About Us / Safeguarding

The School seeks to develop and improve our safeguarding policies and procedures continuously and to promote a culture of excellence in safeguarding amongst our staff and volunteers.


Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Richard Girvan (Surmaster): email

Deputy DSL

Mrs Shelagh Willis (Safeguarding Coordinator): email

Samuel Madden (Head of Wellbeing and Mental Health): email

We have a number of policies and procedures in place that form the foundations of our safeguarding commitment.

One of our objectives is to become a beacon for safeguarding procedures and practice within the independent sector of UK education. To that end, Professor Graham Badman CBE was commissioned to conduct a thorough and independent review of current safeguarding practice and culture, and make recommendations on how the School can achieve the objective. Professor Badman is well known in maintained-sector education, a campaigner for children’s rights through UNICEF, and a former Director of Children’s Services for Kent, and his team included senior figures from policing, children’s charities and the independent sector.

The review confirmed that the School is safe, fully compliant with statutory safeguarding requirements, and, in a number of areas, already exceeds the practice in many independent schools. It also identifies areas for further development to enable St Paul’s School to become a centre of excellent practice. The recommendations are categorised into three main areas:

  • Further developing positive culture and practice in well-being
  • Improving communication with parents, and improving the visibility and transparency of the Governing Body
  • Improving Governors’ management information and strengthening its oversight of the Executive


Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Mr Alex Matthews (SPJ Pastoral Deputy Head): email

Deputy DSL

Mr Alistair Wilkinson (Head of First Years): email

Mrs Shelagh Willis (Safeguarding Coordinator): email

We continue to update parents and pupils as recommendations from the review are implemented. The review, and the process underpinning it, are honest and open, in a way that schools seldom are. More than any other area of school practice, the safeguarding of our pupils necessitates such openness and honesty, as well as ongoing, critical self-reflection. The review and its recommendations provide a blue-print from which we can build upon the excellent work done to date in this area. However, it is the daily awareness of and vigilance for any signs and symptoms of abuse or harm, by every member of staff, which is critical in protecting our pupils’ safety, both now and in the future.

St Paul’s has long been renowned for its leadership in teaching, learning, pastoral care and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Our response to the review signifies our commitment to be leaders in safeguarding, as embodied in our current practices.