SIR THOMAS RICH S Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy (including allegations against members of staff)

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1 SIR THOMAS RICH S Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy (including allegations against members of staff) This policy was drawn up in accordance with the Area Child Protection Committee and the Education (prohibition from teaching and working with children) Regulations 2003; the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children policies (all maintained up-to-date online at Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE, March 2015) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, March 2015). Together with Information Sharing, Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (DfE, March, 2015) and What to do if you re worried a child is being abused, Advice for practitioners (DfE, March 2015). This policy should be read in conjunction with these DfE statutory guidance documents. Reviewed: September 2015 Next review: September 2016 Status: Statutory Responsibility: The School s Senior Management Team (SMT) draws up and implements the Child protection and Safeguarding Children Policy. It is the responsibility of the Governors Personnel Committee to review the Policy annually, monitor its implementation and recommend its approval to the Full Governing Body. Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Basic principle 3. Procedures 4. Absence and children who go missing 5. Early Help and Intervention 6. Inter-agency working 7. Sharing information 8. Allegations against staff and pupils 9. Safer Recruitment 1. Introduction 1.1 As well as their statutory duties, schools have a pastoral responsibility towards their pupils. Pupils have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. 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; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 1.2 Children cannot learn effectively unless they feel secure. This policy will help the School in: a) ensuring we practise safe recruitment in line with Government guidance by using at least one accredited Safer Recruiter on all interview panels and by checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and ensuring any unsuitable behaviour is reported and managed using the Allegations Management procedures; b) developing a culture of vigilance in which staff can exercise their professional judgement to keep children safe and act in a timely way; c) raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe. d) developing, and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse by referring to the Children s Helpdesk; e) supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan; f) establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop; g) ensuring pupils have access to early help in order to promote their wellbeing. 1

2 2. Basic Principle 2.1 All children are entitled to be protected from abuse and neglect. In any intervention, the emphasis should be placed, first and foremost, on the interests of the child. All staff shall have appropriate training in Safeguarding Children and Child Protection. 2.2 We recognise that because of the day-to-day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The school will therefore: a) Establish and maintain an environment in which children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to and where their feelings and wishes are taken into account in any measures the School puts in place to protect them. b) Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried. c) Include opportunities in PSHE lessons and across the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse. d) Work with other agencies and services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. 3. Procedures 3.1 The School will follow the procedures set out by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board and take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education to: a) Ensure we have a designated senior person for safeguarding children (Designated Safeguarding Lead) who has received appropriate training and support for this role. b) Ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection who has received appropriate training. c) Ensure every member of staff (including temporary, supply staff and volunteers) and the governing body knows the name of the designated senior person and the deputy designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role. d) Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for safeguarding and child protection. Every member of staff will be required to read the DfE statutory guidance, published March 2015: Keeping children safe in education: information for all school and college staff and Working together to safeguard children. March, 2015 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2 e) Ensure all staff receive appropriate safeguarding training when they commence work at the School and thereafter every three years. f) Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the School and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations in the School information booklet and on the School website. g) Notify the relevant social worker if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who has a Child Protection Plan (previously known as being on the child protection register.) h) Develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at child protection conferences and core groups. i) Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately. j) Ensure all records relating to safeguarding and child protection are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations. k) Follow locally agreed procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, including supply or agency workers, contractors, governors or other pupils. l) Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed. m) Ensure that the principles in the Staff Code of Conduct underpin the School s duty to safeguard and protect children and young people. 2

3 3.2 Specifically, in accordance with the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board policies: Any member of staff who either by virtue of a child's behaviour becomes suspicious of abuse or is told by a child that abuse has taken place should immediately inform the member of staff with responsibility for safeguarding children within the School. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Headmaster, who is also the Child Protection Officer. In his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Assistant Headteacher i/c Learning & Teaching, Debbie Brake. In the absence of both the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, concerns should be referred to Peter Daniell, Assistant Headteacher i/c KS5 or Rhys Davies, KS3 Manager (all of whom have received relevant training). 3.3 It is important to note that any staff member can refer their concerns to children s social care directly. If the child s situation does not appear to be improving, the staff member with concerns should press for reconsideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point. The DfE has produced advice to help practitioners identify child abuse and neglect and take appropriate action in response. Staff should refer to the DfE publication: What to do if you are worried that a child is being abused. Advice for Practioners. March Where a member of staff feels unable to raise the issue or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, they should refer to the School s Whistleblowing policy or social care s escalation procedure, if appropriate. 3.4 The concern should be accurately and legibly recorded in writing by the member of staff and the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Where the concern has been referred to the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person, the Headmaster, who is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead, will be kept informed at all times. 3.5 Staff should not ask the child leading questions as this can later be interpreted as putting ideas into the child's mind and have an effect on the evidence, which might be put forward if there are subsequent criminal proceedings. 3.6 Staff should not give undertakings of absolute confidentiality. If a child requests that information is kept secret it is important that the member of staff tells the child sensitively that he or she has a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies for the child's sake, i.e. to tell someone else so that the child can be helped. 3.7 If there is an injury which requires immediate treatment, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) should arrange immediate treatment in whichever way seems most appropriate. 3.8 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) should contact the Children s Helpdesk at Shire Hall ( ) to discuss concerns in principle with a social worker or social work manager and receive advice about whether a referral is appropriate or whether there are alternative ways of addressing their concerns. 3.9 Basic information will be given to the Children s Helpdesk. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) will be asked to complete a Multi-Agency Referral Form. This is passed on to a social work team and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) will be contacted by a social worker within 24 hours (unless there are immediate risks in which case the professional will be put through to a social work team straight away). The social work team will discuss whether the referral is appropriate and what action can/will be taken Prior to making a referral, it is good practice for the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) to discuss the situation with the family of the pupil and, where possible, to seek their agreement to the referral. However, this only applies where such discussion will not place the child at increased risk of significant harm. 3

4 3.11 If the child is felt to be in danger at home, he/she should not be allowed to go home When making a referral of a case of suspected or alleged abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) should ask to be informed of the timing of the strategy discussion between the statutory agencies which will decide whether and how to investigate. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or in his absence, the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or other senior person) should clarify with the investigating agencies when, how and by whom the parents and the child will be told that a referral has been made If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child, a referral should be made to children s social care immediately. Anyone can make a referral. It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues from escalating. Please see paragraph Absence and children who go missing 4.1 The School recognises that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect. Where a child does not arrive at school, without prior notice from their parent(s), carer(s) or guardian(s), the School will alert their parent(s), carer(s) or guardian(s) within one hour. 4.2 If a child s whereabouts is not known, the School s Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will be informed. Together with the Behaviour and Attendance Manager, and after advice from other agencies, an action plan will be formulated and followed until the child is located. 4.3 In cases of persistent absence and prolonged periods of absence, the School will work closely with parents, carers and guardians and other agencies, where appropriate in order to endeavour to improve attendance. 4.4 If the School believes a child has gone missing, the School will follow guidance given by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board, other agencies where appropriate and the Police. 5. Early Help and Intervention 5.1 The School recognises that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The School may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. The School will endeavour to support all pupils through the provision of early help by: a) providing high quality learning and teaching in PSHE lessons and across the curriculum alongside robust pastoral support that promotes the well-being of pupils and gives them the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from all forms of abuse; b) having a school ethos that promotes a positive, safe and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued; c) actively encouraging the Pupil Voice where pupils can speak about any concerns they have to a member of staff. Pupils are encouraged to speak openly and they are aware that staff take their concerns very seriously; d) ensuring that the Behaviour policy, the Anti-bullying policy, the Anti-drugs policy, the ICT policy, the Sex and Relationships Education policy and the Staff Code of Conduct support vulnerable pupils in the School; e) ensuring that all unexplained absences are followed-up with a text or an to parents within half an hour and a response is given. Long-term or repeated absences will be investigated by the Form Tutor, Head of Year and Head of Key Stage (where pupils absence is unexplained the School would follow the Gloucestershire missing children protocol - see paragraph 4); f) providing safeguarding training to all staff so that they are aware of the signs of abuse and neglect such as Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Domestic Abuse, Faith Abuse, Gangs and Youth Violence, Gender Based Violence, Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking, Induced Illness, Drug Abuse (see Anti-drugs policy) and Sexting. Staff will be vigilant in considering links 4

5 between mental health concerns including self-harm, and possible abuse; radicalisation and possible abuse; and private fostering and possible abuse; g) ensuring that staff recognise their duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and following statutory guidance in order to fulfil its responsibility. The School will liaise closely with the police in this respect. The School has a designated member of the Senior Management Team (currently Mr CDA Carter) with responsibility for the prevent duty and antiextremism. (See the School s Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Extremism policy). 5.2 Educational visits, extended services, extracurricular activities and work experience placements Staff must consider and put in place appropriate strategies to ensure the safeguarding of children when planning and conducting educational visits, extended services and extracurricular activities and work experience placements. They should refer to the following guidance: the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children policies (all maintained up-to-date online at Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE, March 2015) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, March 2015). Together with Information Sharing, Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (DfE, March, 2015) and What to do if you re worried a child is being abused, Advice for practitioners (DfE, March 2015) and the School s Offsite Visits policy. 5.3 Showers and changing a) Young people are entitled to respect and privacy when changing clothes or taking a shower. However, there needs to be an appropriate level of supervision in order to safeguard young people, satisfy health and safety considerations and ensure that bullying or teasing does not occur. This supervision should be appropriate to the needs and age of the young people concerned and sensitive to the potential for embarrassment. For further information, please refer to the Staff Code of Conduct. b) Staff should be vigilant about their own behaviour and mindful of the needs of the pupils. For example, under no circumstances should members of staff change clothes or take a shower in the same room as the pupils in their care. c) It is recommended that wherever possible two members of staff of the same gender as the children should supervise a group as this will ensure cover in the event of an accident or incident or if one supervisor is called away. In this context, it is important that staff balance the need for adult supervision with the rights of children to privacy. d) When using facilities that are open to the public such as a swimming pool or leisure centre, staff should endeavour to make arrangements so that pupils have sole use of changing facilities. For example, it may be possible to negotiate specific time slots for the group so they have exclusive use of the changing rooms or an area within the changing facility could be designated to the group. Alternatively, young people could be given the option to change at school or at home before the activity. This will obviate any risks and potential vulnerability associated with pupils mixing with adults or other young people whether they be known or unknown to them. Staff may wish to refer to the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport briefing: Safe use of changing facilities. https://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/2013/safe-use-of-changing-facilities/ 6. Inter-agency working 6.1 The School is committed to contributing to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance. This includes providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans. This includes: a) Liaison with other agencies, which support the pupil including social care, Child and Adult Mental Health Service, education welfare service and educational psychology service. 5

6 b) Ensuring that where a pupil who has a child protection plan leaves, their information is transferred to the new school immediately and that the child's social worker is informed. 7. Sharing information 7.1 The School is aware that where there are concerns about the safety of a child, the sharing of information in a timely and effective manner can reduce the risk of harm. 7.2 The Safeguarding and Child protection policy alongside the Behaviour policy, the Anti-bullying policy, the Anti-drugs policy, the Exclusion policy, the Data Protection policy and the Freedom of Information policy facilitate the School s duty to contribute to interagency working. 7.3 Information about pupils academic progress and well-being is shared routinely with relevant staff by Form Tutors, Heads of Year and the SMT. This is done verbally, through the use of file notes or through the Cyclone system. In addition to this, information about vulnerable pupils is shared with Heads of Year, relevant support staff and the SMT through the TLC list. Wherever possible, staff are open and honest with pupils and parents, where appropriate, as to why, what, how and with whom, their information will be shared. 7.4 When making decision on what information to share, staff should refer to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, currently the Headmaster. Staff should also refer to the principles set out in the DfE publication: Information Sharing, Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (March, 2015). However, the most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to safeguard and protect a child. 8. Allegations 8.1 Allegations against staff a) If a complaint has been made against a member of staff, the Headmaster (and in his absence the Deputy Head) will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations ( ). The LADO will offer advice on any immediate action required and will assist with employment and safeguarding issues. b) If, after the Initial Discussion with the LADO, it is agreed that the allegation meets the criteria, a multiagency meeting will be convened and the Headmaster will be invited. This might result in a criminal investigation, a Social Care investigation or and/or an investigation to inform whether disciplinary action is required. If it is agreed that the allegation does not meet the criteria, the LADO will record the Initial Discussion and send it to the Headmaster for our records. Any further action will be taken within the School if necessary. Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff are laid out in the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board procedures and protocols: c) If an allegation is made about the Headmaster, the member of staff to whom the information has been disclosed must contact the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations ( ). The LADO will offer advice on any immediate action required and will assist with employment and safeguarding issues. The Chairman of Governors should also be informed. 8.2 Allegations against other children a) If a complaint has been made by a pupil about another pupil, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (currently the Headmaster) will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations ( ). The LADO will offer advice on any immediate action required and will assist with safeguarding issues. 6

7 b) This may involve a multi-agency meeting where the Headmaster will be invited. This might result in a criminal investigation, a Social Care investigation or and/or an investigation to inform whether disciplinary action is required. c) If it is agreed that the allegation does not require a multiagency meeting, then further action may be taken within the School. 9. Safer Recruitment 9.1 Safer recruitment training became mandatory for the recruitment of school staff from 1 January This means a recruitment panel must have at least one member who has completed the training; or where an individual is in charge of recruitment, that individual must have completed the training (Mr M Morgan Mr D Dempsey and Miss D Brake have successfully completed this training.) 9.2 DBS checks will be made for all staff working with children. All new staff must be checked as well as those who change jobs or who have had a break in service for longer than three months. In addition to DBS checks, the School will undertake prohibition checks with the Department for Education in order to ensure staff have not been prohibited from the profession for reasons of unacceptable conduct. The School will use the checklist provided by Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board in order to ensure it follows safer recruitment practices. 7

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