Keeping children safe in Education (KCSIE) Working together to Safeguard children (WTTSC)
All young people have the right to be protected from harm and their interest and safety are our prime concern. The intention of this policy is to ensure that appropriate action is taken immediately if there is any cause for concern. The Education Act 2002 and the Education [Independent School Standards] regulations 2003 gives proprietors of Independent schools a statutory duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of young people. The school follows the recommended procedures contained in the Government statutory guidelines ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ September 2016 and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018’. This policy applies to all staff, including temporary staff.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead [DSL] is responsible for referring cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies according to the procedures established by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
This Safeguarding policy and Child Protection Procedure is available to parents and staff on the school website and hard copies can also be obtained from the school office. This policy is intended to be used in conjunction with and overarching all school policies and procedures.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead dealing, in the first instance, with all issues is Lynne Highfield.
- to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection
- to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters
- to refer cases of suspect abuse to the local authority
- to refer cases to the Channel Programme after discussion with the Strategic Prevent Lead (Mr. S Mc Burney)
- to ensure all new staff receive induction on Child Protection Procedures
- to ensure the school child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately
- link with local LSCB to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding
- to take time to read and digest safeguarding developments at regular intervals
- liaise with Strategic Prevent Lead (Mr. S Mc Burney) to support the school with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and is able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalization
Olena Nikiforova is the Child Protection Officer, Student Welfare and Accommodation Officer.
- to ensure that the Annual Review of the policy and procedures is carried out
- to ensure that all staff have undertaken Safeguarding Awareness / Introduction training
- (Level 1) with following refresher training in 2 years period.
- to ensure that all staff have DBS check regularly updated (every 3 years)
- to ensure all home stay providers are aware of Safeguarding & Child Protection Procedures
- to ensure that clear, detailed written records of welfare concerns about students are kept secure and confidential
Recognition of child/ young people abuse
Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child / young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child / young person by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults o another child or children /young people.
Categories of abuse:
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 / young person.
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 in so far 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 over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), 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.
Sexual abuse: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not 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 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 / young person’s basic emotional needs.
Child / young person abuse can take place in all strata of society, in families, in institutions, between children / young people and in some situations on an organized basis.
Teachers and other school staff may be in the best position to recognize that a child / young person is at risk and must be prepared to take appropriate actions
- The policy and procedures form an integral part of the school’s pastoral policy and promotion of students’ welfare and is in accordance with the Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- Abuse–which includes bullying and cyber bullying –can be adult to student or student to student. High student self-esteem, confidence and good lines of communication within the community help the prevention of abuse.
- The DSL preserves a distinction between children / young people who have suffered or are at risk of suffering serious harm and those who are in need of additional support from one or more agencies.
- It is important to maintain links with the LSCB.
- The Skills for Life curriculum provides a context within which abuse issues can be explored, including opportunities for helping children/ young people to understand the skills they need to protect themselves.
- All members of staff must be aware of the school’s procedures and the named Designated Safeguarding Lead, and should they not be available, the contingency plans. In the absence of the DSL, a teacher should contact Olena Nikiforova in the office or the most senior teacher available.
- Staff behavior at all times must appropriately follow safe practice with regard to working with young people. Any member of staff who has a query regarding this should contact the designated person immediately.
Dealing with Child Protection concerns
- Any member of staff who is told of any incident (received a disclosure or has a strong suspicion of physical or sexual abuse occurring in the school (by an adult or another student), at home or outside the school, must report the information the same day to a designated member of staff. (This also applies if the member of staff knows of or suspects the same.) In the case of serious harm or abuse within school by a member of staff, the LADO will be consulted within 24 hours. In cases of serious harm, the Police should be informed from the outset. These discussions can be held informally and without naming the individual.
- If the alleged abuse has occurred outside school, the Access and Assessment team at Children’s Social Care are consulted for advice and a referral to our local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub may follow. (See chart for summary of procedures to follow).
- School staff (including the designated staff member) should NOT investigate the reports of abuse themselves. Alleged victims, perpetrators, those reporting abuse and any others involved, should not be interviewed beyond the point at which it is clear that there is an allegation of abuse.
- Staff members should NEVER give absolute guarantees of confidentiality to students wishing to tell them something serious. They should guarantee that they will only pass on information to the minimum number of people who must be told in order to ensure that the proper action is taken NOTHING must be discussed inside or outside school.
- Staff members must reassure a student making a disclosure that it will be taken seriously and that they will take whatever steps they can to protect the informing student from any retaliation or unnecessary stress that might be feared after such a disclosure of alleged abuse has been made.
- Any staff to whom an allegation of abuse is made should remember:
In accordance with KCSIE (September 2016) any member of staff may make a referral to Children’s Social Care.
The School recognises its duty to report to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) within one month of leaving the school any person (whether contracted or student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children. The DBS address for referrals is PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA (telephone 01325 953 795). A referral will also be made to the National College for Teaching and Leadership where a teacher has been dismissed (or would have been dismissed had he/she not resigned) and a prohibition order might be appropriate. The reasons for such an order are: ‘unacceptable professional conduct’, ‘conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute’ or ‘conviction, at any time, for a relevant offence’.
The DSL keeps Child Protection records securely, separate from main student’s files in a locked location.
The School recognises its responsibility to pass on the records of student with whom there are Child Protection issues when the student moves from one school to another educational establishment and this is the responsibility of the DSL.
- take appropriate steps to protect any student involved from risk of immediate harm;
- not interview or investigate further;
- inform the DSL (if appropriate) of the allegation;
- consult with Children’s Social Care and follow their advice about contacting parents, doctor, police, alleged perpetrator or witnesses direct;
- if it is the advice of the Access and Assessment team at Children’s Social Care, make a referral within 24 hours of a disclosure of suspicion of abuse
- agree any steps to be taken in relation to: informing a student’s parents; medical treatment/examination; immediate protection for all involved; informing others at school; informing the placing authority;
- inform the pupil who made the initial allegation of the next steps (when agreed);
- inform the DSL (if appropriate) of action taken.
Subsequent Action: (agreed with Children’s Social Care/ Police as appropriate)
- Ensure longer term protection and support of each student who has made allegations of abuse, or is alleged to have suffered from abuse, taking her/ his wishes fully into account. Seek advice from the relevant statutory bodies before making any formal child protection referral.
- Take any necessary steps to protect and support a student who is alleged to have abused another.
- Ensure that any student being interviewed by the police has available a supportive member of staff, preferably of her/ his own choice to accompany her/him as necessary.
- The school should consider taking, and as necessary should take, Disciplinary action against any member of the school, where it believes students are at risk of abuse from that person, even in cases where there is to be no criminal prosecution.
- A detailed record must be made of all proceedings and this must be updated by the designated member of staff. These records are to be confidential and must be kept in a secure place.
Should the school cease to employ or use any member of staff or student because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with young people, we will report this to the Disclosure and Barring Service within one month of that person leaving the school, giving information about the circumstances surrounding that case.
LADO: 0118 93 73555 – (Local Authority Designated Officer) Ms. Lorraine Campion
MASH: firstname.lastname@example.org 0118 93 73641 (Multi – Agency Safeguarding Hub)
LSCB email: LSCB_GenMail@reading.gov.uk (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board) Ms. Esther Blake
Reading Borough Council
2nd Floor North, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU