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Child Protection / Safeguarding through Covid-19 Policy

 

Stoke Primary School

Child Protection / Safeguarding through Covid-19 Outbreak

 

Head Teacher/Principal:

Matthew Ascroft – Head Teacher

Designated Safeguarding Lead:

Matthew Ascroft – Head Teacher
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead/s: Caroline Monkton-Bull – Family Support Worker
   

The Stoke Shutdown Provision has been linked with the Hub at Frederick Bird Primary School.  Core Safeguarding staff responsibility remain with Stoke Primary School staff.  The head teacher of Frederick Bird Primary is Mr Paul Tuffin

   

Named Governor for Safeguarding:

Mr S Hussain - Stoke Primary School

Chair of Governors:

Mr B Gallagher - Stoke Primary School

Vice Chair of Governors:

(Local Authority designated officer)

Mark Goddard

Telephone number: 02476 975 483

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

Mr Joe Jennings - Stoke Primary School

 

Head of the Virtual School:

Jim Horgan - Frederick Bird Primary School

Email address:

virtualschool@coventry.gov.uk
Policy Addendum reviewed remotely and agreed by governors on:

April 2020

 

 

Appendices

Appendix A Process for reporting safeguarding and child protection concerns
Appendix B Online Safety Resources
Appendix C Mental Health Support for Children and Families

 

1 Introduction

 

1.1. This policy is an addendum to the school’s main Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and is intended for use during the COVID-19 emergency period only.

 

1.2 We continue to recognise that safeguarding and child protection is an essential part of our duty of care to all students and that we have a responsibility to safeguard children, whether they are on-site or staying at home.  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 continue to promote a culture of vigilance, where staff and volunteers act immediately if they have safeguarding concerns about a child. 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.

 

1.3 Due to the nature of the emergency we are facing and the changing threat from COVID-19, this policy is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the school is compliant with;

 

  • All relevant legislation and statutory guidance;
  • government guidance relating to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • guidance from the Coventry Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (the Local Authority, the local clinical commissioning group and the chief office of police).

 

1.3 All staff will be made aware of this policy and updated regularly on further developments.

 

1.4 Further information about the government’s approach to COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

1.5 The purpose of this policy is to;

 

  • Promote safeguarding and child protection and demonstrate the school’s commitment to keeping children safe whilst operating under emergency measures related to COVID-19;
  • Provide all members of staff with the information required to meet their safeguarding duty and protect children from harm during this time;
  • Provide stakeholders with clear information relating to the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • Ensure that children are protected from maltreatment or harm.

 

Stoke Primary School  is committed to the following principles at all times;

 

  • All children have the right to be protected from harm;
  • The best interests of children will always continue to come first;
  • All staff are responsible for keeping children safe and have a responsibility to act if they think a child is at risk of harm;
  • If anyone in school has a safeguarding concern about any child they should continue to follow usual procedures and must act and act immediately;
  • A Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Safeguarding Lead should be available; and
  • Working with other agencies (such as Children’s Services and the Virtual School) is essential to promote safeguarding and protect children from harm.

 

1.6 We continue to be 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 and will refer to appropriate services if we are concerned a child is being radicalised.

 

1.7 We continue to fulfil our duties under Section 5B of the FGM Act 2003, as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

 

1.8 Scope

 

  • 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.
  • This policy applies to all staff, whether working on-site or at home.

 

2 Context

 

2.1 Following government guidance, the school has been closed to pupils from Monday 20th March 2020, with the exception of children deemed to be ‘vulnerable’, or those that with parent/s who are ‘key-workers’.

 

2.2 Stoke Primary School has temporarily closed and is usng a hub provision at Frederick Bird Primary School. 

 

2.3 The school adheres to government guidance on ‘key workers’. For further information relating to key workers, see guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

2.4 The school remains open through the utilisation of the Hub Provision, for children who are deemed to be vulnerable, as per government guidance. The school has given careful consideration to which children need to continue to attend school, in order to ensure children are safe and to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

 

2.5 Each child has been considered on a case-by-case basis and an assessment of risk has been made, with relevant external agencies, parents and the Local Authority, to decide if a child should be on site or not. The school considers children to be vulnerable and may need to attend if they are;

 

  • Children on Child Protection Plans; Children in Need; Looked-After or Previously Looked-After; and
  • Children with SEND (with or without an EHCP), who would be safer at school than at home.

 

2.6 Children other than those above may be considered vulnerable and some children will become vulnerable during the time that the school is closed. The school will continually review which children will attend school, in line with local and governmental guidance.

 

2.7 Additional support may be put in place to safeguard;

 

  • Children vulnerable to CE/Contextual safeguarding issues and those in receipt of early help; and
  • Children who are homeless/living in temporary accommodation, refugees and asylum seekers and young carers.

 

There is an expectation that children who have a social worker will continue to attend school, unless they have an underlying health condition that will put them at severe risk.

 

2.8 Where parents of the children referred to in paragraph 2.7 are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID-19, Stoke Primary School in partnership with the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.

 

2.9 The school will follow government guidance to support children who are usually in receipt of free school meals. Further information can be found on this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools

 

2.10 Some children will have existing vulnerabilities and will not attend school. In the case of these children, the school will maintain a contact programme for all children considered vulnerable managed by the Family Team.

 

2.11 All children (regardless of vulnerability) will be contacted by letter, email and through PurpleMash

 

3 Local Safeguarding Arrangements

 

3.1 The school will ensure that it is aware of any changes to local safeguarding arrangements through existing channels of communication with the Local Authority and the wider Coventry Safeguarding Children Partnership.

 

3.2 The school continues to operate under Coventry Safeguarding Partnership policies and continues to use the ‘Right Help Right Time’ guidance when considering if children require additional support or statutory intervention.

 

3.3 This policy will be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in local safeguarding arrangements.

 

4 Roles and Responsibilities

 

4.1 The Governing Body and/or Proprietors

 

4.1.1 The governing body continues to monitor the school during this period of emergency closure. Governors will continue to have oversight of leadership in the school. Governor meetings will be carried out via web based technology in line with the set meeting schedule.

 

4.2 The Role of the Headteacher

 

4.2.1 The headteacher will;

  • Ensure that this policy is regularly updated in line with evolving government and local guidance relating to COVID-19;
  • Ensure that this policy and associated procedures are adhered to by all staff;
  • Ensure that all adults coming into contact with children at school have been subject to the appropriate safer recruitment checks;
  • Respond to allegations of abuse against all other members of staff; and
  • Ensure that staff on-site and off-site have regularly updated training to ensure that they are aware of local safeguarding arrangements.

 

4.2.2 In the event that the headteacher is unavailable either on-site or remotely, the above responsibilities will be completed by Mr Joe Jennings – Deputy Head Teacher, Stoke Primary School.

 

4.3 The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

 

4.3.1 The role of the DSL is outlined in the main school Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).

 

4.3.2 In addition to their usual duties, the DSL will also have regard to the additional mental health issues that pupils on-site may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and provide/arrange support for pupils as necessary.

 

4.3.3 Wherever possible, a trained DSL (or deputy DSL) will be available on site. Where this is not possible due to staff self-isolation, a trained DSL (or deputy DSL) will be available to be contacted via phone or online video.

 

 4.3.4 In the event that the DSL and the DSL/s are unable to work remotely due to illness, an appropriate senior leader will take responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site. This could include, but is not limited to, updating and managing access to safeguarding and child protection files and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments. Information will be passed to the DSL as soon as practicably possible.

 

4.3.5 Arrangements for contacting the DSL/DDSLs will be shared with staff before 9am each day, as well as any relevant safeguarding and child protection updates and training.

 

4.3.6 The government has acknowledged that DSL refresher training is very unlikely to take place during this emergency. All DSLs and DDSLs that have previously been trained will continue to be classed as DSLs even if they miss their refresher training, in line with current government guidance. All DSLs and DDSLs will keep up to date with the latest safeguarding information and guidance through via e-bulletins, Local Authority e-bulletins and taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments.

 

4.4 The Role & Responsibilities of all Staff within School

 

4.4.1 All staff, whether on-site or working from home, will;

 

  • continue to operate under the principles of the main school Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, the staff Code of Conduct, all relevant legislation and statutory guidance and continue to have particular regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019);
  • will continue to promote a culture of vigilance and refer all safeguarding concerns to the appropriate person immediately;
  • adhere to all government, local and school advice relating to hygiene, response to COVID-19 symptoms and self-isolation;
  • 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).

 

5 Responding to signs of abuse

 

5.1 Information relating to types of abuse and signs and symptoms of abuse can be found in the school’s main safeguarding and child protection policy and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).

 

5.2 All staff and volunteers will continue to be alert to indicators of abuse and will report any concerns to the appropriate member of staff immediately.

 

5.3 If a member of staff, parent/carer or member of the public is concerned about a child’s welfare (whether they are attending school or not), they should report it to the designated safeguarding lead as soon as possible. If 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 Social Care, where possible there should be a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead via telephone or online video call, if they are working from home. If there is no DSL available, concerns should be reported to Mr Joe Jennings

 

5.4 Most children are not currently attending school. The school recognise that children who are not attending school may need to make a disclosure or want to seek help from a trusted member of staff.  The school will uses Purple Mash as a system in which children are able to contact their class teacher.

 

5.5 If anyone other than the Designated Safeguarding Lead makes a referral to children’s social care or to the police, they should inform the DSL as soon as possible.

 

5.6 If the school is concerned that a child is at risk of significant harm, we will seek advice from Coventry’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and make a referral to this service if necessary. Coventry’s MASH continues to be fully functional in terms of its safeguarding responsibilities.  

 

5.7 Referrals to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub can and should still be made for children at risk of harm using the online Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF).

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

 

5.8 The school will continue to receive Operation Encompass reports as long as the police have capacity to offer this service. The school will risk assess each report on a case-by-case basis and continue to operate as usual in response to reports, unless instructed otherwise by the police or Local Authority. This information will be recorded on the child’s safeguarding and child protection record as usual. If a child is attending a partner school or hub, this information will be passed to the DSL at the host school. This is constantly under review and the school is being regularly updated on any changes by the local Operation Encompass Co-ordinator.   

 

5.9 All services are under increased pressure during this period of emergency. However, the school recognises that safeguarding continues to be of paramount importance and will work with other agencies in order to ensure children are safe. 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 Escalation and Resolution of Professional Disagreements policy to ensure that our concerns have been addressed and that the situation improves for the child.

 

6 Peer on Peer Abuse

 

6.1 Stoke Primary School understands that both adults and other children can perpetrate abuse, and peer on peer abuse is taken very seriously. Peer on peer abuse can include bullying, cyber-bullying, physical abuse, sexting, sexual violence and/or harassment, upskirting, and initiation/hazing ceremonies. The school recognise that safeguarding issues can manifest as peer on peer abuse.

 

6.2 During this time, staff will continue to be vigilant in reporting any concerns relating to peer on peer abuse to the DSL.

 

6.3 The school’s revised approach to peer on peer abuse is informed by the principles set out in Part 5 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).  

 

7 Online Safety

 

7.1 The school recognises that children both on-site and off-site are vulnerable to abuse and radicalisation online. Children who are at home may be spending more time online and this increases their vulnerability.

 

7.2 The school recognises that additional safeguarding arrangements are required to ensure that children are safe online at this time.

 

7.3 Governors will review arrangements to ensure that they continue to be appropriate.

 

7.4 Online activity in school will continued to be monitored through our usual IT monitoring systems. If a child accesses something inappropriate/concerning this will be raised through Impero and will be circulated in line with policy.

 

7.5 Children who are not attending school have received core teaching in relation to online safety.  There is further information available on the school website.

 

7.7 We have reviewed the staff Code of Conduct and information sharing policy to reflect the current change in circumstances and increased use of technology.

 

7.8 Staff have received guidance on the new and updated Code of Conduct, remotely.

 

7.9 A list of useful sources of information relating to online safety is including in Appendix B of this policy.

 

8 Record-keeping

 

8.1 A written record of all safeguarding and/or child protection concerns, discussions and decisions made will continue to 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.

 

8.2 The school keeps all safeguarding files electronically, using a system called CPOMs. This is accessed by all staff for raising concerns.

 

8.3 Where children attend the hub, information is stored on a separate registration page.  This is transferred to the Hub provision.

 

9 Attendance

 

9.1 The school adheres to government guidance, which states that parents should keep their children at home, wherever possible, and that schools, colleges and early years settings should remain open only for children of critical workers and those deemed to be vulnerable, as outlined in Section 2 of this policy. 

 

9.2 As such, the school will not be following our usual attendance procedures and non-attendance will not be managed in the way that it normally would and children should not attend unless there is an agreement with the school.

 

9.3 The school will work with families and social workers to agree whether children should attend school or not. If it is agreed that a child should attend and they do not, the school will follow this up with parents/carers. 

 

9.4 The school will follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their children and the children subsequently do not attend.

 

9.5 If children who should be attending school develop symptoms, they will be asked to remain at home. In the event that this happens, we will contact the family through the vulnerable support system.

 

9.6 The school will take the opportunity when communicating with parents and carers to confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

 

9.7 In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at the school, or discontinues, we will notify their social worker.

 

9.8 Some children may have existing vulnerabilities but will not attend school (those with underlying health conditions, for example). In this case, the school will make regular contact through the vulnerable support system.

 

9.9 The school will record pupil daily attendance using the attendance tracker provided by the government, rather than our usual attendance tracking systems.

 

10 Children attending Alternative Provision

 

10.1 Where Hub provision is used a staff member will be in attendance and will review the provision and its safety.

 

11 Children from other schools

 

11.1 If children move to the school from another setting, we will request SEND and safeguarding and child protection information for that child, the risk assessment determining if the child should be in attendance or not and details of support in place. This includes, but is not limited to, Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs), Child in Need plans, Child Protection plans, Personal Education Plans and details of professionals involved with the child.

 

11.2 For looked-after children, the change in school will be led and managed by the Virtual School Head with responsibility for the child (see front of policy for details).

 

11.3 This information will be requested and should be sent to the school prior to the child’s arrival by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, the SENCO or an appropriate senior manager in their absence. 

 

11.4 We will liaise closely with the Local Authority, the Virtual School and social workers in the event that a child moving to the school has either an Education Health Care Plan and/or is a Looked After Child.

 

11.5 Where concerns are raised of a safeguarding nature by another school they will be recorded on CPOMS

 

11.6 We continue to operate under the Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, this is not be a barrier to sharing information for the purposes of keeping children safe. 

 

12 Safer Recruitment

 

12.1 The school is committed to providing children with a safe environment. We take safer recruitment very seriously and all staff and volunteers are subject to the necessary checks.

 

12.2 There are no circumstances in which a child or children will be unsupervised with an adult who has not been subject to all necessary safer recruitment checks. Any new members of staff, new volunteers or existing volunteers taking on new roles will be subject to all necessary safer recruitment check and this will be recorded on the Single Central Record.

 

12.3 Our safer recruitment practices strictly adhere to Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).

 

12.4 If a member of staff or volunteer with a DBS check from a childcare setting, another school or another college temporarily moves to the school, a risk assessment will be completed to ascertain if a new DBS check is required before they work in regulated activity. The school will follow guidance set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers (27th March 2020).

 

12.5 Any members of staff or volunteers transferring from another childcare or education setting will undergo induction training and we will seek evidence from their main setting that the member of staff has completed relevant safeguarding training in line with other similar staff or volunteers and they have read Part I and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

 

13 Allegations of abuse against staff

 

13.1 The school takes all allegations against staff seriously and will manage them in line with this policy, Part Four of Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2019) and the CSCP Guidance, ‘Allegations against Staff and Persons in a Position of Trust’.

 

13.2 If a concern or allegation of abuse arises against the Headteacher, it must be reported to the Chair of Governors (or equivalent) without delay. In the event that the Chair of Governors is unavailable due to illness or other circumstance, concern must be reported to Pamela Timms, Governing body at Stoke Primary School.

 

13.3 If a concern or allegation of abuse arises against any member of staff other that the Headteacher, it must be reported to the Headteacher without delay. In the event that the headteacher is unavailable due to illness or other circumstance, concern must be reported to Mr Joe Jennings, Deputy Head Teacher.

 

13.4 Allegations of abuse against staff should be not discussed directly with the person involved.

 

13.5 The Headteacher or Chair of Governors should consider if the allegation meets the threshold for Local Designated Officer (LADO) intervention. The LADO is operating as usual and referrals must be made through the online referral form here: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/206/coventry_safeguarding_children_partnership/2628/local_authority_designated_officer_lado

 

13.6 Concerns relating to a position of trust issue will be referred to the Local Authority designated officer within 24 hours.

 

13.7 If a child has suffered, or it is suspected that they have suffered, abuse or harm, a MASH referral will also be made.

 

13.8 In the instances where an allegation is dealt with internally, the Local Authority designated officer will provide information and support to the school in managing the allegation. This service is will still be provided throughout this period of emergency.

 

13.9 The procedure for whistleblowing is outlined in the school’s main Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Whistle Blowing policy.

 

14 Policy Review

 

14.1 This policy is a dynamic document and will be updated regularly as further government and local guidance is published.

 

Appendix A – Process for reporting safeguarding and child protection concerns

 

Key Contact Information

Matthew Ascroft Head Teacher – head@stoke.coventry.sch.uk

Mr Joe Jennings – Deputy Head Teacher – j.jennngs@stoke.coventry.sch.uk

Mrs Caroline Monkton-Bull – Family Support Worker – fsw@stoke.covenmtry.sch.uk

 

If you have a concern about a young person who is not attending school please contact through the emails above.

 

 

Appendix B – Online Safety Resources

 

Support for schools implementing remote learning

 

Support for professionals when using videos and/or live streaming

 

Support for children and parents

 

 

Appendix C – Mental Health Support for Children and Families

 

The Government has produced a guidance document with suggestions for managing mental health and wellbeing during this time. Information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#where-to-get-further-support


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