Safe School Policy


‘At Uplands, we are committed to ensuring all members of our community are provided with a safe environment, enabling them to achieve, thrive and develop.  It is our stated intention to be proactive and diligent in ensuring all members of our community are kept safe from exploitation, abuse or harm’.

Policy overview

The International School of Penang (Uplands) has a duty to provide a safe school for all pupils, teachers and community members.  It is a fact that children who feel safe at school and at home are more likely to develop socially and emotionally and, as a consequence, perform better at school.

The Safe School Policy is the guiding document which provides our school with clear and effective practices aimed at protecting and safeguarding the health and welfare of our students and keeping our school safe.

A community-wide safety net.

Every teacher, parent, pupil and wider community member has a responsibility to protect and safeguard the children in our school.  Each one of us is part of a safe school ‘safety net’ which aims to keep everyone safe from harm, abuse and exploitation.


Uplands School has a Safe School Committee which focuses on improving and developing school safety.  

Uplands School also has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) in both the Primary and Secondary schools.  The DSL is a single point of contact for anyone wishing to report child welfare concerns.  

If you have concerns about the welfare of any child in the school you can report your concerns directly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead:

Designated Safeguarding Lead for Primary:
 Brendan Finn – Head of School (Primary)

Email – Primary DSL:

Designated Safeguarding Lead for Secondary: Emily Vallance – Head of School (Secondary) 

Email – Secondary DSL: 


Employees of the school and all members of the school community have a duty to report any issues of concern they have in relation to child welfare.  The school in turn has a duty to assess all child welfare concerns that are reported and take steps within the power of the school to ensure the child is safe.

What must be reported?

Any issues at school which relate to potential or actual harm, abuse or exploitation of an Uplands pupil must be reported.  Also actions at school that may adversely affect a child’s physical, emotional, or psychological development must be reported to the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Lead.  This includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, exploitation, neglect, bullying or harassment.  

Note: If the school becomes aware of issues relating to the harm, abuse or exploitation of children outside school, the information will be passed to the relevant authorities.

Reportable behaviour includes any of the following (list not exhaustive).

  • Bullying or harassment
  • Fighting
  • Self harm
  • Threatening or violent behaviour
  • Substance possession or use (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, other substances)
  • Pornography (physical or on-line).
  • Inappropriate behaviour between staff / adults and students
  • Inappropriate emotional behaviour between  staff / adults and students
  • Inappropriate physical, emotional, sexual behaviour between students
  • Sexual harassment
  • Any indicators of abuse (physical signs, emotional or psychological)
  • Disclosures of abuse (at home or school)
  • Allegations of abuse (at home or school)

What is bullying and harassment?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive or overbearing behaviour among school aged children or adults that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and which generally is experienced as intimidating.  

Bullying is not tolerated at Uplands School and will be considered a form of abuse that must be reported.

Harassment is the undertaking of systematic or continued unwanted and annoying actions by one party (or group) toward another, including threats and demands. Harassment can include written or verbal derogatory or hostile comments.  It can include behaviour which is obscene, suggestive or sexual in nature.

Prejudice and discrimination due to race, gender, age and sexuality will not be tolerated at The International School of Penang (Uplands) and will be considered to be a form of abuse that is reportable.

Reporting Bullying

In the Secondary School incidents of bullying should be reported to the appropriate Head of Year who will take the lead in investigating and responding to the bullying.  If Bullying is reported to The DSL they will forward the information to the Head of Year for immediate follow up.

What is abuse?

There are 4 main types of abuse


The failure to provide for the child’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health or emotional care.

Neglect can include educational, physical, medical and emotional neglect.  

Physical Abuse:

The inflicting of physical injury on another person.  Any form of physical assault which results in a physical injury.

Emotional Abuse:

The deliberate use of intimidating, humiliating, threatening, hostile or overly critical or undermining behaviour toward another.  Emotional abuse is also known as verbal abuse, mental abuse and psychological maltreatment.

Sexual Abuse:

Sexual abuse is inappropriate sexual behaviour with a child.

Sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, is forced or coerced into or that violates the laws and social taboos of society.  


When a child welfare concern comes to light there are several procedural steps that need to be taken.

The key stages of protecting children

  1. Reporting
  2. Assessing
  3. Making safe
  4. Fact finding
  5. Responding


Your duty to report

If you have cause to suspect abuse or have any other Child welfare or safeguarding concerns all staff, students, parents or other stakeholders have a duty to report.  

Who do I report my concerns to?

All Child Welfare issues must be reported to the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) without delay.

Email – Primary DSL:
Email – Secondary DSL: 


The DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) role is to assess the levels of risk to the child, to collate all information received and instigate appropriate action.


Some child welfare information may indicate that a child is ‘at risk’ of continued harm or abuse.

In this case the School will convene a ‘Child at Risk Meeting’ without delay which will consider immediate short term measures to ensure the child is safe in school.


For school-based cases the school will endeavour to ascertain the facts of the issues reported before deciding on a course of action.  


On completion of the Fact Find, a meeting will be convened to listen to the facts and make child welfare decisions based on known facts.


The Safe School Policy is an essential part of Uplands School’s responsibility to ensure every child in its community is safe.  For us to be effective at protecting children the whole school community needs to be aware of the Safe School policy and have an awareness of our collective responsibility to make sure children are safe from harm, exploitation and abuse.

The Safe School Working Policy 2020 is available here and Counter Bullying Full Policy is available here

Updated on 15 September 2020