About Our Academy
Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Policy
Every child has the right to feel happy, healthy, safe and secure.
All members of the academy, both teaching and non-teaching, have the pastoral responsibility for the children in their care. Liaising closely with the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and Learning Mentor, whose responsibilities include that of Safeguarding children, they will ensure that any child who gives cause for concern will be helped in an appropriate manner.
School staff are particularly important due to their position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating and to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
All child protection concerns and referrals will be handled professionally in a sensitive, child centred manner which supports the needs of the child.
Safeguarding is the policies and practices that we employ to keep children safe and promote their well being. This includes: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; taking action to enable all children have the best outcomes. This is for all children.
Child Protection is a term used to describe the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or 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. (See appendix 1).
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 and development.
Aims / Objectives
- To provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
- To have a culture of vigilance.
- To identify the risks in our school, community and beyond and be pro-active to safeguard everyone.
- To promote children’s welfare and safety through positive pastoral support.
- To educate pupils on how to keep safe and to recognise behaviour that is unacceptable.
- To be aware of contextual safeguarding and the environments, situations and contexts that our children may encounter.
- To respond appropriately and sensitively to any concerns.
- To ensure correct procedures are followed when safeguarding and protecting children, taking into account government documentation, North East Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NELSCP) Guidelines and Procedures and school policies.
- To identify, report and monitor concerns and work closely with parents/carers and other professional agencies to work towards positive outcomes.
- To ensure governors, teachers and other school staff understand their responsibility, are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources and protect children from discrimination and avoidable harm.
- To ensure that new members of staff and volunteers are only appointed when all the appropriate checks have been satisfactorily completed.
- To ensure that all children have equal opportunities regardless of their circumstances and backgrounds. Everything will be fair and non-discriminatory, following the Single Equality Act 2010
- We understand that Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
- We follow the framework of: Recognise, Respond, Refer, Record, Reflect.
- We use the signs of safety framework to ask ‘What are we worried about?’ ‘What’s working well?’ ‘What scale is the worry between 0-10?’ ‘What needs to happen?’
- All school staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. All staff then have a responsibility to take appropriate action, working with other services as needed.
- All staff members are aware of the systems in place and any new members of staff are trained in these procedures as part of their induction. Students, volunteers and visitors also have a clear protocol to follow through the visitor guide.
- All Safeguarding information is confidential, and divulged on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis. Staff may be informed of general concerns about a particular child without specific details being disclosed.
- It is recognised that there are certain groups of children who have additional vulnerabilities. These include children with Special Needs and Looked after Children. There is a designated SENCO and a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after.
- Other groups of children who are especially vulnerable and therefore have special consideration for are: young carers; children who may experience discrimination; children who have English as an additional language; children who are living in difficult situations e.g. temporary accommodation, parental substance misuse, mental health needs or domestic abuse; children who are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation, sexual exploitation, forced marriage or radicalisation; children who are asylum seekers.
Prevention - Education
- Children are taught about Safeguarding through classroom activities, assemblies, themes of the week and displays. They are taught how to recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need it.
- There are specialist programmes taught to all the children e.g. Expect Respect by Women’s Aid (Domestic Abuse), Stay Safe, Speak out by the NSPCC (Staying safe from abuse and neglect), Relationship and sex education by BIG TALK Education, PANTS by the NSPCC (staying safe from sexual abuse), Relax Kids (managing emotional and mental health).
- Groups of children, who are ambassadors of the academy are specifically trained in Safeguarding and are a point of contact for all the children. These includes Digital Leaders, Empathy Heroes, Equality Ambassadors and the Academy Council.
- There are clear systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback. Staff members do not promise confidentiality to the child and always act in the interests of the child.
- There are Safeguarding posters for the children to promote this policy as well as the anti-bullying, online safety and equality policy.
Prevention – Safer Perimeter
- The school site is secure with one single point of entry.
- There is a clear system for signing in visitors with different coloured lanyards for the level of risk an adult poses. Grey for members of staff who are fully checked, blue for visitors who have been checked and red for visitors who have not been checked and will be supervised while in the school. All lanyards will have photo ID.
- As the start and end of the day is most risky in terms of multiple points of entry, staff members always supervise these doors.
Prevention - Safer Recruitment (see appendix 3)
- The academy will prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children. Any interview panel will have at least one member who is appropriately trained in safer recruitment.
- Any offer of employment will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks. This will include verifying a candidate’s identity, a criminal record check (DBS), barred list checks, prohibition checks, references and interview information. For most appointments an enhanced DBS check with barred list information will be appropriate for staff engaged in regulated activity (unsupervised activities with children or paid work in schools with opportunity of contact with children). It may also be necessary to verify a person’s right to work in the UK and make further checks regarding their suitability for working in the academy.
- Any applicant must show their DBS certificate to the academy before they will be allowed to start work in regulated activity. The academy will not keep copies of DBS certificates but will keep copies of the candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications.
- If the staff member will not be in regulated activity then an enhanced DBS check without a barred list check will be requested. Anybody coming into the academy who is not in regulated activity will be supervised by a person who is in regulated activity.
- Any agency staff or students starting at the academy will have the relevant checks carried out by their agency and written notification sent to the academy.
- Anybody entering the academy will have their identity checked and be supervised as appropriate.
- All DBS checks are recorded on the single central register which is kept up to date and checked by the Safeguarding Governor once per term.
- Safeguarding concerns about adults in the school should be made to the Safeguarding Coordinator or the Head teacher.
- All visitors to the academy will be given a visitor guide which clearly sets out our safeguarding requirements.
Prevention - Training
- All staff are suitably and regularly trained in child protection, are aware of their responsibilities and can respond appropriately in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our pupils. This includes how to recognise and respond to situations where a child may be considered to be at risk as well as procedures to follow and appropriate record keeping.
- Staff are trained to recognise signs of: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, fabricated and induced illness, domestic abuse, substance misuse, radicalisation and extremism, criminal exploitation, gender and honour based violence, peer on peer abuse and private fostering.
- All members of staff (and as part of induction) are required to read Keeping Children Safe in Education – Part one, as well as the school’s Safeguarding polcies and procedures.
- All staff are trained in Team Teach in the unlikely event that physical intervention is necessary.
- All staff are trained in the PREVENT Duty.
- Staff are trained in first aid to ensure all are confident with keeping children safe from injury.
- The Safeguarding Lead along with the Head Teacher and Learning Mentor are trained to Safeguarding level 2 standard.
- The Safeguarding Lead, Head Teacher, Business Manager and Chair of Governors are all trained in Safer Recruitment.
- Due to the wide role of Safeguarding, the Coordinator and Learning Mentor also attend many other training events which are recorded on the training log together with any qualifications gained or already held.
- The Governing body also has a responsibility regarding the Safeguarding of children. Governors are trained at a Basics level and there is a nominated governor for Safeguarding.
- The staff have regular updates on Safeguarding Children through INSET sessions where they are kept informed of procedures.
- There is an Safeguarding information board in the staff room which keeps staff informed of recent updates along with policies and procedures.
- A comprehensive training file is kept by the Safeguarding Lead to evidence all training.
Multi Agency Working
- Schools do not operate in isolation. The welfare of children is a corporate responsibility of the entire local authority, working in partnership with other public agencies, the voluntary sector and service users and carers. All services have an impact on the lives of children and families, and local authorities have a particular responsibility towards children and families most at risk of social exclusion.
- The Safeguarding Lead, along with the Safeguarding team, work with other agencies in order to provide multi-agency support to the pupils and their families.
- The ‘Creating Stronger Communities’ agenda aims to provide Prevention and Early Help through a Single Assessment and Plan. This will be through Outcomes Based Accountabiity, Family Group Conferencing, Signs of Safety and Restorative Practice. The aim is to identify children and families with high risk factors and low protective factors and provide support at the earliest opportunity with an effective and personalised service. This plan is a holistic, multi-agency model of assessment.
- Families First Access Point (FFAP) is the local multi-agency team that is our first point of contact for information, advice and guidance to ensure safeguarding activity and intervention is timely, proportionate and necessary.
- We work closely with Humberside Police who inform us of any domestic abuse incidents that have occurred that day or overnight, before 9am the next morning (Operation Encompass). This is so that we can provide support for the children and forms part of our record keeping and communication and action planning with Children’s Social Care.
Concerns are worries about a child’s health, educational progress or emotional and physical well-being, and may include changes in:
- behaviour / attitude
- social skills / responses to peers or staff
- injuries or bruises
- contact by family adults with staff and vice versa
- academic standards (underachieving etc.)
- Pupil’s perceptions of their own safety, health and well being are gathered annually. These are analysed to recognise groups or individuals who need extra support.
- We recognise that any one of us might be the ‘trusted adult’ for a child. We therefore follow the procedures for disclosures and use our training to recognise the issues at hand.
- We recognise our local context and the issues that our children and families face. Because of this, we have a particular focus upon these in our training, CPD and support.
- When there is suspicion that a child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm, then the Safeguarding lead will be informed immediately and a written record will be produced on CPOMS.
- If the Safeguarding Lead is unavailable, then the Deputy Safeguarding Lead and Headteacher are trained to the same level.
- Thresholds are used to assess the needs of individual children to give the most appropriate and most effective support. These are: Level 1 (Universal Services and Self Help), Level 2 (Targetted and Coordinated Early Help), Level 3 (Child in Need) and Level 4 (Specialist Assessment).
- Response will be appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the child.
- Protocols for deailing with disclosures will be followed.
- If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral will be made to children’s social care. This will usually be done by the Safeguarding Lead or Learning Mentor, but can be done by any member of staff.
- Teachers can refer children (and families) for specific work with the Learning Mentor and Behavioural Health lead through a YA CARE referral.
- When a multi-agency assessment is required to inform planning and ascertain if there needs to be a coordinated, targeted response to support a family at an early help level an Early Help Assessment and Plan will be completed.
- To report a child welfare or child protection concern, we will complete a contact form or make an immediate phone call to MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub), who will arrange for a social worker to commence an assessment.
- If a child is in immediate danger, we will call 999.
- Any child who is missing from education is reported to the Education Welfare Office.
- Well-kept records are essential to good Safeguarding practice.
- All concerns are recorded on CPOMS (Child Protection Online Management System) by the person dealing with the issue.
- CPOMS is secure with individual passwords and two-factor authentification.
- Relevant staff are alerted to incidents for notification or action.
- Categories of concern are used which can be analysed for patterns, chronologies and whole school issues.
- The Safeguarding Lead and Deputy monitor CPOMS regularly.
- A register is kept by the Safeguarding Lead of all children who are vulnerable at all levels. Links are made with SEN, Pupil Premium and Looked After Children.
- All children on the register have an electronic file and sometimes a paper file which is kept securely by the Safeguarding Lead. This is kept separate from education files.
- The records of children on the school’s Child Protection Register are constantly monitored and re-assessed.
- When a pupil on the register leaves the school, there will be a transfer of information to the new school immediately using a Transfer Form and secure CPOMS transfer. A receipt is obtained from the receiving school.
- All child protection files will be retained for a period of 10 years after leaving this school.
Our academy recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk.
It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
The academy will endeavour to support pupils through:
- The curriculum, to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation.
- The academy’s ethos and values, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued.
- Ensuring that all children know there is an adult in the academy whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty. This is their ‘trusted adult’.
- The use of safety themes which promote safety for all pupils.
- The promotion of staying safe in the curriculum, assemblies and around the school.
- The promotion of British Values to prepare pupils positively for life in modern Britain.
- The implementation of the Behaviour and Relationships policy.
- Individual or group work with the Learning Mentor and Behavioural Health Lead.
- Identifying individuals for specific support following disclosures, Operation Encompass referrals, analysis of pupil perception surveys and CPOMS records.
- A consistent approach, which recognises and separates the cause of behaviour from that which the child displays.
- Regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the pupils and their families.
- A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents.
- Being familiar with procedures in safer recruitment, health and safety, whistle-blowing, anti-bullying, and online-safety.
Groups, individuals or families receive support from our own experts as well as outside agencies according to their need and referral. These include: Young Carers, Video Interactive guidance, Theraplay.
- Children’s attainment and progress are closely monitored and our assessment system allows us to analyse the data of vulnerable children against their peers. Any issues are identified and discussed in pupil progress meetings.
- Attendance is regularly monitored by the Learning Mentor in liaison with the Education Welfare Officer with specific reference to poor patterns of attendance and children missing from education.
- Children are always listened to and have a variety of ways of communicating with adults in school from disclosures, use of the worry monsters in each classroom, use of the Learning Mentor’s worry monster as well as being given time with a Learning Mentor if they need it.
- Children’s views are regularly sought through:
- School and class councils
- Pupil Perception survey
- Themed weeks introduced in assemblies and followed up in class
- PSHE and Citizenship focus sessions
- Secrets of Success focuses
- Brain Builder Challenges
Results from these are used wisely to set up support groups as well as teaching opportunities and changes to our procedures to make sure the children feel safe in school and that their well-being is promoted to the fullest.
- The Safeguarding Lead reports to the SLT regularly and reports to the Full Governing Body every term.
- Timely information sharing is essential to effective safeguarding
- Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare, and protect the safety, of children.
- The Data Protection Act (2018) and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.
- Staff who need to share ‘special category personal data’ are aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information. This includes allowing practitioners to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
- If staff are I doubt about sharing information, they should speak to the Safeguarding Lead.
- The Safeguarding Lead is the designated PREVENT lead. The Prevent Duty is protecting children from the risk of radicalisation and extremism. This is done through being trained to identify vulnerable children and promote pupil’s welfare through the fundamental British values. The four general themes are: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies.
Allegations (see appendix 4)
There are clear procedures for handling allegations against members of staff and volunteers. Such allegations will be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer. Local procedures will then be followed from the advice of the LADO.
A referral will be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service if a person has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns.
There are also procedures in place to handle allegations against other children.
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
- Ensure that children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
- Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for PSHE / Citizenship which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to know who to turn to for help.
- Include, in the curriculum the skills needed to stay safe and promote their well-being through skills such as self-esteem, confidence building, thinking independently and the ability to make assessments of risk they could encounter.
- Include in the curriculum, opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from domestic abuse.
- Include in the curriculum, the promotion of the British Values.
- Provide children with the necessary knowledge and skills to build relationships based on mutual respect and mutual understanding, with shared power and a commitment to a non-violent relationship.
- Include, in the curriculum, material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to child care and parenting skills.
- Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies.
- Recognise that children with behavioural difficulties and/or children with special needs are potentially more at risk of being harmed than other children. All staff working with such children need to be particularly alert and sensitive to signs of harm.
- Adhere to guidelines and procedures pertaining to activities undertaken with pupils such as one to one working, intimate care, physical contact, transporting pupils etc. and also adhering to the NELSCP Guidelines and Procedures.
- Keep accurate records on CPOMS.
- Act accordingly and alert the relevant people.
- Attend all meetings and provide reports where necessary. Ensure there is effective information sharing.
- Be aware of, attend all training and keep up to date with safeguarding issues.
- Be aware of the Early Help process and their role in it, including identifying emerging problems and liaising with the Safeguarding Lead to support early identification and assessment.
- Be vigilent of the behaviour and conduct of staff members and report concerns promptly, following the Whistleblowing policy.
Safeguarding Lead and Deputy
- Be skilled, knowledgeable and up to date with all areas of safeguarding.
- Be available for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.
- Provide advice, support and supervision to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters.
- Take part in inter-agency meetings, assessments, case conferences and strategy meetings.
- Make referrals to the relevant bodies.
- Communicate and work closely with different agencies including Social Workers to gain the best outcome for the children.
- Monitor CPOMS entries daily and act accordingly.
- Ensure all policies and procedures are up to date and effective.
- Ensure staff can access and understand the school’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
- Ensure all staff are regularly trained.
- Report to the Governing body.
- Where children leave the school, securely transfer their child protection file to their new school as soon as possible, separately from the main pupil file.
- Undertake safer recruitment training and support the school to follow best practice.
- Monitor the single central record and ensure it complies with all relevant legislation.
- Model best practice and uphold the principles of confidentiality and data protection at all times
- Know who their trusted adult/s is/are in school.
- Talk to a trusted adult when they need help.
- Talk to a school ambassador if they need help.
- Use the telling box if they want to communicate in this way instead.
- To actively learn how to keep ourselves and others safe.
- Talk to members of staff if they need support.
- Talk to a member of staff if they are worried in any way about their child.
- Work cooperatively with the school if support is needed.
- Support the school’s ethos with regard to staying safe.
- Ensure that a child protection policy and procedures are in place in accordance with local authority guidance and procedures and that the policy is reviewed annually and available to parents.
- Be aware of the policies in practice, paper trails, record keeping, storage of files and numbers on the register.
- Ensure that the Academy operates safe recruitment procedures and makes all appropriate checks on staff and volunteers who work with children.
- Monitor the single central record by checking it is up to date with all ID checks and DBS certificates registered.
- Monitor the systems in place for visitors and contractors.
- Monitor the impact and know the work carried out by the Safeguarding Lead.
- Undertake basic child protection training every two years.
- Have an overview of the training undertaken and training needs of the Safeguarding Lead and all the staff in the Academy.
- Remedy, without delay any deficiencies or weaknesses in regard to child protection arrangements that are brought to their attention.
- Liaise with the local authority, as appropriate in the event of allegations being made against the head teacher and know these procedures
Consistency of implementation and impact will be monitored through:
- Safeguarding staff and governor meetings
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Feedback from lessons / themed weeks etc.
- NELSCP annual audit and action plan
- NELSCP specific audits and action plans
- Training log and file
- Single Central Register
- Code of Conduct
- Anti-bullying (adult and child version)
- Intimate Care
- Care, Control and Restraint
- Behaviour and Relationships
- Health and Safety
- First Aid
- Visitor Guide
Reference documents and policies
- Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County lines – 2020
- Keeping Children Safe in Education – 2019
- Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education – 2019
- North East Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership - Together for All - Thresholds of Need – 2019
- Local Safeguarding Education Guidance and Expectations - 2019
- Ofsted inspection framework – 2019
- Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings - 2019
- Working Together to Safeguard Children - 2018
- Information Sharing 2018
- Data Protection Act – 2018
- Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children - 2018
- Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation – 2018
- Mental health and behaviour in schools – 2018
- Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations – 2018
- Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 – 2018
- Action against hate – 2018
- Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners – 2017
- Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people – 2017
- Preventing and tackling bullying – 2017
- Children missing education – 2016
- Ending violence against women and girls – 2016
- The Prevent Duty Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers – 2015
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners – 2015
- Serious Crime Act – 2015
- Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools – 2014
- Supervision of activity with children – 2014
- The Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage– 2013
- Allegations of abuse against teachers and non-teaching staff - 2012
- Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education – 2012
- The Teachers’ Standards - 2011
- Safeguarding children and young people who may be affected by gang activity – 2010
- Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced – 2008
- Childcare Act – 2006
- Safeguarding Vulnerable groups Act – 2006
- The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations - 2005
- The Children Act – 1989 and 2004
Appendices – Practical Advice
- 1 – Types of Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Sexual and Neglect)
- 2 – Specific Safeguarding Issues (CSE, FGM, Forced Marriage, Preventing Radicalisation, British Values, Children missing from education, Domestic Abuse)
- 3 – Safer Recruitment
- 4 – Allegations
- 5 – Disclosures
- 6 – Whistleblowing
- 7 - Recording Form – Transfer – used by Safeguarding Lead when a child transfers to another school.
Safeguarding Lead - Mrs E Cox (01472237772)
Safeguarding Deputy - Miss N Waters (01472237772)
Safeguarding Governor - Ms A Riley (email@example.com)
Chair of Governors - Mr D Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Policy written: Spring 2020
Policy review: Spring 2021
Policy written by: Safeguarding Lead
Appendix 1: types of abuse
Abuse, including neglect, and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Emotional abuse may involve:
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
- Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
- Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
- Serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve:
- Physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing
- Non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect 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. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Children or young people who are being sexually exploited may not understand that they are being abused. They often trust their abuser and may be tricked into believing they are in a loving, consensual relationship.
If a member of staff suspects CSE, they will discuss this with the Safeguarding Lead. The Safeguarding Lead will trigger the local safeguarding procedures, including a referral to the local authority’s children’s social care team and the police, if appropriate.
Indicators of sexual exploitation can include a child:
- Appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
- Associating with other young people involved in exploitation
- Having older boyfriends or girlfriends
- Suffering from sexually transmitted infections or becoming pregnant
- Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour
- Suffering from changes in emotional wellbeing
- Misusing drugs and/or alcohol
- Going missing for periods of time, or regularly coming home late
- Regularly missing school or education, or not taking part in education
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child.
The Safeguarding Lead will make sure that staff have access to appropriate training to equip them to be alert to children affected by FGM or at risk of FGM.
Indicators that FGM has already occurred include:
- A pupil confiding in a professional that FGM has taken place
- A mother/family member disclosing that FGM has been carried out
- A family/pupil already being known to social services in relation to other safeguarding issues
- A girl:
- Having difficulty walking, sitting or standing, or looking uncomfortable
- Finding it hard to sit still for long periods of time (where this was not a problem previously)
- Spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet due to difficulties urinating
- Having frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems
- Avoiding physical exercise or missing PE
- Being repeatedly absent from school, or absent for a prolonged period
- Demonstrating increased emotional and psychological needs – for example, withdrawal or depression, or significant change in behaviour
- Being reluctant to undergo any medical examinations
- Asking for help, but not being explicit about the problem
- Talking about pain or discomfort between her legs
Potential signs that a pupil may be at risk of FGM include:
- The girl’s family having a history of practising FGM (this is the biggest risk factor to consider)
- FGM being known to be practised in the girl’s community or country of origin
- A parent or family member expressing concern that FGM may be carried out
- A family not engaging with professionals (health, education or other) or already being known to social care in relation to other safeguarding issues
- A girl:
- Having a mother, older sibling or cousin who has undergone FGM
- Having limited level of integration within UK society
- Confiding to a professional that she is to have a “special procedure” or to attend a special occasion to “become a woman”
- Talking about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent, or parents stating that they or a relative will take the girl out of the country for a prolonged period
- Requesting help from a teacher or another adult because she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk of FGM
- Talking about FGM in conversation – for example, a girl may tell other children about it (although it is important to take into account the context of the discussion)
- Being unexpectedly absent from school
- Having sections missing from her ‘red book’ (child health record) and/or attending a travel clinic or equivalent for vaccinations/anti-malarial medication
The above indicators and risk factors are not intended to be exhaustive.
If you discover that FGM has taken place or a pupil is at risk of FGM
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’.
The following factors increase the likelihood of a girl having had or becoming subject to FGM:
- Coming from a community, nationality or family known to practice FGM (most documented cases are from African countries such as Somalia, Mali, & Egypt).
- Not fully integrated into UK society
- Another family member has undergone FGM
- A child, especially a female, is withdrawn from PSHE, by parents wishing to keep children uninformed about their bodies and rights
Indications that FGM may be imminent:
- A female elder visiting from country of origin.
- References to FGM overheard by staff
- Child confides she is to have a procedure that will make her a woman.
- Reference to child leaving the country for a long period, particularly if FGM practice is prevalent in the country of origin
Child being withdrawn from learning re: FGM
Signs and symptoms indicative of a female who has undergone FGM
- She has difficulty with mobility or sitting down.
- She spends longer than normal in the toilet (due to difficulty urinating).
- Prolonged or repeated absences from education.
- Frequent urinary, menstrual, or stomach problems.
- Behaviour changes and/or reluctance to undergo medical examinations or undress for sports etc.
Any teacher who discovers 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.
The duty 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 other member of staff who discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 or suspects a pupil is at risk of FGM, must speak to the Safeguarding Lead and refer to Children’s Social Care.
It is also recommended that reports are made orally by calling 101, the single non-emergency number.
S72 of the 2015 Act inserts new section 3(a) into the 2003 Act; creating a new offence of failing to protect a girl from FGM. This means that if FGM is committed against a girl under age of 16, each person who is responsible for the girl at the time of FGM occurred is liable, the maximum penalty being seven years’ imprisonment or a fine or both.
Forcing a person into marriage is a crime. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats, or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological.
Staff will receive training around forced marriage and the presenting symptoms. We are aware of the ‘one chance’ rule, i.e. we may only have one chance to speak to the potential victim and only one chance to save them.
If a member of staff suspects that a pupil is being forced into marriage, they will speak to the pupil about their concerns in a secure and private place. They will then report this to the Safeguarding Lead.
The Safeguarding Lead will:
- Speak to the pupil about the concerns in a secure and private place
- Activate the local safeguarding procedures and refer the case to the local authority’s designated officer
- Seek advice from the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151 or email@example.com
- Refer the pupil to an education welfare officer and learning mentor
Peer on Peer Abuse
All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to: • bullying (including cyberbullying); • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; • sexual violence and sexual harassment; • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
Clear procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse are set out in the Anti-Bullying Policy, Equality Policy, Online Safety Policy and Behaviour and Relationships Policy. All incidents are recorded and dealt with accordingly. All incidents are taken seriously and never passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”. It is recognised that there is a gender imbalance in peer of peer abuse.
Any incidents of sexting is dealt with by the Online Safety Lead and parents are immediately informed.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, such as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Schools have a duty to prevent children from being drawn into terrorism. The DSL will undertake Prevent awareness training and make sure that staff have access to appropriate training to equip them to identify children at risk.
We will assess the risk of children in our school being drawn into terrorism. This assessment will be based on an understanding of the potential risk in our local area, in collaboration with our local safeguarding children board and local police force.
We will ensure that suitable internet filtering is in place, and equip our pupils to stay safe online at school and at home.
There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Radicalisation can occur quickly or over a long period.
Staff will be alert to changes in pupils’ behaviour.
- Refusal to engage with, or becoming abusive to, peers who are different from themselves
- Becoming susceptible to conspiracy theories and feelings of persecution
- Changes in friendship groups and appearance
- Rejecting activities they used to enjoy
- Converting to a new religion
- Isolating themselves from family and friends
- Talking as if from a scripted speech
- An unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
- A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
- Increased levels of anger
- Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use
- Expressions of sympathy for extremist ideologies and groups, or justification of their actions
- Accessing extremist material online, including on Facebook or Twitter
- Possessing extremist literature
- Being in contact with extremist recruiters and joining, or seeking to join, extremist organisations
Children who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem, or be victims of bullying or discrimination. It is important to note that these signs can also be part of normal teenage behaviour – staff should have confidence in their instincts and seek advice if something feels wrong.
If you have concerns about extremism
If a child is not at immediate risk of harm, where possible, speak to the Safeguarding Lead first to agree a course of action. Alternatively, make a referral to local authority children’s social care directly if appropriate.
Where there is a concern, the Safeguarding Lead 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 at the pre-criminal stage, or the local authority children’s social care team.
The Department for Education also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, that school staff and governors can call to raise concerns about extremism with respect to a pupil. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
-Think someone is in immediate danger
-Think someone may be planning to travel to join an extremist group
-See or hear something that may be terrorist-related
Staff should always take action if they are worried.
North East Lincolnshire Referral and intervention process
Tier 0 – Universal Provision
Child Concern Level 0 Universal
The response to concerns should be appropriate and proportionate to need and where possible provided from
within the normal range of universal provision of the organisation and other partners. Responses in school could for example include, curriculum provision, additional tutoring or mentoring, additional activities within and out of school, family support; (needs met through universal service provision).
Tier 1 – Universal Plus Child Concern Level 1, Additional Needs, Low Level Concern
Where a higher level of targeted and multi-agency response is indicated more than one agency may need to be involved. If concerns are identified in respect of potential vulnerabilities, an Early Help Assessment should be completed and support offered as necessary via the key agency and or relevant partners. If there are concerns that the child might be increasingly vulnerable, the person raising concerns should consult the police prevention coordinator to seek advice regarding whether a Channel referral is needed. If that is the case a phone call to the Channel coordinator to discuss the matter further is welcomed to assist decision making on whether services at tier 2 are sufficient to manage concerns. (Channel Coordinator 01482 220750 / 07944466733).
Tier 2 – Targeted Interventions
Child Concern Level 2, Vulnerable Child
Where a higher level of targeted and multi-agency response is indicated a formal multi-agency assessment should be conducted. Where concerns are identified in respect of potential signs of radicalisation that indicate the child is vulnerable ‘the person raising concerns should make a referral using the Channel referral form which should be sent electronically to email@example.com In addition to this a phone call to the Channel coordinator to discuss the matter further is also welcomed. (Channel Coordinator 01482 220750 / 07944466733).
For the referral to be accepted, the review of available information must show a concern that the child young
person is vulnerable to radicalisation. The Channel Co-ordinator will liaise with the Early Help Assessment team.
There should be a discussion with The Early Help Assessment Team and with parents/carers’ to obtain agreement for a meeting to consider the information and how to address the child’s identified needs.
Tier 3 – Specialist Interventions
Child Concern Level 3, Complex (CIN)
Child Concern Level 4, Severe (CP/LAC)
Where there is an identified risk/ potential risk that a child young person may be involved/potentially involved in supporting or following extremism, further investigation by the police will be required, prior to other assessments and interventions.
Where a professional identifies such concerns, e.g. via observed behaviour or reports of conversations to suggest the child actively supports terrorism and/ or extremism, he or she must report these concerns to the named or designated safeguarding professional in their organisation or agency.
The named or designated safeguarding professional should consider whether the situation is sufficiently serious to warrant an emergency response. Professionals should exercise professional judgement and common sense to decide whether an emergency response applies. Examples related to extremism are likely to be rare but would apply for example when information suggests that an act is imminent, or where weapons or other materials are in the possession of a child, a member of their family or someone in the community. In this situation, a 999 call should be made.
Where a child is believed to be in need or at risk of significant harm, and where investigations need to be
conducted (including those cases where parental consent is withheld), a referral to Children’s Social Care should be made. However, it should be recognised that concerns relating to extremism will invariably require a police investigation in the first instance. The person/agency raising the concern should make an electronic referral to Channel firstname.lastname@example.org (Channel Coordinator 01482 220750 / 07464983637).
The multi-agency assessment will involve the Police in the making of decisions about the appropriate response.
All cases at this level will be reported to Children’s Social Care and a referral made.
Some children who are at risk of being drawn into extremist activity may pose a risk of harm to others. Agencies have a duty to ensure that any action taken considers and addresses the welfare and safeguarding needs of both the child and any potential victim or victims.
Criminal Exploitation of Children including ‘county lines’
Child Criminal Exploitation is common in county lines and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Gangs are known to target vulnerable children and adults; some of the factors that heighten a person’s vulnerability include: • having prior experience of neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse • lack of a safe/stable home environment, now or in the past (domestic violence or parental substance misuse, mental health issues or criminality, for example) • social isolation or social difficulties • economic vulnerability • homelessness or insecure accommodation status • connections with other people involved in gangs • having a physical or learning disability • having mental health or substance misuse issues; • being in care (particularly those in residential care and those with interrupted care histories) • being excluded from mainstream education, in particular attending a Pupil Referral Unit.
County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.
Some potential indicators of county lines involvement and exploitation are listed below, with those at the top of particular concern: • persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area; • unexplained acquisition of money, clothes, or mobile phones • excessive receipt of texts / phone calls and/or having multiple handsets • relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups • leaving home / care without explanation • suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries • parental concerns • carrying weapons • significant decline in school results / performance • gang association or isolation from peers or social networks • self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being.
British Values - enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England. Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely. Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England. Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures. Encourage respect for other people, and encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
Children missing from education
A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect, and such children are at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation.
There are many circumstances where a child may become missing from education, but some children are particularly at risk. These include children who:
- Are at risk of harm or neglect
- Come from Gypsy, Roma, or Traveller families
- Come from the families of service personnel
- Go missing or run away from home or care
- Are supervised by the youth justice system
- Cease to attend a school
- Come from new migrant families
We will follow our procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of going missing in future. This involves a same day phone call to determine reason for absence (the school requires at least two emergency contacts per child), close working with the Education Welfare Officer, clear procedures for setting targets for parents including School Attendance Panels and Governor Attendance Panels. It also includes informing the local authority if a child leaves the school without a new school being named, and adhering to requirements with respect to sharing information with the local authority, when applicable, when removing a child’s name from the admission register at non-standard transition points.
Staff will be trained in signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns which may be related to being missing, such as travelling to conflict zones, FGM and forced marriage.
If a staff member suspects that a child is suffering from harm or neglect, we will follow local child protection procedures, including with respect to making reasonable enquiries. We will make an immediate referral to the local authority children’s social care team, and the police, if the child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm.
Private Fostering is when someone other than family looks after a child full-time for more than 28 days.
If a member of staff suspect or know this is happening then ‘The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005’ state that you MUST inform the local authority of any such arrangement.
Privately fostered children need to be protected from possible harm and need to be looked after as well as if they were with approved foster carers. North East Lincolnshire Council must check that private foster carers are suitable to do the job.
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional. Children living within a household where there is domestic abuse suffer significant harm.
The emotional responses of children who witness domestic violence and abuse may include fear, guilt, shame,
sleep disturbances, sadness, depression, and anger (at both the abuser for the violence and at the other parent for being unable to protect them).
Physical responses may include stress-induced aches and pains, bedwetting, and inability to concentrate. Some children are the direct victims of other types of abuse or injured while trying to intervene on behalf of their parent or sibling.
The behavioural responses of children who witness domestic violence and abuse may include acting out,
withdrawal, or anxiousness to please. A change in achievement or behaviour at school can be an indicator of
problems at home.
Domestic violence and abuse may have a long term psychological and emotional impact in a number of ways:
- Children may be greatly distressed by witnessing (seeing or hearing) the physical and emotional suffering of a parent, or witnessing the outcome of any assault;
- Children may be pressurised into concealing assaults, and experience the fear and anxiety of living in an
environment where abuse occurs;
- The domestic violence and abuse may impact negatively on an adult victim’s parenting capacity;
- Children may be drawn into the violence and themselves become victims of Physical Abuse.
For children living in situations of domestic violence and abuse, the effects may result in behavioural issues,
absence from school, difficulties concentrating, lower school achievement, ill health, bullying, substance misuse, self-harm, running away, anti-social behaviour and physical injury, difficulties in forming friendships/relationships.
Young people themselves can be subjected to domestic violence and abuse perpetrated in order to force them
into marriage or to punish him/her for ‘bringing dishonour on the family’. This abuse may be carried out by
several members of a family increasing the young person’s sense of isolation and powerlessness.
North East Lincolnshire – assessing risk
Level 1: Factors which may indicate the potential risk of harm to the child/ren to be moderate:
• Single or up to 3 minor incidents of physical violence which were short in duration and the victim did not
require medical treatment;
• Occasional intense verbal abuse;
• Children were not present or not drawn into the incident;
• Victim’s relationship to the child is nurturing, protective and stable;
• Abuser accepts responsibility for the abuse/violence indicting remorse and willingness to engage in services
to address abusive behaviour.
Level 2: Factors which may indicate the potential risk of harm to the child/ren to be moderate to serious:
• History of minor/moderate incidents of physical violence of short duration;
• Victim received minor injury that did not lead to medical attention being sought;
• Evidence of intimidation/bullying behaviour to victim but not towards the child/ren;
• Destruction of property;
• Family, relatives, neighbours report concerns regarding the victim and children;
• Intense verbal abuse;
• Abuser attempts to control victim’s activities or movements;
• Children were present in the home during the incident but did not directly witness it;
• Mental health issues for victim or abuser;
• Substance misuse for victim or abuser;
• Victim’s relationship to the child is nurturing, protective and stable and, despite abuse, was not prevented
from attending to the child/ren’s needs;
• Significant other nurturing adults in the child’s life provide protective factor;
• Older children able to identify coping/ protective strategies.
At Level 2 the professional should consult with the manager/child protection adviser within their agency and
check if Early Help has been completed by another agency; if not, with the parents' consent, complete a refer to Early Help under local arrangements for a Early Help Assessment to be completed. If the parent does not consent to the completion of a Early Help Assessment make a notification or referral to Children’s Social care services.
Planning at Level 2 must also include safety planning for the child/ren and victim and consideration of referral to an appropriate resource for the perpetrator if there is willingness to engage with services to address abusive behaviour.
Level 3: Factors which may indicate the potential risk of harm to the child/ren is assessed as serious:
• Incidents of serious and/or persistent physical violence increasing in severity, frequency and duration;
• Victim and/or children indicate that they are frightened of the abuser;
• Victim required medical attention or explanation for injuries implausible;
• Requests for police intervention;
• Incidents of violence occur in presence of children;
• Threat of harm to children/and or adult victim;
• Physical assault on a pregnant woman;
• Abuser has history of domestic abuse in previous relationships;
• Mental health issues for victim or abuser;
• Substance misuse by victim and/or abuser;
• Strong likelihood of Emotional Abuse of children e.g. may display behaviour problems/ self-harm;
• Abuser suspected of physically abusing child/ren;
• Minimisation by abuser, lack of remorse/guilt;
• The police identify the level of risk as High using assessment tools and there are children in the household.
Protection factors in these circumstances are limited and the children may have suffered, or are likely to suffer, Significant Harm. Professionals should make a record of their assessment and the information which underpins it, inform their line manager and refer to Children’s social care.
All cases of Domestic Abuse, where the police have involvement are reported to the Safeguarding Lead as part of the Operation Encompass agenda. This report is received by 9am the next morning so that support and intervention can be given to the child.
So called ‘Honour Based’ Violence
‘Honour’ based violence (HBV) is a form of domestic abuse which is perpetrated in the name of so called ‘honour’. The honour code which it refers to is set at the discretion of male relatives and women who do not abide by the ‘rules’ are then punished for bringing shame on the family.
Infringements may include a woman having a boyfriend; rejecting a forced marriage ; pregnancy outside of marriage; interfaith relationships; seeking divorce, inappropriate dress or make-up and even kissing in a public place.
This is not a crime which is perpetrated by men only, sometimes female relatives will support, incite or assist. It is also not unusual for younger relatives to be selected to undertake the abuse as a way to protect senior members of the family.
Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:
- domestic abuse
- threats of violence
- sexual or psychological abuse
- forced marriage
- being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go
Appendix 3: safer recruitment and DBS checks – policy and procedures
We will record all information on the checks carried out in the school’s single central record (SCR). Copies of these checks, where appropriate, will be held in individuals’ personnel files. We follow requirements and best practice in retaining copies of these checks, as set out below.
Appointing new staff
When appointing new staff, we will:
- Verify their identity
- Obtain (via the applicant) an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, including barred list information for those who will be engaging in regulated activity (see definition below).
- Obtain a separate barred list check if they will start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available
- Verify their mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities
- Verify their right to work in the UK. We will keep a copy of this verification for the duration of the member of staff’s employment and for 2 years afterwards
- Verify their professional qualifications, as appropriate
- Ensure they are not subject to a prohibition order if they are employed to be a teacher
- Carry out further additional checks, as appropriate, on candidates who have lived or worked outside of the UK, including (where relevant) any teacher sanctions or restrictions imposed by a European Economic Area professional regulating authority, and criminal records checks or their equivalent
- Check that candidates taking up a management position are not subject to a prohibition from management (section 128) direction made by the secretary of state
- Ask for written information about previous employment history and check that information is not contradictory or incomplete
We will seek references on all short-listed candidates, including internal candidates, before interview. We will scrutinise these and resolve any concerns before confirming appointments.
We will ensure that appropriate checks are carried out to ensure that individuals are not disqualified under the Childcare Disqualification (Regulations) 2009 and Childcare Act 2006. Where we take a decision that an individual falls outside of the scope of these regulations and we do not carry out such checks, we will retain a record of our assessment on the individual’s personnel file. This will include our evaluation of any risks and control measures put in place, and any advice sought.
Regulated activity means a person who will be:
- Responsible, on a regular basis in a school or college, for teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children
- Carrying out paid, or unsupervised unpaid, work regularly in a school or college where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children
- Engaging in intimate or personal care or overnight activity, even if this happens only once and regardless of whether they are supervised or not
If we have concerns about an existing member of staff’s suitability to work with children, we will carry out all the relevant checks as if the individual was a new member of staff. We will also do this if an individual moves from a post that is not regulated activity to one that is.
We will refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child or vulnerable adult:
- Where the ‘harm test’ is satisfied in respect of the individual (i.e. that no action or inaction occurred but the present risk that it could was significant)
- Where the individual has received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence
- If there is reason to believe that the individual has committed a listed relevant offence, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (Prescribed Criteria and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009
- If the individual has been removed from working in regulated activity (paid or unpaid) or would have been removed if they had not left
Agency and third-party staff
We will obtain written notification from any agency or third-party organisation that it has carried out the necessary safer recruitment checks that we would otherwise perform. We will also check that the person presenting themselves for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made.
We will ensure that any contractor, or any employee of the contractor, who is to work at the school has had the appropriate level of DBS check. This will be:
- An enhanced DBS check with barred list information for contractors engaging in regulated activity
- An enhanced DBS check, not including barred list information, for all other contractors who are not in regulated activity but whose work provides them with an opportunity for regular contact with children
We will obtain the DBS check for self-employed contractors.
We will not keep copies of such checks for longer than 6 months.
Contractors who have not had any checks will not be allowed to work unsupervised or engage in regulated activity under any circumstances.
We will check the identity of all contractors and their staff on arrival at the school.
Where applicants for initial teacher training are salaried by us, we will ensure that all necessary checks are carried out.
Where trainee teachers are fee-funded, we will obtain written confirmation from the training provider that necessary checks have been carried out and that the trainee has been judged by the provider to be suitable to work with children.
In both cases, this includes checks to ensure that individuals are not disqualified under the Childcare Disqualification (Regulations) 2009 and Childcare Act 2006.
- Never leave an unchecked volunteer unsupervised or allow them to work in regulated activity
- Obtain an enhanced DBS check with barred list information for all volunteers who are new to working in regulated activity
- Obtain an enhanced DBS check without barred list information for all volunteers who are not in regulated activity, but who have an opportunity to come into contact with children on a regular basis, for example, supervised volunteers
- Carry out a risk assessment when deciding whether to seek an enhanced DBS check for any volunteers not engaging in regulated activity
- Ensure that appropriate checks are carried out to ensure that individuals are not disqualified under the Childcare Disqualification (Regulations) 2009 and Childcare Act 2006. Where we decide that an individual falls outside of the scope of these regulations and we do not carry out such checks, we will retain a record of our assessment. This will include our evaluation of any risks and control measures put in place, and any advice sought
All governors will have an enhanced DBS check without barred list information. They will have an enhanced DBS check with barred list information if working in regulated activity.
The chair of the board of trustees will have their DBS check countersigned by the secretary of state.
All trustees, proprietors and local governors will have the following checks:
- Right to work in the UK
- Other checks deemed necessary if they have lived or worked outside the UK
Adults who supervise pupils on work experience
When organising work experience, we will ensure that policies and procedures are in place to protect children from harm. We will ensure that the individual who supervises a pupil under 16 on work experience has all the necessary checks.
Checking the identity and suitability of visitors
- All visitors will be required to verify their identity to the satisfaction of staff.
- DBS checks will be sought for visitors who will be in regulated activity.
- If checks are not complete, then the visitor will be supervised at all times.
- All visitors will be given a visitor’s guide which outlines all our safeguarding procedures.
- If the visitor is unknown to the setting, we will check their credentials and reason for visiting before allowing them to enter the setting. Visitors should be ready to produce identification.
- Visitors are expected to sign the visitors’ book and wear a visitor’s lanyard badge.
- We will not invite into the school any speaker who is known to disseminate extremist views, and will carry out appropriate checks to ensure that any individual or organisation using school facilities is not seeking to disseminate extremist views or radicalise pupils or staff.
Appendix 4: allegations of abuse made against staff
This section of this policy applies to all cases in which it is alleged that a current member of staff or volunteer has:
Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child, or
Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child, or
Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children.
It applies regardless of whether the alleged abuse took place in the school. Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching and historical allegations of abuse will be referred to the police.
We will deal with any allegation of abuse against a member of staff or volunteer very quickly, in a fair and consistent way that provides effective child protection while also supporting the individual who is the subject of the allegation.
Our procedures for dealing with allegations will be applied with common sense and judgement.
Suspension will not be the default position, and will only be considered in cases where there is reason to suspect that a child or other children is/are at risk of harm, or the case is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal. In such cases, we will only suspend an individual if we have considered all other options available and there is no reasonable alternative.
Based on an assessment of risk, we will consider alternatives such as:
Redeployment within the school so that the individual does not have direct contact with the child or children concerned
Providing an assistant to be present when the individual has contact with children
Redeploying the individual to alternative work in the school so that they do not have unsupervised access to children
Moving the child or children to classes where they will not come into contact with the individual, making it clear that this is not a punishment and parents have been consulted
Definitions for outcomes of allegation investigations
Substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation
Malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive
False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation
Unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation (this does not imply guilt or innocence)
Procedure for dealing with allegations
In the event of an allegation that meets the criteria above, the headteacher (or chair of governors where the headteacher is the subject of the allegation) – the ‘case manager’ – will take the following steps:
Immediately discuss the allegation with the designated officer at the local authority. This is to consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action, including whether further enquiries are necessary to enable a decision on how to proceed, and whether it is necessary to involve the police and/or children’s social care services. (The case manager may, on occasion, consider it necessary to involve the police before consulting the designated officer – for example, if the accused individual is deemed to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence. In such cases, the case manager will notify the designated officer as soon as practicably possible after contacting the police)
Inform the accused individual of the concerns or allegations and likely course of action as soon as possible after speaking to the designated officer (and the police or children’s social care services, where necessary). Where the police and/or children’s social care services are involved, the case manager will only share such information with the individual as has been agreed with those agencies
Where appropriate (in the circumstances described above), carefully consider whether suspension of the individual from contact with children at the school is justified or whether alternative arrangements such as those outlined above can be put in place. Advice will be sought from the designated officer, police and/or children’s social care services, as appropriate
If immediate suspension is considered necessary, agree and record the rationale for this with the designated officer. The record will include information about the alternatives to suspension that have been considered, and why they were rejected. Written confirmation of the suspension will be provided to the individual facing the allegation or concern within 1 working day, and the individual will be given a named contact at the school and their contact details
If it is decided that no further action is to be taken in regard to the subject of the allegation or concern, record this decision and the justification for it and agree with the designated officer what information should be put in writing to the individual and by whom, as well as what action should follow both in respect of the individual and those who made the initial allegation
If it is decided that further action is needed, take steps as agreed with the designated officer to initiate the appropriate action in school and/or liaise with the police and/or children’s social care services as appropriate
Provide effective support for the individual facing the allegation or concern, including appointing a named representative to keep them informed of the progress of the case and consider what other support is appropriate.
Inform the parents or carers of the child/children involved about the allegation as soon as possible if they do not already know (following agreement with children’s social care services and/or the police, if applicable). The case manager will also inform the parents or carers of the requirement to maintain confidentiality about any allegations made against teachers (where this applies) while investigations are ongoing. Any parent or carer who wishes to have the confidentiality restrictions removed in respect of a teacher will be advised to seek legal advice
Keep the parents or carers of the child/children involved informed of the progress of the case and the outcome, where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome of any disciplinary process (in confidence)
Make a referral to the DBS where it is thought that the individual facing the allegation or concern has engaged in conduct that harmed or is likely to harm a child, or if the individual otherwise poses a risk of harm to a child
If the school is made aware that the secretary of state has made an interim prohibition order in respect of an individual, we will immediately suspend that individual from teaching, pending the findings of the investigation by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
Where the police are involved, wherever possible the governing body will ask the police at the start of the investigation to obtain consent from the individuals involved to share their statements and evidence for use in the school’s disciplinary process, should this be required at a later point.
Any cases where it is clear immediately that the allegation is unsubstantiated or malicious will be resolved within 1 week
If the nature of an allegation does not require formal disciplinary action, we will institute appropriate action within 3 working days
If a disciplinary hearing is required and can be held without further investigation, we will hold this within 15 working days
Action following a criminal investigation or prosecution
The case manager will discuss with the local authority’s designated officer whether any further action, including disciplinary action, is appropriate and, if so, how to proceed, taking into account information provided by the police and/or children’s social care services.
Conclusion of a case where the allegation is substantiated
If the allegation is substantiated and the individual is dismissed or the school ceases to use their services, or the individual resigns or otherwise ceases to provide their services, the case manager and the school’s personnel adviser will discuss with the designated officer whether to make a referral to the DBS for consideration of whether inclusion on the barred lists is required.
If the individual concerned is a member of teaching staff, the case manager and personnel adviser will discuss with the designated officer whether to refer the matter to the NCTL to consider prohibiting the individual from teaching.
Individuals returning to work after suspension
If it is decided on the conclusion of a case that an individual who has been suspended can return to work, the case manager will consider how best to facilitate this.
The case manager will also consider how best to manage the individual’s contact with the child or children who made the allegation, if they are still attending the school.
Unsubstantiated or malicious allegations
If an allegation is shown to be deliberately invented, or malicious, the headteacher, or other appropriate person in the case of an allegation against the headteacher, will consider whether any disciplinary action is appropriate against the pupil(s) who made it, or whether the police should be asked to consider whether action against those who made the allegation might be appropriate, even if they are not a pupil.
The school will make every effort to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered.
The case manager will take advice from the local authority’s designated officer, police and children’s social care services, as appropriate, to agree:
Who needs to know about the allegation and what information can be shared
How to manage speculation, leaks and gossip, including how to make parents or carers of a child/children involved aware of their obligations with respect to confidentiality
What, if any, information can be reasonably given to the wider community to reduce speculation
How to manage press interest if, and when, it arises
The case manager will maintain clear records about any case where the allegation or concern meets the criteria above and store them on the individual’s confidential personnel file for the duration of the case. Such records will include:
A clear and comprehensive summary of the allegation
Details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved
Notes of any action taken and decisions reached (and justification for these, as stated above)
If an allegation or concern is not found to have been malicious, the school will retain the records of the case on the individual’s confidential personnel file, and provide a copy to the individual. We will retain these records at least until the individual has reached normal pension age, or for 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.
The records of any allegation that is found to be malicious will be deleted from the individual’s personnel file.
When providing employer references, we will not refer to any allegation that has been proven to be false, unsubstantiated or malicious, or any history of allegations where all such allegations have been proven to be false, unsubstantiated or malicious.
After any cases where the allegations are substantiated, we will review the circumstances of the case with the local authority’s designated officer to determine whether there are any improvements that we can make to the school’s procedures or practice to help prevent similar events in the future.
This will include consideration of (as applicable):
Issues arising from the decision to suspend the member of staff
The duration of the suspension
Whether or not the suspension was justified
The use of suspension when the individual is subsequently reinstated. We will consider how future investigations of a similar nature could be carried out without suspending the individual
Appendix 5 – Disclosures
A disclosure is when a child tells you that they have been, or are being hurt in some way by another person.
It will either be from a child about whom we have concerns already or it may come ‘out of the blue’.
Remember, the child may be under a great deal of pressure from the abuser to keep it a secret.
The disclosure can be verbal, non-verbal or a combination e.g. drawings.
A child will choose who, how and when to tell.
If the child (or anyone else) chooses you, it is your responsibility to deal with the situation. Remember – they have chosen you as their trusted adult.
During a disclosure
- Stay calm and listen carefully
- Ensure that the child is ok and feels safe
- Tell the child they are not to blame – its not their fault
- Tell and show the child that they are being taken seriously – do not express disbelief or shock
- Explain to the child that they have done the right thing by telling you
- Do not promise that will be able to keep secret the things that the child has told you - be honest and explain that it will be necessary to tell someone else
- If the child does not want to continue, do not attempt to pursue more information
- Don’t try to investigate or ask leading questions
- Repeat back to the child to check that you have understood correctly
- Reassure the child and tell them what will happen next and what you intend to do
- Inform the Safeguarding Lead
- Write down what the child has told you, using the child’s own words as soon as possible after the event
- Gain support and de-brief for yourself
Appendix 6 – Whistleblowing
Whistleblowing is when someone raises a concern about a dangerous or illegal activity or any wrongdoing within their organisation. Raising a concern is known as "blowing the whistle" and is a vital process for identifying risks to people's safety. Sharing information or talking through a concern can be the first step to helping an organization identify problems and improve their practices.
Staff must report any concerns directly to the headteacher.
If the concern is about the headteacher, then they must contact the Chair of Governors.
All concerns will be fully investigated.
School Child Protection File – Transfer
Name of School
Name of child
Date of Birth
Name(s) of those with parental responsibility
Current Child Protection registration status
Nature of transfer
New School Yes No
NEL Schools C.P. facilitator Yes No
If new school – Name and address of school
Name of person / status receiving the file
Date file transferred
Date file received
Date of receipt to the transferring / closing school
Receiving school please fill in relevant sections and send a copy of this form to Yarborough Academy, Yarrow Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. DN34 8JU