CHILD PROTECTION and SAFEGUARDING POLICY (CLICK HERE)
LATEST REVIEW: December 2016
Child Protection and Safeguarding
Hoole St Michael CE Primary School, in line with our statutory responsibilities and our Mission Statement, believes that all children have a right to freedom from abuse and to be treated with respect and dignity.
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy provides clear direction to staff and others about expected codes of behaviour in dealing with child protection issues. It makes explicit the School’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures. This ensures that child protection concerns and referrals may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways which prioritise the needs of the child.
Parents/carers can request a copy of this policy.
There are three main elements to our Child Protection Policy:
- Prevention - positive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to pupils.
- Protection - following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns.
- Support for pupils, school staff and children who may have been abused.
We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, peer support and clear lines of communication with trusted adults help all children, and especially those at risk of or suffering from abuse.
Our School will therefore:
- establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to;
- ensure that children know that there are adults in School who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty;
- include in the PSHE curriculum activities and opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe and/or communicate their ears or concerns about abuse;
- include in the School Curriculum material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills;
- ensure that every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents/carers and colleagues from other agencies.
“Education staff have a crucial role to play in helping identify welfare concerns, and indicators of possible abuse or neglect, at an early stage: referring those concerns to the appropriate organisation ……., contributing to the assessment of a child’s needs and where appropriate to ongoing action to meet those needs……They will also be well placed to give a view on the impact of treatment or intervention on the child’s care or behaviour.” (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010)
Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
Details of their function, procedures and purpose are to be found in the Child Protection Information Pack or www.lancashire.gov.uk/safeguardingchildrenboard.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILTIES
All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children. There are, however, key people within schools and the LA who have specific responsibilities under Child Protection procedures.
The School’s Designated Senior Person (DSP) is Mrs Jo Duckworth (Headteacher), who is responsible under the procedures established by the LA for coordinating action within School and for liaison with other agencies. The backup DSP is Mr Steven Kenyon (SENCo).
It is the responsibility of the School’s Senior Leadership team to take action where the welfare or safety of children is concerned. If staff are uncertain about whether their concerns are ‘child protection’ then a discussion with the DSP will help to determine the most appropriate course of action.
The designated School Governor is Mr Howard Davidson who reports to the Governing Body annually.
The responsibilities of the LA Child Protection Coordinator can be found in Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education, (DCFS 2007) Document A3 in the Child Protection in Education Information Pack. Within the Local Authority advice and support can be provided by Safeguarding in Education Team, LADO, Legal, Schools HR, School Advisor, CAF officer
Where it is believed that a child is suffering from, or is at risk of significant harm, we will follow the procedures set out in the document produced by Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board (2011) and Document A1 in the CP Information Pack – ‘Handling Concerns About the Welfare or Safety of A Child in School.’
- Child protection/safeguarding is included in all staff induction.
- Staff are informed formally at a Staff Meeting at the beginning of each academic year or at any other Staff Meeting, as the need arises, about children at risk. Response will be immediate whenever necessary.
- Non-teaching staff will be informed as necessary.
- Temporary/supply staff are made aware of School Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures.
- The School Prospectus contains a relevant statement to inform prospective parents/carers and a copy of the Child Protection Policy is on the School Website.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT
- Our School will ensure that the Designated Senior Person, the backup DSP and the nominated governor for Child Protection attend training relevant to their role at intervals of not longer than 2 years. The Designated Senior Person and back up DSP will also attend Multi-Agency Child Protection training within this timescale.
- All other School staff will receive basic training on Child Protection every three years by a recognised/experienced professional.
- Governors are also offered training on safeguarding/child protection procedures.
Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection.
Staff will never guarantee confidentiality to a child but advise children that the information they have disclosed may need to be shared with others. (Appendix 2)
Professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them. This has been recognised in principle by the courts.
Any disclosure of personal information to others, (including Children’s Social Care Services), must always have regard to both common and statute law.
Normally, personal information should only be disclosed to third parties (including other agencies) with the consent of the subject of that information (Data Protection Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8). Wherever possible, consent should be obtained before sharing personal information with third parties. In some circumstances, consent may not be possible or desirable but the safety and welfare of a child dictate that the information should be shared. The law permits the disclosure of confidential information necessary to safeguard a child or children. Disclosure should be justifiable in each case, according to the particular facts of the case, and legal advice should be sought if in doubt.
(See also Document A10 (ii) in Child Protection Information Pack)
RECORDS AND MONITORING
Well kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our School is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our School, the status of such records and when these records or parts of these records may be shared with other agencies.
- Child Protection records will be accessed and maintained by designated persons only.
- Child Protection records will be kept in a secure place separate from all other records pertaining to the child.
- Expressions of concern will be maintained as school records in a secure place and accessed only by designated persons.
- If a child leaves or transfers to another school official documentation will be transferred to the receiving school.
TRANSFERRING INFORMATION WHEN A PUPIL LEAVES
Our School recognises how imperative it is that relevant child protection information is forwarded to the receiving establishment as quickly as possible. Such information sharing should occur between the DSP as soon as possible or at least within 15 days of the child’s departure. It is inappropriate to simply forward all documentation as this leaves the former school with no record. All records should be kept securely until the ‘child’s’ 25th birthday, after which they should be shredded.
ATTENDANCE AT TEAM AROUND THE CHILD (TAC)/CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCE
- The Headteacher/DSP will attend Children in Need/Child Protection meetings.
- Important information is provided in the Chapter of the Safeguarding Children Procedures
- ‘Managing individual cases where there are Concerns about a Child’s Safety and welfare – Procedures’
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. Our School may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Whilst at school, their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant and there may even be moves to consider suspension or exclusion from school.
It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
This School will endeavour to support pupils through:
- the curriculum, to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation;
- the School Ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued;
- the implementation of the School Behaviour and Discipline Policy (required under the Code of Practice, 1993 Education Act);
- a consistent approach, which recognises and has a clear understanding of the cause of the behaviour which the child displays. This is vital to ensure that all children are supported within the school setting;
- regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the pupils and their families;
- a commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents/carers, whenever it is in the child’s interests to do so;
- the development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse.
It must be stressed that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol misuse, children may also be particularly vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
SAFER SCHOOLS, SAFER STAFF
All staff/volunteers have received a copy of the document Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (March 2009). The document is discussed fully with staff at the beginning of each school year. Staff also sign to acknowledge receipt of the document
THE COMMON ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK FORM (CAF)
This form should be used when we consider that a child has needs which cannot be met solely by those services and resources which can be accessed directly by School and where, following an assessment of the situation, we believe that co-ordinated intervention is required to promote, safeguard or protect the welfare of the child.
In these circumstances, we will have records detailing what work has been undertaken by our School to support the child and family and why we believe that a more corporate and co-ordinated approach is needed. This information then provides the basis for the completion of the Common Assessment Framework Form. The request for co-ordinated support services for a family should always be discussed with parents/carers unless to do so would place the child or others at risk of harm or delay the intervention.
This form will be completed by the Headteacher/DSP.
Where, following an assessment of a situation, it is considered immediate protective action is required, a child protection referral must be made by the Designated Senior Person/ Headteacher. This referral will be a telephone call/visit to the Assessment Team at the local social services/care office. The multi-agency form should then be forwarded by the nominated officer to Children’s Social Care Services following the child protection referral.
PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW IF A MEMBER OF STAFF IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE OR SAFETY OF A CHILD
- Inform the Headteacher/DSP
- The Headteacher/DSP will then follow LA procedures as outlined in the Child Protection Information Pack and as described in Appendix 1 attached.
- Possible signs and symptoms of abuse are to be found in Appendix 2;
- How to talk and listen to children who want to confide in staff is to be found in Appendix 3.
Hoole St Michael Primary School operates the following policy on its website regarding the use of photographs, to ensure the privacy and safety of pupils at the school:
By observing these points, the school ensures that visitors to the website cannot link images of pupils to names of pupils. When choosing photographs for the website, the school is mindful of the way pupils may appear in them, and will not include images which are in any way inappropriate, such as close-up portrait shots of individual pupils.
- Where pupils are named, only their first names are given;
- Where a pupil is named, no photograph of that pupil is displayed;
- Where a photograph is used which shows a pupil, no name is displayed.
The school follows a policy of seeking parents' permission before using images which show pupils on the website.
No other private information about pupils is ever published on the website such as surnames or contact details
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people.
Staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. School staff will use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately following section 5.32 of the LSCB procedures. http://panlancashirescb.proceduresonline.com/index.htm. This will include making referrals to the Channel programme as appropriate.
Prevent Duty Guidance: