Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.
We estimate that over half a million children are abused in the UK each year.
Safeguarding (….) is defined as
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
Kilmorie Primary School is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for children, staff and visitors and promoting a climate where children and adults will feel confident sharing any concerns that they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others. The School understands the importance of working closely with other agencies to safeguard children and seeking to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues. We continue to develop and provide activities and opportunities throughout our curriculum that will help to equip our children with the skills they need to keep themselves safe, develop essential life skills as well as protective behaviours in order that they recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need it.
The school recognises its legal duty under S175/157 of the 2002 Education Act to work with other agencies in safeguarding children and protecting them from ‘significant harm’. The framework for such procedures is defined by the Circular ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2019) and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) from the DFE. Local information and updates can be found on the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership website .
All parents applying for places at this School will be informed of our safeguarding responsibilities and the existence of this policy. A safeguarding statement will be included with the new parent packs (see Appendix 1). The school will refer children to children and social care where there are serious concerns about their well-being and/or their safety.
What adults working in the school should know
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and everyone working within the school (including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placements) must ensure they have a working knowledge of school safeguarding policies (included in the staff handbook), know who the designated safeguarding lead and the deputies are and have familiarised themselves with the documents listed below:
- Part 1 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019’ and Appendix A (contained within Keeping Children Safe in Education)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2019)
- NSPCC ‘Definitions and Signs of Abuse’
- Staff must also be aware of the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education (see the Attendance Policy and Appendix 2)
These duties relate to all children and young people under the age of 18. The policy is applicable to all on and off site activities undertaken by pupils whilst they are the responsibility of the school. More details regarding safeguarding procedures can be found on the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership website .
Safeguarding incidents could happen anywhere and staff should be alert to possible concerns. All staff may raise concerns directly with Children’s Social Care services.
All adults working in Kilmorie are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Designated Safeguard Lead, or in their absence to one of the deputy leads:
|Designated Safeguarding Adults|
|Designated Safeguarding Lead DSL||Maria Johnson (Deputy Head)|
|Deputy Lead||Elisabeth Stone (Head Teacher)|
|Deputy Lead||Emanuela Brahamsha (EYFS Assistant Head)|
|Deputy Lead||Daisy Moon (Extended Schools and Enrichment Manager)|
|Kilmorie Wrap Around Care Designated Person||Louisa Hopper (KWAC Manager)|
The governing board will approve this policy at each review, and hold the Head Teacher to account for its implementation.
The governing board will appoint a designated safeguarding lead governor to monitor the effectiveness of this policy in conjunction with the full governing board. This is always a different person from the DSL.
It is the school policy that all Governors have an enhanced DBS check. It is recommended that the school contact the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) to check if a person who they wish to recruit as a governor is barred as a result of being subject to a section 128 direction.
Raising concerns about a child
It is important that all adults working in the school are able to recognise signs of abuse and, using their knowledge of the children and families in their care, are aware of changes in children’s behaviour and presentation.
Staff are expected to report any concerns about children, however minor they may seem, to the Designated Person using the Cause for Concern form (copies are saved in the staff handbook on the school server and attached to this policy as Appendix 3). Sometimes minor concerns can add up to a more troubling picture over time. Early recognition of need plays a vital part in providing early help for children and families. Where a child is judged to be at risk of harm or has made a disclosure about abuse, this should be shared immediately with the DSL. All staff with DSL training have access to My Concerns, where details about disclosures are recorded and concerns reviewed. Other staff will be given access to particular children’s information on a need to know basis.
What to do if a child discloses abuse (see Appendix 8 for more details)
Remember that the child’s welfare and interests must be the paramount consideration at all times.
- Stay calm and listen carefully to the child
- Do not show shock
- Reassure the child they have done the right thing in talking to you and that you are taking them seriously
- Gather essential facts without asking leading questions. If you need to clarify what is being said and whether the child is at risk, ask open questions (TED, what, when, who, how, where, do you want to tell me anything else? etc.) but only to the point of clarification being achieved. Avoid the question ‘why?’ as this can imply guilt / responsibility on the child.
- Explain what you will do next. Never promise to keep a secret
- Don’t talk to the alleged abuser
- Don’t delay reporting the abuse
- Only share what has been disclosed on a need to know basis – it is important to maintain confidentiality
- Write down what has been disclosed – do not put in opinions. You will need to present what has been disclosed to others, including possibly the court, so it is important to be factual. Ensure records include the date, time, place of disclosure, behaviour and words used by the child.
- If you have seen bruising or an injury, use a body map to record details. Again, ensure that the map is dated and attached to information relating to the child’s comments about the injury.
- Tell the DSL immediately, do not ask the child to repeat what they have said to another member of staff.
- Do not gossip to other staff about what you have heard. The information should remain confidential to those who ‘need to know’.
- Maintain contact with the child. They have trusted you enough to ‘tell’, will need to know that they are not rejected as a result and may need continued support.
- Ensure that you have support for yourself in managing the information you have received. If you have concerns please speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
What happens after a concern is raised?
There is a flow chart on page 16 of KCSIE (2019) which clearly outlines the possible outcome of a concern. It can also be found in Appendix 4 of this policy.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will decide on the action following a concern being raised. They will be responsible for deciding upon whether or not this should be reported as a safeguarding issue. Where there is any doubt as to the seriousness of this concern, or disagreement between the DSL and the member of staff reporting the concern, advice will be sought from the Head Tteacher, the Lead Officer for education services or the Duty Manager for the Education Welfare & Attendance Service.
The DSL will always contact Lewisham MASH (multi agency safeguarding hub) if they want advice as to how to proceed. Details for this can be found at Lewisham MASH
The Lewisham Continuum of Need is a useful guide when making decisions about what support or intervention a family may need.
Depending on the nature of the concern the following may be decided:
- Class teacher asked to speak to parent(s) to raise a concern about child’s presentation or something a child has said. Depending on the outcome of this, and based on knowledge of the family, it may be that no further action is required or a decision made to offer the family support (‘Early Help’)
- The DSL or one of the other safeguarding leads speaks to the parent(s). Depending on the outcome of this, and based on knowledge of the family, it may be that no further action is required or a decision is made to offer the family support (‘Early Help’) or a referral for assessment by children and social care is made (MASH Request Form)
- The DSL makes a referral to children and social care
The Senior Designated Person is also the first point of contact for external agencies pursuing Child Protection investigations and co-ordinates the School’s representation at child protection (CP) conferences and core group meetings (including the submission of written reports for conferences).
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If a member of staff or volunteer wishes to raise concerns about safeguarding practice within the school, they should refer to the whistleblowing policy. If a member of staff or volunteer feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed other whistleblowing channels may be open to them (e.g. NSPCC whistleblowing helpline 0800 028 0285)
The parent/carer will normally be contacted before a referral is made to Children’s Social Care (Children’s Services). However, if the concern involves alleged or suspected sexual abuse or the Designated Person has reason to believe that informing the parent at this stage might compromise the safety of the child or a staff member, nothing will be said ahead of the referral.
In circumstances where a child has an unexplained or suspicious injury that requires urgent medical attention, the CP referral process should not delay the administration of first aid or emergency medical assistance. If a pupil is thought to be at immediate risk because of parental violence, intoxication, substance abuse, mental illness or threats to remove the child during the school day, for example, urgent police intervention will be requested.
Where a child sustains a physical injury or is distressed as a result of reported chastisement, or alleges that they have been chastised by the use of an implement or substance, this will immediately be reported for investigation using the MASH request form.
There are many reasons why a child or family may benefit from early help (see KCSIE 2019) and can include for example:
- Parents needing support with behaviour management
- Families in challenging circumstances such as homelessness, poverty, domestic abuse
- Child who has returned home to their family from care
- Child is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect
Initially a meeting (usually referred to as a ‘Team around the Child’, or TAC) will be arranged between home and school, this will usually include the DSL and the Learning and Pastoral Support practitioner as well as other members of staff involved in the wellbeing of the child. A plan will be drawn up and actions decided on. This will be reviewed after a given length of time. It might be that it is agreed that the child or family would benefit from agencies other than the school being involved in which case the DSL will complete an ‘Early Help’ request form.
The purpose of early help is to address the needs of the child or family and prevent them from escalating.
- All new staff and volunteers receive a safeguarding induction from the DSL
- All new staff should complete the Level 1 safeguarding children online training which can be found on the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership website
- All visiting tutors receive a safeguarding induction from the Enrichment Coordinator
- All staff receive annual safeguarding training during the September INSET
- The DSL and deputy leads renew their training every 2 years. They also undertake other relevant training as and when necessary (e.g. safer recruitment)
- The DSL disseminates updates on safeguarding as appropriate. Staff are kept up to date with new guidance from the LSCP and amendments to statutory documentation
- The DSL attends termly LA safeguarding briefings
Practitioners must have due regard to the relevant data protection principles which allow them to share personal information, as provided for in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Practitioners should aim to gain consent to share information, but should be mindful of situations where to do so would place a child at increased risk of harm. Information may be shared without consent if a practitioner has reason to believe that there is good reason to do so, and that the sharing of information will enhance the safeguarding of a child in a timely manner. When decisions are made to share or withhold information, practitioners should record who has been given the information and why. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ goes into detail about information sharing and the importance of communication within and between agencies.
All staff must be familiar with the school’s internal procedures for keeping a confidential written record of any incidents and with expectations of recording requirements. Generally, this will be the ‘Cause for Concern’ form (see Appendix 3), but staff will sometimes be asked to provide a written report for case conferences. These forms are kept securely in a locked cabinet. The DSL reviews the forms regularly and reports back to the ‘Vulnerable Children’s Panel’ which meets half termly.
If there are ongoing concerns about a child, but these do not meet child protection thresholds, a running record of concerns may be kept by the DSL in conjunction with the class teacher.
Child protection records are not open to pupils or parents. CP records are kept securely by the DSL and separately from educational records. Records may only be accessed by the DSL, their deputies or the senior managers of the school. Records will be reviewed regularly to check for signs of neglect or concerning patterns of behaviour. Records will also include any court orders.
When a pupil transfers to a new school, where child protection records exist this will be transferred separately from the main pupil file under a confidential cover and a receipt requested (see Appendix 5). Copies of records will be kept in a secure file.
If a pupil is withdrawn from the School having not reached the normal date of transfer; due to a family move or any other reason, all efforts will be made to identify any new address and the school to which they are being admitted and to ensure that their educational records are sent without delay to that school. If the parent/carer fails to provide this information, an urgent referral will be made to the Education Welfare & Attendance Service in order that they might make further enquiries (for further information see our Attendance and Lateness policy). If educational records are sent to this school concerning a child who is not registered by the parent, the records will be returned to the sending school with a note, advising them to refer to their LA’s Education Welfare Service. A child’s name will only be removed from the School’s Admissions Register in accordance with the Pupil Registration Regulations or with the authorisation of the Education Welfare & Attendance Service.
All additions to or deletions from the school roll will trigger the completion of a Common Transfer Form (CTF) which will be downloaded to the appropriate database via the S2S system. Where an onward destination cannot be determined and the pupil is of compulsory school age, the school safeguarding lead will make a referral to the LA ‘Children missing in education department’.
The content of child protection conference or review reports prepared by the school will follow the headings recommended by children’s services and will, wherever possible, be shared with the parents/carer in advance of the meeting.
The School will require documentary proof as to the identity of pupils presented for admission. If there is any doubt as to the identity of a pupil, advice will be sought from the local authority and other statutory agencies, as appropriate. When a child transfers mid-year into the school, the office will send a written request for any children protection concerns or documentation (see Appendix 6).
We will maintain accurate records of those with Parental Responsibility and emergency contacts. Pupils will only be released to the care of those with Parental Responsibility or someone acting with their written consent.
Supporting the pupil at Risk
We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world as benevolent and meaningful. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of self blame.
This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless, when at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn.
Particular vigilance will be exercised in respect of pupils who are the subjects of Child Protection Plans and any incidents or concerns involving these children will be reported immediately to the allocated Social Worker. If the pupil in question is a Looked After child, this will also be brought to the notice of the Designated Teacher with responsibility for children in public care. Children who return home to their family from care will be closely monitored by the DSL and other school staff.
If a pupil discloses that they have witnessed domestic violence or it is suspected that they may be living in a household which is affected by family violence, this will be referred to the Designated Person as a safeguarding issue. The school acknowledges the additional needs for support and protection of children who are vulnerable by virtue of disability, homelessness, refugee/asylum seeker status, the effects of substance abuse within the family, those who are young carers, mid-year admissions and pupils who are excluded from school.
We acknowledge that children who are affected by abuse or neglect may demonstrate their needs and distress through their words, actions, behaviour, demeanor, school work or other children. The school has a strong commitment to an anti-bullying policy and will consider all coercive acts and inappropriate child on child behaviour and sexual activity within a Child Protection context.
We acknowledge that Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabilities can provide additional safeguarding challenges and that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. This can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s impairment without further exploration
- children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers
Staff should always explore reasons for changes in behaviour or appearance and report causes for concern.
At Kilmorie Primary School, we are working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Children’s Services to identify and provide appropriate support to pupils who have experienced domestic violence in their household: this scheme is called Operation Encompass.
The purpose of Operation Encompass is to safeguard and support children and young people who have been involved in or have witnessed a domestic abuse incident. Domestic abuse impacts on children in a number of ways. Children are at increased risk of physical injury during an incident, either by accident or because they attempt to intervene. Even when not directly injured, children are greatly distressed by witnessing the physical and/or emotional suffering of a parent.
Encompass has been created to highlight this situation. It is the implementation of key partnership working between the police and schools. The aim of sharing information with local schools it to allow ‘Key Adults’ the opportunity of engaging with the child and to provide access to support that allows them to remain in a safe but secure familiar environment.
In order to achieve this, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub will share police information on all domestic incidents where one of our pupils has been present, with the Designated Safeguarding Leads. On receipt of any information, the DSL will decide on the appropriate support the child requires and which staff need to be made aware of it (information will be shared in strictest confidence). All information sharing and resulting actions will be undertaken in accordance with the Metropolitan Police and MASH Encompass Protocol Data Sharing Agreement. We will record this information and store this information in accordance with the record keeping procedures outlined in this policy.
The purpose and procedures in Operation Encompass have been shared with all parents and governors, are detailed as part of the school’s Safeguarding policy and published on our school website.
Female Genital Mutilation
Teachers are required by law to report to the police known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) involving a girl under the age of 18. If a member of staff is concerned that a girl has or is at risk of FGM they should report this to the designated safeguarding lead immediately.
FGM is illegal in the UK. It is a practice that takes place worldwide in at least 28 African countries and in parts of the Middle and Far East. It also takes place within parts of Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily among immigrant and refugee communities. UK communities that are at risk of FGM include Somali, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Kurdish and Indonesian women and girls.
London has the highest prevalence rate in England and Wales with an estimated 2.1% of women affected by FGM. Further information is available.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Where it comes to the school’s notice that a child under the age of 13 is, or may be, sexually active, whether or not they are a pupil of this school, this will result in an immediate referral to Children’s Services. In the case of a young person between the ages of 13 and 16, an individual risk assessment will be conducted in accordance with the London Child Protection Procedures. This will determine how and when information will be shared with parents and the investigating agencies. (For further details see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-to-do-if-you-suspect-a-child-is-being-sexually-exploited )
In order for us to fulfil the Prevent duty staff need to be able to identify children who are vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do if they are identified. Details of this can be found in our ‘Anti Radicalisation policy’.
If you have concerns about extremism
If a child is not at immediate risk of harm, where possible, speak to the DSL 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 DSL will consider the level of risk and decide which agency to make a referral to. This could include Channel, the government’s programme for identifying and supporting individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or the local authority children’s social care team.
The Department for Education also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, 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
Looked After Children and children who have returned to their family after care
The school recognises that children who are looked after (CLA), adopted children and children returning to their family after care are particularly vulnerable. The Senior Designated Child Protection Lead is also the Designated Teacher for children who are, or who were looked after. They share relevant information with appropriate staff, attend PEPs (in the case of CLA) and monitor the children’s progress. Further details of responsibilities are outlined in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. The LA also provides guidelines for PEP.
Vulnerable Children Panel
The school monitors the progress and well-being of vulnerable pupils through regular meetings of the Vulnerable Children Panel which consists of the Head, Deputy, EYFS Assistant Head, SENCO and Learning & Pastoral Care Mentor. The rationale for this can be found in Appendix 7.
Managing disclosures by parents or members of the public
Where a parent or member of public contacts the school to raise a safeguarding concern about a child in the school these concerns will be recorded. The person disclosing will be told that it may be necessary at some point (whether immediately or following further investigation) to share this information with Children and Social Care. if the person says that they wish their concern to be anonymous this will be respected. If the person has serious safeguarding concerns they will be encouraged to contact Children and Social Care themselves.
Kilmorie Primary School acknowledges 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 and citizenship. This is largely, but not exclusively taught through our PSHE and RSE curriculum. As appropriate, the curriculum will be used to build resilience, help pupils to keep safe and to know how to ask for help if their safety is threatened. The children are supported to develop key qualities (see our SMSC policy).
As part of developing a healthy, safer lifestyle, pupils will be taught, for example:
- To recognise and manage risks in different situations and then decide how to behave responsibly;
- To judge what kinds of physical contact are acceptable and unacceptable;
- To recognise when pressure from others (including people they know) threatens their personal safety and well-being; including knowing when and where to get help;
- To use assertiveness techniques to resist unhelpful pressure
- Emotional literacy.
- How to keep safe on the Internet
- To be aware of the ‘Underwear Rule’ (NSPCC)
All computer equipment and Internet access within the School will be subject to appropriate “parental controls” and Internet safety rules. (For more details on online safety see the school internet safety policy). Online safety is covered in every year group through PSHE/RSE and Computing. The school also runs online safety workshops for parents and has links on the school website to direct families to.
Kilmorie Primary School will promote “Healthy School” status through the curriculum with the aim of:
- Developing a school ethos and environment which encourages a healthy lifestyle for pupils;
- Using the full capacity and flexibility of the curriculum to help pupils to achieve safe and healthy lifestyles;
- Ensuring that food and drink available across the school day, reinforces the healthy lifestyle message;
- Providing high quality Physical Education and sport to promote physical activity;
- Promoting an understanding of the full range of issues and behaviours which impact upon a lifelong health and well-being.
Kilmorie School is committed to safe recruitment. Safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (2019). The Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and a nominated member of the governing body have undertaken the on-line safe recruitment training through the NSPCC. At least one member of every appointment panel will have completed accredited safer recruitment training.
At Kilmorie we use the recruitment and selection process to deter and reject unsuitable candidates. We require evidence of original academic certificates. Job offers are subject to satisfactory references, we do not accept testimonials. We will question the contents of application forms if we are unclear about them, we will undertake Disclosure and Barring Service checks and use any other means of ensuring we are recruiting and selecting the most suitable people to work with our children.
All pre-appointment checks carried out are outlined in KCSIE 2019. DBS checks are carried out using the guidance on the KCSIE flow chart (page 39)
For staff appointments, an enhanced DBS check with barred list information is carried out. DBS certificates are sent to the LA HR representative in order that the candidate can be cleared for recruitment. Sometimes certificates for NQTs or students are not ready by the time they are expected to be in post. Where this is the case the school will ensure the individual is appropriately supervised and all other checks, including a separate barred list check, have been completed. In these cases, a risk assessment is written and shared with the individual.
If an applicant has subscribed to the DBS Update Service the school or college may undertake an online update check. With the individual’s consent, the local authority (LA) can go online and carry out a free, instant check to see if a new certificate is required.
We will maintain a Single Central Register of all safer recruitment checks carried out in line with statutory requirements.
The prohibition form teaching check is completed for everyone engaged in teaching work and recorded on the single central register.
This school will only use employment agencies that can demonstrate that they positively vet their supply staff and will report the misconduct of temporary or agency staff to the agency concerned and to the LA. Supply staff are required to present identification at the school office when they arrive.
Staff joining the School on a permanent or temporary basis will be given a copy of this policy. Additionally, the staff handbook confirms CP procedures in the school and these are discussed at staff induction.
Individuals who have lived or worked outside the UK must undergo the same checks as all other staff in schools or colleges. The school may also make any further appropriate checks so that any relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered. New staff are asked to complete a form confirming whether or not they have ever lived or worked abroad. Where staff have lived or worked outside the UK for a period of 12 months or more (when over the age of 18) the school will ask the member of staff to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the relevant embassy. School will cover the cost. Where this is not possible the member of staff will put in writing the reason why.
A range of people volunteer in the school for a variety of purposes, the school uses guidelines from KCSIE 2019 to decide whether the activity is regulated and thus whether an enhanced DBS check is required.
Under no circumstances should a volunteer for whom no checks have been obtained be left unsupervised or work in a regulated activity.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer in the school must be inducted by the DSL before they work with children. This does not include adults who volunteer on school trips, they will be briefed by the class teacher prior to the trip. Volunteers (including parents and carers) who do not adhere to class teacher instructions will be spoken to and it is likely they will not be asked to accompany other trips.
If a volunteer is not a parent/carer two references are requested before they can start.
The induction includes safeguarding, expectations of professionalism and confidentiality and fire safety. These are covered in the ‘Volunteers Code of Conduct’. Emergency contact details are requested and, where appropriate, proof of identity. These are kept securely. A risk assessment is carried out for every volunteer and a decision made whether an enhanced DBS is required (see KCSIE 2019 for further advice and recommendations).
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. If working outside the classroom the volunteer will remain in a communal area and be under the supervision of the class teacher.
Voluntary sector groups that operate within this school, provide off-site services for our pupils or use school facilities, will be expected to adhere to this policy or operate a policy that is compliant with the procedures adopted by the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership. Premises lettings and loans are subject to acceptance of this requirement.
DISQUALIFICATION UNDER THE CHILDCARE ACT 2006 (as amended 2018)
Previously, people working in schools could be disqualified by association if they lived with someone who was disqualified. Since 31 August 2018, disqualification by association no longer applies to schools. Any member of staff who completed a disqualification by association declaration form will now have these records destroyed.
Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006, still applies to staff who work with children who work in a child care capacity, whether paid, volunteer or are on work placements. Whilst a majority of checks for this come under the enhanced DBS check there are some which do not and staff who work in this capacity will be asked to sign a self-declaration form to cover these.
Who the regulations apply to
The regulations apply to staff who work in, or are directly concerned with managing:
- Early years provision
- Covers staff who provide any care for a child up to and including reception age
- Includes education in nursery and reception classes, and/or any supervised activity (such as breakfast clubs, lunchtime supervision and after-school care provided by the school) both during and outside school hours for children in the early years age range
- Later years provision (for children under 8)
- Covers staff who work in childcare provided by a school outside school hours for children under 8, including before-school settings such as breakfast clubs, and after-school provision
- Does not include education or supervision during school hours, or extended school hours for co-curricular learning activities, such as the school’s choir or sports teams
The regulations also apply to:
- Volunteers and casual workers who regularly work in, or manage, these settings, whether they are supervised or not
- Any self-employed contractors (such as music teachers or sports coaches) in relevant settings
- Any salaried trainee teachers (it’s the training provider’s responsibility for un-salaried trainees)
For further details please see:
SAFETY IN THE SCHOOL
No internal doors to classrooms will be locked whilst pupils are present in these areas.
Entry to School premises will be controlled by doors that are secured physically. Authorised visitors to the School will be logged into and out of the premises using an electronic system and will be asked to wear school visitor badges. Unidentified visitors will be challenged by staff or reported to the Head Teacher or school office. Carelessness in closing any controlled entrance will be challenged.
All visitors will be given a copy of the school’s ‘Safeguarding for Visitors’ and where appropriate guidance about using computers and the internet.
The presence of intruders and suspicious strangers seen loitering near the School or approaching pupils, will be reported to the police and the LA with a view to alerting other local schools through appropriate systems.
CODE OF CONDUCT
For more details see our Staff Code of Conduct 2019
All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct in respect of their contact with pupils and their families. Children will be treated with respect and dignity and no punishment, detention, restraint, sanctions or rewards are allowed outside of those detailed in the School’s Behaviour Management Policy. 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 be open to criticism or misinterpretation. Where incidents occur which might otherwise be mis-construed, or in the exceptional circumstances where it becomes necessary to physically restrain a pupil for their own protection or others’ safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to the Head Teacher and parents. (Please refer to the school’s Positive Handling Policy 2019).
Except in cases of emergency, first aid will only be administered by qualified first aiders. If it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for first aid treatment, there will, wherever possible, be another adult present. If a child needs help with toileting, nappy changing or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be present or within earshot. If a male member of staff is providing any form of intimate care, a female colleague will be present.
For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with pupils. Other than in formal teaching situations (musical instrument tuition, for example), the door to the room in which the 1:1 coaching, counselling or meeting is taking place should be left open. Where this is not practicable because of the need for confidentiality, another member of staff will be asked to maintain a presence nearby and a record will be kept of the circumstances of the meeting. All rooms that are used for the teaching or counselling of pupils will have clear and unobstructed glass panels in the doors.
School staff should also be alert to the possible risks that might arise from social contact with pupils outside of the school. Home visits to pupils, child care or private tuition of pupils should only take place with the knowledge and approval of the Head Teacher. Visits/telephone calls by pupils to the homes of staff members should only occur in exceptional circumstances and with the prior knowledge and approval of the Head Teacher. Any unplanned contact of this nature or suspected infatuations or “crushes” will be reported to the Head Teacher. Staff will not disclose their personal telephone numbers and email addresses to pupils or parents nor befriend them on Facebook or other social networks. Staff supervising off-site activities or school journeys will be provided with a school mobile telephone as a point of contact for parents and carers.
The school will ensure that any contractor, or any employee of the contractor, who is to work at the school or college, has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check. Contractors engaging in regulated activity will require an enhanced DBS certificate (including barred list information). For all other contractors who are not engaging in regulated activity, but whose work provides them with an opportunity for regular contact with children, an enhanced DBS check (not including barred list information) will be required.
Under no circumstances will a contractor in respect of whom no checks have been obtained be allowed to work unsupervised, or engage in regulated activity. The school will determine the appropriate level of supervision depending on the circumstances.
If a contractor working at a school or college is self-employed, the school will consider obtaining the DBS check, as self-employed people are not able to make an application directly to the DBS on their own account.
As with all visitors, the school will always check the identity of contractors and their staff on arrival at the school or college.
Individuals and organisations that are contracted by the school to work with, or provide services to, pupils will be expected to adhere to this policy and their compliance will be monitored. (For further details see the school’s Health and Safety policy and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019.
COMPLAINTS/ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST SCHOOL STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS
Kilmorie Primary School takes seriously all complaints made against members of staff. Procedures are in place for pupils, parents and staff to share any concern that they may have about the actions of any member staff or volunteer. All such complaints will be brought immediately to the attention of the Head Teacher (or Deputy Head Teacher), in order that they may activate the appropriate procedures.
An allegation is any information that indicates a member of staff/volunteer may have:
- Behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence related to a child
- Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates that she/he is unsuitable to work with children
All allegations should be reported to the Head Teacher immediately unless that person is the subject of the allegation in which case it should be reported to the Chair of Governors.
The person to whom an allegation or concern is first reported should treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind. They should not:
- Investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification
- Make assumptions or offer alternative explanations
- Promise confidentiality, but they can give assurance that the information will only be shared on a ‘need to know basis’
- Make a written record of the information (where possible in the child’s own words), including the time, date and place of incident/s, persons present and what was said;
- Sign and date the written record and immediately report the matter to the designated safeguard lead
The procedures for dealing with allegations need to be applied with common sense and judgement. When informed of a concern or allegation, the designated lead should not initially investigate the matter or interview the member of staff, child concerned or potential witnesses. They should:
- Obtain written details of the concern / allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving (not the child / adult making the allegation)
- Record any information about times, dates and location of incident/s and names of any potential witnesses
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed within one working day when allegations appear to meet the criteria listed above. Referrals should not be delayed in order to gather information.
The purpose of an initial discussion is for the LADO and the case manager to consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action. It also alerts the LADO about cases that may also reach them via another route for example if the parent goes straight to the police or social care – allowing the LADO to have as full a picture as possible. To gain an overview the LADO may also want to know details of any previous complaints, any adult witnesses, any child witnesses, and noted injuries, any tensions between staff and parents and a clear idea of the time and location of when issues may have occurred.
This initial sharing of information and evaluation may lead to a decision that no further action is to be taken in regard to the individual facing the allegation or concern, in which case this decision and a justification for it should be recorded, by both the manager and the LADO, and agreement reached as to what information should be put in writing to the individual concerned and by whom. The manager should then consider with the LADO what action, including possible disciplinary action, should follow in respect of the individual and those who made the initial allegation.
The case manager should inform the accused person about the allegation as soon as possible after consulting the LADO. It is extremely important that the case manager provides them with as much information as possible at that time. However where a strategy discussion is needed, or police or children’s social care services need to be involved, the case manager should not do that until those agencies have been consulted.
If the allegation is not false and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the LADO will immediately refer to children’s social care and ask for a strategy discussion to be convened in accordance with the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. The Lewisham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Protocol fro Managing Allegations is available on their website
If the complaint concerns alleged abuse by the head teacher, this should be brought to the attention of the Designated Person, who will inform the Chair of Governors and the LA’s Lead Officer.
Allegations that concern colleagues are extremely challenging to the other staff and to the school, but in spite of our commitment to colleagues, we must allow ourselves to think the unthinkable and keep an open mind to the possibility that a staff member may be implicated.
There is a legal requirement for employers to make a referral to the DBS where they think that an individual has engaged in conduct that harmed (or is likely to harm) a child; or if a person otherwise pose a risk of harm to a child.
ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE BY CHILDREN AGAINST CHILDREN
Our school behaviour policy describes our expectations of children’s behaviour and systems in place to encourage and promote positive behaviour. Children are encouraged to be independent, caring individuals.
All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. Examples given in KCSIE 2019 include bullying, physical abuse, harassment (including sexual), upskirting and sexting. We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. Staff should be aware that external influences (relationships older children may build up outside the home and school) can be abusive.
Most cases of pupils hurting other pupils will be dealt with under our school’s behaviour policy, but this child protection and safeguarding policy will apply to any allegations that raise safeguarding concerns. This might include where the alleged behaviour:
- Is serious, and potentially a criminal offence
- Could put pupils in the school at risk
- Is violent
- Involves pupils being forced to use drugs or alcohol
- Involves sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, such as indecent exposure, sexual assault, or sexually inappropriate pictures or videos (including sexting)
If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil the member of staff to whom this is being disclosed needs to follow the same protocols as for any disclosure (see under ‘What to do if a child makes a disclosure’)
- The DSL must be informed and will record the allegation
- The DSL will contact the local authority children’s social care team and follow its advice, as well as the police if the allegation involves a potential criminal offence
- The DSL will put a risk assessment and support plan into place for all children involved – both the victim(s) and the child(ren) against whom the allegation has been made – with a named person they can talk to if needed
- The DSL will contact the children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), if appropriate
The school will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by:
- Challenging any form of derogatory or sexualised language or behaviour
- Dealing with any bullying behaviour swiftly, monitoring and supporting both the victim and the alleged perpetrator
- Being vigilant to issues that particularly affect different genders – for example, sexualised or aggressive touching or grabbing towards female pupils, and initiation or hazing type violence with respect to boys
- Ensuring the curriculum helps to educate pupils about appropriate behaviour and consent
- Ensuring pupils know they can talk to staff confidentially. Ensuring staff are trained to understand that a pupil harming a peer could be a sign that the child is being abused themselves, and that this would fall under the scope of this policy
Other related policies
Whistle blowing policy
Positive Handling policy
Anti Radicalisation policy
Visits and Trips policy
Attendance and Lateness policy
Managing Medical Conditions in School
Health and Safety policy
Lewisham Safeguarding Children Panel policies
|Maria Johnson||Designated Person||020 8291 1250|
|Elisabeth Stone||Head Teacher||020 8291 1250|
|Anita Gibbons||Chair of Governors||Via school|
|Finola Owens||LADO||020 8314 3114|
COMPLAINTS AND MONITORING
All complaints arising from the operation of this policy will be considered under the School’s complaint procedure, with reference to the LA’s Lead Officer as necessary.
The Governing Body of the School will consider safeguarding issues and their implications for this policy on an annual basis. For this item, the Head teacher will report upon levels of child protection referrals made by the School during the past year, training undertaken by School staff and Governors and any changes in legislation or national/local guidance.
Otherwise, this policy will be reviewed and updated in September 2020
Anita Gibbons – Chair of Governors – 10/10/2019
Liz Stone – Head Teacher – 10/10/2019
Maria Johnson – Designated Person – 10/10/2019
“Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility”
Children have a right to be cared for and protected, protecting them is everyone’s responsibility. Here at Kilmorie Primary School we have a duty of care to ensure that all users of the school are kept safe from harm. We are committed to provide a secure and supportive environment in which children can develop and grow into mature and responsible people. Safeguarding children is an essential part of our holistic approach to ensure that children are protected from abuse and neglect and that every child reaches their full potential.
The school’s staff, volunteers and service providers have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as a shared responsibility with parents and other carers. To support this statement, the school may signpost to services that are specialised to promote opportunity, prevent problems, act early and act effectively if and when concerns arise. Therefore, whilst we do not want to worry you, we will report to Children’s Social Care if we have any reason to believe that a child may be at risk of suffering abuse or neglect.
Parents/carers are normally our first point of contact, and if a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers will be informed at the same time that the record is made; we will support parents/carers and ensure we work in collaboration with them to protect children. Working with parents/carers to prevent abuse is our primary aim and only when that has failed or in emergency situations will a referral be made to social care. When a referral is made to social care parents will be notified beforehand, except when guidance from social care or the police does not allow this.
We cannot safeguard children alone. All children’s services agencies work in partnership with each other. There are duties and rules about information sharing but if staff, parents or carers have any concerns about a child, other parent, provider, agency or any person, they have a responsibility to report those concerns and we must record and act on them We have a ‘Kilmorie Primary School safeguarding /child protection policy’ which is underpinned by the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and the document “Working Together to Safeguard Children” and Safer Recruitment guidance. The policy applies to all children and young people regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion. It is a requirement that all users are informed of these policies and practice guidance and what they should do if they have concerns. The safeguarding policy is available from the school office.
If you have any concerns about the practice of our staff team please speak to the Designated Child Protection Officer (Maria Johnson – Deputy Head) or the Head Teacher (Liz Stone)
What you can do
Parents and carers play a role in safeguarding children in their community. If you have any concerns, no matter how small, you should report them to someone who you trust will listen. The centre is required to have a designated child protection coordinator for this purpose. Parents, children, young people and service providers should speak to the coordinator if they have any concerns about a child, young person, centre user or staff member.
If you think a child or young person may be in immediate danger, call 999. Otherwise contact Lewisham Children’s Social Care on 020 8314 6000.
For the Children’s Social Care Duty Team call 020 8314 6660.
Out of hours call 020 8314 6000.
Protocol for contacting children absent from school
* For the purpose of this document the term parents also covers carers
- It is the school’s expectation that parents* contact the school before the start of the day if their child is going to be absent
- When they call the school regarding illness, parents are asked to say when they expect their child to return to school (for example in cases of vomiting or diarrhoea the child will return after 48 hours). If the child is still unwell after this time the parent or carer must contact the school again
- It is school policy that if a child is off for more than 3 days then medical evidence must be provided in order to authorise the absence
- If a parent does not contact school when their child is absent the school will send a text asking them to do so
- If a parent does not respond to the text then a phone call will be made to the parent before lunch time
- If it is not possible to contact the parent then the office will phone the emergency contact numbers provided
- If it has not been possible to ascertain the child’s whereabouts after all these avenues have been explored then a home visit will be undertaken by the school within a maximum of 3 days. If there is no response from the home then the school may contact the police (advice will be sought from the local authority).
|Concerns about a child|
|Please record details of the event and pass to Maria or Liz as soon as possible.|
|Name of child|
|Name of person completing form|
|Have the child’s parents been informed of the concern?|
|Description of event or disclosure (if a disclosure please record exactly what the child has said, do not ask leading questions|
|Record of action taken – including any action taken by referrer|
|Record of any follow up work|
Please find enclosed confidential records for
Please return this slip to acknowledge receipt.
Received by ___________________________________________
Role in school __________________________________________
Print name _____________________________________________
Please return by email to email@example.com or fax to 0208 291 4529
Child Protection and Safeguarding
As you are aware it is a legal requirement that schools should be informed of any child protection/safeguarding issues that have arisen/have been known about in a child’s previous school. The following pupil has joined Kilmorie Primary School and we would be grateful if you could complete and return this form as soon as possible to the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the self-addressed envelope provided, using Recorded Delivery as appropriate.
Pupil’s Name ……………………………………………………………………….….. Date of Birth …………………………….
School Name ………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………
|Does this pupil have any Child Protection /Safeguarding concerns?|
|Yes / No|
|Dos this pupil have Child Protection documents?|
|Yes / No|
|Please circle as appropriate|
Form completed by:
Print Name …………………………………………………………………………
Deputy Head Teacher (and DSL)
Vulnerable Children’s Panel
The panel consists of:
Liz Stone Head Teacher
Maria Johnson Deputy Head Teacher and Inclusion Manager
Emanuela Brahamsha Early Years Assistant Head
Nicola Cann Learning Mentor and Pastoral Care
Janet Sturley SENCO
Daisy Moon Extended School and Enrichment Manager
The panel meets every half term to monitor and review vulnerable children.
The vulnerable children group consists of
- All pupil premium and pupil premium plus children ncluding CLA, previously in care and adopted
- All children with complex needs
- Children other than the above who were identified at pupil progress meetings as vulnerable for a range of social and emotional reasons
- Children for whom a cause for concern has been raised
- Children with persistent absence
The purpose of the panel is to
- Monitor the well-being of vulnerable children and identify where interventions need to be put in place
- Review actions and impact of the above
- Monitor the attainment and progress of vulnerable pupils alongside pupil progress meetings
- Monitor the use of pupil premium spending
Child Protection – Dealing with disclosures in school
Children experiencing distress or abuse may seek to ‘tell’ in school, often because this is the place where they feel most safe, secure and listened to. It is not unusual for them to choose members of staff seen to be on the periphery of the staff team such as midday supervisors, caretakers or class-room support staff because they may be perceived as having less authority and less intimidating. It is important to make sure therefore that ALL staff know how to respond to a disclosure from a child.
If a child discloses harm to any staff member it must be remembered that the school role is to recognise and refer abuse, not to investigate. This is to avoid contamination of evidence gained in any subsequent investigation undertaken by Police &/or Social Services and to ensure that the child is not placed in the stressful position of having to repeat their story over and over again.
‘Not investigating’ does not mean that the staff member receiving the concern cannot ask any questions. However, careful thought needs to be given to how and what questions are asked, avoiding anything that can be interpreted as ‘leading’ the child. The basic rule of thumb is that staff should ONLY ask enough questions of the child to clarify whether there is a child protection concern. Once the child has clarified that they are being harmed or are at risk (or the staff member is reassured that the child is safe), no further questions are required.
If a child presents with an injury accompanied by a clear disclosure that they have been harmed, or makes a clear sexual disclosure it should not be necessary to question the child other than perhaps to clarify who was involved and when an incident took place. The child should be listened to actively and their story carefully recorded. In this situation the staff member should ensure immediate information sharing with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or alternative senior contact point in DSL’s absence). It is likely that such a scenario will require immediate consultation about action to be taken and an urgent referral to Specialist Children’s Services will be necessary.
In other situations, where the child appears to be making a possible disclosure or has a suspicious injury, it is reasonable to ask open, non-leading questions in order to establish the child’s story. Examples of questions are. “That’s a nasty bruise, how did it happen? Tell me about what happened? You seem a bit upset and I’m worried about you, is anything troubling you? Can you tell me more about that?”
You may wish to use the acronym ‘TED’ as a reminder that the child can be encouraged to ‘Tell’, ‘Explain’ and ‘Describe’ the concern. If it is necessary to seek further clarification, staff should keep to open questions such as What? When? Who? How? Where? It is important to remember that questions should only be asked to help clarify whether the child is at risk of harm. Once clarification is achieved, no further questions should be asked.
Sometimes children choose to disclose concerns through a third party such as a friend ‘telling’ on their behalf, or indirectly e.g. sounding out information and reaction by asking ‘what if my friend…….?’ If such concerns arise they should be taken equally seriously and be followed up with the DSL in the same manner as a direct disclosure.
Children may also seek to disclose and share their experiences through drawings, writing and play. If concerns arise, it is appropriate to talk further with the child to allow wider discussion and clarification. This might involve inviting the child to ‘tell me more about what is happening in your picture’ / story / game”
If a child discloses abuse, this information requires immediate sharing with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Basic guidelines for dealing with disclosures
- Remember that the child’s welfare and interests must be the paramount consideration at all times.
- Listen carefully and actively to the child. At this stage there is no necessity to ask questions. Let the child guide the pace.
- Do not show shock at what you are hearing. This may discourage the child from continuing their disclosure as they will feel that the adult receiving the information is unable to cope with what they are hearing and may be thinking badly of the child.
- Do not investigate. If you need to clarify what is being said and whether the child is at risk, ask open questions (TED, what, when, who, how, where, do you want to tell me anything else? etc.) but only to the point of clarification being achieved. Avoid the question ‘why?’ as this can imply guilt / responsibility on the child.
- Stay calm and reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking to you.
- Never promise to keep a secret or confidentiality. You have a duty to ensure the information is passed on to DCPC and possibly other agencies in order to keep the child safe. If a child requests confidentiality, use a ‘prepared’ response, such as ‘I’m really concerned about what you have told me and I have a responsibility to help ensure that you are safe. To help make sure you are safe, I have to tell someone (name person) who will know how to help us to do this’. Make sure the child understands what will happen next with their information.
- Record factually what the child has told you or what you have observed as soon as possible. Ensure records include the date, time, place of disclosure, behaviour and words used by the child. Failure to accurately record information or writing down your ‘interpretation’ of the child’s account may lead to inadmissible evidence.
- If you have seen bruising or an injury, use a body map to record details. Again ensure that the map is dated and attached to information relating to the child’s comments about the injury.
- Tell your DCPC as soon as possible but do not ask the child to repeat what they have told you to another staff member. This is stressful for the child. The more times a child is asked to tell their story the greater the chance of the facts becoming lost and any subsequent investigation being compromised.
- Do not gossip to other staff about what you have heard. The information should remain confidential to those who ‘need to know’.
- Maintain contact with the child. They have trusted you enough to ‘tell’, will need to know that they are not rejected as a result and may need continued support.
- Ensure that you have support for yourself in managing the information you have received.
NOTE: Disclosures relating to allegations against colleagues and members of staff should be treated in the same way. This information must be passed immediately to the Head Teacher or DSL who will contact the LADO and ensure the appropriate procedures are followed.
Basic guidelines for dealing with disclosures
When a child discloses abuse:
- Stay calm and listen
- Go slowly
- Reassure them that they have not done anything wrong
- Be supportive
- Gather essential facts
- Tell what will happen next
- Make notes
- Stay calm
- An abused or neglected child or young person needs to know that you are available to help them.
- Reactions of shock, outrage, or fear might make them feel more anxious or ashamed.
- A calm response reassures that what has happened is not so bad and can be worked through.
- Go slowly
It is normal to feel inadequate or unsure about what to do or say when a child or young person tells you about their abuse.
- Proceed slowly.
- Gentle and open-ended questions such as: “Can you tell me more about what happened?” are helpful.
- Avoid questions that begin with “why”.
- Be reassuring
- Reassure the child or young person that they have not done anything wrong.
- Avoid questions that are usually associated with getting into trouble. Avoid using “why” questions.
- Be supportive
Let the child or young person know:
- they are not in trouble
- they are safe with you
- you are glad that they have chosen to tell you about this
- they have done the right thing telling about this
- you are sorry that they have been hurt or that this has happened to them
- you will do everything you can to make sure they are not hurt again
- you know others who can be trusted to help solve this problem
- Get only the essential facts
- Be brief.
- Limit your discussion to finding out generally what took place.
- When you have sufficient information and reason to believe that abuse and/or neglect has occurred, gently stop gathering facts and be supportive.
- Tell what will happen next
- Don’t make promises to the child about what may or may not happen next.
- Provide only reassurance that is realistic and achievable.
- Discuss with the child what you think will happen next and who will be involved.
- Report to the Designated child protection coordinator
- Report disclosures of abuse or neglect immediately to the DCPC for follow-up and referral.
- Express your willingness to help the child through the steps which will follow, if appropriate.
- Make notes
- Make notes of all comments. Use the child’s or young person’s exact words where possible.
- Save all drawings and artwork. This information may needs to be shared with Children’s Social Services and the police.
This policy will be reviewed in October 2020.