Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy

The Statutory Duty of Care: Teachers are responsible under the Children Act which places statutory duties upon those who care for children.
The Children Act 1989 Section 3 (5) defines the duty of care to the effect that a person with care of a child may do all that is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the child.

When issues arise concerning safeguarding or promoting the welfare of children, teachers should take into account the ascertainable needs and wishes of the children as individuals, considered in the light of their ages, understanding and any risk of harm.

1 INTRODUCTION & SCOPE OF THE POLICY

1.1 The Hellenic School of St Peter & Paul Bristol fully recognises its responsibilities for protecting children from abuse in all of its forms, as well as safeguarding students’ interests, ensuring they: achieve well, enjoy school, stay safe, and are healthy.

1.2 Our policy applies to all staff, Committee and volunteers working in the school. The term ‘staff’ encompasses support staff name: committee members, parents, volunteers and teaching staff: full and part-time, supply and temporary staff and students on placement/visiting the school. This policy will give clear direction to staff, Committee, volunteers, visitors and parents about our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people at our school.

1.3 There are five main elements to our policy:

2 ADOPTING NATIONAL & LOCAL BEST PRACTICE & GUIDANCE

2.1 We will follow the procedures set out by the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board
http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/children-and-young-people/bristol-safeguarding-children-boardand take account of guidance issued by

the Department for Educationhttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2 to:

Andri Nicolaou (child protection specialist)

In their absence, these matters will be dealt with by Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL):

The Head Teacher

3. TYPES OF ABUSE

3.1 Staff and volunteers are not responsible for diagnosing abuse. However, everyone has a
responsibility to be aware and alert to signs that all is not well with a child.

Not all concerns about children or young people relate to abuse, there may well be other explanations. It is important to keep an open mind and consider what is known about each child and their circumstances.

3.2 The signs and symptoms of abuse are usually divided into four categories:

Physical abuse: Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or failing to protect a child from that harm.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

The physical signs of abuse may include:

Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age- or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the 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 Child protection fact sheet Definitions and signs of child abuse © NSPCC 2009 2 another. It may involve serious bullying 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, though it may occur alone.

Emotional abuse can be difficult to measure, as there are often no outward physical signs. There may be a developmental delay due to a failure to thrive and grow, although this will usually only be evident if the child puts on weight in other circumstances, for example when hospitalised or away from their parents’ care. Even so, children who appear well-cared for may nevertheless be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled. They may receive little or no love, affection or attention from their parents or carers. Emotional abuse can also take the form of children not being allowed to mix or play with other children.

Changes in behaviour which can indicate emotional abuse include:

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact including both penetrative or non-penetrative acts such as kissing, touching or fondling the child’s genitals or breasts, vaginal or anal intercourse or oral sex. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:

Neglect: Neglect is 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 and clothing; shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment; failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate caretakers; or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional need

The physical signs of neglect may include:

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect may include:

3.3 Although divided into four categories for ease of description, the forms of abuse may be found together. All have an emotional abuse element.

3.4 CURRENT ISSUES

The following safeguarding issues are all considered to be child protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are linked to Working together to safeguard Children 2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2

Some members of our communities hold beliefs that may be common within particular cultures but which are against the law of England. Greek School does not condone practices that are illegal and which are harmful to children. Examples of particular practices are:

3.5 FORCED MARRIAGE

Greek School does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent. Under-age Marriage In England, a young person cannot legally marry until they are 16 years old (without the consent of their parents or carers) nor have sexual relationships.

3.6 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):

Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There are a range of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM, which individually may not indicate risk but if there are two or more indicators present this could signal a risk to the child or young person.

Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM. Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject.

FGM mandatory reporting duty for teachers: Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18.

Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies.

3.7 Children missing Education https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education

“Basic to safeguarding children is to ensure their attendance at school.”

Children are best protected by regularly attending school where they will be safe from harm and where there are professionals to monitor their well-being.

At Greek School, we will encourage the full attendance of all of our children at school. Where we have concerns that a child is missing education because of suspected abuse, we will liaise with the appropriate agencies to effectively manage the risks and to prevent abuse from taking place.

3.8 Child Exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Trafficking:

Involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

Sexual exploitation can take many forms, ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship.

The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

Child Criminal Expiation

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-exploitation-of-children-and-vulnerable-adults-county-lines

Any child can be exploited, no matter their background. Criminal exploitation is also known as ‘county lines’ and is when gangs and organised crime networks groom and exploit children to sell drugs.

Often these children are made to travel across counties, and they use dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to supply drugs.

‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs. These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as ‘deal lines’, to take orders from drug users.

3.9 Sexting:

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.

They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops – any device that allows you to share media and messages.

Sexting may also be called:

Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child.

A young person is breaking the law if they:

However, as of January 2016 in England and Wales, if a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police can choose to record that a crime has been committed but that taking formal action isn’t in the public interest. (sec 21)

Crimes recorded this way are unlikely to appear on future records or checks, unless the young person has been involved in other similar activities which may indicate that they’re a risk. Find out more about legislation on child abuse images.

3.10 Peer on peer abuse:

Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take many forms. This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals.

3.11 Radicalisation:

Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in extremist ideologies. It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm.

The school is aware of its responsibilities under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, specifically Section 26, and the Prevent Strategy to safeguard pupils who are at risk of radicalisation by identifying and risk assessing individual who may be drawn into terrorism, violent or non-violent extremism.

4. ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR CONCERNS

4.1 We recognise that students need to develop skills in order to stay safe, including the confidence to disclose concerns and know that their concerns will be listened to and acted on. The school will therefore:

5 SUPPORTING STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED

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

6 WHAT TO DO WHEN ABUSE IS DISCLOSED OR OBSERVED

6.1 Inform whoever has disclosed the information that it cannot be kept confidential and will have to be passed on to appropriate agencies.

From this point onwards only the DSL should discuss the disclosure with the student; no personal information or viewpoints should be shared with the student so as to ensure any subsequent information revealed by the student has not been influenced in any way. Specifically, leading questions must not be asked.

6.2 Verbally inform the DSL immediately about the disclosure. This must be followed by a written record, using the appropriate form (Appendix 1),within 24 hours of the disclosure. The DSL will treat the disclosure as top priority and seek advice urgently.

6.3 The DSL will discuss the disclosure with the student’s parents/carers and will tell parents/carers when a referral is to be made to First Response or Duty and Assessment Team (covering Bristol areas). In exceptional circumstances the parent/carer will not be informed in advance because so doing would place the child at greater risk. In circumstances where a referral is made without first informing the parents/carers, they will be told about the concerns and actions as soon as possible.

6.4 The DSL has a legal responsibility to report concerns relating to child protection to children’s Social Care depending on where the child lives. This will normally be by a telephone call and within 24 hours by a written referral using the relevant social services referral procedures. (based on the home address of the child)

6.5 An accurate and contemporary written record must be kept for future reference.

6.6 The DSL will ensure that the disclosing student is kept informed about what will happen next, so they can be reassured about what to expect.

7 WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE ARE UNDISCLOSED CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD

7.1 Staff is required to monitor all children for signs that they may be at risk. Any observations that are recorded must be kept securely in order to maintain the confidentiality of this information to those who ‘need to know’.

7.2 In all incidences of disclosed abuse and when concerns about a child are noted, confidentiality cannot be assured for that child, however, information will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis. All members of staff who receive a disclosure must not discuss the disclosure with any member of staff other than the DSL.

8 RECORD KEEPING

8.1 Appendix 1should be used to record all concerns that are potentially child protection issues. It is important that what is recorded is kept factual, and includes reported speech where appropriate; opinion should not be given unless there is some form of evidence which can also be quoted. The sheet must be signed, dated and timed, and given immediately to the DSL.

If the DSL decides that the case needs to be referred, the information provided in Appendix 1will be used Appendix 2 form to record the conversation with Social Care department or Police (101 non urgent and 999 for immediate respond) will be completed following initial telephone referral.

Appendix 3,the Child Protection Record, is completed for all received disclosures, so that actions taken in response to the received disclosure are documented and on-going monitoring of a situation can be recorded.

8.2 Confidential information held on a particular child must be stored securely and separately from their main school file. Only the DSL and DDSL have access to updated electronic information and only the lead DSL is able to update the child protection chronological record.

8.3 Any confidential notes and records that are no longer consideredappropriate to send on are shredded. If there is a need for notes or records to be passed on, they will be sent or passed on to the DSL in an envelope marked confidential and for his/her attention.

9 A CHILD SUBJECT TO A CHILD PROTECTION PLAN

9.1 The DSL will inform those members of staff who have direct responsibility for a child who is subject to a Child Protection Plan. These children must be monitored very carefully and the smallest concern should be passed immediately to the DSL.

9.2 The DSL has responsibility for managing and monitoring the school’s part in the Child Protection Plan and liaising with the key worker from Social Care.

10 RECRUITMENT OF STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

10.1 The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), an executive agency of the Home Office, provides wider access to criminal record information through its disclosure service. This service enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying adults who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involve children or vulnerable adults.

Adults who abuse children can be attracted to organisations which provide services for children. Greek School will ensure that an enhanced DBS check is obtained and acted upon, prior to their appointment, from Committee/staff/volunteers new to the organisation; and with these statements, make ‘disclosure applications’ to the Disclosure Barring Service (the Government’s ‘disclosure service’).

10.2 DBS checks are made for all adults who have regular contact with/access to children, including those in ‘positions of trust’ and supervisors/managers as well as people in frontline roles.

10.3 Where contact with children will be limited/the person has recently been DBS checked for a different role, a decision about clearance will be made by the Head teacher. DBS guidance is followed as part of a comprehensive risk management process. Other safeguards such as interviewing, training and taking references are also employed.

10.4 Two current/most recent verified references will be sought for new staff and volunteers and followed up as necessary. A medical reference may also be required. Head teacher references are required for all appointments of teaching staff since only a Head teacher will be aware of allegations made against an applicant.

10.5 A rigorous and probing approach to the application process (eg using application forms designed to elicit the full, relevant history of applicants), interviews and selection for positions is adhered to. Proof of identity is always sought. No job offer is made without having received all references.

11 ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF (safeguarding)

11.1 An allegation could be levied against a member of staff when they are known or thought to have:

11.2 All allegations against staff are treated as the utmost priority and are dealt with in accordance with the Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Members of Staff Policy. They are therefore reported to the Head teacher immediately; the Head teacher will seek advice without investigating as a matter of urgency. The Head Teacher reports the allegation to the Chairman of the School Committee and the Chairman has a statutory obligation to report it to the Chairman of the Church committee before any action is taken. KEA will be informed by the Head Teacher.

Police and/or Local Authority will be informed if and when necessary.

11.3 Where the allegation made is against the Head teacher, the allegation is dealt with by theChairman of the Church committee directly. KEA will be informed by the Chairman of the Church committee.

Police and/or Local Authority will be informed if and when necessary.

11.4 It is vital that guidance is sought from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), as any further action/investigation by the school may impede any subsequent police investigation and could limit the outcomes available. Advice should always be sought regarding any decisions about suspending a member of staff.

The LADO* must be contacted within one working day in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • 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 an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
  • 11.5 A complaint against the schools procedures, expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet which may be about an event, lesson that has happened, failed to happen or the way which something was handled.

    The vast majority of concerns can be resolved informally. It is in everyone’s best interest that complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. This can usually be achieved through discussion and good communication between the school and the parents. However, if a parent is not satisfied with the outcome, a formal procedure would then need to be followed. A meeting will be put in place with the parents, the Head Teacher and the school advisor/trustee.

    12 EVALUATION

    12.1 The effectiveness of this policy is evaluated annually via the Local Authority Safeguarding Audit of statutory duties and the statutory responsibilities for schools outlined in relation to ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018).

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/417669/Archived-Working_together_to_safeguard_children.pdf

    12.3 The progress of students who are subject to a Child Protection Plan will be monitored using:

    12.4 The record of staff training in child protection is reviewed by Child Protection Officer, to ensure that all staff are updated annually and where necessary regular updates. All new staff receive training as part of their induction programme. External child protection/safeguarding training is provided to all staff every three years as a minimum. Training for the DSL/DDSL is updated every two years.

    13 FURTHER GUIDANCE & INFORMATION

    1 Mental Health
    https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-services-camhs/

    2 Female Genital Mutilation
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital-mutilation-guidelines

    3 Domestic Violence
    https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/impact-on-children-and-young-people/

    4 Enforced marriages
    https://www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage

    5. Self-harm https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/self-harm/

    6. Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education (DCSF):
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-and-safer-recruitment-in-education

    7. Working together to safeguard children (2018)
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/417669/Archived-Working_together_to_safeguard_children.pdf

    8. Child Sexual Exploitation
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/278849/Safeguarding_Children_and_Young_People_from_Sexual_Exploitation.pdf

    9. Child Criminal Exploitation
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-exploitation-of-children-and-vulnerable-adults-county-lines