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Safeguarding & Child Protection

St Paul's C of E Primary School

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

 

INTRODUCTION

 

St. Paul’s Primary School fully recognises the responsibility it has under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

 

Through their day-to-day contact with pupils and direct work with families, staff at the school have a crucial role to play in noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect and referring them to Social Care via the Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre (Designated Person for Child Protection, Christine Sheppard or Steve Jordan, to refer).

 

This policy sets out how the school’s governing body discharges its statutory responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school.


It is consistent with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures.

 

There are four main elements to our policy:


PREVENTION through the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils and the creation and maintenance of a whole school protective ethos

PROCEDURES for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. The definitions of the four categories of abuse are attached (see Appendix A)

SUPPORTING VULNERABLE CHILDREN: those who may have been abused or witnessed violence towards others.

PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE WORKING WITH CHILDREN

Our policy applies to all staff, paid and unpaid, working in the school including governors. Teaching assistants, mid-day supervisors, secretaries as well as teachers can be the first point of disclosure for a child. Concerned parents may also contact the school and its governors.

 

1. PREVENTION

 

We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult help to protect children.

 

The school will therefore:

 

  • establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure in both the real and the virtual world, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to;
  • ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty and that their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate;
  • include in the curriculum activities and opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safer from abuse both in the real and the virtual world and information about who to turn to for help;
  • include in the curriculum material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to child care and parenting skills.

 

2. PROCEDURES

 

We will follow the procedures set out in the Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board “Core Inter - Agency Procedures” which should be used in conjunction with the Education Child Protection Procedures. A copy of these procedures can be found in the Child Protection file and on the LSCB website www.cambslscb.org.uk


The Designated Senior Members of Staff for Child Protection are Mr Nigel Harris (Deputy Head) and Mrs Jo Chrich (Head).

 

At the after school club we also have Miss Shirlene Flowers and Mr Benedict Henville.

 

The nominated Governor for Child Protection is Matt Pullen

 

The school will:

 

  • ensure that the Designated Members of Staff have their training updated every two years in accordance with government guidance;
  • recognise the importance of the role of the designated persons and ensure they have the time and training to undertake their duties which include providing advice and support to staff, taking part in inter-agency meetings and contributing to the assessment of children in need;
  • Ensure that the designated members of staff will take advice from a child protection specialist when managing complex cases. 
  • Ensure that the designated members of staff will be contactable by telephone if they are both off site.

 

The school will ensure every member of staff, paid and unpaid, and every governor knows:

 

  • the name of the designated persons and their role;
  • how to pass on and record concerns about a pupil
  • that they have an individual responsibility to be alert to the indicators of abuse and for referring child protection concerns to the Designated Person(s)
  • where the Core Inter – Agency Procedures and Education Child Protection Procedures are located on the LSCB website;

 

The school will provide training for all staff from the point of their induction, and updated every three years at a minimum, so that they know:

 

  • the school’s legislative responsibility
  • their personal responsibility 
  • the school’s policies and procedures 
  • the need to be alert to the signs and indicators of possible abuse including possible child sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation and risk of radicalisation
  • the need to record concerns
  • how to support and respond to a child who tells of abuse

 

The school will ensure that all staff, paid and unpaid, recognise their duty and feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children and that such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with agreed whistle-blowing policies.

 

Liaison with Other Agencies

 

The school will:

 

1. work to develop effective links with relevant services to promote the safety and welfare of all pupils.

2. notify the local Social Care Unit if:

  • it should have to exclude a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan 
  • (whether fixed term or permanently)
  • there is an unexplained absence of a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan
  • there is any change in circumstances to a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan

 

Record Keeping

 

The school will:

 

  • keep clear, detailed, accurate written records of concerns about children (noting the date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to Social Care immediately;
  • ensure all records are kept secure and in locked locations;
  • ensure all child protection records are sent to the receiving school or establishment when a pupil moves schools in accordance with the Education Child Protection Record Keeping Guidance.

 

Confidentiality and information sharing

 

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 principles. The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.

Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parents to see child protection requests, they will refer the request to the Designated Person or Headteacher.

Staff will ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately. If in any doubt about confidentiality, staff will seek advice from a senior manager or Social Care Team as required.

 

The Headteacher or Designated Teachers will disclose any information about a pupil 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 children.

 

All staff must be clear with children that they cannot promise to keep secrets.

 

Communication with Parents

 

The school will:

 

  • undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement of another agency unless the circumstances preclude this action. 
  • ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations in the school brochure.

 

3. SUPPORTING VULNERABLE CHILDREN

 

We recognise that abuse or witnessing violence may have an adverse impact on those children which may last into adulthood without appropriate intervention and support.

 

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

 

We recognise that some children actually adopt abusive behaviours and that these children must be referred on for appropriate support and intervention.

 

The school's behaviour policy is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. All staff will agree on a consistent approach, which focuses on the behaviour of the child but does not damage the pupil's sense of self worth. The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but s/he is valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred;

 

The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:

 

  • cross-curricular opportunities to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation 
  • the school ethos that actively promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and values people.
  • liaison with other agencies which support the pupil such as Social Care, Child and
  • Adolescent Mental Health Services and the Locality Teams
  • a commitment to develop productive and supportive relationships with parents;
  • recognition that children living in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse are vulnerable and in need of support and protection;
  • vigilantly monitoring children’s welfare, keeping records and notifying Social Care as soon as there is a recurrence of a concern.

 

When a pupil who is subject to a child protection plan leaves, information will be transferred to the new school immediately. The Child Protection Review Manager and Key Worker from Social Care will also be informed. We will follow the procedures for children that ‘Missing from Education’.

 

Children of Substance Misusing Parents/Carers

 

Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol is strongly associated with Significant Harm to children, especially when combined with other features such as domestic violence.

 

When the school receives information about drug and alcohol abuse by a child’s parents/carers they will follow appropriate procedures.

 

This is particularly important if the following factors are present:

 

  • Use of the family resources to finance the parent’s dependency, characterised by inadequate food, heat and clothing for the children
  • Children exposed to unsuitable caregivers or visitors, e.g. customers or dealers
  • The effects of alcohol leading to an inappropriate display of sexual and/or aggressive behaviour
  • Chaotic drug and alcohol use leading to emotional unavailability, irrational behaviour and reduced parental vigilance
  • Disturbed moods as a result of withdrawal symptoms or dependency
  • Unsafe storage of drugs and/or alcohol or injecting equipment
  • Drugs and/or alcohol having an adverse impact on the growth and development of the unborn child

 

Domestic Abuse

 

Where there is Domestic Abuse in a family, the children/young people will always be affected; the longer the violence continues, the greater the risk of significant and enduring harm, which they may carry with them into their adult life and relationships.

Head Teachers should be notified of Domestic Abuse incidents involving children and young people on their roll and will take appropriate action to ensure children and young people are kept safe in accordance with the Domestic Violence Guidance for Schools.

 

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

 

Female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is a surprisingly common form of abuse in the UK.

 

FGM is carried out on children between the ages of 0–15, depending on the community in which they live. It is extremely harmful and has short and long term effects on physical and psychological health.

 

FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and is illegal in most countries, including the UK.

 

The school takes these concerns seriously and staff will be made aware of the possible signs and indicators that may alert them to the possibility of FGM. Any indication that FGM is a risk, is imminent, or has already taken place will be dealt with under the child protection procedures outlined in this policy.

 

The Designated Person will make appropriate and timely referrals to Social Care if FGM is suspected. In these cases, parents will not be informed before seeking advice. The case will still be referred to Social Care even if it is against the pupil’s wishes.

 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

 

Child Sexual Exploitation involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something 9for example food, drugs, alcohol, gifts or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

 

Sexual exploitation can take many different forms from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship to serious organized crime involving gangs and groups.

 

Exploitation is marked out by an imbalance of power in the relationship and involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation and sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming.

 

It is important to recognize that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not show any external signs of this abuse and may not recognize it as abuse.

 

Young people who go missing can be at increased risk of sexual exploitation and so procedures are in place to ensure appropriate response to children and young people who go missing, particularly on repeat occasions.

 

Schools will complete the LSCB Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool and refer to the Multi-Agency Referral Unit if there is a concern that a young person may be at risk.


4. PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE FROM WORKING WITH CHILDREN

 

The school will operate safer recruitment practices including ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken according to the government guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2014) and the Local Authority’s Safer Employment Policy.

The following members of staff have undertaken Safer Recruitment training : Mr Steve Jordan, Mrs Christine Sheppard.

Any allegation of abuse made against a member of staff will be reported straight away to the Head Teacher or Principal. In cases where the Head Teacher or Principal is the subject of an allegation, it will be reported to the Chair of Governors.The school will follow the procedures set out in Part four of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

 

Under Section 75 of the Childcare Act, 2006 individuals are disqualified from childcare provision if they have committed certain specified offences. Staff may also be disqualified “by association” if they are living or working in the same household as a person who is disqualified. This applies to any member of staff employed in early years childcare (up to the age of 5) or later years childcare (up to the age of 8) in nursery, primary or secondary school settings or the management of such settings. Staff should sign a self-declaration form to confirm that they are not “disqualified by association”. A record of self-declaration should be kept on the school’s Single Central Record.

 

The school will consult with the Local Authority Named Senior Officer in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff and adhere to the relevant procedures set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education and the school's Personnel Manual from EPM Ltd.

 

The Named Senior Officer will liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) ensuring that all allegations are reported to the LADO within one working day. Following consultation with the LADO, the Named Senior Officer will advise on all further action to be taken. The Head Teacher or Chair of Governors will not seek to interview the child/ren or members of staff involved until advice has been sought. Doing so may compromise any police interviews that may be necessary.

 

The school will 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 notification of any concerns is made to the relevant authorities and professional bodies and included in references where applicable.

 

Staff who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly, and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not mandatory, nor is it automatic but, in some cases, staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that children are protected.


Consideration must be given to the needs of the child and a recognition that a child may make an allegation against an innocent party because they are too afraid to name the real perpetrator. It is rare for a child to make an entirely false or malicious allegation, although misunderstandings and misinterpretations of events do happen.

 

The school will ensure that all staff, paid and unpaid, are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationships with pupils and parents/carers as advised within the Local Authority’s Code of Conduct. As part of the Induction process, all staff will receive guidance about how to create appropriate professional boundaries (in both the real and virtual world) with all children, especially those with a disability or who are vulnerable.

 

All staff have signed to confirm that they have read a copy of the Local Authority’s Code of Conduct, Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (March 2009, DCSF).

 

The school will ensure that communication between pupils and adults, by whatever method, are transparent and take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries and are open to scrutiny.


5. OTHER RELATED POLICIES

 

Physical Intervention


Our policy on physical intervention by staff is set out in a separate document and is reviewed by the governing body. We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, and that at all times it must be the minimum force necessary to prevent injury to themselves, another person or property *
* DfES Guidance, Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils

 

Anti-Bullying


Our policy on anti-bullying is set out in a separate document and is reviewed by the governing body. We expect staff to acknowledge that to allow or condone bullying constitutes a lack of duty of care may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

 

Racist Incidents


Our policy on racist incidents is set out in a separate document and is reviewed by the governing body. The school records racist incidents online as part of LA monitoring. We acknowledge that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

 

E-Safety and Acceptable Use 


Our policies on e-safety and acceptable use, set out in a separate document, are reviewed by the governing body. They reflect the balance needed between the exciting opportunities offered by the internet and other technologies and the need for pupils and staff to keep themselves safe and deal sensibly with risk.


Health and Safety


Our Health and Safety policy, set out in a separate document, is reviewed by the governing body. It reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children both within the school environment and when away from the school when undertaking school trips and visits.

 

Children with Special Educational Needs


We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who deal with children with complex and multiple disabilities and/or emotional and behavioural problems should be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.

 

As part of the PSHE curriculum staff will teach children personal safety skills commensurate with their ability and needs. Children will be taught personal safety skills such as telling and who to tell, good and bad touches and good and bad secrets.

 

6. GOVERNING BODY CHILD PROTECTION RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The governing body fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to child protection
and to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.


It will:

 

  • designate a governor for child protection – Mr Matt Pullen - who will monitor the school’s child protection policy and practice and champion child protection issues: 
  • ensure an annual report is made to the governing body, and copied to the Education Child Protection Service, on child protection matters to include changes affecting CP policy and procedures , child protection training received, the number of incidents/cases (no names) and child protection in the curriculum;
  • ensure that this policy is annually reviewed, updated and copied to the Education Child Protection Service and available on the School website.

 

Extended Schools and Before and After School Activities


For before school and after school activities directly under the supervision or management of school staff, the school’s arrangements for child protection as written in this policy shall apply.

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