SAFEGUARDING & CHILD PROTECTION POLICY FOR CROWSTONE PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Status: 22/01/16 APPROVED

Policy Written by: Southend Local Safeguarding and Children's Board

Policy Adapted by: Mr S A Thayer

Date Reviewed: January 2016

Headteacher: Mr J Thayer

Next Review: Annual Cycle

This is the Safeguarding Policy for Crowstone Preparatory School (including EYFS).

KEY CONTACTS WITHIN THE SCHOOL

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD:

Mr Simon Thayer

01702 346758

simon.thayer@crowstoneprepschool.com
 

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD (EYFS):

Mrs Bernie Thorn

01702 346758

bernie.thorn@crowstoneprepschool.com
 

DEPUTY DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD:

Mrs Wendy Lewis

01702 346758

wendy.lewis@crowstoneprepschool.com
 

KEY CONTACTS WITHIN THE LOCAL AUTHORITY

SAFEGUARDING & CHILD PROTECTION CO-ORDINATOR and LOCAL AUTHORITY DESIGNATED OFFICER (LADO):

ALLISON FRANCIS

01702 534539

allisonfrancis@southend.gov.uk
 

SAFEGUARDING ADMINISTRATOR:

SHARON LANGSTON

01702 534591

safeguardingforchildren@southend.gov.uk
 

FIRST CONTACT TEAM

Children’s Services, Southend Borough Council: Where schools have concerns for the safety and welfare of a child or young person.

01702 534496, 01702 534707, 01702 534506

Fax: 01702 611478

OUT OF OFFICE HOURS:

To make URGENT referrals

fct@southend.gov.uk (unsecured)

fct@southend.gcsx.gov.uk (secure)

0845 606 1212

 

1. CONTEXT

2. INTRODUCTION

3. SCHOOL ETHOS

4. FRAMEWORK

5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

6. PROCEDURES

7. TRAINING AND SUPPORT

8. PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY

9. RECORDS AND MONITORING

10. ATTENDANCE AT CONFERENCES AND CORE GROUP MEETINGS

11. SUPPORTING PUPILS AT RISK

12. SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDING ISSUES

13. ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING A MEMBER OF STAFF

14. WHISTLE-BLOWING

15. USE OF SCHOOL PREMISES BY OTHER ORGANISATIONS

16. POLICY REVIEW

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


SAFEGUARDING & CHILD PROTECTION POLICY FOR CROWSTONE PREPARATORY SCHOOL

 

1. CONTEXT

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. Schools should work with Social Care, the Police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

(Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE, July 2015)

The document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE, July 2015' MUST be read in conjunction with this policy and should be kept as an appendix to the school’s child protection policy.

2. INTRODUCTION

  1. Crowstone Preparatory School School takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people in its care. “The welfare of the child is paramount” (the Children Act 1989).
  2. Section 157 of the Education Act 2002 places a statutory responsibility on the School to have policies and procedures in place that safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils of the school.
  3. This policy applies to all pupils, staff, parents, volunteers, students and visitors to our school.
  4. There are three main elements to our Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy:
    1. Prevention: By ensuring that we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of all staff and volunteers who work with children, Through establishing and maintaining a safe and positive environment and the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils, By raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
    2. Protection by following agreed procedures and ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns.
    3. Support to pupils who may have/may have been abused (in line with his/her Child Protection Plan, if appropriate).
  5. This school recognises it is an agent of referral and not of investigation.

3. SCHOOL ETHOS

Our school is committed to keeping children safe and aims to:

  • Create a culture of vigilance where the welfare of our pupils is promoted and where timely and appropriate safeguarding action is taken.
  • Establish and maintain an environment where pupils feel safe and secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
  • Ensure that pupils know that there are adults within the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
  • Ensure pupils receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating.
  • Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities which equip pupils with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to develop healthy and safe relationships.
  • Include in the curriculum material which will help pupils develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.
  • Protect children from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and our values and to promote respect for all others.
  • Facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our society is founded and our system of democratic government.
  • Provide a curriculum which actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • Promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), races, genders, ages, disability and sexual orientations.
  • Make parents/carers aware of the school policies and practice for safeguarding and ensure that, wherever possible, every effort will be made to establish open and honest effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from partner agencies.

4. FRAMEWORK

  1. Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children.
  2. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Southend Local Safeguarding Children Board (Southend LSCB)
  3. In Southend, all professionals must work in accordance with the SET Procedures (Southend Essex and Thurrock Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures) (2015) (revised August 2015). Our school also works in accordance with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE, July 2015), ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act’ 2006 (DfE, February 2015) and ‘Working Together to safeguard children’ (DfE, March 2015)
  4. As of July 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (HMG, 2015) placed a new duty on schools and other education providers. Under section 26 of the Act, schools are required, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It requires schools to:
    • teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and must promote community cohesion.
    • be safe spaces in which children / young people can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology, and learn how to challenge these ideas.
    • be mindful of their existing duties to forbid political indoctrination and secure a balanced presentation of political issues.
    • Our school works in accordance with the Prevent Duty and follows the Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism ‘The Prevent Duty’ (DfE, June 2015).
    • Our school approaches this issue in the same way as any other child protection matter. Any concerns that one of our pupils is at risk in this respect, will be referred to Children’s Services in line with the SET procedures.
  5. As of October 2015, the Serious Crime Act 2015 (HMG, 2015) introduced a duty on teachers (and other professionals) to notify the police of known cases of female genital mutilation where it appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18. Our school will operate in accordance with the statutory requirements relating to this issue, and in line with chapter 9, pages 42-44 (Guidelines for School, Colleges and universities) of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation (HMG 2015) and existing local safeguarding procedures.

5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them and to provide a safe environment in which they can learn and achieve their full potential. There are, however, key people within schools and the Local Authority who have specific responsibilities under child protection procedures. The names of those in our school carrying out these responsibilities for the current year are listed at the top of this document.
  2. The Designated Safeguarding Lead in school has responsibility for managing child protection referrals, safeguarding training and raising awareness of all safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures. It is their role to ensure that everyone in school (including temporary staff, volunteers and contractors) is aware of these procedures and that they are followed at all times. They should be a source of advice and support for other staff in relation to child protection matters. It is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to make appropriate and timely referrals to Children’s Services (First Contact Team) in accordance with the current SET procedures. If, for any reason, the Designated Safeguarding Lead is unavailable, a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead has been identified who will act in their absence.
  3. The School and School Leadership Team are responsible for ensuring that the school follows recruitment procedures that help to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children (see ‘Safer Recruitment’ policy for further information).
  4. The Headteacher/Designated Safeguarding Lead will undertake an annual Safeguarding Audit in line with their responsibilities under S.157 of the Education Act 2002.
  5. The school will publish its Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy on the school website alongside ‘Keeping Children safe in Education’ (DfE, 2015).’
  6. The school will actively promote online safety on its website and signpost stakeholders to information that will help keep children safe online.
  7. Southend Child Protection and Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Children’s Services, is available to offer advice and support and to ensure that training is available for the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead.

6. PROCEDURES

  1. All action is taken in accordance with the following guidance:
  2. When new staff, volunteers or regular visitors join our school they are informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They are given a copy of our school’s Child Protection Policy, advised who our Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) is and informed how to share concerns with them.
  3. All Staff are kept informed about safeguarding and child protection responsibilities and procedures through induction, briefings and regular awareness training.
  4. Any member of staff, volunteer or visitor to the school who receives a disclosure of abuse, an allegation, or suspects that abuse may have occurred, must report it immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or, in their absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. In the absence of either of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.
  5. The Designated Safeguarding Lead, or the Deputy, will immediately refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to Children’s Services (First Contact Team), Southend Borough Council (contact numbers are on the cover sheet of this document) and in accordance with the procedures outlined in the SET procedures.
  6. A telephone referral to Children’s Service must be confirmed in writing within 48 hours.
  7. The Early Help Assessment (EHA) should be used to support a child protection referral. (The EHA form and guidance is available on www.southendchildrenspartnership.org.uk and on the Southend LSCB website and Southend Learning Network.. A completed EHA form contains all the information required for a child protection referral and should be sent to the First Contact Team. In cases where there have been mounting concerns about a child, it is likely that an EHA will already have been completed prior to a child protection referral. A telephone referral to the First Contact Team – in cases where there are immediate safeguarding concerns - should be confirmed in writing within 48 hours, using the EHA form to provide the information required. Essential information will include the pupil’s name, address, date of birth, family composition, the reason for the referral, whether the child’s parents are aware of the referral, the name of person who initially received the disclosure, plus any advice given. This written confirmation must be signed and dated by the referrer.
  8. The school will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Services with the parents or carers, unless to do so could place the child at greater risk of harm or impede a criminal investigation. On these occasions advice will be taken from Children’s Services or Essex Police.
  9. If a member of staff continues to have concerns about a child and feels the situation is not being addressed, or does not appear to be improving, the staff member concerned should press for re-consideration.
  10. Safeguarding contact details are prominently displayed in the school office and staff kitchen to ensure that all staff have unfettered access to safeguarding support.
  11. Parents and Carers are informed about our school’s duties and responsibilities under child protection procedures on admission and on the school website.

7. TRAINING AND SUPPORT

  1. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) will undergo updated child protection training at least every two years, in accordance with Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, July 2015). The Headteacher, all staff members will undergo child protection training, which is updated regularly, to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for child protection effectively. A record of all Child Protection training will be kept.
  2. The school will ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (and Deputy) also undertakes training in inter-agency working and other matters, as appropriate.
  3. The Headteacher, in the first instance, will provide support and supervision to staff involved in child protection issues.
  4. All staff are made aware of the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and conduct. These matters form part of staff induction and are referred to in the Staff Handbook / Code of Conduct.

8. PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY

  1. 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. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. A member of staff must never guarantee confidentiality to a pupil, nor should they agree with a pupil to keep a secret as, where there is a child protection concern, this must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and may require further investigation by appropriate authorities.
  2. Staff will be informed of relevant information in respect of individual cases regarding child protection on a ‘need to know basis’ only. Any information shared with a member of staff in this way must be held treated confidentially.

9. RECORDS AND MONITORING

  1. Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our school is clear about the need to record any concern about a child or children within our school, the status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies.
  2. Any member of staff receiving a disclosure of abuse, or noticing signs or indicators of abuse, must make an accurate record as soon as possible noting what was said or seen (if appropriate using a body map to record), putting the event in context, and giving the date, time and location of the incident. The source of the information should be recorded, as well as a note of other people involved, for example, as witnesses, and there should be a clear distinction between fact and professional opinion. All records will be dated and signed, detailing the name and position of the person making the record, and include the action taken. This information will be presented to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy) who will then decide on appropriate action.
  3. These file notes are kept in a confidential child protection file, which is separate from the pupil file. All child protection records are stored securely (i.e., in a locked filing cabinet) and confidentially and are accessible through the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The school should retain the record for as long as the pupil remains at the school. When a pupil with a child protection record reaches statutory school leaving age, the last school attended should keep the child protection file for 35 years after the last entry (in accordance with Essex County Council Policy and acknowledgement of the combined SET procedures) to allow for an access to records request by the child as an adult.
  4. If a pupil transfers from our school to another, their child protection records will be forwarded to the new educational setting without delay, separate from their main pupil file. Care will be taken to ensure confidentiality is maintained and the transfer process is as safe as possible. We keep a copy of the child protection file until we have confirmation from the receiving school that they have received it. Once we have this confirmation, our copy is shredded, other than copies of the specific records that are pertinent to our school (i.e., not CP Conference reports that are held elsewhere), unless there is a specific reason for us to keep it, which will be recorded (for example, we still have siblings in the school and the records relate to them too, or there is an ongoing complaint or request for access to records). We will also keep a record of having received confirmation from the receiving school and of the date when we shredded our copy.
  5. For records of allegations involving a member of staff, please see paragraph 13.6 below.

10. ATTENDANCE AT CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES, CORE GROUP MEETINGS OR CHILD IN NEED MEETINGS

  1. It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that the school is represented at any Child Protection Conference called for children on the school roll, or previously known to them. A report will be made available to the Conference Chair, 48 working hours in advance of the Conference, and shared with the parents/carers before the day of the Conference. Whoever attends the Conference will be fully briefed on any issues or concerns the school has and be prepared to contribute to the discussions at the Conference and express a view, at the end of the meeting, as to whether the child(ren) should be made subject to a Child Protection Plan.
  2. If a child is made subject to a Child Protection Plan, or a Child in Need Plan, it is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure the child is monitored regarding their school attendance, progress, welfare and presentation. If the school is part of the Core Group, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure that the school is represented and provides appropriate information and contributes to the plan at these meetings. Any concerns about the Child Protection plan and/or the child’s welfare will be discussed and recorded at the Core Group Meeting, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of significant harm. In this case the Designated Safeguarding Lead will inform the child’s Key Worker immediately and then record that they have done so and the actions agreed. If there is an unexplained absence of a child subject to a Child Protection Plan, the child’s Key Worker must be notified immediately.

11. SUPPORTING PUPILS AT RISK

  1. Our school is committed to ensuring that our pupils receive the right help at the right time.
  2. Our school may be the only stable, secure and safe element in the lives of children at risk of, or who have suffered, harm. Nevertheless, whilst at school, their behaviour may be challenging and defiant, or they may be withdrawn, or display abusive behaviours towards other children.
  3. Our school will endeavour to support all pupils through:
    • The curriculum; to encourage our pupils to stay safe and to develop healthy relationships, 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’s behaviour management policies.
    • A consistent approach from all staff which will endeavour to ensure that our pupils know that some behaviour is unacceptable, but that s/he is valued.
    • Regular liaison with other professionals and agencies that support the pupils and their families.
    • A commitment to develop open, honest and supportive relationships with parents, always with the child’s best interest as paramount.
    • The development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group, trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
    • Recognition that children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. Therefore, staff who work in any capacity with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and/or emotional and behavioural problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.
    • Recognition that, in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children are vulnerable and may be in need of support or protection.

12. SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDING ISSUES

  1. Our school recognises that there are a number of specific safeguarding issues about which staff need to be aware, including child sexual exploitation (CSE), bullying (including cyberbullying), domestic violence, drugs, safety (including sexting), fabricated/induced illness, faith abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, gangs and youth violence, gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG), mental health, private fostering, radicalisation, teenage relationship abuse, trafficking.
  2. Whilst school will ensure that staff avail themselves of opportunities to raise their awareness and gain knowledge regarding these areas, we recognise that expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support in relation to these issues. Government guidance is available on the GOV.UK website and organisations such as the NSPCC (www.nspcc.org.uk) provide specialist information.
  3. Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
  4. Our school is committed to raising awareness of CSE. [for secondary schools] We have an identified CSE Champion Crowstone Preparatory School who has received training in this area and attends the LSCB Champions’ Forum. Our school uses the LSCB Risk Assessment Toolkit and reports any information to Essex Police on a report form, as well as referring to First Contact Team or for Early Help Assessment, as appropriate.
  5. Our staff are alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or already having suffered FGM. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for illegal procedures, which include the removal of part or all external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM. Staff should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found in the SET procedures and in chapter 3 (pages 16-17) of the FGM Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation (HMG 2015) that can be found on the GOV.UK website.
  6. There is a legal obligation for any suspicion of intended, or actual, FGM to be referred to Children’s Services and/or the Police.

13. ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING A MEMBER OF STAFF

  1. It is essential that the high standards of concern and professional responsibility adopted with regard to alleged child abuse by parents are similarly displayed when members of staff are accused of abuse.
  2. The school works in accordance with statutory guidance and the SET procedures (2015) in respect of allegations against an adult working with children (in a paid or voluntary capacity). Section 7 of the current SET procedures provides detailed information regarding this.
  3. The school has processes in place for reporting any concerns about a member of staff (or any adult working with children). Any concerns about the conduct of a member of staff will be referred to the Headteacher. This role is distinct from the Designated Child Protection Lead as the named person should have sufficient status and authority in the school to manage employment procedures. Staffing matters are confidential and the school must operate within statutory guidance around Data Protection.
  4. Where the concern involves the Headteacher, it should be reported direct to the LADO.
  5. The SET procedures require that, where an allegation against a member of staff has been received, the Headteacher, senior named person must inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (see cover sheet of this document for contact details) within one working day. Where the allegation is against the Headteacher, the Designated Lead will consult with the LADO.
  6. The LADO has overall responsibility for oversight of the procedures for dealing with allegations against staff members. Wherever possible, contact with the LADO should be made immediately, as they will then advise on how to proceed and whether the matter requires Police involvement. This will include advice on speaking to pupils and parents.
  7. In accordance with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE, July 2015) details of allegations that are found to have been malicious should be removed from personnel records. However, for all other allegations, the record should be retained at least until the accused has reached normal pension age, or for a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer. However, cases in which an allegation was proven to be false, unsubstantiated or malicious should not be included in employer references.

14. WHISTLEBLOWING

  1. All staff must be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues in line with the school’s Code of Conduct / Whistleblowing policy.
  2. Any staff member can press for re-consideration of a case if they feel a child’s situation does not appear to be improving. They must refer their concerns to Children’s Services directly, if they continue to have concerns for the safety of a child.

15. USE OF THE SCHOOL PREMISES BY OTHER ORGANISATIONS

  1. Where services or activities are provided separately by another body, using the school premises, the School will seek assurance that the body concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place in regard to safeguarding children and child protection.

16. POLICY REVIEW

The Headmaster is responsible for ensuring;

  • the annual review of this policy.
  • that the list of key contacts on the cover sheet is kept up to date.

 

We recognise there are a number of policies that are relevant to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare. These include the following:

Anti-Bullying (including internet and mobile ‘phone bullying)
Attendance
Behaviour management/student discipline
Children missing from Education
Disability and Equality
Drugs and Substance Misuse
Educating Children with medical needs
Equality Compliance
E Safety
Extended School activities
First Aid
Health and Safety
Looked After Children
Management of Allegations made against Staff
PHSE curriculum
Racial Equality
Recruitment and Selection
Residential trips and schools visits, including exchange visits
Sex & Relationships Education
Staff Handbook (Guidance on Conduct including the use of mobile ‘phones and social media)
Use of Positive Handling and Restraint/Physical Intervention
Visitors’ Policy
Use of Photographs/video
Whistleblowing
Work Placement/Work Experience

Acknowledgement:

We acknowledge the Essex Safeguarding Children Board model Child Protection Policy which contributed to the development of this model policy.

Crowstone: Published January 2016