Our Safeguarding Policy
This is an award which is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We aim to uphold the principles of the Convention which relate to this policy:
“The best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them”.
“….institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.”
“Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and mistreatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.”
“Governments must protect children from the use of illegal drugs”
“Governments must protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation”
“Governments must protect children from all other forms of exploitation that might harm them”.
SAFEGUARDING AND PROMOTING THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. All professionals should ensure that their approach is child centred: this means considering at all times what is in the best interests of the child
Staff members must raise any safeguarding concerns with the appropriate safeguarding lead without delay. Concerns must be logged.
If a staff member has serious concerns about immediate risk to a child or that a child has suffered significant harm and continues to be at risk, they should contact Wandsworth Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) immediately – wherever possible with the support of the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy lead. If a child is in immediate danger the police should also be contacted.
Staff members should ensure they are prepared for the referral with clear details of their concern and the child’s name, dob, address and contact details for parents / carers.
An Early Help assessment is not immediately required in these circumstances but should be provided within 48 hours.
Referrals to MASH can be made by:
Telephone: 020 8871 6622
The MASH is in operation Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm. At other times please contact the Out of Hours Duty Service on 020 8871 6000.
We also recognise that children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and that pupils cannot learn effectively unless they feel secure. The Head, staff and Governors will, therefore, provide a school environment which promotes self-confidence, a feeling of worth and the knowledge that pupils’ concerns will be listened to and acted upon.
The Head and Governors will also ensure that the school carries out its statutory duties to safeguard children and report suspected abuse to the Children’s Specialist Services Department and to assist that Department acting on behalf of children in need or enquiring into allegations of child abuse.
We undertake to work together with local agencies to ensure comprehensive assessment of need and the best possible outcome for children.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
• Protecting children from maltreatment
• Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
• Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
We believe that our school should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment in which pupils can learn and which promotes the social, physical and emotional wellbeing of each individual pupil, and which takes a child-centred approach.
The school recognises its responsibilities and duties to report Child Protection concerns to the social work service within Children’s Services and to assist Children’s Services in Child Protection enquiries and in supporting Children in Need.
This policy is in line with the London Child Protection Procedures 2016 (5th edition amended 31st March 2016), Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016.
The school will raise Child Protection / Safeguarding concerns with parents / carers at the earliest appropriate opportunity, and work in partnership with them and other agencies to improve outcomes.
The school will ensure that all staff are provided with the appropriate training in Child Protection and safeguarding issues, including Early Help processes, as recommended in the guidance. In particular the designated safeguarding leads will be released to attend the necessary enhanced training courses to enable them to carry out their role effectively. Designated leads will also ensure that all staff are provided with Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 guidance and assisted to understand and discharge their roles and responsibilities as set out in this guidance.
All staff are required to read this policy carefully and to be aware of their role in these processes. All new staff will have the opportunity to discuss safeguarding requirements and this policy during their induction process.
• To emphasise the need for good communication between all members of staff in matters relating to child protection
• To ensure all staff know and follow the appropriate procedures for identifying and reporting abuse, and for dealing with allegations against staff.
• To provide a systematic means of monitoring pupils known or thought to be at risk of significant harm or where there are ongoing concerns.
• To promote effective liaison with other agencies in order to work together for the protection of all pupils.
• To support pupils’ development in ways which foster security, confidence and independence.
• To integrate the safeguarding and child protection curriculum within the existing curriculum, allowing for continuity and progress.
• To work openly and in partnership with parents in relation to child protection concerns
• To support all pupils’ development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence
• To promote safe practice and challenge poor and unsafe practice
• To further develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies involved with safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
• To ensure that all adults working within our school have been checked as to their suitability to work with children, in line with current guidance
• To integrate opportunities into the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse, allowing for continuity and progression through the key stages
• To take account of, and inform policy in related areas such as discipline and behaviour, bullying and health and safety.
• All children have a right to be safeguarded and protected from abuse.
• We recognise that abuse and neglect are complex issues and rarely stand alone events and therefore require a culture of vigilance, professional curiosity and respectful challenge and effective recording and monitoring systems
• We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children school staff are extremely well placed to observe outward signs of abuse
• Child abuse occurs in all cultures, all religions and all social classes.
• Staff must be sensitive to the many differing factors which may need to be taken into account depending upon the child’s cultural and social background. However, we also recognise that the needs of the child are paramount and any concerns will be referred on appropriately whatever the family background of the child concerned.
• We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses abuse or violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth, they may feel helpless and humiliated and may feel self blame.
• We recognise that the school may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or are at risk of harm.
• We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived as normal to that which is overtly aggressive, disturbed or withdrawn.
• We know that it is important that children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are sensitively listened to, and that children know that there are adults in school whom they can approach if they are worried or unhappy.
• We acknowledge that (although all designated / key staff have the skills and experience to respond to a variety of situations and issues) there may be occasions where it will be appropriate to consider whether specific or additional arrangements need to be put in place where an issue is particularly sensitive due to gender issues or cultural or faith issues. This ensures that in cases of sexual abuse in particular, a pupil can be spoken to by a same sex member of staff (who has received enhanced training) if this is felt to be appropriate.
• The prime concern at all stages must be the safety and welfare of the child. Where there is a conflict of interests between the child and parent, the interests of the child must be paramount.
• Children who have been abused need the same care and sensitivity regardless of whether they have been abused by a parent, carer or a stranger.
• The responsibility to refer children thought to be at risk rests with the individual who identifies the concern (i.e. to refer concerns to the Designated Person for Safeguarding in accordance with the guidelines).
• The concept of working in partnership with those who hold parental responsibility for the child, and also with other agencies involved with the child, must provide a framework for procedures.
• The ethos of the school supports open practice, good communication and a safe culture in which children can thrive and learn.
• All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and know that these concerns will be taken seriously by the leadership team and dealt with sensitively and appropriately
All agencies receiving information in the context of a child protection enquiry must treat it as confidential. They must only disclose the information to those who need to know.
Behaviours such as alcohol and substance misuse, truanting and sexting put children at risk or in danger and safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer-on-peer abuse, including cyber-bullying and gender-based violence / sexual assaults
Abuse is broadly divided into four categories:- Neglect, Physical Injury, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse.
Any of the following signs of possible abuse should be noted and acted upon:
• Significant changes in children’s behaviour;
• Deterioration in children’s general well-being;
• Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
• Children’s comments which give cause for concern;
• Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home;
• Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children. For example, inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.
DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE (taken from Wandsworth Guidelines)
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care and treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.
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 feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child who they are looking after. This situation is now known as illness fabricated or induced by carer (previously Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy).
Physical harm may also be caused by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as: all procedures (not operations) which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons” (WHO, 1996). Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There is a range of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM, which individually may not indicate risk but if there are two or more indicators present this could signal a risk to the child or young person. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM. Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject.
FGM is illegal in the UK and there is a mandatory duty on schools to report cases of FGM to the police.
See Home Office Leaflet for further details:
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or a young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e,g rape) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at pornographic material or watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional abuse is the persistent ill treatment of a child, such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of the other person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child although it may occur alone.
In addition, staff should be aware of the possibility of:
• Potential abuse: situations where children may not have been abused but where social and medical assessments indicate a high degree of risk that they might be abused in the future, including situations where another child in the household has been abused, or where there is a known abuser. This also includes the possibility of Female Genital Mutilation.
• Bullying: any persistent and uninvited behaviour which insults, hurts or intimidates someone (includes cyberbullying).
• It is important to recognise that many children will be living (or may have lived) in families where Domestic Abuse is a factor, and that these situations have a harmful impact on children emotionally, as well as placing them at risk of physical harm. Each child will respond differently. (See Wandsworth document “Domestic Violence” stored in the Staffroom.) Staff should respond to suspicion of domestic violence as to all suspicion of abuse, by reporting their concern to the Designated Person.
The definition of Domestic abuse is below
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
• Radicalisation: children may be exposed to terrorism, including extremist ideas that are part of a terrorist ideology. This may present itself as exposure to inappropriate materials, e.g. violent video footage, and would is likely to have common features with those defined as ‘emotional abuse’. (See “Prevent Duty” stored in the Staffroom”).
ANTI – RADICALISATION
The school supports the Prevent Strategy, which works to prevent the growth of issues that create a climate which encourages radicalisation and extremism, which in turn can lead to acts of violence or terrorism.
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views which may deny rights to any group or individual.
We will ensure that staff are provided with appropriate training and information to enable them to assess the risk of children being drawn into extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology and identify any child who may be at risk and how to support them.
The school works within the curriculum to promote tolerance and respect for diverse views, while challenging prejudice of any kind. We are an inclusive school which values citizenship and a sense of belonging. Pupils are encouraged to share their views and recognise that they are entitled to have different beliefs, but that these should not be used to influence others.
As with all matters pertaining to the maintenance of a safeguarding culture within the school, staff are expected to be vigilant in identifying concerns and ensuring these are passed to the DMS without delay. We will also ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school.
If any concerns arise, or are disclosed by a child, they will be responded to following normal safeguarding processes and advice would be sought from colleagues in LA (either Prevent co-ordinator or safeguarding services) if necessary.
INDICATORS OF ABUSE (from London Safeguarding Children’s’ Board procedures)
NOTE: These indicators are not exhaustive, and should not be used as a checklist. A clustering of indicators, or an isolated but significant indicator, may be a sign of abuse and should be reported to the Designated Member of Staff.
Recognising Physical Abuse (Article 19)
The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:
• An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
• Several different explanations provided for an injury
• Unexplained delay in seeking treatment
• The parents / carers are uninterested or undisturbed by an accident or an injury
• Parents are absent without good reason when their child is presented for treatment
• Repeated presentation of minor injuries (which may represent a ‘cry for help’ and if ignored could lead to a more serious injury.
• Family use of different doctors and A&E departments
• Reluctance to give information or mention previous injuries
Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as non-accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:
• Any bruising to a pre-crawling or pre-walking baby
• Bruising in or around the mouth, particularly in small babies which may indicate force feeding
• Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
• Repeated or multiple bruising on the Head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally
• Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
• The outline of an object used e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush
• Bruising or tears around, or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
• Bruising around the face
• Grasp marks on small children
• Bruising on the arms, buttocks and thighs may be an indicator of sexual abuse
Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth. Human bite marks are oval or crescent shape. Those over 3 cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or an older child.
A medical opinion should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.
Burns and Scalds
It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds, and will always require experienced medical opinion. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g.:
• Circular burns from cigarettes (but may be friction burns if along the bony protuberance of the spine).
• Linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements.
• Burns of uniform depth over a large area.
• Scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid (a child getting into hot water of its own accord will struggle to get out and cause splash marks).
• Old scars indicating previous burns / scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation.
Scalds to the buttocks of a small child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.
Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discoloration over a bone or a joint.
Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.
There are grounds for concern if:
• The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type.
• There are associated old fractures.
• Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement.
• There is an unexplained fracture in the first year of life.
A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of body, may suggest abuse
Some children may behave in ways that alert you to the possibility of physical injury, for example:
• Withdrawal from physical contact.
• Fear of returning home.
• Self-destructive tendencies.
• Aggression towards others.
Recognising Emotional Abuse (Article 19)
Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse.
The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse. The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:
• Developmental delay for which there is no medical or physiological explanation
• Abnormal attachment between a child and parent / carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or no attachment
• Aggressive behaviour towards others
• ‘Scape-goated’ within the family
• Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
• Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
• Withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others
• Over-reaction to mistakes
• Fear of new situations
• Inappropriate responses to painful situations
• Neurotic behaviours
• Running away
Recognising Neglect (Article 19)
Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting. Indicators include:
• Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care.
• A child seen to be listless, apathetic and unresponsive with no apparent medical cause.
• The child appears dirty and unkempt, is maybe smelly, or clothing is inadequate.
• Parents/carers demonstrate a consistent lack of love, affection or stimulation.
• Failure of child to grow within normal expected pattern, with accompanying weight loss.
• Child thrives away from home environment.
• Child frequently absent from or late for school.
• Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent.
• Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods.
• Compulsive stealing or scavenging.
See ‘Neglect, Signs and Symptoms’ for further details (Wandsworth Safeguarding CAYP, 2014)
Recognising Sexual Abuse (Article 34)
Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and / or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child / family.
Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional / behavioural.
Some behavioural indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
• Inappropriate sexualised conduct
• Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate for the child’s age
• Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation
• Self-harm (including eating disorder, self mutilation and suicide attempts)
• Involvement in prostitution or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners
• An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes for e.g. sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties)
• Concerning changes in behaviour or general presentation
• Regressive behaviour
• Distrust of a particular adult
• Unexplained gifts of money
• Sleep disturbances or nightmares
• Phobias or panic attacks
Some physical indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
• Pain or itching of genital area
• Blood on underclothes
• Pregnancy in a younger girl where the identity of the father is disclosed
• Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal areas, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen in vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing
• Wetting or soiling
Very young children may be vulnerable to radicalisation by others, whether in the family or outside, and display concerning behaviour. Staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which would indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Some indicators are:
• Withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others
• Uncharacteristic changes in friendships – overt avoidance or resistance to playing with children of certain cultural, faith or gender groups.
• Aggressive behaviour towards others, or ‘acting out’ violent scenes in their role play, storytelling or artwork
• Echoing specific views overheard from adults or older children in their family
Children Who Go Missing From Home or Care are particularly vulnerable and may be at significant risk at times. The immediate risks associated with going missing include:
• No means of support or legitimate income – leading to high risk activities
• Involvement in criminal activities
• Victim of Abuse
• Victim of crime, for example through sexual assault and exploitation
• Alcohol/substance misuse
• Deterioration of physical and mental health
• Missing out on schooling and education
• Increased vulnerability
Longer-term risks include:
• Long-term drug dependency / alcohol dependency
• Disengagement from education
• Child sexual exploitation
• Poor physical and/or mental health.
Children Missing From Education: all children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full-time education which is suitable to their age, ability and aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. A child going missing from education, or not attending it regularly, is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. We will follow the required procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children who go missing from education, including appropriate notification to the Local Authority. We will also ensure staff are alert to the potential risks of poor or non attendance and cessation of attendance, including the signs to look out for and triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential concerns such as travelling to war zones, FGM and forced marriage.
CHILDREN WHO ABUSE OTHER CHILDREN
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. As a school we work to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse and will investigate and deal with any allegations robustly. Where needed risk assessments will be carried out and strategies put in place to protect the child who has suffered abuse and to offer them support. Concerns raised will be treated seriously and followed up in a timely and sensitive fashion.
It is important to be conscious that any child who is engaging in abusive behaviour towards others may have been subject to abuse from other children or from adults. Abusive behaviour can be displayed in a variety of ways and can consist of sexual abuse / activity; physical harm; emotional abuse and / or verbal abuse.
Children who abuse others should be held responsible for their abusive behaviour, whilst being identified and responded to in a way which meets their needs as well as protecting others.
In such incidences, the school will follow guidance issued in relation to children who abuse others and local procedures and make referrals to social care, CAMHS and / or police as appropriate. This guidance is attached as (Appendix 6)
We will therefore ensure that:
• We have a Designated Member of Staff who has received appropriate training and support for this role.
• We have a minimum of one additional member of staff who will act in the absence of the designated member of staff and has also received appropriate training for this role.
• Every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the Designated Person and their role.
• We will ensure designated staff attend training and receive relevant updates every year and all staff are provided with training at induction and thereafter on a regular basis including safeguarding briefings and updates at least annually
• All staff develop their understanding of signs and indicators of abuse and understand their responsibilities in passing concerns to the designated person.
• All staff know how to respond to a child who discloses abuse
• We recognise that there is a variety of expertise within the staff team and will provide opportunities for staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and policy
• We are aware of risks to children online and will ensure children are safeguarded in school from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material through appropriate filtering and monitoring systems.
• All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to Child Protection procedures (this information is included in the school handbook).
• We will refer any child believed to have suffered or to be likely to suffer significant harm to Children’s Specialist Services without delay, and will follow up any such referral in writing within 48 hours.
• We will ensure the immediate safety of any child felt to be at serious risk by taking appropriate action and by involving other relevant agencies as necessary.
• We will develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters, including attendance at Child Protection case conferences wherever possible and providing reports as a matter of course (following the guidance in Safeguarding Children: Policy and Guidance for Wandsworth Early Years) (Wandsworth 2010) (See Appendix). We will contribute to multi-agency assessments of children’s needs where appropriate.
• Written records are kept of all concerns, whether or not there is a need to refer the matter immediately, and that these records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations.
• Children’s Specialist Services (CSS) are notified of any pupil with a Child Protection Plan or who is known to CSS, who is absent from school without explanation for more than 2 days. Absence of children in Robin Room is reported to CSS each day.
• Any new concern or relevant information about a child with a Child Protection Plan will be passed to the child’s allocated social worker without delay.
• If a child with a Child Protection Plan leaves the school, records will be transferred to the new school without delay and the child’s social worker informed of the change.
• If school staff are unsure how to proceed in a potential Child Protection situation, or require advice, this will be appropriately sought via the Principal Education Welfare Officer or directly from the Child Protection Unit at CSS.
• Staff are provided with ongoing supervision by their line managers and / or the Executive Headteacher. Individual responsibilities relating to safeguarding are managed within the context of these meetings. Where staff need additional support to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities this will be raised as an action and reviewed through the appraisal process.
The role of the DSL should be held by an appropriate senior member of staff, who is a member of the school’s leadership team.
The DSL takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection practice in the school and this should be explicit in their job description.
The DSL must have appropriate status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post. They should be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to
• Provide advice and support to other staff
• To take part in CP meetings, strategy discussions and other multi-agency meetings (and / or support other staff to do so)
• To contribute to the assessment of children
Schools should also ensure that they have at least one, appropriately trained, deputy DSL. The DSL (or a deputy) should be available at all times during the school day for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.
The activities of the DSL can be delegated to a trained deputy DSL, but the ultimate lead responsibility for CP, as set out in the guidance, remains with the nominated lead and this responsibility cannot be delegated
The Head and governors have identified a Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection (the Executive Headteacher).
Key responsibilities include:
• Responsibility for following up concerns and making appropriate referrals (these may be to early intervention / targeted support services, health, social care, CAMHS, Channel programme, police, DBS etc)
• Information gathering, effective monitoring systems and recording
• Liaising with other agencies as required
• Liaising with parents / carers when there are concerns
• Liaising with the Executive Headteacher / Principal to inform him or her of key issues
• Liaising with case manager in the event of an Allegation Against a Professional
• Liaising with all staff on safeguarding matters
• Acting as a source of support, advice and expertise for staff
• Encouraging a safeguarding ethos across the whole school community and a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings
• Keeping the best interests of the child, or children, in mind at all times when responding to safeguarding matters
• To ensure all staff are familiar with school and Borough Guidelines for identifying and reporting abuse, including allegations of abuse against staff.
• To ensure the school operates an effective child protection policy.
• To ensure all staff receive foundation training in child protection.
• To provide a structure of supervision which enables concerns to be raised in confidence or in regular meetings (e.g. planning meetings, appraisal meetings) and a clear course of action agreed.
• To be responsible for co-ordinating action and liaising with other agencies and support services over child protection issues.
• To assist the Children’s Specialist Services Department in enquiring into allegations of child abuse. This will include ensuring the school is represented at child protection case conferences and that information about the child is provided as required.
• To follow as appropriate recommendations made by the Area Committee for Safeguarding Children.
The Designated Person at Somerset is Emma Williams. In her absence it is Anne Addo. When the School is closed but the Children’s Centre open, the Designated Person is Siobhan English. In their absence Janet Gopaul or Belinda Murray are authorised to act as Designated Persons.
The DSL (and any deputies) should undergo training at an appropriate level to provide them with the knowledge and skills to carry out the role.
They must also attend Prevent training.
Their knowledge and skills must be updated at least annually to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
Policy and procedures
The DSL should ensure there is a safeguarding policy which is reviewed and updated annually (as a minimum); that the policy and procedures are known to, and understood by, all staff in the school; that the policy is available to parents and they understand the school’s safeguarding responsibilities and that referrals may be made.
The DSL should ensure there is an effective recording system for safeguarding matters, which is kept securely and confidentially with access restricted to those members of staff who have a lead role.
When a child leaves the school, the DSL should ensure his or her safeguarding records are securely transferred to the DSL in the receiving school in a timely fashion. Confirmation of receipt should be recorded.
7.2 All staff are expected to follow the guidance on conduct in the Staff Handbook (see Wandsworth info for schools website, under Human Resources).
7.3 Staff are expected to provide a safe and caring environment in which children can develop the confidence to voice ideas, feelings and opinions. Children should be treated with respect within a framework of agreed and understood boundaries.
7.4 All school staff are expected to:
• Be able to identify signs and symptoms of abuse.
• Report concerns to the Designated Person or Deputy Head as appropriate and report any concerns to the designated lead but know that they can also refer direct to Children’s Services (Social Services) if needed
• Know to whom and how to report allegations against other school staff following the guidelines issued by Wandsworth Education Department.
• Monitor and report as required on the welfare, attendance and progress of pupils with a Child Protection Plan, or known to Children’s Specialist Services.
• Keep clear, dated, factual and confidential records of child protection concerns.
• Identify their training needs; seeking guidance, support or training to ensure they are able to fulfil their safeguarding duties.
• Follow the guidelines in this policy.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU SUSPECT CHILD ABUSE
• Make sure that the child is safe.
• Listen and reassure the child but do not make any promises to keep what is being said a secret.
• Tell the designated person why you are concerned.
• If you have concerns about the child’s immediate safety, and the designated person, or the member of staff authorised to act in their absence, is not available, telephone the Duty Social Worker on 020 8871 6622 (020 8871 6000 out of hours). You will need to give them as much information as possible, including the name, date of birth and address of the child, and the names addresses and contact numbers of parents/carers (noting who has parental responsibility).
• If you are unsure whether or not to make a referral to social services you can ask advice using the numbers given above, or from the Wandsworth EYC team (0208871 7113).
• Write down as much as you can remember of what was said or what happened, trying to be as accurate as possible. Keep this account in a discreet and safe place until you can pass it on to the designated person.
• Do not attempt to investigate or take any further action except on the advice of the Duty Social Worker.
• Senior Leaders and any other staff involved in selection procedures will attend Safer Recruitment training.
• Interview panels will follow recommendations from the HR section in relation to practice. One member of each interview panel must have completed Safer Recruitment training
Head and governors will, when appointing staff, take account of the guidance issued by the Education Department’s Contracts and Human Resources Section and observe the following safeguards:
• Documentation sent out to potential candidates will make it clear that child protection is a high priority of the school and rigorous checks will be made of any candidate before appointments are confirmed.
• All references will be taken up and verified by telephoning referees.
• A reference will always be obtained from the last employer, where applicable.
• At interview candidates will be asked to account for any gaps in their career/employment history.
All staff appointed are subject to an Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. No appointments are finalised until written confirmation of the DBS check is received, and any issues identified in references have been clarified.
* behaved in a way that has, or may have, harmed a child;
* possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
*behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children.
• In this event the Executive Headteacher (or Chair of Governors, if allegation is against the Head) must be informed and the Wandsworth Procedures for Managing Allegations against Staff followed. This will always involve a discussion with LA officers and a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) where appropriate.
• All staff are expected to recognise the need for absolute confidentiality in these situations.
• The Head and Governors recognise that because of their daily contact with children in a variety of situations, including the caring role, teachers and other school staff are vulnerable to accusations of abuse.
• The Head and Governors further recognise that, regrettably, in some cases such accusations may be true. In cases of allegations against staff the Governors and Head will follow the procedures outlined in Safeguarding Children: Policy and Guidance for Wandsworth Early Years. (Wandsworth Early Years, 2010) (Copy available in the Nursery Office, and Staffroom)
• Where appropriate, the Head and Governors will seek advice and support from the Education Department’s Contracts and Personnel Section when an allegation is made against a teacher or other member of staff.
• Any member of staff subject to such an accusation is advised to seek advice from their union or a solicitor.
• Any information about an allegation must be restricted to those who have a need to know in order to protect children/ manage the procedure/ facilitate enquiries/ protect the rights of the alleged perpetrator.
• Staff should refer to Safeguarding Children: Policy and Guidance for Early Years (Wandsworth, 2010) for further guidance.
Physical intervention which causes injury or severe distress to a child may have to be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
Positive handling training will be provided by a BILD accredited trainer for all staff members to ensure best practice at all times.
Risk assessments will be carried out where individual pupils have additional needs or challenges that mean there is an increased likelihood of physical interventions being required and individual plans will be developed and shared/agreed with the parents/ carers.
In order to minimise the risk of accusations being made against staff as a result of their daily contact with pupils, governors will ensure, through the Head, that all staff are aware of and follow Council Policy and Procedure on the Use of Control and Physical Restraint by Staff. (2002) (see Appendix). See our Policy for Behaviour Management and Positive Handling.
The Head will also ensure that staff follow the School and Children’s Centre’s Policy for Visits/Outings. Visits off-site are an important part of children’s learning but require a full risk assessment, adherence to recommended adult-child ratios, and for no parent or staff member to leave the main group and be alone with children.
The Head/Designated Person will ensure that all school staff, including support and ancillary staff, receive foundation training in child protection and that new staff are made aware of school policy, procedures and guidelines when they join the school and receive appropriate training.
The Head is also expected to ensure that all staff receive regular support in respect of child protection work and know which senior member of staff to refer to for advice in the absence of the Designated Person.
The Head is able to access the Wandsworth Safeguarding Surgery led by the Quality and Inclusion Officer for Safeguarding (Susan Taylor). This service enables supervision for senior education leaders in Wandsworth.
• This involves identifying emerging problems; liaising with the designated lead or other relevant colleagues; sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and acting as lead professional in undertaking an Early Help Assessment (EHA)
• Any concerns will be identified by staff, discussed with relevant colleagues and parents and support put in place. Effective monitoring systems will be used to assess the effectiveness of interventions and outcomes.
• If appropriate support is not available within school’s own resources, an Early Help Assessment will be completed to identify the child’s needs and enable additional support to be sought from other agencies
• A Team Around the Child will be established where appropriate and a Lead Professional identified
• If Early Help is in place the situation will be kept under constant review and consideration given to additional referrals (eg to social care) if the child’s situation does not appear to be improving
• Early Help Assessments will follow the Signs of Safety and Wellbeing model
• Developing pupil self-esteem
• Developing communication skills
• Informing about all aspects of risk
• Developing strategies for self-protection
• Developing a sense of the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in adults
• Developing non-abusive behaviour between pupils
We ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including how to keep themselves safe online, through teaching and learning opportunities within our curriculum. This is differentiated according to age and understanding of the pupil cohort.
• We will ensure assumptions are not made that indicators of abuse (such as behaviour, mood and injury) relate to the child’s disability without further exploration
• We will provide a school environment in which all pupils, including those with SEN, can feel confident and able to discuss their concerns.
• Whenever possible, pupils will be given the chance to express themselves to a member of staff with appropriate communication skills. The Designated Person will work with the special educational needs co-ordinator to identify pupils with particular communication needs.
• We will ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. They will also have information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her, as well as the details of the child’s social worker and the virtual school head in the LA.
• School will work with the virtual school head to discuss how the pupil premium plus funding can be best used to support the progress of Looked After Children in the school.
• We will ensure that pupils and their families are enabled to participate as fully as possible in decisions and are provided with information and support
• We recognise that some children are more at risk of developing mental health problems than others. These risks can relate to the child, their family or to community and life events
• Risk factors are cumulative, and children exposed to multiple risks are more likely to develop behavioural or mental health problems
• Where severe problems occur we will ensure that appropriate referrals are made (with consent) to specialist services (eg CAMHS)
Mental Capacity Act (2005) including an understanding of Advocacy, the Human Rights Act (1998), the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006), and the National Service Framework for Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (2006) in addition to Age Discrimination Legislation.
Staff will signpost to other services and alert the Adult Protection Coordinator when signs of abuse or neglect are evident.
The Head and Governors accept that child protection raises issues of confidentiality which should be clearly understood by all staff. The Governors expect all staff to follow the guidance on confidentiality contained in the Education Department’s Safeguarding Children (Policy and Guidance for Early Years) (2010)
The Designated Member of Staff and / or Executive Headteacher will share detailed information about a pupil with other staff members on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only.
All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with the designated lead and with other relevant agencies where necessary to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child that they will keep information shared by the child a secret.
• We will ensure that opportunities are provided for staff to be supported in these circumstances and to talk through any anxieties they may have
• We will ensure that formal supervision is provided for staff working in Early Years and foundation stage as required
• We will consider what arrangements can be made to provide supervision for designated leads and any other staff members as appropriate
The Head and Governors further expect school staff to assist the Children’s Specialist Services Department by providing information for child protection case conferences as required and in the form prescribed by the Area Child Protection Committee.
The Safeguarding Governor and appropriate Committee will agree with the Designated Person a plan of work to review and monitor the effectiveness of the policy and any actions identified in the School Improvement Plan during the academic year. They will report to the Full Governing Body as necessary.
OTHER RELATED POLICIES
• This policy has clear links to other policies in our school, in particular to any policies concerned with the protection of all children in the school from various kinds of harm. These policies are listed below
• Health and Safety
• Site Security
• First Aid
• Food Hygiene
• Lone Working
• Intimate Care
• Behaviour Management and Positive Handling
• Confidentiality, Data Protection and the Use of IT Equipment
• Special Educational Needs and Disability
Children’s Services (out of office hours): 020 8871 6000
Education Welfare Officer: 020 8871 7961 (Office) 07931 325 665 (mobile)
Early Years Centre: 020 8871 7113
NSPCC: 0800 800 500
Susan Taylor: 0208 8871 8391
Virtual School head – Nova Levine: 0208 871 7348
Stella Macaulay 0208 871 7961 office
Safeguarding In Education Advisor 07775 417475 b’berry
07931 325 665 mobile
MASH / referral and assessment service 020 8871 6622
Out of hours duty service 020 8871 6000
Safeguarding Standards Service (manager: Ruth Lacey)
Principal administrator Jackie Reynolds 020 8871 7208
WSCB development manager Linde Webber 020 8871 8610
LADO 020 8871 7226
Margaret Hurrell 020 8871 7207
Chantel Langenhoven 020 8871 7440
Link Social worker (name and contact to be entered by each school)
School nurse (name and contact to be entered by each school)
Police (schools liaison officers to be entered by each school)
Wandsworth safety net 0207 801 1777 (for Independent Domestic Abuse advisors)