Skip to content ↓


Safeguarding Statement:

At Forest Oak and Merstone Special Schools, the safety and well-being of our students are paramount. We are committed to providing a nurturing and secure environment where every child feels valued, respected, and protected. Safeguarding is at the heart of everything we do, and we adhere to the highest standards to ensure the welfare of all individuals within our school community.

Our Safeguarding Principles:

1.    Creating a Safe Environment: We maintain a safe physical environment that is conducive to learning and free from hazards. Our premises are regularly audited to identify and address any safety concerns promptly.

2.    Vigilant Staff: Our dedicated staff members undergo rigorous background checks and receive comprehensive safeguarding training to recognize signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. They are trained to respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns and report them promptly to designated safeguarding leads.

3.    Empowering Students: We empower our students by promoting their rights, providing age-appropriate education on safeguarding issues, and encouraging them to speak up if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

4.    Partnership with Parents and Carers: We recognize the importance of working in partnership with parents, carers, and external agencies to safeguard our students effectively. We communicate openly and transparently with families, providing support and guidance as needed.

5.    Robust Policies and Procedures: We have robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place, which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest statutory guidance and best practices. These policies outline our commitment to safeguarding and the steps we take to protect our students from harm.

6.    Multi-Agency Collaboration: We collaborate with local authorities, healthcare professionals, law enforcement agencies, and other relevant organizations to ensure a coordinated approach to safeguarding and support for our students.

7.    Confidentiality and Privacy: We handle safeguarding concerns with the utmost confidentiality and respect for privacy, sharing information only on a need-to-know basis and in accordance with data protection regulations.

8.    Continuous Improvement: We continuously monitor and evaluate our safeguarding practices to identify areas for improvement and enhance the effectiveness of our safeguarding arrangements.

By adhering to these principles, [Name of Special School] is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment where every student can thrive and reach their full potential.


Kendrick Poxon, Designated Safeguarding Lead

Donna Luck, Executive Headteacher

Local Authority Safeguarding Report February 2023

"Leaders at Forest Oak school passionately believe that all young people with needs should be in school as it is the safest place for them. They are extremely enthusiastic about the positive strategies they implement and echo what pupils say themselves which is they want to come to school every day because they ‘love their school’. This is a restorative practice school and ensures behaviours are managed very well. The SMILE approach supports the mental health & wellbeing of pupils and staff and helps with regulating behaviours. The resolution circle is used to manage pupils’ emotions and talk through their concerns and behaviours. The school culture makes clear to all members of the community which behaviours are acceptable, encouraged or needed and which are not. All staff lead the creation and reinforcement of this culture, ensuring it permeates through every aspect of school life. This will be further enhanced by the trauma informed schools training taking place for all staff later in the term. Mental health and wellbeing within the school community is a priority; all staff have attended suicide awareness training through the ‘Orange button’ scheme.

This review has demonstrated clearly that the school takes a child-centred approach to safeguarding. Leaders at various levels work hard to ensure that the culture supports this through taking a whole-school approach. Children are both happy and safe with those who require additional support identified."