Child Protection Policy
Child Protection Policy
Directors Approved – September 2021
To be Reviewed – September 2022
We thank you, God of Love, for the gift of children,
bless the work of our Trust, that in all we do
young people may grow in wisdom and stature,
and so come
to know you,
to love you
and to serve you
as Jesus did.
We make our prayer in his name who is God
with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
LDST’s child protection policy 2021/22
CEO: Mrs L Kwissa
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs L Kwissa
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s): Mrs S Aspinwall
Link Director for Safeguarding: Mr J Nicholls
Chair of Directors: Mr S Harrison
Policy Date: September 2021
Policy Status: Statutory
Policy Review Cycle: Annual
Next Review Date: September 2022
This policy provides guidance to all adults working within LDST whether paid or voluntary or directly employed by the Trust or by a third party. It sets out the Trust and the school’s responsibilities and is underpinned by the school specific policy available on websites.
LDST and its Board of Directors recognises its duty towards safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as set out in Section 175 / 157 of the Education Act 2002 / Education (Independent Trust Standards) Regulations 2014.
Our Trust will prevent and respond to abuse and neglect by ensuring that the ethos and atmosphere of the Trust is conducive to a safe environment. Pupils and parents/carers will feel supported and able to report safeguarding concerns to any member of staff. Staff will feel they are supported by colleagues and the senior management team, including the governing body, and are able to report and seek advice and guidance on any safeguarding concerns, including those regarding colleagues or themselves. We will protect children at risk of abuse of neglect by having procedures in place that reflect current legislation, guidance and best practice.
As part of our safeguarding ethos, we encourage children to respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We will ensure that partisan political views are not promoted in the teaching of any subject in the Trust and where political issues are brought to the attention of the pupils, reasonably practicable steps will be taken to offer a balanced presentation of opposing views to pupils. We will ensure that reasonable steps are taken to ensure visitors to the Trust do not share messages with the Trust community which are contrary to our Trust ethos and beliefs.
Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and, as such, this policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the Trust. An allegation, disclosure or suspicion of abuse, or an expression of concern about abuse, could be made to any member of staff, not just those with a teaching or welfare-related role. Similarly, any member of staff may observe or suspect an incident of abuse.
- Child Protection Statement
‘Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.’ (DFE 2021)
A child includes everyone under the age of 18. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change their status or entitlements to services or protection.
Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Action should be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk.
‘Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined 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.’ (DfE 2021)
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 another child or children.
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 persistent 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 meets 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 participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), 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, though it may occur alone
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 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)
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
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.
Further information regarding the signs and indicators of abuse are set out in the DFE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2021) and can be found within the School Improvement Liverpool School’s Safeguarding Handbook. This includes amongst others, the definitions and indicators of Child Sexual Exploitation, Child Criminal Exploitation (including County Lines), Serious Violence, Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Honour Based Abuse, Peer on Peer abuse, Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (including sexting and other related issues), Vulnerabilities to Extremism and Children Missing Education.
- Policy Aims
- To ensure all school’s within the Trust takes appropriate action, in a timely manner, to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children
- To ensure responsibilities and procedures are fully understood and that everyone can recognise signs and indicators of abuse or neglect and respond to them appropriately.
- To ensure that the Trust’s practice meets local and national guidance and all statutory requirements are in place.
- Key Principles
- The child’s needs and welfare are paramount. All children have a right to be protected from abuse and neglect and have their welfare safeguarded.
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2021) reminds us that all staff should maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned.
- Children should be listened to and their views and wishes should inform any assessment and provision for them. Staff should always act in the interests of the child, in order to protect them.
- The Trust recognises that scrutiny, challenge and supervision are key to safeguarding children.
- The Trust is committed to working with other agencies to provide early help for children before they become at risk of harm or require a ‘child in need’ statutory assessment. ‘Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.’ (DfE 2021)
- All staff should be aware of the early help process and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the designated safeguarding lead, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment.
- ‘All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.’ (DFE 2021)
- All staff have responsibility to report their concerns about a child without delay to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or in their absence the deputy designated safeguarding lead(s) or other senior member of staff. This should be done both verbally and in writing, using the agreed format. Whilst the Designated Safeguarding Lead will normally make referrals to Children’s Services, anyone can refer their concerns to children’s social care directly in emergencies or if they feel they need to do so. Safeguarding-Mate can support any member of staff through the process of making a referral.
- Everyone has responsibility to escalate their concerns and ‘press for reconsideration’ if they believe a child’s needs remain unmet or if the child is failing to thrive and in need or if the child is at risk of harm. Concerns about a child should always lead to help for a child at some point and the child’s situation should improve.
- The Trust will work in partnership with other agencies to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm, including the need to share information about a child in order to safeguard them. ‘Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.’ Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018)
- The Trust will work with other agencies to ensure any actions that are part of a multi-agency coordinated plan are completed in a timely way.
- The Trust will follow the appropriate Local Authority and the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures and provide them with information as required.
- Staff, children and families will need support following child protection processes being followed.
- Children have a right to learn ways to keep themselves safe from harm and exploitation.
- Legislation and Guidance
Schools and colleges must have regard for the DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2021). This child protection policy should be read alongside this statutory guidance and all staff must read and understand at least part 1 and annex B of this guidance.
Local authorities have a duty to make enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard and promote the child's welfare. There may be a need for immediate protection whilst the assessment is carried out.
A ‘child in need’ is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. A social worker will lead and co-ordinate any assessment under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities (in relation to their education functions, and governing bodies of maintained schools and further education institutions, which include sixth-form colleges) to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at a school, or who are students under 18 years of age attending further education institutions. The same duty applies to independent school’s (which include Academies and free school’s) by virtue of regulations made under section 157 of the same Act.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018) provides additional guidance which makes it clear that protecting children from harm and promoting their welfare depends upon a shared responsibility and effective joint working between different agencies:
In addition, Working Together to Safeguard Children also reinforces the need to take action to provide early help before statutory services are required:
‘Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.’ DFE 2018
The Trust therefore understands its responsibility to engage with other professionals in Early Help Assessments when a child’s needs according to the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Responding to Need and Level of Needs framework sit below the requirement for a statutory assessment.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty upon local authorities and educational providers to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. The DfE has provided statutory guidance for schools and childcare providers: ‘The Prevent Duty’ (June 2015). The guidance summarises the requirements of schools and childcare providers in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies. Our Trust will ensure that staff are aware of the indicators of extremism and radicalisation and know how to respond in keeping with local and national guidance. Staff will use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral via Children’s Services to the Channel programme. Equally children will be made aware of the risks and support available to them. We will ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. The Government has developed an ‘educate against hate’ website providing information and resources for schools and parents to support them to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.
‘Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies. Information on when and how to make a report can be found at:
The Trust will also consult the government guidance Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (revised 2016) and will have reference to guidance provided by the National FGM Centre FGM Trusts Guidance - National FGM Centre.
In addition, the Trust recognises the important role Trusts have in safeguarding children from Forced Marriage. (The Forced Marriage Unit has published Multi-agency guidelines, with pages 32-36 focusing on the role of Trusts and colleges. School staff can contact the Forced Marriage Unit if they need advice or information. Contact: 020 7008 0151 or email: email@example.com.)
Early years providers have a duty under section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to comply with the welfare requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The Teachers’ Standards (DfE 2013) also requires all teachers to ‘uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside Trust, including:
- treating pupils with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s professional position
- having regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions
- showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others’
In addition, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it clear that all members of staff are in a position of trust and would therefore be committing a criminal offence to have a sexual relationship with a young person below the age of 18, even if that pupil is over the age of consent. In addition, it would be a breach of trust to have a relationship with any Trust student over the age of 18.
The Trust and this policy also takes account of additional DFE guidance including:
- CSE Definition and guidance for practitioners DFE 2017
- Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines Guidance DFE 2017
- Disqualification under the Childcare Act DFE 2006
- Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services HMG 2018
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges DFE 2021
- The Prevent Duty - Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers DFE 2015
- How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq DFE 2015 (Briefing note for school’s)
- The Ofsted School’s Inspection Handbook and Ofsted guidance: Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills
- What to do if you are worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners DFE 2015
- Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people DDCMS / UKCIS 2020
- Other DFE statutory guidance including: online safety and children who go missing from home or care which is found here: https://www.gov.uk/topic/school’s-colleges-childrens-services/safeguarding-children
Additional DFE/Gov guidance can be found here:
- Communicating with parents and visitors
The Trust is committed to the principles of Working Together to Safeguard Children which states that a ‘child centred approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of every child. A child centred approach means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families.’
The following statement is provided to parents/carers so they are aware of the Trust’s responsibilities:
‘The Trust ensures children learn in a safe, caring and enriching environment. Children are taught how to keep themselves safe identify risky, unsafe or problematic situations, how and when to seek help, how to develop positive and healthy relationships and how to avoid situations where they might be at risk including by being exploited.
The Trust also has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and in particular police, health and children’s services. Trusts are not able to investigate child protection concerns but have a legal duty to refer them. In most instances the Trust will be able to inform the parents/carers of its need to make a referral. However, sometimes the Trust can in certain circumstances share information without the consent of the family and may be advised by children’s services or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter or make enquires. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The Trust follows legislation that aims to act in the interests of the child.
The Trust will always seek to work in partnership with parents and other agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child and family’
The following notice is made available to all visitors in reception. In addition, all visitors are provided with additional safeguarding guidance.
The names and photographs of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and those who deputise for them are displayed in reception and the staffroom of schools in LDST
- Roles and responsibilities
The Head Teacher is: Mrs A Richardson
The Co-Chairs of Governors are: Mrs D Pennington and Mr K Gratton
The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection is: Mrs E Shawcross
Those trained to provide cover for the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead are: Mrs L Thompson and Mrs A Richardson
The nominated Link Safeguarding / Child Protection Governor is: Mrs P Burke
The nominated governor for dealing with allegations against the Head Teacher is: Mrs D Pennington
All staff (and volunteers) should:
- Contribute to ensuring students learn in a safe environment.
- Maintain the belief that ‘it could happen here’.
- Read and understand as a minimum Part 1 and Annex B of the DFE (2021) guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education and engage in training which enables them to identify children who may need additional help or who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and take appropriate action. Staff should have an understanding of the specific safeguarding issues outlined in part 1 and Annex B of the DFE (2021) guidance Keeping Children Safe e.g. fabricated or induced illnesses, faith abuse. Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting can put children in danger. Staff should be alert to the signs of peer on peer abuse and take appropriate action.
- Have access to Section 1 of the School’s Safeguarding Handbook which will further support knowledge and understanding of key issues to enable them to identify and respond to children who need additional help. Staff will ensure that they have read and understood this document.
- Recognise that any child may benefit from early help, but all school 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 misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
- is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation
- is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health problems and domestic abuse
- has returned home to their family from care
- is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect
- is at risk of being radicalised or exploited
- is a privately fostered child
- Be aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside of the school and/or can occur between children outside of these environments. All staff should consider whether children are at risk of abuse of exploitation in situations outside of their family home. 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.
- 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. Staff 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.
- Understand that where children have suffered abuse or neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. All staff should be aware of how these experiences can impact on a child’s mental health, behaviour and education.
- Understand that all staff play an important part in working to prevent sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence between children. Staff will assume that these behaviours are happening in our Trust and will work as part of a whole Trust approach to address such issues, including via the curriculum. Staff will understand how to handle reports of sexual violence or harassment.
- Staff must ensure that they appropriately challenge any form of derogatory and sexualised language or behaviour to ensure that everyone is respectful at all times.
- Report any concerns about a child’s welfare without delay to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or in their absence a senior member of staff.
- Ensure that they record their concerns using the school’s agreed reporting procedure in a contemporaneous fashion. Records will note the difference between fact and opinion. The child’s voice will be made clearly evident.
- Ensure that concerns relating to children remain confidential and are only shared with the appropriate safeguarding staff.
- Understand that any member of staff can make a referral to children’s services should that be required, informing the Designated Safeguarding Lead of any action taken.
- Understand their responsibility to escalate their concerns and ‘press for reconsideration’ if a child remains at risk or their needs are not met or if it appears that the school is not taking effective action in line with expected procedures. This includes the understanding that any member of staff can make a referral to Children’s Services if required to do.
- Teachers and those providing teaching must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out.
- Be aware safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse.
- Understand that it may be appropriate to discuss with the Head teacher matters outside of work, which may have implications for the safeguarding of children in the workplace. This includes information about themselves. Staff will ensure that they are aware of the circumstances where this would be applicable.
- Report any concerns (including those which might be considered to be low level concerns) without delay about the behaviour of an adult towards a child to the Head Teacher, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Chair of Governors or if required the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations against Staff.
- Follow the Trust’s policies including this child protection policy and the Trust’s code of conduct for adults and the Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults Working with Children (2019)
- Understand the circumstances where it may be necessary to ‘self-report’ incidents where they could have found themselves in a situation which could be misinterpreted, or may appear compromising to others, or if they have behaved in a manner which, on reflection, they consider to fall below the standards set out within the code of conduct for staff.
- Be aware that behaviour by themselves, those with whom they have a relationship or association, or others in their personal lives (in or out of Trust or online), may impact on their work with children.
- Be aware that if their role is within the scope of the Childcare Act 2006 and they commit a relevant offence that would appear on their DBS certificate or they become disqualified under the Childcare Act 2006, then they must inform their head teacher.
- Be aware that they should inform their head teacher of any cautions, convictions or relevant order accrued during their employment, and/or if they are charged with a criminal offence.
- Understand that some children, including those with Special Educational Needs or Looked After, may be more vulnerable to abuse.
‘Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or certain health conditions can face additional safeguarding challenges. This can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- these children being more prone to peer group isolation or bullying (including prejudice-based bullying) than other children;
- children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying without outwardly showing any signs; and
- the potential for children with SEND or certain medical conditions being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.’ (DFE 2021)
The DFE has provided additional practice guidance ‘Safeguarding Disabled Children’ DFE 2009.
- Have access to the Trust’s managing allegations against adults procedures and whistle blowing policy. In addition, the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have access to What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015: Advice for practitioners DFE 2015
- Understand that any indication of failure to follow any of the procedures set out within this policy will led to a formal investigation by the Trust.
The Governing Body should ensure that:
- The Trust meets the statutory responsibilities set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2021) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (DFE 2018).
- The Trust has a strategy for providing early help together with other agencies and supporting children and families by carrying out early help assessments, drawing upon the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) ‘Responding to Needs Framework.’
- The child protection policy is reviewed at least annually by the Boadr of Directors and available to parents, normally via the Trust’s website.
- All adults working within the Trust are aware of the Trust’s code of conduct and this guidance is in keeping with the Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults Working with Children (Safer Recruitment Consortium 2019)
- The Trust’s practice is reviewed in line with Local Authority guidance, Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) priorities and procedures and any actions identified in the Local Authority 175 Audit are completed.
- There is a named Designated Safeguarding Lead who is a member of the Trust leadership team. Governors will ensure that this person has the appropriate status and authority within the Trust to carry out the duties of the post. They will be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters, to take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings, and/or to support other staff to do so, and to contribute to the assessment of children. There are colleagues trained to provide cover for the role.
- The Trust has procedures in keeping with the LSCP for dealing with any allegations made against any adult working within the Trust.
- There is a nominated governor, usually the chair, who is the case manager for managing any allegations against the Head Teacher.
- There is an additional nominated safeguarding governor to liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and champion child protection/safeguarding on behalf of the safeguarding body.
- The Trust follows safer recruitment procedures, including the statutory pre-employment checks on all staff working with young people. The safeguarding director together with the CEO review the Trust’s single central record.
- The Trust itself is a safe environment where the views of children and families are listened to and where children are taught about safeguarding and how to keep themselves safe, including on the internet or when using new technology. Any complaints about services lead to improvements in practice.
- Ensure the Trust audits the health and safety of school s environment and any actions arising from the audit are addressed.
- The Trust will ensure there are appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place in respect of internet use and encourage safe and responsible use of new technologies.
- It scrutinises the impact of the Trust’s training strategy so that all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers, are aware of the Trust’s child protection procedures. All staff must have child protection training which is regularly updated and forms part of an integrated, aligned training programme which is considered as part of the whole Trust safeguarding approach and wider staff training and curriculum planning. The Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads undertake training in keeping with statutory training.
- The governors are given guidance to support them to ensure the schools within our Trust meets its statutory safeguarding requirements.
- There is effective analysis of safeguarding data including bullying, attendance, exclusions, behaviour logs, incidents of sexual violence or harassment, pupils taken off roll, the views and progress and participation of vulnerable students. Trusts should draw upon the guidance from Ofsted in respect analysing behaviour data.
- All safeguarding practices are quality assured by the leadership team, including the auditing of safeguarding records and the supervision of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and other members of the safeguarding team.
- The governing body will appoint an appropriately trained designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after, or have been previously looked after.
- There are clear systems and processes in place for identifying possible mental health problems, including routes to escalate and clear referral and accountability systems.
- There are clear systems and processes in place to identify and respond to issues of sexual violence or harassment between children, including a sequenced curriculum designed to specifically address sexual harassment, online abuse, sexual violence and issues of consent in an age and stage appropriate way.
Governing bodies are accountable for ensuring the school has effective policies and procedures in place in line with LDST, local and national guidance, and for monitoring the school’s compliance with them. Neither the Governing Body nor individual governors have a role in dealing with individual child protection cases or the right to know the detail of cases (except when exercising their disciplinary functions in respect of allegations against a member of staff or investigating a complaint brought to their attention).
The Head Teacher will ensure that:
- The Single Central Record is up to date and the safer recruitment practices set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2021) are followed in line with the Trust’s Safer Recruitment Policy and Procedures. At least one member of every recruitment panel has attended safer recruitment training.
- Job descriptions and person specifications for all roles make specific reference to child protection and safeguarding.
- There is a listening culture within the Trust where both staff and children are able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practices.
- Referrals are made to the Disclosure and Barring Service and/or the Teaching Regulation Agency as appropriate.
- They liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer where an allegation is made against a member of staff.
- They liaise with the designated safeguarding lead in respect of any concerns raised about staff or volunteers which do not meet the harm threshold and are dealt with by means of the low level concerns policy or procedure.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead has a job description in keeping with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2021) and that sufficient time, training and support are allocated to this role, including the appointment of colleagues able to deputise for the Designated Safeguarding Lead who have undertaken the same training and who also have the role explicitly referenced within their job description.
- The curriculum provides opportunities to help students stay safe especially when on-line. Children should be aware of the support available to them.
- The RSHE / PSHE / safeguarding curriculum is appropriately sequenced to ensure children are taught about key issues in a planned and age/stage appropriate way, building on previously knowledge as they move through the school.
- They quality assure the Trust’s child protection practices including the auditing of safeguarding records and the supervision of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and other members of the safeguarding team to ensure that actions and decisions are reviewed appropriately, and that staff’s emotional needs are met.
- The Trust meets its responsibilities under the Prevent Duty including ensuring there are reasonable checks are made on visiting speakers and monitoring and filtering is in place across the Trust’s IT systems. All staff have had opportunity for Prevent training either through face to face training or access to online resources:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will be a senior member of staff from the school’s senior leadership team and the role will be explicit within their job description. The school will also appoint a deputy designated lead(s) who will be trained to the same level as the designated safeguarding lead and the role will also be explicit within their job description, however the lead responsibility remains with the designated safeguarding lead.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 sets out the broad areas of responsibility for the Designated Safeguarding Lead. These are detailed below.
The designated safeguarding lead is expected to:
- refer cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care as required;
- support staff who make referrals to local authority children’s social care;
- refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern as required;
- support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme;
- refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required; and
- refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required. The NPCC document When to call the police can support with this.
Work with others
The designated safeguarding lead is expected to:
- act as a point of contact with the three safeguarding partners;
- liaise with the headteacher or principal to inform him or her of issues- especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations;
- as required, liaise with the “case manager” (as per Part four) and the designated officer(s) at the local authority for child protection concerns in cases which concern a staff member;
- liaise with staff (especially pastoral support staff, school nurses, IT Technicians, and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in a college and Senior Mental Health Leads) on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies so that children’s needs are considered holistically;
- liaise with the school’s senior mental health lead and where available, the Mental Health Support Team, where safeguarding concerns are linked to mental health;
- promote supportive engagement with parents and/or carers in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including where families may be facing challenging circumstances;
- work with the headteacher and relevant strategic leads, taking lead responsibility for promoting educational outcomes by knowing the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children in need are experiencing, or have experienced, and identifying the impact that these issues might be having on children’s attendance, engagement and achievement at school. This includes:
- ensure that the school knows who its cohort of children who have or have had a social worker are, understanding their academic progress and attainment, and maintaining a culture of high aspirations for this cohort; and,
- support teaching staff to provide additional academic support or reasonable adjustments to help children who have or have had a social worker reach their potential, recognising that even when statutory social care intervention has ended, there is still a lasting impact on children’s educational outcomes; and
- act as a source of support, advice and expertise for all staff.
The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years. The designated safeguarding lead should undertake Prevent awareness training. Training should provide designated safeguarding leads with a good understanding of their own role, how to identify, understand and respond to specific needs that can increase the vulnerability of children, as well as specific harms that can put children at risk, and the processes, procedures and responsibilities of other agencies, particularly children’s social care, so they:
- understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and local authority children’s social care referral arrangements.
- have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so;
- understand the importance of the role the designated safeguarding lead has in providing information and support to children social care in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- understand the lasting impact that adversity and trauma can have, including on children’s behaviour, mental health and wellbeing, and what is needed in responding to this in promoting educational outcomes;
- are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and young carers;
- understand the importance of information sharing, both within the School, and with the three safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners.
- are able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals;
- understand and support the School with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation;
- are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at School;
- can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online;
- obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses; and
- encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any measures the School may put in place to protect them.
In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, and at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
The designated safeguarding lead should:
- ensure each member of staff has access to, and understands, the school’s’ child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part-time staff; ensure the Trust’s or college’s child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately
- ensure the School’s child protection policy is reviewed annually (as a minimum) and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with governing bodies or proprietors regarding this;
- ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the School in this; and
- link with the safeguarding partner arrangements to make sure staff are aware of any training opportunities and the latest local policies on local safeguarding arrangements.
- help promote educational outcomes by sharing the information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children, including children with a social worker, are experiencing, or have experienced, with teachers and School leadership staff. Their role could include ensuring that the School, and their staff, know who these children are, understand their academic progress and attainment and maintain a culture of high aspirations for this cohort; supporting teaching staff to identify the challenges that children in this group might face and the additional academic support and adjustments that they could make to best support these children.
Providing support to staff
Training will support the designated safeguarding lead in developing expertise so that they can support and advise staff and help them feel confident on welfare, safeguarding and child protection matters. This includes specifically to:
- ensure staff are supported during the referrals processes; and
- support staff to consider how safeguarding, welfare and educational outcomes are linked, including to inform the provision of academic and pastoral support.
Understanding the views of children
Understand the views of children is essential to respond appropriately to their needs. It is important that children feel heard and understood. The designated safeguarding lead will be supported in developing knowledge and skills to:
- encourage a culture of listening and taking account of children’s wishes and feelings, among all staff, and in any measures the Trust may put in place to protect them; and
- understand the difficulties that children may have in approaching staff about their circumstances and consider how to build trusting relationships which facilitate communication.
Holding and sharing information
The designated safeguarding lead should be equipped to:
- understand the importance of information sharing, both within the School, and with other Trusts and colleges on transfer including in-year and between primary and secondary education, and with the safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners;
- understand relevant data protection legislation and regulations, especially the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR); and
- be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals and understand the purpose of this record-keeping.
Child protection file
The designated safeguarding lead is responsible for ensuring that child protection files are kept up to date. Information is kept confidential and stored securely. Records include a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern; details of how the concern was followed up and resolved; and a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome. Files are only accessed by those who need to see it and any sharing of information happens in line with information sharing advice set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Where children leave the School (including for in year transfers) the designated safeguarding lead should ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new School as soon as possible, and within 5 days for an in-year transfer or within the first 5 days of the start of a new term. This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure transit, and confirmation of receipt should be obtained. Receiving school’s should ensure key staff such as designated safeguarding leads and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in colleges, are aware as required.
In addition to the child protection file, the designated safeguarding lead should also consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new School in advance of a child leaving to help them put in place the right support to safeguard the child and help the child thrive in the new setting. A lack of information about a child’s circumstances can impact on the child’s safety, welfare and educational outcomes. For example, information that would allow the new School to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.
During term time the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) should always be available (during School hours) for staff in the School to discuss any safeguarding concerns. Whilst generally speaking the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) would be expected to be available in person, it is a matter for individual schools, working with the designated safeguarding lead, to define what “available” means and whether in exceptional circumstances availability via phone and or Skype or other such media is acceptable.
It is a matter for individual schools and the designated safeguarding lead to arrange adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities
According to Local Guidance it is expected that the Head Teacher will be the case manager for any allegations against staff and make referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service or Teaching Regulation Agency.
In addition to the role outlined in Keeping Children Safe the Designated Safeguarding Lead is also expected to ensure that:
- The social worker is notified if a child subject to a child protection plan is absent without explanation.
- The social worker is informed when a child subject to a child protection plan or a child in need plan moves to a new setting.
- A training log is kept of all child protection training include the names of those attending. All staff must have regular training and updates.
- Child protection records are kept securely and separately from the child’s normal file. Records will be transferred and/or retained in keeping with the Local Authority’s and NSPCC guidance.
- The school attends and contributes to child protection case conferences and child in need meetings, ensuring actions are completed in a timely manner. The school will complete the LSCP agency report ahead of each child protection conference.
- The school escalates its concerns with other agencies when a child’s needs are not being met following the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Escalation and Resolution Policy.
- All members of the safeguarding team have received appropriate training; that all referrals made are quality assured and that regular safeguarding supervision is provided to the safeguarding team to monitor all decisions and actions taken and alongside the well-being of each team member.
- All staff read and understand part 1 and Annex B of the DfE (2021) guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education and make available school community via the means of staff training, parental letters, posters and the school website.
- Safeguarding Framework
In addition to this child protection policy the Trust has procedures or policies in relation to other areas for safeguarding children including as examples:
- administering medicines
- anti-bulling including cyber bullying
- alternative and off-site provision
- behaviour for learning
- code of conduct for staff, governors and volunteers (guidance on safer working practices)
- children in care (Looked After Children)
- clubs, trips, educational visits and extended Trust activities
- data protection
- drug and substance misuse
- disability objectives and accessibility plan
- equal opportunities
- emergency planning
- evacuation and lock-down procedures
- first aid
- intimate care
- managing allegations against staff and volunteers
- mental health and wellbeing
- on-line safety
- risk assessments
- safeguarding advice for visitors
- safer recruitment practices
- school and site security
- sex and relationships education
- special educational needs and disabilities
- taking and using photographs
- Training and Induction
All staff and volunteers working in the Trust must be given a copy of the Child Protection policy immediately upon starting work at the Trust as part of their induction. All staff and volunteers working in the Trust must complete safeguarding training appropriate to their role as part of their induction and at a minimum of annually thereafter. As part of the requirement for all staff to undergo regular updated safeguarding training (including online safety), safeguarding training will be integrated, aligned and considered as part of the whole Trust safeguarding approach and wider staff training and curriculum planning. The Trust draws upon School Improvement Liverpool’s induction template and Safeguarding Induction Booklet (School’s Safeguarding Handbook) to ensure all appropriate policies and guidance are shared.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputies must complete safeguarding training relevant to their role. This level of training must be refreshed at least every two years, with further safeguarding training to be accessed on a minimum of an annual basis as best practice. This is to ensure designated staff have appropriate, up to date knowledge and skills which will enable them to identify concerns and make decisions that support the safety of the school community.
The Governing Body should undergo Safeguarding training specific to their role and responsibilities. The Link Governor for Safeguarding should attend appropriate training to enable them to fulfil the expectations of the role.
All staff have had opportunity for Prevent training either through face to face training or access to online resources: https://www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk/edu/screen1.html
Schools within LDST will keep a safeguarding training log evidencing the training attended by the different groups of staff/governors and will seek to evidence the ongoing impact of this training.
- Procedures for reporting child protection or child welfare concerns:
- All members of the Trust community have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. Staff and governors should not investigate possible abuse or neglect themselves.
- Trust Improvement Liverpool provide an online resource ‘Safeguarding-Mate’ to support colleagues decision making: https://www.Trustimprovementliverpool.co.uk/safeguarding-mate/
- All concerns should be reported without delay directly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Designated Safeguarding Deputies, Head Teacher or any member of the Trust Leadership Team. This should be followed by a written account of the concerns completed on the Trust’s agreed Child Protection/Child Welfare Incident Form..
- Consideration will need to be given to immediately protecting the child and contacting the police and/or ringing for an ambulance if the child is injured.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will take immediate action delay and will make a referral to children’s services by telephone if a child is believed to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This referral will always be followed up in writing.
- Children’s Services contact details are as follows:
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will follow the LSCP and Local Authority multi-agency procedures and consider the child’s needs alongside the LSCP’s Levels of Needs/Responding to Needs Framework (Threshold document) and consider whether an early help assessment or referral to children’s services is needed.
- Concerns about a child should always lead to help for a child. Schools may need to escalate its concerns with Children’s Services to ensure a referral is accepted or work with other agencies to ensure an Early Help Assessment is completed.
- Schools will always seek to follow the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures which can be found on their website.
- If school does not receive feedback within one working day regarding the outcome of a referral made to Children’s Services, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact Children’s Services immediately to determine the outcome of the referral.
‘School Improvement Liverpool Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook’ and Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2021) provides key flowcharts and guidance to support staff and volunteers’ understanding and decision making. This will support staff to make a referral themselves should that become necessary. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should be informed, as soon as possible, following the need for another member of staff to make a referral.
‘School Improvement Liverpool Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook’ will provide additional guidance about indicators of abuse and harm and how to respond to a disclosure. Guidance is also available on the NSPCC website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/
If a teacher in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the teacher must report this to the police. Keeping Children Safe in Education provides additional guidance.
Concerns that a child is being radicalised should follow the normal safeguarding referral mechanism with an additional Channel or Prevent referral being made to the Local Authority’s Prevent and Channel team. Contact details can be found in the School’s Safeguarding Handbook.
- Process to follow if a child makes a disclosure
If a child makes a disclosure of abuse, staff should:
- Listen and keep calm. Do not interrupt
- Not promise the child that they will keep the matter confidential. Explain to the child who they will need to tell and why
- Observe visible bruises and marks, but should not ask a child to remove or adjust their clothing to view them
- Keep questions to a minimum as their role is not to investigate. If staff need to ask questions in order to ascertain whether this is a safeguarding concern, they should ensure they are open questions
- Use the “TED” model for asking open ended questions: “Tell me about that”, “Explain that to me”, “Describe that”
- Make a record of what has been said immediately afterwards in words used by the child and the member of staff to the best of their memory. Use capital letters for the child’s words to help distinguish between the two.
- Note anything about the child which is connected i.e. any visible injuries including the position and description, the demeanour of the child i.e. crying, withdrawn etc.
- Clearly indicate whether fact, opinion or third party information
- Report the matter immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Seek advice from the Designated Safeguarding Lead if in doubt
Staff should not:
- Ask leading questions, put words into the child’s mouth or press for details
- Rush the child
- Examine the child
- Promise confidentiality
- Summarise or use your own words to describe events
- Delay sharing the information with the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Further information can be found in part 1 of the ‘School Improvement Liverpool Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook’
- Confidentiality, information sharing, record transfer and record keeping and retention
Information sharing is vital in identifying and tacking all forms of abuse and neglect, and in promoting children’s welfare, including their education outcomes. Trusts have clear powers to share, hold and use information for these purposes.
The Trust recognises that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The Head teacher, Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or Deputy will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a ‘need to know basis’ only. Guidance about sharing information can be found in the 2018 document Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers 2018 and the Data protection: toolkit for Trusts. The Trust understands the need to keep child protection and safeguarding records securely
The school will aim to seek consent of parents before sharing information with other agencies, however legislation states that schools and other agencies can share information without the consent of a parent/carer in particular circumstances.
The Trust pays due regard to the relevant data protection principles which allow us to share personal information, as provided for in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Trust is aware of the processing conditions under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR which allow Trust to store and share information for safeguarding purposes, including information which is sensitive and personal, and this is treated as ‘special category personal data’. Where Trust would need to share special category personal data, we are aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows us to share information. This includes allowing Trust to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that we can gain consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
The school will transfer records securely to the next setting and discuss the child’s needs before the child starts at the next setting. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will speak to their counterpart in the school to which the child is transferring in order to ensure that they are aware that the file is to be transferred. Upon confirmation of the child starting on roll the file should be transferred as soon as possible (within 5 Trust days), but separately to the main Trust file. The file should be signed upon receipt, and delivered by hand wherever possible. School will follow the transfer of records protocol detailed within the ‘School Improvement Liverpool Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook’.
The school will retain records in keeping with Local Authority guidance and NSPCC guidelines: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/information-service/child-protection-records-retention-and-storage.pdf . This in turn references the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) Information management toolkit for Trusts 2019.
‘School Improvement Liverpool Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook’ provides further key guidance for transferring records including a ‘Transfer of CP records Template’.
- Additional child protection guidance will be provided to all adults working with young people which will include:
- The Trust’s child protection policy which includes the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Part 1 and Annex B of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2021)
- The Trust’s Code of Conduct for staff and volunteers
- The schools behaviour policy for children
- Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults Working with Children (Safer Recruitment Consortium 2019)
- A flowchart summarising the child protection procedures
- Definitions of abuse or neglect and possible indicators
- Identified groups of children more vulnerable to abuse
- Specific guidance related to including Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Child Exploitation including sexual and criminal, Extremism and Radicalisation, Neglect, Sexual violence and harassment and online-safety
- Dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers procedures
- Managing allegations against adults (including all staff, supply teachers and volunteers) working at the Trust
All Trust staff and other adults working at the Trust will be aware of and work within the Trust’s Code of Conduct and other relevant policies and procedures. The Staff Code of Conduct includes guidance for staff regarding the Trust expectations of the use of mobile phones, electronic equipment and social media.
All staff and volunteers must report any concerns about a member of staff’s behaviour towards children (including supply staff and volunteers) to the Headteacher who will act as the case manager. Concerns can also be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Concerns about the headteacher should be raised with Chair of Governors or nominated governor.
Local Safeguarding Children Partnership multi-agency procedures will be followed in all cases where it is alleged that a member of staff 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;
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children; or
- behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children
The Trust’s managing allegations against staff and volunteers policy and procedures will support everyone to take appropriate action. This includes a flowchart to guide colleagues thinking.
In some circumstances, the Trust will have to consider an allegation against an individual who is not directly employed by the organisation and where our disciplinary procedures do not fully apply (for example supply teachers). Whilst the Trust is not the employer of the individual, we still have responsibility to ensure allegations are dealt with properly and will liaise where appropriate with relevant parties. The Trust will not cease to use the services of a supply teacher as a result of safeguarding concerns, without finding out the facts and liaising with the LADO to determine a suitable outcome.
In addition, School Improvement Liverpool provide an online resource ‘Safeguarding-Mate’ to support colleagues decision making: https://www.schoolimprovementliverpool.co.uk/safeguarding-mate/
Concerns can also be taken directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (L.A.D.O.), if needed, via Children’s Services.
Section 4 of the DFE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education provides further guidance. In addition to the school’s own procedures, multi-agency procedures can be found on the school’s website.
There are occasions when a person who works with children behaves in a way that is concerning and raises questions about their ability to recognise and take steps to safeguard children in their care that may not always meet the threshold of LADO. As an employer the Trust has a duty to consider whether the issue indicates that they are unsuitable to continue in their role for the immediate future or indefinitely. These are known as issues of suitability and if not being dealt with under the managing allegations procedures, would be dealt with via the Trust’s disciplinary procedures. Issues of suitability can include:
- Where an employee is being investigated for an offence against an adult, or
- Their behaviour in their personal lives brings into question their suitability to work with children
However if an adult who works with children has involvement from Children’s Services in respect of their own child, or a child that they live with or have contact with, it is the responsibility of Children’s Services to assess the immediate concern and inform the LADO of whether the adult poses a risk to children. Examples of this may include:
- Allegations of assault, physical or emotional, on their own child or on a child they live with or have contact with
- Domestic abuse
- Substance misuse
- Lives with or is in a relationship with a person who is identified as a risk to children
The situation would meet the threshold of LADO should the child in question be made subject to a Child Protection plan. This is because Children’s Services has determined that the adult presents a risk to the associated child either directly or due to a failure to protect.
If Trust are made aware of any of the circumstances detailed above, they will have a consultation with the LADO in order to determine whether the threshold is met for a referral under the managing allegations process.
- Low Level Concerns
Our Trust recognises that there may be times when there are concerns about a professional’s behaviour which do not meet the harm threshold as set out in section 15 of this policy. This includes third party staff and volunteers. Concerns such as this may arise in several ways and from a number of sources. Examples of this may be:
- suspicion, complaint or disclosure made by a child, parent or other adult within or outside of our Trust; or
- as a result of vetting checks undertaken during recruitment
Our Trust promotes an open and transparent culture in which all concerns about adults working in or on behalf of the Trust are dealt with promptly and appropriately. Creating this culture in which all concerns are shared responsibly, in a timely way with the right person, and are recorded and dealt with appropriately is critical to effective safeguarding practice. This culture enables the Trust to identify concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour at the earliest possible stage, minimises the risk of abuse and ensures that all adults working in or on behalf of the Trust are clear about professional boundaries and act within these, in accordance with our ethos and values. This culture also empowers individuals to share concerns with key staff about their own behaviour at the earliest possible opportunity.
The term ‘low level concern’ does not mean that the behaviour is insignificant. It means a behaviour towards a child which does not meet the threshold set out in section 15 of this policy and part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021. A low level concern is any concern (no matter how small, and even if no more than causing a sense of unease) that an adult working in or on behalf of the Trust may have acted in a way that:
- is not consistent with the staff code of conduct, including conduct outside of the workplace, and/or
- does not meet the allegations threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough for a referral to the LADO.
Examples of such behaviour could include, but are not limited to:
- being over friendly with children;
- having favourites;
- taking photographs of children on their mobile phone;
- engaging with a child on a one-to-one basis in a secluded area or behind a closed door; or,
- using inappropriate sexualised, intimidating or offensive language.
Behaviours which are not consistent with the standards and values of our Trust, and which do not meet the expectations set out in our code of conduct for staff, must be addressed. Behaviours such as this, can exist on a spectrum from inadvertent or thoughtless, or behaviour that may look to be inappropriate, but might not be in specific circumstances, through to that which is ultimately intended to enable abuse.
It is essential that concerns such as this are shared responsibly and with the right person, and that they are recorded and dealt with appropriately. Effective reporting and management of such concerns also protects staff from potential false allegations of misunderstandings. Concerns should be shared as soon as is reasonably possible, and ideally within 24 hours of becoming aware of a problem, however it is never too late to share a concern.
Occasionally a member of staff may find themselves in a situation which could be misinterpreted, or may appear compromising to others. Equally, a member of staff may have behaved in a manner which, on reflection, they consider to fall below the standards set out within our code of conduct for staff. Self-reporting such circumstances is actively encouraged as it allows issues to be dealt with at the earliest opportunity and it is an important means of maintaining our culture of everyone aspiring to have the highest standards of conduct and behaviour.
Staff do not need to be able to determine whether their concern is a low level concern, or if it would be dealt with under our managing allegations policy. Staff must simply by empowered to share their concern. The determination regarding process will be made by the designated safeguarding lead and headteacher.
Low level concerns should be reported in writing to the designated safeguarding lead. Where a low level concern is in relation to the designated safeguarding lead, it should be shared with the headteacher.
If a report of a low level concern is received, it will be dealt with responsively, sensitively, and proportionately. Where a concern is reported, the designated safeguarding lead should collect as much evidence as possible by speaking directly with the person who raised the concern (unless it has been raised anonymously), and by speaking to the individual involved along with any witnesses. The information collected will help to categorise the behaviour and determine what further action may need to be taken. Support and advice will be provided to ensure any identified behaviours can be corrected at an early stage.
All low level concerns will be recorded in writing by the designated safeguarding lead and this record should include the details of the concern, the context and the action taken, including the rationale for any decisions. Records must be kept confidential and held securely in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation. Records will be kept in individual personnel files and will be retained for the duration of the individual’s employment
Records should be reviewed so that potential patterns of concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour can be identified. Where a pattern of such behaviour is identified, Trust will decide on a course of action either through our disciplinary procedures or where a pattern of behaviour moves from a concern to meeting the harms threshold, referral to LADO.
The designated safeguarding lead will regularly and effectively communicate with the Headteacher, all low level concerns reported to them, along with the outcome of the concern. This is to ensure there is appropriate scrutiny and analysis of information in order to agree at what point a series of low level concerns or a pattern of behaviour would escalate and meet the threshold set out in section 15 of this policy and part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021.
Low level concerns will not be included in references unless they relate to an issue which would normally be included in a reference. Paragraph 423 of Keeping Children Safe in Education specifies: “However, where a low-level concern (or group of concerns) has met the threshold for referral to the LADO and found to be substantiated, it should be referred to in a reference.”
- Allegations of abuse against another student (peer on peer / child on child abuse), including issues of sexual violence and harassment
Schools have identified their own specific procedures for managing allegations of abuse against another student, including the school’s response to and monitoring of sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers, and that not all children will find it easy to tell staff about their abuse verbally. Children can show signs or act in ways that they hope adults will notice and react to. It is essential that all victims are reassured that they are being taken seriously, regardless of how long it has taken them to come forward, and that they will be supported and kept safe. Victims will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting an incident and they will never be made to feel ashamed or their experience minimised.
Staff must act on the assumption that children may be experiencing sexual violence or harassment, even if there are no specific reports of such behaviour. Staff must ensure that they challenge any form of derogatory and sexualised language or behaviour. Staff should be vigilant to sexualised/aggressive touching/grabbing, particularly towards girls or other vulnerable groups of children. Behaviours by children should never be passed off as ‘banter’, ‘having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’ as this can lead to an unsafe culture which normalises abuse and inappropriate behaviours and can lead to children accepting it as normal and therefore not reporting such issues. Our Trust will prevent sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence through a carefully planned and sequenced relationships, sex and health education curriculum alongside effective challenge and response to specific issues when they arise. All staff will reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe.
All concerns must be reported and discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or senior member of staff. Behaviours can happen in Trust, online or in the community and are most likely to include, but not limited to:
- abuse within intimate personal relationships between peers;
- bullying (including cyber bullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying);
- serious violence;
- sexual violence such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence);
- sexual harassment such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment which may be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse;
- causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent;
- consensual and non-consensual sharing or nudes and semi-nude images or videos;
- upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission;
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; and
- sexting and initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and many also include an online element).
Children with special educational needs and disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment and staff should be aware that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse in these children. Children who are LGBT+ or perceived to be, may also be targeted by their peers and harassed or assaulted.
Victims of peer on peer harm will be supported by the Trust’s pastoral system and referred to specialist agencies including, as examples, ‘CAMHS’, ‘Brook’ and ‘Barnardo’s’. A risk assessment may need to be in place. The Trust curriculum will support young people to become more resilient to inappropriate behaviours towards them, risk taking behaviours and behaviours that children may be coerced into including ‘sexting’ or ‘initiation/hazing’ behaviours.
Additional guidance is available on the NSPCC website:
- Children at risk of Serious Violence and/or Child Criminal or Sexual Exploitation
All staff should be aware of the indicators which may suggest a child is at risk from, or is involved with serious violent crime. These may include:
- Increased absence from Trust;
- 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 of new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs and may be at risk of criminal exploitation.
All staff should be aware of the range of risk factors which increase the likelihood of involvement in serious violence, such as being male, having been frequently absent or permanently excluded from Trust, having experienced abuse or neglect and having been involved in offending such as theft or robbery. Additional advice can be found in the Home Office’s Preventing youth violence and gang involvement and Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance.
Both child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation are forms of abuse that occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into taking part in sexual or criminal activity, in exchange for something the victims needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or through violence or the threat of violence. Child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation can affect children, both male and female, and can include children who have been moved (commonly referred to as trafficking) for the purpose of exploitation.
Staff will understand that whilst the age of the child may be a contributing factor for an imbalance of power, there are a range of other factors that could make a child more vulnerable to exploitation, including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, learning difficulties, communication ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
All staff should be aware of the indicators which may suggest a child is at risk from or experiencing child criminal or sexual exploitation. These may include:
- appear with unexplained gifts, money or new possessions;
- associate with other children involved in exploitation;
- have been the victim or perpetrator of serious violence (e.g. knife crime);
- suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
- misuse drugs and alcohol;
- go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late and are found in areas away from their home;
- are found in accommodation that they have no connection with; and
- regularly miss Trust or education or do not take part in education.
All staff will be aware that children who are involved in criminal exploitation often commit crimes themselves, therefore their vulnerability as victims is not always recognised by adults and professionals. They may still have been exploited even if the activity appears to be something they have agreed or consented to. Staff will also have an understanding of the fact that the experience of girls who are criminally exploited can be very different to that of boys. The indicators may not be the same, however professionals should be aware that girls are at risk of criminal exploitation too. It is also important to note that both boys and girls being criminally exploited may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation.
All staff will be aware that child sexual exploitation is child sexual abuse. Exploitation of this nature can be a one off occurrence and may happen without the child’s immediate knowledge e.g. through the sharing of videos or images. It can also affect any child who has been coerced into engaging in sexual activities. This includes 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex. Some children may not realise they are being exploited e.g. because they believe they are in a genuine relationship.
Our Trust understands that children who have been exploited or are at risk of serious violence, will need additional support to help maintain them in education. Further guidance is provided to staff in Section 1 of the Schools’ Safeguarding Handbook.
- Online safety, data protection and the use of mobile phones and digital photographic equipment
Staff should also report any concerns about sexting (youth produced sexual imagery or ‘nudes’) to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or senior member of staff who will follow the guidance in Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people (UK Council for Child Internet Safety, December 2020). This document provides clarity as to how staff should respond to these incidents.
The Trust’s Online/E-safety/Acceptable Use policy clearly outlines the way in which the Trust uses technology and the measures in place to ensure safe, and responsible and respectful use by all. There is a clear code of conduct for staff and volunteers which sets out the use of new technologies, mobile phones and personal photographic equipment around children. Schools will consider, in particular, Looked after Children (Children in Care) who might be put at risk by being included in publicity materials or Trust photographs.
The DfE highlights the risks of new technologies:
An effective approach to online safety empowers a School to protect and educate the whole School community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify,
intervene in, and escalate any incident where appropriate. The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into four areas of risk:
- content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content
- contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
- conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm
- commerce: risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams’
The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues such as child sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, radicalisation and sexual abuse. Technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm.
Schools should ensure online safety is a running and interrelated theme whilst devising and implementing policies and procedures. This will include considering how online safety is reflected as required in all relevant policies and considering online safety whilst planning the curriculum, any teacher training, the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead and any parental engagement.
Staff should bring immediately to the attention of the Headteacher, Designated Safeguarding Lead or senior leadership team any behaviours by adults or children themselves that may be risky or harmful.
Annex D of Keeping Children Safe in Education provides schools with further key information and guidance.
The DfE guidance “Teaching Online Safety in Schools” (2019) also outlines how Trusts can ensure their pupils understand how to stay safe and behave online as part of forthcoming and existing curriculum requirements www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-online-safety-in-schools.
Where children are asked to learn online at home (e.g. under the Provision of Remote Education Continuity Direction (October 2020)), our Trust ensures this is done safely by referencing key guidance such as safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers, safeguarding and remote education and advice from the London Grid for Learning.
Our Trust recognises that it has an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our students. We also recognise that in some cases, mental health problems can be an indicator that a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect of exploitation. The designated safeguarding lead will regularly liaise with the senior mental health lead where safeguarding concerns are linked to mental health to ensure there is an effective and appropriate response by schools. Within our Trust we adopt a whole Trust approach to mental health and wellbeing, which includes promoting positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience across the whole Trust community.
- Monitoring attendance
A child missing from an education setting is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect, including exploitation. Local Authority guidance and procedures will be followed for dealing with a child who is missing from education, particularly on repeated occasions or if a child suddenly stops attending. Schools within the Trust will follow the pan-Merseyside / pan-Cheshire / Greater Manchester missing children protocol. For those children and families who have chronic poor attendance or persistent absenteeism, schools will consider whether educational neglect is present and whether a referral to children’s services is required, or whether the school should seek consent to begin an Early Help Assessment in order to coordinate a multi-agency plan of support for the child and family.
Attendance will be closely monitored. In line with the Trust’s attendance policy, the attendance of children with known welfare and attendance concerns will be monitored closely, particularly those with chronic poor attendance or persistent absentees, or if a child suddenly stops attending. Schools should also scrutinise the attendance of off-site provision to ensure children are attending and are safe. Similarly, the attendance of children who are vulnerable or with known welfare and safeguarding concerns such as children who have a child protection plan, a child in need, are Children Looked After and/or SEND will be rigorously monitored on a daily and weekly basis. The child’s social worker will be informed immediately when there are unexplained absences or attendance concerns.
It is important that the school’s attendance team, including the EWO, Trust nurse and Safer Schools Officer, are aware of any safeguarding concerns. It is critical that when a child is not attending their welfare is confirmed and expected practice would be for an appropriate professional to visit the home and speak to the child alone, particularly if there are any safeguarding concerns. The timing for this home visit will be determined on a case by case basis. The schools will seek to ensure it has at least three emergency contacts for each family and consider what urgent action it may need to take when a vulnerable child and family are not contactable and the child has not attended. Where necessary, this may include reporting the child missing to the police. The school will ensure it is aware, in advance, of any difficulties in accessing the premises of a child’s family home.
It is essential that all staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage.
Children Missing Education (C.M.E.) are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. All staff should be aware that children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life. Children going missing can also be an indicator of mental health problems, risk of substance abuse, risk of travelling to conflict zones, risk of female genital mutilation or risk of forced marriage. Effective information sharing between parents, schools and local authorities is critical to ensuring that all children of compulsory school age are safe and receiving suitable education. Maintained schools have a safeguarding duty in respect of their pupils, and as part of this should investigate any unexplained absences. Academies and independent Trusts have a similar safeguarding duty for their pupils. When a child is deemed to be missing from education, school will make reasonable enquiries to establish the whereabouts of the child jointly with the local authority, before deleting the pupil’s name from the register. Once these enquiries have been undertaken, our schools will follow the local protocol for Children Missing Education and make a C.M.E referral to the Local Authority Officer for C.M.E.
Some parents will decide to remove their child from the school in order to educate them at home. For the majority of children, this choice will be with the child’s best education at the heart of their decision and it will be a positive learning experience. However, this is not the case for all, and home education can mean that some children become less visible to services who are them to keep them safe and supported in line with their individual needs. Where a parent or carer has expressed their intention to remove their child from the school roll with a view to educating at home, the school will work together with other key professionals and will, where possible, attempt to facilitate a meeting with the family to ensure that all parties have considered what is in the best interests of the child. This is particularly important for those children who have SEND, are vulnerable, and/or who have a social worker. The school will also link with the named officer for Elective Home Education within the Local Authority.
- Private fostering
Our schools have a mandatory duty to report to the local authority if they believe a child is subject to a private fostering arrangement. (This does not include close family relatives e.g., grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or auntie). This means making a referral to children’s services. A private fostering arrangement is made without the knowledge of the local authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18 for children with disabilities) whereby the child is in the care of someone other than their parent or close relative. Further guidance is available in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE, 2021) and in Children Act 1989 private fostering. When a child is privately fostered a social worker must carry out an assessment to ensure the placement is appropriate and consider any support needed.
- Safer recruitment
The Trust will ensure that all appointments follow its recruitment policy and the guidance set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2021). At least one member of the appointments panel will have undertaken safer recruitment. The Trust will undertake all the required DFE pre-employments checks and where appropriate will record these checks on the single central record and retain evidence in personnel files. The Trust will seek written confirmation that third-party organisations including contractor and alternative education providers have undertaken appropriate checks. The Trust’s Safer Recruitment Policy and Procedures set out the processes in more detail and are drawn from School Improvement Liverpool’s Safeguarding Handbook.
The school is required to inform relevant staff who fall within the scope of Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 and establish they are not disqualified. The criteria for disqualification under the 2006 Act and the 2019 Regulations includes inclusion on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Children’s Barred List or committing a relevant offence.
- The Safeguarding Curriculum
The Trust will ensure that each school has a curriculum map which sets out how to help children keep themselves safe from harm. This will include messages which are taught through the Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education and PSHE curriculums, alongside standalone pieces of work and messages delivered through other curriculum areas, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Children will be provided with age appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding to help them recognise and respond to issues such as consent and healthy relationships. Children will be supported to develop their understanding, at the appropriate age, of risks including: when using technology, the internet, and risks associated with grooming and radicalisation, gang and criminal exploitation and misusing drugs and alcohol. The curriculum will include specific sequenced lessons to address sexual harassment, online abuse, sexual violence and issues of consent in an age and stage appropriate way. Our Trust recognises that a one size fits all approach may not be appropriate for all children, and a more personalised approach for more vulnerable children, victims of abuse and some SEND children may be necessary. Children will also learn about the wider safeguarding curriculum which for children would include road safety, anti-bullying and know how to seek support when needed. The Trust will ensure the curriculum promotes an understanding of the values needed to live within a democratic society including the rule of law, and individual liberty. It will promote tolerance and respect for all faiths (and those of no faith), races, genders, ages, disability and sexual orientations.
- Safeguarding children who attend off-site alternative provision
When identifying that a child would benefit from attending off site provision, our schools will undertake an assessment to determine that this placement is in the best interests of the child. We will ensure that the provision identified is suitable to meet the needs of that child. The school will retain responsibility for the safeguarding of any pupils we place in off-site provision. The school will undertake appropriate quality assurance checks to ensure that it is a safe place for the child to attend and will draw upon the specific guidance in the schools’ Safeguarding Handbook relating to this. The school will obtain written confirmation from the provider that the appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out in respect of individuals working at the establishment. The school will have a formal agreement with the alternative provision and parent/carer regarding when the pupil should attend and what procedures that will be followed should the child not attend the placement. The school will ensure it seeks the views of the young people at off-site provision to ensure they feel happy and safe. When commissioning places at alternative provision, the school will pay due regard to Alternative provision – DfE Statutory Guidance and Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school – DfE Statutory Guidance.
- Complaints and Whistleblowing
Complaints about safeguarding should follow the Trust’s complaints policy.
The Trust recognises that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.
Whistleblowing regarding the Head teacher should be made to the Chair of the Governing Body, whose contact details should be readily available to staff.
The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285.
Where professional disagreement occurs and the Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or Deputy are unhappy with the actions or decisions of another agency, they will escalate their concern in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership’s formal escalation policy to ensure a timely resolution.
The first step of any escalation process with another agency is to raise any concerns directly with the other professional and their line manager. A professionals meeting is always a positive way of resolving differences and remaining focussed on the outcomes for the child.
- Proactive Safeguarding
Our Trust recognises that school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children by providing them with opportunities to learn, good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive peers and an ethos of protection. As a result, safeguarding and child protection is at the heart of everything and underpins all policy and procedures within our Trust.
Our Trust recognises that we may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
Our Trust recognises that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside school or can occur between children outside the school. All staff, but especially the Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputy should consider the context within which such incidents or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, or extra-familial harm, which means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.
Our Trust community will:
- Work to establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always listened to. This ethos will be modelled and replicated by staff and governors.
- Promote a caring, safe and positive environment within our schools.
- Ensure that the school sites are a safe, secure and welcoming place to learn and grow.
- Encourage self-esteem and self-assertiveness through the curriculum as well as through personal relationships, whilst not condoning aggression or bullying.
- Include regular consultation with children e.g. through safety questionnaires, participation in anti-bullying week, etc.
- Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
- Include safeguarding messages across the full curriculum, including RSHE/PSHE, to ensure that the children are equipped with the skills they need to recognise risky behaviours, stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help. In particular this will include g. staying safe online, anti-bullying, e-safety, road safety, pedestrian and cycle training, focused work in Year 6 to prepare for transition to Secondary school and more personal safety/independent travel, issues around consent, sexting, positive mental health, etc.
- Offer a positive school experience.
- Ensure all staff are aware of Trust guidance for their use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks
- Ensure that all staff, volunteers, governors, policies and procedures operate with the best interests of the child at their heart.
- Monitoring and Quality Assurance
Policies and procedures only remain effective if they are regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure that they are still applicable and relevant. Our Trust and its Directors recognise the importance of monitoring and quality assuring the effectiveness of our child protection policy and the procedures set out within it. The aim of monitoring and evaluating the child protection policy is to learn from practical experience, which will contribute to inform policy reviews and future changes to the policy and procedures. The process of monitoring and quality assurance will help the Trust to identify the policy strengths and weaknesses, and will help to provide an understanding of the reasons for these, so that decisions can be made to resolve any limitations with immediate effect.
Monitoring and evaluation will be done by checking whether the standards from the child protection policy are implemented and whether safeguards are working and will be undertaken throughout the year by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, the Head teacher and the Chair of Governors. Activities which could form part of the ongoing monitoring of effectiveness could be:
- Scrutiny of the Single Central Record and personnel files to ensure pre-employment checks are robust and up-to-date, and that job descriptions for new positions include reference to child protection, etc.
- Scrutiny of the school’s annual 175 safeguarding audit by the Chair of Governors and Link Governor for Safeguarding, alongside the full governing body having oversight of any actions arising from the audit.
- Confirmation that training has been undertaken according to planned schedule and that all relevant staff and volunteers have participated
- There is effective analysis of safeguarding data including bullying, attendance, exclusions, behaviour logs, pupils taken off roll, the views and progress and participation of vulnerable students. In particular, the Trust will monitor the link between attendance and safeguarding and those persistently absent, frequently late, missing Trust (including part of the Trust day) or those who suddenly stop attending.
- Methods such as ‘safeguarding training questionnaires’ used to evidence the effectiveness of staff training
- Regular meetings with staff, volunteers and children which include the opportunity to discuss safeguarding and child protection, or use of questionnaires to evidence this
- Safeguarding learning walks designed to evidence and test out key safeguarding standards
- Adapting and amending the policy and procedures outside of their annual review date to reflect current issues which may have recently arisen in order to ensure that all children are protected at all times.
Our Trust will also draw upon additional quality assurance activities and templates referenced within the School Improvement Liverpool Trusts Safeguarding Handbook e.g. Single Central Record Checklist, Personnel Record Checklist and the Headteacher’s Quality Assurance Checklist.