The Trinity Handbook
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
The policy reflects current legislation, accepted best practice and complies with the government guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018 and Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018.
Other policies that may need to be taken into account are:
- Complaints Procedures
- Special Educational Needs
- Health and Safety
- Safer recruitment
- Self-Harm Policy
- Management of Allegations
- Whistleblowing policy
- Staff Conduct policy (Code of Conduct)
The Context for Safeguarding as outlined by Nottingham City Safeguarding Board
Schools (including independent schools, non-maintained special schools, Academies and free schools) and Further Education (FE) institutions should give effect to their duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils under section 175/157 the Education Act 2002 and where appropriate under the Children Act 1989 by:
- creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children and young people; and,
- identifying where there are child welfare concerns and taking action to address them, in partnership with other organisations where appropriate.
Governing bodies and proprietors should consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social health and economic education (PSHE), and/or - for maintained schools and colleges - through sex and relationship education (SRE).
The Trinity Catholic School is committed to supporting students in exploring safeguarding issues as part of the curriculum and Acts of Worship. The school will do this within the school community and also seek external specialist support.
“This Catholic School will seek to educate the whole person, academically, morally, socially and spiritually through the example of Jesus Christ and the witness of committed capable teachers.” (Mission Statement)
At The Trinity Catholic School, the governors and staff fully recognise the contribution the school makes to safeguard children. We recognise that the safety and protection of all pupils is of paramount importance and that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in providing early help protecting pupils from harm. We believe that the school should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment, which promotes all pupils’ social, physical, emotional and moral development. In delivering this ambition we will adhere to the principles set out in Nottingham’s Family Support Strategy and NCSCB Policy, Procedures and Practice Guidance (See Appendix 1).
We want all children to feel safe, secure and listened to. We endeavour to achieve this through specific safeguarding student voice. All students within The Trinity Catholic School have opportunity throughout the day to speak with staff.
It is important to see safeguarding as the “umbrella” term for everything that is done to support children and young people, to keep them safe and promote their welfare. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children – July 2018’ defines safeguarding as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of a child’s health and 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 life chances.
Child protection however is defined as:
- part of safeguarding and promoting welfare; and
- the activity to protect specific children who are suffering, or who are likely to suffer, significant harm. It can be seen therefore that protection is only one part of safeguarding and indeed the spirit of the legislation is about promotion of children’s needs and the prevention of harm. This supports the need for all staff to be able to respond early when they have a concern rather than wait until something is more defined and certain.
The most critical message from the legislation is that “the child’s welfare is paramount”.
The aims of this policy are to:
- confirm that the pupils’ development is supported in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence
- raise the awareness of teachers, non-teaching staff and volunteers of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse
- confirm the structured procedures to be followed by all members of the school community is cases of suspected harm or abuse
- emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff and those with designated responsibility for child safeguarding, health and safety and other safeguarding responsibilities
- emphasise the importance of maintaining and implementing appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and arrangements of those service providers who use the school’s premises through extended schools or provide any other before and after school activities
- highlight the connection between the safeguarding policy and the school’s policy for safe recruitment of staff and volunteers, and for managing allegations
- confirm the working relationship with Children and Families Direct, the NCSCB and other agencies and, where appropriate with similar services in neighbouring authorities.
Key Staff and Contacts
Trinity Based Contact
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children
Faith in Families School Social Worker
Education Welfare Officer
All of the above can be contacted via the Trinity office on 0115 9296251.
Other Useful Contacts
James McGeechie – Chief Executive of Our Lady of Lourdes Multi Academy Trust
Children and Families Direct Nottingham City Council
0115 876 4800
Children’s Social Care – Emergency Duty Team Nottingham City Council
0115 915 5555
Designated Officer (LADO) Nottingham City Council
Richard Powell 0115 876 5698
NSPCC Information Service
0808 800 5000
NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line
0800 028 0285
The Governing Body
The trained link governor for:
Child Safeguarding is: Danielle Pritchard
Looked After Children is: Rachel Greatrix
- will attend training/updates at least every three years and will also receive regular updates for looked after children.
- will ensure a member of the governing body is nominated to liaise with the local authority and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection in relation to safeguarding and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Headteacher.
- will ensure that the school has a child safeguarding policy, single central record, staff conduct policy and procedures in place, operates safe recruitment procedures, makes appropriate checks on staff and volunteers and has procedures for dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers that all comply in accordance with NCSCB.
- will ensure that schools and colleges create a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might pose a risk to children (Part three: Safer Recruitment, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018).
- has appointed a member of staff of the school’s leadership team to the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead. This individual is Sarah Wilkinson.
- will ensure the school keeps an up to date single central record of pre-employment checks, specifying when the check was made and when it will be renewed.
- monitors the adequacy of resources committed to child safeguarding, and the staff and governor training profile.
- recognises that neither it, nor individual governors, have a role in dealing with individual cases or a right to know details of cases (except when exercising their disciplinary functions in respect of allegations against staff).
- ensure that the child safeguarding policy is available to parents and children on request.
- will ensure this policy and practice complements other policies e.g. anti-bullying including cyber bullying, health and safety, to ensure an integrated model of safeguarding operates across the school.
The Headteacher will ensure that:
- the policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are followed by all staff.
- the policy will be updated annually, and be available publicly either via the school or college website or by other means.
- designated staff review the policy when the NCSCB update their policies and procedures.
- sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the designated persons and other staff to discharge their responsibilities including taking part in strategy discussions and other multi-agency meetings, to contribute to the assessment and support of children and young people, and be appropriately trained.
- a single central database of all staff and volunteers, and their safeguarding training dates is maintained and that this list confirms that all staff and those volunteers who meet the specified criteria have had a DBS check, when this check was made and when it will be renewed.
- all staff and volunteers feel able to raise their concerns about poor and unsafe practice in regard of pupils, and such concerns are addressed in a timely manner in accordance with agreed policies.
- school staff are sensitive to signs that may indicate possible safeguarding concerns. This could include, for example, poor or irregular attendance, persistent lateness, children missing from education, particularly where there are concerns regarding the potential for forced marriage or female genital mutilation.
- all staff undergo child safeguarding training which is updated regularly, in line with advice from the NCSCB.
- a visitor’s procedure is in place that puts the safeguarding of pupils at the centre and is applied to all visitors irrespective of their status.
- all visitors to the school will be asked to bring formal identification with them at the time of their visit (unless they are named on the approved visitors/contractors list as set out below).
- once on site, all visitors must report to reception first. No visitor is permitted to enter the school via any other entrance under any circumstances.
- at reception, all visitors must state the purpose of their visit and who has invited them. They should be ready to produce formal identification upon request.
- all visitors will be asked to sign the Visitors’ Record Book which is kept in reception at all times making note of their name, organisation, who they are visiting and car registration.
- all visitors will be required to wear an identification badge – the badge must remain visible throughout their visit.
- visitors will then be escorted to their point of contact OR their point of contact will be asked to come to reception to receive their visitor. The contact will then be responsible for them whilst they are on site. The visitor must not be allowed to move about the site unaccompanied unless they are registered on the Approved Visitor List (to be on this list, the person must have a current clear DBS check and children’s barred check with a copy of this registered on the schools' central record. They must then follow the procedures above e.g. sign into the visitors’ book and enter the premises via reception).
Allegations against the Headteacher
Where an allegation is made against the Headteacher, the Chair of the Governing Body, or equivalent, must be informed as well as the Designated Officer (LADO) 0115 8765698
Trained Designated Lead
The trained designated leads (senior managers) for child safeguarding:
- Sarah Wilkinson (Assistant Headteacher - email@example.com)
- Ella Aitchison (SENCO - firstname.lastname@example.org)
- be given sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their child welfare and safeguarding responsibilities effectively.
- undergo updated child safeguarding training every two years.
- Liaise with relevant agencies in accordance with the NCSCB procedures when referring a pupil where there are concerns about possible abuse or harm.
- where there are concerns about a member of staff’s suitability to work with children, contact the Designated Officer (LADO).
- be able to access the contents of the NCSCB procedures and Personnel procedures and make these accessible to all staff.
- ensure all staff, including supply staff, visiting professionals working with pupils in the school and volunteers are informed of the names and contact details of the designated leads and the school’s procedures for safeguarding children.
- support staff who attend strategy meetings, looked after reviews and/or case conferences.
- support staff and volunteers who may find safeguarding issues upsetting or stressful by enabling them to talk through their anxieties and to seek further support from the leadership team or others as appropriate.
- ensure involvement of other designated leads e.g. where there are concerns about a pupil who is ‘looked after’.
- support staff to reflect on the information they hold about children and provide an alternative perspective on issues in order to promote a better understanding of what may or may not be concerning.
Designated leads will ensure that:
- written records of concerns are kept, even if there is no immediate need for referral; and monitored using CPOMS.
- all child protection records are marked as such and kept securely locked, and if these are stored electronically, that they are password protected differently from the pupils’ other files, and accessible only by the Headteacher/designated leads.
- pupil records are kept separately, and marked as appropriate to indicate other confidential records are being held elsewhere.
- the children missing education - statutory guidance for local authorities 2016 is adhered to.
- where a pupil is subject to a Child Protection Plan, and is absent without explanation for two days, their key worker in Children’s Social Care is contacted.
- records are monitored for patterns of what, when taking in isolation would appear to be low level concerns, but when viewed together indicate a pattern which requires further action.
- where there are existing concerns about a pupil, and they transfer to another school in this authority, a copy of information held is transferred securely and confidentially e.g. a CAF is forwarded under confidential cover and separate from the pupil’s main file to the designated lead for child safeguarding in the receiving school.
- where a pupil has a child protection plan or there are on-going child protection enquiries and transfers to another school;
- the Designated Safeguarding Lead is informed immediately.
- their child protection file is copied for any new school or college as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file.
All staff, teaching and non-teaching, volunteers and others working in school need to:
- ensure they have a copy of part 1 and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 and that they have read and understood it;
- be aware that to safeguard children, they have a duty to share information with the designated leads, and through the designated lead, with other agencies.
- be aware that despite the requirement to share information with designated leads they can make their own referral to Children’s Social Care, e.g. in urgent situations.
- be alert to signs and symptoms of harm and abuse. Further information regarding potential indicators of abuse, including specific information about risks such as Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage is available on the NCSCB webpage.
- know how to respond to their duty when they have concerns or when a pupil discloses to them and to act.
- know how to record concerns and what additional information may be required.
- undergo child safeguarding training which is updated regularly in line with advice from the NCSCB, (whole staff training every three years).
- Recognise that abuse and neglect can happen in any setting and maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’.
Trinity School takes very seriously allegations against members of staff and acknowledges that if concerns are not addressed as early as possible they can create unsafe working environments and leave staff and children increasingly vulnerable.
An allegation may be legitimately made against a member of staff if it is suspected that 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 in a way that indicates s/he would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children
The concern/allegation will usually relate to the person’s work or their role as a volunteer. However, in some circumstances it may relate to their behaviour outside this setting, e.g. an allegation that an individual has harmed, or failed to protect, their own child; an individual whose children are made subject to a Child Protection Plan; an allegation that an individual has been involved in some form of criminal activity, such as downloading abusive images of children etc.
All members of staff working with children have a duty of care and a statutory responsibility to report any concerns that they may have in respect of a child’s welfare, including allegations made against staff.
If any allegation is made against a member of staff it should be taken seriously and passed on to the Headteacher. The member of staff who is made aware of the allegation should inform the Headteacher as soon as possible. They should not speak to the person about whom the allegation has been made and should not inform anyone else. Where there are concerns about the Headteacher this should be referred to the Chair of Governors, Mrs Rachel Greatrix.
Every member of staff is required to immediately pass on an allegation, which they are made aware of. In doing so they will be providing everyone involved with the best opportunity to have the situation dealt with swiftly and comprehensively. Whoever the allegation is made against, even if it is a close colleague, law requires the member of staff, to pass the allegation on to the named person.
It is also important that the person who receives the allegation makes an accurate written record of what has been alleged, who made the allegation, when the allegation was made and any other relevant information. This should then be signed and dated and passed to the Headteacher/Chair of Governors.
Reporting concerns of child abuse to the designated leads
Any concern should be discussed in the first instance with one of the designated leads or in their absence the Headteacher, as soon as possible. If at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care or the police immediately. Anybody can make such a referral.
Immediate response to the pupil
It is vital that our actions do not harm the pupil further or prejudice further enquiries, for example:
- listen to the pupil, if you are shocked by what is being said, try not to show it
- it is OK to observe bruises but not to ask a pupil to remove their clothing to observe them
- if a disclosure is made,
- accept what the pupil says
- stay calm, the pace should be dictated by the pupil without them being pressed for detail by asking leading questions such as “what did s/he do next?” It is your role to listen - not to investigate
- use open questions such as “is there any thing else you want to tell me?” or “yes?” or “and?”
- be careful not to burden the pupil with guilt by asking questions like “why didn’t you tell me before?”
- acknowledge how hard it was for the pupil to tell you
- do not criticise the perpetrator, the pupil might have a relationship with them
- do not promise confidentiality, reassure the pupil that they have done the right thing, explain whom you will have to tell (the designated lead) and why; and, depending on the pupil’s age, what the next stage will be. It is important that you avoid making promises that you cannot keep such as “I’ll stay with you all the time” or “it will be all right now”.
- Make some brief notes at the time or immediately afterwards; record the date, time, place and context of disclosure or concern, facts and not assumption or interpretation. Your name and role should be included.
- If it is observation of bruising or an injury try to record detail, e.g. “right arm above elbow”. Do not take photographs.
- Note the non-verbal behaviour and the key words in the language used by the pupil (try not to translate into ‘proper terms’).
- It is important to keep these original notes and pass them on to the designated member of staff who may ask you to write a referral.
- The staff and governors recognise that a child or young person who is abused or witnesses violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth. We recognise that in these circumstances pupils might feel helpless and humiliated, and that they might feel self-blame.
- We recognise that this school might provide the only stability in the lives of pupils who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
- We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a pupil in these circumstances might range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.
- The school will support all pupils by: discussing child protection cases with due regard to safeguarding the pupil and his or her family; supporting individuals who are, or are thought to be, in need or at risk in line with NCSCB procedures; encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness; challenging and not condoning aggression, bullying or discriminatory behaviour; promoting a caring, safe and positive environment.
- We recognise that the provision of the right help at the right time is a key element of our wider safeguarding responsibilities. This includes the provision of Early Help either directly through the school or by signposting to other local services, as set out in Nottingham City’s Family Support Strategy. Where a child is receiving early help support we will continue to monitor this to make sure it is having the required impact. Where there is no evidence of this impact we will consider other alternatives, which may include seeking specialist support.
- The school recognizes that they must understand those particularly vulnerable students must be treated respectfully and with understanding of their different and diverse needs in line with the equality policy. (see appendix 2)
Confidentiality and sharing Information
All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the pupil and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.
Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSLs (or Deputy DSL or SLT in their absence). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
However, following a number of cases where senior leaders in school had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.
Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.
Information sharing is guided by the following principles. The information is:
- necessary and proportionate
Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.
Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s pastoral file within CPOMS.
The DSL will normally obtain consent from the pupil and/or parents to share sensitive information within the school or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent.
Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the headteacher to consider in line with the Trust Data Governance Policies.
The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies where that information may help to protect a child
Working with parents/carers
- Parents and carers play an important role in protecting their children from harm.
- In most cases, the school will discuss concerns about a pupil with the family and, where appropriate, seek their agreement to making referrals to Children and Families Direct.
- Where there are any doubts, the designated lead should clarify with Children and Families Direct whether, and if so when and by whom, the parents should be told about the referral. Alternatively they could ring the Consultation Line in Children’s Duty to discuss this case. The number for this is: 07711189544
- The pupil’s views will be considered in deciding whether to inform the family, particularly where the pupil is sufficiently mature to make informed judgments about the issues, and about consenting to that.
“Children want to be respected, their views to be heard, to have stable relationships with professionals built on trust and for consistent support provided for their individual needs. This should guide the behaviour of professionals. Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.” Working Together 2017
- The school aims to help parents understand that the school, like all others, has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. The school may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a pupil’s welfare.
Looked After Children
Supporting children in care is a key priority for our school. We recognise that the needs of this group of children can only be effectively met when all agencies work together. To ensure we have a co-ordinated approach to meeting the needs of children in care who attend our school we have a designated lead, who is named, Alison Rogers.
Prevention in the Curriculum
- The school recognises the importance of developing pupils’ awareness of behaviour that is unacceptable towards them and others, and how they can help keep themselves and others safe.
- The PSHE programme in each key stage provides personal development opportunities for pupils to learn about keeping safe and who to ask for help if their safety is threatened. As part of developing a healthy, safer lifestyle, pupils are taught to, for example:
- safely explore their own and others’ attitudes
- recognise and manage risks in different situations and how to behave responsibly
- judge what kind of physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable
- recognise when pressure from others (including people they know) threatens their:
- personal safety and well-being and develop effective ways of resisting pressure
- including knowing when and where to get help
- use assertiveness techniques to resist unhelpful pressure
- how to keep safe on-line
- the risks associated with sharing indecent images of, or information about, themselves. This is something that is often referred to as Sexting. Research indicates that this is increasingly associated with concerns such as sexual exploitation. Our work in this area is based on the guidance set out in Sexting in Schools and Colleges: Responding to Incidents and Safeguarding Young People.
- The governors recognise that all staff and volunteers who work with pupils aged up to 18 years need to have appropriate child safeguarding training that equips them to recognise and respond to pupil welfare concerns.
- We will ensure staff are given mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child safeguarding policy, part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education, staff behaviour policy, the designated leads in the school, their responsibilities and procedures to be followed.
- A training register is kept to indicate when staff and governors have been trained and this in turn informs the annual report to governors
Safer recruitment training has been attended by:
- S Wilkinson (August 2016)
- R Greatrix (August 2016)
Regular training and discussion within the school environment is important and is led by the Designated Leads for safeguarding.
Timelines for training:
- Designated Safeguarding Lead training: refreshed within every two years (statutory requirement).
- Whole school training: To be refreshed within every three years as agreed with NCSCB (Training is available through the Safeguarding in Education Service email@example.com)
- Safer recruitment training: Through the DfE on-line (under review)
All staff, schools and Governing bodies should be open to new learning and keep up to date with changes made to national and local safeguarding policy, procedure and guidance including that provided by our safeguarding partners.
Schools need to evaluate and demonstrate how well they fulfil their statutory responsibilities and exercise professional judgment in Keeping Children Safe as outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018.
Working Together To Safeguard Children 2018 & Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018
Statutory duties that apply to schools and academies
Schools and academies should have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including:
- ensuring that the school, academy or college contributes to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. This includes providing a coordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to, for example, children subject to child protection plans and children looked after;
- a clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- a senior member of staff to take leadership responsibility for the school’s safeguarding arrangements;
- a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings and ensuring there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback;
- ensuring there are procedures in place to handle allegations including those relating to children harming, or allegedly harming other children;
- arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information, with other professionals and with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB);
- a designated professional lead for safeguarding. Their role is to support other members of staff, to recognise the needs of children, including recognising and responding to possible abuse or neglect. Designated leads’ roles should always be explicitly defined in job descriptions. They should be given sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their child welfare and safeguarding responsibilities effectively;
- safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children including policies on when to obtain a relevant Disclosure, and Barring Scheme (DBS) check.
Schools, academies and colleges must keep a single central record of DBS checks and training undertaken. The record must cover the following people:
- all staff (including supply staff) who work in the school; in colleges, this means those providing education to children
- all others who work in regular contact with children in the school or college, including volunteers
- for independent schools, including academies and free schools, all members of the proprietor body.
- It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that all the staff they employ in specified early or later years childcare have had the appropriate checks. This includes ensuring that staff working in early and later years settings are suitable to do so. The DfE issued new advice for schools in October 2014, in relation to the ‘disqualification by association’ of teachers and other school staff working in early or later years provision, or those who are directly concerned with the management of such provision. A person is automatically disqualified if they live in the same household as another person who is disqualified or in a household where a disqualified person is employed. The categories of staff in nursery, primary or secondary school settings covered by regulation include staff who:
- work in the early years provision (including teaching staff and support staff working in school nursery and reception classes) o work in later years provision for children who have not reached the age of eight, including before-school settings such as breakfast clubs and after-school provision o are directly concerned with the management of such early or later years provision.
- Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.
- Staff should be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with safeguarding responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare. Staff in schools and colleges should ensure that all staff read at least part one of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018. There should then be an ongoing programme of refresher training.
- Ensure there is an effective child safeguarding policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (code of conduct).Both should be provided to all staff – including temporary staff and volunteers – on induction.
- All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.
- The designated lead professional for safeguarding should maintain comprehensive records.
- All schools and colleges have to be compliant with the requirements of the LSCB, in Nottingham this includes engagement in the Serious Case Review process.
- The NCSCB requires all schools to complete an annual safeguarding audit
- Engagement in multi-agency processes and Serious Case Reviews (See Working Together 2018, to be read in conjunction with DfE KCSIE 2018) Clear policies in line with those from the LSCB for dealing with allegations against people who work with children, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:
- 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 they may pose a risk of harm to children.
- The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (contact: 0115 876 4800) is to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases where there are allegations made against people who work with children. The LADO should provide advice and guidance to schools, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process;
- any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the school. The LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police; and
- if an organisation removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because of a concern that the person may pose a risk of harm to children, the organisation must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.
In addition to these duties, which apply to schools, further safeguarding duties are also placed on them through other statutes. The key duties that fall on schools are set out below.
Schools, academies and colleges
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities (in relation to their education functions and governing bodies of maintained schools and further education institutions, which include sixth-form colleges) to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at a school, or who are students under 18 years of age attending further education institutions. The same duty applies to independent schools (which include Academies and free schools) by virtue of regulations made under section 157 of the same Act. In order to fulfil their duty under sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002, all educational settings to whom the duty applies should have in place the arrangements as set out above. In addition schools should have regard to specific guidance given by the Secretary of State under sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002 namely Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education and Dealing with allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff.
Key Information about Particularly Vulnerable Groups
Some children and young people may be particularly vulnerable to abuse and harm. This includes for example privately fostered children, children with a disability, children with communication needs. Certain forms of behaviour can also increase the vulnerability of a young person such as drug or alcohol misuse. The designated safeguarding lead should be aware of the range of guidance that is available and vigilant to concerns being raised by staff and children which need to be reported in accordance with national (Government) and local (NCSCB) procedures without delay. The lead should also ensure staff working with children are alert to signs which may indicate possible abuse or harm.
Child Sexual Exploitation
The sexual exploitation of children and young people (CSE) under 18 is defined as that which:
‘involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.
Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.’ (Department for Education, 2012)
Child sexual exploitation is a form of abuse, which involves children (male and female, of different ethnic origins and of different ages) receiving something in exchange for sexual activity. Schools are well placed to prevent, identify and respond to children at risk of sexual exploitation.
Who is at risk?
Child sexual exploitation can happen to any young person from any background. Although the research suggests that the females are more vulnerable to CSE, boys and young men are also victims of this type of abuse.
The characteristics common to all victims of CSE are not those of age, ethnicity or gender, rather their powerlessness and vulnerability. Victims often do not recognise that they are being exploited because they will have been groomed by their abuser(s). As a result, victims do not make informed choices to enter into, or remain involved in, sexually exploitative situations but do so from coercion, enticement, manipulation or fear. Sexual exploitation can happen face to face and it can happen online. It can also occur between young people.
In all its forms, CSE is child abuse and should be treated as a child safeguarding issue.
Preventing violent extremism by countering the ideology of extremism and by identifying those who are being drawn into radicalism has for some time formed part of our approach to safeguarding. The Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015 now imposes a duty on a wide range of bodies including all schools to respond when they become concerned that a child is being, or is at risk of, becoming radicalised. Compliance will be monitored through various inspection regimes such as Ofsted that will be looking to see that organisations have assessed the level of risk and that staff are appropriately trained to look out for signs of radicalisation. Also schools will be monitored to ensure they are aware of the process for making referrals to Channel, the panel that reviews and refers individuals to programmes to challenge extremist ideology.
Statutory guidance has been published and is available here:
If you have any concerns about individuals who may be being drawn into support for extremist ideology, please contact the Prevent Team firstname.lastname@example.org who will then contact you to discuss whether a referral should be made. Although a police team, their role is to support early intervention so that vulnerable children or adults do not end up facing criminal sanctions.
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK.
FGM typically takes place between birth and around 15 years old; however, it is believed that the majority of cases happen between the ages of 5 and 8.
Risk factors for FGM include:
- low level of integration into UK society
- mother or a sister who has undergone FGM
- girls who are withdrawn from PSHE
- visiting female elder from the country of origin
- being taken on a long holiday to the country of origin
- talk about a ‘special’ procedure to become a woman
Symptoms of FGM
FGM may be likely if there is a visiting female elder, there is talk of a special procedure or celebration to become a woman, or parents wish to take their daughter out-of-school to visit an ‘at-risk’ country (especially before the summer holidays), or parents who wish to withdraw their children from learning about FGM.
Potential indications that FGM may have already taken place may include:
- difficulty walking, sitting or standing and may even look uncomfortable.
- spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet due to difficulties urinating.
- spending long periods of time away from a classroom during the day with bladder or menstrual problems.
- frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems.
- prolonged or repeated absences from school or college, especially with noticeable behaviour changes (e.g. withdrawal or depression) on the girl’s return
- reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations.
- confiding in a professional without being explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
- talking about pain or discomfort between her legs
The Serious Crime Act 2015 sets out a duty on professionals (including teachers) to notify police when they discover that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. In schools, this will usually come from a disclosure.
Teachers must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out; and discuss any such cases with the safeguarding lead and Children’s Social Care. Although the duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases never the less this is still something that must be reported to social care.
A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, in their own home, with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more. A close family relative is defined as a ‘grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt’ and includes half-siblings and step-parents; it does not include great-aunts or uncles, great grandparents or cousins.
Parents and private foster carers both have a legal duty to inform the relevant local authority at least six weeks before the arrangement is due to start; not to do so is a criminal offence.
Whilst most privately fostered children are appropriately supported and looked after, they are a potentially vulnerable group who should be monitored by the local authority, particularly when the child has come from another country. In some cases privately fostered children are affected by abuse and neglect, or be involved in trafficking, child sexual exploitation or modern-day slavery.
Schools have a mandatory duty to report to the local authority where they are aware or suspect that a child is subject to a private fostering arrangement. Although schools have a duty to inform the local authority, there is no duty for anyone, including the private foster carer or social workers to inform the school. However, it should be clear to the school who has parental responsibility.
School staff should notify the designated safeguarding lead when they become aware of private fostering arrangements. The designated safeguarding lead will speak to the family of the child involved to check that they are aware of their duty to inform the local authority.
On admission to the school, we will take steps to verify the relationship of the adults to the child who is being registered.
Honour Based Violence
Honour Based Violence is a cultural, not a religious phenomenon. It effects a range of communities. The challenges for services include developing responses that keep people safe and hold perpetrators to account without stereotyping, stigmatising or making assumptions about any given individual or community.
Honour Based Violence, which may include forced marriage and / or female genital mutilation, is perpetrated against children and young people for a number of reasons. These include:
- Protecting family ‘honour’ or ‘Izzat’
- To control un-wanted behaviour and sexuality (including perceived promiscuity or being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans gender)
- As a response to family, community or peer group pressure
- Strengthening family links
- Protecting perceived cultural and/or religious ideals (misguided or dated)
- Retaining wealth, property or land within the family
- Preventing unsuitable relationships
- Rejecting a forced marriage
- Being a victim of rape or other serious sexual assault
- Inter-faith relationships
- Assisting claims for residence and citizenship in the UK
- Protecting perceived immoral behaviour including: inappropriate make-up or dress, possession and / or use of a mobile telephone, kissing or showing other forms of intimacy in public, seeking a divorce
Peer on Peer abuse
Staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.
At The Trinity Catholic School we believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other students.
We recognise that some students will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Occasionally, allegations may be made against students by others in the school, which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Where this is the case we will follow the processes set out in the policy above. In addition we will be mindful of the fact that the pupil against whom the allegation has been made may also be vulnerable and need additional support and that their behaviour could be an indicator that they themselves are experiencing abuse, or have done so.
Children with sexually harmful behaviour
Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use Trinity’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a pupil’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti-bullying procedures.
Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator. Staff who become concerned about a pupil’s sexual behaviour, including any known online sexual behaviour, should speak to the DSL as soon as possible.
Children missing education
Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Trinity School will monitor unauthorised absence and take appropriate action including notifying the Local Authority, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions and/or are missing for periods during the school day. Staff must be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage
Children with family members in prison
Children who have family members that are sent to prison are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health. Trinity recognises that these children may need support. Support will be provided in line with guidance from the National Information Centre on Children of Offenders and local agencies.
Criminal exploitation of children (County Lines)
County lines is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market and coastal towns using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines”.
It involves child criminal exploitation as gangs use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money. Gangs establish a base in the market location, typically by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.
Trinity staff are vigilant to those children and concerns will be shared with the DSL.
Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result.
Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life.
Being homeless, or being at risk of becoming homeless, presents a real risk to a child’s welfare.
In most cases school and college staff will be considering homelessness in the context of children who live with their families, and intervention will be on that basis. However, it should also be recognised in some cases 16 and 17 year olds could be living independently from their parents or guardians, for example through their exclusion from the family home, and will require a different level of intervention and support.
The DSL will be able to support pupils facing homelessness in supporting and signposting through appropriate agencies and support networks within the locality.
Children who Self-harm
Staff should always be mindful of the underlying factors which may lead a child or young person of any age to self-harm and should reference the school’s Self Harm policy.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse and Neglect
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. Child abuse can have major long term effects on all aspects of a child's health, development and wellbeing. The main forms of maltreatment are:
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching, kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child. In pregnancy an unborn child can be harmed by domestic violence.
Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a child's emotional development. It includes conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child, over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from taking part in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. 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 ill treatment of children, or it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in watching sexual activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Abusers can be men, women or other children.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger. It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of misusing alcohol or drugs.
Possible signs of abuse
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.
Signs of possible physical abuse:
- Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
- Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games
- Injuries which have not received medical attention
- Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
- Bruises, bites, burns and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation
- The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries
- Frozen watchfulness
Signs of possible sexual abuse:
- Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse
- The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age
- Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
- Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains
- The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
- Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
- Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations
- Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
Signs of possible emotional abuse:
- Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clingy
- Obsessions or phobias
- Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration
- Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children
- Sleep or speech disorders
- Negative statements about self
- Highly aggressive or cruel to others
- Extreme shyness or passivity
- Running away, stealing and lying
Signs of possible neglect:
- Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair and untreated lice
- Clothing that is dirty, too big or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions
- Frequently left unsupervised or alone
- Frequent diarrhoea
- Frequent tiredness
- Untreated illnesses, infected cuts or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to
- Frequently hungry
- Overeating junk food
Additional Useful Information
Schools and Partnerships
Schools invest time and other resources in partnership activity and this investment should be aimed at improving outcomes for pupils. The Local Authority actively promotes the benefits to schools of partnerships and in this case to safeguard and improve the outcomes for potentially vulnerable pupils. Examples of this are:
- Parental E-learning (free): Child Sexual Exploitation is a high profile issue. Secondary schools and academies are asked to promote this e-learning with their parents and carers as it is an opportunity to improve their awareness in identifying and responding to child sexual exploitation from a preventative or early intervention perspective. Keep Them Safe
- Pint Size Theatre: Secondary Schools and Academies in Nottingham can access a performance of Pintsize Theatre’s ‘LUVU2’ production. It is an interactive play aimed at raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) with young people aged 13-14 (year 9). Contact is via email www.pintsizetheatre.co.ukor Tel: 0115 8419853.
- NSPCC Child line Project: (funded through the DfE) The project is free of charge to all primary schools and pupils in Years 5 & 6. Raising awareness through interactive classroom sessions with trained NSPCC staff, they come into schools, provide an assembly and workshops to raise the awareness with children about what is or is not acceptable behaviour and how and where to seek help if worried. Contact for this is through Emma Grishin NSPCC Area Child Line Coordinator email:- EGrishin@NSPCC.org.ukor Tel: 0115 9258602.
To support the work around child protection and safeguarding, links to statutory, national and local guidance are below:
- Child Sexual Exploitation ‘What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually exploited’ (.Gov)
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Children who may have been trafficked (.Gov)
- Gang and Knife Crime (DCSF)
- Homophobic, Transphobic Bullying
- Guidance is available on the NCSCB Website for Children with Looked After Status and Children Missing from Home and Care
- Private fostering arrangements
- Sexting in Schools and Colleges (UKCIS)
- Further information and guidance around Disqualification by Association(Nottingham City Council)
- Guidelines on Supporting Children with Continence Issue
This policy was written and adopted on: 1stOctober 2018
It has been approved by the Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team
It is due for review in twelve months on: 1st October 2019