Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

2015 - 2016

                       

 

Journeying Together

 

Policy Review

 

This policy will be reviewed in full by the Governing Body annually.

The policy was agreed by the Governing Body on the 23rd September 2015.

It is due for review on the 1st September 2016.

Role

Name

Date

Headteacher

Christine   Vanson

 

Chair of   Governors – Lowick C. of E. First School

Dominic Elsworth

 

Chair of   Governors – Holy Island C. of E. First School

Paul   Collins

 

C O N T E N T S

1

 

Introduction

2

 

Statutory Framework

 

3

 

The Designated Senior Person

 

4

 

The Governing Body

 

5

 

School Procedures

 

6

 

When to be Concerned

 

7

 

Dealing with a Disclosure

 

8

 

Confidentiality

 

9

 

Communication with Parents

 

10

 

Record Keeping

 

11

 

Allegations Involving School   Staff/Volunteers

Appendix   1

 

Indicators of Harm

Appendix   2

 

Keeping Children Safe in   Education: information for all school   and college staff (DFE 2015)


 

Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the school.

In particular this policy should be read in conjunction with the Safer Recruitment Policy, Behaviour Policy, Physical Intervention Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Code of Conduct/Staff Behaviour Policy, Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation (Prevent) Policy and ICT Acceptable Usage Policy.

Purpose of a Child Protection Policy

To inform   staff, parents, volunteers and governors about the school's responsibilities   for safeguarding children.

To enable   everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should   be carried out.

Northumberland Safeguarding Children   Board Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding   Children Procedures

 

The school   follows the procedures established by the Northumberland Safeguarding   Children Board; a guide to procedure and practice for all agencies in Northumberland   working with children and their families.

School Staff & Volunteers

 

 

All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe   environment in which children can learn.

School   staff and volunteers are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of   abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily   contact with children.

All school   staff will receive appropriate safeguarding children training (which is   updated regularly – Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board advises every   3 years), so that they are knowledgeable and aware of their role in the early   recognition of the indicators of abuse or neglect and of the appropriate   procedures to follow. It is a requirement that the Designated Safeguarding   Lead receives training every two years.

Temporary   staff and volunteers will be made aware of the safeguarding policies and   procedures by the Designated Senior Person.

Mission Statement for Safeguarding   and Child Protection

Establish   and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to   talk, and are listened to when they have a worry or concern.

Establish   and maintain an environment where school staff and volunteers feel safe, are   encouraged to talk and are listened to when they have concerns about the   safety and well being of a child.

Ensure   children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if   they are worried.

Ensure that   children who have been abused will be supported in line with a child   protection plan, where deemed necessary.

Include   opportunities in the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need   to recognise and stay safe from abuse.  

Contribute   to the five outcomes which are key to children’s wellbeing:

      
  • be healthy
  •   
  • stay safe
  •   
  • enjoy and achieve
  •   
  • make a positive contribution
  •   
  • achieve economic wellbeing

Children will   be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning   opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an   attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When   concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in   the interests of the child.

 

Implementation, Monitoring and   Review of the Child Protection Policy

 

The policy   will be reviewed annually by the governing body. It will be implemented through the school’s   induction and training programme, and as part of day to day practice. Compliance with the policy will be   monitored by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and through staff performance   measures.

 

 


 

In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • The      Children Act 1989
  • The      Children Act 2004
  • Education      Act 2002 (section 175)
  • Northumberland      Safeguarding Children Board Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding      Children Procedures      (Electronic)
  • Keeping      Children Safe in Education (DFE 2015)
  • Keeping      Children Safe in Education: information      for all school and college staff (DFE 2015) – APPENDIX 2
  • Working      Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
  • The      Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005
  • Counter Terrorism and Security      Act 2015 (Section 26)

Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015) requires all schools to follow the procedures for protecting children from abuse which are established by the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board.

Schools are also expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or are at risk of abuse - these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.

The school will also follow guidance in relation the specific safeguarding issues outlined in Appendix 2. This will include the Prevent Duty Guidance 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Furthermore Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18.    

Furthermore

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE April 2015) places the following responsibilities on all schools:

  • Schools should be aware of and follow the procedures established by the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board
  • Staff should be alert to signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions
  • Schools should have procedures (of which all staff are aware) for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected of abuse
  • A Designated Safeguarding Lead should have responsibility for co-ordinating action within the school and liaising with other agencies
  • Staff with the designated safeguarding lead should undergo updated child protection training every two years

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE April 2015) also states:

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there is an effective child protection policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct). Both should be provided to all staff – including temporary staff and volunteers – on induction. The child protection policy should describe procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed inter-agency procedures put in place by the NSCB, be updated annually, and be available publicly either via the school or college website or by other means.


 

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that the school designates an appropriate senior member of staff to take lead responsibility for child protection. This person should have the status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post including committing resources and, where appropriate, supporting and directing other staff.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection in this school is:

NAME:   Christine Vanson

(Also our E-Safety Co-ordinator).

In the absence/unavailability of the DSL the Assistant Head Mrs Kerry Fieldhouse will act as the Deputy Safeguarding Lead.

The broad areas of responsibility for the designated safeguarding lead are:

Managing referrals

Refer all cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care and:

  • Police      (cases where a crime may have been committed).
  • Act as      a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety      and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising      with relevant agencies

Training

  • The      designated safeguarding lead should receive appropriate training carried      out every two years 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
  • Have a working knowledge of how local      authorities 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
  • Be      alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special      educational needs and young carers
  • Be able      to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and      referrals
  • Obtain      access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses
  • Encourage a culture of listening to children      and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any      measures the school or college may put in place to protect them

Raising Awareness

  • The      designated safeguarding lead should ensure the school policies are known and used      appropriately:
  • Ensure the school’s child protection policy is      reviewed annually and the procedures and implementation are updated and      reviewed regularly, and work with governing bodies regarding this
  • Ensure the child protection policy 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 or      college in this
  • Link with the local NSCB to make sure staff      are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on      safeguarding
  • Where      children leave the school ensure their child protection file is copied for      any new school or college as soon as possible but transferred separately      from the main pupil file

 

Governing bodies must ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They must also have regard to this guidance to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.

The nominated governor for child protection is:

NAME: John Moffat (Lowick)

             Paul Collins (Holy Island)

In particular the Governing Body must ensure:

  • The responsibilities placed on governing      bodies and proprietors include:
  • their contribution to inter-agency working,      which includes providing a coordinated offer of early help when additional      needs of children are identified
  • ensuring that an effective child protection      policy is in place, together with a staff behaviour policy
  • appointing a designated safeguarding lead who      should undergo child protection training every two years
  • prioritising the welfare of children and young      people and creating a culture where staff are confident to challenge      senior leaders over any safeguarding concerns
  • making      sure that children are taught about how to keep themselves safe.

 

If any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations – see file in main school office.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide whether the concerns should be referred to Children’s Services. If it is decided to make a referral to Children’s Services this will be discussed with the parents, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.

Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child about whom the school has concerns, or who has been identified as being the subject of a child protection plan and a written record will be kept.

If a pupil who is/or has been the subject of a child protection plan changes school, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the receiving school, in a secure manner, and separate from the child’s academic file.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for making the senior leadership team aware of trends in behaviour that may affect pupil welfare. If necessary, training will be arranged.

As a person who works with children, staff have a duty to refer safeguarding concerns to the designated safeguarding lead for child protection.

However if:

  • concerns are not taken seriously by an organisation or
  • action to safeguard the child is not taken by professionals and
  • the child is considered to be at continuing risk of harm

Then Staff should speak to a DSL in their school or contact Northumberland Children’s Services (including out of hours) on 01289 334000.

If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s services immediately. Anybody can make a referral. 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.

If the allegations raised by the staff member are against other children the school should follow the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual - Children Who Abuse Others.

Mandatory Reporting Duty

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions.

From1 July 2015 specified authorities, including allschools as defined in thesummary ofthis guidance, are subjecttoa duty under section 26 ofthe Counter-Terrorism and SecurityAct 2015(the CTSA 2015”), inthe exercise oftheirfunctions,to have“due regardtothe needto prevent peoplefrombeing drawn intoterrorism. Thisduty is known asthe Prevent duty – Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation. Schools should haveclear procedures in placefor protectingchildren atrisk of radicalisation. The Prevent duty builds on existing localpartnership arrangements. For example, governingbodies of schoolsshould ensurethat theirsafeguarding arrangements take intoaccount thepolicies and procedures ofLocalSafeguarding ChildrenBoards(LSCBs).

In addition Schoolsmust ensurethatchildrenaresafe fromterrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet inschools.Schoolsshouldensurethat suitable filtering isin place.Itis also importantthat schoolsteach pupils about online safetymoregenerally.


 

All staff and volunteers should be aware that the main categories of abuse are:

  • Physical      abuse
  • Emotional      abuse
  • Sexual      abuse
  • Neglect

All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if he/she presents with indicators of possible significant harm – see Appendix 1 for details.

Generally, in an abusive relationship the child may:

  • Appear      frightened of the parent/s or other household members e.g. siblings or      others outside of the home
  • Act in      a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development

(full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups)

  • Display      insufficient sense of ‘boundaries’, lack stranger awareness
  • Appear wary of adults and display      ‘frozen watchfulness’

 

If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff / volunteer should:

  • Listen      to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief
  • Accept      what is being said
  • Allow      the child to talk freely
  • Reassure      the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep
  • Not      promise confidentiality – it might be necessary to refer to Children’s      Services
  • Reassure      him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault
  • Stress      that it was the right thing to tell
  • Listen,      only asking questions when necessary to clarify
  • Not      criticise the alleged perpetrator
  • Explain      what has to be done next and who has to be told
  • Make      a written record (see Record Keeping)
  • Pass      the information to the Designated Safeguarding Lead without delay

Support

Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and safeguarding issues can be stressful. The member of staff/volunteer should, therefore, consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.


 

Safeguarding children raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools.

  • All      staff in schools, both teaching and non-teaching staff, have a      responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children      with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies (Children’s      Services and the Police).
  • If a child      confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information      is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell      the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s age/stage of development      that they cannot promise 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.
  • Staff/volunteers      who receive information about children and their families in the course of      their work should share that information only within appropriate      professional contexts.

 

Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools will:

Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly either via the school website or by other means.

Parents should be informed prior to referral, unless it is considered to do so might place the child at increased risk of significant harm by:

  • The      behavioural response it prompts e.g. a child being subjected to abuse,      maltreatment or threats / forced to remain silent if alleged abuser      informed;
  • Leading      to an unreasonable delay;
  • Leading      to the risk of loss of evidential material;
  • Placing      a member of staff from any agency at risk. 

Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the school and staff for safeguarding children.


 

When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer should:

  • Record      as soon as possible after the conversation. Use the school record of      concern sheet wherever possible.
  • Don’t      destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court
  • Record      the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the      words used by the child
  • Indicate      the position of any injuries on the diagram – in file in office
  • Record      statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions

All records need to be given to the Designated Safeguarding Lead promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure that all safeguarding records are managed in accordance with the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005.


 

An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff/volunteer may have:

  • Behaved      in a way that has, or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly      committed a criminal offence against/related to a child
  • Behaved      towards a child or children in a way which indicates s/he would pose a      risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children

This applies to any child the member of staff/volunteer has contact within their personal, professional or community life.

To reduce the risk of allegations, all staff should be aware of safer working practice and should be familiar with the guidance contained in the school code of conduct or Government document ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’.

The person to whom an allegation is first reported should take the matter seriously and keep an open mind. S/he should not investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification; it is important not to make assumptions. Confidentiality should not be promised and the person should be advised that the concern will be shared on a 'need to know' basis only.

Actions to be taken include making an immediate written record of the allegation using the informant's words - including time, date and place where the alleged incident took place, brief details of what happened, what was said and who was present. This record should be signed, dated and immediately passed on to the Head Teacher.

If the concerns are about the Head Teacher, then the Chair of Governors should be contacted. The Chair of Governors in this school is:

NAME:    Dominic Elsworth (Lowick)                      

NAME: Paul Collins (Holy Island)                                      

The recipient of an allegation must not unilaterally determine its validity, and failure to report it in accordance with procedures is a potential disciplinary matter.

The Head Teacher will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but will assess whether it is necessary to refer the concern to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO):

LADO (Chris O’Reilly – 01670 623979)

If the allegation meets any of the three criteria set out at the start of this section, contact should always be made with the Local Authority Designated Officer without delay.

If it is decided that the allegation meets the threshold for safeguarding, this will take place in accordance with the Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures.

If it is decided that the allegation does not meet the threshold for safeguarding, it will be handed back to the employer for consideration via the school’s internal procedures.

The Head Teacher should, as soon as possible, following briefing from the Local Authority Designated Officer inform the subject of the allegation.

For further information see:

NSCB Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures (Electronic)

Section 4.1 Managing Allegations Against Adults who work with Children and Young People

Contacts

Advice   Area

School   Contact(s)

Discussion   about a CP or child welfare referral

Through   school to children’s social care teams:

Alnwick   – 01665 626830

Ashington   – 01670 629200

Berwick   – 01289 334000

Disabled   Children’s Team – 01670 516131

Leaving   Care Team – 01670 714925

Advice   on the operation of CP/Safeguarding Procedures (how to refer & where)

Steve   Day – Safeguarding Standards manager & Principal Social Worker – 01670   624037

Lead   roles in relation to responding to allegations against staff (including those   not employed by the school)

Chris   O’Reilly (as LADO for all allegations against professionals who work with   children) – 01670 623979

Suzanne   Hendey – 01670 623611 or

Ian   Harbottle – 01670 623605 re school staff

Hugh   Cadwallader – 01670 623126 for centrally employed education staff

CP   Allegations relating to school transport

Chris   O‘Reilly LADO – 01670 623126

Model   CP Policy for schools

Jane   walker 01670 622734

Policy   on use of restraint in schools

Chris   Farley – 01670 624184

Recruitment   & Selection/Vetting & Barring

Suzanne   Hendey/Ian Harbottle/Hugh Cadwallader

Co-ordination   of Training Requirements for Designated staff (CP)

Anne   Lambert – 01670 623159

MAPPA   – Risk Management re individuals who may pose a risk to children

Patrick   Boyle/MAPPA – 01670 624035

Monitoring/Quality   Assurance re operation of schools safeguarding arrangements

Derek   Sleightholme (SIP)

Kate   Pringle – Berwick Area Co-ordinator

Children   Missing from Education

Chris   Farley – 01670 624184

 
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