*Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility*
Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children.
To fulfil this responsibility effectively, we ensure our approach is child centred. This means that we consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
The DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ is our first point of reference for child protection and child welfare issues in the school. The guidance has been issued to, read and is followed by:
- members of the governing body;
- the school/senior leadership team.
The School regards Child Protection as an essential task of all its staff, governors and visitors/volunteers who come into school. We are committed to protecting and safeguarding pupils in school.
Working with Other Agencies
Every effort will be made to work in partnership with other agencies and seek to establish effective working relationships with parents and other colleagues so enabling the Governing Body to fulfil their duty to have arrangements about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in place.
The School recognises and is committed to its responsibility to work with other professionals and agencies both to ensure children’s needs are met and to protect them from harm. We will endeavour to identify those children and families who may benefit from the intervention and support of external professionals and will seek to enable referrals (in discussion with parents) as appropriate. Information on the Early Help Assessment process is available via the Cumbria SCP website.
Schools are not the investigating agency when there are child protection concerns and thus, the school will pass all relevant cases to the statutory agencies, which we will support in undertaking their roles. Staff should understand that alongside this, the school may have a crucial role in supporting the child whilst investigations and assessments take place.
The School recognises the importance of multi-agency working and will ensure that staff are enabled to attend relevant safeguarding meetings, including Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups, Strategy Meetings, Child in Need meetings and Early Help/Team around the Family or Team around the Child meetings.
We will also work with local partners, families and communities in our efforts to ensure our school understands and embraces our local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of our pupil’s experiences and horizons. We will help support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of our wider safeguarding responsibilities offering support and assistance from external agencies where required.
The School Leadership Team and DSL will work to establish strong and co-operative relationships with relevant professionals in other agencies.
Allegations against Staff
Our Child Protection Policy details how our safeguarding team will respond to allegations about staff and other adults (known as 'Whistleblowing'. Staff acknowledge their individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant agencies.
Abuse and Neglect
All our staff are aware of indicators of abuse and neglect (see below), understanding that children can be at risk of harm inside and outside of the school, inside and outside of home and online.
We exercise professional curiosity and knowing what to look for is vital for the early identification of abuse and neglect so that staff are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection. Abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events and cannot be covered by one definition or one label alone. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.
In all cases, staff work closely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a deputy.
Indicators of abuse and neglect
Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Harm can include ill treatment that is not physical as well as the impact of witnessing ill treatment of others. This can be particularly relevant, for example, in relation to the impact on children of all forms of domestic abuse. They may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline 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 fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
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 overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another – for example where there is domestic abuse, fighting or violence in the home. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudiced-based and discriminatory bullying), causing children to frequently 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, although it may occur alone.
For more information, see our procedures for preventing and dealing with bullying within the school’s Behaviour Policy and procedures.
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 (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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 as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent 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 being unresponsive to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8AJ