Child Protection Policy

The Riverbank school recognises its clear responsibility in respect of its “duty of care” to protect children and to support pupils in school. “Because of their day to day contact with individual children during school terms, teachers and other school staff are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour or failure to develop” (Working Together – Under the Children Act, 1989) Teachers, teaching assistants and other school supervisors should note that reporting the suspicion of child abuse, “in good faith” exempts them from liability for civil action for slander or libel, provided that strict confidentiality is maintained. This policy applies to the whole school including Pre School & the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Aims

  • To provide an ethos within school where children feel secure, valued, respected and are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
  • To educate our pupils through the schools’ Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship curriculum to understand the appropriate behaviour that relatives, friends and strangers may demonstrate towards children.
  • To educate and guide our pupils so that they know how they can deal with the behaviour of others that gives them cause for concern.
  • To train all staff in good practice for recognising and dealing with child protection issues.
  • For parents to recognise that the school is a caring establishment where they too can seek support and advice in matters relating to Child Protection.
  • To follow procedures and good practice advised in Safeguarding Children in Education DfES/0027/2004.
  • To make all referrals on documentation as advised in the above document.
  • To disseminate the procedures to all teaching staff teaching (full-time and part-time); Supply Teachers; Teaching Assistants; School Supervisors; Students and volunteers working in school.
  • For the School Board to annually monitor and review procedures and policy.
  • To provide support and counseling for staff whenever the need arises.

The Riverbank school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, along with their protection and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. As such, all employees are required to sign a declaration that they are in the possession of the qualifications they claim; that they are not disqualified from working with children; that they have no convictions, cautions or bind-overs or are subject to any sanctions imposed by any regulatory bodies. School requires all employees to produce evidence of qualifications and references are sought from previous employers. Finally, police checks are carried out on all employees, including CRB checks where an employee has previously resided in the UK.

The UK Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) PO Box 181, Darlington, DL1 9FA (Tel: 0044 0300 123 1111) will be informed in cases where a member of staff’s employment is terminated because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children.

We recognise that for children, high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to protect. THE RIVERBANK SCHOOL will therefore establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to, staff making time to support children whenever the need arises. We will ensure that children know that there are adults in school who they can approach if they are worried, or in difficulty. This will be achieved through the PHSE curriculum, assemblies, circle time and the work of the school council. The PHSE curriculum features regular opportunities to equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse. THE RIVERBANK SCHOOL will make every effort to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies.

‘Schools do not operate in isolation. Child Protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the School Board and Principal.

The designated member of staff for Child Protection at THE RIVER BANK SCHOOL is HEAD TEACHER – REGINA JEMIDE

All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect children. There are, however, key people within school who have a statutory responsibility under the Education Act 2002 Section 175. The names of those carrying those responsibilities for the current year are listed on the cover of this document.

1. Principal Designated Child Protection Officer
2. School Board (Conducts annual review of policy & procedures)

Designated Child Protection officers will disseminate policy and provide INSET training for all staff. Staff should discuss any concerns regarding Child Protection with the designated officers who will advise on the monitoring of children and the making of referrals to Social Services.

The School Board member responsible for Child Protection within the school will report to the Board on issues relating to policy and procedures regularly and through the annual review in accordance with Section 2 of the Education Act 2002. Board members will not be given specific details relating to child protection situations.

The River bank School will follow the procedures advised in Safeguarding Children in Education DfES/0027/2004. Staff will be informed of changes to policy and procedures and updated in good child protection practice through regular staff meetings and INSET.

The schools’ induction procedures and staff handbook include guidelines as to what adults working in school should do in the event that they become aware of child protection concerns.

Guidelines:
1. Where staff observe signs, which give cause for concern they should make this known to the designated officer without delay.
2. Both the designated officer and the person raising the concern should log details of the concern on the ‘Concerns Form’.
3. Staff may have an opportunity to seek information from the child, but this must be carried out with tact and sympathy. Over questioning should be avoided. Notes should be taken, including date and time of any conversations held with the child as soon as possible after the interview.
4. Other staff should be informed of concerns on a need to know basis only and any suspicions or additional information added to the concern notes.
5. Following initial discussions it may be decided that other reasons are responsible for the concern and the possibility of child abuse can be ruled out. If this is so, then the matter can be dropped, but notes will be held in a secure area.
6. Following initial discussions it may be decided to monitor the situation. In this case, the class teacher is responsible for keeping confidential notes in a secure area recording daily observations. All notes must be dated and times noted where appropriate.
7. If a child talks openly and makes direct references to being abused, a referral should be made to the Social Services Duty Officer immediately.
8. If following initial discussions concern is still felt by all parties, then the designated officer must immediately make a referral.
9. The class teacher, teacher assistant or supervisory personnel cannot be absolved from the ultimate responsibility for reporting his/her suspicions if they persist, even though the designated officer may not be in agreement. If this situation should arise the supervisor and assistant should follow the procedure as laid down in this document and inform the designated supervisor, in writing, of his/her actions.

Our school will ensure that the Principal, all Designated Officers for Child Protection attend the training relevant to their role. For designated officers this will be every two years and for other staff every three years. Training may be accessed in either the UK, or Nigeria. Staff working with children will receive regular updates and training ‘in house’ and when appropriate be offered opportunities to attend specified courses. Staff will receive training through the schools’ induction procedures, which includes advice on Care, Control and Physical Intervention and allegations against professionals.

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 purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child.

  • Confidentiality is stressed to all staff and governors as part of the schools’ induction procedures.
  • On no account is a child guaranteed confidentiality.
  • Information relating to child protection issues should only be shared with the designated officers in school who will decide if information needs to be disseminated to other personnel.

Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our school is clear about the need to record any concerns held about the child or children within our school, the status of such records and when these records should be passed to other agencies.

The designated Child Protection Officer will represent the school at case conferences. A member of staff with detailed knowledge of the child and case may be asked to accompany the child protection officer. Staff will be offered support and counseling to assist them deal with any stress that results from dealing with a case.

The Child Protection Policy will be carefully considered alongside other related policies in school. The River Bank School recognizes that statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School 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. Where children are exposed to domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.

All complaints must be directed to the school office in accordance with the schools complaints policy. The school also has in place policies and procedures relating to ‘whistle blowing’ and staff discipline. These procedures will be followed in the case of an allegation against a member of staff. In addition, on receipt of an allegation or complaint, the member of staff or volunteer will be suspended with immediate effect whilst the allegation is investigated. If an allegation is made against a designated Child Protection Officer, the Head of School must be informed immediately, and in the absence of the Head of School, the Chairman of the School Board.

  • School gives the monitoring of children in terms of their health and welfare a high priority.
  • All staff through the staff handbook are advised on the physical handling of children and the procedures to be followed if an allegation is made against them.
  • Only staff who have been security checked are permitted to work on a ‘one to one’ basis in school, or on authorised school visits.
  • The school participates readily when sharing perspectives and experiences with practitioners from other agencies.
  • The performance of all staff, including the building of successful and appropriate relationships with children is monitored closely by the Senior Management Team.
  • School requires that the necessary security checks are in place before any person is employed, or deployed to work with children in the school setting.
  • School monitors closely all personnel, including volunteers, who work with children during induction and probationary phases.
  • Personnel must NEVER place themselves in a position where their behaviour or actions place pupils or themselves at risk of harm or of allegations of harm to a pupil i.e. ‘one to one’ tuition; sports coaching; conveying a pupil by car; engaging in inappropriate electronic communication with a pupil.
  • Staff has access to those policies relating to allegations and abuse.
  • School has introduced a number of security devises and systems to ensure that staff are not exposed to the risk of abuse within the school setting.
  • Procedures for protecting staff from abuse are regularly reviewed and revised when necessary.
  • The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed annually by the Principal and Board member responsible for Child Protection.

Policy Review

This policy is reviewed annually. The procedures described therein will be evaluated in the light of experience and where necessary modified immediately.

Reviewed August 2015

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