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Although no two journeys through the teenage years are identical, everyone at some point needs to reach out and know that there will be someone to listen and understand.

With students joining Ampleforth from around the UK and across the world, we are committed to making the College a safe and welcoming environment for all.  The College has a dedicated Safeguarding Team, comprising a Designated Safeguarding Lead and three Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, each bringing expertise from a variety of professional backgrounds.  We do not work in isolation, but are integral to the pastoral mission of the College, liaising closely with Houses and acting as a point of support and guidance when additional help is needed.  

The Safeguarding Team works collaboratively and proactively, supporting the work of Houses, tutors, the Learning Support Department, the College counsellors, the Infirmary and of course parents.   

The Safeguarding Team is also experienced in guiding students towards external support, for example in areas such as anxiety, disordered eating and self-harm. Much of the Safeguarding Team’s work is pro-active and educational, sharing information and best practice in a variety of areas, including online safety, healthy relationships. The College fully adheres to the statutory requirements on all schools, summarised in Keeping Children Safe in Education while its own systems are detailed in The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

One of our most important relationships is with North Yorkshire Safeguarding Partnership from whom we draw guidance and support in all areas of Safeguarding.  

The Safeguarding Team 

Dr Alastair Dunn - Designated Safeguarding Lead

Dr Alastair Dunn has ten years of experience on School Leadership Teams, and has twenty years of experience working in schools and universities.

Jon Mutton - Deputy Head Pastoral, Wellbeing & Online Safety

Jon studied an undergraduate degree in Classics and English at the University of Leeds before going on to complete a Masters in Classics. He also has a Masters in Educational Leadership. He joined Ampleforth as Head of Classics in 2011 from  The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, where he had also been Head of Department. He is a keen sportsman, having coached the 1st XV and the 1st VII rugby sides and has also represented England at Chess.

Jon has a wealth of experience in students’ mental health and wellbeing, online safety, child protection, student relationships and has a student centred approach in everything he undertakes.

Catherine Skinner

Catherine joined Ampleforth College in 2019 bringing with her knowledge and experience from a lifelong career working mainly with vulnerable children, but also adults with disabilities.

Catherine’s career has involved working for a number of voluntary organisations and then the Local Authority. She worked for eleven years as a qualified social worker within a Disabled Children’s Team, then six years as an Assessment and Review Officer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  Catherine maintains her social work registration with Social Work England. 

At Ampleforth, Catherine works part time (3 days a week) as a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and is proactive in helping to develop safeguarding practice across the College.  In addition, Catherine enjoys working in a different role as an On-Call First Responder with the College Infirmary team when required.

Miriam Cook - Assistant Head Pastoral & Behaviour

Miriam joined Ampleforth College in 2022 bringing with her knowledge and experience from a range of sectors.  Completing her undergraduate degree in Geography at King’s College, London she then completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education.  Miriam’s teaching career took her to Dorset, Pembrokeshire, London and then the North East and along the way she specialised in Literacy, SEND and Mental Health. 

At Ampleforth, alongside her teaching, Miriam enjoys being involved in the boarding life of St Bede’s as a Year 11 Tutor, leading the Mental Health Ambassadors Team, running the Geographical Society and supporting the flourishing of students through the delivery of excellence in their pastoral provision. 

Online Safety 

The College recognises that online safety is a crucially important area of safeguarding, and it takes very seriously its responsibilities in terms of proactive education, and also the monitoring of IT usage on site. The College has a zero-tolerance policy towards online abuse and harassment.  

The Designated Safeguarding Lead, Dr Alastair Dunn, has overall responsibility for online safety in The College.  

The Prevent Duty 

The College recognises the duty on all schools under The Prevent Duty to work to uphold Fundamental British Values, to educate on the risks of Extremism and Radicalisation, and to take all necessary steps in areas such as recruitment, the monitoring of the IT network, and the vetting of guests and speakers, to keep all in our community safe.  

The Prevent Officer is the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Dr Alastair Dunn.

Operation Encompass

Combating violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a national policing priority. As a result, all police forces and all schools are involved in Operation Encompass, a procedure where the police notifies a school if they have attended a domestic abuse incident at the home of a pupil. 

The College recognises its duties under Operation Encompass to respond in accordance with its guidelines when a report of domestic abuse has been received from the Police. The College is required to have a Key Adult to respond to notifications under Operation Encompass, and this is the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Dr Alastair Dunn. 

Further details may be found via the letter below that has been shared with all parents. 

Children’s views are taken very seriously, which helps them to develop confidence in their right to be heard


A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18