Safeguarding and Child Protection
Policy and Procedures
1. Policy statement:
At Criftins CE Primary School we believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognise that safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people is everyone’s responsibility. We follow Shropshire Safeguarding Community Partnership (SSCP) procedures and acknowledge that the welfare of the child is paramount. As a Church of England Primary School, we believe that every child matters and that everyone has the right to be heard.
At Criftins CE Primary School it is our duty to respond promptly and appropriately to all concerns, incidents or allegations of abuse or neglect of a child. We work in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies. Our statutory duties and supporting guidance are set out in The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021, the Compulsory Childcare Register, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy as:
Protecting children from maltreatment;
Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development;
Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
This policy is also based on the following legislation and guidance:
· The Children Act 1989 and 2004 - Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as; protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and undertaking that role to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
· Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989 states that the law empowers anyone who has care of a child to do all that is reasonable in the circumstances to safeguard his/her welfare.
· Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015 – preventing people being drawn into terrorism and promotion of British values to ensure children are kept safe from radicalisation
· Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 – Serious Crime Act 2015 - mandatory reporting of FGM from 31st October 2015
· Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021
· The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which outlines when people with criminal convictions can work with children
· Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which defines what ‘regulated activity’ is in relation to children
· Statutory guidance on the Prevent duty, which explains schools’ duties under the Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015 with respect to protecting people from the risk of radicalisation and extremism
· Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021
· The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021
· The Ofsted Compulsory Childcare Register
During COVID-19 the school have put in place a Safeguarding and Child Protection Addendum to ensure that additional safeguarding measures have been put in place. Staff are to refer to the Addendum for specific procedures during COVID-19 as well as following this policy.
This policy and procedure will also link to other setting/school policies:
British Values Policy
Staff code of conduct
Looked After Children
Educational Trips and Visits
Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation
Special Educational Needs Policy
2.1 Adult Roles
All staff (including students and volunteers) in Criftins CE Primary School are familiar with the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect stated in Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2018 as set out in
All staff are aware of their individual roles in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including their responsibility to be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. We ensure that all staff (including students and volunteers) undergo an induction process where they are given copies of the procedures they must follow if they suspect abuse or neglect. On-going support is provided through regular supervision and appraisals to ensure these policies and procedures are put into practice to protect children.
As part of induction, training will include the school’s behaviour policy and the school’s procedures for managing children who are missing education, as well as the staff code of conduct, and the child protection policy. Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 Part 1 must be read by all members of the staff; everyone working directly with children must also be issued with Annex A. Designated Safeguarding Leads, management and governing bodies should read KCSiE 2021 in its entirety.
All staff are expected to update their child protection training at least every three years. In addition, all staff members should receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who will take the lead for safeguarding and child protection issues is: Mrs Mandy Jones
The deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are Mr Gino Rushton and Mrs Anna Careless-Jones
The safeguarding link governor who oversees this work is: Mrs Janet Garguilo
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead will update their child protection/safeguarding training every two years (for school settings) and has specific responsibilities as listed in Appendix A and B
2.2 Record Keeping
When a concern about a child’s welfare or safety is raised it will be discussed with the designated lead and recorded. The designated lead will decide if the concern should be shared with another agency (see decision making below) or kept on record in case future concerns arise. The reason for the decision will be noted alongside the record.
Records should include:
• a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern;
• details of how the concern was followed up and resolved;
• a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome.
All records will be stored on electronic system ‘My Concern’. Where children leave the school or college (including in year transfers) the designated safeguarding lead should ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new school or college 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.
When a child/pupil transfers to another school/setting within this or another authority, the confidential information held is forwarded under confidential cover and separate from the child’s/pupil’s main file to the DSL for child protection in the receiving school/setting and confirmation of receipt should be obtained.
This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt should be obtained (Appendix D).
In addition to the child protection file the DSL will consider sharing information with the new setting/school/college in advance of a child leaving.
Information sharing is vital in identifying and tackling all forms of abuse and neglect, and in promoting children’s welfare, including their educational outcomes. Schools and colleges have clear powers to share, hold and use information for these purposes. We follow the guidance in the HMG 2018 guide ‘Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers’ and the HMG 2015 guide ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’.
Staff should be proactive in sharing information as early as possible to help identify, assess, and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children, whether this is when problems are first emerging, or where a child is already known to the local authority children’s social care. Governing bodies and proprietors are aware that among other obligations, the Data Protection Act 2018, and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) place duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully and to keep the information they hold safe and secure.
When information is being accumulated prior to possible referral we will start a chronology of events on ‘My Concern’. Some chronologies will need to be produced for a specific reason for example, when a new relationship is started, during multi-agency meetings, from the start of a significant event, or from the start of the date parameters set by a statutory case review. The chronology should then continue throughout the intervention, or for as long as is required.
The designated lead will regularly review all child protection chronologies to decide if the accumulation of events is having a detrimental impact on a child and must be referred to Compass. If the designated lead decides not to refer, the reason will be noted on the child’s chronology. Concerns are kept live until the child is no longer in need. Concerns are then filed electronically on ‘My Concern’ and then passed on to the next school.
2.3 Decision making – ‘Accessing the right service at the right time’
We take a holistic approach to safeguarding all children in our care and recognise that different families need a different level of support at different times. To enable us to recognise at which level a family might require support; we use the Shropshire Safeguarding Community Partnership Multi-Agency Guidance on Threshold Criteria to help support Children, Young People and their Families in Shropshire. Shropshire Threshold Document
This guidance identifies four levels to ensure all children receive the support and intervention they need to achieve a positive life experience. Of central importance in understanding where a child’s needs might lie on this continuum, is the cooperation and engagement of parents and carers and we aim to develop good, professional relationships to ensure that we have a shared understanding of each child’s needs.
It should be noted that if parents demonstrate a lack of co-operation or appreciation about the concerns, we identify this may raise the level of the need and required level of action.
Level 1 – Universal
Children with no additional needs and where there are no concerns. Typically, these children are likely to live in a resilient and protective environment where their needs are met. These children will require no additional support beyond that which is universally available.
We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 to provide individual support for all children. Each child is allocated a key person who will make a relationship both with the child and his or her family. The key person will make observations and keep records to ensure there are no barriers to a child’s learning and establish stable and affectionate relationships.
We anticipate that by working closely with parents and sign-posting families to other universal services within our community that we can meet the needs of children and families at this level.
Consent must be sought to access services and share information with others. Any information sharing between agencies without consent must be clear as to its legal basis.
Ensure privacy information is shared with the family and a consent form completed.
Support is provided by services identified as universal in local communities and are available to all. These include: schools, colleges, early years and childcare provision, primary healthcare provision (i.e. GP, hospitals), and the voluntary and community sector.
Universal support will most likely be provided by a single agency and/or existing support from family, friends, the community.
It is these Universal Services who are best placed to ensure children and families have access to the Early Help Offer. The needs of the child/young person are appropriately met within this framework.
Universal Services are constant and remain involved if/when the child/family move up to other levels of need.
Level 2 – Children in need of Early Help
These children can be defined as needing some additional support without which they would be at risk of not meeting their full potential.
Their identified needs may relate to their health, educational, or social development, and are likely to be short term needs. If ignored these issues may develop into more worrying concerns for the child.
In addition to the Whole Family Assessment, specific local tools and pathways should be used where there are concerns about possible harm to the child.
Early Help aims to provide a multi-agency response when a single agency is not able to progress and help the child and their family.
The existing single agency or multi-agency team should work with the family and each other to complete a Whole Family Assessment and Action Plan.
At this stage a lead professional/practitioner should be identified who can build a relationship with the whole family and ensure that the whole family’s needs are met, and any actions progressed.
Consent must be sought to access services. Any information sharing between agencies without consent must be clear as to its legal basis.
Ensure privacy information is shared with the family and a consent form completed.
Level 3 –Targeted Early Help
This level applies to those children identified as requiring targeted support and who meet at least 2 of the 6 Strengthening Families criteria in the Whole Family Assessment. It is likely that for these children their needs and care are compromised.
These children will be those who are vulnerable to harm or experiencing adversity. In addition to the Whole Family Assessment, specific local tools and pathways should be used where there are concerns about possible harm to the child.
These children are potentially at risk of developing acute/ complex needs if they do not receive targeted early help.
If a child continues to have unmet needs which cannot be met by Universal or Early Help support, then the existing single agency or multi-agency team should work with the family and each other to review the Whole Family Assessment and Action Plan and follow the Request for Intervention Pathway to request more intensive family support from a Targeted Early Help Family Support Worker.
Consent must be sought from the family to access services. Any information sharing between agencies without consent must be clear as to its legal basis.
Ensure privacy information is shared with the family and a consent form completed
Level 4 – Complex Significant Needs
These are children whose needs and care at the present time are likely to be significantly compromised and or they are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and so who require intervention from Shropshire Council Children’s Social Care.
An immediate referral to Compass should be made for assessment under Section 17 or Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
Specific local tools and pathways and the Shropshire Threshold Matrix should be used to support their referral and help practitioners to assess significant harm to the child.
Child in Need
Section 17 of the Children Act (1989) states that a child shall be considered in need if:
• They are unlikely to achieve, maintain or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision of services by a local authority.
• Their health and development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provisions of such services
• They are disabled.
Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 states that the authority shall make necessary enquiries to enable them to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare where there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
Where it is suspected that a child may be suffering or be at risk of suffering significant harm; referring practitioners must inform parents or carers that they are making a referral to Compass, and seek consent unless to do so may:
• Place the child at increased risk of significant harm; or
• Place any other person at risk of injury; or
• Obstruct or interfere with any potential Police investigation; or
• Lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm.
Guidance for assessment practice can be found on page 13 of the Shropshire Threshold document.
(Taken from: Multi-agency Guidance on Threshold Criteria to help support Children, Young People and their Families in Shropshire 2021) Threshold Document
2.4 Partnership with families
A copy of this policy is made available to all parents prior to their child joining our school/setting as well as details of the complaints procedure. In general, any concerns will be discussed with parents and we will offer support. All conversations, whatever the outcome, should be recorded appropriately to show that they took place, identify what was agreed and evaluate how effectively they enabled needs to be met. In this way quality conversations can demonstrate their impact on successful practice, including improvements in decision making and joint working. Conversations should continue to inform the on-going planning and reviewing.
Practitioners working with families at a Universal, Early Help or Targeted level will need to get the consent of the family before any information is held or shared with other agencies. If the practitioner does not gain the family’s consent and in future has ongoing concerns, they should consider contacting Compass for advice and guidance. Except for child protection matters, referrals to Compass cannot be accepted without parents having been consulted first.
Consent is not required for child protection referrals where it is suspected that a child may be suffering or be at risk of suffering significant harm; however, the referring practitioner, would need to inform parents or carers that they are making a referral, unless to do so may:
Place the child at increased risk of Significant Harm; or
Place any other person at risk of injury; or
Obstruct or interfere with any potential Police investigation; or
Lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm.
The child’s interest must be the overriding consideration in making such decisions. Decisions should be recorded. If consent is withheld by the parent:
If it is felt that the child’s needs can be met through Early Help, then discussion with the family should take place about the completion of an Early Help Assessment and provision of services through an Early Help Plan. Early help consultations are available from the Early Help Advisors for support in managing these situations.
For another agency familiar with the child and family to make the approach about information sharing to the family.
No assessment should take place. The rational for this decision will be recorded on the concerns form.
The combination of the concerns and the refusal to consent to enquiries being made may result in the concerns being defined as child protection concerns. In this case, information sharing may proceed without parental consent. The consultation and the decision to proceed without consent must be recorded on the case papers.
If a child has been injured or is in imminent danger of being injured then we will contact the emergency services, medical or police, immediately on 999.
When making a level 4 referral to Compass we will ensure we have a record of all details required detailed on a Shropshire Multi-Agency Referral Form
2.5 Specific legal duties to report
Legislation has recognised and criminalised the following types of abuse and placed duties on education settings to report offences to the authorities:
Radicalisation and the Prevent Duty
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2015 Prevent Strategy – this promotes the values of:
the rule of law
tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our setting promotes these values to ensure that children build resilience – see Appendix F Our school is also a Church of England School and we promote our Christian Values also listed under Appendix F which further support our British Values
If a member of staff has a concern about a pupil/s they should follow the school’s/settings normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s/settings designated safeguarding lead as set out in the Child Protection/safeguarding policy.
The designated lead should contact West Mercia Prevent Team:
Sgt Calum Forsyth – 07970 047227
DC Holly Aungiers – 01386 591815
We have a separate policy ‘Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy’
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Whilst all staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) about any concerns about female genital mutilation (FGM), there is a specific legal duty on teachers. If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police.
I/We may not seek parental consent if this may put the girl at increased risk.
Domestic abuse and honour-based violence
Children living in households where there is domestic abuse such as coercion or violence, including honour-based violence, could be at significant risk of harm. We will seek support for victims and their children through Compass.
Depending on the level of risk, I/we may or may not consult parents before contacting Compass.
2.6 Specific safeguarding issues
To ensure that our children and young people are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. Staff are made aware of specific safeguarding issues (listed below) through child protection training, reading up to date guidance such as Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 Part 1 and Annex A, Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage stated in Section 3 – The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements and accessing SSCP procedures at http://www.safeguardingshropshireschildren.org.uk/
All staff are made aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator of abuse. The DSL will liaise with the school mental health lead Rebecca Hedley to ensure information is being shared. Mental health has a high priority within the school and published on the school website https://www.criftins.shropshire.sch.uk/mental-health-and-well-being/
If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, following the child protection policy, and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy. The Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools guidance sets out how schools and colleges can help prevent mental health problems by promoting resilience as part of an integrated, whole school/college approach to social and emotional wellbeing, which is tailored to the needs of their pupils.
Children may need a social worker due to safeguarding or welfare needs. Local authorities will share this information with the school, and the DSL will hold and use this information so that decisions can be made in the nest interests of the child's safety, welfare and educational outcomes.
This School ensures that the DSL is continually updated in all areas below. They are familiar with the referral pathways and specific toolkits and guidance available on the SSCP website.
All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking and or alcohol misuse, deliberately missing education and consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes images and/or videos (UCKIS) can be signs that children are at risk.
Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. For example, information for schools, colleges and early years settings can be found on the TES, MindEd and the NSPCC websites. Staff can access government guidance as required on the issues listed below via GOV.UK and other government websites.
Bullying including cyberbullying.
Child Criminal Exploitation: County Lines.
Child missing from education, home or care
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Children and the court system
Children with family members in prison
Health and Wellbeing e.g. fabricated or induced illness, medical conditions, mental health and behaviour.
Faith based abuse
So -called honour-based abuse (including Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage.
Gangs and youth violence
Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG) Homelessness
Hate (Appendix G)
Missing children and adults’ strategy
Peer on Peer Abuse e.g. Sexting (youth produced sexual imagery), Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
All staff should be aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside of these environments. All staff, but especially the DSL and deputy DSLs should consider whether children are at risk of abuse and exploitation in situations outside their families. Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.
Peer on Peer / child on child abuse
Staff should recognise that children can abuse their peers. Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. Victims of peer abuse should be supported as they would be if they were the victim of any other form of abuse, in accordance with this policy. A zero-tolerance approach will be adopted by all staff at Criftins CE Primary School.
Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and/or harmed by their peers who are the same age or similar age.
Staff are aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer-on-peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to: bullying (including cyberbullying);
· bullying (including cyberbullying);
· abuse in personal intimate relationships between peers
· physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
· sexual violence such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault
· sexual harassment such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes or online
· Causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent
· sexual or sexist name calling
· inappropriate or unwanted sexualised touching
· consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi nudes images and or videos (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery);Upskirting, typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
· sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery);
· revenge porn
· initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
Children can experience peer-on-peer sexual abuse in a wide range of settings, including:
· at school
· at home or in someone else's home
· in public spaces
It can take place in spaces which are supervised or unsupervised. Within a school context, for example, peer-on-peer sexual abuse might take place in spaces such as toilets, the playground, corridors and when children are walking home. All staff should understand, that even if there are no reports in their schools or colleges it does not mean it is not happening, it may be the case that it is just not being reported
All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from school, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs.
All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these. Advice for schools and colleges is provided in the Home Office’s Preventing youth violence and gang involvement and its Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance9.
Compliance with the Public-Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is a legal requirement for schools and colleges that are public bodies.
Under the PSED, schools and colleges that are public bodies have a general duty to have regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, to advance equality of opportunity between different groups and to foster good relations between different groups. The duty applies to all protected characteristics and means that whenever significant decisions are being made or policies developed, thought must be given to the equality implications such as, for example, the elimination of sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Criftins CE Primary School will ensure that the following areas are covered within the curriculum to try and minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse:
· healthy and respectful relationships;
· what respectful behaviour looks like;
· gender roles, stereotyping, equality;
· body confidence and self-esteem;
· prejudiced behaviour;
· that sexual violence and sexual harassment is always wrong; and
· addressing cultures of sexual harassment.
Schools often deliver this currently, through planned, high-quality, Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE). Please refer to the school RSHE policy for more information.
If staff have any concerns regarding peer on peer abuse, they should speak to their designated safeguarding lead (or deputy). The school would respond to an incident of Peer on Peer abuse by recording the incident on a Concern Reporting Form (Appendix I) and by following guidance as set out in Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges published by Department for Education and Part 5 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021. In summary the process and procedures for managing a sexual violence or sexual harassment incident are;
Whole school approach:
Pre-planned risk assessment proforma in place
Training for staff on how to report incidents
Training on how to manage reports
Peer on peer policy in place
Responding to a report:
Victims are reassured, supported and kept safe
Record the concern
Inform the DSL if not involved in the initial report.
Risk assessment for victim
Risk assessment for alleged perpetrator
Risk assessment for all other children involved
Initial consideration of children sharing a classroom and/or having direct contact in school
Initial consideration of contact between children travelling to and from school
Support for victim and alleged perpetrator
Managing the report:
Consider the options to manage the report, including manage internally, early help, referral to children’s social care and report to police
Consider bail conditions
Manage delays in the criminal process
The school monitors whether there are any patterns of peer on peer abuse by recording on My Concern electronic safeguarding system and will determine necessary support and intervention.
It is vital that staff at Criftins CE Primary School understand that the child who is perpetrating the abuse may also be risk of harm. Staff should make every effort to ensure that the perpetrator is also treated as a victim and undertake assessments to conclude this. Sensitive work must be undertaken with the child who is perpetrating, by helping them to understand the nature of their behaviour and the effect it has on others may prevent abuse.
Staff must be able to use their professional judgement in identifying when what may be perceived as “normal developmental childhood behaviour” becomes abusive, dangerous and harmful to others. Designated leads may need to consult with the SSCP Threshold document to help with their decision making.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead has attended Brook Traffic Light Training which will support in identifying developmentally typical behaviours or those that may be referred to as problematic or harmful.
Children do not always feel able to speak out about their experiences of peer-on-peer sexual abuse. They may be afraid of:
· being considered a ‘snitch’
· getting in trouble themselves
· how they will be perceived by others
· teachers or other adults not being discrete
· their parents being informed
A helpline was launched by the NSPCC on 1st April 2021 to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Run by the NSPCC it aims to provide advice and support to both children and adults who are victims of abuse in school. It will also include how to contact the police to report crimes. The advice line is also available to support professionals and parents. NSPCC helpline number is 0800 136 663.
This dedicated helpline will offer support to:
· all children and young people making current and non-recent disclosures of abuse
· any children or young people who want to talk about being involved or witnessing any incidents
· any adults who have experienced non-recent abuse
· parents and carers who have any concerns about their own or other children
· professionals who work in schools and need support in this or related issues.
This school promotes the use of this helpline by;
· Posters around the school
· Promoted in school assemblies & staff meetings
· Newsletters to parents
· On the school website
2.7 Safeguarding children with special educational needs and disabilities
It is recognised that children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can present additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. These can include: assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury, relate to the child’s impairment without further exploration; children with SEND can be disproportionately impacted by issues such as bullying, without necessarily showing outward signs; communication barriers.
It is important, therefore, to be particularly sensitive to these issues when considering any aspect of the welfare and safety of such children, and to seek professional advice where necessary.
Any reports of abuse involving children with SEND will therefore require close liaison with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputy) and the SENCO (Catherine Wilson).
2.8 Alternative Provision
The cohort of pupils accessing Alternative Provision often have complex needs, it is important that governing bodies and proprietors are aware of the additional risk of harm that their pupils may be vulnerable to. The Department has issued two pieces of statutory guidance to which commissioners of Alternative Provision should have regard: Alternative Provision and DfE Statutory Guidance Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school
Criftins CE Primary School ensures that any alternative provision used for pupils is quality assured. A quality assurance checklist (Appendix G) is used to evidence those safeguarding procedures are being followed and the necessary vetting checks for staff at the Alternative Provision have been undertaken.
2.9 Children Missing Education
All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full-time education, which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area. Effective information sharing between parents, schools, colleges and local authorities is critical to ensuring that all children are safe and receiving suitable education
A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect and such children are at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation. School staff should follow their procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of going missing in future. Where reasonably possible the school will hold at least two emergency contacts for very child in the school in case of emergency and in case there are welfare concerns at home.
Schools should put in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. 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. Further information about children at risk of missing education can be found in the Children Missing Education guidance or Shropshire Council Learning Gateway.
There are many reasons why we want young children to have regular attendance at our setting. As well as supporting their learning and development, we want to try to make sure that children are kept safe, their wellbeing is promoted, and they do not miss out on their entitlements and opportunities. In a small minority of cases, good attendance practice may also lead to the earlier identification of more serious concerns for a child or family and may have a vital part to play in keeping a child or other family members safe from harm.
In our setting, we have procedures for recording and following up any unexplained non-attendance and know how to respond to different problems and where to access advice, support or whom to alert if concerns arise.
The school works closely with the EWO in monitoring attendance. The Administrative staff will telephone the home setting if a child is not reported absent.
2.10 Elective Home Education
Many home educated children have an overwhelmingly positive learning experience. We would expect the parents’ decision to home educate to be made with their child’s best education at the heart of the decision. However, this is not the case for all, and home education can mean some children are less visible to the services that are there to keep them safe and supported in line with their needs.
Please see link to Elective Home Education (Shropshire Council)
2.11 Safeguarding children who are Looked After
Staff are aware the most common reason for children becoming looked after is because of abuse and/or neglect. Appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. Appropriate staff members also have information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her. The designated safeguarding lead has details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual school head in the authority that looks after the child.
The designated teacher for looked after children will work with the Local Authority to promote the educational achievement of registered pupils who are looked after or who have left care through adoption, special guardianship, child arrangement orders or who are adopted from state care outside of England and Wales. The appointment of a designated teacher is a statutory requirement for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies.
The designated safeguarding lead should have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual head teacher. The designated safeguarding lead should work closely with the designated teacher.
The Designated Teacher for LAC in Criftins CE Primary School is Mrs Mandy Jones
At the beginning of each session or school day parents are requested to notify us of any accidents, incidents or injuries which may affect their child before leaving him/her at the setting/school. A note will be made of any existing injuries and how the injury was received will be recorded. A body map may be used to indicate any marks/bruises (Refer to body map in Multi-agency referral form (MARF)
Any serious injury occurring in the school/setting e.g. broken bone, is reported to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) via RIDDOR. This is also reported to Ofsted within 14 days (see Appendix I). Reports are sent to the LA in the first instance.
2.13 Safe use of ICT and mobile phones (this relates to ICT Security Policy, Visitor Code of Conduct, E-Safety Policy)
It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. At Criftins CE Primary School we ensure that there are appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems in place. The school has an eaware resource to teach children about remaining safe online this can also be accessed by parents.
We have an effective whole school/college approach to online safety empowers us as a school, to protect and educate pupils, students, our staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns 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, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
· contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
· conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
· commerce - risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams. If you feel your pupils, students or staff are at risk, please report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group(https://apwg.org/).
Training – The Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that, as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regular updated safeguarding training, including online safety and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety, that safeguarding training for staff, including online safety training, is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the whole school or college safeguarding approach and wider staff training and curriculum planning.
· All staff use the eaware resource
· Pupils have termly updates on keeping safe online in addition to naturally occurring incidents and opportunities for teaching.
· The Federation has a trained CEOP Ambassador
· Information is shared on the school website with parents/carers, the school app is also used to send regular updates.
· Staff and pupils sign annually an acceptable user policy
Where children are being asked to learn online at home the school will follow advice from the Department of Education; safeguarding and remote education. Pupils access home learning via seesaw, tapestry and Microsoft teams. These are all platforms parents/carers are aware of and know how to use safely.
The use of mobile phones and other electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and game devices is commonplace. However, as a society, we are beginning to recognise that although these devices have brought great benefit we also need to ensure that we help children to understand there are dangers and how to keep themselves safe. This includes:
· Keeping personal details secure
· Understanding that not all content is appropriate, truthful or legal
· What to do if they do accidently access inappropriate or illegal content
· What to do if they are upset by something they receive
· What to do if they are going to physically meet someone they have met on-line
Appropriate use of mobile phones is essential at Criftins CE Primary School.
Staff can use their personal mobile phones during their break times in designated areas. During working hours, they must be kept out of the reach of children and parents in personal belongings or a secure area accessible only to staff. All staff are made aware of their duty to follow this procedure, and to challenge anyone not adhering to it.
Visitors to the setting (including parents) must adhere to the visitor code of conduct. Mobiles phones must be kept out of sight at all times or left in the visitors car/off premises. Visitors are not permitted to use their mobile phones in school unless given permission in a special circumstance by a senior member of staff
We believe that photographs validate children’s experiences and achievements and are a valuable way of recording milestones in a child’s life. Parental permission for the different ways in which we use photographs is gained as part of the initial registration at Criftins CE Primary School. We take a mixture of photos that reflect the preschool environment, sometimes this will be when children are engrossed in an activity either on their own or with their peers. To safeguard children and adults and to maintain privacy, cameras are not to be used during intimate care situations by adults or children.
We use ipads and cameras to take photographs of children. Photos are not kept on devices they are kept securely on the onedrive or uploaded to secure areas such as: Tapestry or seesaw. Photos are used where permission is granted (by parent/carer) on the school website, app, newspaper and internally as part of displays.
Each year we have ‘internet safety week’ where children are taught directly about the safe use of the internet in school and at home. The federation ambassador for CEOP is Karen Twigg and the local Police Officer PC Crump offers advice and workshops for parents. Further information regarding our use of ICT can be found in our E-safety Policy and our ICT Security Policy. We informally support our parents/carers and pupils throughout the school year as issues arise so that we are vigilant in picking up issues and dealing with them.
Through induction, staff and volunteers are made aware of our ‘acceptable use of technology’ policy both at home and in the workplace. If any staff or volunteers breach this policy, then we will take disciplinary action which may result in a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Children are not permitted to bring to school or use mobile devices. Where a phone is required for safeguarding purposes (e.g. where a child is walking to school) it must be left with the teacher or administrator during the school day.
2.14 Escalating / de-escalating concerns
Just because a child is assessed at a point in time as meeting certain threshold criteria does not mean that they always will. An assessment is an on-going process, not an event; children’s needs often change over time. The Designated Lead for Safeguarding will maintain an overview of all children with a plan to ensure children’s needs are being met at the right level of intervention. Of central importance in understanding where a child’s needs might lie on this continuum, is the cooperation and engagement of the parents and carers – a lack of co-operation or appreciation about the concern may of itself raise the level of the need and required response.
2.15 The impact of abuse
The impact of child abuse should not be underestimated. Many children do recover well and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives, although most adult survivors agree that the emotional scars remain, however well buried. For some children, full recovery is beyond their reach, and the rest of their childhood and their adulthood may be characterised by anxiety or depression, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol and substance misuse, unequal and destructive relationships and long-term medical or psychiatric difficulties.
2.16 Taking action
Key points to remember for taking action are:
in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call 999
report your concern to the DSL immediately
if the DSL is not able to be contacted ensure action is taken to report the concern to children’s social care
do not start your own investigation
share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
complete a record of concern (Appendix I)
seek support for yourself if you are distressed.
If you suspect a child is at risk of harm
There will be occasions when you suspect that a child may be at serious risk, but you have no ‘real’ evidence. The child’s behaviour may have changed, or you may have noticed other physical but inconclusive signs. In these circumstances, you should try to give the child the opportunity to talk. The signs you have noticed may be due to a variety of factors and it is fine to ask the child if they are alright or if you can help in any way. Staff at Criftins CE Primary School have been made aware of the Shropshire Children Reporting Concern guidance.
Use the welfare concern form (see Appendix I) to record these early concerns. If the child does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, you should follow the advice in the section below ‘If a child discloses information to you’.
If, following your conversation, you remain concerned, you should discuss your concerns with the designated person.
If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, following the procedures set out in this policy and by speaking with the DSL.
If a child tells you that they’ve been abused
It takes a lot of courage for a child to tell someone that they are being neglected and or abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual, their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults, or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault.
If a child talks to you about any risks to their safety or wellbeing you will need to let them know that you must pass the information on – you are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which you do this is a matter for professional judgement. If you jump in immediately the child may think that you do not want to listen, if you leave it till the very end of the conversation, the child may feel that you have misled them into revealing more than they would have otherwise.
During your conversation with the child:
Allow them to speak freely.
Remain calm and do not over react – the child may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting you.
Give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘this isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’.
Do not be afraid of silences – remember how hard this must be for the child.
Under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the child’s mother thinks about all this.
At an appropriate time tell the child that to help them you must pass the information on.
Do not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused.
Avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be your way of being supportive but the child may interpret it that they have done something wrong.
Tell the child what will happen next. The child may agree to go with you to see the designated person. Otherwise let them know that someone will come to see them before the end of the day.
Report verbally to the designated person.
Write up your conversation as soon as possible on the record of concern form and hand it to the designated person.
Seek support if you feel distressed.
Information is recorded directly on to our electronic safeguarding system. Body maps can be used if needed on the system. Any member of staff including visitors can log a concern which is immediately shared with the DSL.
2.17 Prevention in the Curriculum
Criftins CE Primary School recognises the importance of developing pupils’ awareness of behaviour that is unacceptable towards them and others, and how they can help keep themselves and others safe. From point of entry to the setting (in an age-appropriate way) a culture of ‘keeping safe’ is established. We complete our Safer School accreditation annually; offer learning mentor support; embed Christian values and culture; undertake direct specialist weeks such as anti-bullying week and e-safety and all staff vigilant in order to identify children who may be vulnerable.
Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education and/or RSHE programmes in each key stage provides personal development opportunities for pupils to learn about keeping safe and who to ask for help if their safety is threatened. As part of developing a healthy, safer lifestyle, pupils are taught to, for example.
Safely explore their own and others’ attitudes.
Recognise and manage risks in different situations and how to behave responsibly.
Judge what kind of physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable.
Recognise when pressure from others (including people they know) threatens their personal safety and well-being and develop effective ways of resisting pressure; including knowing when and where to get help.
Use assertiveness techniques to resist unhelpful pressure.
The importance of Internet safety
2.18 Managing allegations of abuse made against staff (this includes apprentices & supply staff), students or volunteers (see Appendix J)
As part of our whole school approach to safeguarding, this school will ensure that we promote an open and transparent culture in which all concerns about all adults working in or on behalf of the school or college (including supply teachers, volunteers and contractors) are dealt with promptly and appropriately.
There are two levels of concern;
1. Allegations that may meet the harms threshold.
2. Allegation/concerns that do not meet the harms threshold – which may be referred to as ‘low level concerns’.
Allegations which might indicate that a person would pose a risk of harm to children if they continue to work in regular or close contact with children in their present position will be taken seriously. We have a duty to inform Ofsted of any serious allegations made against a person which suggests he or she has:
· behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
· possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
· behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would 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.
We also have a duty of care towards our staff. We provide support for anyone facing an allegation and provide employees with a named contact if they are suspended. It is essential that any allegations of abuse made against members of staff or volunteers are dealt with very quickly, in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.
In the first instance, the designated lead for safeguarding will meet with the Senior Manager identified in the employer’s procedure to consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action. The Senior Manager identified the employer’s procedure will then contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to confirm the course of action
If there are concerns about a staff member then this should be referred to the headteacher or principal. Where there are concerns about the headteacher or principal, this should be referred to the chair of governors.
Where the school or college identify a child has been harmed, that there may be an immediate risk of harm to a child or if the situation is an emergency, they should contact children’s social care and as appropriate the police immediately. There are two aspects to consider when an allegation is made:
• Looking after the welfare of the child - the designated safeguarding lead is responsible for ensuring that the child is not at risk and referring cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care.
• Investigating and supporting the person subject to the allegation - the case manager should discuss with the LADO, the nature, content and context of the allegation, and agree a course of action.
The LADO may ask for additional information, such as previous history, whether the child or their family have made similar allegations previously and the individual’s current contact with children. There may be situations when the LADO will want to involve the police immediately, for example if the person is deemed to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence.
The initial sharing of information and evaluation may lead to a decision that no further action is to be taken regarding the individual facing the allegation or concern; in which case, this decision and a justification for it will be recorded by both the Registered Person/Headteacher and the LADO, and agreement reached on what information should be put in writing to the individuals concerned and by whom. The Registered Person/Headteacher will then consider with the LADO what action should follow both in respect of the individual and those who made the initial allegation.
If further action is required, we will follow the advice of the LADO and co-operate with any investigations. We will follow instructions about what can be disclosed to the accused and whether he/she should be suspended whilst further investigations take place. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process. Clear advice will be given to workers on the process of investigation by other agencies. We will follow advice about how to inform families about the allegation.
In all cases, we will notify Ofsted within 14 days of the allegations first being made and inform them about what actions are being taken by completing the on-line form at: https://ofstedonline.ofsted.gov.uk/ofsted/Ofsted_Early_Years_Notification.ofml
If the member of staff/volunteer is found to be a risk to children and vulnerable adults, the Disclosure & Barring Service will be notified. If an allegation is made against the Designated Lead the DDSL will make the referral. If we are aware of the details of a child who has or may have been harmed by a member of staff or volunteer we will contact Compass to make a referral to seek support for the child.
There is a legal requirement for employers to make a referral to the DBS where they think that an individual has engaged in conduct that harmed (or is likely to harm) a child; or if a person otherwise poses a risk of harm to a child. Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Whistle blowing is a mechanism by which adults can voice their concerns in good faith, without fear of repercussion. Any behaviour by colleagues that raises concern regardless of source will be recorded and reported to the designated practitioner or appropriate agency.
2.19 Recruiting Staff
We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children. (More information can be found in our recruitment and retention policy).
Job adverts and application packs refer to our safeguarding policy and procedures.
Applicants for posts are clearly informed that positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. We ensure that we meet our responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Where applicants are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, we will inform the applicant about their right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
We comply with the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021 and the Compulsory Childcare Register, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 in respect of references and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks for staff and volunteers to ensure that no disqualified or unsuitable person works with or has access to the children.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 states that schools will be required to complete a risk assessment for each volunteer to decide whether they need to do an enhanced DBS check or not. (Note that even if it is decided an enhanced DBS is to be requested, if the volunteer is not in regulated activity, then schools are not legally allowed to do a barred list check).
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors, including prospective candidates, to the setting and ensure that we have control over who comes into the premises so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
Where pupils are placed in an alternative provision, the schools should obtain a written statement from the provider that they have completed all the vetting and barring checks that are necessary on their staff.
2.20 Staff Supervision (including students and volunteers)
To ensure that all staff are alert to any issues for concern, staff receive regular training and updates in safeguarding and child protection through a range of training and supervision activities. This includes both formal and informal supervision, annual appraisals, staff meetings and access to SSCP approved training. Individual supervision offers staff an opportunity to receive coaching to improve their practice with children and address any issues resulting in poor performance. Individual supervision also provides a safe space in which to raise any concerns they may have about the conduct of other adults connected with the setting. Support is given through the Educational Psychology service for the ELSA and via an external counsellor for the Learning Mentor/Mental Health Lead. Supervision is arranged to suit the needs of the individual.
Staff supervision is also used to ensure that all staff remain suitable to work with children. If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, the staff member should seek medical advice. The setting will ensure that staff members only work directly with children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair that staff member’s ability to look after children properly.
Staff are also required to disclose any information, which may lead to their disqualification as outlined in The Statutory Framework for the EYFS 2021 3.14-3.18 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021
2.21 Resolution of professional disagreements
When practitioners are working together in the complex business of safeguarding children there will inevitably be occasions when there are professional differences of opinion or concerns about practice decisions, actions or lack of actions to a referral, assessment or the progress of child’s plan. In these circumstances practitioners have a duty to take action to address professional disagreements as soon as they arise in a way that is appropriate and proportionate
Examples of case-specific professional disagreements include:
When there is disagreement about the response to a referral made by one agency to another agency or service (e.g. decision making).
When there is disagreement about the outcome of an assessment.
When there is serious concern about the implementation of a child's Plan and disagreement about how this should be addressed (e.g. agreed actions not being followed through).
When there is serious concern about the effectiveness of a child's Plan in bringing about the necessary changes and disagreement about how this should be addressed (e.g. drift/delay).
When there is disagreement over the sharing of information in a particular case.
Designated Safeguarding Leads and managers will consult with the procedures for resolving professional disagreements by accessing it on the West Midlands Child Protection Procedures website . Designated Safeguarding Leads will record any actions taken and outcomes on file.
2.22 Use of school/setting premises for non-school/college activities
The governing bodies or proprietors hire or rent out school or college facilities/premises to organisations or individuals (for example to community groups, sports associations, and service providers to run community or extra-curricular activities) they ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to keep children safe.
When services or activities are provided by the governing body or proprietor, under the direct supervision or management of their school or college staff, their arrangements for child protection will apply. However, where services or activities are provided separately by another body this is not necessarily the case. The governing body or proprietor should therefore seek assurance that the body concerned has appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures in place (including inspecting these as needed); and ensure that there are arrangements in place to liaise with the school or college on these matters where appropriate. The governing body or proprietor should also ensure safeguarding requirements are included in any transfer of control agreement (i.e. lease or hire agreement), as a condition of use and occupation of the premises; and that failure to comply with this would lead to termination of the agreement.