SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

RATIONALE

At Richmond School, there is nothing more important to us than the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare of our pupils.  For this reason we regard the need for a Safeguarding Children from all harm as vitally important. The school recognises its legal and moral duty to promote the well-being of children, and protect them from harm, and respond to child abuse, by following the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) statutory guidance for schools and colleges, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, 2015.

 

We believe that every child regardless of age has at all times and in all situations a right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that results in a child being physically, psychologically or spiritually damaged. The 2010 Equality Act ensures discriminations (direct and indirect), harassment and victimisation are challenged to ensure equality.  This policy is written and reviewed in light of this Act to ensure the school is fulfilling its statutory duty.

 

We agree that we have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge, and we will carry out this duty through our teaching and learning, extra curricular activities, pastoral care and extended school activities. In order to achieve this, all members of staff (including volunteers) in this school, in whatever capacity, will at all times act proactively in child welfare matters especially where there is a possibility that a child may be at risk of harm.

 

The school seeks to adopt an open and accepting attitude towards children as part of their responsibility for pastoral care as stated in our Mission Statement. The school hopes that parents and children will feel free to talk about any concerns and will see school as a safe place if there are any difficulties at home. 

 

Children’s worries and fears will be taken seriously if they seek help from a member of staff. However, staff must not promise secrecy if concerns arise a referral must be made to the child protection officer in addition to appropriate agencies in order to safeguard the child’s welfare.

 

Definition of safeguarding

 

Ofsted (September 2015) adopts the definition used in the Children Act 2004 and in ‘Working together to safeguard children’.

This can be summarised 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

 

      Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

 

At Richmond School we aim to minimise risk to the safety of our pupils by:

 

  • ensure that teachers and other members of staff (including volunteers)  in the school are an integral part of the child safeguarding process.

  • accept totally that safeguarding children is an appropriate function for all members of staff in the school, and wholly compatible with their primary pedagogic responsibiliy.

  • recognise that safeguarding children in this school is a responsibility for all staff, including volunteers.

  • will ensure through training and supervision that all staff and volunteers in the school are alert to the possibility that a child is at risk of suffering harm, and know how to report concerns or suspicions.

  • will designate a senior member of staff with knowledge and skills in recognising and acting on child protection concerns. He or she will act as a source of expertise and advice, and is responsible for co-ordinating action within the school and liaising with other agencies

  • will ensure that the designated member of staff responsible for child protection will receive appropriate training.

  • will share our concerns with others who need to know, and assist in any referral process.

  • will ensure that all members of staff and volunteers who have suspicion that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering significant harm, are aware of the need to refer such concerns to the designated member of staff, who will refer on to Children’s Services in accordance with the procedures issued by LA Safeguarding Children Board.  Staff will also be aware that they are able to refer such matters directly if they feel the need to.

  • safeguard the welfare of children whilst in the school, through positive measures to address bullying, especially where this is aggravated by sexual or racial factors, disability or special educational needs.

  • will ensure that all staff are aware of the child protection procedures established by LA Safeguarding Children Board and, where appropriate, the Local Authority, and act on any guidance or advice given by them.  This will be updated for all staff at least once every three years.

  • will ensure through our recruitment and selection of volunteers and paid employees that all people who work in our school are suitable to work with children,

  • will act swiftly and make appropriate referrals where an allegation is made that a member of staff has committed an offence against a child, harmed a child, or acted in a way that calls into question their suitability for working with children.

  • Ensuring children know how to complain and understand the process for doing so. They can identify a trusted adult with whom they can talk about any concerns. Where children are at risk, a trusted adult has been instrumental in helping them to be safe in accordance with agreed local procedures. (Ofsted 2015).

  • Putting in place appropriate safeguarding responses to young people who regularly go missing.

 

PROCEDURES

A) DESIGNATED MEMBER OF STAFF (Named Person)

 

The designated senior member of staff (Named Person) for child protection in this school is:

 

MR. S. FRENCH

 

In their absence, these matters will be dealt with by:

 

MS. M. HIDALGO

 

The designated person is key to ensuring that proper procedures and policies are in place and are followed with regard to child safeguarding issues. The designated person should ensure the relevant people are informed including the class teacher where appropriate who may monitor the situation. They will also act as a dedicated resource available for other staff and volunteers to draw upon.

 

The school recognises that the designated person must have the status and authority within the school management structure to carry out the duties of the post – they must therefore be a member of the senior management team.  All members of staff (including volunteers) must be made aware of who this person is and what their role is.  The designated person will act as a source of advice and coordinate action within the school over child protection cases.  They will need to liaise with other agencies and build good working relationships with colleagues from these agencies.  The designated person is the first person to whom members of staff report concerns.  The designated person is responsible for referring cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies according to the procedures established by the LA.  

 

N.B. The designated person is not responsible for dealing with allegations made against members of staff.  This remains the responsibility of the head teacher.

 

To be effective they will:

  • Act as a source of advice, support and expertise within the school and be responsible for coordinating action regarding referrals by liaising with Children’s Services and other relevant agencies over suspicions that a child may be suffering harm. 

  • Cascade safeguarding advice and guidance issued by the LA.

  • Where they have concerns that a referral has not been dealt with in accordance with the child protection procedures, they will ask the Head of Safeguarding to investigate further.

  • Ensure each member of staff and volunteers at the school, and regular visitors (such as trainee teachers and supply teachers…) are aware of and can access readily, this policy. 

  • Liaise with the head teacher to inform him/her of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for the role. 

  • Ensure that this policy is updated and reviewed annually

  • Be able to keep detailed accurate secure written records of referrals/concerns, and ensure that these are held in a secure place. 

  • Ensure parents are aware of the child protection policy in order to alert them to the fact that the school may need to make referrals. Raising parents’ awareness may avoid later conflict if the school does have to take appropriate action to safeguard a child.  The best opportunity to do this is at the Reception Parents evening prior to school enrolment in September.

  • Where children leave the school roll, ensure any child protection file is transferred to the new school as soon as possible, separately from the main file, and addressed to the designated person for child protection.

  • Where a child leaves and the new school is not known, ensure that the local authority is alerted so that the child’s name can be included on the database for missing pupils. 

 

The designated person also has an important role in ensuring all staff and volunteers receive appropriate training. They should:

  • Attend training in how to identify abuse and know when it is appropriate to refer a case

  • Have a working knowledge of how LA operates and the conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these when required. 

  • Attend any relevant or refresher training courses and then ensure that any new or key messages are passed to other staff and volunteers.

  • Make themselves (and any deputies) known to all staff and volunteers (including new starters and supply teachers) and ensure those members of staff have had training in child protection. This should be relevant to their needs to enable them to identify and report any concerns to the designated teacher immediately. 

 

 

B) RECRUITMENT (see Recruitment and Selection Policy)

In order to ensure that children are protected whilst at this school, we will ensure that our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised.

 

We accept that it is our responsibility to follow the guidance set out in “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” and ensure we meet requirements to have experienced and trained staff in Safer Recruitment, in particular:

 

  • Before appointing someone, follow up each reference with a telephone call or personal contact during which we will discuss the applicant’s suitability to work with children.

  • Check that all adults with substantial access to children at this school have an enhanced DBS check and List 99 check before starting work, and prior to confirmation of appointment. 

 

In addition, we will ensure that the following checks are satisfactorily completed before a person takes up a position in the school:

  • Identity checks to establish that applicants are who they claim to be

  • Academic qualifications, to ensure that qualifications are genuine

  • Professional and character references prior to offering employment

  • Satisfy conditions as to health and physical capacity 

  • Previous employment history will be examined and any gaps accounted for.

 

 

C) VOLUNTEERS

We understand that some people otherwise unsuitable for working with children may use volunteering to gain access to children; for this reason, any volunteers in the school, in whatever capacity, will be given the same consideration as paid staff.

 

Where a parent or other volunteer helps on a one-off basis, he/she will only work under the direct supervision of a member of staff, and at no time have one to one contact with children. However, if a parent or other volunteer is to be in school regularly or over a longer period then they will be checked to ensure their suitability to work with children. 

 

The outcomes of the checks carried out on all adults working in school (staff and volunteers) are held in the Single Central Record, maintained by the Safeguarding Officer (Named Person).

 

D) INDUCTION & TRAINING

All new members of staff will receive induction training, which will give an overview of the organisation and ensure they know its purpose, values, services and structure, as well as identifying and reporting abuse, and confidentiality issues. 

 

All new staff at the school (including volunteers) will receive basic child protection information and a copy of this policy within one week of starting their work at the school.

 

All staff will be expected to attend training on safeguarding children that will enable them to fulfil their responsibilities in respect of child protection effectively.

 

Staff will attend refresher training every year.

 

 

E) DEALING WITH CONCERNS

Members of staff and volunteers are not required by this school to investigate suspicions; if somebody believes that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering harm, they must always refer such concerns to the designated person, who may refer the matter to the relevant Children’s Services.

 

To this end, volunteers and staff will follow the procedures below;

  • Upon the receipt of any information from a child, or if any person has suspicions that a child may be at risk of harm, or 

  • If anyone observes injuries that appear to be non-accidental, or 

  • where a child or young person makes a direct allegation or implies that they have been abused,

  • makes an allegation against a member of staff 

they must record  what they have seen, heard or know accurately at the time the event occurs, and share their concerns with the designated person (or head teacher if an allegation about a member of staff) and agree actions to take.

 

We will ensure that all members of staff and employees are familiar with the procedures for keeping a confidential written record of any incidents and with the requirements of LA Safeguarding Children Board.

 

Where any member of staff fails to report their concerns, this may be dealt with as a disciplinary matter. 

 

F) SAFEGUARDING IN SCHOOL

As well as ensuring that we address child protection concerns, we will also ensure that children who attend the school are kept safe from harm whilst they are in our charge.

 

To this end, this policy must be seen in light of the school’s policies on:

  • Child Protection

  • Personal, Social and Health Education and Sex and Relationships Education; 

  • Bullying

  • Safe recruitment and code of conduct for staff

  • Staff use of ICT Equipment and Pupil e-Safety

  • Confidentiality

  • Behaviour and Discipline Policy

  • Force and Restraints Policy

  • Health & Safety

  • Fire Risk Policy

  • Educational Visits Policy

  • Attendance Policy

  • Inclusion and SEN

  • First Aid and meeting the needs of pupils with medical conditions

  • Allegations against members of staff

  • Whistle Blowing

  • Intimate care policy

 

G) PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN 

We understand that parents like to take photos of or video record their children in the school play, or at sports day, or school presentations.  This is a normal part of family life, and we will not discourage parents from celebrating their child’s successes.

 

However, if there are Health and Safety issues associated with this - i.e. the use of a flash when taking photos could distract or dazzle the child, and cause them to have an accident, we will encourage parents to use film or settings on their camera that do not require flash.

 

Parents must sign the designated book in the entrance to the school before using photography.

 

We will not allow others to photograph or film pupils during a school activity without the parent’s permission. 

 

We will not allow images of pupils to be used on school websites, publicity, or press releases, without express permission from the parent, and if we do obtain such permission, we will not identify individual children by name. 

 

The school cannot however be held accountable for photographs or video footage taken by parents or members of the public at school functions.

 

Members of staff may take photographs of children whilst engaged in school activities for teaching and learning purposes; for assessment purposes or as means of celebrating successes in school. 

 

 

H) CONFIDENTIALITY (See Policy on Confidentiality)

The school, and all members of staff at the school, will ensure that all data about pupils is handled in accordance with the requirements of the law, and any national and local guidance.

Any member of staff who has access to sensitive information about a child or the child’s family must take all reasonable steps to ensure that such information is only disclosed to those people who need to know.

Regardless of the duty of confidentiality, if any member of staff has reason to believe that a child may be suffering harm, or be at risk of harm, their duty is to forward this information without delay to the designated member of staff for child protection. 

 

I) CONDUCT OF STAFF

The school has a duty to ensure that professional behaviour applies to relationships between staff and children, and that all members of staff are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour and professional boundaries.   At all times, members of staff are required to work in a professional way with children. All staff should be aware of the dangers inherent in:

  • working alone with a child

  • physical interventions

  • cultural and gender stereotyping

  • dealing with sensitive information 

  • giving to and receiving gifts from children and parents

  • contacting children through private telephones (including texting), e-mail, MSN, or social networking websites.

  • disclosing personal details inappropriately

  • meeting pupils outside school hours or school duties.

 

If any member of staff has reasonable suspicion that a child is suffering harm, and fails to act in accordance with this policy, we will view this as misconduct, and take appropriate action

 

 

J) PHYSICAL INTERVENTION & RESTRAINT (see Force and Restrains Policy)

Members of staff may have to make physical interventions with children. Members of staff should only do this where:

  • It is necessary to protect the child, or another person, from immediate danger, or

  • Where the member of staff has received suitable training.

 

 

K) ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MEMBERS OF STAFF (see related policy and procedures)

If anyone makes an allegation that any member of staff (including any volunteer) may have:

  • Committed an offence against a child 

  • Placed a child at risk of significant harm

  • Behaved in a way that calls into question their suitability to work with children

 

NB: The allegation will be dealt with in accordance with national guidance.

 

The head teacher, rather than the designated member of staff will handle such allegations, unless the allegation is against the head teacher, when the designated child protection officer will handle the school’s response.  The head teacher will gather information about the allegation, and report these without delay to the Local Authority.

 

L) BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Where the school transfers control of use of school premises to bodies (such as sports clubs) to provide out of school hours activities, we will ensure that these bodies have appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures, and that there are arrangements in place to link with the school on such matters. Such considerations will be made explicit in any contract or service level agreement with the bodies.

Any after school clubs will be overseen by a member of the Senior Management Team who is responsible to ensure the policies regarding the safeguarding of the pupils are implemented.

 

M) CONTRACTED SERVICES

Where the school contracts its services to outside providers, we will ensure that these providers have appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures, and that there are arrangements in place to link with the school on such matters. Such considerations will be made explicit in any contract or service level agreement with the provider.

Address:
Rambla del Garraf 14-16
Sant Pere de Ribes

admissions@richmondinternationalschool.com

Tel: 00 34- 93 893 67 12
Fax: 00 34 - 93 893 67 12

© 2013 by Richmond English School, Sant Pere de Ribes, Barcelona