Policies & Procedures



Name Of Policy: Child Protection & Safeguarding

Named Person(s): Pamela Fell (Lead)/Philip Gallagher/Karen Gibb

Review Committee: Board of Trustees

Last review date: January 2016

With reference to :
• Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
• Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015
• Ofsted 2015 Safeguarding Inspection framework

Next review date: January 2017


 

Introduction

GetUStartedTraining, fully recognise the responsibility they have to implement arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students.

Rationale

‘Students have a right to expect school to provide a safe and secure environment’

At GUST we believe that students have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and that they cannot learn unless they feel secure. We also believe that all staff working in school have a right to personal support and guidance concerning the protection of students.

Any fears or worries that students bring into the classroom should not go unnoticed by staff. It is a guiding principle of the law and child protection procedures that the protection and welfare of the student must always be the first priority. The protection of our students is a shared community responsibility. Failure to provide an effective response can have serious consequences for the student. Teachers and other educational staff are in a unique position to identify and help abused students.

Policy aims

  • PREVENTION through the teaching and pastoral support offered to students and the creation and maintenance of a whole school protective ethos.
  • PROCEDURES for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
  • SUPPORT TO STUDENTS who may have been abused.
  • PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE FROM WORKING WITH STUDENTS
    Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the school including community education staff and Trustees. All Associate staff, as well as teachers can be the first point of disclosure for a student.

1. PREVENTION

1.1­ We recognise that high self­esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult helps prevention. We will therefore raise awareness of child protection issues and equip students with the skills to keep them safe.

1.2­ Our schools will therefore:

  • Establish and maintain an environment and positive ethos where students feel secure, supported and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to, can learn, develop and feel valued.
  • Ensure students know that there are adults in our school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  • Include in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for PSHE/Citizenship activities, which equip students with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and know to whom they can turn to for help.
  • Include in the curriculum, material which will help students develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to students care and parenting skills.

2. PROCEDURES

2.1 We will follow the procedures set out in:

  • Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board’s Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual
  • DfE ­ Working Together to Safeguard Children ­ 2015
  • DfE ­ Keeping Children Safe in Education ­ Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges ­ 2015

2.2 Our schools will:

  • Ensure that each has designated senior members of staff, who have undertaken the appropriate training. The training will be updated every two years. There are contingency arrangements should the designated member of staff not be available.
  • Ensure that staff know that any concern should be discussed in the first instance with one of the designated leads or in their absence the head teacher, as soon as possible. If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral.
  • Try to record details of observed injuries or bruising, e.g. “right arm above elbow”. Not take photographs.
  • Ensure all staff are in a position identify concerns early and provide help, to prevent concerns from escalating, including:
    • identifying children who may be in need of extra help or who are
    • being aware that they may be asked to support social workers to make
  • Recognise the importance of the role of the designated person and arrange support and training.
  • Ensure written records of concerns are kept, even if there is no immediate need for referral. Should the child move to another school then information will be sent to the receiving school.
  • Ensure that parents/carers have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection.
  • Undertake appropriate discussion with parents/carers prior to the involvement of another agency, unless the circumstances preclude this.
  • Ensure that it contributes to inter­-agency working in line with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. This includes providing a co­ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter­agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans.
  • Provide training for all staff from the point of their induction, and updated every three years at a minimum, so that they know;
    • the name of the designated person and his/her role.
    • their personal responsibility
    • the NSCB procedures
    • the need to be vigilant in identifying signs of abuse
    • how to support and to respond to a student who tells of abuse
    • That they have an individual responsibility for referring child protection concerns using the proper channels and within the timescales set out in the NSBC procedures.
    • Where the school’s Child Protection Procedures are located.
    • Ensure staff in schools and colleges have all read Keeping Children Safe in Educations 2015: Information for all school and college staff.
  • 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.
  • Notify Social Services if:
    • We have to exclude a student on the child protection register.
    • There is an unexplained absence of a student on the child protection register of more than two days duration from school (or one day following a weekend); (or as agreed as part of any child protection or core group plan).
    • Work to develop effective links with relevant agencies and co­operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance and written reports at initial child protection conferences, core groups and child protection review conferences.
    • Keep clear detailed written records of concerns about students (noting the date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to the local team immediately.
    • Ensure all records are kept secure and in locked locations.
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers recognise their duty and feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to students, and that such concerns are addressed, sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with agreed whistle blowing policies.
  • The School must make a referral to Disclosure and Barring Service if a person poses a risk of harm to children. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

Allegations against the Headteacher

Where an allegation is made against the Headteacher, the Designated Person for Child Protection must inform the Chair of the Board of Trustees, as well as the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) ­ Chris O’Reilly

  • The role of the Named Lead for Child Protection shall be: Pamela Fell
    • Include monitoring the procedures relating to liaison with the LADO, Social Care and the Police in relation to any allegations of child abuse made against the Headteacher, including attendance at Initial Action Meetings.

3. SUPPORTING THE STUDENT AT RISK

3.1 We recognise that students who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of worth and to view the world as benevolent and meaningful. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of self-blame.

3.2 Our schools may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of students at risk. Nevertheless, when at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn.

3.3 We recognise that some students actually adopt abusive behaviours and that these students must be referred on for appropriate support and intervention and will need to support them in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan.

3.4 Each school will endeavour to support the student through:

  • The content of the curriculum to encourage self-esteem and self­-motivation.
  • The school ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment, thus giving students a sense of being valued and ensuring there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback;
  • Ensuring that there are procedures in place to handle allegations against other children.
  • Each school’s behaviour policy is aimed at supporting vulnerable students in the school. All staff will agree on a consistent approach, which focuses on the behaviour of the offence committed by the students but does not damage the student’s sense of self worth. Our schools will endeavour to ensure that the student knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but s/he is valued and not to be blamed for any abuse, which has occurred.
  • Liaison with other services, which support the pupil, such as Social Services, Children and Young Peoples Services, the Educational Psychology Service, Behaviour Support Services and the Education Welfare Service.
  • A commitment to develop productive and supportive relationships with parents/carers whenever it is in a student’s best interest to do so.
  • Recognition that students living in a home environment where domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse are vulnerable and have need of support and protection.
  • Vigilantly monitoring student’s welfare, keeping records and notifying Social Services as soon as there is a recurrence of a concern.

3.5 When a student on the child protection register leaves, information will be transferred to the new school immediately and receipts received confirming the transfer.

3.6 PRIVATE FOSTERING

A private fostered child is defined as one who, being under the age of 16 (or under18 if disabled) is cared for and accommodated by someone other than a parent or close relative.

Private foster carers may be from the extended family such as a cousin or great aunt/uncle. They may also be a friend or the family of another relative.

Children with private foster carers are NOT looked after children but they may be considered to be a vulnerable group.

We have a legal duty to notify the Local Authority of any potential or actual arrangements and refer the situation to our local Children’s Social care team.

4. PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE FROM WORKING WITH STUDENTS.

We will:

  • Operate safe recruitment practices and follow the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) guidelines in respect of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (2009) including ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken.
  • Consult with the designated Children’s Services Officer for Child Protection in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff and adhere to the relevant procedures set out in the school’s Personnel LMS Manual, Appendix C17.
  • Ensure that any disciplinary proceedings against staff relating to child protection matters are concluded in full even when the member of staff is no longer employed at the school and that the notification of any concerns is made to the relevant authorities and professional bodies and included in references where applicable.
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware that sexual relationships with any student in the school are unlawful.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are aware that sexual relationships with students aged under18 are unlawful and could result in legal proceedings taken against them in under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Abuse of a position of trust).
  • Promote responsible use of social networking sites by staff.

5. OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES/DATA

5.1 FGM
Our policy on FGM incidents is set out in a separate document and is reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees.

5.2E­SAFETY
Each school has an E­Safety policy which is reviewed periodically. All staff are aware of this policy and are aware of their responsibility.

5.3 PHYSICAL INTERVENTION
Our policy on physical intervention by staff is set out in a separate document and is reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees. We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person. We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a student may be considered under the child protection or disciplinary procedures.

5.4 ANTI BULLYING
Each school’s Anti Bullying policy is set out in a separate document and is reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees. We acknowledge that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

5.5 RACIST INCIDENTS
Our policy on racist incidents is set out in a separate document and is reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees. We acknowledge that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

5.6 HEALTH AND SAFETY
Our Health and Safety policy is set out in a separate document and is reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees. It reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our students both within the school environment and when away from the school when undertaking school trips and visits.

5.7 CHILDREN WITH STATEMENTS OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED or EDUCATION, HEALTH AND CARE PLANS
We recognise that statistically students with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who deal with students with profound and multiple disabilities, cerebral palsy, sensory impairment and or emotional and behavioural problems are particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.

5.8 CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING
Staff will ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately. If in any doubts about confidentiality, staff will seek advice from a senior manager or outside agencies as required. Up to date advice is available in the document Information Sharing (Dfe March 2015).
The Head of School or designated person will disclose any information about a student to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.
All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard students.
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a student to keep secrets.

5.9 WHISTLE BLOWING POLICY
A copy of The Three Rivers Learning Trust whistle blowing policy is available to staff (displayed in staffroom and in induction pack). Whistle blowing procedures are made clear to all staff through staff training.

6. BOARD OF TRUSTEES STUDENTS PROTECTION RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1 Our Board of Trustees fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to child protection and to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students.

The Trustees should:

  • Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social health and economic education (PSHE), and/or – for maintained schools and colleges – through sex and relationship education (SRE).
  • Ensure a member of the governing body is nominated to liaise with the local authority and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Headteacher, the principal of a college or proprietor or member of governing body of an independent school.
  • Ensure that the school has a child protection policy, staff behaviour policy and procedures in place and operates safe recruitment procedures, makes appropriate staff and volunteer checks and has procedures for dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers.
  • Ensure that schools and colleges create a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children (Part three: Safer Recruitment. Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015).
  • Appoint a member of staff of the school’s team to the role of designated safeguarding lead
  • Must ensure the school keeps an up to date single central record

6.2 It will:

Designate a Lead for child protection who will oversee the school’s child protection policy and practice and champion child protection issues.

Ensure that this policy is periodically updated and reviewed.

6.3 Any extended school facilities or before or after school activities provided directly under the supervision or management of school staff will be considered as covered by arrangements for child protection as written in this policy.

6.4 Where services or activities are provided separately by another body, the Board of Trustees will seek assurance that the body concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place for safeguarding students and child protection and there are arrangements to liaise with the school on these matters where appropriate.

DESIGNATED STAFF WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHILD PROTECTION

  • Pamela Fell (Lead)
  • Philip Gallagher
  • Karen Gibb

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually or earlier if necessary
APPENDIX A: GUIDELINES

A1 Definitions of Abuse

‘Somebody may abuse or neglect a student by inflicting harm, or by knowingly not preventing harm. Students may be abused in a family, an institutional setting, or more rarely, by a stranger. Most young people who are abused know their abuser’

A2 Categories of Abuse

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Neglect
  • Sexual

A2.1 Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional ill treatment of a student such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the student’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to the student that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate; or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on the student. It may involve causing the student to feel frightened or in danger or the exploitation or corruption of the student. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment, although it may occur alone.

Possible Signs of Emotional Abuse

  • Development delay (especially speech and language)
  • Non-­organic failure to thrive
  • Sadness, dejection, withdrawal, isolation
  • Attention/affection seeking
  • Eagerness to please
  • Poor concentration, attention and school performance
  • Poor socialisation, impulsiveness, aggression, offending behaviour inappropriate emotional responses
  • Over ­reaction to mistakes, fear of new situations
  • Depends on age/developmental stage of student

A2.2 Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning scalding, drowning, suffocation or otherwise causing physical harm to the students. It may also be when a parent/carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health in a student they are looking after. This situation is called fabricated or induced illness in a student.

Possible Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Untreated injuries
  • Admission of punishment which seems excessive
  • Fear of parents being contacted
  • Withdrawal from physical contact
  • Flinching at sudden movements
  • Arms and legs covered in hot weather
  • Fear of returning home or of parents being contacted
  • Fear of medical help
  • Aggression towards others

A2.3 Neglect

The persistent failure to meet a student’s basic physical and/or psychological needs. Likely to result in the serious impairment of the student’s health or development. It may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance use.

Once a student is born, it may involve a parent/carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, shelter and clothing (including exclusion from home and abandonment).
  • Protect a student from physical harm or danger
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • Ensure access to appropriate care (including use of inadequate care givers)It may also involve neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a student’s basic emotional needs.

Possible Signs of Neglect

  • Constant hunger
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Constant tiredness
  • Poor state of clothing
  • Emaciation
  • Frequent lateness or non­-attendance at school
  • Untreated medical problems or frequent A&E visits
  • Low self esteem
  • Developmental delay and failure to thrive
  • Poor social relations
  • Compulsive stealing
  • Scavenging for food or clothes

A2.4 Sexual Abuse
Involves forcing or enticing a student to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the student is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative ( rape or buggery) or non­penetrative acts. It may include non­contact activities, such as involving students in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic materials or sexual online images, watching sexual activities or encouraging students to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Possible Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Bruises, scratches, burns or bite marks
  • Abrasions or persistent infections in the genital area
  • Pregnancy

APPENDIX B PROCEDURES

Our responsibility in relation to the students we work with and their potential abuse is:

  • To respond
  • To listen
  • To believe
  • To record
  • To report immediately any unusual comment or occurrence
  • To be discreet
  • Not to investigate
  • Not to ignore

A student has a right to be:

  • Protected
  • Listened to in private
  • Believed
  • Cared for
  • Treated with discretion
  • Helped to protect him/herself

When responding to a disclosure:

  • Listen to what the student is saying
  • Take seriously what the student is saying
  • Do not promise to keep secrets
  • Write down as soon as possible exactly what the student said
  • Tell the designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible
  • Make sure the student is safe
  • Tell the student it is not their fault
  • Do not panic
  • Do not immediately rush off to find someone else to listen
  • Do not make judgements or say anything about the alleged abuser
  • Try not to display any sign of shock or disapproval when a student is making a disclosure

Finally, keep the young person informed of any action you are going to take, where appropriate.

If you are unsure, report the disclosure to the designated Safeguarding Lead who will decide what action to take.