Our core safeguarding principles are:
The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for child protection is KAY JONES
Contact details: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01686651166 or 07712649949
The deputy designated lead is: Kate Broome
Contact details: Email: email@example.com
Tel: 01686 651166
The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) in the school. The DSL has the status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post, which include:
The deputy designated safeguarding lead(s):
are trained to the same level as the DSL and support the DSL with safeguarding matters as appropriate. In the absence of the DSL, the deputy DSL carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of pupils. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL, the deputy will assume all of the functions above.
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, students and Directors and are consistent with:
THE ALL WALES CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES 2008
WAG Guidance: Keeping Learners Safe 158/2015
Our local Safeguarding board details are available on http://cysur.wales/home/
The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy:
Good practice includes:
All school staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards pupils is unacceptable and that their conduct towards pupils must be beyond reproach.
Staff understand that under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the school staff and a pupil under 18 may be a criminal offence.
Some children may have an increased risk of abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:
This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration would include the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages if appropriate and accessible formats for children with communication needs.
Children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children, which can include:
Staff are trained to manage these additional barriers to ensure the children in our care are appropriately safeguarded.
Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation, or mental health problems. The DSL will monitor unauthorised absence and take appropriate action including notifying the local authority, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions. Staff must also be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a pupil are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The school’s whistleblowing code enables staff to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.
All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the headteacher. Complaints about the headteacher/principal should be reported to the chair of trustees, or alternative proprietor.
Staff may also report their concerns directly to children’s social care or the police if they believe direct reporting is necessary to secure action.
When an allegation is made against a member of staff, our set procedures must be followed. The full procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2018) and in the school’s Allegations of Abuse Against Staff policy and procedures.
Allegations concerning staff who no longer work at the school, or historical allegations will be reported to the police.
It is important that all staff receive training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation and to know what to do if they have a concern.
New staff will receive a briefing during their induction, which includes the school’s child protection policy and staff behaviour policy, reporting and recording arrangements, and details for the DSL. All staff, including the DSL and headteacher will receive training that is regularly updated. All staff will also receive safeguarding and child protection updates via email, e-bulletins, website access and staff meetings throughout the year.
Our school complies with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2018) and the LSCB by carrying out the required checks and verifying the applicant’s identity, qualifications and work history. The school’s Staff Recruitment policy and procedures set out the process in full and can be found on the staff section of the school computer system or available upon request.
At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.
All relevant staff are made aware of the disqualification from child care legislation and their obligations to disclose relevant information to the school.
The school obtains written confirmation from supply agencies or third party organisations that agency staff or other individuals who may work in the school have been appropriately checked.
Trainee teachers will be checked either by the school or by the training provider, from whom written confirmation will be obtained.
The school maintains a single central record of recruitment checks undertaken.
Any volunteers, will undergo checks commensurate with their work in the school, their contact with pupils and the supervision provided to them. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been appropriately checked be left unsupervised.
The school checks the identity of all contractors working on site and requests DBS with barred list checks where required by statutory guidance. Contractors who have not undergone checks will not be allowed to work unsupervised during the school day.
Visitors to the school, including contractors, are asked to sign in and are given a badge, which confirms they have permission to be on site. Parents who are simply delivering or collecting their children do not need to sign in. All visitors are expected to observe the school’s safeguarding and health and safety regulations. The headteacher will exercise professional judgement in determining whether any visitor should be escorted or supervised while on site. It is our general policy that all visitors are never unsupervised.
All extended and off site activities are subject to a risk assessment to satisfy health and safety and safeguarding requirements. Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own child protection policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site on behalf of our school we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures.
When our pupils attend off-site activities, including day and residential visits and work related activities, we will check that effective child protection arrangements are in place.
The school provides advice to staff regarding their personal online activity and has strict rules regarding online contact and electronic communication with pupils. Staff found to be in breach of these rules may be subject to disciplinary action or child protection investigation. Staff should not have current pupils as ‘friends’ or contacts on any social media platform and should not add them until at least 12 months after their leaving school date. It is advised that any request from a pupil, current or past, should be openly discussed with the staff team. Any advice given will be recorded.
To ensure that our pupils are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone.
Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children and young people.
Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2018) refers to four categories of abuse. These are set out at Appendix One along with indicators of abuse.
While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause anxiety and distress. All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our tackling-bullying procedures which can be accessed via our Anti Bullying Policy, available on line via our website.
Any child, in any family in any school could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”. Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:
There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a pupil may be at risk. The pupil’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the pupil the opportunity to talk and ask if they are OK or if they can help in any way.
Staff should use the safeguarding report on the MIS to record these early concerns. If the pupil does reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the pupil, if the member of staff has concerns, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL.
It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive.
If a pupil talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will, at the appropriate time, let the pupil know that in order to help them they must pass the information on to the DSL. The point at which they tell the pupil this is a matter for professional judgement. During their conversations with the pupils staff will:
The school will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a pupil with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure.
Our focus is the safety and wellbeing of the pupil. Therefore, if the school believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s social care and/or the police before parents are contacted.
Confidentiality and sharing information
All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality. Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, headteacher/principal or chair of trustees (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
Following a number of cases where senior leaders in school had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.
Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with our Retention and Destruction Policy.
Information sharing will take place in a timely and secure manner and where:
Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.
Written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.
Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held.
The DSL will normally obtain consent from the pupil and/or parents to share sensitive information within the school or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent.
If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the data protection officer.
The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 do not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.
The school’s confidentiality and information-sharing policy is available to parents and pupils on request.
The DSL will make a referral to children’s social care if it is believed that a pupil is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The pupil (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.
Any member of staff may make a direct referral to children’s social care if they genuinely believe independent action is necessary to protect a child.
Staff should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s social care, police or the NSPCC if:
Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the school’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, all staff recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers and should be clear about the school’s policy and procedures regarding peer on peer abuse. All peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.
Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, including:
Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. Different gender issues can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse, for example girls being sexually touched/assaulted or boys being subject to initiation/hazing type violence.
At our school, we take the following steps to minimise or prevent the risk of peer on peer abuse.
All allegations of peer on peer abuse should be passed to the DSL immediately. They will then be investigated and dealt with as follows.
Where allegations of sexual violence or sexual harassment are made, the school will act in accordance with the guidance set out in Part 5 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018).
Supporting those involved
The support required for the pupil who has been harmed will depend on their circumstance and the nature of the abuse. Support could include counselling, mentoring, the support of family and friends and/or support with improving peer relationships or some restorative justice work.
Support may also be required for the pupil that harmed. We will seek to understand why the pupil acted in this way and consider what support may be required to help the pupil and/or change behaviours. Once those needs have been met, the consequences for the harm caused or intended will be addressed.
As schools increasingly work online, it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate material. The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues, such as child sexual exploitation, radicalisation and sexual predation.
We have ensured that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to manage the content available to pupils, who can contact our pupils and the personal conduct of our pupils online.
There is no accepted definition of ‘sexting’ but most professionals agree that it refers to the sending or posting of sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs of a person under 18 years of age, via mobiles or over the internet. The UKCCIS advice document refers to this as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’.
All incidents involving youth produced sexual imagery will be responded to as follows:
In some instances, it may be necessary to refer the matter to the police. Once a report is made to the police, the report must be recorded and the police will investigate. This may include seizure of devices and interviews with the young people involved.
Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking.
The school includes the risks of sexual exploitation in the PSHE and SRE curriculum. A common feature of sexual exploitation is that the child often doesn’t recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and doesn’t see themselves as a victim. The child may initially resent what they perceive as interference by staff, but staff must act on their concerns, as they would for any other type of abuse.
All staff are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation and all concerns are reported immediately to the DSL.
‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of HBV are abuse.
FGM is the collective name given to a range of procedures involving the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is a criminal offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The practice can cause intense pain and distress and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth.
FGM is carried out on girls of any age, from young babies to older teenagers and adult women, so school staff are trained to be aware of risk indicators. Many such procedures are carried out abroad and staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female pupils about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period.
A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse. In England and Wales the practice is a criminal offence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Children may be married at a very young age, and well below the age of consent in England and Wales. School staff receive training and should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns raised by a pupil about being taken abroad and not be allowed to return to England.
A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, which is common in several cultures, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
The government defines extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Some children are at risk of being radicalised: adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. Islamic extremism is the most widely publicised form and schools should also remain alert to the risk of radicalisation into white supremacy extremism.
School staff receive training to help to identify signs of extremism. Opportunities are provided in the curriculum to enable pupils to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and the school follows the DfE advice Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMCS (spiritual, moral, social and cultural education) in Schools (2014).
A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or a close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16, or aged under 18 if the child is disabled. By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible.
Where a member of staff becomes aware that a pupil may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this with the DSL and the school should notify the local authority of the circumstances.
This policy should be read alongside our other safeguarding policies, which are set out in Appendix Two.
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse or neglect. The school ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe. All staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child. The DSL, Headteacher and key worker have details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the local authority’s virtual head for children in care.
The school has detailed procedures to safeguard pupils undertaking work experience, including arrangements for checking people who provide placements and supervise pupils on work experience which are in accordance with the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018). Mrs Nicola Jones manages these checks and inspections in accordance with our work experience policy.
Research has shown that children can be particularly vulnerable in residential settings. All boarding schools and residential special schools comply with the National Minimum Standards for their particular setting and are appropriately inspected.
Those schools should be particularly alert to the signs of abuse in such settings and work closely with the host local authority and, where relevant, any local authorities that have placed their children there.