Safeguarding Policy

A child playing in the sand pit at Sutton House & Breaker's Yard

Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard is a historic house built in 1535. We welcome visitors and tour groups, and work with schools and community groups. We aim to exemplify the National Trust’s vision of ‘for ever, for everyone’. At Sutton House we strive to create opportunities for people to learn, discover and play. Children and vulnerable adults visit Sutton House to see exhibitions, to attend events, for education sessions with their schools, as part of a community group, or to visit the bookshop, café or breaker’s yard community garden. We recognise that we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults who visit Sutton House. This document outlines the ways in which we aim to achieve this.


Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children's health or development
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances

Child protection is:

  • part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

(Definitions taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children)

The primary responsibility for the care of children at Sutton House rests with the child’s carer, parent or teacher.

A vulnerable adult, or an adult at risk, is defined as someone:

  • who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation

(Definition taken from No Secrets: Guidance on Developing and Implementing Multi-agency Policies and Procedures to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Abuse, DH, 2000)


At Sutton House we are committed to:

  • Respecting the rights of all children and vulnerable adults
  • Providing a safe and welcoming environment for all children and vulnerable adults
  • Adhering to procedures which minimise opportunities for abuse of children and vulnerable adults
  • Ensuring that staff and volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults are fully aware of our safeguarding procedures and understand their role within that
  • Ensuring that our safeguarding procedures are communicated with and understood by all of those working at Sutton House, including in paid, contracted and voluntary roles
  • Ensuring that our staff and volunteers recognise the position of trust in which they have been placed and seek to protect ourselves
  • Communicating our safeguarding procedures with schools who visit and reminding the school staff of their own responsibilities when at Sutton House
  • Taking allegations and suspicions of abuse seriously and responding quickly and appropriately
  • Ensuring that staff and volunteers who require them have had the appropriate DBS checks, and ensuring that our recruitment procedures reflect this
  • Carrying out risk assessments to identify any health and safety risks that could cause harm to our visitors, staff or volunteers
  • Reviewing our safeguarding procedures regularly and ensuring they are in accordance with best practice

Code of practice

When working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults, we follow the following code of practice:

  • Other staff members and volunteers will know where we are and what we are doing
  • We will not spend time with children without their parents, carers or teachers
  • We will be wary of any physical contact
  • We will not engage in any inappropriate behaviour or contact
  • We will take any allegations or concerns about abuse seriously and promptly follow our reporting procedures
  • We will not take photographs or film children or vulnerable adults for personal use
  • If someone discloses or makes an accusation we will:
    • Remain calm and in control
    • Listen attentively
    • Not offer our own views or opinions
    • Make it clear that we cannot keep the disclosure or accusation a secret, the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult takes precedent over confidentiality
    • Reassure them they have done the right thing by telling us
    • Write down the details of the disclosure or accusation following the conversation, in their own words as much as possible, and sign and date the document
    • Immediately report the incident through the National Trust’s reporting procedures
    • Call the relevant emergency service on 999 if the child or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger

Reporting procedures

In the first instance, any disclosures made by children or vulnerable adults to our staff or volunteers, or any suspicions of abuse, will be passed to our Community Learning team, who have been trained in safeguarding and child protection, and have a great deal of experience of working with children and vulnerable adults. This will be swiftly reported through the National Trust’s Incident Reporting procedure to the General Manager of Sutton House, who will take appropriate action.

Data Barring Service (DBS) checks

Children must be accompanied by adults when visiting Sutton House, and in school visits, our staff and volunteers will never be alone with children, and teaching staff from the school will always be present. However, we ensure that our education staff have appropriate DBS checks, and where necessary, any contracted or freelance educators, and education volunteers.


We never take photographs of any of our visitors, including children and vulnerable adults, without seeking written permission through a model release form (to be completed by a parent or carer of a child). If we are photographing or filming an event, we will inform visitors and ask them to fill in the model release form, no one is obliged to be photographed.


Our procedures will be regularly reviewed with the support of the National Trust London and South East Learning Forum and People Services Team. We aim to ensure that our safeguarding procedures are in line with government legislation and best practice.

Community Learning Team 2018