Child Protection and Looked After Children Policy
At Carfield School, we aim to provide a safe environment, which will ensure that:-
1.1 The health, safety and well-being of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in our school. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school.
1.2 In our school we respect our children. The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages all children to do their best. We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves.
1.3 Our teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship, as part of the National Curriculum, helps to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others. We also teach them how to recognise different risks in different situations, and how to behave in response to them.
2 Aims and objectives
2.1 This policy ensures that all staff in our school are clear about the actions necessary with regard to a child protection issue. Its aims are:
- to raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibility in reporting possible cases of abuse; including the potential dangers posed to children by exposure to technology, cyber bullying through the internet, mobile telephone use, social networking and gaming.
- to ensure effective communication between all staff when dealing with child protection issues;
- to lay down the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of child protection.
3.1 There is a named person in our school who is the Child Protection Co-ordinator and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children.
The school therefore, has appointed a Senior Leader designated to undertake this role and a named Governor to support their work and to ensure that the statutory duties are properly fulfilled. At Carfield Primary School the Child Protection Officer/ Designated Teacher is currently Adrian Digby (Deputy Head teacher). We have 2 Deputy CPO/DTs who are Kay Johnson (Learning Mentor) and Lorna Culloden (Headteacher). The named Governor is Bella Abrams (Chair of Governors).
3.2 If any teacher suspects that a child in his/her class may be a victim of abuse, they immediately inform the named person about their concerns. Abuse can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature. It can also be the result of neglect or cyber bullying.
3.3 Any action that the named person takes when dealing with an issue of child protection must be in line with the procedures outlined in the LA Child Protection guidelines.
The CPO will ensure that:-
Files are kept on each case on a secure system. These files contain sensitive and confidential information about specific Child Protection cases. The CPO will only share this information on a strictly need to know basis. Files are password protected and details must not be kept on portable data storage devices.
The school will organise training for the CPO on a regular basis (every 2 years) and for the CPO to disseminate this information to staff and Governors in the form of training every 3 years.
The CPO will update policy and procedure in light of in-service training and ensure that this is accessible to staff and Governors.
The CPO will attend all relevant review meetings concerning children on the child protection register and maintain effective links between relevant agencies. When required, the CPO should prepare educational advice reports for case conferences and ensure that they are passed to the chair of the meeting in adequate time. Cover time should be made available for this purpose.
The CPO should: –
- Identify signs of abuse and when to make a referral
- Refer cases to the relevant investigating agencies
- Liaise and have working knowledge of the how the Safeguarding Board operates
- Understand the conduct of a child protection conference, attend and contribute effectively
- Support and advise others
- Ensure all staff are aware of Safeguarding Policy and procedures including supply staff
- Ensure all staff have Safeguarding training and are able to recognise and report concerns immediately
- Manage clear, accurate, secure records
- Undergo training at least every 2 years
- Review policy annually
- Access resources as required
- Ensure that parents are aware of safeguarding policy to avoid conflict
- Provide information as required if child moves to another setting
- Ensure that all Looked After Children have an updated Personal Education Plan, that encompasses learning, attendance and emotional needs of pupils
- To attend all Statutory Review Meetings for Looked After Children and to act as contact in school for the children and their families
SCHOOL PROCEDURE FOLLOWING A DISCLOSURE
- If a disclosure is made to a member of teaching or non-teaching staff, they should listen carefully to that allegation. They MUST NOT promise to keep the information confidential between themselves and the child, only sharing information on a need to know basis. They MUST NOT interrogate the child, as this may invalidate any criminal proceedings. They MUST NOT disbelieve a child and every allegation should be treated seriously.
- Staff should share the allegation with the CPO, Deputy CPO, or the Head teacher (if not CPO) using the ‘Child Protection Cause for Concern/ Incident’ form.
- Staff may be asked to complete Pre CAF or CAF form for any new referral, used as an internal measure and in preparation for any formal enquiry.
- It is then the duty of the CPO or Deputy CPO to act on the information received. The children’s detailed should be logged onto the internal system and added to case log as required, or details checked with or advice sought from the Safeguarding Board.
- If it felt that by sharing the information with parents, the child is put at greater risk, the CPO should report this directly to Social Care using a FCAF Form as evidence. Where possible, a FCAF form should be completed. The CPO or Deputy CPO should contact the Parent or carer in the first instance before making an official referral.
- All notes and telephone messages must be kept, dated and signed as they made be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.
- Information should then be placed in a secure filing cabinet, as described above. Any details held electronically must be encrypted and kept secure by CPLO or Deputy.
SCHOOL PROCEDURE IF STAFF HAVE CONCERNS OR ARE SUSPICIOUS
- Staff should be alert to any changes in behaviour, presentation or circumstances of children, particularly when there is no obvious explanation.
- If they feel it is relevant, staff may ask how any injury or mark occurred, but if the child or parent is not forthcoming, they should not interrogate.
- Staff should monitor any concerns and should share this with the CPLO, Deputy CPLO or Head teacher who may check Safeguarding Sheffield Children
- It may be necessary in some instances, to involve other professionals e.g. school nurse, Access and Inclusion Officer, health visitor or G.P but should do so confidentially. Referrals should be made using the appropriate MAST form.
- The procedure for ‘Child at Risk’ should be followed if significant harm is suspected.
SCHOOL PROCEDURE ON CONFIDENTIALITY AND RECORDING
All recording must be factual including dates, times and names of those involved. Include times that information was received and who it was passed to. List any concerns about the child or any relevant, factual information. Staff involvement must be recorded and all notes dated and signed. All information should be treated with the utmost confidentiality and never left in an open place. Other staff should be informed on a STRICTLY need to know basis. All information is exempt from access rights and no unauthorised person including those with parental responsibility has NO ACCESS.
3.4 The school’s named co-ordinator works closely with the Social Services department and the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, but the interest of the child is of paramount importance.
3.5 If a child alleges abuse perpetrated by parents, the school usually makes a referral without communicating with parents first if it felt that by doing so there would be an additional risk of significant harm.
3.6 If a child protection referral is made, a case conference is held within eight working days of the decision. The case conference offers the opportunity to share information and formulate a plan of action. Staff are expected to attend and participate in all case conferences and meetings held under the LA guidelines. Staff unable to attend are asked to provide written evidence.
3.7 We regard all information relating to individual child protection issues as confidential, and we treat this accordingly. We only pass information on to appropriate persons. We inform the child at all stages of who is involved, and what information we have given them.
3.8 We require all adults employed in school to have their application vetted through police records in order to ensure that there is no evidence of offences involving children or abuse. The details of all adults working in school are kept on a single central record. This is updated regularly and authorised by the Head teacher half termly.
3.9 All adults in the school receive training to raise their awareness of abuse and their knowledge of agreed local child protection procedures. This includes all administrative and ancillary staff. Student teachers have initial Child Protection induction by the CPO within the first week of their placement.
4 Monitoring and review
4.1 The governing body regularly reviews Child Protection, detailed in a termly report presented to the full Governing Body. The named governor participates in the school’s training with regard to the child protection procedures and meets regularly with the CPO.
This policy is reviewed annually by the governing body.