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Essa Academy (Ofsted 2021)



The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


Leaders are proactive and responsive to local needs when considering the school’s safeguarding arrangements. Pupils and their families benefit from a passionate, knowledgeable and effective pastoral support team. The school’s PSHE curriculum is sensitively and carefully designed to educate pupils about staying healthy and safe. PSHE lessons help pupils to make informed choices, for example in relation to online safety and consent. Leaders’ approach to dealing with sexual abuse and harassment is noteworthy.


Leaders have a strong relationship with local and national safeguarding partners. When required, pupils receive timely multi-agency support, including early help and mental health counselling. Leaders were particularly proactive in supporting pupils’ well-being during the recent periods of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Essa Primary (Ofsted 2019)


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


Leaders have robust systems in place to check that adults at the school are safe to work with pupils. Staff understand how to keep pupils safe from harm. Staff benefit from regular safeguarding training. They remain vigilant to the signs that pupils may be at risk of harm. Leaders follow up on any safeguarding concerns quickly. When necessary, staff work effectively with outside agencies to support pupils and their families.


Leaders ensure that pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe. For example, pupils learn about staying safe online and the dangers of open water. Pupils also learn about road and fire safety.


At Essa Foundation Academies Trust, safeguarding is our number one priority and the number one role of all stakeholders. Across both sites we are dedicated to ensuring our students are safe and cared for. Here is some of the key information around Safeguarding across Essa Academy and Essa Primary:

Safeguarding Policy and Documentation:

Our Designated Safeguarding Leads:

Essa Foundation Academies Trust:

  • Peter Stewart (DSL)

Essa Academy:

  • Stacey O'Connor (DSL)

  • Gemma Blackburn (DDSL)

  • Chris Airey (DDSL)

  • Holly Speakman (DDSL)

  • Sue Yates (DDSL)

Essa Primary:

  • Victoria Pukiello-Collier (DSL)

Key Information


We are an Encompass Trust

This means:

  • Any referrals made to the police are referred and emailed to the Academy immediately

  • Students are then picked up the same day for a check in on their welfare

  • Any necessary referrals are then put in place

Safeguarding Training

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training:

  • DSLs (Designated Safeguarding Leads) across the Trust complete online and face to face DSL training every year.

  • The DSL for Essa Academy (Stacey O'Connor) has also completed a day at the integrated front door with social officers to observe and quality assure referrals coming into social care for Bolton. Stacey O'Connor also attends safety and welfare hub meetings for Bolton.

  • In addition to the DSL, Essa Academy has three DDSLs and a number of safeguarding officers who are all trained to DSL level. All safeguarding officers complete annual online safeguarding training as well as an annual face to face session.  

  • The Trust have strong links with our local authority and have hosted DSL training for DSLs and outside agencies. We host a minimum of one training day per month.  

New Staff Induction:


All staff who join the Academy complete face to face training with the DSL during their induction, as well as a number of online safeguarding training courses which must be completed before joining the Academy. Our latest safeguarding audit highlighted that safeguarding induction is of a high level and is a strength of the Trust.  


All Staff Training / Refreshers:

  • Safeguarding Inset (September) - All staff received face to face CPD by the DSL every September during inset days.  This includes updating staff with regards to changes to our Safeguarding Policy which is revised and issued in September. All staff sign stating they have read, understood and comply with the policy in place.  

  • New KCSIE (Keeping Children Safe in Education) changes (September 2022) - All staff have received face to face CPD by the DSL both in September 2022 and May 2022 to introduce the new changes put into place for KCSIE. All staff have signed stating they have read, understood and comply with the policy in place. 

  • Child Protection Refresher online training: All staff complete annual online Child Protection refresher training. In addition to this there will be one safeguarding online course each half term that staff will complete.

Mental Health First Aid Training:


We have a number of staff who are Mental Health First Aid trained. This year we have newly trained a further 25 staff to help support mental health across the Academy. Jodie Milburn (Designated LAC Teacher) is a first aid and mental health first aid instructor, so we have support to continuously renew and train more staff in this area. We have a CPD plan in place to train all support staff.  


Safeguarding Trust Report


The EFA Trust have an external audit from both the LA and another external service every year. We have also regularly completed internal audits. Our last report mentioned:

  • Safeguarding is a strength

  • Safeguarding is high profile across the Trust.

  • The learning environment promotes external services well.

  • Sharing information across both sites is continuously ongoing to support our families.

School counsellor


We employ a full time counsellor to support the mental health of staff and students. We utilise a company called Aiding Minds to survey students around mental health and provide timely interventions for students who need it.

Hope and Honey


Hope and Honey are based at Essa Primary Academy, allowing our stakeholders access to a food bank and clothing.

PSHE Curriculum

Our PSHE Curriculum across Essa Primary and Essa Academy promotes an understanding of safeguarding for students.

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