Pippins School fully recognizes its responsibilities for child protection.
Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school. There five main elements to our policy are to:
- ensure we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
- raise awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe
- develop and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse
- support pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan
- establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
We recognize that because of the day-to-day contact with children, school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The school will therefore:
- establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to
- ensure children know that there are adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried
- include opportunities in the PSHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
We will follow the procedures set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and take account of guidance issued by the DCSF to:
- ensure we have a designated senior person for child protection who has received appropriate training and support for this role
- ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection
- ensure every member of staff (including temporary and supply staff and volunteers) and governing body knows the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role
- ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for child protection
- ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection by setting out its obligations in the school prospectus
- develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance at case conferences
- keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately
- ensure all records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations
- develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer
- ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed.
We recognize that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:
- the content of the curriculum;
- the school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued;
- the school behaviour policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred;
- liaison with other agencies that support the pupil such as social services, Child and Adult Mental Health Service, education welfare service and educational psychology service;
- Ensuring that, where a pupil on the child protection register leaves, their information is transferred to the new school immediately and that the child’s social worker is informed.
On every occasion when a member of staff has reason to suspect that a child is suffering from any form of abuse, they should express their concerns immediately to the designated Child Protection Officer ( Headteacher ,Lucy Barnes or in her absence SENCO Jill Janotti. In the absence of both these personnel, concerns should be passed to the Deputy Headteacher Simon Trick). These concerns may then contact the Child Protection Team at Social Services. If a child volunteers information to a member of staff regarding possible abuse, sensitivity should be exercised and the following principles should be followed.
Listen carefully to the child – do not question or suggest. It is the role of the police and social services to interrogate.
- Do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events. Make written notes as soon as possible and as accurately as possible. Sign and date the notes and state whether or not they are verbatim.
- Tell the child you need to get advice from someone else. Never tell a child that you will keep a secret for him/her
- Staff must not inform parents when any abuse is suspected
- Respect the child’s right to confidentiality and only inform those who need to know
- If you are contacted by anyone outside the school with information always inform the Designated Teacher for Child Protection.
The Headteacher and SENCO have received Level 2 CP training ( Nov and Dec 09)
All members of staff with direct contact with children have received training in Child Protection procedures ( Academic year 2009/10)