The aim of this policy is to promote a safe environment where safeguarding concerns in relation to a child can may managed in an appropriate way.
Our policy applies to all staff, governors, students, any people carrying out work within the school building and parents and volunteers working at Andreas Primary School. All of the above persons are considered to be in a position of trust at the school and have a duty to safeguard children.
Distinction between Child Protection and Safeguarding
It is important to recognise the difference between Child Protection and Safeguarding. In its simplest terms, child protection is what is in place to protect children who have already experienced harm, abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, or have otherwise been harmed. Safeguarding refers to the daily practises in place which aim to keep children safe such as risk assessments, first aid, Relationships and Sex Education curriculum, e safety sessions etc.
Andreas School has a duty to Safeguarding children as outlined in the Safeguarding Act 2018.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development;
- ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- and undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully
- Take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
All staff at Andreas Primary School understand that our work in safeguarding and protecting children must always be in line with the Isle of Man Safeguarding Board’s guidance and procedures and legislation (IOM Safeguarding Board and Procedures - Safeguarding Together 2019, Education Act 2001, Children & Young Persons Act 2001, UN The Rights of the Child).
This policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that, regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children have a positive and enjoyable experience of activities at school in a safe child centred environment. In addition, ensuring the protection of children from abuse whilst participating in education wherever such learning/activity takes place.
Through this safeguarding child protection policy, we will;
- Promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people
- Ensure everyone, staff, pupils and parents understand their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and child protection
- Ensure all staff have read the policy
- Ensure everyone has appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people.
- Ensure in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse, appropriate action is taken in line with local procedures, and support provided to the individual/s who raise of disclose a concern.
- Ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding and child protection concerns are maintained and securely stored.
- Prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals
- Help protect children and young people from exploitation including radicalisation, child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation (county lines)
- Ensure robust and effective safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation in school
The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in school. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed, without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from this school.
Safeguarding in School
* All staff must be clear about their own role and that of others in providing a caring and safe environment for all pupils and know how they should respond to any concerns about an individual child that may arise.
* The school will ensure that all staff, whether permanent or temporary, and volunteers know who the Senior designated person is, who has overall responsibility for child protection.In that person’s absence there is a Deputy designated lead.
* The details for the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection and Safeguarding can be found in this policy.
- All staff will receive training regularly at a minimum of every 2 years in order that they are equipped with the skills needed to keep children safe. A Register of training is kept by the senior designated person (Headteacher).
*All staff and volunteers must have an in date DBS certificate to work in the school.They will be asked for this before working in the school.Volunteers at the school will not be left unsupervised, they will supervised by a permanent member of staff.
*Regular supply teachers must have a valid DBS check to work in the school. This is checked by the administrator and DBS number logged.
The Headteacher (Trish Dudley) is the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for child protection. In her absence the Deputy Lead is the Deputy Headteacher (Joanne Hawkins).
They are responsible for:
- co-ordinating action within Andreas Primary School and liaising with the Department of Manx Care Children and Families, and other agencies over cases of abuse and suspected abuse
- acting as a source of advice within Andreas Primary School
- ensuring the staff are familiar with the policies and procedures
- referral of individual cases and suspected abuse
- organising training on Child Protection within the school
Teaching staff and support staff
Any new staff to Andreas Primary School will be informed of the main points of this policy and given a copy to read.All staff will require either Level 1 or 2 training in Child Protection as soon as is possible.Training will be delivered on a 2 year rolling programme.
Senior Leaders at the school must attend Level 3 training each year and ensure they are up to date with latest procedures and practice.
All staff should report any concerns immediately, to the Headteacher/Deputy.
Staff should apply the outlined procedures for responding to a suspected case remembering that:
- you cannot promise confidentiality
- information should only be shared with those that need to know
- it is important to stay calm and reassuring
- the needs and safety of the child must always come first
- when in doubt - ask
Non teaching staff (including ancillaries, caretakers, cleaners and kitchen staff)
Non-teaching staff may also be approached by children or have concerns.They should follow the same procedures as teaching staff in seeking referral at the earliest opportunity.
Supply teachers are given guidance which details what to do if they have a concern, who to report it to and when.
KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE
Child Protection - Responding to concerns about individual children
All children at Andreas Primary School must be able to place their trust and confidence in any adult working in the school. They must feel sure that they can speak about any worries or concerns they may have and that they will be listened too, taken seriously and responded to appropriately. All staff must therefore know what to do if a child chooses to talk to them about any matter which raises child protection concerns.
* All staff must:
- Listen to what the child is saying without interruption and without asking leading questions.
- Respect the child’s right to privacy but not promise confidentiality.
- Reassure the child that s/he has done the right thing in telling.
- Explain to the child that in order to keep him/her safe from harm the information that has been shared must be passed on.
- Report what was has been disclosed to the DSL in the school.
- Record, as soon as is practicable, what was said using the child’s actual words. This must be recorded on a Logged Concerns form which are clearly displayed in the office.
- Sign and date the record.
* The DSL (Headteacher) will:
- Assess any urgent medical needs of the child.
- Consider whether the child has suffered, or is likely to suffer significant harm.
- Check whether the child is currently subject to a Child Protection Plan or has been previously subject to a Plan.
- Confirm whether any previous concerns have been raised by staff.
- Consider whether the matter should be discussed with the child’s parents or carers or whether to do so may put the child at further risk of harm because of delay or the parent’s possible actions or reactions
- Seek advice if unsure that a child protection referral should be made.
The DSL (Headteacher/Deputy Headteacher) will contact the Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer, at the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC), for additional support or guidance and either make a referral to Manx Care Children and Families Services or, if a referral is not considered appropriate at that stage, make full written records of the information that they have received detailing the reasons for the judgement.
Child Protection – Recognition and Response to Abuse
Owing to the nature of the day-to-day relationship children at Andreas Primary School have with staff, all working in the school are particularly well placed to notice any physical, emotional or behavioural signs that a child may be suffering significant harm. We understand that harm means the ill-treatment or impairment of a child’s health and/or development, including that caused as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person.
All staff must be alert to any possible indicators that a child is suffering harm and report any concerns to the DSL for Child Protection. All staff at Andreas Primary School must recognise that it is a statutory duty to ensure that children are protected from harm. We recognise that there are four definitions of child abuse.
The four categories of child abuse are as follows:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse, and
May include: Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child including the deliberate fabrication or causation of illness in a child.
May be recognised by: Physical injury such as bruising, bite marks, burns and scalds, fractures but also by aggressive behaviour. It may also be an indicator of concern where a parent gives an explanation inconsistent with the injury or gives several different explanations for the injury.
It is not appropriate for any member of staff to undress, photograph or body map any child in an attempt to see physical injury. This is the role of child protection and investigating agencies.
May Include: Involving or forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. Such activities may involve sexual acts (penetrative or non-penetrative) or may include involving children in watching or taking part in pornographic material or to encourage children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
May be recognised by: Inappropriate sexualised conduct, age inappropriate sexualised play or conversation, sexually harmful behaviour – contact or non-contact, self-harm, eating disorders, continual, inappropriate or excessive masturbation, anxiousness or unwillingness to remove clothes – sports / PE etc, pain or itching in genital area, blood on underclothes, bruising in genital region and / or inner thighs etc.
May Include: The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development, mental health, behaviour and self-esteem. This may be caused by conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved or unvalued or by developmentally inappropriate expectations being made or by causing children to frequently feel frightened or the exploitation or corruption of children. There may be several logged concerns to build up a timeline of events/incidents.
May be recognised by: Developmental delay, attachment issues, aggressive behaviour, appeasing behaviour, watchfulness or stillness, low self esteem, withdrawn or a loner, or having difficulty in forming relationships. Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise as signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. Signs of emotional abuse may be associated or similar to other forms of abuse so presence of emotional abuse may indicate other abuse is prevalent as well.
It is not appropriate for any member of staff to undress, photograph or body map any child in an attempt to see physical injury. This is the role of child protection and investigating agencies.
May include: 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 (growth and intellect) such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter (including keeping children safe), clothing, or neglect of or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.
May be recognised by: Being constantly hungry; constantly tired; have a poor state of clothing; be emaciated; have untreated medical problems; be frequently late or have poor or non-attendance at school; have low self esteem; display neurotic behaviour and/or have poor social relationships, have poor personal hygiene. A neglected child may also be apathetic, fail to thrive, or be left with or in the care of adults under the influence of alcohol or drug misuse.
All staff should be aware that mental health problems can, in some case, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. While only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem, staff in school are well placed to observe children day to day and identify those who may be struggling with their mental well- being.
Safeguarding – Providing a Safe Environment
All parents and carers of pupils attending Andreas Primary School must feel secure in the knowledge that they are entrusting their children to adults who will strive to keep them safe at school. We will do this by:
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school
- Ensuring that our staff are appropriately trained in safeguarding and child protection according to their role and responsibilities and keep a record of all training undertaken
- Encouraging the self-esteem and self-assertiveness of all pupils through the curriculum so that the children themselves become aware of danger and risk and what acceptable behaviour is and what is not.
- Working in partnership with all other services and agencies involved in the safeguarding of children
- Welcoming visitors in a safe and secure manner
- Undertaking risk assessments when planning out of school activities or trips (Evolve)
- Ensuring that any community groups which use our premises for the provision of services to children have child protection knowledge and understanding evidenced by a policy or are prepared to adopt our own policy.
- Risk assessing our loose parts play and forest school with the children.
Where younger children/ children with additional needs require inmate care;
Intimate Care: We will agree the nature and frequency of the intimate care that your child receives in our care prior to your child remaining in our care. Examples of intimate care include going to the toilet. We always aim to encourage children to strive for greater independence.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
All staff must Recognise that children and young people living in environments where they may be exposed to ACE’s ( Adverse Childhood Experiences) such as domestic abuse, adult drug/alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and/or criminality, are vulnerable and may be in need of support and protection
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term used to describe all types of abuse, neglect, and other potentially traumatic experiences that occur to people under the age of 18.
Professionals who work with children should have an understanding of how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) can have a tremendous impact on child development and the vulnerability of children. ACE’s can have an impact on the child in terms of future violence victimisation and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.
Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to:
- risky health behaviours,
- chronic health conditions,
- low life potential, and
- early death.
As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes. The presence of ACEs does not mean that a child will experience poor outcomes. However, children’s positive experiences or protective factors can prevent children from experiencing adversity and can protect against many of the negative health and life outcomes even after adversity has occurred. It is important to address the conditions that put children and families at risk of ACEs so that we can prevent ACEs before they happen.
Safeguarding & Child Protection in Specific Circumstances
A safeguarding register is kept alongside any CP records.
A child may be on the safeguarding register and not be on a CP or CWCN plan.
We are aware that a pupil’s unexplained absence from Andreas School could mean that they are at risk from harm.
(1) We will always report an unexplained absence of a child with a Child Protection Plan to the child’s social worker within one day
(2) We will always seek to clarify the reason for any child’s absence from school with the child’s parent or carer as soon as is practicable on the first day
(3) We will always report a continued absence about which we have not been notified by the parent or carer to the Education Welfare Officer at the DESC.
(4) We will always report to the Education Welfare Officer the continued absence of a child known or thought to have been taken overseas if the child does not return to school on the expected return date.
We will aim to maintain a safe and calm environment by expecting good behaviour from our pupils in line with our behaviour policy.
We are aware that any physical response from a member of staff to a pupil’s poor behaviour could lead to a child protection concern being raised by the child or parent/carer.
(1) No member of staff will use force when dealing with a pupil’s breach of our behaviour policy unless the potential consequences of not physically intervening are sufficiently serious to justify such action.The acceptable method for Positive Handling is Team Teach.The incident form to be filled in after a handling incident.
(2) We will always record any occasion when physical intervention has been necessary - this is recorded in the Numbered and Bound book - found in the Headteacher’s office.
(3) We will always notify parents or carers of any such incident and provide them with a copy of the Positive Handling Report.
We understand that bullying is harmful to children. We have an anti-bullying policy that sets out our aim of ensuring no child becomes a victim of bullying and the work that we carry out in school to foster an environment where bullying behaviour is known to be unacceptable. We will always take seriously any reports of bullying and respond appropriately.
We understand that bullying may take different forms and may include racist, sexual or homophobic behaviour. Any such reported or observed incident will be dealt with in accordance with our anti-bullying policy.
We recognise that children’s use of the Internet is an important part of their education but that there are risks of harm associated with its use. We have an e-safety policy and an Acceptable User Policy that addresses how we minimise those risks in school and teach children how to stay safe when using the internet in their lives out of school.
As a school we have a Safer Schools app which pupils, staff and parents can access information about staying safe. Internet safety forms part of out ICT curriculum.
All staff will follow the NCA Sexting guidance when dealing with inappropriate picture of text messages.Parents will be informed immediately if it does not potentially put the child in harm.
We also recognise that all members of staff and volunteer staff must always be mindful of the need to follow our policy of acceptable use of our ICT equipment.
We recognise the need to celebrate and promote young people’s involvement in education but there can be risks of harm associated with its use.We will ask parents at all events to only photograph their own children, where possible, and not upload any photographs to social media.Parental consent for photos will be gained at the start of every academic year.Children without consent will be on the class list so all staff and supply staff are aware.
Staff photographs of children are stored in line with the school’s retention policy.After 1 year they are moved to the cloud from teacher’s machines.
Guidance on dealing with suspected abuse
All staff must refer concerns to the DSL as soon as possible.In the meantime, they should:
- listen to the pupil, keeping calm and offering reassurance
- observe bruises but should not ask a child to remove or adjust their clothing to observe them
- if a disclosure is made the child should lead the discussion.Do not press for details by asking questions
- Listen - do not investigate. Use questions such as “is there anything else you would like to tell me?”
- Accept what the pupil says without challenge - reassure them that they are doing the right thing and that you recognise how hard it is for them
- Don’t lay blame or criticise either the child or the perpetrator
- Don’t promise confidentiality - explain that they have done the right thing and who you will need to tell and why
Procedures for monitoring, recording and reporting
At the time
Keep brief notes at the time or immediately after.You should note
- -Date and time of disclosure/incident observed
- - Place and context of disclosure concerned
- -Facts you need to report
When you can
- Complete a Logging a Concern sheet – this is kept in the Office – The person logging the concern must pass it to the Headteacher and in their absence the Deputy Headteacher. This must be given on the same day - not left over night or a weekend.
- Remember to keep the information factual.
- Use the child’s own language to quote rather than translating into your own terms. Be aware that these sheets may be used at a later date to support a referral to an external agency.
The DSL will
- Follow-up the referral using the Logging a Concern sheet as a basis for consideration before action
- Make additional records of discussions and any investigation that take place
- Make a decision whether to continue to monitor the situation or take the referral further and communicate this to the individual making the initial referral
- Where a child is referred to Manx Care Children and Families the MARF (Multi agency referral form) should be completed within 24 hours and submitted.
Children with individual files
Children who have been referred to Manx Care Children and Families will have their own file, which is stored in a secure cabinet in the Headteacher’s Office. Recorded information from care meetings and other reports are stored in their individual file.Only the Headteacher and Deputy have access to the files.
Please note that Logging a Concern sheet NEEDS to be completed for any incidents/observations regarding children who have individual files.
Working Together with Parents/Carers
We recognise the importance of keeping up-to-date and accurate information about pupils. We will regularly ask all parents/carers to provide us with the following information and to notify us of any changes that occur.
- names and contact details of persons with whom the child normally lives
- names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility
- emergency contact details
- details of any persons authorised to collect the child from school (if different from above)
- any relevant court orders in place including those which affect any person’s access to the child (e.g. Residence Order, Contact Order, Care Order, Injunctions etc.)
- name and contact detail of G.P.
- any other factors which may impact on the safety and welfare of the child
- Photograph consent - Arbor
All child protection and safeguarding Information about pupils parents or carers, or by other agencies will remain confidential and be stored confidentially in the Headteacher’s office. Staff will be given relevant and information on a “need to know” basis in order to support the child if that is necessary and appropriate.
We are, however, under a duty to share any information, which is of a child protection nature. We understand that this is in the best interests of the child and overrides any other duties we have regarding confidentiality and information sharing.All staff have been trained using the IOM Safeguarding Board -Information Sharing.
We have a duty to keep any records which relate to child protection work undertaken by us or our partner agencies and to ensure that these are kept apart from the main pupil record, stored securely and only accessible to key members of staff. We also have a duty to send copies of these records to any school to which the pupil transfers.
Referrals to partner agencies
If we have a reason to be concerned about the welfare of a child we will always seek to discuss this with the child’s parents or carers in the first instance. On occasion, according to the nature of our concern, it may be necessary for us to make an immediate referral to Manx Care Children and Families, when to do otherwise may put the child at risk of further harm either because of delay, or because of the actions of the parents or carers.Number to ring is 686179. When in doubt phone to discuss a potential referral.
Retention Of Child Protection Records
Child Protection Files:DOB +26 years.At the end of the retention period they will be confidentially destroyed.When a pupil with a child protection record reachers statutory leaving age, the last school attended should keep the file until the child’s 26th birthday.
Any children leaving Andreas in Year 6 who has a CP file will be passed to their chosen secondary school.
Logged Concerns: These will be kept for two years if there have been no other logged concerns for that child. At the end of the retention period there would be confidential destruction.
If the concern has been escalated within the two year retention period they would form part of the CP file and therefore kept longer.
ADULTS WORKING WITH CHILDREN
Allegations against staff
All staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable to ensure that your work with individual children or meetings with parents are conducted in view of other adults.
We understand that a pupil may make an allegation against a member of staff. If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Head/Deputy or the most senior teacher if they are not present.Any allegations made will be dealt with swiftly and will take priority - DESC flowchart displayed in Headteacher’ office and staffroom board.
The Head/Deputy on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the DESC’s and Children’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. All staff will therefore be made aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues.
The DSL will follow the DESCs flowchart and submit a MARF if necessary.
There is a clear procedure to follow (flow chart which is displayed in the staff room if an allegation is made).
Retention of allegations against staff members: If an allegation of a child protection nature against a member of staff, including where the allegation is unfounded, will be kept until the person’s normal retirement age, or 10 years from the date of the allegation whichever is the longer.
At the end of the retention period they would be confidential destruction.
MONITORING AND REVIEWING OUR POLICY AND PRACTICE
Our DSL for Child Protection (Headteacher/ T Dudley) will continually monitor our child protection and safeguarding practices and bring to the notice of the Senior Managers and Governors any weaknesses or deficiencies.The policy will be reviewed and amended if necessary annually.
Keeping pupils and teachers safe during remote/distance learning is essential.
Communicating with parents, carers and pupils over school closure
Where education is having to take place remotely due to coronavirus (COVID-19)/viruses/contagious illnesses / school closures etc. , it’s important for schools, teachers and pupils to maintain professional practice as much as possible. When communicating online with parents and pupils, schools will continue to:
- communicate within school hours as much as possible (or hours agreed with the school to suit the needs of staff)
- communicate through the school channels approved by the senior leadership team
- use school email accounts (not personal ones)
- use school devices over personal devices wherever possible
- advise teachers not to share personal information
Teaching from home is different from teaching in the classroom. Teachers should try to find a quiet or private room or area to talk to pupils, parents or carers. When broadcasting a lesson or making a recording, consider what will be in the background. Should teachers’ own children be present whilst live, remote or distance delivery is taking place, they must of course be kept safe and supervised depending on their age.
Teachers should avoid situations online where they are streaming with just one pupil. Normal safeguards surrounding lone working between teachers and pupils should apply in the same way as they would in a physical school setting.
School has risk assessments in place which take precautions against the spread of communicable diseases if necessary. In the event of school closure remote home learning protocols are in place through the use of Teams and Google classroom as well as the school website. Please reference Covid Risk Assessments.
When staff have a safeguarding concern it must be reported to the DSL straightaway and the normal reporting procedures followed.If the DSL can not be contacted it must be reported to the Deputy DSL - Jo Hawkins.
It will be important that school continue to provide a safe online environment for those who are at home. School will continue to ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect children when they are online using the school ‘s systems. All staff who interact with children, including online, will continue to look out for signs that a child may be at risk. Any concerns should be dealt with in accordance with the child protection policy through the DSL and where appropriate referrals should continue to be made to children’s social care and as required the police. Staff will also be in regular contact with parents and carers. Those communications should continue to be used to reinforce the importance of children being safe online together with available support mechanisms, should problems be encountered.
The Safer Schools app can be used to support families to keep their children safe on line.
Any mobile phones brought into school by pupils are collected from them at 9am and stored in a safe place until they are collected at 3.30pm.
Equality - This Policy applies to all children and young person regardless of gender, ag, ethnicity, disability, special educational needs, sexuality or religion
At Andreas Primary School, in line with the 2017 Equality Act, we aim to:
- Eliminate discrimination.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the:
Anti Bullying policy,
Visitors and Volunteer Policy
Staff Induction Policy
Health and Safety Policy
DESC Recruitment and Retention Guidance
Guidance for Safer Working Practice - Feb 2022
DESC Whistleblowing Policy
E Safety Policy