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Burnside Pupil Referral Unit's Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) are:

Bridget Solecka - Headteacher

David Cook - Deputy Head teacher and Deputy Safeguarding Lead


Safeguarding continues to be paramount at Burnside PRU and we have an unwavering and relentless drive to continuously safeguard all of our pupils and staff alike. We continue to excel in this area by remaining abreast with any changes to Safeguarding in education, such as the 2020 Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance that is now published on the DFE Government website, as well as ensuring that Safeguarding is embedded into our curriculum. Our robust Safeguarding measures are evident in our policies, systems and practices, training schedules, attendance, CPD, pupil and stakeholder voice and the day to day running of the school.

Safeguarding is an area of key importance to us and one that is regularly reviewed to ensure that we continue to meet all areas of need.  We have developed a Safeguarding Suite of Policies and all staff have received safeguarding training.  In addition, we have named senior members of staff who hold specific areas of safeguarding responsibility.   As part of our ongoing holistic approach to safeguarding pupils against any threat to their health, safety and wellbeing, we support the teaching of traditional British values.  In addition, we have  ensured that we have procedures in place to identify and report the potential for/ realisation of extremist views and radicalisation. Our Anti-Radicalisation and Extremism policy statement sets out our beliefs, strategies and procedures to protect pupils from being radicalised or exposed to extremism.

Please see below for our Safeguarding policies and other related information.


All members of school staff have a responsibility to safeguard pupils and for identifying trends in attendance and punctuality. The following includes a more specific list of the kinds of responsibilities which individuals might have.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy DSL (DDSL)

DSLs and DDSLs are responsible for:

  • Daily monitoring of safeguarding in the pupils and staff within the provision
  • Reporting any concerns to relevant professional partners (MASH, Police, CAMHS etc)
  • Recording, storing and maintaining  accurate and confidential CP files
  • Transferring Child Protection (CP)  files to on-going schools
  • Escalating CP concerns where necessary
  • Keeping abreast of national guidance and circulating to staff
  • Maintaining accurate safeguarding training records
  • Maintaining safeguarding displays and contact details
  • Liaising with professional agencies
  • Making referrals to professional agencies
  • Attending CP meetings
  • Reporting safeguarding related matters to the Head Teacher, Executive Head Teacher and the Executive Lead for Safeguarding.

Class teacher

Class teachers are responsible for:

  • Keeping an overview of class and individual attendance looking particularly for either poor overall attendance, anomalies in patterns of attendance and/ or unusual explanations for attendance offered by children and their parents/ carers
  • Informing SLT where there are concerns and acting upon them
  • Providing background information to support referrals
  • Monitoring follow-up once actions have been taken to correct attendance concerns
  • Emphasising with their class the importance of good attendance and promptness
  • Following up absences with immediate requests for explanation which should be noted inside the register
  • Discussing attendance issues at consultation evenings where necessary


The Headteacher is responsible for:

  • Overall monitoring of school attendance
  • Trends in authorised and unauthorised absence
  • Contacting families where concerns are raised about absence including arranging meetings to discuss attendance issues
  • Monitoring individual attendance where concerns have been raised
  • Making referrals to the EWO service
  • Providing reports and background information to inform discussion with the school’s EWO
  • Liaising with other professionals to determine potential sources of difficulties and reasons for absence.

Administration staff

Staff in the School Office are responsible for:

  • Collating and recording registration and attendance information.
  • Taking and recording messages from parents regarding absence
  • Ensuring the Absence/Late Book is completed
  • Contacting parents of absent children where no contact has been made.
  • Recording details of children who arrive late or go home
  • Keeping an overview of class and individual attendance looking particularly for either poor overall attendance, anomalies in patterns of attendance and/ or unusual explanations for attendance offered by children and their parents/ carers and reporting concerns to the Headteacher
  • Sending out standard letters regarding attendance


Parents/Carers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that their child attends school regularly and punctually unless prevented from doing so by illness or attendance at a medical appointment.
  • Contacting the school office on the first morning of absence.
  • Informing the school in advance of any medical appointments in school time. For the absence to be recorded as a medical absence we do require evidence from the doctor or dentist. (Appointment card/letter)
  • Making requests for authorised absence in term time, only if absolutely necessary as these are not automatically authorised.
  • Talking to the school as soon as possible about any child’s reluctance to come to school so that problems can be quickly identified and dealt with.


Please see our Attendance Policy for Covid-19 Addendum.

Regular and punctual school attendance is paramount at Burnside. Pupils who attend school everyday take full advantage of the provision that we offer and the educational opportunities offered to them by law. Burnside PRU fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours.

Our policy applies to all children registered at this school and this policy is made available to all parents/carers of pupils who are registered at our school on our school website under 'policies'. This policy has been written to adhere to the relevant Children Acts, Education Acts, Regulations and Guidance from the Department for Education in addition to guidance from the Local Authority.

Although parents/carers have the legal responsibility for ensuring their child’s good attendance, the Headteacher and Governors at our school work together with other professionals and agencies to ensure that all pupils are encouraged and supported to develop good attendance habits. Procedures in this policy are followed to ensure this happens.

Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning. Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations. A child whose attendance drops to 90% each year will, over their time at primary school, have missed two whole terms of learning.

We celebrate good or better attendance in a number of ways. This includes, celebrations in assembly, children being mentioned in our half termly newsletters, praise from senior management and displays around the school.

Addressing Attendance Concerns                  

The Hawkswood Group has a clear attendance policy in place, which outlines the Hawkswood Attendance Stages (HAS). Attendance is closely tracked and scrutinised and any concerns are reported to the Behaviour, Attendance and Children Missing Education Service (BACME).

The school expects attendance of at least 95%.

It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and the governors to support good attendance and to identify and address attendance concerns promptly. In primary school we rely upon parents to ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually and therefore where there are concerns regarding attendance parents are always informed of our concerns. Initially concerns about attendance are raised with parents via letters which are sent home. There will be opportunities for the parent/carer to discuss reasons for absence and support to be given by the school with the aim to improve attendance. Where a child’s attendance record does not improve over a period of time then the school has a responsibility to make a referral to the Educational Welfare Service.

The Behaviour, Attendance and Children Missing Education Service will issue penalty notices to parents where there has been a referral to BACME from the school as part of the school’s processes to address poor attendance patterns.

Contextual Safeguarding - Gangs, Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation

Gangs and Criminal Exploitation

Waltham Forest has a number of gangs operating within its boundaries and at any one time allegiances and tensions may exist between such groups, which are subject to change and fluidity. Identified gang members in Waltham Forest are made up of mainly young people, aged between 12 and 19 years.

The pupils at the Hawkswood Group are vulnerable to criminal and sexual exploitation from gangs, and we do our upmost to safeguard, support education, training and prevention work, alongside the Local Authority and Police partners.

Staff at the Hawkswood Group are trained to identify early signs of risk and exploitation, and to respond to concerns appropriately. We work in conjunction with local and national Police, Young Offending Service, Family Partnerships Team and Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.

We work to agreed frameworks, including supporting referrals to the National Referral Mechanism for children who are victims of modern slavery and trafficking.

Ofsted published ‘Time to listen’, a thematic report outlining findings from the 5 joint targeted area inspections, in September 2016 and an addendum to this report in November 2018, can be found here

Child Sexual Exploitation

Children are also sexually exploited by gangs with criminal associations. In these cases, the gang may benefit financially from the sexual exploitation.
A person under 18 is sexually exploited when they are coerced into sexual activities by one or more person(s) who have deliberately targeted their youth and inexperience in order to exercise power over them.
The process often involves a stage of ‘grooming’, in which the child might receive something (such as a mobile phone, clothes, drugs or alcohol, attention or affection) prior to, or as a result of, performing sexual activities, or having sexual activities performed on them. Although every case is different.
Child sexual exploitation may occur through the use of technology without the child’s consent or immediate recognition; for example through being persuaded to post sexual images over the Internet or via mobile phone.
Child sexual exploitation is often conducted with actual violence or the threat of violence. This may be threats towards the child, or her or his family and may prevent the child from disclosing the abuse, or exiting the cycle of exploitation. Indeed, the child may be so confused by the process, that they do not perceive any abuse at all.


Rail, hire cars, taxis and local user’s vehicles are main transportation methods for the trafficking of children and drugs.


Key indicators of criminal and sexual exploitation include (but not limited to):

  • High truancy rates from school
  • Regularly going missing from home
  • Unexplained money
  • Unexplained new clothes and personal items
  • Changes in behaviour and levels of anger/aggressions or total withdrawal and dis-engagement from previous hobbies and relationships
  • Tiredness and exhaustion - late nights not returning home
  • Fear/anxiety to leave the house
  • Increased stress levels
  • Weapon carrying
  • More than 1 mobile phone
  • Drug and alcohol / substance misuse
  • New "friends" - often older people
  • Injury from violence
  • Sudden dis-respect for parents/carers and authority figures including school staff and Police

What you can do...

If you have concerns that your child or a child you know is being groomed by gangs or being exploited criminally or sexually you need to report this so that you can get help for them.
There is help on offer from the school and Local Authority.

You can report your concerns to:

  • Your local Police or 101/999 depending on nature of threat
  • School - Designated Safeguarding Lead (see individual School Safeguarding pages)
  • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - 0208 496 2310
  • London Gang Exit Programme (Safer London) -  Referral Unit 020 3745 8374 |
  • Childline 0808 800 5000
  • CEOP

Which ever reporting method you choose, you will be guided through the process and offered appropriate support along the way. The Local Authority  convene a monthly panel to discuss new cases and allocate support to children and families.  A member of the Hawkswood Group Safeguarding Team attends this panel. Yours and your child's information will be kept confidential between professional partners only, on a need to know basis for safeguarding reasons.

Worried about a child?

Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.

0808 800 5000

Report a concern


Are you 18 or under?

Are you being bullied?

If you are being bullied, or you are not ready to make a report to CEOP, you can talk to Childline anonymously online or on the phone - No worry is too big or too small.

Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help.

0800 1111

Contact ChildlineVisit Childline


Child Exploitation and Online Protection command  (CEOP)          

CEOP is a law enforcement agency and is here to keep children and young people safe from sexual exploitation and abuse (

Make a report:

You may wish to speak to a professional who works for the Local Authority Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). You can find more information about MASH here:

Safeguarding concerns about Staff

We have a clear procedure n place for reporting safeguarding concerns about staff. This is shown in our Policy section of the website in the form of a flow chart, and is also contained within our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

Anyone can contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) regarding safeguarding concerns about staff members or any professional working with children, including concerns about Foster Carers and care home staff.

LADO Referrals

If you wish to discuss concerns directly with the LADO, please contact the Duty LADO020 8496 3646 or email within normal working hours.


The LADO manager can be contacted on:

·  Safeguarding in Education & LADO Manager (Strategic Lead) – Caroline Aitken / Gill Nash on 07791 559 789 or020 8496 3628

·  Training & Development Coordinator – Yvonne Akyeampong on 07854 238 759 or 020 8496 3619

The LADO team are based at:

Sycamore House | Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex | Forest Road | London E17 4JF