MODEL WHOLE SCHOOL POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING
INCORPORATING CHILD PROTECTION
Updated July 2019
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019)
The model policy was revised in July 2019 to reflect the minor changes in national guidance as a consequence of the publication of revisions to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ on 25 June 2019. This guidance will become statutory on 2 September 2019 and all schools and colleges must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Until 2 September 2019, schools and colleges must continue to use the current statutory guidance dated September 2018.
In accordance with the guidance, governing bodies and proprietors of independent schools and colleges should ensure that the school or college’s safeguarding policy is:
• publicly available via the school website or by other means;
• provided to all staff at induction along with a staff code of conduct, behaviour policy and the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education.
Governing Bodies and Proprietors should also ensure that all staff have read Part One and Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and that there are mechanisms in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part One of this guidance.
The revised guidance also states that Governing bodies and proprietors should provide staff with the opportunity to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy. It is recommended that schools and colleges consult staff on proposed changes to the safeguarding policy and seek their views on how arrangements could be further strengthened.
Guidance on Writing a Safeguarding Policy
Sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002 place a statutory duty on governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of independent schools, free schools and academies to have arrangements in place to ensure that they safeguard and promote the welfare of children. As part of these arrangements schools need to have a safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures in place which are followed by all staff and volunteers, reviewed annually by the Governing Body and adhere to statutory requirements and Local Authority guidance.
It is recommended that, when reviewing and revising the safeguarding & child protection policy, you ensure that the most up to date local and national guidance is referenced and you consider the points below.
Does the policy:
• set out its purpose and aims clearly
• provide a secure framework for the workforce
• link with other relevant safeguarding policies, for example bullying, physical intervention, whistle-blowing, safer recruitment
• set out what other elements of provision are in place to enable pupils to feel safe and adopt safe practices, for example through the curriculum
• appear accessible and easy to understand
• set out responsibilities and expectations of staff and other relevant adults clearly, particularly in identifying and reporting possible or actual instances of abuse
• make it clear who are the designated members of staff
• distinguish between the steps that should be taken for general safeguarding concerns or disclosures and those which should be taken if the concern is about the Headteacher or other members of staff
• support an ethos where pupils or staff can talk freely about concerns, in the belief that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken
• set out clear expectations about reporting (and recording) concerns to relevant agencies
• indicate what training is provided to staff and what steps are taken to bring policy and procedures to the attention of temporary staff and volunteers
• set out the role of governors
• indicate how the policy will be implemented, monitored and evaluated
• indicate how parents or carers will be made aware of the policy and relevant procedures?
The following model policy is designed to provide a framework for your school’s policy. It should be adapted to make it relevant to your setting and any particular local safeguarding issues you may be dealing with. School-specific information should be added e.g. information about the curriculum and the school’s monitoring and evaluation procedures.
Summary of changes – July 2019:
The model policy has been revised to reflect these changes to the statutory guidance as outlined below.
Throughout All references to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2018) have been removed and replaced with reference to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2019).
All references to the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board have been replaced with Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership.
All references to Children’s Services have been replaced with Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS)
1. Purpose & Aims No changes
2. Ethos 2.4 Updated to reflect the further importance of teaching online safety and the new DfE guidance ‘Teaching online safety in school’ (June 2019)
2.5 Amended to reflect the changes to the multi-agency safeguarding arrangements
3. Roles & Responsibilities No changes
4. Training & Induction No changes
5. Procedures for Managing Concerns No changes
6. Contextual Safeguarding Updated to include information on
6.4 Child Sexual Exploitation
6.5 Child Criminal Exploitation
6.8 Forced Marriage
6.11 Upskirting included to reflect the fact that this is now a criminal offence
7. Records & Information Sharing No changes
8. Working with Parents No changes
9. Child Protection Conferences No changes
10. Safer Recruitment No changes
11. Safer Working Practice No changes
12. Managing Allegations Against Staff & Volunteers No changes
13. Relevant Policies No changes
14. Statutory Framework ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2018) has been replaced with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2019).
The document ‘Teaching online safety in school’ DfE (June 2019) has been added.
Appendices No changes
Adviser – Education Safeguarding
Senior Adviser- Education Safeguarding
WHOLE SCHOOL POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING
INCORPORATING CHILD PROTECTION
St Martha’s RC Primary School
This policy is available on our school website and is available on request from the school office. We also inform parents and carers about this policy when their children join our school and through our school newsletter.
We recognise the expertise our staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis and we therefore invite staff to contribute to and shape this policy and associated safeguarding arrangements.
The policy is provided to all staff at induction alongside our Staff Code of Conduct, behaviour policy and the safeguarding response to those pupils who are missing from education. In addition, all staff are provided with Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019).
This policy will be reviewed in full by the Governing Body on an annual basis. This policy was last reviewed and agreed by the Governing Body in September 2019. It is due for review in September 2020.
Purpose & Aims
Roles & Responsibilities
Training & Induction
Procedures for Managing Concerns
Specific Safeguarding Issues
Recording & Information Sharing
Working with Parents & Carers
Child Protection Conferences
Safer Working Practice
Managing Allegations against Staff
Other relevant policies
1 Recording form for reporting concerns
2 Induction checklist for staff & volunteers
3 Local Safeguarding Procedures
4 Advice for schools, colleges and alternative education providers where there are concerns about an adult who works within the setting
PURPOSE & AIMS
1.1 The purpose of St Martha’s School’s safeguarding policy is to ensure every child who is a registered pupil at our school is safe and protected from harm. This means we will always work to:
• Protect children and young people at our school from maltreatment;
• Prevent impairment of our children’s and young people’s health or development;
• Ensure that children and young people at our school grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
• Undertake that role so as to enable children and young people at our school to have the best outcomes.
1.2 This policy will give clear direction to staff, volunteers, visitors and parents about expected behaviour and our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children at our school.
1.3 Our school fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children from harm and supporting and promoting the welfare of all children who are registered pupils at our school. The elements of our policy are prevention, protection and support.
1.4 We recognise that our safeguarding responsibilities are clearly linked to our responsibilities for ensuring that appropriate safeguarding responses are in place for children who are absent from school or who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. The Attendance Lead will regularly liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to discuss all persistently absent pupils and those who go missing to identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to ensure that appropriate safeguarding responses have been put in place to reduce the risk of future harm.
1.5 This policy applies to all pupils, staff, parents, governors, volunteers and visitors.
2. OUR ETHOS
2.1 The child’s welfare is of paramount importance. Our school will establish and maintain an ethos where 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.
2.2 Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. 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 advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members must always act in the best interests of the child.
2.3 All staff and regular visitors will, through training and induction, know how
to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. We will not make promises to any child and we will not keep secrets. Every child will know what the adult will have to do with any information they have chosen to disclose.
2.4 Throughout our curriculum we will provide activities and opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to identify risks and stay safe. This will also be extended to include material that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills. We follow the NSPCC PANTS scheme starting in reception, and role this out again throughout the school at the beginning of each term. Each year group takes part in termly lessons on internet safety, and year 6 attend the Crucial Crew training at the fire station.
2.5 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 (2018) and the Norfolk Multi Agency Safeguarding Partnership arrangements.
2.6 As part of our responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, we will provide a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified. These may include if a child:
• is disabled and has specific additional needs;
• has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
• is a young carer;
• is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
• is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
• is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
• is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
• is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse;
• has returned home to their family from care;
• is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect;
• is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
• is a privately fostered child.
3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Role Name Contact details
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Hayley Pink 01553 774829
Helen Bowman 01553 774829
Head of School Aidan McGovern
Hayley Pink 01553 774829
Named Safeguarding Governor Rob Ashwell 01553 774829
Chair of Governors Claire Ampomah
3.1 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. This includes the responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
The Governing Body
3.2 The Governing Body of St Martha’s School is accountable for ensuring the effectiveness of this policy and our compliance with it. Although our Governing Body takes collective responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils, we also have a named governor who champions safeguarding within the school.
3.3 The Governing Body will ensure that:
• The safeguarding policy is in place and is reviewed annually, is available publicly via our school website and has been written in line with Local Authority guidance and the requirements of the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership policies and procedures;
• The school contributes to inter-agency working in line with in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018);
• A senior member of staff from leadership team is designated to take the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and that there is at least one deputy DSL(s) who is appropriately trained member to deal with any issues in the absence of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). There will always be cover for this role. The role will be evidenced explicitly in the role holder’s job description.
• All staff receive a safeguarding induction and are provided with a copy of this policy, the staff code of conduct, the behaviour policy and the school’s safeguarding response for those pupils who go missing from education as detailed section 6 of this policy.
• All staff undertake appropriate child protection training that is updated annually and on-line safety training;
• Procedures are in place for dealing with allegations against members of staff and volunteers in line with statutory guidance;
• Safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ’Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (2019);
This policy includes detailed information on the procedures and processes to follow regarding peer on peer abuse, the recognition of it and the different forms it may take.
• They remedy without delay any weakness in regard to our safeguarding arrangements that are brought to their attention.
3.4 The governing body will receive a safeguarding report at each meeting that will record the training that has taken place, the number of staff attending and any outstanding training requirements for the school. It will also record all safeguarding activity that has taken place, for example, meetings attended, reports written, training or induction given. It will not identify individual pupils.
The Head of School
3.5 At St Martha’s School the Head of School is responsible for:
• Identifying a senior member of staff from leadership team to be the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL);
• Identifying alternate members of staff to act as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) in his/her absence to ensure there is always cover for the role;
• Ensuring that the policies and procedures adopted by the governing body, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by all staff;
• Ensuring that all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and such concerns are addressed sensitively in accordance with agreed whistle-blowing procedures;
• Liaise with the LADO in the event of an allegation of abuse being made against a member of staff or volunteer.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
3.6 The Designated Safeguarding Lead is a senior member of staff, from the
leadership team who takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within our school. The DSL will carry out their role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Annex B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.
3.7 The DSL will provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and
child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the DSL.
3.8 During term time the designated safeguarding lead and or a deputy will
always be available (during school or college hours) for staff in the school or college to discuss any safeguarding concerns. If in exceptional circumstances, a DSL is not available on the school site in person, we will ensure that they are available via telephone and/or any other relevant media.
3.9 The DSL at St Martha’s School will represent our school at child protection conferences and core group meetings. Through appropriate training, knowledge and experience our DSL will liaise with Children’s Services and other agencies where necessary, and make referrals of suspected abuse to Children’s Services, take part in strategy discussions and other interagency meetings and contribute to the assessment of children.
3.10 The DSL will maintain written records and child protection files ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely. From September 2019 the school will be moving to the CPOMS recording system, which the DSL will be responsible for mainaining.
3.11 The DSL is responsible for ensuring that all staff members and volunteers are aware of our policy and the procedure they need to follow. They will ensure that all staff, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction and have been trained within the school to the agreed school’s safeguarding training pack provided by Children’s Services.
3.12 The DSL will obtain details of the Local Authority Personal Advisor appointed to guide and support a child who is a care leaver.
4. TRAINING & INDUCTION
4.1 When new staff join our school they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of our school’s safeguarding policy along with the staff code of conduct, Part one and Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and told who our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy DSLs are. They will also receive a copy of the behaviour policy and the school’s response to children who go missing from education – this information is included in section 6 of this policy. All staff are expected to read these key documents. They will also be provided with the safeguarding recording form, given information on how to complete it and who to pass it to.
4.2 Every new member of staff or volunteer will receive safeguarding training during their induction period within two weeks of joining the school. This programme will include information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, how to record, the processes for referral to Children’s Services and the statutory assessments under Section 17 and Section 47 as well as the remit of the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The training will also include information about whistle-blowing in respect of concerns about another adult’s behaviour and suitability to work with children. Staff will also receive on-line safety training as this is part of the overarching safeguarding approach of our school.
4.3 In addition to the safeguarding induction, we will ensure that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part one of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. In order to achieve this we will ensure that:
• all members of staff will undertake appropriate safeguarding training on an annual basis and we will evaluate the impact of this training;
• all staff members receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively;
4.4 All regular visitors, temporary staff and volunteers to our school will be given a set of our safeguarding procedures; they will be informed of whom our DSL and alternate staff members are and what the recording and reporting system is. (See Appendix 2).
4.5 The DSL, the alternate designated member(s) of staff and any other senior member of staff who may be in a position of making referrals or attending child protection conferences or core groups will attend one of the multi-agency training courses organised by Norfolk Safeguarding Children’s Partnership at least once every three years. The DSL and alternate will attend Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) training provided by the Local Authority every two years. In addition to formal training, DSL will ensure that they update their knowledge and skills at regular intervals, but at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role. [It is recommended that you describe how you will do this e.g. accessing e-courier and disseminating national and local updates to staff, attendance at DSL cluster/forum meetings, Local Safeguarding Children’s Groups, Personal Development].
4.6 Our governing body will also undertake appropriate training to ensure they are able to carry out their duty to safeguard all of the children at our school. Training for Governors to support them in their safeguarding role is available from Norfolk Governor Services.
4.7 We actively encourage all of our staff to keep up to date with the most recent local and national safeguarding advice and guidance, Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2019) provides links to guidance on specific safeguarding issues such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation. In addition, local guidance can be accessed via Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership and within the Safeguarding Section of the Norfolk Schools website: http://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/safeguarding.
5. PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING CONCERNS
5.1 St Martha’s School adheres to child protection procedures that have been agreed locally through the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership. Where we identify children and families in need of support, we will carry out our responsibilities in accordance with Norfolk Local Assessment Protocol and the Norfolk Threshold Guidance.
5.2 Every member of staff including volunteers working with children at our school are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy.
5.3 All staff are encouraged to report any concerns that they have and not see these as insignificant. On occasions, a referral is justified by a single incident such as an injury or disclosure of abuse. More often however, concerns accumulate over a period of time and are evidenced by building up a picture of harm over time; this is particularly true in cases of emotional abuse and neglect. In these circumstances, it is crucial that staff record and pass on concerns in accordance with this policy immediately to allow the DSL to build up a picture and access support for the child at the earliest opportunity. A reliance on memory without accurate and contemporaneous records of concern could lead to a failure to protect.
5.4 It is not the responsibility of school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and pass the information on in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.
5.5 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) should be used as a first point of contact for concerns and queries regarding any safeguarding concern in our school. Any member of staff or visitor to the school who receives a disclosure of abuse or suspects that a child is at risk of harm must report it immediately to the DSL or, if unavailable, to the alternate designated person. In the absence of either of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.
5.6 All concerns about a child or young person should be reported without delay and recorded in writing using the agreed template (see Appendix 1), until all staff have received CPOMS training, when they will record their concerns online.
5.7 Following receipt of any information raising concern, the DSL will consider what action to take and seek advice from the Norfolk Children’s Advice & Duty Service (CADS) as required. All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented.
5.8 All referrals will be made in line with Norfolk Children’s Services procedures as outlined in Appendix 3.
5.9 If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to Norfolk CADS immediately. Anybody can make a referral in these circumstances. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration by raising concerns again with the DSL and/or the Headteacher. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
5.10 Staff should always follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy in the first instance. However, they may also share information directly with Norfolk CADS, or the police if:
• the situation is an emergency and the designated senior person, their alternate and the Headteacher are all unavailable;
• they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the pupil’s safety.
5.11 Any member of staff who does not feel that concerns about a child have been responded to appropriately and in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy should raise their concerns with the Headteacher or the Chair of Governors. If any member of staff does not feel the situation has been addressed appropriately at this point should contact Norfolk CADS directly with their concerns.
6. Specific Safeguarding Issues
6.1 At St Martha’s School we recognise that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside of the school environment and/or can occur between children outside of the school. This is known as contextual safeguarding. It is key that all school staff are aware of the definition of contextual safeguarding and when reporting concerns, they include as much information and background detail as possible so the DSL can make a referral with a holistic view of the child. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.
6.2 We recognise that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges and these are discussed in staff training. These additional barriers can include:
• assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
• children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs; and
• communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
6.3 At St Martha’s School we recognise that a previously looked after child potentially remains vulnerable and all staff should have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep previously looked after children safe. When dealing with looked after children and previously looked after children, it is important that all agencies work together, and prompt action is taken when necessary to safeguard these children, who are a particularly vulnerable group.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
6.4 At St Martha’s School we recognise that Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator. Child sexual exploitation does not always include physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE): County Lines
6.5 At St Martha’s School we understand that criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity. Drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. Key to identifying potential involvement in county lines are missing episodes, when the victim may have been trafficked for the purpose of transporting drugs.
So-called’honour-based violence (including Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage
6.6 At St Martha’s School we recognise that our staff are well placed to identify concerns and take action to prevent children from becoming victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other forms of so-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) and provide guidance on these issues through our safeguarding training. If staff have a concern regarding a child that might be at risk of HBV they should inform the DSL who will activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multiagency liaison with police and children’s social care.
6.7 Where FGM has taken place, since 31 October 2015 there has been a mandatory reporting duty placed on teachers. Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. We will provide guidance and support to our teachers on this requirement and further information on when and how to make a report can be found in the following Home Office guidance: Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation- procedural information Home Office (December 2015)
6.8 At St Martha’s School we recognise that forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. The Forced Marriage Unit has statutory guidance and Multi-agency guidelines and can be contacted for advice or more information: Contact 020 7008 0151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Preventing radicalisation and extremism
6.9 We recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society. At St Martha’s School, we will ensure that:
• Through training, staff, volunteers and governors have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism is, why we need to be vigilant in school and how to respond when concerns arise.
• There are systems in place for keeping pupils safe from extremist material when accessing the internet in our school by using effective filtering and usage policies.
• The DSL has received Prevent training and will act as the point of contact within our school for any concerns relating to radicalisation and extremism.
• The DSL will make referrals in accordance with Norfolk Channel procedures and will represent our school at Channel meetings as required.
• Through our curriculum, we will promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.
Peer on peer abuse
6.10 We recognise that children are also vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by their peers or siblings. Abuse perpetrated by children can be just as harmful as that perpetrated by an adult, so it is important that all staff and volunteers to remember the impact on both the victim of the abuse as well as to focus on the support for the child or young person exhibiting the harmful behaviour. Such abuse will always be taken as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult and the same safeguarding children procedures will apply in respect of any child who is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Staff must never tolerate or dismiss concerns relating to peer on peer abuse; it must never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’.
6.11 At St Martha’s all staff are trained so that they are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
• bullying (including cyberbullying);
• physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
• sexual violence and sexual harassment;
• sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
• initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
6.12 All staff will understand that they should follow our safeguarding procedures for reporting a concern if they are worried about peer on peer abuse. The DSL will respond to any concerns related to peer on peer abuse in line with guidance outlined in Part five of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’ (May 2018). We will ensure that all concerns, discussions and decisions reached are clearly recorded and any identified actions are followed up.
6.13 We will work with other agencies as required to respond to concerns about sexual violence and harassment. We will seek consultations where there are concerns or worries about developmentally inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviour from the Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) Team as required so that we ensure we are offering the right support to the child(ren). Support will depend on the circumstances of each case and the needs of the child, it may include completion of risk assessments to support children to remain in school whilst safeguarding other children and the victim, delivery of early intervention in respect of HSB and/or referral to The Harbour Centre Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) where a pupil discloses a rape, an attempted rape or a serious sexual assault whether this has happened recently or in the past. The assault does not have to have taken place in Norfolk but the victim must live in Norfolk to access support. The SARC also has a 24/7 helpline 01603 276381 if pupils or staff need to speak to a Crisis Worker for help & advice. Referral forms can be found on The Harbour Centre website.
Safeguarding responses to children who go missing
6.14 At St Martha’s all staff should be aware of the safeguarding responsibilities for children who are missing education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.
6.15 At St Martha’s we adhere to the following procedures and processes to ensure there is an appropriate safeguarding response to children who missing:
• An attendance register is taken at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session;
• We make every effort to contact parents and carers and follow up with the emergency contacts held;
• We hold at least two emergency contact numbers for each of the pupils on our roll wherever possible.
• Staff will alert DSLs to any concerns raised regarding children who are absent from school;
• The DSLs will meet regularly with the Executive Head, SENCo and other members of the pastoral team to ensure that each response is thorough and takes into account all the relevant information about individual children;
• We will follow the procedures outlined in our attendance policy including undertaking first day calling and monitoring data to ensure we intervene early in cases of poor attendance and/or unexplained absences.
• When removing a child from roll at the standard and non-standard transition points we will inform the Local Authority in accordance with statutory requirements and pass on all safeguarding files.
If a child is absent from school for more than 3 days, the head of school will send a letter home asking for a reason as to why the child is not at school, if this continues for more than 10 days a letter is sent home explaining that the school will need to inform the LA. If nothing is heard from the home after a period of three days and the school have concerns about the welfare of the child, the head teacher and the DSL or deputy DSL will go to the child’s house to enquire as to why they are absent from school. If there is no one at home them a letter will be left (see attendance policy appendices) stating that a visit has been made and asking them to contact the school as a matter of urgency.
7. RECORDS AND INFORMATION SHARING
ONLY UNTIL STAFF HAVE RECEIVED CPOMS TRAINING.
7.1 If staff are concerned about the welfare or safety of any child at our school they will record their concern on the agreed reporting form (Appendix 1). They should ensure that the form is signed and dated. Any concerns should be passed to the DSL without delay.
7.2 Any information recorded will be kept in a separate named file, in a secure cabinet and not with the child’s academic file. These files will be the responsibility of the DSL. Child protection information will only be shared within school on the basis of ‘need to know in the child’s interests’ and on the understanding that it remains strictly confidential.
7.3 Child protection information will only be kept in the file and this file will be kept up to date. Records of concern, copies of referrals, invitations to child protection conferences, core groups and reports will be stored here. All our safeguarding files will include; a chronology, contents front cover and will record significant events in the child’s life.
ONCE STAFF HAVE RECEIVED TRAINING:
All records will be entered onto the whole school CPOMS system. Staff will have differing access levels depending on their role in the school.
7.4 When a child leaves our school, the DSL will make contact with the DSL at the new school and will ensure that the child protection file is forwarded to the receiving school in an appropriately agreed manner. This may be via the CPOMS system if the receiving school also used this.
We will retain evidence to demonstrate how the file has been transferred; this may be in the form of a written confirmation of receipt from the receiving school and/or evidence of recorded delivery. Where a parent elects to remove their child from the school roll to home educate, the school will make arrangements to pass any safeguarding concerns to the Services to Home Educators Team within Norfolk County Council.
8. WORKING WITH PARENTS & CARERS
8.1 St Martha’s School is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to support them to understand our statutory responsibilities in this area.
8.2 When new pupils join our school, parents and carers will be informed that we have a safeguarding policy. A copy will be provided to parents on request and is available on the school website. Parents and carers will be informed of our legal duty to assist our colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries and what happens should we have cause to make a referral to Norfolk CADS.
8.3 We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission, or it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard a child from harm.
8.4 We will seek to share with parents any concerns we may have about their child unless to do so may place a child at increased risk of harm. A lack of parental engagement or agreement regarding the concerns the school has about a child will not prevent the DSL making a referral to Norfolk CADS in those circumstances where it is appropriate to do so.
8.5 In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, the school requires parents to provide accurate and up to date information regarding:
• Full names and contact details of all adults with whom the child normally lives;
• Full names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above);
• Emergency contact details (if different from above);
• Full details of any other adult authorised by the parent to collect the child from school (if different from the above).
The School will retain this information on the pupil file. The school will only share information about pupils with adults who have parental responsibility for a pupil or where a parent has given permission and the school has been supplied with the adult’s full details in writing.
The following paragraph should be included for those schools who are signed up to Operation Encompass or deleted as applicable:
8.6 At St Martha’s we are working in partnership with Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk Children’s Services to identify and provide appropriate support to pupils who have experienced domestic violence in their household; this scheme is called Operation Encompass. In order to achieve this, Norfolk Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will share police information of all domestic incidents where one of our pupils has been present with the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s). On receipt of any information, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide on the appropriate support the child requires, this could be silent or overt. All information sharing and resulting actions will be undertaken in accordance with the ‘Norfolk Joint Agency Protocol for Domestic Abuse – Notifications to Schools’. We will record this information and store this information in accordance with the record keeping procedures outlined in this policy.
9. CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES
9.1 Children’s Services will convene a Child Protection conference once a child protection enquiry under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 has been undertaken and the child is judged to be at continuing risk of significant harm. A review conference will take place once a child has been made the subject of a Child Protection Plan in order to monitor the safety of the child and the required reduction in risk.
9.2 Staff members may be asked to attend a child protection conference or core group meetings on behalf of the school in respect of individual children. Usually the person representing the school at these meetings will be the Head of School or DSL. In any event, the person attending will need to have as much relevant up to date information about the child as possible; any member of staff may be required to contribute to this process.
9.3 All reports for child protection conferences will be prepared in advance using the guidance and template report provided by the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership. The information contained in the report will be shared with parents before the conference as appropriate and will include information relating to the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development and the child’s presentation at school. In order to complete such reports, all relevant information will be sought from staff working with the child in school.
9.4 Clearly child protection conferences can be upsetting for parents. We recognise that we are likely to have more contact with parents than other professionals involved. We will work in an open and honest way with any parent whose child has been referred to Children’s Services or whose child is subject to a child protection plan. Our responsibility is to promote the protection and welfare of all children and our aim is to achieve this in partnership with our parents.
10. SAFER RECRUITMENT
10.1 We will ensure that the Head of School, Executive Head and at least one member of the Governing Body have completed appropriate safer recruitment training. At all times the Head of School and Governing Body will ensure that safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019). At least one person involved in conducting an interview will have received safer recruitment training.
10.2 At St Martha’s School we will use the recruitment and selection process to deter and reject unsuitable candidates. We require evidence of original academic certificates. We do not accept testimonials and insist on taking up references prior to interview. We will question the contents of application forms if we are unclear about them, we will undertake Disclosure and Barring Service checks and use any other means of ensuring we are recruiting and selecting the most suitable people to work with our children.
10.3 We will maintain a Single Central Register (SCR) of all safer recruitment checks carried out in line with statutory requirements. A senior member of staff will check the SCR regularly to ensure that it meets statutory requirements.
11. SAFER WORKING PRACTICE
11.1 All adults who come into contact with our children have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. There is a legal duty placed upon us to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of our children are competent, confident and safe to do so.
11.2 All staff will be provided with a copy of our school’s code of conduct at induction. They will be expected to know our school’s Code of Conduct and policy for positive handling and carry out their duties in accordance with this advice. There will be occasion when some form of physical contact is inevitable, for example if a child has an accident or is hurt or is in a situation of danger to themselves or others around them. However, at all times the agreed policy for safe restraint must be adhered to. A list of staff that have accessed Norfolk Steps training will be kept by the Head of School.
11.3 If staff, visitors, volunteers or parent helpers are working with children alone they will, wherever possible, be visible to other members of staff. They will be expected to inform another member of staff of their whereabouts in school, who they are with and for how long. Doors, ideally, should have a clear glass panel in them and be left open.
11.4 Guidance about acceptable conduct and safe practice will be given to all staff and volunteers during induction. These are sensible steps that every adult should take in their daily professional conduct with children. This advice can be found in ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’ (May 2019). All staff and volunteers are expected to carry out their work in accordance with this guidance and will be made aware that failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action.
12. MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
12.1 Our aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the wellbeing and very best outcomes for the children at our school. We do recognise that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made.
12.2 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.
12.3 We 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 local protocol Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children and Part 4 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2019) are adhered to and will seek appropriate advice. The first point of contact for schools regarding LADO issues is via the Local Authority Duty Desk on 01603 307797. A Duty Advisor will give advice and guidance on next steps. If the advice is to make a referral to LADO then the form should be completed. Direct contact details for the LADO are- e-mail: LADO@norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01603 223693. See Appendix 4 for further details.
12.4 If an allegation is made or information is received about any adult who works in our setting which indicates that they may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the information should inform the Head of School immediately. This includes concerns relating to agency and supply staff and volunteers. Should an allegation be made against the Head of School or Executive Head, this will be reported to the Chair of Governors. In the event that neither the Head of School nor 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 Head of School or the Vice Chair of Governors.
12.5 The Head of School or Chair of Governors will seek advice from the LADO within one working day. No member of staff or the governing body will undertake further investigations before receiving advice from the LADO.
12.6 Any member of staff or volunteer who does not feel confident to raise their concerns with the Head of School or Chair of Governors should contact the LADO directly on 01603 223693. Further national guidance can be found at: Advice on whistleblowing. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is also available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or via e-mail: email@example.com.
12.7 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 the member of staff has committed one of a number of listed offences, and who 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 LADO and/or HR.
13 RELEVANT POLICIES
13.1 To underpin the values and ethos of our school and our intent to ensure that pupils at our school are appropriately safeguarded the following policies are also included under our safeguarding umbrella:
• Staff Code of Conduct
• Recruitment & Selection
• On-line Safety
• Health and Safety including site security
• Harassment and discrimination including racial abuse
• Meeting the needs of pupils with medical conditions
• Intimate Care
• First aid
• Educational visits including overnight stays
14. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK
This policy has been devised in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
• ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children DfE (July 2018)
• ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (2019)
• Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures
• Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership Protocol: Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children
• ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’ (May 2019)
• ‘What to do if you're worried a child is being abused’, DfE (March 2015)
• Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services, DfE (July 2018)
• ‘The Prevent duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers’, DfE (June 2015)
• Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation- procedural information Home Office (December 2015)
• Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’, DfE (May 2018)
• ‘Teaching online safety in school’ DfE (June 2019)
Appendix 1: Draft Recording Form for Safeguarding Concerns
Appendix 2: Safeguarding Induction Sheet for new or supply staff and regular visitors or volunteers.
We all have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and at our school we take this responsibility seriously.
If you have any concerns about a child or young person in our school, you must share this information immediately with our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or one of the alternate post holders.
Do not think that your worry is insignificant if it is about hygiene, appearance or behaviour – we would rather you told us as we would rather know about something that appears small than miss a worrying situation.
If you think the matter is very serious and may be related to child protection, for example, physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect, you must find one of the designated professionals detailed below and provide them with a written record of your concern. A copy of the form to complete is attached to this and others can be obtained from Hayley Pink, Lucy Child, Helen Bowman, or on the notice board in the office. Please ensure you complete all sections as described.
If you are unable to locate them ask a member of the school office staff to find them and to ask them to speak with you immediately about a confidential and urgent matter.
Any allegation concerning a member of staff, a child’s foster carer or a volunteer should be reported immediately to the Head of School. If an allegation is made about the Headteacher you should pass this information to the Chair of the Governing Body. Alternatively, you can contact the Local Authority Duty Desk on 01603 307797. NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is also available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The people you should talk to in school are:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Hayley Pink
Location of office: Near Endeavour Hall
Contact Number: 01553 774829
Deputy Designated Lead: Lucy Child/Helen Bowman
Location of office: Front Office/Reception classroom
Contact Number: 01553 774829
Chair of Governing Body: Claire Ampomah
Contact Number:01553 774829
At St Martha’s school we strive to safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.
Appendix 3: Local Safeguarding Procedures
Children’s Advice and Duty Service- CADS
Before contacting CADS, please answer the following questions and follow the advice provided:
Appendix 4: Advice for schools, colleges and alternative education providers where there are concerns about an adult who works within the setting.