Safeguarding & Mental Health

Mental Health

Our pupils’ wellbeing is very important to us; our Deputy Head for pastoral leads on mental health issues and also a Mental Health Champion who promotes the good mental health of pupils and staff. Some of our teachers are trained in mental health first aid (MHFA) and all staff know how to spot the signs that pupils may be struggling emotionally. We have a trained emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA) on our staff team and we have also engaged a school counsellor and a music therapist to work with pupils who may benefit from extra support.

We run a comprehensive well-being programme that promotes good mental health, and pupils are encouraged to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing. We talk openly about mental health issues and our pupils have a strong support network of adults across the school that they can turn to. Our pupils are all told how to access help from within the school community and from outside agencies.

We are very proud to have been awarded the School Mental Health Bronze Award by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

Please follow the links below to some outside agencies that can provide mental health support for young people and their families.

Safeguarding procedures

All staff working in school (including teachers, office staff, governors and facilities team) are fully trained on ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021’ and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’.

We have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for each site, a number of deputy DSLs on both sites, and a trained social worker based at the main site.

Laura Newman

Designated Safeguarding Lead - Main School site

Gill Rolfe

Designated Safeguarding Lead - Lower School site

Concerns are taken very seriously, and we follow all procedures and policies thoroughly. Please see our safeguarding policy and our e-safety policy on the policies tab.

Students can also contact pastoral staff on a dedicated email address at school, and are reminded of contacts for support in and out of school regularly, and these are listed in the student planners.

We support many students with targeted support through ELSA, Early Help, family Support as well as robust risk assessments and wellbeing plans for individual children and young people which are produced with parents and any other agencies involved.

Safeguarding always is the top priority at Cobham Free School and this is addressed through a whole school system that fully utilises and draws together different aspects of school life. This includes effective pastoral support, behaviour/relationships policy with appropriate sanctions, and a carefully planned relationships, sex and health education curriculum that covers issues of consent.

We ensure that safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront of, and underpin all relevant aspects of, process and policy development.

Children's concerns are always taken seriously, and they know they can safely express their views and give feedback.

We have a designated off-site visits coordinator and robust risk assessment procedures. View our Safeguarding Policy in Policies & Documents for further information.

Additional support

For additional support students and parents can contact:

Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Chat Health >

  • Samaritans >

  • Beat > - eating disorders

  • Shout >

  • Young Minds > The UK’s leading charity committed to improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Information for young people and parents including a parent helpline.

  • Orcha > – Rated apps to support mental health and wellbeing

  • Kooth > - NHS commissioned, free, safe and anonymous online counselling every day until 10pm.

  • Childline > - Counselling online and on the phone anytime.

  • Harmless > - An organisation offering support and advice for young people who self-harm and their parents.

  • Charlie Waller Memorial Trust > - The trust was set up in memory of Charlie Waller, who took his own life whilst suffering from depressions. Information about depression, maintaining wellbeing and getting help.

  • Papyrus > - Provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person.

  • MindEd > - Educational resource on children’s young people’s mental health for parents and professionals.

  • Heads together > - A mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health.

  • Mermaids > - An organisation that raises awareness and offers support about gender nonconformity in children and young people.

  • Frank > - Information about drugs and alcohol and how to get help.

  • Kidscape > - Information and resources to prevent bullying.

  • Cruse Bereavement Care > - Support for adults, children and families.

  • Parent Info > - is a website for parents, covering all of the issues amplified by the internet.

Online safety for children and young people

  • ThinkUKnow > - Age related advice to online safety

  • NSPCC > - Online Safety and mobile safety advice

  • Childnet Hub > - Aimed at children aged 11-18, find top tips

  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) > - CEOP is a law enforcement agency working to help keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online. They are able to give you advice, and you can make a report directly to them if something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried.

  • Childline > - Free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, there for you online, on the phone, anytime.

Online safety for parents and carers

  • Childnet International > - Website providing a wealth of advice and resources on how to keep your child safe online so they can take advantage of the positive opportunities the internet brings. Parents and Carers Toolkit takes account of the government’s Online Safety Policy and includes guidance and resources for parents and carers together with a Family Agreement for internet use.

  • ThinkUKnow > - Parent section of this website has lots of useful ways you can help your child stay safe online, as well as advice on the use of mobiles and social media.

  • NSPCC Online Safety > - Advice for parents on online issues from setting up parental controls to advice on sexting, online games and video apps.

  • Parent Zone > - Provide support and information to parents, children and schools, working globally to help families to navigate the internet safely and confidently.

  • Parent Info > - Parent Info provides support and advice to parents, with contributions from the leading experts and organisations in matters related to young people and families in a digital world.

  • Educate Against Hate > - Info on protecting young people from radicalisation and extremism.

  • UK Council for Internet Safety > - A comprehensive resource related to all aspects of online safety.

  • Get Safe Online > - Source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.