1 LEA Guidelines for Child Protection Procedure Local Education Authority Arrangements to be read in Conjunction with the All London Child Protection Procedures Sue Evans Director Education, Leisure and Libraries ISSUED MAY 2004
2 Preface This document clarifies the procedures for Child Protection in Merton as agreed by the Area Committee for Child Protection (ACPC) and to be found in t he All London Child Protection Procedures. The document replaces the Child Protection guidelines for schools A Handbook for Headteachers and designated staff in schools issued in January This document also takes into account the new duties placed on the Lea, schools and governors arising from Section 175 of t he Education Act 2002, effective from 1 June The DfES circular 10/95 Protecting Children from Abuse: The Role of the Education Service is to be replaced by the DfES Safeguarding document, the consultation for which ended on 2 April The Safeguarding document outlines the responsibilities for the LEA, schools and governors as described later in this document. Documentation from which schools should be working: The All London Child Protection Procedures distributed by the LEA in October NB this must be followed on all occasions. What to do if you are worried a child is being abused distributed by the LEA in July Appendices Appendix 1 Referal routes Appendix 2 A Model Policy for Child Protection Appendix 3 Useful names, addresses and telephone numbers Appendix 4 School compliance checklist Appendix 5 Related Documents
3 Introduction Safeguarding children is a prime responsibility of all agencies. The needs of the child are paramount and should underpin all child protection work and resolve any conflict of interests. All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential. All children have the right to be safeguarded from harm and exploitation, whatever their: - race, religion, first language or ethnicity - gender or sexuality - age - health or disability - location or placement - any criminal behaviour - political or immigration status Responsibility for protection of children must be shared because children are safeguarded only when all relevant agencies and individuals accept responsibility and co-operate with one another. Statements about or allegations of abuse or neglect made by children must always be taken seriously. The well being and welfare of the child is of prime concern and it is incumbent upon all those working with children to ensure that their needs are continually monitored and reviewed. The ACPC All London Child Protection Procedures must be followed in all situations to safeguard children and to make referrals for reporting incidents of abuse.
4 Duties for the LEA, Schools and Governors Section 175 of The Education Act 2002 sets out the new duties for the above to be effective from June Section 175 provides that Local Education Authorities and the governing bodies of schools and Further Education Institutions must have arrangements for ensuring their functions under the Education Acts are carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. They will also be under a duty to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State in making those arrangements. The Safeguard Guidance replacing DfES circular 10/95 does not introduce new responsibilities or functions but it does make explicit the responsibilities for the safeguarding and welfare of children, which covers more than child protection.
5 Designated Teacher/Person Responsibilities in Schools The main role of the designated teacher/person is to refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies according to the procedures established by their proposed local children s safeguarding boards (ACPC) or by LEAs. To be effective they must: Have received training in how to identify abuse and know when it is appropriate to refer a case, together with having a working knowledge of how local children s safeguarding boards will operate and the conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so; Act as a source of advice, support and expertise within the school and be responsible for coordinating action regarding referrals by liaising with SSD and other relevant agencies over cases of abuse and allegations of abuse, regarding both children and members of staff; Make themselves (and any deputies) known to all members of school staff and ensure those members of staff have had training in child protection relevant to their needs and are able to identify and report any concerns they have to the designated teacher immediately they arise; Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school s Child Protection Policy. This is essential in respect of staff that are perhaps part time or work with more than one school for example Connexions personal advisors or trainee teachers; Liaise with Headteacher (where this role is not filled by the Headteacher) to inform him/her of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for their role; Ensure the schools Child Protection Policy is updated and reviewed annually and work with the governing body regarding this; Be able to keep detailed accurate secure written records of referrals/concerns; Ensure 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; Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses and be allowed the necessary time to fulfil this role; Where children leave school roll ensure their child protection file is transferred to new school as soon as possible and is kept separate from main school file.
6 Broad areas of responsibility for LEA Lead Officers and specific issues within those areas Coordination: Staff structure to deliver responsibilities Funding for LEA activities Provision of advice, guidance and support: Casework Court appearances Legal issues New legislation Managing reports of missing pupils Allegations against staff Specific circumstances of abuse: o Female genital mutilation, forced marriages, fabricated or induced illness o Domestic violence o Child on child abuse, sexual exploitation o Young carers Development of good working relationships and partnerships: Membership of ACPC (proposed LSCB) Maintaining supportive and effective working relationships within the department and inter agency Network of designated persons Relationships with non-lea educational establishments and organisations Relationships with voluntary groups Training and awareness raising: Single agency Inter-agency Written guidance Promoting safe and positive environments: Recruitment and selection Curriculum (formal and informal) Code of conduct for staff Confidentiality Record keeping Transfer of records Support for abused pupils to enable full use of education opportunities Issues in residential schools
7 Management of Allegations: Procedure and guidance Training Links with other agencies Record keeping Monitoring and reporting Casework management Development and Planning: Corporate commitment to multi-agency work Lea Policy Overview of LEA activities Development of the work of the LEA: inclusion of child protection in all plans Children s Services plans and similar Contribution to the work of the ACPC (proposed LSCB) and its subgroups Development of single agency procedures and practice guidance Specific issues which may have a child protection dimension: o Health and Safety, restraint, bullying o School trips, transport of pupils, residential visits, school exchange visits o Child employment, work experience, taking and using images of children o Pupils without a school place o Showers and changing arrangements o Parents and other volunteer helpers o First aid and administration of medicine o Extended school arrangements and after school clubs o Internet use o Children with parents who have mental illness or disability o Children with parents who misuse substances or drugs o Children in residential schools outside the LEA Monitoring Contribution to work of ACPC (proposed LSCB) and departmental QA groups Designated Persons and status of training Referrals to SSD (numbers, quality and response) Level of child protection activity within schools and links to training received Nominated Governors and status of training School policies Attendance at case conferences Children on the register Procedures documents in place in each school Record keeping in schools Compliance with DfES, ACPC (proposed LSCB) and Education procedures or standards Implementation of recommendations of Part 8 reviews or similar Use of restraint
8 Accountability Representation of LEA at local and national level Personal training to be able to fulfil the role Liaison with Personnel Services Provider Safe recruitment and selection procedures Vetting arrangements Disciplinary procedures/consideration of suspension
9 Role and Responsibilities of Nominated Governor where they are also Chair of Governors a) Ensuring, in liaison with the Headteacher/Senior Designated teacher, that the school has a Child Protection Policy and procedures in place, which are consistent with ACPC/LSCB procedures; b) Ensuring that an annual item is placed on the governors agenda to report on changes to Child Protection Policy/Procedures, training undertaken by the designated teacher, other staff and governors, the number of incidents/cases (without names or details) and the place of child protection issues in the school curriculum; c) Responsibility for the oversight of procedures relating to handling allegations against staff, including the Headteacher; d) Responsibility for taking action according to LEA procedures, where there are allegations against the Headteacher. Role and Responsibilities of Nominated Governor where they are not the Chair of Governors As above, with the exception of (d). In these circumstances all allegations should be referred to the Chair of Governors and/or the LEA Child Protection officer. The nominated governor has no role in handling allegations against Headteacher.
10 Procedures for Referral The procedure for referral must be made in accordance with those identified in What to do if you are worried a child is being abused in the All London Child Protection Procedures. A specific referral route for use by designated teachers is modified at Appendix 1. Currently, all referrals must be on the inter-agency Child Protection Referral Form devised in conjunction with Merton and Sutton. Fax to relevant office within 48 hours of referral. This Referral Form will be updated once the Child Concern Model has been implemented and the common assessment framework established. You will be notified by the Lead Officer for Child Protection when the change in referral documentation takes place.
11 Appendix 1 What To Do If You re Worried A Child is Being Abused A FLOW CHART FOR REFERRAL PRACTIONER HAS CONCERNS ABOUT CHILD S WELFARE Practitioner discusses with manager and/or other senior colleagues as they think appropriate Still has concerns No longer has concerns Practitioner refers to Social Services, following up in writing within 48 hours No further child protection action, although may need to act to ensure services provided Social worker and manager acknowledge receipt of referral and decide on next course of action within one working day Feedback to referrer on next course of action No further social services involvement at this stage, although other action may be necessary, e.g. onward referral Initial assessment required Concerns about child s immediate safety See flow chart 3 on Emergency action From the above document
12 APPENDIX 2 MODEL CHILD PROTECTION POLICY FOR SCHOOLS Child Protection Policy Millennium School This policy was written and adopted on... The policy to be reviewed on Introduction 1.1 The governors and staff of Millennium school fully recognise the contribution it makes to safeguarding children. We recognise that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting our pupils from harm. 1.2 All staff and Governors believe that our school should provide a caring, positive safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child. 1.3 The aims of this policy are: To support the child s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence To raise the awareness of both teaching and non-teaching staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
13 1.3.3 To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff To develop a structured procedure within the school which will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Social Services To ensure that all adults within our school who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability. 2.0 Procedures 2.1 Our school procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with LEA and ACPC procedures. We will ensure that: We have a designated member of staff who undertakes regular training We have a member of staff who will act in the designated teacher s absence All members of staff develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse All members of staff know how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection procedures. 2.2 Our procedures will be regularly reviewed and up-dated 2.3 All new members of staff will be given a copy of our child protection procedures as part of their induction into the school. 3.0 Responsibilities 3.1 The designated teacher is responsible for: Adhering to the ACPC,LEA and school procedures with regard to referring a child if there are concerns about possible abuse Keeping written records of concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from pupil records Ensuring that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the pupil records Ensuring that any pupil currently on the child protection register who is absent without explanation for two days is referred to Social Services
14 4.0 Supporting Children 4.1 We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth. We recognise that a child in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated. We recognise that a child may feel self blame We recognise that the school may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn Our school will support all pupils by: 5.0 Confidentiality Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children Notifying Social Services as soon as there is a significant concern Providing continuing support to a pupil about whom there have been concerns who leaves the school by ensuring that appropriate information is forwarded under confidential cover to the pupil s new school. 5.1 We recognise that all matters relating to Child Protection are confidential. 5.2 The Headteacher or Designated Teacher will disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis only. 5.3 All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. 5.4 All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets. 6.0 Supporting Staff 6.1 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 teacher and to seek further support as appropriate.
15 7.0 Allegations against staff 7.1 We understand that a pupil may make an allegation against a member of staff. 7.2 If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the headteacher. 7.3 The headteacher on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the LEA Lead Officer for Child Protection. 7.4 If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the Headteacher, the designated teacher will immediately inform the Chair of Governors who will consult with the LEAs Lead Officer for Child Protection. 7.5 The school will follow the LEA procedures for managing allegations against staff, a copy of which will be readily available in the school. 8.0 Whistleblowing 8.1 We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise Concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. 8.2 All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues. 9.0 Physical Intervention 9.1 Our policy on physical intervention by staff is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person. 9.2 We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures Bullying 10.1 Our policy on bullying is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures Racist Incidents 11.1 Our policy on racist incidents is 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.
16 12.0 Prevention 12.1 We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our pupils by providing pupils with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection The school community will therefore: Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always 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 Include in the curriculum opportunities for PSHCE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help Health & Safety 13.1 Our Health & Safety policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children both within the school environment and when away from the school when undertaking school trips and visits. The London IRSCs would like to acknowledge the following LEAs whose documents were referred to during the preparation of this model policy: Cambridgeshire Northamptonshire
17 APPENDIX 3 Child Protection Useful Telephone Numbers LEA designated Officer: Janet Yerbury Head of Access, Opportunity and Inclusion Vulnerable Children Ann Marie Howell Manager Acting Education Yvonne Wilkins Welfare Manager Principal Human Valerie Butler Resource Manager Head of Children s Helen Lincoln Services Service Manager Mairead MacNeil Community Support Children s Safeguards Norman Fullarton Manager Police Child Protection D.I. Patrick Lewis Team (Barnes)
18 APPENDIX 4 Education Act 2002; Section 175 School Compliance Checklist Standard/Criteria Evidence Source Standard Met? Y/N School has Child Protection Policy Policy is ACPC compliant School which is ACPC compliant School works with LEA to LEA review annually Parents are made aware of School has a named designated teacher Designated teacher has received Child Protection training within last 2 years School has a nominated child protection governors Nominated governor has received child protection training within last two years School supports or facilitates appropriate child protection training for all staff LEA support attendance at multi school s CP policy Name is known to all staff And submitted annually to the LEA Training records Attendance Certificate Name is known to all governors and staff and submitted annually to the LEA Training records Attendance Certificate School has a record or database of child protection training delivered to all staff Staff training records School Record School D.T LEA School N.Gov LEA School Gov LEA Head or Des. Teacher Head or Des. T disciplinary ACPC training Standard/Criteria Evidence Source Standard Met? Y/N School has safe recruitment policy Policy is available for School How is it monitored and reviewed How is it monitored and reviewed Action Action
19 School includes CP and Safeguarding within all staff induction programmes School has clear policy for managing allegations against staff School Whistle-blowing Policy inspection; Is LEA compatible Is monitored annually for effectiveness Includes volunteers Staff induction Programme School training records Individual staff training records Policy is available for inspection, Is DfES and NEOST Compliant: Is monitored annually for effectiveness Policy is in place and staff are aware of it Policy is monitored annually for effectiveness and Link HR Officer Head or Des Teacher Individual staff Head or Des. Teacher and Link HR Officer Head or Des. Teacher and Link HR Officer Standard/Criteria Evidence Source Standard Met? Y/N How is it monitored and reviewed Action School Attendance policy is protective and promotes and safeguards welfare of pupils Includes first day contact, Identifies vulnerable pupils such as LAC or CPR, Alerts EWS to migratory, missing or removed children Head or Des. Teacher with EWS
20 Anti Bullying Guidance promotes and safeguards pupils and takes account of minority groups and issues Behaviour and discipline policy Physical Contact and Restraint Guidance identifies; Vulnerable or minority groups; Procedures for managing and reporting incidents; Preventative strategies Gives guidance on the protective curriculum Is LEA/DfES Compliant Is cross referred to CP Is monitored and reviewed annually Is LEA/DfES Compliant Is cross referred to CP and safe practice Is monitored and reviewed annually Head or Des. Teacher with PSHE SENCO Head or Des. teacher Head or Des. Teacher PSHE SENCO Standard/Criteria Evidence Source Standard Met? Y/N How is it monitored and reviewed Action Equal Opportunities and diversity guidance SEN Policy PSHE Policy School trips Policy Guidance recognises that the welfare principle is paramount; That Child abuse is occurs all cultures, ethnic groups and social strata Policy recognises that children with special needs are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation Includes protective curriculum opportunities Includes; link to health and safety Head PSHE Head or Des. Teacher SENCO Head PSHE Head
21 Administration of medicines and first aid policy Use of images of children Policy Safe Practice guidance Referral Routes off site Is available for inspection Is Regularly reviewed Is LEA, DOH and DfES Compliant Is available for inspection Regularly reviewed LEA/DfES Compatible Head Head
22 APPENDIX 5 Related Documents Working together to Safeguard Children. A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children Developing Safe Working Practices for the Protection of Children, Staff and Volunteers whose work brings them into contact with children and young people. Issued April Merton s procedures for The Management of Allegations and Concerns regarding the Professional Conduct of Staff. Issued April Safeguarding Children. A joint Chief Inspectors Report on Arrangements to Safeguard Children. Issued October Learning from Past Experience. A review of Serious Case Reviews. Issued June projects Safeguarding Children in whom illness is Fabricated or Induced. Issued August Framework for Assessment of Children and Families, etc Associated documents: Bullying don t suffer in silence. An anti-bullying pack issued in September 2002 by DfES Merton s Bullying Policy. Issued April 2004 Merton s Physical Intervention Policy. Issued April 2004 Merton s Policy for Children with Medical Needs. Issued April 2004 Merton s Policy for Teenage Pregnancy. Issued April 2004
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