Elm Wood Primary School

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A to Z of Safeguarding for parents and carers

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

What are adverse childhood experiences?

• There are 3 direct and 6 indirect experiences that have an
impact on childhood development.
• The more adversity a child experiences the more likely it is
to impact upon their mental and physical health.
• Evidence suggests children exposed to 4 or more adverse
experiences are more likely to participate in risk taking
behaviours and find it more difficult to make changes.
• …and consequently, have poorer health outcomes. 


What are the definitions of an ACE?

  • Verbal Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Negative Influences Within the Family Home-Parental Separation, Domestic Violence, Mental health Struggles, Substance Misuse and Parental Incarceration


Chronic/Toxic Stress

Chronic traumatic stress in early life alters how a child’s brain develops
it fundamentally alters
• nervous
• hormonal
• immunological system development.
“This can result in individuals whose systems are ‘locked’ into a higher
state of alertness; permanently prepared for further trauma. Such
physiological changes increase the wear and tear (allostatic load) on
their body; increasing risks of premature ill health such as cancer, heart
disease and mental illness”
Source: Public Health Wales and CPH, John Moore’s University 2016


Preventing and the early identification of ACEs can help to reduce levels of:

  • Early sexual activity
  • Unintended teenage pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Binge drinking
  • Cannabis/substance use
  • Poor diet
  • Incarceration
  • Violence victim/perpetrator


Elm Wood Pastoral Team works hard to build positive relationships based on trust with our parents, carers and wider family members/support. Please contact Lisa Ashworth (Children's Welfare Officer/Designated Safeguarding Lead) or Mrs Victoria Goodall) if you have concerns about a child or would like support or advice relating to any of the above.




A wide range of interrelating factors affect how a particular
child responds to bereavement, including their previous
experiences and characteristics, the circumstances of the
death, their beliefs and culture, their social relationships and
the support available to them.

The death of someone close
affects many aspects of their lives, sometimes for a very long
time. As they get older and develop their understanding of
the meaning a death has in their lives, young people often
revisit their grief, experiencing and expressing it in new ways,
particularly at times of further change or loss.

Ideally, children’s needs are met in a stable and supportive
family, with the help of their usual networks such as school
and community groups

Childhood Bereavement Network


Cruse Bereavement Care  


Springhill Hospice


Swan Suite bereavement Service (NHS)


Child Bereavement UK


https://www.penninecare.nhs.uk/about-us/latest-news/bereavement-support-rochdale Children and Young People #THRIVE (NHS)




 Supporting Children with Bereavement Leaflet.pdfDownload
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Safeguarding is defined as “promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from harm”. This means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children's mental and physical health or development;
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
  • And it relates to both intra-familial and extra-familial risk of harm, or harm outside the home. 

Child Protection is defined as:

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 says it is:

“Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm”.

Where there are child protection concerns (reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm) local authority social care services must make enquiries and decide if any action must be taken under section 47 of the Children Act 1989

Child on Child Abuse

Which can include:

  • bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying)
  • abuse in intimate personal relationships between children (sometimes known as ‘teenage relationship abuse’)
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse)
  • sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault; (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence
  • sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse
  • causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party
  • consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos
  • upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm, and
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element).

Physical Abuse is a form of Significant Harm which may involve;  hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.   

Emotional abuse is a form of Significant Harm which involves the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child.

  • It may involve conveying that children are worthless, unloved, inadequate, deliberately silencing them, making fun of what they say or how they communicate.
  • Not always the case that all family members receive the same care.
  • Could include age or developmentally inappropriate expectations, overprotection, or preventing the child taking part in normal social interaction. Indicators may be more subtle.
  • Emotional abuse can involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another.

Domestic abuse/violence

  • May not have been reported to Police – don’t assume other agencies are aware.
  •  Is a children’s safeguarding issue and one that impacts a large number of children in our Borough.
  • Can encompass a wide range of behaviour and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents.
  • Perpetrators can be male or female.
  • Victims can be male or female.
  • The perpetrator and victim do not need to live in the same household.
  • We know that the reality is that domestic abuse is something children are immersed in. It can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn.

Neglect is a form of Significant Harm which involves the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  

  • May involve failing to provide appropriate food, clothing and home conditions,
  • exclusion from home or abandonment,
  • failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, 
  • failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, 
  • or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care.

It may also include unresponsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs.

Sexual abuse is a form of Significant Harm which involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.

  • This may involve physical contact, including penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child.
  • Lots of awareness raising has taken place about online harm.
  • But we also need to remain alert to the risk of intra-familial or other physical contact sexual abuse 
  • Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult male strangers – beware of ‘risk stereotyping’
  • Two thirds of Child Sexual Abuse happens within families/close connections.

Harmful Sexual Behaviours

Could be an indicator that a child has experienced abuse or been exposed to harmful sexual content;

Some examples;

  • Sexual assault of others
  • Sexualised play or ‘acting out’ sexual activity
  • Sourcing and circulating pornographic and/ or sexually aggressive messages
  • Use of adult sexualised language


Online Exploitation

CSE, including via online grooming continues to dominate the workload of Rochdale's local Complex Safeguarding Team

  • We have seen ongoing concerns with younger children being targeted for sexual exploitation and self generated sexual content in ‘real time’ streaming/webcam platforms eg Omegle.
  • We also continue to see examples of offenders using gaming chatrooms to access children – Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft etc.
  • And younger children with profiles on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram etc, which offenders use as a means to groom.

Child Sexual Exploitation

  • Of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (eg food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing , and /or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.
  • It can occur through the use of technology (eg internet, mobile phones) without the child’s immediate recognition. It is an abuse of power by those exploiting by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.

Indicators of Child Sexual Exploitation Include:

  • Missing from home
  • Disengagement from education
  • Associating with un known adults
  • Having a older boyfriend
  • Appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
  • Change in Mood and behaviour
  • Alcohol and substance misuse
  • Getting into cars with un-known adults
  • Leaving/returning in taxis
  • Going to CSE hotspot areas
  • Over sexualised dress, sexualised risk taking (including on the internet)
  • Increased use of Internet and mobile
  • Becoming more secretive



Other safeguarding topics include the following:

Honour based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation – don’t forget statutory reporting duty

Mental health – massive increase in need post-Covid

Human trafficking and modern day slavery, including links to Child Criminal Exploitation

Serious violence

Children missing from home or education

Preventing radicalisation

Additional risks and vulnerabilities of children with SEND

All of which are further training topics in their own right – ask your DSL if you do not understand or need further information.

Also guidance is available at: Rochdale Safeguarding Partnership Board -


We all have a duty to share information.

If you are unsure, share safeguarding concerns with your DSL, if possible within 24 hours of something coming to your attention .

They will consider when threshold is met to contact external agencies including social care and make referrals if appropriate.

In a case of immediate risk, advice should always be obtained from EHASH or the Police (999).

Its important to remember that anyone can contact EHASH if they have concerns about a child.

Telephone0300 303 0440

0300 303 8875 Out of office hours

E-mail ehash@rochdale.gov.uk

Parent Organisation Rochdale Children's Social Care

Whatever the age of the child, we must share concerns.


Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse cuts across all parts of society, regardless of perceived social status, type of relationships (e.g. same sex or heterosexual), gender identity, cultural or religious background. Where there is domestic abuse in the family the children suffer.

Domestic abuse is not just about physical violence.

Domestic abuse can include physical, sexual, economic, emotional or psychological abuse as well as controlling or coercive behaviour. Harassment and stalking are also considered types of domestic abuse if the above definition is met.

Victims of domestic abuse often are not victim of just one type of abuse, for example those who are physically abused often report emotional abuse happening as well.

Who is affected?
Domestic abuse is unfortunately very common, with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men reporting that they have experienced domestic abuse. However, these statistics are based on reported figures and we know that there are a high number of incidents that go unreported meaning that the true figures are likely to be a lot higher.

We need to be aware that domestic abuse is not something that just affects the children and young people that we look after - there is a significant chance that some of our colleagues are in domestically abusive relationships and may need support.

Things to look out for
As with other forms of abuse there is the potential for children’s behaviour to change, for example they could become withdrawn and isolated, but equally they could become angry and aggressive, becoming an abuser themselves.

Children or young people may be wary of adults, have difficulty concentrating, have difficulty developing relationships, have poor attendance, have low self-esteem, self-harm or misuse substances or alcohol.

Why don’t they leave / say anything?
When someone decides that they don’t want to be a relationship because of the abuse it can be difficult to get out. This might be due to:
• having no money;
• fear of what happens next;
• feeling as though they would not cope on their own;
• stigma of how society may view them;
• they are too scared as to what the abuser may do if they leave.

If you have concerns about a child then you must contact EHASH (Telephone 0300 303 0440  /  0300 303 8875 Out of office hours)and report your concerns - if there is immediate risk of harm then call the Police via 999.

If you are concerned about an adult, a colleague or a friend, then talk to them. You don’t need to have all the answers, and you must remain neutral (i.e. do not offer opinions and let the person keep control of what they want to tell you). The main thing to do is listen as often for victims saying anything is a very big step and a difficult and scary thing to do.

Rochdale Connections Trust (RCT) run a Respectful Relationships Course to educate and support with conflict and the Freedom Programme for victims of Domestic Abuse/Violence

RCT https://www.r-c-t.co.uk/respectful-relationships.html

Our Rochdale https://www.ourrochdale.org.uk/kb5/rochdale/directory/service.page?id=t7g0mz9KsjA

Telephone 01706 925071 

Freedom Programme E-mailfreedomprogramme@rochdale.gov.uk

Website(s) http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/



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FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

FGM is a practice that takes place worldwide in at least 28 African countries and in parts of the Middle and Far East. It also takes place within parts of Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily among immigrant and refugee communities where FGM is commonly believed to be a way of ensuring virginity and chastity.
FGM is carried out on girls of all ages but may be more common between the ages of 4 and 10. It can also be known as female circumcision, cutting, or by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan among other names.
Female Genital Mutilation is a form of child abuse. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it illegal to practice FGM in the UK, illegal to take girls who are British Nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM - whether or not it is lawful in that country - and illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad.

 FGM leaflet.pdfDownload
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Mental health support

Many of us can feel worried or stressed about our lives and our loved ones at some point.

These pages list groups and organisations offering mental health support to adults, children and parents.

 Please make sure you check each organisations' website for the most up-to-date information.


Mental health support for adults

If you're an adult, you can get mental health support from the following organisations.

NHS Pennine Care - provide a range of mental health, learning difficulty and autism services for all ages.

Every Mind Matters - get ideas and advice for improving your mood at home.

Rochdale and District Mind - over the phone help and online support groups for all adults.

Thinking Ahead - you can access online or over the phone therapy to help you with any mental health difficulties.

Living Well - offer friendly chats or catch-ups to check on general welfare and wellbeing.

Alzheimer's Society - offering information, support and advice on coronavirus for adults with dementia. In particular, they try to help if dementia makes it difficult for you or your loved one to follow NHS or government advice.

Shout - anyone 16 years or older who's experiencing mental health challenges can access a free text message helpline. You can send a text message any time of day or night wherever you are. Every conversation is with a human being.

OCD-UK - advice for adults with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).


Mental health support for children and teenagers

If you're a child or a teenager, you can get mental health support from the following organisations.

NHS Pennine Care - provide a range of mental health, learning difficulty and autism services for all ages.

#Thrive from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - offering different types of support and advice on your mental health and general lifestyle. For children and young people aged up to 19 years.

Kooth - children and teenagers aged 11-18 can use this confidential and anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service.

Anna Freud - young people can get help building on their strengths and achieving their goals.

Young Minds - help for teenagers who are anxious or scared about coronavirus.

The National Autistic Society - children on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger syndrome can access advice, tips and links to further resources on dealing with anxiety.


Mental health support for parents

If you're a parent, you can get mental health support from the following organisations.

Anna Freud – resources on how to talk to your children about coronavirus and how to help them with any worries they might have.

Calm Connections – provides regular support groups for parents and carers of children who are struggling with their mental health. They also run specific sessions for dads.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership – access a list of local and national services offering mental health support for parents.

Beyond Psychology – online workshops for parents and carers about helping young people and children understand and manage their anxiety, stress and emotional behaviour.

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Parenting Support Programmes (RMBC)


Parenting programmes provide support, advice and guidance to parents and carers living in the Rochdale Borough. They're a great way of helping parents and carers understand the different behavioural and developmental stages of your baby, child or teenager. They are also a great way to meet others parents and carers with whom you can share ideas.

All our programmes are delivered by experienced, trained practitioners who understand the joys and challenges of bringing up children. Our programmes can help you to find new ways and ideas for how you can work with your children, to problem solve, reduce stress and address any concerns you may have. You'll be encouraged to build upon your existing skills and learn from other parents and carers.

Our programmes are intended to be educational and fun. Programmes are delivered throughout the year, across the borough with morning, afternoon and evening sessions available.


0-4 months old - Incredible Years Baby​

Incredible Years Baby is a 10-week programme for 2 hours a week.

The programme is for parents at risk of not bonding with their baby or finding it difficult to settle into a new routine. The baby attends the course with the parent/carer.

  • To discuss this course further please call 0300 303 0430.


2-9 years old - Webster Stratton Incredible Years

For ages 2 to 8. ​Webster Stratton Incredible Years is a 14-week programme for 2 hours a week.

You'll learn strategies around:

  • Tantrums.
  • Fights between siblings.
  • Bedtime problems.
  • Behaviour in public places.
  • Stealing.
  • Lying.
  • Mealtime problems.

To discuss this course further please call 0300 303 0430.


11-16 years old - ParentsPlus Adolescent

A practical evidence-based programme for parents about the positive parenting of adolescents (aged 11 to 16), focusing on effective communication, problem-solving and building positive relationships, as well as reducing conflict and behaviour difficulties.

This programme is currently delivered virtually using Zoom and runs for 8 weeks, 2 hours per week.

  • To discuss further please call 0300 303 0430.


11-16 years old - Break4Change Child to Parent Abuse Programme

An adolescent family violence intervention programme designed to address young people’s violence and abuse towards parents or carers.

It's a skills-based, restorative group programme for both young people and their parents or carers focusing on non-violence and mutual respect between family members.


Rochdale Connections Trust parenting Course (6weeks)



Early Help and Service Directory







 Online parenting courses leaflet.pdfDownload
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Click HERE for Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023


Click HERE for Working together to safeguard children 2018


Click HERE for Elm Wood Child Protection Policy 2023


Click HERE for the Domestic Abuse Policy


Click HERE for our reporting a concern flow chart


Click HERE for Prevent Duty Advice


When you arrive at our school, please collect a visitors leaflet to help you to understand our safeguarding procedures in school. Please see the leaflet below



 7MB child_neglect_-_30.05.20221.pdfDownload
 7MB domestic_abuse_-_adults1.pdfDownload
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Safeguarding support for parents

Help and advice for parents

As parents, you want to make sure that your children develop healthily and thrive. We are here should you need to help you with advice on how you can build strong relationships with your children and keep them safe.

Here is some advice and resources for helping parents to keep their children safe; advice for parents on keeping children safe out of school, at home and online; when using the internet, social networking websites and playing online games; help and advice for creating a safe and nurturing environment for your children.

 For guidance, further details can be found from:








Parental Controls on Home Devices

This guide will help you set up parental controls to provide your child with a safer online environment. Parental controls can help to protect your child from seeing something that they shouldn’t – although it is important to emphasise that no system is effective all of the time so it is important to engage with your child and talk to them about their online life regularly.

Online Information for parents

Ways to contact the NSPCC

(The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is a charity campaigning and working in child protection in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands).

  • Provide as much information as you can about the child and the concerns you have.
  • If you have any details that can help to identify the child, such as their name or address, please share them too.
  • If you’re requesting information, please tell us what you want it for.



Telephone 0808 800 5000




Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.



Text 88858


This service is free and they will try to text you back within three hours.



Email: help@nspcc.org.uk