Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

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1 Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy The school will safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils at the school in compliance with DfE Guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education. Aims The school recognises its responsibility for the safeguarding of children in its care and its requirement to respond immediately to any aspect of concern relating to a child s safeguarding whether it happens within the school community or outside. Safeguarding means ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and optimising children s life chances. The main elements of the policy are to: Ensure we practise safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children. Raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe Develop and implement procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse Support pupils who have been abused Safer Recruitment The school will take all possible steps to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children through its recruitment processes, CRB checks, referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service and induction procedures. Assurances are obtained that appropriate child protection checks and procedures apply to other staff employed by another organisation and working with the school s pupils on another site. The school will notify the DfE, the Disclosure and Barring Service and any other designated authority within one month when the services of a person are discontinued because he or she was considered unsuitable to work with children. Supervision of ancillary, contractor or unchecked staff The School s policy is that all staff should be checked. All staff on the School payroll are required to be CRB checked and reference checked. Contractors are required to sign in and be badged and authorised to work in their designated areas only. Contactors are expected to be CRB checked or only to work with someone who is. Contractors are either CRB checked by the School or provide their CRB number to the Bursary. The Bursary is responsible for the supervision of contractors. Contractors are not given keys or door codes to houses or other property at any time when children are in residence. Door codes are changed every term or more often as needed. A one off visitor or a contractor on a first visit will be accompanied at all times by a designated member of Wells Cathedral School staff. Staff and visitors are required to wear badges. Students are instructed to report people without badges to the School Office or to house staff at all times. Staff should approach any unbadged person and escort them to the School Office so they can be given a badge. Child Protection Officer

2 Helen Bennett is the school s Designated Child Protection Officer. She is supported in the Senior School by Charles Cain the Deputy Head, in the Junior School by Julie Barrow, Junior School Deputy Head and the Pre-Prep department, including the Early Years Foundation Stage, by Janet Bennett, the Head of the Pre-Prep the latter two have received inter-agency training. The Designated Child Protection Officer is involved in regular training, including inter-agency working, in accordance with the recommendations of Somerset Direct, the Local Safeguarding Children Board and other agencies at regular two yearly intervals. The nominated governor for Child Protection is Mrs Ballan-Whitfield. The Governors undertake an annual review of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and the procedures in place at the school for safeguarding children and the efficiency and effectiveness with which the related duties have been discharged. This enables the Governing body to monitor compliance with the The Children Act (1989), the 2004 (updating) Children Act and Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (2007),guidance from the DfE, the local authority and locally agreed inter agency procedures, to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection are remedied as soon as they have been identified. The School maintains good working relations with relevant agencies including Somerset Direct (LSCB) and the Avon and Somerset Public Protection Unit. The Designated Child Protection Officer is the person responsible for contacting LSCB/Social Services/OFSTED to register concerns about a child s welfare and implementing procedures relating to child protection at the Senior School, Junior School and Pre-Prep which includes EYFS. She is fully conversant with LSCB procedures, and will ensure representations/reports to Child Protection Conferences. She will inform OFSTED of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children on the school premises (whether the allegation relates to harm or abuse committed on or off the school site); or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken place on the school site, and of the resulting action taken in respect to the these allegations. During her absence, the Deputy Head of the Senior School and Deputy Head of the Junior School will perform this role. The Designated Child Protection Officer is a senior member of staff who receives a TLR award and a time allowance to reflect the authority and status of the role She is intentionally not a full member of the Senior Team. This provides her with greater independence, enabling her to be more approachable than might otherwise be possible. However the Child Protection Officer does additionally have a reporting role to the Senior Team, and briefs them on issues relating to child protection issues at least three times each year; and has the authority to call a Senior Team meeting should need arise. Training The head, all staff and volunteers are given an appropriate level of child protection training by the Designated Child Protection Officer as part of their induction programme. As part of this induction programme all staff (including non-teaching and support) are given a document Guidance for Safe Working Practice for the Protection of Children and Staff. The head and all staff have child protection training every three years. The school pupil leaders (prefects) and peer mentors receive guidance from the Child Protection Officer as part of their induction training. Both staff and pupils will have clear guidance through their training that their role is to listen, not to investigate or ask a child leading questions and not to keep secrets but to refer the matter if they receive any allegations of abuse.

3 The Designated Child Protection Officer is also involved in running training for staff outside of the school as part of our commitment to sharing best practice. Staying Safe Children s awareness about themselves will be raised through the school s PSHE programme and a trusting climate is developed in tutor times and house times. Children are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings. The school seeks to promote a positive, supportive and secure environment and give pupils a sense of being valued. The school s Behaviour Policy and Anti-bullying Policy support vulnerable pupils in the school. The Missing Child Policy provides clear procedures in the event that a pupil is found to be missing from school or on an off site visit. All staff through their care of children try to ensure that children stay safe, remain healthy and are able to say No. What is Child Abuse? All members of the school staff should be alert to the possibility of signs of abuse by a parent, sibling, other relative, carers, acquaintances, another pupil or strangers. Abuse may be by: Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation) which results in serious impairment of the child s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive. Physical Abuse: Physical injury to a child, (including deliberate poisoning) where there is definite knowledge, or a reasonable suspicion, that was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. Sexual Abuse: The involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities, or activities that violate the social taboos of the family roles whether or not the child is aware of what is happening and whether or not the child consents to the activity. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non penetrative acts. It may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or the production of pornagrahic material or watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in a sexually inappropriate way or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Emotional Abuse: The severe adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment; this category should be used where it is the main or sole form of abuse. Grave Concern: Children whose situations do not currently fit the above categories, but where social and medical assessments indicate that they are at significant risk of abuse. These could include the situation where another child in the household has been harmed or the household contains a known abuser. Reporting Abuse If you have any worries or concerns, however vague, that a pupil is suffering abuse you must report these to the Designated Child Protection Officer. You must not think that by raising concerns you are starting procedures. The criteria should be that you have reasonable suspicion and this definition includes or who may suffer in the future. It is important to trust your judgement rather than fear over-reaction. Please refer to the Malpractice policy. The information you have may not be enough on its own for a child referral issue but may help the Designated Child Protection Officer build up a picture of a child at risk.

4 It is of the utmost importance that anyone concerned with a suspected case of abuse maintains confidentiality at all times on a need to know basis. Remember, the NSPCC advice is: The consequences of NOT reporting your suspicions if a child has been abused can be serious. Your concerns or observations may play a vital part in protecting a child by contributing to the pool of information about the family, and by initiating a professional response which can establish whether or not a child is at risk, and if necessary take legal action to protect a child. Failure to report your concerns may mean this does not happen, and the child may be further abused. The consequences of reporting suspected child abuse and being wrong can be difficult. The consequences of NOT reporting suspected child abuse could be fatal! Confidentiality Disclosures of abuse by a pupil to a member of staff cannot be kept confidential and must be shared with the Designated Child Protection Officer. Staff must explain to pupils that they cannot promise complete confidentiality and must pass on the information to help keep the child or other children safe. Investigations If an allegation is made of physical, sexual or emotional abuse against a member of staff or volunteer or there are other grounds for concern then the person receiving the allegation must take it seriously and immediately inform the Head or in her absence the Chair of Governors. If the concerns are about the Head, then the Chair of Governors should be contacted. The Head will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but will refer the matter to the Police Child Protection Service and Social Services. Under these circumstances the member of staff against whom an allegation has been made should not be informed of said allegation until future action is agreed. It may be necessary to discuss appropriate steps to ensure other children are not at risk. Every Local Authority now has a Designated Officer for Allegations Management (LADO) who is available to provide support and advice to any organisation where staff work with children. This role also incorporates a monitoring function to ensure that all organisations work to complete allegations processes in a time scale appropriate for both the victim and the alleged perpetrator. The Local Authority Designated Officer must be informed immediately if an allegation has been made, and they will consult as necessary with the relevant personnel in Human Resources, and other agencies such as the Police, as appropriate. Somerset LCSB The Safeguarding Co-ordinator is: Matthew Turner ( ) The LADOs is: Claire Winter ( )

5 The Deputy LADO is: Mim Cartwright Senior Practitioner Allegations Management Schools ( ) Further Information: What To Do If You re Worried A Child is Being Abused by the Commission for Social Care Inspection is available from Deputy Head. Guidance for Safe Working Practice for the Protection of Children and Staff. This booklet is distributed to all staff by the Child Protection Officer as part of the induction process for all staff. Responsibility: Individual:Deputy Head Governor s Committee: Governing Body May 2012 Next review date: May 2013

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