Our Christian vision
We have Faith in each child’s potential to become conscientious, caring citizens.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)
Faith: ‘I can do it’
Hope: ‘Our future dreams, aspirations and achievements ’
Love: ‘Treat each other as you would yourself’
‘Everyone to work together to ensure that all children and young people are safe and feel safe within their homes, schools and communities’- Oldham LSCB vision
In our school, we are committed to establishing a positive, supportive and safe environment where children feel valued. We want children to feel able to report issue of concern to them to staff.
This policy has been written in conjunction with Oldham LSCB’s Child Protection Procedures Handbook and should be read alongside statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’, and DfE advice What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for practitioners. and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2016.
This policy applies to all members of the school community: full time and part time staff, governors, students and volunteers. This policy should be considered alongside the school’s behaviour policy, e-safety policy and other relevant guidance, policies and updates.
As a school, we comply with local child protection procedures approved by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (formerly The Area Child Protection Committee) and ensure that all adults working and looking after children in school are able to put the procedures into practice.’
Mrs Sue Callaghan is the Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) for dealing with safeguarding children issues. Mrs Gemma Chapman is the deputy designated person.
Mrs Paula Parslow is the nominated governor for child protection. The role of the child protection governor is to ensure that an annual report is presented to the governing body on child protection and safeguarding activities. They should also ensure that safeguarding issues are regularly discussed and actioned by the governing body.
There are three main elements to our policy:
We want to create an environment of total care where pupils feel secure, stimulated and empowered to take the positive steps necessary to protect themselves and others. We aim that all children feel able to report issues of concern to our staff.
We will do this by;-
Staff are made aware of procedures relating to child protection in terms of their own actions and the need to pass information on to appropriate staff. If a member of staff suspects that a child is a victim of abuse or a pupil discloses that he or she is being abused information MUST BE passed without delay to the designated person, Sue Callaghan.
We will provide protection by;-
Our aim is to provide the best possible support for pupils within school. We will endeavour to treat any instances of suspected abuse sympathetically. Staff must recognise that they can not guarantee complete confidentiality when a child discloses an instance of abuse. Staff must then only share information with the designated people.
Our school is committed to safer recruitment and the suitability of all staff at our school. The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 require governing bodies of maintained schools to ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training. The headteacher has undertaken the NSPCC Safer Recruitment in Education training (December 2017)
It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the school, whether voluntary or paid, that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
All applicants to work within school will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be requested to provide two references. All references will be followed up.
Where applicants have unexplained gaps in their employment history, or have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.
All successful applicants/appointments will be followed up with clearance checks on their suitability to work with children from checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
All staff, as part of their induction programme will be offered ‘in-house’ training or other relevant agencies to ensure that they recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical, emotional, sexual abuse and/or neglect and understand the procedures. The designated person will attend OLSCB approved training every two years and whole school child protection training will be offered every three years for all other school staff. Sue Callaghan has attended a 2 day training course on Child Sexual Exploitation. All staff have attended a twilight course highlighting Child Sexual Exploitation.
In January 2018 Sue completed the NSPCC Child Protection in Schools training course again. She has also attended WRAP training (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent) and the Prevent e-learning training course. All staff have completed WRAP training online.
Prevent abuse by good practice
Any concerns will be reported to Sue Callaghan who has overall responsibility for safeguarding children, and will be the first point of contact for members of other agencies. The flow chart, ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused’ along with information from the Local Safeguarding Children Board will be displayed with this policy.
All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children and keep them safe:
Recognise unmet needs, risk factors, signs of abuse, harm & neglect
Respond at an appropriate level- Early Help support, alert Children’s Social Care
Record in a factual, timely and appropriate manner. Ensure records are kept up to date and secure
Refer to appropriate service/agency, sharing information to safeguard and protect children from harm.
The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for child protection, as set out above, remains with the designated safeguarding lead; this lead responsibility should not be delegated.
The designated safeguarding lead is expected to:
Work with others
The designated safeguarding lead is expected to:
The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years.
The designated safeguarding lead should undertake Prevent awareness training.
In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, but at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role so they:
The designated safeguarding lead should:
During term time the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) should always be available (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns. This may be via email or phone.
Types of abuse and neglect
All school staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.
The definition of 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 (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
This involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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.
Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse
Worrying changes in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance will be recorded. These will include the name address and age of the child, timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s appearance/behaviour, without further comment or interpretation and where possible the exact words spoken by the child and other parties, and the dated name and signature of the observer. All observations and recordings will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know. (Those people will usually be the designated member of staff/ day-care manager.)
Liaise with other agencies
In accordance with local authority guidelines, confidential records and observations will be shared with Social Services as appropriate. A list of contact names and telephones in included in Oldham LSCB’s Quick Guide ‘Making a Child Protection Referral’.
Contact names and numbers of Children’s services duty officers and the NSPCC helpline will also be available for staff and parents.
Confidential records, kept on a child will be shared with the child’s parents as appropriate. With the proviso that the care and safety of the child is always paramount the school will do all it can to support the child and the family, by endeavouring to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families, staff and volunteers by continuing to welcome the child and family during any investigations,
It is not a responsibility of staff to identify or investigate suspected abuse, however staff will keep accurate records of their observations and of any disclosure by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse. Children will be listened to at all times. Strict confidentiality will be observed at all times.
Recording, storing and sharing of child protection information
Our school has a system of recording any concerns about a child using a proforma. Any records would be kept securely, separate from the pupil’s main academic file. Only the designated person has access to this information. All child protection information is shared on a ‘need to know’ basis. Any information would be audited regularly to ensure files are kept up to date and in good order.
When a child transfers to another school, the child protection file would be passed immediately to the designated person at the receiving school.
Our school is committed to developing effective links with relevant agencies and is committed to taking an active role in multi agency meetings and attendance and providing written reports to child protection case conferences and core group meetings.
If an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff, volunteer or student.
As child protection supersedes all working conditions, the staff member may be suspended. This action is taken to protect all concerned in the allegation. There is a local authority procedure for investigating allegations of professional abuse.
Contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to report your concern by:
For further information refer to the Oldham LCSB website
All staff and govenrorsare familiar with this policy which will be reviewed and updated annually.