Birley Primary Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. As an academy, we work on the premise that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility so we are fully committed to ensuring that consistent, effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support our children, families and staff at the academy. To ensure prompt communication between staff, we use MyConcern; an online system that allow us to monitor safeguarding, well-being and pastoral issues. This system allows for swift communication between all parties in a secure way.

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 

We are all responsible for the welfare of children and keeping their environment safe.

Our Safeguarding Team

If you have a concern about the safeguarding of any child at Birley Primary Academy, please contact:

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mr Darren Ward
Email: [email protected]           

Designated Safeguarding Deputy: Mrs Helen Garratty
Email: [email protected]

Designated Safeguarding Deputy: Mrs Ruth Garrity
Email: [email protected]

Designated Safeguarding Deputy: Mrs Katie Widdowson
Email: [email protected]

Safeguarding Governor: Mrs Rachel Read-Hill
Email: [email protected]

You can also speak to any member of the safeguarding team through the main school number – 0114 2399002

Our Safeguarding Checks

At Birley Primary Academy, we take safeguarding very seriously. When recruiting any member of staff, we adhere to the guidance laid down in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE).

All adults who work on our site are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is to prevent any unsuitable people from working with Birley Primary Academy’s pupils.

Whilst at the academy, all visitors are also supervised when upon site. 

Safeguarding Training for Staff

Our staff are vigilant for all kinds of safeguarding concerns, including bullying, online safety, emotional or other types of abuse or extremist behaviour.

All of our staff have read and understood the relevant sections of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) and attend regular Child Protection training. In addition, they have access to a wide range of safeguarding training through the online National College training portal.

We have clear procedures in place where any potential safeguarding concerns are identified. We share information with other public bodies – within agreed protocols.

Safeguarding Training for Staff

At Birley Primary Academy, we ensure that staff are alert to any signs that may indicate that a child is being subjected to abuse. Signs could include:-

  • Physical marks, such as bruises, cuts etc.
  • Things said or written by the child or those who know the child
  • Changes in behaviour and demeanour
  • Reluctance to go home
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour or language
  • Destructive behaviour, such as self-harm, eating disorders or lack of self-care
  • Poor attendance
  • Signs of neglect, such as constant hunger, tiredness, unkempt, dirty, untreated ailments etc.
  • Lack of supervision
  • Reluctance to change for Physical Education (PE)
  • Lack of trust in adults
  • Staff must also have regard to their Prevent Duty, the need to prevent children from being drawn into terrorism. Children can be susceptible to radicalisation in the same way as they are susceptible to grooming.

Whenever staff are dealing with a potential safeguarding issue, the welfare of the child will always be put first. For more information and advice about identifying the signs of child abuse and neglect and understanding what action to take can be found by clicking here.

What does a staff member do if a pupil tells them that they are being abused?

This is known as a disclosure. A disclosure is the process by which children and young people start to share their experiences of abuse with others. This can take place over a long period of time – it is a journey, not one act or action.

Staff will:

  • Never offer confidentiality
  • Explain to the student that any concerns regarding their welfare will be passed on so that support can be given to improve the situation
  • Stay calm and listen to what the student is saying
  • Allow the student to tell them as much as they feel comfortable with without pressing for more information
  • Not investigate
  • Never put words into a child’s mouth or ask leading questions, such as “Did your parent hit you?”
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion and avoid their own judgements when reporting a safeguarding concern.

Most importantly, staff will not delay in passing on what has been said at the end of the disclosure to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. This is because the staff member could be the only person who has a piece of information that could be added to other concerns already held about the child.

However, if a member of staff discovers something in the evening or at the weekend which leads them to believe that a child’s welfare could be in imminent danger, they must take advice from the duty social worker at the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub on 0114 2734855 (24 hours a day). If the information received is a concern but the child’s welfare is not under imminent threat, the concern will be logged on MyConcern. If there is any doubt, staff will ring the number above for advice.

For more information about information sharing within settings which provides safeguarding services, please read the following guidance titled Information Sharing Advice for Safeguarding Practitioners.

What do we do if we have a cause for concern?

Our first priority is of course your child’s welfare and the academy is required to take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of its pupils. However there may be occasions when we have reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse. If this is the case, we will ensure that our concerns about a child are discussed with their parents or carers in the first instance, unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child’s welfare. In this case, the academy is obliged to follow the Child Protection procedures established by the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub and inform the Social Services of the concern.


If a member of staff has concerns about poor or unsafe practice or procedures within the academy, they should use the Trust Whistleblowing Policy. This policy can be found in the policies section of our website and it provides guidance on how to whistleblow as well as giving contact details for the relevant people within the Trust. Further advice can be obtained from the NSPCC website or on 0808 800 5000.  


We have many policies in place that support our commitment to safeguarding, including a Child Protection Policy and a Safeguarding Policy. Each of these policies can be found on our policies page. As well as these, other policies related to safeguarding include:

  • Attendance Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
  • Online Safety Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy

Remember, we are here to help! Please contact the academy if you would like to talk to somebody and a member of the safeguarding team will return your call at the next available opportunity.

Further Safeguarding Information

Early Help

Birley Primary Academy are dedicated to providing Early Help to those children and families in the school community with emerging needs, which may not be appropriate for Social Services intervention. Early Help means providing support to our children and families as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life.

We understand just how complicated family life can be. From time to time, there may be situations where you need some extra help and support. If things are not right at home, please come and talk to us or for more information about help available, please visit our Support for Parents page.

Operation Encompass:

In conjunction with South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield City Council, Birley Primary Academy is involved in an initiative called Operation Encompass.

The purpose of Operation Encompass is to safeguard and support young people who have been involved in, heard or witnessed a domestic abuse incident.

You can find out more by visiting or by contacting a member of our safeguarding team.

Safeguarding Documentation:

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023

Prevent Duty Guidance: England and Wales

Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with children and young people in education settings

Sheffield Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Website