Important message for young people and parents/carers

CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency and is here to help children and young people. We are here to help if you are a young person and you or your friend (up to age 18) has been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online, or in the real world. We also have advice and links to support for other online problems young people might face, such as cyberbullying and hacking. Visit our Safety Centre for information, advice and to report directly to CEOP, by clicking on the Click CEOP button below.
If you are an adult stakeholder and require further information, advice or wish to report concerns directly to CEOP, visit the Safety Centre, by clicking on the Click CEOP button.

The Folkestone school for Girls is a community and all those directly connected (staff, governors, parents, families and pupils) have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. The Folkestone School for Girls recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children with their best interests at the centre of our work. 

The Folkestone School for Girls recognises the importance of providing an ethos and environment within school that will help children to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly; and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

Our school core safeguarding principles are:

• That schools are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children. 
• It is a whole school responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as its paramount concern
• All children (defined as those up to the age of 18) regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
• All children have a right to be heard and to have their wishes and feelings taken into account  
• All staff understand safe professional practice and adhere to our code of conduct and other associated policies 
• All staff have a responsibility to recognise vulnerability in children and act on any concern in accordance with this guidance

There are four main elements to our safeguarding strategy: 

• Prevention (e.g. positive, supportive, safe school culture, curriculum and pastoral opportunities for children, safer recruitment procedures); 
• Protection (by following the agreed procedures, ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns); 
• Support (for all pupils, parents and staff, and where appropriate specific intervention for those who may be at risk of harm); 
• Working with parents and other agencies (to ensure appropriate communications and actions are undertaken). 

We aim through this section of the website to provide useful contacts and information to parents to ensure that our community is aware and able to support safeguarding the students that are the heart of our school. We define safeguarding as:

“Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It includes a wide range of issues relating to pupil’s welfare, health and safety.”

The school acknowledges that safeguarding will incorporate a range of specific safeguarding issues including (but not limited to):

• Bullying (including cyberbullying)
• Children Missing Education (CME)
• Child missing from home or care 
• Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
• Domestic violence 
• Drugs and alcohol misuse
• Fabricated or induced illness 
• Faith abuse
• Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
• Forced marriage
• Gangs and youth violence
• Gender based abuse and violence against women and girls
• Hate 
• Honour based abuse
• Mental health
• Missing children and adults
• Online safety
• Prevent duty (radicalisation and extremism)
• Private fostering 
• Relationship abuse 
• Human trafficking and modern slavery
• Youth produced sexual imagery or “Sexting”

Our safeguarding team

With all safeguarding concerns please feel free to contact the school Pastoral staff and we will support you with your concerns. 

Visitors

If you are visiting the school, please always ensure you sign in at our reception. If you do have a concern whilst visiting please do ask at reception for the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Additional information on what to watch out for and how to report a concern can be found in this leaflet:

Click here for the Visitor Leaflet

Prevent

Radicalisation and extremism has become a key concern for the UK. Schools are a crucial part to preventing extremism and radicalisation. The Folkestone School for Girls does this through education and the promotion of British values. This is done through our interactions with students and is closely tied in to our ethos. An example of this is through the use of elections in school to promote democracy or teaching our students to question critically information they read to spot propaganda.

The school also has a responsibility to pass on information that is feels may prevent a student being radicalised.

Should you encounter a website that would be promoting extremist ideas or your daughter has accessed this then please use the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/report-terrorism

The school also runs annual drills to counter the threat of an extremist incident. These are unlikely to happen of course but it is better to be prepared even in the most unlikely eventuality. In school we use the C.L.O.S.E protocol and enter a state of lockdown.

We also teach the students the about the dangers outside of school and what to do should they find themselves caught up in an incident. The following link contains advice for this eventuality:

https://www.npcc.police.uk/StaySafeAssets/FINAL%20MPS168715%20Run%20Tell%20Hide%20A5%20Lflt%20Blk%20Eng%20v3.pdf

Staying Safe Online

For many parents the battle to stay up to date and keep their children safe online is a hard one with new apps every day and ever complex technology. Here are some useful links to help keep children safe online:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/

Digital Parenting

As well as this, there is some information to help with other issues such as students “sexting” and accessing online pornography. These guides provide useful advice on how to have conversations with your daughter should the need arise.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/

Should you have serious concerns about your daughter and feel that the actions of someone online is putting them at risk then please read the information in the link below. There is a thinkuknow quick link on our home page if you need to report something of concern to the Police.

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

There is also advice for students:

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/14_plus/Need-advice/

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13/

County Lines

There is an increasing number of students in Kent who are being exploited by criminal gangs. These students are often recruited and made to carry out illegal activities for the gang. They are often exploited, intimidated or bribed to help with criminal activities.

Below is a link to crime stoppers new website aimed at young adults. It provides information on criminal offences and also provides an anonymous reporting facility if you are worried about a crime that could impact your daughter.

https://www.fearless.org/en

Mental Health

For some students in any school mental health is a challenge and can place them in difficult situations or cause them to make decisions that place them in danger:

The Folkestone School for Girls is a head start school and uses this model as well as the range of personal development opportunities the FSGbacc offers to build resilience. Below is a link for parents and carers to help with some strategies to help their daughter.

https://www.headstartkent.org.uk/parents-and-carers

There is also some fantastic information available at Mind which offers advice and possible ways to help with these issues:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/

Self Defense

We aim to ensure the students understand how to protect themselves from various dangers. This is usually delivered in PSHE sessions such as protecting themselves from things like STDs or understanding consent. Sometimes however situations occur which mean students may find themselves at risk despite attempting to avoid risky situation. For this reason we have trained our P.E staff to deliver so basics of self defense based on Krav Maga. The training for our staff was provided by the Krav Maga Centre in Folkestone.

 

Why we collect and use pupil information

We collect and use pupil information under section 537A of the Education Act 1996, and section 83 of the Children Act 1989.  We also comply with Article 6(1)(c) and Article 9(2)(b) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

We use the pupil data:

• to support pupil learning

• to monitor and report on pupil progress

• to provide appropriate pastoral care

• to assess the quality of our services

• to comply with the law regarding data sharing

• to support students as they decide what to do after leaving school 

 

Categories of pupil information that we collect, hold and share include:  

• Personal information (such as name, unique pupil number and contact details)

• Characteristics (such as ethnicity, language, nationality, country of birth and free school meal eligibility)

• Attendance information (such as sessions attended, number of absences and absence reasons)

• National curriculum assessment results

• Special educational needs information

• Relevant medical information 

 

Collecting pupil information

Whilst the majority of pupil information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. 

In order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain pupil information to us or if you have a choice in this. In particular, parents, guardians and students do have the right to decline to provide information on pupil nationality and country of birth.

 

Storing pupil information

The school holds information electronically on our internal computer systems. In addition, the school also maintains hard copies of your education records which are stored securely and retained until you reach the age of 25, after which they are safely destroyed.

There are strict controls on who can see your information.  We will not share your data if you have advised us that you do not want it shared unless it is the only way we can make sure you stay safe and healthy or we are legally required to do so.  

 

Who do we share pupil information with?

We routinely share pupil information with:

• schools or colleges that the pupils attend after leaving us

• our local authority (Kent County Council) and their commissioned providers of local authority services

• the Department for Education (DfE) 

On occasion, we may also share very basic student information (name and year group) with educational software/catering providers to allow the creation of student level passwords. We may also need to share student medical information with other providers – such as Duke of Edinburgh, when outside providers are used to provide enrichment opportunities for students.  This is to ensure the safety of students and that any first aid required is appropriate. 

 

Why we share student information

We do not share information about our students with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.

We share pupils’ data with the Department for Education (DfE) on a statutory basis. This data sharing underpins school funding and educational attainment policy and monitoring. We are required to share information about our pupils with the (DfE) under regulation 5 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

To find out more about the data collection requirements placed on us by the DfE (for example; via the school census)  and/or about the pupil information we share with the department, for the purpose of data collections go to https://www.gov.uk/education/data-collection-and-censuses-for-schools

 

Our pupils aged 13+

Once our students reach the age of 13, we also pass student information to our local authority and / or provider of youth support services as they have responsibilities in relation to the education or training of 13-19 year olds under section 507B of the Education Act 1996. 

We must provide both your and your parent’s/s’ name(s) and address, and any further information relevant to the support services’ role; this will include telephone contact details.

This enables the local authority to provide services as follows:

• youth support services

• careers advice and guidance

A parent/guardian can request that only their child’s name, address and date of birth is passed to their local authority or provider of youth support services by informing us. This right is transferred to the child / pupil once he/she reaches the age 16.

 

Our pupils aged 14+

For students enrolling for post 14 qualifications, the Learning Records Service will give us a pupil’s unique learner number (ULN) and may also give us details about the pupil’s learning or qualifications

 

Our pupils aged 16+

We will also share certain information about students aged 16+ with our local authority and / or provider of youth support services as they have responsibilities in relation to the education or training of 13-19 year olds under section 507B of the Education Act 1996.

KCC has a legal responsibility to track all young people up to the age of 19 (and young adults with learning difficulties or disabilities up to the age of 25).  The purpose of collecting this information is to assist the planning of education and training for young people and the support services they require.  KCC will inform us of your current activity once you have left the school.  This is in relation to education, training, employment with training you may be undertaking and whether you are NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training).  Some of this information is then shared with the DfE who use the information to plan at a national level.

This enables them to provide services as follows: 

• post-16 education and training provision

• youth support services

• careers advice and guidance

For more information about services for young people, please go to: http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/young-people or the KCC website at www.kent.gov.uk 

 

The National Pupil Database (NPD)

The NPD is owned and managed by the Department for Education and contains information about pupils in schools in England. It provides invaluable evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as studies commissioned by the Department. It is held in electronic format for statistical purposes. This information is securely collected from a range of sources including schools, local authorities and awarding bodies. 

We are required by law, to provide information about our pupils to the DfE as part of statutory data collections such as the school census and early years’ census. Some of this information is then stored in the NPD. The law that allows this is the Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

To find out more about the NPD, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pupil-database-user-guide-and-supporting-information.

The department may share information about our pupils from the NPD with third parties who promote the education or well-being of children in England by:

• conducting research or analysis

• producing statistics

• providing information, advice or guidance

The Department has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. Decisions on whether DfE releases data to third parties are subject to a strict approval process and based on a detailed assessment of:

• who is requesting the data

• the purpose for which it is required

• the level and sensitivity of data requested: and 

• the arrangements in place to store and handle the data 

To be granted access to pupil information, organisations must comply with strict terms and conditions covering the confidentiality and handling of the data, security arrangements and retention and use of the data.

For more information about the department’s data sharing process, please visit: 

https://www.gov.uk/data-protection-how-we-collect-and-share-research-data 

For information about which organisations the department has provided pupil information, (and for which project), please visit the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pupil-database-requests-received

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, parents and pupils have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or be given access to your child’s educational record, contact our designated Data Protection Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You also have the right to:

• object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress

• prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing

• object to decisions being taken by automated means

• in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and

• claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations 

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

 

Contact

If you would like to get a copy of the information about you that KCC shares with the DfE or post-16 providers or how they use your information, please contact:

Information Resilience & Transparency Team

Room 2.71

Sessions House

Maidstone, Kent

ME14 1XQ

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also visit the KCC website if you need more information about how KCC use and store your information. Please go to:  http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/contact-us/access-to-information/your-personal-information

To contact DfE: https://www.gov.uk/contact-dfe

If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact our designated Data Protection Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The start of any journey is an exciting opportunity for self-discovery and success. Here, at The Folkestone School for Girls, we pride ourselves on offering our students an outstanding education within an inspiring, challenging and stimulating environment. We have a strong tradition of securing excellent academic results and support every individual to succeed in whatever field they choose.

Our students are nurtured and supported to enable them to become resilient and independent young women, who will achieve anything to which they set their minds. We are committed to providing our students with a plethora of opportunities to develop their character and leadership skills. Furthermore, we actively encourage our students to become good citizens, fully involving themselves in the whole school community and the world beyond.

Our expert staff are dedicated to instilling a life-long love of learning in our students. In addition to excellent teaching provision within the classroom, we offer enriching and engaging extra-curricular experiences in order to bring learning to life and to capture our girls’ imagination. We aim to broaden their horizons and to empower our students to believe that anything is possible.

Contact

The Folkestone School for Girls

Coolinge Lane

Folkestone, Kent

CT20 3RB United Kingdom

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1303 251125