Worried about your child's safety?

If you need immediate help or have a real emergency, call 999.


Safeguarding Contacts at our School

Hannah Butcher - Designated Safeguarding Lead
or 07809 343617

Kerry Mason - Safeguarding Officer


Lynn Hill - Director of Finance and Operations (in school contact during school holidays)


Shelley Baker - Headteacher
Please contact Kirstie Wright, Headteacher's PA

All contacts listed above can also be contacted via the main switchboard on 01273 561281.


Please see below for tips for parents, carers and students about staying safe online and where to go for more help. You may also wish to read our

Student Wellbeing page

Relationship & Sex Education

At Varndean School we recognise the challenges of growing up and making positive and healthy decisions about relationships. Working in partnership with Brighton & Hove Council and our local NHS provider, Sussex Community Trust, we provide a comprehensive Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum in line with statutory guidelines.

As part of our (RSHE) delivery, we will be offering sessions to Year 11 students on local support services and the National Chlamydia Screening Programme in Partnership with our local NHS Provider, Sussex Community Trust. All sessions are delivered in context and explore readiness for sex, keeping safe and the fact that most young people are not having sex under the age of 16. These sessions will offer students the opportunity to partake in free and confidential Chlamydia screening through the national programme. This is provided as part of wider education supporting students to look after their health and develop positive skills and attitudes related to accessing services and routine health checks, is entirely optional and takes place outside of lesson times.

The link below provides a breakdown of our Relationships and Health curriculums. The learning descriptors used are from the PSHE association programme of study and are endorsed by the local authority. Some of the learning descriptors are highlighted in light blue. We define these topics as sex education, which parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child from.

Relationships and Health Curriculum Map

Parents and carers who wish to exercise this right should talk with the Learning for Life Co-ordinator, Tim Clarke ( The issue of withdrawal will be handled as sensitively as possible and alternative arrangements will be made for any child withdrawn from this aspect of the curriculum.


Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse – Parents and Students concerned about substance abuse may wish to speak to the student’s tutor, Head of School or Safeguarding Officer in the first instance.

The local authority’s RUOK service is also available. Further information can be found on their website.

Talking to your Teens

Throughout the academic year there are a series of parent/carer workshops held in collaboration with Brighton and Hove City Council and Dorothy Stringer High School. 

Operation Encompass

Operation Encompass is a police and education early information sharing partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support for children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Information is shared by the police with a school's trained Key Adult (DSL) prior to the start of the next school day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident thus enabling appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.

Children experiencing domestic abuse are negatively impacted by this exposure; domestic abuse has been identified as an Adverse Childhood Experience and can lead to emotional, physical and psychological harm. Operation Encompass aims to mitigate this harm by enabling immediate support, making a child's day better and giving them a better tomorrow.

Operation Encompass believes that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right and should be acknowledged as such.

Operation Encompass


Navigating Technology and Online Safety

Has someone or something made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe online?

  • Talk to someone you trust - an adult in your family, your school base, your form tutor or another member of staff
  • Report it to us by e-mail on
  • Report to CEOP who can help and protect you if someone has acted inappropriately online towards you or someone you know. It could be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone asking to meet up.​

If you need someone to talk to, you can talk to Childline about any problem you are worried about, for example bullying. They are available 24 hours a day and can talk to you in confidence. The number won’t appear on your phone bill. You can call them for free on 0800 1111 or visit their website.

What We Do

The ways in which young people use digital technologies to learn and socialise expands rapidly at this stage of their school life. At Varndean, we recognise the benefits and risks this poses to students in both the physical and the digital world.

Each academic year, we provide the following online safety learning opportunities to foster a culture of responsibility and personal safety in the digital world amongst our students:

  • An introduction to staying safe online for Year 7s in their first half term at Varndean through their Computing lessons
  • Personal and online safety workshops for Year 8 as part of the  High Impact Day programme
  • A four week Learning for Life curriculum in the summer term, focussed on Years 7-10, and which includes topics such as sharing content safely, engaging with others responsibly, digital footprints and personal safety
  • A celebration of Safer Internet Day through our 5 school assemblies 


For Students

Stay safe on Twitter: a checklist

Stay safe on Snapchat: a checklist

Stay safe on Facebook: a checklist

Stay safe on Instagram: a checklist

Stay safe on a guide


For Families

As a parent or carer, you want to be aware of the risks to your children in the digital world. Things like cyberbullying, accessing inappropriate content, sexting and grooming all sound scary for a parent or carer. But if you understand them, you’ll be able to talk to your children about them. Education and information really are the solutions - helping your children to be sensible and respectful in their digital lives.

Here are some useful resources to help you do just that:

Advice from internetmatters

E-safety tips for Parents of 11-13 Year Olds

E-safety tips for Parents of Teenagers


Advice from the NSPCC:


Advice from Parentzone