Child Protection Policy Statement.
Agreed by Local School Committee: Autumn 2019
Review Date: Autumn 2020
Beckfoot Phoenix School is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. The School acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004; the Education Act 2002, and in line with government publications: ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018, Revised Safeguarding Statutory Guidance 2 ‘Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’ 2000, ‘What to do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused’ 2015. The guidance reflects, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019' and our responsibilities with regard to the Prevent Strategy 2016.
In implementing this child protection policy Beckfoot Phoenix School will:
- Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
- Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Child Protection Procedures and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice;
- Ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the organisation’s named person for child protection;
- Ensure that the named person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Social Work);
- Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
- Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
- Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the school's Complaints Procedure;
- Ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;
- Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people.
Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures
Section 1 – Introduction:
These procedures have been designed to ensure that the welfare and protection of any child and/or young person who accesses the services provided by Beckfoot Phoenix School. The procedures recognise that child protection can be a very difficult subject for workers to deal with to the extent that it is sometimes easier to close your eyes to what is happening or believe that it is somebody else’s problem to deal with. The School is committed to the belief that protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility and therefore the aim here is to provide guidelines that will enable all workers and volunteers to act appropriately to any concerns that arise in respect of a child/young person.
Beckfoot Phoenix School is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity. Subject to the over-riding consideration of protecting children and vulnerable people, we undertake to treat all applicants for positions fairly and not discriminate unfairly on the grounds of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and /or other associated information regarding an individual’s criminal record (The Code of Practice published under section 122 of the Police Act 1997).
Section 2 - Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Definitions of Abuse (Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2019)
All workers in school should be 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 will 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 by 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. 40. 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); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
In our School, all workers whether paid or unpaid, undertake training to gain a basic awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and are familiar with these definitions.
Examples of how concerns about a child or young person’s safety can come to light include:
a child or young person alleges that abuse has taken place or that they feel unsafe;
a third party or anonymous allegation is received;
a child or young person’s appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/or neglect;
a child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occurred some time ago;
a report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person.
Section 3 - A Named Person(s) for Child Protection
Beckfoot Phoenix School has a number of appointed individuals who are responsible for dealing with any child protection concerns. In their absence, a deputy will always be available for workers to consult with. The named persons for Child Protection within our School are:
Named Persons for Child Protection:
Sarah Lloyd (Deputy) - Lead person
Rachel Stirland (Head teacher),
Gemma Wilson (Assistant head)
Tracy Young (Care Team lead),
Jason Patefield (Community Support Worker)
The role and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:
> To ensure that all staff are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned that a child/young person maybe subject to abuse or neglect.
> Ensure that any concerns about a child/young person are acted on, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and, followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.
> The Named Person(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/young person or breach of Child Protection policies and procedures. This will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential.
Section 4 - Stages to Follow if you are Worried about a Child
The following section provides clear guidelines for workers to follow if they have concerns about a child or young person.
Beckfoot Phoenix School recognises that it has a duty to act on reports or suspicions of abuse. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of child abuse is never easy. However The School believes that the safety of the child should override any doubts or hesitations. When worrying changes are observed in a child’s or young person’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance staff will:
> Initially talk to a child about what you are observing.
It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t
appear yourself today, is everything okay? But never use leading
> Listen carefully to what the child has to say and take it seriously.
> Never investigate or take sole responsibility for a situation where a child makes a disclosure;
> Always explain to children that any information they have will have to be shared with others.
> Notify the School's Named Person for Child Protection.
> Record what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure;
The person who receives the allegation or has the concern should complete CPOMS.
> Respect confidentiality and file documents securely
> The Named person(s) will take immediate action if there is a
suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In
this situation the Named Person will contact the police and/or
Bradford’s local authority children’s department – see Appendix 2.
If a referral is made direct to the Bradford Children’s Department
this must be followed up in writing.
> The named person can also seek advice and clarity about a
situation that is beginning to raise concern through the NSPCC
24 hour National Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Section 5 – Managing Allegations made against a member of Staff or Volunteer
Beckfoot Phoenix School will ensure that any allegations made against volunteers or a member of staff will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:
The organisation must ensure that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
The Head teacher, or most senior member of staff in school should be informed immediately. In the case of an allegation involving this person, alternative arrangements should be sought to ensure that the matter is dealt with by an independent person. (Note: this could be a committee member, or anyone within the organisation that is in a senior position and believed to be independent of the allegations being made).
The Head teacher/most senior person in school should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - who is based at the Children's Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit: tel. number 01274 434343, for advice on how to proceed with the immediate situation – Tel: Outside of working hours the Emergency Duty Team can give advice and/or in the event of an emergency situation arising, the police. You can also contact Bradford Safeguarding Children Board for details.
The individual who first received/witnessed the concern should make a full written record of what was seen, heard and/or told as soon as possible after observing the incident/receiving the report. It is important that the report is an accurate description. The named person (if appropriate) can support the worker during this process but must not complete the report for the worker. This report must be made available on request from either the police and/or social services.
Regardless of whether a police and/or social services investigation follows, Beckfoot Phoenix School will ensure that an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident.
Section 6 - Recording and managing confidential information.
All concerns should be reported to the Named persons verbally and by using CPOMS.
CPOMS is a secure site in line with the LA security levels.
The Named persons who receives the allegation should act and record actions on CPOMS.
Any signs of abuse should be recorded on a body map and attached to the CPOMS entry.
When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer should:
- Make brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation.
- Do not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court
- Record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child
- Record the information on CPOMS using restricted access.
- Attach a body map to CPOMS indicating position of any injuries.
- Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions
All records need to be given to the Named persons promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.
Beckfoot Phoenix School is committed to managing and storing confidential information safely (see Data Policy).
The School accepts that children and young people have a right to confidentiality unless the School considers they could be at risk of abuse and/or harm
Section 7 – Disseminating/Reviewing Policies and Procedures
The School has in place a system for disseminating and reviewing policies and procedures. The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed annually, and agreed by the Local School Committee who has overall responsibility for the service being provided. Any changes/amendments will be clarified and shared with staff and where significant changes appear these will be relayed to parents/carers.
USEFUL CONTACTS/SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS
If you have concern that a child is being harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, you must not keep these concerns to yourself. Keeping children safe is everyone's responsibility. You need to ensure that you speak to the appropriate organisations who can listen to and record your concern, and then take appropriate action. In Bradford, these are the numbers that you can ring for advice and to make a referral:
- During office hours (8.30 - 5.00 Monday to Thursday, 4.30 on Friday) call Children's Social Care Initial Contact Point - 01274 437500 to refer any child in need, including child protection concerns.
- Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit - for consultation about child protection concerns – 01274 434343
- At all other times, Children’s Social Care Emergency Duty Team - 01274 431010
- If you have reason to believe that a child is at immediate risk of harm, contact the police on 999
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
The NSPCC Child Protection Helpline is a free 24-hour service that provides counselling, information and advice to anyone concerned about a child at risk of abuse. Telephone: 0808 800 5000 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org