The Legal Framework: Statutory Guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015)

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1 The Green School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Aims: To set out the school s responsibilities in, and procedures for, dealing with child protection issues. Schools have a statutory duty under S175/S157 of the Education Act (2002) to ensure they safeguard and promote the welfare of students. It is the intention of the procedures within this policy to ensure that appropriate action is taken immediately where it is alleged that a child is suspected of being abused (children includes everyone under the age of 18). The prime concern at all times must be the interests and safety of the students. The role of the school At the Green School we believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other students. We recognise that some students will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school s Behaviour for Learning Policy. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns escalating. (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015) Key principles Student welfare must always be paramount and overrides all other considerations A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents and families but where there is conflict the child s interests must remain paramount Students have a right to be heard, to be listened to and to be taken seriously, taking account of their age and understanding. They should be consulted and involved in all matters and decisions which may affect their lives The process of protecting the child from harm should be carried out with the parent/carers involvement whenever possible and they should be encouraged to exercise their responsibilities. Where there is conflict the student s interests must remain paramount Information exchange between the student, the parent/carers and all professional disciplines involved is of the utmost importance A commitment to supporting parents/carers to prevent harm or further harm and alerting them to the dangers for the student is at the core of good child protection work Actions taken to protect a student (including investigation) should not in themselves be abusive by causing a child unnecessary distress or adding to any damage already suffered At all times the emphasis must be on a multi-disciplinary approach and commitment to the protection, support and safeguarding of children from harm When making decisions and carrying out investigations and assessments, professionals should be guided by the student s best interests. Decisions should take into account both the wishes of the student, having due regard to age and understanding and the wishes of the parents/carers. It must be recognised, however, that there may be circumstances which dictate that these have to be overridden The Legal Framework: Statutory Guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015) Non-statutory Guidance: What to do if you re worries a child is being abused (2015) Information Sharing (2015) Key Legislation: The Children Act (1989) & Children Act (2004) Local Government Act (2000) Education Act (2002)

2 The legislation places the primary responsibility for the care and protection of abused children, and children at risk of abuse, on Local Authorities. Children s Social Care Services holds a central register on behalf of the Local Area Child Protection Committee, which lists all the children in the area who are considered to be suffering from, or likely to suffer, significant harm and for whom there is a multi-agency Protection Plan. Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It includes issues for schools such as: student health and safety bullying including cyber-bullying e-safety fabricated or induced illnesses child sexual exploitation (CSE) female genital mutilation (FGM) preventing radicalisation & extremism forced marriage gang association domestic violence racist abuse harassment and discrimination use of physical intervention meeting the needs of students with medical conditions, including mental ill-health self-harm sexting teenage relationship abuse trafficking providing first aid drug and substance misuse educational visits intimate care internet safety issues which may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity school security management of contractors and visitors Identifying Signs of Possible Abuse Due to the daily contact with students, school staff; teachers and non-teaching staff, including lunchtime supervisors, are particularly well placed to observe outward symptoms and changes in behaviour. Such symptoms may, of course, be due to other reasons and causes such as bereavement and changes to family circumstances. However, they may also be due to abuse. The following may be noticeable: Bruises, particularly of a regular shape which may indicate the use of an implement such as a strap or hand, lacerations, bite marks or burns. Possible indicators of emotional abuse may be excessive dependency or attention seeking Sexual abuse may exhibit physical signs or lead to a substantial change in behaviour, including precocity, withdrawal or inappropriate sexual behaviour Any combination of the above may be accompanied by a marked deterioration in behaviour, academic performance and increased absenteeism Children who may be particularly vulnerable and at risk of abuse Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and a reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our students receive equal protection, we give special consideration to students who are: Children Looked After disabled or have special educational needs living in a domestic abuse situation affected by parental substance misuse asylum seekers living away from home vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying living in temporary accommodation living transient lifestyles

3 living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations vulnerable to radicalisation and extreme views** vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality* *Female Genital Mutilation: FGM is a violation of basic human rights; it is illegal to practise FGM in the UK or to take girls out of the UK for FGM. FGM has been a criminal offence in the U.K. since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 was passed. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 replaced the 1985 Act and makes it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal. All professionals need to consider the following indicators: Preparations are being made to take a long holiday - arranging vaccinations or planning an absence from school The child has changed in behaviour after a prolonged absence from school; or The child has health problems, particularly bladder or menstrual problems *Child Sexual Exploitation: Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It can take many forms from the seemingly consensual relationships where sex is exchanged for attention, accommodation or gifts, to serious organised crime and child trafficking. Prevention measures will include the development of education and awareness raising programmes for students so that they can make safe and healthy choices about relationships and sexual health. ** Preventing Radicalisation: The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act places a duty on specified authorities (e.g education) to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism ( the Prevent duty ) - refer to Preventing Radicalisation & Extremism Safeguarding Policy Responsibilities of staff Safeguarding children is the responsibility of ALL staff, teaching and non-teaching, and the Governing Body. In exceptional circumstances, staff members may raise concerns directly with Children s Social Care Services and should explicitly understand their responsibilities in order to achieve positive outcomes, keep children safe, and complement the support that other professionals may be providing. The Governing Bodies procedures must ensure the health, safety and well-being of staff and students: All staff should follow the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) guidance All staff should be alert to signs of abuse and changes of behaviour All staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of a student with other professionals. All substantial allegations of abuse or suspected abuse must be reported Concerns, suspicions or conversations must be recorded on a Safeguarding Concern Form (SCF) and reported to the designated member of staff (Designated Safeguarding Lead) who is Deputy Head (Inclusion: Steve Burns) or to the deputy DSL who is an Assistant Headteacher (Francis Markall) Safeguarding concerns about adults in the school should be made directly to the Headteacher (see below) Guidance on forced marriage is also available It is not the responsibility of staff to investigate suspected abuse Dealing with Disclosures Do not promise confidentiality Listen to the student with an open and enquiring mind Believe what is said Act in a careful, calm and measured way Reassure the student that it was right to share the information Ask only open questions Do not ask probing or leading questions Ask student's permission for the Welfare Officer to look for any signs of abuse Explain that the information will be passed onto the DSL and others - on a 'need to know' basis only Do not ask a student to repeat their disclosure for another member of staff Make a record of the discussion, giving time, day and date. Record actual words used and any significant behaviour. Pass this account to the DSL Make the rest of the day as normal as possible Seek support for yourself after the disclosure

4 Managing allegations against other students These must be brought to the immediate attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (SBU). The school s child protection procedures will be followed, even when the abuse is alleged to have come from another student/s. Staff are aware of the harm caused by bullying and use the school s anti bullying procedures where necessary. However, on occasions a student s behaviour may warrant a response under Child Protection, rather than anti bullying procedures. When there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm the school should report its concerns to Children s Social Care Services. Managing allegations against staff An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff/volunteer may have: behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child: or behaved towards a child or children in such a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they worked regularly or closely with a child If staff members have concerns about another staff member then this should be referred to the Headteacher. The Headteacher must immediately contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). Allegations against the Headteacher should be taken to the Chair of Governors. Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead / Deputy Head - Inclusion Ensure that this role is known to all staff Ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures and guidance and where to locate them Lead staff training and keep all staff updated Make referrals to Social Care and other agencies as appropriate Inform the Headteacher when a referral is made Inform Inclusion Team on a needs to know basis Communicate with students, agencies and parents as appropriate Attend training and information sessions and arrange appropriate training and support for other staff Ensure monitoring, support and record keeping for students following referral Attend/oversee preparation of reports for CP Case Conferences or court cases (with the Year Leader) Attend/oversee preparation of reports for Core Group meetings (with the Year Leader) Record Keeping Any written information regarding alleged or suspected abuse should be kept securely locked in a confidential file and is not to be disclosed except to the appropriate professional authorities, Education (School Records) Regulations Information regarding a student placed on the Child Protection Register must be transferred if she moves to a new school and the key worker from Social Care should be informed. Categories of Abuse Neglect: the actual or likely persistent or significant neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or persistent failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive. Physical Injury: actual or likely deliberate physical injury to a child, or a wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child Sexual Abuse: actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child. The involvement of children and adolescents in sexual activities which they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate social taboos of family roles Emotional Abuse: actual or likely persistent or significant emotional ill-treatment or rejection, resulting in severe adverse effects on the emotional, physical and/or behavioural development of the child. All abuse involves some emotional ill-treatment. This is where it is the main or only form of abuse. Criteria for Levels of Intervention Common Assessment Framework (CAF): Simple Support Needs

5 Section 17 - Child in Need: Complex Support Needs Section 47 Child Protection: Risk of Significant Harm Inclusion on the Child Protection Plan This will only happen following a Child Protection Conference. The one exception is when a child on the register, from another authority, moves into the area. The Purpose of the Child Protection Plan It provides a record of all the children in the area who meet the registration criteria Names are reviewed initially within 3 months and then at least 6 monthly thereafter It provides a central point for speedy enquiry for professional staff who have concerns about a child It provides statistical information to aid planning Child Protection files are transferred securely and a receipt is obtained from receiving school. Curriculum Issues Students should be equipped with the appropriate tools to make reasoned, informed choices, judgements and decisions in order to stay safe. A positive learning environment should be provided within the classroom in which every student is valued as a member of the school community. Opportunities should be provided for class and group discussion of thoughts and feelings in an atmosphere of trust, acceptance and tolerance. Through the PSHEC Programme and subjects such as RE, English and Drama students are given information and have opportunities to develop strategies and skills for dealing with and resisting abuse in their own lives and to prepare themselves for the responsibilities of parenthood. Contact details for national and local supportive organisations are made available to students. Training Regular training is given to ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures and kept up to date with changes. MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REVIEW This policy is reviewed annually. Signed K Heard Date June 2015 To be reviewed June 2016

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