SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
The BSE community of the expected codes of conduct with regards to child protection
AIMS / PURPOSE OF A CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
The BSE child protection policy is one which provides clear direction to staff and others about expected codes of behaviour in dealing with child protection issues. The policy also makes explicit the setting’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures. This ensures that child protection concerns and referrals may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways which prioritise the needs of the child.
We aim to provide the best services for children and their families in a safe, fun and stimulating environment based on children’s play, so that they can all develop fully.
There are three main elements to our Child Protection Policy:
(a) Prevention: e.g. positive setting atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to
children and families
(b) Protection: By following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns.
(c) Support: To children, families and staff
SCHOOL STAFF COMMITMENT
We recognise that high self- esteem, confidence, peer support and clear lines of communication with trusted adults helps all children, and especially those at risk of or suffering abuse. Our setting will therefore:
(a) Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to
(b) Ensure that children and families know that there are adults in the setting who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty
(c) Include activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe and / or communicate their fears or concerns about abuse
(d) Include experiences which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills,
e.g. through adult involvement in home based role play
(e) Ensure that every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies (where relevant)
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children. There are, however, key people within settings who have specific responsibilities.
The ‘Senior Designated Person’ (SDP) for school understands the procedures and how they work in practice and:
Ensures that the school works to its policy for handling child protection concerns Ensures that the school has a system for recording concerns at all stages
Provides support and guidance to school staff
Undertakes and offers training
Co-ordinates where there are child protection concerns
Reviews the Child Protection Policy with others in the school
Will collate and maintain child protection records. All records should be clear, concise and accurate; they should differentiate between factual information and professional judgment
They should clearly indicate any decisions that have been taken: when, why, by and agreed with whom
Parents and families will be informed of the schools duties and responsibilities through a statement in the parents’ handbook and information packs, a statement on the website and access to the child protection policy and procedures in the main entrance.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Our school will ensure that the Head Teacher, Designated Senior Person for Child Protection attend training relevant to their role’ at intervals of no longer than 2 years
Incidents are recorded confidentially in the Incident Book and cross referenced to the Welfare Records and Child in Need file when deemed relevant
The Incident Book is kept in a secure cabinet in the school office. The Incident Book is monitored by the Head of school and Pastoral Leader
Staff with direct contact with a child will be notified that the child is being monitored CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. It is essential that staff do not guarantee confidentiality to a child. Staff must make it clear to the children that they can’t promise to not tell anyone else but would like them to tell them anyway – if they wish. Staff must only discuss confidential information with the DSP or Head of School.
Third party professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them.
RECORDS AND MONITORING POCEDURE:
Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our setting is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our setting, the status of such records and when these records, or parts thereof, should be shared with other agencies.
Staff record any concerns in the Welfare Concern Sheets that are kept in the school office. The welfare concern sheet is passed to the DSP or Head of School.
The Welfare Concern Sheets are monitored by the DSP and the Head of School and they must make a judgment when records indicate sufficient concern to warrant a referral.
Records are kept in the Welfare Records file. The files are kept by the DSP and Head Teacher and are confidential
SUPPORTING CHILDREN AT RISK
Our setting recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Whilst at the school, their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant and there may even be moves to consider suspension or exclusion from school. It is also recognised that some children who have experienced abuse may in turn abuse others. This requires a considered, sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.
The BSE will endeavour to support children through:
(a) The curriculum, to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation
(b) The ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all children and adults a sense of being respected and valued
(c) The implementation of behavior management policies and a knowledgeable staff group trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations
This policy should be considered alongside other related developing policies such as:
- Supporting children with medical needs
- Security procedures
- Staff Codes of Conduct
- Behaviour Policy
- Special Education Need
- Health and Safety
- Handling Allegations of Abuse Against Staff
- Whistleblowing policy
- Physical contact is likely to occur when children are upset, have been hurt, have had a toileting accident or are behaving in such a way to cause harm to themselves, others or the environment
- Staff must be self-aware at all times in order that their contact is not threatening, intrusive or subject to misinterpretation
- Physical contact with children should be in response to the child’s needs at that time, be of limited duration and appropriate to their age, stage of development, gender, ethnicity and background
- If staff need to work one to one with a child they should inform another member of staff and select a location where they are visible to others (e.g. door left open, room with half glazed door)
- Volunteers or parent helpers should not be in a one to one situation or have any physical contact with children
- If students are required to carry out an activity that necessitates physical contact with children it must be done under the supervision of staff.
- Recruitment of staff will follow the guidance or the Safer Recruitment Policy
USE OF MOBILE PHONES AND CAMERAS
Children have their photographs taken to provide evidence of their achievements for developmental records and also in relation to the BSE events. Staff, visitors, parents, families, volunteers and students are not permitted to use any mobile phones to take or record any images of children for their own records or any other reason, under any circumstances. BSE must seek parental consent to take photographs and use video recorders.
- Parental consent will detail the level of usage of the images. Photographs will be stored on The Schools’ personnel database system. All devices are password protected. The schools digital camera/s or memory cards must not leave the establishment unless on an official trip.
- Other children are likely to be included in the background of photographs consequently all families are asked to give written consent for children’s images to be recorded and level of usage must be indicated on the permission.
- Parents can take photographs using cameras during events e.g. sports day, family fun days, family outings/trips, Christmas and fundraising events.
- It will be made clear to parents that this can only be used for personal use and must not be posted to public social networking sites as other children’s images may be caught on the photographs.
- Apart from the above, staff must not use mobile phones when children are in view ie: in the classroom or corridors or outside areas