Child Protection Policy

Safeguarding Children in Education

Beulah Junior School

Child Protection Policy

 (Including the Management of Allegations against Staff & Volunteers)


Date policy agreed:  September 2016       

Review date: September 2017

The Designated Person in school for Child Protection is:  Vivienne Luniak

The Nominated Governor for Child Protection is:                Tracey Ann William

 (contact via school office)

Local Authority Contacts:

Safeguarding Children coordinator / Allegations Manager: Steve Hall

Telephone: 020 8726 6000 Ext 62125                          

email: steve.hall@croydon.gov.uk

Independent Reviewing Manager:

Telephone: 020 8726 6000 Ext 61502          email: independentreviewingteam@croydon.gov.uk

Child Protection & Child in Need referrals

Duty Service; Telephone 020 8726 6400      e-mail: childreferrals@croydon.gov.uk


INDEX

  1. Framework                                                                                   
  2. The aims of this policy
  3. Prevention, Protection, Support
  4. Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Records and monitoring
  6. Extended Schools and lettings – the use of school premises by other organisations
  7. Responsibilities of the Head Teacher 
  8. Responsibilities of the designated person for safeguarding children
  9. Responsibilities of the teaching and non teaching staff in the school
  10. Confidentiality
  11. Supporting Staff
  12. Allegations against Staff
  13. Physical Intervention/Positive Handling
  14. Bullying / Cyberbullying
  15. Racist Incidents
  16. Sexual Exploitation/Substance Misuse
  17. Pupils with Medical Needs
  18. Looked After Children
  19. Whistleblowing
  20. Photography, Video and Internet Use
  21. Self Harm / Suicidal Behaviour
  22. Sexually Active Children
  23. Young Carers
  24. Supporting Vulnerable Children
  25. Parental Involvement Page
  26. Common Assessment Framework

Introduction

Child Protection policy for Beulah Junior School

The staff and governors of Beulah Junior School are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve the best outcomes in line with Government’s Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme.

That is for every child to

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well being

This policy relates to the “staying safe” outcome and contributes to multi agency local safeguarding practice.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children (as defined by     ‘Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment, Jan. 2007) is:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health and development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successively.

  1. Framework

Key documents, which inform this policy, are:

 “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” DCSF Jan 2007 Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained, non-maintained schools, FE colleges and proprietors of independent schools (including academies)

Working Together to Safeguard Children, DCSF March 2010                                 Sets out how individuals and organisations should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The London Child Protection Procedures, LSCB, 2007

What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – DfES 2006

The new SEND Code of Practice – Sept 2014

 


  1. The aims of this policy

Provide clear direction to the entire school staff about the expected behaviour when dealing with child protection issues.  This policy makes explicit the school’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures.  This ensures that child protection concerns, referrals and monitoring are handled sensitively, professionally and in ways that support the child’s needs.

This policy applies to all pupils, staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to the school.

Our school procedure for safeguarding children will be in line with the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) child protection procedures which are based on the London Child Protection Procedures.

The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board.


  1. There are three main elements of our child protection policy.

3.1  Prevention

Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties.

Raising awareness of all staff, of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.

Ensuring that all adults within our school who have access to children have been rigorously checked as to their suitability using safe recruitment and vetting procedures

 

3.2  Protection

Through the establishment of a systematic means of monitoring children, known or thought to be at risk of harm.

Through the establishment of structured procedures within the school which will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse.

Through the development of effective working relationships with all other agencies, involved in safeguarding children.

 

3.3  Support

Ensuring that key concepts of Child Protection are integrated within the curriculum via PSHE and pupils are educated about risks associated with internet use and new technology. 

Ensuring that children are listened to and their concerns taken seriously and acted upon.

 


  1. Roles and Responsibilities

The Governing Body takes seriously its statutory responsibility under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our school to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering harm. 

Safeguarding also encompasses issues such as pupil health and safety, bullying and a range of other issues, e.g. arrangements to meet the medical needs of children with medical conditions, providing first aid, school security, drugs and substance misuse.

Where there are statutory requirements, the school will have in place policies and procedures that satisfy and comply with any guidance issued by the secretary of state. (DfES ‘Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment, Jan. 2007)

The Governing body is responsible for reviewing this policy on an annual basis and ensuring that practice is line with the policy.

 

4.1  Training and support

The Governing body will ensure that:

We have a designated senior member of the leadership team who has undertaken Croydon CYPL, Designated Senior person Child Protection training.

We identify and train a nominated governor for safeguarding

We have a senior member of staff who will act in the Designated Persons absence, who has also received appropriate training.

All members of staff will receive appropriate training to develop their:

Understanding of signs and indicators of abuse, (appendix 1)

Understanding of how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse, (appendix 2)

Understanding of the procedures to be followed in sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse, (appendix 3).

New staff, supply staff and volunteers will be advised of the schools child protection arrangements and contact details of the designated person, as part of their induction into the school.

All staff will receive an induction to safer working practice and agree to a code of conduct.

 

4.2  Safe Recruitment

Preventing unsuitable people from working with children and young people is essential to keeping children safe. Rigorous selection and recruitment of staff and volunteers is a key to responsibility of the head teacher and Governing Body.

The head teacher and a nominated governor will complete the Children’s Workforce Development Council’s ‘Safer Recruitment’ training, either on-line or through the London Borough of Croydon.  We may nominate other senior members of staff to undertake the training.

A single central record of checks will be maintained and reviewed regularly by the Governing body.


  1. Records and monitoring

Beulah Juniors is clear about the need to record any concern held about a child/ren within our school.  Child protection records will be kept separate from the main pupil records and in a locked cabinet.  The records will only be shared on a need to know basis.


  1. Extended schools and lettings –the use of school premises by other organisations.

Where services or activities are provided separately by another body using the school premises, the Governing Body will seek written assurance that the body concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place in regard to safeguarding children and child protection.


  1. Responsibilities of the Head Teacher

The Head teacher will:

Ensure that the safeguarding policies and procedures are fully implemented and followed by all staff.

Ensure that resources are allocated to enable the designated person and other staff as needed, attend strategy discussion, inter-agency meetings, contribute to assessments etc.

Ensure that appropriate members of staff have received training on the use of the Common Assessment Framework (a standardised early assessment) in order to identify children with additional needs to receive appropriate support at an early stage.

Be responsible for receiving allegations against staff and volunteers.  The head teacher will consult the local authority allegations manager (education) to ensure that the matter is dealt with in an objective and transparent manner.  All investigations will be dealt with in accordance with the ‘Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education, guidelines.


  1. Responsibilities of the Designated Person for Safeguarding Children

Referring a child if there are concerns about a child’s welfare, possible abuse or neglect to the Children’s Social Care duty team.

Ensuring that all records are kept confidentially, secure.

Acting as a focal point for staff concerns and liaising with other agencies and professionals.

Ensuring that either they or another appropriately informed member of staff attends case conferences, family support meetings, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings, contributing to the Framework for Assessments process, and provide a report which has been shared with the parents.

Ensure that all staff receive basic child protection training once every three years.

Ensure that all volunteers and supply teaching staff are made aware of the CP procedures.

Attend CYPL ‘Working together to safeguard Children’ training once every two years.

Providing, with the head teacher, an annual report for the governing body, detailing any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by the designated person, school staff and governors.


  1. Responsibilities of the teaching and non teaching staff in the school

Undertake appropriate training in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children at least once every three years and apply in practice.

Be alert to signs of abuse and report immediately to the Designated Teacher.

Comply with the school policies and procedures on behaviour management and the staff code of conduct.


  1. Confidentiality

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.

The Designated Senior Person will disclose personal information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.

All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well-being or that of another. We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation.


  1. Supporting Staff

We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting.

We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Senior Person and to seek further support. This could be provided for all staff by, for example, the Head teacher, by Occupational Health, and/or a teacher/trade union representative as appropriate.


  1. Allegations against staff

All school staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable to that your work with individual children or meetings with parents are conducted in view of other adults.

All staff should be made aware of the school’s behaviour/discipline policy and the staff code of conduct, with reference to professional boundaries.

We understand that a pupil may make an allegation against a member of staff. If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the head teacher or the most senior teacher if the head teacher is not present.

The head teacher/senior teacher will discuss the content of the allegation with the LA Allegations Manager or Lead Officer for Safeguarding in Education before discussing the details with the member of staff concerned.

If an allegation is made to a member of staff concerns the behaviour of the Head teacher, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Chair of Governors who will consult the LA Allegation Manager without notifying the head teacher.   Contact can be made directly with the local authority officer if the chair of governors is unavailable.


  1. Physical Intervention/Positive Handling

Our policy on physical intervention/positive handling by staff is set out separately, as part of our Behaviour Policy. It complies with the DCSF non -statutory guidance

“Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils” 2007 which is available on Teachernet.  This guidance replaces Circular 10/98, which should no longer be used.

Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness.

We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under L.A. child protection or disciplinary procedures.


  1. Bullying/ Cyber – (refer to school’s anti-bullying policy document)

Our procedures on the prevention and management of bullying are set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under achievement for children.

Our anti-bullying policy also deals with bullying through the use of communication technology.


  1. Racist Incidents – (refer to the school Race Equality policy)

Our procedure on dealing with racist incidents are set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.


  1. Sexual exploitation/substance misuse

Pupils who are identified to be at risk will be referred to Children’s Social  Care within CSCB chid protection procedures.


  1. Pupils with Medical Needs

Our procedures for dealing with the medical needs of its pupils is set out in a separate policy and has regard to:

DfEE/DoH Good Practice Guide ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs’ and

DfES Circular14/96 Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs and complies with the Schools Health and Safety Policy.

There is no legal duty for school staff to administer medication to pupils and the staff who do so act in a voluntary capacity. Staff who provide medication, will be appropriately trained and be provided with all relevant information about the pupil’s needs. No pupils under 16 will be given medication without his or her parent’s/carer’s consent.


  1. Looked After Children

The head teacher will ensure that the Inclusion Manager is appointed as a Designated Teacher for LAC. 

The education staff will contribute to the LAC Reviews and/or case conferences of children who are subject of a child protection plan and to the Personal Education Plan.

The designated person for looked after children in the school is the Inclusion Manager who notifies the Head Teacher


  1. Whistleblowing

All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues. If necessary, they should speak to the head teacher or the chair of governors.


  1. Photography, Video, Internet use – The policy on the subject is set out in a separate document.

  1. Self Harming & Suicidal Behaviour

Self-harm and suicide threats and gestures by a child put the child at risk of significant harm, and should always be taken seriously. They may also be indicative of psychological or emotional disturbance triggered by physical, sexual and / or emotional abuse or chronic neglect which may also constitute significant harm.


  1. Sexually Active Children

22.1  Children under 13 years

Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, children under the age of 13 are considered to be of insufficient age to give consent to sexual activity.  Penetrative sex with a child under 13 is classed as rape.  Where a member of staff is concerned that a child is involved with penetrative sex or other intimate sexual activity, there will be reasonable cause to suspect that a child, whether girl or boy, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.  The safeguarding designated person will refer the child to LA children’s social care.


  1. Young Carers

In many families, children contribute to family care and well-being as a part of normal family life. A young carer is a child who is responsible for caring on a regular basis for a relative (usually a parent, grandparent, sometimes a sibling or very occasionally a friend) who has an illness or disability.

 Many young carers may experience:

  • Social isolation;
  • A low level of school attendance;
  • Some educational difficulties;
  • Impaired development of their identity and potential;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Emotional and physical neglect;
  • Conflict between loyalty to their family and their wish to have their own needs met.

Where a young carer is identified, the child’s needs will be considered, using the Common Assessment Framework.


  1. Supporting vulnerable pupils.

We recognise that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth or view the world as a positive place. We will try to ensure that this school provides a stable and secure place for all pupils through the development of policies and procedures that encourage self-esteem and self-motivation, good behaviour.

24.1  The school community will therefore:

Establish and maintain an ethos, which is understood by all staff, which enables children to feel secure and encourages them to talk knowing that they will be listened to.

Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.

Provide across the curriculum, opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.


  1. Parental Involvement

It is important that parents/carers understand the school responsibility to:

Safeguard and promote the welfare of children

Share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.

If as a parent you have any child protection concerns please speak to the class teacher or Headteacher.

In general the staff will seek to discuss any concerns about a child’s welfare with the family and, where possible, seek their agreement to making referral to children’s social care. However this should only be done where it will not place a child at increased risk of significant harm.


  1. Common Assessment Framework.

Where there are low level concerns about a child’s welfare the Common Assessment Framework tool aims to help the early identification of children’s additional needs and promote co-ordinated service provision to meet them.

The school will ensure that specific staff are trained to use the tool in order to identify these children and help them before things reach crisis point.

 


Appendix 1 – Types of abuse and their symptoms

  • Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Physical Abuse – Indicators

Physical Indicators

Behavioural Indicators

§  Unexplained injuries – bruises / abrasions / lacerations

§  The account of the accident may be vague or may vary from one telling to another.

§   Unexplained burns

§   Regular occurrence of unexplained injuries

Most accidental injuries occur on parts of the body where the skin passes over a bony protrusion.

   

§  Withdrawn or aggressive behavioural extremes

§  Uncomfortable with physical contact

§  Seems afraid to go home

§  Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably

§  Wears clothing inappropriate for the weather,  in order to cover body.

§  The interaction between the child and its carer

 

  • Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.

Neglect may involve a parent failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Neglect – Indicators

Physical Indicators

Behavioural Indicators

 

§     Unattended medical need

§     Underweight or obesity

§     Recurrent infection

§     Unkempt dirty appearance

§     Smelly

§     Inadequate / unwashed clothes

§     Consistent lack of supervision

§     Consistent hunger

§     Inappropriately dressed

 

§    Poor social relationships

§    Indiscriminate friendliness

§    Poor concentration

§    Low self-esteem

§    Regularly displays fatigue or lethargic

§    Frequently falls asleep in class

§    Frequent unexplained absences

 

1.3.   Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development, and may involve:

  • Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
  • Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction;
  • Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another;
  • Serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children;
  • Exploiting and corrupting children.

Emotional Abuse – Indicators

Physical Indicators

Behavioural Indicators

 

§  Poor attachment relationship

§  Unresponsive / neglectful behaviour towards the child’s emotional needs

§  Persistent negative comments about the child.

§  Inappropriate or inconsistent expectations

§  Self harm

 

§    Low self-esteem

§    Unhappiness, anxiety

§    Withdrawn, insecure

§    Attention seeking

§    Passive or aggressive behavioural

       extremes

 

1.4  Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.

Sexual abuse includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic materials, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Sexual Abuse – Indicators

Physical Indicators

Behavioural Indicators

 

§    Sign of blood / discharge on the

        child’s underclothing.

§    Awkwardness in walking / sitting

§    Pain or itching – genital area

§    Bruising, scratching, bites on the inner thighs / external genitalia.

§    Self harm

§    Eating disorders

§    Enuresis / encopresis

§    Sudden weight loss or gain

 

§  Sexually proactive behaviour or knowledge that is incompatible with the child’s age & understanding.

§  Drawings & or written work that is sexually explicit

§  Self harm / Suicide attempts

§   Running away

§   Substance abuse

§   Significant devaluing of self

§   Loss of concentration

  


Appendix 2 –   Handling disclosures of abuse

  • Always stop & listen to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse, without displaying shock & disbelief.
  • Take the child seriously. Always assume that he/she is telling the truth.
  • Do not promise confidentiality; you have a duty to refer to the designated senior person for child protection if ‘child in need’.
  • Do reassure and alleviate guilt.
  • For example you could say; “you are not to blame.”
  • “You have done the right thing to tell someone.”
  • Do not ask leading questions.
  • For example, “What did she do next?” (this assumes that she did),
  • or “did he touch your private part”. The child may well have to tell the story again, and to do so repeatedly will cause undue stress.
  • In cases where criminal proceedings occur, such questioning can cause evidence to become invalid.
  • Do not ask the child to repeat the incident for another member of staff.
  • End by summarising what has been said and what action has been agreed.
  • Be clear about what you intend to do next.
  • Record carefully what has been said and what actions have been agreed.
  • Discuss your concern/disclosure with the designated child protection person at the school.

 


Appendix 3 – Procedures to be followed if you have a concern about a child’s welfare

             


Appendix 4 – Assessment of Risk (Sexually active children)

In order to determine whether a relationship presents a risk of harm to a child, the following indicators should be considered:

  • Whether the child is competent to understand, and consent to, the sexual activity they are involved in (children under 13 are not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity);
  • What the child/ren in the relationship’s living circumstances are, whether they are attending school, whether they or their siblings are receiving services from LA children’s social care or another social care agency etc;
  • The nature of the relationship between those involved, particularly if there are age or power imbalances;
  • Whether overt aggression, coercion or bribery was or is involved, including misuse of alcohol or other substances as a disinhibitor;
  • Whether the child’s own behaviour (e.g. through misuse of alcohol or other substances) places them in a position where they are unable to make an informed choice about the activity;
  • Any attempts to secure secrecy by the sexual partner beyond what would be considered usual in a teenage relationship;
  • Whether methods used to secure a child’s compliance, trust and / or secrecy by the sexual partner are consistent with grooming for sexual exploitation. Grooming is likely to involve efforts by a sexual predator (usually older than the child) to befriend a child by indulging or coercing them with gifts / treats (i.e. money or drugs), developing a trusting relationship with the child’s family, developing a relationship with the child through the internet etc in order to abuse the child;
  • Whether the child denies, minimises or accepts the concerns held by professionals.

 


 Appendix 5 – The Common Assessment Framework

 

Common Assessment Framework can only be completed with the consent and involvement of the parent/carer (or child /young person where appropriate). 

 

It provides a standard method of assessment used across all children’s services. It facilitates early identification of needs, leading to co-ordinated provision of services, involving a lead professional where appropriate, and sharing information to avoid the duplication of assessments.

 

  1. Child protection concerns should be referred without delay to Children’s Social Care duty team using the locally agreed child protection procedures.

 

 If a CAF has previously been completed it will be helpful to pass on the information already gathered, but do not wait to complete a CAF.

The common assessment is designed for when:

  • There are concerns about how well a child is progressing in terms of their health, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other aspect of their well-being;
  • There is signed consent from a parent/carer;
  • The child’s needs are unclear or broader than a single service can address.

 

A common assessment should be completed when a professional in any agency (all health, childcare, early years settings, schools, education, Connexions, adult social care, crime reduction and the voluntary sector) has concerns that a child will not progress towards the five Every Child Matters priority outcomes (being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being), without additional services.

Completing a common assessment should:

  • Enable the professional to identify the child’s needs;
  • Provide a structure for systematic gathering and recording of information;
  • Record evidence of concerns and a base-line for measuring progress inaddressing them;
  • Provide an evidence base for a decision to refer to another agency if necessary, or to children’s social care for an initial or core assessment or to another service for a specialist assessment.