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Child protection policy

By Chris Reynolds,2014-08-12 18:59
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Child protection policy ...

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    Child Protection Policy

Great Walstead School fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection.

    Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school. There are five main elements to our policy:

     Ensuring we practice safe 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. (See Appendix 1)

     Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her 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. The school will therefore:

     Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened

    to.

     Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach 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.

    We have procedures in place and will take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education and Skills to:

     Ensure we have a designated senior person for child protection who has received appropriate training and

    support for this role (See Appendix 2)

     Ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection.

     Ensure every member of staff (including temporary and supply staff and volunteers) and Board of Governors

    knows the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role.

     Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and

    responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for child protection.

     Notify social services if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on the child

    protection register.

     Develop and maintain effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries

    regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences.

     Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter

    immediately.

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

     Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer.

     Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed including Enhanced Disclosures via the CRB for all

    adults who have regular or intensive access to children on or off site in compliance with the Independent

    Schools Standards Regulations.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth. 2

    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:

     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 services, Child and Adult Mental Health

    Service, education welfare service and educational psychology service.

     Ensuring that, where a pupil on the child protection register leaves, their information is transferred to the

    new school immediately and that the child's social worker is informed.

This policy:

     Is in accordance with locally agreed inter-agency procedures and is made available to parents on the school

    website and on request in school;

     Requires that any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection arrangements are remedied without delay;

     Provides that the governing body undertakes an annual review of the school’s child protection policies and

    procedures and of the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged.

EYFS:

    As this school has provision for the Early Years Foundation Stage this policy also applies to the Nursery and Reception.

     The Head of Nursery is the designated person with specificn responsibility for child protection concerns

    arising from the EYFS and will liaise with local statutory children’s agencies as appropriate.

     As an OFSTED registered setting this school will inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse

    by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether that allegation relates to

    harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere), or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken

    place on the premises, and of the action taken in respect of these allegations;

     The school will inform Ofsted of any EYFS child protection concern as soon as is reasonably possible and

    by 14 days at the latest.

Boarding:

    As this school is a boarding school additional elements apply under National Minimum Standard 3 (3.1 to 3.9):

     The policy is also for staff and any adults working in the school;

     There is a missing pupils policy, known to staff and used in practice, for searching for and, if necessary,

    reporting any boarder missing from school;

     Any adult may report a concern or an allegation to Ofsted (08456 404046);

     The school will ensure immunity from any disciplinary action and will take all reasonable steps to protect any

    person 'whistle blowing' in good faith.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

Policy reviewed February 2009 3

Jacqui Lee and Fiona Clutton

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

Appendix 1 4

Introduction

    The purpose of this policy is to enable staff to play their part in protecting the children in our care from abuse. It consists of:

    1. A definition of child abuse

    2. Definitions of each of the four kinds of abuse. That is:

    a. Neglect

    b. Emotional Abuse

    c. Physical Abuse

    d. Sexual Abuse

    together with a list of signs and symptoms. In each case a cluster of systems would lead to concern.

    3. Advice on how to deal with a child who chooses to make a disclosure about something of this nature that

    has happened to him or her.

    4. The procedure to be followed if worrying signs are observed.

    5. What to do if you are uncertain about what you have seen or heard.

    6. What to do if a member of staff is involved in the concerns.

    7. The responsibilities of the Designated Person.

Remember that the key concern has to be the care and protection of the children.

1. Child Abuse

Definition of Child Abuse:

    An abused child is any boy or girl, under 18 years of age, who has suffered from, or is believed likely to be, at risk of significant physical injury, neglect, emotional abuse or sexual abuse.

2. Kinds Of Abuse

A. Neglect

Neglect and Non Organic Failure to Thrive:

    The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

     5 Signs and Symptoms:

     Failure to thrive

     Recurrent and persistent minor infections

     Severe nappy rash

     General developmental delay

     Anxious attachment

     Under stimulated

     Poor hygiene, unkempt and dirty

     Poor skin and hair tone

     Pot belly

     Overly pink hands and feet

     Neurological problems - movement

     Speech and language delay

     Limited attention span

     Immature social skills

     Overactive, aggressive, impulsive

     Indiscriminate friendliness

     Seeks physical closeness from strangers

     Lack of self esteem

     Thrives away from home

     Without appropriate adult supervision

B. Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s

    emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or

    valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve causing children frequently to feel

    frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional damage is involved in

    all types of ill treatment of a child, though emotional abuse may occur alone.

Signs and Symptoms:

     Low self esteem lack of confidence

     Fearful

     Withdrawn

     Unduly aggressive behaviour

     Excessively clingy

     Attention seeking behaviour

     Constantly seeking to please

     Inappropriately friendly to strangers

     Little reaction to pain or discomfort

     Doesn’t seek comfort for pain or upset

     Good at school but not at home

     Chaotic hyperactive play

     Unable to give to others selfish

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

C. Physical Abuse 6

    Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering), to a child. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

The following diagrams show common sites on the body for Non-Accidental and Accidental injury. 7

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

8

2.D. Sexual Abuse

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

Actual or likely abuse/exploitation of a child or adolescent. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or 9

    young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (rape or buggery) and non penetrative acts. They may include non contact activities, such as involving children looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Signs and Symptoms:

     Genital damage

     Pain passing urine

     Bleeding

     Recurrent urinary tract infections

     Sexually transmitted diseases

     Pregnancy

     Flash backs or re-experiencing

     Shows more knowledge of sex than is usual for a child of his or her age

     Inappropriate sexualised play

     Excessive public masturbation

     Sexually provocative with adults

     Psychosomatic responses headaches, abdominal pains

     Change in behaviour pattern disruptive, withdrawn, regressive, wetting, soiling

     Desperate to leave home

     Sexual assault on younger children

3. Dealing With A Child Who Discloses Abuse

     Listen and never directly question. Provide constant reassurance. Never stop a child/young person who is

    freely recalling an incident. Explain that you are concerned for their well-being and help them understand

    what will happen next. Do not promise not to tell anyone.

     Make a clear written record of what you have been told or have observed including time, setting, people

    present and behaviour observed. Keep the information confidential to yourself, the School Nurse (if

    appropriate see below) and the Designated Person.

     Where appropriate call on the expertise of the School Nurse.

     Make sure you gain support for yourself from the Designated Person or the School Nurse you may well

    find the situation emotionally distressing.

    4. Procedure If What You Are Told Or Observe Makes You Suspect Abuse Has Taken Place

     Inform the Headmaster, who is the Designated Person, immediately. The Headmaster will discuss with you

    what you have been told or observed and will then make a decision as to the next step. If he is not

    available, contact the Deputy Head.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

     Where the incident or concerns are sufficiently serious or worrying, the Headmaster (the Designated 10

    Person) will contact Mid-Sussex Social and Caring Services Help Desk (on 01444 446100) and give

    details of the incident or concerns.

     If the allegations concern a member of staff, they must be reported to the Headmaster (Designated Teacher)

    in the same way. If the Headmaster himself is implicated, the Chairman of Governors should be informed.

5. What To Do If You Are Uncertain About What You Have Seen Or Heard.

    If you are uncertain as to whether you are justified in feeling worried about a child’s welfare, it is important to share your concerns with someone you can trust who has sufficient experience to advise helpfully. In Nursery, Pre-prep and the Junior School, it is important to share your concerns with the Head of your Section. They will both advise you and support you in the next step. For the Middle & Senior School, the School Nurse is an ideal person to approach for this purpose. It is useful anyway to write down what has led to your worries. Tell the Nurse about what you are aware of and give her a copy of your notes. She will advise what to do. If she feels the worries are justified then the procedure above will be followed. If not, the best way forward is usually to keep your eyes open with regard to the child and monitor their welfare for a while. What is not helpful at this stage is to share your concerns widely. That can lead to real difficulties if unfounded suspicions are gossiped about.

    6. Record Keeping

    The School Nurse and Headmaster keep records of all child protection concerns and issues throughout a child’s career. It is essential therefore that the School Nurse is informed of any concerns or issues that arise in any section. The Designated Person will monitor regularly that adequate record keeping is taking place. Records will be kept indefinitely.

    7. What To Do If A Member Of Staff Is Involved In The Concerns.

    a. This is potentially the most difficult area for us to deal with. Here, our policy must be that the child’s welfare

    is paramount though we must pay due regard to the rights and welfare of the staff member also. The

    following are the points to be borne in mind:

     As in other cases of allegations of abuse, those made against a teacher must be listened to

    carefully and a written record made of the conversation.

     Staff must report such allegations immediately to the Designated Person (in our case the

    Headmaster) or to the Chairman of Governors if the Headmaster is the person against whom they

    are made).

     The Headmaster (or Governors) will decide in considering all the available evidence whether (i)

    there is sufficient substance in the allegation to merit its referral to the child protection agencies for

    investigation (ii) the allegation was prompted by inappropriate behaviour which should be

    considered under the school’s disciplinary procedures rather than referral.

     Unless there is an objection from the child protection agencies, the teacher concerned must be

    informed of the allegation and the likely course of action.

     The member of staff concerned should seek advice from his or her professional association and

    has the right to be accompanied at any interview by a representative of this association or by a

    friend.

__________________________________________________________________________________ thth Reviewed by: Jacqui Lee & Fiona Clutton; date: March 12 2009 Next Review date: March 10 2010 thAmended: JJNS; date: November 20, 2009

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