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Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

September 2021

Policy last reviewed: September 2021
Reviewed by: Matthew Ascroft
Agreed by governors: September
Shared with staff: September 2021
Frequency of review: Annually

Date of next review: September 2022

Head Teacher: Matthew Ascroft

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Matthew Ascroft

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Anke Brooker (Assistant Head Teacher) Victoria Noone (Assistant Head Teacher), Rebecca Fenlon, Michele Rowland

Named Governor for Safeguarding: Mr S Hussain

Chair of Governors: Mr Bill Gallagher

Local Authority Designated Officer: Fran Fossick

Telephone number: 0247 697 8499

Designated Lead for Looked After and Previously Looked-After Children:

Anke Brooker (Assistant Head Teacher)

Virtual School – Jim Horgan

Email address: virtualschool@coventry.gov.uk

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1 Definitions

2 Introduction

3 Roles and Responsibilities

4 Types of Abuse

5 Responding to signs of abuse

6 Record-keeping .

7 Photography and Images

8 Early Help.

9 Staff Training

10 Safer Recruitment

11 Allegations of abuse against staff

12 Promoting safeguarding and welfare in the curriculum

13 Children Looked After

14 Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or physical health needs

15 Use of reasonable force  

16 Work Experience

17 Children staying with Host families (See Annex E KCSIE)

18 Boarding Schools and residential settings

19 Summary

Appendix A

Appendix B – Further Safeguarding information

 

 

 

1 Definitions

1.1 ‘Safeguarding’ is defined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) as;

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing the impairment of children's mental and physical 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.

1.2 ‘Child Protection’ is the intervention that occurs when children have been significantly harmed or are at risk of significant harm.

1.3 ‘Child’ refers to everyone under the age of 18.

1.4 ‘Parent’ refers to birth parents and other adults in a parenting role for example adoptive parents, step parents and foster carers.

1.5 ‘Staff’ or ‘members of staff’ refers to all teaching, non-teaching, support, supply, peripatetic, contract staff, governors, volunteers and trustees working in or on behalf of Stoke Primary School.

 

2 Introduction

2.1 We recognise that safeguarding and child protection is an essential part of our duty of care to all students and all staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. We understand that safeguarding, child protection and promoting the welfare of all children is everyone’s responsibility and everyone has a role to play in protecting children. We recognise that our school is part of a wider safeguarding system for children and work closely with other agencies to promote the welfare of children. We maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ and will consider the wishes of, and at all times, what is in the best interests of each child.

2.2 The purpose of this policy is to;

  • Promote safeguarding and child protection and to demonstrate Stoke Primary School’s commitment to keeping children safe;
  • Provide all members of staff with the information required to meet their safeguarding duty and protect children from harm;
  • Provide stakeholders with clear information relating to Stoke Primary School’s safeguarding and child protection procedures;
  • Ensure that staff understand, can recognise and can respond to the indicators of abuse;
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of their mandatory reporting duty in relation to Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003; and
  • Ensure that children are protected from maltreatment or harm.

2.3 Stoke Primary School is committed to the following principles;

  • All children have the right to be protected from harm.
  • Children should feel safe and secure and cannot learn unless they do so.
  • All staff are responsible for keeping children safe and have a responsibility to act if they think a child is at risk of harm.
  • All staff take on a responsibility to promote children’s welfare
  • Working with other agencies is essential to promote safeguarding and protect children from harm.
  • Early help and providing support to families and/or children as soon as a problem emerges is essential to improving outcomes for children and families.

2.4 Safeguarding aims

2.4.1 The safeguarding aims of Stoke Primary School, in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) are to;

  • work to identify children who are suffering or likely to suffer abuse, exploitation or neglect and act to protect them;
  • work with relevant services and agencies to ensure that children are protected from harm;
  • provide a learning environment for children which is safe and secure;
  • teach children how to keep themselves safe and provide structures for them to raise concerns if they are worried or at risk of harm;
  • support children’s mental health and wellbeing;
  • ensure that we adhere to safer recruitment guidance and legislation, deal promptly with allegations of abuse against staff and take bullying and harassment seriously;
  • train staff effectively in all safeguarding issues (including online safety) and in their responsibilities for identifying and protecting children that are or may be at risk of harm;
  • have a designated safeguarding lead and designated deputies, who will provide support to staff, students and families;
  • recognise that all children may be vulnerable to abuse, but be aware that some children have increased vulnerabilities due to special educational needs or disabilities;
  • maintain a robust recording system for any safeguarding or child protection information;
  • ensure that everyone in Stoke Primary School understands the safeguarding procedures; and to
  • regularly review policies and procedures to ensure that children are protected to the best of our ability.

2.5 This policy adheres to the following documents;

2.6 Keeping Children Safe in Education remains in force throughout the Covid-19 emergency period. In addition, we have regard to non-statutory interim guidance on safeguarding schools, colleges and other providers during the coronavirus outbreak. We continue to work closely with the Local Authority and the Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership to safeguard children during this time. 

2.7 Please note that there are a number of other documents (statutory and non-statutory) that inform our policy and practice. A list of these can be found in Annex B of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

2.8 This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies;

  • Attendance Policy
  • Behaviour Policy

2.9 Scope

2.9.1 This policy applies to all teaching, non-teaching, support, supply, peripatetic, contract staff, governors, volunteers and trustees working in or on behalf of Stoke Primary School. All references in this document to ‘staff’ or ‘members of staff’ should be interpreted as relating to the aforementioned unless otherwise stated.

2.9.2 Rather than duplicating content from Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) in this policy, it should be understood that Stoke Primary School will always refer to this document as the benchmark for all safeguarding practice.

 

3 Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 The Role of the Governing Body

3.1.1    The school has a Governing Body lead to take leadership responsibility for safeguarding. This role is carried out by Shaukat Hussain. Part 2 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) sets out the responsibilities of governing bodies. As part of these overarching responsibilities the Governing Body will;

  • Have a strategic leadership responsibility for Stoke Primary School safeguarding arrangements;
  • Ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation;
  • Ensure a whole school approach to safeguarding, including the use of mobile technology in school;
  • Ensure that policies, procedure and training in Stoke Primary School are effective and comply with the law at all times and that they allow concerns to be responded to in a timely manner; 
  • Ensure that Stoke Primary School takes into account local authority and Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership policies and supply information as requested by the safeguarding partners (the Local Authority, a clinical commissioning group for an area within the local authority and the chief office of police for a police area within the local authority);
  • Ensure that Stoke Primary School has an effective child protection policy, that it is published on Stoke Primary School website or available by other means and review this annually;
  • Ensure that Stoke Primary School has a staff behaviour policy or Code of Conduct;
  • Ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training on induction (including online safety);
  • Ensure Stoke Primary School contributes to multi-agency working in line with statutory guidance;
  • Ensure that there are clear systems and processes in place for identifying when children may be experiencing mental health problems;
  • Ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety as a whole school approach and curriculum planning but recognising that a one size fits all approach may not be appropriate for all children. See section 12 of this policy for further information;
  • Put in place appropriate safeguarding responses for children who go missing from education;
  • Appoint an appropriate member of staff from the senior leadership team to the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead;
  • Understand the local criteria for action and local protocol for assessment;
  • Recognise the importance of information sharing between practitioners and local agencies;
  • Ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to keep children safe online; and
  • Respond to allegations of abuse against the headteacher whilst ensuring there are procedures in place to manage safeguarding concerns, or allegations against staff (including supply staff, volunteers and contractors)

3.2. The Role of the Headteacher

3.2.1          The headteacher will;

  • Ensure that this policy is reviewed annually at minimum and ratified by the governing body;
  • Ensure that this policy and associated procedures are adhered to by all staff;
  • Ensure that all staff are made aware of the named governor for safeguarding and the Designated Safeguarding Lead;
  • Ensure that the role of ‘Designated Safeguarding Lead’ is explicit in the role-holder’s job description;
  • Decide whether to have one or more deputy safeguarding leads and ensure they are trained to the same standard as the Designated Safeguarding Lead;
  • Organise appropriate cover for the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead for any out of hour/out of term activities;
  • Appoint a ‘Designated Teacher for Looked-After and Previously Looked-After Children’ to promote the educational achievement of children looked after;
  • Appoint a lead for online safety;
  • Promote a whole school approach to safeguarding;
  • Promote resilience to social and emotional wellbeing, which is tailored to the needs of the children;
  • Ensure that all recruitment follows the ‘Safer Recruitment’ guidance and a single, central record is maintained with details of all members of staff who are in contact with children;
  • Respond to allegations of abuse against all other members of staff including supply staff, volunteers and contractors;
  • Refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required;
  • Ensure that the school works with Children’s Services, the police, health services and other services to; promote the welfare of children; provide a co-ordinated offer of early help when need is identified; contribute to inter-agency plans for children subject to children protection plans and to protect children from harm;
  • Safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties (Teaching Standards, 2012); and
  • Ensure that children’s Services (from the host local authority or placing authority) have access to Stoke Primary School to conduct, or to consider whether to conduct a section 47 or section 17 assessment, as per Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

3.3 The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

3.3.1          The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Matthew Ascroft.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will;

  • Take overall lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) in Stoke Primary School;
  • Liaise with the safeguarding partners and work with other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2020);
  • Always be available during term time (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss safeguarding concerns. In the event that they are not available, a deputy will be made available;
  • Undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out this role and update this every two years;
  • Act as a source of support and expertise on matters relating to safeguarding and child protection to ensure that other members of staff can carry out their safeguarding duty;
  • Be best placed to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns;
  • Identify if children may benefit from early help;
  • Act as a point of contact with the safeguarding partners;
  • Make referrals to Coventry’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) where children are at risk of significant harm.
  • Make referrals to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern and/or support staff that make a referral to Channel;
  • Support the school with regards to their responsibilities under the Prevent duty and provide advice and support on protecting children from radicalisation;
  • Refer cases to the police where a crime may have been committed1;
  • Ensure all staff have read and understood Part 1 and/or Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021);
  • Update their knowledge and skills regularly and keep up with any developments relevant to their role;
  • Provide staff in school with the knowledge, skills and support required to safeguard children;
  • Take responsibility for the accurate and timely recording of safeguarding and child protection concerns and take overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection files;
  • Take responsibility for the transfer of safeguarding files when a child leaves Stoke Primary School;
  • Attend or ensure an appropriate representative attends multi-agency safeguarding or child protection meetings;
  • Promote supportive engagement with parents and/or carers in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children;
  • Work closely with other relevant education professionals (e.g. SENCO, Virtual School Head) to ensure children with additional vulnerabilities are safeguarded;
  • Help to promote educational outcomes of child who have experienced or are experiencing safeguarding or child protection issues by sharing relevant information with teachers and the school leadership team;
  • Promote a ‘culture of safeguarding’, in which every member of Stoke Primary School community acts in the best interests of the child;
  • Ensuring Stoke Primary School knows who its cohort of children or have or have had a social worker are, understanding their academic progress and attainment, and maintaining a culture of high aspirations;
  • Regularly meet with the safeguarding link governor and/or Chair of Governors to review safeguarding in Stoke Primary School; and
  • Liaise with the Safeguarding Team regarding safeguarding cases and issues.

3.3.2 Further details on the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead can be found in Annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

3.4 The Role & Responsibilities of all Staff within School

3.4.1 School staff play a particularly important role because they are in a position to identify concerns early in order to provide help for children. All staff in Stoke Primary School;

  • Have a responsibility to provide a safe environment, where children can learn;
  • Should know what to do if a child tells them that he/she is being abused, exploited or neglected;
  • Will be able to identify indicators of abuse;
  • Will be made aware of; the safeguarding and child protection policy; the school behaviour policy; the staff behaviour policy; information about the safeguarding response to children missing in education; the role of the designated safeguarding lead and systems in Stoke Primary School that support safeguarding and child protection; 
  • Will be provided with a copy of Part 1/Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) annually and receive annually updated training on their safeguarding roles and responsibilities;
  • Should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that put children at risk of harm and behaviours associated with these risks;
  • Should know what to do if a child makes a disclosure of abuse and never promise confidentiality when a child makes a disclosure; 
  • Will be made aware of the early help process and understand their role in it;
  • Should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help and will discuss early help requirements with the safeguarding lead in the first instance;
  • May be required to support social workers and other agencies following a referral;
  • Will be made aware of the process for making referrals to Children’s Services (though the MASH), understand statutory assessments and the role that they may be expected to play in such assessments;
  • Should be prepared to make referrals to the MASH if they have concerns about a child’s welfare and understand the role that they may be expected to play in such assessments;
  • Will receive regularly updated safeguarding and child protection training including online safety;
  • Will receive safeguarding updates throughout the year as part of continuous professional development;
  • Should be able to contribute to the development of safeguarding policy and practice.
  • Should always seek advice from the Designated Safeguarding Lead if they are unsure; and
  • All teachers should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties (Teaching Standards, 2012).

3.5 Multi-Agency Working

3.5.1 The school is committed to multi-agency working and operates under Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and local safeguarding arrangements.

3.5.2 The school will work with Children’s Services the police, health services, local Early Help practitioners and other relevant agencies to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

3.5.3 We work closely with our local Family Hub to ensure children receive appropriate, co-ordinated Early Help.  We link with Harmony Hub, Hillfields

3.5.4 The Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) have designated that schools and colleges are a named ‘relevant agency’. As such, the school is under a statutory duty to co-operate with published CSCP arrangements.

 

4 Types of abuse

4.1 As outlined above, all staff will be trained in indicators of abuse and should be able to recognise signs of abuse. We recognise that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are complex and can rarely be covered by one label. Abuse can take many forms and can involve directly inflicting harm on a child or failing to protect a child from harm online as well as face to face.

The four main types of abuse that staff are trained to recognise are;

  • Physical abuse;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Emotional abuse;
  • Neglect.

4.2 Types of abuse (Taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2021)

Type of abuse

Information

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. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or 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 persistent 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 cyber 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.

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving 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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

 

The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education and all staff should be aware of it and of the school policy and procedures for dealing with it.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

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, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, 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.

 

 

 

4.3 Indicators of abuse can be found in Appendix B.

4.4 If a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, a referral will be made to children’s services (through the MASH) and any member of staff can make this referral. A Designated or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead should be available at all times, but in exceptional circumstances the member of staff should speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team or seek advice directly from Children’s Service and then take appropriate action. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should be made aware as soon as possible.

4.5 Staff, parents and the wider community should report any concerns that they have about the welfare of children, however minor or seemingly insignificant. Staff should not assume that someone else will report concerns.

4.6 The school recognises that any child can be the victim of abuse and may benefit from early help. However, the school will be particularly vigilant to potential need for early help if a child;

  • is disabled or has certain health conditions and has specific additional needs;
  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
  • has a mental health need;
  • is a young carer;
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups or county lines;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is a risk of modern slavery, trafficking, sexual or criminal exploitation;
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
  • has a family member in prison, or is affected by parental offending;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse;
  • has returned home to their family from care;
  • is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect;
  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited;
  • is at risk of ‘honour-based’ abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation or Forced Marriage;
  • is persistently absent from education, including persistent absences for part of the school day.
  • is a privately fostered child.2

4.7 Stoke Primary School recognises that abuse can take many different forms. Staff will also receive training on the following issues and action will be taken if Stoke Primary School believes that a child is at risk of or is the victim of;

  • bullying, including cyber- or online-bullying;
  • child criminal exploitation (including involvement in county lines);
  • child sexual exploitation;
  • domestic abuse;
  • emotional abuse;
  • fabricated or induced illness;
  • faith-based abuse;
  • female genital mutilation;
  • forced marriage;
  • gangs or youth violence;
  • gender-based violence;
  • hate;
  • mental health;
  • neglect;
  • peer on peer abuse;
  • physical abuse;
  • radicalisation;
  • relationship abuse;
  • serious violence and harassment;
  • sexual abuse;
  • sexual violence or sexual harassment (including peer on peer abuse);
  • sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude and semi-nude images/videos;
  • So-called ‘honour-based’ abuse;
  • trafficking and modern slavery.

4.8 Stoke Primary School will also take action to protect;

  • Children missing education;
  • Children missing from home or care.

4.8.1 There are other familial issues that can have a detrimental impact on children.

We work with other agencies in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) to support children and families in the following circumstances;

  • Children facing the court procedures and/or children in the court system;
  • Children with family members in prison;
  • Children who are homeless;
  • Children who need a social worker.

4.9 Child potentially at greater risk of harm

4.9.1 Stoke Primary School recognises that some children need a social worker due to abuse, neglect or complex family circumstances and that abuse and trauma can leave children vulnerable to further harm, as well as educational disadvantage.

4.9.2 The Designated Safeguarding Lead will hold information relating to social workers working with children in the school.

4.9.3 This information will inform decisions about safeguarding and promoting welfare (including the provision of pastoral and/or academic support).

4.10 Children missing from Education

4.10.1 Stoke Primary School understands that children missing from education can be a warning sign to a variety of safeguarding concerns.

4.10.2 Stoke Primary School will report information to the Local Authority when removing a child from roll.

4.11 Elective Home Education

4.11.1 Stoke Primary School recognises that many home educated children have a positive learning experience and the decision is one with the child’s best interests at heart.

4.11.2 Since 2016, Stoke Primary School has a statutory duty to inform the Local Authority of all deletions from roll. When Elective Home Education is the reason for this removal, the Local authority and other key professionals will work alongside Stoke Primary School to coordinate a meeting with parents where possible ideally before a final decision is made. 

4.12 Mental Health

4.12.1 Stoke recognise that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children includes preventing the impairment of children’s mental health or development.

4.12.2 All staff will be aware that mental health problems may be an indicator that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.

4.12.3 Staff will not attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem unless they are appropriately trained.

4.12.4 We recognise that staff are well-placed to observe behaviour that may indicate that a child is experiencing a mental health problem, or is at risk of developing one. There are clear systems and processes in place for identifying possible mental health problems. If staff are concerned that a child is suffering a mental health problem, they should contact a member of the staff team who has been trained in MHFA

4.12.5 If staff are concerned that a child is experiencing a mental health problem that is also a safeguarding concern, they must report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) immediately.

4.12.6 Stoke Primary School is committed to Mental Health First Aid and has two teams trained to support the school community.  There is a Youth Mental Health First Aid Team and a Full Mental Health First Aid Team.

4.12.7 Further information, guidance and advice regarding mental health can be found in paragraph 41 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021.

4.13 Stoke Primary School have a duty to refer any children who are living in a private fostering arrangement to the local authority.

4.14 All schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 in the exercise of their functions to have “due regard” to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. See Appendix B for further information on the school’s Prevent duty.

4.15 If any member of staff is unsure about signs of abuse or neglect, they should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

4.16 See Appendix B for further information and guidance on the above issues.3

 

5 Responding to signs of abuse

5.1 If a member of staff, parent or member of the public is concerned about a child’s welfare, they should report it to the designated safeguarding lead as soon as possible. On occasions when the designated safeguarding lead is not available, it should be reported to the deputy safeguarding lead without delay. Although any member of staff can make a referral to Children’s Services where possible there should be a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

5.2 If anyone other than the Designated Safeguarding Lead makes a referral to Children’s Services or to the police, they should inform the DSL as soon as possible.

5.3 All staff will be alert to indicators of abuse and will report any of the following to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately;

  • Any concern or suspicion that a child has sustained an injury outside what is reasonably attributable to normal play;
  • Any concerning behaviours exhibited by children that may indicated that they have been harmed or are at risk of harm, including unusual changes in mood or behaviour, concerning use of language and/or concerning drawings or stories.
  • Any significant changes in attendance or punctuality;
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation;
  • Any concerns relating to people who may pose a risk of harm to a child; and/or
  • Any disclosures of abuse that children have made.

5.4 There will be occasions where a child discloses abuse directly to a member of staff. If this happens, the member of staff will;

  • listen carefully to the child and believe what they are saying;
  • not promise confidentiality, as information may need to be passed on so the child and family can receive additional support;
  • only ask for clarification if something is unclear and will not ask ‘leading’ questions;
  • report disclosure to the designated safeguarding lead as soon as possible, certainly by the end of the day;
  • only discuss the issue with colleagues that need to know about it; and
  • will write up the disclosure and pass it to the designated safeguarding lead. It is likely they will have a discussion with the DSL prior to this.

5.5 The designated safeguarding lead will make a decision about the action that needs to be taken following a member of staff raising a concern about a child, or following a direct disclosure. The DSL may;

  • Manage support for the child internally;
  • Seek advice from the social worker advice line in the MASH;
  • Instigate single agency intervention and work directly with the family to improve the situation;
  • Offer an Early Help Assessment to provide multi-agency help to a family;
  • In cases where children are deemed to be at significant risk of harm, the DSL will refer cases to the MASH for statutory intervention. Parental consent will be obtained wherever possible before referring cases to the MASH. However, if the school is worried that telling parents will mean the child is at greater risk of harm, we may do this without informing them.
  • If parents do not consent to a referral but the school believes that a child is at significant risk of harm, a referral will still be made to Children’s Services.

5.6 For further information about the Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership’s ‘Right Help, Right Time’ guidance, which is used by Stoke Primary School to make decisions about protecting children, please visit http://www.coventry.gov.uk/righthelprighttime.

5.7 See page 21 for flowchart of actions that will be taken where there are concerns about a child (taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2021).

5.8 In cases where members of staff become aware that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been carried out on a female below the age of 18, they have a mandatory duty to report this to the police without delay and will do so. Staff should refer this to the DSL, but the legislation requires regulated health and Children’s Service professionals and teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the police where, in the course of their professional duties, they either;

  • are informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her; or
  • observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.4

5.9 Peer on Peer Abuse

5.9.1 Stoke Primary School understands that both adults and other children can perpetrate abuse, and can happen inside and outside of school. Peer on peer abuse is taken very seriously. Peer on peer abuse can include bullying (including cyber-bullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying), abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers, physical abuse, sharing of consensual or non-consensual images of videos, causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, sexual violence and/or harassment, upskirting, and initiation/hazing ceremonies. The school recognise that safeguarding issues can manifest as peer on peer abuse.

5.9.2 All members of staff will be made aware of the school’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse. The school will ensure staff understand what is meant by peer on peer abuse and the school policy on peer on peer abuse by providing CPD on a regular basis

5.9.3 The school will work to prevent peer on peer abuse by incorporating this topic in to age appropriate Protective Behaviours session throughout school

5.9.4 In the event that an allegation of peer on peer abuse is made, Stoke Primary School will investigate the allegation in line with the Behaviour and Bullying Policies, investigating thoroughly and outcomes will be based on the information collated.

5.9.5 In the event that an allegation of peer on peer abuse is made, victims and alleged perpetrators will be supported by the Family Team and staff within the cohort

5.9.6 Stoke Primary School will never pass off peer on peer abuse as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’ and recognise that even if there are no reported cases, such abuse may still be taking place. This should be a Zero-tolerance approach as this could lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours.

5.9.7 Stoke considers the following to be factors that may affect the children who attend.  This is not an exclusive list.

  • bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying);
  • abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers;
  • physical abuse which can include hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment;

5.9.8 Stoke Primary School is not a Boarding schools or residential settings so does not record additional factors.

5.9.9 Stoke Primary School will adhere to guidance set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Schools (September 2021) when responding to incidents of peer on peer abuse.

5.9.10 All staff will be made aware that ‘upskirting’ is a criminal offence.

5.10 Sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude and semi-nude images or videos

5.10.1        “Sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude and semi-nude images or videos” refers to any sharing of youth-produced sexual imagery between         children. This includes;

  • A person under the age of 18 creating and sharing sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18;
  • A person under the age of 18 sharing sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult;
  • A person under the age of 18 being in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18.

5.10.2        The school has a responsibility to educate children in the risks relating to ‘sharing consensual or non-consensual nude images or videos’ and how to keep themselves safe online.

5.10.3        Any incidents or suspected incidents of ‘sharing consensual or non-consensual nude images or videos’ should be reported to the DSL without delay.

5.10.4        Once reported to the DSL, the DSL will decide on the appropriate course of action. This could include;

  • Referrals to the MASH in regards to both peers (also the police if urgent response required);
  • Confiscation of mobile phones in line with guidance ‘Searching, Screening and Confiscation, (January 2018);
  • Support for young people involved to prevent reoccurrence;
  • Sanctions in accordance with behaviour policy;

5.10.5        Any incidents of ‘sharing consensual or non-consensual nude images or videos’ involving the following will result in a MASH and sometimes a Police referral;

  • Adult involvement;
  • Coercion or blackmail; 
  • Children under the age of 13;
  • Extreme, or violent content;
  • Immediate risk of harm.

5.10.6         Staff will not view images or videos on pupil devices. Confiscated devices will be stored securely and passed to the relevant agencies.

5.10.7         We will work with parents as necessary if their child is involved in the sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude images or videos.

5.10.8         We operate a culture of safeguarding and young people should feel confident to disclose if they have sent an inappropriate image of themselves. Children will always be supported to retrieve and delete the images.

5.11 Peer on Peer Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

5.11.1 Sexual Violence and sexual harassment, just like the above types of Peer on Peer abuse, can occur both in and out of school (online and face to face) between children of any age and sex and is never acceptable. This includes children from Primary school through to Secondary and higher. Examples of this are:

  • rape;
  • assault by penetration;
  • sexual assault;
  • causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent;
  • sexual comments including on social media;
  • sexual jokes;
  • physical behaviour;
  • online sexual harassment;
  • sharing of unwanted explicit content;
  • upskirting;
  • sexualised online bullying;
  • sexual exploitation, coercion and threats.

All members of staff at Stoke Primary School maintain the attitude of ‘It can happen here’ to ensure all children are safeguarded. One way this is done is by addressing inappropriate behaviour. All staff understand that by not addressing this promptly, children’s educational attainment may be impacted if the alleged perpetrator attends the same setting.

5.11.2 Stoke Primary School will reassure the victim that they are being taken seriously and will be support and kept safe. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputy) will take a lead role on reports whilst using their professional judgement, and liaising with other agencies by following the below protocol;

  • when possible, two members of staff will be present where the report includes an online element. Staff will not view illegal images of children;
  • will not promise confidentiality as reports will need to be passed onto Children’s Service (and in some cases, the Police);
  • recognises that a child is more likely to disclose to a member of staff they have the strongest relationship with;
  • an initial disclosure may be the first incident that is reported rather than a singular event;
  • some children may face barriers to disclosing such as, additional needs, vulnerability, sex, ethnicity and possibly sexual orientation;
  • will always listen carefully to the child whilst being non-judgemental;
  • write up the factual parts of the disclosure as soon as the child has finished disclosing;
  • liaise with the MASH (and police if urgent response required).

5.11.3 Nevertheless, the victim will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence and/or harassment. Staff will be aware of the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours; making it clear it is never accepted, tolerated and is not a part of growing up or banter.

5.11.4 In some cases, a risk assessment may be required but will be kept under constant review.

5.12 Serious Violence

5.12.1 All staff will be made aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk of, or are involved with serious violent crime such as absence from school, a change in friendship/relationship, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or change in wellbeing, or sign of unexplained injury.

5.12.2 All staff will be made aware of the range of risk factor which will increase the likelihood of involvement in serious violence, criminal networks and gangs and understand the measures in place to prevent these.

5.12.3 All staff will have an awareness of Child Criminal Exploitation and behaviours linked to Child Criminal Exploitation. Further information about Child Criminal Exploitation can be found in paragraph 51 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021).

5.13.1 Where necessary, searching, screening and confiscation will be used to safeguard a child/children in Stoke Primary School.

5.13.2         Stoke Primary School adheres to ‘Searching, Screening and Confiscation: Advice for        Schools (January 2018).

5.13.3 Please see searching, screening and confiscation policy which is a standalone policy.

5.14 Extra-Familial Harm

5.14.1 Stoke Primary School recognises that safeguarding incidents can be associated with factors outside the school and may take place outside of school. We also recognise that safeguarding incidents or behaviours can occur between children outside of school. We will always consider contextual safeguarding factors when responding to safeguarding incidents.

5.14.2 All staff will be made aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school and/or can occur between children outside these environments.

5.15 To raise concerns about children, members of staff should contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by telephone to discuss the referral. They should then complete the online Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) and submit this to the MASH. The school will follow up referrals if we do not receive feedback from Children’s Services.

 

MASH Telephone number: 02476 788 555

MASH online referral form: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/safeguardingchildren

Out of hours Emergency Duty Team: 02476 832 222

Prevent/Channel Referrals: Refer to MASH (mash@coventry.gov.uk) and to CTU_GATEWAY@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

5.16 If a child’s situation does not appear to be improving following a referral, the school may re-refer the child. We will also consider using the Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Managing Professional Disagreements policy LINK UPDATED. to ensure that our concerns have been addressed and that the situation improves for the child.

 

6 Record-keeping

6.1 Information will be kept confidential and stored securely.

6.2 A written record of all safeguarding and/or child protection concerns, discussions and decisions made will be kept in individual children’s files. This will be separate from the main school file and will only be accessed by the relevant safeguarding staff.

6.3 Stoke Primary School keeps all safeguarding files electronically, using a system called CPOMs.

6.4 Staff will submit all concerns in writing to the DSL at the earliest opportunity. This may be after having a verbal conversation, but conversations will also be followed up in writing.

6.5 In the event that a child moves school, the safeguarding file will be transferred to the new setting securely and separately from the main school file. Once received by the new school, this school will not retain the information.

6.6 The school will seek at least two emergency contacts for every child.

6.7 All data processed by Stoke Primary School is done so in line with the General Data Protection Guidelines and the Data Protection Act (2018). Please see the following policies for additional information.  All policies are held on the school website https://www.stoke.coventry.sch.uk/policies/

 6.8 Further information regarding information sharing and data processing in relation to safeguarding can be found in Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

 

7 Photography and Images

7.1 Consent from parents to photograph children at school events for promotional reasons will be sought when the child joins Stoke Primary School.

7.2 Parents can withdraw consent at any time and must notify Stoke Primary School if they do not wish their child’s photographs to be used.

7.3 Photographs of children used publicly will not be displayed with their name or other personal information.

7.4 Photographs of children will be processed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation.

 

8 Early Help

8.1 Stoke Primary School is committed to supporting families as soon as a possible problem arises. It is more effective to support a family through early help than reacting to a problem later. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers have a role to play in safeguarding children. Stoke Primary School works closely with its neighbouring family hub to work with families in the community to improve outcomes for children.

Stoke Primary works closely with The Harmony Hub, Hill Fields.

8.2 Stoke Primary School works within the Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership’s ‘Right Help, Right Time’ framework, available on the CSCP website.

 

9 Staff training

9.1 In order for staff to be able to understand and discharge their safeguarding and child protection duties, Stoke Primary School has committed to training staff throughout the academic year. All staff members will be made aware of the school’s safeguarding processes and structures and will receive training on these as part of their induction. As part of this training and their annual refresher, they will also receive;

  • This ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’;
  • The staff Code of Conduct
  • Copies of Part 1 and/or Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021)
  • School procedures for Children Missing Education
  • The school Behaviour Policy

9.2 Staff at Stoke Primary School will;

  • The Governing Body will
    • Coventry City Council Governor Updates
  • The Family / Safeguarding Team will
    • Coventry City Council Safeguarding Briefings
    • Further CPD based on analysis of gaps in skill set
  • The Staff Team will
    • Regular topic updates through staff meetings

All CPD is logged as part of the Safeguarding Strategy for Stoke Primary School.

9.3 Stoke Primary School recognise that children may engage in risky behaviours that may put them at additional risk of danger. These can include drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and the sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude images or videos5. Staff will be training in these areas in order to be able to further recognise if a child is at risk of harm.

 

 

10 Safer Recruitment

10.1 Stoke Primary School is committed to providing children with a safe environment, in which they can learn. We take safer recruitment seriously and all staff are subject to the following checks;

  • Identity check;
  • DBS clearance;
  • Prohibition from teaching checks (where required);
  • Barred List check;
  • Section 128 checks (as required - leadership and management);
  • Reference check (two references required);
  • Professional qualifications check ;
  • Right to work in the UK check;
  • Further checks for those who have lived outside the UK;
  • Disqualification Under the Childcare Act 2006 checks (as required).
  • Verification on the candidate’s mental and physical fitness may also be checked.

10.2 A record of all checks on members of staff will be held on the Single Central Record.

10.3 All new members of staff will be required to obtain DBS clearance. Stoke Primary School reserves the right to re-check DBS clearance for any member of staff where information is received that indicates that they may pose a risk to children and may ask candidates to be registered on the DBS update service.

10.4 At least one member of every interview panel will have undergone Safer Recruitment training which will be refreshed every 2 years.

10.5 We take proportionate decisions on whether to check individuals beyond what is required.

10.6 Any visitor to the school who has not been subject to the necessary checks will be supervised at all times and risk assessed.

 

All safer recruitment practices at Stoke Primary School comply with Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021). See Part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) for further information.  See Safer Recruitment policy for further details.

 

11 Allegations of abuse against staff

11.1 Stoke Primary School takes all safeguarding concerns and/or allegations against staff seriously and will manage them in line with this policy, Part Four of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) and the CSCP Guidance, ‘Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers’. LINK UPDATED

11.2 Allegations or concerns may include

  • Staff having behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Staff possibly committing a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Staff behaving towards a child or children in a way that indicates that he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
  • Staff behaving or possibly behaving in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children (including behaviour outside of work). This is known as ‘Transferable risk’.

11.3 If a concern or allegation of abuse arises against the Headteacher, it must be reported to the Chair of Governors (or equivalent) without delay.

removed if they had not have resigned.

11.11 Supply Teachers and all contracted staff

11.11.1 Although the school does not directly employ supply teachers and contractors, the school will ensure that any concerns or allegations are handled properly.

11.11.2 The school will never cease to use a supply teacher for safeguarding reasons without liaising with the Local Authority Designated Officer and reaching a suitable outcome.

11.11.3 Governing bodies/proprietors will liaise with the supply agency to determine whether to suspend or redeploy the supply teacher whilst they carry out their investigation.

11.11.4 The school will inform supply agencies of its process for managing allegations, including inviting the agency’s human resource manager (or equivalent) to meetings and regularly updating agencies on relevant school policies. The school will usually take the lead because agencies do not have direct contact with children or staff, so will not be able to collect facts.

 

11.12 Governors

11.12.1 If an allegation or concern is about a Governor,  Stoke Primary School will follow local procedures.

 

11.13 Volunteers

11.13.1 Risk assessments and a DBS check will be requested for all volunteers. Under no circumstances will a volunteer whereby no checks have been carried out will be alone with children or allowed to work in regulated activity.

 

11.14 Whistleblowing

11.14.1 Stoke Primary School operates a culture of safeguarding and all staff should report any concerns about poor or unsafe practice, or the school’s safeguarding processes to the senior leadership team.

11.14.2 The senior leadership team will take all concerns seriously.

11.14.3 In the event that a member of staff is unable to raise an issue with senior leadership in school, they should refer to Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education for additional guidance on whistleblowing procedures.

12 Promoting safeguarding and welfare in the curriculum

12.1 Stoke Primary School recognises the importance of teaching children how to stay safe and look after their mental health and are committed to equipping children with the skills and knowledge to have successful and happy lives.

12.2 The school will teach children about safeguarding, including online safety. As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, the school will cover relevant issues in line with government guidance on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.  The Stoke Primary School RSE Policy is available on thew school website.

12.3 Children at Stoke Primary School will receive the following as part of our promotion of safeguarding across the curriculum:

  • Protective Behaviours in all age groups
  • RSE lessons in line with school policy
  • A broad curriculum to support context

12.4 Education at home and remote learning

Stoke Primary School continually responds to guidance regarding the safe opening of schools.  In the vent of closure and home learning an Addendum Policy is used.

 

13 Children Looked After

13.1 The most common reason for children to be looked-after is because they have experienced abuse and/or neglect.  Stoke Primary School recognises that children looked after may have additional vulnerabilities. The Designated Lead for Looked-After and Previously Looked-After Children is Victoria Noone

13.2 Staff will receive training on how to best safeguard children who are Looked-After and Previously Looked-After.

13.3 The school will work with Personal Advisors when children leave care (where applicable).

13.4 Stoke Primary School is committed to working with other agencies to ensure the best outcomes for Looked-After and Previously Looked-After children.

 

14 Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or physical health needs

14.1 As outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021), Stoke Primary School is aware that children with additional needs or disabilities may be more vulnerable to abuse and additional barriers may exist when recognising abuse and neglect. This could be because;

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • being more prone to peer group isolation or bullying than other children;
  • the potential for children with SEN and disabilities or certain medical conditions being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.6

14.2 Staff will be trained in recognising signs of abuse in children with SEN and disabilities or certain medical conditions.

14.3 Staff will take into account the needs of a child when responding to concerns of abuse or when taking a disclosure. We recognise that some children require specialist intervention to communicate and advice from the SENCO will be sought in these circumstances.

14.4 Safeguarding learning opportunities within the curriculum will be appropriately differentiated to ensure all children can access it.

 

15 Use of reasonable force

15.1 There may be occasions when staff are required to use reasonable force to safeguard children. We will not use any more force than is necessary.

Stoke Primary School uses Team Teach strategies and systems where physical interaction is needed.  Team Teach is used to develop strong de-escalation systems prior to any physical intervention.  Any application of Team Teach is recorded in a line with Team Teach Policy and Procedures.

 

16 Summary

16.1 The school is committed to safeguarding children and will always make safeguarding decisions that are in the best interests of each child. For further information or if you have any queries about this policy, please contact the school.

 

 

Appendix A

The school’s safeguarding policy is intended to be used in conjunction with the following policies;

The school adheres to Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership Policies, which can be found here:

 

  • Allegations Against Staff or Volunteers (CSCP) LINK UPDATED
  • Allegations Against Members of Staff
  • Anti – Bullying Policy
  • Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy
  • Attendance Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Children/Young people with Medical Needs
  • Children Missing in Education Procedures
  • Complaints Policy
  • Critical Incident Plan
  • Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notice
  • Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Equalities Policy
  • Managing Professional Disagreements (CSCP) LINK UPDATED
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • HR & Governance Policy
  • Online Safety Policy
  • Intimate Care Policy
  • IT Policy
  • Medicine & First Aid Policy
  • PSHE Policy
  • SRE Policy
  • Safer Recruitment Policy
  • Site Security Policy
  • SEND Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Trips and Visits Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy

 

Appendix B – Further Safeguarding Information

 

Types of Abuse

As outlined in paragraph 4.4, the school will take action if we believe a child is at risk of or is suffering from abuse. Abuse is not limited to physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. For further information on the definitions of the types of abuse below, please refer to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021), Annex A.

See below for policy information relating to other key safeguarding issues. All decisions taken in responding to concerns of abuse will be taken in the best interests of the child.

 

Bullying, including cyber- or online-bullying

The school takes all forms of bullying seriously and will respond sensitively and quickly to any reported bullying. Children should report any bullying to their form tutor, to the DSL or to any trusted member of staff and we will work to resolve it.

We also teach children about the dangers of bullying through our curriculum. See link to curriculum here:

Bullying can take many forms and we have several policies that cover different aspects of bullying. Please see the Anti-Bullying Policy, the Behaviour Policy and paragraph 5.8 of this policy for further information.

Child criminal exploitation (including involvement in county lines)

Domestic abuse

Fabricated or induced illness

Faith-based abuse

Female genital mutilation (A form of so-called ‘honour-based’ abuse)

Forced marriage (A form of so-called ‘honour-based abuse)

Gangs or youth violence

Gender-based violence

Hate

Homelessness

(So-called) ‘Honour-based’ abuse (For FGM and Forced Marriage, types of so-called ‘honour-based’ abuse, see above)

Radicalisation and Extremism –

Relationship abuse

Serious Violence

Sexual violence or sexual harassment (including peer-on-peer abuse)

Sharing of consensual or non-consensual nude images and videos

Trafficking and modern slavery

 

Children missing from education, home or care

The school will also take action to protect;

  • Children missing education
  • Children missing from home or care

 

Children Missing Education

Stoke Attendance Policy can be found here https://www.stoke.coventry.sch.uk/policies/

 

Private Fostering

The school have a duty to refer any children who are living in a private fostering arrangement to the local authority.

We will do this through a MASH referral. It is important that parents/carers inform us if a child is going to be staying at an alternative address to that of their primary care-givers for more than.

 

Indicators of abuse

See below for possible indicators of abuse. (Taken from What to do if you are worried a child is being abused, 2015)

  • Children whose behaviour changes – they may become aggressive, challenging, disruptive, withdrawn or clingy, or they might have difficulty sleeping or start wetting the bed;
  • Children with clothes which are ill-fitting and/or dirty;
  • Children with consistently poor hygiene;
  • Children who make strong efforts to avoid specific family members or friends, without an obvious reason;
  • Children who don’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in
  • physical activities;
  • Children who are having problems at school, for example, a sudden lack of
  • concentration and learning or they appear to be tired and hungry;
  • Children who talk about being left home alone, with inappropriate carers or with strangers;
  • Children who reach developmental milestones, such as learning to speak or walk, late, with no medical reason;
  • Children who are regularly missing from school or education;
  • Children who are reluctant to go home after school;
  • Children with poor school attendance and punctuality, or who are consistently late being picked up;
  • Parents who are dismissive and non-responsive to practitioners’ concerns;
  • Parents who collect their children from school when drunk, or under the influence of drugs;
  • Children who drink alcohol regularly from an early age;
  • Children who are concerned for younger siblings without explaining why;
  • Children who talk about running away; and
  • Children who shy away from being touched or flinch at sudden movements.

The school recognises that the above list of indicators is not exhaustive and staff will receive training on indicators of abuse.


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