What to do if you have a safeguarding concern

If you are a student and you are concerned about your own safety or the safety of another student:

You can talk to any member of staff. All staff at the College are trained in safeguarding matters. You can be confident that we will listen to you and take any action necessary to keep you (or another student) safe, whilst doing everything we can to respect your wishes. You may wish to contact a member of the safeguarding team directly. Go to Reception or the offices on the Concourse, and ask to speak to the Safeguarding Lead.

The Safeguarding Team
Jo Cadman, Assistant Principal, Designated Safeguarding Lead
Email: cadmanj@colchsfc.ac.uk
Room 126C (on the concourse)

Graham Rayner, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Email: raynerg@colchsfc.ac.uk
Room 642

Emily Cheffins, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Email: cheffinse@colchsfc.ac.uk
Room 602

In addition, all Senior Tutors are members of the Safeguarding team.

If you are a parent or member of the public and you are concerned about a student

Call the main College switchboard on 01206 500700 and ask to speak to the Safeguarding Lead (Jo Cadman).

For pastoral or welfare issues which are not safeguarding concerns, please contact the relevant Personal Tutor or Senior Tutor.

Out of hours safeguarding information

The Safeguarding Lead and deputies, together with Senior Tutors, will endeavour to ensure that particularly vulnerable students remain safe during longer holiday periods by passing on information and concerns to parents/carers, other family members or outside agencies as appropriate before the holiday period begins.

During term-time, within normal College opening hours, there will always be a member of the safeguarding team who can be contacted, but this will not be the case at other times. Students and parents should be aware that College staff will not usually check or respond to email during evenings and weekends and when on holiday. Students and parents should not expect an immediate response to any concerns communicated via email and therefore should not use this channel of communication if the issue is urgent.

What to do if you have a safeguarding concern when College is closed

If you believe somebody is in immediate danger, phone 999.

To speak to somebody about a child protection issue

  • Social Care (daytime) 0345 603 7627
  • Social Care (eve/weekend) 0345 606 1212

For serious mental health concerns

  • EWMHS referrals 0300 300 1600
  • EWMHS (out of hours) 0300 555 1201

Please be aware that you can visit the Accident and Emergency Department of hospitals in the event of a mental health crisis.

The following contacts may also be useful for advice and help

  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Essex Police (non-emergency) 101
  • ChildLine 0800 1111
  • NHS Direct 111

Further information for parents and carers

Safeguarding is defined as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

A “child” is anybody under the age of 18. However, we do not treat our students differently after their 18th birthday. Although referrals to outside agencies will be different for students aged 18 and over, the support available in College remains the same.

Specific concerns

Mental health difficulties

Mental health issues are very common amongst young people in the 16-19 age group and we are able to provide help and advice for our students via our Welfare Hub or Senior Tutors and also to help students access help from the NHS and other external providers. Most students who have mental health difficulties are able to manage them, with appropriate support, and succeed at College. Most mental health issues do not present a safeguarding risk.

However, there are times when a student’s mental health issue might put them at risk. We need to know if your son or daughter is experiencing suicidal thoughts or harming him or herself. We will work with you to help keep them safe. They will often be able to attend College normally but sometimes a student may need some time away from College and/or a change to their programme.

Other sources of help and information

On-line concerns

The internet and social media play a huge role in young people’s lives, and can present a range of risks. Our students will have received lessons in on-line safety throughout their time at school and we offer continuing education in this area via Tutorial. On-line activity conducted outside College can have an impact in College, and you should let us know if any of these issues arise:

  • Bullying or harassment on social media
  • Making or sharing of inappropriate sexual images
  • Viewing damaging material (for example sites/posts which promote anorexia or self-harm)
  • Any attempt to groom/exploit/radicalise a young person (see College Prevent strategy)

Other sources of help and information

Child Protection

This term refers to protection from physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. Young people can be affected by violence in the home, even if it is not directed at them, and by issues such as addiction in the family. Please tell us if a student is suffering difficult conditions at home, so that we can support them.

Other sources of help and information

Emerging risks to older teenagers

Alcohol and drug use

We have a zero tolerance of alcohol and illegal drugs on College premises. Any student found in possession or under the influence will be permanently excluded.

However, we will work with students who wish to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. Parents should be aware of so-called “legal highs”, substances which may have another, legitimate purpose but which can be abused. Even occasional use of “recreational” drugs can be very dangerous: drugs can be stronger than anticipated and the buying of illegal drugs exposes young people to criminals and criminality. We educate our students in these matters via Tutorial.

Other sources of help and information

Financial exploitation

There has been a lot of publicity both locally and nationally, about “County Lines” drugs gangs, which recruit and exploit young people to transport and sell drugs. Young people are now being targeted as “money mules”, to launder money for organised crime gangs. This is often done on-line, via social media, with the gang member offering a reward to the young person for receiving money into their account.

Other sources of help and information


Updated: 6 Feb 2020