CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
The issue of child protection is one of the most important aspects of pupil welfare at Richmond school. The staff aim to safeguard and promote the welfare of all our pupils by showing particular sensitivity and awareness to changes in pupil’s physical or emotional behaviour.
This policy is written in line with the recommendations made in the Lauren Wright inquiry report and section 175 of the 2002 Education Act to ‘safeguard and promote the welfare of the pupils’. Implemented 1 June 2004,
This policy takes into account the new ‘Keeping children safe in education – 2014 Act” which states: “School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating schools and colleges should work together with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.”
Teachers spend more time with children than any other adult, apart from their parents or carers. They are skilled communicators with children and aim to create a climate in their class where each child would feel able to confide any problems to their teacher. All employees of the school undertake annual training on Child Protection and long term volunteers are made aware of the need to report any concerns or matters to the class teacher. New members of staff receive child protection training as part of their induction.
It is imperative that staff do not promise confidentiality to any child. If Staff should be given any information by a child, or observe symptoms which give rise to suspicion of abuse, then the Child Protection procedures on the attached ‘Action Flow Chart’ must be followed.
CHILD PROTECTION GUIDELINES FOR STAFF.
“A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institution or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.” Working together to Safeguard Children 2014.
Staff must be vigilant and aware of the design of child abuse, which can include:
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.
Neglect is 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 or emotional harm or danger ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Emotional abuse is 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 children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.
It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
Sexual abuse 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.
Child abuse is an offence. It must be reported and documented officially (signed and dated). Be observant and report all concerns to the named person(s) for child protection immediately.
Don’t hesitate if unsure, ‘the child’s needs are paramount.’ In the absence of such persons the Senior Management Team should be informed.
Although all staff have a responsibility of care, the named person has specific responsibility for reporting and acting upon all issues of child protection. Set procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with individual concerns. The named person(s) should cross check their professional judgement with a Senior Management team member to ensure a referral is the required course of action given the evidence collated and that all in-school actions have been explored - see action flow chart in each class documentation staff file.
If staff have any concerns regarding the protection of a child, they must immediately inform the named person. The named person should contact the child protection unit to establish if a child is already on the child protection register and to seek advice. If necessary, a formal referral will be made to the unit and this may result in a formal investigation being taken. In light of the findings of the Laming inquiry, the named person must make a written referral within 48 hours of a telephone referral.
The named person will inform staff of children on the Child Protection Register, on a ‘needs-to-know’ basis and should consider informing the parents of any formal referral if it is safe to do so. This decision is made jointly with the Children’s Social Care at the point of referral.
Where appropriate, the school will make every effort to enable staff to attend meetings relating to individual child protection cases and provide written reports when asked to do so.
All staff must read and acknowledge by signature that they have done so during the annual Child Protection training Staff meeting every September: Page 8 (Section 1) of Keeping children safe in education 2014.
Wherever possible, detailed written evidence of incidents should be attained.
These may include personal accounts or observations from individual pupils, siblings, neighbours or staff and should be written in their own words.
Sensitivity & Responsibility
Although it is important to be sensitive when dealing with child protection issues, Staff should remember that these procedures have been established to protect the individual child, not to keep a comfortable relationship with individual families.
Criminal search checks
Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) checks are made on all paid employees of the school and they must inform the head teacher of any subsequent convictions. All staff are automatically checked by school. Students are checked by their respective educational institutions. The DBS checks are reviewed every three years.
One off volunteer helpers are generally organised so that they do not work with individual children or in isolation from other members of staff. Where volunteer staff work in school on a regular basis, or when 1:1 contact with a child is necessary, criminal searches are undertaken. Outcomes of such checks are recorded in the school’s Single Central Record.
Although there are no set signs of child abuse, staff should be particularly aware of the following signs which can identify an abused child:
Failure to thrive. If a child suffers an unexplained drop in weight, schools should raise concerns.
Height and weight are important indicators.
Quality of skin and hair. Neglected children will often have matted, unwashed and dull looking hair. The skin is mottled, with a pasty face, they may have scabies.
Eyes look anxious.
Unattended eye problems are common.
Problems with literacy and numeracy are often manifested, possibly accompanied by listlessness.
The neglected child may consume his/her lunch ravenously.
Inappropriate clothing, such as a light cardigan and sandals in winter, can indicate neglect.
Security, child safety & abscondment
The Head teacher (Coordinator in her absence) has overall responsibility for the safety of children both on and off school premises.
Procedures have been established to ensure that all external doors are locked at the start of each school day. For fire safety reasons, these doors are fitted with push bars to allow easy exit from within the school building and this does therefore present opportunities for children to leave the school building un-accompanied. If such an incident should occur:
The disappearance of any child should be brought to the immediate attention of the head teacher.
Witnesses to the incident should be brought to the head teacher.
Evidence taken from children should be taken according to set protocol
Try to ascertain from witnesses whether the child has left the school grounds.
If unsure, the head teacher will organise a search party of the building, with staff being detailed to check different areas of the building and grounds.
If the child is not found then the police and parents will be contacted immediately and a search will begin of the local area.
The incident must be kept confidential by staff; the headteacher informed immediately and the Local Authority contacted.
Child Protection Procedures Flow Chart
On discovery or suspicion of child abuse
If in doubt – ACT
If a child discloses, record the disclosure, date and sign and hand to the Named Person
Inform your Named Person for Child Protection: Mr. S. FRENCH & Ms. M. HIDALGO
After consultation with Senior Management members, you should then take following steps
Registre Unificat de Maltractaments Infantils
on-line tool for identification of child abuse that allows registration with authorities when appropriate
LOW AND MEDIUM RISK
Social Services Referral (for the area in which the child lives)
Tel No Sant Pere de Ribes 93 811 57 83 Sitges 938949494 Gavà 932639136
DIRECCIÓ GENERAL D’ATENCIÓ A LA INFÀNCIA I L’ADOLESCÈNCIA
Child protection authority in Catalunya
During working hours Tel No 935831000
Unitat de Detecció I Protecció del Maltractament Infantil (UDEPMI) 24 hours a day Infància Respon Tel No 900300777
If you are asked to monitor the situation, make sure you are clear what you are expected to monitor, what you are expected to document and for how long and to whom you should feedback information to.
Remember always make and keep a written record of all events and action taken, date and sign each entry to this record. Keep records confidential and secure and separate from the child’s curriculum file.
Ensure immediate completion and dispatch of the Common Child Protection Referral form.
Retain a copy in school.
Send copies to:
Children’s Social Care to the Area Office you made your referral to.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS: Local Police Tel No 092 or 936 8937337 EMERGENCIES Tel No 112