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St Marys RC Primary School Child Protection Policy St Marys RC

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St Marys RC Primary School Child Protection Policy St Marys RC ...

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    St Mary’s RC Primary School

    Child Protection Policy

    St Mary’s RC Primary School is committed to safeguarding all pupils by providing a secure environment where pupils feel safe and are kept safe. All staff and visitors to our school promote a climate where children and adults feel confident about sharing any concerns that they may have about their own safety or the safety and well-being of others and where the five outcomes of ‘Every Child

    Matters’ are embedded within the ethos and practice of the school. This Child Protection Policy is one

    element in our whole school arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in line with our statutory duties set out in Section 175 of the Education Act 2002.

St Mary’s RC Primary School fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection and has

    developed its policy and procedures with due regard to guidance contained in the government document: ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’ and in the ‘London Child Protection Procedures’ to ensure the safety of all children. These documents are kept in the Headteacher’s office.

Our policy is for all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school and recognises that:-

    ; the welfare of every child is paramount

    ; children have a fundamental right to protection from abuse and neglect

    ; everyone has a responsibility for the protection of children and for reporting concerns

    ; professionals working in the education sector have a duty to ensure that Area Child Protection

    Committee procedures are followed

    ; in any conflict between the needs of the child and those of parents/carers or professionals, the

    needs of the child will always come first

There are five main elements to our policy:

    ; ensuring we practise safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to

    work with children

    ; raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to

    keep them safe

    ; developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or

    suspected cases, of abuse

    ; supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with their agreed child protection plan

    ; establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop

    We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to

    observe the outward signs of abuse.

Aims

    ; to have in place procedures to ensure that we meet our responsibilities for safeguarding

    children from abuse and neglect

    ; to have in place procedures to ensure that school staff are protected against allegations of abuse

Recognising Signs of Abuse

    All staff at St Mary’s RC Primary School recognise and accept that children have a fundamental right

    to be protected from harm. Every member of staff has a duty to be vigilant to the indicators of abuse

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    or neglect and to refer concerns to the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection. The abuse or neglect of children is a crime. It is not the role of the school to investigate but staff should be clear about their role and the procedure for reporting to the designated person:

    ; any concerns that a child is suffering or is likely to be suffering some form of abuse

    ; any allegations of abuse made against staff

    ; any disclosures of abuse

In addition we aim to:

    ; establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and

    are listened to

    ; ensure children know that they can approach any adult in the school if they are worried

    ; include opportunities in the PSHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to

    recognise and stay safe from abuse

    In upholding the fundamental right of every child to be protected from harm, we recognise that there are four definitions of child abuse as defined in Chapter 4 of the London Child Protection Procedures. The four categories of abuse are as follows:

    1. Physical abuse

    2. Emotional abuse

    3. Sexual abuse and

    4. Neglect

    Please see Appendix 1 of this policy for a précis of these categories. Full details of the definitions and how to recognise and respond to this abuse can be found in Chapter 4 of the London Child Protection Procedures.

Procedures

    We follow the procedures set out by the Area Child Protection Committee in the London Child Protection Procedures and take account of guidance issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Resonsibilites and Immediate Action

    All adults working in our school, including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placemen, are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Designated Senior Person with responsibility for child protection.

    The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection is: Karen Pluckrose, Headteacher

    The Deputy Designated Person for Child Protection is: Clare Chesby, Inclusion Manager

    Where there are signs that a child is suffering significant harm or is likely to suffer significant harm or is being neglected, the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection may take advice before making a referral to Lambeth CYPS: Referral and Assessment Duty Team.

    Where there are any doubts as to the seriousness of this concern or disagreement between the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection and the member of staff reporting the concern, advice will be sought from Lambeth CYPS Duty Team and/or the Local Authority Designated Lead Officer for Education (Graham Griffin).

    In circumstances where a child has a suspicious injury that requires urgent medical attention, the Child Protection referral process should not delay the administration of first aid or emergency assistance. If a

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    pupil is thought to be at immediate risk (because of parental violence or intoxication, for example) urgent Police intervention will be requested. Particular vigilance will be exercised in respect of children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan and any incidents or concerns involving these children will be reported immediately to Social Care (and confirmed in writing). In all cases of injury to a child consideration will always be given as to whether an urgent paediatric medical assessment is required to document injuries or to protect any forensic evidence.

    Where it is suspected that a child may be at further risk of significant harm if the parent is approached and spoken to by the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection, nothing will be said to the child’s

    parent/carer without first discussing the matter with Social Care Referral and Assessment Duty Team.

Responsibilities and Role of the Governing Body

    In line with the provisions set out in the DCSF guidance ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer

    Recruitment in Education’, the Governing Body:

    ; challenges the Senior Management Team on the delivery of this, and other safeguarding polices,

    and monitor their effectiveness

    ; reviews this policy every year and amends and adopts it in accordance with any new legislation

    or guidance or in light of their own quality assurance

    ; appoints a senior member of staff to act as the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection

    and ensures they have received appropriate training and support for this role

    ; ensures there is a nominated governor responsible for championing child protection and

    safeguarding issues who liaises with the Headteacher within the school and on the governing

    body

    ; has in place safer recruitment procedures

    ; ensures that CRB checks are undertaken for everyone working with children in our school

    ; undertakes appropriate training about the ways to safeguard children

    ; receives a report from the Headteacher when the Child Protection Policy is reviewed

    The Nominated Governor for Child Protection is Mrs Lynette Murphy O’Dwyer, Chair of

    Governors

Responsibilities and Role of the Headteacher

    The Headteacher:

    ; implements and monitors the policy and procedures

    ; reports annually to the Governing Body on the effectiveness of the policy and procedures

    ; ensures staff, volunteers and governors, know the name of the Designated Senior Person

    Responsible For Child Protection (and that of their deputy) and their role

    ; ensures that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff

    for child protection by setting out its obligations in the school prospectus

    ; develops and then follows procedures when an allegation is made against a member of staff or

    a volunteer

Responsibility and Role of the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection

    The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection works in line with the responsibilities set out in Appendix 3 of the DCSF guidance outlined above in respect of referrals, training and raising awareness and must:

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    ; be the ‘focus’ person and local ‘expert’ for school staff, and others, who have concerns about

    an individual child’s safety or well-being and be the first point of contact for external agencies

    that are pursuing Child Protection investigations

    ; investigate and deal with all child protection concerns brought to her attention by staff

    ; when an individual concern/incident is brought to their attention, be responsible for obtaining

    advice from Lambeth CYPS Education Service’s Lead Officer for Child Protection and/or

    consulting with Social Care as appropriate to decide whether or not this should be formally

    referred as a child protection case

    ; coordinate the school’s representation at Child Protection Conferences and the submission of

    written reports for conferences

    ; notify social care services if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil

    who has a child protection plan

    ; develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries

    regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences and core group

    meetings

    ; ensure that all child protection records are kept separately from pupil records are stored

    securely, by encryption and/or password protecting electronic files or ensuring that paper

    records are secured in a locked cabinet with restricted access

    ; have oversight of the delivery of school recommendations within Child Protection Plans and

    will keep the Governing Body and staff as appropriate, advised of all such matters including

    where CP Plan recommendations are met or otherwise

    ; keep up to date on all new guidance on safeguarding children

    ; annually review the policy and keep all school personnel up to date with any changes to policy

    or procedures

    ; organise appropriate training for school staff

    ; liaise with the nominated governor

    The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection is Karen Pluckrose, Headteacher. The deputy Designated Senior Person for Child Protection is Clare Chesby, Inclusion Manager.

Responsibility and Role of all School Staff / Volunteers

    All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to act professionally and responsibly in respect of their contact with pupils and their families. All children are treated with respect and any rewards and sanctions should follow those detailed in our school’s Behaviour Management Policy.

All school staff and volunteers must:

    ; be aware of this policy and procedures

    ; be aware of the names of the Designated Senior Person and their Deputy

    ; be trained / or made aware of how to identify signs of harm and abuse

    ; know how to report any suspected case of harm or abuse

    ; attend strategy meetings when required to do so

    ; attend child protection conferences when required to do so

    ; be alert to the signs of abuse and to their responsibility for referring any concerns to the

    Designated Senior Person responsible for child protection

    Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff should avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation. For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with pupils. As noted in our Policy for Physical Restraint, physical

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    intervention should only be used as a last resort. Where incidents occur that might otherwise be misconstrued or where it becomes necessary to physically restrain or use force to control a child, for their own or others’ safety, the safety of others, to prevent a criminal act or to maintain good order, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to the Headteacher and parents in line with in line with DCSF Guidance on The Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils (October 2007). Please refer to our separate policy on Physical Restraint.

    School staff should also be alert to the possible risks that might arise from contact with pupils outside of school, including contact when using digital technologies. The Headteacher must always be made aware of any such contact.

    First Aid should only be administered by qualified first aiders and, if it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for this treatment, there should be, wherever possible, another adult present. Please see our First Aid Policy for further details.

    Parents are informed if their child has wet or soiled themselves at school and are asked to come in to change their child. Where that is not possible, parents are asked to give their permission for a member of staff to change their child. Where a child may require regular, intimate care, a care plan is drawn up for the child and shared with parents and appropriate staff. Please see our Intimate Care Policy for further details.

    In line with the DCSF guidance on safer recruitment it is necessary for any volunteer, parent, carer or governor or other person seen by the pupils as a trusted adult and who works in our school on a regular basis to be CRB checked at an enhanced level. These checks are required to be updated regularly and at least every three years as they are for permanent members of staff.

    Volunteers work under the direct supervision of an established staff member and are subject to the same expectations of conduct as paid employees of our school. Our school provides volunteers with appropriate induction and a ‘job description’ pertaining to the volunteering role they are to perform.

    The requirements resulting from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 equally apply to volunteers, therefore vetting checks will be carried out in line with the statutory duties set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which will include complying with the legal requirement to ensure employees are registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and not barred from working with children and young people, before commencing work at our school.

    All staff permanent and volunteers will be inducted which will include the provision of schools policies and procedures, this will include temporary staff.

Parents and Carers

    St Mary’s RC Primary School works in partnership with parents and carers and school staff work hard

    to establish excellent communication with all parents and carers.

As well as this:

    ; parents and carers are aware that the school has a responsibility for the welfare of all pupils

    and that staff have a duty to report concerns that they may have over the safety or well-being

    of a pupil as part of our statutory duties to protect children from significant harm and/or

    neglect.

    ; parents and carers are also aware that, where appropriate, any referral will be discussed with

    parents and careers before the referral is made, however parents or careers will not be

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    contacted nor will the referral be discussed where it is felt that to do so would place the child

    at an increased risk of harm.

    ; parents and carers are aware that all referrals are made in the best interest of the child.

Pupils

    At St Mary’s RC Primary School we recognise that, in order to safeguard children, we must educate and empower them to recognise risk and build resilience to manage these risks to their safety and well-being where appropriate.

To do this we:

    ; develop the curriculum, in particular RE, PSHE and SEALS, to ensure that pupils are fully

    equipped with the skills and information to make decisions about their safety and well-being

    in the situations in which they find themselves.

    ; use the curriculum, in particular RE and PSHE, to teach pupils how to recognise risks to their

    safety and well-being and ways to protect themselves from such risks.

    ; listen to pupils and provide opportunities and time to talk and share any concerns they may

    have about their school and/or home life with adults at the school.

    ; encourage pupils to talk to adults within school if they are concerned about any aspect of their

    school and/or home life

Reporting Concerns

    ; all concerns are reported and discussed immediately with the Designated Senior Person

    ; the Designated Senior Person (who is also the Headteacher), or her deputy in her absence,

    decides upon the appropriate action

Record Keeping

    St Mary’s RC Primary School recognises that record keeping is an important element and as such ensures that:

    ; accurate written records are kept of all child protection concerns or incidents involving the

    children in our care, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately

    ; all records are kept securely; separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations

    ; staff are made aware of the requirements of the Child Protection Policy to record the reason

    for the concern, what was said or witnessed, date and time of incident(s), date and time when

    notes were made.

    ; all records are signed

    Child Protection records are not available to pupils or parents. Child Protection records are kept by the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection, separately from educational records, and can only be accessed by the Designated Senior Person or their Deputy. Other members of our school’s Senior Management Team may have access to certain information on a need to know basis as appropriate. Upon receipt of any request regarding direct access to school documentation on any Child Protection file appropriate steps may be taken to adopt the procedure of not allowing such access without the order of a court.

    Where a child moves from St Mary’s RC Primary School any Child Protection records or files will be forwarded to any receiving school within five days of that new provision being confirmed. The Child Protection file will be sent separately to the pupil file and a copy kept for archiving in line with the prevailing timescales for keeping such records which are published from time to time.

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Recruitment

    The arrangements for recruiting all staff to our school follow the DCSF guidance for safer recruitment in education settings. This means that all staff are subject to reference and enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and a single central record is kept of all vetting checks, which also includes verification of identity, any relevant qualifications and permission to work for non-EU nationals.

    In our school we ensure that CRB checks are renewed every three years for all staff, and are a condition of service. The single central record includes the date these checks were made. All staff, including teaching and support staff, are checked against the ISA’s Children’s List (Formally DCFS’ List 99) prior to their appointment as part of the vetting process, and a separate ISA Children’s List

    check will be made where a CRB has been applied for but not returned by the start date.

    Our school will only use employment agencies that positively vet their supply staff and confirm in writing that DCFS / ISA compliant checks have been carried out. Staff joining our school on a permanent or temporary basis will be informed of the Child Protection policy and the school’s Safeguarding arrangements as part of induction.

    From a date to be notified by the Independent Safeguarding Authority, vetting checks for ISA registration will be carried out in line with the statutory duties set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which will include complying with the legal requirement to ensure employees are registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and not barred from working with children and young people, before commencing work at our school. Please see our Recruitment and Selection Policy for further details.

Training

    St Mary’s RC Primary School recognises the requirement for, and importance of, staff training and, as such, the Headteacher must:

    ; ensure that staff undergo training in child protection and renew this at least every three years

    ; ensure that the Designated Teacher / Deputy Designated Teacher undergo Level 2 training at

    least every two years

    ; ensure that the she and a member of the Governing Body undertake safer recruitment training

    ; ensure that members of the Governing Body are trained sufficiently to discharge their

    responsibilities and support the school and its staff in all child protection and safeguarding

    matters

Support for Staff

    School staff who feel distressed after any involvement with a case of abuse will receive support and counselling.

Allegations or Complaints Against Staff

    St Mary’s RC Primary School recognises that, though rare, professionals are sometimes abusers and as such informs its staff that:

    ; it will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour

    ; has a policy to protect staff who disclose information regarding abuse by colleagues towards

    pupils

    ; any allegation against a member of staff will be referred to the Headteacher who will seek

    advice from the LA Designated Officer in accordance with DCSF guidance

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St Mary’s RC Primary School takes seriously all allegations made against members of staff.

    Mechanisms are in place for pupils, parents/carers and staff to share any concerns that they might have about the actions of any member of our school staff. All such allegations are dealt with in line with our policy for ‘Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff’ and are to be brought immediately to the attention of the Headteacher, in order that the appropriate procedures may be followed. All allegations will be dealt with in line with Chapter 5 of ‘Safeguarding Children and

    Safer Recruitment in Education’. Parents should also be advised of their independent right to make a formal complaint to the Police.

If the complaint concerns alleged abuse by the Headteacher, this should not be brought to the attention

    of the Designated Senior Person or their Deputy nor the nominated Child Protection Governor. Any allegation pertaining to the Headteacher must only be brought to the attention of the Chair of

    Governors who will consult with CYPS’ Education Services Lead Officer and/or CYPS Social Care.

    Staff who are formally disciplined for any abuse of pupils (or who resign before disciplinary action can be instigated) are notified to the Children and Young People’s Service, if they are not already part of

    this process, and must be notified to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, for possible inclusion on their list of persons barred from working with children and young people.

    Further details on the procedures for managing allegations against staff can be found in our separate ‘Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff’ Policy and the procedures set out in that policy should be followed in these circumstances

Confidentiality

    Staff are not permitted to keep a disclosure of abuse or neglect confidential and, as such, should not promise this to a child. They must ensure that they refer the matter to the Designated Teacher immediately. The child will be reassured that the information will only be shared with the Designated Teacher who will decide what will happen next.

    All referrals must be made with the knowledge that during any subsequent investigation the source (i.e. the school) will be made known to the family.

    Other staff will, if appropriate, be alerted to the concerns about a child, in order to monitor the concern or to gather further evidence prior to a referral being made, or to assist in providing appropriate support to a child once a referral has been made. Information will only be shared on a strict need to know basis.

Working With Other Agencies

    The school will work in partnership with other agencies, including the Social Care Services, the Police and other ACPC member agencies, sharing appropriate information to assist the investigation process. Staff have a professional responsibility to share information with other professionals who are investigating a case. The school will contribute to any subsequent care plan.

Supporting Children who have a Child Protection Plan

    We recognise that children who are abused, neglected or those who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:

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    ; the content of the curriculum

    ; the school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives

    pupils a sense of being valued

    ; the school behaviour policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. The

    school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are

    valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred

    ; liaison with other agencies that support the pupil such as Social Care, Child and Adult Mental

    Health Services, Education Welfare Services and Educational Psychology Services

    ; ensuring that, where a pupil with a child protection plan leaves the school, their information

    is transferred to their new school immediately and that the child's social worker is informed

Other Policies

    St Mary’s RC Primary School will have regard to the Child Protection policy and other government

    guidance when developing other policies, in particular:

    ; Staff Recruitment and ‘Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff’

    policies

    ; Discipline and Behaviour policies

    ; Curriculum, PSHE, Sex Education policies

    ; First Aid, Intimate Care and Physical Restraint policies

    This policy will be review at least annually, or when the need arises, and the necessary recommendations for improvement will be made to governors.

Policy Adoption, Monitoring and Review

    This policy was considered and adopted by the Governing body in line with their overall duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as set out at Chapter 2 of the DCSF guidance ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’

Parents will be issued with a hard copy of this policy on request.

    In St Mary’s RC Primary School the Headteacher will actively evaluate the effectiveness of this policy by monitoring the staffs’ understanding and application of the procedures within this policy as their overall duty to safeguard children. This may include monitoring the appropriateness of cases referred internally to the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection and whether those cases referred to Lambeth CYPS Social Care met their threshold and were taken forward.

Policy Adopted by Governors on: ______________________________________

Policy Last Reviewed on: _____________________________________________

Policy Due for Review on: ____________________________________________

This policy was last reviewed in January 2010

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    St Mary’s RC Primary School

    Safeguarding Children - Child Protection Policy

    Appendix One

    What is Child Abuse?

    The term child abuse is used to describe a range of ways in which people harm children. The harm can be in the form of physical injury, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect. Children can suffer from one or a combination of these forms of abuse. Abuse can take place in the home, at school or anywhere children spend their time. It can happen to babies, children and young people of any age, sex, ethnicity or disability including those with special needs in almost all cases the abuser is someone known (and often trusted) by the child, for example a parent, other relative or family friend.

    Types of Abuse:

    *physical * sexual *emotional *neglect

Physical Abuse

    Physical abuse is defined as violence causing injury or occurring regularly throughout childhood. Physical abuse takes place when someone:

     physically hurts or injures a child by hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning, biting, or attempting

    to drown or suffocate them

     harms a child by giving the child alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison

     fails to prevent physical injury or suffering

    What matters here is whether the child was knowingly put at risk or whether the parent paid reasonable attention to the child’s safety.

Physical signs to look out for:

    Many children collect cuts and bruises quite routinely as part of the rough and tumble of daily life. This makes it difficult to spot those cuts and bruises that are not accidental. Physical abuse may have occurred when the injuries fall into one or more of the following categories:

    ; injuries which the child cannot explain, or explains unconvincingly

    ; injuries which have not been treated or treated inadequately

    ; injuries on parts of the body where accidental injury is unlikely, such as the cheeks, chest or

    thighs

    ; bruising which reflects hand or finger marks

    ; cigarette burns, human bite marks

    ; broken bones (particularly in children under the age of two)

    ; scalds, especially those with upward splash marks where hot water has been deliberately

    thrown over the child, or ‘tide marks’ – rings on the child’s arms, legs or body where the child

    has been made to sit or stand in very hot water

Behavioural signs to look out for:

    ; a child is reluctant to have their parent contacted

    ; aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

    ; a child who runs away or shows fear of going home

    ; a child who flinches when approached or touched

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