- Safeguarding is the responsibility of all those working at the school
- All staff, governors and volunteers should have an understanding of their statutory and other responsibilities with regard to safeguarding
- All staff, governors and volunteers should know what to do if they are worried that are child is being neglected or abused
The key DfE documents which relate to Safeguarding are:
STAFFING KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING
- “All staff members should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.”
- provide safeguarding training for all new staff
- provide all staff with statutory and other documents at least once each year (usually September)
- provide all staff with regular information about safeguarding, including national safeguarding updates and local risks/issues
- make available training materials to all staff
Staff will be expected to:
- read and acknowledge their understanding of any safeguarding documents that are made available
- take ownership of their responsiblities and on-going training with regard to safeguarding children
- follow the policy and procedures which are set out here and in other documents
- ensure that they seek advice from the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads (Ian Beard and Andrea Gray)
- Read the following information
- Request the Powerpoint presentation of recent training provided by the school
- Use the Safeguarding Knowledge Self-Assessment to determine your level of understanding and training needs
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE)
The KCSiE is statutory guidance for all schools who must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguarding and promote the welfare of children. All schools (Governing Bodies) must ensure that all staff read and understand at least Part 1 of the guidance.
Keeping Children Safe in Education : Part 1 (Guidance for Staff)
WHAT SCHOOL STAFF SHOULD KNOW AND DO
A Child-Centred and Co-ordinated Approach to Safeguarding
- Schools and colleges and their staff are an important part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children.
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
- No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
- Children includes everyone under the age of 18.
The Role of School Staff
- School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating.
- All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
- Every school and college should have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care.
- All school and college staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. 1 Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. In the first instance, staff should discuss early help requirements with the designated safeguarding lead. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment.
- Any staff member who has a concern about a child’s welfare should follow the referral processes set out in paragraphs 21-27. Staff may be required to support social workers and other agencies following any referral.
- The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers, including headteachers, should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.
What School Staff Need to Know
- All staff members should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction. This should include:
- the child protection policy;
- the staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct); and
- the role of the designated safeguarding lead
- Copies of policies and a copy of Part one of this document (Keeping children safe in education) should be provided to staff at induction.
- All staff members should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
- All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the designated safeguarding lead, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment. 15. All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 19893 that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.
- All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with relevant professionals such as the designated safeguarding lead and children’s social care. Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation, as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.
What School Staff should look our for
- All school and college staff members should be aware of the types of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection. Types of abuse and neglect, and examples of safeguarding issues are described in paragraphs 35-44 of this guidance.
- Departmental advice (What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for Practitioners) provides more information on understanding and identifying abuse and neglect. Examples of potential signs of abuse and neglect are highlighted throughout the advice and will be particularly helpful for school and college staff. The NSPCC website also provides useful additional information on types of abuse and what to look out for.
- Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.
- Knowing what to look for is vital to the early identification of abuse and neglect. If staff members are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
What School Staff should do if they have concerns about a Child
- Knowing what to look for is vital to the early identification of abuse and neglect. If staff members are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
- If anyone other than the designated safeguarding lead makes the referral, they should inform the designated safeguarding lead as soon as possible. The local authority should make a decision within one working day of a referral being made about what course of action they are taking and should let the referrer know the outcome. Staff should follow up on a referral should that information not be forthcoming. The online tool Reporting child abuse to your local council directs staff to their local children’s social care contact number.
- See below for a flow chart setting out the process for staff when they have concerns about a child.
- If, after a referral, the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, the designated safeguarding lead (or the person who made the referral) should press for reconsideration to ensure their concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.
- If early help is appropriate, the designated safeguarding lead should support the staff member in liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate.
- If early help or other support is appropriate, the case should be kept under constant review and consideration given to a referral to children’s social care if the child’s situation does not appear to be improving.
- If a teacher , in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police. See Annex A for further details.
What School Staff should do if a child is danger or at risk of harm
- If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral. Where referrals are not made by the designated safeguarding lead, the designated safeguarding lead should be informed as soon as possible that a referral has been made. Reporting child abuse to your local council directs staff to their local children’s social care contact number.
- For Manchester schools : www.manchestersafeguardingboards.co.uk/concerned/
- All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing. If in doubt about recording requirements, staff should discuss with the designated safeguarding lead.
Why is all of this important?
- It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating. Research and Serious Case Reviews have repeatedly shown the dangers of failing to take effective action. Poor practice includes: failing to act on and refer the early signs of abuse and neglect; poor record keeping; failing to listen to the views of the child; failing to re-assess concerns when situations do not improve; sharing information too slowly; and a lack of challenge to those who appear not to be taking action.
What School Staff should do if they have concerns about the another staff member
- If staff members have concerns about another staff member, then this should be referred to the headteacher or principal. Where there are concerns about the headteacher or principal, this should be referred to the chair of governors, chair of the management committee or proprietor of an independent school as appropriate. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the headteacher, where the headteacher is also the sole proprietor of an independent school, allegations should be reported directly to the designated officer(s) at the local authority. Staff may consider discussing any concerns with the school’s designated safeguarding lead and make any referral via them. Full details can be found in Part 4 of the guidance.
What School staff should do if they concerns about the Safeguarding practices with the School
- All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school or college’s safeguarding regime and know that such concerns will be taken seriously by the senior leadership team.
- Appropriate whistle-blowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, should be in place for such concerns to be raised with the school or college’s senior leadership team.
- Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with their employer or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them:
- General guidance can be found at- Advice on whistleblowing
- The NSPCC whistle-blowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and email: email@example.com
TYPES OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT
- All school and college staff 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.
- 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, 11 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.
SPECIFIC SAFEGUARDING ISSUES
- All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues, some of which are listed below. Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger.
- All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to, bullying (including cyberbullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Staff should be clear as to the school or college’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse.
- Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. For example, information for schools and colleges can be found on the TES, MindEd and the NSPCC websites. School and college staff can access government guidance as required on the issues listed below via GOV.UK and other government websites:
Please note that these are direct links to external documents.
If the link is broken, please advise the Headteacher
Other Useful Websites / Documents
E-Safety and Cyberbullying