Safeguarding at the Hawkswood Group
Each provision at the Hawkswood Group has at least one Designated Safeguarding Lead and a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Their contact details can be found on the individual school's Contact information page.
The Designated Safeguarding Leads are responsible for a wide range of safeguarding related matters involving both staff and pupils. They are available to speak to pupils and families as and when required.
We are also supported by an Executive Lead for Safeguarding Olivia Lee, as well as a Link Safeguarding Governor Amana Gordon, Corporate Director of Children's Social Care in Waltham Forest.
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. We have seen even younger children involved in or on the periphery of gangs and attracted to the money, power and apparent status of their older peers.
The pupils at the Hawkswood Group are extremely 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-inspections-of-child-sexual-exploitation-and-missing-children
Nature of the threat
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 3000
- London Gang Exit Programme (Safer London) - Referral Unit 020 3745 8374 | https://saferlondon.org.uk/services/London-gang-exit
- Childline 0808 800 5000
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.