Our Policies

Our Policies


The Visitation Pre-School has a number of policies in place in which it abides by, these policies include: Safeguarding children and child protection, Confidentiality, British Values, Child Absence, Use of mobile phones and Fire safety and emergency evacuation, all these policies are listed below.

The Visitation Pre-School also has care policies that it abides by which are available from the setting when requested.

Safeguarding children and child protection


1. INTRODUCTION

Policy Statement

Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health and/or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the pre-school.

In particular this policy should be read in conjunction with the Safer Recruitment Policy, Behaviour Policy, Physical Intervention Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Code of Conduct/Staff Behaviour Policy and ICT Acceptable Usage Policy.

Purpose of a Child Protection Policy

To inform staff, parents, volunteers about the school’s responsibilities for safeguarding children. To enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should be carried out.

The school follows the procedures established by the Local Safeguarding Children Board; a guide to procedure and practice for all agencies in Ealing working with children and their families.

School Staff & Volunteers

All pre-school have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

School staff and volunteers are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily contact with children.

All school staff will receive appropriate safeguarding children training (which is updated regularly – the local Safeguarding Children Board advises every 2 years), so that they are knowledgeable and aware of their role in the early recognition of the indicators of abuse or neglect and of the appropriate procedures to follow. It is good practice for the Designated Senior Person to deliver an annual update.

Temporary staff and volunteers will be made aware of the safeguarding policies and procedures by the Designated Senior Person.

Mission Statement

Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to when they have a worry or concern.

Establish and maintain an environment where school staff and volunteers feel safe, are encouraged to talk and are listened to when they have concerns about the safety and well being of a child.

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

Ensure that children who have been abused will be supported in line with a child protection plan, where deemed necessary.

Include opportunities in the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.

Contribute to the five outcomes which are key to children’s wellbeing:

  • be healthy.
  • stay safe.
  • enjoy and achieve.
  • make a positive contribution.
  • achieve economic wellbeing.

Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child.

Implementation, Monitoring and Review of the Child Protection Policy

The policy will be reviewed annually by all staff. It will be implemented through the school’s induction and training programme, and as part of day to day practice. Compliance with the policy will be monitored by the Designated Senior Person and through staff performance measures.

2. STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • The Children Act 1989.
  • The Children Act 2004.
  • Education Act 2002 (section 175).
  • Ealing Safeguarding Children Board Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures.
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2015).
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education: information for all school and college staff (DFE 2015) – Appendix 2.
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2013).
  • The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005.
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Section 26).

Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2013) requires all schools to follow the procedures for protecting children from abuse which are established by the local Safeguarding Children Board. Schools are also expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or are at risk of abuse – these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspect of, abuse.

The school will also follow guidance in relation to the specific safeguarding issues outlined in Appendix 2. This will include the Prevent Duty Guidance 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Furthermore Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place 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.

Furthermore

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2015) places the following responsibilities on all schools:

  • Schools should be aware of and follow the procedures established by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • Staff should be alert to signs of abuse and know whom they should report any concerns or suspicions.
  • Schools should have procedures (of which al staff are aware) for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected of abuse.
  • A designated Senior Person (referred to in “Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE , 2015) as Designated Safeguarding Lead”) should have responsibility for co-ordinating action within the school and liaising with other agencies.
  • Staff with the designated safeguarding lead should undergo child protection training every two years.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2015) also states:

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there is an effective child protection policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct). Both should be provided to all staff – including temporary staff and volunteers – on induction. The child protection policy should describe procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed inter-agency procedures put in place by the LSCB, be updated annually, and available publicly either via the school or college website or by other means.

3. THE DESIGNATED SENIOR PERSON (referred to in “Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, April 2015) as Designated Safeguarding Lead”)

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that the school or college designates an appropriate senior member of staff to take lead responsibility for child protection. This person should have the status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post including committing resources and, where appropriate, supporting and directing other staff.

The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection in this school is:

NAME: Maggie Gaca

A Deputy DSP should be appointed to act in the absence/unavailability of the DSP

The Deputy Designated Senior Person for Child Protection in this school is:

NAME: Carol Bates

The broad areas of responsibility for the designated safeguarding lead are:

Managing referrals

Refer all cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care and:

  • Police (cases where a crime may have been committed).
  • Assist in any ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.

Training

The designated safeguarding lead should receive appropriate training carried out every two years in order to:

  • Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as early help assessments.
  • Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
  • Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the schools child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff.
  • Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers.
  • Be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.
  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses.
  • Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any measures the school or college may put in place to protect them.

Raising Awareness

  • The designated safeguarding lead should ensure the schools policies are known and used appropriately.
  • Ensure the schools child protection policy is reviewed annually and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with governing bodies or proprietors regarding this.
  • Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the face that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in this.
  • Link with the local LSCB to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding.
  • Where children leave the school ensure their child protection file is copied for any new school as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file.

4. SCHOOL PROCEDURES – STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES

If any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the Designated Senior Person.

The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations.

The Designated Senior Person will decide whether the concerns should be referred to Children’s Services; Safeguarding and Specialist Services. If it is decided to make a referral to Children’s Services: Safeguarding and Specialist Services this will be discussed with the parents, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.

Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child about whom the school has concerns, or who has been identified as being the subject of a child protection plan and a written record will be kept.

If a pupil who is/or has been the subject of a child protection plan changes school, the Designated Senior Person will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the Designated Senior Person at the receiving school, in a secure manner, and separate from the child’s academic file.

The Designated Senior Person is responsible for making the senior leadership team aware of trends in behaviour that may affect pupil welfare. If necessary, training will be arranged.

As a person who works with children, staff have a duty to refer safeguarding concerns to the Designated Senior Person for child protection. However if:

  • concerns are not taken seriously by an organisation or
  • action to safeguard the child is not taken by professionals and
  • the child is considered to be at continuing risk to harm

Then staff should speak to a DSP in their school or contact Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (including out of hours) on 0208 825 8000

If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.

Mandatory Reporting Duty

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place 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.

5. WHEN TO BE CONCERNED

All staff and volunteers should be aware that the main categories of abuse are:

  • Physical abuse.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Neglect.

All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if he/she presents with indicators of possible significant harm - see Appendix 1 for details.

Generally, in an abusive relationship the child may:

  • Appear frightened of the parent’s or other household members e.g. siblings or other outside of the home.
  • Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development (full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups).
  • Display insufficient sense of “boundaries”, lack stranger awareness.
  • Appear wary of adults and display “frozen watchfulness”.

6. DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE

If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff / volunteer should:

  • Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief.
  • Accept what is being said.
  • Allow the child to talk freely.
  • Reassure the child, but not make promises which might not be possible to keep.
  • Not promise confidentiality – it might be necessary to refer to Children’s Services: Safeguarding and Specialist Services.
  • Reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault.
  • Stress that it was the right thing to tell.
  • Listen, only asking questions when necessary to clarify.
  • Not criticise the alleged perpetrator.
  • Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told.
  • Make a written record (see Record Keeping).
  • Pass the information to the Designated Senior Person without delay.

Support

Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and safeguarding issues can be stressful. The member of staff/volunteer should, therefore, consider seeking support from him/herself and discuss this with the Designated Senior Person.

7. CONFIDENTIALITY

Safeguarding children raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools.

  • All staff in schools, both teaching and non-teaching staff, have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies (Children’s Services: Safeguarding and Specialist Services and the Police).
  • If a child confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s age/stage of development that they cannot promise complete confidentiality – instead they must explain that they need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child or other children safe.
  • Staff/volunteers who receive information about children and their families in the course of their work should share that information only within appropriate professional contexts.

8. COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS

The Visitation Pre-school will:

Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly either via the pre-school website or by other means.

Parents should be informed prior to referral, unless it is considered to do so might place the child at increased risk of significant harm by:

  • The behavioural response it prompts e.g. a child being subjected of abuse, maltreatment or threats / forced to remain silent if alleged abuser informed;
  • Leading to an unreasonable delay;
  • Leading to the risk of loss of evidential material;
  • Placing a member of staff from any agency at risk.

Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the school and staff for safeguarding children.

9. RECORD KEEPING

When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer should:

  • Record as soon as possible after the conversation. Use the school record of concern sheet wherever possible. (pro-forma available on the Herefordshire Grid for Learning).
  • Don’t destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court.
  • Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child.
  • Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any injuries.
  • Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions.

All records need to be given to the Designated Senior Person promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.

The Designated Senior Person will ensure that all safeguarding records are managed in accordance with the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005.

10. ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING SCHOOL STAFF/VOLUNTEERS

An allegation in any information which indicates that a member of staff/volunteer may have:

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

This applies to any child the member of staff/volunteer has contact within their personal, professional or community life.

To reduce the risk of allegations, all staff should be aware of safer working practice and should be familiar with the guidance contained in the staff handbook, school code of conduct or Government document “Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings”.

The person whom an allegation is first reported should take the matter seriously and keep an open mind. She/he should not investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification; it is important not to make assumptions. Confidentiality should not be promised and the person should be advised that the concern will be shared on a “need to know” basis only.

Actions to be taken include making an immediate written record of the allegation using the informant’s words – including time, date and place where the alleged incident took place, brief details of what happened, what was said and who was present. This record should be signed, dated and immediately passed on to the Pre-school Manager.

If the concerns are about a Pre-school Manager the other manager should be approached. If this is not deemed possible if the matter is considered the serious the LCSB should be contacted directly on Lisa Tingle 0208 825 8155.

The recipient of an allegation must not unilaterally determine its validity, and failure to report it in accordance with procedures is a potential disciplinary matter.

The Pre-school manager will assess whether it is necessary to refer the concern to the Local Authority Designated Officer:

Then staff should speak to a DSP in their school or contact Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (including out of hours) on 0208 825 8000.

If the allegation meets any of the three criteria set out at the start of this section, contact should always be made with the Local Authority Designated Officer without delay.

If it is decided that the allegation does not meet the threshold for safeguarding, it will be handed back to the employer for consideration via the school’s internal procedures.

The pre-school manager should, as soon as possible, following briefing from the Local Authority Designated Officer inform the subject of the allegation.

For further information see:

HSCB Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures (Electronic).

Section 4.1 Managing Allegations Against Adults who work with children and Young People.


PHYSICAL ABUSE

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.

Indicators in the child

Bruising

It is often possible to differentiate between accidental and inflicted bruises. The following must be considered as non accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:

  • Bruising in or around the mouth
  • Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead, (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
  • Repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally, for example the back, mouth, cheek, ear, stomach, chest, under the arm, neck, genital and rectal areas
  • Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
  • The outline of an object used e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush
  • Linear bruising at any site, particularly on the buttocks, back or face
  • Bruising or tears around, or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
  • Bruising around the face
  • Grasp marks to the upper arms, forearms or leg
  • Petechae haemorrhages (pinpoint blood spots under the skin.)  Commonly associated with slapping, smothering/suffocation, strangling and squeezing

Fractures

Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint.  It is unlikely that a child will have had a fracture without the carers being aware of the child's distress. If the child is not using a limb, has pain on movement and/or swelling of the limb, there may be a fracture.

There are grounds for concern if:

  • The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent
  • There are associated old fractures
  • Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement Rib fractures are only caused in major trauma such as in a road traffic accident, a severe shaking injury or a direct injury such as a kick. Skull fractures are uncommon in ordinary falls, i.e. from three feet or less.  The injury is usually witnessed, the child will cry and if there is a fracture, there is likely to be swelling on the skull developing over 2 to 3 hours. All fractures of the skull should be taken seriously.

Mouth Injuries

Tears to the frenulum (tissue attaching upper lip to gum) often indicates force feeding of a baby or a child with a disability.  There is often finger bruising to the cheeks and around the mouth.  Rarely, there may also be grazing on the palate.

Poisoning

Ingestion of tablets or domestic poisoning in children under 5 is usually due to the carelessness of a parent or carer, but it may be self harm even in young children.

Fabricated or Induced Illness

Professionals may be concerned at the possibility of a child suffering significant harm as a result of having illness fabricated or induced by their carer. Possible concerns are:

  • Discrepancies between reported and observed medical conditions, such as the incidence of fits
  • Attendance at various hospitals, in different geographical areas
  • Development of feeding / eating disorders, as a result of unpleasant feeding interactions
  • The child developing abnormal attitudes to their own health
  • Non organic failure to thrive - a child does not put on weight and grow and there is no underlying medical cause
  • Speech, language or motor developmental delays
  • Dislike of close physical contact
  • Attachment disorders
  • Low self esteem
  • Poor quality or no relationships with peers because social interactions are restricted
  • Poor attendance at school and under-achievement

Bite Marks

Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth when seen shortly after the injury has been inflicted.  The shape then becomes a more defused ring bruise or oval or crescent shaped. Those over 3cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child. A medical/dental opinion, preferably within the first 24 hours, should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.

Burns and Scalds

It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds. Scalds are the most common intentional burn injury recorded. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g. circular burns from cigarettes, linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements, burns of uniform depth over a large area, scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid.

Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation. Scalds to the buttocks of a child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.

The following points are also worth remembering:

  • A responsible adult checks the temperature of the bath before the child gets in.
  • A child is unlikely to sit down voluntarily in a hot bath and cannot accidentally scald its bottom without also scalding his or her feet.
  • A child getting into too hot water of his or her own accord will struggle to get but and there will be splash marks

Scars

A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, or unusually shaped, may suggest abuse.

Emotional/behavioural presentation

  • Refusal to discuss injuries
  • Admission of punishment which appears excessive
  • Fear of parents being contacted and fear of returning home
  • Withdrawal from physical contact
  • Arms and legs kept covered in hot weather
  • Fear of medical help
  • Aggression towards others
  • Frequently absent from school
  • An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
  • Several different explanations provided for an injury

Indicators in the parent

  • May have injuries themselves that suggest domestic violence
  • Not seeking medical help/unexplained delay in seeking treatment
  • Reluctant to give information or mention previous injuries
  • Absent without good reason when their child is presented for treatment
  • Disinterested or undisturbed by accident or injury
  • Aggressive towards child or others
  • Unauthorised attempts to administer medication
  • Tries to draw the child into their own illness
  • Past history of childhood abuse, self harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault
  • Parent/carer may be over involved in participating in medical tests, taking temperatures and measuring bodily fluids
  • Observed to be intensely involved with their children, never taking a much needed break nor allowing anyone else to undertake their child's care
  • May appear unusually concerned about the results of investigations which may indicate physical illness in the child
  • Wider parenting difficulties may (or may not) be associated with this form of abuse. Parent/carer has convictions for violent crimes

Indicators in the family/environment

  • Marginalised or isolated by the community.
  • History of mental heath, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.
  • History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family.
  • Past history of childhood abuse, self harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

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 children 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.

It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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.

Indicators in the child

  • Developmental delay
  • Abnormal attachment between a child and parent/carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or no attachment
  • Aggressive behaviour towards others
  • Child scapegoated within the family
  • Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
  • Low self esteem and lack of confidence
  • Withdrawn or seen as a 'loner' - difficulty relating to others
  • Over-reaction to mistakes
  • Fear of new situations
  • Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
  • Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)
  • Self harm)
  • Fear of parents being contacted
  • Extremes of passivity or aggression
  • Drug/solvent abuse
  • Chronic running away
  • Compulsive stealing
  • Low self-esteem
  • Air of detachment – ‘don’t care’ attitude
  • Social isolation – does not join in and has few friends
  • Depression, withdrawal Behavioural problems e.g. aggression, attention seeking, hyperactivity, poor attention Low self esteem, lack of confidence, fearful, distressed, anxious Poor peer relationships including withdrawn or isolated behaviour

Indicators in the parent

  • Domestic abuse, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may be features in families where children are exposed to abuse.
  • Abnormal attachment to child e.g. overly anxious or disinterest in the child Scapegoats one child in the family.
  • Imposes inappropriate expectations on the child e.g. prevents the child’s developmental exploration or learning, or normal social interaction through overprotection.
  • Wider parenting difficulties may (or may not) be associated with this form of abuse.

Indicators of in the family/environment

  • Lack of support from family or social network
  • Marginalised or isolated by the community
  • History of mental heath, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence
  • History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family
  • Past history of childhood abuse, self harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement

NEGLECT

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 as a result of maternal substance abuse.

    Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and 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 care-givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Indicators in the child

    Physical presentation

  • Failure to thrive or, in older children, short stature
  • Underweight
  • Frequent hunger
  • Dirty, unkempt condition
  • Inadequately clothed, clothing in a poor state of repair
  • Red/purple mottled skin, particularly on the hands and feet, seen in the winter due to cold
  • Swollen limbs with sores that are slow to heal, usually associated with cold injury
  • Abnormal voracious appetite
  • Dry, sparse hair
  • Recurrent / untreated infections or skin conditions e.g. severe nappy rash, eczema or persistent head lice / scabies/ diarrhoea
  • Unmanaged / untreated health / medical conditions including poor dental health Frequent accidents or injuries

Development

General delay, especially speech and language delay Inadequate social skills and poor socialization

Emotional/behavioural presentation

  • Attachment disorders
  • Absence of normal social responsiveness
  • Indiscriminate behaviour in relationships with adults
  • Emotionally needy
  • Compulsive stealing
  • Constant tiredness
  • Frequently absent or late at school
  • Poor self esteem
  • Destructive tendencies
  • Thrives away from home environment
  • Aggressive and impulsive behaviour
  • Disturbed peer relationships
  • Self harming behaviour

Indicators in the parent

  • Dirty, unkempt presentation
  • Inadequately clothed
  • Inadequate social skills and poor socialisation
  • Abnormal attachment to the child .e.g. anxious
  • Low self esteem and lack of confidence
  • Failure to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene
  • Failure to meet the child’s health and medical needs e.g. poor dental health; failure to attend or keep appointments with health visitor, GP or hospital; lack of GP registration; failure to seek or comply with appropriate medical treatment; failure to address parental substance misuse during pregnancy
  • Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent
  • Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods
  • Wider parenting difficulties, may (or may not) be associated with this form of abuse

Indicators in the family/environment

  • History of neglect in the family
  • Family marginalised or isolated by the community
  • Family has history of mental heath, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence
  • History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family
  • Family has a past history of childhood abuse, self harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement
  • Dangerous or hazardous home environment including failure to use home safety equipment; risk from animals
  • Poor state of home environment e.g. unhygienic facilities, lack of appropriate sleeping arrangements, inadequate ventilation (including passive smoking) and lack of adequate heating
  • Lack of opportunities for child to play and learn

SEXUAL ABUSE

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, or 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.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

(Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE, 2015)

Indicators in the child

Physical presentation

  • Urinary infections, bleeding or soreness in the genital or anal areas
  • Recurrent pain on passing urine or faeces
  • Blood on underclothes
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Vaginal soreness or bleeding
  • Pregnancy in a younger girl where the identity of the father is not disclosed and/or there is secrecy or vagueness about the identity of the father
  • Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing

Emotional/behavioural presentation

  • Makes a disclosure
  • Demonstrates sexual knowledge or behaviour inappropriate to age/stage of development, or that is unusually explicit
  • Inexplicable changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn
  • Self-harm - eating disorders, self mutilation and suicide attempts
  • Poor self-image, self-harm, self-hatred
  • Reluctant to undress for PE
  • Running away from home
  • Poor attention / concentration (world of their own)
  • Sudden changes in school work habits, become truant
  • Withdrawal, isolation or excessive worrying
  • Inappropriate sexualised conduct
  • Sexually exploited or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners
  • Wetting or other regressive behaviours e.g. thumb sucking
  • Draws sexually explicit pictures
  • Depression

Indicators in the parents

  • Comments made by the parent/carer about the child
  • Lack of sexual boundaries
  • Wider parenting difficulties or vulnerabilities
  • Grooming behaviour
  • Parent is a sex offender

Indicators in the family/environment

  • Marginalised or isolated by the community
  • History of mental heath, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence
  • History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family
  • Past history of childhood abuse, self harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement
  • Family member is a sex offender

KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION (Statutory guidance for schools and colleges)

About this guidance

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011. Schools and colleges must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Unless otherwise specified, ‘school’ means all schools whether maintained, non- maintained or independent schools, including academies and free schools, alternative provision academies and pupil referral units. ‘School’ includes maintained nursery schools.1 ‘College’ means further education colleges and sixth-form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and relates to their responsibilities towards children under the age of 18, but excludes 16-19 academies and free schools (which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement).

This document contains information on what schools and colleges should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools and colleges must comply. It should be read alongside statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 which applies to all the schools referred to above, and departmental advice What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015- Advice for practitioners.

Legislation this guidance refers to is listed at Annex A.

Who this guidance is for

  • Governing bodies of maintained (including maintained nursery schools), non- maintained special schools, and colleges, proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies) and management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs), further education colleges and sixth form colleges
  • The above persons should ensure that all staff in schools and colleges read at least part one of this guidance

1 The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) is mandatory for all early years providers. It applies to all schools that provide early years provision including maintained nursery schools. Maintained nursery schools, like the other schools listed, must have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015 (by virtue of section 175(2) of the Education Act 2002 – see footnote 8 for further detail on this requirement).

What it replaces

This guidance replaces Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014, which replaced:

  • Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (December 2006); and,
  • Dealing with allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff 2012.

Part one: Safeguarding information for all staff

What school and college staff should know and do

  1. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance 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 all children to have the best outcomes.
  2. Children includes everyone under the age of 18.
  3. Where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, action should be taken to protect that child.2 Action should also be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk.3
  4. The role of the school or college

  5. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. Schools and colleges should work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
  6. Each school and college should have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care.
  7. The role of school and college staff

  8. The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers, including headteachers, should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties. 4

  9. 2 Such action might be taken under section 47 and section 44 of the Children Act 1989.

    3 Such action might be taken under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

    4 The Teachers' Standards apply to: trainees working towards QTS; all teachers completing their statutory induction period (newly qualified teachers [NQTs]); and teachers in maintained schools, including maintained special schools, who are subject to the Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012.


  10. 1All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
  11. All school and college staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. All staff then have a responsibility to take appropriate action, working with other services as needed.
  12. In addition to working with the designated safeguarding lead staff members should be aware that they may be asked to support social workers to take decisions about individual children.
  13. What school and college staff need to know:

  14. All staff members should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction. This includes: the school’s or college’s child protection policy; the school’s or college’s staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct); and the role of the designated safeguarding lead.
  15. All staff members should also receive appropriate child protection training which is regularly updated.
  16. What school and college staff should look out for:

  17. All school and college staff members should be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.
  18. Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child.
  19. There are various expert sources of advice on the signs of abuse and neglect. Each area’s Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) should be able to advise on useful material, including training options.5 One good source of advice is provided on the NSPCC website. Types of abuse and neglect, and examples of specific safeguarding issues, are described in paragraphs 24-29 of this guidance.
  20. Knowing what to look for is vital to the early identification of abuse and neglect. If staff members are unsure they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead. In exceptional circumstances, such as in emergency or a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken, staff members can speak directly to children’s social care.

  21. 5 Department for Education training materials on neglect.


    What school and college staff should do if they have concerns about a child:

  22. If staff members have concerns about a child they should raise these with the school’s or college’s designated safeguarding lead. The safeguarding lead will usually decide whether to make a referral to children’s social care, but it is important to note that any staff member can refer their concerns to children’s social care directly. Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (for example education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These assessments should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989. The early help assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who could be a teacher, special educational needs coordinator, General Practitioner (GP), family support worker, and/or health visitor.
  23. If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to help for the child at some point.
  24. Staff should be aware of new reporting requirements with regards to known cases of female genital mutilation (FGM). Further details can be found on page 14.
  25. It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating. Research and Serious Case Reviews have repeatedly shown the dangers of failing to take effective action. Poor practice includes: failing to act on and refer the early signs of abuse and neglect, poor record keeping, failing to listen to the views of the child, failing to re-assess concerns when situations do not improve, sharing information too slowly and a lack of challenge to those who appear not to be taking action.6
  26. The Department for Education has produced advice What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015- Advice for practitioners to help practitioners identify child abuse and neglect and take appropriate action in response
  27. What school and college staff should do if they have concerns about another staff member:

  28. If staff members have concerns about another staff member then this should be referred to the headteacher or principal. Where there are concerns about the headteacher or principal this should be referred to the chair of governors, chair of the management committee or proprietor of an independent school as appropriate. Full details can be found in Part 4 of this guidance.
  29. What school or college staff should do if they have concerns about safeguarding practices within the school or college:

  30. Staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school or college’s safeguarding regime. Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, should be in place for such concerns to be raised with the school or college’s management team.
  31. Where a staff member feels unable to raise the issue with their employer or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them.7

  32. 7 Advice on whistleblowing


    Action when a child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm

    This diagram illustrates what action should be taken and who should take it where there are concerns about a child. If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a referral.

    diagram

    *In cases which also involve an allegation of abuse against the staff member, see part four of this guidance which explains action the school or college should take in respect of the staff member.

    **Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These assessments should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989. The early help assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who could be a teacher, special educational needs coordinator, General Practitioner (GP), family support worker, and/or health visitor.

    **Where there are more complex needs, help may be provided under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (children in need). Where there are child protection concerns local authority services must make enquiries and decide if any action must be taken under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, see Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 for more information.

    Types of abuse and neglect

  33. Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
  34. Physical abuse: a form of abuse which 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.
  35. Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and 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. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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, although it may occur alone.
  36. 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, or 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.
  37. Neglect: 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 as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and 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 care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

  38. Specific safeguarding issues

  39. Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. For example information for schools and colleges can be found on the TES website and NSPCC website. Schools and colleges can also access broad government guidance on the issues listed below via the GOV.UK website:

Further information on a Child Missing from Education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. School and college staff should follow the school’s or college’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

Schools should put in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. It is essential that all staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, FGM and forced marriage.

The law requires all schools to have an admission register and, with the exception of schools where all pupils are boarders, an attendance register. All pupils must be placed on both registers8.

All schools must inform their local authority9 of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register where they:

  • have been taken out of school by their parents and are being educated outside the school system e.g. home education;
  • have ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered;
  • have been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend the school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age;
  • are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period; or,
  • have been permanently excluded.

The local authority must be notified when a school is to delete a pupil from its register under the above circumstances. This should be done as soon as the grounds for deletion are met, but no later than deleting the pupil’s name from the register. It is essential that schools comply with this duty, so that local authorities can, as part of their duty to identify children of compulsory school age who are missing education, follow up with any child who might be in danger of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of abuse or neglect.


8 Regulation 4 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

9 Regulation 12(3) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006


All schools must inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority (or in default of such agreement, at intervals determined by the Secretary of State)10.

Further information on Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

Further information on Female Genital Mutilation

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. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM.

Indicators

There is a range of potential indicators that a girl may be at risk of FGM. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 16-17 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines , and Chapter 9 of those Guidelines (pp42-44) focuses on the role of schools and colleges. Section 5C of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 75 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) gives the Government powers to issue statutory guidance on FGM to relevant persons. Once the government issues any statutory multi-agency guidance this will apply to schools and colleges.


10 Regulation 12(1) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 FGM to relevant persons. Once the government issues any statutory multi-agency guidance this will apply to schools and colleges.


Actions

If staff have a concern they should activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care. When mandatory reporting commences in October 2015 these procedures will remain when dealing with concerns regarding the potential for FGM to take place. Where a teacher discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18, there will be a statutory duty upon that individual to report it to the police.

Mandatory Reporting Duty

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place a statutory duty upon teachers11, 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.

The Mandatory reporting duty will commence in October 2015. Once introduced, teachers must report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should still consider and discuss any such case with the school’s designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate.

Further information on Preventing Radicalisation

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 forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism12. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people.

As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.


11 Section 5B(11) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) provides a definition for the term ‘teacher’.

12 Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.


Prevent

From 1 July 2015 specified authorities, including all schools as defined in the summary of this guidance, are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (“the CTSA 2015”), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard13 to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”14. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It applies to a wide range of public-facing bodies. Bodies to which the duty applies must have regard to statutory guidance issued under section 29 of the CTSA 2015 (“the Prevent guidance”). Paragraphs 57-76 of the Prevent guidance are concerned specifically with schools (but also cover childcare). It is anticipated that the duty will come into force for sixth form colleges and FE colleges early in the autumn. The statutory Prevent guidance summarises the requirements on schools in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies.

  • Schools are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This means being able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting children and young people in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them. Schools and colleges should have clear procedures in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation. These procedures may be set out in existing safeguarding policies. It is not necessary for schools and colleges to have distinct policies on implementing the Prevent duty.
  • The Prevent duty builds on existing local partnership arrangements. For example, governing bodies and proprietors of all schools should ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).
  • The Prevent guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. Individual schools are best placed to assess the training needs of staff in the light of their assessment of the risk to pupils at the school of being drawn into terrorism. As a minimum, however, schools should ensure that the designated safeguarding lead undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to other members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.
  • Schools must ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Schools should ensure that suitable filtering is in place. It is also important that schools teach pupils about online safety more generally.

The Department for Education has also published advice for schools on the Prevent duty. The advice is intended to complement the Prevent guidance and signposts other sources of advice and support.


13 According to the Prevent duty guidance ‘having due regard’ means that the authorities should place an appropriate amount of weight on the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism when they consider all the other factors relevant to how they carry out their usual functions.

14 “Terrorism” for these purposes has the same meaning as for the Terrorism Act 2000 (section 1(1) to (4) of that Act).


Channel

School staff should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme.15 Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages.

Section 36 of the CTSA 2015 places a duty on local authorities to ensure Channel panels are in place. The panel must be chaired by the local authority and include the police for the relevant local authority area. Following a referral the panel will assess the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and, where considered appropriate and necessary consent is obtained, arrange for support to be provided to those individuals. Section 38 of the CTSA 2015 requires partners of Channel panels to co-operate with the panel in the carrying out of its functions and with the police in providing information about a referred individual. Schools and colleges which are required to have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education are listed in the CTSA 2015 as partners required to cooperate with local Channel panels 16.


15 Guidance issued under section 36(7) and section 38(6) of the CTSA 2015 in respect of Channel is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-guidance

16 Such partners are required to have regard to guidance issued under section 38(6) of the CTSA 2015 when co-operating with the panel and police under section 38 of the CTSA 2015

Confidentiality


Policy Statement

'Confidential information is information that is not normally in the public domain or readily available from another source, it should have a degree of sensitivity and value and be subject to a duty of confidence. A duty of confidence arises when one person provides information to another in circumstances where it is reasonable to expect that the information will be held in confidence'.

-Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)

In our setting, staff and managers can be said to have a 'confidential relationship' with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality early years care and education in our setting. We aim to ensure that all parents an carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children. There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; the means we use to store and share that information takes place within the framework of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998).

Confidentiality Procedures

  • We always check whether parents regard the information they share with us to be confidential or not.
  • Some parents may share information about themselves with other parents as well as staff; the setting cannot be held responsible if information is shared beyond those parents whom the person has 'confided' in.
  • Information shared between parents in a discussion or training group is usually bound by a shared agreement that the information is confidential to the group and not discussed outside of it.
  • We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep (see our Children's Records Policy)- for example with regard to any injuries, concerns or changes in relation to the child or the family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding action taken in respect of child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies in relation to their child.
  • We keep all records securely (see our Children's Records Policy).

Client access to records procedures

Parents may request access to any confidential records held on their child and family following the procedure below:

  • Any request to see the child's personal file by a parent or person with parental responsibility must be made in writing to the manager.
  • The manager will send a written acknowledgement.
  • The setting commits to providing access within 14 days, although this may be extended.
  • The manager will prepare the file for viewing.
  • All third parties are written to, stating that a request for disclosure has been received and asking for their permission to disclose to the person requesting it. Copies of these letters are retained on file.
  • 'Third parties' include all family members who may be referred to in the records.
  • It also includes workers from any other agency, including children's social care, the health authority, etc. it is usual for agencies to refuse consent to disclose, preferring the individual to go directly to them.
  • When all the consents/refusals to disclose have been received, these are attached to the copy of the request letter.
  • A photocopy of the complete file is taken.
  • The manager will go through the file and remove any information which a third party has refused consent to disclose. A thick black marker is used, to score through every reference to the third party and information they have added to the file.
  • What remains is the information recorded by the setting, detailing the work initiated and followed by them in relation to confidential matters. This is called the 'clean copy'.
  • The 'clean copy' is photocopied for the parents, who are then invited in to discuss the contents. The file should never be given straight over, but should be gone through by the manager, so that it can be explained.
  • Legal advice may be sought before sharing a file, especially where the parent has possible grounds for litigation against the setting or another (third party) agency.

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the setting, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please see also our policy on Safeguarding Children and Child Protection.

Legal framework

  • Data Protection Act (1998)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)

Signed by: Maggie Gaca (Manager)

Date to be reviewed: October 2015

Bristish values


Policy Statement

The DfE (Department of Education) have recently reinforced the need to create and enforce clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 prevent strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014 and added to Ofsted inspection guidance in July 2014.

Promoting British Values at Visitation Pre-School

We are an inclusive setting and our ethos and curriculum enables children to be independent learners, to make choices and to build strong relationships with their peers and all adults. Our setting believes that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour. We would challenge pupils, staff or parents who expressed opinions contrary to fundamental British Values.

Democracy

We respect, listen to and act on children’s and parents voice. Children are involved in making class rules and they are expected to contribute and co-operate with them taking into account the views of others.

The Rule of Law

We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules), they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. Our Behaviour Management Policy aims to teach children to behave in socially acceptable ways and to understand the rights and needs of others. We use positive strategies to handle any conflict and praise and acknowledge desirable behaviours.

Individual Liberty

At the Visitation Pre-School children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices, to manage risks, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering teaching. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively.

Mutual Respect

At the Visitation Pre-School we value all our children and families. We celebrate our rich cultural and religious diversity and promote mutual respect. Children are modelled respect through caring, sharing and listening to others. Adults help children to understand how actions and words affect others. All children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities are valued for their individuality and supported to achieve their best.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year. Children have the opportunity to dress up in clothes and try different foods from other cultures and we encourage parents/carers to participate and support our multi-cultural events. We ensure that posters, displays, messages of welcome reflect the wide range of languages and cultures that we are fortunate to have in our school family. We monitor all forms of bullying and harassment and actively promote courtest and good manners towards all.

At Visitation Pre-School, embedded in everything we do, is our determination to develop skills of empathy and tolerance to make everyone at our setting feel valued and respected.

January 2016

Child absence policy


Statement of Intent

The early years are a critical time to establish the good habits and routines needed throughout life and to get the key messages about the importance of good attendance and punctuality at pre-school across to parents/carers. It is part of our duty in supporting the welfare and safeguarding of children in our care, to maintain the importance of good attendance at our setting. There can be particular issues in maintaining good attendance and punctuality for families with very young children, which need to be dealt with sensitively and proportionately. Regular attendance is important for all children, insofar as it is only through regular, consistent routines that children build up the secure attachments they need for healthy development.

Procdures:

  • • To ensure all parents/ carers are aware of the requirement to inform the setting if their child is going to be absent for their session.
  • This must be done by telephone on the pre-school number: 0208 578 2922 or face-to-face as early as possible on the first day of absence.
  • In the event of an illness with set exclusion periods, e.g. a contagious disease or temperature, the parent/carer must inform the setting of the expected date of their child’s return. If this date changes the parent/carer must contact the setting again and inform them of further absence.
  • In the event of the parent/carer not contacting the setting, a member of Management will attempt to make telephone contact with them to obtain the reason for the absence.
  • Absence due to illness, religious/ cultural days of observance or booked holidays, will be classed as authorised absences. However absence without any reason given, or without any contact being able to be made despite our attempts, will be classed as unauthorised.
  • Records are kept for children who are absent from the setting. These are monitored by Management

  • Dealing with unauthorised absences

  • If a child has regular unauthorised absence, the Manager must remind the parent/carer of the importance of good attendance at our setting.
  • If there is a further unauthorised absence, the Manager must arrange a brief meeting with the parent/carer to find out if there are any issues they might need support with. A written record will be held of this meeting.
  • Any further unauthorised absences will prompt action in accordance with our safeguarding policy and procedures.

  • Dealing with authorised absences

  • Young children will be ill from time to time and as a setting we fully understand that. However repeated absence due to illness can in rare cases, be a sign that further support is needed.
  • If a pattern of absence is apparent, parents/carers will be contacted to arrange to come in and discuss this further. A written record of this will be kept.
  • It may be that medical advice is necessary, for example in the case of a child of repeatedly gets ill with the same thing; this should not be seen by the parent/carer as a direct fault of their own and we want all families to understand that we are here to support them, whilst maintaining our own obligation to consider the welfare of the children as our priority.

Punctuality

From starting at Pre-School, parents/carers must make sure their child arrives at the setting on time, every day. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and lessens any possible disruption to the daily routine for their child and the other children. Persistent lateness to the sessions will be discussed with parents/carers.

Signed by: Maggie Gaca (Pre-School Manager)

Date to be reviewed: October 2016

Use of mobile phones


Policy Statement

We take steps to ensure that there are effective procedures in place to protect our children, young people, and vulnerable adults from the unacceptable use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.

Procedures

Personal mobile phones

  • Personal mobile phones belonging to members of staff are not used on the premises during working hours.
  • At the beginning of each individuals shift, personal mobile phones are stored in a basket in the office.
  • In the event of an emergency, personal mobile phones may be used in the privacy of the office, with permission from the manager.
  • Members of staff ensure that the telephone number of the setting is known to immediate family and other people who need to contact them in an emergency.
  • If members of staff take their own mobile phones on outings, for use in the case of an emergency, they must not make or receive personal calls as this will distract them.
  • Members of staff will not use their personal mobile phones for taking photographs of children on outings.
  • Parents and visitors are requested not to use their mobile phones whilst on the premises. There is an exception if a visitor's company or organisation operates a lone working policy that requires contact with their office periodically throughout the day. Visitors will be advised of a quiet space where they can use their mobile phone, where there are no children present.

Cameras and Videos

  • Members of staff must not bring their own cameras or video recordings into the setting.
  • Photographs and recordings of children are only taken for valid reasons, i.e. to record their learning and development, or for displays within the setting.
  • Photographs or recordings of the children are only taken on equipment belonging to the setting.
  • Camera and video use is monitored by the setting manager.
  • Where parents request permission to photograph or record their own children at special events, permission will first be gained from all parents for their children to be included.
  • Photographs and recordings of children are only taken if there is written permission to do so (found on the individual child's Registration Form.

Signed by: Maggie Gaca (Manager)

Date to be reviewed: October 2015

Fire safety and emergency evacuation


Policy Statement

We ensure our premises present no risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions. The person in charge and staff are familiar with the current legal requirements. Where necessary we seek the advice of a competent person, such as our Fire Officer, or Fire Safety Consultant.

Procedures

  • The basis of fire safety is risk assessment, carried out by a "competent person".
  • The manager has received training in fire safety sufficient to be competent to carry out the risk assessment; this will be written where there are more than five staff and will follow the Government guidance Fire Safety Risk Assessment- Educational Premises (HMG 2006).
  • Where we rent premises, we will ensure that we have a copy of the fire safety risk assessment that applies to the building and that we contribute to regular reviews.
  • Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from the inside.
  • Smoke detectors/alarms and fire fighting appliances conform to BS EN standards, are fitted in appropriate high risk areas of the building and are checked as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Our emergency evacuation procedures are approved by the Fire Safety Officer and are: clearly displayed in the premises, explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and practised regularly, at least once every six weeks.
  • Records are kept of fire drills and of the servicing of fire safety equipment.

Emergency evacuation procedure

Every setting is different and the evacuation procedure will be suitable for each setting. It must cover procedures for practice drills including:

  • How children are familiar with the sound of the fire alarm.
  • How the children, staff and parents know where the fire exits are.
  • How children are led from the building to the assembly point.
  • How children will be accounted for and who by.
  • How long it takes to get the children out safely.
  • Who calls the emergency services, and when, in the event of a real fire.
  • How parents are contacted.

The fire record book must contain:

  • The date a time of the drill.
  • How long it took.
  • Whether there were any problems that delayed evacuation.
  • Any further action taken to improve the drill procedure.

Legal Framework

  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Signed by: Maggie Gaca (Manager)

Date to be reviewed: October 2015