Our Mission

Our mission is to deliver “education for a better world” by ensuring that young people in our academies have an excellent start in life, regardless of their background or ability. At the centre of our mission is our commitment to safeguarding. Our vision is for all children, young people and adults to feel safe, and for anyone who works within our organisation to share this responsibility.

Safeguarding Statement

We promote a culture of vigilance amongst our staff and an acceptance that “it can and does happen here”. We work tirelessly to give anyone working within our Trust the knowledge and skills to identify, assess and support children that are, or are likely, to suffer any harm. We maintain a view that the individual needs and best interests of the child are paramount.

To maintain our approach effectively, we acknowledge that the Trust and our academies play an important part in the local and national safeguarding children systems.

Safer Recruitment

All applicants for employment within Leigh Academies Trust will be fully vetted in accordance with DfE guidance.  The Trust is committed to maintaining a vigilant approach to deter, reject and identify those who may pose a risk to children.

Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Checks

The Trust adheres to all statutory requirements regarding DBS checks. Anyone working or volunteering in our Trust will be subject to enhanced DBS checks prior to employment.

Training and Development

We provide an ongoing responsive training programme for Trustees, members of the Central Trust Staff, all members of the Local Academy Boards and all academy staff, to raise awareness of the need to safeguard students, so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities to identify and report possible incidents of abuse, as per DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education. Our expectations are explained as part of our induction process and our annual safeguarding training. The Trust Board members all receive bespoke training to support in the scrutiny of the Trust’s strategic safeguarding priorities and systems.

Strategic Leadership of Safeguarding

The Trust Board has two appointed Trustees with specific oversight of safeguarding, and a member of the Executive Leadership Team, with strategic responsibility for safeguarding across the Trust.  The People Director and Trust’s Safeguarding Advisor are Leigh Academies Trust’s Central Team members, who provide specialised support to the Trust and individual academy safeguarding teams.

Trust Board

A headshot of Theresa Davies

Theresa Davies

Vice Chair of the Trust Board and Designated Safeguarding Director

A headshot of Michael Costello

Michael Costello

Trust Board Director and Deputy Safeguarding Director

Executive Leadership Team

Emma Elwin

Academies Director (Medway and Ebbsfleet)

Richard Taylor

People Director

LAT Central Team

Marla England

Marla England

Safeguarding Advisor

At the Local Academy Board level, Leigh Academies Trust appoints a local Governor with specific oversight of safeguarding, who is identified on our governance charts. Safeguarding Link Governors are supported to understand their roles and responsibilities around safeguarding through their job description and regular training. Regular monitoring visits are undertaken at each academy and safeguarding is a standing item at Local Board meetings.

Safeguarding in our Academies

All academies within Leigh Academies Trust have a designated Safeguarding Lead who adheres to the DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance, and the Local Child Protection Procedures/Safeguarding Partnership Agreement.  In Leigh Academies Trust, our academies work within Kent, Medway, Greenwich and Bexley. 

Each academy promotes its commitment to safeguarding in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that the safeguarding provision is compliant with KCSIE and Early Years Framework.
  • Undertaking external reviews with The Education People.
  • Ensuring that the safeguarding and child protection policy is robust and represents the contextual safeguarding for their setting and community.
  • Ensuring that monitoring visits with the Trust Safeguarding Advisor and Safeguarding Link Governor are completed frequently.
  • All staff receive regular training on child protection procedures, including Prevent. Staff also receive additional learning opportunities through emails, bulletins, briefings and quizzes.
  • Everyone in our academies contributes to the safeguarding culture which supports children and adults in having equal rights to feeling safe and protected regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual identity or culture.
  • Expectations that our academies will follow guidance provided by the Local Safeguarding Partners.

Intended Impact of our Trust Safeguarding Culture


  • Children tell us that they feel safe
  • Children feel that their voice has been heard
  • Children have a clear understanding of what to do if they feel worried
  • Children believe that they will be protected if they are feeling threatened or bullied
  • Children know who to speak to if they have experienced child-on-child sexual abuse
  • Children are confident that staff will help them when they are needed

At Academy level

  • A safe environment is maintained in which children can learn and achieve the best outcomes
  • There are clear lines of communication between the school DSL and the other members of staff
  • Staff consistently respond to risks in school and in the community
  • Staff will work effectively with parents and carers for the best outcomes for their children
  • Staff will feel confident to report any concerns (low level included) regarding other adults
  • There is appropriate supervision for EYFS and safeguarding team
  • The Single Central Register is kept up-to-date
  • A register of training is kept of staff who have attended and all DSL/Prevent certificates are retained
  • There is a designated tab for safeguarding on academy websites
  • The school DSL and deputies are always available during school hours and have made appropriate arrangements for out of hours
  • Staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities for referring any concerns to the DSL and will escalate if they do not feel that the concerns have been addressed appropriately
  • Appropriate referrals are made to Children’s Social Care, Early Help or police
  • The academies will ensure that vulnerable children receive appropriate added consideration and support including LAC/PLAC, SEND and Young Carers
  • All staff and volunteers have signed to confirm that they have read the safeguarding policy and the KCSIE
  • Staff new to the Trust are fully inducted and are made aware of the Trust’s culture of safeguarding
  • Community users/lettings are aware of the need to comply with the Trust’s child protection procedures

At Trust Level

  • Safeguarding policy is compliant and updated annually, or earlier, to reflect any significant events or changes to government guidance
  • The Single Central Register is kept up to date
  • A record of training attended by Leaders, Trust staff and Trustees is maintained
  • Resources are made available to academies to maintain the highest quality practices
Diagram illustrating the approach to Safeguarding across Leigh Academies Trust.