Greatstone Primary School and Nursery

06/02/2017

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Key Contact Personnel in School

Designated Safeguarding Leads:

Nicola Wood (Headteacher)

Phil Morgan-John (Deputy Headteacher)

Fiona Roberts

Jaclyn Kay

Kelly Ashford (Nursery Manager)

Nominated Governor for Safeguarding:

Neil Powney

All Staff should have access to this Policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its content.

Date of next review: Autumn 2017

                                                   

What to do if you have a Welfare Concern               

Introduction and Ethos

Greatstone Primary School is a community and all those directly connected (staff, governors, parents, families and pupils) have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. Greatstone Primary school recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. Greatstone Primary School recognises the importance of providing an ethos and environment within school that will help children to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly; and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
Our school core safeguarding principles are:

    • It is a whole school responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as its paramount concern
    • All children (defined as those up to the age of 18) regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
    • All children have a right to be heard and to have their wishes and feelings taken into account 
    • All staff understand safe professional practice and adhere to our code of conduct and other associated policies
    • All staff have a responsibility to recognise vulnerability in children and act on any concern in accordance with this guidance

There are four main elements to our Safeguarding Policy:

  • Prevention ( e.g. positive, supportive, safe school culture, curriculum and pastoral opportunities for children, safer recruitment procedures);
  • Protection (by following the agreed procedures, ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns);
  • Support (for all pupils, parents and staff, and where appropriate specific intervention for those who may be at risk of harm);
  • Working with parents and other agencies (to ensure appropriate communications and actions are undertaken).

The procedures contained in this Policy apply to all Staff and Governors and are consistent with those of the Kent Safeguarding Children Board (KSCB).

Context

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and related guidance. This includes:

    • DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 (KCSIE)
    • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (WTSC)
    • Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000)
    • Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures (Online, 2016)

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 requires school Governing Bodies, Local Education Authorities and Further Education institutions to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children who are pupils at a school, or who are students under 18 years of age. Such arrangements will have to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

Definition of Safeguarding

“Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It includes a wide range of issues relating to pupil’s welfare, health and safety.” (Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills, Ofsted, September 2016).

All safeguarding policies will be reviewed on an annual (minimum) basis by the Governing Body, which has responsibility for oversight of school safeguarding and child protection systems. The Designated Safeguarding Lead / Head Teacher will ensure regular reporting on safeguarding activity and systems in school to the Governing Body. The Governing Body will not receive details of individual pupil situations or identifying features of families as part of their oversight responsibility.

The School acknowledges that this policy will incorporate a range of safeguarding issues including (but not limited to):

  • Bullying (including cyberbullying)
  • Children missing education
  • Child missing from home or care
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
  • Domestic violence
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Fabricated or induced illness
  • Gangs and youth violence
  • Hate
  • Honour based violence, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Mental health
  • Online Safety
  • Prevent (Radicalisation and extremism)
  • Private fostering
  • Relationship abuse and gender-based violence
  • Youth Produced Sexual Imagery or “Sexting”
  • Trafficking

(Also see Annex A within ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2016 and appendix 3)

Every member of staff at Greatstone Primary school recognises that children experiencing specific safeguarding issues identified above are no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability or concern and will be approached and responded to in the same way as protecting children from any other risks.

Related Safeguarding Policies

We are aware that safeguarding is fundamental to the welfare of all children in our care. This policy is therefore one of a series in the school’s integrated safeguarding portfolio and should be read in conjunction with the policies as listed below. (to be read and followed alongside this document)

    • Behaviour Management
    • Online Safety and Social Media
    • Anti-Bullying
    • Data Protection and Information Sharing
    • Health and Safety
    • Attendance (Children Missing Education)
    • Risk Assessments (e.g. school trips, use of technology)
    • First Aid and Accidents
    • Managing Allegations Against Staff
    • Code of Conduct for Staff  (including Acceptable Use of Technology/AUP)
    • Safer Recruitment
    • Whistle-Blowing

Supporting Guidance (to be read and followed alongside this document)

  • Teachers Standards 2012
  • “Safeguarding Disabled Children – Practice Guidance”  – DOH, 2009
  • “Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings” – Safer Recruitment Consortium, October 2015
  • “ What to do if you are worried a child is being abused” – DfE, March 2015
  • KSCB document: “Safe Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People”
  • KCC Safeguarding Children and Child Protection – “Induction Leaflet Guidelines for School Staff”
  • KCC Guidelines for “Safeguarding Record Keeping in Schools”
  • KCC Advice notes  – “Dealing with Disclosures in School”
  • Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 Welfare Requirements

These documents can be found in staff room, shared staff area of school network (staff info and resource sharing), Kelsi website and gov.org. They are also available to access via the school website.

Key Responsibilities
Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. Schools and colleges form part of the wider safeguarding system for children.

The Governing Body members have read and will follow KCSIE 2016. Further information regarding the key strategic responsibilities of the Governing Body and Headteacher are identified in Appendix 1. The School has a Nominated Governor for Safeguarding named on the front of this document. The Nominated Governor will take the lead role in ensuring that the school has an effective policy which interlinks with other related policies; that locally agreed procedures are in place and being followed; and that the policy and structures supporting safeguarding children are reviewed at least annually.

The Governing Body, Headteacher and Leadership Team will ensure that the DSL(s) is properly supported in this role at a time and resource level.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The school has appointed a member of the leadership team, Nicola Wood, as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The DSL has the overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems in school.

The DSL will undergo appropriate and specific training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out their role. This training will be approved by and meet the standards as required by the Kent Safeguarding Children Board. The DSL’s training will be updated formally every two years but their knowledge and skills will be updated through a variety of methods by e-Bulletins, local meetings, conferences, training and proactive school awareness.at regular intervals, at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.

The school has appointed additional staff to deputise for the DSL : Phil Morgan-John and Kelly Ashford. Deputy DSLs have attended appropriate training which enables them to fulfil this role.  Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead may be delegated to the deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the designated safeguarding lead and this responsibility will not be delegated.

It is the role of the DSL to:

    • Act as the central contact point for all staff to discuss  any safeguarding concerns
    • Maintain a confidential recording system for safeguarding and child protection concerns
    • Coordinate safeguarding action for individual children
    • Liaise with other agencies and professionals in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children
    • Ensure that locally established procedures are followed and making referrals to other agencies, including Early Help and Specialist Children’s Services (SCS) as necessary
    • Represent, or ensure the school is appropriately represented at inter-agency safeguarding meetings (including Child Protection conferences)
    • Manage and monitor the school’s part in Early Help / Child in Need / Child Protection plans
    • Be available during term time (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns
    • Ensure all staff access appropriate safeguarding training and relevant updates in line with the recommendations within KCSIE (2016)

Further details about the role of the DSL can be found in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2016, part two.

Members of Staff

All members of staff have a responsibility to:

    • provide a safe environment in which children can learn
    • ensure all children are able to develop appropriate strategies to recognise and respond to risk and build resilience
    • identify and recognise children who may be in need of extra help, who are suffering, or are likely to suffer significant harm
    • provide help for children, where appropriate and reasonable
    • take appropriate action to prevent safeguarding concerns escalating and work with other services as needed
    • safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties
    • maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned and to always act in the best interests of the child
    • respond to and refer any concerns about children or other members of the community in accordance with this policy
    • Contribute towards, read and adhering to the school policies

All members of staff in Greatstone Primary School know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Members of staff know to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with relevant professionals such as the DSL and other agencies as appropriate. Members of staff know they must never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a concern or allegation as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child. See appendix 4 for advice for staff on responding to safeguarding concerns.

The welfare and safety of children are the responsibility of all staff in School and ANY concern for a pupil’s welfare MUST always be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Leads.

Children and Young People

Children and young people (pupils) have a responsibility to:

  • Contribute to the development of school safeguarding policies
  • Read and adhere to (at a level appropriate to their age and ability) the schools safeguarding policies and procedures
  • Seek help from a trusted adult if things go wrong, and support others that may be experiencing safeguarding concerns
  • Develop and take responsibility (at a level that is appropriate to their individual age, ability and vulnerabilities) for keeping themselves and others safe, including online

Parents and Carers

Parents/carers have a responsibility to:

  • Read the relevant school/policies and procures, encouraging their children to adhere to them, and adhering to them themselves where appropriate
  • Discuss safeguarding issues with their children, support the school in their safeguarding approaches, and reinforce appropriate safe behaviours at home
  • Identify changes in behaviour which could indicate that their child is at risk of harm online
  • Seek help and support from the school, or other appropriate agencies, if they or their child encounters any safeguarding concern
  • Contribute to the development of the schools safeguarding policies

A statement in the school prospectus will inform parents and carers about our school’s duties and responsibilities under child protection and safeguarding procedures.

Parents can obtain a copy of the school Child Protection Policy and other related policies on request and can view them via the school website (www.greatstoneschool.co.uk).

Local Support

All members of staff in Greatstone Primary School are made aware of local support available

    • Contact details for Area Safeguarding Adviser (Education Safeguarding Team)

Peter Lewer  03000 415648, 07917 602413, peter.lewer@kent.gov.uk

www.kelsi.org.uk/support-for-children-and-young-people/child-protection-and-safeguarding/safeguarding-contacts

    • Contact details for Online Safety (Education Safeguarding Team)

Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection):

Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer – 03000 415797

esafetyofficer@kent.gov.uk (non-urgent issues only)

    • Contact details for the LADO

Telephone: 03000 410888 

Email: kentchildrenslado@kent.gov.uk

    • Childrens Specialist Services

Central Duty Team: 03000 411111

Out of Hours Number: 03000 419191

    • Early Help and Preventative Services

earlyhelp@kent.gov.uk – 03000 419222

    • Kent Police

101 (or 999 if there is an immediate risk of harm)

    • Kent Safeguarding Children Board (KSCB)

kscb@kent.gov.uk – 03000 421126

Recognition and Categories of Abuse

All staff in school should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse:

    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Neglect

The most up to date definitions and possible indicators and signs of abuse are found in Appendix 2. Staff should also refer to Part 1 and Annex A within ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2016 (see appendix 5) and ‘What to Do If You Are Worried a Child Is Being Abused’ 2015.

Members of staff are made aware that that child welfare concerns may arise in many different contexts, and can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. Children may be abused via the internet by their peers, family members or by unknown and in some cases unidentifiable individuals. In the case of honour based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation, children may be taken out of the country to be abused. An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives.

Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one-off event. Child abuse and neglect can have major long-term impacts on all aspects of a child’s health, development and well-being.

The warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect can vary from child to child. Children also develop and mature at different rates so what appears to be worrying for a younger child might be normal behaviour for an older child. Parental behaviours may also indicate child abuse or neglect, so staff should also be alert to parent-child interactions which are concerning and other parental behaviours. This could include parents who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if there is a sudden change in their mental health. By understanding the warning signs, we can respond to problems as early as possible and provide the right support and services for the child and their family. It is important to recognise that a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused.

Staff Induction, Awareness and Training

All members of staff have been provided with a copy of part one of the “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (2016) which covers Safeguarding information. School leaders will read the entire document. School leaders and all members of staff who work directly with children will access Annex A within Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016. Members of staff have signed to confirm that they have read and understood Part One and Annex A. This is record on the Single Central Register (administered by the School Office and kept securely).

The DSL will ensure that all new staff and volunteers are appropriately inducted as regards the School’s internal safeguarding procedures and communication lines. A summary information sheet is available to be given to staff and volunteers to support this process.

All staff members will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (organised by the DSL) which will enable them to:

Recognise potential safeguarding and child protection concerns involving pupils and adults (colleagues, other professionals and parents/carers)

Respond appropriately to safeguarding issues and take action in line with this policy

Record concerns in line with the school policies

Refer concerns to the DSL and be able to seek support external to the school if required

Staff will receive appropriate training to ensure they are aware of a range of safeguarding issues (see definition of safeguarding) and are aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and peer on peer abuse such as bullying and sexting can put children in danger. The staff training will also include school responsibilities, the school child protection procedures, online safety, safe working practice and external reporting mechanisms.

All staff members will receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates, such as Safeguarding newsletters, e-Bulletins, staff meetings and training as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

All members of staff will be made aware of the schools expectations regarding safe and professional practice via the staff behaviour policy (or code of conduct) and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which is provided and discussed as part of the induction process.

The school recognises the expertise which members of staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis. Opportunity is therefore provided for all staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and the safeguarding through staff meetings, suggestion and feed-back processes and appraisal input.

The DSL and Head Teacher will provide an annual report to the Governing Body detailing safeguarding training undertaken by all staff and will maintain up to date registers of who has been trained.

Although the school has a nominated lead for the Governing Body, all members of the Governing Body will access appropriate safeguarding training which covers their specific strategic responsibilities on a regular basis.

Safe Working Practice

All members of staff are required to work within clear guidelines on Safe Working Practice / the School’s Code of Conduct.

Children may make allegations against staff in situations where they feel vulnerable or where they perceive there to be a possible risk to their welfare. As such, all staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position regarding child protection or potential allegations. For example, it is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.

Physical intervention should only be used when the child is endangering him/herself or others and such events should be recorded and signed by a witness. Staff should be aware of the school’s Behaviour Management and Physical Intervention Policies, and any physical interventions must be in line with agreed policy and procedure in which appropriate training should be provided.

Full advice and guidance can be found in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (2015) which can be found in the Staff room.

Staff should be particularly aware of the professional risks associated with the use of social media and electronic communication (email, mobile phones, texting, social network sites etc.) and should familiarise themselves with advice and professional expectations outlined in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings, the school’s Online Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy and Safe Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People

Staff Supervision and Support

Any member of staff affected by issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from the DSL. All new staff including newly qualified teachers and support staff will receive induction training and have a mentor or co-ordinator with whom they can discuss concerns including safeguarding concerns. The induction process will include familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if staff have any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.

The school will provide appropriate supervision and support for all members of staff to ensure that:

    • All staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
    • Staff are able to creating an environment where members of staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role
    • All staff have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.

The DSL will also put staff in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they so wish. Staff can also approach organisations such as their Union, the Education Support Partnership or other similar organisations directly. Further information about a range of supporting organisations can be found in appendix 5.

The school will ensure that members of staff who are working within the Foundation Stage are provided with appropriate supervision in accordance with the statutory requirements of Early Years Foundation Stage 2014.

Safer Recruitment

Greatstone School is committed to ensure that all steps are taken to recruit staff and volunteers who are safe to work with our pupils/students and have their welfare and protection as the highest priority. The Governing Body and Leadership Team are responsible for ensuring that the school follows safe recruitment processes outlined within guidance, including accurate maintenance of the Single Central Record (SCR); and an application, vetting and recruitment process which places safeguarding at its centre, regardless of employee or voluntary role.

The Governing Body will ensure that the Head Teacher, other senior staff responsible for recruitment and one member of the Governing Body complete accredited Safer Recruitment Training in line with government requirements.

We are also committed to supporting the statutory guidance from the Department for Education on the application of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 and related obligations under the Childcare Act 2006 in schools. Schools and local authorities must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 175, of the Education Act 2002, paragraph 7(b) of Schedule 1 to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and paragraph 3 of the Schedule to the Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools)(England) Regulations 2011.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/414345/disqual_stat-guidance_Feb_15__3_.pdf

Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

Greatstone School adheres to the KSCB Safeguarding Children Procedures (Online, April 2016). The full KSCB procedures and additional guidance relating to specific safeguarding issues can be found on the KSCB website www.kscb.org.uk. Additional guidance for staff includes :

    • ‘What to Do If You Are Worried About a Child Being Abused’ (DfE 2015)
    • Information Sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners (2015)
    • Kent and Medway Inter-Agency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need
    • The Assessment Framework for Children in Need and their Families (2000)

‘What to Do If You Are Worried About a Child Being Abused’ (DfE 2015) p.12 identifies that there are four key steps for professionals to follow to help identify and respond appropriately to possible abuse and/or neglect. All members of staff are expected to be aware of and follow this approach:

It may not always be appropriate to go through all four stages sequentially and if a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made immediately to children’s social care and/or the police.

The role of the school in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.

It is the responsibility of the DSL to receive and collate information regarding individual children, to make immediate and on-going assessments of potential risk and to decide actions necessary (with parents / carers in most cases). This includes the need to make referrals to partner agencies and services.

    • To help with this decision s/he may choose to consult with the Area Education Safeguarding Adviser from the Education Safeguarding Team and/or the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) for online safety concerns.
    • Advice may also be sought from the Early Help Triage Team.
    • Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns for a child or young person and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these.

All members of staff are made aware of the early help process, and understand their role within it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the designated safeguarding lead, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment.

If early help is assessed to be appropriate then the DSL will support staff members involved with the family in liaising with other agencies and submitting an Early Help Notification Form. The DSL will keep all early help cases under constant review and will give consideration to making a referral to SCS if the situation doesn’t appear to be improving for the child.

New referrals to services will be made using the agreed Kent process i.e. the Early Help Notification form or inter-agency referral form for referrals to SCS. These will be made with reference to the Kent Interagency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need (KSCB). In situations where there are felt to be urgent or grave concerns, a telephone referral will be made prior to the form being completed and sent to the County Duty Team. Concerns for children who are already known to services will be passed to the allocated worker / Team.

All members of staff are aware of the process for making referrals to SCS for statutory assessments under the Children Act 19895 that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.

In all but the most exceptional circumstances, parents /carers will be made aware of the concerns felt for a child or young person at the earliest possible stage. In the event of a referral to SCS being necessary, parents/carers will be informed and consent to this will be sought unless there is a valid reason not to do so.

In the absence of the availability of the DSL to discuss an immediate and urgent concern, staff can seek advice from the Education Safeguards Team (Kroner House Central Duty Team 03000 419191). If anyone other than the DSL makes a referral to external services, then they will inform the DSL as soon as possible.

On occasion, staff may pass information about a child to the DSL, but remain anxious about action subsequently taken. Staff should feel able to clarify with the DSL further progress, so that they can reassure themselves the child is safe and their welfare is being considered.

If following this process, the staff member remains concerned that appropriate action is not being taken then the member of staff should seek further direct consultation from a member of the Education Safeguards Team who will be able to discuss the concern and provide further advice on appropriate action to be taken.

If after a referral a child’s situation does not appear to be improving then the DSL (or the person that made the referral) will press for reconsideration to ensure that the schools concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves. Professional disagreements (escalation) will be responded to in line with the KSCB procedures and DSLs may request support via the Education Safeguarding Team.

Record Keeping

Staff will record any welfare concern that they have about a child on the school’s safeguarding incident/concern form (with a body map where injuries have been observed) and pass them without delay to the DSL. Records will be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event, using the child’s words and will be signed and dated.

All safeguarding concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions will be recorded in writing. If members of staff are in any doubt about recording requirements staff then they will discuss their concerns with DSL.

Incident/concern forms are kept in the reprographics room.

Safeguarding records are kept for individual children and separate from all other records relating to the child in school. They are retained centrally and securely by the DSL and are shared with staff on a ‘need to know’ basis only.

The Headteacher will be kept informed of any significant issues by the DSL.

All safeguarding records will be forwarded in accordance with data protection legislation to a child’s subsequent school/setting, under confidential and separate cover to the new DSL or Headteacher and a receipt of delivery will be obtained.

Detailed guidance on Record Keeping is found in a separate document “Guidelines for Safeguarding Record Keeping in Schools”. All Staff WILL familiarise themselves with the responsibilities as outlined in this document.  www.kelsi.org.uk/support-for-children-and-young-people/child-protection-and-safeguarding/safeguarding-policies-and-guidance

Working with Other Agencies

Greatstone School recognises and is committed to its responsibility to work with other professionals and agencies both to ensure children’s needs are met and to protect them from harm. We will endeavour to identify those children and families who may benefit from the intervention and support of external professionals and will seek to enable referrals, in discussion with parents/carers as appropriate.

Schools are not the investigating agency when there are child protection concerns and the school will therefore pass all relevant cases to the statutory agencies. We will however contribute to the investigation and assessment processes as required, and recognise that a crucial part of this may be in supporting the child while these take place.

Greatstone School recognises the importance of multi-agency working and will ensure that staff are enabled to attend relevant safeguarding meetings, including Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups, Strategy Meetings, Child in Need meetings and Early Help Teams around the Child / Family.

The School Leadership Team and DSL will work to establish strong and co-operative relationships with relevant professionals in other agencies.

Confidentiality and Information Sharing

Greatstone School recognises that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The Headteacher or DSL will only disclose information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis.

All members of staff must be aware that whilst they have duties to keep any information about children, families and colleagues which have access to as a result of their role confidential, they also have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing. Further advice on responding to disclosures can be found in Appendix 4. DfE Guidance on Information Sharing (March 2015) provides further detail.

If the school is made aware of any safeguarding concerns which they feel need to be shared with the wider community (including other local schools) then advice will be sought from the Education Safeguarding team to ensure that the integrity of any subsequent investigations are maintained and that all members of the community are safeguarded.

Complaints

The School has a Complaints Procedure available to parents, pupils/students and members of staff who wish to report concerns. This can be found in the staff room and from the School Office. All reported concerns will be taken seriously and considered within the relevant and appropriate process. Anything that constitutes an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer will be dealt with under the specific Procedures for Managing Allegations Against Staff policy. This can be found in the staff room and from the School Office.

Allegations Against Members of Staff and Volunteers

Greatstone School recognises that it is possible for staff and volunteers to behave in a way that might cause harm to children and takes seriously any allegation received. Such allegations should be referred immediately to the Head Teacher who will first contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and staff member. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the headteacher then staff are advised that allegations should be reported directly to the LADO.

All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and such concerns will always be taken seriously by the senior leadership team. 

All members of staff are made aware of the school’s Whistleblowing procedure and that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk.  Members of Staff can also access the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline if they do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 (8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday) or email: help@nspcc.org.uk.

For specific guidance on how to respond to allegations against staff, please refer to the “Procedures for Managing Allegations Against Staff” and Whistle Blowing Policy which can be found on the staff network and from the School Office.

When in doubt – consult

Allegations Against Pupils

Greatstone School recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers. Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, including (but not limited to) bullying, cyberbullying, hazing (initiation type violence), sexualised bullying and violence and sexting. The school is mindful that some potential issues may by be affected by the gender, age, ability and culture of those involved.

Greatstone School believes that abuse is abuse and it will never be tolerated, dismissed or minimised. The school will ensure that appropriate curriculum time is dedicated to enable children to develop an awareness and understanding of abusive behaviour and to ensure that children recognise warning signs and sources of support both within the school and externally (such as Kent Police, ChildLine etc.).

Pupils who have been experienced peer on peer abuse will be supported by:

  • Offering them an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a member of staff of their choice
  • Being advised to keep a record of concerns as evidence and discussions regarding how to respond to concerns and build resilience, if appropriate.
  • Providing reassurance and continuous support
  • Working with the wider community and local/national organisations to provide further or specialist advice and guidance

Pupils who are alleged to have abused other pupils will be helped by:

  • Discussing what happened, establishing the specific concern and the need for behaviour to change
  • Informing parents/carers to help change the attitude and behaviour of the child
  • Providing appropriate education and support
  • Sanctioning them in line with school behaviour/discipline policy. This may include official warnings, detentions, removal of privileges (including denial of online access), fixed-term and permanent exclusions.
  • Speaking with police or other local services (such as early help or children’s specialist services) as appropriate

Further information about the schools response to allegations of abuse against pupils can be located in Behaviour, Anti-Bullying and Online Safety policies.

Greatstone School is aware of and will follow the KSCB procedures (www.kscb.org.uk) for supporting children who are at risk of harm as a result of their own behaviour.

Safeguarding Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Greatstone School acknowledges that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges as they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. They may have speech, language and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening.

Greatstone School will ensure that children with SEN and disabilities, specifically those with communication difficulties will be supported to ensure that their voice is heard and acted upon. 

Members of staff are encouraged to be aware that children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by safeguarding concerns such as bullying. All members of staff will be encouraged to appropriately explore possible indicators of abuse such as behaviour/mood change or injuries and not to assume that they are related to the child’s disability and be aware that children with SEN and disabilities may not always outwardly display indicators of abuse.

Curriculum and Staying Safe

We recognise that schools play an essential role in helping children to understand and identify the parameters of what is appropriate child and adult behaviour; what is ‘safe’; to recognise when they and others close to them are not safe; and how to seek advice and support when they are concerned.

Greatstone School will use the curriculum to provide opportunities for increasing self-awareness, self-esteem, social and emotional understanding, assertiveness and decision making so that students have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others, including online. Pupils will be educated at a level appropriate to their age and ability about a range of safeguarding concerns through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials (if appropriate) and through sex and relationship education (SRE). This will include, but is not limited, to bullying (including cyber bullying),radicalisation, child sexual exploitation (CSE), stranger danger, road safety, sexual abuse, neglect, gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.

Systems have been established to support the empowerment of children to talk to a range of staff. Children at Greatstone School will be listened to and heard and their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate. Specific systems outside of expected day to day classroom interaction and support will include:

  • Young Governors (student council)
  • Buddy and peer-mentoring systems
  • Peer mediation
  • PSHE events
  • Regular feedback questionnaires with groups of children
  • Specific BULLYING POLICY
  • SEAL
  • Local Police taught sessions
  • Safety talks from local community Stakeholders

Online Safety

It is recognised by Greatstone School that the use of technology presents particular challenges and risks to children and adults both inside and outside of school. 

Greatstone School identifies that the issues classified within online safety are considerable, but can be broadly categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm

The DSL and leadership team have read annex C regarding Online Safety within ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016.

Greatstone School will ensure that appropriate filtering and monitoring systems are in place when pupils and staff access school systems and internet provision. This is established by secure filtering and monitoring by EIS who provide internet access, by the IT technician and all staff. The school will be careful to ensure that these systems do not place unreasonable restrictions on internet access or limit what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding. Greatstone School acknowledges that whilst filtering and monitoring is an important part of schools online safety responsibilities, it is only one part of our role. Children and adults may have access to systems external to the school control such as mobile phones and other internet enabled devices and technology. This is covered in more depth within the School’s Online Safety Policy, which can be found on the staff network and from the School Office.

Greatstone School will ensure a comprehensive whole school curriculum response is in place to enable all pupils to learn about and manage online risks effectively and will support parents and the wider school community (including all members of staff) to become aware and alert to the need to keep children safe online.

Detailed information about the School’s response to online safety can be found in the School’s Online Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy which can be found on the staff network and from the School Office.

The Use of School Premises by Other Organisations

Where services or activities are provided separately by another body using the School premises, the Head Teacher and Governing Body will seek written assurance that the organisation concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place with regard to safeguarding children and child protection and that relevant safeguarding checks have been made in respect of staff and volunteers. If this is assurance is not achieved then an application to use premises will be refused.

Security

All members of staff have a responsibility for maintaining awareness of buildings and grounds security and for reporting concerns that may come to light. We operate within a whole-school community ethos and welcome comments from pupils/students, parents and others about areas that may need improvement as well as what we are doing well.

Appropriate checks will be undertaken in respect of visitors and volunteers coming into school as outlined within guidance. Visitors will be expected to sign in and out via the office visitors log and to display a visitors badge whilst on school site. Any individual who is not known or identifiable should be challenged for clarification and reassurance.

The School will not accept the behaviour of any individual (parent or other) that threatens school security or leads others (child or adult) to feel unsafe. Such behaviour will be treated as a serious concern and may result in a decision to refuse access for that individual to the School site.

Appendix 1

Responsibilities of the Governing Body and the Headteacher

The Governing Body has the responsibility to ensure:

  • There is a named Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), who is a member of the senior leadership team and who has undertaken approved KSCB training in inter-agency working, in addition to basic child protection training
  • The school has an up-to-date child protection policy which is consistent with KSCB requirements, reviewed annually and made available to parents on request
  • Procedures are in place for dealing with allegations of abuse made against members of staff including allegations made against the head teacher
  • Safer recruitment procedures, which include the requirement for appropriate checks in line with national guidance are in place
  • There is an up-to-date and appropriate training strategy which ensures all members of staff, including the managers, teaching and non-teaching staff, receive safeguarding training
  • That all temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for safeguarding.
  • That appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems  for school systems and internet enabled devices are in place whilst being mindful to ensure that over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding
  • That the Governing Body nominates a member (normally the chair) to be responsible for liaising with the Local Authority and other agencies in the event of an allegation being made against the Headteacher.  An annual report will be submitted to the Local Authority about how the Governing Body’s duties have been carried out. Any weaknesses or areas of concern will be rectified without delay.
  • That children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Headteacher has the responsibility to ensure:

  • That the child protection policy and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff
  • That sufficient time and resources are allocated to enable the DSL (and any appropriately trained deputies) to carry out their roles effectively, including the assessment of pupils and the attendance at strategy discussions and other necessary meetings
  • That all members of staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the school’s whistle blowing procedures
  • That child’s safety and welfare is addressed through the curriculum

Appendix 2

Categories of Abuse

Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. It should be noted that abuse can be carried out both on and offline and be perpetrated by men, women and children. All members of staff should read and understand part one of ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016 and staff who have direct contact with pupils n should also read annex A.

Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Signs that MAY INDICATE Sexual Abuse

  • Sudden changes in behaviour and school performance
  • Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate
  • Self-harm, self-mutilation or attempts at suicide
  • Alluding to secrets which they cannot reveal
  • Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance
  • Regression to younger behaviour for example thumb sucking, playing with discarded     toys, acting like a baby
  • Distrust of familiar adults e.g. anxiety of being left with relatives, a child minder or lodger
  • Unexplained gifts or money
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Fear of undressing for PE
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Fire setting

Physical Abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Signs that MAY INDICATE Physical Abuse

  • Bruises and abrasions around the face
  • Damage or injury around the mouth
  • Bi-lateral injuries such as two bruised eyes
  • Bruising to soft area of the face such as the cheeks
  • Fingertip bruising to the front or back of torso
  • Bite marks
  • Burns or scalds (unusual patterns and spread of injuries)
  • Deep contact burns such as cigarette burns
  • Injuries suggesting beatings (strap marks, welts)
  • Covering arms and legs even when hot
  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts.
  • Injuries need to be accounted for. Inadequate, inconsistent or excessively plausible explanations or a delay in seeking treatment should signal concern.

Emotional Abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Signs that MAY INDICATE emotional abuse

  • Over reaction to mistakes
  • Lack of self-confidence/esteem
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Self-harming
  • Eating Disorders
  • Extremes of passivity and/or aggression
  • Compulsive stealing
  • Drug, alcohol, solvent abuse
  • Fear of parents being contacted
  • Unwillingness or inability to play
  • Excessive need for approval, attention and affection

Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Signs that MAY INDICATE neglect.

  • Constant hunger
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Constant tiredness
  • Inadequate clothing
  • Frequent lateness or non-attendance at School
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Poor relationship with peers
  • Compulsive stealing and scavenging
  • Rocking, hair twisting and thumb sucking
  • Running away
  • Loss of weight or being constantly underweight
  • Low self esteem

Appendix 3

Specific Safeguarding Issues

(See Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016)

Children Missing Education

Greatstone School recognises that all children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Greatstone School is aware that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.

Greatstone School has a procedure in place for responding to unauthorised absence and for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future. For further information, please access the schools policy and procedures regarding attendance and inclusion.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Greatstone School identifies that CSE involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

Greatstone School is aware that sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation may involve varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexting, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse or recognise this as abusive.

Every member of staff at Greatstone School recognises that children at risk of CSE need to be identified and issues relating to CSE should be approached in the same way as protecting children from other risks.

‘Honour based’ Violence

Members of staff at Greatstone School are aware that ‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses a range of crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing.

The indicators of HBV and associated factors will be covered with staff within the school safeguarding training. All members of staff are alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV. All members of staff are aware that all forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and will be handled and escalated as such. Staff will speak with DSL if they are concerned about HBV.

All members of staff will follow the school and KSCB procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care.

Forced Marriage

The Forced Marriage Unit has published Multi-agency guidelines, with pages 32-36 focusing on the role of schools and colleges. Staff should report concerns regarding forced marriage to the DSL or can contact the Forced Marriage Unit if they need advice or information. Contact: 020 7008 0151 or email: fmu@fco.gov.uk 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Mandatory Reporting Duty

Teachers must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should also still consider and discuss any such case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases (i.e. where the teacher does not discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) or in cases where the woman is 18 or over. In these cases, teachers should follow local safeguarding procedures.

Summary of the FGM mandatory reporting duty

Radicalisation

Greatstone School recognises that exposure of children (and adults) to extremist ideology can hinder their social development and educational attainment alongside posing a very real risk that they could support or partake in an act of violence. Radicalisation of young people can be compared to grooming for sexual exploitation.

Greatstone School will ensure all staff complete an e-learning training package developed by The National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters (NCTPHQ), in conjunction with the College of Policing which includes guidance on how to identify people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and how to refer them into the Channel process. The DSL will attend additional training which includes further information on the Prevent Duty.   

Every member of staff at Greatstone School recognises that children exposed to radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability and should be approached in the same way as protecting children from other risks. All members of the community at Greatstone School will report concerns regarding radicalisation and extremism to the DSL who will follow local and national guidance.

Additional information about responding to online radicalisation and extremism can be found in the schools online safety policy.

Appendix 4

Keeping yourself safe when responding to disclosures

(the 6 R’s – what to do if…)

1. Receive

  • Keep calm
  • Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief
  • Take what is being said to you seriously
  • Note down what has been said

2. Respond

  • Reassure the pupil that they have done the right thing in talking to you
  • Be honest and do not make promises you cannot keep e.g. “It will be alright now”
  • Do not promise confidentiality; you have a duty to refer
  • Reassure and alleviate guilt, if the pupil refers to it e.g. “you’re not to blame”
  • Reassure the child that information will only be shared with those who need to know

3. React

  • React to the pupil only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer the matter, but do not interrogate for full details
  • Do not ask leading questions; “Did he/she….?” Such questions can invalidate evidence.
  • Do ask open “TED” questions; Tell, explain, describe
  • Do not criticise the perpetrator; the pupil may have affection for him/her
  • Do not ask the pupil to repeat it all for another member of staff
  • Explain what you have to do next and who you have to talk to

4. Record

  • Make some brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand and write them up as soon as possible
  • Do not destroy your original notes
  • Record the date, time, place, any non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child. Always ensure that as far as possible you have recorded the actual words used by the child.
  • Record statements and observable things rather than your interpretations or assumptions

5. Remember

  • Contact the designated safeguarding lead (DSL)
  • The DSL may be required to make appropriate records available to other agencies
  • KSCB: www.kscb.org.uk

6. Relax

  • Get some support for yourself, dealing with disclosures can be traumatic for professionals

Appendix 5

National Support Organisations

Support for Staff

Support for Pupils

Support for Adults

Support for Learning Disabilities

Domestic Abuse

Honour-Based Violence

Sexual Abuse and CSE

Online Safety

Radicalisation and hate