OAKWOOD JUNIOR SCHOOL. Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

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1 OAKWOOD JUNIOR SCHOOL Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy Review Date Autumn 2013 Reviewed by FGB Review Cycle Annually Next review due Autumn 2014 Signed :... Name :... on behalf of the Governing Body of Oakwood Junior School

2 1. INTRODUCTION Oakwood Junior School is fully committed to promoting Children s Rights, notably their right to be protected from harm, abuse, and exploitation and to be involved in any decisions that directly affect them. The School has a duty of care to implement effective policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. In order to achieve this the School will ensure staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised. Furthermore we will endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to the care and protection of Children and Young People. To inform staff, parents, volunteers and governors about the school's responsibilities for safeguarding children. To enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should be carried out. The school follows the procedures established by the Derby and Derbyshire LSCB - a guide to procedure and practice for all professional staff in Derby and Derbyshire who work with children. School Staff & Volunteers All school staff and volunteers are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily contact with children. They should be aware of the important role the school has in the early recognition of the signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect and the appropriate referral process. The school will aim to establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to when they have a worry or concern. Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried. Include opportunities in the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to stay safe. 2. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK In order to protect children from harm the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance: The Children Act (1989), Education Act (2002), section 175 Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures (2002) DfES guidance Safeguarding Children in Education (2004) 'Working Together to Safeguard Children (1999 DoH) 'Working Together to Safeguard Children (1999 DoH) requires all schools to follow the procedures for protecting children from abuse which are established by the Area Child Protection Committee. Schools are also expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or are at risk of abuse - these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse. DfES guidance Safeguarding Children in Education' (2004) places the following responsibilities on all schools: Schools should be aware of and follow the procedures established by the Area Child Protection Committee. Staff should be alert to signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions. Schools should have procedures (of which all staff are aware) for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected of abuse. Oakwood Junior School Page 2 of 11

3 A Designated Senior Person should have responsibility for co-ordinating action within the school and liaising with other agencies. Staff with designated responsibility for Child Protection should receive appropriate training. Safeguarding Children in Education also states that " Parents should be aware that the school will take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of its pupils. In cases where the school has reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to illtreatment, neglect or other forms of abuse, staff have no alternative but to follow City Child Protection Procedures and inform the Children and Young People s Department their concern." 3. THE DESIGNATED SENIOR PERSON The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection in this school is the Headteacher. In the Headteacher s absence the role will transfer to the Assistant Head. It is the role of the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection to:- Ensure that the school operates within the legislative framework and recommended guidance. Ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children procedures. Ensure that appropriate training and support is provided to all staff. Ensure that the Head teacher is kept fully informed of any concerns. Develop effective working relationships with other agencies and services. Decide whether to take further action about specific concerns (e.g. refer to Children, Schools and Families Social Work Team). Liaise with Social Work Teams over suspected cases of child abuse. Ensure that accurate records relating to individual children are kept separate from the academic file in a secure place and marked 'Strictly Confidential'. Submit reports to, and ensure the school s attendance at Child Protection Conferences. Ensure that the school effectively monitors children about whom there are concerns. Provide guidance to parents, children and staff about obtaining suitable support. 4. SCHOOL PROCEDURES If any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the Designated Senior Person. The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations. See Appendix for the proforma. The Designated Senior Person will decide whether the concerns should be referred to Children and Young People s Department (CYP). If it is decided to make a referral to CYP, this will be done with prior discussion with the parents, unless to do so would/may place the child at further risk of harm. Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child about whom the school has concern or who has been placed on the Child Protection Register and a written record will be kept as appropriate. If a pupil who is/or has been on the Child Protection Register changes school, the Designated Senior Person will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the receiving school, in a secure manner, to a named person, and separate from the child s academic file. 5. WHEN TO BE CONCERNED All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if he or she: Oakwood Junior School Page 3 of 11

4 Has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children's injuries. Regularly has unexplained injuries. Frequently has injuries (even when apparently reasonable explanations are given). Gives confused or conflicting explanations about how injuries were sustained. Exhibits significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude. Indulges in sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit and /or inappropriate to his or her age. Discloses an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed. Any other cause to believe that a child may be suffering harm. 6. DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff / volunteer should: Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief. Accept what is being said. Allow the child to talk freely. Reassure the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep. Not promise confidentiality it might be necessary to refer to Children and Young People s Department. Reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault. Stress that it was the right thing to tell. Listen, rather than ask direct questions. Not criticise the alleged perpetrator. Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told. Make a written record and pass information to the Designated Senior Person without delay. SUPPORT Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and a Child Protection case in general, is likely to be a stressful experience. The member of staff/volunteer should, therefore, consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the Designated Senior Person. 7. CONFIDENTIALITY Child Protection raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools. All staff in schools, both teaching and non-teaching staff, have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies (CYP and the Police) following discussion with the Designated Senior Person. If a child confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell the child sensitively that this is not possible. Within that context, the child should, however, be assured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know about it. Staff/volunteers who receive information about children and their families in the course of their work should share that information only within appropriate professional contexts. 8. RECORD KEEPING When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer should: Make brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation. Not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court. Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child. Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury. Oakwood Junior School Page 4 of 11

5 Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions. All records need to be given to the Designated Senior Person promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer. 9. ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING SCHOOL STAFF/VOLUNTEERS If an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff/volunteer, the person receiving the allegation must take it seriously and immediately inform the Headteacher. If any member of staff/volunteer has reason to suspect that another member of staff/volunteer may have abused a child at the school, or elsewhere, they must immediately inform the Headteacher. They should also make a record of the concerns including a note of anyone else who witnessed the incident/alleged incident. [If the concerns are about the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors must be contacted.] The Headteacher will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but he/she will assess whether it is necessary to refer to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer). If the Headteacher decides that the allegation warrants further action through LADO Child Protection Procedures he/she must immediately make a referral to the department. 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 with the Social Care Team Manager. It may be necessary to discuss appropriate steps to ensure other children are not at risk. The allegation will be investigated in accordance with the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures. If it is decided that it is not necessary to refer to the LADO, the Headteacher will consider whether there needs to be an internal investigation. For further information see Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures. Oakwood Junior School Page 5 of 11

6 Safeguarding Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 gives maintained schools a statutory duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of children, and have due regard to the guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education DfES The staff and governors at the School recognise that they have a duty to ensure arrangements are in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and we will carry out this duty through our teaching and learning, pastoral care and other school activities. All members of the school community (including volunteers and governors) will at all times establish and maintain a safe and stimulating environment; an environment where children feel secure, where children are encouraged to talk to adults they can trust and where children are listened to. Through training, all staff (teaching and non-teaching) will be able to recognise the signs of abuse and understand their responsibilities when a child may be at risk of harm. Training of all staff (except the designated person, Assistant Head and Learning Mentor) will be updated every three years. The school will ensure that it provides written referrals on the correct form and records verbal referrals appropriately too and recognises the importance of attendance at all meetings called when there is a concern regarding the safeguarding of a pupil. Aim The aim of this policy is: to create a warm, supportive environment in which we will support all our children to work towards the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters documentation, with particular focus on the Stay Safe aspect of this guidance to ensure all teaching and non-teaching staff are aware of the need to safeguard children and to understand their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse to promote the safeguarding of children and young people and encourage the prevention of child abuse through the curriculum Staff recruitment In line with the guidance Safer Recruitment, the Headteacher and one of the Governors have completed Safer Recruitment training. All staff, including volunteers, who have access to children in our organisation, have been carefully selected and screened and all have had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check prior to commencing work. All details of all appointments/checks are held in a central record. CRBs are updated every three years. Designated member of staff The designated senior members of staff for safeguarding in our organisation are the Headteacher and the Assistant Head. In their absence, or when the Headteacher needs assistance, the Assistant Head will offer their services. Our designated members of staff are fully trained and receives updated training every 2 years. All members of staff are responsible for filling in written concerns sheets, which are collated onto chronology forms by the designated person, who ensures these confidential records are kept securely. It is the responsibility of the designated member of staff to have discussions with Social Care when concerns arise regarding the safety of a child from our organisation. All such children are closely monitored, including attendance, and where extra concerns arise Oakwood Junior School Page 6 of 11

7 these are passed on to the appropriate agencies. Advice and support are offered to other members of staff dealing with a pupil for whom there are concerns. Designated Governor Our organisation has a designated safeguarding governor who will act as the link person between the governing body and the designated officer. The governor will review safeguarding procedures/practices including access to training through regular meetings with the safeguarding officer. The governors will ensure that sufficient time is given to carry out the duties including accessing training. Where safeguarding concerns arise regarding a member of staff, the governor will liaise with the Chair of Governors. Children with Statements of Special Educational Needs We recognise that statistically children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. All staff that support these children will be extra aware of the need for vigilance for signs of abuse. Parents/Carers This organisation believes in working closely with parents/carers and in most cases, where we have a concern about a pupil, the parents/carers will be informed. Confidentiality We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential and staff are informed on a need to know basis. Members of staff are also aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. Staff must therefore understand that they cannot promise any child confidentiality. Supporting Staff At Oakwood Junior School, it is understood that members of staff 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. Therefore, all involved members of staff will be supported by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the designated teacher and to seek further support. Allegations against a Member of Staff Where there is a concern that a member of staff may have behaved inappropriately, the Headteacher will discuss the matter with the Allegations Manager, as laid down in the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children procedures, and the Chair of Governors will be informed. However, where the allegation made concerns the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors will liaise with the Allegations Manager. Our organisation will not attempt to investigate unless authorised to do so. Whistleblowing We provide an environment in which children and adults feel confident to express concerns regarding the behaviour of a member of staff. Policies This policy links to other policies; these may include: Health and safety Physical intervention Behaviour Attendance, including children missing their education Sex and Relationships Education Oakwood Junior School Page 7 of 11

8 Anti-bullying Confidentiality Legislation relating to this Policy Children Act 1989, 2004 Education Act 1996, 2002 (Section 175) School Standards and Framework act 1998 Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education Guidance DfES 2007 The Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children procedures Oakwood Junior School Page 8 of 11

9 Appendix 1 CHILD PROTECTION Safety and Welfare Concern Form CONFIDENTIAL Do not copy or remove without permission of Head or C.P.C. Child s Name: Class: Date of birth: Time of concern: Date of concern: Situation when concern identified (where were you, what was the child doing, what were you doing, others present) Nature of concern (include factual description of injuries, behaviour, actual words the child used - use body chart if applicable) Your opinion (do you think this is a true reflection of the incident? Has this happened before?) Your response to the child: Oakwood Junior School Page 9 of 11

10 Action Taken (who you reported to, when and any other action taken) Follow up: Name: Signed: Position: Date: Witnesses may countersign your record Records must be written up the same day as the concern was identified Please initial any alterations Please return the completed form to the Headteacher as soon as possible Oakwood Junior School Page 10 of 11

11 CONFIDENTIAL BODY CHART Child's Name: Date: Oakwood Junior School Page 11 of 11

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