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posted Jun 18, 2018, 6:00 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Jun 18, 2018, 6:01 AM ]

A Barnsley AET academy has become the second primary in the country to earn the highest award for the outstanding efforts it makes to ensure that its school community is safe and aware of all possible safeguarding concerns. 

Shafton Primary Academy in the High Street has been presented the Incyte International Platinum Excellence in Safeguarding Award, which covers every aspect of safeguarding from recruitment to internet safety, health and safety to child protection. 

There are two levels of award, Gold (which Shafton Primary achieved last year) and Platinum. To achieve Platinum the school underwent a rigorous audit this month from a safeguarding specialist who produced a detailed report highlighting the school's many strengths. It recognises and rewards innovative and creative ways of working that really make a difference to young people and those most at risk. 

The report states: 'Pupils in the academy have every confidence in the staff to keep them safe and help to solve any problems they may encounter. There is a very strong will on the part of all staff to establish an environment that is safe and where staff and pupils are aware of how to stay safe and what to do if something goes wrong. They have developed an ethos and culture within the academy in which safeguarding is a high priority, understood by all, and have created a happy caring school in which pupils thrive.'

Julian Drinkall, CEO of Academies Enterprise Trust, said: "This rare and outstanding accolade for Shafton Primary Academy is fully deserved for Mrs Charalambous and her staff. It underlines just how totally committed they are to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well being of every child at all times."

Mrs Jo-Anne Charalambous, Executive Principal at Shafton Primary Academy, said: "We are thrilled to receive this award which is an acknowledgement of the hard work of our entire staff, governors and the school community. We are dedicated to ensure that our children are happy, safe and well when they attend our school."

The first secondary school in the country to be granted the Incyte International Platinum Excellence in Safeguarding Award was also an AET academy; Winton Community Academy in Hampshire.