Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
This policy applies to staff, volunteers, Governors, sub-contractors and those on work placements.
To be read and used in conjunction with the School Vision, Educational Visits, the behaviour, anti-bullying, inclusion, play and health and safety policies.
For all children to receive the care and services they require to ensure a childhood that meets the needs of the Children’s Plan Isle of Man.
To ensure that all members of the School’s Community are aware of their obligations and systems necessary to maintain their own safety.
To ensure school procedures meet safeguarding requirements
To endeavour to seek agreement of all parties immediately unless detrimental to the child.
To ensure accurate information is shared with the appropriate people for appropriate reasons when it is professionally necessary.
To ensure that objective accurate records of information are kept secure and the methods of record keeping are adhered to by all.
To record the reasons for the decision whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.
We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse and recoginse that both paid workers and volunteers have a duty to safeguard and protect children. The school will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to
- Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried
- Include opportunities in the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse
- Teach children to risk assess
We will follow the procedures set out by the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board and take account of guidance issued by the DESC to:
- Ensure we have a designated person for child protection (the Headteacher), and a deputy (the deputy headteacher), who have received appropriate training and support for this role
- Ensure every member of staff (including temporary and supply staff and volunteers) and governing body knows the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role
- Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for child protection
- Develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences
Definitions of Abuse (as defined by the NSPCC)
Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child.
Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child.
Sexual Abuse is when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact and it can happen online.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm.
Roles and Responsibilities
Andreas school fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection. This Policy and procedures apply to staff, volunteers, Governors, sub-contractors, those on work placements
The Senior Designated Person for the school has specific responsibilities. They:
- Understand the procedures and how they work in practice.
- Ensure that the school works to its policy for handling child protection concerns.
- Ensure that the school has a system for recording concerns at all stages.
- Provide support and guidance to school staff.
- Undertake and offers training.
- Co-ordinate child protection concerns.
- Review the Child Protection policy with others in the school including the Governing Body.
Staff will be kept informed about child protection procedures through staff meetings and all staff will have training in Child Protection and Safeguarding (to level 1/2) at least every 3 years.
Awareness of the Child Protection Policy and Procedures forms part of induction for all staff.
Designated persons and senior managers will access training at higher levels through the Isle of Man Safeguarding Children Board’s Child Protection Training Programme.
What Should Staff/Volunteers Do If They Have Concerns About A Child or Young Person?
Staff should never do nothing/assume that another agency or professional will act or is acting or attempt to resolve the matter themselves.
On a disclosure by a child or if there is a serious concern staff must share information immediately with designated child protection officer or deputy and complete appropriate safeguarding records (in school office).
Recording Specific Concerns
Any member of staff who has a concern or has had a disclosure made to them about or by a child should make a written note. This must be passed on to the designated person. The note should be timed, dated and signed, with your name printed alongside the signature. The logging a concern form should be used.
Notes must be made as soon as possible, and certainly within 24 hours of the incident giving rise to the concern. (This is important, in case the note is needed for submission to court).
Notes should be:
objective and factual
use the child’s own words where possible
be a record of what you saw and heard
Nagging Doubts about a Child’s Safety and Welfare
Sometimes, things that seem to be insignificant or trivial at the time, turnout to be vital pieces of information later. Much of this information may not appear to be very significant on its own, but it could contribute to a ‘jigsaw’ picture of abuse that should not be ignored.
If there has been no specific incident or information, make a written note. Try to identify what is really making you feel worried.
Date, time and sign the note. Print your name alongside your signature. Pass the note to the designated person. You may keep a copy in a secure place. Again the logging a concern form should be used.
Monitor the child. Record further observations as factually as possible.
If several notes have been made about the child, the designated person should seek advice from the Department of Education and Children . (Director of Services for Children 693833, Head of Legal and Administrative Services 685828)
Action by the Designated person
Decisions / considerations must be made in relation to the information shared with the designated person. The designated person for child protection will follow the below procedures.
- Would a parental discussion be useful and sensible?
- If yes - why? / If not -why?
- Have that conversation and record on correct proformas.
- Decide if action is required. If not, log the concern in child’s file.
- If action required: discuss with Social Services for advice without revealing identity of pupil. Initiate conversation with “This is an off the record conversation.”
- If a Child Protection referral is needed, inform parents that you are making a referral and log your concerns with Duty Social Worker. If informing parents increases the risk of harm to the child inform social care and explain that parent have not been informed. Ref this also to Grainne Burns at DESC.
- Complete a MARF form.
- Contact SS to check progress towards a possible strategy meeting and decision regarding whether child becomes a Child with Complex Needs, Child protection or the case is closed.
- If a referral isn’t needed but the family need support, look to other agencies for support through filling in a NARRATES form with parents.
- If a NARRATES referral or a CP referral is made, ensure the front sheet is completed for the child’s file.
Feedback to Staff Who Report Concerns to
the Designated Senior Person / Nominated Officer
Rules of confidentiality dictate that it may not always be possible or appropriate for the Designated Senior Person / Nominated Officer to feedback to staff who report concerns to them. Such information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only and the designated person will decide which information needs to be shared, when and with whom. The primary purpose of confidentiality in this context is to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
Support for staff on hearing a disclosure
Any staff who have had a disclosure made to them will be offered the chance to talk through and review both what they heard and their response with the designated child protection officer. They will be made aware that Staff Welfare offer a confidential listening service where they can share worries (without sharing specific names or details).
All disclosures and records of dialogue between all relevant parties are to be kept on the appropriate Safeguarding or Child Protection proforma on the day of the disclosure.
Completed documents to be handed to a Senior member of staff for action or safe keeping.
Senior member of staff to file document in the correct file ( stored in 3rd drawer of filing cabinet behind HT’s desk. This cupboard will be locked at all times. Keys are held by HT, DHT.)
All telephone calls are to be recorded on proforma and filed in children’s files after information has been shared with appropriate staff and HT/ DHT. Defer confidential phone calls to the DSL/Deputy DSL wherever possible.
Who should have access to child protection information?
Access to the information in any child protection file should be on a need-to- know basis which will be determined by the designated person on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who accesses the file should be logged on the Front Cover Sheet.
The confidentiality of the child and family should be respected as far as possible, but the welfare of the child is paramount. It would be unlikely that every member of staff needs to know the details of a case. Generally speaking, the closer the day-to-day contact with the child, the more likely the need to know an outline of the case.
Child protection files form part of a child’s “educational record” and as such the child or a parent has a right of access to that record. Access can only be denied in exceptional circumstances, for example, where there is a likely risk of significant harm. Therefore, unless there is a valid reason to withhold information, it is best practice to share all information with the child and/or parent, for example, an education report to a child protection conference should be shared with the parent(s) before the conference takes place.
Conversations between designated personnel at different education establishments are perfectly acceptable (e.g. sharing concerns or asking for information about sibling groups). Unless there is risk of significant harm, the child and/or parents should be informed before any conversation takes place.
Where there is concern that a child is at risk of significant harm, information may be shared with Social Care and/or Police and Health. In all instances theDepartment of Education Sport and Culture must be advised.
All information is shared in the strictest confidence.
Child protection information should not ordinarily be shared with other persons, for example, information should not be released to solicitors, etc. If a request for such information is made, seek the advice of the Head of Legal and Administrative Services at the Department of Education Sport and Culture.
Using professional judgement all teaching staff are to objectively share information with each other if it is relevant to a shared pupil or if it is an issue which requires generic observation, knowledge and awareness..
Teaching staff will share what is necessary with Lunchtime Ancillaries, School Administrators and Caretakers.
Incoming telephone calls are continued to be logged in diary in each office.
More detailed phone calls to be logged on “Telephone Information” proforma, shared as necessary and filed in relevant child’s file.
All information is kept in line with the DESC's retention policy
Recruitment and selection of staff
We follow DESC policy on the recruitment of staff. All appointments are subject to a satisfactory check that the successful candidates have no criminal convictions that would render them unsuitable for work with children. Checks are also made on the record of people barred from working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.
Operational procedures to keep pupils
We follow DESC guidance on the use of photos. Parents are asked annually to fill in the necessary forms and the administrator produces a list of any restrictions which is shared with all staff. We have a collective responsibility to ensure these requirements are met. Any Facebook, press photos will be checked by head, deputy or administrator to ensure no children are included who shouldn’t be. When using photographs on Facebook or websites it is the teacher uploading the the pictures who is responsible for ensuring the restrictions are adhered to.
Off site visits
We follow DESC policy for Off-site visits, completing Evolve forms and risks assessments for all trips and ensuring adult-child ratios are complied with. We have an EVC who checks and, when satisfied all safety and planning requirements are met, approves all trips. The Head then double checks and signs the trip off, if they are satisfied all safety requirements are met. As a general rule all volunteers are DBS checked but on the odd occasion when non DBS volunteers are used they always work under the direct supervision of the teacher and are never alone with a group of children. All swimming volunteers are DBS checked.
Please refer to the Play Policy for information regarding keeping safe at playtimes. Staff continually risk assess the school environment to ensure it is safe for children although it is not possible to avoid accidents completely. The head teacher and the governing body carry out twice yearly environmental checks to ensure there aren't any safeguarding issues with the general building and the caretaker carries out routine checks of both in and outdoors including play equipment (both loose and fixed parts).
Managing Allegations Against Staff
We follow DESC guidelines.
This Safe guarding and Child Protection process is applicable to all pupils, staff and parents in Andreas School regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion.
Policy Monitoring and Review
All staff will have input into the monitoring and review of this policy.
Policy Drawn up May 2016. Reviewed May 2017, April 2018, April 2019, June 2021
Review June 2022 but also as and when necessary.