St Ignatius Catholic Primary School
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
“All for the Glory of God”
St Ignatius School strives to create the opportunity and provide an environment in which each member of its community may identify, develop and fully realise individual, personal potential, through the continued recognition, experience, understanding and celebration of the values of God’s Kingdom.
Child Protection Policy
Roles and responsibilities
Allegations against members of staff
Training and support
Confidentiality and recording
Supporting children at risk
Safe School, safe staff
Designated worker information
Safeguarding procedures Flowchart
THIS POLICY COMPLIMENTS THE WAKEFIELD DISTRICT SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN BOARD (WDSCB) PROCEDURES AND DOES NOT REPLACE THEM
THIS POLICY AIMS TO INFORM AND ENSURE GOOD AND SAFE PRACTICE
This Policy relates to all the childcare services and activities within the School.
1.1 This Policy represents a commitment by the Governing Body and Staff
team to the safeguarding and protection of children, throughout the School. The policy also extends to outside agencies that use the School, and it is expected that they have their own Child Protection policy or they adopt the School’s.
1.2 St Ignatius School fully recognises the contribution it can make in protecting, supporting and promoting the welfare of children in the School. The Governing Body and staff team is committed to ensuring that children are safe, that child protection practice is effective and that procedures are followed. The School staff will make every attempt possible to ensure that children are safe from abuse or harm during their time at the School, and will be vigilant in their observations of children who may be exhibiting signs or symptoms of harm.
1.3 It is recognised that children can be at risk from abuse in their own home by people they know well, in institutions from other children and from strangers.
1.4 The principles contained in this Policy promote the five Every Child Matters, priority outcomes for children, reflecting the understanding that children are less likely to achieve these outcomes if they are experiencing abuse:
- Being Healthy
- Staying safe
- Enjoying and achieving
- Making a positive contribution
- Achieving economic well being
1.5 There are three main elements to the School’s Child Protection Policy:
This applies to a positive atmosphere in the School, the curriculum and support and awareness raising for children and parents through, amongst other things, lessons and assemblies.
By following agreed procedures, ensuring that the recruitment and selection of staff is thorough and appropriate and staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns.
This applies to the effective supervision and management of staff and the support given to staff, children and parents in situations of abuse.
2.2 The School staff recognises that for all children high self-esteem, confidence, trusted adults and positive behaviour approaches, aids prevention.
2.3 The School will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to
- Provide a curriculum, which is appropriate to the children’s understanding and addresses issues of assertiveness, self-esteem and positive behaviour, and promotes the ECM outcomes for children.
- Ensure that the environment welcomes the contributions of parents and establishes open and effective working relationships and partnerships –
- Ensure that every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with other agencies and professionals, in line with the national framework, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ revised 2006. .
3.1 The School does not operate in isolation; child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children.
3.2 The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Wakefield & District Safeguarding Board (WDSB) See flowchart at the end of policy.
3.3 The WDSB has a membership of multi-agency representatives whose task is to develop policy and procedure for all the agencies involved in the protection of children, i.e. Health, Family Services (Social care), Education, Police, Probation, NSPCC, and Legal services.
3.4 The policy and procedure, which relates to each Department, can be found online at ‘West Yorkshire Interagency Safeguarding Procedures’ (see 4.6 of this policy). The School’s policy has been written in accordance with the local and national framework.
3.5 Children may attend the School who are subject to a formal Child Protection
Plan because they are suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm; that is where the child can be shown to have:
suffered ill-treatment or impairment of health or development as a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect, and professional judgement is that further ill-treatment or impairment are likely; or
Professional judgement, substantiated by the findings of enquiries in this individual case or by research evidence, is that the child is likely to suffer ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development as a result of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect.
4.1 All adults working with, or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them. There are, however, key people within the School and the Local Authority Family Services, who have specific responsibilities under Safeguarding Children procedures.
4.2 Where possible the School works in a preventive way to assist families to protect children. Where children are subject to a Child Protection Plan, the School staff will be pro-active in their efforts to work alongside families in order to ensure a safe environment for those children.
4.3 The head teacher acts as the designated staff member responsible for Child Protection, while the deputy is their designated support. The head’s role is to liase with parents and the Family Services (Social Care) on matters of abuse, develop in-house policies and support staff in their development relating to child protection issues. (Names of designated workers can be found separately at the back of this policy)
4.4 The designated CP person has a responsibility for attending or selecting someone to attend Child Protection Conferences. The Governing Body will also appoint a designated Child Protection Governor who will have an overview of Policy & procedure, although this person may not be involved with individual cases.
4.5 The School is not an investigating agency and anyone who has a suspicion or knowledge that a child is suffering significant harm or is at risk of significant harm should refer his or her concerns to the designated worker, who will then refer to an investigating agency. (Social Care Direct or Police) The WDSB procedures set out the appropriate action and procedures to be followed by any agency or individual who has concerns about the welfare of a child. All staff must be aware of these procedures and understand their role. The Procedures are now (from July 2007) only available on-line and replace the ‘Handbook’ – www.wakefield.gov.uk/lscb
4.6 For reasons of confidentiality, details of individual child protection issues will not be shared with the Governing Body or parent representatives, or discussed in any forum at which parent representatives are in attendance.
5.1 The School staff will follow the procedures set out in the ‘West Yorkshire Interagency Safeguarding Procedures’ (WYISP) revised online version 2007
5.2 All Staff will be made aware of these procedures from the time that they commence employment at the School, they will also be required to familiarise themselves with the School’s CP policy. A signed database will be stored centrally to monitor that this has happened.
5.3 Any students or other adults who are in a position to identify concerns will be required to refer to the School’s and online procedures; child protection will also be on the agenda for discussion as part of their training and supervision.
5.4 Parents will be informed of Staff responsibilities in relation to child protection and promoting the welfare of children through access to this policy, information contained in the School and school booklets and at new parents meetings.
6.1 It must be recognised that the abuse of children does occur in environments such as
nurseries, schools and residential children’s establishments. It is essential that everyone who works with children must be aware of this and ensure that procedures and policies are followed and good practice established, in order to protect children.
See – Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People – DCSF
6.2 For children to be safe from abuse of any kind during their time at the School, it will be necessary to develop and maintain a culture of openness. This will involve leadership, which places an emphasis on the importance of staff supervision, training, self-development and awareness along with effective communication, clarity and approachability. Staff and parents should be aware of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and therefore aware of negative practice (see 10 – Safe School, Safe Staff).
6.3 The framework for managing cases of allegations of abuse against people who work with children is set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children – Appendix 5: (HM Government April 2006) and Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education – Chapter 5 (DfES January 2007). The School operates safe recruitment procedures in line with these and LA guidelines and will ensure that all appropriate checks are carried out on new staff and volunteers who work with children. This includes Criminal Bureau checks, anyone who is not prepared to co-operate with these procedures will not be considered for employment.
No person will be allowed to start work at the School until all appropriate checks are undertaken and are satisfactory.
In all cases the paramount consideration is the protection of the child.
6.4 This section is about managing cases of allegations that might indicate that a person is unsuitable to continue to work with children in their present position, or in any capacity. It should be used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that any member of staff (including volunteers) in the School has:
- Behaved in a way that has 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 s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
6.5 There may be up to three strands in the consideration of an allegation:
- A police investigation of a possible criminal offence;
- Enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services.
- Consideration by the School of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
‘It may be necessary in some cases to report to the DCSF for consideration of including the person on List 99 or consideration by the General Teaching Council about possible sanctions against an individual’.
6.6 It is recognised that anyone who has a complaint made against them will have a range of difficult feelings and anxieties; however, staff members understand that the child’s welfare must come first.
6.7 It is crucial that any person working at the School feels confident that any concerns that they may report about another member of staff’s conduct towards a child, will be dealt with fairly, consistently and robustly and that they will be taken seriously.
6.8 Allegations must be immediately reported either to their Key stage manager or directly to the Head of School. Team Leaders receiving any reports from staff must report to the Head teacher, who, depending on the nature of the allegation, will decide on the next course of action. In cases of serious allegations the Headteacher will take advice from a ‘Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and Human Resources Personnel. The Head teacher will also inform the Chair of Governors.
6.9 Allegations against Key stage managers or Head teacher
The same principles apply in these cases; the child/ren’s welfare is paramount. Allegations against a Team Leader must be reported directly to the Head teacher and the above will apply.
Where an allegation is against the Head teacher, the person making the allegation must contact the Chair of the Governing Body (they may need support from the Deputy Head to do this) but the Deputy Head must ensure that any investigation is led by the Chair of Governors, who will seek external advice from those named in 6.8.
6.10 Supporting those involved
Depending on the nature of the allegation and discussion/ preliminary investigation, with the LA Designated officer (Rachel Holmes) to establish whether it is not demonstrably false or unfounded, the parents of the child/ren should be informed. However in some instances the parents must be informed straight away, for example, if the child has been injured and requires medical attention. Parents/carers should be kept informed about the progress of the case and told of any outcomes, e.g. court proceedings or outcome of disciplinary hearings. If the parent’s are happy for the child to remain in school during any investigation, the School staff must not discuss the case with parents, only the best way to support the child. In cases where a child may have suffered significant harm, or there is a criminal prosecution, the Social Care or Police as appropriate should consider what support may be needed.
6.11 Record Keeping
A clear and comprehensive summary of any allegations must be made, including details of how it was followed up and resolved, who was involved and any decisions made. This should be kept on the person’s confidential personnel file, with a copy to the person concerned. The record should be retained on file.
6.12 Information Sharing
Where there is an allegation that an offence has been committed. In the initial consideration, a strategy discussion should take place, with the agencies involved and the employer, all relevant information about the person who is the subject of the allegation and the alleged victim, should be shared.
Wherever possible, the police should obtain consent from the individuals concerned to share statements and evidence they obtain with the employer and, or regulatory bodies, for disciplinary purposes. This should be done as the investigation proceeds rather than after it is concluded, to enable the police and CPS to share relevant information without delay at the conclusion of their investigation, or any court case.
Every effort will be made to resolve cases as quickly as possible, consistent with a fair and thorough investigation. Guidelines suggest that ‘it is reasonable to expect that 80% of cases should be resolved within one month, 90% within three months, and all but the most exceptional cases should be completed within 12 months.
The possible risk of harm to children posed by an accused person will be evaluated by the HEADTEACHER /Governing Body and the advisors mentioned above, in some cases consideration will be given to an immediate suspension until the case is resolved, however alternative arrangements may also be considered. Advice will be sought from H.R. consultants.
6.14 Monitoring progress
The Local Authority designated officer will regularly monitor the progress of the case, in liaison with the headteacher/GB and other social care colleagues / Police as appropriate.
6.15 Action on conclusion of a case
At the conclusion of a case in which the allegation is substantiated the school will co-operate with any local Authority review of the case and the circumstances surrounding it, to determine whether any improvements could be made to procedures or practice. If the allegation is determined to be false the School will need to consider its actions against the person making the allegation. If the allegation is made by a child, consideration will be given to the child’s well being and the reasons why they may have made the allegation and what support they may need, as it could be that they are being abused by someone else.
In cases where it is decided that the person who has been suspended can return to work, the Head teacher and person’s line manager will discuss the best way to facilitate this. In all cases consideration will be given to the possibility of a phased return to work and mentoring support. Discussions with the suspended person and a senior personnel officer will take place about the next steps.
7.1 All Staff members have access to training about child protection issues, relevant to their role.
7.2 All Staff will be required to attend basic child protection training. A record of Child Protection, Staff development and training will be used to ensure that this has been, or is being undertaken. Professional supervision will identify where further relevant training needs to be undertaken.
8.1 Staff and other adults who work with the children in the School need to fully understand and respect issues of confidentiality, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to protect the child.
8.2 Children must not be given a guarantee that disclosures will be kept confidential – this is misleading and dishonest, as any disclosure or suspicion of harm must be referred to the relevant people. Similarly parents should be made aware of the issues, which cannot be kept confidential, e.g. which have implications of harm to a child.
8.3 Child protection information will be kept in a locked filing cabinet and if information is held on a computer it will be password protected. (See data protection policy)
8.4 Where a child is the subject of a Child Protection Plan relevant facts will be recorded. These recording notes will be kept in a locked filing cabinet and the child’s parents will be informed. The Social Workers will complete an initial front sheet advising Staff of the reasons for the CP Plan and what kind of information should be recorded. This information will not be shared with any other parent. Information must only be shared with others on a ‘need to know basis’, however the overriding principle is the safety of children, ‘It is assumed that in all instances where there are concerns about a child’s safety it is better to share the information than not’ (WMDC working together to safeguard children). It is the responsibility of the School Social Worker to monitor the recording of concerns, review its purpose and amend/update information.
8.5 At time of transfer a child’s records will be made available to the receiving school.
8.6 If siblings are in school copies of records will be kept on file in school.
8.7 Students who are on placement at the School for very short periods or who are work experience students, will not be directly involved in the daily recording, however, they will be encouraged to share comments about any relevant observations they have made.
8.8 Any reports compiled in relation to a child or family will be shared only on a ‘need to know‘ basis (See 8.4)
8.9 Parent Governor representatives will be given information about the importance of confidentiality when they are appointed to the role. Parents in general are made aware of issues around confidentiality and child protection at new parents meetings.
8.10 Staff will be made aware that any breaches of confidentiality would be viewed
very seriously and dealt with through the departmental disciplinary procedures, (apart from cases where any breaches represent a legitimate attempt to safeguard a child).
9.1 The School Staff recognise that children who have been abused or have witnessed violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth or to view the world in a positive way. Whilst in school their behaviour may be challenging and difficult to handle or they may exhibit other behaviours, such as sexualised behaviour, which the adults around them may feel uncomfortable with and struggle to understand.
9.2 It is recognised that all children need to experience a sensitive and consistent approach; this is even more crucial in cases where children are having difficulties and struggling to understand traumatic events.
9.3 The School Staff will support these children through:
- A curriculum which encourages self-esteem and confidence
- Promoting a positive, supportive and secure environment, which demonstrates a respect and value for children and their rights. School has put in place for children a means of developing emotional literacy and respects pupil voice.
- A consistent approach, which recognises and separates the cause of behaviour from that which the child displays.
- A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the child’s interests to do so.
9.4 It is recognised that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. Staff who work in any capacity, with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and / or emotional and behaviour problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.
9.5 It must also be recognised that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may also be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
9.6 This policy should be considered alongside the other related School policies. For example:
Health and Safety Policy
Pupil Risk Assessment Policy
10.1 The abuse of children can arouse many difficult feelings for staff and it should be
recognised that staff can be at different stages in their understanding and awareness. The Management of the School will ensure that members of staff are supported through any difficulties they may have, by providing both regular formal supervision and informal support if required, and training and development opportunities.
10.2 The staff team is aware that young children will need physical comfort at times. It would be inappropriate to deny young children this if they require it. However, any physical contact should be ‘child led’ and age appropriate and appropriate to the child’s needs, e.g. a child seeking comfort after a fall, distressed on separation from parent, ill or distressed over some other incident. For a variety of reasons, some children may find being touched uncomfortable or distressing. It is important for staff to be sensitive to a child’s physical reaction and to act appropriately.
10.3 Staff members need to be aware that where children have been sexually abused, they may exhibit sexualised forms of behaviour, e.g. seeking overly familiar physical contact with children and adults, excessive masturbation. Staff will need to be very sensitive to the needs of all the children in this situation and will receive training and support in order to handle any incident appropriately.
10.4 In relation to the above, staff need to ensure that they do not place themselves in vulnerable situations. See DCSF DOC. Guidance for Safer Working Practice. It must also be recognised that children are abused in Institutions, e.g. schools, nurseries, residential establishments etc. To address both the vulnerability of staff and children, the School will operate the following procedures: (See 6)
- Staff should never be left alone in a room with a closed door with just one child.
- When children need their clothes changing due to them soiling, wetting or becoming wet or dirty through falling or being involved in messy play, the staff will ensure that another member of staff knows that they are about to undertake the task, and if possible the other member of staff will also be present during the changing.
- The door to the bathroom/ toilet will not be locked and should be kept slightly ajar, whilst preserving the child’s privacy.
- Parents/carers will be informed when a child has had to be changed.
- Where staff are involved with a child who needs regular changing they will sign a copy of the ‘policy to promote personal development’
- If Staff discovers marks or bruising on a child, they should refer this to the designated child protection teacher, so that appropriate action can be taken.
- Both Governors and Volunteers in the school will be CRB checked. They will also be made aware of their role and responsibilities in relation to the children, i.e. they will not take sole charge of individual children, and this includes taking the children out of the School or into rooms on their own. Volunteers will not change children’s clothes or nappies. Volunteers will not have access to children’s personal information or files.
- In line with departmental policy, all staff will be CRB checked. The recruitment process will include the checking of PoCA List and List 99, references and qualifications, and the new Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Signed———————————-Chair of Governors
Signed———————————-Head of School
Signed: ——————————–CP Governor
This policy to be reviewed —- July 2014
All staff members will be expected to read this policy and discuss with line manager if they do not fully understand any part of it.
St Ignatius Catholic Primary School. Storrs Hill Road
Ossett WF5 0DQ
Tel.no. 01924 302895
Social Care Direct Tel. 0845 8503503 (24 hour number)
Police Tel. 0845 6060606 (child protection)
Designated School CP Workers:
Headteacher – Mr B Martin Named CP Governor- Nicola Bowie
Depuy Headteacher – Miss K M Hawksworth
Designated local authority CP contact
Safeguarding Co-ordinator & LADO Tel 01977 727035
FRAMEWORK – SAFEGUARDING FLOWCHART