The Hathershaw College

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Safeguarding Policy

 

PART 1

Section 1 – Introduction

1.1 Safeguarding is defined as –

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

1.2 The Hathershaw College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. We believe that:

  • All children have the right to be protected from harm;
  • Children need to be safe and to feel safe in school;
  • Children need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse;
  • All children must be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other;
  • All children have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, and social needs as well as their educational needs – a happy healthy sociable child will achieve better educationally;
  • Schools can and do contribute to the prevention of abuse, victimisation, bullying, exploitation, extreme behaviours, discriminatory views and risk taking behaviours; and
  • All staff and visitors have an important role to play in safeguarding children and protecting them from abuse.

1.3 The Hathershaw College will fulfil their local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:-

 

Section 2 - Overall Aims

2.1 This policy will contribute to safeguarding our children and promoting their welfare by:

  • Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and children;
  • Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust ethos in the College, built on mutual respect, and shared values
  • Introducing appropriate work within the curriculum;
  • Alerting staff to the signs and indicators that all might not be well;
  • Developing staff awareness of the causes of abuse;
  • Developing staff awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities children face;
  • Addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage; and
  • Reducing the potential risks children face of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation, or victimisation

2.2 This policy will contribute to supporting our children by:

  • Identifying and protecting the most vulnerable
  • Identifying individual needs where possible; and
  • Designing plans to meet those needs.

2.3 This policy will contribute to the protection of our children by:

  • Including appropriate work within the curriculum;
  • Implementing child protection policies and procedures; and
  • Working in partnership with children, parents and agencies.

 

3. Expectations

3.1 All staff including supply will:

  • Be familiar with this safeguarding policy;
  • Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc.
  • Where appropriate, be involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and inter-agency child protection plans;
  • Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse (See Appendix One for current definitions and indicators);
  • Record concerns and give the record to the Designated Safeguarding Lead(DSL) Heather May; and
  • Deal with a disclosure of abuse from a child in line with the guidance in Appendix Two - you must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately, and provide a written account as soon as possible;
  • Receive level one training at least once every three years. In addition all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email and staff meetings), as required, (but at least annually), to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively
  • Do not disclose to a parent any information held on a child if this would put the child at risk of significant harm

3.2 All Visitors will:

  • Be subject to ID and DBS checks. This includes contractors, volunteers, and child support workers.
  • Be made aware of the Safeguarding information on the back of the visitor passes

3.3 Contractors will be issued with a code of conduct which includes safeguarding contact information.

 

4. The Designated Safeguarding Lead

4.1 Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) on the senior leadership team is Heather May. She has lead responsibility and management oversight and accountability for child protection and, with the Principal, will be responsible for coordinating all child protection activity. Heather May will act as Deputy DSL in his absence.

4.2 When the College has concerns about a child, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide what steps should be taken and should advise the Principal.

4.3 Child protection information will be dealt with in a confidential manner. Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the Designated Safeguarding Lead feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to deal with an individual child and/or family. A written record will be made of what information has been shared with whom, and when.

4.4 Child protection records will be stored securely in a central place separate from academic records. Individual files will be kept for each child. Files will be kept for at least the period during which the child is attending the school, and beyond that in line with current data legislation and guidance.

4.5 Access to these records by staff other than by the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be restricted, and a written record will be kept of who has had access to them and when.

4.6 Parents will be aware of information held on their children and kept up to date regarding any concerns or developments. General communications with parents will be in line with any home school policies and give due regard to which adults have parental responsibility.

4.7 If a child moves from our College, child protection records will be forwarded on to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the new school, with due regard to their confidential nature and in line with current government guidance on the transfer of such records. Direct contact between the two schools may be necessary, especially on transfer from primary. We will record where and to whom the records have been passed and the date.

4.8 If sending by post the child’s records will be sent by “Special/Recorded Delivery”. For audit purposes a note of all pupil records transferred or received should be kept in either paper or electronic format. This will include the child’s name, date of birth, where and to whom the records have been sent and the date sent and/or received.

4.9 If a child is permanently excluded and moves to a Pupil Referral Unit, child protection records will be forwarded on to the relevant organisation.

4.10 Where a vulnerable child is moving to a Further Education establishment, consideration should be given to the child’s wishes and feelings on their child protection information being passed on in order that the FE establishment can provide appropriate support.

4.11 When a Designated Safeguarding Lead resigns their post or no longer has child protection responsibility, there should be a full face to face handover/exchange of information with the new post holder.

4.12 In exceptional circumstances when a face to face handover is unfeasible, the Principal will ensure that the new post holder is fully conversant with all procedures and case files.

 

5. The Governing Body

5.1 The Governing Body are the accountable body for ensuring the safety of the College.

5.2 The Governing Body will ensure that:

  • The College has a safeguarding policy in accordance with the procedures of Oldham Safeguarding Children Board;
  • The College operates, “safer recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers;
  • A member of the College’s leadership team is the Designated Safeguarding Lead;
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead attends appropriate refresher training every two years;
  • In addition to their formal training, the knowledge and skills of the DSL should be updated at regular intervals (for example via Safeguarding Forum events and LA Safeguarding Lead emails) to keep up with any developments relevant to their role;
  • The Principal and all other staff who work with children undertake training at three yearly intervals;
  • The Deputy DSL attends appropriate refresher training every two years;
  • Temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities;
  • The College remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay; and
  • The College has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff/volunteers.

5.3 The Governing Body reviews its policies/procedures annually

5.4 The Nominated Governor for child protection at the College is Mr. Manshah Yousaf. The Nominated Governor is responsible for liaising with the Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead over all matters regarding child protection issues. The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual children.

5.5 The Nominated Governor will liaise with the Principal and the Designated Safeguarding Lead to produce an annual report for Governors.

5.6 A member of the Governing Body (usually the Chair) is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the local authority and other partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Principal.

 

6. A Safer School Culture

Safer Recruitment and Selection

6.1 The College pays full regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE 2014). Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). ‘Prohibition from teaching’ checks are also completed for all teaching staff and for EEA teachers, checks are carried out for any teacher sanction or restriction using the NCTL Teacher Services’ system. Both checks are recorded on the Single Central Record.

6.2 All recruitment materials will include reference to the school’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children.

6.3 All members of the Senior Leadership Team at the College have undertaken NSPCC online Safer Recruitment training. At least one of the above will be involved in all staff / volunteer recruitment processes and sit on the recruitment panel.

Staff Support

6.4 We recognise the stressful and traumatic nature of child protection work. We will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and to seek further support as appropriate.

 

7. A Safer School Environment

Supervision: Student reception area

7.1 Student reception is to be permanently supervised by a member of staff between the hours of 8am and 9am each day. School doors remain open during this time for student access.

Intruders on site

7.2 In the event of a suspected intruder on the school premises, staff are to politely ask the person to leave the premises and are then to report this to a member of Senior Leadership Team. If students witness a suspected intruder, they are to be encouraged to inform a member of staff immediately. All members of staff that are legitimately on the premises, including ALL visitors and trainee teachers, should be wearing a lanyard/card clearly displaying their name and all students will be in complete school uniform and/or school PE kit. In the event that an intruder does not follow initial instructions to leave the premises, a member of the Senior Leadership Team should be informed immediately. In some cases, Police may then be contacted and where appropriate the Principal may instigate a ‘Lockdown procedure’.

Lockdown Procedure

7.3 Where an intruder on the premises represents an immediate concern to the welfare of staff and/or students, the school will instigate a Lockdown Procedure. In these cases, the school alarm will ring 3 consecutive times. In these cases, staff are to ensure that all students remain in classrooms/under their supervision and are to lock classroom/office doors. The ‘all clear’ will be sounded by the alarm ringing again 3 consecutive times.

 

8. Our Role in the Prevention of Abuse

8.1 We will provide opportunities for children to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being.

The Curriculum

8.2 Relevant issues will be addressed through the Citizenship curriculum, for example self-esteem, emotional literacy, assertiveness, power, sex and relationship education, e-safety and bullying.

Other Areas of Work

8.3 Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the College, which should ensure that children are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.

 

9. Safeguarding Children who are Vulnerable to Extremism

9.1 Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children and families from violent extremism. There have been occasions nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children to hold extreme views including justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.

9.2 The Hathershaw College values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both children and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.

9.3 The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make children vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. The Hathershaw College is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.

9.4 Definitions of radicalisation and extremism, and indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation are in Appendix Four.

9.5 The Hathershaw College seeks to protect children against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, Far Right, Neo Nazi, White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.

Risk Assessment

9.6 The school Governors, the Principal and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the level of risk within the College and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the College’s RE curriculum, assemblies, SEND policy, behaviour policy, the use of College premises by external agencies and other issues specific to the College’s profile, community and philosophy.

Response

9.7 Our College, like all others, is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will normally be the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The SPOC for The Hathershaw College is Heather May. The responsibilities of the SPOC are described in Appendix Five.

9.8 When any member of staff has concerns that a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the SPOC and to the Designated Safeguarding Lead if this is not the same person.

 

10. Safeguarding Children who are Vulnerable to Exploitation, Honour-based Violence (inc. Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation) Trafficking or Peer on Peer Abuse

10.1 The safeguarding policy provides the basic platform to ensure children are given the support to respect themselves and others, stand up for themselves and protect each other.

10.2 The College keeps itself up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation.

10.3 The staff are supported to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to specific issues and include these such issues in an age appropriate way in their curriculum.

10.4 The College works with and engages our families and communities to talk about such issues.

10.5 Key staff are supported to talk to families about sensitive concerns in relation to their children and to find ways to address them together wherever possible.

10.6 The Designated Safeguarding Lead knows where to seek and get advice as necessary.

10.7 The College brings in experts and uses specialist material to support the work we do.

 

11. What we do when we are Concerned

11.1 Where risk factors are present but there is no evidence of a particular risk then our DSL /SPOC advises us on preventative work that can be done within College to engage the child into mainstream activities and social groups. The DSL may well be the person who talks to and has conversations with the child’s family, sharing the College’s concern about the child’s vulnerability and how the family and College can work together to reduce the risk.

11.2 In this situation, depending on the level of concern and what we agree with the parent and the child (as far as possible) –

  • The DSL/SPOC can decide to notify the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) of the decision so that a strategic overview can be maintained and any themes or common factors can be recognised; and
  • The DSL may call for an Early Help Assessment to be carried out.

Early Help

11.3 All staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges. 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.

11.4 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. Early help referrals will be made by members of the Pastoral team and the DSL only, supported by other relevant staff such as teachers, Learning Support Assistants, Form Tutors as appropriate.

11.5 If early help and or other support is appropriate the case will be kept under constant review. If the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving, consideration will be given to a referral to children’s social care (MASH).

MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)

11.6 If the concerns about the child are significant and meet the additional needs/complex need criteria, they will be referred by the DSL only to the MASH. This includes concerns about a child who is affected by the behaviour of a parent or other adult in their household.

FGM

11.7 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, the teacher must report this to the police.

Whistleblowing

11.8 Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with the DSL or Principal, or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, external whistleblowing channels are open to them:

The NSPCC whistleblowing 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 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk 

 

PART 2 - THE KEY PROCEDURES

Responding to Concerns about a Child

Key Procedures

 

12. Involving Parents/Carers

12.1 In general, we will discuss any child protection concerns with parents / carers before approaching other agencies, and will seek their consent to making a referral to another agency. Appropriate staff will approach parents / carers after consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. However there may be occasions when the school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.

12.2 Parents / carers will be informed about our safeguarding policy through our website: www.hathershaw.org.uk

 

13. Multi-Agency Work

13.1 We work in partnership with other agencies in the best interests of our children. The College will, where necessary, liaise with the College nurse and make referrals to Children’s Social Care. Referrals should be made by the Designated Safeguarding Lead to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (0161 770 3790). Where the child already has a safeguarding social worker, the request for service should go immediately to the social worker involved, or in their absence to their team manager.

13.2 We will co-operate with any child protection enquiries conducted by Children’s Social Care: the College will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as integrated support plan meetings, initial and review child protection conferences, and core group meetings.

13.3 We will provide reports as required for these meetings. If the College is unable to attend, a written report will be sent. The report will, wherever possible, be shared with parents / carers at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

13.4 Where a child is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan or a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) meeting, the school will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.

Looked After Children

13.5    Where a child is looked after, staff are provided with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep the child safe.  

13.6    Staff are provided with the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility (through SIMS). Where appropriate, staff are also provided with information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her. 

13.7    The DSL also has knowledge of the child’s social worker and the name of the Virtual School Headteacher.  The DSL has the role of promoting the educational attainment of the LAC creating an e-pep (Electronic Personal Education Plan) that teaching/support staff must support. 

Virtual School Headteacher                          

13.8    Virtual school heads receive pupil premium plus additional funding for LAC and are based in the Local Authority. The DSL will work with the virtual school head to discuss how that funding can be best used to support the progress of these children.

 

14. Our Role in Supporting Children

14.1 We will offer appropriate support to individual children who have experienced abuse or who have abused others.

14.2 An individual support plan will be devised, implemented and reviewed regularly for these children. This plan will detail areas of support, who will be involved, and the child’s wishes and feelings. A written outline of the individual support plan will be kept in the child’s child protection record.

14.3 Children who abuse others will be responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others within the College community through a multi-agency risk assessment. We will ensure that the needs of children who abuse others will be considered separately from the needs of their victims.

Peer-on-Peer Abuse

14.4 It is recognised that children may abuse each other.  Any kind of abuse is considered abuse and no peer on peer abuse will be tolerated or considered as “banter” or “part of growing up”.   Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways such as bullying, gender based violence and/or sexting and will not be tolerated by the College.

Sexting

14.5 Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video.  This includes sending ‘nude photos’, ‘rude photos’ or ‘nude selfies’.  

14.6 Students are made aware through the curriculum that sexting is illegal for anyone under the age of 18, regardless of whether they were given permission, someone else sent it to them first, they have never met the other person before, they too are under 18 or it is a selfie.   

14.7 Students are also educated on other associated issues with sexting such as losing control over personal images, being blackmailed as a result of these images, the negative effects on their self-confidence and self-worth and the legal ramifications of forwarding such images to friends etc. 

14.8 Any form of sexting will not be tolerated by the College.  Parents / carers will be informed as well as other appropriate agencies.

14.9 In all cases of abuse, the College will work in partnership with parents / carers and other agencies as appropriate.

 

15. Children with SEN and Disabilities

15.1 The Hathershaw College recognises that while all children have a right to be safe, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse, for example those with a special educational need or disability.  For these students, additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect.  For example:

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying - without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

 

16. Children with Additional Needs

16.1 The Hathershaw College recognises that while all children have a right to be safe, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse, for example new arrivals to the country whose first language is not English or those living with domestic violence or drug/alcohol abusing parents.

16.2 If a child is subject to a child protection plan or where there is an existing child protection file, the College will take this into consideration before making the decision to exclude, either permanently or fixed term.

 

17. Responding to an Allegation About a Member of Staff

17.1 This procedure (Appendix 3) should be used in any case in which it is alleged that a member of staff, Governor, visiting professional or volunteer has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • Behaved in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.

 

18. Children in Specific Circumstances

18.1 Further advice on Child Protection is available from:

NSPCC:  http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse

Childline: http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/AbuseSafety

Anti-Bullying Alliance:  http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/

CEOPSThinkuknow: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

It’s Not OK: http://www.itsnotokay.co.uk/

 

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