Safeguarding and Child Protection
Designated person for Child Protection: Janis French
Deputy designated staff for Child Protection: Hazel Souter and Lynn Stainthorpe
By working together, our pupils will enjoy a creative, innovative, exciting and challenging curriculum within a safe environment which will enrich and enhance every child’s learning.
Within the context of our school mission statement we will endeavour to ensure that the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the pupils in our care is of paramount importance.
The School recognises it’s prime responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of its’ children. These ideals as supported by the principles underpinning work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018 and Ofsted guidance, Safeguarding Children and Young People and Young Vulnerable adults, February 2015 and the Prevent Duty 2015.
Children have a right to feel secure and cannot learn effectively unless they do so. Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts or failure to provide proper care or both. Children may suffer neglect; emotional, physical or sexual abuse or a combination of such types of abuse. All children have the right to be protected from abuse. The aim of our procedures will be, once abuse or neglect is suspected, to minimise damage to the child and promote recovery. Whilst the school will work openly with parents as far as possible, the school reserves the right to contact Social Services or the Police without notifying parents.
There are five main elements to our policy:
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
- Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his / her agreed child protection plan.
- Ensuring we practice safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff to work with children.
- Recognising that because of their day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse.
The school will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
- Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried.
- Ensure those adults are equipped with skills and understanding of procedures to identify possible cases of abuse
- Include opportunities in the PSHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
- Create and maintain an ethos where concerns are able to be discussed without fear of recrimination.
The issues surrounding Child Protection are relevant to all members of staff in Priory Woods and the policy applies to all staff and governors working in the school and all visiting professionals.
All staff refers to the following:-
permanent support staff
supply support staff
youth project leaders
other professionals working in school
Specifically at Priory Woods we:
- Ensure that we have senior designated staff for child protection who have received appropriate annual training and support for this role.
- Ensure every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the designated person responsible for child protection and their role.
- Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerned to the designated person.
- Ensure that every member of staff, volunteer and Governor received appropriate levels of training to fulfil their child protection responsibilities effectively and to accord with the requirements with ‘Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education’ guidance from DFES 2007.
- Ensure that all teaching and support staff have read and understand the Government PREVENT agenda (arising from the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015) and understand our professional duty with regards to this. In addition to completing the Channel online training, all staff to remain vigilant with regards to student’s vulnerability and presentation with regards to the possibility of their radicalisation.
- Ensure that staff are aware of the document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and of their duty to work together to safeguard students including awareness of FGM (female genital mutilation) and the mandatory reporting duty regarding this. Staff know how to report any suspicions and concerns arising from this issue and that it is their responsibility to report it to the police
- Ensure that staff are aware of the Document, ‘Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people (August 2016)’
- Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by publishing this policy on the school website.
Different forms of abuse
Staff access regular annual child protection and safeguarding training. They are aware that there are many forms of abuse such as;
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- FGM and forced marriage
- Sexual abuse
- Sexting, Peer on peer Abuse & Cyber Bullying
Whilst professionals refer to the issue using the term ‘sexting’, there is no clear definition of ‘sexting’.
The guidance highlights that whilst many professionals consider sexting to be ‘sending or posting sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet’, young people are more likely to interpret sexting as ‘writing and sharing explicit messages with people they know’. Similarly many parents think of sexting as flirty or sexual text messages rather than images.
The 2016 guidance document only covers the sharing of ‘youth produced sexual imagery’, and uses this phrase instead of ‘sexting.’
‘Youth Produced’ includes young people sharing images that they, or another young person, have created of themselves.
While it is recommended that Peer on Peer abuse is part of Priory Wood’s Safeguarding Policy, due to the sensitive nature and specific issues involved with peer on peer abuse we have completed a separate policy.
Priory Woods School accepts and works within the context of South Tees Area Local Childrens’ Safeguarding Board. A copy of this file can be found in the head teachers’ room.
As our priority is to the welfare of the child we will share any worries and concerns with the designated person, and keep appropriate records. CPoms is our recording tool for monitoring and recording any incidents or concerns that we may have regarding students.
After consultation with either the Child Protection Officer, or First Contact the designated person will take an appropriate course of action. This may involve making a formal referral to Social Services and or Police or instructing staff to monitor the situation.
In situations where there is a case of suspected child abuse, by a person outside of school, our aim and responsibility is to support the child.
Structure and Staff Roles:
In this school the designated person will be Janis French; in her absence this responsibility will be taken by Hazel Souter and/or Lynn Stainthorpe. If either are unavailable and there are serious worries over a child the LA Child Protection officer will be approached – Emma Wright, who can be contacted on 01642 513638 for support.
If the designated person is suspected of abuse then Hazel Souter (deputy head) is to be approached and the Whistle Blowing Policy will be adhered to.
The Role of the Designated Person is to:
- be the contact person for all staff who have concerns over any aspect of a pupil’s welfare
- follow South Tees Area Child Protection Procedures
- attend relevant Child Protection training
- ensure that all staff have a knowledge of South Tees Area procedures
- keep Child Protection records up to date and in an orderly manner
- broaden consultation and decide what action to take with a member of staff who raises concerns
- assist staff with writing reports for Child Protection meetings
- liaise with other agencies and attend case conferences
- notify the allocated Social Worker if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on the child protection register.
- notify the allocated Social Worker if a child who is looked after, has any unauthorised absence.
- inform LA Child Protection Officer of any action which has been taken in relation to Child Protection concerns
- discuss any concerns / pass on relevant records to appropriate designated person when a pupil is transferring to another school / establishment
- maintain contact with other relevant schools, where there is more than one child in the family, and a child in our school is causing concern
- support staff with and through any concerns they may have with Child Protection concerns
- support pupils with child protection issues through direct multi agency working, 1;1 assigned time and teacher led PSHE where appropriate
- ensure that information sharing is appropriate and meets the welfare of the child as the most important consideration
- the complaints procedure is followed rigorously should any complaints/reporting be received about any unacceptable behaviour towards children
- to promote and maintain close working relationships with parents
What Action to Take:
- Any member of staff, teaching or non - teaching, having concerns relating to Child Protection will communicate this to the designated person, or in their absence the deputy designated person.
- Guidance on dealing with allegations and concerns against any employee or student will be adhered to and further advice and guidance will be sought from the LA.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO RECORD:
1. all disclosed information / if a disclosure about abuse has been made
2. note carefully what has been observed
3. when it was observed
4. signs of injury should be described and any comment about how the injury occurred should be recorded, preferably quoting the words used by the child, as soon as possible after it was made. Body maps should not be completed, MSBC guidelines request that body maps are only completed by a medically trained person.
All records are to be kept in a secure place ie: under lock and key and on CPOMS by the designated person. Any person needing to make a recording will record as soon as possible on CPOMS. Should CPOMS not be functional staff must obtain a blank recording sheet from the designated person, do the recording in private and then immediately hand over the record to the designated person. All information concerning child protection matters should be factual, observable and not include interpretations or recommendations.
All disclosures should be recorded, dated and initialled.
There is to be complete confidentiality of any records kept in school.
A pupil cannot be told that information passed on is totally confidential since it has to be passed on, or referred for help to be sought.
The questions "Who needs to know?" and " What do they need to know?" should be regarded as very important.
All Safer Recruitment procedures are followed in line with Local Authority guidance. All DBS checks for staff are kept on a single central record and are renewed on a 3 yearly basis.
All staff should be aware of the school's procedures for issues related to Child Protection. The designated person should be responsible for this training.
All staff will be expected to complete the South Tees Local Safeguarding Childrens’ Board
E learning training. Registration for this training will be made through Hazel Souter. Safeguarding training in other forms will be completed on a regular and frequent basis.
At Priory Woods we endeavour to enable our pupils to acquire the skills needed to keep themselves safe from harm and to learn what is appropriate and what is not. This is done through the implementation of the school’s PSE curriculum, including sex and relationships education and the promotion of student advocacy. Students are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials and/or through sex and relationship education (SRE).'
All staff are trained in safeguarding and this is refreshed annually, taking in account the Prevent Duty.
All EYFS staff are trained to level 2 or above. All staff are responsible for safeguarding within the setting and are aware of their responsibilities within this expectation.
Whilst we do not assign Key Workers as such, within the EYFS setting, due to the high staffing ratio levels each member of staff has an established and close relationship with each individual child and reports any safeguarding concerns, following the school procedures and systems. The staff work closely together and communicate effectively throughout the day and report any concerns and noticeable issues immediately and take the appropriate action.
Out of School Activities:
At times some of our pupils will take part in activities that are organised and run by other organisations e.g. Sports Development. Checks are made to ensure there are up-to-date DBS checks for all such people. There are also always members of school staff in attendance to support these sessions.
Checks are made to ensure that all staff at residential centres have DBS checks. In addition to this pupils are always supported by school staff.
When travelling abroad, students are accompanied and supervised at all times by members of staff from Priory Woods School.
Governors, Visitors and Work Experience Personnel:
Regular visitors in school, governors and students from college on work experience placement must have an enhanced DBS and photographic ID upon their first visit to school. Photocopied evidence is not admissible.
- Students aged 16 years or under from secondary schools on either a community service or work experience placement do not require a DBS check.
- Visitors, governors and all work experience students should never be left alone with students.
- Visitors, governors and work experience students are not required to help with toileting routines; where they do help with clothing, for example after hydrotherapy, this should always be under the supervision of a member of staff.
Use of External Agencies Speakers and Performers
We encourage the use of external agencies or speakers and performers to enrich the experiences of our pupils, however we will positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who we engage to provide such learning opportunities or experiences for our pupils.
Our school will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:
- Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
- Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies;
- Activities are properly embedded in the curriculum and clearly mapped to schemes of work to avoid contradictory messages or duplication;
- Activities are matched to the needs of pupils;
- Activities are carefully evaluated by the school to ensure that they are effective.
- Any external speakers are accompanied by a member of staff
Tees LSCBs Safeguarding Children’s Website
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015 (2018 – revised edition) : Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges (DFE) This document sets out the responsibilities placed on schools and colleges to safeguard and promote the welfare of children What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners March 2015 (DFE) This is guidance to help practitioners identify the signs of child abuse and neglect and understand what action to take.
Working together to safeguard children (DFE) This document applies to organisations and professionals who provide services to children Prevent Duty – guidance for England and Wales This is guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty of schools and other providers in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the needs to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.