Child Protection Policy | The Arbor School, Dubai

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

CONTENTS 

1.         Introduction
2.        Policy statement, principles and aims
3.        Terminology
4.        Context
5.        Key personnel in the school
6.        Roles and responsibilities
7.        Good practice guidelines
8.        Abuse of trust
9.        Children who may be particularly vulnerable
10.      Support for those involved in a child protection issue
11.       Complaints procedure
12.       If you have concerns about a colleague
13.       Allegations against staff
14.       Staff training
15.       Safer recruitment
16.       Extended school and off-site arrangements
17.       Photography and images
18.       e-safety


19.       Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedure


Recognising abuse
Bullying
Indicators of abuse
Impact of abuse
Taking action
If you suspect a child is at risk
If a child discloses abuse
Notifying parents
Children with sexually harmful behaviour
Confidentiality and information-sharing
Reporting directly to child protection agencies

APPENDICES
1.        Code of ethical practice for school staff
2.        Whistle blowing code
3.        Confirmation of receipt form
4.        Images consent form
5.        School welfare concern form
6.        Record of concern


1.        Introduction

The Arbor School fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection and safeguarding the needs and welfare of all children and is committed to following the procedures and guidance issued by Department for Education (DfE) Keeping Children Safe in Education July 2015 and Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015 (UK).

In the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 (UK), a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015) as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

The Arbor School recognises that the welfare of the child is paramount and that all children regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language or religion have equal rights to protection. The Owners and staff of The Arbor School take seriously our responsibility under section 175 Education Act 2002 (UK) to safeguard and promote the welfare of students, to minimise risk and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements are in place within our school to identify, assess and support those children who are suffering harm and to keep them safe and secure whilst in our care.

The Arbor School understands the duty, as set out under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (UK), to promote the importance of safeguarding and the welfare of children and will adhere to this. The Arbor School understands that where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, action should be taken to protect that child. Action should also be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk.

This Policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school. All staff have a responsibility to take appropriate action. The Arbor School recognises that because of their day to day contact with children, staff are well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, neglect and maltreatment. The Arbor School understands that it is expected to work with, support and sometimes lead different agencies to enable the most appropriate form of intervention to take place.

2.        Policy Statement, Principals and Aims

Our core safeguarding principles are:

  • It is the school’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
  • Children who are and feel safe make more successful learners;
  • This policy shall be reviewed annually, unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an earlier date of review.

We recognise our moral and legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff and community members.

Principles

  • The school will ensure that the welfare of children is given paramount consideration when developing and delivering all school activity
  • All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
  • All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm in accordance with this guidance
  • All pupils and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support from the senior management of the school who will follow this policy guidance in doing so

Aims

This policy aims to outline the role that the school will have, the procedures that staff should follow and general guidance on issues related to child protection. It is not exhaustive. As a rule of thumb, all staff should put the needs and safety of the child at the centre of any decision made. They should adopt an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where child protection and safeguarding are concerned and always act in the interests of the child.
Our Policy is to:

  • Ensure safe recruitment practices are followed and have at least one person on an interview panel who has received the safer recruitment training;
  • Raise awareness of individual responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse and neglect and acknowledge that all staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm;
  • Ensure that we have a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after and to ensure that this person has appropriate training;
  • Have in place arrangements to support children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) having regard to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice and have identified a member of staff to act as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO);
  • Raise awareness of the signs of abuse and neglect and provide guidance on recognising and dealing with suspected child abuse; Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and individuals vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism or radicalization;
  • Refer appropriately any student identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism;
  • Ensure that if we become aware of a private fostering arrangement the relevant local authority is informed;
  • Ensure children know there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried and that they will be listened to and that their wishes or feelings will be taken into account;
  • Include opportunities in the curriculum and within associated assemblies, areas for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse;
  • Ensure the content of the curriculum includes social and emotional aspects of learning;
  • Raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep themselves safe including in the digital/on-line environment;
  • Develop and implement procedures for identifying, monitoring and reporting concerns and cases, or suspected cases, of abuse;
  • Identify strategies and interventions available to support children at risk or who have been abused in accordance with his/her child in need or child protection plan;
  • Ensure procedures are in place to notify relevant social services of an unexplained absence of a student who is on a child protection plan;
  • Raise awareness that a child going missing from an education setting is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect including sexual abuse or child sexual exploitation;
  • Ensure there are procedures in place for dealing with self-harm;
  • Ensure that staff know their responsibility in taking their registers accurately and on time to enable early identification of unknown absence;
  • Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately;
  • Ensure all records are kept securely and separate from the main student file, and in locked locations;
  • Ensure that procedures are in place, where a child who is subject to a child protection plan/child in need plan/or concerns deemed necessary to be passed on leaves, their information is transferred to their new school, or college of further education. This will be sent separately to the main school file, ensuring safe transit and with confirmation of receipt;
  • Ensure we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Safeguarding Lead who is part of the Senior Management Team and who has received appropriate training (every two years), is given time, funding, training, resources and support to
    provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters in order to carry out their role;
  • All staff including the Principal, the designated teacher (children looked after), the designated governor and the Owners undergo training relevant to their roles which is updated regularly. All other staff who work within school and/or with children undertake appropriate child protection awareness training to equip them to meet their responsibilities for child protection effectively;
  • Ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection;
  • Ensure that we have procedures in place to offer supervision arrangements to staff dealing with child protection issues;
  • Ensure that the needs of staff to whom disclosures are made, or against whom false allegations are made are addressed;
  • Ensure we develop effective and supportive liaison with other agencies;
  • Ensure that this policy is read and that staff acknowledge their responsibility to it at induction;
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, and responsibility for referring any concerns to the DSL or Child Protection Management Team immediately;
  • Follow procedures informing the Designated Officer(s) from the school where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer this will be referred to the Principal and, where the concern is about the Principal, to the Chair of Owners;
  • Ensure referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is made if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to child protection concerns, or would have been had they not resigned;
  • Ensure all members of staff read and agree to the child protection policy before the start of their employment or at induction;
  • Ensure all temporary staff and volunteers read and agree to the child protection policy on induction;
  • Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly;
  • Ensure the policy is reviewed annually by the DSL and Owners and approved by the Board of Governors.

3.        Terminology

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing the impairment of their health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective and nurturing care and undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Child protection refers to the processes undertaken to meet statutory obligations laid out in the UK Children Acts 1989 and 2004, in respect of those children who have been identified as suffering, or being at risk of suffering harm.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example stepparents, foster carers and adoptive parents.

4.        Context

Research suggests that more than 10 per cent of children will suffer some form of abuse. Due to their day-to-day contact with children, school staff are uniquely placed to observe changes in children’s behaviour and to recognise the outward signs of abuse. Children may also turn to a trusted adult in the school when they are in distress or at risk. It is vital that school staff are alert to the signs of neglect and abuse and understand the local procedures for reporting and acting upon their concerns.

5.        Key personnel:

The designated senior person for child protection in this school is:

The Principal                                                                                                                                                                                                                     _

The deputy designated persons in this school are:

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The nominated child protection governor for this school is:

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The Principal is:

Mr Charles Grayhurst                                                                                                                                                                                                        

6.        Roles and responsibilities

All schools must nominate a senior member of staff to coordinate child protection arrangements and this person is named in this policy guidance (the Principal).

The school has ensured that the DSP:

  • is appropriately trained
  • acts as a source of support and expertise to the school community
  • has an understanding of local procedures
  • keeps written records of all concerns when noted and reported by staff or when disclosed by a child, ensuring that such records are stored securely and reported onward in accordance with this policy guidance, but kept separately from the child’s general file
  • refers cases of suspected neglect and/or abuse to the relevant authorities and/or police in accordance with this guidance and local procedure
  • ensures that when a child with a child protection plan leaves the school, their information is passed to their new school
  • coordinates the school’s contribution to child protection plans
  • develops effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies
  • ensures that all staff sign to indicate that they have read and understood this policy
  • ensures that the child protection policy is updated annually
  • liaises with the nominated governor and Principal (where the role is not carried out by the Principal) as appropriate

The deputy designated persons are appropriately trained and, in the absence of the designated person, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of children. In the event of the long-term absence of the designated person, the deputy will assume all of the functions above. The governing body ensures that the school has:

  • a DSP for safeguarding and child protection who is a member of the senior leadership team
  • a child protection policy and procedures that are consistent with UK requirements, reviewed annually and made available to parents on request
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against members of staff including allegations made against the Principal
  • Safer recruitment procedures that include the requirement for appropriate checks
  • A training strategy that ensures all staff, including the Principal, receive child protection training
  • Arrangements to ensure that all temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection.
  • The governing body nominates a member (normally the chair) to be responsible for liaising with the relevant local authorities and other agencies in the event of an allegation being made against the Principal

The Principal:

  • ensures that the safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff
  • allocates sufficient time and resources to enable the DSP and deputy to carry out their roles effectively, including the assessment of pupils and attendance at strategy discussions and other necessary meetings
  • ensures that all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the school’s whistle blowing procedures
  • ensures that child’s safety and welfare is addressed through the curriculum.

7.        Good practice guidelines

To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards children, the school community agrees to the following standards of good practice;

  • treating all children with respect
  • setting a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately
  • involving children in decision-making which affects them
  • encouraging positive and safe behaviour among children
  • being a good listener
  • being alert to changes in child’s behaviour
  • recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • reading and understanding all of the school’s safeguarding and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example bullying, e-safety and information-sharing. Particular attention is required upon the policies for professional boundaries and conduct
  • asking the child’s permission before doing anything for them which is of a physical nature, physical support during PE or administering first aid
  • maintaining appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children and avoiding the use of sexualised or derogatory language
  • being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of neglect and or abuse.

8.        Abuse of trust

All school staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards children is unacceptable and that their conduct towards all children must be beyond reproach.

The school’s Code of Ethical Practice sets out our expectations of staff (see: appendix 1).

9.        Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Some children may be at increased risk of neglect and/or abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse happens, or who have a high level of tolerance in respect of neglect.

To ensure that all of our children receive equal protection, we will give special consideration and attention to children who are:

  • disabled or have special educational needs
  • living in a known domestic abuse situation
  • affected by known parental substance misuse
  • living away from home
  • vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying
  • living in temporary accommodation
  • living transient lifestyles
  • living in chaotic, neglectful and unsupportive home situations
  • vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality

10.        Support for those involved in a child protection issue

Child neglect and abuse is devastating for the child and can also result in distress and anxiety for staff who become involved. We will support the children and their families and staff by:

  • taking all suspicions and disclosures seriously
  • nominating a link person who will keep all parties informed and be the central point of contact. Where a member of staff is the subject of an allegation made by a child, a separate link person will be nominated to avoid any conflict of interest
  • responding sympathetically to any request from a child or member of staff for time out to deal with distress or anxiety
  • maintaining confidentiality and sharing information on a need-to-know basis only with relevant individuals and agencies
  • storing records securely
  • offering details of help lines, counselling or other avenues of external support
  • following the procedures laid down in our whistle blowing, complaints anddisciplinary procedures
  • cooperating fully with relevant statutory agencies.

11.        Complaints procedure in respect of poor practice behaviour

Our complaints procedure will be followed where a child or parent raises a concern about poor practice towards a child that initially does not reach the threshold for child protection action. Poor practice examples include unfairly singling out a child, using sarcasm or humiliation as a form of control, bullying or belittling a child or discriminating against them in some way. Complaints are managed by senior staff, the Principal and governors.

Complaints from staff are dealt with under the school’s complaints and disciplinary and grievance procedures.

12.        If you have concerns about a colleague

Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The school’s whistle blowing code (appendix 2) enables staff to raise concerns or allegations in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place. All concerns of poor practice or concerns about a child’s welfare brought about by the behaviour of colleagues should be reported to the Principal. Complaints about
the Principal should be reported to the chair of governors.

13.        Staff who are the subject of an allegation

When an allegation is made against a member of staff, set procedures must be followed. It is
rare for a child to make an entirely false or malicious allegation, although misunderstandings and misinterpretations of events can and do happen. A child may also make an allegation against an innocent party because they are too afraid to name the real perpetrator. Even so, we must accept that some adults do pose a serious risk to children’s welfare and safety and we must act on every allegation made. Staff who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not mandatory, nor is it automatic but, in some cases, staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that children are protected.

Allegations against staff should be reported to the Principal. Allegations against the Principal should be reported to the chair of governors.

14.        Staff training

It is important that all staff have training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse and neglect and to know what to do if they have a concern. New staff will receive training during their induction.

15.        Safer recruitment

Our school endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ ‘safe’ staff by following the guidance in the UK Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education document, together with the school’s individual procedures.

Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:

  • complete an application form
  • provide three referees, including at least two who can comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children
  • provide evidence of identity
  • undergo relevant police checks
  • be interviewed.

All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with the school’s safeguarding and child protection policy and identification of their own safeguarding and child protection training needs. All staff sign to confirm they have received a copy of the child protection policy (see: appendix 3).

16.        Extended school and off-site arrangements

Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including comprehensive risk assessment.

When our children attend off-site activities, we will check that effective child protection arrangements are in place.

17.        Photography and images

The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place. To protect children we will:

  • seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications)
  • seek parental consent
  • use only the child’s first name with an image
  • ensure that children are appropriately dressed

For an example image consent form, see: appendix 4.

18.        E-Safety

Most of our children will use mobile phones and computers at some time. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. However, we know that some men, women and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. The school’s e-safety policy explains how we try to keep children safe in school. Cyber-bullying by children, via texts and emails, will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and will be managed
through our anti-bullying procedures.

Chat rooms and social networking sites are the more obvious sources of inappropriate and harmful behaviour and children are not allowed to access these sites whilst in school. Some children will undoubtedly be ‘chatting’ on mobiles or social networking sites at home and we endeavour to help parents and children understand the possible risks.

19.        Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

Recognising abuse

To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone, or leaving knives or matches within reach of an unattended toddler.

There are four categories of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child, such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only for meeting the needs of another person. It may feature age – or developmentally-inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or
hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative and non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing or shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment; failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; failure to ensure adequate supervision, including the use of inadequate care-takers; or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or
treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress.

All incidences of bullying should be reported and will be managed through our anti-bullying procedures. All pupils and parents receive a copy of the anti-bullying procedures on joining the school and the subject of bullying is addressed at regular intervals in the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum. If the bullying is particularly serious, or the antibullying procedures are deemed to be ineffective, the Principal and the DSP will consider implementing child protection procedures.

Indicators of abuse and what you might see

Physical signs define some types of abuse, for example, bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The identification of physical signs is complicated, as children may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite difficult for anyone without medical training to categorise injuries into accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For these reasons it is vital that staff are also aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated person.

Remember, it is your responsibility to report your concerns. It is not your responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused.

A child who is being abused and/or neglected may:

  • have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries
  • show signs of pain or discomfort
  • keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather
  • be concerned about changing for PE or swimming
  • look unkempt and uncared for
  • change their eating habits
  • have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships
  • appear fearful
  • be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety
  • self-harm
  • frequently miss school or arrive late
  • show signs of not wanting to go home
  • display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
  • challenge authority
  • become disinterested in their school work
  • be constantly tired or preoccupied
  • be wary of physical contact
  • be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol
  • display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age.

Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw, and each small piece of information will help the DSP to decide how to proceed. It is very important that you report your concerns – you do not need ‘absolute proof’ that the child is at risk.

The impact of abuse

The impact of child abuse should not be underestimated. Many children do recover well and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives, although most adult survivors agree that the emotional scars remain, however well buried. For some children, full recovery is beyond their reach, and the rest of their childhood and their adulthood may be characterised by anxiety or depression, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol and substance misuse, unequal and destructive relationships and long-term medical or psychiatric difficulties.

Taking action

Key points to remember for taking action are:

  • in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child
  • report your concern to the DSP as soon as possible
  • if the DSP is not around, ensure the information is shared with the most senior person in the school that day and ensure action is taken to report the concern to children’s social care
  • do not start your own investigation
  • share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • complete a record of concern
  • seek support for yourself if you are distressed.

If you suspect a child is at risk of harm

There will be occasions when you suspect that a child may be at serious risk, but you have no ‘real’ evidence. The child’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre or you may have noticed other physical but inconclusive signs. In these circumstances, you should try to give the child the opportunity to talk. The signs you have noticed may be due to a variety of factors and it is fine to ask the child if they are alright or if you can help in any way.

Use the welfare concern form (see: appendix 5) to record these early concerns. If the child does begin to reveal that they are being harmed you should follow the advice in the section ‘If a child discloses to you’.

If, following your conversation, you remain concerned, you should discuss your concerns with the designated person.

If a child discloses information to you

It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being neglected and or abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual, their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults, or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault.

If a child talks to you about any risks to their safety or wellbeing you will need to let them know that you must pass the information on – you are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which you do this is a matter for professional judgement. If you jump in immediately the child may think that you do not want to listen, if you leave it till the very end of the conversation, the child may feel that you have misled them into revealing more than they would have otherwise.

During your conversation with the child:

  • Allow them to speak freely.
  • Remain calm and do not over react – the child may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting you.
  • Give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’.
  • Do not be afraid of silences – remember how hard this must be for the child.
  • Under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the child’s mother thinks about all this.
  • At an appropriate time tell the child that in order to help them you must pass the information on.
  • Do not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused.
  • Avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be your way of being supportive but the child may interpret it that they have done something wrong.
  • Tell the child what will happen next. The child may agree to go with you to see the designated person. Otherwise let them know that someone will come to see them before the end of the day.
  • Report verbally to the designated person.
  • Write up your conversation as soon as possible on the record of concern form and hand it to the designated person.
  • Seek support if you feel distressed.

A record of concern form is provided in appendix 6.

Notifying parents

The school will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a child with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSP will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure.

However, if the school believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, then advice will first be sought from children’s social care.

Referral to children’s social care

The DSP, or their local staff liaison, will make a referral to children’s social care if it is believed that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.

Children with sexually harmful behaviour

Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the school’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a child’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti-bullying procedures. In particular, research suggests that up to 30 per cent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone under the age of 18.

The management of children and young people with sexually harmful behaviour is complex and the school will work with other relevant agencies to maintain the safety of the whole school community. Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator.

Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the designated person, Principal or chair of governors (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 principles. Information is:

  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate
  • kept no longer than necessary
  • processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
  • secure.

Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

The school’s policy on confidentiality and information-sharing is available to parents and children on request.

Reporting directly to child protection agencies

Staff should always follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy.

However, they may also share information directly with relevant social care authorities, police or the other agencies if:

  • the situation is an emergency and the designated senior person, their deputy, the Principal and the chair of governors are all unavailable
  • they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety.

Key service contacts:

To be completed                                                            | Address                                                                      | Telephone

 

Policy Reviewed by:                                                                                                                 Policy Approved by:

 

 

_________________________                                                                                     __________________________
Signature of Principal                                                                                           Signature of CEO
Date:                                                                                                                         Date:

This policy will be reviewed one (1) year after the date of approval.

 

Appendix 1

Code of ethical practice for school staff

All school staff are valued members of the school community. Everyone is expected to set and maintain the highest standards for their own performance, to work as part of a team and to be an excellent role model for our children.

All school staff should:

  • place the safety and welfare of children above all other considerations
  • treat all members of the school community, including children, parents, colleagues and governors with consideration and respect
  • read and adhere to the principles and procedures contained in the staff handbook and our school policies document, with particular reference to our child protection policy and any other safeguarding policies
  • understand that the school policy on “Professional Conduct With the School Community” is absolute
  • treat each child as an individual and make adjustments to meet individual need
  • demonstrate a clear understanding of and commitment to non-discriminatory practice
  • recognise the power imbalances between children and staff, and different levels of seniority of staff and ensure that power and authority are never misused
  • understand that school staff are in a position of trust and that sexual relationships with a child, even over the age of 16, may be an offence
  • be alert to, and report appropriately, any behaviour that may indicate that a child is at risk of harm
  • encourage all children to reach their full potential
  • never condone inappropriate behaviour by children or staff
  • take responsibility for their own continuing professional development
  • refrain from any action that would bring the school into disrepute
  • value themselves and seek appropriate support for any issue that may have an adverse effect on their professional practice.

Staff name       ____________________________________________________

Signature         ____________________________________________________

Date                   ____________________________________________________

 

Appendix 2

Whistle blowing code for issues relating to children and young people

Purpose of the code

The school adheres to the local authority whistleblowing policy and procedures that enable staff to raise concerns relating to:

  • crime
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • illegality
  • health and safety
  • environmental or property damage
  • unauthorised use of public funds
  • concealing or attempting to cover up any of the above.

This code provides additional information to help staff to understand the role of whistle blowing in the context of poor practice and unacceptable conduct and attitudes towards children.

When to use the code

The whistle blowing procedures and this code may be used by anyone employed by the school in a paid or voluntary capacity who believes they have reason to suspect that the conduct of an employee towards a child is inappropriate.

Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not confined to:

  • bullying or humiliation
  • contravening health and safety guidelines
  • serious breaches of the school’s code of ethical practice
  • professional practice that falls short of normally accepted standards
  • compromising pupils’ welfare but in a way that does not meet the threshold for child protection intervention.

Reasons for blowing the whistle

Staff will naturally be reticent to report a concern about the conduct of a colleague. However, each individual must take responsibility for ensuring that children are fairly treated. If poor practice is allowed to continue unchecked, it could escalate with serious consequences.

Your action not only protects children, but also deters any suggestion that you have colluded with poor practice that you knew was occurring but chose to ignore.

Whistle blowing can also support the member of staff who is the subject of the concern. Their conduct may result from inexperience or lack of training that can be addressed by the school, or they may be under stress and be relieved when their conduct is questioned.

Staff who deliberately fail children and show no remorse or desire to improve are unlikely to welcome being exposed, but their conduct has to be confronted for the sake of the child and the reputation of the whole school.

Barriers to whistle blowing

You may worry that you have insufficient evidence to raise a concern that you will set in train an unstoppable chain of events, that there will be adverse repercussions for your career, that you may suffer harassment or victimisation, or that your suspicion or concern might be totally misplaced.

These concerns are entirely understandable but you can be reassured that whistle blowing procedures addresses these issues.

All concerns are treated in confidence and, as far as possible, your identity will not be revealed if that is your wish. However, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if, as a result of an investigation, you are required to provide a witness statement or attend a court hearing.

You can, if you prefer, raise your concern anonymously. The school would need to decide whether the seriousness and credibility of the concern warrants investigation if the source of the concern, and the key evidence, is not readily available.

The school will fully support you and do all it can to protect you from any harassment or adverse repercussions that may arise from whistleblowing. Allegations that prove to be deliberately fabricated and malicious will be dealt with through staff disciplinary procedures. However, no action will be taken against any member of staff who raises a genuine concern that proves to be unfounded.

Reporting procedure

It may help if you write down, for your own benefit, what you have observed or heard that is causing alarm. One useful way to decide whether your concern should be reported is to consider whether you would want the conduct of this member of staff to continue unchecked if your own child or another young family member was involved.

  • You may raise your concern verbally or in writing. You should report your concern directly to the Principal.
  • If the Principal is the subject of your concern, speak to the chair of governors.
  • A friend, colleague or union representative may accompany you to the meeting if you wish.
  • Ensure the head or chair informs you of their proposed action and sets a date for a second meeting.
  • Timescales will depend on the complexity of the initial inquiry but the case should not be allowed to stall and you should receive initial feedback within 10 working days. The timescale for subsequent feedback should then be agreed.
  • Ask for clarification about confidentiality and ensure you have your wishes regarding the protection of your identity recorded.

Process and outcome

The Principal or chair will make enquiries to establish the facts of the matter and whether poor practice or inappropriate conduct has occurred.

Members of the school community, including governors, may be asked to provide information or advice.

  • External advice, for example, from legal or human resources or children’s services may be sought.
  • A written record of the conduct, established facts and outcome of the inquiry will be kept.
  • The whistleblower will be kept informed of the progress of the inquiry.

The outcome of the inquiry will be one of the following:

  • No poor practice or wrongdoing is established and the case is closed
  • The concern has some substance and the subject of the concern will receive advice and support from the Principal to improve practice
  • Poor practice or wrongdoing is established and disciplinary proceedings are initiated
  • The concern is more serious and an investigation is initiated. This investigation may involve the board’s legal team, children’s social care or the police.

If, at any stage in the process, there is reason to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm, children’s social care will be immediately involved.

Appendix 3

Confirmation of receipt of safeguarding children and child protection policy

Name:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Date of joining school:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Post:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Date of training:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Name and designation of staff member responsible for training:

___________________________________________________________________________________

I confirm that I have received and read the school child protection policy. I have been made aware of my duty to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. The procedure for reporting concerns about a child has been explained to me. I have read and fully understood the code of ethical practice contained within this document, as well as the Guide to Professional Conduct for School Staff that it refers to.

Signature: ______________________________________________________________________________

Name:       ______________________________________________________________________________

Date:        _______________________________________________________________________________

Please sign and return this form to the designated senior person:

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Appendix 4

The Arbor School Pictures/ Media Consent Form (Staff)

Dear Staff,

The Arbor School is making a concerted effort to promote the positive activities, achievements, and work of our staff and pupils. During the course of the school year there are times when your pictures or videos may be taken, or when you may be interviewed while at school, to showcase an event or to detail your project. This potentially includes working with local newspapers, radio and television stations whilst also developing our own publications such as our school website and newsletters.

We are proud of the school’s development and feel it important to showcase this progress with the wider community. If you are happy to partake in such events, please complete the form below and return it to HR department.

I give my permission to be photographed, videotaped, or interviewed for school publication purposes.

I do not give my permission for the above.

Staff Name:

Staff Signature:

 

Date:

 

The Arbor School International School Pictures/ Media Consent Form (Students)

 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Arbor School is making a concerted effort to promote the positive activities, achievements, and work of our staff and pupils. During the course of the school year there are times when pictures or videos of your child may be taken, or when he or she may be
interviewed while at school, to showcase an event or to detail a project of his or her class. This potentially includes working with local newspapers, radio and television stations whilst also developing our own publications such as our school website and newsletters.

We are proud of the school’s development and feel it important to showcase this progress with the wider community. If you are happy for your child to partake in such events, please complete the form below and return it to your child’s teacher.

I give my permission for my child to be photographed, videotaped, or interviewed for school publication purposes.

I do not give my permission for the above.

 

Pupil’s Name:
Parent’s / Guardian’s Name:
Parent’s/ Guardian’s Signature:
Student Signature of Agreement:

 

Date:

 

Appendix 5

School welfare concern form

Use this form to record any concern about a child’s welfare and give it to the designated senior person for child protection.

If you suspect the child may be suffering abuse or neglect, or you have received a disclosure of abuse from a child, or you have heard about an allegation of abuse, you must complete the child protection record of concern form instead, and hand it to the designated person today.

Child’s full name

 

Date of this record

 

Why are you concerned about this child?

 

 

 

What have you observed and when?

 

 

 

 

What have you heard and when?

 

 

 

 

What have you been told and when?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date and time you handed this form to the designated person

 

 

 

Class

 

Class teacher/form tutor

 

Your name and designation

 

Signature  ___________________________________

 

Have you spoken to the child?            Yes     No

 

What did they say? Use the child’s own words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you spoken to anyone else about your concern?              Yes     No

 

Who?

 

Is this the first time you have been concerned about this child?         Yes     No

Further Details:

 

 

 

 

Appendix 6

If you suspect the child may be suffering abuse or neglect, or you have received a disclosure of abuse from a child, or you have heard about an allegation of abuse, you must complete this child protection record of concern form, and hand it to the designated person today. Any details of which you are unsure, can be completed with the assistance of the DSO.

Record of concern: ____________________________________ School

Child’s details

Full name

Address

 

Telephone

Date of birth

Gender:                   Male         Female

Who does the child live with? (Parents/guardian?)

When was the child first admitted to this school?

Ethnicity and culture

Religion

Does the child have any disability or special educational need?          Yes          No
Please specify

 

 

Preferred language of child

Is any type of language support required to converse with the child?        Yes          No
Please specify

 

Does the child know this form has been completed?        Yes          No
If not, why not?

 

If yes, what did the child say?

 

 

Details of those with parental responsibility
Name(s)

Address

 

 

Telephone

Relationship to child

 

Ethnicity, culture and religion of those with parental responsibility if known

 

Preferred language of those with parental responsibility

 

Is any type of language support required?

 

Do those with parental responsibility have any disability or special need?

 

 

How does this disability or special need affect the child?

 

 

Details of any siblings

 

 

Does the child regularly spend time with other carers, for example, after-school or holiday carers, or at a short break service?

 

 

Why are you concerned about this child?
Please provide a description of any incidents/conversations and the dates they occurred. You must make clear what is fact and what is opinion or hearsay. You must not ask the child leading questions or try to investigate the concern yourself

 

 

 

What have you observed and when?
(This relates to anything you have personally witnessed)

 

 

 

What have you been told and when?
(Write here anything you have been told by the child or any other person. Be clear about who has said what)

 

 

 

What have you heard and when?
(This may be third-party information that is relevant but as yet unsubstantiated)

 

 

 

If an allegation has been made, give any details you have about the alleged abuser

 

 

 

Date and time of this record

 

Your details
Full name

 

Position

 

Do those with parental responsibility know this form has been completed?
Yes          No

If not, why not?

 

 

If yes, what did they say?

 

 

NOTE: Those with parental responsibility should not be contacted by anyone in the school if this could place the child at risk. Speak to the designated person first
Does the child have any visible injury, or have they told you they have been injured?

Yes          No
If yes, has medical advice been sought?

 

 

Has any action already been taken in relation to this concern? (for example, child taken out of
class, first aid)

 

 

Name and position of the person this record was handed to:

 

 

Date and time the above person received this record

 

 

If this record has been handed to anyone other than the designated person please explain why

 

 

If you have used additional sheets to complete this record of concern please staple them to this form and write the number of additional sheets here _______________

Hand this form to the designated person before you go home. If the designated person is
unavailable, hand it to their deputy, the Principal or your line manager.

NB: If you do not have certain information, such as the child or family’s ethnicity, do not delay handing in the form.