Priestthorpe Primary School
Child Protection Policy April 2012 Reviewed Annually
Agreed by Governors 1.5.12 Review Date May 2014 for GB
Purpose of a child protection policy
At Priestthorpe we believe an effective whole school child protection policy is one, which provides clear direction to staff and others about, expected codes of behaviour in dealing with child protection issues. The aim of our policy is to make explicit the schoolâ€™s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures. This ensures that child protection concerns and referrals may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways which support the needs of the child.
Priestthorpe Primary School Mission Statement: â€œOur purpose is to ensure all children achieve their full potential in every area of school life and become effective lifelong learnersâ€?
Our school fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children and support pupils in school. There are three main elements to our Child Protection policy: a) Prevention: We will create a positive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral, support to all our pupils. b) Protection: We will follow agreed procedures; ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns. c) Support: We will offer support to pupils and school staff and to children who may have been abused. This policy applies to every member of the school community.
We recognise that for children, high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps prevention. Our school will therefore: a) b) c) d)
Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to. Ensure that children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty. Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for PSHCE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse. Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies.
Schools do not operate in isolation. Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Area Child Protection Committee (LCPC).
Roles and responsibilities
All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children. There are, however, key people within schools and the LEA who have specific responsibilities under Child Protection procedures. The names of those carrying these responsibilities for the current year are listed at the end of this policy.
It is the role of the Senior Designated Teacher to be vigilant in cases of suspected child abuse, recognising the signs and symptoms and following the agreed child protection procedures.
The roles and responsibilities of the named governor are to ensure there is a written policy for Child Protection in place and that there are systems in school to manage child protection issues. They should ensure that the relevant members of staff receive adequate training. Training should take place at least every three years and preferably every two. It is not the role of the Child Protection Governor to receive any details relating to specific child protection situations.
We will follow the procedures set out in the red book “Child Protection Guidelines and Agency Procedures”. The policy will be reviewed annually to ensure staff are kept up to date with child protection procedures. All adults working in school will be given a copy of the child protection policy to ensure they know what to do if there are any child protection concerns. Staff new to the school will spend time with a senior member of staff discussing the signs and symptoms of abuse and the importance of passing on any concerns to the named person. To ensure parents are aware of the school’s duties and responsibilities under the Child Protection procedures, we will include a statement in the school’s prospectus. The policy will be available to all on the school web site.
Training and support
Our school will ensure that the Senior Designated Teacher and the nominated governor for Child Protection attend training relevant to their role. Designated teachers attend training every two years. Following training, staff will be updated on current child protection issues during INSET time. A member of staff/ governor, trained in safer recruitment will be present on all interview panels.
Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. We will ensure all members of the school community are aware of the importance of confidentiality. It is important that everyone is aware that they never guarantee confidentiality to a child and that they advise any child, as sensitively as possible, that the information may need to be shared with others.
Records and monitoring
Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our school is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our school, the status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies. Any concerns about the behaviour or welfare of a child are passed on to the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or inclusion Leader who records them. If a teacher has kept any notes on a child these are passed to the Headteacher when a concern is expressed. These records are kept in a secure cabinet in the Headteacherâ€™s office. The Headteacher, as the Senior Designated Person, decides when there is sufficient evidence to warrant a referral. The records are then passed on to the appropriate agencies. When a child leaves the school the records are passed hand to hand to the Senior Designated Person of the receiving school.
Attendance at Child Protection Conferences
We recognise that Child Protection Conferences are held where it is felt a child may be at risk of abuse. It is a multi-agency meeting, which is chaired by a member of the Child Protection Unit. In normal circumstances the named person would attend the meeting, but they could be accompanied by another member of staff i.e. class teacher, SENCO.
Supporting pupils at risk
At Priestthorpe we recognise that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth and to view the world in a positive way. Our school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Whilst at school, their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant and there may even be moves to consider suspension or exclusion from school. It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
This school will endeavour to support pupils through: a) b) c) d) e) f)
The curriculum to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation. This includes the teaching of SEAL from Reception through to Year 6. The school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued. The implementation of school behaviour management policies. A consistent approach, which recognises and separates the cause of behaviour from that which the child displays. This is vital to ensure that all children are supported within the school setting. Regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the pupils and their families. A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the childâ€™s interests to do so.
As members of staff here at Priestthorpe we all have a responsibility to safeguard the children in our care. Child abuse comes in many forms and it is important that we are aware and act if we have any concerns. Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse • Physical Injury • Sexual Abuse • Emotional Abuse • Neglect Physical Abuse All children have accidents which lead to injuries, but some injuries are non accidental. Here are some features which could alert one to the possibility of non accidental injury: • Delay in seeking medical help or such help may not have been sought at all. • The account of the accident may be vague or may vary from one telling to another. • Parents may be more interested in their own problems than the child’s injury and may appear hostile. • The interaction between child and parent may be abnormal and the child may be sad, afraid or withdrawn. Sexual Abuse The abuse is rarely disclosed at the time. Children only talk about the trauma of sexual abuse after much thought. They also choose the person to talk to very carefully. This might be a teacher or other member of staff they are close to. If a child does speak to you it is important you know how to respond to the situation. • Do not agree to keep secrets • Listen without interruption • Make noises which will encourage the child to continue or ask an open question such as “what happened next?” Do not ask leading questions e.g. “was it your dad?” • Provide appropriate reassurance • Let the child know you will pass the information on to someone responsible. • Consider the urgency of the situation. • Immediately afterwards record the facts, date and sign. • Pass the information to the named person for child protection Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse is the actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment. Components of emotional abuse • Rejecting the child • Isolating the child • Terrorising the child • Ignoring the child • Corrupting the child Learning difficulties are a manifestation of emotional abuse in children of primary school age, with poor concentration and significant over activity.
Neglect Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health and development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also involve the neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs. Manifestations of this are when the child is: • Malnourished, ill clad, dirty, without proper shelter or sleeping arrangements. • Without supervision, unattended. • Ill and lacking essential medical care. • Denied normal experiences that produce feeling or being loved, wanted, secure and worthy(emotional neglect) • Failing to attend school regularly. Be vigilant. If you are concerned, contact the named person in school as soon as possible. 11.3
This policy should be considered alongside other related policies in school. These are:• • • • • • • • • •
Behaviour Management Policy Anti Bullying Policy Safeguarding policy Use of Force to Control or Restrain Children Attendance policy Visits policy Special Educational Needs Policy E-Safety policy Health and Safety Policy Equality Policy
We recognise that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who work, in any capacity, with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and/or emotional and behaviour problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse. It must also be stressed that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may also be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
Safe school, safe staff At Priestthorpe we endeavour to maintain the safety of the children and staff at all times. When employing new staff a CRB check is always carried out to ensure the selection of ‘safe staff’. No member of staff joins the school before successfully completing an enhanced CRB check. Staff are aware of the importance of avoiding situations where an allegation may be made against them. They select a public place where they are clearly visible when working with or speaking to individual children. The Headteacher and a member of the Governing Body have attended ‘Safer Recruitment’ training and ensured necessary procedures are implemented. Application forms are scrutinised for gaps in employment and applicants questioned at interview about any concerns expressed by the panel. All references are taken up and an enhanced CRB check completed before successful applicants take up posts.
Named staff with specific responsibility for Child Protection are:-
Designated Teachers 2011- 2012 Kathryn Spragg Louise Asten Named Governor Jo Cattell Dated: April 2012 Review Date: April 2013 Signed Signed
Child Protection Procedures Flow Chart as of October 2011 On discovery or suspicion of child abuse If in doubt – ACT Inform your Named Person for Child Protection Kathryn Spragg Louise Asten Jo Cattell (Named Governor) Who should then take following steps Where it is clear that a Child Protection Referral is needed contact Children’s Initial Contact Point without delay Tel No: 01274 437500 Out of hrs Emergency Duty Team Tel No: 01274 431010 Where the Named Person is not sure whether it is a child protection issue they may seek advice from the Children’s Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit Consultation Service Tel No: 01274 434343 Named Persons may also seek advice from the Education Social Work Service Tel No: 01274 385761
If you are asked to monitor the situation, make sure you are clear what you are expected to monitor, for how long and how and to whom you should feedback information to. Remember always make and keep a written record of all events and action taken, date and sign each entry to this record. Keep records confidential and secure. Ensure immediate completion and dispatch of the Common Child Protection Referral Form. This form can be accessed via Bradford Schools On-Line ‘Useful Links’ Tab. Retain a copy in school. Send copies to: • Children’s Social Care to the Area Office you made your referral to • Lead Officer Child Protection Future House, Bolling Road, Bradford BD4 7EB
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS Children’s Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit Consultation Service: 01274 434343 Emergency Duty Team: 01274 431010 Children’s Social Care Initial Contact Point: 01274 437500 Education Social Work Service: 01274 385761 Lead Officer Child Protection: 01274 385726 Police: Javelin House, Child Protection Unit: 01274 376061