so much in advance!

Halton’s Neglect Strategy 2022

Following on from the recent lunchtime briefings, the neglect strategy has now been published and will be actively used across Halton.  A copy of the strategy can be found here, along with copies of the screening and assessment toolkits. Also attached a copy of  Neglect Assessment framework.

If you are unsure about the use of any of these materials, please do get in touch.

Reducing Parent Conflict

After the huge success (and fantastic feedback) of the launch event, we have secured more dates for this training event.

In conjunction with the DWP and our partners in the Liverpool City Region, we would like to invite you to attend Halton’s “Reducing Parental Conflict” training programme.

Parental conflict is a key focus across all Government departments and Local Authorities. In Halton, we have been given the opportunity to develop bespoke localised training so that all managers and practitioners working with families (including schools) are able to identify parental conflict, respond appropriately and offer the right support.

This training is open to anyone who has contact or works with children and families.

The day will explore:

  • What parental conflict is;
  • How it may present;
  • The impact that parental conflict has on our children and young people, and
  • Share new tools and resources we have available for you to support families who are experiencing parental conflict.

Where – Brookvale Children’s Centre, Runcorn

When – 8 June or 4 July 2022

Arrive from 9am for a 9:30am start

Finish at 4pm

Places are limited therefore booking is essential – please email to confirm your place.

The new referral process for parenting programmes.

In the meantime, here is a brief overview of the parenting programmes that we currently offer within the Borough:

Nurture Parenting Programme

Nurture Programme is an evidence based programme that covers lots of different topics, including: understanding why children behave as they do, recognising the feelings behind behaviour (ours and theirs), exploring different approaches to discipline, finding ways to develop co-operation and self-discipline in children and learning the importance of looking after ourselves. The programme covers self-awareness and self-esteem, appropriate expectations, empathy and positive discipline. Parents need to be able to commit to all eleven sessions. Nurture parenting also offer a programme which is designed for parents/carers of teenagers.

Triple P Programme

Group Triple P is a broad-based parenting intervention delivered over eight weeks for parents of children up to 16 years old who are interested in learning a variety of parenting skills. Parents may be interested in promoting their child’s development and potential or they may have concerns about their child’s behavioural problems. Parents or caregivers who benefit from Group Triple P are those who have concerns about their child’s mild to moderate level of behavioural problems or simply wish to prevent behaviour problems from developing. Parents who have completed lower-level interventions and have not achieved the goals they want, may benefit from a Group Triple P intervention. They usually want to learn a variety of parenting skills to apply to multiple contexts. Parents need to be able to commit to all eight sessions. Triple P also offer a teen focused programme and “Stepping Stones” which has been developed for parents/carers of children who have a developmental disability.


Incredible Years Baby

Your Incredible Baby is a 6 week course designed to support parents of young babies aged 0-6 months. Sessions will cover;

  • Baby Brain Development
  • Play and Communication
  • Health and Development
  • Feeding tips – from Milk to solids.
  • Keeping Baby Safe
  • Sleep and routine

Each session will run for 2 hours and babies are part of the group.


Parenting Programmes run in January, April and September.

As of Monday 2 of May, all referrals for Parenting Programmes must be completed via this link:

Once your referral is received, contact will be made with the family to discuss further – they will then be allocated a place on the next (suitable) available programme.

As the referrer, you will be informed of non-engagement/completion of programme.

All questions regarding parenting and the Reducing Parental Conflict programme must now come via our dedicated inbox;


Adultification & Child Q – Summer Term DSL Workshop

Adultification is a form of unconscious bias, which has huge safeguarding implications (as seen in the recent case of Child Q).  Consequently, this will form a key part of the summer terms DSL and Headteacher workshop on the afternoon of 7th July. (Save the date!)

For now, this article from Farrer and Co provides a useful insight into the risks associated with Adultification.

In terms of Child Q and the subsequent practice review, this came about when the child was strip searched by two female Metropolitan Police Officers in a school, even whilst being on her period.

The review highlighted that no-one from the police or the school spoke to a parent. Child Q was so distressed about what had happened that her mother took her to the GP, and it was the GP that contacted Children’s Services.

Without doubt, the strip search of Child Q should never have happened and there was no reasonable justification for it.

The report found that initially, the school acted appropriately in responding to its concerns about Child Q smelling of cannabis and its subsequent search of Child Q’s coat, bag, scarf and shoes. (‘This demonstrated good curiosity by involved staff and an alertness to potential indicators of risk.’)

However, the review found that the school staff ‘deferred to the authority of the police on their arrival at school. They should have been more challenging to the police, seeking clarity about the actions they intended to take. All practitioners need to be mindful of their duties to uphold the best interests of children.’

There can be a tendency to defer to the police; they have police powers and we trust them to use them appropriately.  But we must still be willing to challenge. One member of staff from the school concerned to the review, ‘In hindsight I put my trust in the law; I know now that I need to understand the law better… For example, insisting on staying with a student at all times.’

Another learning point relates to the role of an ‘Appropriate Adult’.  They are there ‘to safeguard the interests, rights, entitlements and welfare of children and vulnerable people who are suspected of a criminal offence, by ensuring that they are treated in a fair and just manner and are able to participate effectively.’ Appropriate Adults are not merely passive observers, they are ‘expected to be an active participant. In order to be effective, they need to be assertive and speak up.’


Finally, there is the issue of adultification.  The review evaluated the actions of professionals involved on the day of the strip search in the context of Child Q’s ethnicity and whether she was treated differently because she is Black. The report concluded: ‘the disproportionate decision to strip search Child Q is unlikely to have been disconnected from her ethnicity and her background as a child growing up on an estate in Hackney.’  Child Q was perceived as being more ‘streetwise’, more ‘grown up’, less innocent and less vulnerable than other children. ‘This particularly affects Black children, who might be viewed primarily as a threat rather than as a child who needs support’.

I hope this serves as a useful summary.  We will expand upon this and the implications for all age ranges at the DSL workshop later in the term.

Statutory Policies

The DfE has updated “Statutory policies for schools and academy trusts. Guidance on the policies and documents that governing bodies and proprietors of schools must have”. See

Data on Abuse & Children with Disabilities

Shockingly, about one-third of young children and teenagers with disabilities experience emotional and physical abuse, while 20% experience suffer from neglect and one in 10 are victims of sexual violence, according to international research.

Analysis involving more than 16 million young people from 25 countries conducted between 1990 and 2020, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, shows that 31.7% of children with disabilities have experienced violence.  They are twice as likely to face neglect and/or sexual, physical or mental abuse compared to children with no disabilities.

They are also far more likely to be bullied by their peers.

See for the full report, but these harrowing statistics are a powerful reminder of the importance to acknowledge the additional risks for those children in our care with disabilities.

Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse – FREE CPD for staff!

The CSA Centre have produced 12 fantastic short films for professionals around identifying and responding to CSA; looking for the indicators, communicating with children & supporting parents.

Enough Campaign

The Government has launched its new ‘Enough’ campaign relating to eradicating abuse.  More info and how you can get involved or share with your families and staff to spread awareness, can be found here:

Think u Know

CEOP have recently updated their resources – the full library can be found below, along with a link to a fantastic pack for 11-18 year olds (Year 6 and over).

Safeguarding & Ofsted

Due ‘the call’ soon?  Ofsted have published this webinar to dispel the myths of what they will look at relating to safeguarding during an inspection:

Breakfast, After School Clubs and other childcare services

If you are looking to provide your own wraparound care service or considering renting/leasing your premises to a private provider to deliver these services on your school site, either before or after school, or in the school holidays, please contact the Early Years Team at Halton Borough Council to discuss your plans.  (Even if the care will be for school aged children – the team can still help!)

The LA has a duty to ensure there are sufficient good quality places available to children and the early years team would be happy to work with you and provide advice and guidance to ensure that these facilities are set up within the correct legal frameworks and will operate to the best advantage of both schools, families and private providers where used.  In the first instance, please contact Janet Harvey (Early Years Safeguarding and Welfare Officer) or the  Early Years Team Lead, Gail Vaughan-Hodkinson

Alternatively, the team is overseen by Jill Farrell.

Whistleblowing Policy

I am pleased to say that the model whistleblowing policy has been written over the Easter break and is now going to the unions for approval.  Once agreed, I will share it with you, should you wish to adopt it.  …my next job is the code of conduct…

Benjamin Holmes

Mental Health Materials

‘Yes! Futures’ have got some great resources which can be used with students and school staff.  More details can be found here:

Education Rep required

I have been asked to find a couple of Headteachers and / or DSLs who would be interested in being involved in an upcoming MAP audit day.  You would be part of a group who will audit a couple of MAPs (not linked to your school), considering the effectiveness and impact of the plan to support the children and family.  This would be a fantastic CPD opportunity as you offer reflection on practice and celebrate the impact effective plans can have upon a child’s lived experiences.  The audit day is scheduled for 26th April.  If you are interested, or wish to find out more information, please get in touch with myself or Nicola Scott (Early Help Principal Manager) at



Partnership Training

All DSL’s and Deputy DSL’s must refresh their ‘Working Together’ Level 3 training once every 2 years (with regular updates during this time, such as the DSL workshops).

Working Together training is delivered by the safeguarding partnership & spaces can be reserved by emailing .

All partnership training is expected to be delivered via Teams and will presented by the relevant most relevant agency.

  • Working Together Full Course (For new DSLs)  (9:30 -16:30)

26 May 2022

26 July 2022

20 September 2022

16 November 2022

17 January 2023

23 March 2023

  • Working Together Refresher (To be repeated every 2 years)  (9:30 – 15:00)

26 April 2022

23 June 2022

19 August 2022

11 October 2022

14 December 2022

23 February 2023

  • LADO Training (9:30 – 12:00)

14 June 2022

14 September 2022

1 December 2022

3 March 2023

  • Sexual Violence Awareness (9:30 – 12:00)

6 May 2022

7 September 2022

13 December 2022

1 March 2023

  • ICON Lunchtime Briefing (12:15 – 13:00)

16 June 2022

9 September 2022

19 January 2023

  • Domestic Abuse (9:30 – 12:30)

20 July 2022

6 November 2022

6 February 2023


  • Mental Disorder and Parental Capacity (9:30 – 13:00)

10 May 2022

6 December 2022


  • Bruising in non-mobile children (12:00 – 13:00)

6 July 2022

9 November 2022


  • FII (12pm-1pm)

3 August 2022

5 October 2022

As all the courses above are delivered as a multi-agency offer, the spaces can be booked by emailing


Safeguarding in Education Training

All the courses below are offered exclusively for education settings.  Spaces on any of the courses below can be reserved by emailing

Unless stated otherwise, all advertised courses will be delivered via Teams.

  • DSL Workshop for ALL DSL’s.  These are the main DSL updates and workshops.  It is best practice for all DSLs & DDSLs to try and attend these meetings each term.  (The agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting)

Thursday 7 July 2022 @ 1pm – 4pm


  • Safer Recruitment for Headteachers, Senior Leaders, Business Managers and Governors

25 April 2022 @ 9am – 4:30pm

27 September @ 9am – 4:30pm

  • Safer Recruitment Refresher for Headteachers, Senior Leaders, Business Managers and Governors. (SR is valid for a maximum of 5 years) (A certificate from the full course must be seen before a place can be reserved on this course)

24 May 2022 – 9:30am – 12:30pm

  • New to the role of DSL (Or infrequent user)  This essential course is in addition to ‘Working Together L3 Safeguarding Training’ (which is delivered by the safeguarding partnership) and focusses on the role of DSL within a school setting – including managing referrals, specific areas of safeguarding and recording & reporting concerns.

11 July 2022 – 9:30 – 4pm (Venue TBC)

  • Designated Governor for Safeguarding Training. This course is aimed at any governor who has a specific safeguarding responsibility as part of their role.  It will provide them with a clear understanding of suitable processes and procedures to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.

11 May 2022 – 9:30 – 4pm

  • Governor Safeguarding Training It is a statutory requirement that all governors should receive safeguarding training in line with all members of staff and volunteers who “should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety).”  Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 states that the training should be regularly updated, at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

This can be delivered using the whole school training materials.  However, if preferred, Governors can attend this course which looks at safeguarding in schools from a Governor perspective.  (They will still need to ensure that they understand the school’s specific processes and procedures)

27 June 2022 – 6pm – 9pm

  • Single Central Record (For Headteachers, Business Managers and anyone responsible for the SCR and personnel files)

This new briefing will go through each column expected on the single central record, pre-employment checks and the management of personnel files.   There will also be an extended Q&A with an opportunity to ask questions.

4 May 2022 @ 9:30 – 11:30 (Via Microsoft Teams)

Places on all courses can be reserved by emailing

That’s it for this month…well done to everyone who got to the end! As ever, if there is anything I can ever help with, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,





Wellbeing workshops


Please see attached information to FREE CYP Wellbeing workshops.



Covid Funding Opportunity


Arnold Clark has re-opened their Community Fund, please see attached for more information.





FREE Cyber Programme at Sci Tech Daresbury


Please find attached and below information from Youth Fed regarding their FREE Cyber Programme at Sci Tech Daresbury.

  • The programme is best suited to 13-19 or up to 25 with SEND (they are open to delivering to younger age groups if there is a group that would be interested but this would need to be discussed so they can tailor the session)
  • The programme is a three hour interactive session or workshop that focuses on cyber security as a career route and what the industry can offer, while bringing it to life for participants in a fun and interactive way.
  • Signposting to various routes into the industry, salary expectations and what skills/qualifications will be needed based on current industry standards from their engagement with businesses across the North West.
  • Participants also benefit from gaining a better understanding of how to keep their personal information and themselves safe online for the future.
  • YouthFed ask that for a group of 6 – 14 and that there are 2 members of staff to accompany them, having done the session myself at the Salford centre I have no doubt that staff will also take a lot away from the session too.

The programme is completely free of charge for any groups of students, unfortunately there is no support with travel at the moment so getting the group and staff back and to from the centre would need to be facilitated by yourselves.

For more information, expressions of interest and to booking please email




Become a Care Home Friend


This challenge is part of Care Home Friends and Neighbours: Intergenerational Linking – the biggest intergenerational project with care homes in England.

They are calling on children and young people aged 5-14 to get involved in their 10 week “Intergenerational Challenge”.

This opportunity will support Halton’s campaign against loneliness which is based upon the 5 ways to wellbeing which are as follows:

  • to connect with other people
  • be physically active
  • learn new skills
  • give to others
  • pay attention to the present moment

Please see the details on the flyer for how your school can get involved.




Admission of Foreign Nationals


DfE Information for Schools regarding updated guidance on the rights of Foreign Nationals to access schools in England.

See attached for more information.




Early Years Training Programme – Summer Term 2022


Please find attached  the Early Years Training Programme for Summer Term 2022.

The TALK Halton team have recorded a series of on-line training sessions.

Please see the attached programme guide for more details, including information about how to access the training.



Cancer Support


Please pass on this information to anyone who would benefit from emotional and psychological support if they have been affected by cancer as patients, carers or those who have been bereaved due to cancer.

Our current services are attached and in particular we have availability for free of charge professional counselling and for low priced breaks at our Respite Caravan.

To refer or self-refer for all services INCLUDING COUNSELLING

To register interest in our Respite caravan