Southam College in an Operation Encompass school. This means we are taking part in a jointly run operation called Operation Encompass in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police. Many other schools in Warwickshire will also be participating in the scheme. Operation Encompass is a way of working initially developed in south-west England that is already operating successfully in a number of other Local Authority areas. Its objective is to help schools provide support to children who are affected by incidents of domestic violence and abuse. There is a great deal of research evidence that children can suffer significant physical and/or emotional harm when they are present during, witness or are directly involved in incidents of domestic violence and abuse.
The Operation Encompass process is simply that after any incident of domestic violence or abuse attended by the Police, the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead at the school attended by any child in the household will receive a confidential and secure Email on the morning of the next school day.
The Email will only inform the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead that the Police have attended an incident and will request that the school is mindful of that in their care and responses to the child throughout the school day. The school will not be informed about the specific details of the incident. The only exception would be when Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police deem the incident to be a child protection matter that requires further investigation. Information would then be shared with the school as part of Warwickshire County Council’s child protection checks and investigation, which is current practice and will not be changed by Operation Encompass.
The Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead have entered into a formal agreement with Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police to use the information shared to make sure that the right support is available for children who are present during, witness or are directly involved in an incident of domestic violence or abuse. This means that the school will also be in a position to offer parents and carers support as appropriate.
The confidential information shared securely with the school will be managed and stored with the utmost sensitivity and discretion. We want to assure all parents and carers that only the nominated Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Headteacher will see the information shared with the school. We will then use the notification discretely to ensure that teachers and other staff directly in contact with affected children support them with due kindness, care and sensitivity.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our students and we believe this is going to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.