Self-Harm - school response

In all cases of self-harm the school follows the Local Safeguarding Board “Self-harm Protocol”.

If it is disclosed to the school that a student is self-harming

The student will be seen by one of the designated safeguarding leads in the school together with a member of the Year Team or other suitable member of staff except where parents/carers inform the school and provide information. 

If the student is expressing suicidal thoughts or is in imminent danger of causing themselves significant harm, parents/carers will be called and advised to take the child to A & E.  In extreme cases an ambulance will be called.  In these  cases, the school is required to make a referral to the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Where the self-harm does not cause concern for the students immediate welfare, Year Teams will contact parents/carers and advise that a GP appointment is made.  Parents/carers will be advised to take their child to A & E if they have imminent concerns.  Further support such as a meeting with the School’s Student Support Worker or a referral to CAHMS will be discussed with the parents/carers.

Current LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board) advice is that children should be referred to MASH if the self-harm could lead to possible death, if it could originate from a child protection issue or if the current plan of support is proving ineffective.

Year teams and/or Behavioural and Emotional Support Teams will:

  • Promote problem-solving techniques and non-harmful ways to deal with emotional distress including through referral to the school nurse
  • Provide a space for students to begin to learn how to cope with emotional pain
  • Enable students to find places for help and support
  • Provide accurate information about self-injury.
  • Refer concerns when people other than parents/carers (e.g. social workers, educational psychologists) need to be informed.
  • Keep records of concern and contact made with parents/carers and any external agencies


Students will be advised:

  • Not to display open wounds/injuries.  These should be dressed appropriately.
  • To talk to the appropriate member of staff if they are in emotional distress
  • To alert a teacher if they suspect another student is self-harming or at serious risk of harm to themselves, and know when confidentiality must be broken.