The Minerva Learning Trust is committed to safeguarding and follows all statutory procedures so that we create a safe environment for staff and students.



Safeguarding Information

Designated Safeguarding Officers

To talk to any of the above designated Safeguarding Officers please contact the Academy Tel: 01308 422291

Confidential Student School Helpline Email

Student Helpline Email

Hello, welcome to the School Help Advice Reporting Page.

We all work together at the Sir John Colfox Academy to help with any problems you may have in or out of school. If you feel you need help or you are are worried about something or someone and don’t feel you can speak face to face with one of our designated safeguarding officers,  you can use the dedicated Student Helpline email. This is a confidential way to stop YOU or a FRIEND or SOMEONE you have seen SUFFERING. 

If you feel that you need help or just want to report something that will help to keep our school a safe, friendly place to be you can get in touch using the link.


Advice and Helplines

Tell someone how you are feeling - there are always people out there who want to help...

CHILDLINE - support for young people on just about any issue. 24 hour helpline 0800 111

CHAT HEALTH - NHS School Nurse anonymous text messaging service available to young people aged 11-19. For queries or concerns emotional health, physical health, sexual health, family, exams, relationships etc. This multi award winning NHS scheme is available to access Mon-Fri 8:30 -4:30 (not bank holidays). Helpline 07480635511

SAMARITANS - general support on a wide range off issues 116 123 free anytime from any phone

NHS WHERES YOUR HEAD AT- A useful source of information about wide-ranging mental health and wellbeing issues affecting teenagers, with links to sources of support

NATIONAL SELF-HARM NETWORK - Really useful site offering peer support and links to many other useful websites for a range of issues - also has useful downloads for distractions to use when feeling triggered and a discussion forum for support.  Their Advice for Parents download is really helpful if you would like to talk to parents about self-harm and don't know where to start

SPACE YOUTH PROJECT- information and support groups for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25.  Dorset based  organisation with local groups. Helpline 07973 405280

INTERCOM TRUST - information and support with a helpline for LGBT people across the South West Helpline 0800 512 3010

YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH- a website outlining a range of mental health and wellbeing issues that affect young people with good information and links to other sources of support (also has a helpline for parents if they are worried and need advice)

EATING DISORDERS - Beat is the uk's leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape.

SOMETHING FISHY - useful source of information about a range of eating disorders, for young people and their parents.

CONCERNS ABOUT DRUG MISUSE- a confidential helpline and unbiased information for anyone worried about drug abuse

WORRIED ABOUT A FRIEND? - A website offering help to help you support friends who might me struggling emotionally

DEPRESSION- Students Against Depression offers comprehensive, award-winning information and resources to help identify low mood or depression and then find a way forward

SUICIDAL FEELINGS - an organisation dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.  It offers a helpline, information and support for young people who might be feeling suicidal or are worried about a friend who may be suicidal.

CALM (Campaign against living miserably)- a website dedicated to preventing suicide in men of all ages with advice for supporting others who may be feeling suicidal.

Finding age-appropriate Video Games 

Finding games for children which are appropriate for their age, which work on the devices the children use and the children will actually enjoy playing can be a minefield, particularly when parents are being bombarded with the 'but everyone else is playing this game' guilt trip. Game Finder is a new (free) service available from Taming Gaming which walks parents through various aspects, such as how old is your child? What devices do they have? What types of games do they like to play? And then gives a list of recommendations of suitable games.

Family Gaming Database

Private Fostering

Private fostering is the term used when someone who is not a parent or a 'close relative' (eg. great aunt, cousin, mum's friend or a neighbour) is looking after a child or young person under the age of 16 (under 18 if they are disabled) for 28 days or more in their own home. It also covers children who stay at a  residential school for more than two weeks of the school holidays. 

A relative is defined in the Children Act 1989 as a grandparent, uncle or aunt (whether by full-blood, half-blood or by marriage or civil partnership), sibling or step-parent.

Common situations in which children are privately fostered include:

  • Children with parents or families overseas
  • Children with parents working or studying in the UK
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Trafficked children
  • Local children living apart from their families
  • Adolescents and teenagers
  • Children attending language schools
  • Children at independent boarding schools who do not return home for holidays
  • Children brought in from abroad with a view to adoption

In these situations the local council’s Children’s Services department must be informed. A social worker will visit the home to speak to the carer and the child to ensure the child is safe, carry out background checks and make sure support is being provided.

Birth parents, private foster carers and persons who are arranging for a child to be privately fostered are required by law to notify the local council’s Children’s Services department of the arrangement. If you know someone in a personal or professional capacity who is privately fostering or is about to, you should encourage them to notify Children’s Services and if they are not able to do so then you should take responsibility for notifying them.

Support available for private foster carers may include:

  • advice on benefits and possible funding for some essential items
  • parenting support and advice
  • help in bringing families in crisis back together

For more information about private fostering you can visit your local council’s website.

Why not also read our Advice Note Private fostering (England and Wales). There is also a guide written for children Private fostering: what it is and what it means.



Dorset County Private Fostering link

Mental Health Support

This is a list of some of the organisations that can support students with mental health challenges.

  YoungMinds ( is a great source of advice, resources, toolkits, reports and workshops for children and young people.
  Kooth ( An online community offering immediate, anonymous online support for children and young people.
  Shout ( Text 85258 to receive immediate support, or go online to access support, information and resources to support mental health.
  The NHS – Every Mind Matters ( Expert advice and practical ideas to help everyone look after their mental health. The website includes a special section for children and young people.
  Head Ed ( Not only does Head Ed offer both quizzes, information and activities to help teenagers learn more about mental health independently, it also includes four free teaching modules for schools.
  Place2Be ( offers student counselling, mental health support and training for primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales.
  Mentally Healthy Schools ( provides information, advice and resources for primary schools.
  Mental Health Foundation – Make it Count ( The site provides guides for teachers, students and parents/carers on understanding and protecting student mental health.
  The Anna Freud Centre ( has published a booklet for primary and secondary schools to support staff in understanding how best to help children and young people in their care.
  Access Mental Health - supporting you in a crisis

Help for Families - West Dorset Locality Postcard 

Whats on in Bridport - 
Whats on
West Locality Programme 
West Locality Courses and Sessions

Help for SEND flyer

Sexual -Harassment Survey Letter 11/01/2022


Online Safety Information for parents guardians

Online Safety Information for Parents and Guardians Download a copy to  access the links

The following resources provide guidance for parents and carers to keep children safe online. They will, amongst other things, support parents to talk to their children about a range of online safety issues, set up home filtering in a child-friendly way and set up age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices:

Operation Encompass - Supporting Victims of Domestic Abuse

Some of the data around domestic abuse

  • One in five adult victims report their abuse to the police
  • In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year 1.6 million women and 786,000 men
  • Research suggests that between 1 in 4 or 1 in 3 of children in the UK have experienced domestic abuse
  • Domestic Abuse is the most common factor at end of assessment for children in need, November 2020

Domestic Abuse is often not reported to the police so any figures we have are likely to be the tip of the iceberg and they give us only a partial picture.

Children are at greater risk of direct harm if they live in a home where there is domestic abuse.

We should remember that there is no such thing as a typical victim, the abuse is nuanced and victims’ responses to it are also nuanced.

Domestic Abuse still possesses a stigma and victims can feel embarrassed and ashamed and one of our roles in schools and that of other professionals is to make sure that the non-abusing parent understands that we will support them and their children, non-judgementally.

‘We know domestic abuse can have a devastating, long-term impact on children.

Growing up in a household of fear and intimidation can profoundly impact children’s wellbeing and development, with lasting effects into adulthood. Children exposed to domestic abuse are more likely to suffer from mental health difficulties, do worse at school and experience domestic abuse in later life’.

But early intervention and a safe and secure nurturing relationship with at least one individual can disrupt that damage and can help a child develop resilience and enable healing to take place.

Early intervention has been proved to be more effective, less expensive and therefore more cost effective and to have an impact sooner than if we wait to intervene. ‘The earlier we intervene, the less expensive, less intensive and more effective intervention is likely to be.

Link to the Operation Encompass website


Safeguarding Policy


E-Safety Policy

Drugs Education Policy


Use of reasonable force Policy

PSHE Policy

RSE Policy

SEND Policy


Safeguarding Bulletin - May 2023
Safeguarding Information Letter - September 2022



Cyber Choices Programme Letter 2023
Online Safety Letter 2023
Healthcare support for parents and young people in Dorset

ParentLine 5-19 Launched in November 2022 and is aimed at Parents and Carers of Children and Young people aged 5-19 to seek advice and support for their child from a member of the School Nursing team via text message. The School Nursing team can help Parents with Healthy eating, weight management, day/night time wetting, toileting, sleep, hearing, behaviour, emotional health and wellbeing and more.

Parents that have already used ParentLine 5-19 have fed back that they have found it a convenient and easy way to gain information, advice and signposting to further support without needing to wait for an appointment.

ParentLine 5-19 runs from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm during Term times (excluding Weekends, Bank holidays and School Holidays).

Parents can text their query to 07312 263131 and will receive an immediate bounce-back message to let them know their message has been received. We aim to respond within 24 working hours.

More information on ParentLine 5-19 can be found on the School Nursing Web page

Young people aged 11-19 can also seek advice for themselves from a School Nurse via our ChatHealth text messaging service by texting their query to 07480635511. ChatHealth runs Monday to Friday 08:30-4:30 (Excluding Weekends and Bank Holidays).

Young people will receive an immediate bounce-back message to let them know their message has been received by the School Nurse. We aim to respond within 24 working hours.

More information on ChatHealth can be found on the School Nursing Web page

In Addition to the text messaging services the School Nursing team now also have Social Media pages aimed at Providing Health and Wellbeing information and Signposting for Young people and their Parents/Carers as well as providing updates about what to expect from the School Nursing Team and how to access further advice and support.

Please feel free to also share this information with Parents within your newsletters and Web pages.

Find us on Facebook – Dorset HealthCare School Nursing Team

Find us on Instagram – dorsethealthcare_schoolnursing 

Child Exploitation Workshop Yr 7-13 October 2022

Self-Harming Support
Keeping Children Safe in Education - Parental Support

Parental support – Keeping Children Safe in Education


  • Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
  • Commonsensemedia provide independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media for children and their parents
  • Government advice about protecting children from specific online harms such as child sexual abuse, sexting, and cyberbullying
  • Government advice about security and privacy settings, blocking unsuitable content, and parental controls
  • Internet Matters provide age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world 152
  • Let’s Talk About It provides advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
  • London Grid for Learning provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online
  • Stopitnow resource from The Lucy Faithfull Foundation can be used by parents and carers who are concerned about someone’s behaviour, including children who may be displaying concerning sexual behaviour (not just about online)
  • National Crime Agency/CEOP Thinkuknow provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
  • Net-aware provides support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, including a guide to social networks, apps and games
  • Parentzone provides help for parents and carers on how to keep their children safe online
  • Parent info from Parentzone, explore guides, advice and information around all the online platforms and trends at the heart of digital family life.
  • UK Safer Internet Centre provide tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online