Child Protection Policy

1.Introduction and Context

1.1  ACADEMY AIMS

A partnership of pupils, parents and staff working together for:

·         self improvement

·         academic achievement

·         equality of opportunity

·         raising expectations

·         evolving technological skills

·         development of personal skills

1.2 Our responsibilities

The O’Brien Language Centre (Academy) fully recognises its responsibilities for Child Protection and Safeguarding, this Policy sets out how the School/college will deliver these responsibilities.  This is an overarching policy.

Child as written in this policy is a child until 16.

A vulnerable adult as written into this policy (only when relevant / have pupils in this category) is so defined as still in the setting and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age, or illness, who is unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself from significant harm or exploitation.  

This policy should be read in conjunction with:

 ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (July 2018) which is statutory guidance to be read and followed by all those providing services for children and families, including those in education.

“Keeping Children Safe in Education” 3rd September 2018 which is the statutory guidance for Schools and Colleges. 

 “What to do if worried a child is being abused” (March 2015)

“Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (July 2018)

“The Prevent Duty Departmental, advice for Schools and child care providers” (June 2015).

Furthermore, we will follow the Procedures set out by the local Derby City & Derbyshire Safeguarding Childrens Board.

In accordance with the above procedures, we carry out a regular audit of our Safeguarding provision.

1.3   Our Principles

Safeguarding arrangements at the Academy are underpinned by three key principles:

  • Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: all Staff and should play their full part in keeping children (includes vulnerable adults when in their setting) safe;
  • We will aim to protecting children using national, local and school child protection procedures;
  • That all Staff anyone who has contact with a child or young person have a clear understanding regarding abuse and neglect in all forms; including how to identify, respond and report. This also includes knowledge in the process for allegations against professionals.  Staff, should feel confident that they can report all matters of Safeguarding in the Academy where the information will be dealt with swiftly and securely, following the correct procedures with the safety and wellbeing of the children in mind at all times.
  • That we operate a child-centred approach: a clear understanding of the needs, wishes, views and voices of children.

1.4    Our Policy

There are 6 main elements to our Policy, which are described in the following sections:

  • The types of abuse that are covered by the policy;
  • The signs of abuse that that all Staff / anyone who has contact with a child or young person including Governors and volunteers  should look out for;
  • How to report a concern, who to go to within the academy
  • Roles and responsibilities for Safeguarding;
  • Expectations of all Staff with regard to Safeguarding, and the procedures and processes that should be followed, including the support provided to children;
  • How the Academy will ensure that all Staff / anyone who has contact with a child are appropriately trained; this includes, receiving regular updates and undertaking annual whole school training in safeguarding.
  • Are checked for their suitability to work within the School/college;
  • How the policy will be managed and have its delivery overseen.

Through implementation of this policy we will ensure that our Academy provides a safe environment for children (and vulnerable adults when in their setting) to learn and develop.  We will cross reference to other policies relevant to our safeguarding in the school/college and make reference to them in this policy where relevant. 

2.Types of Abuse

2.1   Children who may require early help

All Staff working within the School should be alert to the potential need for early help for children, considering following the procedures identified for initiating early help using the Thresholds Document   for a child who:

  • Is disabled and has specific additional needs;
  • Has special educational needs;
  • Is a young carer;
  • Is a privately fostered child;
  • Has returned home to their family from care:
  • Is showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour;
  • Is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health, domestic violence; and/or
  • Is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect;
  • Is showing signs of displaying behaviour or views that are considered to be extreme;
  • Is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves:
  • Not attending school or are at risk of exclusion from school;
  • Frequently going missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • Is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking, exploitation, radicalised;
  • Not in education, training or employment after the age of 16 (NEET);

These children are therefore more vulnerable; this School/College will identify who their vulnerable children are, ensuring all Staff and Volunteers know the processes to secure advice, help and support where needed.

2:2 Child Abuse

In relation to children safeguarding and promoting their welfare is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s’ health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

There are four types of child abuse as defined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) which is defined in the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education Statutory Guidance 2018’ as:

  • Physical Abuse – may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning/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 – is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children 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 on children.  These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection 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, though 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 or 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 is 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. It may include a failure to:
    • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter.
    • 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.
    • Respond to a child’s basic emotional needs

Bullying and forms of bulling on and offline including prejudice based and Cyber Bullying is also abusive which will include at least one, if not two, three or all four, of the defined categories of abuse.

2.3. Specific Safeguarding Issues

There are specific issues that have become critical issues in Safeguarding that Schools and Colleges will endeavour to ensure their Staff, are familiar with; having processes in place to identify, report, monitor and which are included within teaching:

  • Bullying including cyber bullying
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and as defined by Working Together  2018
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drugs
  • Fabricated or induced illness
  • Faith abuse
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced Marriage
  • Gangs and Youth Violence
  • Gender based violence/Violence against women and girls (VAWG)
  • Hate
  • Mental Health
  • Private Fostering
  • Preventing Radicalisation
  • On line abuse/Sexting
  • Teenage Relationship abuse
  • Trafficking
  • Missing children and vulnerable adults
  • Child sexual abuse within the family
  • Poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children

3.Signs of Abuse (Child Protection)

3.1.Physical Abuse

Most children will collect cuts and bruises and injuries, and these should always be interpreted in the context of the child’s medical / social history, developmental stage and the explanation given.  Most accidental bruises are seen over bony parts of the body, e.g. elbows, knees, shins, and are often on the front of the body.  Some children, however, will have bruising that is more than likely inflicted rather than accidental.

Important indicators of physical abuse are bruises or injuries that are either unexplained or inconsistent with the explanation given; these can often be visible on the ‘soft’ parts of the body where accidental injuries are unlikely, e g, cheeks, abdomen, back and buttocks.  A delay in seeking medical treatment when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern.

The physical signs of abuse may include:

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body
  • Multiple bruises- in clusters, often on the upper arm, outside of the thigh
  • Cigarette burns
  • Human bite marks
  • Broken bones
  • Scalds, with upward splash marks.
  • Multiple burns with a clearly demarcated edge.

Changes in behaviour that can also indicate physical abuse:

  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation
  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts
  • Flinching when approached or touched
  • Reluctance to get changed, for example in hot weather
  • Depression
  • Withdrawn behaviour
  • Running away from home. 

3.2.Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify as there are often no outward physical signs. Indications may be a developmental delay due to a failure to thrive and grow, however, children who appear well-cared for may nevertheless be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled.  They may receive little or no love, affection or attention from their parents or carers.  Emotional abuse can also take the form of children not being allowed to mix or play with other children.

Changes in behaviour which can indicate emotional abuse include:

  • Neurotic behaviour e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking
  • Being unable to play
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour
  • Developmental delay in terms of emotional progress.

3.3.Sexual Abuse

It is recognised that there is underreporting of sexual abuse with in the family.  School / College all staff and volunteers should play a crucial role in identifying / reporting any concerns that they may have through, for example, the observation and play of younger children and understanding the indicators of behaviour in older children which may be underlining of such abuse.

All Staff and volunteers should be aware that adults, who may be men, women or other children, who use children to meet their own sexual, needs abuse both girls and boys of all ages.  Indications of sexual abuse may be physical or from the child’s behaviour.  In all cases, children who tell about sexual abuse do so because they want it to stop.  It is important, therefore, that they are listened to and taken seriously.

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

  • Pain or itching in the genital area
  • Bruising or bleeding near genital area
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Vaginal discharge or infection
  • Stomach pains
  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down
  • Pregnancy.

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming aggressive or withdrawn
  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people
  • Having nightmares
  • Running away from home
  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or developmental level
  • Sexual drawings or language
  • Bedwetting
  • Eating problems such as overeating or anorexia
  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts
  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about
  • Substance or drug abuse
  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money
  • Not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence)
  • Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults.
  1. Neglect

It can be difficult to recognise neglect, however its effects can be long term and damaging for children.

The physical signs of neglect may include:

  • Being constantly dirty or ‘smelly’.
  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children.
  • Losing weight, or being constantly underweight.
  • Inappropriate or dirty clothing.

Neglect may be indicated by changes in behaviour which may include:

  • Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
  • Not having many friends.
  • Complaining of being tired all the time.
  • Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments.

3.5       Specific Safeguarding Issues

In understanding the signs and indicators of specific issues listed earlier in this policy, this academy will incorporate the signs of abuse and specific safeguarding issues on safeguarding into briefings, staff Induction training, and ongoing development training for

all Staff.

The Designated leads and those with responsibility for safeguarding will use the information available to them to help all staff develop the knowledge and understanding pertaining to national and local emerging concerns.

3.6       Prevent Duties

The Academy will ensure all staff adhere to their duties in the Prevent guidance 2015 to prevent radicalisation. The HT/Principal and Chair of Governors will:

  • Establish or use existing mechanisms for understanding the risk of extremism;
  • Ensure staff understand the risk and build capabilities to deal with issues arising
  • Communicate the importance of the duty;
  • Ensure all Staff (governors and volunteers) implement the duty.

This Academy will respond to any concern about Prevent as a Safeguarding concern and will report in the usual way using local Safeguarding Procedures. We will seek to work in partnership, undertaking risk assessments where appropriate and proportionate to risk, building our children’s resilience to radicalisation.

The Academy is committed to providing effective filtering and monitoring systems, this will include monitoring the activities of children when on-line in the school/college and actions taken relevant to the activity.

The Academy will use the relevant forms to record any concerns, keeping records which will be treated as a Child Protection Record, storing them as appropriate. (cross reference here to forms being used)

3.7       Child Sexual Exploitation (Child Protection)    

Risk factors may include;

  • Going missing
  • Engagement in offending
  • Disengagement from education
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Unexplained gifts/money
  • Repeat concerns about sexual health
  • Decline in emotional wellbeing

All suspected or actual cases of CSE are a Safeguarding concern in which Child Protection procedures will be followed; this will include a referral to the police. 

3.8   Female Genital Mutilation (Child Protection) 

The Academy recognises and understands that there is a now a mandatory reporting duty for all teachers to report to the police where it is believed an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 in the UK. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken.  

All suspected or actual cases of FGM are a Safeguarding concern in which Safeguarding procedures will be followed; this will include a referral to the police.  If any staff are concerned about a pupil, they will refer to the Safeguarding Designated Lead/s within the School unless there is a good reason not to do so.  

Signs may include;

  • Days absent from school
  • Not participating in Physical Education
  • In pain/has restricted movement/frequent and long visits to the toilet/broken limbs
  • Confides that she is having a special procedure, cut or celebration
  • Unauthorised and or extended leave, vague explanations or plans for removal of a female in a high risk category* especially over the summer period
  • Plans to take a holiday which may be unauthorised, unexplained or extended in a country known to practice FGM 

*parents from a country who are known to practice FGM

3.9       Allegations of abuse against other children/Peer on Peer abuse

We recognise that some children abuse other children or their peers; therefore, the reasons for this are complex and are often multi-faceted.  We understand that we need as a school to have clear mechanisms and procedures in place to identify and report incidents or concerns.  We aim to reduce this behaviour and any related incidents with an expectation to eliminate this conduct in the Academy.

Peer on peer abuse is a Safeguarding concern and will require a discussion with the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will seek advice from agencies and professionals including reference to the Safeguarding procedures as outlined by the local authority. This will may a referral into the Police and Social Care.  The Academy will consider and may apply the disciplinary procedure.  The Academy will offer support to a victim.

We recognise peer on peer abuse can take some of these forms;

  • Language seen as derogatory, demeaning, inflammatory;
  • Unwanted banter;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Sexual Violence;
  • Hate;
  • Homophobia;
  • Based on gender differences and orientation;
  • Based on difference.

3.10    The sending of indecent images from one person to another through Digital Media Devices

This Academy accepts that this is a Safeguarding concern and one that is increasing which requires a robust response. We will seek advice from agencies and professionals acknowledging that there are both national and local guidance that we need to adhere to in order to tackle the concerns and work in partnership with our agencies.

3.11    The criminal exploitation of children:

Signs which may indicate criminal exploitation:

  • Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area;
  • Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes, or mobile phones
  • Excessive receipt of texts /phone calls
  • Relationships with controlling /older individuals or groups
  • Leaving home / care without explanation
  • Suspicion of physical assault /unexplained injuries
  • Parental concerns
  • Carrying weapons
  • Significant decline in school results / performance
  • Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being

Criminal exploitation of children is a Safeguarding concern and will require a discussion with the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will seek advice from agencies and professionals; including, reference to the Safeguarding procedures as outlined by the local authority. This will mean a referral into the Police and Social Care.  The Academy will offer support to a victim.

3.11 Carrying knifes/offensive Weapons & Gang Culture

Bringing and carrying a knife/offensive weapon onto Academy premises is a criminal

offence and immediate action will be taken by calling the police and informing the informed.

If a member of staff suspects a pupil/student being involved in gang culture, this is a

safeguarding concern an the pupil/student may be an exploited child and victim to which the Academy will offer support.

4.Safeguarding Roles and Responsibilities

4.1       All Staff / anyone who has contact with a child or young person have responsibility for the following:

  • Listening to, and seeking out, the views, wishes and feelings of children and young people, ensuring in this that the child’s voice is heard and referred to;
  • Knowing who the Academy Designated Lead/Teacher(s) for Safeguarding and Anti- Bullying;
  • Being alert to the signs of abuse, including specific issues in Safeguarding and their need to refer any concerns to the Safeguarding Designated Lead(s) in the School or College;
  • To be aware of the ‘Allegations Against Professionals’ including how to report concerns about other staff and the setting;
  • That any concerns any staff have about a Headteacher/Principal/Proprietor, should be referred to the Police.
  • To be aware of Whistle Blowing procedures and where to obtain further information, advice and support.  (cross reference/refer to Schools/Colleges policy)
  • Being aware of the ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices when working with Children and Young People in education settings, 2015’, relevant sections of ‘KCSIE 2018’ and local procedures for ‘Safer Working Practices’. (Cross reference to similar policies, protocols the school/college has);
  • Ensuring that their Child Protection training is up to date, undertaking refresher/update training at least annually;
  • Sharing information and working together with agencies to provide children and young people with the help and support they need;
  • Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her Child Protection Plan;
  • Seeking early help where a child and family would benefit from co-ordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment;
  • If at any time it is considered that the child may be a ‘Child in Need’ as defined in the Children Act 1989; or that the child has suffered significant harm or is likely to do so, a referral is made to Local Authority Children’s Social Care;
  • If Staff, have concerns regarding a child they should raise these with the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) who will normally decide to take the next step, (however, any member of Staff, can make a referral);
  • If they feel unclear about what has happened to their concerns following a referral they can enquire further and obtain feedback; 
  • To recognise the new requirements on Children Missing from Education and particularly those where it is believed a child/children may be leaving the country;
  • To refer & adhere to Children Missing from Education (CME) processes and procedures as set out by national and local guidelines on all children where there is a concern they may be missing or who are missing.
  • Recognising that Home Educated Children can be more vulnerable than other children and with regard to the motivations of the intention to home educate.  Therefore, recognising the responsibilities the Academy has to those who are thinking about or who are about to home educate, including those who have been removed from a Academy roll with a view to home educate;
  • Recognising that looked After Children and care leavers are more vulnerable than other children, often having poorer educational outcomes; therefore, ensuring their wellbeing, safety and welfare, helping them to reach their potential which includes the looked after child who is moving on. The Academy will also ensure that care leavers are supported with pathways including liaison with the local authority where a personal advisor will be appointed;   
  • Recognising the needs of young carers in that they can be more vulnerable or placed at risk.  Therefore, being able to identify young carers and ensure they are supported to help reach their potential with an understanding that staff will   need to refer into early help social care services for an assessment of their needs;
  • All Staff are aware of Extremism, which include the signs of alerts to concerning behaviours, and ideologies considered to be extreme as well as having an understanding of the British Values Agenda. 
  • All Staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing other children or their peers, working to reduce and eliminate such behaviour in their setting. 
  • All Staff should recognise what is child sexual exploitation and trafficking and know that they should seek advice and how to report any issues / incidents:   
  • All Staff should recognise a child may be criminally exploited or involved in gang culture and should seek advice and report any issues /incidents;
  • When using reasonable force this is in line with national guidelines and takes into account individual pupil needs and risk management /care plans.
  • All Staff should recognise homelessness and the impact of the pupil facing homelessness, or who is homeless;  
  • This Academy recognises the importance of learning from national and local Serious Case Reviews and Thematic Learning Reviews. 

4.2 All Staff have responsibility for the following:

  • To share and report a concern, know how to do this and who to and record where appropriate in the role:

4.3    Proprietors and School Leadership are responsible for:

  • Taking leadership responsibility for the Academy’s Safeguarding and Child Protection arrangements;
  • Ensure there are robust safer recruitment procedures and a framework of checks, tracking and monitoring;
  • That they are up to date with emerging issues in Safeguarding and recognise the strategies by the Local Authority in trying to keep children safe.  
  • Safeguarding role and that they have access to the appropriate training and that has updates at least annually.
  • That a Designated Safeguarding Lead is on the premises and available at all times during the school day and there is a contact for school holiday activities on site; where this is not available or in exceptional circumstances, there is cover in place. The leadership team will ensure there is cover at all times and there is a clear pathway for raising and reporting concerns in a timely way.  This will include a DSL being a point of contact for trips, outings and residential visits;
  • Ensuring that appointed Designated Safeguarding Leads are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to carry out the role and have access to appropriate regular training to help them keep up to date;
  • That there are procedures are in place in handling allegations against Staff.
  • All Staff and frequent visitors who will be working in the school/college is given a mandatory induction which includes knowledge regarding abuse, neglect, specific safeguarding issues and familiarisation with Child Protection responsibilities.  The induction will also include procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a Child’s Safety or welfare, and knowledge about the (schools/college) policies and procedures;
  • That all Staff have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure ongoing personal/professional development;
  • All Staff receives the appropriate training which is regularly updated;
  • That we have in place effective ways to identify emerging problems and potential unmet needs for individual children and families;
  • That important policy such as those for behaviour and bullying, are kept up to date;
  • To ensure that children are taught about Safeguarding, including on line, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum;
  • That the curriculum will implement sex and relationship teaching and  make best use of PSHE to cover Safeguarding issues with children;
  • We have in place an on-line Safety Policy equipped to deal with a widening range of issues associated with technology;
  • That we understand the need to identify trends and patterns regarding Children Missing from Education (CME) and to respond to / refer where required;
  • That we understand the updated definition of child sexual exploitation and  expectations around identifying, reporting and responding to any potential  or actual cases of;
  • That we notify the Children’s Social Care department if there is an unexplained absence of a pupil who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan.
  • That we notify the Children’s Social Care department if it is thought or known that a child or young person may be privately fostered.

4.4       Creating a safe environment:

  • We will ensure that All Staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for Safeguarding in promoting the welfare of children by creating an environment and an ethos whereby all Staff including volunteers feel able to raise concerns, along with being supported in their Safeguarding role.
  • We will endeavour to create a culture of listening to children, taking account of their wishes, feelings and voices both in individual decisions and in the Academy’s development.
  • That the building; including its surroundings, are safe and one where children can feel safe.
  • That parents/carers know about our principles in Safeguarding, who along with the local community are made familiar with including making public on our website and are able to participate in any policy, procedure or initiatives which contributes to the safety of the children in that local community.

4.5       Recruitment, Staffing:

  • We must prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check all staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required;
  • We must undertake overseas checks if a staff member being employed or has returned from a period of employment from abroad; 
  • We must pursue references with measures in place to ensure scrutiny and to verify all potential staff;
  • Raise an alert with a  senior member of the leadership team if there are gaps in references and / or any missing references;    

The Lead Designated Safeguarding Lead is:               [Derek Raishbrook]

The Designated safeguarding leads(s) are:                 [Catherine Hickling]

5.Safeguarding Processes and Procedures

The Academy will deliver its responsibilities for identifying and acting on early help needs, Safeguarding and Child Protection.

5.1.Early help

All Staff are made aware of what Early Help means, how to identify emerging needs and understanding their role within it.  This means sharing information and having discussions with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, liaising with other professionals and supporting children identified in the school (i.e. potentially vulnerable and those who are vulnerable) who may therefore need Early Help intervention.

5.2.Referring to Children’s Social Care

The O’Brien Language Centre will ensure all Staff if any have concerns about the welfare and safety of a child, discussions take place with the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as they are aware or know about a concern and the Designated Safeguarding Lead reports that concern as soon as possible.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will act upon the information received; however, we also recognise any one can make a referral into social care and should ensure they have spoken to the family about their concerns and proposed actions unless to do so would place the child at significant risk (imminent danger because of a disclosure made); the decision not to inform parents/carers must be justified and the details recorded.  If a child makes a disclosure or presents with an injury, it is imperative that advice is sought immediately prior to the child returning home and as soon as the school become aware of this.

Essential information for making a referral includes:

  • Full names and dates of birth for the child and other members of the family.
  • Address and daytime phone numbers for the parents, including mobile.
  • The child’s address and phone number.
  • Whereabouts of the child (and siblings).
  • Child and family’s ethnic origin.
  • Child and family’s main language.
  • Actions taken and people contacted.
  • Special needs of the child, including need for an accredited interpreter, accredited sign language interpreter or other language support.
  • A clear indication of the family’s knowledge of the referral and whether they have consented to the sharing of confidential information;
  • The details of the person making the referral.

Other information that may be essential:

  • Addresses of wider family members;
  • Previous addresses of the family;
  • Schools and nurseries attended by the child and others in the household;
  • Name, address & phone number of GP/Midwife/Health Visitor/School Nurse;
  • Hospital ward/consultant/Named nurse and dates of admission/discharge;
  • Details of other children who may be in contact with the alleged abuser;
  • Details of other practitioners involved with the family;
  • Child’s legal status and anyone not already mentioned who has parental responsibility;
  • History of previous concerns and any previous CAF or Initial Assessments completed;

5.3.Records

All concerns about a child will be recorded and records kept. This record will be a separate child protection/welfare record held on a separate child protection file and each concern clearly recorded with all decisions, actions taken and with outcomes and feedback to the referrer. We will endeavour to keep centralised records, hold them as private and confidential records but allow access to key staff that is designated in a role to safeguard children at the school/college.

We will not destroy any child protection/welfare records including records which hold information on allegations against staff and any other person working in the school or connected to the school.

5.4.Recruitment

This Academy will ensure that Safer Recruitment practices are always followed and that the requirements outlined in the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children safe in Education” and any supporting DBS documentation are followed in all cases.

All interview panels will have at least one member who has undergone Safer Recruitment Training with the necessary skills and knowledge.  We will in all cases for example check on;

  • the identity of candidates;
  • a check of professional qualifications;
  • the right to work in the UK;
  • make overseas checks where relevant;
  • ask for and follow up at least two references;
  • scrutinise applications for gaps in employment;
  • Include at least two questions regarding safeguarding.   

For Independent Schools, including Academies and Free Schools, this will also cover all members of the Proprietor body.

This also includes advice on conduct, safe use of mobile phones and guidance on personal / professional boundaries in emailing, messaging, or participating in social networking environments.

We will ensure that Safeguarding considerations are at the centre of each stage of the recruitment process and if in any doubt will seek further HR and or legal advice.

5.5.Dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers who work with children

If a member of staff has concerns about another member of staff, then this will be referred to the Head teacher/Principal.  Where there are concerns about the Head teacher or Principal this will be referred to the Social Services or Police.  

6. Bullying

Bullying. Sanctions could include:
• warning
• detention
• internal exclusion within school
• withdrawal from school trips
• temporary exclusion from school
• permanent exclusion from school  

7.Management of the Policy

The Head Teacher/ Principal will report annually on Safeguarding activity and progress within the School/Educational setting.

The Head Teacher/Principal should report any significant issues.

Signed by:

Principal

John Doyle O’Brien

Date:   01/10/2018                                                                

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