St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY AND PROCEDURES 2017 / 2018
At the time of publishing, the following roles were held:
Designated Safeguarding Lead:
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:
Designated Teacher for Children Looked After (required where there are ‘children looked after’ on the School roll):
Date March 2017.
Review Date2: March 18
The information in the table below provides details of the earlier versions of this document and brief details of reviews and, where appropriate amendments which have been made to later versions. Schools should devise their own version history to reflect the Policy status in the school.
Date of Revision
Amendments made to incorporate changes following the introduction of the revised EYFS Statutory Framework 2012
Amendments made following introduction of Cumbria County Council Triage system
Amended to take account of the introduction of the Disclosure and Barring Service
Amended to include the Cumbria Thresholds Guidance documents
Amended to include changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service (June 2013) and to the County Council Triage system including reference to the Single Referral Form
Updated to include DfE revised guidance and reference to Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Allegations Notification Form Changes highlighted.
Updates to web links only.
Updated to include minor changes to the Statutory Framework for EYFS due to come into force in September 2014 and the newly published DfE ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ April 2014 and the supporting guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education – Information for all School Staff, April 2014.
Further amendments in light of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.
Revisions to the ‘Child Concerns’ form and changes to the Early Help/CAF Assessment process issued by the LA which came into force in May 2014and amended to show that the document must now be Approved by the Governing Body or Proprietor.
Update to reference change from Cumbria County Triage Service to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub effective 03 November 2014
Updated to include requirements of the Childcare Act 2006 and Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
Updated to include Cumbria Summary of Allegations Management Procedures flow chart
Updated to include changes to DfE ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ March 2015, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ – March 2015 and ‘Information Sharing – Guidance for Safeguarding Practitioners’ March 2015
Updated to include changes to DfE ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ July 2015
Updated to include additional information relating to the ‘Prevent Duty’, CSE, CME etc. Change in title of former ‘LADO’ to ‘DO’ throughout.
Document split into Policy and Procedures. References to emotional well-being of pupils also included.
Updated to take account of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ – September 2016
Amended to include best practice advice from Ofsted including ‘Sexting’
Please note – Appendices B – E are for school use only and should be removed prior to publishing this Policy and procedures.
Referenced Statutory and Non-Statutory Guidance
Child Disclosure/Concern Record (including Body Map)
Actions where there are concerns about a child (flowchart)
Cumbria SCB Summary of Allegations Management Procedures Flowchart
Flowchart of When and How to Share Information
For the purposes of this Policy and procedures a child, young person, pupil or student is referred to as a ‘child’ or a ‘pupil’ and they are normally under 18 years of age.
Wherever the term ‘parent’ is used this includes any person with parental authority over the child concerned e.g. carers, legal guardians etc.
Wherever the term ‘Head teacher’ is used this also refers to any Manager with the equivalent responsibility for children.
Wherever the term ‘Designated Officer’ or ‘DO’ is used, this refers to the role formerly known as the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) which was renamed Designated Officer in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ July 2015.
Wherever the term ‘school’ is used this also includes wrap around care provided such as After School Clubs and Breakfast Clubs.
All those working in education can contribute to the safeguarding and protection of the welfare of a child in need. According to the DfE, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
- ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. Thi8s means that they should consider, at all ties, what is in the best interests of the child.
Effective child protection is essential as part of wider work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. However, all agencies and individuals should aim to proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of children so that the need for action to protect children from harm is reduced.
This Child Protection Policy and procedures must be read in conjunction with the school Overarching Safeguarding Statement(where this is in place) and other school Policies and procedures (See Section 6 below).
At St Gregory and St Patrick’s Catholic Infant School (hereinafter referred to as ‘the school’) the health, safety and well-being of all our children is of paramount importance to all the adults who work or volunteer here. All of our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school; this is enhanced by the adoption of the Whole School Behaviour Policy which includes our procedures for preventing and dealing with cases of bullying and a robust Code of Conduct for staff and other adults who work in school.
We are also committed to establishing a safe physical environment in which children can learn and develop both personally and academically and achieve success in the following as stated in the Children Act 2004:
- Be healthy (physically, mentally and emotionally);
- Stay Safe (protection from harm and neglect);
- Enjoy and Achieve (via education, training and recreation);
- Make a positive contribution to the school community and general society;
- Achieve social and economic well-being.
The School regards Child Protection as an essential task of all its staff, governors and visitors/volunteers who come into school. We are committed to protecting and safeguarding pupils in school.
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff, visiting adults, governors etc. or external sources – school community, external agencies or individuals.
Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils, staff, visitors or parents will always be challenged and, where appropriate, dealt with. Where misconduct by a teacher is proven, the matter will be referred to the National College for Teaching and Leadership for their consideration. Misconduct by other staff will be dealt with under normal school disciplinary procedures.
We encourage pupils to respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We ensure that partisan political views are not promoted in the teaching of any subject in the school and, where political issues are brought to the attention of the pupils, reasonably practicable steps are taken to offer a balanced presentation of opposing views to pupils.
The use of circle time and assembly time help to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others.
We will ensure the content of the curriculum includes social and emotional aspects of learning and that child protection is included in the curriculum (including on-line) to help children stay safe, recognise when they don’t feel safe and identify who they might/can talk to. We provide a curriculum that will help to equip our children with the skills they need including materials and learning experiences that will encourage them to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours. The PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) curriculum and, where relevant, Sex and Relationship Education will include elements of how children can recognise different risks in different situations and how to behave in response. It will equip children with the skills needed to keep themselves safe and empower them to feel safe.
The School recognises the importance of creating and promoting a positive, supportive, neutral and secure environment where pupils can develop a sense of being valued and heard in their own right and where they feel safe, secure and respected.
We are aware that young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which originate from a variety of sources and media, including via the internet, and at times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. It is imperative that our pupils and parents see our school as a safe place where they can discuss and explore controversial issues safely and in an unbiased way and where our teachers and other adults encourage and facilitate this.
Every effort will be made to work in partnership with other agencies and seek to establish effective working relationships with parents and other colleagues so enabling the Governing Body to fulfil their duty to have arrangements about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children introduced by Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (Maintained Schools) and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) in place.
There are three main aims to our Child Protection Policy:
by creating a positive school atmosphere and providing high quality teaching and pastoral support to pupils;
by following agreed procedures and ensuring staff are appropriately recruited, trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns;
by providing support for pupils and school staff and for children who may have been or are being abused.
We will do these things by:
- ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of adults who have unsupervised contact with children and appropriately supervising others who are temporarily in school but not undertaking ‘regulated activity’;
- ensuring all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2016);
- promoting good health and preventing the spread of infection;
- managing behaviour and adopting safe and acceptable physical intervention techniques (refer to Whole School Behaviour Policy for details);
- raising awareness of child protection issues, equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe and empowering children to feel safe;
- being alert to any issues of concern in children’s lives at home or elsewhere;
- ensuring all staff are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the school’s procedures and lines of communication for reporting concerns/suspected or actual cases of abuse;
- ensuring extra care is taken to ensure that signs of abuse and neglect are identified and interpreted correctly, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children with communication/language difficulties or who use alternative/augmented communication systems;
- ensuring that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to support ‘children looked after’ and to keep them safe;
- monitoring and supporting children and young people who have been identified as having welfare or protection concerns in accordance with his/her agreed Child Protection Plan;
- keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals;
- ensuring all steps are taken to maintain site security and pupils’ physical safety by establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop;
- ensuring staffing arrangements meet the needs of all children and ensure their safety. We will ensure that children are adequately supervised and decide how to deploy staff to ensure children’s needs are met; (EYFS ONLY– In relation to ratios for the Early Years and Foundation Stage, we follow the statutory guidance in the DfE revised Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014);
- maintaining robust records, Policies and procedures.
We accept and embrace our legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 (for example, the provisions on reasonable adjustments). Each child in our school, regardless of their background or home circumstances could be the victim of child abuse, whether it is by a parent, other adult known to them or a complete stranger. They are therefore all entitled to the same degree of protection and support. Each child in our school will also develop the skills appropriate to their age and understanding which could enable prevention of abuse by learning about keeping safe and who to ask for help if their safety is threatened.
We have and implement a Single Equality Scheme (SES) with objectives to promote equality of opportunity for children in our care, including support for children with special educational needs or disabilities, those identified as ‘carers’ and children looked after. Our SES takes account of the whole school community but specifically for children, how the individual needs of all children will be met (including how those children who are disabled or have special educational needs will be included, valued and supported, and how reasonable adjustments will be made for them); the name of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator; arrangements for reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of inclusive practices that promote and value diversity and difference; how inappropriate attitudes and practices will be challenged; and how the provision will encourage children to value and respect others.
This Policy and supporting procedures applies to all who come into contact with children in the School, including: teachers, supply teachers, learning support staff, teaching assistants, mid-day supervisors, admin staff, meals supervisors, caretaker, cleaners, visiting students, parent helpers/volunteers, governors and other visitors including contractors.
This Policy should be read in conjunction with other related school Policies and procedures including:
- Overarching Safeguarding Statement
- Health and Safety Policy
- Online Safety Policy and procedures
- Whole School Behaviour Policy and procedures for preventing and dealing with bullying (including cyber-bullying and the potential for radicalisation) and racism, drug misuse, positive handling, support and physical intervention etc.
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Sex Education Policy
- Safer Recruitment, Selection and Pre-Employment Vetting Policy and procedures
- School Single Central Record (restricted access)
- Single Equality Scheme/Objectives
- Accessibility Plan
- Data Protection Policy
- Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy and procedures
- Special Educational Needs Policy/Information Report
- Intimate Care procedures
- Educational Visits procedures (including procedures for assessing risks)
- First Aid and Accident procedures
- Attendance procedures
- Missing Child procedures
- Guidance on the Use of Photographic Images
- Safeguarding Children - Induction Leaflet for Visitors and Contractors
- Risk Assessments (incl. Fire Safety)
- Premises Management including security measures (formal inspections and Buildings Register)
- Lettings arrangements
and DfE, Ofsted and Cumbria SCB guidance as outlined in Appendix A.
This Policy will be reviewed annually (as a minimum) and more often should legislation or statutory guidance change.
- Roles and Responsibilities
All governors and staff have a shared responsibility to safeguard children.
- 1The Role of the Governing Body/Proprietors
The Chair of Governors will liaise with the Designated Officer (DO) appointed by the Local Authority and partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Head teacher. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Head teacher, the allegation will be reported directly to the DO.
The Governing Body is accountable for ensuring their establishment:
- has a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to take leadership responsibility for the setting’s safeguarding arrangements with the appropriate authority and be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff, liaising with the LA and working with other agencies – Judith Starkie;
- has appointed an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school leadership team to the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) with a named deputy. The DSL will take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. This responsibility is explicit in the role-holder’s job description;
- contributes to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, March 2015 and HM Government ‘Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers;
- provides a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contribute to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans;
- has effective Policies and procedures in place for child protection and staff behaviour (part of the Whole School Behaviour Policy and the Staff Code of Conduct) and Online Safety which are provided to staff and volunteers on induction;
- has safeguarding arrangements which take into account the procedures and practice of the LA as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the Cumbria SCB;
- actively promotes fundamental British values as part of the school’s broad and balanced curriculum in order to ensure pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development;
- assesses the risk, taking local context into account, of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology;
- has a culture of listening to children, taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the development of services;
- has a written Recruitment and Selection Policy and procedures in place;
- prevents people who pose a risk of harm from working with children (either paid or unpaid) by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff and other adults who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required; and ensuring volunteers not in ‘regulated activity’ are appropriately supervised;
- has at least one person on any appointment panel who has undertaken safer recruitment training;
- has procedures for dealing with allegations against members of staff and volunteers that comply with DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, Cumbria SCB, LA and locally agreed inter-agency procedures;
- has procedures for dealing with allegations against other children (peer on peer abuse). This will generally be in accordance with the school Behaviour Policy and procedures in the first instance, other more serious allegations will be dealt with following advice from the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub – see Section 5;
- has appointed a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after and to ensure that this person has appropriate training – Emma Jackson;
- ensures that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep ‘children looked after’ safe and have the information they need in relation to a child’s ‘looked after’ legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility;
- has appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education settings, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify any risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in the future;
- ensures the child’s wishes or feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide to protect individual children through ensuring there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback;
- ensures staff members are aware that they must not promise confidentiality to a child and must always act in the best interests of the child;
- has an annual child protection item on the Governing Body agenda;
- undertakes a full audit of the Safeguarding systems and procedures in place on an annual basis.
- 2The Role of the Head teacher
It is the responsibility of the Head teacher to:
- ensure that the Policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are fully implemented and followed by all staff and, where appropriate, by other adults;
- ensure that all staff receive an appropriate induction to the work (paid or unpaid) they are to undertake in the school and that this induction includes a section on the procedures to follow if they are worried about a child or the management of child protection generally in the setting;
- ensure all staff and, where appropriate, volunteers attend or are given access to training in child protection procedures and strategies to enable them to identify children who may be at risk from all forms of abuse or harm;
- ensure sufficient resources and time is allocated to enable the Designated Safeguarding Lead (where this is not one and the same person) and other staff to discharge their responsibilities, including attending training at regular intervals, taking part in strategy discussions and other inter-agency meetings, and contributing to the assessment of children;
- ensure all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner by supporting the whistle blowing procedures.
- 3The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The School has a member of the senior leadership team designated by the Governing Body as the Safeguarding Lead who will provide support to staff members and other adults to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care – Emma Jackson. The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead is explicit in the role-holder’s job description.
During term time the DSL and/or a deputy will always be available (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns. Arrangements will be made to ensure that access to the DSL or deputy will be available to staff during off-site visits or other extra-curricular activities.
There will always be cover for this role and the deputy DSL’s will be trained to the same standard as the DSL – the Deputy DSL(s) is/are Kirsty Rowell and Jo Jones.
The DSL will have knowledge and skills for recognising and acting upon Child Protection concerns, having received appropriate training. The DSL is also the ‘Prevent Single Point of Contact’ (SPOC).
Liaison and Referrals: The Designated Safeguarding Lead will:
- liaise with local statutory children’s services agencies and the Cumbria SCB;
- refer all cases of suspected abuse or allegations to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub (see Section 5 for contact and referral details).
- make a referral to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub immediately if, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child – anybody can make a referral;
- support staff who make referrals to the Local Authority Safeguarding Hub;
- where required to do so, liaise with the “Case Manager” and Local Authority Designated Officer (DO) in cases of allegations against a member of staff or other adult;
- refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not voluntarily left the school/setting;
- refer to the Police cases where a crime may have been committed;
- refer concerns about pupils who may have disappeared or whose transfer has raised concerns to Children’s Services CME Officer;
- ensure that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the pupil records;
- ensure that the most relevant trained person attends case conferences, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings, contributes to assessments, and provides a report which has been shared with the parents where necessary;
- Ensure that any child currently on Child protection Plan who is absent without explanation for two days is referred to their key worker’s Social Care Team;
- understand and support the school with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation;
- refer cases, as required, to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern and support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme;
- liaise with staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and act as a source of support, advice and expertise within school when deciding to make a referral using the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub Single Contact on-line form - Click here to access;
- liaise with the Head teacher (where this is not one and the same person) to inform him or her of issues especially ongoing enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.
Training: The Designated Safeguarding Lead will:
Receive appropriate training, updated every two years (see Section 6 below) in order to:
- understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as Early Help Assessments (EHA);
- have a working knowledge of how the Local Authority conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so;
- ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s Child Protection Policy and procedures, especially new and part-time staff and volunteers/students;
- be alert to the specific needs of children in need, including those with special educational needs, young carers and those at risk of radicalisation or child sexual exploitation;
- be able to keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of concerns and referrals;
- encourage a culture among all staff and other adults of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, in any measures the school may put in place to protect them.
Raising Awareness: The Designated Safeguarding Lead will:
- ensure that, during the induction process, all staff and volunteers are made aware of, and understand, the setting’s Child Protection Policy and procedures, the school Code of Conduct for staff and other adults and are provided with a copy of Part one of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – Safeguarding information for all staff – September 2016, DfE guidance ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’, March 2015 and the Cumbria SCB Summary of Allegations Management Procedures Flow Chart (Appendix D);
- ensure the school’s procedures are known and followed by staff, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect;
- ensure the school’s Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with the Governing Body or proprietor(s) regarding this;
- ensure the Child Protection Policy and procedures is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in this process;
- link with the Cumbria SCB to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local procedures on safeguarding;
- where children leave the school, ensure their Child Protection file is copied for any new school as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file.
- 4The Role of the Designated Teacher for Children Looked After
The Designated Teacher (Emma Jackson) has lead responsibility for helping school staff understand the things which affect how children looked after learn and achieve in line with the DCSF guidance ‘Role and Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children’ (2009) Click here to access.
The Designated Teacher will:
- promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for how children looked after learn;
- make sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets;
- be a source of advice for staff about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual children making full use of Assessment for Learning;
- make sure that children looked after are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home;
- have lead responsibility for the development and implementation of the child’s personal education plan (PEP) within the school.
- 5The Role of Teachers
Teachers, including the Head teacher, will safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties in line with the Teacher Standards 2011 (updated 2013).
- 6The Role of the School Counsellor
Ensuring confidentiality between the child or young person and counsellor is crucial to the success of the relationship and the outcomes of counselling. A frequent concern raised by children and young people who have not experienced counselling services is that others will be informed about what has been discussed in sessions. While counsellors are used to working within confidentiality codes, they will be aware that there is no such thing as absolute confidentiality when working with and children and young people. Child protection concerns and the welfare of children and young people will, at times, need to take precedence over confidentiality.
Counsellors should discuss difficult decisions about disclosures with their clinical supervisor and line manager and, if appropriate, the DSL within the school. Where they think anyone is at risk of significant harm they should report this to the DSL immediately.
- 7The Role of ALL Staff
- All school staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
- All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected.
- All school staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. In the first instance, staff should discuss early help requirements with the DSL. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment.
- All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the DSL, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment.
- All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and of the role they might be expected to play in assessments following that referral.
- All staff have a responsibility to read and properly understand ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education Information for All School staff’, DfE guidance ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’, the School Code of Conduct for staff and other adults who work with children, the School’s Child Protection Policy and the procedures to follow if they have concerns about a child regardless of the presumed seriousness of the case.
- If a staff member has any concerns about a child there should be a conversation with the DSL to agree a course of action, although any staff member can make a referral to Children’s Social Care. If a referral is made by a member of staff, they should inform the DSL as soon as possible.
- If at any point there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral will be made Cumbria Safeguarding Hub immediately – anybody can make a referral;
- Supporting Pupils at Risk
Our school recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way. School may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of the children at risk.
We will endeavour to support pupils through:
- a curriculum which encourages self-esteem and self-motivation;
- the school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment where everyone is valued;
- listening to the child’s views and concerns with an open mind;
- the implementation of a shared Behaviour Policy and procedures;
- a consistent approach which supports all children;
- regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the pupils and their families;
- the development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
In addition to the above, as part of wider safeguarding responsibilities, school staff will be alert to:
- disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out;
- graffiti symbols, writing or artwork promoting extremist messages or images;
- pupils accessing extremist material on-line, including through social networking sites;
- parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance;
- local schools, LA services and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings;
- pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives;
- use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence;
- intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our Single Equality Scheme, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture;
- attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others;
- anti-western or anti-British views.
- 1Children who may be particularly vulnerable
Some children may be at increased risk of neglect and/or abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse happens, or who have a high level of tolerance in respect of neglect.
To ensure that all of our children receive equal protection, we will give special consideration and attention to children who are:
- living in a known domestic abuse situation;
- affected by known parental substance misuse;
- at risk of fabricated or induced illness;
- asylum seekers;
- living away from home;
- vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying;
- living in temporary accommodation;
- living transient lifestyles;
- living in chaotic, neglectful and unsupportive home situations;
- vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality;
- involved directly or indirectly in prostitution or child trafficking;
- do not have English as a first language.
We refer to guidance issued by the Cumbria SCB in relation to the above. Click here to access
Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information, resources and support services in community languages and accessible formats.
- 2Pupils with SEN/Disabilities
We recognise that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges and additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. This can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
- Recognising Types of abuse and neglect and significant harm
The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children, and gives local authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
All school staff are made aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.
A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
- 2Physical Abuse
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
- 3Emotional Abuse
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another – for example where there is fighting or violence in the home. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
For more information, see our procedures for preventing and dealing with bullying within the Whole School Behaviour Policy.
- 4Sexual abuse
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
- 6Specific Safeguarding Issues
Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. For example NSPCC offers information for schools and colleges on the TES website and also on its own website www.nspcc.org.uk.
All staff have an awareness of specific safeguarding issues – some of which are listed below. Staff are made aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger.
The Cumbria SCB Procedures Manual provides specific guidance on a range of safeguarding issues which settings may have to address. Click here to access
The DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ provides additional information on the following:
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) – all suspected cases of CSE will be referred to the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub.
CSE is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. CSE does not always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.
Although inter-agency working and information sharing are vital in i8dentifying and tackling all forms of abuse, it is clear they are especially important to identify and prevent CSE.
By being aware of the warning signs of CSE school staff and other adults can help stop abuse before it develops further. Some of the warning signs are that the child:
- may become especially secretive and stop engaging with their usual friends;
- may be associating with, or develop a sexual relationship with older boyfriends or girlfriends or with other young people involved in exploitation;
- may go missing from home or care – and be defensive about their location and activities, often returning home late or staying out all night;
- may be missing school;
- may be in possession of new, expensive items which they couldn’t normally afford, such as mobile phones, iPads or jewellery;
- may suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
- may misuse drugs and alcohol;
- may exhibit a sudden change in dressing patterns, hair and make-up use or musical taste;
- may look tired and/or unwell, sleeping during the day;
- may suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
- may have marks or scars on their body which they try to conceal;
- may adopt new ‘street language’ or respond to a new ‘street’ name.
Sexting – All incidents involving youth produced sexual imagery (sexting) will be responded to in line with this Policy and procedures.
When considering appropriate action regarding sexting, the DSL will take the age of the child involved and the context into account. Children under 13 are given extra protection from sexual abuse. The law makes it clear that sexual activity with a child under 13 is never acceptable and that children of this age can never legally give consent to engage in sexual activity. Any situations involving pupils in this school and sexting will be taken seriously as potentially being indicative of a wider child protection concern or as being problematic sexual behaviour. Further and more specific advice is contained within the document ‘Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people’ (UK Council for Child Internet Safety – click here to access) a copy of which is held in the School Office.
Any direct disclosure by a pupil (male or female) will be taken very seriously. A child who discloses they are the subject of sexual imagery is likely to be embarrassed and worried about the consequences. It is likely that disclosure in school is a last resort and they may have already tried to resolve the issue themselves. When an incident involving sexting comes to a school’s attention the following steps will be taken:
STEP 1: Disclosure by a child
Sexting disclosures will follow our normal safeguarding practices. A child is likely to be very distressed, especially if the image has been circulated widely and if they don’t know who has shared it, seen it or where it has ended up. They will need support during the disclosure and after the event. They may even need immediate protection or a referral to the Safeguarding Hub. In all cases, the DSL will be informed as soon as possible.
The following questions will help decide upon the best course of action:
- Is the child disclosing about themselves receiving an image, sending an image or sharing an image?
- What sort of image is it? Is it potentially illegal or is it inappropriate?
- How widely has the image been shared and is the device in their possession?
- Is it a school device or a personal device?
- Does the child need immediate support and/or protection?
- Are there other children and/or young people involved?
- Does the child know where the image has ended up?
STEP 2: Searching a device – what are the rules?
A device can be examined, confiscated and securely stored if there is reason to believe it contains indecent images or extreme pornography. The device will not be searched if this will cause additional stress to the child whose image has been distributed. Where a decision is taken to search the device, the following conditions will apply:
- The search will be conducted by the Head teacher or a person authorised by them. No other member of staff will search a device
- The DSL or a deputy will be present
- The search will be conducted by a member of the same sex
- A record will be kept of the incident
We will never:
- search a mobile device even in response to an allegation or disclosure if this is likely to cause additional stress to the young person UNLESS there is clear evidence to suggest that there is an immediate problem
- print out any material for evidence
- move any material from one storage device to another
If there is an indecent image of a child on a website or social networking site, the image will be reported to the site hosting it. In this event, we will follow the reporting procedures on the respective website. However, in the case of a sexting incident involving a young person where it is felt that they may be at risk of abuse, we will report the incident directly to CEOP (www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-report). This organisation can then expedite the case with the relevant provider and ensure that appropriate action is taken to safeguard the child.
STEP 3 - What we will or will not do with the image.
If the image has been shared across a personal mobile device, we will confiscate and secure the device(s).
We will never:
- view the image unless there is a clear reason to do so (see above)
- send, share, copy or save the image anywhere
- allow children to do any of the above
If the image has been shared across a school network, a website or a social network we will block the network to all users and isolate the image.
STEP 4 - Who will deal with the incident?
Whoever the initial disclosure is made to will inform the DSL or deputy DSL as soon as possible. The DSL will record the incident using the school’s Concern Record Form. There may be instances where the image needs to be viewed and this will be done in accordance with the information outlined above. Acting in the best interests of the child will always come first.
STEP 5 - Deciding on a response
There may be a multitude of reasons why a child has engaged in sexting – it may be a romantic/sexual exploration scenario or it may be due to coercion. It is important to remember that it won’t always be appropriate to inform the police; this will depend on the nature of the incident. However, as a school, we will ensure that incidents are consistently recorded. It may also be necessary to assist the child in removing the image from a website or elsewhere.
We will always:
- store the device securely;
- carry out a risk assessment in relation to the child;
- inform the parents about the incident and how it is being managed unless there is good reason to believe that involving parents would put the child at risk of harm;
- contact the police (if appropriate);
- put the necessary safeguards in place for the child, e.g. they may need counselling support or immediate protection.
STEP 6 - Contacting other agencies (making a referral)
If the nature of the incident is high-risk, consideration will be given to contacting and/or making a referral to the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub. Depending on the nature of the incident and the response, we may also consider contacting the Police or referring the incident to CEOP. www.ceop.police.uk
‘Honour based’ violence (HBV) – Honour based violence includes crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of motivation) and will be handled and escalated as such.
From October 2015, teachers (described in the legislation as those persons employed or engaged to carry out teaching work at schools and other institutions in England) have been under a mandatory duty to report to the Police cases where they discover than an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should still consider and discuss any such case with the School’s DSL and involve the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub as appropriate. Reference should also be made to the HM Government Multi agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation, April 2016.
Preventing Radicalisation – Protecting children from the risks of radicalisation and extremism is seen as part of this school’s wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. From July 2015, schools are under a statutory duty to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This is known as the Prevent duty. Statutory Prevent guidance summarises the requirements on schools in terms of four general themes:
- Risk Assessment – we will assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism and have clear procedures in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation.
- Working in Partnership – we will ensure that our procedures take into account the policies and procedures of Cumbria SCB.
- Staff training – we will ensure that staff have access to Prevent awareness training in order to equip them with the skills and knowledge to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. As a minimum, the DSL will receive Prevent awareness training the detail of which will be cascaded to other staff/volunteers as appropriate.
- Online Safety – we will ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school. Further information on this is set out in the Online Safety Policy.
We value freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs/ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both pupils and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion. We seek to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism.
We are aware of and understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme and/or the Safeguarding Hub.
Children Missing from Education – A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. The School has appropriate procedures and responses to children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future. We follow and adhere to Cumbria SCB guidance and procedures on Children Missing Education. (Click here to access)
It is our responsibility to inform the Local Authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more.
- What School Staff should do if they have concerns about a Child
Refer also to Section 5.
If staff members have concerns about a child they should raise these with the DSL. This also includes situations of abuse which may involve staff members (refer to Whistle blowing procedures at Section 11).
All staff are required to report any concerns. On occasions, a referral is justified by a single incident such as an injury or disclosure of abuse. More often however, concerns accumulate over a period of time and are evidenced by building up a picture of harm; it is crucial that staff record and pass on their concerns in accordance with these procedures to allow the DSL to build up a picture and access support for the child at the earliest opportunity. A reliance on memory without accurate and contemporaneous records of concern could lead to a failure to protect.
The DSL will decide whether to make a referral to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub, but it is important to note that where a staff member feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, they may refer their concerns to the Safeguarding Hub directly. Alternatively, the NSPCC have a whistleblowing advice line for professionals who have concerns over how child protection issues are being handled in either their or another organisation. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/new-whistleblowing-advice-line-professionals/
Where a child and family would benefit from co-ordinated support from more than one agency (for example education, health, housing, police) there will be an inter-agency assessment. These assessments should identify what help the child and family require in order to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989. The Early Help Assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who could be a teacher, special educational needs co-ordinator, General Practitioner (GP), family support worker, and/or health visitor.
If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub immediately. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating. Research and Serious Case Reviews have repeatedly shown the dangers of failing to take effective action. Poor practice includes: failing to act on and refer the early signs of abuse and neglect, poor record keeping, failing to listen to the views of the child, failing to re-assess concerns when situations do not improve, sharing information too slowly and a lack of challenge to those who appear not to be taking action.
Refer to the ‘Action’ flowchart on page 10 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, September 2016 which is replicated at Appendix C.
- Dealing with Disclosures from Children
The way in which a member of staff talks to a child who discloses abuse could have an effect on the evidence that is put forward if there are subsequent proceedings, and it is important that staff do not jump to conclusions, ask leading questions, or put words in a child's mouth. If a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff or other adult working in school s/he should write a record of the conversation as soon as possible, stating exactly, in the child’s words, what has been said, noting any action taken in cases of possible abuse. This must be signed and include the date, time and place of the disclosure. All records must be locked in the Child Protection filing cabinet which is located in the school office. A model Child Disclosure/ Concern Record can be found at Appendix B.
Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Emma Jackson, who will evaluate the assessment and concern record. Initial contact will be made with Cumbria Safeguarding Hub where necessary (see below).
The DSL can make a telephone referral to Cumbria Safeguarding Hub (see below) and confirm in writing via the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub Single Contact On-line Form - Click here to access. The initial referral may be made by telephone but must be followed up via the on-line reporting system within 48 hours.
If a referral needs to be made, or consultation with any other agency then we recognise that it is good practice to inform parents and child of actions to be taken unless this puts the child at further risk of harm.
The LA should make a decision within one working day of a referral being made about what course of action they are taking and should let the referrer know the outcome. The DSL will follow up on a referral should that information not be forthcoming. If, after a referral, the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the DSL will press for re-consideration to ensure their concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.
All adults in school have a shared responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
Cumbria Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0333 240 1727
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (please ensure that e mails sent to this address are password protected and the password forwarded in a further e-mail).
The service enables callers to outline their concerns and the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub will give advice and if necessary undertake assessments of need. Appendix C provides a flow chart of actions to be taken by the school and other agencies where there are concerns about a child.
This service is available any time of day or night
Staff must be aware that:
- it is not the responsibility of teachers, other staff or volunteers to investigate suspected cases of abuse;
- they should not take any action beyond that agreed in the procedures established by the setting and the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Board (SCB);
- they cannot promise a child complete confidentiality - instead they must explain that they may need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child or other children safe.
Listening to Children
Experience and consultation with children show that a child will talk about their concerns and problems to people they feel they can trust and they feel comfortable with. This will not necessarily be a teacher. It is therefore essential that all staff and volunteers in a school or establishment know how to respond sensitively to a child's concerns, who to approach for advice about them, and the importance of not guaranteeing complete confidentiality.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2015) describes what children have said that they need:
- Vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them
- Understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon
- Stability: to be able to develop and on-going stable relationship of trust with those helping them
- Respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not
- Information and engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans
- Explanation: to be informed of the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met with a positive response
- Support: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their family
- Advocacy: to be provided with advocacy to assist them in putting forward their views
Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and to have consistent support provided for their individual needs. School will seek to demonstrate to children that it provides them with a safe environment where it is okay to talk.
Any member of staff or volunteer who is approached by a child wanting to talk will listen positively and reassure the child. They will record the discussion with the pupil as soon as possible and take action in accordance with the school's child protection procedures.
If a child chooses to disclose, the member of staff or other adult in the school WILL:
- be accessible and receptive;
- listen carefully and uncritically at the child’s pace;
- take what is said seriously;
- reassure the child that they are right to tell;
- tell the child that this information must be passed on;
- make a careful record of what was said.
Staff or other adults will NEVER:
- take photographs or examine an injury;
- investigate or probe aiming to prove or disprove possible abuse – never ask leading questions;
- make promises to children about confidentiality or keeping ‘secrets’;
- assume that someone else will take the necessary action;
- jump to conclusions or react with shock, anger or horror;
- speculate or accuse anybody;
- confront another person (adult or child) allegedly involved;
- forget to record what has been said;
- fail to pass the information on to the correct person;
- ask a child to sign a written copy of the disclosure.
Vulnerable Groups: For children with communication/language difficulties or who use alternative/ augmented communication systems, staff and other adults may need to take extra care to ensure that signs of abuse and neglect are identified and interpreted correctly, but concerns should be reported in exactly the same manner as for other children. In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek the services of a professional interpreter.
- Induction and Training
All school-based staff including the Head teacher (where he/she is not the DSL) are required to undertake an appropriate level of safeguarding and child protection training at induction. This training will be updated regularly. We will train all staff and volunteers (where appropriate) to understand the Overarching Safeguarding Statement and this Child Protection Policy and procedures, and ensure that all adults have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. In addition, all staff members will receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via e-mail, e-bulletins, staff meetings/briefings etc.), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
Appropriate training and regular updates will enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way including:
- significant changes in a child’s behaviour;
- deterioration in a child’s general well-being;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
- a child’s comments which give cause for concern;
- any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home;
- recognising inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children, for example, inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images;
- internal school procedures, roles and responsibilities;
- dealing with a disclosure from a child;
- whistle blowing procedures as they refer specifically to Child Protection;
- the school Single Equality Information/Objectives; and
- general health, safety and welfare issues.
Training is organised by the DSL in line with Cumbria SCB guidance.
All staff have undertaken whole school Safeguarding Training which will be refreshed every three years and updated on a regular basis by the DSL or other external source.
All staff and volunteers working in ‘Regulated Activity’ are provided with a copy of Part one of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – Safeguarding information for all staff – September 2016, DfE guidance ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’, March 2015; the Cumbria SCB Summary of Allegations Management Procedures Flow Chart; the school’s Child Protection Policy and procedures and the School Code of Conduct for staff and other adults.
We will ensure that regular staff appraisals are carried out to identify any training needs, and secure opportunities for continued professional development for staff. We will support our staff to improve their qualification levels wherever possible.
The nominated Governor will receive safeguarding training from a strategic perspective which will be updated regularly, to be disseminated to the rest of the Governing Body.
The school leadership team will ensure the DSL and the Deputy DSL attend the required safeguarding training when they first take up the role which will provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role effectively. The training will be updated every two years. In addition to formal training, as set out above, their knowledge and skills will be updated, (for example via e-bulletins, meeting other DSL’s, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, but at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
Both the DSL and the Deputy have attended the required level of training as stated by the Cumbria SCB and this will be updated in line with recommended good practice.
The DSL will ensure that all new staff, volunteers and other adults are appropriately inducted as regards the school’s internal safeguarding procedures, including those for Child Protection, communication lines and whistle blowing. This will also be a regular agenda item at staff meetings.
The DSL and Head Teacher (if not one and the same) will provide an annual report to the Governing Body detailing safeguarding training undertaken by all staff and will maintain up to date registers of who has been trained. This, along with Induction Training and other safeguarding training including health and safety related training will be included in the school staff Training Plan.
We will ensure that staff have sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the well-being of children in our care. We will ensure we are in a position to keep records in English, to liaise with other agencies in English, to summon emergency help, and to understand instructions such as those for the safety of medicines.
- Record Keeping
Staff will record any welfare concern that they have about a child on a Child Disclosure/Concern Record, with a body map where injuries have been observed to be passed to the DSL. Records must be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event and must be signed and dated. Staff must be aware that their records might have to be used as evidence in court, and must therefore be mindful of the need to distinguish fact from opinion. However, staff must not attempt to investigate a situation themselves. Blank Child Disclosure/Concern Records are kept in the school Office.
A record will be made of all incidents where pupils have expressed racist, homophobic, extremist or radical views which will be monitored at a senior level.
Child protection records are kept centrally and securely by the DSL and are shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only. They will be held separate from the child’s curriculum file. A chronology must be recorded in the file with the final entry being the date the child left the school or the date the file was transferred to a receiving school.
When forwarding files to a receiving school, a chronology of the information, a record of the date of transfer and date of confirmation of receipt by the next school will be kept.
All child protection records will be forwarded to a child’s subsequent school under confidential and separate cover to the new DSL or Head Teacher. Confidential files which have to be posted (e.g. for out of County moves) should be marked private and confidential and sent via the ‘Special Delivery’ postage route where its whereabouts at any time can be tracked.
- Allegations against Members of Staff or Volunteers
Sometimes allegations of inappropriate treatment of children are made against members of staff employed by the school including volunteers rather than members of the child’s family. Such allegations are dealt with according to specific procedures published on the Cumbria SCB website and Part four of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ – Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff.
Cumbria SCB has produced a Summary of Allegations Management Procedures Flowchart which can be found at Appendix D. A copy of this flow chart is provided to all individuals working in school and to new starters as part of their Induction.
The member of staff to whom the allegation is reported will:
- treat the matter seriously;
- ensure that, where necessary, the child receives appropriate medical attention;
- make a written record of the information using the child’s/parent’s own words, including when the alleged incident took place; who was present; and what happened;
- sign and date the written record;
- report the matter immediately to the Head teacher or deputy in his/her absence. Where the Head teacher is the subject of an allegation, the allegation will be reported to the Chair of Governors. In all instances, the most senior person (Head teacher or Chair of Governors) will be the allocated the role of ‘Case Manager’. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times.
Initial Action by the Case Manager
The Case Manager will immediately discuss the allegation with the Local authority appointed Designated Officer (DO) and within 1 working day. The purpose of an initial discussion is for the DO and the Case Manager to consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action. To inform the initial course of action, the following may be required:
- written details of the allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving the allegation;
- any other information and names of any potential witnesses;
- a chronology of significant events;
- information already known about those involved, including previous history, other allegations made by the child or family and the individual’s current contact with children;
- checks on any historic incident(s) or log books;
There may be situations when the Case Manager will want to involve the Police immediately, for example if the person is deemed to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence. Where there is no such evidence, the Case Manager should discuss the allegations with the DO in order to help determine whether police involvement is necessary.
To report a concern in writing to the DO, the notification form (available either from the Cumbria SCB website or from the KAHSC website) must be used. The form can also be accessed by the following link: DO - Allegation Notification Form (Doc).
Completed forms must be sent to the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub, using any of the following methods:
(Please note: if sending by e-mail the document must be password protected)
- Fax: 01768 812090
To speak to a DO for advice, contact the Multi-Agency Business Support Team who will take your details and ensure a DO returns the call:
Phone: 01768 812267
Or you can email email@example.com
DO working hours are Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4.30pm.
- In case of emergency outside of the above hours contact Emergency Duty Team
Allegations are managed in accordance with Cumbria SCB Procedures Manual (March 2015) - Click here to access.
The Case Manager will contact the DO if the member of staff or other adult has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
The advice of the DO can also be sought if there is uncertainty as to whether a referral should be made or for example there are concerns about the staff member’s conduct outside work which may raise concerns about their suitability to work with children.
The Case Manager will inform the accused person about the allegation as soon as possible after consulting with DO. It is extremely important that the Case Manager provides them with as much information as possible at that time. However, where a strategy discussion is needed, or police or children’s social care services need to be involved, the Case Manager will not do that until those agencies have been consulted, and have agreed what information can be disclosed to the accused.
The Case Manager will appoint a named representative to keep the person who is the subject of the allegation informed of the progress of the case and consider what other support is appropriate for the individual.
Parents or carers of a child or children involved will be told about the allegation as soon as possible if they do not already know of it. However, where a strategy discussion is required, or Police or Children’s Social Care services need to be involved, the Case Manager will not do so until those agencies have been consulted and have agreed what information can be disclosed to the parents or carers. Parents or carers will also be kept informed about the progress of the case, and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome (in confidence) of any disciplinary process.
Parents and carers will also be made aware of the requirement to maintain confidentiality about any allegations made against teachers whilst investigations are ongoing. Where parents or carers wish to apply to the court to have reporting restrictions removed, they will be advised to seek legal advice.
If an allegation requiring immediate attention is received outside of normal office hours the Case Manager will consult immediately with Cumbria Safeguarding Hub or local Police. They must ensure they inform the DO the next working day.
Initial Consideration by the Case Manager and LA appointed Designated Officer (DO)
The DO will establish, in discussion with the Case Manager that the allegation is within the scope of the Cumbria SCB procedures and may require further investigation. There may be up to 3 strands considered as part of this process and the discussion will centre upon whether there is a need for:
- a Police investigation because a crime has or may have been committed;
- enquires and assessment by social care to determine if services or emergency actions are required;
- consideration by the employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
If agreement is reached that the criteria for action by the Police or Children’s Services has been established, the DO will contact Children’s Social Care to ensure a formal ‘strategy meeting’ is set up involving Children’s Services Social Care and the Police. If only the last criterion is met the DO will provide advice to the Case Manager on the subsequent management of the case to a satisfactory conclusion within the framework of the school’s procedures for discipline and conduct.
The decision on suspension/transfer to alternative duties of the staff member subject to the allegation is the responsibility of the Case Manager having consulted with their HR adviser and the DO. Suspension will never be an automatic step for staff subject to allegations; each case will be dealt with on its merits taking into consideration factors such as the seriousness of the allegation, the potential risks to children and whether it is possible to investigate the allegation whilst the person is still at work. The strategy meeting will make a recommendation to the setting if one is required but the ultimate decision rests with the Case Manager.
The detailed procedures that need to be followed after this initial consideration are available on the Cumbria SCB website. The Case Manager is expected to keep the DO advised of progress especially where it has been agreed that the matter should be dealt with within the framework of the school’s disciplinary process (see above).
Referrals must also made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) when concerns are raised that a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to children/vulnerable adults – See Section 22 for further details. If a member of staff or a volunteer is removed or dismissed because they have harmed a child or vulnerable adult, or the school would have done so if the individual not left, the Disclosure and Barring Service must be informed Click here to find out how to refer to the DBS
All staff will be made aware that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. When in doubt – consult.
For more detailed guidance on how to respond to allegations against staff or volunteers, please refer to the Cumbria SCB guidance Click here to access and Section 11 onWhistle blowing.
- Managing Allegations against other Pupils (peer on peer abuse)
We believe that all children have a right to attend the School and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other pupils. We recognise that some pupils will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will generally be dealt with under the School’s Whole School Behaviour Policy. It is not enough to respond to incidents as they arise and we strive to create an environment that actively discourages abuse and challenges the attitudes which underlie it. The school has a Policy which includes bullying, and sexual and racial harassment.
All staff are made aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.
- 1Safeguarding allegations
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. There are different forms of peer on peer abuse but we recognise that abuse is abuse and will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. We will not dismiss abusive behaviour between children as ‘normal’ and our thresholds for investigating claims and allegations are the same as for any other type of abuse.
Occasionally, allegations may be made against pupils by others in the school, which are of a child protection nature. Child protection issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that to be considered a child protection allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found.
- is made against an older pupil and refers to their behaviour towards a younger pupil or a more vulnerable pupil;
- is of a serious nature, possibly including a criminal offence;
- raises risk factors for other pupils in the school;
- indicates that other pupils may have been affected by this pupil;
- indicates that young people outside the school may be affected by this pupil.
Examples of peer on peer abuse could include:
- violence, particularly pre-planned
- forcing others to use drugs or alcohol
- teen dating violence
- blackmail or extortion
- threats, intimidation and defamation
- bullying including cyberbullying, racial or sexual harassment or other imbalance of power
- hazing – any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers participants regardless of a person’s willingness to participate
- indecent exposure, indecent touching or serious sexual assaults
- forcing others to watch pornography or take part in sexting
- encouraging other children to attend inappropriate parties
- photographing or videoing other children performing indecent acts
In some situations, older pupils may attempt to recruit younger pupils using any or all of the above methods. Young people suffering from sexual exploitation themselves may be forced to recruit other young people under threat of violence.
- 2Minimising the risk of safeguarding concerns towards pupils from other pupils
On occasion, some pupils may present a safeguarding risk to other pupils. The school may well be informed by the relevant agency (either Police or Social Care) that the young person raises safeguarding concerns. These pupils will need an individual Behaviour (or risk) Management Plan to ensure that other pupils are kept safe and they themselves are not laid open to malicious allegations.
Pupils are encouraged to report peer on peer abuse and the issue is discussed as part of PSHE curriculum.
- 3Possible actions in response to an allegation against a pupil
- Staff who observe or suspect any form of peer abuse must inform the DSL as soon as possible so that further investigations can take place.
- When an allegation is made by a pupil against another pupil, members of staff should consider whether the complaint raises a child protection concern. If there is a child protection concern the DSL must be informed as soon as possible.
- A factual record will be made of the allegation, but no attempt at this stage should be made to investigate the circumstances.
- The DSL should contact Cumbria Safeguarding Hub (see details above) to discuss the case. It is possible that Safeguarding Hub is already aware of child protection concerns around this young person. The DSL will follow through the outcomes of the discussion and make a referral of either one or all of the pupils involved where appropriate.
- The DSL will make a record of the concern, the discussion and any outcome and keep a copy in the files of both/all pupils.
- If the allegation indicates a potential criminal offence has taken place, the police should be contacted at the earliest opportunity and parents informed (of both the pupil being complained about and the alleged victim).
- It may be appropriate to exclude the pupil being complained about for a period of time according to the school’s Behaviour Policy and procedures.
- Both the future needs of the victim and the alleged perpetrator will be assessed and, where necessary appropriate plans and strategies put in place.
- Where neither the Safeguarding Hub nor the police accept the complaint, a thorough school investigation should take place into the matter using the School’s usual disciplinary procedures.
- In situations where the school considers a child protection risk is present, a risk assessment should be prepared along with a preventative, supervision plan.
- The plan should be monitored and a date set for a follow-up evaluation with everyone concerned.
- Whistle Blowing
Staff must acknowledge their individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant agencies. Although this can be difficult this is particularly important where the welfare of children may be at risk.
Adults working in the school may be the first to recognise that something is wrong but may not feel able to express their concerns out of a feeling that this would be disloyal to colleagues or for fear of harassment or victimisation. These feelings, however natural, must never result in a child or young person continuing to be unnecessarily at risk. Staff must remember that it is often the most vulnerable child who is targeted. These children need adults they can trust to safeguard their welfare.
DON'T THINK WHAT IF I'M WRONG - THINK WHAT IF I’M RIGHT!
Reasons for whistle blowing:
- Each individual has a responsibility for raising concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour.
- To prevent the problem worsening or widening.
- To protect or reduce risks to others.
- To prevent becoming implicated yourself.
What stops people from whistle blowing?
- Fear of starting a chain of events which spirals out of control.
- Disrupting the work or project.
- Fear of getting it wrong.
- Fear of repercussions or damaging careers.
- Fear of not being believed.
How to raise a concern:
- Voice concerns, suspicions or uneasiness as soon as possible. The earlier a concern is expressed the easier and sooner action can be taken.
- Try to pinpoint exactly what practice is causing concern and why.
- Approach the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Emma Jackson or Senior Manager, Gayel Wilkinson.
- If the concern is related to the Head teacher/Principal, the Chair of Governors should be contacted or, if it is felt that the issue needs to be reported to someone outside the school, contact Cumbria Safeguarding Hub.
- Staff should ensure they get a satisfactory response - don't let matters rest. If a staff member feels their genuine concerns are not being addressed, the issue should be referred to the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub.
- Ideally, concerns should be put in writing, outlining the background and history, giving names, dates and places wherever possible.
- A member of staff is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation but will need to demonstrate sufficient grounds for the concern.
What happens next?
- The individual reporting the concerns will be given information on the nature and progress of any enquiries.
- The employer has a responsibility to protect individual members of staff from harassment or victimisation.
- No action will be taken against an individual if the concern proves to be unfounded and was raised in good faith.
- Malicious allegations may be considered as a disciplinary offence.
There may be occasions where a member of staff has a personal difficulty, perhaps a physical or mental health problem, which they know to be impinging on their professional competence. Staff have a responsibility to discuss such a situation with their line manager so professional and personal support can be offered to the member of staff concerned. Whilst such reporting will remain confidential in most instances, this cannot be guaranteed where personal difficulties raise concerns about the welfare or safety of children.
Further advice and support:
It is recognised that whistle blowing can be difficult and stressful. Advice and support is available from senior managers, HR provider and/or your professional or trade union.
"Absolutely without fail - challenge poor practice or performance. If you ignore or collude with poor practice it makes it harder to sound the alarm when things go wrong" (reproduced with acknowledgement to “Sounding the Alarm” – Barnardos).
For Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools in Cumbria, reference should also be made to any advice on whistle blowing (school based staff) issued by Cumbria County Council.
- 1Staff Taking Medicines/Other Substances
Persons working with children must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for them. Medical advice will be sought if there are likely to be side effects which will impair the individual’s ability to work safely with children. Staff medicine on the premises will be securely stored, and kept out of reach of children, at all times.
- 2Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions
We have, and implement, a Policy on Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions. This includes systems for obtaining information about a child’s medical needs and for keeping this information up-to-date. Training is provided for staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge. Medicines will not usually be administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a GP, dentist, nurse or pharmacist (medicines containing aspirin will only be given if prescribed by a GP).
Medicine (both prescription and non-prescription) will only be administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained from the child’s parent. We keep a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child, and, in the case of general pain-relief, where prior consent has been obtained, inform the child’s parents on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable.
- Working with other Agencies
The School recognises and is committed to its responsibility to work with other professionals and agencies both to ensure children’s needs are met and to protect them from harm. We will endeavour to identify those children and families who may benefit from the intervention and support of external professionals and will seek to enable referrals (in discussion with parents) as appropriate. Information on the Early Help/ Assessment process is available via the Cumbria SCB website.
Schools are not the investigating agency when there are child protection concerns and thus, the school will pass all relevant cases to the statutory agencies, which we will support in undertaking their roles. Staff should understand that alongside this, the school may have a crucial role in supporting the child whilst investigations and assessments take place.
The School recognises the importance of multi-agency working and will ensure that staff are enabled to attend relevant safeguarding meetings, including Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups, Strategy Meetings, and Early Help/ Team around the Family or Team around the Child meetings.
We will also work with local partners, families and communities in our efforts to ensure our school understands and embraces our local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of our pupil’s experiences and horizons. We will help support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of our wider safeguarding responsibilities offering support and assistance from external agencies where required.
The School Leadership Team and DSL will work to establish strong and co-operative relationships with relevant professionals in other agencies.
- Partnership with Parents
The school shares a purpose with parents to educate, keep children safe from harm and to have their welfare promoted. We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly.
We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child.
The school will, in most circumstances, endeavour to discuss all concerns about their children with parents. There may, however, be exceptional circumstances when the school will discuss concerns with Children’s Social Care and/or the Police without parental knowledge. The school will, of course, always aim to maintain a positive relationship with all parents. This Child Protection Policy and procedures is available on request.
- Professional Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Safeguarding and child protection information is confidential and personal. Other than the agreed communication lines in school, it is for the DSL(s) to decide what information needs to be shared, with whom, how and when, and whether consent needs to be gained for this process. If in any doubt, the DSL can seek advice from Cumbria Safeguarding Hub (0333 240 1727). Further guidance on Information Sharing can be found in the DfE ‘Information Sharing – Guidance for Safeguarding Practitioners’ March 2015 and the ‘Flowchart of When and How to Share Information’ from the same document held at Appendix E.
If a member of staff needs to seek advice about a safeguarding situation for a child independently for the purposes of keeping a child safe (specifically with the Children’s Services Safeguarding Team), it is appropriate for the detail to be discussed, although the staff member may choose to maintain the anonymity of the child whilst initial consultation takes place.
All staff are made aware that they cannot keep ‘secrets’ and absolute confidentiality with children, and that if a child discloses abuse or gives information that suggests they may be at risk, this MUST be passed on to the DSL as soon as possible. The child should be told who their disclosure will be shared with and what will happen next.
- Curriculum and Staying Safe
Schools play an essential role in helping children to understand and identify the parameters of what is appropriate child and adult behaviour; what is ‘safe’; to recognise when they and others close to them are not safe; and how to seek advice and support when they are concerned.
The School will use the curriculum to provide opportunities for increasing self-awareness, self-esteem, social and emotional understanding, assertiveness and decision making so that pupils have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others. Systems have been established to support the empowerment of children to talk to a range of staff when they are in difficulty and to raise comments, complaints and feedback about their school experience and any other external issues which affect their wellbeing. Children will be listened to and heard and their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate. Records will be kept of reported incidents in line with guidance.
We encourage the safe use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of our pupils. We will, however, positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who are invited with by the school staff or by the pupils themselves in order to ensure that we do not unwittingly use agencies that contradict each other with their messages or that are inconsistent with, or are in complete opposition to the school’s values and ethos.
Our school will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individual to ensure that:
- any messages communicated to pupils support fundamental British Values;
- any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
- any messages communicated to pupils do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies;
- activities are properly embedded in the curriculum and clearly mapped to schemes of work to avoid contradictory messages or duplication;
- activities are matched to the needs of pupils.
We recognise, however, that the ethos of our school is to encourage pupils to understand opposing views and ideologies, appropriate to their age, understanding and abilities, and to be able to actively engage with them in informed debate, and we may use external agencies or speakers to facilitate and support this.
- Supervision and Support
Any member of staff affected by issues arising from concerns for a child’s welfare or safety can seek support from the DSL.
All newly qualified teachers and classroom assistants have a mentor with whom they can discuss concerns including the area of child protection, however, all concerns MUST be reported to the DSL without delay.
The DSL can put staff and parents in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they so wish.
We will put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and families. Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the staff member/volunteer and promotes the interests of children. Our Supervision arrangements foster a culture of mutual support, teamwork and continuous improvement which encourages the confidential discussion of sensitive issues.
The key functions of supervision are:
- Ensure that performance and practice, including safeguarding, is competent, accountable and soundly based in research and practice knowledge.
- Ensure that safeguarding children practice is consistent with the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and organisational procedures.
- Ensure that practitioners fully understand their roles, and responsibilities and the scope of their professional discretion and authority.
- To provide reflective space to analyse ongoing work and specific incidents, to assess risk and need and to provide an important check and balance on decision making and planning .
- Ensure that professional development needs, including safeguarding practice are considered and supported.
- To provide reflective space for the supervisee to discuss and work through the personal impact of their role and responsibilities. This should include support to address the emotional impact of the work where required.
Good supervision involves a balance between all three elements, not always within one session, but certainly over the entire supervision process.
- Safe Working Practice
Staff and other adults are required to work within clear Guidelines on Safe Working Practice, this Child Protection Policy and procedures, the Staff Behaviour Policy/Staff Code of Conduct and the school’s ICT Staff Acceptable Use Agreement. The latter includes amongst other things, staff/pupil relationships and communications, including the use of social media.
A child may make an allegation against a member of staff or other adult in situations where they feel vulnerable or where they perceive there to be a possible risk to their welfare. As such, all school staff and other adults must take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position regarding child protection or potential allegations. For example, it is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
Physical intervention will only be used when the child is endangering him/herself or others and such events will be recorded and signed by a witness. Staff and other adults in the school are aware of the Whole School Behaviour Policy, and any physical interventions must be in line with agreed policy and procedure in which appropriate training will be provided. Full advice and guidance can be found in the DfE Use of Reasonable Force, July 2013 and Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with Children and Young People in Education Settings – October 2015 and the School Code of Conduct for staff and other adults.
- Online/E-Safety, Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras
It is recognised that the use of new technologies presents particular challenges and risks to children both inside and outside of school and the use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation – technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school to protect and educate the whole school community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate. The School will ensure a comprehensive curriculum response to enable all pupils to learn about and manage the associated risks effectively and will support parents and the school community (including all members of staff) to become aware and alert to the needs of keeping children safe online. Detailed information can be found in the school’s Online Safety Policy and procedures.
Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimise the risks to our children we will ensure that we have appropriate and reasonable security filters and monitoring systems in place. These filters and systems will, in part, be informed by the risk assessment required by the ‘Prevent Duty’.
Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse, exploitation or cyber bullying we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
Staff are particularly aware of the professional risks associated with the use of electronic communication (e-mail; mobile phones; texting; social network sites) and must familiarise themselves with advice and professional expectations outlined in the school Code of Conduct for staff and other adults/Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with Children and Young People in Education Settings – October 2015 and the school’s Online Safety Acceptable Internet Use Agreement.
When using digital images, staff will inform and educate pupils about the risks associated with the taking, use, sharing, publication and distribution of images. In particular pupils will be taught to recognise the risks attached to publishing their own images on the internet e.g. on social networking sites. Staff are allowed to take digital/video images to support educational aims, but must follow the school Policy and procedures in relation to the production, sharing, distribution and publication of those images.
In relation to pupils and their use of mobile technology on the school site, reference should be made to the school Policy on Online Safety which is available on request.
The school has a Complaints Procedure available to parents, pupils and staff who wish to report concerns. This is published on the school website.
All reported complaints/concerns will be taken seriously and considered within the relevant and appropriate process. Anything that constitutes an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer will be dealt with under the specific Procedures for Managing Allegations against Staff or Volunteers- see Section 9.
- Safer Recruitment, Selection and Pre-employment Vetting
The School aims to create a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse or be a risk to the safety or welfare of children. The Governing body / proprietor will act reasonably in making decisions about the suitability of prospective employees and volunteers based on checks and evidence including: criminal record checks (DBS checks), barred list checks and, in the case of teaching staff, prohibition checks and staff suitability declaration (where relevant) together with references and interview information.
The Governing Body and School Leadership Team are responsible for ensuring that the school follows safe recruitment processes outlined within the DfE document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, September 2016 and in the school Safer Recruitment, Selection and Pre-Employment Vetting Policy and procedures, including accurate maintenance of the Single Central Record; and an application, vetting and recruitment process which places safeguarding at its centre, regardless of employee or voluntary role.
In line with the DfE statutory guidance the Governing Body /Proprietor will prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required; and ensuring volunteers are appropriately supervised unless they are working in ‘regulated activity’. The School has a written Recruitment and Selection Policy and procedures in place. In line with the School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 the Governing Body will ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training and that the training is updated as necessary.
- 1Childcare Act 2006/Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
The above legislation places separate and additional requirements on schools. At the point that an individual is convicted of, or cautioned for, a criminal offence of a specified type or category, or where they meet other disqualification criteria set out in the Regulations, the Act and Regulations disqualify staff from:
- providing early years childcare or later years childcare to children who have not attained the age of eight; or
- being directly concerned in the management of that childcare.
In order to ensure that those working in our School are not disqualified from working with the relevant pupils, the Governing Body require that, prior to appointment, an individual is required to complete a self-declaration form. In addition to seeking a declaration about their own convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, potential staff will be asked to declare that they are not living in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or works (disqualification ‘by association’).
Further information can be found in the school Safer Recruitment, Selection and Pre-Employment Vetting Policy and procedures.
- Referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
The role of the DBS is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.
Schools have a legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult; where the harm test is satisfied in respect of that individual; where the individual has received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence, or if there is reason to believe that individual has committed a listed relevant offence; and that individual has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left. Click here to find out how to refer to the DBS.
The advice of the DO can also be sought if there is uncertainty as to whether a referral should be made or for example there are concerns about the staff member’s conduct outside work which may raise concerns about their suitability to work with children. Further guidance can be found on the Cumbria SCB website How to refer a child or Allegations against staff/DO.
- Referral to Ofsted / Local Child Protection Agency
Our Early Years Provision is not registered with Ofsted separately from the school so is not on the Early Years Register and therefore there is no legal requirement for us to notify Ofsted of any serious accidents, injuries or deaths which occur in relation to the childcare we provide.
However, in line with the Statutory Framework for EYFS we will notify or our local Child Protection Agency of any serious accidents, injuries or deaths which occur in relation to the childcare we provide to EYFS children.
- The use of School Premises by other Organisations
Where services or activities are provided separately by another body using the school premises, the Head teacher and Governing Body will seek assurance that the organisation concerned has appropriate Policies and procedures in place with regard to safeguarding children and child protection and that other organisations/bodies have ensured that relevant safeguarding checks have been made in respect of staff and volunteers.
The Governors/Head teacher will take appropriate action to ensure that the school is not hired out or otherwise let to external agencies that use the premises to deliver messages of, or support for, extremism or radicalisation.
If assurance is not achieved, an application to use premises may be refused. See School Lettings Arrangements for further information.
- Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment
We will ensure that our premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises. Spaces, furniture, equipment and toys, must be safe for children to use and premises must be secure. We will keep premises and equipment clean, and be aware of, and comply with, requirements of health and safety legislation (including fire safety and hygiene requirements). We have, and implement, a Health and Safety Policy, and procedures, which include identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.
We will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children, staff and others on the premises in the case of fire or any other emergency, and have an emergency evacuation procedure. We must have appropriate fire detection and control equipment (for example, fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers) which is in working order. Fire exits are clearly identifiable, and fire doors are kept free of obstruction and are easily opened from the inside.
We operate a strict no smoking policy – we will not allow smoking in or on the premises when children are present or about to be present – this includes the use of electronic cigarettes (E-Cigarettes).
All reasonable steps are taken to ensure staff, children in our care and others affected by what we do are not exposed to risks and are able to demonstrate how we are managing risks. Risk Assessments inform staff practice and demonstrate how we are managing risks. Risk assessments identify aspects of the environment that need to be checked on a regular basis, when and by whom those aspects will be checked, and how the risk will be removed or minimised.
Children will be kept safe while on outings, and we obtain written parental permission for children to take part in outings. We assess the risks or hazards which may arise for the children, and identify the steps to be taken to remove, minimise and manage those risks and hazards. The assessment includes consideration of adult to child ratios. We consider what additional measures are necessary when children stay overnight. Vehicles in which children are being transported, and the driver of those vehicles, are adequately insured. Refer to the school Educational Visits Procedures for further details.
All staff have a responsibility for maintaining awareness of buildings and grounds security and for reporting concerns that may come to light. We operate within a whole school community ethos and welcome comments from pupils, parents and others about areas that may need improvement as well as what we are doing well.
We will only release children into the care of individuals who have been notified to us by the parent, and will ensure that children do not leave the premises unsupervised. We will take all reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised persons entering the premises, and have an agreed procedure for checking the identity of visitors. Visitors are expected to sign in and out via the office visitors log and to display a visitors badge whilst on school site. Any individual who is not known or identifiable should be challenged for clarification and reassurance.
The school will not accept the behaviour of any individual (parent or other) that threatens school security or leads others (child or adult) to feel unsafe. Such behaviour will be treated as a serious concern and may result in a decision to refuse access for that individual to the school site. Please refer to the DfES (now DfE) document ‘A Legal Toolkit for Schools Click here to access and DfE non-statutory guidance ‘Advice on school security: Access to, and barring of individuals from school premises – December 2012.
All staff will follow the procedures set out by Cumbria Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) – Cumbria’s Multi-agency Thresholds Guidance and take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education to promote the well-being and safeguarding of our pupils. These procedures and guidance have been revised to take account of the publication “Working Together to Safeguard Children” March 2015.
- ensure we have a designated senior person for child protection who has received appropriate training and support for this role. They will receive training in inter-agency procedures that enables them to work in partnership with other agencies and gain the knowledge and skills needed to fulfil their responsibilities. Refresher training will be undertaken in accordance with statutory requirements and recommendations provided by Cumbria SCB;
- maintain a high profile on child protection training for all staff;
- ensure the training is appropriate to equip staff and others to carry out their responsibilities for child protection effectively. Suitable updated training is undertaken on a regular basis;
- ensure Child Protection arrangements are part of Induction procedures for all staff and volunteers. New staff and volunteers will receive and sign this Policy and procedures and are shown where they can access information and with whom to discuss any concerns;
- ensure that relevant staff and others (where appropriate) complete the Childcare Disqualification self-declaration prior to appointment;
- ensure every member of staff (including temporary, supply staff and volunteers) and member of the Governing Body knows the name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputy(s) responsible for child protection and their role;
- ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of neglect and abuse, both physical and emotional, and responsibility for referring any concerns to the DSL or deputy DSL;
- ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations on the school website;
- notify Cumbria Safeguarding Hub if there is an unexplained absence of a pupil who is on a Child Protection Plan;
- develop effective links with relevant agencies which will lead to effective information sharing;
- co-operate as required with enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at core group meetings, case conferences, contributing to reports and ensure cover enabling the relevant person to attend when needed;
- keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately;
- ensure all records are kept securely; separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations;
- ensure procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff members or volunteers are in accordance with both Cumbria SCB and other statutory guidance and all staff are aware of them;
- ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed and appropriate checks (Disclosure and Barring Service Checks) are carried out on new staff and volunteers who will work with children on a frequent or intensive basis. Frequent is defined as once per week or more; intensive is defined as 4 or more occasions in any 30 day period or overnight. Those volunteers who are not reasonably supervised will also require a Children’s Barred List check;
- ensure all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice by operating and positively encouraging a Whistle blowing procedure;
- encourage any adult who suspects that a child may be a victim of neglect or abuse, to immediately inform the DSL about their concerns;
- if a child discloses any kind of abuse, the teacher /member of staff /adult should only seek initial clarification from the child - tact and sympathy is vital;
- under no circumstances should any member of staff attempt to obtain further information or to investigate what the child is saying;
- any action that the DSL takes when dealing with an issue of child protection will be in line with the procedures outlined in Cumbria SCB Procedures Manual, Guidance and Protocols;
- we regard all information relating to individual child protection issues as confidential, and we treat this accordingly. We only pass information on to appropriate persons as necessary;
- it is not realistic to suggest that teachers should never touch pupils, and they, and other staff in schools, have the right to use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils in certain circumstances. Guidance about this can be found in the DfE Use of Reasonable Force, July 2013.
- Monitoring and Review
Safeguarding including child protection is to be a regular agenda item at full Governors meetings; Sub-Committee Meetings and staff meetings giving the Designated Safeguarding Lead the opportunity to update on staff/governor training and any other relevant issues or changes.