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Safeguarding and Children Protection Policy 2016

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(Revised August 2016)

Please click this button and select the links below to download this document.

 

Introduction

Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the school. The school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Education Act 2002 (Section 175/157)
  • Merton Local Safeguarding Board Interagency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, September 2016)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education Part One – DfE 2016 (Information for all school and college staff
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
  • The Education (Pupil Information) England Regulations 2005
  • Sexual Offences Act (2003)
  • Section 26, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (Section 74 Serious Crime Act 2015)

 

Policy Review

This policy is available on our school website and is available on request from the school office. Parents and carers are informed about this policy when their children join our school and through our school newsletter.

This policy will be reviewed in full by the Governing Body on an annual basis unless an incident or new statutory guidance or local policy creates the need for an earlier review. Review is informed by the school’s own experience of managing safeguarding, and its own self-evaluation of this area. This policy was last reviewed and agreed by the Governing Body on February 2015. It is due for review on  September 2017

The policy is provided to all staff (including temporary staff and volunteers) at induction alongside our Staff Code of Conduct, our policy to manage children who go missing from education and Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE, September 2016. All staff should read and understand at least Part 1 of this guidance.

 

What to do if you are worried about a child

Abbotsbury Primary School has statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. All staff members should be aware of the systems within Abbotsbury Primary School which support safeguarding.

If you have any concerns about the health and safety of a child at this school or feel that something may be troubling them, you will need to decide what action to take. Where possible you should share this information with the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their deputy straight away, to agree a course of action, but you may also make a referral directly to children’s social care.  If you do this, you must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.

Please do not worry that you may be reporting a small matter – we would rather you report things which turn out to be small than miss a worrying situation

If you think the matter is very serious and may be related to a child protection concern, where the child has been harmed or is at risk of harm e.g. physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral, but where you make a referral without reference to the Designated Safeguarding Lead first, they must be informed as soon as possible.  Do not delay. If you are unable to contact them you can ask the school office staff to find them and ask them to speak to you straight away about a confidential and urgent matter.

 

The people you should talk to at this school are:

The Designated Safeguarding Lead

Name: Mrs. Ro Maybury (Headteacher)

Please ask at reception or phone the school number, which is: 020 8640 1010

If Mrs. Maybury is unavailable, please contact:

The Designated Safeguarding Deputy

Name: Mrs. Jan Angel

 

Any allegation or disclosure involving someone who works with children in a paid or voluntary capacity must be reported directly to the Headteacher, Principal or Senior Manager, unless it involves them and then it should be reported directly to the Chair of the Governing Body or Management Committee.

   

 Head Teacher/Principal/Senior Manager: responsible for implementing policies & procedures, allocating resources to the safeguarding team & addressing staff safeguarding concerns. Ro Maybury_

Tel: 0208 640 1010

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): a member of the leadership team with appropriate authority, responsible for dealing with safeguarding issues, providing advice and support to other staff, liaising with the local authority, and working with other agencies. Ro Maybury_

Tel: 0208 640 1010

Designated Safeguarding Deputy:  a member of theteaching, support or pastoral staff, in a post which requires assessment of children and with sufficient status & authority to effectively deputise for the DSL role above. This cannot be an administrative or finance worker. Jan Angel_

Tel: 020 8640 1010

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo): a staff member who provides advice, liaison & support for school staff and other agencies working with pupils with special education needs and their parents or carers. Liz Cox_

Tel: 020 8640 1010

Learning Mentor (or equivalent): addresses difficulties preventing a child from reaching their full potential e.g. behaviour, attendance, achievement, timekeeping, homework, safeguarding issues, and develops strategies to overcome these barriers. Kerri Ann Horton

Tel: 020 8640 1010

The Safeguarding Children Team also links in with the:
Safeguarding/Child Protection Governor:  ensures there are appropriate safeguarding children policies and procedures in place, monitors whether they are followed and, together with the rest of the governing body,   remedies deficiencies and weaknesses that are identified. Dawn Feltham_

Tel: Via 0208 640 1010

Chair of Governors: takes the lead in dealing with allegations of abuse made against the Head Teacher/Principal/Senior Manager (and other members of staff when the Head Teacher is not available), in liaison with the Local Authority; and on safe recruitment practices with the Head Teacher/Principal/Senior Manager. Henry Basing_

Tel: Via 0208 640 1010

Contents

Section:

 

Page No.
1. Statutory Guidance and other national publications 6
2. Purpose & aims of policy 6
3. Our ethos 6
4. Terminology 7
5. Abuse of trust 8
6. Children who may be particularly vulnerable 9
7. Children Missing Education 9
8. Roles and responsibilities 10
9. The school commitment 10
10. Training and induction 12
11. School procedures – staff responsibilities 13
12. When to be concerned 13
13. Dealing with a disclosure 14
14. Working with Parents and Carers 14
15. Support for those with a child protection plan 15
16. Complaints procedure 15
17. Concerns about a colleague and Managing allegations involving Staff 16
18. Support for staff 17
19. Confidentiality and sharing information 17
20. Referrals to Children’s Social Care 18
21. Record keeping and monitoring 18
22. Specific safeguarding issues 19
23 Children with Sexually Harmful Behaviour 20
24. Sexual Exploitation of children 20
25. Extremism and radicalisation 20
26. Safer working practice 21
27.

28.

Female Genital Mutilation

‘Honour based’ violence

21

21

29. Online Safety 22
30.

31.

Photographing and videoing children in school

Allegations of abuse made against other children

22

23

32. Prevention 24
33.            Safer recruitment 24
34.             Related Policies 24

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1. Statutory Guidance and other national publications

1.1   This policy has been written in line with the most recent ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ statutory guidance (September 2016). It also reflects the contents of ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (March 2015), the 2016 changes to the Pupil Registration Regulations, and ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ (March 2015). It also reflects the most recent Ofsted guidance ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills from September 2016’.

2. Purpose and aims of policy

2.1  The purpose of this policy is to ensure every child at our school is safe and protected from harm. It applies and gives clear direction to staff, volunteers, visitors and parents about our legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils.

2.2 The main aims of the policy are prevention, protection and support of all children, and particularly those that are vulnerable. To meet these aims, the school will:

a) establish and maintain a safe environment in which children can learn and develop;

b) practice safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and ensuring up to date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks;

c) raise awareness of child protection issues and through planned curriculum activities and opportunities, equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe from abuse both online and offline;

d) ensure our pupils know that they can approach adults in the school if they are worried or in difficulty and their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate;

e) implement effective procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of all forms of abuse;

f) support pupils who have been abused or for whom there are welfare concerns in accordance with their agreed child protection; child in need plan or other care plan;

g) ensure all staff members are aware of school policy and guidance for their own and pupils’ use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks within the context of the planned teaching of safeguarding issues in general;

h) remain alert to the safeguarding needs of pupils who go missing from education and to the risks posed to them; and

i) appoint a designated teacher, and their deputy, to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after.

3. Our ethos

Abbotsbury Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. The school will always take a considered and sensitive approach in order that we can support all our pupils and recognise that each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance. Our school will establish and maintain an ethos where:

a) safeguarding is threaded through everything we do in our school (‘the golden thread’) including the curriculum;

b) pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe. Children at our school will be able to talk freely to any member of staff at our school if they are worried or concerned about something, be it with regard to adults or their peers;

c) we recognise that staff at our school play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All staff are encouraged to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned;

d) through robust training and induction, all staff and regular visitors will know how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information;

e) every pupil will know what the adult will have to do with any information the child/young person has disclosed; and

f) at all times we will work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies in line with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015).

We recognise that some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse. Additional barriers can exist, for example, when recognising abuse and neglect for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). We recognise that children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of worth and to view the world in a positive way. Whilst at school their behaviour may be challenging and we recognise that some children who have experienced abuse may harm others.

4. Terminology

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. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by other (eg via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

Safeguarding: In relation to children and young people, the School adopts the definition used in the Children Act 2004 and the Department for Education (DfE) guidance document: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 which define safeguarding and promoting children and young people’s welfare as:

a) protecting children from maltreatment;

b) preventing impairment of children’s health or development;

c) ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and

d) taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It also relates to aspects of school life including:

a) Pupil attendance

b) Pupils’ health and safety

c) The use of reasonable force

d) Meeting the needs of children with medical conditions

e) Providing first aid

f) Educational visits

g) Intimate care

h) Internet or online safety

i) Data security

j) Appropriate arrangements to ensure school security

Child Protection: The above statutory guidance defines child protection as part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. Child protection is the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is the responsibility of all staff in the school.

Designated Officer works within Children’s Social Care and should be alerted to all cases in which there is an allegation of abuse of a child by a person who works with children where there is a concern that the person may have:

a) behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child;

b) possibly committed a criminal offence against/related to a child;

c) behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates s/he would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children. 

The Designated Officer captures concerns, allegations or offences emanating from outside of work and is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.

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5. Abuse of trust

5.1  All school staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards pupils is unacceptable and that their conduct towards pupils must be beyond reproach.

5.2  In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the school staff and a pupil under 18 may be a criminal offence, even if that pupil is over the age of consent.

5.3  The school’s Code of Conduct sets out our expectations of staff behaviour and is signed by all staff members.

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6. Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Abbotsbury Primary School recognises that some children may have an increased risk of abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, Special Educational Need, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:

a) disabled or have special educational needs

b) young carers

c) living in a domestic abuse situation

d) affected by parental substance misuse

e) affected by mental health issues

f) asylum seekers

g)living away from home

h) vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying including online, homophobic, racist bullying

i) living in temporary accommodation

j) live transient lifestyles

k) missing education

l) persistently absent from school

m) living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations

n) vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality

o) vulnerable to extremism or radicalisation

p) involved directly or indirectly in sexual exploitation or trafficking

q) do not have English as a first language

r) at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) or forced marriage

7. Children Missing Education

7.1  Knowing where children are during school hours is an extremely important aspect of safeguarding. Missing school can be an indicator of abuse and neglect, and in older children may raise concerns around child sexual exploitation. To safeguard pupils who are missing education, School will ensure compliance with local authority policy and procedures for Children Missing Education

7.2  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will monitor unauthorised absence and follow procedures, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions.

7.3  School will ensure there are procedures to inform the local authority when it is proposed to take pupils off-roll because they are:

a) The school is replaced by another school on an attendance order

b) The school attendance order is revoked by the Local Authority (LA)

c) Completion of compulsory school age

d) The permanent exclusion of a pupil

e) The death of a pupil

f) The pupil is transferred between schools

g) The pupil is withdrawn to be educated outside the school system

h) The pupil fails to return from an extended family holiday after both the school and the LA have tried to locate the pupil

i) A medical condition prevents their attendance and return to the school before ending compulsory school-age

j) The pupil is in custody for more than four months

k) The pupil has left the school

l) There are 20 school-days continuous absence without good reason

m) The death of the pupil

n) The permanent exclusion of a pupil

o) A child was admitted to the nursery & doesn’t transfer into reception

7.4  The school will ensure that all staff:

a) understand what to do when children do not attend regularly;

b) know the signs and triggers for travelling to conflict zones, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage and domestic servitude; and

c) inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school ‘regularly’ or does not attend school for consecutive days without authorisation.

8.  Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of every member of staff, volunteer and regular visitor to our school to ensure that they carry out the requirements of this policy and, at all times, work in a way that will safeguard and promote the welfare of all of the pupils at this school. The specific roles of the Designated Safeguarding Lead; the Headteacher and Governing Body are outlined separately.

9.  The School Commitment

The School will follow the child protection procedures set out by the Merton Safeguarding Children Board which are currently:

a) ensuring that core child protection processes work well;

b) recognition and prevention of child sexual exploitation (including multi-agency work to protect children who go missing);

c) implementation of the Government’s Prevent Strategy (to prevent children being influenced to become involved in terrorism); and

d) development of a local Neglect Strategy.

The school will take account of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016), (the current statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education) to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in the school are effective and comply with the law at all times. In particular, the school will ensure that:

a)  appropriate policies and procedures are in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare;

b)  we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection who is a senior member of staff and a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead/s who will fulfil the role when the Designated Safeguarding Lead is unavailable. All designated staff will have received and access regular and appropriate training and support for this role;

C)  we work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our school to identify, assess and support those children who are suffering harm or for whom there is a welfare concern, and to ensure there is a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs are identified;

d)  all staff recognise their individual responsibilities for reporting concerns and importance of sharing information between professionals and local agencies to ensure no child is placed at risk of harm;

e)  all staff are provided with the most up to date training and information on a regular basis;

f)  children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material by ensuring appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place;

g)  there is a clear policy in place on the use of mobile technology in the school;

h)  children are taught about safeguarding through teaching and learning opportunities as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum;

i)  we operate safer recruitment procedures;

j)  there are procedures in place to handle allegations against teachers, the headteacher/principal, volunteers and other staff;

k)  any member of staff found not suitable to work with children is reported to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for consideration for barring, including following resignation, dismissal or in the case of a volunteer, when we cease to use their services as a result of a substantiated allegation;

l)  policy and practice minimises the risk of peer on peer abuse;

m)  children’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what actions to take, whilst being clear that confidentiality cannot be agreed, and always acting in the best interests of the child;

n)  appointing a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children looked after; and

o)  recognising that children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) can provide additional safeguarding challenges.

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10. Training and Induction

10.1     When new staff or regular visitors join our school, they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place and provided with copies of the safeguarding policy, the Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct) and our policy to manage children who go missing from education.  They will be asked to read and understand Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’DfE, (2016).  They will also be given copies of the record of concern form alongside information about how to complete the form and who to pass it on to.

10.2    New staff will also be given the opportunity to attend the Merton Children Schools and Families induction event for all staff within the children’s workforce.  This includes up to date information about the LA’s approach to keeping children safe – the ‘Wellbeing Model’.

10.3    Every new member of staff or volunteer in the school will be given an induction period that will include essential information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse; how to manage a disclosure from a child; how to record and how to manage issues of confidentiality. The induction will also advise staff and volunteers of their responsibility to safeguard all children at our school and the remit of the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.  This will include ensuring they are aware of the early help process; their role in identifying emerging problems, and their responsibility to share information with relevant professionals to support early identification and assessment.  At induction, all staff will also be provided Part One of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2016) and will be expected to read and to sign a declaration that they have read and understood the contents.

10.4    In addition to the safeguarding induction, the school will ensure that all staff access appropriate refresher safeguarding and child protection training on a yearly basis. In addition, as themes and concerns arise nationally and locally, the school will ensure that all staff access training on these and in accordance with the Merton Child Protection Training Pathway as set out by the Merton Safeguarding Children Board (MSCB).

10.5    The Designated Safeguarding Lead, and their deputy/ies will undertake regular child protection training in compliance with the statutory requirements for the role, at least on an annual basis. They along with any other member of the senior leadership team who may be in a position to make referrals or attend child protection conferences or core group meetings will attend one of the multi-agency training courses organised by the Merton Safeguarding Children Board, including those looking at the child protection process.

10.6    All regular visitors and volunteers to our school will be given a set of our safeguarding procedures; they will be informed of the names and location of our designated safeguarding staff members and given details of the reporting and recording system.

10.7    In addition to regular training, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will provide regular safeguarding briefings and updates for staff to enable staff to keep up to date with the most recent local and national safeguarding advice and guidance on specific safeguarding issues including but not limited to extremism and radicalisation; child sexual exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation.  These updates could be provided via email, staff meetings or e-bulletins.

10.8    Our governing body will also undertake appropriate training to ensure they are able to carry out their duties to safeguard all of the children at our school.  Training for Governors can be accessed via Merton Governor Services.

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11. School Procedures – staff responsibilities

11.1      Any staff member concerned about a child must follow the school procedures and without delay, inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead of their concern, no matter how small.  All school staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help and to make a referral to children’s social care.  This includes ensuring that staff understand their role in identifying emerging difficulties, sharing information with other professionals to identify and assess children in need of support. This will involve working with parents and carers to ensure that help is available at the earliest opportunity to address risk and prevent issues escalating into crisis. 

11.2     Any referral made to Children’s Social Care via the MASH/First Response Team will be discussed with the parent/s, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm. Where threshold for a MASH referral is not met, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, with consent from the parent, may convene a Team Around Child meeting to progress the school’s early help offer to the child and family. This will be managed under a Common and Shared Assessment (CASA).  This will involve engaging families to accept help and support. In all cases where the threshold is not met, there will be constant review: if the child’s welfare does not improve, then referral will be considered again.

11.3     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. If the 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.

11.4     Governors will appoint a member to take leadership responsibility for the school’s safeguarding arrangements.

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12. When to be concerned

12.1     All staff and volunteers should be aware of the signs of abuse, neglect and specific safeguarding issues, and that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label.  In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another. 

12.2    All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if s/he presents with indicators of possible significant harm, noting in particular that a child in an abusive relationship may:

a)  appear frightened of the parent/s or other household members e.g. siblings or others outside of the home;

b)  act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development (full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups);

c)  display insufficient sense of ‘boundaries’, lack stranger awareness;

d)  appear wary of adults and display ‘frozen watchfulness’. 

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13. Dealing with a Disclosure

13.1     It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. If a pupil talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will need to let the pupil know that they must pass the information on – staff are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which they tell the pupil this is a matter for professional judgement. If they jump in immediately the pupil may think that they do not want to listen, if left until the very end of the conversation, the pupil may feel that they have been misled into revealing more than they would have otherwise.

13.2    During their conversations with the pupils it is best practice for staff to:

a)  allow pupils to speak freely;

b)  remain calm and not overreact – the pupil may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting their listener;

c)  give reassuring nods or words of comfort –‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’;

d)  not be afraid of silences, and allow space and time for pupil to continue, staff will recognise the barriers the pupil may have had to overcome to disclose;

e)  clarifying or repeating back to check what they have heard if needed but will not lead the discussion in any way or ask investigative or leading questions – such as “Whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the pupil’s mother thinks about it”;

f)  at an appropriate time tell the pupil that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on;

g)  not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused;

h)  avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be the staff member’s way of being supportive but may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong;

i)  tell the pupil what will happen next. The pupil may agree to go with you to see the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Otherwise let them know that you will be consulting them;

j)  write up their conversation as soon as possible on the record of concern form and hand it to the designated lead;

k)  seek support if they feel distressed.

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14. Working with Parents and Carers

14.1     The school is committed to working positively, openly and in partnership with parents and carers. The school will support parents and carers to understand our legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils in our school. This includes our duty to make referrals to Children’s Social Care and to assist our colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries.

14.2    When pupils join our school, their parents and carers will be informed of the safeguarding and child protection policy and signposted to the school website or upon request at the school office, receive a copy of the policy.

14.3    The school respects parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission to do so or it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard a child from harm.

14.4    In the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure by a child, School will seek to share the concern with the parent/carer unless to do so may place the child at increased risk of harm. A lack of parental engagement or agreement on the concerns the school has about a child will not prevent the Designated Safeguarding Lead from making a referral to Children’s Social Care in circumstances where it is appropriate to do so.

14.5    The school will only share information about pupils with adults who have parental responsibility for a pupil or where a parent with parental responsibility has given written permission which includes the full details of any other adult with who information about a pupil can be shared.

14.6    In order to keep our pupils safe and provide appropriate care for them, the school requires parents to provide accurate and up to date information regarding the:

a)  full names and contact details of all adults with whom the child normally lives and the child’s relationship to the adult with whom s/he lives;

b)  full names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above);

c)  emergency contact details (if different from above);

d  full details of any other adult authorised by the parent to collect the child from school (if different from the above).

14.7    The school will seek to secure effective engagement with parents/the family particularly with regard to the Prevent duty, as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation.

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 15.  Support for those involved in a child protection issue

Child abuse is devastating for the child and can also result in distress and anxiety for staff who become involved. We will support pupils, their families, and staff by:

a)  taking all suspicions and disclosures seriously;

b)  nominating a link person (the Designated Safeguarding Lead) who will keep all parties informed and be the central point of contact. Where a member of staff is the subject of an allegation made by a pupil, separate link people will be nominated to avoid any conflict of interest;

c)  responding sympathetically to any request from pupils or staff for time out to deal with distress or anxiety;

d)  maintaining confidentiality and sharing information on a need-to-know basis only with relevant individuals and agencies;

e)  maintaining and storing records securely;

f)  offering details of helplines, counselling or other avenues of external support;

g)  following the procedures laid down in our whistleblowing, complaints and disciplinary procedures;

h)  cooperating fully with relevant statutory agencies. 

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16. Complaints procedure

16.1     Our complaints procedure will be followed where a parent raises a concern about the handling of the process of dealing with safeguarding  The school’s complaints policy is on the school’s website.  Examples include unfairly singling out a pupil, belittling a pupil or discriminating against them in some way. Complaints are managed by senior staff, the Headteacher and governors.

16.2    Complaints from staff are dealt with under the school’s complaints and disciplinary and grievance procedures.

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17. Concerns about a colleague & managing allegations involving Staff

17.1      Abbotsbury Primary School aims to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the wellbeing and very best outcomes for the children at our school. We recognise however that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made. Allegations sometimes arise from a differing understanding of the same event, but when they occur they are distressing and difficult for all concerned. We also recognise that many allegations are genuine and there are some adults who deliberately seek to harm or abuse children.

17.2     Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a pupil are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The school’s whistleblowing code enables staff to raise concerns or allegations in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.

17.3     School will take all possible steps to safeguard our children and to ensure that the adults in our school are safe to work with children. We will always ensure that the procedures outlined in the Merton Safeguarding Children Board: Procedures for Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children   and Part Four of DfE ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, (2016) are adhered to and will seek appropriate advice from the Designated Officer who is:   

Name: Isobel Colqhhoun Tel. No.: 020 8545 3179

17.4    The Headteacher/Principal must be informed without delay when an allegation is made or information is received which indicates that an adult working in our School may be unsuitable to work with children. If an allegation is made against the Headteacher, this must be reported to the Chair of Governors. Where either the Headteacher or Chair of Governors is not contactable on that day, the information must be passed to and dealt with by either the member of staff acting as Headteacher or the Vice Chair of Governors. The Chair of Governors for the School is:

Name: Henry Basing Tel No.: Via 02086401010

In the absence of the Chair of Governors, the Vice Chair should be contacted. The Vice Chair of Governor’s in this school is:

Name: Shankar Rajagopalan Tel No.: Vis 02086401010

17.5    The Headteacher or Chair of Governors will seek advice from the Designated Officer within one working day. No member of staff or the governing body may carry out investigations before receiving advice from the Designated Officer.

17.6    Any member of staff or volunteer who does not feel confident to raise their concerns with the Headteacher or Chair of Governors should contact the Designated Officer directly.

17.7     The School has a legal duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service, anyone who has harmed; or poses a risk of harm to a child; or if there is reason to believe a member of staff has committed one of a number of listed offences; has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity; or would have been removed had they not left. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. If these circumstances arise in relation to a member of staff at our school, a referral will be made as soon as possible after the resignation or removal of the individual in accordance with advice from the Designated Officer or Human Resources.

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18. Support for Staff

Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and safeguarding issues can be distressing.  Staff members should recognise their own emotions and seek support from Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will also be proactive in offering support to staff to whom distressing disclosures have been made.

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19. Confidentiality and Sharing information

19.1  All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the pupil and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

19.2  Staff should only discuss concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Headteacher or chair of governors (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-­know’ basis.

19.3    Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016) states that any member of staff can contact Children’s Social Care if they are concerned about a child. This should then be shared with the Designated Safeguarding Lead so that an overview is kept.

19.4    Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with Data Protection Act 1998 principles, which require that information is:

a)  processed for limited purposes;

b)  adequate, relevant and not excessive

c)  accurate;

d)  kept no longer than necessary;

e)  processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights;

f)  secure.

19.5    Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

19.6    Every effort will be made to prevent unauthorised access, and sensitive information should not be stored on laptop computers, which, by the nature of their portability, could be lost or stolen. If it is necessary to store child protection information on portable media, such as a CD or flash drive, these items will also be kept in locked storage. Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held.

19.7     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 parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the Headteacher or Designated Safeguarding Lead.

19.8    The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) is clear that these duties should not be a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child being placed at risk of harm.  Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. Ideally information sharing will be done in writing so that there is an evidence trail however there may be occasions in Child Protection proceedings where this method is too slow. In cases where agencies ring the school requesting information reception staff will take a message and inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) immediately, the DSL will ensure they can identify who is requesting the information before sharing and then record what has been shared, when, why and with whom.

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20.  Referrals to Children’s Social Care

20.1    The Designated Safeguarding Lead will make a referral to children’s social care if it is believed that a pupil is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The pupil, subject to their age and understanding, the pupil and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.

20.2   Staff should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with Children’s Social Care, Police or the NSPCC if:

a)  the situation is an emergency and the Designated Safeguarding Lead, their deputy, and the Headteacher are all unavailable;

b)  they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety;

c)  for any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child.

20.3   Staff will record any referral made in accordance with paragraph 19.2 and notify the Designated Safeguarding Lead so that there is oversight of referrals made.

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21.  Record Keeping and Monitoring

21.1     Abbotsbury Primary School staff will make timely and accurate recording of safeguarding concerns raised about a child in the school. Our staff will be supported to understand the importance of timely, comprehensive and accurate recording in line with messages from serious case reviews on issues of recording and sharing information.

21.2    A recording of each and every episode/incident/concern/activity regarding that child, including telephone calls to other professionals, needs to be recorded on a chronology kept within the confidential file for that child.  This will include any contact from other agencies who may wish to discuss concerns relating to a child.  Actions will be agreed and roles and responsibility of each agency will be clarified and outcomes recorded.  The chronology will be brief and log activity; the full recording will be on the record of concern.

21.3    Recordings of safeguarding concerns will be kept in a separate file known as a ‘concern file’. Written records of concern will be made even where there is no immediate need to refer to Children’s Social Care.

21.4    The concern file will be securely stored away from the main pupil file.  The main pupil file will be marked with a red ‘C’ in the top right hand corner to denote a separate file exists. –

21.5    A ‘concern’ file will be started in the event of a child welfare concern form being passed to the DSL.

21.6    Records will be kept up to date and reviewed regularly by the Designated Safeguarding Lead to evidence and support actions taken by staff in discharging the school’s safeguarding arrangements.  Original notes will be retained on the concern file as they may be important in any criminal proceedings arising from current or historical allegations of abuse or neglect.

21.7     Staff members recording concerns about a child may not keep copies of recordings made. All recordings must be handed over to the DSL who will store them securely in the child’s ‘concern’ file.

21.8    The concern file can be active or non-active in terms of monitoring i.e. a child is no longer LAC, subject to a child protection plan and this level of activity can be recorded on the front sheet as a start and end date.  If future concerns then arise it can be re-activated and indicated as such on the front sheet and on the chronology as new information arises.  

21.9    If the child moves to another school, the concern file will be securely sent or taken, as part of the admission/transition arrangements, to the DSL at the new establishment/school.  There will be a timely liaison between each school DSL for Safeguarding to ensure a smooth and safe transition for the child. 

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22. Specific safeguarding issues

22.1    Staff must be aware of the wider, specific safeguarding issues, including behaviours associated with drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting, all of which put children in danger. A longer list of such issues is in Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016), with links to further information about each issue, which staff must read and understand.

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23. Children with sexually harmful behaviour

23.1    Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the school’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a pupil’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti-bullying procedures. In particular, research suggests that up to 40 per cent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone under the age of 18.

23.2   The management of children and young people with sexually harmful behaviour is complex and the school will work with other relevant agencies to maintain the safety of the whole school community. Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator. 

23.3   Staff who become concerned about a pupil’s sexualised behaviour should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.

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24. Sexual exploitation of children

Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Child sexual exploitation doesn’t always involve physical contact and can happen online. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.  It may also be linked to child trafficking. All staff are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation and all concerns are reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

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25. Extremism and Radicalisation

25.1    At Abbotsbury Primary School we fully consider radicalisation, extremism and exposure to extremist materials to be safeguarding issues that can lead to poor outcomes for our pupils. In line with the Prevent duty (July 2015), we will work to ensure that members of staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; and maintain an attitude that “it could happen” in the school. School staff will be supported to understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme.

25.2   Through accessing training, we will ensure that all our staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation; are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on. The DSL will undertake Prevent awareness training and will be able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.  We will work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm.

25.3   We will assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology.

25.4   School will not tolerate any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils or staff who will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our behaviour policy for learners and the Code of Conduct for staff.

25.6   We will closely follow any locally agreed procedures and agreed processes and criteria for safeguarding individuals who are vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation. As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities school staff will be alert to:

a)  Disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of college, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where learners have not actively sought these out.

b)  Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images

c)  Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites

d)  Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance

e)  Reports from police and local authority services of issues affecting pupils in the school or other education settings in the locality.

f)  Learners voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives

g)  Use of extremist or hate terms to exclude others or to incite violence

h)  Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture

i)  Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others

j)  Anti-Western or Anti-British views

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26. Safer working practice

Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (2009) indicates that there must be clear professional reason for all conduct of staff and volunteers. All adults working with children in school have read and signed Abbotsbury Primary School’s current Code of Conduct for safe practice.

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27. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

27.1   School recognises the need for all staff to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or of having already suffered FGM. Staff will be alert to the range of potential indicators that a girl may be at risk of FGM.

27.2    If staff have a concern regarding a girl that might be at risk of FGM they must activate safeguarding procedures.  They will personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, in line with Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.  Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions.  Staff should not be examining pupils.  Information and guidance can be found within ‘Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation procedural information’ (DfE, Oct 2015).  Unless the teacher has good reason not to, they should still discuss any such case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate.

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28. ‘Honour based’ violence

28.1    School recognises the range of crimes which are encompassed within the definition of ‘honour-based’ violence, including FGM, forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing.  These are safeguarding issues and will be treated as such.

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29. Online Safety

29.1    Abbotsbury Primary School encourages children to use the Internet as much as is possible but at all times in a safe way. Mobile phones, computers and tablets are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education and our pupils have regular use of these devices. School is aware that that some adults and young people will use these technologies to harm children through hurtful or abusive communications; enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations; webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. The school’s online safety policy explains how we aim to keep pupils safe in school while promoting ICT appropriate skills.

29.2   Abbotsbury Primary School has an unequivocal response to online bullying and sexting by pupils, via texts and emails. This will not be tolerated and will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying. In the absence of a child protection concern online bullying will be managed through our anti-bullying and confiscation procedures.

29.3   If staff members discover instances of misuse, either by staff member, volunteer or child, the issue must be reported to the Headteacher without delay. The Headteacher has overall responsibility for Internet safety and will have access to all email addresses and passwords provided.

29.4   Abbotsbury Primary School has put in place appropriate filters and monitoring systems (through the LGfL) to ensure children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. These systems do not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.

29.5   School has a separate policy on the use of mobile technology in the school, which should be read in conjunction with this policy.

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30. Photography and Video imaging of children in School

30.1    We have taken a sensible and balanced approach that is based on parental consent to take pictures and video images that capture children’s achievements, activities and promote success and wherever possible, take steps to ensure anonymity when in the use of images taken by School for these described purposes.

30.2   Abbotsbury Primary School acknowledges that the majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images. To help protect pupils, we will implement the following safeguards:

a) seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications);

b) seek parental consent;

c) use only the pupil’s first name with an image;

d) ensure pupils are appropriately dressed;

e) encourage pupils to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them;

f) seek parents’ cooperation when taking images at school events to ensure that images of unrelated children are not taken without consent or posted to the Internet or other medium without consent of the parents of children involved;

g) have strict rules regarding use of mobile technology while on school premises.

30.3   Guidance for Parents taking Photographs and filming at School Productions

Abbotsbury Primary School have a policy in place with regards to the taking, making and use of images and parents will have previously signed a consent form stating whether or not their child could be photographed.

If parents wish to take photos at a school production there is a strong possibility that other children will also be included within the picture.

At Abbotsbury Primary School we are happy for parents and carers to take photos and video of events for personal use but we request that these images are not distributed or put online. This is to protect all members of the community.

The sharing of photographs and videos on social media is now commonplace but we must ensure we protect and safeguard all children and staff, including those who do not want to have their images stored online.

Please be aware that parents are not permitted to take photographs or to make a video recording for anything other than their own personal use.

Parents should be reminded that:

a) Once posted and shared online any image or video can be copied and will stay online forever.

b) Some children are at risk and MUST NOT have their image put online. Not all members of the community will know who they are.

c) Some people do not want their images online for personal or religious reasons.

d) Some children and staff may have a complex family background which means that sharing their image online can have unforeseen consequences.

e) Therefore in order to keep all members of the community safe we must all ‘Think before We Post’ Online.

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31. Allegations of abuse made against other children

31.1    School recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers.  Staff will make clear through teaching and interaction with children that peer on peer abuse is never tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. 

31.2   Peer on peer abuse can take many different forms, including sexting.  Gender issues can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse, including girls being sexually touched/assaulted or boys being subject to initiation/hazing type violence.  Guidance on dealing with sexting can be found in Appendix F.

31.3   Where there is an allegation of peer on peer abuse, this will always be taken seriously , investigated and dealt with within the context of the school’s behaviour management policy.          

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32.  Prevention

With reference to our values and ethos, Abbotsbury Primary School will:

a) include regular consultation with children e.g. through safety questionnaires and participation in anti-bullying activities;

b) ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty;

c) include the teaching of safeguarding across the curriculum, including PSHE opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help. In particular this will include online safety, anti-bullying work, transition support; prevention of radicalisation etc;

d) ensure all staff members are aware of school guidance for their use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks.

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33.  Safer recruitment

33.1    The school operates safer recruitment practices, checking staff who work with children; taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required; and ensuring volunteers are appropriately supervised. The school has a separate recruitment and selection policy which should be read in conjunction with this policy.

33.2   The school has at least one person on any appointment panel who has undertaken safer recruitment training, including, where appropriate, a member of the governing body.

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34.  Related Policies

The following policies fall under our safeguarding umbrella and we actively use them to underpin our values, ethos and our intent to ensure that pupils at our school are appropriately safeguarded:

a) Staff Code of Conduct

b) Anti-Bullying

c) Positive handling and managing behaviour

d) Recruitment & Selection

e) Whistle-blowing

f) Attendance

g) Online safety (include mobile devices)

h) Health and Safety including site security

i) Harassment and discrimination including racial abuse

j) Meeting the needs of pupils with medical conditions

k) Intimate Care

l) First aid

m) Educational visits including overnight stays

n) Managing children who go missing in education

 

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