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I have safeguarding concerns about a child

At Wistaston Church Lane Academy we are committed to safeguarding our learners and ensuring that all of their needs are met.

Everyone who works in the school has a responsibility to keep our children safe. It is our belief that no child should suffer harm or neglect, either at home or at school.

We hope this website provides you with useful information to help you to support us in keeping the children safe and happy.

This page has information which we hope will be reassuring if you have worries about a child at school.


Our Safeguarding Team

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Mrs Cathy Elsley

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads: Mrs Steph Watson and Mrs Nicky Clifford

Safeguarding Team: Mrs Angela Culshaw (Mental Health First Aider), Mrs Kim Sutton and Miss Wendy Stones

Governor with Safeguarding responsibility: Mr Mike Finnigan

Acting Chair of Local Advisory Board: Dr Audrey Skidmore

If you need to speak to a member of someone regarding a concern, please ask to speak to our a member of the Safeguarding Team at the School Office.

All staff take their responsibilities seriously and the children are taught that they can speak to any adult. All staff undergo safeguarding training led by the Cheshire East SCIES Team and they are regularly updated in staff meetings or via our safeguarding communication boards. All adults working within our school are DBS checked and all safer recruitment checks are made. Visitors must wear visible lanyards.

Concerns about a member of staff must be reported to Mrs Cathy Elsley or our Chair of Local Advisory Board, Dr Audrey Skidmore. They can be contacted at the School Office.

There is a Parent Friendly Safeguarding Policy summary in the documents below

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a joint project between schools and the police. It will provide early reporting of any domestic violence incidents that occur outside school, which might have an impact on a child in school. This is done through an email or phone call to school as soon as possible following an incident. The information will be shared in confidence.We aim to support each child who has been involved in, or witnessed, a domestic abuse incident.

The Key Adult at Wistaston Church Lane Academy is Mrs Cathy Elsley. If she receives an Encompass call he will make sure that a person the child trusts is available to help – if the child needs this.  Most of the time this support is silent; keeping a careful eye on them and make sure the child has a calm school day. The confidential information is ordinarily not shared with all staff, just an agreement on how to help, if needed.

All schools have a duty to share any information with other organisations if they feel a child is at risk of being hurt. The Key Adult may contact other organisations.  This is described in our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.

The sharing of information from the Police allows the school to be ready to help your child straight away, and it means that parents are aware that the Key Adult knows that something has happened.  Parents can come and talk to our Key Adult.  The Key Adult can point you towards other people that can help.  Our aim is to support children and their families.

Domestic Abuse and its effects on children

Domestic abuse affects children and young people. We know that they are more aware of what’s happening than parents often think. How they respond depends on their age, personality, support network, but they recover best when they are helped to understand and to process what is happening or has happened to them.

Children and young people may feel:

  • feel confused, anxious, angry, afraid, isolated, ashamed, guilty
  • risk injury by being caught in between parents
  • be unable to concentrate and to achieve at school
  • be used to threaten victims (to harm children or ‘have them taken into care’)
  • not have their own needs fully met by a parent who is struggling to cope with being abused
  • be directly abused by the person who is harming the adult
  • develop ways of coping that are harmful e.g. running away or using substances
  • get into trouble because they are copying the behaviour they have witnessed 

For further support, please visit this website.

Expect Respect: The Healthy Relationships Handbook - understanding the effects of domestic abuse on children

Preventing Radicalisation

Schools have an important part to play in both educating children and young people about extremism and recognising when pupils start to become radicalised. In March 2015, new statutory duties were placed on schools by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015) which means they must work to prevent children being drawn into extremism.

Safeguarding children from all risk of harm is an important part of a school’s work and protecting them from extremism is one aspect of that. Wistaston Church Lane Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils and staff; providing a secure environment where they feel safe and are kept safe. All adults in our school recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility irrespective of the role they undertake. The approach we take towards protecting our children against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society.


There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff or governors – or external sources – community, visitors, external agencies or individuals. Our pupils see our school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our teachers encourage and facilitate this; we have a duty to ensure this happens.

Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language displayed by pupils or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Behaviour Policy for pupils and the Code of Conduct for staff.

Please read the Preventing Radicalisation Policy in the documents below.


Alcohol and Drug Use

Change Grow Live: Cheshire East Drug and Alcohol Service

If you are worried someone’s drinking or drug use is affecting your child, we’re here to help.

Download more information here.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics offers support to children of alcoholics and can work with schools where needed.

See further information in the documents below.

My child is missing from home

In the documents below there is parent pack from We Are With You for parents to offer support and includes some useful tools / resources and guidance for supporting children and young people who are missing from home.

Private Fostering (If you look after someone else's child)

You can find further information on the Cheshire East website.

Help us keep children safe and support families - if you aren't a close relative of a child you are looking after for 28 days or more, you must tell Cheshire East by calling 0300 123 5012.

What is Private Fostering?

Private fostering is where a parent arranges for a child aged under 16 (or 18 where the child has disabilities) to be cared for by someone other than a close relative for 28 days or more. It does not apply where the child is placed by the Council, voluntary organisations, or as a result of certain court orders.

The film Somebody Else's Child: A guide to private fostering explains Private Fostering.

Are you caring for somebody else’s child? Do you know what Private Fostering is?

If you are caring for someone else’s child for 28 days or more this is called Private Fostering. Private fostering is when a child is under 16 years of age (or under 18 if they have a disability) and is living and being looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not:

  • A parent
  • A close relative i.e. grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or step-parent (by marriage)
  • A person with parental responsibility for the child

This does not include a child looked after by the Local Authority

There are lots of reasons why children are privately fostered including:

  • Children who live with a friend’s family because their parents have separated or divorced or because of arguments at home
  • Teenagers who live with their girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s family
  • Children or teenagers on holiday exchanges for more than 28 days
  • Children at independent boarding schools who do not return home for holidays and live with host families
  • Children sent to this country for education or for medical needs by their parents who live overseas

Many people do not know they are private foster carers as they have made informal arrangements with friends. Parents and carers are required by law to inform us if they have a private fostering arrangement in place.

To find out more check more check out the:

Or speak to a member of our Safeguarding Team.

Sexual Behaviour

This website is useful to inform discussions about sexual behaviour displayed by children:

If you have concerns there are options available to you:

  • Contact school - please ask to speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Phone CHECS (Cheshire East) on 03001235012
  • Talk to the 0800136663NSPCC on their dedicated helpline on 0800136663

Other useful websites:


Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

If you have concerns there are options available to you:

  • Contact school - please ask to speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Phone CHECS (Cheshire East) on 03001235012

For further advice visit the Stop CSE website.

Could a child you know be a Young Carer?

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Page Downloads Date  
Information for Professionals 2020 12th Jul 2022 Download
Information for Teachers 12th Jul 2022 Download
Nacoas Work and Resources 12th Jul 2022 Download
Parent Friendly Safeguarding Policy 21st Nov 2022 Download
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy 2023 2024 21st Sep 2023 Download