Safeguarding and Looked After Children Policy
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, DfE 2018 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
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances
Safeguarding our students is more than child protection – we will promote their health &
well -being & ensure their personal & emotional development
At Carfield School, we aim to provide a safe environment, which will ensure that:-
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.
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.
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.
This policy must be read and used in conjunction with the statutory guidance documents, Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018) and Working together to safeguard children (September 2018) and the departmental advice What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – Advice for Practitioners. All documents are published by the Department for Education and copies are kept on the S:Drive>Policy Documents>Safeguarding. The Full set of LA policies and procedures must also be read and used alongside this policy.
2 Aims and objectives
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.
There is a named person in our school who is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Designated Lead 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 DSL is currently Adrian Digby (Deputy Head teacher). The Deputies are Lorna Culloden (Headteacher – unavailable Autumn term 2018) , Debbie Fulk ( Assistant Head) and Kay Johnson (Learning Mentor) and the named Governor, Joe Noble (Governor).
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.
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 safeguarding guidelines.
The DSL will ensure that:-
- Files are kept on each case on a secure electronic system, CPOMS (Child Protection Online Monitoring System). These files contain sensitive and confidential information about specific Child Protection cases. The DSL will only share this information on a strictly need to know basis. Access to children’s files on CPOMS is password and key protected. Archived paper based files (prior to 2015) are kept secure in a locked filing cabinet.
- The school will organise advanced safeguarding training for the DSL and deputies on a regular basis (every year) and for the DSL to disseminate this information to staff and Governors in the form of training every 3 years.
- The DSL will update policy and procedure in light of in-service training and ensure that this is accessible to staff and Governors.
- The DSL or deputies will attend all relevant review meetings concerning children on the child protection register and maintain effective links between relevant agencies. When required, the DSL 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 DSL 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 (contact details can be found in Appendix 1).
- 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 every year
- 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 DSL, Deputy DSL using CPOMS.
- It is then the duty of the DSL or Deputy DSL to act on the information received. The children’s detailed account 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 the incident is child on child, then both sets of parents will be contacted in the first instance, unless the DSL feels there is a risk of significant harm, e.g. in a case of peer on peer sexual abuse.
- If it felt that by sharing the information with parents, the child is put at greater risk, the DSL should report this directly to Social Care. The DSL or Deputy DSL should contact the Parent or carer in the first instance before making an official referral. Except when an allegation of abuse has been made regarding the family and wider family. The DSL should contact 2053535 in the first instance to take advice.
- If a child alleges abuse perpetrated by parents or family members, the school makes a referral without communicating with parents, particularly in the case of sexual abuse. 2734855 – Safeguarding Hub.
- All additional documentation should be dated and signed and kept securely as it may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.
- Additional information should then be placed in a secure filing cabinet, as described above. Information kept on CPOMS must be only accessed by DSL or Deputy.
- If a child/family is referred to MAST for additional support an FCAF should be completed.
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 DSL or Deputy DSL who may check with 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.
- Social Care (and police, if necessary) should always be contacted if significant harm is suspected.
- Child Sexual Exploitation: CSE is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, gifts, power or status. This can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults; forcing children into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status and through technology by sharing sexual images). If staff have any concerns regarding suspected Child Sexual Exploitation they must inform the DSL immediately. The DSL will then refer the matter to social care. If there are concerns about the involvement of a person who works with children and/or is in a position of trust, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed. Must be read in conjunction with the LA Child Sexual Exploitation policy (S:Drive>Policy Documents>Safeguarding)
- Female Genital Mutilation: If staff have any concerns regarding suspected Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or “discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18”, they must notify the police directly (as well as informing the DSL and Social Care).
Must be read in conjunction with the Female Genital Mutilation policy (S:Drive>Policy Documents>Safeguarding)
- Prevent Duty: Under recently passed ‘Prevent’ legislation (to combat extremism in organisations, including schools), staff must be vigilant and report any concerns on CPOMS immediately. The DSL or Deputy will make an immediate referral to the LADO. There is a helpline (open 9-6pm Mon to Fri), whose number is 02073407264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Must be read in conjunction with the Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation policy (S:Drive>Policy Documents>Safeguarding)
- Please see LA policies on Child Sexual Exploitation, Prevent and FGM for further information.
- A full set of LA policies and procedures is located on the S:Drive>Policy Documents>Safeguarding
SCHOOL PROCEDURE ON CONFIDENTIALITY AND RECORDING
- CPOMS should be used by all staff to record incidents and concerns. All recording on CPOMS 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. 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.
- The school’s named Safeguarding Team 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.
- If a child alleges abuse perpetrated by parents or family members, the school makes a referral without communicating with parents first if it is felt that by doing so there would be an additional risk of significant harm. Seek advice on 2053535
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 DSL at the beginning of their placement.
4 Monitoring and review
The Governing Body regularly reviews Child Protection, detailed in an annual 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 DSL.
This policy is reviewed annually by the Governing Body.
Previously reviewed on:
Appendix 1: Sheffield Safeguarding Contact Details
West Children’s Social Care: 0114 2036370
West MAST: 0114 2506865
East MAST: 0114 2053635
Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service: 0114 2018645
UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC): 0844 7782406