Safeguarding Children Policy
Golders Hill School
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
Date; April 2016
Designated Members of Staff
Safeguarding Lead Professional: Margaret Mc Daid
Deputy Safeguarding Professional: Jan Gibbs
Local Authority Designated Officer
is Shrimatie Bissessar (LADO)
020 8359 4528
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub
020 8359 4066
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
The setting’s Safeguarding Policy draws upon duties conferred by the Children Act 1989 and 2004, S175 of the 2002 Education Act. The Education (Independent School Standards ) Regulation 2014 (for independent schools) and the guidance contained in “Working Together to Safeguard Children”, the DfE’s statutory guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education”, Ofsted Guidance and procedures produced by the London Safeguarding Children Board.
This policy is applicable to all on and off-site activities undertaken by pupils whilst they are the responsibility of the setting.
Our core safeguarding principles are:
- It is the setting’s responsibility to take all reasonable steps to safeguard and protect the rights, health and well-being of all children who are in our care.
- Policies will be reviewed annually, unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an earlier review date.
- The setting will ensure that the welfare of children is given paramount consideration when developing and delivering all activities.
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection.
- All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm in accordance with this guidance.
- All children and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support from the Head Teacher of the setting (if applicable) who will follow this policy guidance in doing so.
- To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable us to meet our statutory responsibilities to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children.
- To ensure consistent good practice across the setting.
- To demonstrate the setting’s commitment to safeguarding children.
This policy is consistent with all other policies adopted by the setting and should in particular be read in conjunction with the following policies relevant to the safety and welfare of children:
- Administration of medicines
- Behaviour management
- Educational visits
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing the impairment of their health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe, effective and nurturing care and undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
Roles and responsibilities
The Safeguarding Lead Professional is Margaret Mc Daid.
The Deputy Safeguarding Professional is Jan Gibbs.
The setting will ensure that the Designated Members of Staff
- are appropriately trained
- act as sources of support and expertise to the setting
- have an understanding of LSCB procedures
- keep written records of all concerns when noted and reported by staff or when disclosed by a child, ensuring that such records are stored securely and reported onward in accordance with this policy guidance, but kept separately from the child’s general file
- refers cases of suspected neglect and/or abuse to children’s social care or police in accordance with this guidance and local procedure
- develop effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies.
- ensures that all staff sign to indicate that they have read and understood this policy
- ensures that the safeguarding policy is updated annually
- keep a record of staff attendance at child protection training and makes this policy available to parents.
Good practice guidelines
To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards children, the setting agrees to the following standards of good practice:
- to treat all children with respect
- to set a good example of conducting ourselves appropriately
- to ensure the staff are positive role models to children and other members of the team and never engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
- to involve children in decision-making which affects them (taking age and development of children into account)
- to encourage positive and safe behaviour among children
- to be a good listener
- to be alert to changes in a child’s behaviour
- to recognise that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
- to read and understand all of the setting’s safeguarding and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example physical contact and information-sharing
- to ask the child’s permission before doing anything for him/her (taking age and development of the child into account) which is of a physical nature, such as assisting with dressing or administering first aid
- to maintain appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children and avoid the use of sexualized and derogatory language
- to be aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyle of some children lead to an increased risk of neglect and or abuse
- to raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills to keep themselves safe
- to provide any form of manual or physical support required, as a last resort and to do so openly and appropriately, and to always consult the children and gain their agreement (taking age and development of children into account)
- to establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop, particularly in their confidence and self-esteem and to provide opportunities for achievement.
Children’s dignity will be preserved and a level of privacy ensured. The normal process of nappy changing should not raise child protection concerns. There are no regulations that indicate that a second member of staff must be available to supervise the nappy changing process to ensure that abuse does not occur, but we must ensure that staff do not leave themselves vulnerable and will always work in an open environment by avoiding private or unobserved situations or closing doors to toilet areas.
Safer School, Safer Staff
Organisational, personal or professional difficulties can get in the way of protecting children.
- Some children may not find the opportunity to make a disclosure. Children are taught through PSHE that they can talk to an adult in the school.
- Staff do not have to deal with Child Protection issues by themselves. If procedures are followed then support is available to manage these difficult and potentially upsetting situations.
- It may be necessary or appropriate, particularly with younger children to hold hands or give cuddles but such contact should be kept to a minimum and should only be initiated by the child. Staff should only have physical contact with children when there are other people present.
- Only staff who have received training regarding the restraint of pupils should attempt to restrain a child, both for their own and the child’s safety. When possible children should always be warned that they are likely to be restrained and the restraint should be witnessed by another adult.
- As a school we recognise that there is sometimes the need to work in a one-to-one situation with a child. Staff should leave the door open and make sure another adult knows where they are and what they are doing.
Use of Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are strictly prohibited from the children’s rooms and outdoor areas. Staff are required to keep their phones switched off and in their bags whilst on duty. Any member of staff known or seen to be using a mobile phone will be disciplined. Parents, carers, visitors, support staff and volunteers are requested to turn their mobile phones off or put them in their bags before entering 666. At 678 mobile phones must be switched off or put away at the gate.
Cameras, photography and images
The vast 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 so we must ensure that we have safeguards in place. To protect children we will:
- obtain parents’ and carers’ consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications)
- use only the child’s first name with an image
- ensure that children are appropriately dressed
- ensure the setting’s designated cameras and/or iPads are only used in the setting
- images taken on the setting’s cameras and/or iPads will not be emailed as they may not be secure
- ensure parents, carers, volunteers and support staff are not permitted to take photographs of the children in the setting. The occasions during the year when parents are permitted to take photographs are Year One’s Nativity Assembly, Year Two’s End of Year Show, class concerts in the summer term and Sports Day
- ensure all school cameras and iPads used are open to scrutiny
Procedure and Responsibilities – Any Staff member
The procedure route will depend upon the urgency of the situation and whether it is merely a suspicion of abuse or an actual disclosure.
Suspicion of abuse: If through conversation or other contact with a child, a staff member has reason to suspect physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect, they should do the following:
- Listen to what the child says. Be comforting and sympathetic. Ensure that the child feels as little responsibility as possible.
- It is particularly important not to make any suggestions to the child regarding how the incident may have happened, therefore do not question the child, except to clarify what he/she is saying.
- Record the facts of the conversation in writing immediately afterwards using the exact words spoken not implied. Sign and date the report (it may be required as evidence).
- Do not make assumptions about what the allegations might concern. If a member of staff is involved, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure the safety of the child and other children.
- Report the suspicion to the Safeguarding Lead responsible for Child Protection. If the Safeguarding Lead is unavailable report the suspicion to the Deputy Safeguarding Professional. If neither are available report the suspicion to the Head Teacher. Whoever the suspicion has been reported to will take the appropriate action.
Disclosure If a child discloses that she/he has been afraid in some way, the member of staff should:
- Listen to what is being said without shock or disbelief
- Accept what is being said but do not apportion blame
- Allow the child to talk freely-ask only open questions e.g. “Tell me more about.....” Do not press for detail, put forward your own ideas or use words that the child has not used themselves.
- Stay calm and reassuring
- Do not make promises that might be impossible to keep. Tell the child that you will have to tell someone else who will be able to help.
- Reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault.
- Stress that it was the right thing to tell.
- Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told.
- Establish details of full name, date of birth, address and names of parents/guardians.
- Pass the information to the Safeguarding Lead without delay.
Guidelines for Designated Safeguarding Professionals (DSP’s)
- If an incident is reported to the Designated Safeguarding Professionals they should decide how to proceed.
- Wherever possible talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place a member of staff or others at risk.
- Whether to make a child protection referral to MASH because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and whether this needs to be undertaken immediately.
- Not to make a referral at this stage but to continue to monitor and log the situation.
- If it would be appropriate to undertake inter-agency assessment including the use of the “Common Assessment Framework” (CAF) and/or make a referral for other services, i.e. “Team Around the Child” (TAC).
All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, should be fully documented. All referrals should be accompanied by a referral form.
Social care is always available to offer advice to designated safeguarding staff if action needed is unclear.
If at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made immediately. All referrals are made to Barnet’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). Anybody can make a referral.
If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the person with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
Golders Hill School is committed to the process of creating a culture of safe recruitment and as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who may abuse children. The school will require all adults employed on the premises to have the appropriate clearance to work with children and will ensure that enhanced checks are/have been obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) where someone is to be employed within a regulated activity (as defined within Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) The enhanced DBS check will include a barred check list.
Any person to be employed within a teaching position will have been checked to ensure they are not subject to a prohibition order.
Any parent or other person/organisation engaged by the school to work in a voluntary capacity with pupils will be subjected to all reasonable vetting procedures and Criminal Records Checks. There is no legal requirement to obtain DBS certificates for volunteers who are not in regulated activity but an enhanced DBS check without a barred list check may be requested following a risk assessment. Volunteers will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of the school.
Allegations against a member of staff
- All staff will be subject to a DBS check and are required to complete the appropriate forms and supply appropriate forms of identification before starting work or within the first month.
- Should there be an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer, the matter should be reported immediately to the Head Teacher. Should the allegation be made against the Head Teacher, the matter should be reported immediately to another member of the Senior Management Team (Jill Steel or Margaret Mc Daid)
- Where an allegation is made the Head Teacher should obtain necessary further details of the allegation and the circumstances in which it was made. Consideration should be made as to whether the evidence/information establishes that the allegation is unfounded.
- Whenever an allegation is made against a member of staff the head teacher will follow the Barnet documents “Allegations against staff within the children’s workforce in Barnet” and “London Safeguarding Child Protection Procedures, section 7, Allegations against staff or volunteers, who work with children
- If the allegation is not patently false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm , the Head Teacher should immediately contact the Barnet LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) on 020 8359 44882 or via the MASH team (020 8359 4066). Should the matter be referred to the police, social services department or NSPCC, suspension should be formally considered. Suspension, without prejudice, will be undertaken to protect all involved persons and safeguard the enquiry.
- Should a formal referral not be appropriate, the Head Teacher will make a full investigation as to the member of staff’s conduct. Should the allegation not require formal disciplinary action the Head Teacher should institute appropriate action within 3 working days. If a disciplinary hearing is required and can be held without further investigation, the hearing should be held within 15 working days.
- Where further investigation is required to inform consideration of disciplinary action the Head Teacher will discuss the allegation with the LEA officer who will make a report within 10 working days.
- On receipt of the report the Head Teacher should consult with the LEA and decide whether a disciplinary hearing is necessary within 2 working days. If a hearing is required it should be held within 15 working days.
- If on conclusion of the case the school ceases to use the person’s services or the person ceases to provide his/her services, the school should consult with the LEA about whether a referral to DfES is required. If a referral is appropriate the report should be made within one month.
All staff understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence. Staff should only discuss concerns with the designated persons or Head Teacher. That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a “need-to-know” basis.
Whole-school in-service training on safeguarding issues is organised on a three yearly basis. CP INSET training took place in July 2015. All newly recruited staff (teaching and non-teaching) will be appraised of this policy and will be required to attend LA Safeguarding training. In addition, all new staff and temporary staff will be required to attend an induction session with the Safeguarding Lead Professional or Deputy Safeguarding Professional within their first week at the setting. Any volunteers will require a Safeguarding summary prior to starting at the school.
The Designated Safeguarding Professionals will attend the LA’s dedicated induction course and then refresher training at least every two years which updates their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wider agenda of safeguarding issues.
Well kept records are essential to good Safeguarding Practice. Our setting is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our setting, the status of such records and when those records should be passed over to other agencies.
Any records regarding safeguarding and child protection are kept securely in the Head Teacher’s office.
Recognising concerns, signs and indicators of abuse
To recognise that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. We will ensure all staff understands their responsibilities in being alert to indicators of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated professionals for safeguarding and child protection.
There are four categories of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. These categories overlap and an abused child does frequently suffer more than one type of abuse.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but now is usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).
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 also involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only for meeting the needs of another person. 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, causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some levels of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative and non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in a sexually inappropriate way.
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. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing or shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment:; failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; failing to ensure adequate supervision, including the use of inadequate care-takers; or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as female circumcision) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue and hence interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies. FGM causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulty in childbirth also causing dangers to the child. It is practised by families for a variety of complex reasons but often in the belief that it is beneficial for the girl or women. FGM is practised in 28 African countries as well as in parts of the Middle East and Asia. The practice is illegal in the UK. It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM. The girls may be taken to their countries of origin so that FGM can be carried out during the summer holidays, allowing them time to “heal” before they return to school. Some girls may have FGM performed in the UK. FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on specified authorities, including local authorities and childcare, education and other children’s services providers, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“The Prevent Duty”). Young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views, in particular those via the internet and other social media. Schools can help to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same ways that they help to safeguard children from drugs, gang violence or alcohol.
If there is an allegation of abuse against the Head Teacher, it should be reported to:-
London Borough of Barnet
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash)
Tel: 0208 359 4066