Every Child has the right to stay safe
Every Child Matters: Changes for Children HMSO 2004
Safeguarding children – the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
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.
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 about sharing any concerns that they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others. Kilmorie School understands the importance of working closely with other agencies to safeguard children.
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’ (2016) from the DFE and the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). All staff should be aware of the document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ a guide to interagency work.
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 London Safeguarding Children’s Board London Child Protection Procedures (http://www.londoncp.co.uk/index.html)
All staff must, at a minimum, read Section 1 from ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2016) which provides links to guidance on specific safeguarding issues such as Child Sexual Exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation. Induction of new staff includes sharing this document as well as ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’.
Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the school, community education staff and governors. Teaching assistants, mid-day supervisors, wrap around care staff, secretaries and volunteers as well as teachers may all be the first point of disclosure for a child. Safeguarding incidents could happen anywhere and staff should be alert to possible concerns being raised in this school. All staff may raise concerns directly with Children’s Social Care services.
Improving outcomes for children and young people underpins all of the development and work within this school. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and as such our school aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve. Our school recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all children feel they will be listened to and appropriate action taken in response to concerns. We do this by working in partnership with other agencies 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.
We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult play an important role in safeguarding children. The school will therefore:
Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to
Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty
Include in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to know to whom to turn for help;
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 early intervention when concerns arise including TAC meetings and signposting to appropriate services (including the Children’s Centre)
All adults working in Kilmorie (including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placements) are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Designated Safeguard Lead (further information on the role of the designated lead can be found in Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016)
The Senior Designated Lead is Maria Johnson (Deputy Head)
The Designated Person is Elisabeth Stone (Headteacher)
Wrap Around Care Designated Person is Louisa Hopper (KWAC Manager)
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 in school office, on school server and attached to this policy – appendix 1). 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.
All staff should familiarize themselves with ‘Child Abuse – Signs and Symptoms’ which can be found on the NCPCC website http://www.safefamiliesforchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/NSPCC-Recognising-signs-of-abuse.pdf and in the staff handbook. They should also be aware of the document ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ , which is provided in the staff handbook.
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). When an individual concern/incident is brought to the notice of the Senior Designated Person, 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 Senior Designated Person and the member of staff reporting the concern, advice will be sought from the Headteacher, the Lead Officer for education services or the Duty Manager for the Education Welfare & Attendance Service.
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 (eg 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. Referrals to Children’s Social Care will be confirmed in writing, using the CAF form that is emailed securely (via Egress) when completed to the MASH team.
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.
In situations where pupils sustain injury or are otherwise affected by an accident or incident whilst they are the responsibility of the school, parents will be notified of this as soon as possible.
Kilmorie Primary School recognises the need to be alert to the risks posed by strangers or others (including the parents or carers of other pupils) who may wish to harm children in school or pupils travelling to and from school and will take all reasonable steps to lessen such risks.
All staff will 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 a local referral form (see appendix 1), but staff will sometimes be asked to provide a written report for case conferences. Local referral forms are available from the school office, the shared drive and saved in the staff handbook. If a referral is made to social services a CAF form needs to be completed – this is normally done by the Designated Person, or in their absence the Deputy DP.
Child protection records are not open to pupils or parents. CP records are kept securely by the Designated Person and separately from educational records. Records may only be accessed by the Designated Person, their Deputy or the senior managers of the school. Records will be reviewed regularly to check for signs of neglect or concerning patterns of behaviour. 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.
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. 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.
Child Protection records will be sent to receiving schools separately and under a confidential cover. Copies of records will be kept in a secure file.
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.
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.
There is a great deal of advice and guidance to support professionals regarding specific safeguarding issues. Many of these are outlined in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016’.
Female Genital Mutilation
Teachers are required by law to report to the police known cases of female gential 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 our 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 fulfill 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’.
Looked After Children
The school recognizes that Looked After Children are particularly vulnerable. The Senior Designated Child Protection Lead is also the Designated Teacher for LAC. She shares relevant information with appropriate staff, attends PEP and monitors 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, Children’s Centre Lead, SENCO and Learning Mentor.
The rationale for this can be found in Appendix 2.
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. 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
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 internet safety see the school safety policy).
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.
Whole-School in-service training on safeguarding issues is organised on a regular basis. Staff are kept up to date with new guidance from the LSCB (eg FGM, regular newsletters etc) and amendments to statutory documentation.
School safeguarding procedures and policies are revisited at least annually with all staff.
All newly recruited staff will undertake online Level 1 safeguarding training available from Lewisham. https://Lewisham.melearning.university/course_centre.
All newly recruited staff (teaching and non-teaching) and Governors will be appraised of this policy and other relevant policies. The Designated Person (and their Deputies) will attend the LA’s dedicated induction course and there after regular refresher training. Temporary staff and volunteers who work with children are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities.
Kilmorie School is committed to safe recruitment. Safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ’Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (2016). The head teacher, deputy head teacher and a nominated member of the governing body have undertaken the on-line safe recruitment training through the National College for School Leadership. 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.
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 individuals 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.
A range of people volunteer in the school for a variety of purposes, the school uses guidelines from Annex D in the Safeguarding Children in Education and advice from the LA 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 regulate activity (Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016 – draft)
Where volunteers come into school regularly then they are inducted by the deputy head:
An enhanced DBS check is requested and carried out by the office administrator
Where the volunteer is not a parent/carer a reference is requested
Contact details and emergency contact details are taken
Proof of identify is requested
Safeguarding, confidentiality and fire safety are discussed
A copy of the school safeguarding policy is given
For other activities, such as a parent volunteering on a school trip, a risk assessment is carried out which takes into account the fact that no DBS check has happened for the volunteer .
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 Board. Premises lettings and loans are subject to acceptance of this requirement.
It is the school policy that all Governors have an enhanced DBS check.
DISQUALIFICATION UNDER THE CHILDCARE ACT 2006
In February 2015 the government issued new guidance regarding the Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006. The guidance sets out the circumstance in which an individual will be disqualified from providing childcare provision or be directly concerned in the management of such provision. Schools are prohibited from knowingly employing a disqualified person.
A majority of issues will be picked up at the recruitment stage on the ‘Safer Recruitment Declaration Form’ or on the DBS disclosure itself. However new legislation also includes the disqualification of staff living in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or is employed. This is known a disqualification ‘by association’.
This guidance applies to:
Staff who are employed to work in the early years (from birth up until 1st September following a child’s fifth birthday). This covers Kilmorie Children’s Centre, the nursery and reception staff.
Staff who provide supervised activity in the early years (such as breakfast clubs, lunchtime supervision and after school care provided by the school). This does not include the school’s extended hours activities (eg sports clubs, drama clubs etc).
Staff who are employed to work in childcare provided by the school outside of school hours for children who are above reception age but who have not attained the age of 8 (‘known as ‘later years’). This does not include education or supervised activity for children above reception age during school hours (including extended school hours), but it does include before school settings, such as breakfast clubs, and after school provision.
Staff who are directly concerned in the management of early or later years.
Volunteers who work on a regular basis in the early years setting or outside of school hours.
Supply agencies need to provide confirmation that staff they are providing have informed them if they consider they could be disqualified under the legislation.
Trainee staff :
– If trainee staff are salaried, it is the responsibility of the school to ensure that they comply with legislation
– If trainee staff are not on a salaried programme, it is the re sponsibility of the training provider to conduct the relevant checks
After School and Breakfast Club : The school ensures that outside providers have appropriate policies and procedures in place in regard to safeguarding children, including the 2009 Regulations.
All adults currently affected by the new legislation have :
Been informed about the new Regulations
Been asked to complete a self-declaration form in order to gather information pertinent to the Regulations. A template for the form was provided by Lewisham LA. Forms will be kept securely in their personnel files
All future staff and volunteers who work regularly in the school will be asked to complete a self-declaration form prior to commencing work. Volunteers’ information will be kept securely.
Information will be kept on the Single Central Register showing where disqualification checks have taken place
What happens if a member of staff indicates they may be disqualified?
Lewisham HR will be contacted for advice
If a member of staff is thought to be ‘disqualified by association’ OFSTED will be informed and the staff member advised they may apply for a waiver
If possible the member of staff will be redeployed away from the relevant age group or their role adjusted while the waiver is being considered
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
It is our policy to work in partnership with parents or carers to secure the best outcomes for our children. We will therefore communicate as clearly as possible about the aims of this School
We will try to use clear statements in our brochures and correspondence.
We will involve parents and pupils in the development of Codes of Conduct and Equalities and Behaviour Management policies.
We will liaise with agencies in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors and locality teams that are active in supporting families.
We will be alert to the needs of parents/carers who do not have English as their first language.
We will keep parents informed as and when appropriate.
Breakfast club and after school club (Kilmorie Wrap Around Care) will follow this policy
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.
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.
STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT
For more details see our Staff Code of Conduct 2016
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 Restraint Policy).
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, counseling 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 counseling 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 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.
Building contractors who are engaged by or on behalf of the school to undertake works on site will be made aware of this policy and the reasons for this. Long-term contractors who work regularly in the school during term time will be asked to provide their consent for DBS checks to be undertaken. These checks will be undertaken when individual risk assessments by the Leadership Team deem this to be appropriate. During major works, when large numbers of workers and sub-contractors may be on site during term time, Health and Safety risk assessments will include the potential for contractors or their employees to have direct access to pupils in non-teaching sessions. All contractors and sub-contractors will be issued with copies of the school’s code of conduct for staff.
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 2016)
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 judgment. 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 2015. The Lewisham Safeguarding Children’s Board Protocol for Managing Allegations is available in the staff handbook or at:
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 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.
If an allegation is made about a child’s behaviour by another child which is of a safeguarding nature the Designated Safeguarding Lead must be informed. A factual record should be made of the allegation, but no attempt at this stage should be made to investigate the circumstances. The DSL should contact social services to discuss the case and take advice. It is possible that social services are already aware of safeguarding concerns around this young person. The DSL will follow through the outcomes of the discussion and make a social services referral where appropriate; parents/carers will be informed. The DSL will make a record of the concern, the discussion and any outcome and keep a copy in the files of both pupils’ files.
If an allegation of this nature is made in the Children’s Centre then the same procedure will be followed.
OTHER RELATED POLICIES
Anti bullying policy
Whistle blowing policy
Anti Radicalisation policy
Visits and Trips policy
Attendance and Lateness policy
Managing Medical Conditions in School
Health and Safety policy
Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board : Interagency Guidance https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/children/Safeguarding-Children-Board/information-for-pofessionals/Documents/LSCBInteragencyThresholdGuidanceFinalOct14.pdf
|Maria Johnson||Designated Person||020 8291 1250|
|Elisabeth Stone||Head Teacher||020 8291 1250|
|Sally Kelly||Chair of Governors|
|Gerald Jones||Vice Chair of Governors|
|LADO||020 8314 7280|
COMPLAINTS & 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 June 2016
……………………………………………………….Chair of Governors ……………………………..Date
………………………………………………………..Head Teacher …………………………………….Date
………………………………………………………..Designated Person ……………………………..Date