Child Protection (Safeguarding) Policy
BUTE HOUSE CHILD PROTECTION (safeguarding) POLICY
This policy applies equally to the Early Years Foundation Stage Setting, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 as taught at Bute House
For the purposes of this policy, the term “Staff” refers to The Head, teachers, assistants, administration personnel, ancillary personnel, maintenance workers and caretakers
AIMS OF POLICY
- To raise awareness of all school staff of the importance of safeguarding and child protection, and in particular to make clear responsibilities for identifying and reporting actual or suspected abuse;
- To ensure pupils and parents are aware that the school takes child protection seriously and will follow the appropriate procedures for identifying and reporting abuse and for dealing with allegations against staff;
- To promote effective liaison with other agencies in order to work together for the protection and welfare of all pupils;
- To support pupils’ development in ways which will foster security, confidence and independence;
- To integrate a child protection curriculum within the existing curriculum, allowing for continuity and progress through all the Key Stages;
- To make appropriate links and reference to policies in related areas such as discipline and bullying.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR INTERVENTION TO PROTECT CHILDREN
The governors will ensure that the principles identified below, many of which derive from the Children Act 1989, are followed by all staff.
- All children have a right to be kept safe and protected from abuse;
- Child abuse can occur in all cultures, religions and social classes;
- Staff must be sensitive to the families cultural and social background;
- Children must have the opportunity to express their views and be heard
- If there is a conflict of interests between the child and parent, the interests of the child must be paramount;
- The responsibility to initiate agreed procedures rests with the individual who identifies the concern;
- All staff must endeavour to work in partnership with those who hold parental responsibility for a child
- Information in the context of a child protection enquiry must be treated as CONFIDENTIAL and only shared with those who need to know.
- All staff should have access to appropriate and regular training
- School management must allow staff sufficient time to carry out their duties in relation to child protection and safeguarding
Bute House Preparatory School is committed to safeguarding children, working to prevent abuse and neglect, protecting children from harm, identifying and reporting concerns about child abuse as required by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) Article 19. We are aware of and follow the requirements of the Children Act 2004, The Children Plan and the Every Child Achieves ECA, (formerly Every Child Matters (ECM), programme. We are committed to achieving the five desirable outcomes in ECA:
- Be healthy
- Stay safe
- Enjoy and achieve
- Make a positive contribution
- Achieve economic well-being
Bute House is committed to interagency working to safeguard children, as set out in the 2010 documents Working Together to Safeguard Children and What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused.
The school will safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils at the school, in compliance with DCSF Guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education”
The Governors and the School comply fully with Safe Recruitment systems and procedures. All new members of staff and governors must have an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. This is a condition of employment and the requirement is stated clearly in advertisements and at interview. All application forms and reference forms include questions about the suitability of the candidate to work with children. Child protection questions are part of the interview procedure. The Head, Deputy, Bursar, SENCO, Head of Pastoral Care and two governors have completed the NCSL training in safer recruitment and all have certificates on file. We follow as far as possible the guidance contained in “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” document (Jan 2007)
- The governing body will appoint a Named Governor (Mrs Jackie Murray) to liaise with the school’s designated person on safeguarding pupils issues.
- The governors will also appoint a Designated Person for Safeguarding Pupils in the EYFS setting and the main school (the Head) and ensure that he/she (and the Head of Pastoral Care who is the designated person in the absence of the Head), are trained and receive further updating in interagency working procedures at least every two years. The Head, two Governors, the Bursar, the Deputy Head , the SENCO, the Head of Lower School, the Head of Pastoral Care have all passed the NCSL certificated course in Safer Recruitment.
- The governing body will receive and consider annually a report from the Head on safeguarding pupils in the school.
- The Governing Body will appoint a Governor to check the Single Central Register on an occasional basis and to check at random the files of individual staff to ensure that the appropriate checks are made.
- The Named Governor will determine appropriate training (in liaison with the designated person) for the governing body.
- The governing body will determine any changes to the school’s policies and procedures as appropriate.
- The governing body is responsible for reviewing and amending the policy annually and at other times if necessary. They will undertake an annual review of the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged.
- he governing body requires and ensures that any deficiencies or weaknesses identified in the School Child Protection arrangements are remedied without delay;
THE HEAD IS THE NAMED DESIGNATED PERSON (for the EYFS setting and the rest of the school) AND IN HIS/HER ABSENCE THE HEAD OF PASTORAL CARE
- The Head is responsible for the implementation of the policy in the Early Years Setting and the rest of the school (Key Stages 1 and 2 ) and for ensuring that the outcomes are monitored. The Head will report annually to the governors on the working of the policy.
- The Governors through the Head will ensure that any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection arrangements are remedied without delay;
The governors believe that the school curriculum is important in the protection of children. They will aim to ensure that curriculum development meets the following objectives (these are often met through the PSHEE and citizenship curriculum):
- Developing pupil self-esteem;
- Developing communication skills;
- Informing about all aspects of risk;
- Developing strategies for self-protection;
- Developing a sense of the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in adults;
- Developing non-abusive behaviour between pupils.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Governors recognise that children with special educational needs may be especially vulnerable to abuse and expect staff to take extra care to interpret correctly apparent signs of abuse or neglect. Indications of abuse will be reported as for other pupils. The Designated Teacher will work with the special educational needs co-ordinator to identify pupils with particular communication needs and to ensure clear guidance is available for staff in relation to their responsibilities when working with children with intimate care needs as and when the need arises.
- All staff and volunteers need to be aware of, and to follow, training and procedures on Child Protection.
- The school aims to create an ethos where children and parents feel valued, listened to and understood.
- Children are made aware that their happiness and safety are important.
- The school is committed to ensuring that all staff and volunteers receive training on Child Protection. All staff receive annual training from Hammersmith and Fulham and additionally the Head as the Designated Person is fully trained every two years in interagency working procedures. The Head of Pastoral Care also has this training in order to deputise as the Designated Person. Part time staff and volunteers will be informed of changes to this policy if they are unavailable for annual training and they must be trained at least every two years.Induction of new staff will include CP training.
- The school will report to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), within one month of leaving the school, any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or a student), whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children. The ISA referral address is: PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA (tel. 0300 123 1111). The Governors are aware that it is an offence not to report such cases.
Designated person . For the EYFS setting and both Key Stages.
THE HEAD and in his/her absence the HEAD OF PASTORAL CARE
These Senior staff are considered to have the appropriate status and authority to undertake and take responsibility for Child Protection matters
- The designated person is responsible for ensuring that all cases of suspected or actual problems associated with child protection are investigated and dealt with.
- The designated person will ensure that he/she is aware of the latest national and local guidance and requirements and will keep the Governors, staff and volunteers informed as appropriate.
- The designated person will ensure that appropriate training for all staff, academic and non academic, and volunteers is organised annually.
- The designated teacher will liaise with the governing body’s Nominated Governor for Safeguarding Pupils.
- The designated person will co-ordinate action in the school, refer and liaise with Social Services , the LADO , know how to conduct a risk assessment relating to child protection (and when to consult the LADO for help with it) and liaise with other agencies over suspected or actual cases of child abuse. Any serious concerns will be reported to the police in the child’s home area if it is not possible to contact Social Services. Members of staff and volunteers must report concerns about child welfare to the Head or Deputy as soon as is practically possible, but always within 24 hours if the concern is serious. Concerns should be reported verbally and a record of concern completed by the teacher in writing, signed and dated. Unexplained injuries should always be reported. The record of concern will be kept in a confidential file to which only the Designated Person and the Head of Pastoral Care have access. Referral will be followed up with a letter within 48 hours. A copy of the letter will be placed on the confidential Child Protection file.
The designated person must know:
- How to identify the signs and symptoms of all types of abuse and when to make a referral, (how to contact the LADO).
- The local LEA Child Protection procedures and his/ her role within them.
- The role and responsibilities of investigating agencies and how to liaise with them.
- The requirements of record keeping.
- The conduct of a child protection conference.
Confidentiality is governed by the need to protect the child:
If a child confides in a member of staff or a volunteer and requests that her confidences be kept secret, it is important to explain to the child in terms that she will understand, that there is a responsibility and a professional duty to refer it to the designated person and then to the appropriate agencies on a need to know basis.
Information should only be shared with the appropriate professionals and records kept securely locked (currently in the Head’s office). Records must be objective and based on evidence. They can be kept secure on computer and are exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act 1994. The investigation will not be carried out by the school, but the school will co-operate fully with any investigating agencies.
Staff will be informed if a child is on the Child Protection register. Only details that are necessary for staff to safeguard the child’s welfare will be shared. Details of any child protection matters relating to a particular pupil are confidential and should not be discussed outside school.
Guidelines for staff and volunteers (see also Staff/Pupil Relationships Policy Document)
- Children must be listened to and heard. Children should not be asked leading questions about their allegations since this could jeopardise a police investigation.
- Do not promise total confidentiality.
- Inform the designated person immediately or as soon as possible.
- Keep careful written records, signed and dated, of conversations
- Ensure that these are locked up.
- Be vigilant and watch for tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect (see attached information on signs of abuse).
- Inform the designated person(if both people are off site inform a senior staff member) if you are suspicious that there might be abuse or neglect.
- Read the attached sheets to assist you in identifying suspected abuse.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MEMBERS OF STAFF,
VOLUNTEERS OR THE HEAD
If the allegation is against the Head, the named Governor must be informed.
If a child makes an allegation of abuse against another member of staff tell the designated person immediately or as soon as possible. Keep a detailed, dated record of the conversation. Do not promise confidentiality.
Teachers are vulnerable to accusations of abuse as they come into contact with children in a variety of situations including the wider caring role. In the event of an allegation of abuse against a member of staff, he or she will be suspended on full pay pending a full and fair investigation of the matter. In such cases
Allegations found to be malicious will be removed from personnel records .
Records will be kept of all other allegations but any that are not substantiated, are unfounded or malicious will not be referred to in employer references
Please note that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount;
- staff are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any contact that would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions;
- staff should work, and be seen to work, in an open way;
- staff should discuss and/or take advice promptly from their line managers or another senior member of staff over any incident that may give rise to concern;
- records should be made of any such incident and of decisions made or further actions agreed, in accordance with school policy for keeping and maintaining records;
- staff should apply the same professional standards regardless of gender or sexuality;
- all staff should know the name of their designated person for child protection, be familiar with local child protection arrangements and understand their responsibilities to safeguard and protect young children and young persons;
- staff should be aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them.
- procedures will be applied with common sense and judgement. All allegations, including those appearing not to be serious will be followed up, taken seriously and examined objectively;
- parents of the child or children involved will be told about the allegation as soon as possible and kept informed of developments and outcomes including the outcome of any disciplinary hearing.
- the accused member of staff should also be informed as soon as possible after the Local Authority designated officer has been consulted and then be kept informed of the progress of the case. If the person is suspended he or she will be kept informed of developments at school;
- If there is an internal school investigation and the allegation does not involve a possible criminal offence, the investigation should be completed with 10 working days and a decision made whether or not to take disciplinary action should be made within a further 2 working days.
the requirement to report to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), within one month of leaving the school any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children; dismissal; “ceasing to use a person’s services” includes non-renewal of a fixed-term contract; no longer engaging/refusing to engage a supply teacher provided by an employment agency; terminating the placement of a student teacher or other trainee; no longer using staff employed by contractors; no longer using volunteers; resignation, and voluntary withdrawal from supply teaching, contract working, or volunteering.
For staff protection:
- Avoid physical contact with children if possible.
- If you have to have physical contact with a child make sure that doors are open and others are about.
- Do not verbally discipline a child unless another adult is present or within earshot.
- Distance yourself kindly if children stroke, hug or touch you, and help them to learn what is and is not appropriate towards adults outside the family.
- Never administer corporal punishment.
Young children may need reassurance or comfort. Give this if appropriate but be aware of the guidelines above and below.
Additionally on residential field trips:
- Never take a child into your room.
- Hair drying using an electric dryer should be done by an adult in a central public place with another adult present. Ask the child if you may dry her hair, avoid touching her head.
- Wake up another adult at night if a child takes more than a few minutes to settle.
- Keep careful records of medical aid administered.
- Be careful when entering dormitories, shower rooms and bathrooms.
SEE ALSO : Staff/Pupil Relationships, Procedure When a Child Goes Missing, Behaviour, Whistleblowing, Pastoral Care, Educational School Visits Policies
- Parents play an important role in protecting their children from abuse. The school is required to consider the safety of the pupil and should a concern arise, professional advice will be sought prior to contacting parents.
- The school will work with parents to support the needs of their child.
- The school aims to help parents understand that the school, like all others, has a responsibility for the welfare of all pupils and has a duty to refer cases to the Social Services in the interests of the child. A leaflet to this effect is sent to parents annually.
The school is aware that it is possible for children to abuse each other physically, emotionally and sexually and all staff will be vigilant in identifying, responding to and reporting any such incident. (See also anti bullying policy, a bullying incident should be treated as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm). The Designated Person will contact Child Protection agencies for advice on how to proceed, with due regard to the ages of the child/children concerned.
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE
unexplained injuries or burns, particularly if they are recurrent
improbable excuses given to explain injuries
refusal to discuss injuries
admission of punishment which appears excessive
fear of parents being contacted
withdrawal from physical contact
arms and legs kept covered in hot weather
fear of returning home
fear of medical help
aggression towards others
chronic running away
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE
physical, mental and emotional development lags
admission of punishment which appears excessive
over-reaction to mistakes
sudden speech disorders
fear of new situations
inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking. hair-twisting; thumb-sucking)
fear of parents being contacted
extreme of passivity or aggression
chronic running away
scavenging for food or clothes
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF NEGLECT
poor personal hygiene
poor state of clothing
frequent lateness or non-attendance at school
untreated medical problems
neurotic behaviour (eg rocking. hair-twisting; thumb-sucking)
no social relationships
chronic running away
scavenging for food or clothes
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
Children under the age of five may:
become insecure or cling to parent in a fearful way
show extreme fear of a particular person
cry hysterically when their nappy is changed
become hysterical when clothing is removed, particularly underclothes
have some physical signs in the genital or anal areas: smell of semen etc
have soreness or bleeding in the throat, anal or genital areas
regress to a much younger behavioural pattern
behave in a way sexually inappropriate to their age, being obsessed with sexual matters as opposed to normal exploration
stare blankly, seem unhappy, confused, sad
become withdrawn. Stop eating, have chronic nightmares, begin wetting again when previously dry
play out sexual acts in too knowledgeable a way with dolls or other children
produce drawings of sex organs
stop enjoying activities with other children, such as stories or games
seem to be bothered or worried, but won't tell why as if keeping a secret
change from being happy and active to being withdrawn and fearful
repeat obscene words or phrases said by the abuser
say repeatedly that they are bad, dirty or wicked
become aggressive and hurtful
act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
Children from the ages of five to twelve may:
hint about secrets they cannot tell
say that a friend has a problem
ask you if you will keep a secret if they tell you something
begin lying, stealing, blatantly cheating in the hope of being caught
have unexplained sources of money
have terrifying dreams
start wetting themselves
exhibit sudden inexplicable changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn
stop enjoying previously liked activities, such as music, sports, art, scouts or guides, going to summer camp, gym club
be reluctant to undress for gym
become fearful of or refuse to see certain adults for no apparent reason; show dislike of a particular babysitter, relative or other adult
act in a sexual way inappropriate to their age
draw sexually explicit pictures depicting some act of abuse
seem to be keeping secret something which is worrying them
have urinary infections, bleeding or soreness in the genital or anal areas
have soreness or bleeding in the throat
have chronic ailments, such as stomach pains or headaches
take over the parent role at home, seem old beyond their years (if a victim of incest)
develop eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
become severely depressed. even attempt suicide
have a poor self-image, self-mutilate
continually run away
use drugs or drink to excess
self-mutilate, show self-hatred
have unexplained pregnancies
experience memory loss
become anorexic or bulimic
run away frequently
be inappropriately seductive
be fearful about certain people like relatives or friends
assume the role of parents in the house to such an extent that they do all the cooking, cleaning, child-minding and are taking care of everyone's needs except their own
not be allowed to go out on dates or have friends round
have soreness/bleeding in the genital or anal areas or in the throat
find excuses not to go home or to a particular place
have recurring nightmares/be afraid of the dark
be unable to concentrate, seem to be in a world of their own
have a “friend” who has a problem and then tell about the abuse of the friend
have chronic ailments such as stomach pains and headaches
sexually abuse a child, sibling or friend
exhibit a sudden change in schoolwork habits, become truant
be withdrawn, isolated. or excessively worried
have outbursts of anger or irritability
be fearful of undressing for gym
have unexplained sums of money
act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
show discomfort when walking
revert to babyish behaviour such as thumb-sucking.
say that they are no good, dirty, rotten
be wary, watchful
repeat obscene words or phrases which may have been said during the abuse
attempt to sexually abuse another child
talk or write about sexual matters
find hundreds of excuses not to go home or to a friend's house after school (places where abuse may be happening)
act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
The internet can also make children vulnerable to abuse or give access to inappropriate material. The school provides instruction for parents and pupils on safe use of the internet. The school uses filters to prevent children viewing unsuitable material but staff need to be vigilant when children are using laptops. Children sign the “promise” about use of computers and parents are made aware of the content of this.
The school is aware of its obligation to report to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), within one month of leaving the school any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children; the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) commenced operation on 20 January 2009 and its address for referrals is PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA (tel 0300 123 1111).
CHILD PROTECTION CONTACT DETAILS
HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM CHILDREN’S SOCIAL SERVICES
Tel 0208753 5392.
EMERGENCY DUTY TEAM (OUT OF HOURS) 020 8748 8588
Police Child Protection TEAM 020 8246 0830
(Out of hours 020 8246 2621/22)
Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA (tel 01325 953 795).
Reviewed September 2004, January 2005, September 2006, September 2007, January 2008, May 2009, September 2009, November 2009, September 2010, January 2012