CHILD PROTECTION

Child Protection Policy

Riverside Primary School fully recognises the contribution it makes to safeguarding children. We recognise that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting our children from harm. For some children at risk, the school environment might be the only stable, secure and predictable element in their lives so we endeavour to support them and other pupils by giving them support and encouraging a feeling of self-worth.

All staff and Governors believe that our school should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical, moral and emotional development of the individual child.

 The aims of this policy are:

  1. To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence.
  2. To raise the awareness of both teaching and non-teaching staff of the need to safeguard the children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
  3. To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm.
  4. To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.
  5. To develop a structured procedure within the school that will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse.
  6. To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially Social Services and the Police.
  7. To ensure that all adults within our school who have access to children have been checked and vetted as to their suitability.
  8. To support pupils who have been abused and work with any other agencies connected with the pupils.
  9. To raise awareness and equip the children with the skills needed to keep themselves safe.

Procedures

We will ensure that:

  1. We have a designated senior member of staff who undertakes regular inter-agency training and refresher training every 2 years.
  2. We have a member of staff who will act in the designated person’s absence and undertake appropriate training.
  3. We have a designated Governor who undertakes appropriate training.
  4. All members of staff develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse and have training at least every 3 years. All members of staff know how to respond to a child/young person who discloses abuse.
  5. All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection procedures and the policy is made available to them.
  6. Our policy and procedures will be reviewed annually and up-dated.
  7. All new members of staff will be given a copy of our child protection procedures as part of their induction programme.

The safety and security of our pupils is our highest priority. We want to create an environment in which pupils feel safe, secure, valued, listened to and are taken seriously at all times.

This policy is designed to help achieve the highest standards possible to ensure the safety and security of pupils at our school.

 Priorities: When to be concerned.

Staff should be concerned if a pupil:

  1. a) Has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children’s activities;
  2. b) Regularly has unexplained injuries;
  3. c) Frequently has an injury, even when apparently reasonable explanations are given;
  4. d) Offers confused or conflicting explanations about how injuries were sustained;
  5. e) Exhibits significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude;
  6. f) Indulges in sexual behaviour, which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his or her age;
  7. g) Discloses an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.

Responsibilities

The designated senior member of staff (CPC) is responsible for:

  1. a) Adhering to the London Child Protection Procedures and school procedures with regard to referring a child/young person if there are concerns about possible abuse or child in need.
  2. b) Keeping written records of concerns about a child/young person even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.
  3. c) Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from pupil records.
  4. d) Ensuring that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the pupil records.
  5. d) Ensuring that any pupil currently on the child protection register who is absent without explanation for two days is referred to Social Services.

Supporting Children

We recognise that a child/young person who is abused or witnesses domestic violence/abuse may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth.

We recognise that a child/young person in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated.  We recognise that a child/young person may feel self-blame.

We recognise that the school may provide the only stability in the lives of children/young people who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.

We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child/young person in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.

The school will support all children/young people by:

  • Encouraging self-esteem and self -assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying. Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school.
  • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
  • Notifying Social Services as soon as there is a significant concern.
  • Providing continuing support to a child/young person about whom there have been concerns who leaves the school by ensuring that their child protection record is forwarded, under confidential cover, to the child/young person’s new school as soon as possible

Confidentiality

We recognise that all matters relating to Child Protection are confidential.  The Head of School will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.  All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children/young people.

All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child/young person to keep secrets.

Supporting Staff

We recognise staff working in the school that become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.  We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the designated senior member of staff (CPC) and to seek further support as appropriate.

Allegations against Staff

We understand that a child may make an allegation against a member of staff.

If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Head of School.  The Head of School on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Executive Head Teacher and the LA lead Officer for Child Protection.  If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the Head of School or Executive Head Teacher the member of staff receiving the information will immediately inform the Chair of Governors who will consult with the LAs Lead Officer for Child Protection.

The school will follow the LA procedures for managing allegations against staff, a copy of which will be readily available in the school.

Whistle-blowing

We recognise that children/young people cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fails to do so.  All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues.

Physical Intervention

Staff will follow the LA policy on physical intervention/positive handling by staff. The school acknowledges that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.

We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child/young person may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.

Bullying

Our policy on bullying is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

Racist Incidents

Our policy on racist incidents is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

 Prevention

We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children/young people by providing children/young people with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.

The school community will therefore:

Establish and maintain an ethos where children/young people feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always listened to.

Ensure that all children/young people know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.

Include in the curriculum opportunities for PSHE which equip children/young people with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.

Health & Safety

Our Health & Safety policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children/young people both within the school environment and when away from the school when undertaking school trips and visits.

Appointment of Staff

Our safe recruitment policy, set out in a separate document, acknowledges our responsibility for protecting children from unsuitable people through safe recruitment practices.

 Staff should be concerned if a pupil:

  1. Has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children’s activities;
  2. Regularly has unexplained injuries;
  3. Frequently has injuries, even when apparently reasonable explanations are given;
  4. Offers confused or conflicting explanations about how injuries were sustained;
  5. Exhibits significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude;
  6. Indulges in sexual behaviour, which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his or her age;
  1. Discloses an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.
  2. Appears neglected i.e. the child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs are not being met. This may involve failure to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failure to protect from physical harm or danger or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.

 School Procedures

Awareness of issues relating to safety is dealt with during assemblies and PSHE.

Any member of staff may raise minor concerns about a child with the Child Protection

Officer/Head of School or Assistant Head.

The Head of School or CPC will bring any significant concerns to the notice of Social

Services or relevant body.

Any issues relating to child protection should be discussed with the Head of School

Any decision about contacting other agencies is the responsibility of the Head of

School/designated teacher.

  1. Any member of staff with immediate concerns about a child must inform the Designated School Child Protection Officer/ Head of School.
  1. The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations and must be given to the Child Protection Officer.
  2. The Designated School Child Protection Officer will decide whether the concerns should be referred to the Social Services. If it is decided to make a referral to Social Services the parents will be consulted unless, by seeking their consent, we put the child at risk of further harm.
  3. If a referral is made to Social Services, the Designated School Child Protection Officer will ensure that a written report of the concerns is sent to the Social Services Department (Worker dealing with the case ) within 48 hours.
  4. Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child who has been identified as at risk, or who has been placed on the Child Protection Register.
  5. If a pupil who is on the Child Protection Register or the school has records concerning child protection issues and the child then changes school, the

Designated School Child Protection Officer will inform the Social Worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the receiving school.

 Dealing with a disclosure: Inform the Head of School/CPC immediately:

If a pupil discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff should:

  1. Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief;
  2. Accept what is being said;
  3. Allow the child to talk freely;
  4. At no time must a member of staff question, in depth, a child suspected of being abused;
  5. Reassure the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep;
  6. Not promise confidentially, as it will be necessary to tell the Child Protection Officer and it might be necessary to refer the case to Social Services;
  7. Reassure the pupil that what has happened is not their fault;
  8. Stress that it was the right thing to tell;
  9. Listen, rather than ask direct questions;
  10. If required, ask open questions, not ask leading questions;
  11. Not criticize the perpetrator;
  12. Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told;

 Record keeping

When a pupil has made a disclosure, the member of staff should:

  1. Make some brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation;
  2. Not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court;
  3. Record the date, time, place, and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour, the words used by the child and anything said by the member of staff and pass directly;
  1. Draw a diagram to the Child Protection Officer;
  2. Indicating the position of any bruising or other injury;
  3. Record factual statements and observations, rather than interpretations or assumptions.
    Child Protection Policy