Child Protection Policy

 

Wiltshire Council

Churchfields, the Village School

Child Protection Policy

Churchfields, the Village School fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection.

 

  1. Purpose of policy

We recognise that because of their day to day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The school will therefore:

  • Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to
  • Ensure children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried
  • Include opportunities throughout the curriculum, including ICT (Computing) and PSHEE, for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse (including online abuse)

 

  1. Aims

This policy applies to all adults working in school (including staff, governors, volunteers, and contractors). The policy has five main elements:

  • Ensuring we practice safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
  • Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
  • Supporting pupils who have been abused or neglected in accordance with their agreed child protection plan.
  • Providing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.

 

  1. Action to be taken by the school

We will follow the child protection procedures set out by the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board and available at www.swcpp.org.uk and will have regard to guidance issued by the Department for Education (Keeping Children Safe in Education) to:

  • Ensure that all governors understand and comply with their statutory duty to provide the services of the school in a way that safeguards and promote the welfare of pupils; and that they do so having regard to the contents of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education
  • Ensure we have a nominated governor taking a lead role for child protection and safeguarding, including:
  • Championing child protection issues within the school and liaising with the headteacher
  • Having an overview of the Child Protection and all related policies
  • Auditing safeguarding measures annually alongside the Designated Safeguarding Lead and reporting back to Full Governing Body

 

This is Althea Lee.

  • Governing Body will carry out an annual child protection and safeguarding audit, and track progress against a safeguarding action plan, reviewed mid-year, using the Wiltshire Council annual School Safeguarding Audit return as a starting point.  
  • Ensure we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (who is a senior member of staff)  and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection and safeguarding who has received appropriate training and support for this role (Designated Safeguarding Lead must have  WSCB Foundation and Advanced training or equivalent and then inter-agency training every two years) (this is Simon Futcher, the Headteacher; Maria Genner and Mary Burgess/Georgina Broomhead (senior teachers of each base) will deputise in Mr Futcher’s absence)
  • Ensure every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead  responsible for child protection and safeguarding, and their role
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities for being alert to the signs of abuse or neglect as well as lower level child welfare concerns, and their responsibility for recording concerns and promptly referring any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead responsible for child protection and safeguarding, by:
    • Providing new staff with a safeguarding and child protection induction including provision of the child protection policy and Code of Conduct for Safer Working Practice (ensure all staff, governors and volunteers receive and sign for a copy of these policies)
    • Providing all staff with a copy of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education: information for all school and college staff’
    • Ensure all staff and volunteers across the school receive child protection training every three years
  • The school will notify the appropriate Children’s Social Care team if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on subject to a child protection plan.
  • Develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences.
  • Ensure safer recruitment practices are always followed.
  • Ensure staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities for safer working practices, as outlined the school’s Code of Conduct for Safer Working Practice.
  • Ensure that any allegations against members of staff or volunteers with a potential child protection aspect are dealt with following the agreed procedures – all such concerns to be dealt with urgently, with concerns about staff to be reported to the Head, but concerns about the Head reported to the Chair of Governors (see current Wiltshire Council schools’ allegations flowchart)
  • Ensure that the school building and site are appropriately secure, with a clear record kept of any risk assessments carried out
  • Ensure that other school policies which have a safeguarding element (eg health and safety; anti-bullying; e-safety; behaviour) are all consistent with this policy and with each other and where appropriate cross-reference to this policy
  • Ensure that parents receive information from the school about the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection

 

Written records of child welfare and child protection concerns about children: the school will:

  • keep clear written records of all child welfare and child protection concerns using a standard recording form (with a body map where injuries need to be noted), including actions taken and outcomes as appropriate
  • Ensure all child welfare and child protection records are kept securely, and in locked locations
  • Ensure that all child protection records relating to a child who moves to another school or college are passed on to the new school securely, promptly and separate from the main pupil file, with a copy being kept in this school

 

  1. Support to pupils at risk

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

  • The content of the curriculum.
  • The school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued.
  • The school behaviour policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school.  The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred.
  • Liaison with other agencies supporting the pupil such as Children’s Social Care, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, education welfare service and educational psychology service, and where appropriate initiate and/or contribute to a CAF and Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings.
  • Ensuring that, where a pupil leaves the school a copy of any child protection records is made and the originals promptly transferred to the new school and the child’s social worker is informed if allocated. Child welfare records below the child protection threshold but with continuing relevance to the child’s wellbeing should also be transferred with parental consent.

 

  1. Process for considering and acting on concerns about child abuse

All adults who work with or volunteer with children should be able to identify and act on concerns about child abuse.

The types of abuse are:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Neglect
  • Emotional (including seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another)

 

Recording and reporting concerns

Where any adult in the school has concerns about a child they should discuss these in the first instance with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or in their absence, the Deputy.  Discussions should be recorded on the school child welfare and CP record form, with details of the concern and any agreed action that is to be taken. The record must be signed and dated and kept securely. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for ensuring that concerns and discussions are written up properly and acted on appropriately.

As a school we recognise that children will talk to an adult they know and trust and therefore our expectation is that this person will listen to the child about their concerns and then report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible afterwards. The child should not then be asked to repeat their story unless the school has been advised by Children’s Social Care to seek more information.  When a child discloses abuse to an adult in the school, that person is responsible for making a written record of the disclosure as soon as possible after the event and  reporting it urgently to the Designated Sfegaurding Lead or their Deputy.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will consider next steps to be taken, including referral to Children’s Social Care

  1. Safer working practice

The most recent government version of the government’s ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People’ is distributed to all staff and volunteers working in our school.  This indicates that there must be clear expectations and standards for all conduct of staff and volunteers.

 

  1. Policy review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the governing body