Safeguarding | Epsom College

Epsom College is dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our pupils, regardless of age, ability, race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation or class.

We believe that all children have the right to learn in a safe environment, free from harm and abuse – either by adults or other pupils. We are committed to providing a caring environment, instilled through a culture of openness and collective responsibility. The College takes all allegations of safeguarding and bullying seriously. 

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is at the heart of pastoral care at Epsom. It is in all that we do for the best interests of our pupils, enabling them to achieve their potential.

All staff play a role in safeguarding by ensuring a safe environment in which children can learn. Staff are on hand to listen to any concerns a pupil may have, and will take prompt action to ensure the matter is addressed.

In addition to the wide pastoral provision for each individual pupil, your child has access to two School Counsellors, the College Chaplaincy team, and they can raise any concerns anonymously and confidentially via our reporting service, Whisper.

Safeguarding and pastoral matters are reviewed on a continual basis to reflect the ever-changing developments needed for effective safeguarding. We encourage all members of our community, past and present, to raise their concerns no matter how trivial they may perceive it to be.

What We Tell Our Pupils

Pupils are given detailed guidance at the start of each academic year, and what follows is a short summary of this advice.

All pupils are encouraged to speak up if they are unhappy or upset about anything, whether that’s something affecting them directly, something that’s upsetting a friend or classmate, or something that they have seen at the College that has caused them concern – even if they don’t personally know the individual affected.

We also remind pupils who they can talk to within the College and in the wider community (see below).

What To Do and Who To Speak To

It is important that all members of our community know what to do and who to speak to if they have a concern about pupil welfare or safety. Everyone at the College has a responsibility for pupil safeguarding.

What type of concerns should be raised?

Concerns can be related, but not limited, to:

  • How someone is being treated
  • Being physically hurt
  • Being coerced to do something that doesn’t feel right
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Difficulties coping with work
  • Taking on too many activities, or co-curricular responsibilities
  • Feeling overwhelmed in general
  • Sexting
  • Cyberbullying
  • Viewing harmful or upsetting content – online or offline

Who should my child speak to?

Depending on the nature of the concern or complaint, one or more of the following people may be able to help. If a child feels nervous about speaking face-to-face, they can either report anonymously via Whisper (see below) or consider bringing a friend with them.

Within Epsom

  • Friends, or an older pupil who they trust (Prefect, Head of House, Peer Mentor etc)
  • Tutors
  • Heads of Year
  • One of the Safeguarding Leads listed below
  • The Chaplain, or another member of the Chaplaincy team
  • Medical Centre staff
  • College Counsellors, available at counsellor@epsomcollege.org.uk

 

Wider Community

What if my child is nervous about speaking up?

Early in 2022, the College launched Whisper – an anonymous reporting tool – to all pupils.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest young people find it difficult to raise concerns face-to-face, especially to people who occupy a position of authority. Whisper empowers pupils to report in confidence and anonymously, safe in the knowledge that trained staff are available, reading all messages and ready to provide guidance and support.

Whisper allows pupils to report anonymously any safeguarding concerns they have, either for themselves or their peers, relating to:

  • bullying – that is affecting them personally, or may be affecting other pupils
  • a pupil’s welfare
  • concerns about inappropriate behaviour
  • changes or improvements to the school’s processes and procedures.

What happens next?

No pupil will be penalised for raising a concern or making a complaint in good faith, and the matters raised will always be treated in good faith. If an issue that has been raised can’t be easily settled, the next stage is to make a formal complaint. The procedure for making a formal complaint is as follows:

  • Your child should write to the Head of Lower School, Housemaster, Housemistress, the Second Master or the Head.
  • They will enter the complaint in the complaints files held by the Second Master and Head.
  • The pupil will then get a note from the Second Master explaining that the complaint will be looked into within three school days.
  • The pupil will be asked to talk the matter through with either the Second Master or Head. The pupil is very welcome to have a friend, or member of staff, with them if it helps to make them feel more comfortable.
  • If within three further days, the pupil doesn’t feel the matter has been resolved to their satisfaction, they are encouraged to contact another person listed above. They will advise the pupil about what course seems sensible.

Safeguarding Team

The Safeguarding Team is led by our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Marisa Bosa and a team of Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads. All their contact details are listed below, just click on the names to send an email.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Marisa Bosa,  Assistant Head: DSL & Academic Advancement

Deputy DSLs

Governance

We also have a Governor with specific responsibility for safeguarding. His name is John Hay, and he may be contacted via the COO/Bursar’s PA, Karen Everett, on 01372 821133 or karen.everett@epsomcollege.org.uk