Because we put students first in all that we do, safeguarding and child protection are of paramount importance in all Dulwich College International schools. As a world-class organisation with a strong moral purpose, we make certain that every step is taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of each child in our care. We are committed to providing a safe, supportive and welcoming school for all members of our school community.
We believe that children should be respected and their views should be heard. It is our responsibility to ensure that each child forms stable relationships with adults, built on trust and consistent support for children’s individual needs. This approach guides the behaviour of all professionals in our school. Our child-centred approach to safeguarding is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Here are some of the ways we ensure the protection of our children:
- Rigorous and regularly reviewed Safeguarding policy
Dulwich College International’s extensive Safeguarding Policy and training programme is regularly reviewed and updated, and upon arriving at our school new joiners all take part in safeguarding training, which is periodically refreshed throughout their tenure in our organisation. Safeguarding is also a critical component of our accreditations.
- Meticulous checks on potential new members of the community.
From the moment a new member of staff or a new student is even considered to become part of the DCB community, rigorous checks are done on them. For students, this is in the form of recommendation letters, admissions tests, interview and past reports. In the case of staff this includes in-depth screening of police records, multiple school checks, references and interviews.
- Safeguarding Teams across the College
In addition to the Whole College Designated Safeguarding Lead, which involves overseeing the annual audit of our Safeguarding practices in line with EiM (Education in Motion), we also have child protection teams in DUCKS, Junior School and Senior School.
- Our students have age-appropriate lessons in safeguarding
At a classroom level it is crucial to create a safe space. Students will not come out of their shell and learn more deeply, help each other, and challenge themselves if they feel under threat. Just think back to the scariest teacher you had in your school experience and compare how well you worked for that teacher compared to the teacher whose lessons you liked the most or who was the most supportive of you. It is for this reason that we hold annual Safeguarding training which every member of staff in the school must complete.
Our teachers themselves do sessions on Teaching Pastorally just to make sure that our focus on this principle is renewed at the beginning of every year and our DCB values are truly at the heart of everything we do.
Individually, to students, effective Safeguarding allows them to report or seek help when they are worried about themselves or others. We have a strong pastoral system with well-advertised lines of communication to staff who can help, but we also have a private online platform for reporting this too should a student not feel they are able to speak to a staff member about it face to face. This is called the Speak Out and Stay Safe initiative.
- Strong Home-School Relationship
It is vital for students and parents alike to understand the concepts of safeguarding because they see what the school cannot see. Namely, what happens when young people are out by themselves, what happens in the home and the difficulties that can be faced in these situations.
To ensure that you know the signs you need to look out for, we welcome you to our Parent Academy, which is a regular event open to all DCB parents to attend. Here, parents are educated in identifying signs of what to look for with regards to ‘red flags’ in their children or friends that might indicate that they are struggling. It is crucial that the home-school partnership is strong. This partnership consists of school-parent-student, and it is only through open and honest dialogue that we can all work together to ensure the best level of support for the students at DCB. For more information on Parent Academies, please refer to your respective school’s most recent newsletter.
When done well, Safeguarding has immeasurable benefits that will last throughout a child’s lifetime.
At a whole school level, like we have in DCB, we see an environment where students, for the most part, enjoy coming to school and whilst they are here, they are happy and feel safe enough to push themselves beyond the scope of the normal curriculum.
This is evidenced by the sheer number of leadership positions that we have students across the school competing for every year. It is why we have such a rich ECA programme that is, in part, led by students as well as staff. It is the reason that our students go above and beyond being an average student because they know they will be supported in doing so. It is also the reason why our alumni are so successful and so varied across such a massive range of industries, as those students felt safe and secure enough to pursue their own passions.
In feeling safe and supported, our students learn to push their boundaries and Live Worldwise; when students feel safe and happy in school, they become inspired to develop positive learning experiences, and eventually make a positive difference in the world.