We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
We make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both children and adults feel secure, able to talk and believe that they are being listened to.
We maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned.
The purpose of this policy is to provide staff, volunteers and governors with the framework they need in order to keep children safe and secure in our school and to inform parents and guardians how we will safeguard their children whilst they are in our care.
Specific guidance is available to staff within the procedure documents.
Within this document:
Child Protection is an aspect of safeguarding, but is focused on how we respond to children who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of significant harm.
The term Staff applies to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This also includes parents and governors.
Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18 birthday. On the whole, this will apply to pupils of our school; however the policy will extend to visiting children and students from other establishments
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults in a parenting role for example adoptive parents, step parents, guardians and foster carers.
Abuse could mean neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse or any combination of these. Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts and / or failure to provide proper care. Explanations of these are given within the procedure document.
· To provide Staff with the framework to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children and in so doing ensure they meet their statutory responsibilities.
· To ensure consistent good practice across the school.
· To demonstrate our commitment to protecting children.
Principles and Values
· Children have a right to feel secure and cannot learn effectively unless they do so.
· All children regardless of age, gender, race, ability, sexuality, religion, culture or language have a right to be protected from harm.
· All staff have a key role in prevention of harm and an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may indicate a child is at risk of harm in accordance with the guidance.
· We acknowledge that working in partnership with other agencies protects children and reduces risk and so we will engage in partnership working throughout the child protection process to safeguard children.
· Whilst the school will work openly with parents as far as possible, the school reserves the right to contact children’s social care or the police, without notifying parents if this is in the child’s best interests.
Leadership and Management
We recognise that staff anxiety around child protection can undermine good practice and so have established clear lines of accountability, training and advice to support the process and individual staff within that process.
In this school any individual can contact the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) if they have concerns about a young person.
DSL is Jane Bundy – Headteacher and the deputy DSL's are: Sarah Rowe (DHT), Mary Flynn (AHT), Linzi Carter (SENCO), Rebecca Dickson (ELSA) . There is a nominated governor, Stephen Preece , who will receive reports of allegations against the headteacher and act on the behalf of the governing body
All staff in our school are expected to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and must be able to respond appropriately. Training is provided every year with separate training to all new staff on appointment. The DSL will attend annual training to enable them to fulfil their role.
Any update in national or local guidance will be shared with all staff in briefings and then captured in the next whole school training. This policy will be updated during the year to reflect any changes brought about by new guidance.
Following any concerns raised by staff, the DSL will assess the information and consider if significant harm has happened or there is a risk that it may happen. If the evidence suggests the threshold of significant harm, or risk of significant harm has been reached; or they are not clear if the threshold is met, then the DSL will contact children’s social care. If the DSL is not available or there are immediate concerns, the staff member will refer directly to children’s social care
Generally the DSL will inform the parents prior to making a referral however there are situations where this may not be possible or appropriate particularly when informing parents/carer may place child at further risk.
N.B. The exception to this process will be in those cases of known FGM where there is a mandatory requirement for the teacher to report directly to the police.
· We maintain that all matters relating to child protection are to be treated as confidential and only shared as per the ‘working together’ guidance.
· Information will only be shared with agencies who we have a statutory duty to share with or individuals within the school who ‘need to know’.
· All staff are aware that they cannot promise a child to keep a disclosure confidential.
As a school we will educate and encourage pupils to keep safe through:
· The content of the curriculum
· A school ethos which helps children to feel safe and able to talk freely about their concerns, believing that they will be listened to and valued.
Dealing with allegations against staff
If a concern is raised about the practice or behaviour of a member of staff this information will be recorded and passed to the headteacher Jane Bundy. The local authority designated officer (LADO) will be contacted and the relevant guidance will be followed
If the allegation is against the headteacher, the person receiving the allegation will contact the LADO or nominated governor directly.
Dealing with allegations against pupils
If a concern is raised that there is an allegation of a pupil abusing another pupil within the school, the ‘dealing with allegations against pupils’ guidance will be followed (Annex 6)
Section 175 (maintained schools) or section 157 (independent schools and academies) of the education act 2002.
Children act 2004 & 1989
Hampshire safeguarding children board protocols and guidance and their procedures
Working together to safeguard children 2015
Keeping children safe in education 2016
Disqualification under the childcare act 2006 (2015)
FGM Act 2003 mandatory reporting guidance (2016)
As a school, we review this policy at least annually in line with DfE, HSCB and HCC and other relevant statutory guidance.
Date approved by governing body: 12 October 2017