SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children, their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding them and promoting their welfare. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals 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.
No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt and restorative action. In line with this understanding, any adult working or volunteering in the school community has a responsibility to recognise when a child or young person may be in need or be vulnerable in some way, and to respond to this recognition in a timely and appropriate way.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
(“Working Together to Safeguarding Children” 2018)
CHILD PROTECTION DEFINITION:
Child Protection is a part of the safeguarding agenda. It refers to the action that is required to be undertaken to protect children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
THIS POLICY ENCOMPASSES CHILD PROTECTION.
At Norbury Hall we recognise the responsibility we have under Section 175/157 of the Education and Inspections Act 2002, to have arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The Governing Body approve the S175/157 return to the LA on a yearly basis. This policy demonstrates our commitment and compliance with safeguarding legislation.
Staff and volunteers working in our school have a crucial role to play in noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect and referring them to the correct persons or services for support and intervention. Everyone working or volunteering at this school is trained to recognise signs of concern and in line with this policy, must report concerns following school and local authority procedures.
Staff and volunteers are updated on safeguarding issues frequently across the year. Basic Awareness Training for all staff every year and staff briefing for teaching team termly. These updates include learning from serious case reviews and local learning reviews on how to improve practice to prevent children from harm.
In our school we believe that the welfare of every child is paramount, and we take safeguarding very seriously. Therefore, should staff have any concerns they feel are of a safeguarding nature, they are expected to report, record and take the necessary steps to ensure that the child is safe and protected and that key staff in school are aware promptly of any such concerns. We are aware that this can lead to challenge from parents/carers, but at all times we collectively work to ensure that the child is at the heart of all our decisions and that we act in their best interests.
As part of our commitment to and compliance with safeguarding legislation and guidance; we also refer to:
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the welfare of children is understood and promoted at all times. In this school we understand that the welfare of the child is paramount.
We strive to ensure that all children regardless of their age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity are protected from harm in all its forms. All staff and volunteers have an equal responsibility to act on concerns, suspicions or disclosures that lead them to suspect or understand a child may be at risk of harm.
As part of our duty of care we also work to ensure that pupils and staff involved in safeguarding and child protection issues receive appropriate support. In line with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 we work with a range of partners and adhere to local practice guidance supported by The Stockport Safeguarding Children Partnership.
All staff, volunteers and sessional workers are required to adhere to our Code of Conduct (including the use of ICT and social media). All staff, volunteers and sessional workers understand what to do if there are concerns or allegations about any adult working or volunteering in our school during or outside of the normal school day.
The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, volunteers, sessional workers, students, agency staff or anyone working on behalf of NHPS we expect that this policy takes primacy over other agency policies when work is being delivered on this site and/or on our behalf, as we maintain a duty of care to all in our school community. Any expected exception to this must be named and negotiated ahead of work being undertaken.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Early Help refers to mechanisms providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.
Child Protection refers to the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the School in either a paid or voluntary capacity and will be used from this point on in this document.
Child refers to all children and young people who have not yet reached the age of 18.
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role including: step-parents, foster parents, carers and adoptive parents.
This policy has been divided into four key areas:
Procedures and Record Keeping
Additional materials are referenced or provided in the Appendices.
Detailed procedural guidance and additional references are available to all staff and governors here- Greater Manchester Safeguarding Procedures .
We will establish and maintain an ethos where:
Children feel safe and secure in an environment which allows them to learn and develop on a journey to achieving their full potential. We will educate and support our children in an inclusive, supportive non-judgemental environment.
Children understand that there are adults in the school whom they can talk to if worried, scared or facing difficulty. We will work hard to be a restorative staff team who actively listen and respond.
Staff development and awareness in respect of safeguarding is given the highest priority across the school to ensure we all fully understand and implement the national and local agenda.
We deliver a broad, balanced and age appropriate PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic) Education Programme, where children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. It will support them to manage and assess risk effectively and develop the skills to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships (both online and in the physical world); and where to find sources of support.
Children are supported in recognising risks in various forms including on the internet. They understand what kind of physical and virtual contact is acceptable and can recognise inappropriate pressure from others, including that which threatens their personal safety and well-being and give them strategies to counter this.
Staff feel empowered to share safeguarding concerns in a swift and timely way bringing them to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and/ or the Head Teacher Accepting that safeguarding is the responsibility of all in our community, staff feel able to ask safeguarding questions and receive appropriate feedback following up on concerns as part of this shared responsibility to children.
Emerging issues and themes are proactively addressed and fed back to the Local Authority (LA) and Stockport Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP), via the Senior Advisor for Safeguarding in Education (SASE) to ensure a multi-agency awareness and that strategies are developed.
There is a clear approach to substance misuse (drugs and alcohol). Any issues of drugs and substance misuse are recorded and there are strategies to educate children appropriately delivered throughout the school and curriculum.
We use the mechanisms and services available to understand the range of issues which may make a child vulnerable and ensure children and young people receive the most appropriate support or referral and access to other provision; actively supporting multi agency planning for those children and, in doing so, providing information about the ‘voice of the child’ and the child’s personal experiences and perspectives as evidenced by observations or information provided.
Our school’s arrangements for consulting with, listening and responding to pupils are through an annual questionnaire.
Our school’s arrangements for consulting with, listening and responding to parents through a summer term questionnaire.
There is a commitment to the continuous development of staff with regard to safeguarding training:
- All staff access training annually with regular updates across the academic year
- We undertake SSCP ‘endorsed’ Basic Awareness training and all new staff, as part of their induction, access safeguarding training within the first term of their employment/placement
- The Designated Lead and/or deputy attends the SSCP DSL safeguarding training on bi-annual basis
Staff are trained and supported to understand and recognise indicators of the types of abuse that some children experience and work to the following definitions:
All school staff are aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues may overlap with one another.
Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.
It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
- include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Complex safeguarding is used to describe criminal activity (often organised) or behaviour associated to criminality, involving often vulnerable children where there is exploitation and/or a clear or implied safeguarding concern.
In Stockport domestic abuse has been included within this definition in acknowledgement of the similarities between the process of grooming and controlling victims of domestic abuse and those subject to complex abuse and the need for a specialist and sensitive approach to working with children and families at highest risk of all these areas of concerns to reduce risk and effect positive outcomes. Stockport family have agreed that the following areas are encompassed within complex safeguarding:
- Domestic Abuse including honour-based violence and forced marriage
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Serious Organised Crime – including Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
- Modern Slavery and Trafficking
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Radicalisation and Extremism
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE): is a form of child sexual abuse, it involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts or money) as part of a grooming process. Ultimately, this results in them engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups.
All staff are alert to possible indicators and will raise concerns as appropriate. They are aware of the pan Greater Manchester CSE policy and procedures and of the school screening tool (SERAT) including where to find it, how to complete it and what happens next.
We take a proactive approach to preventative work by following workshops guidance and inviting speakers in from NSPCC .
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or
group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can occur through the use of technology.
(Child Sexual Exploitation, DfE)
Children and young people who harm others (also referred to as Peer-on peer abuse):
We understand that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This may include:
bullying (including cyber bullying),
gender based violence/sexual assaults
sexting and upskirting
physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
initiating/hazing type violence and rituals
Staff are clear on our procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse and such matters are always taken seriously. In our school we (identify your specific preventative strategies plus support for children – both for the “victim and the child who may have displayed harmful behaviour” here).
Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex. It can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing, and it may adversely affect their educational attainment. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable. It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support.
We understand that reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are extremely complex to manage. It is essential that victims are protected, offered appropriate support and every effort is made to ensure their education is not disrupted. It is also important that other children, adult students and school and college staff are supported and protected as appropriate. We take reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence seriously and will always act to address reports and concerns we do this by:
- not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as “banter”, “part of growing up”, “just having a laugh” or “boys being boys”;
- challenging behaviour (potentially criminal in nature), such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia and flicking bras and lifting skirts. Dismissing or tolerating such behaviours risks normalising them; and
- understanding that all the above can be driven by wider societal factors beyond the school and college, such as everyday sexist stereotypes and everyday sexist language. Ensuring we have a whole school/college approach (especially preventative education).
For information on Sexting please refer to pages 22-23.
Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside the school or college. All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) should be considering the context within which such 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. Children’s social care assessments should consider such factors, so it is important that schools and colleges provide as much information as possible as part of the referral process. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The school will ensure that every member of staff and person working on behalf of the School:
- Knows the name and of the DSL and any deputies, understands his/her role and responsibilities, and how to contact them.
- Understands they have an individual responsibility to refer safeguarding and child protection concerns.
- Will receive training at the point of induction so that they know:
- their personal responsibility / code of conduct / teaching standards
- SSCP child protection procedures and how to access them
- the need to be vigilant in identifying cases of abuse at the earliest opportunity
- how to support and respond to a child who discloses abuse/ significant harm
- their duty concerning unsafe practices of a colleague
- the DSL will disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff only on a need to know basis
- the school will undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement with other agencies wherever this is appropriate
- the school will ensure that parents understand their obligations re: Child Protection by intervention as and when appropriate
- to develop effective links with relevant agencies in relation to safeguarding (child protection)
- to ensure that, where there are unmet needs, an assessment of early help is initiated
- to send appropriate representatives to case conferences, core groups and child protection review meetings
Where a member of staff is concerned that a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, they should report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or their Deputy, without delay. A written record will be made of these concerns as immediately following the disclosure/concern being raised.
Where staff have conversations with a child who discloses abuse, they follow the basic principles:
- listen and remain calm
- never ask a child if they are being abused
- make a record of discussion to include time, place, persons present and what was said (child language – do not substitute words)
- advise you will have to pass the information on
- never take photographs of any injury
- never record a child
- never undress a child to physically examine them
- allow time and provide a quiet space for support
- At no time promise confidentiality to a child or adult.
We will notify any Lead Social Worker if:
- a pupil subject to a Child Protection Plan (CPP) is excluded (fixed term or permanent)
- there is an unexplained absence of a pupil on a CPP of more than 2 days or 1 day following a weekend, or as agreed as part of a CPP
- if a child is missing and there is a need to follow Stockport’s policy and any statutory guidance on Children Missing Education (CME)
- additional concerns arise
We understand that parents often hold key information about incidents, allegations or concerns therefore, in the majority of situations; the Designated Safeguarding Lead or key staff member of school staff will speak to the parents and gain their consent to discuss any matters with other relevant agencies. There will be very few instances where, to speak to the parents, could further endanger the child. In those situations, they would still consult/refer, but would have clearly recorded reasons as to why they had not gained parental consent.
The use of ‘reasonable force’
There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff in schools to use reasonable force to safeguard children. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. This can range from guiding a child to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’
Please refer to the Care and Control Policy updated October 2018.
Students who harm others (peer- on- peer abuse)
We believe that all students have the right to be taught in a safe environment to enable them to optimise their learning and achievement. We expect all students to have respect for themselves and others and work to ensure everyone in our community feels safe, valued and supported. The school promotes the values of honesty, acceptance, inclusion and fairness within a caring, restorative and nurturing environment.
Students at our school have a variety of needs, some being very complex. We aim to provide a high level of pastoral care and support for all students and encourage appropriate and cooperative behaviour. Underpinned by this support students are expected to take responsibility for their own behaviour with appropriate strategies offered to enable this.
SAFER USE OF THE INTERNET AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
(including Early Years provision)
Norbury Hall Primary School recognises that in a modern learning environment, use of the Internet, multimedia devices and digital imaging facilities are part of everyday requirements. However, a child/young person’s safety will remain the priority of the school.
All staff are aware that any items that have capability for use of the Internet or the creation of digital images (including mobile phones) must be used by children/young people under appropriate supervision and in accordance with the school’s acceptable use policy- If any such item that belongs to a member of staff is brought onto the school site, it is the responsibility of that staff member to ensure that these items contain nothing of an inappropriate nature and that they are used in line with school policy (see Acceptable User Policy (AUP)
Children/young people are not permitted to directly access items that do not belong to the school, without appropriate risk assessments and permission being sought. The school has a separate policy on the use of personal devices which all children must adhere to.
If there is any suspicion that any multimedia device or computer contains any images or content of an inappropriate nature it will be locked, secured and, the Head Teacher or DSL will be informed immediately.
Use of mobile phones
Mobile phones have a place in settings, especially on outings when they are often the only means of contact available to settings and can be helpful in ensuring children are kept safe.
- Only use mobile phones appropriately, and ensure staff have a clear understanding of what constitutes misuse and know how to minimise the risk.
- Ensure the use of a mobile phone does not detract from the quality of supervision and care of children.
- Ensure all mobile phone use is open to scrutiny.
- Ensure staff are vigilant and alert to any potential warning signs of the misuse of mobile phones.
- Ensure staff are responsible for their own behaviour regarding the use of mobile phones and understand how to avoid putting themselves into compromising situations, which could be misinterpreted and lead to potential allegations.
- Ensure the use of mobile phones on outings is included as part of the risk assessment, for example, how to keep personal numbers that may be stored on the phone safe and confidential.
- Adhere to the school policy on the recording of images and the use of equipment –
Work mobile phones
To protect children, we will ensure that the work mobile:
- Is only used by allocated people.
- Is protected with a password/ PIN and clearly labelled.
- Is stored securely when not in use.
- Is not used in areas such as toilets, changing rooms, nappy changing areas and sleep areas.
- If used for taking photographs, the images are deleted regularly and are taken in line with prior written parent/carer permission.
Personal mobile phones
To protect children, we will ensure that personal mobiles:
- Are stored securely in lockers or lockable drawers and will be switched off whilst staff are on duty.
- Are not used to take pictures of the children attending the setting or that images are not shared.
- Will not be used to take photographs, video or audio recordings in our setting.
- Are not used to contact parents or children –exception will only be by agreement with the SLT.
Visitors are not permitted to use mobile phones or other camera/ internet enabled devices without the express permission of the Headteacher.
Children have signed consent from their parents/ carers giving permission for the child to have a mobile and agreeing that they will stored securely and be switched off or on silent whilst in the setting.
In line with Keeping children safe in education 2019, we have a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school.
Cameras: Photography and Images
Most people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. However, due to cases of abuse to children through taking or using images, we must ensure that we have safeguards in place.
To protect children, we will:
- Obtain parents’ and carers’ consent for photographs to be taken used for or published (for example, on our website or displays).
- Ensure the school’s designated camera is only used in the school and any images taken will not be emailed as it may not be secure. (In some instances, it may be required to seek parental permission to email images, but the potential risks must be made clear to parents).
- Ensure that children are appropriately dressed, and only use the child’s first name with an image.
- Ensure that all images are stored securely, and password protected. Where images are stored the setting will register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), in accordance with data protection laws.
- Ensure where professional photographers are used DBSs, references and parental consent will be obtained prior to photographs being taken.
- Ensure ‘acceptable use’ rules regarding the use of cameras and camera enabled devices by children are embedded in practice.
- Ensure the use of cameras is closely monitored and open to scrutiny.
Youth produced sexual imagery
Sexting’ describes the use of technology to share sexual and sexually implied content. This content includes texts, photos of partial nudity and sexual images or video. This could be shared between partners, peers and strangers. Individuals may use a range of technology to share the content.
The sharing of naked pictures is not a new thing but the speed with which you can share & the potential audience size has dramatically changed as a result of the online world.
Whilst professionals refer to the issue as ‘sexting’ there is no clear definition of ‘sexting’. Many professionals consider sexting to be ‘sending or posting sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet. Yet when young people are asked ‘What does sexting mean to you?’ they are more likely to interpret sexting as ‘writing and sharing explicit messages with people they know’. Similarly, many parents think of sexting as flirty or sexual text messages rather than images.
This advice only covers the sharing of sexual imagery by young people. Creating and sharing sexual photos and videos of under-18s is illegal and therefore causes the greatest complexity for schools and other agencies when responding. It also presents a range of risks which need careful management.
On this basis this advice introduces the phrase ‘youth produced sexual imagery’ and uses this instead of ‘sexting.’ This is to ensure clarity about the issues this advice addresses.
‘Youth produced sexual imagery’ best describes the practice because:
‘Youth produced’ includes young people sharing images that they, or another young person, have created of themselves.
‘Sexual’ is clearer than ‘indecent.’ A judgement of whether something is ‘decent’ is both a value judgement and dependent on context.
‘Imagery’ covers both still photos and moving videos (and this is what is meant by reference to imagery throughout the document).
Sexting in schools & colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people
(DfE, Nov 2016)
‘Sexting’ (self-generated inappropriate images) is one of a number of ‘risk-taking’ behaviours associated with the use of digital devices, social media or the internet. It is accepted that young people experiment and challenge boundaries and therefore the risks associated with ‘online’ activity can never be completely eliminated. However, Norbury Hall Primary School takes a pro-active approach in its ICT and Enrichment programmes to help students to understand, assess, manage and avoid the risks associated with ‘online activity’. The school recognises its duty of care to its young people who do find themselves involved in such activity as well as its responsibility to report such behaviours where legal or safeguarding boundaries are crossed.
There are several definitions of ‘sexting’ but for the purposes of this policy sexting is simply defined as:
- Inappropriate images or videos generated by children under the age of 18, or
- Of children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature or are indecent.
- These images are shared between young people and/or adults via a mobile phone, hand held device, computer, ‘tablet’ or website with people they may or may not know
- Up skirting, 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.
There are many different types of sexting and it is likely that no two cases will be the same. It is necessary to carefully consider each case on its own merit. However, it is important that Norbury Hall Primary School applies a consistent approach when dealing with an incident to help protect young people and the school. For this reason, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Headteacher in the absence of the DSL) needs to be informed of any ‘sexting’ incidents. The range of contributory factors in each case also needs to be considered in order to determine an appropriate and proportionate response. All colleagues are expected to be aware of this policy.
Further advice can be found here:
Cyber bulling is defined and covered in our anti-bullying policy
Online & Gaming Safety
The internet and internet gaming are enjoyed by many people and are often activities families can enjoy together. However, use of the internet and online games isn’t without risk.
As part of our approach to online safety we will support pupils and their families in understanding the potential risks of online activity and how best to avoid them. We will work with parents and carers to support them in the following:
- Understanding the appropriateness of games and apps
- location and access to information and resources for adults and pupils
- teaching e-safety in the curriculum
- offering parental information and advice sessions
- raising awareness of online grooming
- teaching our children how to report abuse or concerns
Parental advice is available here- https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13/Need-advice/Gaming/
In school we ensure that we have suitable filtering and monitoring systems in place, as described in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018.
PROCEDURES AND RECORD-KEEPING
NHPS will follow Greater Manchester Safeguarding Procedures in detail and adhere to any local guidance and policies from SSCP as required.
Safeguarding Records are held electronically/hard copies of records or reports relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection concerns are kept in a separate, confidential file, securely stored away from the main pupil file. Authorisation to access these records is controlled by the Head teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead.
The school ensures that safeguarding information, including Child Protection information, is stored and handled in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensuring that information is:
- used fairly and lawfully
- for limited, specifically stated purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than necessary
- handled according to people’s data protection rights
- kept safe and secure
Any concerns about a child will be recorded in writing as soon as possible and in any circumstance within 24 hours. The inability to record a concern should not delay the sharing of urgent information to the DSL (police or social care if required) verbally. Written records should then be made as soon as possible.
All records will provide a factual, evidence-based account using the child’s words. Timely, accurate recording of every episode/incident/concern/activity/actions will be made including telephone calls to other professionals. Records will be signed, dated and where appropriate, witnessed. Support and advice will be sought from Children’s Social Care (via the MASSH), Senior Advisor for Safeguarding in Education (SASE) or the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO), whenever necessary.
There is always a DSL on hand who has the necessary seniority and skills, has undertaken appropriate safeguarding training, and is given the time to carry out this important role.
This safeguarding policy is updated annually or in line with any new DfE guidance (as required).
In the case of child protection referral, the DSL will contact MASSH immediately (alongside any other emergency or support services that may be required).
In the case of poorly explained serious injuries / injuries causing concern or where behaviour or concerns arouse suspicion or if in any doubt, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should contact the MASSH for advice.
The DSL will keep written (electronically or by hand), signed, timed and dated records detailing any disclosures and action taken as near to the time of disclosure as possible even when no investigation is undertaken; should the MASSH agree to initiate a referral verbally a Child Protection Referral Form will still be required within 24 hours.
Allegations are always shared directly with the Head. Where an allegation of abuse is made against any member of staff/ volunteer, deputy or designated safeguarding person, the Headteacher will speak with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) at the Safeguarding Children Unit to discuss the next steps.
If the allegation is against the Head, the Chair of Governors should be contacted immediately, and s/he seek advice from the LADO. If the allegation is against both Head and Chair then the LADO should be contacted directly. No member of staff will conduct their own investigation or pass on information to the alleged perpetrator. Professionals can contact the LADO directly if they feel it is more appropriate to do so.
Our school has a whistleblowing procedure- . It is important to note that is part of a professional’s duty to report safeguarding issues, without the expectation of anonymity. Safeguarding and whistleblowing should not be confused. “Safeguarding” refers to reporting concerns designed to protect children from harm and acting to enable all children to have the best outcomes. In contrast “whistleblowing” describes the disclosure of concerns regarding a danger or illegality that has a public interest, usually because it threatens others or impacts on public funds.
Children Missing out on Education and Missing from Education
Under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 we have a duty to investigate any unexplained absences.
At (insert school/setting name) we follow Stockport’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from school. All staff are aware that children going missing, particularly repeatedly, are potentially vulnerable to harm including abuse and neglect, such as sexual abuse or exploitation and child criminal exploitation. It may indicate mental health problems, risk of substance abuse, risk of travelling to conflict zones, risk of female genital mutilation or risk of forced marriage.
We also ensure that we are rigorous in our attendance procedures; these are outlined in our attendance policy. Where a child’s destination is unknown when they have left our school, we ensure we carry out all necessary checks and refer them as a child missing from education.
SUPPORTING VULNERABLE PUPILS
The school will endeavour to support vulnerable pupils through:
- Its ethos and culture which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment; giving pupils a sense of being valued.
- Its behaviour policy -aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in school. All staff will agree a consistent approach, working to support children in developing positive behaviour.
- Liaison with other appropriate agencies which support the pupil.
- Developing supportive relationships.
- Recognition that children living in difficult home environments are vulnerable and are in need of support and protection.
- Monitoring pupil welfare, keeping accurate records and notifying appropriate agencies when necessary.
- Ensuring designated safeguarding staff and their team have the opportunity to attend face to face SSCP training and network updates. (For example, child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, drugs / alcohol substance misuse, Female Genital Mutilation-FGM, etc.)
- Ensuring information is transferred safely and securely when a pupil with a child protection record moves to another school. Also notifying Key Workers or Social Workers where a child leaves the school (as appropriate)
Children with special needs and disabilities
We ensure that staff have knowledge and understanding of the additional barriers which can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in children with special needs/disabilities.
These barriers can include:
• assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
• children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs; and
• communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers
We regularly review our training and practice to enable staff to respond to these specific needs.
EARLY IDENTIFICATION RECOGNISING AND RESPONDING TO SAFEGUARDING NEEDS
The school acknowledges the findings of Serious Case Reviews, local learning reviews and audits. Findings are shared with all staff as part of a culture of improvement and learning. The DSL ensures s/he has information from SSCP in relation to learning reviews and ensures this information is passed on to staff to promote improvement in respect of safeguarding. As part of our ongoing culture of vigilance and development we will share learning and responses from any other relevant issues to ensure we are offering the safest environment for our pupils and staff.
All staff have seen and understand the Stockport Levels of Need document and know how to pass on any concerns no matter how ‘small or low level’ they seem. In accordance with local and national guidance all staff receive regular training and updates to help them identify when a child is vulnerable. We ensure that the most appropriate referrals are made in a timely manner. We seek to work in a transparent way with our families and where appropriate will share our concerns directly with parents and indicate possible routes of support. We actively support multi agency approaches when supporting children and families. We do this based on an awareness that early help and intervention can prevent future escalation of any presenting issues. We aim to provide information from the child’s point of view in the context of their lived experience as evidenced by observations or information provided. Where staff have concerns, they will always alert the DSL.
In school we have staff that are trained and can support colleagues to identify and respond to: Neglect
- Drug/substance/alcohol misuse (both pupil and parent)
- Child sexual exploitation / trafficked children
- Children missing education
- Domestic abuse
- Peer relationship abuse
- Peer abuse
- Children at risk of radicalisation
- Emotional wellbeing & mental health
- Sexual health needs
- Online grooming
- Inappropriate behaviour of staff towards children
- Bullying, including homophobic, racist, gender and disability. Breaches of the Equality Act 2010.
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Forced Marriage
- Young carers
- The potential additional needs of some learners such as- Looked After Children (LAC), children who have been previously LAC, those who have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and children whose families are seeking asylum.
- How an Education Health Care (EHC) plan links with other safeguarding processes
The DSL and their deputy is/are member(s) of the school senior leadership team. In line with local and national guidance they receive regular training and updates to equip them with the skills and knowledge to deliver in this role. A DSL is always available to offer advice and support to school staff when school is open including before and after school activity or for trips and visits.
School staff contribute to assessments and actively support multi- agency planning for children. Staff have an understanding of the Stockport Early Help Assessment (EHA) and Intervention model and make decisions based on a child’s development needs, parenting capacity and family & environmental factors to support referrals.
We use the Stockport Levels of Need document to inform our decision making.
In contributing to meetings, in addition to information about the child’s academic functioning, the school provides information about the ‘voice of the child’ and the child’s experiences of life as evidenced by observations or information provided through the multi-agency forum.
Our school operates a Team around the school model (TAS).
EXTREMISM AND RADICALISATION
Norbury Hall Primary School seek to protect children and young people from the influences of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to;
- Extremist Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology
- Islamic extremist ideology
- Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups
- Extremist animal rights movements.
The current threat from terrorism and extremist groups in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people. Groups may seek to influence vulnerable children and involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation.
NHPS is clear that where there is concern in respect of exploitation of this kind it will be treated as safeguarding concern.
Prevention work and reductions of risks will include the SMSC, PSHE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, integration of pupils by gender and SEN, the application of the anti-bullying policy and a commitment to building and maintaining an inclusive and fair school environment and community. We will apply an appropriate school letting policy. Whilst the education of children is the prime purpose of our school it is recognised that the school operates in the wider community. Its facilities are therefore only available to local groups when this does not conflict with either the interests of its pupils or the wellbeing and workload of its staff.
OTHER Specific SAFEGUARDING ISSUES
Domestic abuse/violence: In our school we believe that all our pupils have the right to be safe at school and in their own homes. We are aware that some children may be living in situations where they are directly or indirectly affected by incidents of domestic abuse or violence. Where we are concerned that domestic abuse or violence is present in the home, we will follow our safeguarding and domestic abuse processes.
Honour Based Violence (HBV) including Forced Marriage (FM): Our staff have been trained to understand honour-based violence and forced marriage; they are alert to possible indicators. They are aware that forced marriage is an entirely separate issue from arranged marriage; that it is a human rights abuse and falls within the Crown Prosecution Service definition of domestic violence and that HBV and FM can affect both young men and women.
As a school we would never attempt to intervene directly; where this is suspected, nor would we speak to parents before sharing our concerns with appropriate agencies.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): All Members of our school community are alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. They have been made aware of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM and will act accordingly on any concerns or disclosures. We will also follow national guidance on mandatory reporting requirements.
Breast Ironing: Staff have been made aware of an act of abuse performed on young girls (from around the age of 9 years old) in which their breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded, burned with heated objects or covered with an elastic belt to prevent or delay the development of their breasts. Where such abuse is suspected or disclosed staff will follow safeguarding and child protection systems.
The criminal exploitation of children
The criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. Key to identifying potential involvement in county lines are missing episodes, when the victim may have been trafficked for the purpose of transporting drugs.
Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations, in respect of children, as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.” Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim.
As a school we are alert to the possible indicators both for our children and their families. Any concerns will be reported using our safeguarding and child protection processes. In addition to Greater Manchester guidance we also refer to Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines.
Serious Youth Violence
Serious youth violence (including Knife crime) has a huge impact on children and the communities in which they live. It is a societal problem and it cannot be tackled by schools or single agencies alone.
In our school we will seek to support, help and protect children on the school site, and to teach our children/young people about the dangers of weapons/knives and other related dangers. We understand that violence and knife crime do not exist in a vacuum and children who are victims or perpetrators may also be experiencing multiple vulnerabilities. If we become aware that a child or young person is vulnerable, we will use the most appropriate interventions and pathways to address these needs such as; completing an Early Help Assessment, Child protection referral or support from Stockport Youth Offending Service.
SAFER RECRUITMENT AND SAFER WORKING PRACTICE
The school pays full regard to DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2019 and with reference to the ‘Position of Trust’ offence (Sexual Offences Act 2003). We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school who is likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult.
We do this by:
Operating safer recruitment practices including appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and reference checks, verifying identity, academic and vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking previous employment history and ensuring the person has the right to work in the UK. Our practices also include undertaking interviews and checking if individuals are barred or prohibited from working with children in accordance with DBS and Department for Education (DfE) guidance. In line with statutory guidance we maintain a single central record to evidence checks completed for staff and volunteers working in the school community. This document is reviewed termly by a member of the SLT.
Every volunteer and member of staff (including supply staff and those contracted to deliver sports or other activities such as counselling) has a ‘safeguarding induction’ and we ensure that staff and volunteers always adhere to a published code of conduct and other relevant professional standards. This extends to before and after school activities. Staff and visitors are aware of the requirements in respect of phone usage, camera enabled devices, social media and on-line conduct. Other professionals and visitors to our school are made aware of the requirement and expectations we have in respect of safeguarding our children including the use of mobile and camera enabled devices.
We ensure that:
- Any disciplinary proceedings against staff related to Child Protection matters are concluded in full in accordance with Government guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019” and SSCP, LADO and HR Policy, procedures and guidance.
- All staff and other adults on site are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationship with pupils and parents, following the Code of Conduct.
- Adequate risk assessments are in place including for extended school/ wrap around provision, volunteers, work placements and holiday activities (directly related to school).
- Staff are clear how to raise a concern, where to find ‘whistleblowing policies’ and are confident to report concerns of misconduct.
- All staff are required to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings that may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment at the setting).
GOVERNING BODY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Governing Body fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in accordance with Government guidance and pays particular regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).
The Governing Body have agreed processes which allow them to monitor and ensure that the school:
- Have robust safeguarding procedures in place.
- Operates safer recruitment procedures and appropriate checks are carried out on newly appointed staff and other adults working on the school site.
- Have procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against any member of staff or adult on site.
- Has appointed a member of the Leadership Team who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with safeguarding and Child Protection issues.
- Will take steps to remedy any deficiencies or weaknesses with regard to safeguarding arrangements.
- Is supported by the Governing Body nominating a member responsible for liaising with the LA and/or partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse against the Headteacher; this is the Chair.
- Carries out an annual review of the safeguarding policy and procedures.
- Carries out an annual safeguarding Audit in consultation with the Governing body, sharing this with the Stockport safeguarding Children Board on request.
OTHER RELATED POLICIES
The school takes safeguarding seriously and understands this policy is over- arching. The school also maintains other linked policies in line with the legislative requirements; together these make up the suite of policies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in this school.
- Attendance Policy
- Data Protection
- Staff Code of Conduct / Staff Behaviour Policy
The staff and volunteers in our school are committed to safeguarding all our children
We work to:
- provide a safe environment for our children
- support children and families using early intervention strategies
- notice and take appropriate action to help any of our children who are either at risk of, or are suffering from, significant harm
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Jacqui Ames:
Our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Becky Wood
If you have any concerns about the welfare of any of our children, you can report them to the above-named persons.
Staff and volunteers must record their concerns on a note of concern form and include a physical injury/body map where appropriate
These should be passed in a sealed envelope to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately
Further Advice and guidance can also be sought from The Safeguarding Unit 0161 474 5657
Useful links, further advice and guidance
Greater Manchester Safeguarding Procedures
Young People and Self-harm- Stockport Schools’ Version
Stockport Female Genital Mutilation Pathway
Stockport procedures for responding to child sexual exploitation
Stockport Suicide Prevention
Greater Manchester Project Phoenix (action against child sexual exploitation)
Stockport Early Help Assessment
Private Fostering in Stockport
Information Sharing and Team Around the School
Levels of Need
National Guidance & Resource
Responding to sexting incidents
Educate Against Hate
Multi-agency statutory guidance on FGM
What to do if you are concerned that a child/young person is being abused (flowchart for Education)
INFORMATION YOU MAY BE ASKED TO PROVIDE
When you make a referral to Social Care (Children’s Services) or to the police, you should provide as much of the following information as possible:
- Child’s name, date of birth, address, telephone number and ethnic origin;
- Family details – who lives in the home – and any other significant adults;
- What is causing concern and the evidence that you have gathered to support your concerns;
- Any additional needs the child and/or family may have including language, disability and communication;
- Clarification of discussion with any family members if a discussion has been appropriate;
- Clarification of any ongoing assistance that you are giving to the family;
- Your name, workplace and contact telephone number.
All Child Protection referral phone calls made to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding & Support Hub (MASSH) to secure a response from Social Care must be supported with written documentation. In Stockport this is through the online Child Protection Referral form.
Remember- Anyone in school can make a child protection referral
INFORMATION &TELEPHONE NUMBERS FOR CONSULTATION AND REFERRAL
Children’s Services- child protection referral
- Online (to the MASSH)- https://www.stockport.gov.uk/contacting-the-massh
- The Multi –agency Safeguarding and Support Hub (MASSH)
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm,
- Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.
tel. (0161) 217-6028 or 6024.
Out of hours referrals and advice tel: (0161) 718-2118
- Greater Manchester Police tel:101 (non- emergency) 999 emergency
Advice is available from:
- Child’s Social Worker (if already involved)
- School Age Plus worker
- Team Around the School meeting
- Safeguarding Children Unit tel. (0161) 474-5657
- The Multi –agency Safeguarding and Support Hub (MASSH)
tel. (0161) 217-6028 or 6024
- Senior Adviser for Safeguarding in Education tel. (0161) 474-5657
Greater Manchester procedures online- Allegation management
The process of managing allegations starts where information comes to the attention of a manager which suggests that an adult working with children may 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; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he/she may pose a risk of harm to children.
Concerns or allegations about the behaviour of an adult may be brought to the attention of a manager in a variety of ways. For example:
- An allegation made directly by a child or parent;
- An allegation made by a colleague or member of staff;
- Information from police or local authority social care team;
- Information from a third party or the general public;
- Information disclosed anonymously or online; or
- Concerns generated through an employment relationship.
The procedures allow for consideration of the adult’s behaviour at the earliest opportunity when a concern or allegation arises and is brought to the manager/employer’s attention.
When to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
It is important to ensure that even apparently less serious allegations are seen to be followed up, and that they are examined objectively by someone independent of the organisation concerned.
Discussion should always take place between the employer and the LADO when the concern or allegation meets the criteria.
Some examples of this may be where an individual has:
- Contravened or has continued to contravene any safe practice guidance given by his/her organisation or regulatory body;
- Exploited or abused a position of power;
- Acted in an irresponsible manner which any reasonable person would find alarming or questionable given the nature of work undertaken;
- Demonstrated a failure to understand or appreciate how his or her own actions or those of others could adversely impact upon the safety and well-being of a child;
- Demonstrated an inability to make sound professional judgements which safeguard the welfare of children;
- Failed to follow adequately policy or procedures relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
- Failed to understand or recognise the need for clear personal and professional boundaries in his or her work;
- Behaved in a way in her or her personal life which could put children at risk of harm;
- Become the subject of criminal proceedings not relating to a child;
- Become subject to enquiries under local child protection procedures and/or child subject to Child Protection Plan;
- Behaved in a way which seriously undermines the trust and confidence placed in him or her by the employer.
Colleagues with concerns can contact the LADO on 0161 474 5657.