Safeguarding at Speech and Language UK

We take our safeguarding responsibility very seriously and strive to keep children and young people accessing our services safe from harm and abuse.

We do this by having a clear and robust safeguarding policy in our schools and for the wider organisation, training all staff, whatever their role, and having a member of the Charity’s senior management team responsible for safeguarding across the charity.

Who should I contact if I have any safeguarding concerns or questions?

If the concerns are regarding the charity or someone working in the charity, please contact Speech and Language UK’s designated safeguarding lead.

Neil Maslen

Tel: 07384 783883


If you have any issues or concerns about a child in one of our schools, you should, in the first instance contact the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). These are:

Dawn House

Philip Chandler

Tel: 01623 795361


For more information on safeguarding at Dawn House, visit this page.


Sian Vaux

Tel: 01932 872302


For more information on safeguarding at Meath, visit this page.

Our Safeguarding Trustee is Roy Blatchford.

He can be contacted via Charlotte Clososki on

Our key principles

Speech and Language UK’s Child Protection Policy for 2023-2024 is consistent with statutory guidance HM Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (updated December 2020) and DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 (KCSiE).

Identified staff and volunteers must read Part One of DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 or Annex A as decided by the Director of Education and Head of People.

All staff, supply staff and volunteers who work directly with children must have a full and active understanding of KCSiE 2023 Part One.

All identified staff including supply staff and volunteers will be safely recruited in-line with all legal requirements as outlined in KCSiE 2023 Part Three: Safer Recruitment, and our Trustee will ensure Speech and Language UK creates a culture that is safe and safeguards the welfare of children. We will adopt robust recruitment procedures that deter and prevent people who are unsuitable to work with children from applying for or securing employment, or volunteering opportunities in our school/college.

Speech and Language UK seeks to ensure that only ‘safe’ staff and ‘safe’ supply teaching staff and volunteers are recruited and employed to work with children Safer Recruitment is embedded into Speech and Language UK’s safeguarding culture through recruitment and induction processes and the ongoing management and support for all staff and volunteers.

All identified staff, teaching, supply, support staff and volunteers will be required to read the full Child Protection Policy and the Staff Behaviour Policy or Code of Conduct before starting work with children and will be informed of the procedures in place to address and manage any safeguarding concerns, allegations about staff members including low-level concerns.

If any member of Speech and Language UK staff has a concern about a child or the conduct of a member of staff in any of our schools , they should report this immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) using the reporting procedures. If the concern is about a non-Speech and Language UK setting, staff should report it to that setting’s DSL and reported to Speech and Language UK’s DSL. If a concern comes through Speech and Language UK’s enquiry service the concern should be reported to Speech and Language UK’s DSL.

This page serves only as a brief reference point for staff, and other stakeholders and should be read alongside Speech and Language UK’s Child Protection Policy 2023-2024 or for school staff their Child Protection Policy.

All Trustees, members of the Education Committee, School Advisory Board memmbers, school leaders, staff and volunteers have a responsibility to establish and maintain a culture of safeguarding in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children effectively and maintain an attitude ’it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff should always act in the ‘best interests of the child.

Everyone who works for Speech and Language UK has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and respond to concerns, incidents, or disclosures and should always speak with the Designated Safeguarding Lead for Speech and Language UK or the School DSLs to inform them of any safeguarding or child protection concerns without delay.

Our Trustees, members of the Education Committee and School Advisory Board members are required to receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection (including online) training at induction and annually. This training should equip them with the knowledge to provide us with strategic challenge, as a ‘critical friend’ and test and assure themselves that the safeguarding policies and procedures in place are effective and support the delivery of a robust whole. This training must only focus on their strategic role and not on operational procedures. Training for Trustees members of the Education Committee and School Advisory Board members is organised and monitored by the Director of Education.

The School DSLs will ensure that all school-based staff including supply staff and volunteers receive a robust induction into the school’s safeguarding arrangements, which will include a requirement that they read the key statutory guidance and safeguarding policies including the Behaviour Policy, Child on Child Abuse Policy and responses to on-line safety and children who go missing from education before starting work with children. For non-school based staff, this is the responsibility of their line manager.

Staff recognise that some children are particularly vulnerable and therefore more likely to require early help or safeguarding. Those children include: children with special educational needs and disabilities; those who are looked after by a local authority or were previously looked after; those living in families experiencing adult substance abuse, adult mental ill health and/or domestic abuse; and children showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Speech and Language UK’s whistleblowing policy enables staff to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence, and for a sensitive enquiry to take place. Staff are expected to report all concerns about poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues to their line manager, including low-level concerns.

Concerns or complaints about their line manager must be reported to Speech and Language UK’s DSL. Staff can also contact the Designated Officer in the Local Authority (LADO), who is responsible for the coordination of responses to allegations against people who work with children.

For staff who do not feel able to raise concerns internally, advice and support can be accessed through the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline Tel: 0800 028 0285.

All staff will receive appropriate and regularly updated safeguarding and child protection information, guidance, and at least annual dedicated safeguarding training to provide them with the requisite skills and knowledge to safeguard children. In schools this is the responsibility of the DSL and for central staff the Director of Education.

DSLs will also update their knowledge and skills at least bi-annually to keep up to date with new safeguarding developments and guidance relevant to their role. All DSLs will also attend, where appropriate, other safeguarding training opportunities to ensure their knowledge and experience in safeguarding remains current and can address any emerging threats.

Child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality. Staff will ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately.

The appendices of the full child protection and safeguarding policy contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues, which all staff should read to support good understanding of safeguarding vulnerabilities, identification of concerns and referral where required to safeguarding agencies.

Disclosures by children may be made or become known to any staff member but staff must report all safeguarding concerns, disclosure and incidents of risk, harm or abuse to the DSLs. This includes occasions when staff believe something is not quite right and they may have what is sometimes called ‘a gut feeling’ or see a change in the child’s behaviour, presentation or engagement with learning. This is recognised as sometimes because children may not feel ready or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited, or neglected, and/or they may not recognise their experiences as harmful. For example, children may feel embarrassed, humiliated, or being threatened. This could be due to their vulnerability, disability and/or sexual orientation or language barriers. This should not prevent staff from having a professional curiosity and speaking to the DSL if they have concerns about a child. It is also important that staff determine how best to build trusted relationships with children and young people which facilitate communication.

We will adopt the Government statutory guidance for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse and will hold to account and challenge anyone who acts in a way which harms children or situations which could lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours, an unsafe environment for children for children and in worst case scenario a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it.

We acknowledge the specific legal duty placed on teachers should they become aware that an act of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 for the teacher to report to the police. The DSL will ensure all staff, but particularly all with teacher status, are aware of the procedures required of mandatory reporting for concerns and risks related to honour-based abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and ‘up skirting’ which all have a mandatory reporting requirement. All teaching staff will complete FGM training in line with statutory guidance.