St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
This policy has been given to all members of staff and volunteers. It is stored in the policy folder at each site and can also be accessed on the school websites.
- Responsibilities and Actions
- Definitions And Signs Of Abuse
- Safeguarding Procedure
- Allegations Made Against Staff
- Confidential Child Protection Concern Sheets
- Caf Form
St Winifred’s recognises its legal duty under section 175 Education Act 2002 to work with other agencies in safeguarding children and protecting them from “significant harm”. The framework for this policy is drawn from the government circular ‘Working Together to safeguard children’ 2013 and ‘Keeping Children safe in Education 2015’ (DfE) and the Lewisham Safeguarding children Board (LSCB).
The rationale behind this policy is to ensure that everyone knows how to react to a child protection issue and is aware of the appropriate procedures.
This policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers/visitors working in the school visitors.
- Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan.
- Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
- Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse.
Responsibilities and Actions
IT IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND REPORT ABUSE. ANYONE CAN REFER DIRECTLY TO SOCIAL SERVICES.
We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. 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.
- We acknowledge the important role that the curriculum can play in the prevention of abuse and in the preparation of our pupils for the responsibilities of adult life. It is expected that all curriculum co-coordinators will consider the opportunities which exist in their area of responsibility for addressing personal safety and other CP related issues. All children in Year 4 and Year 6 receive internet safety training.
- We will follow the procedures set out by Lewisham’s Children and Young People’s Directorate and take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education and Skills to:
- Ensure we have a designated senior person for child protection who has received appropriate training and support for this role.
- Ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection.
- 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.
- Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations in the school prospectus.
- Notify social services if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on the child protection register.
- Develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences.
- Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately.
- Ensure all records are kept securely; separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations.
- Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer.
- Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed.
- This policy is to be used in conjunction with Safeguarding, Safer recruitment, Behaviour, Health and Safety, Intimate care policy policies
All adults working in this school (including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placement) are required to report instances of injury, or actual or suspected child abuse, including neglect, to the Designated Teacher with responsibility for child protection. The designated teachers are The Head teacher Margaret Hanrahan, Fiona Cullen and Cressida Peake. The designated governors is Delphine Phillips.
Parents/guardians are informed about the School’s commitment and responsibility to issues of child protection through the Parent’s meetings when children join our schools. All parents will have access to the Child Protection Policy on request, or by accessing the school websites.
Any person employed by the school in a regular voluntary capacity with pupils will be expected to undergo a full DBS check. Volunteers will work under direct supervision of an established staff member and will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of the school. Volunteers on trips will be given a sheet outlining all the information they need and clear guidelines as to how they can best support on trips. Volunteers will at no time be given responsibility for the personal care of pupils.
Guidelines are set out in the Schools Handbook for Volunteers which is handed out to volunteers and can also be found in the school office.
Staff Code of Conduct (See separate Code of Conduct)
All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct in respect of their contact with pupils and their families, particularly in respect of confidentiality. Children will be treated with respect and dignity and no punishment, restraint, sanction or rewards are allowed outside of those detailed in the school’s policies. Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might otherwise be misconstrued or where it becomes necessary to restrain physically a pupil for their own or other’s safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to the head teacher and parents.
First aid should only be administered by qualified first aiders and, if it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for this treatment, there should always be another adult present. If a child needs help changing or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be present. For their own safety and protection, staff should never put themselves in a situation where they are alone with a pupil. School staff should be aware of the possible risk which might arise from contact with pupils outside of the school. (Please refer to the Intimate Care policy)
- Definition And Signs Of Abuse
- CP Procedure
- Allegations Made Against Staff
- Confidential Child Protection Concern Sheets
- Caf Form
- What is abuse?
‘Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing 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. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children’
(from London Child Protection Procedures 2007)
We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavor to support the pupil through the content of the curriculum;
- The school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued.
- The school behaviour policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school.
- The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred.
- Liaison with other agencies that support the pupil such as social services, Child and Adult Mental Health Service, education welfare service and educational psychology service.
- Ensuring that, where a pupil on the child protection register leaves, their information is transferred (in a sealed envelope) to the new school immediately and that the child’s social worker is informed.
Signs of abuse
- Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child causing severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development, often by making them feel they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person, age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children, causing children frequently to feel frightened, or the exploitation or corruption of children.
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
- Female Genital Mutilation There are a range of indicators suggesting a girl is at risk and if two of these are present it could signal a risk. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community known to practise this. Girls at risk may not know about this practice so it should be discussed with sensitivity.
- Child Sexual Exploitation involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where
Young people receive something ( food, drugs, alcohol, accommodation, money, affection) as a
result of engaging is sexual activities. It can take many forms from a seemingly consensual
relationship to serious organized crime. It is marked out by the imbalance of power of
perpetrator over victim. It can involve coercion, intimidation, enticement, unwanted peer
pressure, sexual bullying including cyber- bullying and grooming.
- Radicalisation is the process by which individuals come to support terrorism or violent extremism. There is no typical profile for a person likely to become involved in extremism, or when they move to adopt violence in support of their particular ideology. Although a number of possible behavioural indicators are listed below, staff should use their professional judgement and discuss with colleagues or external partners if they have any concerns:
- Use in inappropriate language
- Possession of violent extremist literature or material
- Behavioural changes
- The expression of extremist views
- Advocating violent actions and means
- Association with known extremists or extremist groups (see also list of proscribed organisation on Home Office website)
- Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology or group
If the school has any significant concerns about a student beginning to support terrorism and/or violent extremism, they should refer to the designated lead. Concerns can also be discussed with the local authority and local police.
In the event of a criminal or terrorist offence, or concerns that such an offence may have taken place, the Police should be contacted immediately.
Staff must immediately report:
- any suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play
- any explanation given which appears inconsistent or suspicious
- any behaviour which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm (e.g. worrying drawings or play)
- any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment, or emotional maltreatment
- any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect
- any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance
- any hint or disclosure of abuse from any person
- any concerns regarding person(s) who may pose a risk to children (e.g. living in a household with children present)
- any concerns regarding radicalisation
- Safeguarding concerns can be shared in confidence at weekly staff meeting though they are not to be minuted
- Governors receive a termly update of Safeguarding issues and any casework updates.
Responding to Disclosure
Disclosures or information may be received from pupils, parents or other members of the public. School recognises that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Accordingly all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity,
Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the designated teacher using the referral form and placed in the confidential folder kept in the LOCKED filing cabinet in the Head’s office.
Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, elicit enough information to pass on to the designated person in order that s/he can make an informed decision of what to do next.
- listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm
- try to ensure that the person disclosing does not have to speak to another member of school staff
- clarify the information
- try to keep questions to a minimum and of an ‘open’ nature e.g. ‘tell me what happened ’ rather than ‘Did x hit you?’
- try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise
- not express feelings or judgments regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child
- explain sensitively to the person that they have a responsibility to refer the information to the senior designated person
- reassure and support the person as far as possible
- explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told
- explain what will happen next and that the person will be involved as appropriate
Action by the Designated Senior Person (or other senior person in their absence)
Following any information raising concern, the senior designated person will consider:
- any urgent medical needs of the child
- making an enquiry to Social Care Duty team to find out if the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan
- discussing the matter with other agencies involved with the family
- consulting with appropriate persons e.g. Safeguarding Officer, Social Care
- the child‘s wishes
- wherever possible, to talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk
- whether to make a child protection referral to social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately
- not to make a referral at this stage
- if further monitoring is necessary
- if it would be appropriate to undertake an assessment (e.g. CAF) and/or make a referral for other services
All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented. All referrals to social care will be accompanied by a standard referral form.
Action following a child protection referral
The designated senior person or other appropriate member of staff will:
- make regular contact with the Social worker involved to stay informed
- wherever possible, contribute to the Strategy Discussion
- provide a report for, attend and contribute to any subsequent Child Protection Conference
- if the child or children are placed on the Child Protection Register, contribute to the Child Protection Plan and attend Core Group Meetings and Review Child Protection Conferences
- where possible, share all reports with parents prior to meetings
- where in disagreement with a decision made e.g. not to apply Child Protection Procedures or not to convene a Child Protection Conference, discuss this with the Safeguarding Officer or the Manager of the Child Protection and Review Unit
- where a child on the child protection register moves from the school or goes missing, immediately inform the key worker in Social Care
Recording and monitoring
Accurate records will be made as soon as practicable and will clearly distinguish between observation, fact, opinion and hypothesis. All records will be signed and dated, any information given will be recorded verbatim where possible and a note made of the location and description of any injuries seen.
All CP documents will be retained in a ‘Child Protection’ file, separate from the child’s main file. This will be locked away and only accessible to the headteacher and designated teacher. These records will be copied and transferred to any school or setting the child moves to, clearly marked ‘Child Protection, Confidential. If the child goes missing from education or is removed from roll to be educated at home then any Child Protection file should be copied and the copy sent to the Education Social Work Service. Original copies will be retained until the child’s 25th birthday.
Supporting the Child and Partnership with Parents
- School recognises that the child’s welfare is paramount, however good child protection practice and outcome relies on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents
- Whilst we may, on occasion, need to make referrals without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect any child
- We will provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for the child
- Children will be given a proper explanation (appropriate to age & understanding) of what action is being taken on their behalf and why
- We will endeavour always to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents. The Designated Senior Person will determine which members of staff “need to know” personal information and what they “need to know” for the purpose of supporting and protecting the child
- Allegations regarding person(s) working in or on behalf of school (including volunteers)
The definition Malicious Accusations against staff is where there is clear evidence to prove there has been a deliberate act to deceive and the allegation is entirely false. (DfE guidance)
If an allegation is made against a member of staff a quick resolution of the allegation will be a clear priority. The allegation will be investigated as per DfE guidance “Dealing with allegations about teachers and other staff” and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education April 2015: Part 4’ pages 30-40
Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of the school that he or she has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or
- Has behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
If an allegation is made about a child abusing another we will report and follow Lewisham’s procedures.
We will apply the same principles as in the rest of this document and we will always follow the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board procedures. Detailed records will be made to include decisions, actions taken, and reasons for these. All records will be retained securely with Social Services. School based records will be retained in locked files.
Whilst we acknowledge such allegations, (as all others), may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be founded. It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly and in line with agreed procedures.
The person who has received an allegation or witnessed an event will immediately inform the head teacher/CP Coordinator and make a record
- In the event that an allegation is made against the head teacher the matter will be reported to the Chair of Governors who will proceed as the ‘head teacher’
- The head teacher will take steps, where necessary, to secure the immediate safety of children and any urgent medical needs
- The member of staff will not be approached at this stage unless it is necessary to address the immediate safety of children
- The head teacher may need to clarify any information regarding the allegation, however no person will be interviewed at this stage
- In line with the LA procedures, the head teacher will consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to determine if it is appropriate for the allegation to be dealt with by school or if there needs to be a referral to social care and/or the police for investigation (See contact details below)
- Consideration will be given throughout to the support and information needs of pupils, parents and staff
- The head teacher will inform the Chair of Governors of any allegation.
Referral & Assessment and Hospital Team
1st Floor Laurence House
TEL: 020 8314 3852 (81343786) (81348018) (81346602)
FAX: 0208314 3447
1 Catford Road
The designated teacher has specific responsibility for the co-ordination of Safeguarding procedures within the school and for liaison with social services and other agencies.
All staff need to be made aware who the designated teacher is as all cases of suspected abuse should be reported to him or her in the first instance.
All staff should receive appropriate training on Child Protection every 3 years.
The designated teacher needs to have appropriate training every 2 years and should know:
- How to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse and when to make a referral
- The local Area Safeguarding and/or LEA procedures and the designated teacher’s role within them
- The role and responsibilities of the investigating agencies and how to liaise with them
- The requirements of record keeping
- The conduct of a child protection conference and how the designated teacher or another member of staff can make an appropriate contribution to it.
- How to organise staff inset and training for Safeguarding
- CONFIDENTIAL Child Protection Concerns
|Action taken by Designated teacher
Complete where appropriate
|Number of days|
- Social Care Referral (CAF)
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a way of working with children and young people which is being used all over England.
It involves listening to families to find out what support they need and what is working well in their lives. An action plan is then put together with the family to make sure they get the right sort of support.
The idea is that all the practitioners working with a child or young person work together to support children with additional needs that are not currently being met. The CAF will help get support to the child or young person at an early stage before their needs increase.
The CAF is a shared assessment, so the family will not have to repeat the same story to different workers.
Children and families are a central part of the CAF assessment and it is important that their opinions are recorded on the CAF form alongside the views of professionals working with them.
The online CAF can be found on the Lewisham website.
All staff recruited by the school will be subject to references and Criminal Records checks, and all staff will be checked against the List 99 (or DoH Consultative Index), prior to their appointment, and a full police check after appointment that is conditional to the contract being valid. This school will only use employment agencies that positively vet their supply staff. Staff joining the school on a permanent or temporary basis will be informed of the CP policy.
Any parent or other person employed by the school to work in a regular voluntary capacity with pupils will be expected to undergo a full police check. Volunteers will work under the direct supervision of an established staff member and will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of the school. Volunteers will at no time be given responsibility for the personal care of pupils. Volunteers will be given the Volunteer booklet which outlines procedures for staff.
Intimate Care Policy
- Principles of Intimate Care
- School Responsibilities
- Guidelines for Good Practice
- Working with Children of the Opposite Sex
- Communication with Children
- Declaration form
It is our intention to develop independence in each child, however there will be occasions when help is required. Our intimate care policy has been developed to safeguard children and staff. It is one of a range of specific policies that contribute to our pastoral care policy. The principles and procedures apply to everyone involved in the intimate care of children.
Children are generally more vulnerable than adults and staff involved with any aspect of pastoral care need to be sensitive to their individual needs.
Intimate care may be defined as any activity that is required to meet the personal needs of an individual child on a regular basis or during a one-off incident. Such activities can include:
- oral care;
- changing clothes;
- first aid and medical assistance; and
- supervision of a child involved in intimate self-care.
Parents have a responsibility to advise the school of any known intimate care needs relating to their child.
Principles of Intimate Care
The following are the fundamental principles of intimate care upon which our policy guidelines are based:
- every child has the right to be safe;
- every child has the right to personal privacy;
- every child has the right to be valued as an individual;
- every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect;
- all children have the right to be involved and consulted in their own intimate care to the best of their abilities;
- all children have the right to express their views on their own intimate care and to have such views taken into account; and
- every child has the right to have levels of intimate care that are appropriate and consistent.
Only those members of staff who are familiar with the intimate care policy and other pastoral care policies of the school are involved in the intimate care of children.
Where anticipated, intimate care arrangements are agreed between the school and parents and, when appropriate and possible, by the child. Consent forms are signed by the parent and stored in the child’s file.
Only in emergency would staff undertake any aspect of intimate care that has not been agreed by parents and school. Parents would then be contacted immediately.
Intimate care arrangements should be reviewed at least six monthly. The views of all relevant parties should be sought and considered to inform future arrangements.
If a staff member has concerns about a colleague’s intimate care practice he or she must report this to the Designated Teacher for Child Protection.
Guidelines for Good Practice
All children have the right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect. These guidelines are designed to safeguard children and staff. They apply to every member of staff involved with the intimate care of children.
Young children and children with special educational needs can be especially vulnerable. Staff involved with their intimate care need to be particularly sensitive to their individual needs. A risk assessment for children requiring intimate care will be carried out.
Members of staff also need to be aware that some adults may use intimate care, as an opportunity to abuse children. It is important to bear in mind that some forms of assistance can be open to misinterpretation. Adhering to the following guidelines of good practice should safeguard both children and staff.
- Involve the child in the intimate care
Try to encourage a child’s independence as far as possible in his or her intimate care. Where a situation renders a child fully dependent, talk about what is going to be done and, where possible, give choices. Check your practice by asking the child or parent about any preferences while carrying out the intimate care.
- Treat every child with dignity and respect and ensure privacy appropriate to the child’s age and situation.
Care should not be carried out by a member of staff working alone with a child.
- Make sure practice in intimate care is consistent.
As a child may have multiple carers a consistent approach to care is essential. Effective communication between all parties ensures that practice is consistent.
- Be aware of your own limitations
Only carry out activities you understand and feel competent with. If in doubt, ask. Some procedures must only be carried out by members of staff who have been formally trained and assessed.
- Promote positive self-esteem and body image.
Confident, self-assured children who feel their bodies belong to them are less vulnerable to sexual abuse. The approach you take to intimate care can convey lots of messages to a child about their body worth. Your attitude to a child’s intimate care is important. Keeping in mind the child’s age, routine care can be both efficient and relaxed.
- If you have any concerns you must report them.
If you observe any unusual markings, discolouration or swelling, report it immediately to the Designated Teacher for Child Protection.
If a child is accidentally hurt during intimate care or misunderstands or misinterprets something, reassure the child, ensure their safety and report the incident immediately to the designated teacher. Report and record any unusual emotional or behavioural response by the child. A written record of concerns must be made available to parents and kept in the child’s personal file.
Working with Children of the Opposite Sex
There is positive value in both male and female staff being involved with children. Ideally, every child should have the choice for intimate care but the current ratio of female to male staff means that assistance will more often be given by a woman.
The intimate care of boys and girls can be carried out by a member of staff of the opposite sex with the following provisions:
- when intimate care is being carried out, all children have the right to dignity and privacy, ie they should be appropriately covered, the door closed or screens/curtains put in place;
- the care should stop immediately. Try to ascertain why the child is distressed and provide reassurance;
- report any concerns to the Designated Teacher for Child Protection and make a written record;
- parents must be informed about any concerns.
Communication With Children
It is the responsibility of all staff caring for a child to ensure that they are aware of the child’s method and level of communication. Depending on their maturity and levels of stress children may communicate using different methods – words, signs, symbols, body movements, eye pointing, etc. To ensure effective communication:
- make eye contact at the child’s level;
- use simple language and repeat if necessary;
- wait for response;
- continue to explain to the child what is happening even if there is no response; and
- treat the child as an individual with dignity and respect.
This policy will be reviewed annually.
I have read the school’s policy on intimate care and give permission for a member of staff to deal with my child/ren whenever necessary. I understand that intimate care can include:
- oral care;
- changing clothes;
- first aid and medical assistance; and
- supervision of a child involved in intimate self-care.
Names of children for whom my permission is given:
Parent/guardian’s signature …………………………………… Date……………….