Child Protection

 

 

 

– Our Vision –

Through a positive caring environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential. We embrace Christian values and ensure all children are ready for their next steps.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Citizenship Personal Social & Health Education policy, the Anti-bullying policy and the E-Safety policy, First Aid procedures in the Health and Safety Policy, SEND Policy, Whistle Blowing Policy, Code of Conduct Policy and Behaviour Policy. This policy forms part of our pastoral care system.

1.PURPOSE & AIMS

 1.1 The purpose of Hartpury School’s Child Protection policy is to ensure every child who is a registered pupil at our school is safe and protected from harm.  This means we will always work to:

  • Protect children and young people at our school from maltreatment;
  • Prevent impairment of our children’s and young people’s health or development;
  • Ensure that children and young people at our school grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Undertake that role so as to enable children and young people at our school to have the best outcomes.

1.2 This policy will give clear direction to staff, volunteers, visitors and parents about expected behaviour and our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children at our school.

1.3 Our school fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children from harm and supporting and promoting the welfare of all children who are registered pupils at our school.  The elements of our policy are prevention, protection and support.

1.4 This policy applies to all pupils, staff, parents, governors, volunteers and visitors.

2. OUR ETHOS

2.1 The child’s welfare is of paramount importance. Our school will establish and maintain an ethos where pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe.  Children at our school will be able to talk freely to any member of staff at our school if they are worried or concerned about something.

2.2 Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. We recognise that staff at our school play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All staff are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.

2.3 All staff and regular visitors will, through training and induction, know how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. We will not make promises to any child and we will not keep secrets.  Every child will know what the adult will have to do with any information they have chosen to disclose.

2.4 Throughout our curriculum we will provide activities and opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to identify risks and stay safe.  This will also be extended to include material that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills.

2.5 At all times we will work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013).

3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Role Name
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Mr Tony Larner
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) Miss Rosie Marks

 

Named Safeguarding Governor Mrs Joan Elmslie

3.1 It is the responsibility of every member of staff (including temporary and supply), volunteer and regular visitor to our school to ensure that they carry out the requirements of this policy and, at all times, work in a way that will safeguard and promote the welfare of all of the pupils at this school. This includes the responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

The Governing Body

3.2 The Governing Body of Hartpury School is accountable for ensuring the effectiveness of this policy and our compliance with it. Although our Governing Body takes collective responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils, we also have a named governor who champions safeguarding within the school.

3.3 The Governing Body will ensure that:

  • The safeguarding policy is in place and is reviewed annually, is available publicly via our school website and has been written in line with Local Authority guidance and the requirements of the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board policies and procedures;
  • The school contributes to inter-agency working in line with in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013);
  • A member of the staff is designated to take the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and that there is an alternate and appropriately trained member of staff identified to deal with any issues in the absence of the Designated Safeguarding Lead. There will always be cover for this role;
  • All staff receive a safeguarding induction and are provided with a copy of this policy and the staff code of conduct;
  • All staff undertake appropriate child protection training that is updated regularly;
  • Procedures are in place for dealing with allegations against members of staff and volunteers in line with statutory guidance;
  • Safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ’Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (2016);
  • They remedy without delay any weakness in regard to our safeguarding arrangements that are brought to their attention.

3.4 The governing body will receive a safeguarding report at each Full Governing Body meeting that will record the training that has taken place, the number of staff attending and any outstanding training requirements for the school.  It will also record all safeguarding activity that has taken place, for example, meetings attended, reports written, training or induction given.  It will not identify individual pupils.

The Headteacher

3.5 At Hartpury School the Headteacher is responsible for:

  • Identifying a member of staff to be the Senior Designated Person for safeguarding (DSL);
  • Identifying an alternate member of staff to act as the Senior Designated Person for safeguarding (DSL) in his/her absence to ensure there is always cover for the role;
  • Ensuring that the policies and procedures adopted by the governing body, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by all staff;
  • Ensuring that all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and such concerns are addressed sensitively in accordance with agreed whistle-blowing procedures;
  • Liaise with the LADO in the event of an allegation of abuse being made against a member of staff.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead

3.6 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will carry out their role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Annex B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and the agreed job description for the role. The DSL will provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the DSL.

3.7 The DSL at Hartpury School will represent our school at child protection conferences and core group meetings.  Through appropriate training, knowledge and experience our DSL will liaise with Children’s Services and other agencies where necessary, and make referrals of suspected abuse to Children’s Services, take part in strategy discussions and other interagency meetings and contribute to the assessment of children.

3.8 The DSL will maintain written records and child protection files ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely.

3.9 The DSL is responsible for ensuring that all staff members and volunteers are aware of our policy and the procedure they need to follow. They will ensure that all staff, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction and have been trained within the school to the agreed school’s safeguarding training pack provided by Children’s Services.

4. TRAINING & INDUCTION

4.1 When new staff, volunteers or regular visitors join our school they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place.  They will be given a copy of our school’s safeguarding/child protection policies along with the staff code of conduct and told who our Designated Safeguarding Lead for Safeguarding is. They will also be provided with the recording form, given information on how to complete it and who to pass it to.

4.2 Every new member of staff or volunteer will have an induction period that will include essential safeguarding information. This programme will include basic safeguarding information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, how to record and issues of confidentiality. The induction will also remind staff and volunteers of their responsibility to safeguard all children at our school and the remit of the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.  At induction, all staff will also be provided with a copy of Part One of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2016) and Annex A of ‘KCSIE’ (2016) and will be expected to read this. Staff will be expected to know how to identify all forms of abuse as outlined in KCSIE 2016 as well as specific safeguarding issues such as: Child Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence, Sexting and Radicalisation (PREVENT). Regular update training is given in these areas and further information is available from the Safeguarding file in the staff room.

4.3 In addition to the safeguarding induction, all members of staff will undertake appropriate safeguarding training on a regular basis. Through annual INSET/Staff meetings staff discuss relevant updates and changes to legislation.

4.4 All regular visitors and volunteers to our school will be given a set of our safeguarding procedures; they will be informed of whom our DSL and alternate staff members are and what the recording and reporting system is. (See Appendix 2).

4.5 The DSL, the alternate designated member of staff and any other senior member of staff who may be in a position of making referrals or attending child protection conferences or core groups will attend one of the multi-agency training courses at least once every three years. In addition to this, the DSL and alternate will attend Designated Safeguarding Lead training provided by Gloucestershire Safeguarding Board every two years.

4.6 Our governing body will also undertake appropriate training to ensure they are able to carry out their duty to safeguard all of the children at our school.  All Governors undergo an enhanced DBS check.

4.7 We actively encourage all of our staff to keep up to date with the most recent local and national safeguarding advice and guidance. Part One of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2016) provides links to guidance on specific safeguarding issues and this is shared through regular staff update training.

Staff are aware of the signs that may suggest abuse such as: female genital mutilation, forced marriage, trafficking, child sexual exploitation, gangs and youth violence, gender based violence and they follow the procedures outlined in this policy to raise their concerns and ensure that the required level of support/intervention is put in place.

All staff are aware safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.

The school takes any allegation of abuse, including peer on peer abuse, seriously and any allegation is thoroughly investigated and the relevant reporting procedures followed as outlined within this policy. Support is given to all parties involved.

 5. PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING CONCERNS

5.1 Hartpury School adheres to child protection procedures that have been agreed locally through the Gloucestershire Children’s Safeguarding Board.

5.2 Every member of staff including volunteers working with children at our school are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy.

5.3 All staff are encouraged to report any concerns that they have and not see these as insignificant. On occasions, a referral is justified by a single incident such as an injury or disclosure of abuse. More often however, concerns accumulate over a period of time and are evidenced by building up a picture of harm over time; this is particularly true in cases of emotional abuse and neglect. In these circumstances, it is crucial that staff record and pass on concerns in accordance with this policy to allow the DSL to build up a picture and access support for the child at the earliest opportunity. A reliance on memory without accurate and contemporaneous records of concern could lead to a failure to protect.

5.4 It is not the responsibility of school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and pass the information on in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.

5.5 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) should be used as a first point of contact for concerns and queries regarding any safeguarding concern in our school. Any member of staff or visitor to the school who receives a disclosure of abuse or suspects that a child is at risk of harm must report it immediately to the DSL or, if unavailable, to the alternate designated person. In the absence of either of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.

5.6 All concerns about a child or young person should be reported without delay and recorded in writing using the agreed template (see Appendix 4).

5.7 Following receipt of any information raising concern, the DSL will consider what action to take and seek advice from Children’s Services as required. All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented.

5.8 All referrals will be made in line with Gloucestershire Children’s Services procedures as outlined in Appendix 6.

5.9 If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to Children’s Services immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration by raising concerns again with the DSL and/or the Headteacher. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.

 5.10 Staff should always follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy in the first instance. However, they may also share information directly with Children’s Services, or the police if:

  • the situation is an emergency and the designated senior person, their alternate and the Headteacher are all unavailable;
  • they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the pupil’s safety.

5.11 Any member of staff who does not feel that concerns about a child have been responded to appropriately and in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy should raise their concerns with the Headteacher or the Chair of Governors. If any member of staff does not feel the situation has been addressed appropriately at this point should contact Children’s Services directly with their concerns.

6. RECORDS AND INFORMATION SHARING

6.1 If staff are concerned about the welfare or safety of any child at our school they will record their concern on the agreed reporting form (Appendix 1). They should ensure that the form is signed and dated. Any concerns should be passed to the DSL without delay.

6.2 Any information recorded will be kept in a separate named file, in a secure cabinet and not with the child’s academic file.  These files will be the responsibility of the DSL. Child protection information will only be shared within school on the basis of ‘need to know in the child’s interests’ and on the understanding that it remains strictly confidential.

6.3 Child protection information will only be kept in the file and this file will be kept up to date.  Records of concern, copies of referrals, invitations to child protection conferences, core groups and reports will be stored here.  All our safeguarding files will include; a chronology, contents front cover and will record significant events in the child’s life.

6.4 When a child leaves our school, the DSL will make contact with the DSL at the new school and will ensure that the child protection file is forwarded to the receiving school in an appropriately agreed manner. We will retain evidence to demonstrate how the file has been transferred; this may be in the form of a written confirmation of receipt from the receiving school and/or evidence of recorded delivery.

7. WORKING WITH PARENTS & CARERS

7.1 Hartpury School is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to support them to understand our statutory responsibilities in this area.

7.2 When new pupils join our school, parents and carers will be informed that we have a safeguarding policy. A copy will be provided to parents on request and is available on the school website. Parents and carers will be informed of our legal duty to assist our colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries and what happens should we have cause to make a referral to Children’s Services.

7.3 We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard a child from harm.

7.4 We will seek to share with parents any concerns we may have about theirchild unless to do so may place a child at increased risk of harm. A lack of parental engagement or agreement regarding the concerns the school has about a child will not prevent the DSL making a referral to Children’s Services in those circumstances where it is appropriate to do so.

7.5 In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, the school requires parents to provide accurate and up to date information regarding:

  • Full names and contact details of all adults with whom the child normally lives;
  • Full names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above);
  • Emergency contact details (if different from above);
  • Full details of any other adult authorised by the parent to collect the child from school (if different from the above).

The School will retain this information on the pupil file. The school will only share information about pupils with adults who have parental responsibility for a pupil or where a parent has given permission and the school has been supplied with the adult’s full details in writing.

 8. CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES

8.1 Children’s Services will convene a Child Protection conference once a child protection enquiry under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 has been undertaken and the child is judged to be at continuing risk of significant harm. A review conference will take place once a child has been made the subject of a Child Protection Plan in order to monitor the safety of the child and the required reduction in risk.

8.2 Staff members may be asked to attend a child protection conference or core group meetings on behalf of the school in respect of individual children.  Usually the person representing the school at these meetings will be the Headteacher or DSL.  In any event, the person attending will need to have as much relevant up to date information about the child as possible; any member of staff may be required to contribute to this process.

 8.3 All reports for child protection conferences will be prepared in advance using the guidance and education report template provided by Children’s Services. The information contained in the report will be shared with parents before the conference as appropriate and will include information relating to the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development and the child’s presentation at school. In order to complete such reports, all relevant information will be sought from staff working with the child in school.

8.4 Clearly child protection conferences can be upsetting for parents.  We recognise that we are likely to have more contact with parents than other professionals involved. We will work in an open and honest way with any parent whose child has been referred to Children’s Services or whose child is subject to a child protection plan.  Our responsibility is to promote the protection and welfare of all children and our aim is to achieve this in partnership with our parents.

 9. SAFER RECRUITMENT

9.1 We will ensure that the Headteacher and at least one member of the Governing Body have completed appropriate safer recruitment training. Training will be updated in accordance to Gloucestershire safeguarding board requirements every 5 years. At all times the Headteacher and Governing Body will ensure that safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2016).

9.2 At Hartpury School we will use the recruitment and selection process to deter and reject unsuitable candidates. We require evidence of original academic certificates.  We do not accept testimonials and insist on taking up references prior to interview.  We will question the contents of application forms if we are unclear about them, we will undertake Disclosure and Barring Service checks and use any other means of ensuring we are recruiting and selecting the most suitable people to work with our children.

9.3 We will maintain a Single Central Register of all safer recruitment checks carried out in line with statutory requirements.

10. SAFER WORKING PRACTICE

10.1 All adults who come into contact with our children have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. There is a legal duty placed upon us to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of our children are competent, confident and safe to do so.

10.2 All staff will be provided with a copy of our school’s code of conduct at induction. They will be expected to know our school’s Code of Conduct and policy for positive handling and carry out their duties in accordance with this advice.  There will be occasion when some form of physical contact is inevitable, for example if a child has an accident or is hurt or is in a situation of danger to themselves or others around them.  However, at all times the agreed policy for safe restraint must be adhered to.  A list of staff that have accessed Gloucestershire training will be kept by the Headteacher.

10.3 If staff, visitors, volunteers or parent helpers are working with children alone they will, wherever possible, be visible to other members of staff.  They will be expected to inform another member of staff of their whereabouts in school, who they are with and for how long.  Doors, ideally, should have a clear glass panel in them and be left open.

10.4 Guidance about acceptable conduct and safe practice will be given to all staff and volunteers during induction. These are sensible steps that every adult should take in their daily professional conduct with children.  This advice can be found in ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’, DCSF, March 2009. All staff and volunteers are expected to carry out their work in accordance with this guidance and will be made aware that failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action.

11. MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

11.1 Our aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well being and very best outcomes for the children at our school. We do recognise that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made.

11.2 Allegations sometimes arise from a differing understanding of the same event, but when they occur they are distressing and difficult for all concerned. We also recognise that many allegations are genuine and there are some adults who deliberately seek to harm or abuse children.

11.3 We will take all possible steps to safeguard our children and to ensure that the adults in our school are safe to work with children. We will always ensure that the procedures are adhered to and will seek appropriate advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

11.4 If an allegation is made or information is received about an adult who works in our setting which indicates that they may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the information should inform the Headteacher immediately. Should an allegation be made against the Headteacher, this will be reported to the Chair of Governors. In the event that neither the Headteacher nor Chair of Governors is not contactable on that day, the information must be passed to and dealt with by either the member of staff acting as Headteacher or the Vice Chair of Governors.

11.5 The Headteacher or Chair of Governors will seek advice from the LADO within one working day. No member of staff or the governing body will undertake further investigations before receiving advice from the LADO.

11.6 Any member of staff or volunteer who does not feel confident to raise their concerns with the Headteacher or Chair of Governors should contact the LADO directly.

11.7 The School has a legal duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child, or if there is reason to believe the member of staff has committed one of a number of listed offences, and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. If these circumstances arise in relation to a member of staff at our school, a referral will be made as soon as possible after the resignation or removal of the individual in accordance with advice from the LADO and/or HR.

12 RELEVANT POLICIES

12.1 To underpin the values and ethos of our school and our intent to ensure that pupils at our school are appropriately safeguarded the following policies are also included under our safeguarding umbrella:

  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Positive handling and restraint
  • Behaviour
  • Whistle-blowing
  • Attendance
  • E-safety
  • Health and Safety
  • Intimate Care
  • Educational visits including overnight stays

 13. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

This policy has been devised in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016

Further Advice

  • Further advice may be sought from the Safeguarding Children’s Service (01452 583636) or from the Safeguarding Children Development Officer (01452 426994) .

Gloucestershire’s full updated Child Protection Procedures may be found at www.gscb.org.uk   

Appendix 1 Categories of abuse and indicators of harm.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 1

Appendix 2 Further information on current high-profile safeguarding issues.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 2

Appendix 3 Dealing with a disclosure of abuse.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 3

Appendix 4 Safeguarding record sheet.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 4

Appendix 5 Safeguarding induction sheet for new or supply staff and regular visitors or volunteers.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 5

Appendix 6  Child Protection Process.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 6

Appendix 7 Hartpury offer of early help.

Child Protection Policy 2017 Appendix 7