Child Protection and Safeguarding
RAINFORD CHURCH OF ENGLAND
PRIMARY SCHOOL AND RAINDROPS
‘Learning and growing together to achieve our best in the love of God’
and Safeguarding Policy
For approval by FGB: Autumn 2020
To be reviewed on or before: Autumn 2021
Signed…………………………………………… Chair of Governors
Our Mission Statement
‘Learning and growing together to achieve our best in the Love of God’
To prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s challenges, Rainford CE Primary Schools aims to achieve the following:
- Every child will be encouraged to understand the meaning and significance of faith, experience God’s love and develop the spirituality to enable them to live out our Christian values of love, joy, peace, friendship, forgiveness, perseverance and justice
- Every child will achieve their full potential through being a highly motivated, resilient and independent learner who embraces new experiences, has confidence to tackle challenges and go onto develop a lifelong love of learning.
- Every child will value themselves as a unique individual with special qualities and strengths developing self-discipline and honesty; taking responsibility for their own actions and appreciating their ability to make a positive difference in the world.
- Every child will appreciate and respect others, celebrate differences between individuals and groups and respect and care for God’s creation and the environment.
- Every child will be encouraged to make healthy choices and appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
In order to do this, we will constantly reflect the Christian ethos of our school in our relationships with our children, their families, our staff, the church and the wider community.
Whole School Policy on Safeguarding Children
This document concerns the duties that Rainford CE Primary School has to safeguard and promote the welfare of children This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004; the Education Act 2002, Children and Social Work Act 2017 and in line with government publications: ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018, ‘What to do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused’ 2015, Teaching Online Safety in Schools 2019. The guidance reflects the DfE document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2020. Detailed information regarding safeguarding is available on the website www.sthelenslscb.org.uk
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:
• protecting children 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.
This policy draws upon policies and procedures within St Helens Safeguarding Partnership which are commensurate with the Guidance document “Working Together to Safeguard Children” This guidance document states that all education settings must have in place systems designed to:
- Prevent unsuitable people working with, or coming into contact with, children and young people within the setting;
- Promote safe practice and challenge poor or unsafe practice;
- Identify instances in which there are grounds for concern about a child / young person’s welfare and take appropriate action to keep children / young people safe;
- Contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved with providing services for children.
This policy applies to all teaching, non-teaching, school governors and volunteer staff and also applies to the school’s wrap around provision.
- THE PURPOSE OF OUR SAFEGUARDING POLICY
2.1 Our whole school safeguarding policy is one that provides clear direction to staff and others about expected codes of behaviour in dealing with safeguarding issues. This policy also makes explicit the school’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound internal school procedures. This ensures that safeguarding concerns and referrals may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways, which support the needs of the child.
- The aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote our pupil’s welfare, safety, health and guidance by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive climate. The pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance.
2.3 There are five main elements to our Safeguarding Policy:
Caring relationships with children, parents, carers and families will begin to be built on from Foundation Stage and are built on mutual trust and respect. Foundation Stage staff carry out home or pre-school setting visits to develop partnerships with parents and get to know the child on his / her known territory. Staff throughout the school meet with parents on a regular basis to discuss concerns and parents are welcome at all other times to make an appointment if they need to speak to a member of staff. Attendance is vital; school works within Local Authority guidelines and operates a first day contact system in the case of unexplained absence from school. A Senior Leader is responsible for liaising with families for positive outcomes for children. (See the School Attendance Policy for all procedures used.) School staff are aware of their PREVENT duty to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.
At Rainford Church of England Primary School we ensure that children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty. There are identified key workers across school. All staff are trained in safeguarding and are made aware of the need to be observant and to monitor the children in their care i.e. to notice changes in appearance and behaviour, patterns of absence etc. Staff are aware that they have a responsibility to highlight and support children in need of Early Help. Staff are aware of the need to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns. The safeguarding flowchart and continuum of need is given to all staff annually and is displayed in the staff room. All staff have access to a copy of the guidance material, Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018).
Children have the opportunity throughout the day to talk to adults in school – teacher, midday supervisors and learning assistants. There are worry boxes available throughout the school that are regularly checked and followed up. School councillors regularly feedback the views of children in each year group to ensure that children feel that they have a voice and are listened to. Informal support is offered to parents / carers through open door policy, parent’s courses and information evenings. Information relating to community services is emailed to parents and leaflets can be found in the entrance hall. Adults who have been involved in any part of a safeguarding issue will be offered support and, if appropriate, support from outside agencies will be sought. The school’s pastoral team consists of the Deputy Headteacher who is also DSL/SENCo and the Learning Mentor/attendance officer.
The school provides systematic monitoring of children known or thought to be at risk of harm and ensure that school staff contribute to assessments of need and support packages for these children. The school uses the CPOMS recording system.
(e ) Regulation:
The school ensures that all staff and volunteers, who have access to children, have been checked as to their suitability to work with children and a record of such checks is kept.
3. SCHOOL COMMITMENT
‘We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps all children and especially those at risk of, or suffering from abuse.’
Our school will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk.
(b) Ensure that children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
(c ) Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for PSHE / Citizenship which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse, different forms of harassment and bullying and which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills. The school will provide opportunities for pupils to develop their voice and to listen to their concerns for example through organised circle time, planned assembly time, school council meetings and peer listening activities.
(d) Rainford Church of England Primary School has a unique curriculum designed to link together critical elements in teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment. This
- is planned around the distinctive needs of our children
- is enquiry based to promote curiosity
- is outcome driven to raise standards
- embeds the application of basic skills
- integrates learning to learn skills which help to develop independent enquirers, team workers, resourceful thinkers, self managers, effective participators
(e) Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies.
Safeguarding is the responsibility of all adults especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Local Authority Safeguarding Services.
Responsibilities of the LA is outlined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’.
The St Helens Safeguarding Children’s Board is made up of representatives from many agencies including health, children social care, probation and the police. The SCB website contains:
- Definitions of abuse and indicators
- Procedures for Safeguarding and multi agency working including relevant contacts
- Advice on good practice and policy making
- Pro- formas for referral and record keeping.
The school will follow the statutory guidance in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’
- ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All adults working with, or on behalf of children have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. There are, however, key people within schools and the LA who have specific responsibilities under Safeguarding procedures.
Our Governors will ensure that:
- There is a Child Protection and Safeguarding policy together with a Staff Behaviour (code of conduct) Policy
- The school operates safer recruitment procedures by ensuring that there is at least one person on every recruitment panel that has completed Safer Recruitment training
- The school has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers and to make a referral to the DBS if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have had they not resigned.
- There is a trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and trained Deputy DSL
- The DSL and the Deputy DSL undertake regular training
- All other staff have Safeguarding training updated as appropriate
- Any weaknesses in Child Protection are remedied immediately
- The Chair of the Governing Body is nominated to liaise with the LA on Child Protection issues and in the event of an allegation of abuse made against the Headteacher
- Child protection policies and procedures are reviewed annually and that Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is available on the school website or by other means
- There are appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to ensure that children are protected from harmful and inappropriate online material including material related to radicalisation and extremism
- There are procedures in place to deal with peer on peer abuse as well as adult-child abuse including sexting
- The Governing Body considers how children may be taught about safeguarding. This may be part of a broad and balanced curriculum covering relevant issues through personal social health and economic education (PSHE) and through sex and relationship education (SRE).
The Role of the named Governor
The named Governor (Mrs P Burke) will:
- Support the safe ethos of the school
- Support and challenge the school in safeguarding children
- Work with the DSL and the deputy DSL to conduct an audit of safeguarding in the autumn term and review progress.
- Support the staff in ensuring child safety
- Foster links between the Governing Body and the school
- Support the Governing Body in carrying out its statutory duties
The above will be met through:
- Discussions with staff and Governors about how the school delivers the safeguarding agenda through curricular and extracurricular activities, school policies and procedures. Such developments are included in the termly head teacher’s report and newsletters.
- Attending safeguarding training led by the school and external agencies (training in safeguarding is held each year by the school)
- Liaising with the named member of staff in school on a regular basis (at least termly) and providing appropriate feedback from such meetings for all Governors
- Receiving, and feeding back on, monitoring reports from the Designated Safeguarding Person, detailing the number and type of incidents recorded in school
- Ensuring the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is reviewed and monitored annually
- Ensuring that staff and Governors receive relevant training
- Ensuring sufficient time and resources are allocated to allow the DSLs to fulfil their responsibilities
- Reporting back to the relevant committee or the Governing Body as and when appropriate
- Awareness of the importance of confidentiality
Governors will not investigate concerns and allegations, ask for information about individual children or cases, act independently or create unnecessary work for staff.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead
The Deputy Headteacher and in her absence the Learning Mentor are the designated safeguarding leads (DSL). The Deputy DSL is trained to the same standard as the DSL.
The designated safeguarding lead takes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety). This is explicit in the role holder’s job description. DSLs must update their training every two years and keep their knowledge refreshed.
The roles and responsibilities of the DSL is:
- To take a lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety).
- To manage referrals to social care as required; support staff who make referrals; make referrals to the Chanel programme where there is radicalisation concern as required; support staff who make referrals to the Chanel programme; refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the DBS Service as required and refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the police.
- To work with others by acting as a point of contact with the three safeguarding partners; liaise with the headteacher and inform her of issues especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989; liaise with the ‘case manager’ and the designated officer at the LA; liaise with staff (especially pastoral support staff, school nurses, IT Technicians) on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding to make a referral and act as a source of support, advice and expertise for all staff.
- Raise awareness by ensuring the school’s child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately; ensure the child protection policy is reviewed annually and procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly; link with the safeguarding partner arrangements to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local safeguarding policies.
- Transfer child protection file to any new school as soon as possible so that the new school can continue to support victims of abuse and have support in place.
- To be the first point of contact for Operation Encompass
- To understand the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care.
The role of the Senior LeadershipTeam
It is recognised that as safeguarding is a shared responsibility at multi agency level, so it is within school. The DSL’s will share decisions with the Senior Leadership Team. If the DSL is not available then the Learning Mentor should be consulted about any concern. If the Learning Mentor is not available then the Senior Leadership Team should be consulted. If a course of action is unclear then the Local Authority Adult and Children’s Services Contact Centre should be contacted (01744 676600).
Senior Leaders should take seriously any concerns referred to them regarding safeguarding practices within the school and refer these to the DSL and Headteacher. If action is not taken quickly, to refer to the Chair of Governors.
The role of all staff
Staff must be aware of detailed guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 Part I. It is the role of all staff (including supply staff) to be vigilant and ensure that any concerns are reported and acted upon. If staff members have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they will need to decide what action to take.
All verbal conversations regarding the safeguarding of a child should be promptly recorded onto CPOMS.
What to do if you are concerned about a child:
· Talk to the child about what you have observed or your concern. It’s okay to ask questions, but avoid leading questions. Use open ended questions (TED, e.g. Can you tell me what happened? Can you explain what you mean? Can you describe what happened?)
· Listen carefully and gather as much information as possible
· Remember it is not our job to investigate the concern, but to act on it.
· Explain to the child your responsibility to take action if what they tell you suggests they or another child are at risk of harm.
· Notify the Designated Safeguarding Lead, using CPOMS or in person.
If staff have a concern, they should act on it. They should not assume a colleague or another professional will take action. Staff should also be mindful that early information sharing is vital for effective identification, assessment and allocation of appropriate service provision. Staff should not assume that other professionals will share information that might be critical in keeping children safe. Wherever possible, there should be a conversation with the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy who will help staff decide what to do next. Options include:
- managing any support for the child internally via the school or college’s own pastoral support processes;
- an early help assessment; or
- a referral for statutory services, for example as the child is in need or suffering or likely to suffer harm
If, for any reason, the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. In these circumstances, any action taken should be shared with the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) as soon as is practically possible
Flow Chart A (taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020)
- Staff should record all concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions on CPOMS.
- Staff should re-assess concerns when situations do not improve, to share information quickly and escalate concerns if they feel inadequate action has been taken.
If staff members (including supply staff) have concerns about an adult then this should be referred to the Headteacher. Where there are concerns about the Headteacher then this should be referred to the Chair of Governors.
- Staff should be aware of the whistleblowing policy (in safeguarding folder in staff room). If they need further advice they can contact the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline on 0800 028 0285 from 8:00am to 8:00pm Mon-Fri or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The DSL will refer to St Helens procedures regarding allegations against staff and volunteers and follow guidelines regarding referral to LADO: http://sthelensscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_alleg_against_staff.html#intro
The reasonable use of force
The school recognises that some children including some children with SEN may present risks to themselves and others. The school plans positive and proactive behaviour support and draws up individual behaviour plans and positive handling plans for more vulnerable children. These are agreed with parents. Teaching and teaching support staff receive regularly updated positive handling training- TEAM TEACH. If staff has concerns about safeguarding practices within the school then they should raise these with the senior leadership team.
When to call the police
In making a decision to involve the police it is important that the school or college ensure a balance is struck between the needs of the students involved and the needs of other students and the wider school or college community.
When the decision is made to report an incident to the police for investigation, due to the seriousness of the incident or for other aggravating circumstances, the school or college should cease their own investigation, having asked only enough questions to establish the basic facts of the incident. Every effort should be made by the school or college to preserve any relevant evidence. Initial enquiries undertaken by the school or college should be fully documented as they may be required if the matter goes to court. This includes recording questions asked to young people and their replies. Where a crime is reported to the police, it will be recorded as a crime and an investigation will commence.
The following guidance ‘When to Call the Police- NPCC’ outlines questions schools or colleges should ask for different types of incidents and possible aggravating offence factors that need to be considered. The guidance includes flow charts for the school to follow depending on the crime. The guidance includes flow charts for:
- Criminal damage
- Cyber crime
- Illegal drugs
- Sexual offence
Main type of abuse
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children. Staff should be aware of the main types of abuse:
A form of abuse which 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.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child 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 a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may 9 involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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, although it may occur alone.
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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education (see paragraph 29).
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, for example, 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.
Specific Safeguarding Issues
All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviour linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. In some cases, the abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increased status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or 10 females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online.
Peer on peer abuse
All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse). This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
• bullying (including cyberbullying);
• physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm
• sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault;
• sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse;
• upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm;
• sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery);
• initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
All staff should be clear as to the school’s or college’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse.
All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from school, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs
All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these.
Female Genital Mutilation
Whilst all staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) with regard to any concerns about female genital mutilation (FGM), there is a specific legal duty on teachers. If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police.
All staff should also be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Staff however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one. Where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. It is key that staff are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education. If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, following their child protection policy and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy.
The department has published advice and guidance on Preventing and Tackling Bullying, and Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools (which may also be useful for colleges). In addition, Public Health England has produced a range of resources to support secondary school teachers to promote positive health, wellbeing and resilience among young people including its guidance Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing. Its resources include social media, forming positive relationships, smoking and alcohol.
All staff should be aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside of these environments. All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) should consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families. Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.
All St Helens SCB core procedures and safeguarding practice guidance can be located at http://sthelensscb.proceduresonline.com/index.htm
Where it is believed that a child is suffering from, or is at risk of, significant harm, we will follow the procedures set out in the LSCB procedure. The Safeguarding procedure is illustrated in a flow chart. These, and the continuum of children’s needs, are displayed in the staff room. The referral guidelines from pp2-27 in KCSIE 2020 are displayed in the form of the flowchart on the Safeguarding display in the staff room.
School recognises that it is good practice to inform parents of its decision to refer to social services as the referral is made, as
relationships of mutual trust are part of the school ethos.
However parents may not be contacted if:
i Informing the parents may put the child at risk of serious harm, or,
ii Informing the parents may jeopardise Childrens Social Care/ Police enquiry or attempt to protect the child.
Where a child is judged to need early help but it is not judged that a referral is necessary unless concerns escalate then the school will
follow the procedures as outlined in St Helens Descriptions of Need Document
Any child may benefit from early help, but all school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
- is disabled and has specific additional needs;
- has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan);
- is a young carer;
- is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups;
- is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
- is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
- is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
- is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse;
- is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
- has returned home to their family from care;
- is a privately fostered child.
8. INFORMATION SHARING
Our school recognises that information sharing is key to the Government’s goal of delivering better, more efficient services that are coordinated around the needs of the individual. We are aware that it is essential to enable early intervention and preventative work, for safeguarding and promoting welfare and for wider public protection. The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare and protect the safety of children
There are seven golden rules for information sharing observed at Rainford Church of England Primary School:
6.1 It should be remembered GDPR is not a barrier to sharing information but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
6.2 We must be open and honest with the person, and or family where appropriate, from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
6.3 We will seek advice if we are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
6.4 We will seek consent before sharing information where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. We will share information without consent if, in our judgement, a lack of consent can be over ridden in the public interest. We will base our judgements on the facts of the case and will record our rationale for such decisions clearly.
6.5 We will base our information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.
We will ensure that the information that is shared is necessary for the purpose for which it is being shared, and only shared with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up to date, is shared in a timely fashion and is shared securely.
6.6 We will keep records of all our decisions and the reasons for it, whether it is to share information or not. If we decide to share information, a record of what was shared, with whom and for what purpose will also be recorded.
See Appendix 1 Key questions for information sharing.
9. TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Rainford Church of England Primary School recognises that it is extremely important that all staff, whether paid or unpaid, have access to appropriate training in order that they are able to react appropriately if an incident should occur.
This will include training in procedures to follow, signs to note and appropriate record keeping.
Child Protection refresher training will be available every three years for all staff, but staff will receive regular updates at least annually. Designated Safeguarding Leads will receive annual refresher training and will also receive multi agency training and designated safeguarding lead training every two years. The demands and difficulties associated with working in this very sensitive area is not ignored, and staff receive training and appropriate support to help them to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people with whom they work.
Staff will also receive training regarding the Prevent Duty. Staff receive the latest guidance regarding Keeping Children Safe in Education as it is issued.
The vast majority of staff receives Team Teach training which is updated tri-annually so that they are aware of procedures surrounding positive handling situations.
All staff are trained to recognise and respond to situations where a child may be considered to be at risk. The Deputy Headteacher and Learning Mentor are the nominated staff who are responsible for the implementation of appropriate procedures. They are part of the network co-ordinated by People’s Services and the LSCB. These staff members have appropriate time and resources made available to them to enable them to fulfil their duties in this very sensitive area.
Staff will be informed of any changes to current safeguarding issues through staff meetings. Any new governors to the school will automatically be asked to complete training in safeguarding as part of their induction to the role.
The St Helens Safeguarding Children’s Board provides an Annual Training Programme and Calendar. www.sthelenslscb.org.uk
Rainford Church of England Primary School recognises the need to keep parents informed of Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. The school Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy is available to all parents on the school’s website.
10. PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality is an issue, which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of safeguarding. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child.
Confidentiality is respected through:
- Security regarding recording of concerns (CPOMS)
- Ensuring information exchanged between professionals in school/ other agencies is kept between those directly involved with the child / family
- Ensuring that if a child transfers school, confidential records will be passed on. In the event of the new school not being known, child protection case conference records will be returned to the Childrens Safeguarding Unit in St Helens
It must be remembered however that the child’s welfare is paramount and takes precedence over all other considerations. If a child is deemed to be at risk of significant harm, then referrals to Childrens Social care must be made. In the case of disclosure of abuse, staff are advised never to promise a child that they will keep it a secret as this may well inhibit action being taken which would be in the child’s best interest.
Professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them. This has been recognised in principle by the courts. Any disclosure of personal information to others, must always however, have regard to both common and statute law.
Normally, personal information should only be disclosed to third parties with the consent of the subject of that information (Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR 2018, European Convention on Human Rights, article 8). Wherever possible, consent should be obtained before sharing personal information with third parties. In some circumstances, obtaining consent may not be possible or in the best interest of the child. The safety and welfare of that child necessitates that the information necessary to safeguard a child or children. Disclosure should be justifiable in each case, according to the particular facts of the case, and legal advice should be sought if in doubt.
- RECORDS AND MONITORING
Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our school is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our school, the status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies.
Staff will record incidents on CPOMS which will alert DSL and DDSL.
If a referral needs to be made blank Safeguarding/ Child Protection referral forms are stored in the staff share/safeguarding/forms folder. Completed forms should be emailed directly to 'email@example.com'
Children about whom there are concerns are recorded and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team on a regular basis.
If a child transfers or leaves school, the school should seek to engage with an identified member of staff, with whom concerns may be shared. Child Protection information must be copied and sent under separate cover to new school whilst the child is still under 18. Where a child is removed from roll to be educated at home, the file should be copied to the Local Education Authority.
Notification forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SINGLE CENTRAL RECORD
Holding a single central record is a statutory requirement. This record includes all staff, supply staff and regular visiting staff such as peripatetic teachers.
The record is in tabular form and includes
- Names and addresses and dates of birth
- Evidence that all teachers have been checked against list 99
- Evidence that all staff employed since March 2002, who have regular contact with children, have been CRB or DBS/vetting and barring checked
- Evidence that supply teachers who work at the school regularly have been checked against list 99 and have a recent DBS/vetting and barring check
- Evidence that Governors who have regular contact with children, have DBS/vetting and barring checks
- The dates checks were carried out
- Evidence that all teachers have qualified teacher status
- Evidence of permission to work for those who are not nationals of a European Economic Area
- Evidence that staff members are not disqualified by association.
12. ATTENDANCE AT CHILD PROTECTION MEETINGS
Case conferences are important meetings when professionals meet to share information formally. Professionals engaged with the family are invited as are the family. The chair of conference extends an invitation to conference to the school. The DSL would attend this meeting and would provide a written report detailing their:
- Involvement with the child and family
- Knowledge of the child’s development needs
- Assessment of the capability of the parents to meet the needs of their child within their family and environmental context.
All reports should distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion. When information is provided from another source it should be made clear.
All reports should be forwarded to the chair of the committee at least 2 working days prior to the conference, to give the chair the opportunity to read them. If there is to be any delay, the lead social worker should be contacted and made aware as soon as possible. These reports should be shared with the family prior to conference.
Where meetings are being held to make decisions about more than one child in a family there should be a report prepared on each child.
13. SUPPORTING PUPILS AT RISK
Our school recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth and to view the world in a positive way. This school provides secure and predictable elements in the lives of children at risk. It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
The school will endeavour to support pupils through teaching relevant issues through Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education which was made compulsory in September 2020.
At Rainford C E we will also support vulnerable children with:
- Pastoral support including the work of the Learning Mentor
- the Behavior Management Policy
- the Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment policy
- Special Education Needs policy
- Health and Safety policies
- Referral to other agencies. (i.e., CAMHS, BIT, Young Carers)
We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who work, in any capacity, with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and/or emotional and behaviour problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse. It must also be stressed that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, mental health issues, children may also be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
14. PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW IF AN ALLEGATION IS MADE AGAINST A MEMBER OF STAFF
Such allegations should be reported to the Headteacher/ DSL or in her absence the Deputy DSL who will follow recommendations by the LSCB –Procedure for Managing Allegations against Staff. If the allegation is against the Headteacher then the member of staff should inform the Chair of Governors.
In some circumstances staff may consider an allegation against an individual not directly employed by Rainford C E, where its disciplinary procedures do not fully apply, for example, supply teachers. Whilst school is not the employer of supply teachers, they should ensure allegations are dealt with properly. In no circumstances should school decide to cease to use a supply teacher due to safeguarding concerns, without finding out the facts and liaising with the local authority designated officer (LADO) to determine a suitable outcome.
LSCB website contains the Procedure for Managing Allegations against People Who Work with Children and Young People and some suggestions to help professionals understand the types of allegations that may be dealt with under these procedures (http://sthelensscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_alleg_against_staff.html#intro
Role of the LADO
The LADO works within Children’s Safeguarding Unit and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
The LADO role applies to paid, unpaid, volunteer, casual, agency and self-employed workers. They capture concerns, allegations or offences emanating from outside of work. The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.
They will provide advice, guidance and help to determine whether the allegation sits within the scope of the procedures.
The LADO helps co-ordinate information sharing with the right people and will also monitor and track any investigation, with the aim to resolve it as quickly as possible.
- PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW IF THERE IS A CONCERN THAT PROFESSIONALS ARE NOT WORKING WELL TOGETHER
(See the St Helens Safeguarding Children’s Board website, for the complete Escalation Procedure Document ) www.sthelenslscb.org.uk
If there is a concern that agencies are not working well together and as a result the child is not making good enough progress and is at risk, then the following procedures should be followed.
In most cases the lead professional should be the first contact-if that is not resolved then contact their manager
In cases involving social care, initial discussion should be with the social worker and followed in writing with a copy being sent to the respective team manager and the LSCB Business Manager. If this does not resolve the problem then the team manager should be contacted by telephone and in writing.
If the issue remains unresolved the operational manager should be contacted. If the issue remains a concern the services manager should be contacted. Once a case has been escalated the respective social worker and/or manager should provide a written reply within seven working days to the professional who has initiated the procedure. A copy of all correspondence and outcomes should be sent to the Safeguarding Service Manager.
16. MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF SAFEGUARDING AT RAINFORD CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL
All ‘vulnerable’ children are identified on class tracking sheets. Those requiring specific academic support/intervention are identified on an intervention map. The intervention map is reviewed termly and the impact of interventions/support monitored. The SLT tracks progress of all ‘vulnerable’ children in reading, writing and mathematics and reports trends in attainment of vulnerable groups to the Governing Body in an annual report.
Teachers complete half-termly monitoring sheets for vulnerable children which are reviewed by the DSL and Deputy DSL and any follow up actions identified.
Teachers will add appropriate information to CPOMS which will be monitored by SLT and Deputy DSL
Impact of safeguarding procedures, curriculum and pastoral support is measured through the use of surveys, which are completed, by children, stakeholders and parents on an annual basis. Strengths and areas for future action are identified. Results are shared with staff, children, parents and governors.
This Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy should be read in conjunction with other related policies and procedures in school-
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
- Code of Conduct for Employees
- Whistle Blowing Policy
- Anti-bullying Policy
- Procedure for Managing Allegations against People Who Work With Children and Young People
- Health and Safety Policy/ Health Care Plans
- Medicine policy
- Risk Assessments
- Peer on Peer Abuse Policy (2018)
- Policy for Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism
- Behaviour Policy
- Positive Handling Policy
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Sexting Procedure
- Mobile Phone Policy
- Social Media Policy
- E Safety and Acceptable Use Policy
- Anti Harassment and Anti Bullying & Hate Crime policy (part of Behaviour Policy)
- Attendance Policy
- Recruitment and Selection,
- Guidance for Safe Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People
- Summary handbook-what to do if you think a child is being abused
- It is also important that Safeguarding is referenced across the curriculum to ensure risk assessment and safeguarding is embedded throughout all teaching and activities.
All of the above policies are available to view on staff share. All policies are available on request by parents; this is related to parents through the prospectus and during induction sessions. Students and volunteers in school are given an induction which identifies the DSL and DDSL so that concerns can be reported to the relevant people. Students, volunteers and extra-curricular club leaders are required to follow the school’s safeguarding procedures.
Whole-School Policy on Safeguarding Children
- Named staff/personnel with designated responsibility for Safeguarding this academic Year: 2020-21
DSL: Mrs E Shawcross
Deputy DSL: Mrs A Dolan
Nominated Governor: Mrs P Burke
- Review dates for this Policy: Annually
Key Questions for Information Sharing
If you are asked, or wish, to share information, you must use your professional judgment to decide whether to share or not and what information it is appropriate to share, unless there is a statutory duty or a Court Order to share.
To inform your decision these seven key questions should aid you in ensuring appropriate information sharing takes place.
1. Is there a clear and legitimate purpose for you or your agency to share the information?
2. Does the information enable a living person to be identified?
3. Is the information confidential?
4. If the information is confidential, do you have consent to share?
5. If consent is refused, or there are good reasons not to seek consent to share confidential information, is there a sufficient public interest to share the information?
6. If the decision is to share, are you sharing information appropriately and securely?
7. Have you properly recorded your information sharing decision?
St Helens Multi-Agency LSCB:
Process for reporting concerns about Children (Under 18)
Deal with any immediate danger:
Contact 999, if appropriate.
Ring the St Helens Council’s Contact Centre 01744 676600 to make a referral.
Telephone out of hours Emergency Duty Team 0345 050 0148
If your Line Manager is likely to be unavailable YOU MUST make the telephone call to the First Response Team/Contact Centre 01744 676600
You have a Safeguarding concern
(This could be a suspicion, an allegation, an
observation or a disclosure of abuse)
Inform Line Manager/ Child Protection Lead within organisation
Family Action/Child in Need:
Early Intervention Team
Child Protection Referral:
Statutory front line Teams
You will receive feedback within 48 hours
First Response Team