Designated Safeguarding Lead

Please contact Jacqui Gale — — 07999 100660

Download more information

Young Person’s Guide to Working Together to Safeguard Children (PDF)

Safeguarding – Statement of Policy

Brendan’s Bridge is committed to protect and safeguard the interests of its young people volunteers and staff. All staff at Brendan’s Bridge have a duty to identify any who are at risk of harm at home, education, online or in relationships. Appropriate action will be taken by all staff and reported swiftly to the safeguarding team to ensure the young person’s safety.

Brendan’s Bridge believe that young people have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and that they cannot thrive unless they feel secure.


Brendan’s Bridge aim to:

  • Assure Safer Recruitment Process (4.1) covering; Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, application processes for obtaining overseas criminality information to provide to employers in the United Kingdom or to meet the requirements of the United Kingdom Immigration Rules to provide an overseas criminal record certificate in support of a visa application, inspection of references, monitoring and reassessment of practice.
  • Provide a safe and friendly learning environment.
  • Support staff and young people with information and awareness to keep themselves safe.
  • Sustain procedures ‘What to look for’ by identifying, implementing and reporting suspected cases of harm or abuse.
  • Contribute and work with various partners/agencies and provide support, advice and guidance when required.

Brendan’s Bridge assure that all resources in safeguarding function for persons deemed as vulnerable. In compliance with the Equality Act Brendan’s Bridge recognise that some Young people present with protected characteristics and they may be deemed higher risk than others. All staff present and continue an ethos of safeguarding with continuity, comprehended by all. Information regarding the Safeguarding is issued to Young people and staff.

Young people and Education

Brendan’s Bridge recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, young people and adults, staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse therefore:

  • Maintain a stable and secure environment where our Young people feel safe and are encouraged to talk and be listened to.
  • Include opportunities for children, young people and adults to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
  • Well trained and approachable staff.
  • Allegations are taken seriously, investigated and responded to appropriately.
  • Guarantee Young people are treated with respect and dignity.
  • A secure and confidential recording system for disclosures.
  • Offer Young people the chance to receive support via external agencies at the earliest possible stage, in accordance with Brendan’s Bridge’s Offer of Early Help Policy.
  • Designated senior person for safeguarding (child protection) who has received appropriate training and support for this role and is a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) Jacqui Gale 07999100660
  • Nominated governor responsible for child protection who has received appropriate training (Angela Hooper).
  • Every member of staff (including temporary and supply staff and volunteers), as well as all governors and Young people know the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection/the deputy child protection officer and their roles.
  • New staff receive a safeguarding induction within their first week of their Induction period.
  • All staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior lead (DSL) responsible for child protection or to the deputy in the DSL’s absence.
  • Notify the relevant social worker if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a young person who has a Child protection Plan.
  • Maintain effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at child protection conferences and core groups.
  • Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately.
  • All records are kept securely, separate from the main student file, and in locked locations.
  • Follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer including supply or agency workers, contractors or trustees.
  • Safer recruitment practices are always followed.
  • All staff have read and understood part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (Sept 2020) and SMT have read and understood Parts 2 – 4.

Staff and working

Safeguarding is of the utmost importance to us, at Brendan’s Bridge Limited we commit to:

  • Working in accordance with the Department for Education (DfE) guidance Safeguarding Children, Safer Recruitment in Education and Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2020).
  • Have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who has responsibility for co-ordinating any actions and Designated Safeguarding Deputy (DSD) who are regularly and appropriately trained to work with Young people following a disclosure.
  • Staff being trained to recognise signs of abuse and how to report it.
  • Following procedures that are place for handling suspected cases of abuse of Young people.
  • Training Staff with designated responsibility for safeguarding which are regular and appropriate.
  • All staff and volunteers being trained on their first week and if this isn’t possible then within the first month.
  • Training all Managers on Safer Recruitment within their first 6 months of starting their managerial role.
  • Informing all new staff about the monthly safeguarding campaigns, where they can find additional information on specific safeguarding topics.
  • Requirement of all staff to undertake an online safeguarding training module (which includes Prevent and Channel), every two years.
  • Disclosures of abuse are taken seriously.
  • Young people feeling confident to talk to any member of staff if they are not feeling safe. Ignoring a safeguarding concern would not be acceptable in any way.


Ensure Brendan’s Bridge is a safe and secure environment is the responsibility of the Trustees. They will:

  • Review the Safeguarding Policy yearly.
  • Ensure Brendan’s Bridge operates safer recruitment procedures.
  • Confirm there are robust procedures in place for dealing with allegations.
  • Receive an annual report on Safeguarding practices and training from the = Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Undertake regular safeguarding training in accordance to Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 every two years at a minimum.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Promote positive safeguarding procedures and practice.
  • Receive information and offer advice about safeguarding concerns, maintain secure records and take appropriate action.
  • Be familiar with national and local safeguarding guidance/referral procedures.
  • Assess the development needs of staff and coordinate training through SMT.
  • Keep staff and volunteers informed of good practice development.
  • Monitor safeguarding cases in the organisation.
  • Report to the Trustees on an annual basis on how Brendan’s Bridge has met the statutory duties.
  • Develop working relationships with other agencies.
  • Be regularly and appropriately trained.
  • Be specialist trained in supporting mental health issues.

Employer Engagement

Brendan’s Bridge works with several employers for work placement and experience. When a student attends a job placement a DBS may be carried out if required for example Health and Social Care. Working with external organisations provides a complete approach to safeguarding our Young people. Brendan’s Bridge ensures all employers know their responsibility for safeguarding and well-being of Young people.

Passion for Learning and Growth

Young People are encouraged to embrace challenges working with different knowledge, skills and experiences. Challenges become opportunities and takes a positive outcome which drive for outcome and future successes.

Respect for All

We believe Young people should work with integrity to bring out the best of themselves and make positive contributions to society. Supporting diversity and commending differences to promote mutual respect between Young people and staff and appreciate the impact that we each can make.


In situations where Brendan’s Bridge cannot operate out of their premises, due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. COVID-19), we will work in line with Government guidance to ensure we adhere to our statutory responsibilities to keeping children and young people safe. This includes:

  • To maintain regular communication with social workers, vulnerable Young people and their families to ensure that they know where their vulnerable Young people are and that they are safe.
  • To continue to comply with the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ statutory guidance and for all staff to report any safeguarding concerns to the DSL.

Emergency Contacts

Gloucestershire Children and Families Team, Children & Families Front Door

01452 426565

Nigel Hatten, LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)

01452 426994



Urgent Concerns 01452 426565

Children’s Practitioner Advice Line 01452 426565

Legal Context

Brendan’s Bridge acts in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges (May 2018) In accordance with the Department for Education (DFE) Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, the College complies with the following responsibilities:

  • Staff are trained to recognise the signs of abuse and know to whom they should report concerns or suspicions.
  • Procedures are in place (which staff are aware of) for handling suspected cases of abuse of Young people, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected abuse.
  • A Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) has responsibility for coordinating action in the College and for liaising with other agencies.
  • Staff with designated responsibility for safeguarding receive appropriate training.

Related Policies

Policy 2.7 – Managing Allegations Against Staff
Policy 4.1 – Safer Recruitment
Policy 4.1.1 – Safer Recruitment Process
Policy 4.3.1 – Process for Reporting Safeguard
Policy 4.4 – Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
Policy 4.9 – Offer of Early Help

Appendix A

In addition to the support outlined above, Brendan’s Bridge has links to the following local and national organisations which can support a young person and their family and allow them to remain in education and achieve their goals:

Children missing from education

Children missing from education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation and becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) later in life.


Physical Abuse

Bruises, broken or fractured bones, burns or scalds, bite marks. It can also include other injuries and health problems, such as: scarring, the effects of poisoning, such as vomiting, drowsiness, seizures breathing problems from drowning, suffocation or poisoning.


Emotional Abuse

Seem unconfident or lack self-assurance, struggle to control their emotions, have difficulty making or maintaining relationships, act in a way that’s inappropriate for their age.


Sexual Abuse

Avoiding being alone with or frightened of people or a person they know. Language or sexual behaviour you wouldn’t expect them to know. Having nightmares or bed-wetting. Alcohol or drug misuse. Self-harm. Changes in eating habits or developing an eating problem.



Poor appearance and hygiene, health and developmental problems, housing and family issues or change in behaviour.


Fabricated or Induced Illness

Absence due unknown illness.

The medical history doesn’t make sense, treatment is ineffective, the symptoms disappear when the carer isn’t around, and they can be seen repeatedly by different professionals looking for different things.


Drug Abuse

Physical warning signs Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or weight gain, deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits, unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing, tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.

Behavioural warning signs: drop in attendance and performance at college, unexplained financial problems; borrowing or stealing, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviours, sudden change in friends, favourite hangouts, and hobbies, frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities) Psychological warning signs: unexplained change in personality or attitude, sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts , periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness, lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”, appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid.


Alcohol Abuse

Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss, exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings, making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or feel normal, choosing drinking over other responsibilities and obligations, becoming isolated and distant from friends and family members, drinking alone or in secrecy, feeling hungover when not drinking, changing appearance and group of acquaintances you hang out with.


Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation

Absence from school/college, truancy, drop in performance, low motivation, excessive parental restriction and control of movements and history of siblings leaving education to marry early. Poor attendance in the workplace, poor performance, parental control of income and limited career choices. Evidence of self-harm, treatment for depression, attempted suicide, social isolation, eating disorders or substance abuse. Evidence of family disputes/conflict, domestic violence/abuse or running away from home.
A relative or someone known as a ‘cutter’ visiting from abroad. A special occasion or ceremony takes place where a girl ‘becomes a woman’ or is ‘prepared for marriage’. A female relative, like a mother, sister or aunt has undergone FGM. A family arranges a long holiday overseas or visits a family abroad during the summer holidays. A girl has an unexpected or long absence from school. A girl struggles to keep up in school. A girl runs away – or plans to run away – from home. Having difficulty walking, standing or sitting. Spending longer in the bathroom or toilet. Appearing quiet, anxious or depressed. Acting differently after an absence from school or college. Reluctance to go to the doctors or have routine medical examinations. Asking for help – though they might not be explicit about the problem because they’re scared or embarrassed.


Gang Involvement, Hazing

Becomes secretive, becomes distant or has withdrawn from family. Deteriorating behaviour; increased rule breaking, aggression, and threatening behaviour. Broken off relationships with old friends and begun to associate with a new group of young people (may even display aggression towards previous friends). Drops out of positive activities. Sudden loss of interest in school, begins to truant and has noticeable decline in academic achievement. Stays out unusually late, begins to go missing or has unauthorised absences. Talks about a individual or persons who they seem to hold in esteem and appears to be influencing them. Noticeable changes in appearance. Begins to dress in a particular style or appears to be wearing ‘colours’ or a logo (specific uniform) like the group they associate with. Many gangs wear items of clothing that identify them collectively and set them apart from rival gangs. This wearing of clothes can be subtle and not noticeable e.g. the angle or how an item of clothing is worn, brands, a colour, symbols or jewellery. Has multiple mobiles or regularly changes mobile devices. new or unknown slang words or uses unusual hand signals to communicate with friends – some gangs have their own terminology and way of greeting each other, either verbally or by hand signs. Has specific drawings or tags on everyday objects such as clothes, bedroom doors, furniture, walls, school books – graffiti is often used to mark a gang’s territory, their dominance of the area, having the added advantage of intimidating and causing fear in the people that live in the area. Possesses unexplained money, expensive clothing, jewellery and possessions –certain jewellery, symbols and clothes can also be an indicator of membership or affiliation with a specific gang. Has an unusual interest in gangster-influenced music, videos, movies, or websites that glorify weapons and gang culture. Have images/videos of themselves ‘glorifying’ their gang membership – many gang members keep photographs featuring themselves and fellow gang members, often posing with cash, champagne and weapons. Where possible professionals should check a young person’s social media accounts or phones for images. Obtains new tattoos, or purpose made scars or burn marks – specific tattoos, scar or burn patterns/designs can indicate gang affiliation. New nickname –gang members often (but not always) have a street name which is normally derived from a personal trait, their physical appearance or an action the may have carried out. Is showing signs of drug use. Is committing criminal offences – shoplifting, robbery, drugs (street robbery as a first-time entry into the criminal justice system can be a significant factor). Is getting into fights; with unexplained physical injuries and/or refuses to seek medical treatment. Has started carrying a weapon. Is concerned about the presence of unknown youths in the area, scared of or refuses to enter certain area.


Criminal Exploitation County Line

Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing. Being found in areas away from home. Increasing drug use or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them. Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going. Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work. Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery. Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour. Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know. Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled. Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places.


Sexual Exploitation, Grooming, Trafficking

Unhealthy or inappropriate sexual behaviour. Being frightened of some people, places or situations. Bring secretive. Sharp changes in mood or character. Having money or things they can’t or won’t explain. Physical signs of abuse, like bruises or bleeding in their genital or anal area. Alcohol or drug misuse. Sexually transmitted infections. Pregnancy.


Gender based Violence, Violence against women, Domestic violence

See physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, commercial sexual exploitation, harmful practices – such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

  • Police non-emergency number: 101
  • Women’s Aid free 24 hours Domestic Violence Helpline: 08082000247
  • Confidential Men’s Advice Line: 08088010327
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence: 08009702070
  • National Stalking Helpline: 08088020300
  • Victim Support: 08081689111
  • Click for more information about domestic violence in pregnancy

Radicalisation, Terrorism, Channel

Isolating themselves from family and friends, talking as if from a scripted speech, unwillingness or inability to discuss their views, a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others, increased levels of anger, increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.



Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi naked images or videos of themselves or others and potentially sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobile devices, tablets, phones, laptops that allow media messages.

Sexting may also be called:

  • Trading nudes, dirties, pic for pic.
  • Being secretive or anxious about their phones.
  • Deleting histories.
  • Overreacting when you pick up their phone.
  • Crying, isolation and a change in grades or behaviour which may be the result of public ridicule from exposure to sexting.

Up skirting

Up skirting is a highly intrusive practice, which typically involves someone taking a picture under another person’s clothing without their knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear).


Sexual harassment

Unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which violates your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated. Creates a hostile or offensive environment. You don’t need to have previously objected to someone’s behaviour for it to be considered unwanted.


Stalking and harassment

Stalking is a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed. Some examples of stalking are: regularly giving unwanted gifts, making unwanted communication, damaging property, repeatedly following you or spying on you, threats. taken in isolation, some of the behaviours may seem like small acts, but together they make up a consistent pattern of behaviour that is frightening and upsetting. It’s important to know that stalking is a criminal offence.


Bullying (including Cyberbullying)

Belongings getting ‘lost’ or damaged, physical injuries, such as unexplained bruises, being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning, or skipping school, not doing as well at school, asking for, or stealing, money (to give to whoever is bullying them), being nervous, losing confidence or becoming distressed and withdrawn, problems with eating or sleeping, bullying others.


Mental Health


MOOD -They get irritable, argumentative or aggressive towards you. They may blame you if things go wrong. They can also become withdrawn.ACTIONS -They may experience changes in eating and sleeping patterns. Look out for any signs of bullying, alcohol, drugs or self-harm.

SOCIAL – They suddenly appear especially bored, lonely or withdrawn or they start to get into trouble. Losing interest in friends and other things they liked to do, or missing school are common warning signs.

KEEP TALKING – Refusing or being reluctant to talk about how they’re feeling is common. But keep listening and ask how they are feeling. When they do open up, make sure they know there’s someone there who really cares.




Private Fostering


This Version

Author: CEO

Signed off: January 2022.