Safeguarding is defined by the UK Department for Education as “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”.
At the Arbor School (“Arbor”, “we”, “the school”), we believe that all children in our care have a right to learn and develop in a safe environment, and we are committed to adhering strictly to all applicable safeguarding children regulations and guidelines, as well as implementing safeguarding best practices in a holistic manner, involving staff, parents, students, and other members of the school community, so as to put ourselves in the best position possible to effectively manage any safeguarding issue that may arise.
To that end, the school will ensure that clear safeguarding principles are known by everyone in the school; specific concerns are addressed through different actions; a safeguarding team comprised of members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team (“SLT”) is fully prepared to deal with safeguarding issues and concerns; relevant and regular safeguarding training is provided to all staff and volunteers; and safer recruitment procedures are in place to ensure the suitability of prospective candidates to work with children and young people.
As a complement to our holistic approach to safeguarding:
- Health and Safety will be ensured through the provision of safe and accessible school facilities, resources and equipment, suitable for all students, including those with determination; timely medical and first-aid services to all students; fire evacuation drills; and regular risk assessments of all activities undertaken by students, whilst in the school’s care.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Health and Safety Policy.
- Child Protection will be executed through the provision of clear direction to staff about child protection issues, including (but not limited to) relevant information about how to identify abuse and children that may need help and support; management of specific safeguarding issues; and robust mechanisms to prevent, report and timely respond to, abuse in any form.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Child Protection Policy.
- Student Wellbeing will be implemented through a sustainable school culture where holistic wellbeing supports all students to make their own choices whilst meets individual needs, encourages self-confidence, knowledge and resilience so that they can deal positively with life’s challenges and are well placed to, develop into well-balanced and successful young adults.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Student Wellbeing Policy.
- Student Supervision will be carried out by staff to be aware of students’ location and movements at all times -whilst in the school’s care- and to continuously monitor their behaviour.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Student Supervision Policy.
- Security will be ensured by providing safe facilities with 24/7 security; controlled access of visitors, contractors and parents; effective communication between security staff and administration management; and robust procedures, to ensure all students safety whilst in the school’s care.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Security Management Policy.
1. SAFEGUARDING PRINCIPLES
The school has adopted and developed the following key principles that underpin our safeguarding work, to guide all staff in their duty of care:
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, belief or whether the individual has special needs, have equal rights of protection.
- The school will carry out safer recruitment processes in order to ensure that all adults working with children are suitable to do so.
- Every member of staff, as well as volunteers and third-party providers working in the school’s facilities, are responsible for securing all the children in their care.
- The welfare of children will be always safeguarded and given paramount consideration when developing and delivering any school activity.
- All staff are responsible for their own actions and behaviour; this includes dress code, use of language and general behaviour.
- All staff have equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm in accordance with the school guidance.
- Arbor’s leadership and management will encourage and promote the genuine involvement of staff at all levels in maintaining high standards of child protection and putting children and young people first.
- Each member of staff must be absolutely clear about what to do if in the case of having concerns about a child or a colleague’s behaviour.
- Everyone at the school must be open, accessible, always prepared to listen and supportive of children’s needs
2. SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS
2.1. SAFEGUARDING IN THE CURRICULUM
At Arbor, we recognise the important role that curriculum can play in the prevention of safeguarding issues and in the preparation of our students for the responsibilities of adult life. Our curriculum covers specific safeguarding issues in different learning opportunities, constructive talks and activities; Personal, Social and Health Education (“PSHE”) is taught within Moral Education, ensuring that children explore age appropriate themes in a safe setting to help them understand their role in society and in the wider world; and important values, such as tolerance, diversity and respect, are promoted across the school.
The Arbor School believes that all students have a right to a safe and healthy environment, and it aims to develop a school ethos that encourages civilized behaviour, recognises everyone’s individual strengths and deems bullying of any type to be unacceptable. To that end, we will make every effort to prevent bullying from occurring; promote mutual respect among all members of school community; and immediately respond to, bullying in any form. The school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy, in particular, will guide our students in the school’s expected behaviour.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
2.3. RESPONSIBLE USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Protecting all our students from harm, we aim to prevent and promptly address issues involving technology, ensuring the benefits that technology provide, including increased safety, can continue to be enjoyed by everyone in the school. To that end, we will ensure that:
- Rules regarding the acceptable use of technologies within the school, including the use of internet / network services, computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices during the school day, field trips, performances and other school events, are known by students, staff and parents.
- Caution is exercised in the management of students’ images by enabling staff to take photographs and / or digital images of children only with school’s purchased and approved cameras or recording equipment.
- Parents are informed about expected behaviour regarding the use of mobile phones and recording devices during performances and other school events; and the school’s policy is read and signed by them.
- All our students are aware of the hazards associated with the use of technologies by providing them with relevant training on e-safety issues and how to use these tools sensibly and safely by being smart digital users.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Responsible Use of Electronic Devices Policy.
2.4. PHYSICAL INTERVENTION
The school aims to deal with behaviour using a positive approach, avoiding the need for physical intervention and regarding this as a last resort. However, we recognise that there may be circumstances in which physical restraint would be necessary to safeguard our students. In such cases, “reasonable force” will be used to prevent violence, injury or self-harm. By “reasonable force” we refer to the broad range of actions used by most teachers that involve a degree of physical contact students (e.g. guiding a child to safety by the arm, standing between students or blocking a student’s path). When using reasonable force in response to risks presented by incidents involving students, staff must consider these risks carefully.
For more information, please refer to the school’s internal Physical Restraint Procedure.
2.5. INTIMATE CARE
The school will actively encourage children to change themselves (if required due to a toilet accident or activities as result of water play, messy play, weather) enabling them to build upon their personal intimate care skills. Should a child need assistance in changing, an adult will assist him / her whilst the toilet door remains open.
2.6. PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT
The school will constantly engage parents with their child’s school experience, through effective communication and relevant information on their children, and by addressing concerns they may have.
3. SAFEGUARDING STRUCTURE
To give effect to the school’s safeguarding strategy, Arbor has established a Safeguarding Team, which is led by the school’s Principal and comprised by competent experts in safeguarding issues. They are fully trained to promptly detect and respond to child protection related issues, as well as to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare, safeguarding and child protection matters.
Importantly, the school’s safeguarding policy and procedure including relevant contact information and identification of the safeguarding structure will be available for staff, volunteers, students, parents and any other member of the school community.
The school’s safeguarding team is comprised by:
3.1. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (“DSL”) will assume primary responsibility for all safeguarding and child protection matters arising at the school. He will, supported by the Designated Senior Persons (“DSPs”), ensure the successful execution of the tasks herein outlined. The DSPs will act as first point contact with students, staff, volunteers and parents, receiving safeguarding and child protection concerns and escalating them to the DSL. They may also, in a long-term absence of the DSL, assume her / his functions to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of all our students. However, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, as set above, must remain with the DSL.
The DSL will:
- Ensure all staff, including volunteers and third parties, receive relevant training on safeguarding and child protection issues; best practices and expected behaviour;
Raise awareness (through clear and effective communication) of all safeguarding and child protection policies, procedures and practices applicable to students, staff, parents and external parties, ensuring that these are known, understood and used appropriately;
Act as a source of advice, support and expertise to all staff and volunteers who may have a concern;
Be available to receive, discuss and clarify any concern that children, staff, volunteers or parents may have related to safeguarding and child protection issues;
Liaise with external agencies and services, in particular The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (“KHDA”) and The Community Development Authority (“CDA”) to improve the effectiveness of the school’s safeguarding framework;
Provide continuity to child protection issues, reported by children, staff, volunteers, or parents / carers; and decide the appropriate level of response to specifics concerns about a child;
Notify, in a timely and effective manner, about cases of suspected child neglect and / or abuse, to the relevant authorities and / or police;
Keep accurate safeguarding records of individual children separate from their academic file, marked as “Strictly Confidential”; and
Regularly brief the school’s Board of Governors on the effectiveness of the school’s safeguarding framework; outcomes and challenges of its implementation.
4. TRAINING AWARENESS
All staff must receive relevant safeguarding and child protection training on an annual basis to have the knowledge and necessary skills to carry out their role effectively. They must also be aware of Arbor’s safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.
Staff working in HR must undertake appropriate training in safer recruitment, and at least one person with safe recruitment training must be part of the recruitment panel.
The school safeguarding team must undergo specific training to fulfil their responsibilities, which shall be updated every two years.
In addition to their formal training as set out above, all school staff must receive, at regular intervals, and at least annually, updated information to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
For more information, please refer to the school’s internal Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy.
ABBREVIATIONS AND DEFINITIONS