School Logo

Summercroft

Primary School

Achieving through care, challenge and creativity

Contact Details

Child Protection Policy

 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

 

Safeguarding is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that 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.   (Working Together to Safeguard Children, (DfE, 2018), p6)

 

This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the whole school staff and volunteers.  All staff should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding, and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction. This should include the:

 

  • child protection policy, which should amongst other things also include the policy and procedures to deal with peer on peer abuse;
  • behaviour for learning policy and anti-bullying charter
  • staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct);
  • safeguarding response to children who go missing from education; and
  • role of the designated safeguarding lead (including the identity of the designated safeguarding lead and any deputies).
  • copy of Part One Keeping children safe in education (2021) and should be signed to say it has been read and understood.
  • Annex A, condensed version of Part one of KCSiE (DfE 2021). It can be provided (instead of Part one) to those staff who do not directly work with children. 

 

 

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.

 

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures

 

The school follows the procedures established by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP); a guide to procedures and practice for all agencies in Hertfordshire working with children and their families.

https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/index.htm

 

School Staff & Volunteers

 

 

All school and college staff, including supply staff, volunteers and contract workers 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, including online safety (which is updated regularly – Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership advises every three 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. In addition, all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

 

Supply staff, contractors and volunteers will be made aware of the safeguarding policies and procedures by the DSL, including The Child Protection Policy and Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct)

 

Mission Statement

 

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

 

Establish and maintain an ethos and culture where school staff and volunteers feel safe, are encouraged to talk and are listened and responded 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 additional/unmet needs are supported appropriately. This could include referrals to Early Help Services or Child Protection Contacts to specialist services if they are a child in need or have been / are at risk of being abused and neglected.

 

Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. Refer to KCSiE(DfE 2021), pg. 31-33

 

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

 

Implementation, Monitoring and Review of the Child Protection Policy

 

 

 

The policy will be reviewed at least 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 DSL and through staff performance measures.

 

 

 

2. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

 

 

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
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Education Act 2002 (Section 175/157)

          Outlines that Local Authorities and School Governing Bodies have a 

          responsibility to “ensure that their functions relating to the conduct of school         

          are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children 

          who are its pupils”.

  • Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual (Electronic)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, September 2021)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018)
  • The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005
  • Sexual Offences Act (2003)
  • Section 26, The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (PREVENT duty)
  • Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (Section 74, Serious Crime Act 2015)
  • Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry. Includes taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place).
  • Serious Violence Strategy 2018
  • Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges (DfE 2017)

 

 

 

 

3. THE DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD

 

 

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school or college leadership team, is appointed to the role of DSL.

During term time the DSL and or a Deputy will always be available (during school or college hours) for staff in the school or college to discuss any safeguarding concerns and individual arrangement for out of hours/out of term activities will be to contact:

 

  1. LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) Paula Hayden Tel: 07788567908 email:paula.hayden@hertfordshire.gov.uk
  2. Children’s Services 0300 123 4043

 

 

The DSL for Child Protection in this school is:

 

NAME:    Stephen Jess

 

There should be a Deputy DSL (DDSL) in the absence of the lead DSL.

 

The Deputy DSL for Child Protection in this school is:

 

NAME:   Emily Richardson and Clare Bugg

 

 

The broad areas of responsibility for the DSL are:

 

  • Managing Child Protection Contact Referrals and cases

 

  • Contacting the Child Protection Consultation Hub when advice is needed regarding child protection concerns which possibly meet the threshold for statutory intervention

 

  • Completing Child Protection Contact Referrals for all cases of suspected abuse or neglect where there is a risk of significant harm to the child/young person, Police where a crime may have been committed and to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern

 

  • Liaise with the Head Teacher or Principal to inform him/her of issues, especially ongoing enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a Child Protection Contact Referral by liaising with relevant agencies

 

  • Support staff who make Child Protection Contact Referrals and other service referrals

 

  • Share information with appropriate staff in relation to a child’s looked after (CLA) legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an Interim Care Order or Care Order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.

 

  • Ensure they have details of the CLA’s social worker and the name of the virtual school Head Teacher in the authority that looks after the child or those currently working with a to social worker.

 

Training KCSiE  (DfE, 2021)

The DSL should undergo formal training every two years. The DSL should also undertake Prevent awareness training every 3 years.  In addition to this training, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (for example via e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at least annually to:

 

The designated safeguarding lead should undertake Prevent awareness training. Training should provide designated safeguarding leads with a good understanding of their own role, how to identify, understand and respond to specific needs that can increase the vulnerability of children, as well as specific harms that can put children at risk, and the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care, so they:

 

1) Understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and local authority children’s social care referral arrangements

2) Have a working knowledge of how Hertfordshire 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

3) Understand the importance of the role the designated safeguarding lead has in providing information and support to children social care in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

 

4) Understand the lasting impact that adversity and trauma can have, including on children’s behaviour, mental health and wellbeing, and what is needed in responding to this in promoting educational outcomes

 

5) Are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), those with relevant health conditions and young carers

 

6) Understand the importance of information sharing, both within the school and college, and with the safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners

(Full details in Chapter one of Working Together to Safeguard Children)

 

7) Understand and support the school or college with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation

 

8) Are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college

 

9) Can recognise the additional risks that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support children with SEND to stay safe online

 

10) Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses and 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 DSL (DDSL) should:

  • Ensure all staff including part time, contractors, volunteers and supply staff are aware of the school or college’s policies, that these are understood and used appropriately.

 

  • Work with the governing bodies or proprietors to ensure that the school’s or college’s child protection policy is reviewed annually, and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly. 
  • Ensure the safeguarding and child protection policy is available publicly and that parents are aware that advice regarding early help and child protection concerns could be sought from the Consultation Hub and that Child Protection Contact form. Referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made. Ensure parents are aware of the school or college’s statutory role regarding safeguarding of children.
  • Link with Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HSCP) to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding.
  • Help promote educational outcomes by sharing the information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children who have or have had a social worker are experiencing with teachers and school and college leadership staff.
  • Ensure that when children leave the school or college, they ensure the file for safeguarding and any child protection information is sent to any new school/college as soon as possible but transferred securely and separately from the main pupil file. The file should not be sent until the child is physically attending the new school.

 

  • Obtain proof that the new school/education setting has received the safeguarding file for any child transferring and then destroy any information held on the child unless the case is currently open and in line with data protection guidelines (see Record keeping Guidance on Hertfordshire Grid for Learning for further information)

 

  • Consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new school or college in advance of a child leaving. For example, information that would allow the new school or college to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.

 

 

 

 

4. THE MANAGEMENT OF SAFEGUARDING

 

 

Governing bodies and proprietors (in Part two, unless otherwise stated, includes management committees) 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 always effective and comply with the law.

 

The responsibility of governing bodies, proprietors and management committees

include:

  • ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare e.g.

 

-Child protection policy in place

-Staff behaviour policy (sometimes called employee code of conduct)

-Part one, OR

 Annex A (The following is a condensed version of Part one of Keeping children safe in education. It can be provided (instead of Part one) to those staff who do not

directly work with children (if the governing body or proprietor think it will provide

a better basis for those staff to promote the welfare and safeguard children.)  of KCSiE (DfE, 2021)

-Annex B KCSIE (DfE, 2021) on specific safeguarding issues

-Information regarding the role and identity of the designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies), should be provided to all staff on induction

 

  • Governing bodies and proprietors should have a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to take leadership responsibility for their schools or college’s safeguarding arrangements.

 

The nominated governor/ trustee for child protection is:

 

NAME  Sophie Laing

 

The nominated Chair of governors/ Trustees, management committee for child

protection is:

 

NAME  Michael Kirby

 

The nominated Vice Chair of governors/ Trustees, management committee for child

protection is:

 

NAME  Simon Parry

 

  • Headteachers and principals should ensure that the above policies and procedures, adopted by governing bodies and proprietors, and particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by all staff.

 

  • Ensure that the school or college contributes to multi-agency working in line with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE,2018).

 

  • New safeguarding partners and child death review partner arrangements are in place

 

  • Should understand the local criteria for action and the local protocol for assessment and ensure they are reflected in their own policies and procedures. They should also be prepared to supply information as requested by the three safeguarding partners

 

  • Schools and colleges should work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. This includes providing a coordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans.

 

  • Ensuring arrangements are in place that set out clearly the principles for sharing information within the school or college and with the three safeguarding partners, other organisations, agencies and practitioners as required.

 

  • Ensure child protection files are transferred to the new school or college as soon as possible, ensuring secure transit, and confirmation of receipt should be obtained

 

  • Ensure that all staff undergo child protection training (including online safety) at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the local three safeguarding partners (HSCP) 3 years.

 

  • All staff should receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as required, and at least annually

 

  • Opportunity should therefore be provided for staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy.

 

  • Ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety. Schools should consider this as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. Education (for all primary pupils) and Relationships and Sex Education (for all secondary pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) Mandatory since September 2020.

 

  • Governing bodies and proprietors should 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.

 

  • Ensure school have written recruitment and selection policies and procedures in place and at least one of the persons who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training

 

  • Should ensure there are procedures in place (as described in part 4 of KCSiE) to manage concerns and allegations against staff including volunteers and supply staff

 

  • There must be procedures in place to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns or would have been had they not resigned. (refer to Type of DBS checks in KCSiE (DfE 2021) pg. 57

 

  • All staff should be clear about their school’s or college’s policy and procedures with regard to peer on peer abuse.

 

  • Where there is a safeguarding concern, ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide. Systems should be in place for children to express their views and give feedback. Ultimately, all systems and processes should operate with the best interests of the child at heart.

 

  • Ensuring that all of the DSLs, including deputies, should undergo formal child protection training every two years, in line with KCSIE and  HSCP procedures, and receive regular, at least annual, safeguarding updates  via e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments, for example.
  • Prioritising the welfare of children and young people and creating a culture where staff are confident to challenge senior leaders over any safeguarding concerns
  • Ensuring appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place to safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. Additional information to support governing bodies and proprietors is provided in Part 2 of KCSiE (DfE 2021).

 

5. WHEN TO BE CONCERNED

 

 

Knowing what to look for is vital for the early identification of abuse and neglect.  All staff should be aware of the Indicators of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.

Abuse: 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.  Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others.  Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology maybe used to facilitate offline abuse.  Children maybe abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.

 

Physical 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 or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

 

Indicators in a child/ young person

Bruises – shape, grouping, site, repeat or multiple

Withdrawal from physical contact

Bite-marks – site and size

Burns and Scalds – shape, definition, size, depth, scars

Aggression towards others, emotional and behaviour problems

Improbable, conflicting explanations for injuries or unexplained injuries

Frequently absent from school

Untreated injuries

Admission of punishment which appears excessive

Injuries on parts of body where accidental injury is unlikely

Fractures

Repeated or multiple injuries

Fabricated or induced illness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional 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 from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to 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.

 

Indicators in a child/ young person

Self-harm

Over-reaction to mistakes / Inappropriate emotional responses

Chronic running away

Abnormal or indiscriminate attachment

Drug/solvent abuse

Low self-esteem

Compulsive stealing

Extremes of passivity or aggression

Makes a disclosure

Social isolation – withdrawn, a ‘loner’ Frozen watchfulness particularly pre school 

Developmental delay

Depression

Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)

Desperate attention-seeking behaviour

 

Neglect

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, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer 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.

 

Indicators in a child/ young person

Failure to thrive - underweight, small stature

Low self-esteem

Dirty and unkempt condition

Inadequate social skills and poor socialisation

Inadequately clothed

Frequent lateness or non-attendance at school

Dry sparse hair

Abnormal voracious appetite at school or nursery

Untreated medical problems

Self-harming behaviour

Red/purple mottled skin, particularly on the hands and feet, seen in the winter due to cold

Constant tiredness

Swollen limbs with sores that are slow to heal, usually associated with cold injury

Disturbed peer relationships

 

Sexual abuse

 

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving 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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue (also known as peer on peer abuse) in education and all staff should be aware of it and of their school or colleges policy and procedures for dealing with it.

 

Indicators in a child/ young person

Self-harm - eating disorders, self-mutilation and suicide attempts

Poor self-image, self-harm, self-hatred

Running away from home

Inappropriate sexualised conduct

Reluctant to undress for PE

Withdrawal, isolation or excessive worrying

Pregnancy

Sexual knowledge or behaviour inappropriate to age/stage of development, or that is unusually explicit

Inexplicable changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn

Poor attention / concentration (world of their own)

Pain, bleeding, bruising or itching in genital and /or anal area

Sudden changes in schoolwork habits, become truant

Sexually exploited or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners

 

 

If staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately. If staff have a concern, they should follow this policy and speak to the DSL/DDSL. The DSL/DDSL are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to a safeguarding concern.

Any staff member should be able to make a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if necessary.

All staff should be aware of the process for making Child Protection Contact Referrals to Children’s Services for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm - from abuse or neglect) that may follow a Contact Referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.

Staff should not assume a colleague or another professional will take action and share information that might be critical in keeping children safe. They should be mindful that early information sharing is vital for effective identification, assessment and allocation of appropriate service provision.

Options will then include:

  • Managing any support for the child internally via the school or college’s own pastoral support processes.

 

  • Completing a Families First Assessment or making a request for early help support.

 

  •  A Child Protection Contact Referral for statutory services, for example as the child might be in need of services, or suffering / likely to suffer significant harm from abuse or neglect.

 

Extra Familial Harm (formerly contextual Safeguarding)

Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside the school or college. All staff, but especially the DSLs and their Deputies should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.

 

A child centred and coordinated approach to safeguarding

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, each professional should make sure their approach is child centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is based on the principle of providing help for families to stay together where it is safe for the children to do so, and looking at alternatives where it is not, whilst acting in the best interests of the child at all times.

 

Children who may require early help (known as Families First in Hertfordshire)      

Families First is Hertfordshire's strategy for early help for families.  A directory of early help services is available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/familiesfirst which will help practitioners and families find information and support to prevent escalation of needs and crisis. 

 

All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in identifying emerging problems, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment of a child’s needs. It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating.  This also includes staff monitoring the situation and feeding back to the DSL any ongoing/escalation of concerns so that consideration can be given to a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving.

 

If early help is appropriate, the DSL or a Deputy will generally lead on liaising with other agencies and setting up a Families First Assessment as appropriate.

Any child may benefit from early help, but all school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:

  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan);
  • has a mental health need;
  • is a young carer;
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups or county lines;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking, sexual or criminal exploitation;
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
  • has a family member in prison, or is affected by parental offending;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse;
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
  • has returned home to their family from care;
  • is at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation or Forced Marriage;
  • is a privately fostered child; and
  • is persistently absent from education, including persistent absences for part of the school day.

 

School and college staff members should be aware of the main categories of maltreatment:  physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect as well as being aware of the indicators of maltreatment and specific safeguarding issues so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.

 

Children with special educational needs and disabilities:

 Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children.  

This can include:

  1. Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s impairment without further exploration.
  2. Assumptions that children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs.
  3.  Communication barriers and difficulties.
  4. Reluctance to challenge carers, (professionals may over empathise with carers because of the perceived stress of caring for a disabled child).
  5. Disabled children often rely on a wide network of carers to meet their basic needs and therefore the potential risk of exposure to abusive behaviour can be increased.
  6. A disabled child’s understanding of abuse.
  7. Lack of choice/ participation.
  8. Isolation.

 

Peer on peer abuse (child on child)

All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

• Bullying (including cyberbullying).

• Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm.

• Sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault.

• Sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse.

• Up-skirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.

• Sexting (also known as sharing nudes or semi-nudes).

• Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.

All staff should be aware that abuse is abuse and peer on peer abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”.  Furthermore, they should recognise the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse (i.e. that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys’ perpetrators), but that all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.

In order to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse the school:

 

  • Provides a developmentally appropriate PSHE and RSE curriculum which develops pupils’ understanding of acceptable behaviour and keeping themselves safe.  (SCARF curriculum resources adopted across the school)
  • Have systems in place for any student to raise concerns with staff, knowing that they will be listened to, believed and valued.   (Immediate direct conversation with DSL and DDSL, complete CPOMS cause for concern forms, raise concerns at Special Children Meetings)
  • Ensure victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported (use of restorative justice cards, ensure victim is in safe environment away from the perpetrator, addition support for perpetrator to understand the consequences of their actions)
  • Develops robust risk assessments where appropriate (e.g. Using the Risk Assessment Management Plan and Safety and Support Plan tools).
  • Have relevant policies in place (e.g. behaviour policy).  

 

Where there is an allegation or concern that a child has abused others, Section 4.4 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual, ‘Children Who Abuse Others’:

http://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_chil_abuse.html

 

Staff should also refer to Part five of KCSiE (DfE 2021) – Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment’:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2

 

Serious violence

All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime.

  • Increased absence from school
  • Change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups
  • Significant decline in performance
  • Signs of self-harm or significant change in wellbeing
  • Signs of assault or unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained gifts/new possessions 

 

Also refer to Schools Toolkit the characteristics of young peoples’ vulnerability to CSE and CCE on the HGFL;https://thegrid.org.uk/safeguarding-and-child-protection/child-protection/specific-safeguarding-issues/child-sexual-and-criminal-exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. In some cases, the abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increased status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online. More information include definitions and indicators are included in Annex B KCSiE DfE 2021.

 

Mental Health

All staff should be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Only appropriate trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Staff however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.

If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken by following the procedures in this policy and speaking to the schools DSL. 

Prevent: Safeguarding Children and Young People from Radicalisation

Children can be vulnerable to extreme ideologies and radicalisation. Similar to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse, protecting children from radicalisation must be part of all school and college safeguarding approaches.

All schools and colleges are subject to the Prevent Duty under Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the CTSA 2015), in the exercise of their functions to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.”  Pg 133 KCSiE (DfE 2021).

 

There are signs and vulnerability factors that may indicate a child is susceptible to radicalisation or is in the process of being radicalised. It is possible to protect vulnerable people from extremist thinking and intervene to safeguard those at risk of radicalisation. Staff must be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate that they may be in need of Prevent support. They must act proportionately to the concern using the Prevent ‘notice, check, share’ approach, which may lead to the DSL making a Prevent referral. 

 

Local Hertfordshire County Council guidance on Prevent is featured at 6.25 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership CP procedures

https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_prevent_guide.html

 

Which outlines the specific duties in Hertfordshire. This guidance also features advice on making a Prevent referral. (please note at the time of writing this policy 6.25 of the HSCP CP procedures is under review)

 

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass but is not limited to psychological; physical; sexual; financial; and emotional. 

 

All children can witness and be adversely affected by domestic abuse in the context of their home life where domestic abuse occurs between family members. See Appendix 4 for information regarding Operation Encompass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE

 

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.

 

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 might not be possible to keep

 

  • Never promise a child that they will not tell anyone - as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.

 

  • 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 what is being said.

 

  • 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 DSL without delay (if a DSL or Deputy is not available, staff must inform a senior member of staff or complete a child protection contact referral if this disclosure indicates that the child may be at risk of immediate harm and/or have been suffered significant harm to ensure reporting to Police and/or Children’s Services where necessary is not delayed)

 

Third Party Disclosures

Its everyone’s responsibility to report concerns related to children and make referrals to Children Services and the Police if suspected that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse.

Therefore, when safeguarding concerns are shared to the DSL in a school by a parent or member of the public, it is important to note that there is equal responsibility by the complainant to report the matter also directly rather than assume the responsibility is that of the school. If unsure of how to do this speak to the DSL / head teacher and they will advise accordingly.

 

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 DSL.

 

If a school /college staff member receives a disclosure about potential harm caused by another staff member, they should see section 11 of this policy– Allegations involving school staff/volunteers.

 

 

 

 

7. RECORD KEEPING

 

 

All practitioners should be confident of the processing conditions under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR which allow them to store and share information for safeguarding purposes, including information, which is sensitive and personal, and should be treated as ‘special category personal data’.

                                                           

All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing. If in doubt about recording requirements staff should discuss with the DSL.

 

  • Record as soon as possible after the conversation. Use the schools Child Protection Recording system (CPOMS – if you have forgotten your login then contact DSL immediately)

 

  • Ensure the date, time, place is recorded, and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child.

 

  • Use the body map on the schools recording system or the proforma body map available on HGFL, to indicate the position of any injuries and a clear description of the injury.

 

  • Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions.

 

  • Do not destroy the original records in case they are needed by a court.

 

  • All records need to be given to the DSL promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.

 

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

 

Safeguarding records, The Herts Grid

https://thegrid.org.uk/safeguarding-and-child-protection/child-protection/safeguarding-records

 

 

 

8. CONFIDENTIALITY

 

 

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.

 

  • 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. 

 

 

  

9. SCHOOL PROCEDURES

 

 

Please see Appendix 3: KCSiE (DfE 2021) pg.23

 

If any member of staff is concerned about a child, he or she must inform the DSL. The DSL will decide whether the concerns should be raised to Children’s Services and if deemed to have met the threshold a Child Protection Contact Referral will be completed. If a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services is made the DSL will discuss the referral with the parents, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.

 

While it is the DSL’s role to make Child Protection Contact Referrals, any staff member can make a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm (e.g. concern that a family might have plans to carry out FGM, Forced Marriage etc).  In these circumstances a Child Protection Contact Referral should be made to Children’s Services and/or the Police immediately. Where Child Protection Contact Referrals are made by another member of staff, the DSL should be informed as soon as possible.

 

If a teacher (persons employed or engaged to carry out teaching work at schools and other institutions in England) , in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the teacher must report this to the police via 101. This is a mandatory reporting duty. KCSiE (DfE 2021) pg. 131-132:

 

If the allegations raised are against other children, the school should follow section 4.4 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual – Children Who Abuse Others.

 

The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day.  The recording must be a clear, precise and a factual account of any verbal disclosures and observations (record of concern pro-forma is available on the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning).

 

Particular attention should 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 DSL will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the DSL at the receiving school, in a secure manner, and separate from the child’s academic file.

 

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

 

 

 

 

10. COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS

 

 

Summercroft Primary School will ensure the Child Protection Policy is available publicly either via the school or college website or by other means.

Parents should be informed prior to a Child Protection Contact 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.

(The school may also consider not informing parent(s) where this would place a member of staff at risk). 

The school will endeavour to ensure that parents understand the responsibilities placed on the school staff for safeguarding children.

Where reasonably possible schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil and student. KCSiE (DfE 2021) pg. 26.

 

Further guidance around information sharing can be located within; Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (DfE, 2018);

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-practitioners-information-sharing-advice

 

 

 

 

11. ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE MADE AGAINST ADULTS WHO WORK WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

 

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

 

  • 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 which indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children or
  • Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicated they may not be suitable to work with children.

 

This relates to members of staff, supply staff and volunteers who are currently working in any school or college regardless of whether the school or college is where the alleged abuse took place. Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching should be referred to the police. Historical allegations of abuse should also be referred to the police. 

 

What staff should do if they have concerns about another member of staff who may pose a risk of harm to children allegations against a professional:

 

  • If staff have safeguarding concerns, or an allegation is made about another member of staff (including supply staff and volunteers) posing a risk of harm to children, this is to be referred to the headteacher, principal, proprietor of an independent school. 

 

  • Where the headteacher or principal is the subject of an allegation, the chair of governors, or the chair of the management committee or proprietor of an independent school (the case manager), should discuss the allegation immediately with the Local Authority Designated Officer(s) LADO.

 

Staff may consider discussing any concerns with the designated senior lead (DSL) for safeguarding and if appropriate make any referral via them.

 

 

The Chair of Governors in this school is:

 

NAME:                                                           CONTACT NUMBER:                    

 

Michael Kirby                                                01279 307477

 

In the absence of the Chair of Governors, the Vice Chair should be contacted.  The Vice Chair in this school is:

 

NAME:                                                           CONTACT NUMBER:                    

 

Simon Parry                                                  01279 307477

 

 

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.

 

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/Chair of Governors 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 Threshold Guidance may be used to inform this decision – found at

https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_manage_alleg.html

 

Children’s Services – 0300 123 4043

SOOHS (Out of Hours Service-Children’s Services) – 0300 123 4043

 

If the allegation meets any of the four 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 requires a child protection strategy meeting or joint evaluation meeting, this will take place in accordance with section 4.1 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual.

 

If it is decided it does not require a child protection strategy meeting or joint evaluation meeting, the LADO will provide the employer with advice and support on how the allegations should be managed.

 

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:

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual Section 5.1.5 Managing Allegations Against Adults who work with Children and Young People

 

Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with their employer/through the whistleblowing procedure or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them:

 

  • Children’s Services 0300 123 4043
  •  NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

 

What school or college staff should do if they have concerns about safeguarding practices within the school or college?

  • All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school or education setting’s safeguarding arrangements.

 

  • Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, should be in place for such concerns to be raised with the school or college’s senior leadership team.

 

Safer working practice

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 staff handbook/school code of conduct/staff behaviour policy and Safer Recruitment Consortium  document Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings (May 2019) and also Addendum April 2020 available at

https://www.saferrecruitmentconsortium.org/

 

The document seeks to ensure that the responsibilities of school leaders towards children

and staff are discharged by raising awareness of illegal, unsafe, unprofessional and unwise

behaviour.  This includes guidelines for staff on positive behaviour management in line with the ban on corporal punishment (School Standards and Framework Act 1998). Please see the school/college’s behaviour management policy for more information.

 

HSCP escalation and complaints procedure link

https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_resolution_disagree.html

Top