Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Trustee Responsible: Elizabeth Steinthal
Review Cycle: Annual
Date written/last review: October 2020
Date of next review: October 2021
Educare defines safeguarding and promoting children and young people’s welfare as:
• protecting children from maltreatment
• preventing impairment of children’s health or development
• ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
• taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Child protection is the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:
• disabled or have special educational needs
• young carers
• living in a domestic abuse situation
• affected by parental substance misuse
• affected by mental health issues
• asylum seekers
• living away from home
• vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying including cyber, homophobic, racist bullying
• living in temporary accommodation
• live transient lifestyles
• missing education
• living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
• vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality
• vulnerable to extremism or radicalisation.
• involved directly or indirectly in sexual exploitation or trafficking [CSE]
• do not have English as a first language
• at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) or forced marriage. [mandatory to report]
Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
Child includes everyone under the age of 18.
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.
SPA – 020 8547 5008
LADO – 020 8891 7370 07774332675
2. Introduction and purpose
Educare Small School acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that all adults looking after children or who have unsupervised access to them are suitable to do so and are aware of their responsibility towards children’s safety and wellbeing. All staff, trustees and regular volunteers have an Enhanced Disclosure [DBS] check and are made aware of their responsibilities during their induction period and ongoing professional development.
Educare understands that safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It also relates to aspects of school life including:
• Pupils’ health and safety
• Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
• Meeting the needs of children with medical conditions
• Providing first aid
• Educational visits
• Intimate care
• Internet or e-safety
• Appropriate arrangements to ensure school security, taking into account the local context.
• Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed Child Protection Plan (or Child in Need Plan for lower level concerns)
3. Key Personnel
Designated Safeguarding Lead
[DSL] Miriam Rodriguez
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Chair of Trustees
Dr J Gravett
Designated Trustee for Safeguarding and Child Protection
4. Policy principles and aims
Educare aims to:
• Establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
• Support pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed Child Protection Plan (or Child in Need Plan for lower level concerns);
• Ensure we practise safer 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 then implement procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse;
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:
• Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
• Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried.
• Include opportunities in the PSHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
• Ensure all staff members are aware of school guidance for use of mobile technology and its associated safeguarding risks.
• Remain alert to the safeguarding needs of pupils who go missing from education.
All adults in school must:
• Ensure that children are safe and feel safe.
• Be able to identify children who may be at risk of radicalisation and know what to do when they are identified.
• Build children’s resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling children to challenge extremist views.
• Report any concerns about children or adults in the school to the designated person Miriam Rodriguez or the Head/Deputy Head Teacher as soon as they occur.
• Respond appropriately to signs of abuse, child sexual exploitation or signs of radicalisation such as: changes in behaviour, deterioration in general well-being, unexplained bruising or signs of physical abuse or neglect, children’s own comments, child sexual exploitation and unusual behaviours.
• Respond appropriately to signs or suspicions of Female Genital Mutilation which must be reported to the DSL or SPA if she is not available. If FGM has already taken place the Police must be advised immediately.
• Keep written notes of all incidents, events, conversations using the child’s own words – note date, time, and names mentioned, to whom the information was given, and ensure that all records are signed and dated.
• Attend a Level1 course as part of their induction.
• Ensure that personal mobile phones and cameras are not used in the setting.
• Be familiar with ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ – DES booklet, to be found in second drawer down of large filing cabinet.
Working Together To Safeguard Children 2015, Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2020 and The Prevent Duty 2015 filed in the Child protection Information file on the shelf in the office.
The School is responsible for ensuring that :
• All incidents of abuse or neglect are recorded and SPA or the LADO are informed.
• Parents and the child are supported, protected and informed appropriately.
• All children are protected from the risk of radicalisation through the efficient implementation of the Prevent Duty i.e. an assessment of the risk of children being drawn into extremism, partnership with parents, staff training, training for children on safe use of the internet and how to keep themselves safe.
• All staff, trustees and regular volunteers are DBS checked.
• Staff attend a Safeguarding Level 1 course as part of their induction.
• An admissions register and a daily attendance register are kept.
• Cases of children missing from school or with unauthorised absence are followed up.
• Relevant information is shared with all staff.
• A written plan is in place to support any children who are subject of a child protection plan or who are looked after.
In the case of an allegation of abuse by a teacher, another member of staff working in school or another child, the following steps will be followed:
• The DSL and the Head Teacher are informed.
• A summary of allegations is kept.
• The LADO/SPA 020 8547 5888 is informed. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) works within Children’s Social Care and should be alerted to all cases in which there is an allegation of abuse of a child by a person who works with children where there is a concern that the person may have behaved in a way that has, 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 a way which indicates s/he would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children
• OFSTED 0300 123 1231 is informed.
• The member of staff or other child is suspended until the case is investigated, if appropriate.
All staff may raise concerns directly with SPA or the LADO.
Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives mentalhealth.org.uk
Educare Small School recognises that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation and is aware that only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. However, staff are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
Possible warning signs include:
• Persistent sadness — two or more weeks
• Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions
• Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself
• Talking about death or suicide
• Outbursts or extreme irritability
• Out-of-control behaviour that can be harmful
• Drastic changes in mood, behaviour or personality
• Changes in eating habits
• Loss of weight
• Difficulty sleeping
• Frequent headaches or stomach aches
• Difficulty concentrating
• Changes in academic performance
• Avoiding or missing school
Educare Small School aims to promote positive mental health for all staff and pupils. In order to do this, as well as ensuring that children have a chance and feel confident to voice their concerns at any point, we dedicate two sessions a week to learn about subjects linked to the PSHE curriculum and developing a positive mental health. In KS2, the children have access to a ‘Worry Jar’ where they can anonymously post their questions and worries to be discussed.
After lunchtime play, the children have a ‘Quiet Time’ session in which they lay on the floor and have a chance to relax and practise mindfulness. This is not only to prepare them for the afternoon lessons but also, and more importantly, to allow them to rest their minds and take a break, which leads to a more relaxed start to the afternoon.
5. Statutory framework, key statutory and non-statutory guidance
In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, Educare will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
• Children Act 1989 Care Planning, Placement and Case Review
• Children Act 2004
• Education Act 2002
• London Child Protection Procedures and Practice Guidance
• Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020
• Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
• What to do if You're Worried a Child is Being Abused
• Information Sharing
We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that we have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which we believe that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse.
Our procedures also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.
We will take steps to ensure that any groups or individuals who hire and/or use our building or grounds inside or outside of school hours, follow the local child protection guidelines and are aware of their safeguarding duties.
We will ensure that all staff read and understand:
• Educare’s safeguarding and child protection policy
• Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) [Part One] and school leaders and staff that work directly with children will also read Annex A
• Educare’s code of conduct
Educare will publish our safeguarding and child protection policy on our website and hard copies will be available on request from the school office.
6. Assessment of the risk of children at Educare Small School being drawn into terrorism or supporting extremism.
• Educare Small School is situated in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. The risk to the children who attend is low. There are no reports of local extremist groups or incidents.
• Staff are trained to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what procedures to follow. The DSL is trained in the Prevent Duty and cascades information to the rest of the staff.
• The school’s values led curriculum includes circle times, the use of the Alexander Technique, meditation and reflection, philosophy for children, learning right from wrong, mixing and sharing with other children.
• Fundamental British Values are at the base of the school’s principles and beliefs. Staff support the decisions that children make and encourage turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. The school operates as a small community in which children feel a sense of belonging where they can express their opinions.Everyone is valued as part of the school community and the diversity of cultures and backgrounds is celebrated regularly. The school includes parents in as many school activities as possible. Parents help out in school and on school trips. Children are encouraged to respect each other’s rights, take responsibility for their actions, be honest. Disagreements are discussed with all parties and rough play discouraged. Children are supported in stating their point of view and resisting pressure from their peers or older children.
• All IT equipment in school is firewall protected and children are not allowed to use computers or ipads without permission. Older children are taught about online safety.
7. Roles and responsibilities
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of Educare Small School understands and fulfils its responsibilities, namely to ensure that:
• there is a Child Protection and Safeguarding policy together with a Staff Behaviour policy (Code of Conduct)
• child protection, safeguarding, recruitment and managing allegations policies and procedures, including the staff behaviour policy (code of conduct), are consistent with Kingston’s and Richmond’s Safeguarding Children’s Board and statutory requirements. They are reviewed annually. The safeguarding and child protection policy is publically available on the school’s website.
• all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers read and understand Educare’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and Staff Behaviour policy
• all staff have read and understood Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) part 1 and Annex A and that mechanisms are in place to assist staff in understanding and discharging their roles and responsibilities as set out in the guidance
• the school operates a safer recruitment procedure that includes statutory checks on staff suitability to work with children (and disqualification by association regulations where applicable) and by ensuring that there is at least one person on every recruitment panel who has completed safer recruitment training
• Educare has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff (including the headteacher), volunteers and against other children and that a referral is made to the DBS if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have had they not resigned
• the Board of Trustees has a nominated trustee responsible for safeguarding who has undertaken appropriate training for the role. The chair of trustees is responsible in the event of an allegation of abuse made against the headteacher
• an annual audit of Educare’s safeguarding policies, procedures and practices is undertaken with the Headteacher and designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and that this is submitted to Kingston’s and Richmond’s LSCB
• a member of the senior leadership team has been appointed as the designated safeguarding lead and they will take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection; the role is explicit in the role holder’s job description
• DSL’s and their deputy undertake multi-agency (Level 3) safeguarding training which is updated every two years
• there is a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children looked after who are on the school roll
• all other staff have safeguarding training updated as appropriate
• at least one member of the Board of Trustees has completed safer recruitment training to be repeated every five years
• children are taught about safeguarding (including online safety) as part of a broad and balanced curriculum covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and through relationship and sex education (RSE)
• appropriate safeguarding responses are in place for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future
• appropriate online filtering and monitoring systems are in place
• enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (without barred list checks are in place for all trustees.
The headteacher will ensure that:
• the safeguarding and child protection policy and related policies and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff
• sufficient time, training, support, resources, including cover arrangements where necessary, is allocated to the DSL and deputy to carry out their roles effectively
• where there is a safeguarding concern, that the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide
• systems are in place for children to express their views and give feedback which operate with the best interest of the child at heart
• all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the whistle-blowing procedures
• pupils are provided with opportunities throughout the curriculum to learn about safeguarding, including keeping themselves safe online
• they liaise with the local authority designated officer (LADO) within 24 hours, before taking any action and then on an ongoing basis, where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer
The designated safeguarding lead (DSL)
• Holds ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and child protection in Educare Small School.
• Acts as a source of support and expertise for the whole school community in regards to our safeguarding duties.
• Encourages a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings.
• Undertakes multi-agency (Level 3) safeguarding training with updates every two years and will refresh their knowledge and skills at regular intervals but at least annually.
• Will refer a child if there are concerns about possible abuse, to Achieving for Children’s Single Point of Access (SPA) and/or the local authority where the child resides and act as a focal point for staff to discuss concerns.
• Will keep detailed, accurate records, either written or using appropriate online software, of all concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.
• Will ensure that all such records are kept confidential, stored securely and are separate from the pupil’s general file.
• Will ensure that an indication of the existence of the additional safeguarding and child protection file is marked on the pupil general file.
• Will ensure that a copy of the safeguarding and child protection file is retained until such a time that the new school acknowledges receipt of the original file. The copy will then be shredded.
• Will liaise with the local authority and work with other agencies and professionals in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children.
• Has a working knowledge of Kingston’s and Richmond’s LSCB and Achieving for Children procedures. Will ensure that either they, or an appropriate staff member, attend case conferences, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings, contribute to assessments and provide a report, where required, which has been shared with the parents.
• Notifies Children’s Social Care if a child subject to a child protection plan is absent from school without explanation.
• Will ensure that all staff sign to say they have read, understood and agree to work within name of school’s safeguarding and child protection policy, staff behaviour policy (code of conduct) and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 Part 1 and Annex A and ensure that the policies are used appropriately.
• Will organise child protection and safeguarding induction, regularly updated training and a minimum of annual updates (including online safety) for all school staff, keep a record of attendance and address any absences.
• Will undertake with the headteacher and Board of Trustees, an annual audit of Educare’s safeguarding policies, procedures and practices and ensure that this is submitted to Kingston’s and Richmond’s LSCB.
• Has an understanding of locally agreed processes for providing early help and intervention and will support members of staff where Early Help is appropriate.
• Will ensure that the name of the designated safeguarding lead and deputies, are clearly advertised in the school and on the website, with a statement explaining the school’s role in referring and monitoring cases of suspected abuse.
• Will ensure that they, or a deputy, are available during term time school hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.
• Will ensure that there are adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours or out of term activities.
A deputy designated safeguarding lead(s)
• Is trained to the same standard as the designated safeguarding lead and, in the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of pupils. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL the deputy will assume all of the functions above.
All school staff
• Understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that they have a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
• Consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
• Know how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse.
• Will refer any safeguarding or child protection concerns to the designated safeguarding lead or if necessary where the child is at immediate risk, to the police or Single Point of Access (SPA), or if a child lives out of borough, to the relevant local authority.
• Will provide a safe environment in which children can learn.