Safeguarding Policy

Part One: Safeguarding Policy

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1. Introduction

1.1 Safeguarding is defined as –

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

1.2 Scott College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. We believe that:

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

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

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges (DfE Sept 2016)
  • The Procedures of Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Education Act 2002 s175 / s157
  • Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools: Departmental Advice (DfE 2014)

2. Overall Aims

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

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

2.2 This policy will contribute to supporting our students by:

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

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

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

3. Key Principles

3.1 These are the key principles of safeguarding.

  • Always see the child first.
  • Never do nothing.
  • Do with, not to, others.
  • Do the simple things better.
  • Have conversations, build relationships.
  • Outcomes not outputs.

4. Key Processes

4.1 Key staff should be aware of the guidance issued by relevant bodies.

5. Expectations

5.1 All staff and visitors will

  • Be familiar with this safeguarding policy;
  • Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc.
  • Be involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and interagency child protection
    plans;
  • Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse (See Appendix One for current definitions and indicators);
  • Record concerns and give the record to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Safeguarding Team Member or Headteacher;
  • Deal with a disclosure of abuse from a child in line with the guidance in Appendix Two – you must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately, and provide a written account as soon as possible;

5.2 All staff will receive online safeguarding training as agreed by the Governing Body.

6. The Designated Safeguarding Lead

6.1 Our Designated Safeguarding Lead on the senior leadership team is Martyn Cox Headteacher. He has lead responsibility and management oversight and accountability for child protection and, with the MAT Safeguarding Lead, will be responsible for coordinating all child protection activity.

6.2 The Designated Safeguarding Lead will lead regular case monitoring reviews of vulnerable children. These reviews must be evidenced by minutes and recorded in case files.

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

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

6.5 Child protection records will be stored securely in a central place separate from academic records. Individual files will be kept for each child: the school will not keep family files. Files will be kept for at least the period during which the child is attending the school, and beyond that in line with current data legislation and guidance.

6.6 Access to these records by staff other than by the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be restricted to the safeguarding team and safeguarding admin lead.

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

6.8 Do not disclose to a parent any information held on a child if this would put the child at risk of significant harm.

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

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

6.11 If a student/student is permanently excluded and moves to a Student Referral Unit, child protection records will be forwarded on to the relevant organisation.

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

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

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

7. The Governing Body

7.1 The Governing Body are the accountable body for ensuring the safety of the school

7.2 The governing body will ensure that:

  • The school has a safeguarding policy in accordance with the procedures of Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board;
  • The school operates, “safer recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers;
  • At least one senior member of the school’s leadership team acts as a Designated Safeguarding Lead;
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead attends appropriate refresher training every two years;
  • The Headteacher and all other staff who work with children undertake training at yearly intervals;
  • Temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities;
  • The school remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay; and
  • The school has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff/volunteers.

7.3 The governing body reviews its policies/procedures annually

7.4 The Nominated Governor is responsible for liaising with the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead over all matters regarding child protection issues. The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual students.

7.5 The Nominated Governor will liaise with the Headteacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead to produce a biannual report for governors and the local authority (s175/s157).

7.6 A member of the governing body (usually the Chair) is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the local authority and other partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Headteacher.

8. A Safer School Culture Safer Recruitment and Selection

8.1 The school pays full regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfES 2016). Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, their right to work in the UK, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking a selection programme, interviews and undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

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

8.3 Senior Leaders and Staff involved in recruitment have undertaken Safer Recruitment training. One of the above will be involved in all staff / volunteer recruitment processes and sit on the recruitment panel.

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

9. Our Role In The Prevention Of Abuse

9.1 We will provide opportunities for students to develop skills, concepts, attitudesand knowledge that promote their safety and well-being.

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

9.3 Relevant issues will be addressed through other areas of the curriculum, for example, PSHE, English, History, Drama, Art, PE and RS.

Other areas of work
9.4 All our policies which address issues of power and potential harm, for example bullying, equal opportunities, handling, positive behaviour, will be linked to ensure a whole school approach.

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

10. Safeguarding Students Who Are Vulnerable To Extremism,

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

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

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

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

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

Risk reduction
10.6 The school governors, the Headteacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the level of risk within the school and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the school’s RE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, the use of school premises by external agencies, integration of students by gender and SEN, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the school’s profile, community and philosophy.

10.7 This risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the annual s175 return that is monitored by the local authority and the local safeguarding children board.

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

10.9 When any member of staff has concerns that a student may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the SPOC / Designated Safeguarding Lead.

10.10 Numerous factors can contribute to and influence the range of behaviours that are defined as violent extremism, but most young people do not become
involved in extremist action. For this reason the appropriate interventions in any particular case may not have any specific connection to the threat of radicalisation, for example they may address mental health, relationship or drug/alcohol issues.

11. Safeguarding Students Who Are Vulnerable To Exploitation, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Or Trafficking

11.1 Our safeguarding policy above through the school’s values, ethos and behaviour policies provides the basic platform to ensure young people are given the support to respect themselves and others, stand up for themselves and protect each other.

11.2 Our school keeps itself up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation.

11.3 Our staff are supported to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to specific issues, include such issues in an age appropriate way in their curriculum,

11.4 Our school works with and engages our families and communities to talk about such issues,

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

11.6 Our Designated Safeguarding Lead knows where to seek and get advice as necessary.

11.7 Our school brings in experts and uses specialist material to support the work we do.

11.8 The Female Genital Mutilation Act (as inserted by Section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and health professionals, to report to the Police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under age 18.

11.9 This school will ensure that all relevant staff working in the school receive appropriate training to understand and/or recognise when FGM may be likely to happen or has happened.

11.10 This school will ensure that where all relevant staff working in the school discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, the Schools’ Designated Safeguarding Lead will be notified and the matter reported to the Police immediately.

11.11 This school will ensure that where all relevant staff working in the school suspect that an act of FGM may be undertaken, the matter will be discussed with the Schools’ Designated Safeguarding Lead who will involve Children, Young People and Families Services as appropriate. Staff will not be expected to examine the students.

12. What We Do When We Are Concerned

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

12.2 In this situation, depending on how worried we are and what we agree with the parent and the young person (as far as possible) –

  • The DSL/SPOC can decide to notify the LSCB and/or Social Care of thedecision so that a strategic overview can be maintained and any themes orcommon factors can be recognised; and
  • The school will review the situation after taking appropriate action to address the concerns.

12.3 The DSL/SPOC will also offer and seek advice about undertaking an early help assessment such as the family Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and/or making a referral to children’s social care.

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