Reviewed annually. Next review September 2020 (or as required by Statutory Guidance)
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 gives maintained schools a statutory duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of children, and have due regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
This school recognises its legal and moral duty to promote the well-being of children, and protect them from harm, and respond to child abuse. We acknowledge our responsibilities to both protect children from maltreatment and prevent impairment. We will promote their welfare by creating opportunities for them to achieve their full potential, thus giving them optimum life chances in adulthood.
We believe that every child regardless of age has at all times and in all situations a right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that results in a child being physically or psychologically damaged. This includes any form of bullying (for example, racist).
We recognise that many of the risks to children in the ‘real world’ equally apply to ‘virtual world’ that children and young people may encounter when they use ICT in its various forms. We take seriously our responsibility to educate our children to help them to become safe and responsible users of new technologies, and allow them to be discriminating users of both the content they discover and the contacts they make online. Our aim is to teach them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to remain both safe and legal online, wherever and whenever they use technology.
We agree that we have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge, and we will carry out this duty through our teaching and learning extra curricular activities, pastoral care and extended school activities. In order to achieve this, all members of staff (including volunteers and governors) in this school, in whatever capacity, will at all times act proactively in child welfare matters especially where there is a possibility that a child may be at risk of significant harm.
The school seeks to adopt an open and accepting attitude towards children as part of our responsibility for pastoral care. The school hopes that parents and children will feel free to talk about any concerns and will see school as a safe place if there are any difficulties at home.
Children’s worries and fears will be taken seriously if they seek help from a member of staff. However, staff cannot promise secrecy if concerns are such that referral must be made to the appropriate agencies in order to safeguard the child’s welfare. However, the child's wishes and feelings will be taken into account when determining what actions to take and what services to provide, where appropriate.
Our school believes in the importance of early identification of issues for children and young people (see our 'Offer of Early Help'). We fully endorse the principles of multi-agency working.
In our school, if we have suspicions that a child’s physical, sexual or emotional well-being is being, or is likely to be harmed, or that they are being neglected, we will take appropriate action in accordance with the procedures of South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Partners which are to be found at swcpp.org.uk.
All members of school staff have read and follow the latest Government guidance, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2018) and 'What to do if you are worried that a child is being abused'.
As a consequence, we
Some of the specific safeguarding issues faced by young people are outlined below. Annex A of 'Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018' contains additional information about these and other specific safeguarding issues - children and the court system, children missing from education, children with family members in prison, child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation: county lines, domestic abuse, homelessness, so-called 'honour-based' violence and sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges.
Types of abuse and neglect
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. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse that 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.
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 upon 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 to frequently 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.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of 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 (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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 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 and abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. it may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.
Staff are also aware that safeguarding issues can manifest as peer on peer abuse, including:
There is no clear boundary between incidents that should be regarded as abusive and incidents that are more properly dealt with as bullying, sexual experimentation etc. This is a matter for professional judgement.
At our school we will minimise the risk of allegations against other children by:
Our Good Behaviour policy seeks to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse. Incidents of this type will recorded, investigated and dealt with and victims & perpetrators will be supported appropriately. This type of abuse is unacceptable will be treated seriously and will not be passed off as 'banter' or 'having a laugh'. There is a recognition that there can be a gendered nature to this type of abuse but all types of this abuse are taken seriously.
We will endeavour to support children with difficulties by:
It is also recognised that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. These can include:
To address the above, we provide close pastoral support for children with SEN and disabilities.
Safeguarding incidents/ behaviour can be associated with factors outside of school and can occur between children outside of school. Our staff and designated safeguarding lead will consider the context within which such incidents/ behaviour occurs. This is contextual safeguarding which means that assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child's life that are a threat to their safety or welfare. Accordingly, we will provide as much information as possible as part of the referral process to social care, where appropriate.
When children go missing from education (particularly on repeat occasions) to help identify the risk of abuse/ neglect we will inform the Local Authority when we remove a child from roll at standard and non-standard times. We will keep more than one emergency contact number for all our children.
Difference between a concern and immediate danger or at risk of harm
If staff members have any concerns about a child (as opposed to a child being in immediate danger) they will need to decide what action to take, Where possible, there should be a conversation between the designated safeguarding lead to agree a course of action, although any staff member can make a referral to children's social care. Other options could include a referral to specialist or early help services and should be made in accordance with the referral threshold set by the local Safeguarding Children Board / Partners. 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. Where referrals are not made by the designated safeguarding lead, they should be informed, as soon as possible, that a referral has been made. If a child's situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point. Staff will maintain an attitude of 'it could happen here' and will endeavour to always act in the best interests of the child.
The designated Safeguarding Governor is ANDREW GAZARD (Chair of Governors)
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is TINA WILSON
To be effective they will:
The designated person also has an important role in ensuring all staff and volunteers receive appropriate training. They should:
The Designated Governor for Child Protection at this school is
Child protection is important. Where appropriate, the Governors will ensure that sufficient resources are made available to enable the necessary tasks to be carried out properly under inter-agency procedures.
The Governors will ensure that the designated member of staff for child protection is given sufficient time to carry out his or her duties, including accessing training.
The Governors will review safeguarding practices in the school on a regular basis, and no less than annually (through a Safeguarding report to Governors), to ensure that:
In order to ensure that children are protected whilst at this school, we will ensure that our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised.
We accept that it is our responsibility to follow the guidance set out in ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education”, in particular:
We will ensure that at least one member of any interview panel has completed certified NSCL Safer Recruitment Training.
In addition, we will ensure that the following checks are satisfactorily completed before a person takes up a position in the school:
We understand that some people otherwise unsuitable for working with children may use volunteering to gain access to children; for this reason, any volunteers in the school, in whatever capacity, will be given the same consideration as paid staff.
Where a parent or other volunteer helps on a one-off basis, he/she will only work under the direct supervision of a member of staff, and at no time have one to one contact with children. However, if a parent or other volunteer is to be in school for regulated activities or over a longer period then they will be risk assessed and possibly checked to ensure their suitability to work with children (enhanced DBS check).
All new members of staff will receive induction training, which will give an overview of the organisation and ensure they know its purpose, values, services and structure, as well as identifying and reporting abuse, and confidentiality issues.
All new staff at the school (including volunteers) will receive basic child protection information and have access to a copy of this policy prior to commencing their work at the school.
All staff will be expected to attend training on safeguarding children that will enable them to fulfil their responsibilities in respect of child protection effectively. The school will provide this training through the designated person.
Staff will attend Local Authority refresher training every three years, and the designated person every two years. Staff will also receive 'annual training' and regular updates.
Members of staff and volunteers are not required by this school to investigate suspicions; if somebody believes that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering significant harm, they must always refer such concerns to the designated person, who will refer the matter to the relevant Children’s Services.
To this end, volunteers and staff will follow the procedures below;
They must record what they have seen, heard or know accurately at the time the event occurs, and share their concerns with the designated person (or head teacher if an allegation about a member of staff) and agree action to take.
We will ensure that all members of staff and employees are familiar with the procedures for keeping confidential written record of any incidents and with the requirements of SG Safeguarding Partners.
Where any member of staff fails to report their concerns, this may be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.
For further details see attached 'flowchart'.
As well as ensuring that we address child protection concerns, we will also ensure that children who attend the school are kept safe from harm whilst they are in our charge.
To this end, this policy must be seen in light of the school’s policies on:
When a child is educated by an Alternative Provider, the school will obtain written confirmation that the Alternative Provider has completed all the relevant staff checks.
We understand that parents like to take photos of or video record their children in the school play, or at sports day, or school presentations. This is a normal part of family life, and we will not discourage parents from celebrating their child’s success.
However, if there are Health and Safety issues associated with this – i.e. the use of a flash when taking photos could distract or dazzle the child, and cause them to have an accident, we will encourage parents to use film or settings on their camera that do not require flash.
We will not allow others to photograph or film pupils during a school activity without the parent’s permission.
We will not allow images of pupils to be used on school websites, publicity, or press releases, without express permission from the parents, and if we do obtain such permission, we will not identify individual children by name.
The school cannot however be held accountable for photographs or video footage taken by parents or members of the public at school functions.
As schools increasingly work online it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. As such the governing body should ensure that appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place. Whilst it is essential that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place we must be careful that 'overblocking' does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding. We will promote the benefits of modern technology to aid learning but we are also aware of the dangers that can be encountered by pupils when accessing the internet or using technology. We recognise that some children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G and 4G. At present we do not allow children to have mobile phones at school. All staff children and visitors to the school must adhere to the E-Safety policy.
Looked after Children
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. The designated safeguarding lead must ensure they have the information needed in relation to a child's looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangement with the consent of parents or an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. Information about the child's care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child must also be known. The DSL should also have the details of the child's social worker and the name of the virtual school head in the Local Authority that looks after the child. The Governing body must appoint a designated teacher (Mrs Dix) to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after and to ensure that this person has appropriate training.
A previously looked after child potentially remains vulnerable and all staff should have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep them safe. When dealing with previously looked after children and looked after children we will endeavour to work closely with all agencies involved and take prompt action when necessary to safeguard this particularly vulnerable group of children. Local authorities have on-going responsibilities to previously looked after children and care leavers, which includes keeping in touch with them, preparing an assessment of their needs and appointing a personal advisor. Our designated safeguarding lead should have details of the personal advisor and liaise with them as necessary regarding any issue of concern with the care leaver.
Private fostering occurs when a child under 16 years (under 18, if disabled) is provided with care and accommodation by a person who is not a parent, person with parental responsibility for them or a relative in their own home. A child is not privately fostered if the person caring for and accommodating them has done so for less than 28 days and does not intend to do so for longer. If such arrangements come to the attention of school staff we will notify the local authority and allow them to check the arrangement is suitable and safe for the child.
Virtual School Heads
(The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities in England to appoint at least one person for the purpose of discharging the local authority's duty to promote the educational achievement of its looked after children. That person (known as the virtual school head) must be an officer employed by the local authority)
The schools designated teacher will work with the virtual school head to discuss how the funding can be best used to support the progress of looked after children in the school and meet the needs identified in the child's personal education plan.
The school, and all members of staff at the school, will ensure that all data about pupils is handled in accordance with the requirements of the law, and any national and local guidance.
Any member of staff who has access to sensitive information about a child or the child’s family must take all reasonable steps to ensure that such information is only disclosed to those people who need to know.
Regardless of the duty of confidentiality, if any member of staff has reason to believe that a child may be suffering harm, or be at risk of harm, their duty is to forward this information without delay to the designated member of staff for child protection.
We recognise that information sharing between practitioners and local agencies is vital in identifying and tackling all forms of abuse and neglect. We will endeavour to proactively share information with Safeguarding Partners and other agencies as early as possible to help identify, assess and respond to risks about the welfare and safety of children. We recognise that The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information will not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. Staff who need to share 'special category personal data' are aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 contains 'safeguarding of children and individuals at risk' as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information. This includes allowing practitioners to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Conduct of Staff
The school has a duty to ensure that professional behaviour applies to relationships between staff and children, and that all members of staff are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour and professional boundaries. (see 'Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults Who work With Children' Oct 2015)
At all times, members of staff are required to work in a professional way with children. All staff should be aware of the dangers inherent in:
If any member of staff has reasonable suspicion that a child is suffering harm, and fails to act in accordance with this policy and SG Safeguarding Partners procedures, we will view this as misconduct, and take appropriate action
Members of staff may have to make physical interventions with children. Members of staff should only do this where:
If anyone makes an allegation that any member of staff (including any volunteer) or Governor may have:
The allegation will be dealt with in accordance with national guidance and agreements, as implemented locally by SG Safeguarding Partners.
The head teacher, rather than the designated member of staff will handle such allegations, unless the allegation is against the head teacher, when the chair of governors will handle the school’s response.
The head teacher (or chair of governors) will gather information about the allegation, and report these without delay to the Local Authority. Staff should also be aware of the NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline (0800 028 0285)
In order for schools to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation as part of our safeguarding duties. The statutory guidance makes clear that schools are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This means being able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting children and young people in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them.
The general risks affecting children and young people may vary from area to area, and according to their age. Schools are in an important position to identify risks within a given local context.
It is important that schools understand these risks so that they can respond in an appropriate and proportionate way. At the same time schools should be aware of the increased risk of online radicalisation, as terrorist organisations such as ISIL seek to radicalise young people through the use of social media and the internet.
There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which would indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to fide their views.
School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately.
Even very young children may be vulnerable to radicalisation by others, whether in the family or outside, and display concerning behaviour. The Prevent duty does not require teachers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but as with any other safeguarding risk, they must take action when they observe behaviour of concern, such as referring cases to the Channel multi-disciplinary organisation, where appropriate.
The safeguarding procedures outlined above need to be followed in exactly the same way should staff have a concern about potential radicalisation or undue influences.
Honour Based Violence
So called 'honour based' violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. If in any doubt, staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse which involves children and young people (male and female), of a range of ethnic origins and ages receiving something in exchange for sexual activity. Perpetrators of child sexual exploitation are found in all parts of the country and are not restricted to particular ethnic groups. It is important that staff are aware of the risk factors and alert the school’s designated officer if there are concerns.
Key indicators of children being sexually exploited which can include:
Practitioners should also be aware that many children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation do not recognise themselves as such.
In the same way as staff should be vigilant to the risk factors of sexual exploitation the same is relevant for Female Genital Mutilation. Staff should be aware of these risk factors through ongoing training. Fundamentally any concerns relating to children or older siblings who may be at risk need to be identified to the Police.
Where the Governing Body transfers control of use of school premises to bodies (such as sports clubs) to provide out of school hours activities, we will ensure that these bodies have appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures, and that there are arrangements in place to link with the school on such matters. Such considerations will be made explicit in any contract or service level agreement with the bodies.
Where the Governing Bodies contracts its services to outside providers, we will ensure that these providers have appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures, and that there are arrangements in place to link with the school on such matters. Such considerations will be made explicit in any contract or service level agreement with the provider.