Thurston Community College


Visit the Policies page to view our Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

Our DSL Team

DSLs (ID 1252)

An Ethos of Safeguarding Each Other

At Thurston Community College we consider safeguarding to be everyone’s responsibility and as such our College aim is to create an environment within which every student has the opportunity to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being.

Through a broad and balanced curriculum (including Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education (PSHCE), assemblies, academic tutoring) we aim to create an atmosphere in which everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender, culture or ability, is aware of their right to be valued, respected, listened to and believed. We wish all students to know that they do not have to accept the actions of others towards them without question and that they are entitled to share their concerns within or outside the College community.

All staff and regular visitors will, through training and/or induction: know how to recognise the signs and indicators of abuse; how to receive a disclosure from a child; how to manage this thereafter. All such information is passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and/or Alternate DSL to ensure that the best support is in place. We will endeavour to work in partnership with other agencies, and seek to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues in line with statutory legislation Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.

Our Early Help Offer in College

All our staff will try to meet the safeguarding needs of your child through a coordinated offer of early help. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. ‘Early help’ describes the type of early intervention and support that can be provided when a child or family’s needs may not be being met by routine universal services but does not meet the threshold for a specialist service. This includes providing support as soon as a problem emerges, liaising with the DSL, and sharing information with other professionals in order to support early identification and assessment, focusing on providing interventions to avoid escalation of worries and needs.

Any child may benefit from early help, but all College staff will be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs;
  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan);
  • is a young carer;
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues or domestic abuse;
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
  • has returned home to their family from care;
  • is a privately fostered child.

Early help can take various forms and may include (but is not exclusive to): 

  • Meeting with the family
  • A SEND Referral
  • A Hub Referral
  • Consultation with the DSL and/or Head of School/ Year Leader
  • Before / After School Clubs
  • Consultation with the Education Welfare Officer
  • A referral to the School Nursing Team
  • A referral to County Inclusion Support Services.

If you are struggling as a family and it concerns at least one of your children attending the College, then you may wish to complete a Common Assessment Framework with your child’s Head of School or Year Leader. This process will help you work with people such as teachers, health staff and other lead professionals to gather, understand and share information about what is happening in your family's life and what solutions can be determined for you and your child.

Click for more information on this process.

Advice and Guidance for Parents/Carers

If you wish to report a concern of a child at risk of harm, abuse or neglect, you can contact our primary Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Dawn Ford, or any of our alternative DSLs on 01359 230885.

In case of an emergency outside of College hours, please use one of the numbers below:

  • Customer First on 0808 800 4005 (the first point of contact for social services)
  • The Police on 999
  • The NSPCC child protection helpline on 0808 800 5000

You can also find useful information and guidance on the Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children Board website at

There are also other useful contacts for you to consider listed below:

As parents there are a number of resources you may find helpful in supporting your children with their mental health difficulties. These include:

Keeping Your Child Safe: Advice for Parents