Safeguarding Policy

Introduction

The governors and staff at Golborne and Maxilla Children’s Centre fully recognise their responsibility for safeguarding children. We recognise that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting children from harm.

The health, safety and well-being of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in the Centre. Our children have the right to be safe, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability.

The governors and staff believe that our Centre should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child.

 

The atmosphere within the Centre encourages all children to make decisions for themselves. Our teaching of personal, social and emotional development helps to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others. We also teach them how to recognise different risks in different situations, and how to behave in response to them.

 

We understand ‘Safeguarding’ to mean that we will take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to children’s welfare is minimised. We also understand that where we have any concerns about a child’s welfare we should take all appropriate action to address those concerns by working in full partnership with other agencies. We have drawn on the experience and expertise of the Centre’s staff in shaping our safeguarding policy and will continue to provide opportunities for staff to contribute to the development of the policy.

 

All staff at our centre believe that a range of other school policies are central to many aspects of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, and this document should therefore be read in conjunction with our policies for:

 

  • Attendance
  • Behaviour management
  • Health & safety
  • Complaints policy and procedures
  • Guiding Principles and Equalities Policy Golborne and Maxilla Children’s Centre understands that its work in safeguarding and protecting children must have regard for the national guidance issued by the Secretary of State and should be in line with local guidance and procedures. Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy has due regard to relevant legislation and the national DFE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, as updated in September 2016. It will be reviewed when subsequent guidance is issued by the Secretary of State. We ensure that all staff has read Part 1 of the guidance and that they understand that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is the responsibility of all staff at the Centre. We ensure that staff who have direct contact with children have also read Appendix A of the guidance.We will ensure that our procedures for safeguarding children are compliant with the London Child Protection Procedures produced by the London Safeguarding Children Board. Those procedures have been adopted by the Tri-Borough Local Safeguarding Children Board and are available at http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/procedures/

Aims and objectives of the Policy

  •  To protect children from harm and prevent the impairment of children’s health or development
  • To support children’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence
  • To ensure that there is a structured procedure within the Centre for dealing with cases of suspected abuse and that all staff are fully conversant with this procedure
  • To ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibility to report possible cases of abuse, including inappropriate behaviour by other staff members or any other person working with the children
  • To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm
  • To develop and promote effective relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Social Services.
  • To ensure that all adults within the Centre who have access to children have current up-to-date enhanced DBS checks.

 

Procedures

The head teacher, Veronica Hilliard, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) responsible for child protection and safeguarding. This role is specified in her job description. She liaises with the Local Authority Child Protection Team and other relevant agencies as necessary. She has received appropriate training and support in the role from RBKC and this training is updated annually. All members of staff understand her role and it is understood that it cannot be delegated. In the absence of the head teacher, staff know that they should report any concerns to the senior teacher, Melanie Coles. The Centre also has a nominated link governor for safeguarding, currently Christabel Gurney

The link governor is responsible for overseeing safeguarding matters and reports to the full governing body as required. In the absence of the named governor, the Chair of Governors takes responsibility.

The designated person reports to the named governor on a termly basis, preserving confidentiality but keeping governors informed of matters relating to safeguarding such as:

  • The number of children in the school who are the subject of a child protection or child in need plan as well as any looked after children who are pupils at the school
  • Monitoring attendance
  • Policies, procedures and staff training in relation to safeguarding and child protection
  • The Single Central Record (SCR) of recruitment and vetting checks. The named governor or Chair of Governors will also make spot checks of the SCR and check the understanding of staff regarding child protection policies and procedures. The designated person works closely with external agencies when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner; the interest of the child is of paramount importance. We ensure that:
  • All members of staff understand their own role and that of others in providing a caring and safe environment and how they should respond to any concerns about an individual child
  • All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to safeguarding and child protection procedures
  • The designated person has received training in safeguarding and undergoes annual refresher training
  • All staff receive annual training from Hilary Shaw, the RBKC Education Welfare Officer for child protection and safeguarding, with updates as necessary
  • All school governors have an Enhanced DBS check
  • Our procedures are regularly reviewed and updated
  • Matters relating to safeguarding and child protection are kept confidential and are only shared on a need to know basis.

 

Forms of Abuse

  • Physical abuse involves hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, suffocating or any other physical harm. Deliberately causing a child’s ill health also constitutes physical abuse.
  • All staff should be aware of, and vigilant concerning evidence of, different forms of child abuse.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse. FGM is a collective term for a range of procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is sometimes referred to as female circumcision, or female genital cutting. The practice is medically unnecessary, is extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out, and in later life. There are four major types: clitoridectomy; excision; infibulation; and all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. All these may be covered by the FGM Act 2003.

‘Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. Showing children pornographic materials, sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways also constitutes sexual abuse’.

Emotional abuse involves persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or torture likely to cause severe adverse effects on the emotional stability of a child. Such behaviour may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate, or making them feel frightened or vulnerable.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical, emotional or psychological needs, and is likely to have a severe impact on their health, development or emotional stability. Neglect may involve failing to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter, or failing to adequately protect them from physical harm or ill health. Neglect can also be failure to meet the basic emotional needs of a child.

 

Staff understand that it is of paramount importance to have an ‘aware culture’ and one of approachability and listening to children. Staff are also aware that additional barriers can exist in identifying neglect and harm to some groups of children, for example those who have special educational needs.

 

There are three main thresholds:

 

  1. Children in need (section 17 of 1989 Children’s Act). This is a high threshold.

 

  1. Children at risk of significant harm. The local authority has a duty to make enquiries to decide whether action needs to be taken to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare, e.g. by providing additional services.

 

  1. Children showing some signs of unmet need. At Golborne and Maxilla Children’s Centre, staff are vigilant concerning emerging areas of vulnerability, for example poor nutrition (over- or underweight) or a child witnessing domestic violence. Concerns may be raised over what parents/carers fail to do, as well as what they actually do. Vulnerability will be assessed using a CAF (Common Assessment Framework).

Safer Recruitment

The head teacher and at least one member of the governing body will be trained in safer recruitment procedures and will oversee all staff appointments, ensuring that the following safeguards are applied:

 

  • All recruitment advertising will state the commitment of the Centre to safeguarding and the need for DBS disclosures as a condition of appointment. This will also be reflected in all job descriptions and person specifications.
  • Comprehensive information will be sought on application forms, and this will be checked and verified.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a self-disclosure form about any criminal convictions and bring evidence of their identity, qualifications and right to work to the interview. References will be obtained before interview wherever possible.
  • All candidates will have a face-to-face interview with at least two members of staff, one of which has attended Safer Recruitment Training In most cases, a member of the governing body will also sit on the selection panel. All interviews will include questions and role plays/observations that probe motives, attitudes and behaviours, as well as skills and experience.
  • Any offer of employment will be subject to the receipt of satisfactory references and a satisfactory DBS disclosure. No offer of employment will be confirmed until these have been received.
  • In cases where an individual has a current (i.e. less than 3-year old) DBS disclosure and will be working in a role that does not involve unsupervised contact with children, they may be permitted to start work prior to receipt of a new DBS check. Any such decision must be agreed by the Finance & Staffing Committee of the governing body, which will take into account the references received for the individual as well as the nature of the role. As an additional safeguard a List 99 check will also be carried out. All staff will be alerted to the fact that any such individual must not have unsupervised contact with children and should report to the head teacher immediately if any attempt to gain such contact is made.
  • Where an applicant has a criminal record for offences that do not automatically ban him or her from working with children, the Finance & Staffing Committee will carefully consider the nature, seriousness and relevance of the offence, taking advice from the borough’s personnel and safeguarding teams as necessary and considering other evidence such as references and any self-disclosure made by the individual before deciding whether an appointment can be made.

 

The head teacher, staff and governors seek to maintain an ongoing culture of vigilance within the Centre to deter and prevent abuse. This includes avoiding over-reliance on the receipt of satisfactory vetting checks. Staff are aware that parents/carers, service users and regular visitors to the Centre are likely to be regarded as trustworthy by both children and adults, and that safeguarding awareness should therefore extend to all adults on the premises.

Where agency staff are used, the employment agency is required to send written confirmation that it has carried out all the appropriate checks and that these are satisfactory. The same applies to contractors’ staff (e.g. catering staff) who work regularly at the Centre when children are present. The Admin Officer will check that the person who presents themselves is the same as the person checked by the agency. Contractors or service personnel who carry out tasks at the Centre on an occasional basis when children are present are required to wear a visitor’s badge at all times and are either accompanied through any area where children are accommodated or work within a pre-arranged, cordoned-off area to which children do not have access.

Individuals and staff who are contracted to deliver services or activities at the Centre, either by the Centre or by the borough’s Early Years’ Service, are similarly required to be appropriately vetted.

Volunteers who help out on one-off occasions such as school trips, special events or open days, or in an occasional capacity where children are not present or are accompanied by their parents/carers are not required to be security vetted. However, volunteers or students who work regularly on the premises when children are present are subject to similar safeguards as would be used to recruit a paid member of staff. Volunteers and students are always supervised when working with children and do not have unsupervised contact with them

Other adults who may be in the Centre on an occasional basis, particularly those whose principal area of work does not involve contact with children or vulnerable adults – for example Job Centre advisers, occasional tutors/trainers, colleagues attending meetings or professionals/community members contributing to special events or activities – are not required to produce evidence of DBS clearance. Staff are aware of this and ensure that adults who have not been vetted do not have any unsupervised access to children. Parents attending activities are also reminded that they remain responsible for any children in their care unless they are placed in the crèche.

 

Disqualification by Association

We will ensure that the Department of Education guidance dated 28 February 2015 on the implementation of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 relating to disqualification by association is followed. The Regulations state that those living or employed in the same household as another person who is disqualified from childcare are also disqualified. We will ensure that staff are aware of the legislation and gather information about whether any member of staff employed in a role that is covered by it is disqualified by association. We will gather information in a way that minimises intrusion into the private lives of centre staff and take care not to breach the Data Protection Act 1998, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

 

We will record the date on which disqualification checks were completed and keep this information as part of the Single Central Record.

 

If a member of staff is discovered to be disqualified from working with children because they are living in a household which includes a disqualified person or because they meet one of the other criteria listed in the 2009 Regulations, we will tell them they can apply to OFSTED for a waiver of disqualification. In deciding how to proceed the Centre will consult the Tri-Borough Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

 

Staff Support and Training

The Centre is committed to ensuring that it meets its responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and child protection by giving its staff training and support.

 

We recognise that staff working within the Centre who are involved with a child who has suffered harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting. We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the head teacher or other appropriate person, and to seek further support as needed.

 

Safe Caring

The Centre will observe the following procedures:

 

  • The amount of time a member of staff is left alone with a child will be kept to a minimum. The door of the room should be kept open and another member of staff should be informed of the situation. This includes staff providing intimate personal care to the youngest children (eg: changing nappies). Any necessary oversight of the provision of intimate care is provided in a way that is sensitive and supportive of a child’s emotional needs.

 

  • Staff teach and encourage children to be independent in their self care so that the necessity of providing intimate care for them is minimised.

 

  • Parents are asked to not accompany their child into the toilets in the Purple room as the view of staff members in the room is obscured. In the Green room and Pink room, parents are permitted to accompany their children providing there are no other children in the toilet, as the windows ensure that staff members can see other adults in the bathroom.

 

  • If a child makes inappropriate physical contact with a member of staff, student or volunteer this must be recorded on an incident form.

 

  • Staff must be aware of how and where they touch children. Unnecessary or inappropriate contact will be avoided at all times.

 

  • Any allegations or concerns raised by a member of staff will be recorded, including any actions taken, in the confidential child protection file; the member of staff should sign to confirm this.

 

 

Safe use of ICT (e-safety)

 

  • Staff are not permitted to use their mobile phones or personal cameras whilst working with children. Staff mobile phones and other electronic devices should be stored in staff lockers during their contact time with the children, and may only be used in the staff room during breaks or non-contact time. During educational visits, staff mobile phones may be used for specific duties and emergencies during the time of the visit.
  • Parents are also asked not to use mobile phones or cameras in the classroom, the parents’ room or during any activities or events when other people’s children are present. Staff should seek the assistance of the head teacher or a senior member of staff if parents are reluctant to comply with this request.
  • Staff may only use school cameras to take photographs of children, to record children’s progress and achievements, celebrations and events, to be used for observations in children’s profiles, on displays, and with permission in the school newsletter or on the website. Photographs must be stored appropriately, in the shared Multimedia drive.
  • We follow advice and guidance from the Local Authority with regards to ensuring that computers with internet access in the classroom, which children may access, have suitable filtering to ensure children are not exposed to inappropriate content. Further advice and guidance is available at http://os.lgfl.net/ (the online safety portal for London Grid for Learning)
  • Staff must be alert and aware that whichever search engine is used, the risk of inappropriate search results cannot be completely eliminated. If planning to use particular websites, for example “youtube” to show music videos or stories, staff should check content before displaying to the children.
  • Children’s usage of smart-boards and PCs that have internet access should be closely supervised and monitored by staff, to ensure that children do not unwittingly access inappropriate content
  • During sessions using ICT such as smart-boards, staff should teach children that they need an adult present when accessing the internet, for example explaining that children may see something on the internet that scares them.

 

Restraining and Intervention

There may be very rare occasions when adults in the Centre use physical intervention to restrain a child. The adult involved in any such incident must report this to the head teacher immediately, and record it on an incident form. The governing body will be informed of any such incidents.

 

If a child needs to be restrained the following guidelines must be followed:

 

  • If at all possible a child should only be restrained by a member of staff in the presence of other adults. Staff should call for help immediately if they find themselves in this situation.

 

  • If possible, others should be moved away and the area made safe so that the child can come to terms with their feelings within a calm space.

 

  • The restraining should be used for the minimum amount of time and staff should be aware that physical intervention is used to avoid them harming themselves or others.

 

  • When the child has regained their self-control, it is important that the staff member explains to the child the reasons why they were restrained.

 

  • The restraint of a child must always be recorded on an incident form and shown to the parent/carer when they collect their child. The parent must sign to say that they have read the incident form.

 

  • Restraint must never be used as a form of punishment.

 

  • Staff must be clear what is acceptable when a child has to be restrained and how to keep them safe. If it is necessary to lower the child to the floor, the child should never be placed so they are lying face down.

 

  • Physical restraint may only be used as a last resort and must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.

 

  • Where a child is known to need occasional restraint a consistent handling programme will be discussed with their parents/carers and relevant professionals and incorporated into their Individual Education Plan (IEP)

 

  • Physical intervention of a nature that causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under safeguarding or disciplinary procedures.

 

Dealing with Cases of Suspected Abuse

 

  • Where actual or suspected abuse or an incident of concern is brought to the attention of the staff they must immediately report it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

 

  • Staff are supported and encouraged to trust their professional instincts; if they suspect that there is cause for concern they should report it.

 

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will discuss and review the information received, seeking advice from the Local Authority Child Protection Team as necessary. If appropriate, further information or explanation will be sought from the child’s parents/carers, with careful consideration being given to how this approach will be made. Staff must maintain a neutral, non-confrontational approach during any discussion with parents and call on a senior member of staff for support if necessary.

 

  • Full written records of all reported incidents will be maintained. Information recorded will include full details of any alleged incident; details of all the parties involved; relevant dates; times and locations and supporting information or evidence from members of staff. Records will be signed. The staff will take great care to distinguish between fact and opinion when recording suspected incidents.

 

  • Staff will ensure that any allegations are dealt with sensitively and confidentially. Information will be shared strictly on a need to know basis.

 

  • Any children involved in the alleged abuse will be comforted and reassured.

 

In circumstances where a child discloses abuse or describes a situation giving rise to concern, the member of staff should:

 

  • Listen carefully to what the child has to say (even if the adult suspects the child’s disclosure is implausible, fanciful or malicious)

 

  • Refrain from asking any leading questions or making judgemental comments

 

  • Make no promises that cannot be kept, e.g. promising not to tell anybody what they are being told

 

  • Ensure the child is safe, comfortable and not left alone. Reassure them that they are right to tell

 

  • Write down what was said as accurately as possible and report it immediately.

 

In circumstances where a parent or carer confides in a member of staff that their own feelings or domestic situation may have, or has, given rise to a child suffering abuse or neglect, the member of staff will:

 

  • Listen carefully to what the parent has to say

 

  • Refrain from asking leading questions or making judgemental comments

 

  • Make no promises that cannot be kept, e.g. promising not to tell anybody what they are being told

 

  • Offer support to the parent, reassure them that they are right to tell

 

  • Write down what was said as accurately as possible and report it immediately.

Referring Cases of Suspected Abuse

If the Designated Safeguarding Lead has reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been abused or is in danger of suffering significant harm the following procedure will be activated:

 

  • The Local Authority Child Protection Team will be contacted for advice. A log of any phone calls made will be kept, including times and the name of the person spoken to.
  • Where concerns remain, a referral will be made and documented, with any supporting material attached.
  • The parent should be informed of the referral, but only if it is clear that this will not place the child in more harm. In the case of sexual abuse the parents must not be told under any circumstances.
  • Out of office hours, where a child is at immediate risk of harm, a referral can be made via the Emergency Duty Social Team on 020 7373 2227.
  • Following a referral, staff involved will attend and participate in case conferences and meetings as required.

Information Sharing with Other Agencies

All requests for information on matters relating to safeguarding must be passed to the designated person responsible for safeguarding, i.e. the head teacher or in her absence the senior teacher or senior nursery officer on duty.

 

If the caller is unknown to the Centre then their credentials will be checked.

 

The designated person will ascertain whether the enquiry is related to a safeguarding investigation under Section 47 of the Children Act. If not, the designated person will check whether the parents’ permission to share information has been obtained and will advise parents of any contact made.

 

Records of any child protection concerns will be kept confidential and stored in a locked filing cabinet. Electronic records are kept in a secure area which only designated staff have access to. Where information is exchanged electronically, this is only done through the secure local authority network. Parents must be made aware that records are kept and may view reports submitted or forwarded by the school, unless it is deemed that this could pose a risk of significant harm to a child.

 

When a child about whom there have been child protection concerns leaves the school, the designated person will contact the designated person for safeguarding at the receiving school regarding the transfer of information.

 

Working with parents and carers

 

The centre recognises the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers to ensure the welfare and safety of pupils. We therefore:

 

  • make parents aware of the centre’s statutory role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils, including the duty to refer pupils on where necessary, by making all centre policies readily available.

 

  • provide opportunities for parents and carers to discuss any problems with staff;

 

  • consult with and involve parents and carers in the development of centre policies to ensure their views are taken into account;

 

  • ensure a robust complaints system is in place to deal with issues raised by parents and carers;

 

  • provide advice and signpost parents and carers to other services and resources where pupils need extra support

  

Prevention of radicalisation

The centre’s safeguarding duty includes the duty to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs in order to counter extremist narratives. We aim to give our children a start in life which will ensure that as they grow up they will not be vulnerable to attempts to draw them into extremist ideologies. The fundamental British values are reflected in our Golden Rules for children, and supported by the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, through our focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (see Equalities Policy).

We recognise and act upon our duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, this is known as the Prevent Duty. Extremism is defined by the Government as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values”, including “calls for the death of members of our armed forces”. Current guidance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445977/3799_Revised_Prevent_Duty_Guidance__England_Wales_V2-Interactive.pdf

 

We fulfil our duty in five main ways: risk assessment; working in partnership, staff training, e-safety and education. We maintain our awareness of the potential risks associated with our local area, and we also assess the potential of individual children being at risk due to family members holding extremist views. We respond accordingly to these risks by ensuring that all staff have access to WRAP (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent) training so that they have an understanding of how and why people become radicalised, knowledge of how to identify children at risk and how to respond to such situations, and the confidence to challenge extremist ideas. We ensure that our children are safe from terrorist and extremist material by establishing appropriate levels of filtering on internet use within the school and classrooms, as advised by the Local Authority. We recognise that children attending the centre may be at risk of harm, or be identified as a child in need, where their parents or other family members hold extremist views. We aim to protect our children, reducing their vulnerability to radicalisation, by reinforcing the fundamental British values as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

Our key contact for any questions or concerns relating to radicalisation is Jake Butterworth (Prevent Education Officer), who can be reached at jake.butterworth@lbhf.gov.uk or on 0208 753 5843. Staff and Governors can also raise concerns about extremism by calling the DfE dedicated helpline on 0207 340 7264.

 

Although there is no single way to identify an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, as with other safeguarding risks, which could indicate they are in need of help or protection. Risk factors could include:

– Vulnerability (i.e. family tensions; sense of isolation; low self-esteem; disassociating from existing friendship group; migration; events affecting country or region of origin; family experience of imprisonment or involvement with criminal groups)

– Access to extremism / extremist influences (i.e. evidence of extremist ideological, political or religious influence from within or outside UK, possibly expressed through language or drawings reminiscent of terrorism or violent imagery; shift in behaviour or outward appearance that suggests a new influence; vocal support of terrorist attacks; has the child been a witness to a religious or racial hate crime?)

– Travel (i.e. a pattern of regular or extended travel with evidence to suggest this is related to extremist activity, either within UK or to international locations known to be associated with extremism)

– Social factors (i.e. experience of poverty, disadvantage or discrimination; social isolation; insecure, conflicted or absent family relationships; trauma experienced, particularly if associated with war or conflict; evidence that a significant adult in the child’s life has extremist views or sympathies)

 

If a child makes a disclosure that may indicate a risk of radicalisation, or any staff member has a concern related to the radicalisation of a child or family, the staff member must immediately report it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

The DSL will record the concern, following procedures as they would for any safeguarding concern, and will consult with a member of the Prevent Team, to determine whether a referral to the voluntary Channel Programme is appropriate. The key contacts in this instance are Jake Butterworth (details above) or Pinakin Patel, pinakin.patel@lbhf.gov.uk (0208 753 5727). Local police can also give access to support and advice.

If the Designated Safeguarding Lead has reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been abused or is in danger of suffering significant harm, including removal to conflict zones, the procedure for Referring Cases of Suspected Abuse will be followed, in addition to contacting the Prevent Team.

 

Working in partnership with other agencies, as appropriate, the focus of the centre will be to reduce the risk of radicalisation within our community by:

 

  • Supporting families in difficult circumstances who might be vulnerable to radicalisation
  • Promoting a sense of cohesion and belonging within the centre by welcoming all members of the community
  • Celebrating the cultural and religious diversity of our community and promoting understanding and respect for all its members.
  • Promoting the principles of fairness and justice for all
  • Giving children and families the confidence and opportunity to explore new activities, engage in learning and challenge themselves.

Absences

If a child is absent without explanation the child’s family will be called to find out the reason for the absence.

 

Regular absence from the Centre may indicate that the family is having some sort of difficulty. The head teacher will try to find out the cause and will offer support where necessary by linking the family with appropriate statutory agencies. The staff will always try and find out the reason for any prolonged unexplained absences.

 

The head teacher will keep social services informed of any absences relating to pupils who are the subject of a child protection plan.

 

 

Children Missing from School

 

Whilst the overwhelming majority of children in the centre are not of statutory school age, a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect and such children may be at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation.  If a child who has accepted a place in the nursery subsequently does not arrive as expected or if a child ceases to attend and their destination school or family circumstances are unknown, the school will pass on any appropriate information to the local authority.

 

Uncollected Children

The Centre ensures that each child is collected by a responsible adult who is named on their registration form. Siblings or younger family members must be a minimum of 14 years old for children over the age of 3yrs and a minimum of 16 years old for children under the age of 3yrs, before they can be authorised to collect a child.

 

Children will not be released into the care of anyone not named on their registration form unless this has been authorised and verified with their parent/carer.

 

If any children are not collected at the end of the session, the following procedure will be followed:

 

The person in charge should contact the parent/carer, or other designated adult, using the emergency details on the child’s form. The person in charge should leave messages on any answer phones asking the person to get in contact with the Centre immediately, leaving the Centre’s telephone number.

 

Support and reassurance will be given to any child waiting to be collected.

 

If contact with a designated adult has not been achieved within one hour, the emergency duty social worker should be contacted on 020 7373 2227.

 

A child left uncollected at the Centre remains in the charge of the most senior person on site. That responsibility can only be discharged by passing the child into the care of another appropriate adult or into the care of the local social services. An appropriate adult is someone with parental responsibility for the child, someone who has been authorised by the parent to collect the child or a member of the senior management team.

 

The statutory responsibility for the child at risk rests with the borough Family and Children’s Services Department. The response of the Department in an emergency will vary, depending on the details of each case. If it is not possible to secure practical assistance within a reasonable period, the police should be contacted. The police should be able to offer support, but not take charge of the child.

 

If the Centre building ceases to be available, the parent/carer and social services should be made aware that the child and a member of staff will be waiting at the local police station. One member of staff must stay with the child until an authorised adult arrives at the police station to collect him/her.

 

A note should be left on the door of the Centre building informing the parent that the child has been taken to a child protection agency or the police station.

 

Under no circumstances must a member of staff take a child to their own home or leave the site with a child (unless the child is being taken to the police station).

 

Incidents of late collection will be recorded in the Late Collection Book.

 

Supporting Children

We recognise that a child who is abused or who witnesses violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a secure sense of self-worth. We recognise that a child in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated and may blame themselves.

We accept that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal, to aggression or withdrawal. Aggressive incidents are recorded on an incident form by the head teacher and shared with the parent of the child concerned. Any pattern of behaviour causing concern is discussed and addressed.

 

We understand that the Centre may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm. We strive to support all children by:

 

  • Maintaining an ethos where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are always listened to
  • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness, whilst not permitting aggression or bullying
  •  Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment
  • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children
  • Providing continuing support to a pupil about whom there have been concerns by ensuring that when they leave, appropriate information is forwarded under confidential cover to the pupil’s new school.

 

Dealing with Allegations against Staff

If a concern or allegation is raised by a parent, the head teacher will meet with the parent immediately, recording full details of the conversation. The head teacher will advise the parent that an investigation will be carried out immediately and the parent kept informed of the actions taken. Parents will be asked to keep matters confidential whilst the investigation is conducted, bearing in mind that a breach in confidentiality might jeopardise the investigation and have legal implications for those involved.

 

The head teacher will carry out an immediate risk assessment in relation to the staff member who is the subject of the allegation and the child/ren involved, and put in place any protective measures that might be appropriate.

 

The head teacher will then immediately consult with the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) for Safeguarding.

 

The same process will apply if the allegation is made by a child, a colleague or another member of staff. Any child making a disclosure will be fully supported as outlined in the section above, ‘Dealing with cases of suspected abuse’. Their parents will be informed of the matter following consultation with the Local Authority Child Protection Team.

 

On being informed of an allegation against staff, LADO will convene an immediate strategy meeting involving a small group of key professionals. A decision will be made by the head teacher, in consultation with the LADO and governors, as to whether the member of staff should be a) suspended or b) continue working while the investigation is being carried out.

 

The parent, and as appropriate the child, will be interviewed. The member of staff concerned will then be informed of the nature of the allegation and given the opportunity to respond.

 

The borough’s disciplinary policy will apply to any member of staff, student or volunteer under investigation for alleged abuse.

 

In the event that an allegation is made about the head teacher, the senior teacher on site will act as the designated person and will immediately contact the LADO the named governor for safeguarding and the Chair of Governors.

 

If a child protection allegation about the head teacher is made to a member of the governing body, that governor should contact the named governor and/or the Chair of Governors, who will immediately consult with the LADO

 

Ofsted will be informed of any allegations of abuse against a member of staff, student or volunteer, or any abuse allegations that have taken place on the premises or during visits or outings.

 

Guidelines for all staff on recognising and responding to child abuse and keeping themselves safe from allegations of abuse are attached to this policy, together with the contact details of the Local Authority Child Protection advisers.

 

This Policy was adopted on 8th May 2017 and is reviewed annually by the Governors of the Federated Children’s Centre, the head teacher and the designated person for safeguarding. It will be reviewed in May/June 2018.

 

Approved and adopted by the Governing Body

5th June 2017

 

 

Term dates
Autumn Term 2016
  • term starts Wednesday 7th September (TBC)
  • half term break occurs – Monday 24th October to Friday 28th October 2016
  • back to school from half term Monday 31st October 2016
  • last day of term Wednesday 21st December 2016
Spring Term 2017
  • term starts – Wednesday 4th January 2017
  • half term break occurs Monday 13th February to Friday 17th February 2017
  • back to school from half term – Monday 20th February 2017
  • last day of term Friday 31st March 2017
Summer Term 2017
  • term starts – Wednesday 19th April 2017
  • half term break occurs – Monday 29th May to Friday 2nd June 2017
  • back to school from half term – Monday 5th June
  • last day of term – Friday 15th July
Autumn Term 2017
  • term starts – Wednesday 6th September 2017
  • half term break occurs - Monday 23rd October to Friday 27th October 2017
  • back to school from half term – Monday 30th October 2017
  • last day of term Wednesday 20th December 2017