Wellington has been shortlisted for the SACPA’s Safeguarding Initiative Award 2022-23 with the winners to be announced at their Annual Safeguarding Conference on Wednesday 22nd November. Our inclusion in the shortlist recognises the work of the College Safeguarding Team to improve safeguarding for new pupils starting life at Wellington.
The new initiative, led by Director of Safeguarding, Delyth Lynch, looks at every new pupil as an individual, identifying relevant potential vulnerability risk factors so that better, and more informed, pastoral and safeguarding support can be given to them upon arrival at College. The team drew up a series of questions to be used in a conversation-style information gathering exercise. The goal was to improve our ability to safeguard students by providing individualised pastoral care based on a much more complete overview of their unique story. Wellington’s admissions team wrote to every feeder school to explain what we were doing and why. All information gathered was inputted into a bespoke database created by the safeguarding team so that it could be easily collated and accessed by the team and pastoral leaders.
The impact on the way we care for pupils has been remarkable. Practically, it has enabled pastoral leaders to assign rooms to new students in a much more informed manner. It has also facilitated improved ways of dealing with concerns in the first few weeks of school life, resulting in calmer and more proactive conversations. New students have thrived and grown in confidence earlier and, by knowing more about what pupils enjoy, tutors are able to signpost relevant clubs and societies from a much earlier stage.
Having more detailed conversations around any previous safeguarding issues has also enabled the safeguarding team at Wellington to react proportionately and, in some cases, get back in touch with external services which have been used previously to access quicker and more relevant care. Parental feedback has been very positive and this has prompted even greater information sharing.
With a new sixth form house opening in 2024, we will be able to apply this process to those joining us at 16 who have even richer stories due to their age. Transition between schools is one of the most stressful times in a young person’s life but this initiative has enabled pupils to find their feet, have more trust and confidence in the adults and peers around them and flourish more quickly.
Improved openness is facilitating a more positive safeguarding culture at Wellington as students, parents and staff work together to make our pupils’ experience a safer one.
Find out more about safeguarding at Wellington College