CHILD PROTECTION and

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

Policy Review

 

This policy will be reviewed in full by the board of Trustees on an annual basis.

 

The policy was last reviewed and agreed by the board of Trustees on 26.04.19 is due for review on 26.04.20 (up to 12 months from the above date).

 

Signature ………………………………….                    Date ……………………

 

Head Teacher

 

Signature ………………….……………….       Date ….…………………

 

Chair of Trustees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2015

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

1. Policy introduction Page 3
2. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children Page 3
3. Expectations Page 5
4. Ethos Page 5
5. Key processes including early help Page 5
6. Childrens Act 2004-education and settings Page 7
7. Local and national responsibilities Page 7
8. Statutory framework and legislative duties Page 8
9. Role of the designated safeguarding lead Page 8
10. The role of the governing body and proprietors Page 9
11. The Role of Looked After Children Designated Safeguarding Lead Page 10
12. A safer school culture Page 11
13. Whistleblowing Page 11
14. Training Page 11
15. Curriculum Page 12
16. Dealing with concerns and disclosures-roles and responsibilities Page 12
17. Procedures for when someone is concerned about children Page 14
18. What information you will need when making a referral Page 14
19. Responses from parents Page 14
20. Responding to concerns – the “6 R’s” Page 15
21. Data Protection and information sharing Page 16
22. Additional school policy and guidance Page 17
Appendix 1-Making a referral flowchart Page 18
Appendix 2-Managing allegations against staff and volunteers Page 19
Appendix 3-Definitions of abuse

-physical abuse

-emotional abuse

-sexual abuse

-neglect

Further specific risks

  • -children and the court system, children missing from education, children with family members in prison, child sexual exploitation, child exploitation: county lines, childhood mental health, children with special educational needs and disabilities, domestic abuse, extended school and offsite arrangements, homelessness, honour based abuse (female genital mutilation and forced marriage), peer on peer abuse, peer on peer abuse – sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges, peer on peer abuse – sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery), preventing radicalisation, private fostering arrangements, reasonable force and young carers.
 

Page 22-37

 

 

Appendix 4 – The Seven Golden Rules for Sharing Information Page 38
Appendix 5-Children in specific circumstances-national guidance links Page 39
Appendix 6- Host families – homestay during exchange visits Page 41
Appendix 7 – Flowchart for responding to young people engaged in potentially harmful youth generated imagery (sexting) Page 42

 

1.POLICY INTRODUCTION

 

At The Electric Palace we pride ourselves in supporting young people to recognise and fulfil their potential, to empower and encourage them to aim high and work hard to achieve success.

 

Our school follows the child protection procedures as defined by Walsall Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB www.wlscb.org.uk) and multi agency threshold guidance. We work with partners to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people.

This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and visitors to our school as safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Our belief is that “it could happen here” and “we have the interest of the children” as our priority.

 

This policy is shared with parents/carers during initial interview and a copy available on site and will be available as of September 2019 on our website www.bloxwichcp.co.uk.

 

Our children and young people understand our responsibility to keep them safe. We share a child/young person version of our Child Protection and Safeguarding policy.

 

All staff (this includes volunteers) are aware of the safeguarding procedures in our school and these are explained to as part of staff induction.

 

This includes:

  • the child protection policy;
  • the behaviour policy for pupils/students
  • the staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct);
  • the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education
  • the role of the designated safeguarding lead (including the identity of the designated safeguarding lead and any deputies).
  • part one and Annex A- Keeping Children Safe in Education

 

 

  1. SAFEGUARDING AND PROMOTING THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is:-

 

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

 

Children includes everyone under the age of 18.

 

Electric Palace staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating.

All Electric Palace staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

We have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care.

All staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

 

Any staff member who has a concern about a child’s welfare should follow the referral processes set out in appendix 1. Staff may be required to support social workers and other agencies following any referral.

The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers, including headteachers, should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties

 

(Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE September 2018)

 

Named staff in our school are:-

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Sue Phillips
Electric Palace Centre Manager Sue Phillips
Chair of Board of Trustees Mick Taylor
Safeguarding Lead Trustee Lynn Emery
Deputy DSL Dan Garbett
Single Point of Contact (Preventing Radicalisation) (SPOC) Sue Phillips
Looked After Children Designated Teacher Sue Phillips
Designated Lead for online Safety (responsible to DSL) Dan Garbett and Sue Phillips

 

 

  1. EXPECTATIONS

 

In our setting staff, volunteers and visitors will:-

 

  • be familiar with and understand our Child Protection and Safeguarding policies
  • be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc
  • be involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, child in need plans, child protection plans and early help assessments where necessary
  • be alert to signs and indicators of abuse

 

  1. ETHOS

 

We encourage pupils to respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We ensure that partisan political views are not promoted in the teaching of any subject in the school and where political issues are brought to the attention of the pupils; reasonably practicable steps have been taken to offer a balanced presentation of opposing views to pupils.

 

  1. KEY PROCESSES INCLUDING EARLY HELP

 

All staff and volunteers should be aware of the referral pathway in Walsall including single and multi agency Early Help offers as defined in Walsall Safeguarding Children Boards Threshold guidance (www.wlscb.org.uk http://wlscb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/WSCB-Multi-agency-guidance-for-thresholds-PDF-216KB.pdf )

 

If staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately. Many children are vulnerable in various ways and this is not always as a result of actions by parents/carers. Children can be deemed to be vulnerable in many ways as defined in section

 

The Walsall Pathway for levels of concern is defined below:-

Options will therefore include:

  • managing any support for the child internally via our school own pastoral support processes or
  • an early help assessment or
  • a referral for statutory services, for example as the child might be in need, is in need or suffering or likely to suffer harm.

All school staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help (levels 2 and 3) in addition to identifying risks of significant harm (level 4).

 

Early Help

If early help is appropriate, our designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) will generally lead on liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment, in some cases acting as the lead professional. Any such cases should be kept under constant review and consideration given to a referral to children’s social care for assessment for statutory services, if the child’s situation does not appear to be improving or is getting worse.

 

Child in Need

A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Children in need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

 

Children suffering or likely to suffer significant harm

Local authorities, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, have a duty to make enquires under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Such enquiries enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare and must be initiated where there are concerns about maltreatment, including all forms of abuse and neglect, female genital mutilation or other so-called honour based violence, and extra-familial threats like radicalisation and sexual exploitation.

 

The role of the Local Authority

The local authority will make a decision, within one working day of a referral being made, about the type of response that is required and should let the referrer know the outcome, the referrer should follow up if this information is not forthcoming.

 

 

If, after a referral, the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, our school will consider following local escalation procedures to ensure our concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.

 

 

When our staff members have any concerns about a child (as opposed to a child being in immediate danger) they will need to decide what action to take. Where possible, there must be a conversation with the designated safeguarding lead to agree a course of action.

 

Where there is a safeguarding concern our school will ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide. Systems are in place for children to express their views and give feedback.

 

  1. CHILDREN ACT 2004-EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS

 

The Children Act 2004 places a statutory responsibility as follows:-

 

Education and schools:- All people working in education and schools contribute to the safeguarding and promoting of children’s welfare. All schools and further education institutions have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Consequently, staff in these establishments play an important part in safeguarding children from abuse and neglect by early identification of children who may be vulnerable or at risk of harm and by educating children, about managing risks and improving their resilience through the curriculum. All schools and further education institutions should create and maintain a safe environment for children and young people, and should be able to manage situations where there are child welfare concerns.

 

  1. LOCAL AND NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Our school will fulfil their local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:-

 

Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018   https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707761/Keeping_Children_Safe_in_Education_-_September_2018.pdf

 

Eight page summary for staff (including Annex A)

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707688/Keeping_Children_Safe_in_Education_-_Part_1_-_September_2018.pdf

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729914/Working_Together_to_Safeguard_Children-2018.pdf  

 

Walsall Safeguarding Children Board procedures

http://westmidlands.procedures.org.uk/page/contents

 

The Education Act 2002 s157/s175

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/32/section/157

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/32/section/175

 

What to do if you’re Worried a Child is being Abused March 2015

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419604/What_to_do_if_you_re_worried_a_child_is_being_abused.pdf

 

Information sharing guidance for practitioners and managers July 2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/721581/Information_sharing_advice_practitioners_safeguarding_services.pdf

 

Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in Schools and Colleges

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/719902/Sexual_violence_and_sexual_harassment_between_children_in_schools_and_colleges.pdf

 

  1. THE STATUTORY FRAMEWORK AND LEGISLATIVE DUTIES

 

In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Education Act 2002 (section 175/157)
  • Local Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures
  • The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005
  • Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff (DfE 2011)
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017

 

  1. ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD

 

The board of trustees have appointed Sue Phillips as the schools Designated Safeguarding Lead as they are the appropriate senior member of staff with the authority to perform the role and form part of the Electric Palace’s  leadership team. The designated safeguarding lead takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety). The designated safeguarding lead or a deputy should always be available to discuss safeguarding concerns. If in exceptional circumstances, the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. You should consider speaking to a member of the senior leadership team and/or take advice from local children’s social care. In these circumstances, any action taken should be shared with the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) as soon as is practically possible.

 

Sue Phillips has responsibilities as follows:-

 

  • refer cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care as required;
  • support staff who make referrals to local authority children’s social care;
  • refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern as required;
  • support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme;
  • refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required; and
  • refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required.
  • liaise with staff (especially pastoral support staff, school nurses, IT Technicians, and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in a college) on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies; and
  • act as a source of support, advice and expertise for all staff.

If the Designated Safeguarding Lead is not available you must refer your concerns to someone else who is named as a deputy for this role.

 

All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) that may follow a referral

 

  1. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

The Board of Trustees are the accountable body for ensuring the safety of the Centre

 

Our Board will ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.

 

This should include:

  • an effective child protection policy;
  • a staff behaviour policy (sometimes called the code of conduct) which should amongst other things include – acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media.

 

Our board will ensure we have in place appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

 

Our board will ensure that the Electric Palace contributes to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. We will work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. This includes providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans.

 

Our board will ensure that our safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the local authority. This includes the requirement under Section 175/Section 157 of the Education Act 2002 which placed a duty on:-

 

  • The governing bodies of schools to have arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in place
  • The Local Authority to monitor compliance of maintained schools

 

Our board recognises the expertise staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis and all staff have the opportunity to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and the child protection policy.

 

Our board will ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

 

Our board will ensure there are procedures in place to handle allegations against teachers, headteachers, principals, volunteers and other staff.

 

Our board will ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training will be regularly updated and the induction and training will be in line with advice from Walsall Safeguarding Children Board.

 

Our board reviews its policies/procedures annually.

 

The Nominated Trustee for safeguarding is Lynn Emery.  They are responsible for liaising with the Designated Safeguarding Lead over all matters regarding child protection issues.  The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual pupils/students.

 

A member of the board (usually the Chair) is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the local authority and other partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Centre Manager.

 

  1. THE ROLE OF DESIGNATED TEACHER FOR LOOKED AFTER AND PREVIOUSLY LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN

 

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. Our board of trustees will ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep looked after children safe. A previously looked after child potentially remains vulnerable and all our staff will have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep previously looked after children safe.

 

The designated safeguarding lead will have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual school head in the authority that looks after the child.

 

Our board has appointed a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after or previously looked after and ensure that this person has appropriate training. On commencement of sections 4 to 6 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, designated teachers will also have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of children who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683561/The_designated_teacher_for_looked-after_and_previously_looked-after_children.pdf

 

  1. A SAFER SCHOOL CULTURE

 

Our school pays full regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2018) and our safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job.  It also includes undertaking interviews and undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and other checks as detailed in Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2018, and subsequent recording on our schools single central register.

 

All recruitment materials will include reference to the school’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of pupils. All staff/volunteers interviews will explore candidates commitment, understanding and knowledge of safeguarding children and young people.

 

Relevant staff have undertaken Safer Recruitment training.  There will at least one person on every interview panel who has completed Safer Recruitment training.

 

  1. WHISTLEBLOWING

 

All staff and volunteers are able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in our schools safeguarding regime and concerns will be taken seriously by the senior leadership team.

 

Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, are in place for such concerns to be raised with the schools senior leadership team.

 

Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels are open to them:

 

  • The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing and https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing

 

  1. TRAINING

 

All staff and volunteers will receive level 1 Safeguarding Children and Young People training at least every year delivered by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, this will be provided annually to staff. More formal training will be sourced from Walsall Safeguarding Children’s Board.

 

In addition all staff members will receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings).

 

WSCB and Walsall Council offers training in Safeguarding Children and Young People, Child Protection, Safer Recruitment and other topics relating to safeguarding children.  Staff training is not only crucial in protecting children and young people, but also makes them aware of how they can protect themselves against allegations.  Further information about these courses can be accessed via the WSCB website at www.wlscb.org.uk

 

  1. CURRICULUM

 

Our board considers how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through PSHCE, SRE, SEAL, SMSC, British Values, e-safety, assemblies, approved visitors etc.

 

We will provide opportunities for pupils/students to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being. Relevant issues will be addressed through the PSHE curriculum, for example self-esteem, emotional literacy, assertiveness, power, exploitation, sex and relationship education, consent, e-safety, British Values, bullying and sexting. Issues will be addressed through other areas of the curriculum, for example, circle time, English, History, Drama, Art.

 

All our policies which address issues of power and potential harm, for example bullying, equal opportunities, handling, positive behaviour, will be linked to ensure a whole school approach. Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the school, which should ensure that pupils/students are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.

 

  1. DEALING WITH CONCERNS AND DISCLOSURES

       

All staff will be concerned about children and young people as below:-

 

  • a child may disclose something that has upset or harmed them
  • someone else might report something that a child has told them, or that they believe that a child has been or is being harmed
  • a child might show signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no explanation
  • a child’s behaviour may suggest he or she is being abused
  • the behaviour or attitude of one of the workers towards a child may cause concern
  • a child demonstrates worrying behaviour towards other children.

 

Being professionally curious is not simply about asking the question. It is about the language used, creating a trusting relationship, a safe space in which to disclose and giving time to children and young people so they do not feel pressured.

 

 

All staff and volunteers are alert to the potential need for early help/referral to the Designated Safeguarding Lead for a child who:

 

 

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs;
  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
  • is a young carer;
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse;
  • has returned home to their family from care;
  • is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect;
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
  • is a privately fostered child.

 

 

We are aware that to consult with our designated safeguarding lead does not mean a referral has been made. This decision is the responsibility of the designated safeguarding lead for child protection who will contact the appropriate agency as and when required.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you receive from your designated safeguarding all staff/volunteers have the right to contact Walsall Childrens Services

 

The Centre will always discuss concerns with parents/carers unless to do so would:

 

  • place the child at risk of significant harm or further risk of significant harm.
  • place a vulnerable adult at risk of harm
  • compromise and enquiries that need to be undertaken by children’s social care or the police

 

We will endeavour to ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the school and staff for safeguarding children.

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU LEAVE SCHOOL WITHOUT DISCUSSING YOUR CONCERNS WITH SOMEONE.

 

Only a minority of children actively disclose abuse. Most child abuse is disclosed accidently or though observation by an adult of a child’s behaviour, words and physical appearance.

When a child does disclose abuse, this needs to be taken very seriously. It is important that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately, both for the wellbeing of the child and also to ensure that your actions do not jeopardise and legal action against the abuser.

 

  1. PROCEDURES FOR WHEN SOMEONE IS CONCERNED ABOUT A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON INCLUDING EARLY HELP

 

  • all concerns for children and young people should be recorded on standard pro forma’s available in Centre
  • all concerns should be recorded as soon as possible (and within one hour)
  • all concerns should be referred to the designated safeguarding lead or deputy designated safeguarding lead in their absence
  • all concerns of significant harm should be referred to the Local Authority Childrens Services (MASH) without delay (see appendix 1)
  • all concerns shared with the designated safeguarding lead should be considered alongside Walsall’s Safeguarding Children’s Board Multi Agency thresholds (child protection, early Help offer)
  • All concerns of allegations in relation to staff and volunteers harmful behaviour should be referred to the head/principle (if the concern is in relation to the head/principle the chair of governors should be informed without delay) See appendix 2

 

Principle for our Centre

“Where possible, share information with consent, and where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to having their information shared. Under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 we may share information without consent if, in our judgement, there is a lawful basis to do so, such as where safety may be at risk.” 

 

  1. WHAT INFORMATION WILL YOU NEED WHEN MAKING A REFERRAL

 

You will be asked to provide as much information as possible; such as the child’s full name, date of birth, address, school, GP, languages spoken, any disabilities the child may have, details of the parents, other siblings, chronology of previous concerns.  Do not be concerned if you do not have all these details, you should still make the call.

 

  1. RESPONSES FROM PARENTS

 

Research and experience indicates that the following responses from parents may suggest a cause for concern across all categories of abuse:-

 

  • Delay in seeking treatment that is obviously needed;
  • Unawareness or denial of any injury, pain or loss of function (for example, a fractured limb);
  • Incompatible explanations offered, several different explanations or the child is said to have acted in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development;
  • Reluctance to give information or failure to mention other known relevant injuries;
  • Frequent presentation of minor injuries;
  • A persistently negative attitude towards the child;
  • Unrealistic expectations or constant complaints about the child;
  • Alcohol misuse or other drug/substance misuse;
  • Parents request removal of the child from home; or
  • Violence between adults in the household.

 

You should follow up the verbal referral in writing, within 24hrs.  This should be done on a MARF (multi agency referral form).  This can be downloaded from http://www.mywalsall.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/MARF%20final%20version%20Dec%202017.docx

 

Call the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

 

Tel: 0300 555 2866 Monday–Thursday 8.45am–5.15pm, Friday 8.45am–4.45pm

 

Tel: 0300 555 2922 or 0300 555 2836 Emergency Response Team

 

If you believe a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm call 999 in an emergency

 

Some of our pupils may not reside within Walsall Local Authority and we are aware that we should locate the number for the child’s Local Authority’s child protection referral team via https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse-to-local-council

 

 

  1. RESPONDING TO A CONCERN – THE “6 R’s RESPONSE”

 

Receive       Reassure        React       Record          Refer         Reflect

 

RECEIVE

·       If a child wants to talk to you, never ask them to come back later. Ask them what they want to talk to you about and, if you are concerned about their welfare, give them the time to speak to you.

·       Never promise confidentiality, inform the child that you are happy to talk to them but if they tell you anything that you believe may be putting them at harm that you will have to talk to someone.

·       Listen carefully to the child. Do not stop a child who is freely recalling information.

·       Where a child is visibly upset or has an obvious injury, it is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how an injury was caused, or respond to a child wanting to talk to you to help clarify vague concerns and result in the right action being taken.

 

Remember you have a statutory duty under the Education Act 2002 to pass on any child protection concerns about the child.

Receive       Reassure        React        Record          Refer         Reflect

 

 

 

 

REFLECT

Ask yourself if you have done everything you can within your role.

Refer any remaining concerns to the designated teacher, e.g. any knowledge of siblings in the school, or previous contact with parents.

Dealing with disclosures can be difficult and disturbing; you should seek support for yourself via the support within your school or an alternative source but be aware of principles of confidentiality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. DATA PROTECTION AND INFORMATION SHARING

 

We understand that information sharing is vital in identifying and tackling all forms of abuse. It is important that we recognise the importance of information sharing between professionals and local agencies.

 

Whilst, among other obligations, the Data Protection Act 1998 places duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully and to keep the information they hold safe and secure, this is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child being placed at risk of harm. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.

 

When children leave our school, the designated safeguarding lead will ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new school or college as soon as possible, ensuring secure transit, and confirmation of receipt will be obtained; this should be transferred separately from the main pupil file. If we are the receiving school we will ensure key staff such as designated safeguarding leads and SENCOs, are aware as required.

 

See Appendix 4 – The seven golden rules for sharing information

 

 

 

  1. ADDITIONAL SSAFEGUARDING POLICY AND GUIDANCE

 

This policy should be read and referenced alongside other school safeguarding policy and guidance:-

 

  • Staff induction procedures
  • Training and awareness raising courses matrix
  • Monitoring and supervision procedures
  • Recording and information sharing guidance
  • Recruitment and vetting policy
  • E safety policy
  • Anti bullying policy
  • Staff code of conduct/Staff Behaviour policy
  • Photography policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Radicalisation and Extremism guidance for schools Sept 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Flow Chart

 

Early Help Hub and Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in Walsall

 

Member of staff has concerns for child’s welfare

 

 

 

 

consultation                                                                                     Specialist Assessment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Appendix 2: Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers

 

Assessment by Children’s Services e.g. s47 Child Protection Enquiry

 

LADO tracks progress, monitors outcomes and reports to LSCB and DfE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allegations involving a member of staff / volunteer

This school is committed to having effective recruitment and human resources procedures, including checking all staff and volunteers to make sure they are safe to work with children and young people.  Key staff involved in recruitment processes will undertake Safer Recruitment Training offered by the WSCB.

However, there may still be occasions when there is an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer.  Allegations against those who work with children, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, cover a wide range of circumstances

All allegations of abuse of children by those who work with children or care for them must be taken seriously. In these circumstances all allegations against other members of staff or volunteers should be referred to the Headteacher/principle. In their absence you should seek to speak with a member of staff from the Senior Leadership Team. If your concern is about the Headteacher/principle you need to speak to the Chair of Governors. Information sharing should not be barrier but in the unlikely event that you cannot access the people above please discuss your concerns with the Local Authority Designated Officer, Alan Hassall (01922) 654040 or 07432 422205.

The following procedure should be applied in all situations where it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • Behaved in a way which has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates that he/she is unsuitable to work with children

The allegations may relate to the persons behaviour at work, at home or in another setting.

** All allegations should be notified to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day.**  (call 01922 654040 or 07432 422205)

A senior member of the Human Resources section for the agency must also be consulted.

The LADO will discuss the matter with the Named Headteacher/principle to determine what steps should be taken and where necessary obtain further details of the allegation and the circumstances in which it was made.  The discussion should also consider whether there is evidence/information that establishes that the allegation is false or unfounded, whether a referral to the Children’s Social Care Services is required and/or whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

Most allegations will require immediate referral to the Children’s Social Care Services and the Police, but common sense and judgement must be applied in reaching a decision about what action to take.

If the allegation is not patently false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer Significant Harm, the LADO will immediately refer the matter to the Children’s Social Care Services and ask for a Strategy Discussion/Meeting to be convened straight away.

Where the safety of other children is in question as a result of the allegation, consideration should be given to invoking the Complex (Organised or Multiple) Abuse Procedure (this can be found on the WSCB website www.wlscb.org.uk ).

Some allegations may be less serious and at first sight might not seem to warrant consideration of a police investigation or enquiries by Children’s Social Care Services. However, it is important to ensure that even apparently less serious allegations are followed up and examined objectively by someone independent of the organisation. Consequently the LADO should be informed of all allegations that come to the employer’s attention and appear to come within the scope of this procedure so that he or she can consult Police and social care colleagues as appropriate.

Where a referral is made directly to Children’s Social Care Services, they will consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the Police and the Named Senior Officer/Manager in the relevant agency or organisation.

Where such allegations are made, consideration must be given to the following three strands:

  1. The police investigation of a possible criminal offence
  2. Enquiries and assessment by Children’s Social Care Services as to whether the child is need of protection or in need of services
  3. Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual

In addition, such allegations may give rise to complaints of poor practice, which should be considered in line with the agencies complaints or disciplinary procedures.

More information and the full Walsall Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures can be found at www.wlscb.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 3: Definitions of Abuse and Neglect

 

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. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

 

Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the Centre and/or can occur between children outside the setting All our staff, especially the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) will be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.

https://contextualsafeguarding.org.uk/about/what-is-contextual-safeguarding

 

All staff are aware of safeguarding issues and aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger.

 

Physical abuse: A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, 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.

 

The following may be indicators of physical abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):

 

  • Multiple bruises in clusters, or of uniform shape;
  • Bruises that carry an imprint, such as a hand or a belt;
  • Bite marks;
  • Round burn marks;
  • Multiple burn marks and burns on unusual areas of the body such as the back, shoulders or buttocks;
  • An injury that is not consistent with the account given;
  • Changing or different accounts of how an injury occurred;
  • Bald patches;
  • Symptoms of drug or alcohol intoxication or poisoning;
  • Unaccountable covering of limbs, even in hot weather;
  • Fear of going home or parents being contacted;
  • Fear of medical help;
  • Fear of changing for PE;
  • Inexplicable fear of adults or over-compliance;
  • Violence or aggression towards others including bullying; or
  • Isolation from peers

 

 

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 from 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.

 

The following may be indicators of emotional abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):

 

  • The child consistently describes him/herself in very negative ways – as stupid, naughty, hopeless, ugly;
  • Over-reaction to mistakes;
  • Delayed physical, mental or emotional development;
  • Sudden speech or sensory disorders;
  • Inappropriate emotional responses, fantasies;
  • Neurotic behaviour: rocking, banging head, regression, tics and twitches;
  • Self harming, drug or solvent abuse;
  • Fear of parents being contacted;
  • Running away;
  • Compulsive stealing;
  • Appetite disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia; or
  • Soiling, smearing faeces, enuresis.

 

N.B.: Some situations where children stop communication suddenly (known as “traumatic mutism”) can indicate maltreatment.

 

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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education.

 

The following may be indicators of sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):

  • Sexually explicit play or behaviour or age-inappropriate knowledge;
  • Anal or vaginal discharge, soreness or scratching;
  • Reluctance to go home;
  • Inability to concentrate, tiredness;
  • Refusal to communicate;
  • Thrush, persistent complaints of stomach disorders or pains;
  • Eating disorders, for example anorexia nervosa and bulimia;
  • Attention seeking behaviour, self-mutilation, substance abuse;
  • Aggressive behaviour including sexual harassment or molestation;
  • Unusual compliance;
  • Regressive behaviour, enuresis, soiling;
  • Frequent or open masturbation, touching others inappropriately;
  • Depression, withdrawal, isolation from peer group;
  • Reluctance to undress for PE or swimming; or
  • Bruises or scratches in the genital area.

 

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.

 

The following may be indicators of neglect (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):

  • Constant hunger;
  • Stealing, scavenging and/or hoarding food;
  • Frequent tiredness or listlessness;
  • Frequently dirty or unkempt;
  • Often poorly or inappropriately clad for the weather;
  • Poor school attendance or often late for school;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Affection or attention seeking behaviour;
  • Illnesses or injuries that are left untreated;
  • Failure to achieve developmental milestones, for example growth, weight;
  • Failure to develop intellectually or socially;
  • Responsibility for activity that is not age appropriate such as cooking, ironing, caring for siblings;
  • The child is regularly not collected or received from school; or
  • The child is left at home alone or with inappropriate carers

 

FURTHER SPECIFIC RISKS

All staff will have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.

 

Annex A Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2018 will be read and understood by all staff/volunteers outlining risk as below:-

 

CHILDREN AND THE COURT SYSTEM

Children are sometime required to give evidence in criminal courts, either for crimes committed against them or for crimes they have witnessed.

Making child arrangements via the family courts following separation can be stressful and entrench conflict in families. This can be stressful for children.

We will recognise these vulnerabilities and offer early help where necesary for the children, young people and their families to safeguard emotional wellbeing; we will access resources as defined in Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2018,

 

CHILDREN MISSING FROM EDUCATION

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. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.

 

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.

 

Our staff will follow the school’s procedures 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.

 

Our school has in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. Where reasonably possible we will hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil or student. This goes beyond the legal minimum and is good practice to give us additional options to make contact with a responsible adult when a child missing education is also identified as a welfare and/or safeguarding concern.

 

Our school will inform the local authority of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register where they:

  • have been taken out of school by their parents and are being educated outside the school system e.g. home education;
  • have ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered;
  • have been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend the school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age;
  • are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period; or,
  • have been permanently excluded.

 

All staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage.

 

Our school will inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority.

 

CHILDREN WITH FAMILY MEMBERS IN PRISON

These children are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health. We will work with the children and their families as much as possible to mitigate the harm by offering early help and emotional wellbeing support where necessary and recognise additional risks such as witnessing arrests, trauma of prison visits, concerns regarding an offenders release and return home.

 

CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact: it can also occur through the use of technology. Like all forms of child sex abuse, child sexual exploitation:

 

  • can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex;
  • can still be abuse even if the sexual activity appears consensual;
  • can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity;
  • can take place in person or via technology, or a combination of both;
  • can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
  • may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media);
  • can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse; and
  • is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.

 

Some of the following signs may be indicators of child sexual exploitation:

  • children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
  • children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
  • children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
  • children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
  • children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
  • children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.

 

Our school refers to Walsall Safeguarding Children Board procedures to consider completion of the screening tool and/or NWG risk assessment. www.wlscb.org.uk

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-sexual-exploitation-definition-and-guide-for-practitioners

 

The Principal Exploitation Reduction Officer in Walsall is Sue Whitmore 07824 125336 sue.whitmore@walsall.gov.uk

 

CHILD CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION: COUNTY LINES

Our staff/volunteers are aware that criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns.

We are aware:-

  • missing episodes may be an indicator
  • can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years;
  • can affect any vulnerable adult over the age of 18 years;
  • can still be exploitation even if the activity appears consensual;
  • can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and is often accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
  • can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and young people or adults; and
  • is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the exploitation. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.

 

Any concerns will be referred to Childrens Services and support will also be sought from:-

 

Principal Exploitation Reduction Officer, Sue Whitmore 07824 125336 sue.whitmore@walsall.gov.uk

 

CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH

All our staff and volunteers are aware that mental illness and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, of any age, of any background, at any time. Like with physical illnesses, people don’t choose to have a mental health problem.

 

It can be difficult to know if a child is suffering as they often keep it to themselves but we know some characteristics for childhood mental may be:-

 

  • Becoming withdrawn from family and friends
  • Persistent low moods and unhappiness
  • Tearfulness and irritability
  • Worries that stop them carrying out day to day tasks
  • Sudden outbursts of anger directed towards others or themselves
  • Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
  • Problems eating or sleeping

 

Any member of staff or volunteer who suspects a child or young person is suffering mental health will record, consult and share their concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or their deputies).

In our school we offer additional support by (PLEASE ADD HERE ANY ADDITIONAL SUPPORT YOU PURCHASE/NURTURE GROUPS ETC)

 

Further advice can be found via https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/508847/Mental_Health_and_Behaviour_-_advice_for_Schools_160316.pdf

 

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES

Children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. These can include:

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • being more prone to peer group isolation than other children;
  • the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

 

When working with children with disabilities, practitioners need to be aware that additional possible indicators of abuse and/or neglect may also include:

  • A bruise in a site that might not be of concern on an ambulant child such as the shin, might be of concern on a non-mobile child;
  • Not getting enough help with feeding leading to malnourishment;
  • Poor toileting arrangements;
  • Lack of stimulation;
  • Unjustified and/or excessive use of restraint;
  • Rough handling, extreme behaviour modification such as deprivation of medication, food or clothing, disabling wheelchair batteries;
  • Unwillingness to try to learn a child’s means of communication;
  • Ill-fitting equipment. for example callipers, sleep boards, inappropriate splinting;
  • Misappropriation of a child’s finances; or
  • Inappropriate invasive procedures.

 

DOMESTIC ABUSE

Our staff/volunteers understand that exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life. .

 

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

 

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

 

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

 

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

 

Further information can be accessed via:-

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-violence-and-abuse

NSPCC- UK domestic-abuse signs symptoms effects

Refuge what is domestic violence/effects of domestic violence on children

Safelives: young people and domestic abuse

 

EXTENDED SCHOOL AND OFF SITE ARRANGEMENTS

Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own child protection policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site the school will undertake checks to ensure that they provide adequate safeguarding arrangements.

When pupils attend off-site activities, including day and residential visits and work related activities, the school will ensure that the proprietors of the activity/venue operate safe practices to maintain the safety of our children/young people and liaise with investigating agencies in the locality relevant to where the concern has taken place.

 

 

HOMELESSNESS

Our staff/volunteers understand that being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. Our designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) are aware of contact details and referral routes in to the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity. We understand that a referral into children’s social care where a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm may still be made to Childrens Services.

We are aware that indicators may be:-

  • household debt
  • rent arrears
  • domestic abuse
  • anti-social behaviour
  • the family being asked to leave a property

 

We recognise in some cases 16 and 17 year olds could be living independently from their parents or guardians, for example through their exclusion from the family home, and will require a level of intervention and support.

 

Further explanation is found at Homeless Reduction Act Factsheets  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homelessness-reduction-bill-policy-factsheets

HONOUR BASED ABUSE

So-called ‘honour-based’ abuse encompasses 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. Our staff/volunteers understand that abuse committed in the context of preserving “honour” often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators.

If our staff/volunteers have a concern regarding a child that might be at risk of HBV or who has suffered from HBV, they will speak to our designated safeguarding lead (or deputies). We understand that if FGM has taken place, since 31 October 2015 there has been a mandatory reporting duty placed on teachers that requires a different approach as below.

  • Female Genital Mutilation

The definition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.

 

We know that where a teacher (including HLTA’s and cover supervisors) discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18, there is a statutory duty upon that individual to report it to the police. We know teachers (including HLTA’s and cover supervisors) must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless our teachers (including HLTA’s and cover supervisors) have good reason not to, they will still consider and discuss any such case with our schools designated safeguarding lead (or deputies) and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases (i.e. where teachers (including HLTA’s and cover supervisors) do 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 (including HLTA’s and cover supervisors) will follow our safeguarding procedures and those set out in Walsall’s procedures.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/496415/6_1639_HO_SP_FGM_mandatory_reporting_Fact_sheet_Web.pdf

 

  • Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example). Nevertheless, some communities use religion and culture as a way to coerce a person into marriage. We can play an important role in safeguarding children from forced marriage, our staff have been briefed on the indicators of possible forced marriage and honour based violence and will refer any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322310/HMG_Statutory_Guidance_publication_180614_Final.pdf

 

PEER ON PEER ABUSE

All staff are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

 

  • bullying (including cyberbullying);
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • sexual violence and sexual harassment (see further information below)
  • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.

 

Our staff will record and report all issues of peer on peer abuse to our designated safeguarding lead (or deputies) and ensure the best action is taken to safeguard children and young people in our school. Our curriculum endorses peer on peer abuse is not acceptable and our actions are supported by associated safeguarding policy and procedures in our school (Anti Bullying, Pupil Behaviour, E Safety, Acceptable Use and broader child protection procedures).

 

Children and young people who abuse others will be responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others within the school community through a multi-agency risk assessment.  We ensure that the needs of children and young people who abuse others will be considered separately from the needs of their victims.

 

PEER ON PEER ABUSE – SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT BETWEEN CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

 

In December 2017 the DfE released advice (as above) for schools and colleges on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and harassment between children. Our staff and volunteers understand the guidance and our schools responses to such abuse, and that children can abuse their peers in this way.

 

We understand that sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex, and it can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children. Any child experiencing this will find it stressful and distressing. This will, in all likelihood, adversely affect their educational attainment.

 

It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support. Staff should be aware that some groups are potentially more at risk. Evidence shows girls, children with SEND and LGBT children are at greater risk.

 

Our staff are aware of the importance of:

 

  • making clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up;
  • not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as “banter”, “part of growing up”, “just having a laugh” or “boys being boys”; and
  • challenging behaviours (potentially criminal in nature), such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia, flicking bras and lifting up skirts. Dismissing or tolerating such behaviours risks normalising them.

 

Sexual violence can include rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault and that it is important that children and young people are familiar with issues of consent. Consent is about having the freedom and capacity to choose. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another, e.g.to vaginal but not anal sex or penetration with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs. Someone consents to vaginal, anal or oral penetration only if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

 

Sexual harassment means ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature’ that can occur online and offline. Child on child sexual harassment is likely to: violate a child’s dignity, and/or make them feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and/or create a hostile, offensive or sexualised environment.

 

Sexual harassment can include:

  • sexual comments, such as: telling sexual stories, making lewd comments, making sexual remarks about clothes and appearance and calling someone sexualised names
  • sexual “jokes” or taunting
  • physical behaviour, such as: deliberately brushing against someone, interfering with someone’s clothes (schools and colleges should be considering when any of this crosses a line into sexual violence – it is important to talk to and consider the experience of the victim) and displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature; and online sexual harassment. This may be standalone, or part of a wider pattern of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence. (this may include non-consensual sharing of sexual images and videos, sexualised online bullying, unwanted sexual comments and messages, including, on social media and sexual exploitation; coercion and threats.

 

Our procedures

  • If our staff have a concern about a child or a child makes a report to them, they will record and report to the designated safeguarding lead (or their deputies).
  • All victims will be reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe.
  • A victim will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor will a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
  • We will complete a risk assessment to mitigate further abuse both towards the victim and the perpetrator.
  • We will contact the police if we believe a crime has been committed
  • We will follow our safeguarding and child protection procedures and either manage internally, offer early help or refer to Childrens Services

PEER ON PEER ABUSE – SEXTING (ALSO KNOWN AS YOUTH PRODUCED SEXUAL IMAGERY)

 

Sexting is defined as the production and/or sharing of sexual photos and videos of and by young people who are under the age of 18. It includes nude or nearly nude images and/or sexual acts. It is also referred to as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’(‘Sexting’ does not include the sharing of sexual photos and videos of under-18 year olds with or by adults. This is a form of child sexual abuse and must be referred to the police).

 

Our procedures for dealing with the concerns are:-

 

  • We will never view, download or share the imagery yourself, or ask a child to share or download – this is illegal.
  • If we have already viewed the imagery by accident (e.g. if a young person has showed it to you before you could ask them not to), we will report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or their deputies).
  • We will not delete the imagery or ask the young person to delete it.
  • We will not ask the young person(s) who are involved in the incident to disclose information regarding the imagery. This is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or our statutory partners.

 

 

  • We will not share information about the incident to other members of staff, the young person(s) it involves or their, or other, parents and/or carers unless advised by the •Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or our statutory partners to do so.
  • We will not say or do anything to blame or shame any young people involved.
  • We will explain to them that you need to report it and reassure them that they will receive support and help from the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

 

We will access further information from appendix 7 in this policy and

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/uk-council-for-child-internet-safety-ukccis

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/searching-screening-and-confiscation

 

 

 PREVENTING RADICALISATION

 

Our staff/volunteers are aware that children are vulnerable to extremist ideology and radicalisation. Similar to protecting children from other forms of harms and abuse, protecting children from this risk is part of our schools safeguarding approach.

 

 

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act places a duty on specified authorities, including local authorities and childcare, education and other children’s services providers, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”).

We are aware of the signs and symptoms of a young person being at risk of becoming radicalised:-

 

  • spending increasing time in the company of other suspected extremists;
  • changing their style of dress or personal appearance to accord with the group;
  • their day-to-day behaviour becoming increasingly centred around an extremist ideology, group or cause;
  • loss of interest in other friends and activities not associated with the extremist ideology, group or cause;
  • possession of material or symbols associated with an extremist cause (e.g. the swastika for far right groups);
  • attempts to recruit others to the group/cause/ideology;
  • communications with others that suggest identification with a group/cause/ideology.

 

The examples above are not exhaustive and vulnerability may manifest itself in other ways.

 

We value freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values.  Both pupils/students and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions.  However we know that freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued.  Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.

 

Our school governors, the Head Teacher/Principal, Single Point of Contact and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the level of risk within our school and put actions in place to reduce that risk.  We have risk assessments that include consideration of the school’s RE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, the use of school premises by external agencies, integration of pupils by gender and SEN, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the school’s profile, community and philosophy.

 

The broader responsibilities for our school/college are defined within the Walsall Radicalisation and Extremism guidance September 2015.

 

Channel

 

Our school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (and any deputies) are aware of local procedures for making a Channel referral. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-guidance

 

Our school refers to Educate Against Hate, a website launched by the Her Majesty’s Government has been developed to support and equip school and college leaders, teachers, and parents with information, tools and resources (including on the promotion of fundamental British values) to help recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.

 

If a member of staff has concerns that a pupil may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they will speak with the SPOC and to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (if this is not the same person).

 

Niall Markham is Walsall’s Prevent Education Officer & Prevent Coordinator. Niall.markham@walsall.gov.uk

01922 654499

07766 160646

 

PRIVATE FOSTERING ARRANGEMENTS

Our staff are aware that a private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made privately (that is to say without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more. Private foster carers may be from the extended family, such as a cousin or great aunt. However, a person who is a relative under the Children Act 1989 i.e. a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of the full or half blood or by marriage) or step-parent will not be a private foster carer. A private foster carer may be a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child’s family who is willing to privately foster a child.

It is the duty of local authorities to satisfy themselves that the welfare of children who are, or will be, privately fostered within their area is being, or will be, satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted, but our responsibility to be aware and refer children who may be privately fostered.

If our school makes arrangements for children to have learning experiences where, for short periods, the children may be provided with care and accommodation by a host family to whom they are not related then we will consider whether the arrangement where children stay with UK families could amount to “private fostering”

 

All staff in our school will inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or their deputies) of any children that fall into the category of private fostering.

 

 

 

REASONABLE FORCE

There are circumstances when it is appropriate for our staff to use reasonable force to safeguard children and young people. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. This can range from guiding a child to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’. The use of force may involve either passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of the classroom.

 

When using reasonable force in response to risks presented by incidents involving children with SEN or disabilities or with medical conditions we will consider the risks carefully recognise the additional vulnerability of these children.

 

Our procedures are clear that any member of staff who uses reasonable force completes a report immediately and share the report with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or their deputies) to ensure that:-

  • The child was not harmed
  • That first aid has been considered
  • That the parents/carers of the child or young person have been informed
  • That reasonable force was the best and most proportionate response to the situation

 

Further information

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-reasonable-force-in-schools   

YOUNG CARERS

We understand that a young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition, such as a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.

Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move around.

Some children give a lot of physical help to a brother or sister who is disabled or ill. Along with doing things to help your brother or sister, you may also be giving emotional support to both your sibling and your parents.

We know that some of the risks associated with being a young carer are risk of truancy, under-achievement, isolation, mental and physical ill health, poverty and stress.

We will follow our safeguarding  and child protection procedures if we are concerned and complete the Young Carers screening and assessing tool using our local procedures; found at http://www.mywalsall.org/walsallearlyhelp/providers-youngcarers/

 

Appendix 4

 

The seven golden rules to sharing information

 

  1. Remember that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.

 

  1. Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

 

  1. Seek advice from other practitioners, or your information governance lead, if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.

 

  1. Where possible, share information with consent, and where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to having their information shared. Under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 you may share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is a lawful basis to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be clear of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you do not have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.

 

  1. Consider safety and well-being: base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.

 

  1. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely (see principles).
  2. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

 

 

 

Appendix 5CHILDREN IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES – Additional advice and support

 

 

 

Abuse or

Safeguarding issue

Link to Guidance/Advice Source
Abuse What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused DfE advice
Domestic abuse: Various Information/Guidance Home Office
Faith based abuse: National Action Plan DfE advice
Relationship abuse: disrespect nobody Home Office website
Bullying Preventing bullying including cyberbullying DfE advice
Children and the courts Advice for 5-11-year olds witnesses in criminal courts MoJ advice
Advice for 12-17 year old witnesses in criminal courts MoJ advice
Children missing from education, home or care Children missing education DfE statutory guidance
Child missing from home or care DfE statutory guidance
Children and adults missing strategy Home Office strategy
Children with family members in prison National Information Centre on Children of Offenders Barnardo’s in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) advice
Child exploitation County Lines: criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults Home Office guidance
Child sexual exploitation: guide for practitioners DfE
Trafficking: safeguarding children DfE and HO guidance
Drugs Drugs-advice for schools DfE and ACPO advice
Drug strategy 2017 Home Office strategy
Information and advice on drugs Talk to Frank website
ADEPIS platform sharing information and resources for schools: covering drug (& alcohol) prevention

 

Website developed by Mentor UK
“Honour Based Violence”

(so called)

Female genital mutilation: information and resources Home Office
Female genital mutilation: multi agency statutory guidance DfE, DH, and HO statutory guidance
Forced marriage: information and practice guidelines Foreign Commonwealth Office and Home Office
Health and Well-being

 

Fabricated or induced illness: safeguarding children DfE, Department for Health and Home Office
Rise Above: Free PSHE resources on health, wellbeing and resilience Public Health England resources
Medical-conditions: supporting pupils at school DfE statutory guidance
Mental health and behaviour DfE advice
Homelessness Homelessness: How local authorities should exercise their functions HCLG
Online Sexting: responding to incidents and safeguarding children UK Council for Child Internet Safety
Private fostering Private fostering: local authorities DfE – statutory guidance
Radicalisation Prevent duty guidance Home Office guidance
Prevent duty advice for schools DfE advice
Educate Against Hate Website DfE and Home Office
Violence Gangs and youth violence: for schools and colleges Home Office advice
Ending violence against women and girls 2016-2020 strategy Home Office strategy
Violence against women and girls: national statement of expectations for victims Home Office guidance
Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges DfE advice
Serious violence strategy Home Office Strategy

 

 

Appendix 6Host families – homestay during exchange visits

Schools and colleges often make arrangements for children to take part in exchange visits, either to other parts of the UK or abroad. Exchanges can benefit learning across a range of subjects. In particular, foreign visits can enrich the languages curriculum and provide exciting opportunities for pupils to develop their confidence and expertise in the use of other languages.

We have a duty to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. This extends to considering their safety and how best to minimise risk of harm to those children during any exchange visit the school or college arranges, and when organising for the care and accommodation of a child with a host family (known as homestays) as part of the exchange.

When arranging a homestay, schools should consider the suitability of the adults in the respective families who will be responsible for the visiting child during the stay.

In circumstances where we arrange for a visiting child to be provided with care and accommodation in the UK (including where they engage a company to make those arrangements) in the home of a family to which the child is not related the responsible adults will be engaging in regulated activity for the period of the stay. In such cases and where the school or college has the power to terminate such a homestay the school or college would be the regulated activity provider.

A regulated activity provider commits a criminal offence if it knows, or has reason to believe that, an individual is barred by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) from engaging in regulated activity but allows that individual to carry out any form of regulated activity.

Where the child’s parent(s) or a student themselves arranges their own homestay, this would be a private arrangement therefore the school or college would not be the regulated activity provider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 7

Flowchart for responding to young people engaged in potentially harmful youth generated imagery (sexting)