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Child Protection Sept 2021 - Available as PDF

’I pray that you……may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’ Ephesians 3:18

  

 

 

Hertfordshire

County Council

 

Children’s Services

 

 

Model Child Protection Policy

for Schools

Adopted by the Governors of Countess Anne School:

A Church of England Academy

 

Department:                   Quality Assurance, Improvement and Practice

 

Author:                           Child Protection School Liaison Service

 

Date of issue:                 September 2020 (operational from 02/09/20)

Reference:                      CSF0034

Review date:                  September 2022

 

Reference:                      CSF0034

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

Countess Anne School: A Church of England Academy

Living God’s Love through….

  • Academic provision that recognises the need for excellence in teaching and learning.
  • Holistic provision that encourages Christian hope; building spirit and soul through faith orientated pastoral care.
  • Inspirational provision through a modern curriculum that celebrates diversity and provides new opportunities

 

THIS IS A PROFORMA POLICY AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE AMENDED TO FIT THE SCHOOL’S SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS AND TO REFLECT LOCAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed in full by the Governing Body no less than annually.

 

The policy was last reviewed and agreed by the Governing Body on <09/21>.

 

It is due for review on <09/22> (up to 12 months from the above date).

 

 

 

Signature ……DRLodge…………………………….                 Date 27/09/21

 

Head Teacher                                                          

           

  

Signature ………MGifkins………….……………….     Date 27/09/21

 

Chair of Governors 

 

 C O N T E N T S

 

1

 

Introduction

 

 

2

 

Statutory Framework

 

 

3

 

The DSL (DSL) and Deputy DSL (DDSL)

 

 

4

 

The Governing Body

 

 

5

 

When to be concerned

 

 

6

 

Dealing with a Disclosure

 

 

7

 

Record Keeping

 

 

8

 

Confidentiality

 

 

9

 

School Procedures

 

 

10

 

Communication with parents

 

 

11

 

Allegations Involving School Staff/Volunteers

 

 

Appendix 1

 

Link to KCSiE (DfE, 2021)

 

Part One:  Information for all school and college staff

Annex A: Further information

 

Appendix 2

Declaration for staff:

Child Protection Policy and KCSiE (KCSiE) DfE 2021

 

Appendix 3

Actions where there are concerns about a child

 

Appendix 4

 

Operation Encompass – Information sharing from Police regarding Domestic Abuse notifications (2nd December 2019)

Appendix  5

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers May 2020 DfE

 

Guidance for full opening (COVID-19): schools – 7 August 2020 DfE

Appendix 6

Interim DfE Safeguarding Guidance: Actions

 

 


 

1.     INTRODUCTION

 

 

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 outcomes.   (Working Together to Safeguard Children, DfE, 2018, p6)

 

This Child Protection Policy forms part of a suite of documents and policies which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the school. 

 

In particular, this policy should be read in conjunction with:

 

  • the behaviour policy;
  • the staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct);
  • the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education;
  • the role of the DSL (including the identity of the DSL and any deputies):

 

Copies of policies and a copy of Part one of KCSiE should be provided to staff at induction.

 

Purpose of a Child Protection Policy

To inform staff, parents, volunteers and governors about the school's responsibilities for safeguarding children.

To enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should be carried out.

 

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures

 

The school follows the procedures established by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP); a guide to procedures and practice for all agencies in Hertfordshire working with children and their families.

https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/index.htm

 

School Staff & Volunteers

 

 

All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

 

School staff and volunteers are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily contact with children.

 

All school staff will receive appropriate safeguarding children training (which is updated regularly – Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership advises every three years), so that they are knowledgeable and aware of their role in the early recognition of the indicators of abuse or neglect and of the appropriate procedures to follow. In addition, all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

 

Temporary staff and volunteers will be made aware of the safeguarding policies and procedures by the DSL, including The Child Protection Policy and Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct)

 

Mission Statement

 

Establish and maintain an ethos and culture where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened and responded to when they have a worry or concern.

 

Establish and maintain an ethos and culture where school staff and volunteers feel safe, are encouraged to talk and are listened and responded to when they have concerns about the safety and well-being of a child.

 

Ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried.

 

Ensure that children, who have additional/unmet needs are supported appropriately. This could include referrals to Early Help Services or Child Protection Contacts to specialist services if they are a child in need or have been / are at risk of being abused and neglected.

 

Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. Refer to KCSiE Part two:93

 

Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ and ‘it could be happening to this child’, where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child.

 

Implementation, Monitoring and Review of the Child Protection Policy

 

 

 

The policy will be reviewed at least annually by the governing body. It will be implemented through the school’s induction and training programme, and as part of day to day practice.  Compliance with the policy will be monitored by the DSL and through staff performance measures.

 

 

 

2.     STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

 

 

In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

 

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Education Act 2002 (Section 175/157)

          Outlines that Local Authorities and School Governing Bodies have a 

          responsibility to “ensure that their functions relating to the conduct of school         

          are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children 

          who are its pupils”.

  • Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual (Electronic)
  • KCSiE(DfE, September 2021)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018)
  • The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005
  • Sexual Offences Act (2003)
  • Section 26, The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (PREVENT duty)
  • Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (Section 74 ,Serious Crime Act 2015)
  • Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry. Includes taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place).
  • Serious Violence Strategy 2018

  


 

3.   The Designated Safeguarding Lead

 

 

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school or college leadership team, is appointed to the role of DSL.

During term time the DSL and or a Deputy will always be available (during school or college hours) for staff in the school or college to discuss any safeguarding concerns and individual arrangement for out of hours/out of term activities will be:  (individual school needs to outline these below): ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The DSL for Child Protection in this school is:

 

NAME:    David Lodge

 

There should be a Deputy DSL (DDSL) in the absence of the lead DSL.

 

The Deputy DSL for Child Protection in this school is:

 

NAME:   Emma Byrne

 

(Please add additional deputies as appropriate)

 

The broad areas of responsibility for the DSL are:

 

  • Managing Child Protection Contact Referrals and cases

 

  • Contacting the Child Protection Consultation Hub when advice is needed regarding child protection concerns which possibly meet the threshold for statutory intervention

 

  • Completing Child Protection Contact Referrals for all cases of suspected abuse or neglect where there is a risk of significant harm to the child/young person, Police where a crime may have been committed and to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern

 

  • Liaise with the Head Teacher or Principal to inform him/her of issues, especially ongoing enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a Child Protection Contact Referral by liaising with relevant agencies

 

  • Support staff who make Child Protection Contact Referrals and other service referrals

 

 

  • Share information with appropriate staff in relation to a child’s looked after (CLA) legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an Interim Care Order or Care Order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.

 

  • Ensure they have details of the CLA’s social worker and the name of the virtual school Head Teacher in the authority that looks after the child.

 

 

  • Training

 

The DSL should undergo formal training every two years. The DSL should also undertake Prevent awareness training.  In addition to this training, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (for example via e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at least annually to:

 

  1. Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as early help assessments
  2. Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so
  3. Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s or college’s safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff

 

  1. Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
  2. Understand and support the school or college with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation
  3. Are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college
  4. Can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online
  5. Be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns, Child Protection Contact Referrals alongside referrals to other agencies
  6. Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses
  7. Encourage a culture of listening and responding to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any measures the school or college may put in place to protect them

 

 

  • Raising Awareness: The DSL (DSL) should:

 

  • ensure the school or college’s policies are known, understood and used appropriately.

 

  • work with the governing bodies or proprietors to ensure that the school’s or college’s child protection policy is reviewed annually, and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly.
  • Ensure the safeguarding and child protection policy is available publicly and that parents are aware that advice regarding child protection concerns could be sought from the Child Protection Consultation Hub and that Child Protection Contact Referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made. Ensure parents are aware of the school or college’s statutory role regarding safeguarding of children.
  • Link with Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HSCP) to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding.
  • Ensure that when children leave the school or college, they ensure the file for safeguarding and any child protection information is sent to any new school/college as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file. The file should not be sent until the child is physically attending the new school.

 

  • Obtain proof that the new school/education setting has received the safeguarding file for any child transferring and then destroy any information held on the child unless the case is currently open and in line with data protection guidelines (see Record keeping Guidance on Hertfordshire Grid for Learning for further information)

 

  • consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new school or college in advance of a child leaving. For example, information that would allow the new school or college to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.

 


 

4.   THE GOVERNING BODY

 

 

Governing bodies and proprietors must ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They must also have regard to this guidance to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are always effective and comply with the law.

 

Governing bodies and proprietors should have a senior board level (or equivalent) lead to take leadership responsibility for their schools or college’s safeguarding arrangements.

The nominated governor for child protection is:

 

NAME  Heather Dyce

 

 

The responsibilities placed on governing bodies and proprietors include:

  • their contribution to inter-agency working, which includes providing a coordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified
  • ensuring that an effective child protection policy is in place, together with a staff behaviour policy
  • ensuring staff are provided with Part One of KCSiE 2021 and Annex A and are aware of specific safeguarding issues
  • ensuring that staff induction is in place with regards to child protection and safeguarding
  • appointing an appropriate senior member of staff to act as the DSL. It is a matter for individual schools and colleges as to whether they choose to have one or more Deputy DSLs.
  • ensuring that all of the DSLs, including deputies, should undergo formal child protection training every two years, in line with KCSIE and  HSCP procedures, and receive regular, at least annual, safeguarding updates  via e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments, for example.
  • prioritising the welfare of children and young people and creating a culture where staff are confident to challenge senior leaders over any safeguarding concerns
  • should ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety. Schools should consider this as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

 

  • ensuring appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place to safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. Additional information to support governing bodies and proprietors is provided in Annex C of KCSiE 2021.

 

 

 

5.    WHEN TO BE CONCERNED

 

 

Knowing what to look for is vital for the early identification of abuse and neglect.  All staff should be aware of the Indicators of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.

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 maybe used to facilitate offline abuse.  Children maybe abused by an adult or adults or by 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.

 

Child

Bruises – shape, grouping, site, repeat or multiple

Withdrawal from physical contact

Bite-marks – site and size

Burns and Scalds – shape, definition, size, depth, scars

Aggression towards others, emotional and behaviour problems

Improbable, conflicting explanations for injuries or unexplained injuries

Frequently absent from school

Untreated injuries

Admission of punishment which appears excessive

Injuries on parts of body where accidental injury is unlikely

Fractures

Repeated or multiple injuries

 

Fabricated or induced illness -

Parent

Family/environment

Parent with injuries

History of mental health, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.

Evasive or aggressive towards child or others

Past history in the family of childhood abuse, self-harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault

Explanation inconsistent with injury

Marginalised or isolated by the community.

Fear of medical help / parents not seeking medical help

Physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement.

Over chastisement of child

 

  

Emotional abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and 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 over protection 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.

 

Child

Self-harm

Over-reaction to mistakes / Inappropriate emotional responses

Chronic running away

Abnormal or indiscriminate attachment

Drug/solvent abuse

Low self-esteem

Compulsive stealing

Extremes of passivity or aggression

Makes a disclosure

Social isolation – withdrawn, a ‘loner’ Frozen watchfulness particularly pre school 

Developmental delay

Depression

Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)

Desperate attention-seeking behaviour

Parent

Family/environment

Observed to be aggressive towards child or others

Marginalised or isolated by the community.

Intensely involved with their children, never allowing anyone else to undertake their child's care.

History of mental health, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.

Previous domestic violence

History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family

History of abuse or mental health problems

Past history in the care of childhood abuse, self-harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault

Mental health, drug or alcohol difficulties

Wider parenting difficulties

Cold and unresponsive to the child’s emotional needs

Physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement.

Overly critical of the child

Lack of support from family or social network.

 

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.

Child

Failure to thrive - underweight, small stature

Low self-esteem

Dirty and unkempt condition

Inadequate social skills and poor socialisation

Inadequately clothed

Frequent lateness or non-attendance at school

Dry sparse hair

Abnormal voracious appetite at school or nursery

Untreated medical problems

Self-harming behaviour

Red/purple mottled skin, particularly on the hands and feet, seen in the winter due to cold

Constant tiredness

Swollen limbs with sores that are slow to heal, usually associated with cold injury

Disturbed peer relationships

Parent

Family/environment

Failure to meet the child’s basic essential needs including health needs

Marginalised or isolated by the community.

Leaving a child alone

History of mental health, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.

Failure to provide adequate caretakers

History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family

Keeping an unhygienic dangerous or hazardous home environment

 

Past history in the family of childhood abuse, self-harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault

Unkempt presentation

Lack of opportunities for child to play and learn

Unable to meet child’s emotional needs

Dangerous or hazardous home environment including failure to use home safety equipment; risk from animals

Mental health, alcohol or drug difficulties

 

 

 

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of 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.   

 

Child

Self-harm -  eating disorders, self-mutilation and suicide attempts

Poor self-image, self-harm, self-hatred

Running away from home

Inappropriate sexualised conduct

Reluctant to undress for PE

Withdrawal, isolation or excessive worrying

Pregnancy

Sexual knowledge or behaviour inappropriate to age/stage of development, or that is unusually explicit

Inexplicable changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn

Poor attention / concentration (world of their own)

Pain, bleeding, bruising  or itching in genital and /or anal area

Sudden changes in school work habits, become truant

Sexually exploited or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners

 

Parent

Family/environment

History of sexual abuse

Marginalised or isolated by the community.

Excessively interested in the child.

History of mental health, alcohol or drug misuse or domestic violence.

Parent displays inappropriate behaviour towards the child or other children

History of unexplained death, illness or multiple surgery in parents and/or siblings of the family

Conviction for sexual offences

Past history in the care of childhood abuse, self-harm, somatising disorder or false allegations of physical or sexual assault

Comments made by the parent/carer about the child.

Grooming behaviour

Lack of sexual boundaries

Physical or sexual assault or a culture of physical chastisement.

 

If staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately. If staff have a concern, they should follow this policy and speak to the DSL/DDSL. The DSL/DDSL are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to a safeguarding concern.

Any staff member should be able to make a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if necessary.

All staff should be aware of the process for making Child Protection Contact Referrals to Children’s Services for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm - from abuse or neglect) that may follow a Contact Referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.

Staff should not assume a colleague or another professional will take action and share information that might be critical in keeping children safe. They should be mindful that early information sharing is vital for effective identification, assessment and allocation of appropriate service provision.

Options will then include:

  • managing any support for the child internally via the school or college’s own pastoral support processes;

 

  • completing a Families First Assessment or a Request for Support referral.

 

  • a Child Protection Contact Referral for statutory services, for example as the child might be in need, is in need or suffering or likely to suffer significant harm from abuse or neglect.

 

 

Contextual Safeguarding

 

Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside the school or college. All staff, but especially the DSLs and their Deputies should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.

 

A child centred and coordinated approach to safeguarding

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, each professional should make sure their approach is child centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is based on the principle of providing help for families to stay together where it is safe for the children to do so, and looking at alternatives where it is not, whilst acting in the best interests of the child at all times.

 

Children who may require early help (known as Families First in Hertfordshire)

                                                                                                                                          

Families First is Hertfordshire's strategy for early help for families.  A directory of early help services is available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/familiesfirst which will help practitioners and families find information and support to prevent escalation of needs and crisis. 

 

All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in identifying emerging problems, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment of a child’s needs. It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating.  This also includes staff monitoring the situation and feeding back to the DSL any ongoing/escalation of concerns so that consideration can be given to a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving.

 

If early help is appropriate, the DSL or a Deputy will generally lead on liaising with other agencies and setting up a Families First Assessment as appropriate.

Any child may benefit from early help, but all school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs;
  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan);
  • 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;
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home;
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves;
  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation;
  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and 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 a privately fostered child.

 

School and college staff members should be aware of the main categories of maltreatment:  physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect as well as being aware of the indicators of maltreatment and specific safeguarding issues so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.

 

Children with special educational needs and disabilities:

 

Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children.  

This can include:

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

 

  • Reluctance to challenge carers, (professionals may over empathise with carers because of the perceived stress of caring for a disabled child)

 

  •  Disabled children often rely on a wide network of carers to meet their basic needs and therefore the potential risk of exposure to abusive behaviour can be increased.

 

  • A disabled child’s understanding of abuse.

 

  •  Lack of choice/participation

 

  •  Isolation

 

 

Peer on peer abuse

 

All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

  • bullying (including cyberbullying);
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault;
  • sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse
  • upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm;
  • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.

All staff should be aware that abuse is abuse and peer on peer abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”.  Furthermore, they should recognise the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse (i.e. that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys’ perpetrators), but that all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.

Hertfordshire County Council recommends that education settings use The Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool by the Brook Advisory Service to help professionals; assess and respond appropriately to sexualised behaviour. The traffic light tool can be found at

https://www.brook.org.uk/our-work/the-sexual-behaviours-traffic-light-tool

 

In order to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse the school:

 

  • Provides a developmentally appropriate PSHE and RSE curriculum which develops pupils’ understanding of acceptable behaviour and keeping themselves safe.
  • Have systems in place for any student to raise concerns with staff, knowing that they will be listened to, believed and valued.
  • Ensure victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported
  • Develops robust risk assessments where appropriate (e.g. Using the Risk Assessment Management Plan and Safety and Support Plan tools).
  • Have relevant policies in place (e.g. behaviour policy).

 

Where there is an allegation or concern that a child has abused others, Section 4.4 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual, ‘Children Who Abuse Others’:

http://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_chil_abuse.html

 

Staff should also refer to Part five of KCSiE DfE 2021 – ‘Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment’:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2

 

Serious violence

All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime.

 

  • Increased absence from school
  • Change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups
  • Significant decline in performance
  • Signs of self-harm or significant change in wellbeing
  • Signs of assault or unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained gifts/new possessions

 

Also refer to Schools Toolkit the characteristics of young peoples’ vulnerability to CSE and CCE on the HGFL.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. In some cases, the abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increased status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online. More information include definitions and indicators are included in Annex A KCSiE DfE 2020.

Mental Health

All staff should be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Only appropriate trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem.  Staff however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.

If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken by following the procedures in this policy and speaking to the schools DSL. 

PREVENT: Safeguarding Children and Young People from Radicalisation

 

Children can be vulnerable to extreme ideologies and radicalisation. Similar to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse, protecting children from radicalisation must be part of all school and college safeguarding approaches.

All schools and colleges are subject to the Prevent Duty under Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the CTSA 2015), in the exercise of their functions to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.”  KCSiE DfE 2020

 

There are signs and vulnerability factors that may indicate a child is susceptible to radicalisation or is in the process of being radicalised. It is possible to protect vulnerable people from extremist thinking and intervene to safeguard those at risk of radicalisation. Staff must be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate that they may be in need of Prevent support. They must act proportionately to the concern using the Prevent ‘notice, check, share’ approach, which may lead to the DSL making a Prevent referral. 

 

Local Hertfordshire County Council guidance on Prevent is featured at 6.25 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership CP procedures https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_prevent_guide.html which outlines the specific duties in Hertfordshire. This guidance also features advice on making a Prevent referral. (please note: at the time of writing this policy 6.25 of the HSCP CP procedures is under review)

 

 

Domestic Abuse

 

Domestic abuse is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological; physical; sexual; financial; and emotional. 

 

All children can witness and be adversely affected by domestic abuse in the context of their home life where domestic abuse occurs between family members. See Appendix 4 for information regarding Operation Encompass

 

 

 

 

6. DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE

 

If a child confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s age/stage of development that they cannot promise complete confidentiality – instead they must explain that they may need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child or other children safe.

 

If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff/volunteer should:

 

  • Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief

 

  • Accept what is being said

 

  • Allow the child to talk freely

 

  • Reassure the child, but not make promises which might not be possible to keep

 

  • Never promise a child that they will not tell anyone - as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.

 

  • Reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault

 

  • Stress that it was the right thing to tell

 

  • Listen, only asking questions when necessary to clarify what is being said.

 

  • Not criticise the alleged perpetrator

 

  • Explain what has to be done next and who has to be told

 

  • Make a written record (see Record Keeping)

 

  • Pass the information to the DSL without delay (if a DSL or Deputy is not available, staff must inform a senior member of staff or complete a child protection contact referral if this disclosure indicates that the child may be at risk of immediate harm and/or have been suffered significant harm to ensure reporting to Police and/or Children’s Services where necessary is not delayed)

 

Support

 

Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and safeguarding issues can be stressful.  The member of staff/volunteer should, therefore, consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the DSL.

 

If a school /college staff member receives a disclosure about potential harm caused by another staff member, they should see section 11 of this policy– Allegations involving school staff/volunteers.

 

 

 


 

7.   RECORD KEEPING

 

 

All practitioners should be confident of the processing conditions under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR which allow them to store and share information for safeguarding purposes, including information, which is sensitive and personal, and should be treated as ‘special category personal data’.

                                                           

All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing. If in doubt about recording requirements staff should discuss with the DSL.

 

  • Record as soon as possible after the conversation. Use the schools Child Protection Recording system which may be electronic or using a record of concern sheet.  (pro-forma available on the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (HGFL))

 

  • Ensure the date, time, place is recorded, and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child

 

  • Use the body map on the schools recording system or the proforma body map available on HGFL, to indicate the position of any injuries and a clear description of the injury

 

  • Record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions

 

  • Do not destroy the original records in case they are needed by a court

 

  • All records need to be given to the DSL promptly. No copies should be retained by the member of staff or volunteer.

 

The DSL will ensure that all safeguarding records are managed in accordance with the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005.

 

 

 


 

8.   CONFIDENTIALITY

 

 

Safeguarding children raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in schools.

 

  • All staff in schools, both teaching and non-teaching staff, have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies.

 

  • Staff/volunteers who receive information about children and their families in the course of their work should share that information only within appropriate professional contexts. 

 

 


 

9.   SCHOOL PROCEDURES

 

 

Please see Appendix 3: KCSiE Pg18

 

If any member of staff is concerned about a child, he or she must inform the DSL. The DSL will decide whether the concerns should be raised to Children’s Services and if deemed to have met the threshold a Child Protection Contact Referral will be completed. If a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services is made the DSL will discuss the referral with the parents, unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm.

 

While it is the DSL’s role to make Child Protection Contact Referrals, any staff member can make a Child Protection Contact Referral to Children’s Services if a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm (e.g. concern that a family might have plans to carry out FGM, Forced Marriage etc).  In these circumstances a Child Protection Contact Referral should be made to Children’s Services and/or the Police immediately. Where Child Protection Contact Referrals are made by another member of staff, the DSL should be informed as soon as possible.

 

If a teacher (persons employed or engaged to carry out teaching work at schools and other institutions in England) , in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the teacher must report this to the police via 101. This is a mandatory reporting duty:

 

If the allegations raised are against other children, the school should follow section 4.4 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual – Children Who Abuse Others. Please see the school’s anti-bullying policy for more details on procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse.

 

The member of staff must record information regarding the concerns on the same day.  The recording must be a clear, precise and a factual account of any verbal disclosures and observations (record of concern pro-forma is available on the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning).

 

Particular attention should be paid to the attendance and development of any child about whom the school has concerns, or who has been identified as being the subject of a Child Protection Plan and a written record will be kept.

 

If a pupil who is/or has been the subject of a child protection plan changes school, the DSL will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the DSL at the receiving school, in a secure manner, and separate from the child’s academic file.

 

The DSL is responsible for making the senior leadership team aware of trends in behaviour that may affect pupil welfare.  If necessary, training will be arranged.

 

 


 

10. COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS

 

 

Countess Anne School will ensure the Child Protection Policy is available publicly either via the school or college website or by other means.

Parents should be informed prior to a Child Protection Contact Referral, unless it is considered to do so might place the child at increased risk of significant harm by:

  • The behavioural response it prompts e.g. a child being subjected to abuse, maltreatment or threats / forced to remain silent if alleged abuser informed;
  • Leading to an unreasonable delay;
  • Leading to the risk of loss of evidential material;

(The school may also consider not informing parent(s) where this would place a member of staff at risk). 

The school will endeavour to ensure that parents understand the responsibilities placed on the school staff for safeguarding children.

Where reasonably possible schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil and student. KCSiE DfE 2021.

 


 

11.   ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING SCHOOL STAFF/VOLUNTEERS

 

 

An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff/volunteer may have:

 

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children; or
  • Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicated they may not be suitable to work with children.

 

This relates to members of staff, supply staff and volunteers who are currently working in any school or college regardless of whether the school or college is where the alleged abuse took place. Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching should be referred to the police. Historical allegations of abuse should also be referred to the police. 

 

In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Head Teacher, where the Head Teacher is also the sole Proprietor of an independent school or where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with their employer or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, allegations should be reported directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). Staff may consider discussing any concerns with the DSL if appropriate make any referral via them.

 

The Chair of Governors in this school is:

 

NAME:                                                           CONTACT NUMBER:                    

 

Murray Gifkins                      01707 262 840

 

In the absence of the Chair of Governors, the Vice Chair should be contacted.  The Vice Chair in this school is:

 

NAME:                                                           CONTACT NUMBER:                    

 

Jill Knight                  01707 262 840

 

 

 

The person to whom an allegation is first reported should take the matter seriously and keep an open mind. S/he should not investigate or ask leading questions if seeking clarification; it is important not to make assumptions. Confidentiality should not be promised and the person should be advised that the concern will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only.

 

Actions to be taken include making an immediate written record of the allegation using the informant’s words – including time, date and place where the alleged incident took place, brief details of what happened, what was said and who was present. This record should be signed, dated and immediately passed on to the Head Teacher.

 

The recipient of an allegation must not unilaterally determine its validity, and failure to report it in accordance with procedures is a potential disciplinary matter.

 

The Head Teacher/Chair of Governors will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but will assess whether it is necessary to refer the concern to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO Threshold Guidance may be used to inform this decision – found at https://hertsscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_manage_alleg.html

 

Children’s Services – 03001234043

SOOHS (Out of Hours Service-Children’s Services) – 03001234043

 

If the allegation meets any of the four criteria set out at the start of this section, contact should always be made with the Local Authority Designated Officer without delay.

 

If it is decided that the allegation requires a child protection strategy meeting or joint evaluation meeting, this will take place in accordance with section 4.1 of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual.

 

If it is decided it does not require a child protection strategy meeting or joint evaluation meeting, the LADO will provide the employer with advice and support on how the allegations should be managed.

 

The Head Teacher should, as soon as possible, following briefing from the Local Authority Designated Officer inform the subject of the allegation.

 

For further information see:

 

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual Section 4.1 Managing Allegations Against Adults who work with Children and Young People

 

Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with their employer/through the whistleblowing procedure or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them:

 

  • Children’s Services 0300 123 4043
  • NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

 

What school or college staff should do if they have concerns about safeguarding practices within the school or college?

  • All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school or education setting’s safeguarding arrangements.

 

  • Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, should be in place for such concerns to be raised with the school or college’s senior leadership team.

 

Safer working practice

 

To reduce the risk of allegations, all staff should be aware of safer working practice and should be familiar with the guidance contained in the staff handbook/school code of conduct/staff behaviour policy and Safer Recruitment Consortium  document Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings (May 2019) available at

 

https://www.saferrecruitmentconsortium.org/       

 

The document seeks to ensure that the responsibilities of school leaders towards children

and staff are discharged by raising awareness of illegal, unsafe, unprofessional and unwise

behaviour.  This includes guidelines for staff on positive behaviour management in line with the ban on corporal punishment (School Standards and Framework Act 1998). Please see the school/college’s behaviour management policy for more information.

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 1: KCSIE

Part One: Information for all school and college staff

Annex A: Further information

 

 

 

 

On publication of this Child Protection Policy, September 2020, the CPSLO Service has decided to provide the hyperlink only to KCSiE rather than the document in its entirety, due to the potential for updates to the content.

 

All staff should have access and have read Part one and Annex A (which provides further information specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues) of this statutory guidance.  They should also have the opportunity to seek clarity from designated staff for any content.

 

This is to assist staff to understand their role and discharge their responsibilities as set out in this guidance.

 

We highly recommend that staff are asked to sign to say they have read these sections (please see Appendix 2 below) and should subsequently be re-directed to these documents again should any changes occur.

 

Link to KCSiE (DfE, 2021):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892394/Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2021.pdf

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2: DECLARATION FOR STAFF

Child Protection Policy and KCSiE DfE 2021

 

 

 

 

 

School name: Countess Anne School Academic Year 2021 – 2022

Please sign and return to David Lodge (DSL) by beginning of the October half-term

 

 

I, _________________________________________ have read and am familiar with the contents of the following documents and understand my role and responsibilities as set out in these document(s).:

 

(1) The School's Child Protection Policy 2021-22    

(2) Part One and Annex A of 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' DfE Guidance, 2021

(3) Staff code of Conduct 2022

(4) Countess Anne School Prevent Duty Policy

 

 

I am aware that the DSLs/DDSLs are:

 

……………………………………………………………………… ……………………… …………………..

……………… ……………………… ……………………………… ……………… …………………………

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………… ……………………… ……………………………… ……………… ………………………..

 

and I am able to discuss any concerns that I may have with them.

 

 

I know that further guidance, together with copies of the policies mentioned above, are available

via the school office or on the Staff Drive under safeguarding

 

 

Signed_____________________________________________ Date____________________

 

 

APPENDIX 3: ACTIONS WHERE THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD

Flowchart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 4: OPERATION ENCOMPASS – Information sharing from Police regarding Domestic Abuse notifications (2nd December 2019)

 

 

 

            Operation Encompass Safeguarding Statement:

 

  • Our school is part of Operation Encompass. This is a police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people who experience Domestic Abuse.
  • Operation Encompass means that the police will share information about Domestic Abuse incidents with our school PRIOR to the start of the next school day when they have been called to a domestic incident.
  • Our parents are fully aware that we are an Operation Encompass school.
  • The Operation Encompass information is stored in line with all other confidential safeguarding and child protection information.
  • The Key Adult has also led training for all school staff and Governors about Operation Encompass, the prevalence of Domestic Abuse and the impact of this abuse on children. We have also discussed how we can support our children following the Operation Encompass notification.
  • We are aware that we must do nothing that puts the child/ren or the non abusing adult at risk.
  • The Safeguarding Governor will report on Operation Encompass in the termly report to Governors. All information is anonymised for these reports.
  • The Key Adult has used the Operation Encompass Toolkit to ensure that all appropriate actions have been taken by the school.

 

OUR KEY ADULTS ARE:   David Lodge

 

 

 

                                   

 

APPENDIX 5: Safeguarding guidance regarding COVID19

Coronovirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers - May 2020

Guidance for full opening (COVID-19): Schools – 7 August 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

Section

Subject

1

Background and Key contacts

2

Guidance for full opening: schools – Updated 7 August 2020

3.

Role of the local authority

4

Keeping children safe in schools and colleges

5

Child protection policy

6

DSLs (DDSLs)

7

Vulnerable children

8

Attendance

9

Staff training and safeguarding induction

10

Children moving schools and colleges

11

Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

12

Pupil wellbeing and support

13

Online safety in schools and colleges

14

Children and online safety away from school and college

15

Remote education

16

Virtual lessons and live streaming

 

1.    Background

This guidance is relevant to all schools, whether maintained, non-maintained or independent (including academies, academy trusts, free schools and alternative provision academies), maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units.

Where the guidance refers to ‘colleges’ this includes all of the following:

  • further education colleges
  • sixth-form colleges
  • institutions designated as being in the further education sector
  • other further education providers, funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, such as 16 to 19 academies and independent learning providers, including special post-16 institutions

This is interim safeguarding guidance; it is under review and will continue to be updated as required.

Key contacts at Countess Anne School:

Role

Name

Contact number

Email

Designated

Safeguarding Lead

David Lodge

01707 262 840

head@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Deputy Designated

Safeguarding Lead (s)

Emma Byrne

01707 262 840

EByrne@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Headteacher

David Lodge

01707 262 840

head@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Trust

Safeguarding Manager

n/a

 

 

Chair of Governors

Murray Gifkins

01707 262 840

admin@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Vice Chair of Governors

Jill Knight

01707 262 840

admin@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Safeguarding Gov

Heather Dyce

01707 262 840

admin@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

 

Designated safeguarding leads (and deputies) should be provided with more time, especially in the first few weeks of term, to help them provide support to staff and children regarding any new safeguarding and welfare concerns and the handling of referrals to children’s social care and other agencies where these are appropriate, and agencies and services should prepare to work together to actively look for signs of harm.

2.    Opening of schools

Introduction

It is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.

This guidance is intended to support schools, both mainstream and alternative provision, to prepare for this. It applies to primary, secondary (including sixth forms), infant, junior, middle, upper, school-based nurseries and boarding schools. We expect independent schools to follow the control measures set out in this document in the same way as state-funded schools. The guidance also covers expectations for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND), including those with education, health and care plans, in mainstream schools.

Separate guidance is available for early years, further education colleges and for special schools.

This guidance is in 5 sections. The first section sets out the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their school. This is public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).

The rest of the guidance is focused on how the Department for Education (DfE) expects schools to operate in this new context. This includes:

  • school operations
  • curriculum, behaviour and pastoral support
  • assessment and accountability
  • contingency planning to provide continuity of education in the case of a local outbreak

This guidance has been prepared with input from school leaders, unions and sector bodies and in consultation with PHE and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

We will keep this guidance under review and update as necessary.

Welcoming children back to school

When we made the decision to ask schools to open only to a small number of children, this was done with the aim of reducing transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), to protect the NHS and save lives. As the situation improved, we began to consider how we could bring more children and young people back into schools, and supported primary schools to do so from 1 June, focusing on some year groups being educated in small ‘bubbles’, and secondary schools from 15 June, with year 10 and 12 spending some time in school in small groups, with public health risk reduction measures in place. Since 15 June, primary schools have also had flexibility to bring back other pupils where they have space to do so.

Now, the circumstances have changed. The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased, our NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and we are clear about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within schools.

Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children’s future ability to learn, and therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.

The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school. We know that school is a vital point of contact for public health and safeguarding services that are critical to the wellbeing of children and families.

Lower academic achievement also translates into long-term economic costs due to having a less well-qualified workforce. This affects the standard of living that today’s pupils will have over the course of their entire life. For many households, school closures have also affected their ability to work. As the economy begins to recover, we need to remove this barrier so parents and carers can return to work.

In relation to working in schools, whilst it is not possible to ensure a totally risk-free environment, the Office of National Statistics’ analysis on coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths linked to occupations suggests that staff in educational settings tend not to be at any greater risk from the disease than many other occupations. There is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults.

Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), and this guidance explains the steps schools need to take to reduce risks still further. As a result, we can plan for all children to return and start to reverse the enormous costs of missed education. This will be an important move back towards normal life for many children and families.

We are, therefore, asking schools to prepare to welcome all children back this autumn. While coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, this means making judgments at a school level about how to balance minimising any risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) by maximising control measures with providing a full educational experience for children and young people. Schools should use their existing resources to make arrangements to welcome all children back. There are no plans at present to reimburse additional costs incurred as part of that process.

The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high-quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. In welcoming all children back this autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined below to reduce the risk of transmission. If schools follow the guidance set out here and maximise control measures, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively.

While our aim is to have all pupils back at school in the autumn, every school will also need to plan for the possibility of a local lockdown and how they will ensure continuity of education.

 

 

 

3.     Role of the local authority

The department (DfE) is working closely with all local authorities and safeguarding partners to ensure that more children can attend childcare, school or college from September. The department will, via regional school commissioners, continue to support local authorities’ crucial responsibilities in maintaining effective safeguarding and child protection services in this challenging time to ensure schools and colleges can access the support they need.

4.     Keeping children safe in schools and colleges

(KCSIE) is statutory safeguarding guidance that schools and colleges should continue to have regard to as required by legislation and/or their funding agreements.

Whilst acknowledging the pressure that schools and colleges are under, it remains essential that they continue to be safe places for children. As more children are welcomed back to school and college, this guidance:

  • supports governing bodies, proprietors, senior leadership teams and designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) so they can continue to have appropriate regard to KCSIE and keep their children safe
  • suggests where schools and colleges might consider safeguarding policy and process differently when compared to business as usual

The way schools and colleges are operating in response to coronavirus continues to be different to business as usual. However, as more children return, a number of important safeguarding principles remain the same:

  • the best interests of children must always continue to come first
  • if anyone in a school or college has a safeguarding concern about any child they should continue to act and act immediately
  • a DSL or deputy should be available
  • it is essential that unsuitable people are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce and/or gain access to children
  • children should continue to be protected when they are online

Schools and colleges should, as far as is reasonably possible, take a whole institution approach to safeguarding. This will allow them to satisfy themselves that any new policies and processes in response to coronavirus are not weakening their approach to safeguarding or undermining their child protection policy.

Schools and colleges should refer to Section 1: Public health advice to minimise coronavirus (COVID-19) risks - Guidance for full opening: schools – Updated 7 August 2020 DfE

The department has also published information on prevent management support for schools and colleges who have pupils/students receiving Channel support. Prevent is a vital part of our work to safeguard children from radicalising influences, and it remains in operation in local authorities during this challenging time.

5.     Child protection policy

Countess Anne School will have an effective child protection policy in place reflecting business as usual. This appendix helps Countess Anne School comply with the new arrangements in response to COVID-19. It is important DSL or deputy, wherever possible review and revise the child protection policy and keep it under review as circumstances continue to evolve. This child protection policy reflects:

  •  any updated advice received from Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/coronavirus-service-updates.aspx
  •  any updated advice received from local authorities regarding children with education, health and care (EHC) plans, the local authority designated officer and children’s social care, reporting mechanisms, referral thresholds and children in need
  •  reflecting that staff and volunteers may identify new safeguarding concerns about individual children as they see them in person following partial school closures
  • what staff and volunteers should do if they have any concerns about a child, including new concerns where children are returning
  •  the continued importance of all staff and volunteers acting and acting immediately on any safeguarding concerns, including new concerns where children are returning
  • reflecting (where resources allow) that DSLs (and deputies) will have more time to support staff and children regarding new concerns (and referrals as appropriate) as more children return
  • reflecting the importance of ensuring relevant safeguarding and welfare information held on all children (including returning children) remains accurate. Schools and colleges (led by the DSL or deputy) should be doing all they reasonably can to ask parents and carers to advise them of any changes regarding welfare, health and wellbeing that they should be aware of before a child returns
  • DSL (and deputy) arrangements
  • peer on peer abuse - given the different circumstances schools and colleges are operating in, a revised process may be required for managing any report of such abuse and supporting victims (the principles as set out in part 5 of KCSIE should continue to inform any revised approach)
  • what staff and volunteers should do if they have concerns about a staff member or volunteer who may pose a safeguarding risk to children (the principles in part 4 of KCSIE will continue to support how a school or college responds to any such concerns)
  • the approach to protecting vulnerable children (see below for further details on vulnerable children)
  • what arrangements are in place to keep children not physically attending the school or college safe, especially online and how concerns about these children should be progressed (see below for further details covering online safety)
  • any updated advice received from the local safeguarding partners. DSLs (or deputies) should be leading the school or college’s input into the local arrangements
  • any updated advice received from local authorities regarding children with education, health and care (EHC) plans, the local authority designated officer and children’s social care, reporting mechanisms, referral thresholds and children in need
  • the continued importance for school and college staff to work with and support children’s social workers, the local authority virtual school head for looked-after and previously looked-after children and any other relevant safeguarding and welfare partners

It is important that all staff and volunteers are aware of the new policy and are kept up to date as it is revised. The revised policy should continue to be made available publicly.

6.     DSLs and DDSLs

As children return, it is expected that schools and colleges will have a trained DSL (or deputy) available on site. However, it is recognised that in exceptional circumstances this may not always be possible, and where this is the case there are two options to consider:

  • a trained DSL (or deputy) from the school or college can be available to be contacted via phone or online video - for example working from home
  • sharing trained DSLs (or deputies) with other schools or colleges (who should be available to be contacted via phone or online video)

Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to one of the above options, a senior leader should take responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site. This might include updating and managing access to child protection files, liaising with the offsite DSL (or deputy) and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at Countess Anne School.

Whatever the scenario, it is important that all school and college staff and volunteers have access to a trained DSL (or deputy) and know on any given day who that person is and how to speak to them.

The DSL (or deputy) should provide support to teachers and pastoral staff to ensure that contact is maintained with children (and their families) who are not yet returning to school or college. Where possible staff should try and speak directly to children to help identify any concerns. Staff should be encouraged (where possible) to make calls from the school or college site via school or college phones and devices. Where staff use personal phones to make calls, they should withhold their personal number.

It is acknowledged that DSL training is unlikely to take place during this period (although the option of online training can be explored). For the period coronavirus measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if they miss their refresher training.

DSLs (and deputies) should continue to do what they reasonably can to keep up to date with safeguarding developments, such as via safeguarding partners, newsletters and professional advice groups.

Every school and college will face unique challenges at this time, including as they welcome back more children. Where reasonably possible and where relevant, the DSL (or deputy) should consider these challenges in a child protection context and reflect them in the child protection policy as appropriate.

Named senior leader (s) are:

Contact details

David Lodge

head@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

Emma Byrne

Ebyrne@countessanne.herts.sch.uk

 

7.     Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children for the purposes of continued attendance during the coronavirus outbreak are those across all year groups who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan and it is determined, following risk assessment (risk assessment guidance), that their needs can be as safely or more safely met in the educational environment
  • have been assessed as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued attendance. This might include children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services, adopted children, those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’), those living in temporary accommodation, those who are young carers and others at the provider and local authority’s discretion

Read more in the guidance on vulnerable children and young people.

Local authorities have the key day-to-day responsibility for delivery of children’s social care. Social workers and virtual school heads will continue to work with vulnerable children in this difficult period. School and college staff (supported by the DSL or deputy) should continue to work with and support children’s social workers, virtual school heads and any other relevant safeguarding and welfare partners to help protect vulnerable children.

8.      Attendance

Attendance expectations

In March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.

Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating

We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. You should note however that:

  • a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding
  • if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent (see below).
  • some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 - ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education. Schools should monitor engagement with this activity (as set out in the section below).

Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.

Pupils and families who are anxious about return to school

All other pupils must attend school. Schools should bear in mind the potential concerns of pupils, parents and households who may be reluctant or anxious about returning and put the right support in place to address this. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, we recommend schools discuss their concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk in school. Schools should be clear with parents that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies (for example, the pupil has been granted a leave of absence, is unable to attend because of sickness, is absent for a necessary religious observance etc).

Action for all schools and local authorities

We are asking schools to work with families to secure regular school attendance from the start of term as this will be essential to help pupils catch up on missed education, make progress and promote their wellbeing and wider development.

We are asking schools and local authorities to:

  • communicate clear and consistent expectations around school attendance to families (and any other professionals who work with the family where appropriate) throughout the summer ahead of the new school year
  • identify pupils who are reluctant or anxious about returning or who are at risk of disengagement and develop plans for re-engaging them. This should include disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people, especially those who were persistently absent prior to the pandemic or who have not engaged with school regularly during the pandemic
  • use the additional catch-up funding schools will receive, as well as existing pastoral and support services, attendance staff and resources and schools’ pupil premium funding to put measures in place for those families who will need additional support to secure pupils’ regular attendance
  • work closely with other professionals as appropriate to support the return to school, including continuing to notify the child’s social worker, if they have one, of non-attendance

We will issue further technical guidance for schools to record attendance and absence, including what data schools will be asked to return to the department.

 

 

9.     Staff training and safeguarding induction

All existing school and college staff will already have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of KCSIE. The important thing for staff at Countess Anne School will be awareness of any new local arrangements so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.

Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter Countess Anne School, they should continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction. An up to date child protection policy (described above) will support this process as will part 1 of KCSIE.

The existing Countess Anne School workforce may continue to move between schools and colleges on a temporary basis in response to COVID-19. The receiving school or college should judge, on a case-by-case basis, the level of safeguarding induction required. In most cases, the existing workforce will already have received appropriate safeguarding training and all they will require is a copy of the receiving setting’s child protection policy, confirmation of local processes and confirmation of DSL arrangements.

10.  Children moving schools and colleges

It will be important for any school or college whose children are attending another setting to do whatever they reasonably can to provide the receiving institution with any relevant welfare and child protection information. This will be especially important where children are vulnerable. For looked-after children, any change in school should be led and managed by the VSH with responsibility for the child. The receiving institution should be aware of the reason the child is vulnerable and any arrangements in place to support them. As a minimum the receiving institution should, as appropriate, have access to a vulnerable child’s EHC plan, child in need plan, child protection plan or, for looked-after children, their personal education plan and know who the child’s social worker (and, for looked-after children, who the responsible VSH is). This should ideally happen before a child arrives and, where that is not possible as soon as reasonably practicable. Any exchanges of information will ideally happen at DSL (or deputy) level, and likewise between special educational needs coordinators/named individual with oversight of SEN provision for children with EHC plans. However, it is acknowledged this may not always be possible. Where this is the case senior leaders should take responsibility.

Whilst schools and colleges must continue to have appropriate regard to data protection and GDPR they do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Further advice about information sharing can be found at paragraphs 76-83 of KCSIE.

11.  Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

Recruitment

Recruitment should continue as usual. The government’s Teaching Vacancies service can help schools to list vacancies for both permanent and short-term teaching staff quickly. The free national service for searching and listing teaching roles will be directing newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and job seeking teachers to this service.

We recommend that schools continue to recruit remotely over the summer period. Interviewing remotely may be a new experience for many schools. The DfE teaching blog provides some information on the experience of implementing interviews remotely. There is also advice that can be sent to candidates on how to prepare for remote interviews.

When recruiting, schools must continue to adhere to the legal requirements regarding pre-appointment checks. We refer schools to part 3 of the statutory guidance keeping children safe in education. During the summer, safeguarding checks can be carried out remotely as set out in coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers. From the start of the autumn term checks will revert to being carried out in person. Initial teacher training (ITT) providers have worked flexibly to ensure this year’s NQTs are ready and prepared to enter the classroom. They will also be supported by materials the Department for Education is making available to all schools based on the early career framework reforms, to support them as they start their teaching career. Schools in the early roll-out regions (Bradford, Doncaster, Greater Manchester and the North East) will be able to benefit from the full support package being offered to some 2,000 NQTs from the autumn. In addition, around 3,000 NQTs will be offered a one-year version of the structured support package.

Supply teachers and other temporary or peripatetic teachers

Schools can continue to engage supply teachers and other supply staff during this period. We recommend that schools consider using DfE’s and Crown Commercial Service’s agency supply deal when hiring agency workers, as this offers a list of preferred suppliers that must be transparent about the rates they charge.

Supply staff and other temporary workers can move between schools, but school leaders will want to consider how to minimise the number of visitors to the school where possible. Where it is necessary to use supply staff and to welcome visitors to the school such as peripatetic teachers, those individuals will be expected to comply with the school’s arrangements for managing and minimising risk, including taking particular care to maintain distance from other staff and pupils. To minimise the numbers of temporary staff entering the school premises, and secure best value, schools may wish to use longer assignments with supply teachers and agree a minimum number of hours across the academic year. This advice for supply teachers also applies to other temporary staff working in schools such as support staff working on a supply basis, peripatetic teachers such as sports coaches, and those engaged to deliver before and after school clubs.

Expectation and deployment of ITT trainees

We strongly encourage schools to consider hosting ITT trainees. Demand for teacher training is high this year and, while it is understandable that schools will have prioritised other activity, there is a risk that insufficient training places will be available. ITT trainees have the potential to play a significant role in supporting schools. Schools should consider how they could host ITT trainees, and discuss with relevant ITT providers how this can be done flexibly and innovatively to help meet both school and trainee needs. Deployment decisions will need to take into account the skills and capacity of the trainees in question.

Trainees could:

  • take responsibility, with the usual mentor oversight, for small groups of pupils across or within years, adapting resources for such groups, creating online learning materials, re-planning sequences of lessons or delivering catch-up lessons
  • be engaged in wider professional activity, for instance tackling pupil, family and school needs by learning about, identifying and addressing challenges such as vulnerability, mental health problems or safeguarding issues
  • develop or engage in working groups to share best practice around resilience, commitment and team-working
  • work in pairs or groups to co-plan, co-teach and co-assess lessons with their mentors or other trainees. Paired and group placements, where these are possible, benefit trainees, mentors and teaching staff, promoting a greater sense of team collaboration, ongoing professional learning and reductions in workload

This is not intended to be exhaustive and ITT partnerships will need to ensure they have identified and comply with all legislation and guidance relevant to ITT.

Staff taking leave

We recognise that school staff have been working extremely hard throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will be working hard to prepare for all pupils to return from the start of the autumn term. Many staff will want to take a holiday over the summer period, which may involve travelling abroad. The government has set a requirement for people returning from some countries to quarantine for 14 days on their return. The latest guidance on quarantine can be accessed at coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

As would usually be the case, staff will need to be available to work in school from the start of the autumn term. We recommend that school leaders discuss leave arrangements with staff before the end of the summer term to inform planning for the autumn term.

There is a risk that where staff travel abroad, their return travel arrangements could be disrupted due to factors arising beyond their control in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the potential for reinstatement of lockdown measures in the place they are visiting.

Where it is not possible to avoid a member of staff having to quarantine during term time, school leaders should consider if it is possible to temporarily amend working arrangements to enable them to work from home.

Other support

Volunteers may be used to support the work of the school, as would usually be the case. It is important that they are properly supported and given appropriate roles. Where schools and colleges are utilising volunteers, they should continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in the volunteer section in Part 3 of keeping children safe in education. Under no circumstances should a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity. Mixing of volunteers across groups should be kept to a minimum, and they should remain 2 metres from pupils and staff where possible.

12.  Pupil Wellbeing and support

Pupils may be experiencing a variety of emotions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. This may particularly be the case for vulnerable children, including those with a social worker and young carers. It is important to contextualise these feelings as normal responses to an abnormal situation. Some may need support to re-adjust to school; others may have enjoyed being at home and be reluctant to return; a few may be showing signs of more severe anxiety or depression. Others will not be experiencing any challenges and will be keen and ready to return to school.

The return to school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing.

The Department for Education, Public Health England and NHS England hosted a free webinar for school and college staff on 9 July 2020 to set out how to support returning pupils and students. A recording of this is available:

Supporting pupil and student mental wellbeing.

This includes experts discussing the impacts of the pandemic on pupils’ mental wellbeing and recovery techniques, and education leaders discussing the actions they have been taking.

The Whole School SEND consortium will be delivering some training and how-tos for mainstream school teachers (including free insets and webinars) on supporting pupils with SEND to return to their mainstream school after the long absence, and on transition to other settings. Details of future training sessions are held on the events page of the SEND Gateway. You can opt to join Whole School SEND’s community of practice when you sign up for an event to receive notifications about future training and resources as they are published.

DfE has also published the first of the relationships, sex and health education training modules for teachers to support them in preparation to deliver content on mental health and wellbeing. The training module on teaching about mental wellbeing, which has been developed with clinical experts and schools, will improve teacher confidence in talking and teaching about mental health and wellbeing in the classroom. It was published early given the importance of supporting pupils’ mental health and wellbeing at this time.

Schools should consider the provision of pastoral and extra-curricular activities to all pupils designed to:

  • support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
  • address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • support pupils with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing

Schools should also provide more focused pastoral support where issues are identified that individual pupils may need help with, drawing on external support where necessary and possible. Schools should also consider support needs of particular groups they are already aware need additional help (for example, children in need), and any groups they identify as newly vulnerable on their return to school. To support this, teachers may wish to access the free MindEd learning platform for professionals, which contains materials on peer support, stress, fear and trauma, and bereavement. MindEd have also developed a coronavirus (COVID-19) staff resilience hub with advice and tips for frontline staff.

Schools should consider how they are working with school nursing services to support the health and wellbeing of their pupils; school nursing services have continued to offer support as pupils return to school – school nurses as leaders of the healthy child programme can offer a range of support including:

  • support for resilience, mental health and wellbeing including anxiety, bereavement and sleep issues
  • support for pupils with additional and complex health needs
  • supporting vulnerable children and keeping children safe

Schools and school nurses need to work together to ensure delivery of the healthy child programme (which includes immunisation), identifying health and wellbeing needs which will underpin priorities for service delivery.

13. Online safety in schools and colleges

As more children return it will be important that Countess Anne School continue to provide a safe online environment for those who remain at home. Countess Anne School will continue to ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems (read guidance on what “appropriate” looks like) are in place to protect children when they are online on the school or college’s IT systems. Countess Anne School will consider who in their institution has the technical knowledge to maintain safe IT arrangements. Schools and colleges should also consider what their contingency arrangements are if their IT staff become unavailable.

What the contingency arrangements are if their IT staff become unavailable.

All teachers given VPN access to school sever

All teachers given Google Drive

HfL provide replacement

The UK Council for Internet Safety provides information to help governing bodies and proprietors assure themselves that any new arrangements continue to effectively safeguard children online.

Internet Matters vulnerable children in a digital world-report may help governing bodies, proprietors, senior leaders and DSLs understand more about the potential increased risks some groups of children can face online.

The UK Safer Internet Centre’s professional online safety helpline, email helpline@saferinternet.org.uk or telephone 0344 381 4772 provides support for the children’s workforce with any online safety issues they face.

The NSPCC Learning website also provides useful support and training opportunities for professionals.

14. Children and online safety away from school and college

Countess Anne Schoolshould be doing what they reasonably can to keep all of their children safe. Whilst more children return to school and college, others will continue to stay at home and, in many cases, will be continuing to engage with their school or college online.

It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the child protection policy and where appropriate referrals should continue to be made to children’s social care and as required the police.

  1. Remote education

The DfE has provided guidance on safeguarding and remote education to support schools and colleges plan lessons safely. Case studies are available for schools to learn from each other’s emerging practice as they develop their approaches to providing remote education.

 

  1.   Virtual lessons and live streaming

There is no expectation that teachers should live stream or provide pre-recorded videos. Schools and colleges should consider the approaches that best suit the needs of their children and staff.

Guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre on which video conference service is right for you and using video conferencing services securely can help set up video conferencing safely, if you choose to use it.

In addition, guidance from the UK Safer Internet Centre on safe remote learning includes detailed advice for real time online teaching and the London Grid for Learning safeguarding advice includes platform specific advice.

Teaching from home is different to teaching in the classroom. Teachers should try to find a quiet or private room or area to talk to pupils, parents or carers. When broadcasting a lesson or making a recording, also consider what will be in the background.

  1. Online safety

All schools and colleges should continue to consider the safety of their children when they are asked to work online. The starting point for online teaching should be that the same principles as set out in the school’s or college’s staff behaviour policy (sometimes known as a code of conduct) should be followed. This policy should amongst other things include acceptable use of technologies, staff pupil/student relationships and communication including the use of social media. The policy should apply equally to any existing or new online and distance learning arrangements which are introduced.

Schools and colleges should, as much as is reasonably possible, consider if their existing policies adequately reflect that some children (and in some cases staff) continue to work remotely online. As with the child protection policy, in some cases an annex/addendum summarising key coronavirus related changes may be more effective than re-writing/re-issuing the whole policy.

The principles set out in the guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings published by the Safer Recruitment Consortium may help schools and colleges satisfy themselves that their staff behaviour policies are robust and effective. In some areas schools and colleges may be able to seek support from their local authority when planning online lessons/activities and considering online safety.

Schools and colleges should continue to ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection requirements.

An essential part of the online planning process will be ensuring children who are being asked to work online have very clear reporting routes in place so they can raise any concerns whilst online. As well as reporting routes back to the school or college this should also signpost children to age appropriate practical support from the likes of:

Schools and colleges are likely to be in regular contact with parents and carers. Those communications should continue to be used to reinforce the importance of children being safe online. It will be especially important for parents and carers to be aware of what their children are being asked to do online, including the sites they will asked to access and be clear who from the school or college (if anyone) their child is going to be interacting with online.

Parents and carers may choose to supplement the school or college online offer with support from online companies and in some cases individual tutors. In their communications with parents and carers, schools and colleges should emphasise the importance of securing online support from a reputable organisation/individual who can provide evidence that they are safe and can be trusted to have access to children.

Support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online includes:

  • Thinkuknow provides advice from the National Crime Agency (NCA) on staying safe online
  • Parent info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations
  • Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
  • Internet Matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
  • London Grid for Learning has support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online
  • Net-aware has support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, including a guide to social networks, apps and games
  • Let’s Talk About It has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
  • UK Safer Internet Centre has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services

Government has also provided:

The DfE encourages schools and colleges to share this support with parents and carers.

 

 

APPENDIX 5

 

Interim DfE Safeguarding Guidance: Actions required.

 

 

 

  • Ensure that someone is responsible for ensuring these actions are completed
  • Ensure governors are aware of the Government's interim safeguarding guidance
  • Ensure that someone is responsible for continuity in safeguarding leadership
  • If you are a hub understand that you have the responsibility for safeguarding all children and staff
  • Ensure DSL is available, in-person, by phone or video link
  • Nominate a senior leader to be the onsite safeguarding lead
  • Ensure staff know the new arrangements for DSLs and reporting concerns
  • Understand what changes there may be for contacting the Local Authority Designated Officer LADO
  • Understand what changes there may be for contacting Children’s Services
  • Understand what changes there may be for contacting social workers
  • Know which children have social workers and how to contact them
  • Know which children are LAC/PLAC, who their Virtual School Head is and how to contact them
  • Know which children should be in school and follow up where they do not attend
  • Ensure that emergency numbers and alternatives are kept up to date
  • Ensure that there are safeguarding induction processes for new staff and volunteers
  • Ensure that new staff, staff relocated to the school, and volunteers understand the staff code of conduct
  • Ensure that any volunteers have been individually risk-assessed
  • Ensure that each vulnerable child has an easily transferable record of why they are vulnerable,
  • a copy of the EHCP and/or CIN or CP Plan,
  • the name of their social worker and contact details, for LAC children
  • the name of the relevant Virtual School Head
  • Ensure there is a record of which staff are onsite daily
  • Ensure that the SCR is up to date with any relocated staff or volunteers and the checks that have been made
  • Ensure that your safer recruitment processes are clear and adhered to, for example, be aware of anyone unknown to the school offering themselves as a volunteer
  • Ensure that staff are aware that there may be an impact of the mental health of pupils, parents and staff or volunteers; and what support may be available
  • Consider what to do if there are no IT staff available
  • Ensure that the school has an online teaching and learning policy which considers safeguarding risks and that pupils, parents and staff know how to raise any safeguarding issues that may arise during any online learning
  • Ensure that SLT has a plan for how any bereavements may be handled, including obtaining any support services See charity websites, for example, Winston's Wish, Grief Encounter, or Childhood Bereavement Network or Hope Encounter

© 2020 Andrew Hall | safeguarding.in schools