Date Accepted by Governors: Autumn 2022
Review date: Autumn 2023
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)/Headteacher - Marie Curtis
Deputy DSL - Ali Rumsby
Nominated Child Protection Governor - Mark Reynolds
Chair of Governors - Dr Lynsey Mutton
Other Useful Contacts
Channel helpline - 020 7340 7264
SSCB Child protection - http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk/
The school aims to ensure that:
This policy is based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), and the Governance Handbook. We comply with this guidance and the arrangements agreed and published by our 3 local safeguarding partners.
This policy is also based on the following legislation:
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children means:
Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering, or being likely to suffer, significant harm.
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child, and may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Appendix 1 explains the different types of abuse.
Neglect is a form of abuse and 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. Appendix 1 defines neglect in more detail.
Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) is the sharing of sexual imagery (photos or videos) by children
Children includes everyone under the age of 18.
The following 3 safeguarding partners are identified in Keeping Children Safe in Education (and defined in the Children Act 2004, as amended by chapter 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017). They will make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children, including identifying and responding to their needs:
At Ash Grange we welcome, respect and values the wealth of experience that its diverse community brings to all staff, pupils, parents and governors. We provide a safe and secure environment that allows everyone to care, learn and shine. We recognise and celebrate the uniqueness of adults and children alike, and seek to provide equal opportunities for all, regardless of age, gender, race, ability, culture or religion. We are an inclusive school, where equality of opportunity is a reality for all our children, staff, visitors and community. We aim to remove barriers to success for all those in or school community and visitors. We recognise our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination.
Safeguarding and child protection is everyone’s responsibility. This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and governors in the school and is consistent with the procedures of the 3 safeguarding partners. Our policy and procedures also apply to extended school and off-site activities.
All staff will read and understand part 1 and Annex A of the Department for Education’s statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and review this guidance at least annually.
All staff will be aware of:
Section 15 and appendix 4 of this policy outline in more detail how staff are supported to do this.
The DSL is a member of the senior leadership team. Our DSL is Mrs. Marie Curtis, Head Teacher The DSL takes lead responsibility for child protection and wider safeguarding.
During term time, the DSL will be available during school hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.
When the DSL is absent, the Deputy DSL is Mrs. Ali Rumsby, Deputy Head Teacher will act as cover.
If the DSL and Deputy are not available, Marzina Mohammad will act as cover (for example, during out-of-hours/out-of-term activities).
The DSL will liaise with local authority case managers and designated officers for child protection concerns as appropriate.
The full responsibilities of the DSL and Deputy are set out in their job description.
The governing board will approve this policy at each review, ensure it complies with the law and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation.
The governing board will appoint a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to monitor the effectiveness of this policy in conjunction with the full governing board. This is always a different person from the DSL.
The chair of governors will act as the ‘case manager’ in the event that an allegation of abuse is made against the headteacher, where appropriate (see appendix 3).
All governors will read Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Section 15 of this policy has information on how governors are supported to fulfil their role.
The headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this policy, including:
6.1. Ash Grange Nursery and Primary School recognises that in order to effectively meet a child’s needs, safeguard their welfare and protect them from harm the school must contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) and share information between professionals and agencies where there are concerns.
6.2. All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.
6.3. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.
6.4. However, we also recognise that all matters relating to child protection are personal to children and families. Therefore, in this respect they are confidential and the Headteacher or DSLs will only disclose information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.
6.5. We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Social Care with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal
investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with an Assistant Team Manager at the Children’s Services Area Team on this point.
6.6 All staff complete a confidentiality and conduct agreement prior to starting at the school and at the start of each new academic year
Staff, volunteers and governors must follow the procedures set out below in the event of a safeguarding issue.
Please note – in this and subsequent sections, you should take any references to the DSL to mean “the DSL (or deputy DSL)”.
The Department for Education’s Keeping Children Safe in Education explains that FGM comprises “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs”.
FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting, harmful consequences. It is also known as ‘female genital cutting’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘initiation’.
Possible indicators that a pupil has already been subjected to FGM, and factors that suggest a pupil may be at risk, are set out in appendix 4.
Any teacher who discovers (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 must immediately report this to the police, personally. This is a statutory duty, and teachers will face disciplinary sanctions for failing to meet it.
Unless they have been specifically told not to disclose, they should also discuss the case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate.
Any other member of staff who discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 must speak to the DSL and follow our local safeguarding procedures.
The duty for teachers mentioned above does not apply in cases where a pupil is at risk of FGM or FGM is suspected but is not known to have been carried out. Staff should not examine pupils.
Any member of staff who suspects a pupil is at risk of FGM or suspects that FGM has been carried out must speak to the DSL and follow our local safeguarding procedures.
Figure 1 on page 11 illustrates the procedure to follow if you have any concerns about a child’s welfare.
Where possible, speak to the DSL first to agree a course of action.
If in exceptional circumstances the DSL is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. Speak to a member of the senior leadership team and/or take advice from local authority children’s social care. You can also seek advice at any time from the Share details of any actions you take with the DSL as soon as practically possible.
Make a referral to local authority children’s social care directly, if appropriate (see ‘Referral’ below). Share any action taken with the DSL as soon as possible.
If early help is appropriate, the DSL will generally lead on liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment, in some cases acting as the lead practitioner.
The DSL will keep the case under constant review and the school will consider a referral to local authority children’s social care if the situation does not seem to be improving. Timelines of interventions will be monitored and reviewed.
If it is appropriate to refer the case to local authority children’s social care or the police, the DSL will make the referral or support you to do so.
If you make a referral directly (see section 7.1), you must tell the DSL as soon as possible.
The local authority will make a decision within 1 working day of a referral about what course of action to take and will let the person who made the referral know the outcome. The DSL or person who made the referral must follow up with the local authority if this information is not made available, and ensure outcomes are properly recorded.
If the child’s situation does not seem to be improving after the referral, the DSL or person who made the referral must follow local escalation procedures to ensure their concerns have been addressed and that the child’s situation improves.
If a child is not suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or in immediate danger, where possible speak to the DSL first to agree a course of action.
If in exceptional circumstances the DSL is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. Speak to a member of the senior leadership team and/or seek advice from local authority children’s social care. Make a referral to local authority children’s social care directly, if appropriate (see ‘Referral’ above). Inform the DSL or deputy as soon as practically possible after the referral.
Where there is a concern, the DSL will consider the level of risk and decide which agency to make a referral to. This could include Channel, the government’s programme for identifying and supporting individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or the local authority children’s social care team.
The Department for Education also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, which school staff and governors can call to raise concerns about extremism with respect to a pupil. You can also email email@example.com. Note that this is not for use in emergency situations.
In an emergency, call 999 or the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 if you:
Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Staff will be alert to behavioural signs that suggest a child may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
If you have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, take immediate action by following the steps in section 7.4.
If you have a mental health concern that is not also a safeguarding concern, speak to the DSL/Deputy DSL to agree a course of action. Refer to the Department for Education guidance on mental health and behaviour in schools for more information.
(Note – if the DSL is unavailable, this should not delay action. See section 7.4 for what to do.)
If you have concerns about a member of staff (including a supply teacher or volunteer), or an allegation is made about a member of staff (including a supply teacher or volunteer) posing a risk of harm to children, speak to the headteacher. If the concerns/allegations are about the headteacher, speak to the chair of governors.
The headteacher/chair of governors will then follow the procedures set out in appendix 3, if appropriate.
Where appropriate, the school will inform Ofsted of the allegation and actions taken, within the necessary timescale (see appendix 3 for more detail).
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”.
We also recognise the gendered nature of peer-on-peer abuse. However, all peer-on-peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.
Most cases of pupils hurting other pupils will be dealt with under our school’s behaviour policy, but this child protection and safeguarding policy will apply to any allegations that raise safeguarding concerns. This might include where the alleged behaviour:
If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil:
We will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by:
This is a suggested approach based on guidance from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety for all staff and for DSLs and senior leaders. Amend or add to this as applicable to reflect your own approach.
Your responsibilities when responding to an incident
If you are made aware of an incident involving sexting (also known as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’), you must report it to the DSL immediately.
You must not:
You should explain that you need to report the incident, and reassure the pupil(s) that they will receive support and help from the DSL.
Initial review meeting
Following a report of an incident, the DSL will hold an initial review meeting with appropriate school staff. This meeting will consider the initial evidence and aim to determine:
The DSL will make an immediate referral to police and/or children’s social care if:
If none of the above apply then the DSL, in consultation with the headteacher and other members of staff as appropriate, may decide to respond to the incident without involving the police or children’s social care.
Further review by the DSL
If at the initial review stage a decision has been made not to refer to police and/or children’s social care, the DSL will conduct a further review.
They will hold interviews with the pupils involved (if appropriate) to establish the facts and assess the risks.
If at any point in the process there is a concern that a pupil has been harmed or is at risk of harm, a referral will be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately.
The DSL will inform parents at an early stage and keep them involved in the process, unless there is a good reason to believe that involving them would put the pupil at risk of harm.
Referring to the police
If it is necessary to refer an incident to the police, this will be done through The SSCB Child protection Procedures available online at http://surreyscb.procedures.org.uk/
All sexting incidents and the decisions made in responding to them will be recorded on CPOMs. The record-keeping arrangements set out in section 14 of this policy also apply to recording incidents of sexting.
Pupils are taught about the issues surrounding sexting as part of our PSHE/RSE/ Computing education programmes. Teaching covers the following in relation to sexting:
Pupils also learn the strategies and skills needed to manage:
This policy on sexting is also shared with pupils so they are aware of the processes the school will follow in the event of an incident.
Where appropriate, we will discuss any concerns about a child with the child’s parents. The DSL will normally do this in the event of a suspicion or disclosure.
Other staff will only talk to parents about any such concerns following consultation with the DSL.
If we believe that notifying the parents would increase the risk to the child, we will discuss this with the local authority children’s social care team before doing so.
In the case of allegations of abuse made against other children, we will normally notify the parents of all the children involved.
We recognise that pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group, including:
We offer extra pastoral support for pupils with SEN and disabilities.
Pupils may need a social worker due to safeguarding or welfare needs. We recognise that a child’s experiences of adversity and trauma can leave them vulnerable to further harm as well as potentially creating barriers to attendance, learning, behaviour and mental health.
The DSL and all members of staff will work with and support social workers to help protect vulnerable children.
Where we are aware that a pupil has a social worker, the DSL will always consider this fact to ensure any decisions are made in the best interests of the pupil’s safety, welfare and educational outcomes. For example, it will inform decisions about:
We will ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep looked-after children and previously looked-after children safe. In particular, we will ensure that:
As the DSL, Mrs Marie Curtis, is responsible for promoting the educational achievement of looked-after children and previously looked-after children in line with statutory guidance.
She is appropriately trained and has the relevant qualifications and experience to perform the role.
As part of their role, the designated teacher will:
Staff are allowed to bring their personal phones to school for their own use, but will limit such use to non-contact time when pupils are not present. Staff members’ personal phones will remain in their bags or cupboards on silent during contact time with pupils.
Staff will not take pictures or recordings of pupils on their personal phones or cameras.
See staff handbook for further information.
Complaints against staff that are likely to require a child protection investigation will be handled in accordance with our procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against staff (see appendix 3).
We will hold records in line with our records retention schedule.
All safeguarding concerns, discussions, decisions made and the reasons for those decisions, must be recorded on CPOMs. If you are in any doubt about whether to record something, discuss it with the DSL.
Non-confidential records will be easily accessible and available. Confidential information and records will be held securely on CPOMs and only available to those who have a right or professional need to see them.
If a child for whom the school has, or has had, safeguarding concerns moves to another school, the DSL will ensure that their child protection file is forwarded promptly and securely, and separately from the main pupil file and signed for at the receiving school. Records are kept as to who signed for the record. In addition, if the concerns are significant or complex, and/or social services are involved, the DSL will speak to the DSL of the receiving school and provide information to enable them to have time to make any necessary preparations to ensure the safety of the child.
All staff members will undertake safeguarding and child protection training at induction, including on whistle-blowing procedures, to ensure they understand the school’s safeguarding systems and their responsibilities, and can identify signs of possible abuse or neglect. This training will be regularly updated and will be in line with advice from the 3 safeguarding partners.
All staff will have training on the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, to enable them to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.
Staff will also receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, through emails, e-bulletins and staff meetings) as required, but at least annually.
Contractors who are provided through a private finance initiative (PFI) or similar contract will also receive safeguarding training.
Volunteers will receive appropriate training, if applicable.
The DSL and Deputy will undertake child protection and safeguarding training at least every 2 years.
In addition, they will update their knowledge and skills at regular intervals and at least annually (for example, through e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments).
They will also undertake Prevent awareness training.
All governors receive training about safeguarding, to make sure they have the knowledge and information needed to perform their functions and understand their responsibilities.
As the chair of governors may be required to act as the ‘case manager’ in the event that an allegation of abuse is made against the headteacher, they receive training in managing allegations for this purpose.
At least one person conducting any interview for a post at the school will have undertaken safer recruitment training. This will cover, as a minimum, the contents of the Department for Education’s statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and will be in line with local safeguarding procedures.
All staff who have contact with children and families will have supervisions which will provide them with support, coaching and training, promote the interests of children and allow for confidential discussions of sensitive issues.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the DSL/ Deputy DSL. At every review, it will be approved by the full governing board.
This policy links to the following policies and procedures: