Reviewed December 2014
C O N T E N T S
Statement of Intent
The Designated Senior Person
Child Protection Governor
When to be Concerned
Action to be taken
Dealing with a Disclosure
Allegations Involving School Staff/Volunteers
This document should be read in conjunction with:
- The All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008.
- Code of Practice for Staff.
- Staff Facing an Allegation of Abuse
- The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families 2002.
The staff and governors of this school fully recognise the contribution they make to safeguarding children. The welfare of all pupils in this school is a priority. We believe that our school should provide a caring, supportive and safe environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of each child by the provision of a curriculum and ethos which promotes self worth, confidence and independence. No child can learn effectively and reach their potential unless they feel secure.
Chair of Governors/Child Protection Link Governor
The aims of this policy are:
- to ensure that all pupils know that they will be listened to and be able to communicate easily any concerns which they may have;
- to raise the awareness of all teaching staff, associate staff, Governors and volunteers to the need to safeguard pupils by identifying those “children in need”* and possible cases of child abuse;
- to emphasise the need for staff in this school to work in partnership with other relevant agencies (particularly Social Services Department and the Police) and to support them in carrying out their statutory duties;
- to ensure that staff are clear about their individual responsibilities for reporting concerns and that they understand the reporting procedures;
- to ensure that the school and Governing Body practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers working with pupils;
- to provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm.
*Child in Need – a Child in Need is a child who may be in need of support from Social Services or another agency but not necessarily at risk of significant harm and in need of immediate protection. Referrals should be made, as for Child Protection, on The Common Assessment and Referral Form.
3. The Designated Teacher for Child Protection
In this school the Assistant Headteacher (Mr Ashley Payne) is the Designated teacher in respect of Child Protection matters. In her absence the Deputy designated person (Mr Robert Phillips) will assume responsibility for those matters.
We will ensure that all staff, and Governors are aware of who the Designated teacher is.
The role of the Designated teacher is:
- the coordination of all child protection issues, acting as a source of advice and support for any staff who have concerns or information that a pupil may be suffering abuse or be a child in need;
- to be responsible for making referrals to Social Services;
- to ensure that the school is represented at case conferences and core meetings and contributes fully by providing reports as required;
- to attend training on a regular basis and cascade training to staff;
- to ensure that all staff (including agency workers and those directly employed by the school) are in possession of a valid and current CRB certificate.
- to ensure that all staff (including new staff/supply teachers) have access to all the relevant child protection documents and are clear about their own responsibilities;
- to report any allegation about a member of staff to the Local Education Authority’s Child Protection Coordinator, (Mr. Paul Henwood);
- to ensure that a chronological record of concerns is maintained if there are concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral;
- to attend any Senior Strategy Meetings;
- to ensure that all records including case conference minutes are kept confidentially and securely (separate from pupil records);
- to send the child’s records, including all child protection information, immediately to any school to which the child transfers.
4. Child Protection Governor
The Chair of Governors is the nominated Governor for child protection.
Their role is to ensure:
- that the school has a child protection policy in place which is reviewed annually to ensure its effectiveness;
- that the Designated teacher and other staff attend appropriate and regular training;
- that any allegation made against the Headteacher is immediately reported to them. The Chair of Governors will then contact the Local Education Authority’s Child Protection Coordinator immediately and attend any Senior Strategy Meeting which is called;
- that the school has an up to date and agreed staff disciplinary procedure for dealing with allegations of misconduct against members of staff including Child Protection allegations;
- that the school operates safe recruitment procedures and ensures that all appropriate checks are carried out on all relevant staff in accordance with current regulations.
- that there is an item on the agenda of a Governor Body meeting at least once a year where the Designated teacher will report on:
- changes to child protection procedures or policy
- training undertaken by all staff and Governors in the preceding twelve Months.
- the number of incidents of a child protection nature which arose in the school within the preceding twelve months (without details or names)
- where and how child protection appears in the curriculum
All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if he or she:
- Has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children's injuries.
- Parents delay in seeking medical advice or treatment when it is necessary.
- 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.
- Staff should never delay in passing on a concern; they will always be taken seriously.
- Do not dismiss a concern thinking you have been mistaken, it is better to discuss a concern with the designated person and allow them to make any decisions.
6. Action To Be Taken By Our School
- We will attend relevant training on child protection on a regular basis.
- We will follow the All Wales Child Protection Procedures.
- All staff will inform the Designated teacher of any concerns that a pupil is suffering or is likely to suffer abuse or of any disclosure of abuse.
- Referrals will be made immediately to Social Services by telephone and followed up within two working days in writing using the Common Assessment and Referral Form.
- Any child on the child protection register absent without explanation will be referred to Social Services and the Education Welfare Officer.
- All staff will inform the Designated teacher of any allegations made against staff volunteers in the school.
- We will endeavour to build relations of understanding, trust and confidence with other agencies in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.
- The school has an important role in preventing abuse by providing our pupils with good lines of communications with trusted adults within a safe environment.
- Our school encourages children to talk and to be listened to.
- Our school ensures all children know there is someone in school who they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
- Our school will include opportunities within the PSHE curriculum for pupils to explore issues to help them develop the skills to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they can turn for help.
8. 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
- Show that you accept what is being said and that you are taking their allegation seriously
- Allow the child to talk freely
- Don’t make assumptions about what they are saying or make interpretations.
- 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 Family Services.
- 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 or leading questions.
- Not criticise the alleged perpetrator
- Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told
- Make a written record (see Record Keeping)
- Pass information to the Designated Senior Person without delay
- Not confront the alleged abuser.
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.
Child Protection raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools.
Reporting concerns is not a betrayal of trust.
- 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 (Children and Family Services and the Police).
- 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 he or she has a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies for the child's sake. 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.
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
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.
11. 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 Designated Teacher who will inform the Headteacher and the LEA Child Protection Coordinator
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 Designated Named person must ensure it is referred to the LEA Child Protection Coordinator )
The Headteacher will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but he/she will refer to the LEA Child Protection Coordinator )
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. The allegation will be investigated in accordance with the All Wales Child Protection Procedures
If it is decided that it is not necessary for Child and Family Services to take further action the Headteacher will consider whether there needs to be an internal investigation.
12. The Statutory Basis of Child Protection
Children Act 1989
The Children Act 2004
Safeguarding Children in Education – the role of Local Authorities and Governing Bodies under the Education Act 2002 Circular 005/2008.
The governing body has a duty under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to ensure “that their functions relating to the conduct of the school are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children….