Policy for Child Protection
Our policy for Child Protection relates to other school policies and should be read in conjunction with these.
At North Baddesley Infant School we are committed to valuing and nurturing each child as an individual who will achieve their best and develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Our vision is for the children in our school to grow into responsible, caring and fulfilled adults who actively and positively contribute to the society in which they live.
We are committed to raising standards, values and self esteem for all those involved with our school through cultivating a secure, yet exciting environment that is positive, supportive, stimulating and enriching.
In this way, we are happy, valued and achieving together.
Our policy for child protection supports this by:
- Fully committing to all measures to protect the children and young people in our school.
- Fully recognising the school's responsibilities for child protection.
- Taking all reasonable measures within the school to prevent potential abusers from having any access to the school.
- Co-operating fully with all other agencies who are part of the child protection process in Hampshire.
- Expecting all staff and volunteers in the school to show commitment to the principles and good practice of child protection as set out in the school's child protection policy and in Local Authority guidance and procedures.
- Fully supporting staff and volunteers in this process in ensuring that full training, guidance and support is provided to enable everyone to operate safely and appropriately with children and young people.
- Fully and properly investigating any allegations about a member of staff or a volunteer in a fair and balanced way, to establish whether there are legitimate concerns of a child protection nature that need to be addressed. Staff need to be aware that such investigations may well require the involvement of the Police and Social Care as required by County Council child protection procedures.
- Expecting all staff and volunteers to act in such a way that they do not bring suspicion upon themselves of a child protection nature.
- Giving all staff and volunteers advice on avoiding placing themselves in a vulnerable position with pupils and expecting them to follow that advice
- Fully recording all concerns of a child protection nature on personal files, with copies provided to the individual. These may well be included in any future references which we are requested to write for that individual.
- Recognising that children may suffer, neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or a combination of these and that all children have a right to be protected from abuse.
- Working openly with parents where possible but reserving the right to contact Social Care or the Police without notifying parents.
- Establishing and maintaining an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to and know that there are adults in school whom they can approach if they are worried.
All measures will be taken in accordance with Safer Recruitment guidelines to minimise the risk of inappropriate individuals gaining access to the school as employees or volunteers.
All staff/volunteers, must ensure that they share any child protection concerns about other staff/volunteers in the school with the Headteacher. Failure to disclose relevant child protection information may be deemed to be a disciplinary offence.
It is recognised that staff/volunteers will sometimes make a mistake or error of judgement in the way they deal with pupils. They must ensure that they report urgently to their manager any actions or events that may lead to a complaint or concern of a child protection nature. Failure to report and discuss such situations promptly may raise suspicion about their motives Staff or volunteers who have any queries about child protection issues or who require further guidance or support should approach the Headteacher or Child Protection Liaison Officer.
There are five main elements to our policy:
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping staff with the skills and knowledge needed.
- Defining procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
- Providing for the school's staff/volunteers induction procedures to inform them about child protection practices and procedures and share the guidance at Appendix J.
- Ensuring we practise safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children, in accordance with EPS guidance.
- Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
We will follow the procedures set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, and Children's Services and take account of guidance issued by HM Government and the Department for Children, Schools and Families to:
- Ensure the Governing Body understands their responsibilities under S.175 of the 2002 Education Act.
- Ensure we have a senior designated person (CPLO) for child protection who has received appropriate training and support for this role.
- Ensure every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role.
- Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for child protection.
- Treat all disclosures in the strictest confidence.
- Support pupils through the content of the curriculum, the school ethos, behaviour policy and liaison with other agencies that support the pupil.
- Encourage staff and volunteers to share information openly and sensitively where they have concerns about the child protection practice of other colleagues.
- Ensure that every member of staff, volunteer and Governor receives appropriate levels of training to fulfil their child protection responsibilities effectively and in accordance with 2007 DCSF guidance.
- Follow LA procedures where an allegation is made or a concern exists against a member of staff or volunteer.
- Keep written records of all concerns about or allegations against members of staff, volunteers or other adults in the school environment.
- Ensure all records on child protection concerns and referrals and concerns or allegations about staff are kept securely and in locked locations, separately from main pupil files.
- Ensure that child protection records/concerns are transferred accordingly when a child leaves school and the Social Worker is informed for children who are on the Child Protection register or in Care
- Share in an appropriate way all such information about staff or volunteers, including references given to potential employers/other schools.
- Ensure safe selection and recruitment practices are always followed, including all required pre-employment checks.
- Never disclose information to other agencies telephoning for information. We will always take their number and return the call to verify their identity.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The school will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school. This policy was agreed and formally adopted at the Governing Body meeting on 5.12.11. This policy will be reviewed by the governing body on a regular basis.
This policy has been discussed and agreed with all school staff representatives and with the school trade unions, professional associations and whole school community including stakeholders. It is available to all staff in the school and any prospective applicant. The governing body welcomes any comments or contributions to this policy document.
Appendix A: Role of the CPLO
At this school the primary CPLO is Mrs Lucy Chambers. Should the primary CPLO be absent for any reason, Mrs Lynne Young, Miss Carla Denney, Mrs Debbie Baker and Mrs Patricia Armour having been on the relevant CPLO training courses, will be the persons to whom all cases should be referred.
The role of the CPLO is to:
- Refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies.
- Act as a source of support, advice and expertise within the educational establishment when deciding whether to make a referral when liaising with relevant agencies.
- Liaise with HT (where CPLO role is not carried out by HT) to inform them of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role.
- Raise awareness by ensuring that:
- Ensuring the school's child protection policy is updated and reviewed annually and work with the governing body regarding this.
- Ensuring parents see copies of the child protection policy which alerts them to the fact that referrals may be made and the role of the school in this to avoid conflict later.
- Where children leave the school, ensure their child protection file is copied for the school as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file.
- Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral.
- Have a working knowledge of how the Local Safeguarding Children's Board operates, the conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
- Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school's child protection policy especially new or part time staff who may work with different educational establishments.
- Ensure all staff have induction training covering child protection and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately they arise.
- Keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of referrals/concerns.
- Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least every two years.
Appendix B: Forms of child abuse and possible indicators
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment 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 another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed 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. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another or involve serious bullying 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 maltreatment of a child although it may occur alone.
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 occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once born, neglect may involve failure to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs.
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. They may include non contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
N.B. A child may be subjected to a combination of different kinds of abuse. It is also possible that a child may show no outward signs and hide what is happening from everyone.
Appendix C: Procedures when a child confides in a member of staff
"Thank you for telling me"
"I am sorry it has happened to you"
"I am going to help you and will tell you what I am going to do"
"It should not have happened"
"You are not to blame"
"That must have been hard for you"
"It's right to tell someone because you need help"
Honestly what you believe may happen in the immediate future
What you will have done by the time you have returned to see the child and/or who you will bring with you
"It will be all right soon"
Anything which you will not be able to fulfil
It is anybody's fault
Things you should do:
- Give the child undivided attention.
- Show concern, support and warmth but not emotions, distress or negative reaction; be reassuring and ask if the child has told their parents if the alleged abuse is happening outside home or the other parent if one parent is implicated.
- Listen carefully.
- Allow the child to tell you what they want to say but don't ask unnecessary questions or details except to be clear that the child is indicating abuse or neglect. It is important to know what the child is saying and if the child might be hurt or in need of medical attention.
- Deal with the allegation in such a way that the child doesn't have to repeat the information to different people within the school; it is important to know if an incident has happened recently and who the child is saying has hurt them.
- Make careful records of what was said immediately; record the time, date, place and people who were present as well as what was said using the child's own language and colloquialisms.
- Negotiate getting help.
- Find help quickly.
- Do not malign the character of the alleged perpetrator.
Things you should not do:
- Ask for lots of details about the alleged events.
- Try to get the chid to "disclose".
- Speculate or accuse anyone yourself.
- Make promises you can't keep such as total confidentiality.
- Pre-empt or prejudice an investigation by leading the child with closed questions.
- Avoid using "Why"? This can confuse a child and lead to feelings of guilt.
|Closed Questions||Open Questions|
Refer to systems and processes guides for safeguarding and CP for appendices D - G