Safeguarding Messages

April 2017- Blue Whale Social Media and 'Blue Whale Challenge'.

Blue Whale Challenge is a social media site that is reportedly leading some young people to cut themselves and in some extreme cases could be leading them to commit suicide. It has been brought to our attention by North Yorkshire Police and one of our North Yorkshire secondary schools who had become aware of this through links with a school in a neighbouring local authority.

There is growing awareness of a social media site called, ‘Blue Whale’. Intelligence would indicate that young people are approached in a chat room and then asked to take part in private chats before being given a list of tasks to complete. One of the tasks is reportedly getting young people to cut into their skin the image of a ‘blue whale’. There are concerns that the last task they are asked to do is commit suicide.

Some other areas of the UK are also raising awareness of this social media site which appears to have originated in Russia. The following is a link to some information that has been shared in Devon.

http://www.devonlive.com/blue-whale-suicide-challenge-in-devon-what-parents-and-children-need-to-know-now/story-30199306-detail/story.html

Staff in school are aware of this site and will be vigilant to pupils talking about the Blue Whale Challenge and aware of any warning signs or concerns that pupils may be sharing information about this with their friends. Parents and carers should ensure that they have appropriate measures in place to monitor their child's social media use as it is quick and easy to become linked with sites such as Blue Whale via other social media activities.

March 2017- Operation Encompass

Sicklinghall C.P School has been given the opportunity to take part in a new project that will run jointly between all schools, academies and colleges in the area and North Yorkshire Police.

This new project, Operation Encompass, has been designed to provide early reporting to schools of any domestic abuse incidents that occur outside of normal school hours and that might have had an impact on a child attending our school the following day. This information will be shared at the earliest opportunity between Monday to Friday and when an incident occurs on weekend the school will be notified on the Monday by the police.

A nominated member of school staff, known as a key adult, will receive the information the police. They will be able to use information that has been shared with them, in confidence, to ensure that our school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children or their families. Information will be shared where it is identified that a child or young person was present, witnessed or was involved in a domestic abuse incident.

Operation Encompass has already proved to be very effective in providing appropriate support to children.

We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our children and we believe this is initiative is going to be extremely beneficial and supportive for all those involved.