Dania School Safeguarding Policy
Created: May 2013
Reviewed & approved by Board: 26th April 2017
Next Review: April 2018
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Board of Governors when the Headteacher will report on its operation and effectiveness.
The Lead Governor for child protection is: Peter Melbye
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Sandy Mathewson, the Deputy is Christina Larsen
This policy is written with reference to the publications:
Legislation related to safeguarding in schools
Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2016)
Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2015)
Children Missing Education (September 2016)
Prevent (July 2015)
The Prevent Duty: Departmental Adsvice for Schools and Childminders (June 2015)
Disqualification under the Childcare Act (2006)
The use of Social Media for online radicalisation (July 2015)
The Children Act 1989 and 2004
Education Act 2002
The Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003
The Further Education (Providers of Education) (England) (Regulations) 2006
The Education (Pupil Referral Units) (Application of Enactments) (England) Regulations 2007 as amended by SI 2010/1919, SI 2012/1201, SI 2012/1825, SI 2012/3158
The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 as amended by SI 2012/1740 and SI 2013/1940
The Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011 as amended by SI 2015/387
The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012
The Children and Families Act 2014
The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014
All Staff must be given this policy in writing and follow the school’s procedures and guidance at all times.
I have read and understood this policy.
Name: ___________________________ Date: __________________________
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty upon our school to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 and the London Child Protection Procedures provide a framework for enabling the school to fulfil its statutory duties effectively and efficiently in the best interests of children. All staff and governors should (as a minimum) read Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 (and Annex A) and staff can find a copy in the School policies folder.
As part of our induction process all new staff are given KCSIE part 1(2016) and Annex A, safeguarding policy, staff code of conduct, health and safety policy, whistleblowing policy and E-safety policy. All staff are also told of the restrictions on mobile phone and camera use at Dania School (including EY staff). Any photos of children will be taken on the School Camera/IPad, assuming that the parent/guardian has given consent.
At Dania School we are committed to safeguarding children and young people and we expect everyone who works in our school to share this commitment. Adults in our school take all welfare concerns seriously and encourage children and young people to talk to us about anything that worries them. We always act in the best interests of the child.
At Dania School pupils are taught about safeguarding, including online, through various teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.
The Board of Governors holds responsibility for ensuring that the safety of the children at Dania School is at all times of paramount importance and recognises the contribution the school makes in safeguarding and protecting children. The Board of Governors takes seriously its statutory responsibility to do so and recognises that all staff working with children have a full and active part to play in protecting them from harm. The Board of Governors is responsible for ensuring that any deficiencies or weaknesses in the school’s arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children are addressed and remedied without delay. The Board of Governors will seek advice from and work in partnership appropriately with Islington Council in fulfilling its safeguarding and child protection responsibilities.
Whilst the Board of Governors holds overall responsibility for the child protection and safeguarding functions of the school, the day to day operational responsibility rests with the Headteacher, Sandy Mathewson.
Dania School is committed to providing an environment where children can play, learn, develop and achieve and where they are safeguarded and are enabled to tell or communicate if they are being harmed in some way. We are committed to ensuring that all staff are sensitive to issues of race, culture, gender and diversity but these issues should never be a barrier to sharing and reporting concerns about children.
All staff including teaching and non-teaching staff, temporary and supply staff, clerical and domestic staff, volunteers and staff working on site employed by other services and agencies and those working with children and families in the community have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and must be aware of and fully conversant with this policy.
All staff must be given the policy in writing and follow the school’s procedures and guidance at all times. For the purposes of this document, the term ‘staff’ will apply to those listed above.
Because of their day to day contact with children, the school staff are well placed to observe possible signs of abuse in children.
It is neither the role nor responsibility of those working with children in Dania School to assess, diagnose or investigate whether a child is at risk of or suffering harm or abuse. It is the responsibility of all staff to be aware of the need to report any concerns about a child to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Sandy Mathewson as a matter of priority or the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Christina Larsen.
Induction Training for all – Headteacher
All Staff and Governors – Child Protection Company online course (Keeping Children Safe in Education) and regular safeguarding and child protection updates as required by ICSB, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
DSLs – attend training every two years; and in addition to formal training, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed at regular intervals, at least annually.
Safer Recruitment training is available to all relevant staff and governors who are involved in the recruitment process.
The purpose of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is to:
- Raise the awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying concerns and reporting them as a matter of priority;
- Provide a framework to support staff in identifying concerns that a child may be suffering harm or abuse thereby enabling them to report those concerns without delay;
- Maintain an environment where children feel secure and are listened to;
- Ensure that the school has sufficient Designated Members of Staff for Child Protection to enable one of them to be available or contactable at all times during the school day;
- Ensure that the Board of Governors has a nominated member who is responsible for child protection (Chair: Peter Melbye);
- Enable and support good levels of communication between staff;
- Ensure that all Designated Members of Staff for child protection have undertaken suitable and appropriate training and that this training is up-dated annually
- Ensure that all staff receive child protection training at a minimum every three years with an annual refresher;
- Develop and promote effective working relationships with partner agencies;
- Provide a systematic means of monitoring children who are thought be at risk of harm or who are subject to child protection plans;
- Provide structured procedures within the school which will be followed by all staff when there are concerns about a child;
- Ensure that all adults working with children in the school community have undergone appropriate checks as to their suitability to work with children in line with the Department of Education, the Disclosure & Barring Service and Islington Council.
- Ensure that procedures are followed where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer in accordance with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016, Part 4, with the involvement of the Local Authority Designated Offer (LADO) who is Jo Moses and can be contacted on 020 7527 8102.
There are four categories of abuse. The definition of each category is set out below with a non- exhaustive list of possible signs and symptoms:
Physical abuse 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.
- Unexplained injuries or burns, particularly if they are recurrent
- Refusal to discuss injuries/refusal to discuss injuries
- Improbable explanations for injuries/parent undisturbed by accident/injury
- Untreated injures or lingering illness not attended to
- Admission of punishment which appears excessive
- Shrinking from physical contact
- Fear of returning home or of parents being contacted
- Fear of undressing
- Fear of medical help
- Over compliant behaviour or a ‘watchful attitude’
- Running away
- Significant changes in behaviour without explanation
- Deterioration in work
- Unexplained pattern of absences which may serve to hide bruises or other physical injuries
Children can have accidental bruising but the following must be considered as indicators of harm, unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided. Only a paediatric view around such explanations will be sufficient to dispel concerns listed:
- Any bruising to a pre-crawling or pre-walking baby;
- Bruising in or around the mouth, particularly in small babies which may indicate force feeding;
- Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead (rarely accidental, although a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive);
- Repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally;
- Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times;
- The outline of an object used (e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush)
- Bruising or tears around, or behind the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting;
- Bruising around the face;
- Grasp marks on small children;
Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped. If they are over 3cm in diameter, they are more likely to be made by an adult or older child;
It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds, experienced medical opinion is required. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g.:
- Circular burns from cigarettes (but may be friction burns along the protuberance of the spine);
- Linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements;
- Burns of uniform depth over a large area;
- Scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid (a child getting into hot water of its own accord will struggle to get out and cause splash marks);
- Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation
- Scalds to the buttocks of a small child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into hot liquid or bath
Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint, and loss of function in the limb or joint.
Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.
There are grounds for concern if:
- The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type;
- There are associated old fractures;
- Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement;
- There is an unexplained fracture in the first year of life.
A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children 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 the 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 cyber bullying), 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, though it may occur alone.
- Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical.
- The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse. Professionals should therefore be aware that emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse.
- The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:
- Developmental delay;
- Abnormal attachment between a child and parent (e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or no attachment);
- Indiscriminate attachment or failure to attach;
- Aggressive behaviour towards others;
- Appeasing behaviour towards others;
- Scapegoated within the family;
- Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children;
- Low self esteem and lack of confidence;
- Withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others.
- Continual self-deprecation
- Fear of new situations
- Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
- Self-harm or mutilation
- Compulsive stealing/scrounging
- Drug/solvent abuse
- ‘Neurotic’ behaviour – obsessive rocking, thumb sucking, and so on
- Air of detachment – ‘don’t care’ attitude
- Social Isolation – does not join in and has few friends
- Desperate attention-seeking behaviour
- Eating problems, including overeating and lack of appetite
- Depression, withdrawal
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
- Sexual abuse can be very difficult to recognise and reporting sexual abuse can be an extremely traumatic experience for a child. Therefore, both identification and disclosure rates are deceptively low.
- Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and / or fear. According to a recent study three-quarters (72%) of sexually abused children did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. Twenty-seven percent of the children told someone later, and around a third (31%) still had not told anyone about their experience/s by early adulthood.
- If a child makes an allegation of sexual abuse, it is very important that they are taken seriously. Allegations can often initially be indirect as the child tests the professional’s response. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional / behavioural.
Behavioural indicators which may help professionals identify child sexual abuse include:
- Inappropriate sexualised conduct;
- Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age;
- Contact or non-contact sexually harmful behaviour;
- Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation;
- Self-harm (including eating disorder), self-mutilation and suicide attempts;
- Involvement in sexual exploitation or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners;
- An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes for e.g. sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties).
Physical indicators associated with child sexual abuse include:
- Pain or itching of genital area. Scratches, abrasions or persistent infections in the anal or genital regions
- Bruises, scratches, burns or bite marks on the body
- Blood on underclothes;
- Pregnancy in a child;
- Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing.
Other signs of sexual abuse
- Pregnancy – particularly in the case of young adolescents who are evasive concerning the identity of the father
- Sexual awareness inappropriate to the child’s age – shown, for example, in drawings, vocabulary, games, and so on
- Frequent public masturbation
- Attempts to teach other children about sexual activity
- Refusing to stay with certain people or go to certain places
- Aggressiveness, anger anxiety, tearfulness
- Withdrawal from friends
- Frequent vaginal infections, discharge or odours
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Possible signs in older children
- Promiscuity, prostitution, provocative sexual behaviour
- Self-injury, self-destructive behaviour, suicide attempts
- Eating disorders
- Tiredness, lethargy, listlessness
- Over-compliant behaviour
- Sleep disturbances
- Unexplained gifts of money
- Changes in behaviour
- Non-attendance at school
- Talking about a new ‘special’ friend
Sex offenders have no common profile, and it is important for professionals to avoid attaching any significance to stereotypes around their background or behaviour. While media interest often focuses on ‘stranger danger’, research indicates that as much as 80 per cent of sexual offending occurs in the context of a known relationship, either family, acquaintance or colleague.
Neglect is 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.
It is rare that an isolated incident will lead to agencies becoming involved with a neglectful family. Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time. Professionals should therefore compile a chronology and discuss concerns with any other agencies which may be involved with the family, to establish whether seemingly minor incidents are in fact part of a wider pattern of neglectful parenting.
When working in areas where poverty and deprivation are commonplace professionals may become desensitised to some of the indicators of neglect. These include:
- Failure by parents or carers to meet essential physical needs (e.g. adequate or appropriate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical or dental care);
- Failure by parents or carers to meet essential emotional needs (e.g. to feel loved and valued, to live in a safe, predictable home environment);
- A child seen to be listless, apathetic and unresponsive with no apparent medical cause;
- Failure of child to grow within normal expected pattern, with accompanying weight loss;
- Child thrives away from home environment;
- Child frequently absent from school;
- Child left with inappropriate carers (e.g. too young, complete strangers);
- Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent;
- Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods.
Disabled children and young people can be particularly vulnerable to neglect due to the increased level of care they may require.
Although neglect can be perpetrated consciously as an abusive act by a parent, it is rarely an act of deliberate cruelty. Neglect is usually defined as an omission of care by the child’s parent, often due to one or more unmet needs of their own. These could include domestic violence, mental health issues, learning disabilities, substance misuse, or social isolation/ exclusion, this list is not exhaustive.
While offering support and services to these parents, it is crucial that professionals maintain a clear focus on the needs of the child.
Possible signs of neglect
- Constant hunger
- Poor personal hygiene
- Inappropriate clothing
- Frequent lateness or non-attendance at school
- Untreated medical problems
- Low self-esteem
- Poor social relationships
- Compulsive stealing or scrounging
- Constant tiredness
Signs of low self-esteem
- Repeated talk of failure
- Deliberately seeking failure
- Denial or destruction of anything good
- Rejection of praise
- Pleasure in criticism
- Clowning, acting big, telling tall stories
- Self-denigration – Worthlessness
- Pessimism – Hopelessness
- Morbid thinking – Suicidal thoughts
- Pathological thinking – Self-blame
- Loss of interest and withdrawal
- Irritability and tearfulness
- Tiredness and change in weight
- Poor concentration and deterioration of work
- Destructive behaviour*
- Morbid art work and writing*
- Lack of self-care (deliberate)*
- Deliberate failure*
- Suicide attempts*
*Particularly significant and should never be ignored.
This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Summary Booklet “What to do if you’re Worried a Child is being Abused” http://education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFES-04319-2006
Our procedures are in line with the 4th Edition London Child Protection Procedures available on the London Safeguarding Board website: www.Londonscb.gov.uk and Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015 http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/statutory/g00213160/working-together-to-safeguard-children
All school staff should be knowledgeable about what constitutes abuse and know the signs and symptoms of abuse.
If you have a concern that a child is being abused or is at risk of being abused, it is vitally important that you share the information with your designated member of staff immediately (Sandy Mathewson). You should promptly record the information and include the date you received information or had concerns, the nature of the concern including any physical marks seen or anything that the child or someone else has told you. Please see Section 5: Dealing with Disclosures and Section 6: Recording and Tracking Sheet. If you cannot find one of the designated members of staff you must report your concerns to Children’s Social Care yourself on 0207 527 7400 and follow up in writing CSCTreferrals@islington.gov.uk.
Out of hours referrals (after 5 pm and weekends) should be made to 020 7226 0992.
Any child, in any family in any school could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”.
Staff may also share information directly with Children’s Social Care, the Police or the NSPCC if:
- The situation is an emergency and the designated senior person, the Headteacher (Sandy Mathewson) and the Chair of governors (Peter Melbye) are all unavailable
- They are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure a child’s safety
- For any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child.
- In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example call 999
- Report your concern to the DSL (Sandy Mathewson) promptly
- Do not start your own investigation
- Share information on a need to know basis only – do not discuss with colleagues, friends or family
- Complete a record of concern
- Seek support for yourself if you are distressed.
- Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief.
- Accept what is said.
- Make a note of what has been said as soon as practicable.
- Reassure the pupil, but only so far as is honest and reliable. For example, don’t make promises you may not be able to keep e.g. ‘I’ll stay with you’ or ‘everything will be alright now’.
- Do reassure and alleviate guilt, if the pupil refers to it. For example, you could say:
- I believe you.
- I am glad you came to me.
- I am sorry this has happened.
- You’re not to blame. You are not alone; you are not the only one this sort of thing has happened to.
- We are going to do something together to get help.
- Do not promise to keep it a secret as your professional responsibilities may require you to report the matter. If you make this promise to a child and then break it, you confirm to the child yet again that adults are not to be trusted.
- React to the pupil only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate for full details.
- Do not ask ‘leading’ questions, for example ‘what did he do next?’ (this assumes he did!), or ‘did he touch your private parts?’ Such questions may invalidate your evidence (and the child’s) in any later prosecution in court.
- Do not criticise the alleged perpetrator; the pupil may care about him/her, and reconciliation may be possible.
- Do not ask the pupil to repeat it all for another member of staff. Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to. Reassure the pupil that it will be a senior member of staff (the head teacher). Try to see the matter through yourself and keep in contact with the pupil. Ensure that if a Social Services interview is to follow, that the pupil has a support person present if the pupil wishes it (possibly yourself).
- Make some very brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand, and write them up as soon as possible.
- Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by a court.
- Record the date, time, place, people present and noticeable non-verbal behaviour, and the words used by the child. If the child uses sexual ‘pet’ words, record the actual words used, rather than translating them into ‘proper’ words.
- Draw a diagram or complete a body map to indicate the position of any bruising.
- Record statements and observable things, rather than your ‘interpretations’ or ‘assumptions’.
- To follow your school’s child protection policy and procedures and share your concerns with your designated child protection teachers. Consult with your designated child protection members of staff as appropriate.
- Refer to Children’s Social Care and/or Police if relevant.
- Support the child: listen, comfort, and be available.
- Complete confidentiality is essential. Share your knowledge only with appropriate professional colleagues.
- Try to get some support for yourself if you need it.
Recording is a tool of professional accountability and is central to safeguarding and protecting children.
Dania School keeps a record of staff safeguarding training.
It is not always possible to know whether a small or vague concern held today may increase as the days or weeks pass and later form the substance of a child protection referral. For this reason, it is vital that concerns are recorded comprehensively and accurately so that they can be monitored and emerging patterns noticed.
Concerns about children should be recorded on the school’s concern tracking sheet (see attached) which will detail the concerns about a child, discussion with the DSL or Deputy DSL and parents or carers and any agreed actions and outcomes. Tracking sheets/referrals to Children’s Social Care and Child Protection meeting minutes will be held confidentially, separately from a child’s main school/education records. Records should be signed and dated and kept in chronological order. School actions agreed in child protection conferences/strategy meetings must be implemented.
Internal sharing of information will be limited to sharing information with staff where it will demonstrably benefit a child and will generally be on a need to know basis.
A record will be kept of all children who transfer to another school or who leave the school without a known destination. The school will complete the information requested in the Secure Data Transfer System https://securedatatransfer.teachernet.gov.uk/sdtlive/asp/login.asp
|Date||Concern||Discussed with||Action Agreed / Taken||Other people present||Recorded by (print name)||Sign|
The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that the safeguarding child protection policy and procedures adopted by the Board of Governors are fully implemented and followed by all staff.
It is the Headteacher’s responsibility to allocate sufficient resources and time to enable the responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to be discharged fully and to ensure that staff are able to attend conferences, strategy discussions and child protection conferences and other inter-agency meetings and to contribute fully to the assessment of children including writing reports for conferences.
The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice regarding children, and that concerns will be addressed sensitively and in a timely manner in accordance with the school’s whistle blowing policy. We recognise that it is not the responsibility of children to raise concerns. It is the responsibility of all staff to share concerns about the actions or attitudes of colleagues with the Headteacher who will deal with the concerns appropriately.
It is the role of the DSL to act as a source of support and guidance on all matters of child protection and safeguarding within the school. The Headteacher retains overall responsibility for and oversight of child protection within the school. In the absence of the DSL, staff should report any concerns to one of the Deputy Designated Members of Staff who will act in accordance with this policy, Working Together to Safeguard Children, Keeping Children Safe in Education, London Child Protection Procedures (See drop box Dania School policies) and report back to the DSL.
The Designated Member of Staff is responsible for:
- Ensuring that all staff receive appropriate and regular child protection training and ensure that they are up to date with current legislation, policy and practice and that all staff new to the school receive the safeguarding/child protection policy in their induction pack to enable them to adhere to the school’s policy. Because children will often talk to non-teaching staff about their concerns and what is happening to them, it is important that all staff receive training to enable them to respond sensitively and appropriately to what children tell them;
- Maintaining and up-dating child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures annually and ensuring that they disseminated and adhered to by all staff;
- Ensuring that there is a system for monitoring and recording concerns about children at an early stage which is implemented across the school and adhered to by all staff;
- Managing child protection concerns and making referrals to Children’s Social Care for the borough in which the child is resident when it is appropriate to do so and seeking advice and guidance on these matters when appropriate;
- Attending and providing reports to child protection conferences and core group meetings and contributing to child protection plans;
- Monitoring the attendance and progress of children who are the subject of child protection plans and implementing the school’s part of the plan;
- Informing Children’s Social Care of any proposed change of school of a child who is subject to a protection plan and alerting them if a child who is subject to a protection plan is absent from school without reasonable justification;
- Ensuring that relevant information about children is shared with staff on a ‘need to know basis’;
- Maintaining accurate and comprehensive child protection records which are held securely and confidentially;
- Ensuring that all staff are aware of the need to record concerns about children and enabling them to do this as part of a school-wide process;
- Ensuring that complete and accurate records are forwarded to receiving schools whether that be at 11+ or for in year admissions/transfers and checking that they are received by the new school;
- Ensuring that parents and carers have access to the school’s child protection policy and that a hard copy is made available on request, so that they are aware of the school’s statutory duty to refer child protection concerns and that this is referred to in the school’s website/brochure/prospectus/newsletters for parents and carers;
- Having a working knowledge of the role and function of the Islington Safeguarding Children Board.
Safe recruitment and selection practice is vital in safeguarding and protecting children. The Board of Governors recognises and takes seriously its responsibility to adopt practice which minimises risk to the children in this school by ensuring that measures are in place through this practice to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children or who are unsuitable to work with them. The Board of Governors is committed to evidencing this practice in relation to all staff working with children in the school.
The safety and well-being of children is borne in mind at all times throughout the recruitment and selection process. The school follows guidance issued by Islington Council Schools’ HR Service and that contained in the guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2014.
The school has adopted the Islington Safer Recruitment Framework
and guidelines from Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education
(A commitment from the Childs Plan)
In accordance with this, the school makes sure that appropriate checks are carried out on new staff, volunteers and parent helpers and bears in mind the safety of children when drawing up job descriptions and person specifications, advertising posts, calling for and scrutinising references and picking up on gaps in employment history through to the interview process and carrying out enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and professional checks and verifications of qualifications and identity. The school also ensures that at least one member of any interview panel has attended Safer Recruitment Training (Sandy Mathewson/Peter Melbye bothy trained) and that this is refreshed two yearly. The school holds information on a Single Central Register which includes information such as identity checks, DBS disclosure dates, qualifications and the right to work in the UK.
All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with the school’s Staff Code of Conduct and child protection policy and identification of their child protection training needs.
The school obtains written confirmation from supply agencies that agency staff have been appropriately checked.
Volunteers including governors will undergo checks commensurate with their work in the school and contact with pupils.
Volunteers who work only in a supervised capacity and are not in regulated activity will undergo safe recruitment checks appropriate to their role, in accordance with the school’s risk assessment process and statutory guidance.
The school checks the identity of all contractors working on site and requests DBS checks where appropriate.
Visitors to the school, including contractors, are asked to sign in and are given a badge, which confirms they have permission to be on site.
Parents who are simply delivering or collecting their children do not need to sign in. All visitors are expected to observe the school’s safeguarding health and safety regulations to ensure children in school are kept safe. The headteacher will exercise professional judgement in determining whether any visitor should be escorted or supervised while on site.
The Board of Governors of the school is responsible for controlling the use of school premises both during and outside school hours, except where a trust deed allows a person other than the Board of Governors to control the use of the premises, or a transfer of control agreement has been made.
Where services are provided directly under the supervision and management of the school, the school’s child protection policy and procedures will apply.
Where activities and services are provided separately, the Board of Governors will seek assurances that the body concerned has appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures in place and that there are agreed arrangements to liaise with the school on these matters where appropriate. Evidence of appropriate policies and procedures must be provided to the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors will only work with providers that can demonstrate that they have effective child protection policies and procedures in place, provide appropriate training and that the vetting arrangements for their staff are compatible with those of Islington Council and government guidance. The Board of Governors will enter into a formal letting contract with the provider once these conditions are met but reserve the right to withdraw permission for any letting.
There will be at any one time, a number of professionals delivering services to children and families on behalf of the school in the community as well as on the school site. These professionals may be employed by partner agencies such as Children’s Social Care, Health, or other agencies.
All staff providing services to children whether in school or in the community on behalf of the school, must adhere to the school’s child protection policy.
Staff from partner agencies working with children in the community will follow the referral procedures of their own agency and will inform the DSL that they have made a child protection referral as a matter of priority.
Where children attend other school sites it is the responsibility of the DSL for that site to manage any concerns about those children appropriately, ensuring that there is good communication, liaison and information sharing with the DSL for the school on which the child is on roll or at which the child is based.
A concern about a child should be raised and discussed with the DSL for the child’s school immediately. Should a child make a disclosure to a member of staff whilst not on their own school site, the DSL for the school site on which the disclosure is made will refer the matter to Children’s Social Care but will inform the DSL for the child’s ‘parent’ school that they are doing so and will copy them into the referral form and ensure that they are aware of any action to be taken by Children’s Social Care so that they can play their part in the process and contribute appropriate and necessary information.
We recognise that a child who is abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth. We recognise that children may feel helpless and humiliated and may blame themselves for what has or is happening to them. Our school may provide a vital source of stability in the lives of children who have been abused or are at risk of harm. We recognise that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be ‘normal’ to aggressive or withdrawn.
We aim to support the children in our school by:
- Encouraging a sense of self-worth and assertiveness whilst not condoning bullying and aggression. Bullying in itself may result in the threshold of significant harm being met and we take seriously our responsibility to challenge bullying behaviours in accordance with our anti-bullying policy;
- Promoting a caring and safe environment within the school and
- Providing opportunities through the Foundation Stage and PHSE curricula for children to learn strategies to protect themselves, ask for help and support and gain confidence in standing up for their rights and valuing and respecting others.
- Working in partnership with other services involved in safeguarding children and notifying Children’s Social Care as soon as there are significant concerns about a child
- While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress. At its most serious level, bullying can have a disastrous effect on a child’s wellbeing and in very rare cases has been a feature in the suicide of some young people.
- All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our anti bullying procedures. All pupils and parents receive a copy of the procedures on joining the school and the subject of bullying is addressed at regular intervals in PSHE education. If the bullying is particularly serious, or the tackling bullying procedu4res are deemed to be ineffective, the headteacher and the designated member of staff will consider implementing child protection procedures.
Children are taught to understand and manage risk through our personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education lessons and through all aspects of school life. Our approach is designed to help children to think about risks they may encounter and with staff work out how those risks might be overcome. Discussions about risk are empowering and enabling for all children and promote sensible behaviour rather than fear or anxiety. Children are taught how to conduct themselves and how to behave in a responsible manner. Children are also reminded regularly about e-safety and tackling bullying procedures. The school continually promotes an ethos of respect for children, and they are encouraged to speak to a member of staff in confidence about any worries they may have.
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse or neglect. The school ensures that appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after status and care arrangements. The designated teacher for looked after children and the DSL have details of the child’s social worker and contact details of the Local Authority’s virtual head for children in care.
The school has detailed procedures to safeguard pupils undertaking work experience, including arrangements for checking people who provide placements and supervise pupils on work experience which are in accordance with the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (say where the procedures are kept and who holds responsibility)
The school may make arrangements for pupils to stay with a host family during a foreign exchange trip or sports tour. In such circumstances the school follows the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education, Annex C, to ensure that hosting arrangements are as safe as possible.
Some overseas pupils may reside with host families during school terms and we will work with the local authority to check that such arrangements are safe and suitable.
The school uses an Early Help Assessment to identify a child’s or young person’s needs early, assess those needs holistically, deliver coordinated services and review progress. The EHA is designed to be used when:
- There are concerns about how well a child or young person is progressing (e.g. concerns about their health, development, welfare, behaviour, progress in learning or any other aspect of their wellbeing)
- a child or young person, or their parent/carer, raises a concern
- a child’s or young person’s needs are unclear
The EHA process is entirely voluntary and informed consent is mandatory, so families do not have to engage and if they do they can choose what information they want to share. Children and families should not feel stigmatised by the EHA; indeed, they can ask for an EHA to be initiated. The EHA process is not a ‘referral’ process but a ‘request for services’ with assessment and planning being at the focus. The EHA should be offered to children who have additional needs to those being met by universal services. Unless a child is presenting a need, it is unlikely an EHA will be offered. The EHA is not a risk assessment but an assessment tool. If a child or young person reveals they are at risk, school staff will & should follow child protection procedures immediately. The EHA is filled out on Islington’s eCAF system.
After gaining consent from the child/family to share information gathered from discussions, relevant professionals will be invited to come together in a TAC to assess the child’s needs and decide with the child/family a course of action to provide the services needed. A TAC is a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners established on a case-by-case basis to support a child, young person or family. TAC supports particular elements of good professional practice in joined-up working, information sharing and early intervention. The TAC is a model of service delivery that involves
- a joined-up assessment, usually an EHA.
- a lead professional (LP) to coordinate the work
- the child / young person and family at the centre of the process
- a virtual or flexible multi-agency team that will change as needs change
- coordination at the point of delivery
- a TAC support plan to meet the needs of the child / young person
- regular meetings to which the child / young person and families are invited to attend.
All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the pupil and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.
All matters relating to child protection are strictly confidential. We respect the right of families to have information about them dealt with sensitively and confidentially in line with statute and guidance. Child Protection information regarding children in our school will be shared with staff on a strictly need to know basis. A member of staff will ‘need to know’ information when it is demonstrably to benefit the child. All staff are expected to conform to the school’s standards of good professional practice and maintain confidentiality appropriately at all times.
All staff must be aware of their responsibility to share information with the Headteacher and with other agencies in order to protect and safeguard children. However, following a number of cases where senior leaders in school had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education emphasises that ANY member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.
Advice can be sought where necessary from The Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400 the service manager of the Education Welfare Service on 0207 527 5833 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals. Every effort will be made to prevent unauthorised access and sensitive information should not be stored on laptop computers, which by the nature of their portability, could be lost or stolen. If it is necessary to do so, they should be kept in locked storage. Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held.
No one in the school may guarantee confidentiality to a parent or carer. The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.
No one in the school may guarantee to a child that they will keep a secret and must always make it clear to children in language that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child, that any information which leads an adult to be concerned that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering harm will be shared with the DSL in order to take measures to safeguard the child or other children at risk. Advice on Dealing with Disclosures is on pages 15 and 16 of this policy.
We recognise that child protection is a difficult and sometimes upsetting subject for those who work with children. Working with a child who has suffered harm or is at risk of harm may be stressful and distressing. We are committed to supporting such staff by providing opportunities for them to talk through their experiences and anxieties with the DSL or Deputy SL and to seek further support as appropriate. All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice, such concerns will be addressed sensitively and effectively in accordance with agreed whistle blowing procedures. A copy of the summary version of ‘What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused’ should be made available to every member of staff. The Council’s Employee Assistance Scheme can provide support and counselling. We believe that working within a school that has clear child protection policies and procedures also helps to support staff in carrying out their duties and responsibilities effectively.
Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The school’s whistleblowing policy enables staff to raise concerns or allegations in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.
All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the headteacher. Complaints about the headteacher should be reported to the chair of board
Staff may also report their concerns directly to children’s social care or the police if they believe reporting directly is necessary to secure action.
Research suggests that children with special educational needs or disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse. The risks to disabled children may be increased by their need for practical assistance and physical dependency including intimate care which may be delivered by a number of different carers, by possible communication difficulties and lack of access to strategies to keep themselves safe or by the increased risk that they may be socially isolated. Further information on safeguarding disabled children is available in the government guidance ‘Safeguarding Disabled Children, Practice Guidance’.
Staff who work with children in any capacity must be particularly aware of and sensitive to how the effects of abuse or harm may present, and be able to pick up on any changes in behaviour or presentation that might indicate a concern. Staff should have a detailed knowledge of pupils’ individual care needs as well as their academic needs and take these into account when working with them and their families. Concerns should be shared immediately with the DSL or in his/her absence one of the Deputy DSL.
The staff in Dania School will have important information about individual children’s presentation, their levels of understanding and how best to communicate with them.
All staff working with children with special educational needs or disabilities will receive appropriate training to enable them to meet the needs of these children appropriately and to recognise and report any concerns.
This should be read in conjunction with our separate policy on Intimate Care and Toileting and the administering of medication.
The Board of Governors and staff of Dania School are committed to creating and maintaining a culture of openness and honesty and strive at all times to work in partnership with parents and carers. We believe that this is in the best interests of children and their families. Only by developing co-operative working relationships within which parents and carers feel respected will we able to work holistically with children.
Parents and carers will be given access to our child protection policy. We believe it is important that parents and carers are aware of our statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that we will where necessary share concerns about children with Children’s Social Care.
Wherever possible we will aim to discuss concerns about children with their parents or carers and inform them if we intend to make a referral to the Children’s Services Contact Team.
There may be rare instances however, when we judge that it is not appropriate to speak to a parent or carer before contacting the Children’s Services Contact Team. This would happen when the DSL or a Deputy DSL in his absence, judges that to do so would increase the risk to the child.
School staff have a legal power to use force and lawful use of the power will provide a defence to any related criminal prosecution or other legal action. Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives school staff (including support staff, non-teaching staff and voluntary staff) the legal power to use force. This includes occasions when the pupil is not on school premises e.g. on school visits. Reasonable force can be used in many situations:
- To prevent pupils form hurting themselves or others, from damaging property or from causing disorder.
- To control pupils or to restrain them.
- The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.
Section 45 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 gives headteachers and authorised staff the right to search pupils for weapons without their consent, where they have reasonable cause to suspect they are carrying a weapon. If resistance is expected schools MUST call the Police. Further guidance is in the Department for Education’s Guidance, ‘Use of Reasonable Force – Advice for Headteachers, Staff and Governing Bodies’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-reasonable-force-in-schools .
Guidance should be given to staff on appropriate behaviour including the use of physical restraint. Further guidance to staff can be found in DANIA SCHOOL Behaviour Management Policy and the government guidance referred to above. There should be a rigorous recording system and procedures in school. Parents/carers should be informed when restraint has been used and protocols agreed with parents/carers if use of restraint is thought likely. It is good practice for the member of staff with responsibility for child protection to check the record and to give the member of staff involved in the incident a copy.
Pupils displaying extreme behaviour in relation to a learning disability, autistic spectrum disorders, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties or pupils with severe behavioural difficulties should be handled according to the ‘Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Pupils with Severe Behavioural Difficulties’ http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/g/guidance%20on%20the%20use%20of%20restrictive%20physical%20interventions%20for%20pupils%20with%20severe%20behavioural%20difficulties.pdf
S548 Education Act 1996 states that the use of force as a punishment is unlawful.
Schools have two duties under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001):
- Not to treat a disabled child unfavourably without justification
- To take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage
The School will promote the well-being of all its pupils as per the Education and Inspections Act 2006. Well-being is defined in the Children Act 2004 in terms of :-
- physical and mental health and emotional well-being;
- protection from harm and neglect;
- education, training and recreation;
- the contribution children make to society;
- social and economic well-being.
Every Child Matters is a set of reforms supported by the Children Act 2004. Dania School’s aim is for every child, whatever their background or circumstances, to have the support they need to:
- be healthy
- stay safe
- enjoy and achieve
- make a positive contribution
- achieve economic well-being.
The school believes in involving children and young people in this process.
A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The Headteacher will monitor unauthorised absence, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions. At agreed intervals, the school will give the LA the name, date of birth and address of every pupil who does not go to school regularly and inform the LA if:
- a pupil has been continuously absent without authorisation for not less than 10 school days, specifying the cause if known;
- a pupil has been permanently excluded;
- a pupil is moving away from the area and is not known to have registered at another school;
- a pupil has a custodial sentence of more than four months and has been taken off the roll;
- the pupil has run away from home;
- any pupils of compulsory school age have been taken off the roll because the
parents have informed the school that the child will be taught at home (elective home education)
If a pupil leaves the school without notice being given by the parent or without the school being advised of the new address and/or school the pupil is to attend, the school will notify the Education Welfare Service as soon as possible. If after four weeks enquiries have failed to locate the pupil, the school will remove the pupil’s name from the school roll, after having given the parent written notice of the date of removal. The school will enter details of the child on the Secure Data Transfer System. If there are child protection concerns, the appropriate referral will be made to the Children’s Services Contact Team and/or the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team.
Privately fostered children are cared for by someone other than a parent or close relative (e.g. step-parents, siblings, siblings of a parent and grandparents) for 28 days or more. School staff have a statutory duty to make a referral to the Children’s Services Contact Team (020 7527 7400) if, in relation to a child up to the age of sixteen:
- They become aware of a private fostering arrangement which is not likely to be notified to the local authority
- They have doubts about whether a child’s carers are actually their parents, and there is evidence to support these doubts, which may or may not include concerns about the child’s welfare
Further information about private fostering arrangements can be found at http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguarding/safeguardingchildren/a0068804/private-fostering and http://www.baaf.org.uk/.
A trafficked child is coerced or deceived by the adult who brings them into the country. Trafficked children are denied their human rights and are forced into exploitation e.g. domestic servitude, forced marriage, criminal activity, begging, benefit fraud, acting as a drug mule, sweatshop or restaurant work. Children may appear to submit willingly through fear for themselves or their family, because their parents have agreed to the situation or because of bribes. Recognition of trafficked and exploited children will normally rely on a combination of general signs of abuse and neglect and issues concerned with the child’s immigration status. These children may not be in possession of their own travel documents, be excessively afraid of being deported, be in possession of false papers, being cared for by an adult who is not their parent, presenting with a history of missing links and unexplained moves. School staff should make a referral to Children’s Social Care if they suspect a child has been trafficked. Further information is available in ‘Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked’ : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-who-may-have-been-trafficked-practice-guidance”
- Child Sexual Exploitation
Signs of Child Sexual Exploitation can be found in ‘Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation’ (DfE 2009)
Types of CSE can be found in ‘Guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation’ (Barnardos 2014) (page 7/8)
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
- Staff should be aware of the key indicators of children being sexually exploited which can include:
- going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late;
- regularly missing school or education or not taking part in education;
- appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- associating with other young people involved in exploitation;
- having older boyfriends or girlfriends;
- suffering from sexually transmitted infections;
- mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing;
- drug and alcohol misuse; and
- displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
Staff should also be aware that many children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation do not recognise themselves as such.
There are three main types of child sexual exploitation:
Usually involves just one abuser who has inappropriate power – physical, emotional or financial – or control over a young person. The young person may believe they have a genuine friendship or loving relationship with their abuser.
Abuser grooms victim by striking up a normal relationship with them, giving them gifts and meeting in cafés or shopping centres. A seemingly consensual sexual relationship develops but later turns abusive. Victims may be required to attend parties and sleep with multiple men/women and threatened with violence if they try to seek help.
Organised exploitation and trafficking:
Victims are trafficked through criminal networks – often between towns and cities – and forced or coerced into sex with multiple men. They may also be used to recruit new victims. This serious organised activity can involve the buying and selling of young people.
Guidance on dealing with concerns regarding forced marriage is contained in the Multi Agency Practice Guidelines ‘Handling Cases of Forced Marriage’ http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/when-things-go-wrong/forced-marriage/publications
A ‘forced’ marriage is distinct from a consensual ‘arranged’ marriage because it is without the valid consent of both parties and where duress is a factor. A child who is forced into marriage is at risk of significant harm through physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Information about a forced marriage may come from the child themselves, of the child’s peer group, a relative or member of the child’s local community or from another professional. Forced marriage ay also become apparent when other family issues are addressed, e.g. domestic violence, self harm, child abuse or neglect, family/young person conflict, a child absent from school or a missing child/runaway. Forced marriage may involve the child being taken out of the country for the ceremony, is likely to involve non-consensual/under-age sex and refusal to go through with a forced marriage has sometimes been linked to ‘honour killing’.
So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) 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. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such.
Where staff are concerned that a child might be at risk of HBV, School staff (with DSL) should respond to suspicions of a forced marriage or honour based violence by making a referral to the Children’s Services Contact Team on 0207 527 7400 and if the risk is acute, to the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team 020 7527 8102 . School staff should not treat any allegations of forced marriage or honour based violence as a domestic issue and send the child back to the family home. It is not unusual for families to deny that forced marriage is intended, and once aware of professional concern, they may move the child and bring forward both travel arrangements and the marriage. For this reason, staff should not approach the family or family friends, or attempt to mediate between the child and family, as this will alert them to agency involvement.
Further information and advice can be obtained from the Forced Marriage Unit email@example.com. or 020 7008 1500 and the Honour Based Violence Helpline 0800 5 999 365 .
Guidance is available in ‘Safeguarding Children from Female Genital Mutilation http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguarding/safeguardingchildren/a0072224/safeguarding-children-from-female-genital-mutilation.
Guidelines for schools are contained in Chapter 9 of ‘Female Genital Mutilation, Multi agency Practice Guidelines’ http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/f/fgm%20guidance.pdf
Female genital mutilation is a form of child abuse common to some African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities in the UK. This illegal and life-threatening initiation ritual can leave young victims in agony and with physical and psychological problems that can continue into adulthood. Carried out in secret and often without anaesthetic it involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs. Victims are usually aged between four and ten, but some are babies.
NSPCC dedicated helpline for advice and support
- An NSPCC helpline will give advice, information and support for anyone concerned that a child’s welfare is at risk because of female genital mutilation.
- Though callers’ details can remain anonymous, any information that could protect a child from abuse will be passed to the police or social services.
- The Metropolitan Police force is also supporting the FGM helpline as part of its crime prevention work .
- If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM, you can contact a 24 hour helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM) or to take a child abroad to undergo the procedure – Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. Despite the harm it causes, FGM practising communities consider it normal to protect their cultural identity. The age at which girls are subject to FGM varies greatly from shortly after birth to any time up to adulthood. School staff should be alert to the following indicators:
- The family comes from a community that is known to practise FGM
- A child may talk about a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent.
- A child may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion
- A child may request help from a teacher or another adult
- Any female child born to a woman or has a sister who has been subjected to FGM must be considered to be at risk, as mush other female children in the extended family
Symptoms of FGM
FGM may be likely if there is a visiting female elder, there is talk of a special procedure or celebration to become a woman, or parents wish to take their daughter out-of-school to visit an ‘at-risk’ country (especially before the summer holidays), or parents who wish to withdraw their children from learning about FGM.
Indications that FGM may have already taken place may include:
- difficulty walking, sitting or standing and may even look uncomfortable.
- spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet due to difficulties urinating.
- spending long periods of time away from a classroom during the day with bladder or menstrual problems.
- frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems.
- prolonged or repeated absences from school or college, especially with noticeable behaviour changes (e.g. withdrawal or depression) on the girl’s return
- reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations.
- confiding in a professional without being explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
- talking about pain or discomfort between her legs
The Serious Crime Act 2015 sets out a duty on professionals (including teachers) to notify police when they discover that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. In schools, this will usually come from a disclosure.
Teachers must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out; and discuss any such cases with the safeguarding lead and children’s social care. The duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases.
- Peer on Peer Abuse
Staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.
Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. Different gender issues can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse. This could for example include girls being sexually touched/assaulted or boys being subject to initiation-type violence.
At Dania we believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other students.
We recognise that some students will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Occasionally, allegations may be made against students by others in the school, which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that to be considered a safeguarding allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found.
- is made against an older pupil and refers to their behaviour towards a younger pupil or a more vulnerable pupil
- is of a serious nature, possibly including a criminal offence
- raises risk factors for other pupils in the school
- indicates that other pupils may have been affected by this student
- indicates that young people outside the school may be affected by this student
At Dania we will support the victims of peer on peer abuse by listening to concerns and ensuring that arrangements are put in place to guarantee the wellbeing of the victim.
In cases of ‘sexting’ we follow guidance given to schools and colleges by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) published in August 2016: ‘Sexting in schools and colleges, responding to incidents, and safeguarding young people’.
The new extended definition of domestic violence is: ‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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.’
This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
‘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 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.’ This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
The harm caused to children can be significant – through emotional and physical abuse and/or neglect. From 2002 the definition of significant harm was amended to include “the harm that children suffer by seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another, particularly in the home”. Therefore if staff are aware that a child is witnessing or hearing domestic violence, they should inform the designated member of staff, who should in turn refer the matter to the Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400.
- Children Missing Education
Knowing where children are during school hours is an extremely important aspect of Safeguarding. Missing school can be an indicator of abuse and neglect and may also raise concerns about child sexual exploitation.
We monitor attendance carefully and address poor or irregular attendance without delay.
In response to the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) the school has:
- Staff who understand what to do when children do not attend regularly
- Appropriate policies, procedures and responses for pupils who go missing from education (especially on repeat occasions).
- Staff who know the signs and triggers for travelling to conflict zones, FGM and forced marriage.
- Procedures to inform the local authority when we plan to take pupils off-roll when they:
- leave school to be home educated
- move away from the school’s location
- remain medically unfit beyond compulsory school age
- are in custody for four months or more (and will not return to school afterwards); or
- are permanently excluded
We will ensure that pupils who are expected to attend the school, but fail to take up the place will be referred to the local authority.
When a pupil leaves the school, we will record the name of the pupil’s new school and their expected start date.
- Young Carers
Guidance is contained in ‘Improving Support for Young Carers’ http://education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-RR084.
In many families, children contribute to family care and well-being as part of normal family life. A young carer is a child who is responsible for caring on a regular basis for an adult or a sibling who has illness or disability. Caring responsibilities can significantly impact upon a child’s health and development. The school will refer to the Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7 527 7400 where a young carer is:
- Unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable standard of health or development because of their caring responsibilities
- At serious risk of harm through abuse or neglect
- Providing intimate body care.
Statutory guidance for children who run away and go missing from home or care is available http://education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DCSF-00670-2009 .
A Young Runaway’s Action Plan is also available http://education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/RUNAWAYS08
Some young people are pushed away from their home by factors that make an environment difficult to live in, such as problems at home, difficult relationships, family breakdown and maltreatment or abuse, problems at school including bullying and personal problems including mental health issues. Other young people are pulled away to be near friends and family or following grooming by adults for sexual exploitation or trafficking.
School must education young people about the dangers of running and encourage them to seek support rather than run away; some children run because they feel there is no other option. Children and young people need to know where they can access help if they are thinking of running away and what alternatives are open to them. As a school, we are well placed to advise young people about the dangers of running away and to point them to available support.
If school staff become aware of a young runaway, they should ensure they inform their Police Liaison Officer and their Education Welfare Officer.
- Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Prevent Duty)
As part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools have a duty to ‘prevent people being drawn into terrorism’. This has become known as the ‘Prevent Duty’.
Where staff are concerned that children and young people are developing extremist views or show signs of becoming radicalized, they should discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead has received training about the Prevent Duty and tackling extremism and is able to support staff with any concerns they may have.
We use the curriculum to ensure that children and young people understand how people with extreme views share these with others, especially using the internet.
We are committed to ensuring that our pupils are offered a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to prepare them for life in modern Britain. Teaching the school’s core values alongside the fundamental British Values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society.
Early indicators of radicalisation or extremism may include:
- showing sympathy for extremist causes
- glorifying violence, especially to other faiths or cultures
- making remarks or comments about being at extremist events or rallies outside school
- evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature
- advocating messages similar to illegal organisations or other extremist groups
- out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships (but there are also very powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online so involvement with particular groups may not be apparent.)
- secretive behaviour
- online searches or sharing extremist messages or social profiles
- intolerance of difference, including faith, culture, gender, race or sexuality
- graffiti, art work or writing that displays extremist themes
- attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
- verbalising anti-Western or anti-British views
- advocating violence towards others
Where there are concerns about the way that safeguarding is carried out in the school, staff should refer to the Whistle-blowing Policy.
A whistleblowing disclosure must be about something that affects the general public such as:
- a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed
- an legal obligation has been breached
- there has been a miscarriage of justice
- the health or safety of any individual has been endangered
- the environment has been damaged
- information about any of the above has been concealed.
The NSPCC runs a whistleblowing helpline on behalf of the Home Office, the number is 0808 800 5000.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s policies on:
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Behaviour Management
- Whistle Blowing
- Racial Equality
- Physical intervention and the use of reasonable force
- Gender Equality
- Allegations of Abuse Against Staff
- Complaints procedure
- Special Educational Needs Policy
- E Safety
Allegations against school staff and volunteers (FURTHER INFORMATION IN DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST TEACHERS/STAFF POLICY)
Headteachers have a duty to report to the LADO if it is alleged that a teacher, other member of staff, or volunteer in an establishment providing education for children under 18 has:
- Behaved in a way that 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 that indicates that he or she is unsuitable to work with children then,
the allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer within 24 hours and a set procedure must be followed. The allegation will be dealt with according to the process laid out in Part 4 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ / Appendix 5 of Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015. The Headteacher or the Chair of Dania (if it is an allegation about the Headteacher) will work with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (020 7527 8102) to confirm the details of individual cases and to reach a decision on the way forward in each case, in conjunction with Children’s Social Care and the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team.
The Headteacher/Chair of Governors should not investigate the incident by interviewing either those directly involved or any witnesses as this is likely to jeopardise any subsequent criminal investigation UNLESS this has been agreed after consultation with the LADO.
Allegations against staff should be reported to the Headteacher. Allegations against the Headteacher should be reported to the Chair of Dania, Peter Melbye. Staff may also report their concerns directly to police or children’s social care if they believe direct reporting is necessary to secure action.
Staff, parents and governors are reminded that publication of material that may lead to the identification of a teacher who is the subject of an allegation is prohibited by law. Publication includes verbal conversations or writing, including content placed on social media sites.
See flowchart on page 35 of this policy.
What is required of the Headteacher/Chair of Governors?
- An allegation has been made
- The general nature of the allegation e.g. whether child sustained injury/mark
- When and where the alleged incident occurred
- Who was involved and whether any other persons were present
- What the view of the parents is
- Background information on the member of staff and child/children
The information will be shared with Children’s Social Care who will liaise with the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team in relevant cases, and a decision will be made as to whether a strategy meeting will take place.
This meeting will be chaired by a senior member of Children’s Social Care and will also be attended by The Education Welfare Service (EWS), The Head teacher and the Chair of Dania School. The Police Child Abuse Investigation Team will be consulted and may attend if they consider a crime may have been committed. The purpose of the meeting is to share information and address the following:
- Whether the allegation triggers a S47 investigation by the Police and/or Children’s Social Care
- What plans need to be made to safeguard the child
- Whether the child is in need of services
- Whether the school should conduct its own disciplinary investigation
- What support can be offered to the member of school staff against whom the allegation is made
- Whether a referral needs to be made to the Disclosure & Barring Service that a person may be unsuitable to work with children
At the strategy meeting a decision will be made as to whether the allegation is
- Substantiated – actions to be agreed on next course of action e.g. S47 investigation, Police investigation, referral to DBS. Any referral to the CPS must be reviewed after 4 weeks. Referral to DBS to be made within one month of subject leaving.
- Unfounded – No evidence to support the allegation. No record to be made on subject’s personnel file.
- Unsubstantiated – Not enough evidence to support the allegation.
- Unsubstantiated – malicious. No record to be made on subject’s personnel file. Referral to CSC as child in need.
- Dealt with as a parental complaint through school complaints procedure.
- Dealt with internally by the school through the school disciplinary process. Formal disciplinary action must take place within 15 days and informal action within 3 days.
All school staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards pupils is unacceptable and that their conduct towards pupils must be beyond reproach. In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the school staff and a pupil under 18 may be a criminal offence, even if that pupil is over the age of consent.
(Dania School’s Code of Conduct sets out our expectations of school staff and is signed by all staff members)
Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service
Under Sections 35-45 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups At 2006, employers have a legal duty to refer to the DBS when permission for an individual to engage in regulated activity is withdrawn, had the individual not resigned, retired, been made redundant or transferred out of regulated/controlled activity because they think the individual has:
- engaged in ‘relevant conduct’ and
- satisfied the ‘harm’ test
A referral should not wait until the end of the disciplinary process. A withdrawal does not necessarily mean permanent removal, it can include a temporary removal to another role, removing a volunteer from an ‘approved list’ or suspension in some circumstances. Guidance on how to make a referral to the DBS is at:
Relevant conduct endangers or is likely to endanger the child:
- If repeated against the child would endanger or is likely to endanger them
- Involves sexual material relating to a child
- Involves sexually violent images if it appears to the ISA that the conduct is inappropriate
- Of a sexual nature involving a child if it appears to the ISA that the conduct is inappropriate.
The harm test is satisfied if it is thought the person has:
- Harmed a child
- Caused child to be harmed
- Put child at risk of harm
- Attempted to harm a child
- Incited another to harm a child.
This does not only include physical harm.
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
- London Child Protection Procedures
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Education and Inspections Act 2006
- Education Act 2011
- Ofsted Safeguarding in Schools, Best Practice, September 2011 ref 100240
- Ofsted Inspecting Safeguarding – Briefing for Section 5 inspections – Sept 2012 Ref 090205
- Ofsted School Inspection Handbook –Sept 2012 Ref 120101
- Ofsted Inspecting E Safety – Sept 2012 Ref 121096
- Use of Reasonable Force – Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies – September 2012
- DBS Update Service Employer Guide
- Police 999
- Islington Children’s Services Contact Team 020 7527 7400
- Children’s Social Care Out of hours (after 5pm & wknds) 020 7226 0992
- Islington Child Protection Advisors 020 7527 8102
- Local Authority Designated Officer (Education) 0207 527 8102
- Children’s Social Care LADO 020 7527 8066
- Islington Police Child Abuse Investigation Team 020 8733 4286
- Islington Women’s Aid 0808 802 5565
- Domestic Violence National Helpline 0808 200247
- Forced Marriage Unit 020 7008 0151
- Honour Violence Helpline 0800 599 9247
- NSPCC 0800 800 500
- Childline 0800 1111
Written by Trustee Mike Papesch, based on Guidance from Islington Council updated template issued in January 2016 by Julian Doring
At Dania School we also recognise the importance of the Equality Act 2010. This replaced and unified all existing equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It aims to ensure that all people (pupils/teachers/parents/family/visitors etc) have equality of opportunity in accessing and experiencing the life of the school. When carrying out our day to day work, we should have regard to the following:
- eliminating discrimination
- advancing equality of opportunity
- foster good relations across all people, whatever their characteristics may be
|This policy was adopted on||Signed on behalf of Dania School||Date for review|
 Cawson et al’s 2000 study for the NSPCC
 Grubin. D (1998).