Mount Pleasant Primary School
CHILD PROTECTION policy
1.1 The school fully recognises the contribution it makes to child protection.
There are three main elements to our policy:-
a) Prevention through the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils;
b) Procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse. Because of our day to day contact with children school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse; and
c) Support to those pupils who may have been abused.
1.2 This policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the school and its governors. It is recognised by this school that all staff that come in to contact with children can often be the first point of disclosure for a child. This first point of contact is an important part of the child protection process and it is essential that all members of staff are aware of and implements the schools procedures as noted in this policy.
2.1 This school recognises that high self esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to safeguard children at our school.
The school will therefore:-
a) Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and encouraged to talk and share their concerns and will be listened to
b) Ensure that children know that all adults in this school can be approached if they are worried or concerned about matters that concern them or their siblings or friends
c) Include in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for PSE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to know that they can turn to staff for help; and
d) Include in the curriculum, material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.
3.1 At this school we will follow the All Wales Child Protection Procedures (April 2008) and other guidance and protocols that have been endorsed and agreed by the Newport Safeguarding Children Board. (NSCB)
3.2 The school will:-
a) Ensure it has a named designated senior member of staff who has undertaken the appropriate training in line with agreed national and local requirements. This school will also nominate a named deputy who will be the central contact in times when the designated person is absent. In the unlikelihood that both are absent or unavailable the most senior person will act as contact point for other staff
b) Recognise the role of the designated person and arrange support and training. The school will look to the NSCB and in particular the Authority's Child Protection Officer for Education (CPO) for guidance and support in all child protection matters in assisting the school's designated person
c) Ensure that all members of staff, including permanent, part time and adult volunteers, along with every governor knows:-
-the name and contact details of both the designated and deputy person responsible for child protection
-that it is the named designated person and/or their deputy who have the responsibility for making child protection referrals within NSCB timescales, by completing the agreed multi-agency form
-that the designated person and deputy will seek advice from the CPO and or Social Services Duty and Assessment Team if necessary when a referral is being considered; if in doubt a referral must be sent
-that the referring person will ensure that the CPO will be sent a copy of the referral as soon as it is practically possible.
d) Ensure that all members of staff are aware of the need to be alert to signs of abuse and know how to respond to a pupil who may disclose abuse. That all members of staff will be offered and expected to attend appropriate training and updates as arranged by the school.
e) Ensure that parents have a clear understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and its staff for child protection by setting out their obligations in school prospectus and other forms of communications. In particular, there is a clear obligation that 'the welfare of the child is paramount' and in some circumstances this may mean that the parents are not initially informed of a referral made by the school. This circumstance is in line with All Wales Child Protection Procedures guidance.
f) Provide training for all staff so that they:-
i) know their personal responsibility
ii) are cognisant of agreed local procedures(NSCB)
iii) know the need to be vigilant in identifying suspected cases of abuse; and
iv) how to support a child who discloses abuse, particularly the do's and don'ts
g) Notify the CPO and Social Services if:-
- a pupil on the child protection register is excluded either for a fixed term or permanently; and
- if there is an unexplained absence of a pupil on the child protection register of more than two days duration from school (or one day following a weekend)
h) Work to develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at initial and review child protection conferences and core groups and support these with the submission of written reports
i) Keep written records of concerns about children (noting date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to agencies responsible for formal investigation
j) Ensure that all records and files are kept secure and in locked locations. The designated person is responsible for the security, compilation and storage or all records and should be able to access and produce then in times of need. It is the responsibility of the designated person to ensure that any transfer of records is conducted via the Authority's agreed protocol and procedures for the 'Transfer of Sensitive Information'
k) Adhere to the procedures set out in the Welsh Assembly Government guidance circular 45/2004 Staff Disciplinary Procedures in Schools
l) Ensure that all recruitment and selection procedures follow all national and local guidance. The school will seek advice and guidance from the Authority's Human Resources Department on recruitment and selection
m) Seek to designate a governor for child protection who will champion and oversee the school's child protection policy and practice. This governor will feed back to the Governing body on child protection matters as and when required but will be required to write an annual report to the Governing body on the school's child protection activities.
Supporting the Pupil at Risk
4.1 At this school we recognise that children who are at risk, suffer abuse or witness violence are often affected by these in adverse ways, some may be deeply troubled by these events.
4.2 This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless when at school due to these adverse factors their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. At this school we will endeavour to be patient and supportive to the children at risk.
4.3 The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:-
a) The content of the curriculum to encourage self esteem and self motivation (see section 2 of this policy on Prevention)
b) The school ethos which:-
a. promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment; and
b. gives pupils a sense of being valued (see section 2 on Prevention)
c) The school's behaviour policy is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. All staff will follow a consistent approach which focuses on the behaviour of the offence committed by the child but does not damage the pupil's sense of self worth. The school will express and explain to all pupils that some behaviour is unacceptable, (shared with parents via school brochures and other points of communication) but each individual is valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred. Staff should read the school's Behaviour Policy in conjunction with this and other named policies noted in this policy
d) Liaison with other agencies who support the student such as Social services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, the Educational Psychology Service, Education Welfare Service and others; and
e) Keeping records and notifying Social Services if there is a recurrence of a concern with the individual.
4.4 When a pupil on the child protection register leaves, we will transfer the sensitive information to the new school immediately (using the agreed policy and procedures for the 'Transfer of Sensitive Information' and the designated person will be central to this process) and if not already done, to inform Social Services of the move.
4.5 This school has a behaviour policy which clear states our values and expectations. This is a separate policy which is reviewed on a regular basis by the Governing Body and can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
4.6 The school's policy on Bullying has been set out in the school's Anti Bullying Policy This policy/information can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
4.7 The school's policy on physical intervention has been set out in the school's Behaviour Policy. This policy/information can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
4.8 The school's policy on E Safety has been set out in the School Information
Security Policy. This policy/information can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
Children with Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
4.9 This school recognises that statistically children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who deal with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and or emotional and behaviour problems need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse. The school's policy on SEN has been set out in the school's Additional Educational Needs Policy, this policy/information can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
Children who enter the Looked after System
4.10 This school recognises that children who enter the Looked after System are often the most vulnerable and needy. The school's policy on Looked after Children (LAC) can be located in the Headteacher's Office.
Information for all staff
5.1 What to do if a child tells you they have been abused by someone other than a member of staff.
Where the allegation is against a member of staff you should refer to authority's guidance which takes into account the Welsh Assembly Government's guidance circular 45/2004.
If an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff this must be reported to the Headteacher. If the concern is about the Headteacher this must be reported to the Chair of Governors. If in doubt you can contact the Authority's CPO for guidance and advice.
Staff can also raise concerns via the Newport City Council Whistle Blowing Policy. You can contact the civic centre on 01633 656565 and ask to speak to HR.
A child may confide in any member of staff and may not always go to a member of the teaching staff. Staff to whom an allegation is made should remember:-
- Yours is a listening role, do not interrupt the child when they are freely recalling events. Limit any questions to clarifying your understanding of what the child is saying. Any questions should be framed in an open manner so not to lead the child
- You must report orally to the school's Designated Person for Child Protection or their Deputy in their absence immediately to inform them of what has been disclosed. In the unlikelihood of both being absent seek out the most senior person in the school
- Make a note of the discussion, as soon as is reasonably practical (but within 24 hours) to pass on to the school's designated person for child protection. The note which should be clear in its use of terminology should record the time, date, place and people who were present and should record the child's answers/responses in exactly the way they were said as far as possible. This note will in most case be the only written record of what has been disclosed and as it being the initial contact an important one in the child protection process. Remember, your note of the discussion may be used in any subsequent formal investigation and or court proceedings. It is advised that you retain a copy in a safe place
- Do not give undertakings of absolute confidentiality (see note following this section for more details). You will need to express this in age related ways to the child as soon as appropriately possible during the disclosure. This may result in the child 'clamming up' and not completing the disclosure, but you will still be required to share the fact that they have a shared a concern with you to the designated person. Often what is initially shared is the tip of an iceberg
- Your responsibility in terms of referring concerns ends at this point, but you may have a future role in terms of supporting or monitoring the child, contributing to an assessment or implementing child protection plans. You can ask the designated person for an update but they are restricted by procedures and confidentiality and may be limited in their response. The level of feedback will be on a need to know, but what ever is shared is strictly confidential and not for general consumption with others.
6.1 The school and staff are fully aware of confidentiality issues if a child divulges that they are or have been abused. A child may only feel confident to confide in a member of staff if they feel that the information will not be divulged to anyone else. However education staff (that is all staff at this school) have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with the designated statutory agencies when a child is experiencing child welfare concerns.
It is important that each member of staff deals with this sensitively and explains to the child that they must inform the appropriate people who can help the child, but they will only tell those who need to know in order to be able to help. Staff should reassure the child and tell them that their situation will not be common knowledge within the school i.e. not discussed with other staff. The member of staff needs to be aware that it may well have taken significant courage on the part of the child to disclose the information and they may also be experiencing conflicting emotions, involving feelings of guilt, embarrassment, disloyalty (if the abuser is someone close) and hurt.
The school will be cognizant of national and local training requirements and guidance, which will include Newport Safeguarding Children Board's (NSCB) guidance, advice and training opportunities.
7.1 The school will ensure that the Designated Person for Child Protection (DSP) will have received initial training when starting their role and continued professional updates as required. Specific updates as suggested by national and local requirements will be central to the DSP's development. The designated deputy will be initially supported by the designated person and consideration for joint opportunities for training with the designated person will be considered.
7.2 All staff will be regularly updated during the year as appropriate from the designated person, but will receive specific awareness raising training within a 2-3 year period.
7.3 It will be a recommendation that the governing body also receive awareness raising training and the nominated governor will be offered opportunities for more specific training
Equality of opportunity is at the core of education at Mount Pleasant Primary School. Every pupil regardless of race, background, language, gender or ability will be equally valued and have full access to our curriculum. Equal will not always mean "the same". The school recognizes that the resources required to create equality of opportunity will mean that some individuals and groups require differentiated support.
The designated person for child protection at this school is:-
Fiona Rutledge (Jan 2016 onwards)
The deputy designated person for child protection at this school is:-
Andrew Rothwell and Cath Lintern
The nominated governor for child protection at this school is:-
Mr Stephen Bowen
The Authority's Child Protection Officer is:- Nicole Davies
Nicole can be contacted by:-
Phone- 01633 235664
Social Services can be contacted as follows:-
Phone- 01633 235644
In the event of a pupil being taken to hospital from the school site or any school related event (school trip, sports matches, residentials, etc.), please inform education (Head of Education-Inclusion) by email as soon as possible with a brief outline of the circumstances. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ratified: 19th November 2015
Reviewed: 8th February 2016
Chair of Governors