Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
Plymouth Grove Primary School
The Headteacher who has the ultimate responsibility for safeguarding is Michael Cooke
In their absence, the authorised member of staff is Julia Scott
KEY SCHOOL STAFF & ROLES
Location and/or Contact Phone Number
Designated person for LAC
Safeguarding, Admissions and Attendance Lead
School Business Leader
0161 276 9740
NAMED GOVERNOR for Safeguarding & Prevent
Contact Phone Number/Email
0161 272 8716
This policy will be reviewed at annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review
Ratification by Governing Body
Date of ratification
Chair of Governors
Summary of Urgent Procedures
Our procedure if there is a concern about child welfare or safeguarding is:-
All staff, volunteers and visitors have a responsibility to report any concerns about the welfare and safety of a child and all such concerns must be taken seriously. Staff 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 should always act in the best interests of the child.
If a concern arises all staff, volunteers and visitors must:
● Speak to the Designated Person or the person who acts in their absence
● Agree with this person what action should be taken, by whom and when it will be reviewed
● Record the concern using the school’s safeguarding recording system (CPOMS)
Staff should not assume a colleague, or another professional will take action and share information that might be critical in keeping children safe. They should be mindful that early information sharing is vital for the effective identification, assessment, and allocation of appropriate service provision.
- Early Help Hubs:
North 0161 234 1973, Central 0161 234 1975, South 0161 234 1977
- Social Care Advice & Guidance Service: 0161 234 5001
- Complex Safeguarding Hub Advice Line: 0161 226 4196
- MCC Safeguarding in Education Team: 0161 245 7171
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Whistle Blowing Hotline : 0800 028 0285
Our procedure if there is an allegation that an adult has harmed a child, or that a child is a risk from a named adult is;
· Ensure the child is safeguarded
· Refer to children’s social care if required via Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Helpline: 0161 219 2895
· Do not investigate the matter, question the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator or potential witnesses without formal consultation with the designated officer
· The senior manager will report the concern to the Designated Officer (formerly LADO) and agree a course of action i.e. no further action, action by the setting or a strategy meeting.
· Manchester LA Designated Officer (formerly LADO): 0161 234 1214.
· We have a separate policy relating to this issue for further information and guidance.
· All concerns including low-level should be reported to the head teacher or principal unless concerning the head teacher in which case report to the chair of governors, chair of the management committee or proprietor of an independent school
Our procedure for whistleblowing if there is an urgent concern about child welfare or safeguarding that cannot be dealt with through our usual systems is:-
● Employees should raise their concerns with their immediate line manager if possible. However, the most appropriate person to contact to report a concern will depend on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the malpractice.
● Where the individual believes that their manager is involved in the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Produced by Michael Cooke on behalf of the Governing Body Ratified November 2021 Review November 2022 matter of concern, they should then contact the Headteacher (or the Chair of Governors if the concern raised is related to the Headteacher). Joe Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
● Wherever possible, concerns should be expressed in writing, setting out the background and history of the concern, giving names, dates and places where possible, and the reason why the member of staff is particularly concerned about the situation.
● If a member of staff does not feel able to put the concern in writing initially, he or she should be allowed to telephone or meet the appropriate person who will make a note of the concerns.
● The member of staff will need to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are sufficient grounds for concern to enable the matter to be taken forward.
● In the event that the Headteacher is the subject of the concerns then the Chair Of Governors (Joe Hill) should be contacted by email@example.com
● In the event both the Headteacher and the Chair of Governors are the subject of the concerns the complaint must be made in writing to the Local Authority Designated Officer on 234 1214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
● If an employee is not satisfied, and feels it appropriate to take the issue further, the employee may make a protected disclosure to a third party, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
There is an independent charity "Public Concern at Work” http://www.pcaw.org.uk/ 0207 404 6609 which provides free advice to employees wishing to express concerns about fraud or other serious malpractices.
Other useful contacts
NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline: 0800 028 0285 or
email email@example.com (1.75-77)
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Training & Awareness Raising
- Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy & Procedures
- Case Management, Record Keeping & Multi-agency Working
- The Curriculum
- Safer Recruitment
- Managing Allegations
- Safety On & Off-Site
- Complex Safeguarding
Part 1 & Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), September 2021 - statutory guidance to be read by staff as determined by the Headteacher and Governing Body
- Legislation, Statutory Guidance & Ofsted
- Non-Statutory Government Guidance
- Local Policies & Guidance (MCC, Greater Manchester & Manchester Safeguarding Partnership)
- Other Relevant School Polices/Procedures
- Other Relevant Education Department
- COVID 19 – School Arrangements for Safeguarding during on-going Covid-19 arrangements and future planning for sudden or enhanced arrangements
This Policy covers the following Rights in respect of UNICEF’s The Convention On The Rights Of The Child:
- Article 12 (Respect for the views of the child): When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.
- Article 15 (Freedom of association): Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as it does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. In exercising their rights, children have the responsibility to respect the rights, freedoms and reputations of others.
- Article 16 (Right to privacy): Children have a right to privacy. The law should protect them from attacks against their way of life, their good name, their families and their homes
- Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence): Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.
- Article 28: (Right to education): All children have the right to a primary education, which should be free. Discipline in schools should respect children’s dignity. For children to benefit from education, schools must be run in an orderly way. Any form of school discipline should take into account the child's human dignity.
- Article 29 (Goals of education): Children’s education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. It should encourage children to respect others, human rights and their own and other cultures. It should also help them learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
- Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture): Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.
- Article 37 (Detention and punishment): No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way.
Through this policy we aim to create and maintain a safe learning environment where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued and know they will be listened to and taken seriously.
This policy has been developed to ensure that all adults in our school, including regular staff, supply staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors are working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and to identify and address any safeguarding concerns and to ensure consistent good practice.
Our approach is child-centred.
‘Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.’ (KCSIE, Part 1, p 6)
See KCSIE Part 1, Part 5 & Annex B for definitions and further information about:-
- Abuse & Neglect - including physical, emotional & sexual abuse and neglect (1.26-30)
- Channel (Annex B, p134)
- Child Abduction and Community Safety Incidents (Annex B, p124)
- Child Criminal Exploitation (1.33-35, Annex B, p125)
- Child Sexual Exploitation (1.36-39, Annex B, p125)
- Children and the Court System (Annex B, p124)
- Children Missing from Education (Annex B, p124)
- Children with Family Members in Prison (Annex B, p125)
- County Lines (Annex B, p126)
- Cybercrime (Annex B, p127)
- Domestic Abuse (Annex B, p128)
- Early Help (1.61)
- Elective Home Education (2.165-168)
- Homelessness (Annex B p130)
- Mental Health (1.41 -1.44)
- Modern Slavery and the National Referral Mechanism (Annex B, p127)
- Online Safety, including Education at Home (Annex D, p158-160)
- Peer on Peer/Child on Child Abuse – including sexual harassment, upskirting & sharing of nude and semi-nude images (1.46-50, Part 5 & Annex B, p135)
- Prevent Duty (Annex B, p133, Additional support, p142, 143)
- Preventing Radicalisation (Annex B, p132)
- Serious Violence (1.51-52)
- Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in schools and colleges (Annex B, p136, additional support p144-147)
- So-called ‘Honour-Based Abuse’ including Female Genital Mutilation & Forced Marriage & Breast Ironing(1.40 & Annex B, p130, 131, 132)
- Upskirting (Annex B, p139)
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people goes beyond implementing basic child protection procedures. The aims of this policy are in accordance with both our Mission Statement and our Equal Opportunities Policy and it is an integral part of all of our activities and functions.
The Governing body and proprietors facilitate a whole school approach to safeguarding. This means ensuring safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront and underpin all relevant aspects of process and policy development. All systems, processes and policies should operate with the best interests of the child at heart.’
‘Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined … as:-
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s mental health or physical 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.’
(KCSIE, p 6)
All adults and children treat each other with mutual respect and consideration, relating to the 42 rights of the UNICEF ‘Children’s Rights Convention’.
- Under the Education Act 2002, schools/settings/colleges have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils and are committed to the guidance set out in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’ and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2021’ Our policy ensures that we comply with our Statutory Duties (Appendices A & B)
- Our policy takes account of non-statutory guidance issued by the DfE and other relevant organisations (Appendix C)
- Our policy ensures that we work in partnership with other organisations, where appropriate, to identify any concerns about child welfare and take action to address them and that we comply with local policies, procedures and arrangements (Appendix E)
- Our policy complements and supports other relevant school policies (Appendix D).
- Our policy is regularly reviewed and we are responsive to new guidance and legislation and to promoting the safety of our staff and pupils in crisis situations.
- ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
2.1 OUR GOVERNING BODY
Our Governing Body have a strategic leadership responsibility for our school’s safeguarding arrangements and will ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They will have regard to KCSiE 2021, ensuring policies, procedures and training in their schools/colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.
Our Governing Body are fully aware of our role in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, of the new Safeguarding Partnership (MSP) arrangements and of the Child Death Review partnership arrangements and will ensure that we work together with appropriate relevant agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children, including identifying and responding to their needs.
The Governing Body will ensure that:-
- A named member is identified as the designated governor for Safeguarding and receives appropriate training.
- They facilitate a whole school approach to safeguarding and that all systems, processes and policies operate with the best interests of the child at heart.
- Where there is a safeguarding concern, they and school/college leaders will ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide.
- The systems in place are well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously, and knowing they can safely express their views and give feedback.
- Policies and procedures allow for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.
- The school has an effective Child Protection Policy
- The school/college has a Behaviour Policy which includes measures to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying.
- Child protection files are maintained as required
- More than one emergency number is held on file for each pupil/student
- The identified governor will provide the governing body with appropriate information about safeguarding and will liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Leads once every half term.
- Our safeguarding policy and our staff Code of Conduct are reviewed at least annually and staff are given opportunities to contribute to and shape our safeguarding arrangements and policies.
- We operate safer recruitment and selection practices, including appropriate use of references and checks on new staff, volunteers and contractors and will be reviewed by our safeguarding governor.
- We have procedures in place for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff, including supply teachers, volunteers and contractors and these are in line with KCSIE and Local Authority procedures. We will work with the LADO and other relevant agencies to support any investigations.
- All staff and volunteers who have regular contact with children and young people and contractors who are in contact with children and young people receive appropriate training and information about the safeguarding processes. Safeguarding training will be completed in September during staff INSET. Any staff unable to attend will receive safeguarding training by the designated safeguarding leads. Regular training is completed through EDUCARE where staff are directed to complete courses and submit certificate of completion.
- There is appropriate challenge and quality assurance of the safeguarding policies and procedures. The policy and procedures will be shared during the safeguarding training and are in line with MSCB procedures.
- Our governors are able to challenge that online safety and online education duties are fulfilled.
2.2 OUR HEADTEACHER
Our headteacher is fully aware of our role in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, of Manchester Safeguarding Partnership (MSP) arrangements and of the Child Death Review partnership arrangements. We will ensure that we work together with appropriate relevant agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children, identifying and responding to their needs, including:-
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. This includes providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans. (KCSiE 2.103)
All schools and colleges should allow access for children’s social care from the host local authority and, where appropriate, from a placing local authority, for that authority to conduct, or to consider whether to conduct, a section 17 or a section 47 assessment.’ (KCSIE, 2.104)
Our Headteacher is fully aware of statutory guidance in KCSIE and will ensure that:-
- The policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils are fully implemented and followed by all staff, including supply teachers and volunteers and that they are regularly updated in response to local practice or national changes in legislation.
- All staff including supply teachers, volunteers and contractors understand and comply with our Code of Conduct.
- We evaluate our safeguarding policies & procedures at least on an annual basis and return our completed Safeguarding Self Evaluation (SEF) using the S175 online tool to the LA as requested.
- We share the Safeguarding Self Evaluation and Action Plan with governors at least annually.
- We work with the LA to ensure that our policies and procedures are in line with DFE and LA guidance.
- A senior member of staff, known as the DSL, is appointed with a clear job description. The DSL has lead responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding and receives appropriate on-going training, supervision and support as well as sufficient time and resources to enable them to discharge their responsibilities.
- Parents/carers are aware of and have an understanding of our responsibilities to promote the safety and welfare of our pupils by making our statutory obligations clear in our prospectus.
- The Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is available on our website and is included in the staff handbook and volunteers’ handbook.
- Child friendly information of how to raise a concern/make a disclosure has been developed through pupil voice with Plymouth Grove Parliament and is accessible to all children in the classrooms, all shared areas and in the toilets.
- We co-operate fully with MCC and MSP multi-agency safeguarding procedures and arrangements are in place to monitor the quality of referrals and interventions and the processes for escalation of concern All CPOMs entries are monitored by all six designated safeguarding leads.
- We create a culture whereby all staff, volunteers and visitors feel confident and have knowledge of how to raise a concern about poor or unsafe practice in regard to the safeguarding and welfare of the children and young people and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively. All visitors will receive a summary of our safeguarding policy. Any staff from supply agencies will be informed of safeguarding arrangements by Assistant Headteachers in the phase that they are working in.
- Any staff who are carrying out regulated activities commissioned from external agencies/ organisations have been DBS checked and their employing organisations have safeguarding policies in place, including safer recruitment and annual safeguarding training appropriate to
- We ensure a risk assessment takes place to establish that the appropriate checks take place on volunteers.
- We have appropriate procedures to ensure that there is no risk to children from visitors and we exercise diligence and prevent any organisation or speaker from using our facilities to disseminate extremist views or radicalise pupils and staff. We have an external speaker’s policy.
- There are suitable arrangements for visitors coming onto the premises which may include an assessment of the educational value, the age appropriateness of what is going to be delivered and whether relevant checks will be required.
2.3 OUR DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD (DSL)
The DSL is a member of our Senior Leadership Team and has a specific responsibility for championing the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The DSL takes lead responsibility for Early Help, safeguarding and child protection, although some activities may be delegated as appropriate.
The DSL team will:
- Act as the first point of contact with regards to all safeguarding matters.
- Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feeling, and also understand the difficulties some children may have in approaching staff about their circumstances
- Work closely with the school’s lead for mental health
- Help promote educational outcomes by working closely with their teachers and sharing information about their welfare, safeguarding and child protection concerns.
- Attend specialist DSL training every two years.
- Keep up to date with changes in local policy and procedures and be aware of any guidance issued by the DfE, MSP and LA concerning Safeguarding, eg through DSL Networks, Safeguarding Newsletters and Circular Letters
- Provide support and training for staff and volunteers. This will be monitored through the annual section 11 safeguarding audit and through attendance at LA designated safeguarding lead training events.
- Liaise with the three safeguarding partners and work with other agencies in line with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’
- Ensure that all referrals made to Children’s Services are effective and in line with MSP procedures, and follow escalation process if necessary.
- Understand the assessment process for providing early help
- Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and review conference, and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively.
- Refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern or support other staff who have made such referrals.
- Ensure that all staff with specific responsibility for safeguarding children, including the named DSL, receive the appropriate funding, training, resources and support needed to undertake this role. Access to professional supervision is recommended practice.
- Ensure that referrals to the police are timely and appropriate, following the National Police Chiefs’ Guidance
- Refer cases to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a person is dismissed or has left due to risk/harm to a child.
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand and are aware of our reporting and recording procedures and are clear about what to do if they have a concern about a child.
- Create and maintain child protection files and keep them up to date.
- Keep information confidential and store securely with a separate file for each child. All information is stored on electronically through CPOMS, only DSL’s have secure log in to access all information using secure CPOMS authentification log in.
- Help promote educational outcomes for vulnerable children, including those with, or who have had, a social worker, in conjunction with other appropriate colleagues.
- Share and transfer safeguarding and child protection information as appropriate. See Transfer of Records policy.
- Always be available during school hours during term time, and at other times as designated by the The designated safeguarding team will monitor emails and CPOMs for any safeguarding issues that arise during holidays.
- Promote supportive engagement with parents/carers in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including where families may be facing challenging circumstances
- Understand the lasting impact that adversity and trauma can have on children and young people
- Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents/carers are made aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the school in this. This information is available on the school website as well as links to key websites for parents.
Designated person for LAC
Safeguarding, Admissions and Attendance Lead
School Business Leader
2.4 ALL STAFF
All staff in the school, including supply staff and volunteers have responsibility for safeguarding, according to their roles and under the guidance of the DSL.
All staff will:-
- Follow our agreed Code of Conduct and ‘Safer Working Practices’ guidance
- Read Part One/Annex A/Annex B of KCSiE 2021as directed by senior leaders and appropriate to individual roles.
- Attend training sessions/briefings as required to ensure that they are aware of the signs of Abuse, Neglect, Complex Safeguarding concerns and key LA approaches including Early Help, Signs of Safety, Safe & Together and the ACT model
- Attend training sessions/briefings as required to ensure that they follow relevant policies eg Behaviour Management Policy/Physical Restraint Policy
- Provide a safe environment where children can learn
- Be aware of specific vulnerabilities of some children, including those with poor attendance and those with a Social Worker.
- Understand the concept of ‘it could happen here’ in respect of child sexual violence or sexual harassment and be proactive in response to a whole school approach to the issue
- Be approachable to children and respond appropriately to any disclosures
- Never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation, as this may not ultimately be in the best interest of the child
- Know what to do if they have a concern and follow our agreed procedures for recording concerns, sharing information and making referrals
- Attend multi-agency meetings as required, if appropriate to their role
- Contribute to the teaching of safeguarding in the curriculum as required, if appropriate to their role
- Provide targeted support for individual and groups of children as required, if appropriate to their role
Teaching staff have additional statutory duties, including to report any cases of known or suspected Female Genital Mutilation.
- TRAINING AND AWARENESS RAISING
- In accordance with KCSIE, all new staff and regular volunteers will
receive appropriate safeguarding information during induction (including online safety) and be made aware of the systems within the school/college which support safeguarding eg, the Behaviour Policy. There is a team approach to safeguarding training including face to face training and training through the virtual college and Educare.
- All staff must ensure that they have read and understood Keeping Children Safe in Education: Part One/Annex A and/or Annex B. Staff receive annual training on new updates, and complete mandatory courses through Educare through the year. Staff have completed a questionnaire of understanding at the beginning of the academic year and misconceptions and key areas are addressed through weekly staff briefings under the mandatory safeguarding section.
- All staff will receive regular child protection training at least every 2 years and an annual update which includes basic safeguarding information about our policies and procedures, signs and symptoms of abuse (emotional and physical), indicators of vulnerability to exploitation and radicalisation, how to manage a disclosure from a child as well as when and how to record a concern about the welfare of a child, with regular updates in relation to local and national Safeguarding training is delivered by the designated safeguarding team as well as through mandatory Educare Safeguarding training courses that are assigned to staff through the year. Certificates of completion are submitted to the School Business Manager and kept on the staff record. Reports are submitted to governors during inclusion committee on training delivered, and number and nature of CPOMS referrals.
- All staff members will receive regular safeguarding and child protection training and updates, including online safety, as required, providing them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. Safeguarding training is delivered by the designated safeguarding team as well as through mandatory Educare Safeguarding training courses that are assigned to staff through the year. Certificates of completion are submitted to the School Business Manager and kept on the staff record.
- To recognise the expertise built within staff by training and managing concerns on a daily basis, staff will be provided with the opportunity to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and the child protection policy (KCSiE Part 2, 116)
- All interview panels will include at least 1 member that has completed up to date Safer Recruitment training within the last 3 year.
3.7 All staff need to understand the impact mental health problems may have on all aspects of safeguarding including the relevance of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the impact of trauma on children and young people.
- SAFEGUARDING/CHILD PROTECTION POLICY &
4.1 PUPIL VOICE
Children are encouraged to contribute to the development of policies and share their views. Plymouth Grove School has its own parliament that meet weekly. Policy developments are shared with school parliament.
Classrooms will contain a worry box so that children are able to record concerns.
4.2 POOR ATTENDANCE
4.2.1 We view poor attendance as a safeguarding issue and in accordance with our Attendance Policy, absences are rigorously pursued and recorded. Any concerning patterns are reviewed. In partnership with the appropriate agencies, we take action to pursue and address all unauthorised absences in order to safeguard the welfare of children in our care.
- Our Attendance Policy identifies how individual cases are managed and how we work proactively with parents/carers to ensure that they understand why attendance is important. In certain cases this may form part of an Early Help Assessment (EHA) or a Parenting Contract.
- We implement the statutory and LA requirements in terms of monitoring and reporting children missing education (CME), part-time timetables and off-rolling and understand how important this practice is in safeguarding children and young people. Our safeguarding, admissions and attendance lead regularly monitors attendance of children and meets with the deputy headteacher to identify patterns, trends, concerns and children at risk of persistent absence. School and families take part in attendance panel meetings where concerns are shared and supportive targets put in place. Please see our Attendance policy and the school website for full details of our attendance procedures
- We follow the Anxiety Based School Avoidance guidance (MCC, updated version May 2021) to assist with strategies for supporting children and young people experiencing anxiety to return to school.
- We will alert the relevant team or authority if a new child who has been expected to attend, does not arrive on the due date. (MCC)
- ALTERNATIVE PROVISION (AP)
4.3.1 We will only place children in AP which is a registered provider and has been quality assured. MCC advise that schools should only use AP that has been judged by Ofsted to be Good or better.
4.3.2. Children who require access to AP will have a personalised learning plan designed to meet their needs. Our DSL will work together with the DSL at the AP to ensure that any safeguarding concerns are followed up appropriately.
4.4.1. We comply with statutory regulations and with the LA Inclusion Policy (October 2019, updated 2021).
4.4.2. The DSL will be involved when a fixed term or permanent exclusion is being discussed and any safeguarding issues will be considered. If there is an open EH, CiN or CP, the EH Practitioner or Social Worker will be informed.
4.4.3 We will work with the Weapon Carrying in Schools and Colleges guidance to assist in decision making around exclusion and other responses to carrying or using weapons in school.
- Where it is felt that a child or young person is likely to be permanently excluded a multi-agency assessment will be instigated to ensure that there is improved understanding of the needs of the young person and their family and that the key agencies are involved
- VULNERABLE GROUPS
4.5.1 We ensure that all key staff work together to safeguard vulnerable children. Any referrals to CPOMS include the six designated leads so that the most appropriate person can be allocated a case. The DSL’s including Safeguarding Lead, Well-being Lead, SENDCo and Deputy Headteacher meet weekly to discuss vulnerable children, create actions to support families and children, and share updates, evaluate existing actions
- Any child may benefit from early help at times, but all staff will be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
- Is disabled or has certain health conditions and has specific needs
- Has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan)
- Has a mental health need
- Is a young carer
- Is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behavior, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups or county lines
- Is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home
- Is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking, sexual or criminal exploitation
- Is at risk of being radicalised or exploited
- Has a family member in prison, or is affected by parental offending
- Is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse
- Is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
- Has returned home to their family from care
- Is at risk of ‘honour’- based abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation or Forced Marriage
- Is a privately fostered child
- Is persistently absent from education, including persistent absences for part of the school day
Additionally, these children will also be considered
- International new arrival, refugee or asylum seeker
- Looked after, previously looked after or under a special guardianship order.
- Has or has had a social worker
4.5.3. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges. All staff are aware that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. These can include:-
- Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behavior, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration
- Being more prone to peer group isolation or bullying (including prejudice-based bullying) than other children
- The potential for children with SEND or certain medical conditions being disproportionately impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs and
- Communication barriers and difficulties in managing or reporting these challenges.
(KCSIE, Part 2, 185)
- Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. We have clear systems and processes in place for identifying possible mental health problems, including routes to escalate and clear referral and accountability systems. (KCSIE, Part 2, 169-175)
4.5.4. We ensure that staff consider the context in which incidents occur and whether and wider environmental factors (extra-familial harm) are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.
4.5.5. We ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status and regarding a child who was previously looked after and we work with relevant social workers and the Virtual School.
- PEER ON PEER/CHILD ON CHILD ABUSE
4.6.1 All our staff recognize that children are capable of abusing their peers, including online.
4.6.2 Our Peer on Peer Abuse Policy clearly outlines our procedures and approach to this issue and are summarised below
- The procedures to minimize the risk of peer on peer abuse
- The systems in place for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be taken seriously
- How allegations of peer on peer abuse will be recorded, investigated and dealt with
- Processes as to how victims, perpetrators and any other children affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported
- Recognition that even if there are no reported cases of peer on peer abuse, such abuse may still be taking place and is simply not being reported
- Our clear zero-tolerance approach to abuse, never passing it off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’, ‘part of growing up’ or ‘boys being boys’.
- Recognition that it is more likely girls will be victims and boys’ perpetrators, but that all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously
- The different forms peer on peer abuse can take
- Our response to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment as guided by Part Five of KCSiE 2021
4.7 ELECTIVE HOME EDUCATION
4.7.1 We understand the variety of reasons why some parents/carers would wish to home educate their child/ren and support this where the child’s best education is at the heart of the decision.
4.7.2 We also understand that by being educated at home, some children are less visible to the services that are there to keep them safe and supported in line with their needs
4.7.3 If a parent/carer informs us of their intention to remove their child/ren from school, we will, ideally, co-ordinate a meeting between ourselves, Manchester Elective Home Education Team and other key professionals to ensure the best interests of the child have been considered, especially if the child has SEND, is vulnerable or has a social worker, before the final decision is made.
4.7.4 We will inform Manchester LA of all deletions from the admission register when a child is taken off-role and we understand that a child may be removed from roll as soon as the parent has informed us of their decision.
4.7.5 We are familiar with the guidance from DfE outlining the roles and responsibilities of the LA in relation to Elective Home Education
- COMMUNITY SAFETY
- Serious violence
We are aware of the indicators and risk factors which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime
- Child abduction and community safety incidents
We will support children by building on their confidence and ability to deal with challenging situations to enable them to keep themselves safe. Lessons on this are covered in our PSHE curriculum and through keeping safe class discussions.
4.8.3 Our response to children carrying knives or other weapons in school and in situations out of school is aligned to the Manchester Knife and Weapon Carrying in Schools and Colleges Guidance (Knife Crime Protocol) in which we take a holistic and measured approach on a case by case basis to such incidents in and out of school.
5 . CASE MANAGEMENT, RECORD KEEPING & MULTI-AGENCY WORKING
- KEEPING RECORDS
We use CPOMS for recording all safeguarding concerns. All designated safeguarding leads are copied into every CPOMS referral. Records are kept in line with our school records management policy.
- We keep and maintain up to date information on children on the school roll including where and with whom the child is living, attainment, attendance, referrals to and support from other agencies. The record will also include a chronology of any other significant event in a child’s life and up to date contact details for adults who have day to day care of the child.
- We keep copies of all referrals to Children and Families Services, the Early Help Hub and any other agencies related to safeguarding children.
- We keep our safeguarding records secure through the use of CPOMS.
- We send a pupil’s child protection or safeguarding file separately from the main file to a new establishment if they leave as soon as possible. We keep a copy of the file in accordance with our Transfer of Records Policy (See Appendix E) and statutory and LA Guidance (See Appendices A, B & D).
- RECORDING AND REPORTING CONCERNS
- All staff, volunteers and visitors have a responsibility to report any concerns about the welfare and safety of a child and all such concerns must be taken seriously (Appendix A). If a concern arises all staff, volunteers and visitors must:
- Speak to the DSL or the person who acts in their absence
- Agree with this person what action should be taken, by whom and when it will be reviewed
- Record the concern using our safeguarding recording system
- WORKING WITH PARENTS/CARERS
- Our responsibility is to safeguard and promote the welfare of all the children in our care. We aim to do this in partnership with our parents/carers and would expect them to provide up-to-date contact details, including at least 2 emergency contacts.
- In most cases parents/carers will be informed when concerns are raised about the safety and welfare of their child and given the opportunity to address any concerns raised.
- We aim to engage with parents/carers through the LA Early Help processes, including holding strength-based conversations.
- We will inform, and gain consent from parents/carers if possible, if a referral is to be made to Children’s Social Care or any other agency unless it is believed that by doing so would put the child at risk eg in cases of suspected sexual abuse. We will record the reasons if consent is not gained.
- In such cases the DSL or Headteacher will seek advice from Children’s Social Care AGS.
- MULTI-AGENCY WORKING
- We will develop effective links with other relevant agencies and co-operate as required with any enquiries regarding child protection issues.
- We will develop effective links with the Early Help Hubs and carry out an Early Help Assessments (EHA), as appropriate.
- We will notify the named Social Worker if:
- A child subject to a child protection plan is at risk of permanent exclusion
- There is an unexplained absence of a child who is subject to a child protection plan
- It has been agreed as part of any child protection plan or core group plan.
- We receive an Operation Encompass notification and believe the social worker may not be aware of the circumstances
5.4.4. We will regularly review and concerns if necessary, as detailed in KCSIE and will follow LA and MSP procedures if there is a need to re-refer or to escalate (KCSiE Part 2, 70)
- CONFIDENTIALITY & INFORMATION SHARING
- Staff will ensure that confidentiality protocols are followed and under no circumstances will they disclose any information about children outside of their professional role.
- Information about children will only be shared with other members of staff on a need-to-know basis
- All staff and volunteers understand that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies, in the best interests of the child’s safety, welfare and educational outcomes. This is a matter of routine.
- We have arrangements in place that set out clearly the process and principles for sharing information within school and with the three safeguarding partners, other organisations, agencies and practitioners as required. This includes an agreed rationale for gaining consent, when and what to share, when and what not to share and systems for recording these decisions.
- We understand that the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. (KCSiE 110)
- CHILD PROTECTION (CP), CHILD IN NEED (CiN) & TEAM AROUND THE CHILD/FAMILY MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES
- A child protection conference will be held by Social Care if it is considered that the child is suffering or at risk of significant harm.
- We will attend and contribute to initial and review CP conferences, CiN conferences and relevant multi-agency meetings, including core Attendance at meetings during school holidays will be based on the availability of the team.
- Members of staff who are asked to attend a child protection conference or other core group meetings (either in person or virtually) about an individual pupil/family will need to have as much relevant updated information about the child as possible and will send a report, using the most up-to-date proforma to the Chair within the required timescales, at least 48 hours before the meeting.
- Our reports will always include the voice of the child, which is especially important where there may be barriers to communication.
- We will discuss and share reports with the parents/carers before the conference.
- All relevant staff will be confident in using the tools which are part of the Signs of Safety approach
5.7 CONCERNS/DISCLOSURES BY CHILDREN, STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
- Any concern, disclosure or expression of disquiet made by a child will be listened to seriously and acted upon as quickly as possible to safeguard his or her welfare.
- All staff and volunteers must be clear with children that they cannot promise to keep secrets.
- We will make sure that the child or adult who has expressed the concern or made the complaint will be informed not only about the action to be taken but also where possible about the length of time required to resolve the complaint.
- We will endeavour to keep the child or adult informed about the progress of the complaint/expression of concern.
- LEARNING FROM SERIOUS CASES
5.8.1 MSP will always undertake a child practice review or serious case review (SCR) when a child dies (including death by suicide) and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in their death. The purpose of the SCR is to:
- Find out if there are any lessons to be learnt from the case about how local professionals and agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people
- Identify what those lessons are, how they will be acted on and what is expected to change as a result of the serious case review.
- Improve inter-agency working to better safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people
5.8.2. If required we will provide an individual management report for a SCR and will cooperate fully with implementing outcomes of the review including reviewing policy, practice and procedures as required.
5.8.3 Our DSL’s will keep up to date with the findings from SCRs and other learning reviews nationally and in Manchester, share the learning and review our safeguarding procedures if relevant.
- THE CURRICULUM
We are committed to promoting emotional health and wellbeing and to supporting the development of the skills needed to help keep children safe and healthy. This includes face to face teaching, blended learning and online learning as needed in response to any crisis situation that may arise.
6.1 All children have access to an appropriate curriculum, differentiated to meet their needs. They are encouraged to express and discuss their ideas, thoughts and feelings through a variety of activities and have access to a range of cultural opportunities which promote the fundamental British values of tolerance, respect and empathy for others.
6.2. This enables them to develop the necessary skills to build self-esteem, respect others, support those in need, resolve conflict without resorting to violence, questions and challenge and to make informed choices in later life.
- Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons will provide opportunities for children and young people to discuss and debate a range of subjects including lifestyles, family patterns, religious beliefs and practices and human rights issues.
- We take account of the latest advice and guidance provided to help address specific vulnerabilities and forms of grooming and exploitation e.g. Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation, Peer on Peer/Child on Child Abuse, Radicalisation, ‘Honour-based Abuse, including Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation & breast ironing, Modern Slavery and County Lines.
- All children know that there are adults in our school whom they can approach in confidence if they are in difficulty or feeling worried and that their concerns will be taken seriously and treated with respect. There are “Adults who I can talk to” posters around school that are referred to in class so that all children know which adults they can talk to about their worries, as well as having a worry boxes in school.
- Children are encouraged to contribute to the development of policies. The right’s respecting parliament contribute to school polices and share this information with their class
- Children are taught about safeguarding including online safety and for some children, this will take a more personalised or contextualised approach, such as more vulnerable children, victims of abuse and some SEND children. (KCSiE Part 2 119-122)
7 . ONLINE-SAFETY
7.1 Online safety is a safeguarding issue and we understand that children must be safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. Our whole school approach empowers us to protect and educate pupils/students and staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any concerns where appropriate. The purpose of Internet use in our school/setting/college is to help raise educational standards, promote pupil achievement, and support the professional work of staff as well as enhance our management information and business administration.
7.2 We consider the 4C areas of risk to inform our online safety policy and ensure this is a running and interrelated theme when developing other relevant policies and procedures.
7.3 The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction and we have a duty to provide children with quality access to it as part of their learning experience.
7.4 Our policy on the use of children’s personal mobile phones and smart technology is clearly outlined in our (name) policy but in summary, children do not have mobile phones in school. For children that require contact with families, mobile phones are collected and locked away at the beginning of the day and returned to the child at the end of the day on agreement with the parent/carer.
7.4 We will ensure that appropriate filtering methods (without ‘over-blocking’) are in place to ensure that pupils are safe from all types of inappropriate and unacceptable materials, including terrorist and extremist material.
7.5 We use an appropriate level of security protection in order to safeguard our systems, staff and learners from evolving cyber-crime technologies and periodically review its effectiveness.
7.5 We will encourage children to use Social Media safely, including opportunities for them to think and discuss the issues and to check their sources of information.
7.7 We have separate acceptable use policies (AUPs) for both staff and children. This covers the use of all technologies and platforms used, both on and offsite. See staff code of conduct for further details about the safe use of devices.
7.8 We follow the MSP guidelines ‘Safeguarding online guidelines for minimum standards’ and the advice on the UK Safer Internet Website.
7.9 We work with parents to promote good practice in keeping children safe online, including to support their children learning at home.
7.10 We ensure that all staff adhere to safe and responsible online behaviours when providing home learning and communicating with families.
7.11 As technology, and the risks and harms associated with it, evolve and change rapidly, we will carry out an annual review of our approach to online safety supported by an annual risk assessment that considers and reflects the risks our children face. (KCSiE Part 2, 132-135)
- SAFER RECRUITMENT & SELECTION OF STAFF
8.1 Our recruitment and selection policies and processes adhere to the DfE guidance KCSIE and the LA model policy for Safer Recruitment (Appendices A & D)
8.2 Our safeguarding culture and vigilance, in conjunction with our policies and processes, will deter and prevent people unsuitable to work with children from applying or securing employment or volunteering opportunities at our school/college. These measures are outlined below and expanded in our policies
- All those involved with the recruitment and employment of staff to work with children have received appropriate safer recruitment training and at least one of the persons who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training.
- Our job adverts will include safeguarding requirements and the schools /colleges commitment to safeguarding and promoting to welfare of children
- Our job adverts will make clear that safeguarding checks will be undertaken
- We understand the process around filtering offences
- Our application form will include the statement that it is an offence to apply for the role if an applicant is barred from engaging in regulated activity.
- We do not accept CVs in place of an application form.
- Shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a self -declaration of their criminal record or information that would make them unsuitable to work with children
- Applicants must sign a declaration confirming information given is true
- References are obtained by the school/college before interview and open references are not acceptable
- Our selection techniques are pre-arranged and questions structured to understand suitability, skills and motivation for the role
- We involve pupils/students in the process in a meaningful way
- All information in the decision-making process is recorded along with the decisions made
- Correct pre-employment checks are carried out and appropriately stored on the single central record
- We understand and acknowledge to processes to determine if there are any prohibitions, directions, sanctions disqualifications or restrictions related to the candidate
- We understand the check which need to be made for individuals who have lived or worked outside the UK
- We adhere to duties which must be performed in relation to agency and third party staff, contractors, trainees or student teachers, visitors and volunteers
- We remain vigilant about safeguarding beyond the recruitment process and ensure commitment is evident to the safety and welfare of our children as enshrined in our ethos
8.3 The Headteacher and Governing body will ensure that all external staff and volunteers, including out of hours organisations using our school site have been recruited safely, including DBS checks as appropriate.
8.4 The school maintains a single central record of all recruitment checks updated and monitored at least termly
8.5 Trainee teachers will be checked either by the school or by the training provider, from whom written confirmation will be obtained.
8.6 Written notification will be requested from any agency or third party organisation used by us to confirm that the organisation has carried out the statutory recruitment checks.
8.7 Risk assessments are carried out on all volunteer activities as required.
- MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AND CONCERNS AGAINST STAFF, SUPPLY STAFF, VOLUNTEERS AND CONTRACTORS
- We follow the DfE guidance KCSIE, Section 4, when dealing with allegations made against staff, supply staff, volunteers and contractors applying the appropriate level of concern criteria and managing accordingly
- We work closely with the police, children’s social care and MCC LADO when a risk of harm is indicated
- The welfare of the child/ren is paramount when considering an allegation and before contacting the LADO we make careful enquiries to help determine facts and foundation to the allegation, aware of not jeopardizing any future police investigation
- We consider allegations that may meet the harms threshold and those allegations/concerns that do not, referred to as ‘low level concerns’
- The harms threshold indicates a person would pose a risk of harm if they have-
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children
- Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children (including behavior that may have happened outside school/college, known as transferable risk)
- Our Managing Allegations Policy details the processes and responses to reporting harm threshold cases and also managing their conclusion
- Concerns that do not meet the harm threshold may include
- Suspicions or nagging doubts about a member of staff
- Disclosures made by child, parent/carer or another adult within or outside of school/college
- Inappropriate conduct outside of work
- Those raised during recruitment and vetting processes
- Our open and transparent culture enables us to identify concerning, problematic or inappropriate behavior early thus minimizing the risk of abuse
- A low level concern is not insignificant – it does not meet the harm threshold
- Low level concerns are reported to the headteacher/principal and may also be self-referred
- Our Managing Allegations Policy details the processes and conclusion of low level concerns and guidance about including information in references.
- All allegations made against a member of staff, including supply staff, volunteers, contractors or security staff working on site, will be dealt with quickly and fairly and in a way that provides effective protection for the child while at the same time providing support for the person against whom the allegation is made.
- We ensure that all staff are aware of how to raise a concern, including anonymously as a whistleblower. Details can be found in the school’s whistleblowing policy.
- Historic allegations will be referred to the police.
10.SAFETY ON & OFF SITE
10.1 Our site is secure with safeguards in place to prevent any unauthorised access and also to prevent children leaving the site unsupervised.
10.2 We have good up to date knowledge of our local area and any safeguarding risks to the wider community.
10.3 All visitors, including visiting speakers, are subject to our safeguarding protocols while on site and will be supervised at all times, if no checks have been obtained. It may be necessary to undertake an assessment of the education value, age appropriateness and content of the visitors itinerary.
10.4 Visitors who are in school/college in a professional capacity will have their ID checked and assurance sought that they have an appropriate DBS check
10.5 We will ensure that any contractor, or any employee of a contractor, who is to work in our school, has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check. We are responsible for determining the appropriate level of supervision depending on the circumstances and set out our safeguarding requirements in any contacts between school/college and the contractor’s organisation. We will always check the identities of contractors and their staff on arrival.
10.6 We operate a responsible booking protocol and will carry out appropriate checks on all organisations which request to hire our facilities. See our lettings policy
10.7 When the school/college is let, if services or activities re provided by the governing body or proprietor, under the direct supervision or management of school/college staff, the school/college arrangements for child protection will apply.
10.8 When the school/college is let and services or activities are provided by another body, the school/college governing body or proprietor should seek assurance that the body concerned has appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures in place (including inspecting these as needed) and ensure there are arrangements in place to liaise with school/college on these matters where appropriate.
10.9 Safeguarding arrangements should be included in any lease or hire agreement as a condition of use and occupation of the school/college premises – failure to comply with this will lead to termination of the agreement.
10.10 We exercise due diligence to prevent any organisation or speaker from using our facilities to disseminate extremist views or radicalise pupils or staff.
10.11 We have a work experience placement policy and procedures in place. We will ensure that any person supervising a child on a placement has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check.
10.12 All school visits are fully risk-assessed and no child will be taken off-site without parental permission.
10.13 For international exchanges, we will liaise with our partner schools abroad to establish a shared understanding of the arrangements in place both before and during the visit. We will ensure we are satisfied that these are appropriate and sufficient to safeguard effectively every child who will take part in the exchange. We may also feel it necessary to contact the relevant foreign embassy of High Commission of the country in question to discuss what checks may be possible in respect of those providing homestay outside the UK.
10.14 We have a Health & Safety policy eg for contacting parents and for reporting to the emergency services, including police and hospitals.
- Complex Safeguarding
11.1 We are aware of the indicators and risk factors which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime
Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation
- Children’s Social Care will refer cases of child exploitation, criminal or sexual, to the Complex Safeguarding Hub and we will contact the professionals’ advice line for further support.
- We understand that schools are one of many locations where children can be targeted and recruited into county lines and recognise additional specific indicators that may be present when a child is criminally exploited through involvement in county lines. (KCSiE, p134)
- PEER ON PEER ABUSE
What is Peer on Peer Abuse?
All children are capable of abusing their peers. This can manifest itself in a whole spectrum of
behaviours including -
- Bullying including cyberbullying
- Sexual violence and harassment
- Physical abuse
- Upskirting (now a criminal offence and has reporting requirements)
- Initiation /hazing type violence and rituals
All schools need to include peer on peer abuse in their schools’ policies and procedures and all staff need to be aware of these and ensure they are part of their everyday practice.
Children also need to know how to report concerns and know that they will be listened to and supported.
These should include
- Procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse
- How allegations are recorded, investigated and dealt with
- Clear processes as to how victims, perpetrators and any other children affected will be supported
- Recognition of the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse but recognising, that all forms of this behaviour are unacceptable and will be taken seriously
Additional areas for consideration can be found in Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools and Colleges guidance 2018)
While schools cover many aspects of peer on peer abuse in other policies such as the whole school behaviour policy, the anti-bullying policy and the online safety policy (cyberbullying and sexting) schools need to be clear about their strategies around wider behaviours including sexist and sexual bullying, sexual harassment, sexual violence.
- 2 Some useful definitions:
This can be defined as ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature’ that can occur online and offline. In the context of this guidance this means in the context of child on child sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is likely to: violate a child’s dignity, and/or make them feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and/or create a hostile, offensive or sexualised environment.
It can include
- Sexual comments, such as: telling sexual stories, making lewd comments, making sexual remarks about clothes and appearance and calling someone sexualised names;
- Sexual “jokes” or taunting;
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others or sends sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops - any device that allows you to share media and messages. This is also known as youth produced sexual imagery
The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) Education Group has published Advice for Schools and Colleges on Responding to Sexting Incidents (www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexting-in-schools-and-college)
This typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm. It is now a criminal offence and may constitute sexual harassment. Cases of ‘up skirting’ have a mandatory requirement for being reported.
In this guidance this refers to sexual violence in the context of child on child sexual violence. Children can and do abuse other children. Sexual violence covers a spectrum of behaviour. It can refer to sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2013. This includes: -
Rape: A person (A) commits an offence of rape if: he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, B does not consent to the penetration and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
Assault by Penetration: A person (A) commits an offence if: s/he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of her/his body or anything else, the penetration is sexual, B does not consent to the penetration and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
Sexual Assault: A person (A) commits an offence of sexual assault if: s/he intentionally touches another person (B), the touching is sexual, B does not consent to the touching and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
Consent is about having the freedom and capacity to choose. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another, e.g.to vaginal but not anal sex or penetration with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs. Someone consents to vaginal, anal or oral penetration only if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
It is important to know that: -
- A child under the age of 13 can never consent to any sexual activity;
- The age of consent is 16;
- Sexual intercourse without consent is rape.
It is also important to differentiate between consensual sexual activity between children of a similar age and that which involves any power imbalance, coercion or exploitation. Due to their additional training, the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) should be involved and leading the school or college response. If in any doubt, they should seek expert advice.
It is important that schools and colleges consider sexual harassment in broad terms. Sexual harassment (as set out above) creates an atmosphere that, if not challenged, can normalise inappropriate behaviours and provide an environment that may lead to sexual violence.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB)
Children’s sexual behaviour exists on a wide continuum, from normal and developmentally expected to inappropriate, problematic, abusive and violent. Problematic, abusive and violent sexual behaviour is developmentally inappropriate and may cause developmental damage. A useful umbrella term is “harmful sexual behaviour”. The term has been widely adopted in child protection and is used in this advice. Harmful sexual behaviour can occur online and/or offline and can also occur simultaneously between the two. Harmful sexual behaviour should be considered in a child protection context.
Useful guidance can be found in: - NSPCC and Research in Practice's Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework: (www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/publications/harmful-sexual-behaviourframework.pdf)
The practice of rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group.
All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) should be considering the context within which incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.
Additional considerations for schools
When considering harmful sexual behaviour, ages and the stages of development of the children are critical factors to consider. Sexual behaviour between children can be considered harmful if one of the children is much older, particularly if there is more than two years’ difference or if one of the children is pre-pubescent and the other is not.
However, a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them, for example, if the older child is disabled or smaller in stature. Schools and colleges should ensure that their response to sexual violence and sexual harassment between children of the same sex is equally robust as it is for sexual violence and sexual harassment between children of the opposite sex.
As well as having strategies for dealing with incidents schools and colleges should consider what they can do to foster healthy and respectful relationships between boys and girls including through Relationship and Sex Education and Personal Social Health and Economic education. The most effective preventative education programme will be through a whole school approach that prepares pupils for life in modern Britain.
The school will have a clear set of values and standards, and these will be upheld and demonstrated throughout all aspects of school life. This will be underpinned by the school’s behaviour policy and pastoral support system, and by a planned programme of evidence-based content delivered through the whole curriculum. Such a programme should be developed to be age and stage of development appropriate (especially when considering SEND children and their cognitive understanding), and may tackle such issues as:
Healthy and respectful relationships;
What respectful behaviour looks like?
- Gender roles, stereotyping, and equality;
- Body confidence and self-esteem;
- Prejudiced behaviour;
- That sexual violence and sexual harassment is always wrong; and
- Addressing cultures of sexual harassment.
Schools often deliver this currently, through planned, high-quality, Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education.
- OTHER SAFEGUARDING ISSUES
The school is aware that children and young people’s development, as well as their social and emotional resilience, is affected by many factors including exposure to domestic abuse within the family situation and is a safeguarding issue.
Children and young people react to domestic abuse in similar ways to other types of abuse and trauma.
Information about Domestic Abuse and its effect upon children and young people will be incorporated into staff Safeguarding and Child Protection training and briefings and the school’s
Safeguarding and Child Protection’s Policies and Procedures will be used to protect children and young people exposed to, and at risk from, domestic abuse.
Any child or young person thought to be at immediate risk will be reported without delay to the police service as a 999 emergency and the Manchester Children’s Service contact Centre will be contacted as soon as possible.
The school is sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and child-rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. Forced marriage is a form of child, adult and domestic abuse and, in line with statutory guidance, is treated as such by this school. Child abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons.
Information about Forced Marriage will be incorporated into staff Safeguarding and Child Protection training and briefings and the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies will be used to protect a victim or potential victim of forced marriage.
If a case of forced marriage is suspected, parents and carers will not be approached or involved about a referral to any other agencies.
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.” The family often believes it is beneficial and, in a girl, or woman’s best interests – this can limit a girl’s motivation to raise concerns or talk openly about it.
FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting, harmful consequences. It is also known as ‘female genital cutting’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘initiation’.
If you discover that FGM appears to have taken place on a girl under 18:
- If you are responsible for teaching pupils, you have a statutory duty to report this to the police and will face disciplinary sanctions if you fail to report such cases
- You should report it as soon as possible after a case is discovered, and ideally by the close of the next working day
- If you are not responsible for teaching pupils, you should tell the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who will report it
- All staff should discuss any case of known FGM with the DSL
If you suspect that FGM has taken place but do not know, or suspect a girl is at risk, or discover it has been carried out on a woman who is 18 or over, you should follow your local safeguarding procedures. The duty to report does not apply in these cases.
PREVENTING RADICALISM AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Plymouth Grove Primary School values the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, expression of beliefs and ideology and tolerance of others that are the core values of our democratic society. However, all rights come with responsibilities and free speech or beliefs designed to manipulate the vulnerable or which advocate harm or hatred towards others will not be tolerated.
Plymouth Grove Primary School seeks to protect its students and staff from all messages and forms of violent extremism and ideologies including those linked to, but not restricted, to the following: Far Right/Neo Nazi, White Supremacist ideology, Islamist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups and extremist Animal Rights groups.
Plymouth Grove Primary School is clear that exploitation and radicalisation will be viewed as a safeguarding concern and will be referred to the appropriate safeguarding agencies.
COUNTY LINES EXPLOITATION
Plymouth Grove Primary School recognise the geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines activity. It is recognized that County Lines Activity has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities. Bridgelea Primary School seeks to safeguard children from exposure of county lines activity by positively promoting safeguarding throughout the school by following the schools safeguarding procedures when concerns are identified (See Home Office ‘County Lines Guidance’.
14 EARLY HELP
Effective Early Help is essential to improve the life chances of Manchester’s children, young people and their families. The aim of the Manchester Early Help Service is to build capacity in communities that will prevent crime, support education and enterprise, and keep children, young people and their families healthy and safe. We aim to do this by working with other agencies and directly with people from local communities.
Support can be offered to families around debt, housing issues, managing behaviour and mental health support.
Our policy is based on the following legislation, national & local guidance/procedures and links to other relevant school policies
- Legislation, Statutory Guidance & Ofsted Framework
- Definitions of Abuse & Neglect from ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (updated 2018)
The threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life and gives Local Authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
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 an illness in a child.
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 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, 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.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. The activities may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
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 for example.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food and clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caretakers).
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
- It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
- ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, Part 1, to be read by all staff & volunteers and Annexe A by all staff working with children
+ links to the following: -
- Keeping Children Safe in Education’, in full - latest update, currently September 2021
- Ofsted Section 5 Inspection Framework for Schools
- Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Schools & Skills Settings’
- ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’
- Prevent Duty, Section 26 Counter Terrorism & Security Act
- FGM Duty, Multi-agency Statutory Guidance on FGM April 2016, Section 74 Serious Crime Act 2015
- Serious Case Reviews & Domestic Homicide Reviews (SCRs & DHRs)
- DFE Statutory Policies for Schools
- DFE Children Missing Education, Stat Guidance
- DFE Designated Teacher for LAC Guidance
- DFE Supervision of Regulated Activity
- Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006, update 31st August 2018
- Alternative Provision, Stat guidance
- Teachers’ Standards
- Governors’ Handbook
- ‘Listening to & involving children & young people’, stat guidance
- Health & Safety Legislation
- Non-statutory Guidance
- DFE ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused - Advice for practitioners’
- ‘Safer Working Practices’
- DFE National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers,
- DFE ‘Use of Reasonable Force in Schools’,
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 2,3 6 & 12
- NSPCC Whistleblowing Adviceline
C.MCC, MSP & GM Policies, Procedures & Guidance
Links to: -
MSP Website: -
- MSP & GM Policies
- MSP Multi-agency Levels of Need & Response Framework,
- Safeguarding Concerns, Guidance & Proformas, including escalation process
- MSP LADO Referral Process
- MSP Learning from Serious Case Reviews
Help & Support Manchester Website: -
- Early Help Strategy, Guidance, Assessments & Referrals
- Signs of Safety Strategy, Guidance & Resources
National Police Chiefs’ Guidance
D.Links to Other Relevant School Policies and Procedures
- Health and Safety
- Relationships Policy
- Sex and Relationships Education
- Equal Opportunities
- Educational Trips and Visit
- Special Educational Needs
- Disability Discrimination
- Administration of Medicines
- Volunteer Policy
- Links to Other Relevant Education Department Policies/Guidance
- ‘Safeguarding’ model policy & guidance
- ‘Safer Recruitment’ model policy
- Safeguarding Children with SEND
- Manchester Governors’ Handbook MCC
- Attendance Guidance
- CME Guidance
- Inclusion Strategy
UKIS Governors’ Guidance for Online Safety
- CiN Child in Need
- CP Child Protection
- CSC Children’s Social Care
- DSL Designated Safeguarding Lead
- EH Early Help
- EHA Early Help Assessment
- GM Greater Manchester
- LADO Local Authority Designated Officer
- MASH Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub
- MCC Manchester City Council
- MSCB Manchester Safeguarding Children’s Board
- SOS Signs of Safety