Our school is part of a project, which is run between Warrington Local Authority, schools and Cheshire Police. The project is called Operation Encompass and has been designed to provide early reporting of any domestic violence incidents that occur outside of school, but may have an impact on a child in school. This is done through a phone call to school following an incident.
The project ensures that at least one member of the school staff, known as the Key Adult, is trained to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence.
In this way, we aim to support each child who has been involved in, or witnessed, a domestic abuse incident.
The Key Adult at Alderman Bolton is Joanne Egan (pictured).
If she received an Encompass call, she will make sure that a person the child trusts is available to help - should the child need this. Most of the time, the support is silent; keeping a careful eye on the child and make sure that they have a calm day at school. The confidential information is ordinarily not shared with all staff, just an agreement on how to help, if necessary.
All schools have a duty to share any information with other organisations if they feel a child is at risk of being hurt. The Key Adult may contact other organisations, as outlined in our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.
The sharing of information from the police allows the school to be ready to help the child straight away, and it means that parents are aware that the Key Adult knows that something has happened. Parents can come and talk to our Key Adult. The Key Adult is able to point families towards other people/agencies that can help.
Our aim is to support children and their families.