Child Protection Policy and Procedures (Safeguarding)

Important Contacts

Role/organisation Name Contact Details
Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) Emma Bolton 01234 352901
[email protected]
Deputy DSL Holli Smith 01234 352901
[email protected]
Deputy DSL Carole Denton 01234 352901
[email protected]
Chair of Governors Rob Robson [email protected]

Introduction

At Queens Park Academy the health, safety and well being of all the children in our care are of paramount importance. We respect our children. They have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture and disability and a right to be safe in our school.

The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages all children to do their best.
We provide opportunities that enable them to take and make decisions for themselves.

Our teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship, as part of the National Curriculum, helps to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others. We also teach them how to recognise different risks in different situations and how to behave in response to them.

Aims and Objectives

This policy ensures that all staff in our school are clear about the actions necessary with regard to any safeguarding children issues.

Its aims are:

  • To create an environment where children feel secure, have their viewpoints valued, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
  • To monitor children who have been identified as being vulnerable in any way
  • To raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibility in reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • To raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibility in reporting possible cases of radicalisation
  • To ensure effective communication between all staff when dealing with safeguarding children issues.
  • To lay down the correct procedures for those who encounter a safeguarding children issue.

Legislation and Statutory Guidance

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), and the Governance Handbook. We comply with this guidance and the arrangements agreed and published by our 3 local safeguarding partners.

This policy is also based on the following legislation:

  • Part 3 of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, which places a duty on academies and independent schools to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils at the school
  • The Children Act 1989 (and 2004 amendment), which provides a framework for the care and protection of children
  • Section 5B(11) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which places a statutory duty on teachers to report to the police where they discover that female genital mutilation (FGM) appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18
  • Statutory guidance on FGM, which sets out responsibilities with regards to safeguarding and supporting girls affected by FGM
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which outlines when people with criminal convictions can work with children
  • Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which defines what ‘regulated activity’ is in relation to children
  • Statutory guidance on the Prevent duty, which explains schools’ duties under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 with respect to protecting people from the risk of radicalisation and extremism
  • The Childcare (Disqualification) and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (referred to in this policy as the “2018 Childcare Disqualification Regulations”) and Childcare Act 2006, which set out who is disqualified from working with children
  • This policy also meets requirements relating to safeguarding and welfare in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Procedures

The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) for children in our school are the Head Teacher and the Early Intervention Officer. They have enhanced training to help them carry out this role and understand current local and national processes and legislation. Any concerns that children are suffering abuse or are vulnerable in any other way should be reported to these members of staff immediately. If they are both absent from school concerns should be reported to the Inclusion Assistant Head.

Abuse can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature. It can also be the result of neglect.

Any action that the named person takes when dealing with a safeguarding children issue must be in line with the procedures outlined in the LA Safeguarding Children guidelines.

The designated members of staff work closely with outside agencies including social care when investigating any allegations of abuse or reports of specific vulnerabilities. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, but the interest of the child is of paramount importance.

If a child alleges abuse, the school can make a referral without communicating with parents first. In some circumstances we inform parents first.

We regard all information related to individual child safeguarding issues as confidential and we treat this accordingly. We only pass information on to appropriate persons. We inform the child in all stages of who is involved and what information we have given them. All staff are aware that they cannot promise a child confidentiality.

We recognise that staff working with a child who has suffered harm or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting; and we will give them the opportunity to talk through their anxieties and seek further support.

All adults in the school receive regular training to raise their awareness of abuse and their knowledge of agreed local child protection procedures. They also receive training to raise awareness of the government’s PREVENT strategy.

We require all adults employed in school to have their application checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service in order to ensure that there is no evidence of offences involving children or abuse.

There may be times when adults in our school, in the course of their duty, use physical intervention to restrain children. The Head Teacher requires the adult involved in any such incident to report this to her immediately and for it to be recorded.

If an allegation is made against a member of staff procedures will be carried out in accordance with the relevant guidance.

We provide an environment in which children and adults feel confident to express concerns regarding the behaviour of a member of staff.

Bullying/Racist incidents

Our policies on Anti-bullying and racist incidents are set out in separate policy documents.

Measures in place to facilitate and promote the safe use of technology

The school takes its role in ensuring all children are kept safe online very seriously. Esecurity (the keeping of electronic data we hold about pupils and families using SIMs) and e-safety (Promoting e-safety awareness amongst children and their parents/carers by annually sharing expectations and safety rules) are a high priority. The school takes the following steps to support this:

  • An Acceptable Use Policy in relation to the use of technology. Children and staff sign this document.
  • A school internet connection and any system connected to it, that is filtered using a filtering system which is accredited to current approved standards thus ensuring inappropriate content of whatever nature is blocked (including racist, discriminatory and hate material, material which promotes violence or attacks on individuals or institutions on the basis of disability, race, religion/belief, gender, gender reassignment or sexual orientation grounds).
  • All members of staff with access to ICT systems are responsible for taking the appropriate steps to select and secure their passwords.
  • Staff and pupils/students are made aware that all school ICT activity and online communications may be monitored, including any personal and private communications made via the school network.
  • Conducting an annual assessment of information risks, which will be reported to the Governing Body. Making all staff and pupils aware that they have a responsibility to report e-safety or e-security incidents.

FGM

The Department for Education’s Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 explains that FGM comprises “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs”.

FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting, harmful consequences. It is also known as ‘female genital cutting’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘initiation’.

Any teacher who discovers (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 must immediately report this to the police, personally. This is a statutory duty, and teachers will face disciplinary sanctions for failing to meet it.

Unless they have good reason not to, they should also discuss the case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate. Any other member of staff who discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 must speak to the DSL and follow our local safeguarding procedures.

The duty for teachers mentioned above does not apply in cases where a pupil is at risk of FGM or FGM is suspected but is not known to have been carried out. Staff should not examine pupils.

Any member of staff who suspects a pupil is at risk of FGM or suspects that FGM has been carried out must speak to the DSL and follow our local safeguarding procedures.

Extremism

If a child is not suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or in immediate danger, where possible speak to the DSL first to agree a course of action.

If in exceptional circumstances the DSL is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. Speak to a member of the senior leadership team and/or seek advice from local authority children’s social care. Make a referral to local authority children’s social care directly, if appropriate (see ‘Referral’ above).

Where there is a concern, the DSL will consider the level of risk and decide which agency to refer to. This could include Channel, the government’s programme for identifying and supporting individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or the local authority children’s social care team.

The Department for Education also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, which school staff and governors can call to raise concerns about extremism with respect to a pupil. You can also email [email protected] Note that this is not for use in emergency situations.

In an emergency, call 999 or the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 if you:

  • Think someone is in immediate danger
  • Think someone may be planning to travel to join an extremist group
  • See or hear something that may be terrorist-related

Gangs and County Lines

Gangs are defined as groups typically, but not exclusively, based on drug distribution, a criminal ‘business’ which is often (but not always) organised on a territorial basis. 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 exploitation can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years and can still be exploitation even if the activity appears consensual.

Further Home Office guidance on County Lines can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-exploitation-of-children-and- vulnerable-adults-county-lines

Any member of staff who suspects a pupil is at risk of Gang or County Lines exploitation must speak to the DSL and follow our local safeguarding procedures.

The designated members of staff are responsible for:

  • Carrying out safeguarding procedures in accordance with ‘Keeping Children safe in Education’ 2018.
  • Keeping written records of concerns about a child even if there is no need to make immediate referral.
  • Ensuring that all records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from pupil records.
  • Monitoring attendance of any child “at risk” and liaising with Education Welfare Service/Social Services
  • Ensuring all staff are trained and have refresher courses.
  • Passing on any child protection issues to the receiving school when a child leaves.

The Governing Body is responsible for:

  • Nominating a governor to have responsibility for safeguarding children and receive training.
  • Ensuring that safeguarding children is a standing item on the agenda for Governors’ meetings.
  • Reviewing the policies and procedures annually.
  • Remedying any deficiencies or weaknesses in regard to safeguarding children arrangements that are brought to its attention, without delay.
  • Ensuring that the Chair liaises with the LA/partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Head teacher.

Monitoring and Review

Any recorded incidents will be regularly reviewed by the Governing Body. A named governor participates in the school’s training with regard to child protection procedures.

This policy is reviewed annually by the governing body.