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Safeguarding and Child protection policy

Quality Assurance and Partnership Team

Safeguarding and Standards Advisors Schools

 

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School

 

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

 

Date of policy     Autumn Term 2021

Date reviewed by the Governing

Body/Committee

Delegated to Safeguarding Governor on 07.10.2021

Member of staff responsible in

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School

Alex Ryan
Review dateAutumn Term 2022                        

 

Safeguarding Policy

 

Headteacher – Catherine Cresswell

 

 

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy 2020/21

 

Named Designated Safeguarding Lead(s)

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Deputy

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead(s)

Nominated

Safeguarding

Governor

Chair of Governors

Catherine CresswellAlexandra RyanFiona HydenBarbara Southcott

 

Named personnel with designated responsibility regarding allegations against staff

 

Designated

Senior Manager

(this would

normally be the

Head teacher)

Deputy

Designated

Senior Manager

Chair of GovernorsNominated Governor
Catherine CresswellAlexandra RyanBarbara SouthcottFiona Hyden

 

 

Child Protection Policy

 

Contents 

1 Introduction

 

2 Our School’s Commitment

2.1 Safeguarding and promoting welfare of children

2.2 Child Protection

2.3 Our Approach to Safeguarding Children 

 

3. Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 All staff and volunteers will:

 

4 Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) (DSL) 

4.1 Referrals

4.2 Training

4.3 Raising Awareness

 

5. Our Head Teacher will ensure that:

 

6. Our Governing Body/ Board of Trustees

 

7. Supporting Children and Working in Partnership with Parents

 

8.  Information about Safeguarding for Pupils

 

9. A Partnership Approach

 

10. Identifying children who may be at risk or may have been significantly harmed

10.1. Definitions and Indicators of Abuse

10.2 Physical Abuse

10.3 Emotional Abuse

10.4 Sexual Abuse

10.5 Neglect

 

11. Taking action to ensure that children are safe at school and home

 

12.  Responding to Disclosure 

 

13. Confidentiality 

 

14: Pupil Information

 

15.  Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in their absence) 

15.1 Action following a Safeguarding Referral 

15.2 Dealing with Disagreements and Escalation of Concerns

 

16. Safer Recruitment and Selection

 

17. Safe Practice

 

18. The use of ‘reasonable force’

 

19. School Safeguarding, Child Protection Training and Staff Induction

 

20. Extended School and Off-Site Arrangements

 

21. Allegations regarding person(s) working in or on behalf of the school (including volunteers

21.1 Initial Action by person receiving or identifying an allegation or concern

21.2 Initial Action by the Headteacher 

21.3 Subsequent Action by the Headteacher (or designated person)

 

22. Children with special educational needs and disabilities

 

23. Mental Health

 

24. Further Information on Safeguarding Issues

24.1 Bullying

24.2 Online Safety

24.3 Filters and monitoring

24.5 Photography and Images

24.6 Children missing from Education

24.7 Elective Home Education (EHE)

24.8 Children who harm others. 

24.9 Peer on peer abuse

 

 

25.  Sexual Violence and Sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges.

25.1 Upskirting

 

26. Child Exploitation 

26.1 Child Sexual Exploitation

26.2 County Lines

26.3 Sexual Violence and Sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges. 

 

27.  Assessment of Risk outside the home (prev Contextual Safeguarding)

 

28. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 

28.1 FGM Mandatory reporting duty 

28.2 So called honour Based Abuse

 

29. Preventing radicalisation and extremism.

29.1 Channel  

 

30 Children with family members in prison 

 

31 Operation Encompass

 

32 Homelessness

 

33 References

 

Appendices 

 

Appendix 1. 

 

Useful contacts

 

 

1: Introduction

 

Everyone at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School  who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School staff are particularly important in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as we are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children.  School staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children to prevent concerns from escalating. We will work with Children’s Social Care, the Police, Health services and other relevant agencies to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

 

This policy applies to all staff, including the Senior Leadership Team, teachers volunteers, trainee teachers, non-teaching staff, contractors and/or apprentices, working in or on behalf of the school. It provides information about the actions the school expects from all staff, it will be updated annually and known to everyone working in the school and the governing body.  It will be available to parents on request and via our website.

This policy is in line with statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2019.

 

Everyone working in or for our school must share the objective to help keep children and young people safe by:

  • Providing a safe environment for children and young people to learn and develop in our school setting
  • Identifying and responding to ‘early help’ needs of children and families
  • Identifying children and young people who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and taking appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in our school setting
  • Maintaining a culture of vigilance and an attitude of ‘It could happen here’.

 

 2. Our School’s Commitment

 

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our pupils. Each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance. Throughout this document ‘children’ includes everyone under the age of 18.

 

 

2.1 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

Protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable children to have the best outcomes.

 

 

2.2 Child Protection

Refers to procedures and actions undertaken regarding children who are at risk of Significant harm or have been significantly harmed.

We as a school recognise that:

 

  • Some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse including those missing education, those experiencing extra-familial risk or with a special educational need or disability.
  • Children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way; subsequently whilst at school their behaviour may be disruptive and/or challenging.
  • Children can be both victims and perpetrators of abuse.
  • Children who harm others may have been maltreated themselves.
  • Allegations against staff can be made, however careful and safe our recruitment practices are. 

 

2.3 Our Approach to Safeguarding Children

  • We will ensure all staff are aware of their safeguarding and child protection responsibilities 
  •  All staff have appropriate training to ensure they are able to identify children and young people where concerns about their safety and welfare arise.
  • We will ensure all staff and pupils know they can raise issues with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (or Deputy DSL) and that their concerns will be taken seriously.
  • There will always be a DSL (or Deputy DSL) on site.
  • All DSLs (or Deputy DSLs) will have appropriate training and understanding of how to manage concerns in an effective way with the welfare of children and young people as their primary focus.

 

3. Roles and Responsibilities

 

3.1 All staff and volunteers will:

  • Fully comply with the school’s policies and procedures, attend appropriate training, and inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead of any concerns. The Governing body will ensure that the mechanisms are in place to support all staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities to safeguarding all pupils in our school.
  • The Senior Leadership team, DSLs and Deputy DSLs and the Governing Body will read and sign to say they have read the full guidance of ‘Keeping Children safe in Education 2021 (KCSiE 2021)
  • All teaching staff, TAs’ and support staff will read and sign to say they have read and understood  Part one of KCSiE 2021
  • All staff in the school who do not work directly with children will read and sign to say they have read and understood Annex A of KCSiE 2021.

 

4. Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) (DSL) 

 

 4.1 Referrals

  • The DSL will act as a source of support, advice and expertise within our school and have access to the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership, guidance and Procedures (PDSCP).

  • Consult with and/or refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to Children’s Social Care and maintain a record of all referrals.

  • Liaise with the Headteacher to advise of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role.

  • Attend and contribute to safeguarding and child protection meetings as appropriate.

  • Monitor and support Child in Need and Child Protection plans;

  • Keep detailed, accurate and securely stored written or electronic records, which will include the outcomes of all actions taken. 

   

 4.2 Training

  • Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and know when it is appropriate to make a referral to children’s social care;

  • Have knowledge of the PDSCP Escalation policy and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) role

  • The process of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these;

  • Ensure that all staff have access to and understand the school’s safeguarding policy and Child Protection Policy. 

  • Ensure that all staff have induction safeguarding training and receive regular updates.

  • Access resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least every two years.

 

 4.3 Raising Awareness

  • The DSL will ensure the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is updated and reviewed annually and work with the Governing Body regarding this.

  • Ensure parents are made aware of the safeguarding policy which alerts them to the fact that referrals may be made and the role of the school in this to avoid conflict later.

  • Where a child leaves the school, ensure the child protection file is copied for the new setting in a timely manner and transferred to the new school separately from the main pupil file, as well as ensure the pupil’s Social Worker is informed.

  • The DSL and the Safeguarding Governor will Complete the Annual Audit return for the PDSCP, to ensure that the school is meeting its requirements under statutory guidance. 

 

 5. Our Head Teacher will ensure that:

  • The policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are fully implemented and followed by all staff.

  • All pupils are provided with opportunities throughout the curriculum to learn about safeguarding, including keeping themselves safe online, relationship education and extra-familial risks including exploitation.

  • Sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the deputy to carry out their roles effectively, including the attendance at initial and review child protection conferences, core group and other necessary meetings.

  • All staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with the agreed Whistle Blowing Policy.

  • They have completed Safer Recruitment training.

  • The procedure for managing allegations against staff is known to staff and displayed in the staff room.

  • Operate the procedure for managing allegations effectively and refer relevant concerns to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

  • That anyone who has harmed or may pose a risk to a child is referred to the DBS and any other relevant professional body.

  • A senior manager is appointed to deal with allegations against staff in the absence of the Headteacher.

 

  6. Our Governing Body will ensure that: 

  • The school has a Safeguarding Policy with procedures in place that are in accordance with statutory guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures. The policy is made available to parents on request and via our website.
  • The school operates safer recruitment procedures and makes sure that all appropriate checks are carried out on staff and volunteers who work with children
  • The school follows the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership, guidance, and the statutory guidance Keeping Safe in Education 2021, for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers.
  • A senior member of the school’s leadership team is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding (and deputy).
  • There is a named Governor for safeguarding and DSL and DDSL within the school.
  • Ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) at induction.
  • Staff Comply with the Pan Dorset Safeguarding children Partnership, (PDSCP) guidance
  • They remedy, without delay, any deficiencies, or weaknesses regarding safeguarding arrangements
  • A Governor is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the LADO (Safeguarding Governor) and /or partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Headteacher, taking appropriate action to minimise any further possible risk to the children in our school.
  • Where services or activities are provided on the school premises by another group or individual, the school will check they have appropriate policies and procedures in place to safeguard children and have ‘hire agreements’ with external groups and individuals.
  • Prevent guidance will be followed to ensure any hire agreements with external groups and individuals are not promoting extremist ideologies.
  • Policies and procedures are reviewed annually and provide information to the Local Authority as part of the annual Audit about how the above duties have been discharged.

 

  7. Supporting Children and Working in Partnership with Parents

  • Staff at the school recognise that children’s welfare is paramount. Good safeguarding, child protection practice and securing good outcomes for children rely on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents/carers.
  • Whilst we may, on occasion, need to make referrals to Children’s Social Care without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect children.
  • Children will be given an explanation, appropriate to their age and understanding of what action is being taken on their behalf and why.
  • We will endeavour to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents/carers whilst discharging our statutory duties.
  • The DSL will determine which members of staff ‘need to know’ personal information for the purpose of supporting and protecting the child on the principle of, “those working directly with children” will need to know in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.
  • Staff will not be enabled to share this information further without the expressed permission of the DSL.

 

8.  Information about Safeguarding for Pupils

Through the curriculum and lessons pupils are taught to understand and manage risks they may encounter during school life and work out with staff how these risks may be overcome, considering their wishes and feelings.

 

  • They are regularly reminded about online safety and bullying procedures and taught how to conduct themselves and behave in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Opportunities are provided for children to learn about democracy and the rule of law, positive relationships and safe choices.
  • All pupils know there is a DSL responsible for their safety and welfare, who this is and that they have a right to speak to this member of staff, or any other, if they are worried or concerned.
  • Pupils are reminded that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, but that they will be listened to, heard and informed of what steps can be taken to protect them from harm and that feedback will be sought, so that their views about actions are known.
  • There is a display in the school identifying the DSLs and children are made aware of this.
  •  

9. A Partnership Approach

We recognise that it is essential to establish positive and effective working relationships with other agencies that are partners of  the  Pan Dorset Safeguarding children Partnership.  There is a joint responsibility on all these agencies to share information to ensure the safeguarding of all children, working together to secure positive outcomes.

This will include:

  • Social workers/ police attending the school following a Strategy discussion, which has found a child to be at risk of significant harm.
  • We will ensure that all staff are aware of the Early Help Services available in order to make timely referrals for support
  • The appropriate member of staff will attend /lead on Team Around the Family (TAF) and Team around the child (Tac) meetings as required.

 

10. Identifying children who may be at risk or may have been significantly harmed

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

Teachers, staff and volunteers in school are well placed to observe any physical, emotional or behavioural signs which indicate that a child may have additional needs or be at risk of or suffering significant harm. The relationships between staff, pupils, parents/carers and the public which foster respect, confidence and trust can lead to disclosures of abuse, and/or school staff being alerted to concerns.

 

10.1. Definitions and Indicators of Abuse

 

 

  • Harm means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
  • Development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development
  • Health includes physical and mental health
  • Ill-treatment includes sexual abuse and other forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.
  • Abuse and Neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them, or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, another child, children or young people. 

 

10.2 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.

 

10.3 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 a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.

It may include:

  • Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.

  • Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability,

  • Overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

  • Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.

  • Serious bullying (including cyber 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, though it may occur alone.

 

10.4 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 because of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food and clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caretakers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

 

10.5 Sexual Abuse Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.

  • The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
  • They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities.
  • Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).

Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

 

11. Taking action to ensure that children are safe at school and home

 

All staff must read and follow the statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Safeguarding Information for All Staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021. (See S3.1)

It is not the responsibility of school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. Accordingly, all concerns regarding the welfare of pupils will be recorded and discussed with the DSL or the Deputy DSL prior to any discussion with parents/carers.

 

All School Staff Must Immediately Report

  • Any suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play.
  • Any explanation given which appears inconsistent or suspicious.
  • Behaviours which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm.
  • Any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment, or emotional maltreatment.
  • Concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect.
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance.
  • Any hint or disclosure of abuse about or by a child or young person.
  • Concerns regarding person(s) who may pose a risk to children (e.g. those living in a household with children present).
  • Information which indicates that the child is living with someone who does not have parental responsibility for them for a period of more than 28 days (This is known as Private Fostering).

 

12.  Responding to Disclosure 

Disclosures or information that a child has been harmed may be received from pupils, parents/carers, other professionals or members of the public. The school recognises that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak.  Accordingly, all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity.

Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the DSL and make a record using clear, straightforward language.

Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, listen, record and pass on information to the DSL in order that s/he can make an informed decision of what to do next.

 

All staff will:

  • Listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm
  • Clarify the information without asking leading or probing questions
  • Make a written record of what the child has said using My Concern.
  • Try to keep questions to a minimum and of an ‘open’ nature e.g. ‘Can you tell me what happened?’ rather than ‘Did x hit you?
  • Try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise
  • Will not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child
  • Explain sensitively to the child or young person that they have a responsibility to pass the information to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Reassure and support the child or young person as far as possible
  • Not promise secrecy
  • Explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told
  • Explain what will happen next and that the child will be involved as appropriate.

 

13. Confidentiality 

Information sharing is essential for effective safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. It is a key factor identified in many Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews (CSPR) where poor information sharing has resulted in missed opportunities to take action that keeps children and young people safe. (Ref: 2018. Information sharing. Advice for practitioners providing Safeguarding Services to children, young people, parents and carers. HM Government)

 

The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 does not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children and young people safe. (Ref: 2018. Information sharing.  Advice for practitioners providing Safeguarding Services to children, young people, parents and carers. HM Government)

 

Our School has a clear and explicit Confidentiality Policy. However, where there is a concern that the child may be suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the child’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration. (as stated above)

The school will ensure:

  • Information is shared with Children’s Social Care and/or Police where the child/young person is or may be at risk of significant harm.
  • Pupil’s and/or parent’s/carer’s confidentiality is respected.
  • That any information shared is necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure.

 

14: Pupil Information

The school’s record-keeping policy for child welfare and child protection is consistent with the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership, guidance which is known to all staff.

In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, our school requires accurate and up to date information regarding:

  • Names and contact details of persons with whom the child normally lives.
  • Names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above).
  • Emergency contact details (if different from above).
  • Details of any persons authorised to collect the child from school (if different from above).
  • Any relevant court orders in place including those, which affect any person’s access to the child (e.g. Residence Order, Contact Order, Care Order, Injunctions etc.).
  • If the child is or has been subject to a Child in Need, Child Protection or Care Plan.
  • Name and contact detail of GP.
  • Any other factors which may impact on the safety and welfare of the child.

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will collate, securely store and agree appropriate access to this Child Protection information.

All child protection documents will be retained in a ‘Child Protection’ file, separate from the child’s main school file. The main file will clearly show an alert that a child protection file exists and the location of this. This child protection file will be securely stored and only accessible to the Headteacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead. These records will be transferred when a child moves to another school or setting, clearly marked ‘Child Protection, Confidential, for attention of Designated Safeguarding Lead’.

 

15.  Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in their absence) 

Following any information raising concern, the DSL will:

  • Consider the child ‘s wishes and feelings, but not promise confidentiality
  • Consider any urgent medical needs of the child
  • Make an immediate referral via a discussion with Children’s Advice and Duty Service (ChAD) if there has been a disclosure and/or allegation of abuse or there are clear grounds for concerns about the child’s safety and well-being
  • Wherever possible, talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk
  • Consider whether to make a child protection referral to social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately
  • Contact the designated officer for safeguarding in another agency if that agency is working with the family

OR

  •  Decide not to make a referral at this stage, but retain the information in written notes on the child’s school file
  • Consider if Early Help support will be helpful to the child and family at this time. If this is appropriate referrals will also be progressed via the Dorset - Children's Advice and Duty Service (ChAD).

 

All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented. If a child is resident outside of the Dorset area the referral should be made to their local Social Care services.

 

15.1 Action following a Safeguarding Referral 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead or other appropriate member of staff will:

  • Maintain contact with the child’s allocated Social Worker
  • Contribute to any Strategy Discussion and/or Strategy Meeting as required
  • Provide a report for, attend and contribute to any initial or review Child Protection Conference
  • Provide a written report to the conference organiser, 3 days prior to the Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) or 5 days prior to the Review Child Protection Conference (RCPC)
  • Share the content of this report with the parent/carer, prior to the meeting
  • Attend Core Group Meetings for any child subject to a Child Protection Plan, Attend TAF meetings in order to be part of a plan for the child/ren.
  •  When a child on a Child Protection Plan moves from the school or goes missing, immediately inform the child’s Social Worker

 

15.2 Dealing with Disagreements and Escalation of Concerns

Effective working together depends on an open approach and honest relationships between agencies and professionals. Problem resolution is an integral part of professional co-operation and joint working to safeguard children. Occasionally situations arise when workers within one agency feel that the actions, or decisions of another agency do not adequately safeguard a child. The Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership; escalations policy should be used in such circumstances.

Professional disagreements can arise in a number of areas, but are most likely to arise around:

  • Levels of need
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • The need for action
  • Progressing plans and communication.

Where school staff consider that the practice of other professionals is placing children at risk of harm, they must be assertive, act swiftly and ensure that they challenge the relevant professionals in line with this policy and be aware that:

  • The safety of children and young people are the paramount consideration in any professional activity.
  • Resolution should be sought within the shortest timescale possible to ensure the child is protected.
  • As a guide, professionals should attempt to resolve differences through discussion within one working week or a timescale that protects the child from harm (whichever is shortest).
  • Disagreements should be resolved at the lowest possible stage.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead or other appropriate member of staff will:

  • Contact the line manager in Children’s Social Care if they consider the response to a referral has not led to the child being adequately safeguarded.
  • Contact the line manager in Children’s Social Care if they consider that the child is not being adequately safeguarded by the child protection plan.
  • Use the PDSCP escalation policy if this does not resolve the concern.: https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_escalation.html

 

 

16. Safer Recruitment and Selection

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School pays full regard to the statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Keeping Safe in Education 2021- Part three, Safer recruitment.

We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school and who is therefore likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult. This includes volunteers, supervised volunteers and staff employed by contractors.

Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic/vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and checks with the Disclosure and barring service (DBS)

In line with statutory changes, underpinned by regulations, the following will apply:          

  • DBS and barred list checks will be undertaken for all posts that are deemed regulated activity, and for all other posts an enhanced DBS check will be undertaken unless they are supervised roles that are deemed not to meet the definition of regulated activity.(KCSiE 2021 pg. 56)
  • Our school is committed to keeping an up to date Single Central Record which details a range of checks carried out on our staff.
  • All new appointments to our school workforce who have lived outside the UK will be subject to additional checks as appropriate.
  • Our school ensures that supply staff have undergone the necessary checks and will be made aware of this Safeguarding Policy.
  • Identity checks must be carried out on all appointments to our school workforce before the appointment is made as part of the recruitment process.
  • Staff responsible for recruiting and appointing must be suitably qualified and have completed training on recruitment and selection, with a minimum of one trained staff member sitting on interview panels.

 

17. Safe Practice

 

Our school will comply with the current  ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with children and young people in education settings’ (2019)   ensuring that information in this guidance regarding conduct, is known to all staff, visitors and volunteers who come into the school. https://www.saferrecruitmentconsortium.org/

Safe working practice ensures that pupils are safe and that all staff:

  • Are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions.
  • Work in an open, honest and transparent way.
  • Work with other colleagues where possible in situations that could be open to question.
  • Discuss and/or take advice from the Head Teacher or DSL over any incident which may give rise for concern.
  • Record any incidents or decisions made.
  • Apply professional standards respectfully in relation to diversity issues.
  • Be aware of information-sharing and confidentiality policies.
  • Are aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them.

 

18. The use of ‘Reasonable force’

We do not  routinely  use any form of physical contact in order to  manage the children however  there may be occasions when the school staff have to physically restrain pupils using ‘reasonable force’ only to prevent them from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.  This may include guiding a child to safety by the arm, or breaking up a fight, to prevent violence or injury and this action should be taken using no more force than is needed. (Pg.39 KCSiE 2021) Physical restraint is used as a last resort. If a child has some additional needs, a care plan will be put in place to address  actions to be taken prior to using any  form of   positive handling, this may be by distraction techniques,  removing any objects which could cause harm to the child,  and using de-escalation strategies.

 

  • School staff will familiarise themselves with the Department for Education’s guidance regarding use of reasonable force in school.  ‘Use of Reasonable force, Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies’ July 2013.  and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021’ pgs.39-40.
  • Will  follow the school’s Behaviour Policy.   The school will offer training to staff in appropriate use of physical intervention and/or restraint.

 

19. School Safeguarding, Child Protection Training and Staff Induction

The school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and Governor with designated responsibility for safeguarding will undertake appropriate safeguarding and child protection training and refresher training at two yearly intervals. 

 

All other school staff, including non-teaching staff, will undertake appropriate induction training and safeguarding/child protection training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding effectively, training will be updated regularly, including a yearly update. The school will maintain a register of who has undertaken training and when.

 

All staff (including temporary staff, volunteers, supervised volunteers and staff employed by contractors) are provided with the school’s safeguarding policy and informed of school’s safeguarding arrangements on induction. The school will maintain a register of who has received this information and when.

 

20. 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 continue to apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site, we will ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures.

 

When our pupils attend off-site activities, including day and residential visits and/or other activities, we will ensure that effective safeguarding arrangements are in place.  We will also undertake appropriate and robust risk assessments for the venue, location, and activity to be undertaken in accordance with the school’s Risk Assessment protocol.

 

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) Part 4Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff, including supply staff and volunteers.

Where an allegation is made against any person working in, or on behalf of the school, that he or she has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she will pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children

Whilst we acknowledge that some allegations may be false, malicious, or misplaced, we also acknowledge that they may be founded. It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly, in line with agreed procedures and that outcomes are recorded.  All school staff will maintain a culture of vigilance based on the notion that ‘it could happen here’, in line with the Staff code of conduct.

Staff will be encouraged to use the Whistle Blowing Policy  if they have concerns regarding the conduct or behaviour of a colleague and they feel that matter has not been addressed appropriately by the school.

 

 

21.1 Initial Action by person receiving or identifying an allegation or concern

  • Treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind.
  • Make a written record of the information using My Concern,  including the time, date and place of incident/s, persons present and what was said and sign and date this.
  • Immediately report the matter to the Headteacher or designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (unless the allegation is against the Headteacher or DSL, in which case the Chair of Governors must be reported to).

21.2 Initial Action by the Headteacher

  • Obtain written details of the concern or allegation, but do not investigate or interview child, adult or witnesses.
  • Contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within 1 working day.
  • Inform the Chair of Governors of the allegation.

21.3 Subsequent Action by the Headteacher (or designated person)

    • In consultation with HR Advisory Team conduct a disciplinary investigation, if an allegation indicates the need for this
    • Contribute to the child protection process by attending professional strategy meetings.
    • Maintain contact with HR Advisory Team.
    • Ensure clear and comprehensive records regarding the allegation, and action taken, and outcome are retained on the staff member’s personnel file
    • Consider along with Human Resources and the LADO whether a referral to the DBS should be made.

 

22. Children with special educational needs and disabilities

 

All schools have a duty to use their ‘best endeavours’ to identify and support pupils with SEN and meet their educational needs.

 

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges, SEND children can be up to four times more likely to be abused due to additional vulnerabilities. We will ensure a culture of vigilance that reflects the fact that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. These can include:

  • Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s SEND without further exploration.
  • The potential for children with SEND being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • Communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

Our SEND Lead is Angela Brown.

 

 23. Mental Health 

 

All of the staff have an awareness that mental health problems can in some cases be an indicator that a child is or has suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation. 

The staff would not attempt to make a Mental health diagnosis. However, the staff are in a good position to observe the children on a daily basis and therefore identify those whose behaviour indicates they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.

When children have suffered adverse childhood experiences, this may impact on them throughout their lives. This can also then have an impact on their behaviour, their ability to learn and affect their mental health. 

If staff have a concern about the mental health of a child, they will follow school policy and report their concerns to the DSL. Mental health and behaviour in schools (publishing.service.gov.uk)

 

24. Further Information on Safeguarding Issues

 

Safeguarding covers more than the contribution made to child protection processes in relation to individual children. It also encompasses issues such as pupil health and safety, bullying, arrangements for meeting the medical needs of children, including first aid, school security, drugs and substance misuse, gang related activity and promoting positive behaviour.

Below are some of the issues that all staff at our school take seriously and will act in line with the safeguarding policy to ensure children are safe.

 

24.1 Bullying

 

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally. Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences. Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical.

 

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. At its most serious level bullying can have a significant effect on a child’s wellbeing and in very rare cases has been a feature in the suicide of some young people.

All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying must 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 (PSHE) curriculum. If the bullying is particularly serious, or the anti-bullying procedures are deemed to be ineffective, the Headteacher and the DSL will consider implementing safeguarding procedures.

 

For further information please see the DEF guidance, Preventing and Tackling Bullying, (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/)  and our school’s Anti-bullying Policy.

 

 

24.2 Online Safety

 

The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material.
  • Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users. 
  • Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm
  • Commerce: risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/ or financial scams. (Pg. 33 KCSiE2021)

If there is a concern that a pupil or member of staff are at risk, it should be reported to the Anti- Phishing Working Group (https://apwg.org/)

 

The school recognises that its pupils will use mobile phones and computers at some time. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. However, we know that some adults 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, behaviours, web cam photography or face-to-face meetings.  Cyber-bullying by pupils via emails and texts will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and managed through our anti-bullying procedures.

 

Chatrooms and social networking sites are the most obvious sources of inappropriate and harmful content and behaviour, which pupils are not allowed to access in school. Some pupils will undoubtedly ‘chat’ on mobiles or social networking sites at home and the school encourages parents to consider measures to keep their children safe when using social media.

 

The school has an Online Safety Policy that is known to all staff and pupils.

 

24.3 Filters and monitoring 

 

The Governing body will do all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school’s IT system. As part of this process, the governing bodies will ensure there are appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place. Whilst considering their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and provide them with a safe environment in which to learn, taking into consideration the age range and number of pupils, and how often they access the IT system. The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems will be informed in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty.

(https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/).

 

Whilst filtering and monitoring are an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. The Governors will consider a whole school approach to online safety which will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school E Safety Policy (pg. 33 keeping Children safe in education  2021

The governing body will ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place, ensuring that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regard to online teaching and safeguarding.

 

Governors will ensure that, as part of the requirement for staff to undertake regularly updated safeguarding training and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.  The Governing body must complete Safeguarding training on appointment to their role and the Chair and Safeguarding Lead governor must undertake training every 2 years

 

 

24.4 Information and support. 

 

There is a wealth of information available to ensure our school/college keep children safe online.

These include:

  • UKCIS.   Online Safety in schools and Colleges:  Questions for the governing board.
  • NSPCC.  Provides online advice regarding online safety arrangements.
  • Smoothwall provides advice on all aspects of a school online safety arrangements.

 

  • 24.5 Photography and Images

 

Most of the people who take, or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely understandable and acceptable reasons. However, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have safeguards in place.

To protect pupils, we will:

  • Seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for e.g. on our website or in newspapers or publications)
  • Seek parental consent.
  • Use only the pupil’s first name with an image.
  • Ensure pupils are appropriately dressed
  • Only use school equipment to make images of children (no personal devices are permitted for this purpose)
  • Encourage pupils to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them

            

     

 

24.6 Children Missing From Education

 

All staff understand that a child who is persistently missing from school may be at risk of a range of safeguarding issues, criminal exploitation, including neglect child sexual abuse, child sexual and criminal exploitation.

School staff will follow the local guidance available on the Pan Dorset Safeguarding children partnership website and where reasonably possible, the school will hold three emergency contact numbers for each pupil.  This goes beyond the legal minimum and is good practice as it provides additional options to contact a responsible adult when a child is missing from education. (https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_ch_miss_care_home_ed.html ).

 

24.7 Elective Home Education (EHE)

 

Where parents inform our school that they wish to 'home educate' their child, they must do so in writing,  our school will inform the Elective Home Education administrator (EHE) who will implement the ‘Elective Home Education’ procedure.  https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/education-and-training/schools-and-learning/elective-home-education-ehe-information-for-parents.aspx

 

24.8 Children who harm others

 

Our school recognises that the harm caused to children by the harmful and bullying behaviour of other children can be significant.  Children who harm others should be held responsible for their harmful behaviour and the school staff alerted to the fact that they are likely to pose a risk to other children in the school, home and community.

Where this harm involves sexual abuse, serious physical or serious emotional abuse, the safeguarding procedures set out in this policy will be applied. This school recognises that children who harm others are likely to have considerable needs themselves and may have experienced or be experiencing significant harm themselves.

Where a child has caused significant harm to another child, through sexual abuse or serious physical or emotional abuse, the school will make separate referrals to Children’s Social Care for the victim(s) and perpetrator(s).

Such children and young people are likely to be children in need, and some will, in addition, be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm, and may themselves be in need of protection. Children and young people who abuse others should be held responsible for their abusive behaviour, while being identified and responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others.

 

24.9 Peer on Peer Abuse

 

Children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse) and it can take many forms. It can happen both inside and outside of school/college and online. It is important that all staff recognise the indicators and signs of peer on peer abuse and know how to identify it and respond to reports. This can include (but is not limited to): bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying); abuse within intimate partner relationships; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; sexual violence and sexual harassment; consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos; causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party; up skirting and initiation/hazing type violence and rituals. Addressing inappropriate behaviour (even if it appears to be relatively innocuous) can be an important intervention that helps prevent problematic, abusive and/or violent behaviour in the future. (pg. 135 KCSiE2021)

 

25. Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges

 

 

Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any sex. They can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children (pg. 99 KCSiE2021)

Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, in all likelihood, adversely affect their educational attainment. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physical and verbal) and are never acceptable. It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support. Schools and colleges should consider the following:

• It is more likely that girls will be the victims of sexual violence and more likely that sexual harassment will be perpetrated by boys. Cerne Abbas CE VC First School ensure that all staff are aware of the importance of:

• Making clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up.

• Not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as “banter”, “part of growing up”, “just having a laugh” or “boys being boys”; and

• Challenging behaviours (which are potentially criminal in nature), such as grabbing bottoms, breasts, vaginas and penises. Dismissing or tolerating such behaviours risks normalising them. • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can be especially vulnerable. Disabled and deaf children are three times more likely to be abused than their peers. Additional barriers can sometimes exist when recognising abuse in SEND children. We will ensure we have plans in place to support all of the children at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School are protected and any additional needs are taken into consideration as part of this process.

When, we as a school, consider issues of sexual violence and harassment between children we will seek support from our children’s social care partners.

 

 

25.1 Up skirting

 

The Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019, which is commonly known as the Up skirting Act, came into force on 12 April 2019. ‘Up skirting’ is where someone takes a picture under a person’s clothing (not necessarily a skirt) without their permission and or knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear) to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm. It is a criminal offence. Anyone of any sex, can be a victim. We will ensure that all staff act immediately should an incident of Up skirting arise in our school and report this to the police /social care immediately.

 

26 Child Criminal Exploitation

 

As set out in the Serious Violence Strategy published by the Home Office, criminal exploitation is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child criminal exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/serious-violence-strategy)

 

 

26.1 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

 

CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).

 

The definition of child sexual exploitation is as follows:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur using technology.

 

Child sexual exploitation is a complex form of abuse and it can be difficult for those working with children to identify and assess. The indicators for child sexual exploitation can sometimes be mistaken for ‘normal adolescent behaviours. It requires knowledge, skills, professional curiosity and an assessment which analyses the risk factors and personal circumstances of individual children to ensure that the signs and symptoms are interpreted correctly, and appropriate support is given. Even where a young person is old enough to legally consent to sexual activity, the law states that consent is only valid where they make a choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. If a child feels they have no other meaningful choice, are under the influence of harmful substances or fearful of what might happen if they don’t comply (all of which are common features in cases of child sexual exploitation) consent cannot legally be given whatever the age of the child.

Child sexual exploitation is never the victim’s fault, even if there is some form of exchange: all children and young people under the age of 18 have a right to be safe and should be protected from harm.

 

One of the key factors found in most cases of child sexual exploitation is the presence of some form of exchange (sexual activity in return for something); for the victim and/or perpetrator or facilitator.

 

Where it is the victim who is offered, promised or given something they need or want, the exchange can include both tangible (such as money, drugs or alcohol) and intangible rewards (such as status, protection or perceived receipt of love or affection). It is critical to remember the unequal power dynamic within which this exchange occurs and to remember that the receipt of something by a child/young person does not make them any less of a victim. It is also important to note that the prevention of something negative can also fulfil the requirement for exchange, for example a child who engages in sexual activity to stop someone carrying out a threat to harm his/her family.

 

Whilst there can be gifts or treats involved in other forms of sexual abuse (e.g. a father who sexually abuses but also buys the child toys) it is most likely referred to as child sexual exploitation if the ‘exchange’, as the core dynamic at play, results in financial gain for or enhanced status of, the perpetrator. Where the gain is only for the perpetrator/facilitator, there is most likely a financial gain (money, discharge of a debt or free/discounted goods or services) or increased status as a result of the abuse. If sexual gratification, or exercise of power and control, is the only gain for the perpetrator (and there is no gain for the child/young person) this would not normally constitute child sexual exploitation, but should be responded to as a different form of child sexual abuse.

 

If, as a school, we are concerned a child is being sexually exploited we will follow the procedures set out in this document and make reference to the local guidance provided by the PAN Dorset safeguarding Partnership.

 

Further guidance can be obtained from ‘Child sexual exploitation Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation can be useful when considering cases of CSE’. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/591903/CSE_Guidance_Core_Document_13.02.2017.pdf)

 

26.2 County Lines

 

As set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, published by the Home Office, County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money, and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.

 

 

27. Assessment of risk outside the home (prev contextual safeguarding)

 

Assessment of risk outside of the home is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm and risk beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familial abuse can undermine parent-child relationships.  Therefore, children’s social care practitioners and school staff need to engage with individuals and sectors who do have influence over/within extra-familial contexts, and recognise that assessment of, and intervention with, these spaces are a critical part of safeguarding practices. Assessment of risk outside of the home, therefore, expands the objectives of child protection systems in recognition that young people are vulnerable to abuse in a range of social contexts. If, we are concerned a child is being exploited in an extra-familiar context, as previously outlined, we will follow the procedures set out in this document and consult or refer to children’s social care. (https://contextualsafeguarding.org.uk/)

 

28. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 

 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. This procedure is typically performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 13 but on some cases, it is performed on new-born infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy.

If we are concerned that a child may be at risk of FGM we will follow the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Partnership guidance following the referrals procedure.

 

 28.1 FGM Mandatory Reporting Duty 

 

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies.

(https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_referrals.html)

 

28.2 So-called ‘honour-based’ Abuse

 

Honour based abuse is a collection of practices which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups. To protect perceived cultural religious beliefs and or honour.  Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceived that a relative has shamed the family and or the community by breaking the honour code.  For young victims this is a form of child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. It can be distinguished from other forms of violence as it is often committed with some degree of approval and or collusion for family rand or the community members. Women and men, and younger members of the family can all be involved in the abuse. Any suspicion or disclosure of violence or abuse against a child in the name of honour will be treated seriously and an immediate referral to Children’s Social Care will be made with reference to the local Pan Dorset continuum of Need.

(https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_referrals.html)

 

29. Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

 

29. Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

From 1 July 2015 all schools must  have regard to the statutory guidance  issued under  section 29  of the Counter-Terrorism  and Security Act 2015, paragraphs  57-76  of the guidance are in relation to schools and child care providers, and   states that  schools  should have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”

We will fulfil our responsibilities under the Prevent Duty. It is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.

We aim to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. The Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. On the contrary, the school will provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.  We will be mindful of the risk of children being exposed to extremist materials via the internet.

If we are concerned, we will follow safeguarding procedures and refer to the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children’s Partnership’s guidance on Prevent. (https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_sg_ch_extremism.html?zoom_highlight=prevent+duty)

 

 29.1 Channel

 

Channel is a voluntary, confidential support programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. Prevent referrals may be passed to a multi-agency Channel panel, which will discuss the individual referred to determine whether they are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and consider the appropriate support required. A representative from the school or college may be asked to attend the Channel panel to help with this assessment. An individual’s engagement with the, programme is entirely voluntary at all stages.

 

30.  Children with Family members in Prison.

 

There are around 200,00 children in England and Wales who have a parent sent to prison each year. This places the children at risk of poor outcomes, including poverty, stigma and isolation They may also suffer from poor mental health. NICCO provides information for professionals who work with the offender and their children to assist in mitigating the negative consequences for the children.

 

 

31. Operation Encompass

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School is an operation encompass school.

Operation Encompass operates in all police forces across the UK, it assists the police and schools to work together to provide emotional and practical help to children who are victims of Domestic abuse. The system ensures that when police are called to an incident of domestic abuse, where there are children in the household who have experienced the domestic incident, the police will inform the key adult Our Key adults are Catherine Cresswell and Alexandra Ryan,  in school before the child or children arrive at school the following day. This ensures that the school has up to date relevant information about the child’s circumstances and can enable immediate support to be put in place, according to the child’s needs.

 

32. Homelessness

Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) will make a referral into the local housing   Authority should they be concerned that a child in our school is about to become or has become homeless (this does not replace the referral to Children's Social Care when a child/ren are at risk)

Indicators that a family may be at risk of homelessness include household debt, rent arrears, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour, as well as the family being asked to leave a property. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places a new legal duty on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness will have access to meaningful help including an assessment of their needs and circumstances, the development of a personalised housing plan, and work to help them retain their accommodation or find a new place to live.

most cases school and college staff will be considering homelessness in the context of children who live with their families, and intervention will be on that basis. When a child of 16/17 years is homeless and is estranged form parents a referral should be made to Childrens Social Care immediately. (KCSiE2021)

 

33.References

 

Child sexual exploitation. Definition and guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation. (2017)   Department for Education. 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/591903/CSE_Guidance_Core_Document_13.02.2017.pdf . Accessed August 2021 

 

Contextual Safeguarding Network (https://contextualsafeguarding.org.uk/ Accessed August 2021. 

Elective home education (EHE) information for parents. Dorset Council 

https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/education-and-training/schools-and-learning/elective-home-education-ehe-information-for-parents.aspx  Accessed August 2021.

 

Keeping children Safe in Education, statutory guidance for Schools. September 2021. Department for Education.

 

Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools. (2018) DFE. Mental health and behaviour in schools (publishing.service.gov.uk) Accessed August 2021

 

National Information centre on children of offenders. https://www.nicco.org.uk/ Accessed August 2021

 

Operation Encompass  Home : Operation Encompass Accessed Sept 2021.

 

Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP) Policies and Procedures Manual  https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/  accessed August.2021

 

Preventing and Tackling Bullying. Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies. (2017).  Department for Education. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/623895/Preventing_and_tackling_bullying_advice.pdf . Accessed August 2021

 

Serious Violence Strategy. (2018).  HM Government https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/serious-violence-strategy  Accessed August 2021

 

The Prevent duty. Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers (2015) department for Education

 

 

APPENDIX   1

 

Useful contacts

 

Local authority Designated Officer (LADO) 01305 221122

Email: lado@dorsetcc.gov.uk

 

 

Children’s Advice and Duty service (ChaD) 01305 228558

 

 

Safeguarding and Standards Advisor’s Schools

Ann Shaw 01305228329

Louise Dodds 01305228328

Email: SafeguardingAndStandardsAdvisors@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

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