CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Rationale

The school is a key front-line player, working in partnership with other children
services, and staff should always be mindful of local policies and procedures, that
must be followed, and which are under the direction of the Safeguarding
Children’s Board.

Everyone employed at our school has a responsibility in relation to child
protection. In most cases this will be the referral of concerns to his/ her line
manager. In day to day contact with children at risk, we have opportunity to
note concerns and to meet with parents and other associated adults, where
this is appropriate.

Increasingly, schools are expected to work with, and support different
agencies to enable the most appropriate form of intervention to take place.
This policy aims to outline the role that school will have, the procedures that
staff should follow and guidance on issues related to child protection
generally. It is not exhaustive. All staff should use as a rule of thumb the
needs and safety of the child as being at the centre of any decision they may
need to take.

Aims

1) to raise awareness of individual responsibilities in identifying and
reporting possible cases of abuse
2) to provide a systematic means of monitoring, recording and reporting of
concerns and cases
3) to provide guidance on recognising and reporting suspected child
abuse

Responsibilities

Headteacher/ designated person
Mrs Jessopp is the designated teacher for child protection.
Mr Kirk is the deputy

Responsible for:
1) co-ordinating action within the school and liaising with Grainne Burns and
other agencies over cases of abuse and suspected abuse
2) acting as a source of advice within the school
ensuring that staff are familiar with the policy and procedures
3) referral of individual cases of suspected abuse
4) liaising with agencies about individual cases
5) organising training on child protection within school

Where verbal referrals are made to social care, the referral should be
confirmed in writing within 24 hours.

Where there is uncertainty about making a full referral, advice can still be
sought from the department ( Grainne Burns ) without giving the child’s details.

Teaching staff and support staff

New teachers and supply staff are informed of the main points of this child protection policy through the staff handbook.

All staff need to be alert to the signs of abuse as detailed in this policy. They should report any concerns immediately, where possible to the designated teacher or his deputy. If in any doubt they should consult with the designated teacher.

Apply the procedures detailed below for responding to a suspected case remembering that:

1) you cannot promise confidentiality
2) information should only be shared with those who need to know
3) it is important to stay calm and reassuring
4) the needs and safety of the child must always come first
5) when in doubt - ask

Other staff
Other staff may also be approached by children or have concerns.
They should follow the same procedure as teaching staff in seeking referral
at the earliest opportunity to the designated teacher or their deputy where
appropriate.

Guidance on recognising suspected abuse

Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed by
someone often in a position of power. It may not be our responsibility to
decide whether child abuse is occurring but we are required to act on any
concerns and report it to the appropriate party. The health, safety and
protection of a child is paramount.

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Can include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, suffocating or causing any form of physical harm to a child. Possible signs include:

Unexplained injuries or burns
Refusal to discuss injuries
Improbable explanations of injuries
Untreated injuries or lingering illness
Admission of punishment which appears excessive
Shrinking from physical contact
Fear of returning home or parents being contacted
Fear of undressing
Fear of medical help
Aggression/ bullying
Over compliant behaviour
Running away
Significant changes in behaviour
Deterioration in work
Unexplained pattern of absences

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

This is persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe
and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It can
include:
1) conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved
2) placing inappropriate age-related expectations on children
3) making children feel frightened or in danger on a frequent basis
Possible signs of emotional abuse include:

Continual self-deprecation
Fear of new situations
Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
Self-harm or mutilation
Compulsive stealing/ scrounging
Drug/ solvent abuse
‘Neurotic’ behaviour – obsessive rocking, thumb-sucking
Air of detachment ‘don’t care’ attitude
Social isolation
Attention-seeking behaviour
Eating problems
Depression, withdrawal

SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part
in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
They can include non-contact activities such as involving children looking at,
or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or
encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Possible signs include:

Bruises, scratches, burns or bite marks
Scratches abrasions or persistent infection in the anal or genital regions
Pregnancy
Sexual awareness inappropriate to the child’s age
Frequent public masturbation
Attempts to teach other children about sexual activity
Refusing to stay with certain people or go to certain places
Aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, tearfulness
Withdrawal from friends

NEGLECT

Neglect is also a form of abuse. It is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic
physical and/ or psychological needs and can affect the child’s health and development. It might include failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure appropriate access to medical care and treatment.
Possible signs include:

Constant hunger
Poor personal hygiene
Inappropriate clothing
Frequent lateness or non-attendance
Untreated medical problems
Low self-esteem
Poor social relationships
Compulsive stealing or scrounging
Constant tiredness

BULLYING

Bullying can be defined as using deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. The three main types of bullying are:
1) physical
2) verbal
3) emotional

All incidents of bullying should be dealt with by the class teacher in the first
instance, followed by headteacher or another teacher as appropriate. A more detailed guide can be found in the school’s anti-bullying policy.

SELF HARM

If it comes to the attention of a teacher/ member of staff that a child is self- harming, they
should alert the designated teacher for child protection. Actions by the designated teacher might include:
1) contacting parents
2) contacting Child Adolescent Mental Health Services
3) contacting Grainne Burns if the child meets the referral criteria

Guidance on dealing with suspected abuse

All staff should refer concerns to the designated teacher as soon as possible.
In the meantime, they should:

1) listen to the pupil, keeping calm and offering reassurance
2) observe bruises but should not ask a child to remove or adjust their
clothing to observe them
3) if a disclosure is made the child should lead the discussion. Do not press for details by asking questions “what did they do next?”.
4) Listen – don’t investigate using questions such as “is there anything
else you’d like to tell me?”
5) Accept what the pupil says without challenge – reassure them that they
are doing the right thing and that you recognise how hard it is for them
6) Don’t lay blame or criticise either the child or the perpetrator
7) Don’t promise confidentiality – explain that they have done the right thing and who you will need to tell and why

Procedures for monitoring, recording and reporting

At the time
Brief notes at the time or immediately after will help you to complete the critical incident sheet when you are able. You should note:

1) Date and time of disclosure/incident observed
2) Place and context of disclosure or concern
3) Facts you need to report

When you can
Compete a critical incident sheet which is available from and stored in the
office. This should then be passed to the designated person.

In the case of there being bruises or observed injuries the Body Map which is available from and stored in the office should be completed.

In addition a ‘cause for concern’ book is kept in the head’s office in which small concerns can be noted. Please ask headteacher for its location.
Remember to keep to factual information and not assumption or interpretation. Use the child’s own language to quote rather than translating into your own terms. Be aware that these sheets may be used at a later date to support a referral to an external agency.

Designated teacher

The designated teacher will:
1) Follow-up the referral using the critical incident sheet as a basis for
consideration before action
2) Make additional records of discussions and any investigation that takes
place
3) Make a decision whether to continue to monitor the situation or take
the referral further. This decision should be communicated to the
individual making the initial referral
4) Where a child is referred to social care a referral form should be
completed and sent within 24 hours

Recorded information from social care meetings and other reports are stored
in separate document wallets next to the child’s records in secure cabinets
the school office. Any documents for inclusion in this folder should be given
directly to the headteacher.

Allegations against staff

This is an extremely difficult and sensitive area to address. All allegations
should be dealt with according to guidance set out by the IOMCPC contained in the ‘IOMCPC File’.

The LA child protection officer should be contacted immediately with any
concern, by the designated person.

Inter-agency liaison

Social care meetings

At times school staff will be called to participate in meetings organised and
chaired by social care. These might be:

1) Strategy discussions
2) the child protection review conference
3) Child protection conferences
4) family group conferences - for children in need, in a range of
plan is required for the child’s future welfare
5) professionals’ meetings – in which representative professionals from different agencies are asked to meet to discuss children and their families with a view to providing support or making recommendations in terms of next stages of involvement
6) core group meetings – meeting in which a ‘core’ group of professional
associated with the family are asked to meet to review the progress of
actions decided at case conferences and register reviews

At these meetings, representatives from the school should be ready to report
providing information about:

1) attendance and punctuality
2) academic achievement
3) the child’s behaviour and attitude
4) relationships with peer group and social skills generally
5) child’s appearance and readiness for school
6) contact with parents/ carers
7) any specific incidents that need reporting

Prior to the meeting, classteachers and other adults working closely with the
child should be asked for their comments. Following the meeting feedback
should be given and staff brought up - to- date with any actions that are
needed.

The Child Protection Register

Children placed on the register will require additional support and monitoring.
The social care department will inform a school receiving a child on the
register and accompanying records should follow from the child’s previous school.

Confidentiality

Where children are on the child protection register and leave one school for
other the designated teacher must inform the receiving school and the key worker at the social care department.

Education staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information
about the protection of children with the investigative agencies. Members of
staff should not promise confidentiality but can let the child know that only
those who need to know will be informed and that that will be for the child’s
own sake.

Time should be taken to reassure the child and confirm that information given
will be treated sensitively. Reassurance should be given and the adult
involved listen sympathetically and non-judgementally.

Staff should be careful and ensure that information is only given to the appropriate person. All staff should be kept aware of issues relating to confidentiality and the status of information they may hold.

Members of staff, other than the designated member and those involved closely, should only have enough details in order to help them to act sensitively and appropriately to a pupil. Sensitive information regarding pastoral issues and for children on the child protection register is kept separately in a folder in the closed section of the office.
Discretion should be used when talking about the personal, and changing
circumstances of children e.g. when a child goes into care. Care is particularly
necessary after attending child protection meetings. Information received
should be treated sensitively and discretion will be needed as issues emerge on a formal and informal basis.

Supporting children at risk

For children at risk, school may be the one stable place from which they can expect security and reassurance. It is not only being alert to potential abuse but providing the support to help children through difficult times. Providing them with the coping skills that can help avoid situations arising and deal with the emotional difficulties afterwards if they do.

The pastoral support programme

Children who are ‘looked after’ should have their own pastoral support
programme which will be drawn up in discussion with social care, the
class teacher, foster parents and the child themselves.

Support in school – SENCO

Ann Jessopp is the school’s SENCO, in this role she helps the teachers and support staff who are supporting children with higher level needs, dyslexia etc. She also directs the work of the SESO’s who are also available to support children with other needs such as anxiety and low self esteem.

Care must be taken to gain parental agreement before the children can be referred formally. Children can be referred for a short period of time during times of crisis or for a longer, more extended period as the need arises. Many children benefit
from the opportunity to feel secure and ‘at home’ in the relaxed ‘family-based’
ethos of the learning bowl. The opportunity to discuss issues around a table
whilst playing a game is particularly beneficial.

Mrs Jessopp is also available to help and advise staff and parents on how best to support children with emotional needs.

Support in school – pastoral care

All class teachers are responsible, in conjunction with other school staff, for the pastoral needs of the children in their care. This includes maintaining opportunity for children to share their concerns and following the guidance in this document. Our curriculum includes ‘circle time’ during which children may be presented with issues included in our PHSE. In addition, circle time can be used to raise issues spontaneously that are particularly relevant to the class at that time.

Care should always be taken in regard to the discussion of sensitive issues
and advice should be sought where there are concerns.

Support in school – the curriculum
Within our curriculum there will also be opportunities to discuss issues which
some children might find sensitive and disturbing. Care should be taken particularly in relation to discussion about families and their make up. Assumptions about members of families and the presence of both parents should be avoided both in discussion and the presentation of materials. During health and safety discussion and sex education staff should be alert to the fact that some children will have very different experiences and may find content ‘sensitive’ within their own histories. Staff should make themselves
familiar with the background of the children in their care in order to avoid children becoming distressed.

Physical contact with pupils

Some form of physical contact with pupils by teachers is inevitable. In some
cases it is necessary for reassurance. However, all teachers should be aware of issues related to touching and the way in which this might be misconstrued. This relates particularly to any sensitive areas of the body.

In the event of physical restraint being used it is important that only the
minimum amount is used in order to prevent the pupil from causing injury to
themselves, others or property. Following such an intervention the critical
incident form should be completed.

All staff will be offered training in restraint where possible.

Working with parents

It is important that school has an established approach to working with parents. Parents’ and children’s need for privacy should be respected. Attitudes to and contact with parents should be non-judgemental in order to obtain the most conducive working relationship. The priority is the needs of the child and effective liaison is crucial for this.

It should be recognised that families from different backgrounds and cultures
will have different approaches to child-rearing. These differences should be
acknowledged and respected provided they do not place the child at risk as
defined earlier in the document. We do have access to support for parents
where it is felt that this would be useful. Further information can be found through the government website.

Dealing with disclosure

1) listen to the child
2) try not to show any shock you might feel
3) take what they say seriously
4) stay calm and reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you
5) don’t make promises about what might or might not happen next
6) you cannot promise confidentiality
7) you might consider using phrases such as ‘you’ve done the right thing’ or ‘you’re not to blame’ or ‘I understand’
8) allow the child to talk but do not interrogate or ask leading questions –
use questions such as ‘ Do you have anything else to tell me?’
9) do not make judgements about the people children refer to – they may be people they love
10) explain what will happen next and who you will need to talk to
11) make brief notes at the time and write them up afterwards – keep both sets just in case
12) use diagrams to record the position of any bruising or marks.
13) Be objective in your recording

After the disclosure, appropriate support should be given to both the child and
the members of staff receiving and dealing with the disclosure.

Please can all staff read this, any amendments/comments to be give to Ann Jessopp before the end of September 2016
Name Date Name Date
Chris Kirk
Jane Bollen
Debby Revere
Cara Wilkinson
Christine Kelly
Ann Naisbitt
Paula Quinn
Suzy Crowe
Julie Snape
Rik Snape

Appendix A

Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and other Staff

These procedures outline the initial response to an allegation of abuse against a teacher or another member of staff. For more detailed guidance, particularly action following the outcome of an initial investigation reference must be made to the IOM Guidelines

Introduction

Foxdale School takes its responsibility of care for its students seriously. We recognise that any possibility that a member of staff may have hurt a student must be investigated thoroughly, but in a way that does not prejudice either the student or the member of staff. Any investigation of an allegation of abuse against a member of staff must follow the objective, professional standards and routines described here.

Allegations of abuse against staff should not be dealt with under the school’s general complaints procedure.

Please see attached flow chart for dealing with these allegations:

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