Safeguarding at Rushey Mead Academy


At Rushey Mead Academy we are absolutely committed to creating a happy and safe environment for all members of our academy community. We work closely with students, their parents and carers in order to ensure that our young people are safe both inside and outside of school.

Students are taught how to keep themselves safe through PSHE lessons, tutorials and other wider experiences such as taking part in workshops and watching performances. At Rushey Mead Academy we aim to ensure that all students learn how to keep themselves safe both on and off-line, how to have safe and healthy relationships and how to avoid exploitation.

The academy has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular with the police, Children’s Services and Health. Schools are not able to investigate concerns but have a legal duty to refer any concerns that they do have on to the most relevant agent. In most instances, the academy will be able to inform the parents/carer of its need to make a referral and will ensure that the parent/carer is fully informed of the action that the school has taken. However, on occasion the academy may be advised by Children’s Social Care or by the police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The school follows legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child.

To ensure that all members of our academy are safe and well we liaise closely with the following agencies:

  • Local Safeguarding and Children Board
    • Children and Young People’s Services
    • Child Protection Unit
    • School Health
    • CAHMS
    • Educational Psychology
    • Open Door Leicester
    • Looked After Children Service

Early Help

Early Help – Information to Parents

Safeguarding Team

If you have a concern about a student at Rushey Mead Academy please contact a DSL by using the contact form below or by contacting the Academy Office. All emails sent using the contact form below are received by all DSL’s at the Academy (Designated Safeguarding Lead) who will be able to support you.

    Mrs Vicky Barwell

    Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead – Principal

    Mrs Reshma Bharakhada
    Lead Safeguarding Officer

    You can contact the safeguarding team during school hours via telephone on 0116 2663730 or via email : [email protected]

    Should you need to report a safeguarding concern of an urgent nature outside of our reception opening hours (8am to 5pm Mon – Fri), please contact the police on 999 or Duty and Assessment on 0116 4541004.

    Operation Encompass
    All schools in Leicester City and Leicestershire are part of a safeguarding initiative which aims to improve outcomes for children and families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
    This scheme has been designed to provide early reporting to schools of any domestic abuse incidents that might have an impact on a child that attends their school.  The approach, known as Operation Encompass, is also used nationally, and is run in partnership with Leicestershire Police. During the school term our Designated Safeguarding Lead is informed when any domestic abuse incident has been reported to the police and one of our pupils was in the household. It will not give any details about the incident.
    This was introduced because domestic abuse in a household can have a big impact on children, even if they do not see what is happening. This information is used to ensure the school is able to provide appropriate support to our pupils. The information will remain confidential and only shared on a strictly need-to-know basis, for example with the class teacher. It will not be shared with any pupils.
    If you would like to speak to someone in confidence about domestic abuse, call the Leicester, Leicestershire& Rutland Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 802 0028 or visit
    We look to offer the best support possible for our pupils and believe that this scheme is beneficial and supportive for all those involved – it has been found to be an effective way of supporting children at a difficult time in their lives.

    September 2022 update
    Building upon the national success of Operation Encompass, police are expanding the information that they are sharing confidentially with the safeguarding leads in schools.
    As part of the Operation Encompass Information Sharing Platform our Police Force will also share with the Designated Safeguarding Lead information about police attended incidents where they feel that there has been a tangible impact upon a child’s physical, emotional or mental well-being.   This is a phased rollout that started on 19th September 2022.
    This confidential information is shared so that our school can better understand children’s living experience and can support, nurture and care for them more effectively.
    Our Designated Safeguarding Lead has attended a briefing about this information sharing and has disseminated information to the Safeguarding Councillor and to all members of staff.
    More information about Operation Encompass including their statement can be found on their website

    Read the update here: 2022 09 23 Operation Encompass

    Useful Links

    Parents and Carers may find the links and documents helpful:

    Useful Contact Numbers

    Keeping Children Safe Information for parents and carers – Help and advice about online safety

    Childs Sexualised behaviour. Information for parents and carers

    Child Sexual Exploitation. Information for parents and carers

    Extremism and Radicalisation. Advice for parents and carers

    Female Genital Mutilation. Information leaflet

    Keeping children safe during sports activities. Information for parents and carers

    Progressing into organised crime. Information for parents and carers

    Button Batteries Safety

    Keeping children safe in education

    Useful apps 2020 Bereavement and Loss

    For advice on dealing with bullying

    Bullying and advice on coping and making it stop | Childline

    If you are a young person, you may find the following information helpful: – confidential online support for young people – Health advice for young people – Aged 11-13? Look at this website for help and advice about online safety – Aged 14 or over? Look at this website for help and advice about online safety

    It can be hard for parents to keep up with new technologies, and just thinking about keeping children safe online can seem daunting.

    The main dangers children and their parents need to be aware of are: cyber bullying, grooming by sexual predators and the problems of posting personal or embarrassing information online.

    It is important to remember that the internet is a fun and valuable place for children to play and learn, and the vast majority of the time using the internet is a fantastic experience for millions of children.

    However there can be hidden dangers. On the internet people can be instantly connected and you cannot always be sure you are talking to the person you think you are. It is also worth remembering, once something is posted on the internet it is almost impossible to remove and so personal or embarrassing material can be seen by anyone, anywhere.

    We shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the negatives, remember the internet is a great resource for children. It is important that we give them space to explore the internet, so they can learn to keep themselves safe.

    Advice for parents of 11-13 year olds

    Advice for parents of 14+ year olds


    Online safety
    10 tips for keeping your children safe online

      • Talk regularly with your child about what they do online and who they talk to online.  You need to make internet safety a comfortable topic to talk about.
      • Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal information online, particularly to friends that they do not know offline.
      • Explain to your children what personal information means: email address, address, mobile or phone number, school name, clubs and societies, where their parents are, making arrangements for meeting up and any pictures or videos of themselves, their family or friends, etc. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to give a picture of themselves and their activities.
      • Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it is better to keep online friends online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
      • Make them understand that once information or photos are posted online it’s impossible to take them back, anyone can see them and anyone can share them.
      • Put computers in public parts of your house, and particularly don’t allow computers to be used hidden away in bedrooms. It’s important to give children access to computers, but it’s also important to make sure you can see what they are doing.
      • If your child, or you, receives spam or junk email and texts, make sure they know that their contents should not be believed, that you should never reply or forward them and attached files shouldn’t be opened. It’s impossible to know what they contain, it could be a virus or an inappropriate image or video.
      • Make sure your children choose their screen name, email address & chat handle wisely – don’t use ones that reveal age, gender, etc and it’s important that they know the danger of using suggestive or sexy names. Predators are more likely to pursue a child with the screen name “sexyteen” or “niceboy1” than “jellyfish” or “jkjones”.
      • Make sure your children know that it is never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable, and make sure they know who to go to (and be aware that at first it may not be you).
      • Use technology to help you protect your child. Monitoring software can alert you to let you know your child might be getting into trouble.  Make sure they know you don’t see everything, only snippets of potentially dangerous conversations.  Use these to step in if needed and also to help you talk to your child about the dangers of what they are doing.

    Finally, remember children learn by exploring and that the world they live in includes the internet.  You can help by making sure they learn in safety, by being there for them when they need you and by pointing them in the right direction if and when they need your guidance.

    For more information visit the CEOPS website.

    If you have any questions or concerns with regard to e safety please contact your child’s Assistant Head of Year or Mrs Chohan . Email: [email protected]

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