Safeguarding and Child Protection
Reviewed Autumn 2020
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Janis French
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads: Hazel Souter, Emma Fox Townley, Kendra Hatcher & Paula Smith
Mental Health Champion: Kathryn Hughes
Definition of safeguarding
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy as;
- Protecting from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
By working together, our pupils will enjoy a creative, innovative, exciting and challenging curriculum within a safe environment which will enrich and enhance every child’s learning.
Within the context of our school mission statement we will endeavour to ensure that the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the pupils in our care is of paramount importance.
The school recognises its prime responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of its’ children. These ideals as supported by the principles underpinning work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2020 and Ofsted guidance, Safeguarding Children and Young People and Young Vulnerable adults, February 2015 and the Prevent Duty 2015.
Children have a right to feel secure and cannot learn effectively unless they do so. Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts or failure to provide proper care or both. Children may suffer neglect; emotional, physical or sexual abuse or a combination of such types of abuse. All children have the right to be protected from abuse. The aim of our procedures will be, once abuse or neglect is suspected, to minimise damage to the child and promote recovery. Whilst the school will work openly with parents as far as possible, the school reserves the right to contact Social Services or the Police without notifying parents if this is deemed to be in the child’s best interests.
There are five main elements to our policy:
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
- Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his / her agreed child protection plan.
- Ensuring we practice safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff to work with children.
- Recognising that because of their day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse.
The school will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
- Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried.
- Ensure those adults are equipped with skills and understanding of procedures to identify possible cases of abuse
- Include opportunities in the PSHE/RSE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
- Create and maintain an ethos where concerns are able to be discussed without fear of recrimination.
The issues surrounding Child Protection are relevant to all members of staff in Priory Woods and the policy applies to all staff and governors working in the school and all visiting professionals.
All staff refers to the following: -
permanent support staff
supply support staff
other professionals working in school
Specifically, at Priory Woods we:
- Ensure that we have senior designated staff for child protection who have received appropriate regular training and support for this role.
- Ensure every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the designated person responsible for child protection and their role.
- Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerned to the designated person.
- Ensure that every member of staff, volunteer and Governor received appropriate levels of training to fulfil their child protection responsibilities effectively and to accord with the requirements with ‘Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education’ guidance from DFES 2012.
- Ensure that all teaching and support staff have read and understand the Government PREVENT agenda (arising from the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015) and understand our professional duty with regards to this. In addition, all staff complete the Channel online training, WRAP. All staff are to remain vigilant with regards to students’ vulnerability and presentation with regards to the possibility of their radicalisation.
- Ensure that staff are aware of the document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ September 2020 and of their duty to work together to safeguard students including awareness of FGM (female genital mutilation) and the mandatory reporting duty regarding this. Staff know how to report any suspicions and concerns arising from this issue and that it is their responsibility to report it to the police directly, if they are teaching staff and then notify the Safeguarding Team. Teaching Assistants report it to the DSL who will then report it to the police.
- Ensure that staff are aware of the Document, ‘Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people (August 2016)’
- Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by publishing this policy on the school website.
Allegations against staff
Any allegations which it is alleged that a teacher or member of staff (including volunteers) in school or college that provides education for children under 18 years of age 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; or
• behaved or may have behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children or may not be suitable to work with children.
All allegations against staff will be fully investigated by the DSL and the Safeguarding Governor.
Should an allegation be made against the DSL (Janis French) this will be made to the Safeguarding Governor and/or LADO.
Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching will be referred to the police as will any historical allegations of abuse.
School acknowledge their duty of care to their employees and will ensure that we provide effective support for anyone facing an allegation and provide the employee with a named contact if they are suspended.
Any allegation of abuse made against a teacher or other member of staff or volunteer in school or college will be dealt with very quickly, in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and, at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.
The Safeguarding team are aware of their duty to make a referral to DBS if it comes to their attention that a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns.
We ensure that we safeguard our students when accommodating students on placement by ensuring that all work experience, Teacher Training, College and University students, along with their educational establishments provide the student’s DBS number and issue date along with photographic evidence of their identity.
Working with other agencies
Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. Priory Woods School and Arts College recognises and is committed to it’s responsibility to work with other professionals and agencies, both to ensure children’s needs are met and to protect them from harm. We endeavour to identify children who may benefit from Early Help i.e. providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life. All staff, with the support of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads will work with other professionals and agencies to make referrals, in discussion with parents/carers as appropriate.
Priory Woods School and Arts College are part of ‘Operation Encompass’ which is a system that began in October 2015 to support children who experience, witness or are directly involved in domestic violence. Police will notify a designated key adult in school, at the earliest possible opportunity, of a domestic abuse incident involving a pupil at school. School can then provide appropriate support for the child.
Priory Woods School and Arts College will pass on all child protection concerns to social services. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the South Tees Multi Agency Children’s Hub (MACH), of which Middlesbrough Local Authority is a part. We are committed to respond in accordance with the Middlesbrough MACH Procedures in all cases where there is a concern about significant harm.
Students’ with social workers will be made known to the Safeguarding Team, DSL and DDSLs & DT for CLA. As such the safeguarding team recognise the vulnerability of such students and will;
- Help promote educational outcomes and share information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues students are experiencing, or have experienced, with teachers and SLT
- The safeguarding team will ensure that staff;
- Know who these students are
- Understand their academic progress and attainment
- Maintain a culture of high aspirations
- Support teaching staff to identify the challenges they might face
- The additional academic support and adjustments that they could make to best support these students
- The DSL and DDSLs will attend training around supporting these groups of students where necessary
Different forms of abuse
Staff access regular annual child protection and safeguarding training. They are aware that there are many forms of abuse such as;
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- FGM and forced marriage
- Sexual abuse
- Sexting, Peer on peer Abuse & Cyber Bullying including sexual violence and harassment (all of which need reporting)
- Upskirting (a criminal offence – Voyeurism Offences Act 2019)
Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familial abuse can undermine parent-child relationships. Therefore, children’s social care practitioners need to engage with individuals and sectors who do have influence over/within extrafamilial contexts, and recognise that assessment of, and intervention with, these spaces are a critical part of safeguarding practices. Contextual Safeguarding, therefore, expands the objectives of child protection systems in recognition that young people are vulnerable to abuse in a range of social contexts.
Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults
The Safeguarding team are very much aware of the possibility of potential criminal exploitation of our vulnerable students. As such staff are vigilant with regards to attendance patterns and any unusual behaviour.
County lines exploitation is a major, cross-cutting issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and missing persons; and the response to tackle it involves the police, the National Crime Agency, a wide range of Government departments, local government agencies and VCS (voluntary and community sector) organisations.
The UK Government defines county lines as:
County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”.
They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons. County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.
Child Criminal Exploitation
Child criminal exploitation is increasingly used to describe this type of exploitation where children are involved, and is defined as: Child Criminal Exploitation is common in county lines and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. Criminal exploitation of children is broader than just county lines, and includes for instance children forced to work on cannabis farms or to commit theft.
Whilst professionals refer to the issue using the term ‘sexting’, there is no clear definition of ‘sexting’.
The guidance highlights that whilst many professionals consider sexting to be ‘sending or posting sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet’ young people are more likely to interpret sexting as ‘writing and sharing explicit messages with people they know’. Similarly, many parents think of sexting as flirty or sexual text messages rather than images.
The 2016 guidance document only covers the sharing of ‘youth produced sexual imagery’, and uses this phrase instead of ‘sexting.’
‘Youth Produced’ includes young people sharing images that they, or another young person, have created of themselves.
While it is recommended that Peer on Peer abuse is part of Priory Wood’s Safeguarding Policy, due to the sensitive nature and specific issues involved with peer on peer abuse we have completed a separate policy.
Priory Woods School accepts and works within the context of South Tees Multi Agency Hub. The associated website provides information and advice around procedures and aspects of child protection and child abuse.
As our priority is to the welfare of the child, we will share any worries and concerns with the designated person, and keep appropriate records. CPOMS is our recording tool for monitoring and recording any incidents or concerns that we may have regarding students.
After consultation with either the Child Protection Officer, or South Tees Multi Agency Hub, the DSL will take an appropriate course of action. This may involve making a formal referral to Social Services and or Police or instructing staff to monitor the situation.
In situations where there is a case of suspected child abuse, by a person outside of school, our aim and responsibility is to support the child.
Structure and Staff Roles:
In this school the DSL will be Janis French; in her absence this responsibility will be taken by Hazel Souter and/or Emma Fox, Kendra Hatcher & Paula Smith. If none are available and there are serious worries over a child the South Tees Middlesbrough Multi Agency Hub will be contacted for support, advice and guidance. Their emergency out of hours contact number is 01642 726004 01642 24552 or for addresses falling within the boundary of Redcar & Cleveland tel. 01642 130700
If the DSL is suspected of abuse then David Mudd, Chair of Governors and Safeguarding Lead Governor is to be approached and/or the LADO, Lynn Dickens Peter Storey(01642 201835726004 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com) and the Whistle Blowing Policy will be adhered to.
The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL):
- To ensure that through training that the DSL has a good understanding of their role and responsibilities, processes, and responsibilities of other agencies
- Be aware of which students have a social worker
- Help to promote educational outcomes by sharing information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues with teachers and school and college leadership staff
- Understand the Prevent Duty
- Are aware of the risks associated with online safety and relevant knowledge and up to date capability to keep students safe online at school
- Recognise additional risks of children/young adults with SEND
- Share information
- be the contact person for all staff who have concerns over any aspect of a pupil’s welfare
- follow South Tees Area Multi Agency Hub Child Protection Procedures
- attend relevant and regular Child Protection training
- ensure that all staff have a knowledge of South Tees Area Multi Agency Hub Child Protection Procedures
- keep Child Protection records up to date and in an orderly manner and ensure in-year transfers take place
- broaden consultation and decide what action to take with a member of staff who raises concerns
- assist staff with writing reports for Child Protection meetings
- liaise with other agencies and attend case conferences
- notify the allocated Social Worker if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on the child protection register.
- notify the allocated Social Worker and the LAC Designated Teacher if a child who is looked after, has any unauthorised absence.
- inform LA Child Protection Officer of any action which has been taken in relation to Child Protection concerns
- discuss any concerns / pass on relevant records to the appropriate DSL when a pupil is transferring to another school / establishment
- maintain contact with other relevant schools, where there is more than one child in the family, and a child in our school is causing concern
- support staff with and through any concerns they may have with Child Protection
- support pupils with child protection issues through direct multi agency working, 1;1 assigned time and teacher led PSHE/ RSE/Thrive where appropriate
- ensure that information sharing is appropriate and meets the welfare of the child as the most important consideration
- the complaints procedure is followed rigorously should any complaints/reporting be received about any unacceptable behaviour towards children
- to promote and maintain close working relationships with parents
- to be responsible for the online safety education.
What Action to Take:
- Any member of staff, teaching or non-teaching, having concerns relating to Child Protection will communicate this to the DSL, or in their absence the deputy DSL.
- Guidance on dealing with allegations and concerns against any employee or student will be adhered to and further advice and guidance will be sought from the LA.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO RECORD:
- all disclosed information / if a disclosure about abuse has been made
- note carefully what has been observed
- when it was observed
- signs of injury should be described and any comment about how the injury occurred should be recorded, preferably quoting the words used by the child, as soon as possible after it was made. Body maps should not be completed.
All records are to be kept in a secure place ie: under lock and key and on CPOMS by the DSL. Any person needing to make a recording will record as soon as possible on CPOMS. Should CPOMS not be functional staff must obtain a blank recording sheet from the DSL, do the recording in private and then immediately hand over the record to the DSL. All information concerning child protection matters should be factual, observable and not include interpretations or recommendations.
All disclosures should be recorded, dated and initialled.
Once a referral has been made should school not agree with any outcomes or actions metered by other professionals school will exercise their right to professionally challenge such decisions or actions.
There is to be complete confidentiality of any records kept in school.
A pupil cannot be told that information passed on is totally confidential since it has to be passed on, or referred for help to be sought.
The questions "Who needs to know?" and " What do they need to know?" should be regarded as very important.
All Safer Recruitment procedures are followed in line with Local Authority guidance. All DBS checks for staff are kept on a single central record and are renewed on a 5-yearly basis.
All staff should be aware of the school's procedures for issues related to Child Protection. The DSL is responsible for this training.
All staff will be expected to complete the South Tees Safeguarding Children’s Partnership E learning training (stscp.co.uk). Registration for this training will be made by Hazel Souter the individual (Teeswide.melearning.univerity) and staff will need to self-register as this is a new system. Safeguarding training in other forms will be completed on a regular and frequent basis.
At Priory Woods we endeavour to enable our pupils to acquire the skills needed to keep themselves safe from harm and to learn what is appropriate and what is not. This is done through the implementation of the school’s RSE and PSHE curriculum, including relationships and sex education and the promotion of student advocacy. Students are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials and/or through relationship and sex education (RSE).'
All staff are trained in safeguarding and this is refreshed annually, taking in account the Prevent Duty.
All EYFS staff are trained to level 2 or above. All staff are responsible for safeguarding within the setting and are aware of their responsibilities within this expectation.
Whilst we do not assign Key Workers as such, within the EYFS setting, due to the high staffing ratio levels each member of staff has an established and close relationship with each individual child and reports any safeguarding concerns, following the school procedures and systems. The staff work closely together and communicate effectively throughout the day and report any concerns and noticeable issues immediately and take the appropriate action.
Out of School Activities:
At times some of our pupils will take part in activities that are organised and run by other organisations e.g. What a Raquet etc. Checks are made to ensure there are up-to-date DBS checks for all such people. There are also always members of school staff in attendance to support these sessions.
Checks are made to ensure that all organisations ensure that staff at residential centres have DBS checks. In addition to this, pupils are always supported by school staff.
When travelling abroad, students are accompanied and supervised by members of staff from Priory Woods School. Trips abroad require the completion and submission of an Educational Visit (EVC) form to the EVC (Educational Visit CoOrdinator) and Local Authority to seek their approval.
School ensures that it follows the appropriate protocols and seek proper permissions for any students that are LAC through consultation with Social Care, parents and carers where applicable.
Visitors and Work Experience Personnel:
Regular visitors in school, governors and students from college on work experience placement must have an enhanced DBS and photographic ID upon their first visit to school. Photocopied evidence is not admissible.
- Students aged 16 years or under from secondary schools on either a community service or work experience placement do not require a DBS check.
- Visitors and all work experience students should never be left alone with students.
- Visitors and work experience students are not required to help with toileting routines; where they do help with clothing, for example after hydrotherapy, this should always be under the supervision of a member of staff.
Use of External Agencies Speakers and Performers
We encourage the use of external agencies or speakers and performers to enrich the experiences of our pupils, however we will positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who we engage to provide such learning opportunities or experiences for our pupils.
Our school will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:
- Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
- Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies;
- Activities are properly embedded in the curriculum and clearly mapped to schemes of work to avoid contradictory messages or duplication;
- Activities are matched to the needs of pupils;
- Activities are carefully evaluated by the school to ensure that they are effective.
- Any external speakers are accompanied by a member of staff
Private fostering occurs when a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) is provided with care and accommodation by a person who is not a parent, person with parental responsibility for them or a relative in their own home. A child is not fostered if the person caring for and accommodating them has done so for less than 28 days and does not intend to do so for longer. Such arrangements may come to the attention of school staff through the normal course of their interaction, and promotion of learning activities, with children.
The school or college should then notify the local authority to allow the local authority to check the arrangement is suitable and safe for thechild.
Children Missing Education
Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at school. Children missing education are a significant risk of underachieving, been victims of harm, exploitation and radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.
School enters pupils in the admission register at the beginning of the first day of which the school has agreed, or been notified, that the pupil will attend the school. If a pupil fails to attend on the agreed and notified date, the school will undertake reasonable enquiries to establish the child’s whereabouts consider notifying the local authority the earliest opportunity.
School monitors pupils’ attendance through the daily register. School has agreed with Middlesbrough Council the interval at which we will inform them of the details of pupils who failed to attend regularly, or have missed 10 school days or more without permission. We monitor attendance closely and address who are or regular attendance and where appropriate this is referred to the local authority.
South Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership: www.teescpp.org.uk
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015 (2020 – revised edition) : Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges (DFE) This document sets out the responsibilities placed on schools and colleges to safeguard and promote the welfare of children What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners March 2015 (DFE) This is guidance to help practitioners identify the signs of child abuse and neglect and understand what action to take.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (DFE) This document applies to organisations and professionals who provide services to children Prevent Duty – guidance for England and Wales This is guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty of schools and other providers in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the needs to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Private Fostering Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-act-1989-private-fostering
Relevant Policies, Guidelines and Documentation National Policies,
Guidance and Documentation Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2020: Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges (DFE) This document sets out the responsibilities placed on schools and colleges to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners, March 2015 (DFE) This is guidance to help practitioners identify the signs of child abuse and neglect and understand what action to take.
Working together to safeguard children (DFE) July 2018 This document applies to organisations and professionals who provide services to children
Prevent Duty – guidance for England and Wales This is guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty of schools and other providers in the Counter – Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the needs to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 essentially provides a system for Employers to check the suitability of Employees or Volunteers, to work with children or vulnerable adults. The Act is to prevent those deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults, from gaining access through work (whether paid or unpaid). The Act was established to try and solve the failures identified by the 2004 Bichard Inquiry.
Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines guidance 31Sept 2018
Acceptable User Policy (ICT)
Allegations of abuse against staff policy
Annual Safeguarding Report to the Governing Body (Statutory)
Attendance Register (Statutory)
Central Register of Recruitment and Vetting (Statutory)
Complaints Procedure (Statutory)
DBS Policy Educational Visits Policy
Online safety Policy
Medical and Medicines Policy
Health and Safety Policy – (Statutory Policy)
Intimate Care Policy
Looked after Children Policy
Peer on Peer Abuse Policy and Procedure
Positive Handling Policy
Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism Policy
Prevent Leaflet (available from the school office)
Social Networking Policy
Ofsted Safeguarding in the Early Years
Special Educational Needs Policy (Statutory)
Staff Code of Conduct (Statutory)
Teaching and Learning Policy
Visitors and Volunteers Policy
Whistle Blowing Policy