On Wednesday 6th December, we welcomed 50 grateful members of our local community into school for our Advent Tea Party, using the funds raised from our Sixth Form Charity Day. Visitors joined in some singing with our choir, played a game of bingo and took part in a festive quiz; all whilst being served a wonderful afternoon tea, including cakes, sausage rolls and sandwiches. Our students were on hand to pour cups of tea and coffee, interact with our visitors and help with answers to the quiz.
Father Christmas even manged to take time out of his busy schedule to join us, give out some presents and play us a few tunes on the piano, accompanied by some dancing Elves!
Some of the complimentary comments we received included:
“Thank you for organising this event. It was a pleasure to meet your students – all very respectful and considerate. We had fun and a good sing along to music and carols, some of us even dared to get up and dance.” - Barbara“You don’t understand the difference you are making and the happiness you are bringing to people. You are such a good school to do something like this.” - Local parishioner
On Friday 17th November, we organised a Charity Day at St Wilfrid’s Sixth Form, raising funds for an Advent Tea Party which will be held for retired members of the local community in December. Cakes and biscuits were baked, the number of sweets in a jar were guessed, strings were pulled and our Christmas Hedgehog was given the name 'Hedgy'! Students from across the school were invited to pop up to the Sixth Form area at break time; they came in their 100’s and were serenaded by our talented buskers, singing Christmas songs.
Thank you to all our Sixth Formers who gave up their time to oversee our stalls and to staff who kindly baked for the occasion. We’d also like to give a special mention to Miss Derry who donated lots of small glass keepsakes, which sold really well. We managed to raise a total of £300.70, which will go a long way to ensure that the Advent Tea party is a success.
It is important to stay calm and keep the environment you are in as relaxed as possible, this will help to support the young person. Remember, issues around sexting are a safeguarding issue, and you should therefore ensure you follow your setting’s safeguarding policies and processes.
If you are not a DSL, you should refrain from asking for further information about the imagery.
Remember not to use language that implies blame or judgment. Recognise the courage it has taken to speak up and reassure them that they have done the right thing by raising their concern. Let them know that you will need to pass on this information to the DSL and be clear that this is so that you can provide the best possible support for them.
Report it to your Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or equivalent immediately, your setting’s child protection policy should be followed, and the young person should be reassured about the reporting process and support available from DSLs.
It is illegal to view, share, save, or request that the young person share or download the imagery. If you do see the imagery by accident, you should report this to the DSL and seek support.
Do not interfere with the imagery by deleting it or asking the young person to delete it.
Do not request further information regarding the imagery from the young person.
Do not share information about the incident to other members of staff, any young people involved, or parents and carers.
For further information, read the UKCIS guidance overview here.
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Responding to a Sexting Incident as a DSL
Every instance of sexting is different, and there are many factors to consider when responding to a sexting incident, including aggravating factors such as:
Intent to Harm: Instances of abuse, blackmail, and coercion.
Reckless Misuse: Images sent without consent or without thought, but without intent to cause harm.
As a DSL, it is important to gather as much information as possible, including:
Information on whether the incident involves images, videos, or messages.
Who is featured in the content.
Who sent the content.
If any adults are involved
Where the content is located.
It is essential to record all decisions and steps taken during a sexting incident. Any documentation should explain why certain actions were or were not taken. Examples of this include explaining why it was not necessary to report an instance of sexting to the police, and why it can be handled internally. Remember, your approach should be child-centric and all decisions need to be justifiable and taken in the best interests of the child.
Once a sexting incident has been addressed, it is essential that your organisation reviews the case to see where procedures and responses can be improved or learned from. In line with your setting’s safeguarding policies and practices, you should ensure the child is provided with appropriate post-incident support as required.
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Reporting to the Police and/or Local Authorities
There are occasions where sexting incidents do not need to involve the police, such as when an incident is ‘experimental’ rather than ‘aggravated.’ An experimental incident involves the sharing of nudes or semi-nudes without adult involvement and with no apparent intent to harm or reckless misuse.
Aggravated or abusive incidents of sexting should always be reported to the police through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Once an incident has been reported to the police, they will be able to ensure a thorough investigation through the collection of all evidence. Any incident reported to the police will be recorded as an incident on their crime systems.
If a device needs to be passed on to the police, the involved devices should be disconnected from Wi-Fi and data and turned off immediately. The device should be locked in a secure place until the police are able to collect it.
Generally, when incidents are disclosed, it is best to tell the parents or guardians of any young person involved. Exceptions can include when there is a risk or harm to the child by doing this, or if the young person expresses that this could cause a genuine problem.
Whether to tell the guardians or not is ultimately up to the DSL's discretion, however, they should always ensure to record and justify their decision within the establishment incident logs.
If the parents are informed, it is usually best to support the young person and involve them in deciding how to approach the conversation, by finding out what would make it easier for them (e.g. being present at the time or not).
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Any incident that includes CSAM content online should be reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), who can identify and remove any content that includes child sexual abuse imagery.
You can also encourage children under the age of 18 to use Report Remove to help get an image or video of themselves taken down online. Report Remove is provided by IWF and Childline, and keeps the young person informed at each stage of their report, whilst providing further support when necessary.