Safeguarding and Child Protection
Online Safety advice
E-Safety Guidance for Parents
At St Lawrence Catholic Primary School, we understand that it is essential to encourage and develop the use of new technologies in our teaching and learning practice. The internet has changed the way we learn, interact and communicate so this technology is to be embraced. However, we must also be aware of the potential dangers including the fact that the internet can be used for malicious and criminal purposes.
At school, the secure ICT network prevents children accessing inappropriate information and blocks websites that are not necessary for their learning e.g Facebook and Twitter. However, we are aware that parents may not have the same security settings in the home environment. Parents must also be aware that children can access internet services via mobile telephones and video games systems. We have provided some information and links about the ways you can ensure your child is practising e-safety. We also hope this will be a starting point for you to talk to your children about the need to keep safe online and that they will feel they can tell you about anything that worries them.
As a school, we have a legal duty to prevent extremism and promote the traditional British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.
Please see the guidance and information below. Please ask at the school office if you would like to know more about the prevention of extremism and radicalisation at St Lawrence.
Our Safeguarding / Child Protection Policy and Positive Handling Policy are saved under
Key Information - Policies & Procedures
Useful Website Links for Parents
Child line provide advice and support for vulnerable children to access
NSPCC are a National charity providing guides and advice for parents
CEOP provide advice on child exploitation and online protection
London Safeguarding Children Board Provide advice on child protection procedures
Hounslow Safeguarding Childrens Partnership provide helpful information and guidance
Reasonable punishment and smacking
What is the law on smacking children?
It is unlawful for a parent or carer to smack their child. There is however a defence available to a parent or person acting in loco parentis where the smack amounts to “reasonable punishment” This defence is laid down in Section 58 of the Children Act 2004, but it is not defined in this legislation.
The fact there is a defence in law does not mean that a crime has not been committed.
Whether a ‘smack’ amounts to reasonable punishment will depend on the circumstances of each case taking into consideration factors like the age of the child and the nature of the smack. Physical punishment will be considered ‘unreasonable’ if it leaves a mark on the child or if the child is hit with a fist/closed hand or an implement such as a cane or a belt. It would also be deemed unreasonable if smacking became any more than an isolated incident.
Section 58 of the Children Act 2004 limits the use of the defence of reasonable punishment so that it can no longer be used when people are charged with the offences against a child of wounding, actual or grievous bodily harm or cruelty. Therefore, any injury sustained by a child which is serious enough to warrant a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm cannot be considered to be as the result of reasonable punishment. (NSPCC).
A parent can be charged with a criminal offence if they harm their child under the following certain offences: This also includes any other person that is a carer or works with children:
- an offence under Section 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (wounding and causing grievous bodily harm)
- an offence under Section 47 of that act (assault occasioning actual bodily harm)
- an offence under Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (cruelty to persons under 16)
Physical punishment or chastisement of children and young people can have a very detrimental effect on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Physical punishment, such as smacking, slapping, pushing or hitting with an implement can cause:
- Direct physical harm or injury such as bruises, cuts, reddening of the skin, scratches, swelling or even broken bones;
- Mental harm such as anxiety, isolation, feeling victimised, damage to self-esteem, or a reduction in confidence;
- Increased risk of anti-social behaviour from the child;
- Increased aggression in children including fighting with siblings, friends and using violence to seek attention;
- Increased violent and criminal behaviour in adulthood;
- An acceptance that violence is OK, and it is fine to use force to get your own way, if you are annoyed with someone or if they have hurt you;
- Breakdown in family relationships, with resentment that could affect the relationship between parents and children into their adulthood.
There is no justification for inflicting pain on a child or young person as a parent (or any other adult carer).
Any form of physical punishment that leaves a mark on a child or young person is considered an assault and is illegal under the Section 58 of the Children Act 2004.