If you have a safeguarding or child protection concern, you should raise this immediately with the school either in person or by telephone call. Child protection concerns should not be raised by email as these can take longer to respond to. Concerns should be raised with the designated safeguarding lead.
This policy applies to all staff, agency staff, contractors, governors and volunteers working in the school. It reflects current legislation, accepted best practice and complies with government guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children (2022) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) Children Act (2004) Statutory Framework for Early Years foundation Stage (2021) The London Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and HM Prevent Duty Guidance (2021 & 2015). What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2015).
At Montpelier we recognise the fundamental importance of safeguarding and its centrality to all our work. We believe that all children have the right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. “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. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals 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”. To do this, staff must know how to work to keep children safe, identify risks, signs of harm or potential harm and how to seek advice from the school’s designated safeguarding leader. (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022)
Staff and Governors at Montpelier are aware that many children are the victims of different kinds of abuse and that they can be subjected to social factors that have an adverse impact upon their lives – including domestic violence, substance misuse, bullying, mental health and radicalisation. We also acknowledge that safeguarding incidents could happen anywhere and staff should maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child.
The school adopts the definition used in the Children Act 2004 and in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’. This can be summarised as:
Safeguarding relates to a wide range of aspects of school life which are interconnected including:
Safeguarding can involve a range of specific issues:
The aims of this policy are to:
We follow the procedures set out by Ealing Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and take account of guidance issued by the DfE to:
Further guidance can be obtained from ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (2015) – non-statutory advice for practitioners. See links to key documents p14.
“Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare”.
It is vital that our actions do not abuse the child further or prejudice further enquiries. The following procedure is displayed on classroom noticeboards and in key rooms around the school.
If a member of staff receives a disclosure from a child they should:
USE TED – Tell me what happened, Explain how this happened, Describe how this happened.
Pupils’ safeguarding and child protection records will be stored securely on the Edukey Safeguarding online log and access to these records will be appropriately limited to the DSL, deputy DSLs and the headteacher.
When pupils leave Montpelier Primary School, the school will ensure that their child protection file is transferred to the new school or college as soon as possible. This will be transferred separately from their main pupil file, usually via Egress secure email platform and a confirmation of receipt will be requested and retained. Where appropriate, the DSL will share information in advance of the pupil transferring so support can be put in place.
School staff should bring all concerns to the attention of the designated lead. The designated lead will make an informed decision about whether the pupil is in immediate danger or risk of harm. If a concern is raised but the child is not in immediate danger or risk of harm, the designated lead will decide if early help is appropriate and if so, what action to take. Early help may include the involvement of outside agencies, for example through an Early Help Assessment and Plan (EHAP). If early help is appropriate the case will be monitored through regular review of the vulnerable pupil’s register and consideration will be given to a referral to children’s social care if the child’s
situation does not appear to be improving.
All staff have a responsibility to identify children who may benefit from early help in order to provide support as soon as a problem emerges.
Concerns that may trigger Early Help include:
All teachers will report these concerns using the Edukey safeguarding log so that they can be monitored by the DSL and deputy DSL.
Pupils and their families are entitled to confidentiality but school staff have a duty to share confidential information with other professionals if a pupil is at risk, particularly investigating agencies. A child’s welfare will always take precedence in information sharing.
If a pupil confides in a member of staff and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff tells the child sensitively that he/she have a responsibility to refer for the child’s own sake. Within that context, the child should, however, be reassured that the matter will be disclosed only to the people who need to know about it.
Personal information about all pupils’ and their families is regarded by those who work in this school as confidential. Staff who receive the information about children and families in the course of their work should have the information only within their professional context.
All records relating to child protection incidents will be maintained by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputy, stored securely and only shared as is consistent with the protection of children.
Under the Data Protection Act parents have a right to see all notes, unless the content could jeopardise a child’s safety.
The school will work with parents to support the needs of their child. The welfare of children is paramount however and it is the school’s duty to safeguard all children, should a concern arise professional advice may be sought prior to contacting parents. The school aims to help parents understand that the school has a responsibility for the welfare of all pupils and a duty to refer cases to Social Care in the interests of the child. When working with parents, staff will need to have a non-judgmental attitude; respect confidentiality and recognise feelings of guilt, shame, betrayal and anger that may be evident in some circumstances.
This policy is available to all parents on the school website. Printed copies can be requested from the school office. Contact information for the Designated Safeguarding Lead is also published separately on the school website (statutory information).
The school will endeavour to support pupils to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary to stay safe and to recognise and report concerns. In addition to the curriculum, Circle Time encourages discussion of any specific issues to the class that arise. Some other examples are; Worry boxes in classrooms and senior leaders’ rooms, passes given to vulnerable pupils to speak to a named member of staff when needed, School Council in KS2, Playground Champions for KS2 and Playground Buddies for KS1 and Reception classes.
Many class texts are chosen for the issues that they raise ensuring a depth of understanding of safeguarding issues e.g. Journey to Jo’burg studied by Year 5 raises racism, slavery and human rights, Goodnight Mister Tom and The Diary of Anne Frank studied by Year 6 raises the effects of war, child abuse and separation. The content of the curriculum, in particular the personal, social, health, citizenship and economic (PSHE) curriculum aims for children to develop an understanding of their rights and develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse. During computing lessons children will be taught about the dangers of the internet, at an age appropriate level. Sex and Relationships education is also taught including raising awareness to different family structures to the conventional nuclear family.
The school ethos which underpins all school functioning promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment aimed at giving pupils a sense of being valued. This is encompassed within the school’s BASICS model which is displayed in all classrooms and key areas around the school. The BASICS model underpins assembly themes: Belonging, Aspiration, Safety, Identity, Challenge, Success. In addition, in all assemblies relating to Safety (e.g. road safety, e-Safety, safety at home, personal relationships, conflict resolution and managing feelings, anti- bullying) a slide is included which reminds children of who to approach if they have a concern including adults in the school and the ChildLine telephone number (see appendix 9).
School procedures for managing behaviour, bullying incidents and internet-safety support pupils in understanding what acceptable behaviour is and in learning to recognise that some behaviour is unacceptable. Anti-bullying posters are displayed around the school with the STOP acronym (Several Times On Purpose), as well as posters with the PANTS acronym (Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you, Speak up – someone can help) from the NSPCC and Childline contact details.
The school will ensure that the child’s wishes are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide to protect individual children by ensuring children have opportunities to express their views and give feedback.
The designated leads will offer guidance and support to staff who are working with pupils living in families experiencing difficulties relating to mental ill-health and / or substance misuse / and /or domestic violence. The school will liaise with other agencies that support pupils such as Social Care, Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS), education welfare service and educational psychology service. Support plans, working in partnerships with outside agencies, will be put in place for pupils who have been subject to abuse.
Montpelier Primary School follows advice given by the DfE and as stated in the Education and Inspections Act 2006 section 93.
“A member of the staff of a school may use, in relation to any pupil at the school, such force as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances for the purpose of preventing the pupil from doing (or continuing to do) any of the following:
(a) Committing any offence
(b) Causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil himself)
(c) Engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, whether that behaviour occurs during a teaching session or otherwise.
At Montpelier, if a child is physically restrained then the parent will be informed on the same day, with an explanation of the circumstances.
Situations in which physical intervention might be appropriate or necessary include, but are not limited to:
(1) A person to whom this section applies may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purpose of preventing a pupil from doing (or continuing to do) any of the following, namely— (a) committing any offence, (b) causing personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil himself), or (c) prejudicing the maintenance of good order and …
This is for school leaders and school staff. It applies to: local-authority-maintained schools; academies and free schools; pupil referral units; non-maintained special schools
The school recognises that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. The DSL will consult with the SENDCO if a concern has been raised to plan the best course of action.
Staff should be aware of any additional barriers when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. These can include:
We recognise that some students will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy. Allegations may be made against children by others which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and sexting. It is likely that to be considered a safeguarding allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found.
Examples of safeguarding issues against a pupil could include:
In areas where gangs are prevalent, older students may attempt to recruit younger pupils using any or all of the above methods. Young people suffering from sexual exploitation themselves may be forced to recruit other young people under threat of violence.
Minimising the risk of safeguarding concerns towards pupils from other pupils
On occasion, some pupils will present a safeguarding risk to other pupils. The school should be informed by the relevant agency that the young person raises safeguarding concerns; for example, they have experienced serious abuse themselves. These pupils will need an individual risk management plan to ensure that other pupils are kept safe and they themselves are not laid open to malicious allegations.
When an allegation is made by a pupil against another student, members of staff should consider whether the complaint raises a safeguarding concern. If there is a safeguarding concern the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) should be informed.
SUPPORTING ABUSED CHILDREN
Staff can support abused children by:
Charlotte Lannigan is the named teacher for Looked After (LAC) and Post-Looked After Children (Post-LAC) in school.
The lead will promote the educational achievement of looked after children and ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep looked after children safe. The lead will ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status. The lead will ensure they have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual school head in the authority that looks after the child.
All school staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. Staff should always conduct interviews or work with individual children or parents with or in view of other adults. All staff must understand that they are employed in a ‘Position of Trust’.
Staff must report to the headteacher any concerns which they have about the safeguarding practice of colleagues and volunteers. The headteacher on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the LA Designated Officer (LADO) for Child Protection. The School has adopted the local authority procedures for dealing with allegations against staff.
If the complaint is against the headteacher this must be made to the chair of governors. The Chair will consult with the LA’s Lead Officer for Child Protection (LADO).
A referral to the DBS must be made if someone has harmed, or poses a risk of harm to a child and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left. Referrals should be made to both DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) and the TRA (Teaching Regulation Agency) in cases where there is alleged serious teacher misconduct as well as harm or risk of harm to a child.
The School has adopted the local authority procedures for dealing with allegations against staff; ‘ Ealing Council model procedure for schools responding to allegations of abuse by teachers and other staff’.
Investigations against staff will be conducted by the headteacher. Investigations against the headteacher will be carried out by the Chair of Governors with appropriate support from the senior deputy headteacher and the Local Authority.
The Ealing LADO contact details are:
In the absence of the LADO please contact the child protection advisors on the same number who have delegated LADO responsibilities.
Low- Level Concerns
The school takes all concerns raised about members of staff seriously. The concerns will be shared with the member of staff sensitively and the DSL, deputy DSL and the headteacher will collaborate to ensure appropriate action is taken. This may include consulting with the LADO.
Each staff selection panel will contain at least one member trained in Safer Recruitment. Appropriate pre-appointment checks will be made for all staff and volunteers undertaking regulated activity as per the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE (2022). All staff, governors and volunteers are required to have an enhanced criminal records certificate from the DBS unless they will be supervised. Appropriate vetting checks will be undertaken on all adults working in the school to establish the suitability of a person to work with children in line with Ealing’s Safer Recruitment procedures. Records of these checks will be kept in accordance with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE 2022.
Where another body provides services or activities separately, using the school premises, the Business Manager will ensure that the body concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place in regard to safer recruitment and safeguarding children and a copy of their child protection policy will be kept on file. See our Safer Recruitment Policy and Procedures for further details.
Appropriate use of technology, including mobile phones, which capture photographs or video is essential at Montpelier Primary School. The use of mobile phones and other recording devices such as iPads does not detract from the quality of supervision and care of children.
Practitioners are able to use their personal mobile phone during their break times or when working away from children. While working with children or in areas where children are present phones must be switched off and kept out of the reach of children, parents and volunteers. An exception to this is the usage of mobile phones which are the property of the school. All staff are made aware of their duty to follow this procedure. (See the E- Safety section of the IT policy for further information).
The school will ensure appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect pupils from inappropriate and harmful online material and will let parents know the details of the filters used and the online platforms the children have access to.
Online safety is fully embedded throughout our whole curriculum to ensure children are confident about how to be safe online.
Sexting’ is one of a number of ‘risk-taking’ behaviours associated with the use of digital devices, social media or the internet. It is accepted that young people experiment and challenge boundaries and therefore the risks associated with ‘online’ activity can never be completely eliminated. However Montpelier Primary School takes a pro-active approach to help students to understand, assess, manage and avoid the risks associated with ‘online activity’. The school recognises its duty of care to its young people who do find themselves involved in such activity as well as its responsibility to report such behaviours where legal or safeguarding boundaries are crossed.
There are different types of sexting and it is likely that no two cases will be the same. It is necessary to carefully consider each case on its own merit. However, it is important that the school applies a consistent approach when dealing with an incident to help protect young people and the school. For this reason the Designated Safeguarding Lead needs to be informed of any ‘sexting’ incidents. The range of contributory factors in each case also needs to be considered in order to determine an appropriate and proportionate response.
All the requirements of this policy apply equally to children in the EYFS so far as they are relevant to this age group. In addition, the following child protection policy and procedure for the EYFS applies, in line with the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021).
The school actively discourages parents from posting images of pupils taken at school on any social media.
The school will notify Ofsted in the event of an allegation of serious harm or abuse by any person working in the early years setting.
All the requirements of this policy apply equally to children in the EYFS so far as they are relevant to this age group. In addition, the following child protection policy and procedure for the EYFS applies, in line with the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017).
The school actively discourages parents from posting images of pupils taken at school on any social media.
The school will notify Ofsted in the event of an allegation of serious harm or abuse by any person working in the early years setting.
The school recognises that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in this policy.
Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils, staff, volunteers, parents, carers, contractors or visitors will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Behaviour / Anti- Bullying Policies for pupils and the Code of Conduct for staff.
When operating this policy we adhere to government guidance of extremism which is:
So-called ‘honour based violence’ (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community. These include the practices of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. All forms of HBV are abuse and must be referred to the DSL who will the appropriate professional agency.
The school is aware that it is an offence to carry out FGM of any kind in the UK or for a UK national or permanent UK resident to assist in the carrying out of FGM abroad. We recognise that the procedure may be carried out on females at any age. However, the majority of cases of FGM are thought to take place between the ages of five and eight, therefore girls at primary school are within the high risk bracket.
Girls of school age who are subjected to FGM overseas are thought to be taken abroad at the start of the school holidays, particularly in the summer holidays, in order for there to be sufficient time for recovery before the new term. Staff must ensure that no particular group within society is stereotyped. If you have any concerns, do not question the child, report directly to the safeguarding lead. If it is discovered that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18 the designated lead or deputy must be report this to the police.
Indications that FGM may be about to take place
Forced marriage is a crime in the UK. It is a marriage entered into without the free and full consent of one or both parties and where a threat of violence or other form of coercion (emotional/psychological) is used to force a person into a marriage.
Indications of forced marriage
Statutory definition of Child Sexual Exploitation (DFE Definition 17th February 2017)
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. Any suspicion of child exploitation should be reported as abuse to the DSL.
Indications of children being sexually exploited
It is also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
The School requires that all visitors comply with its policy and procedures as outlined in the Visitor Management policy. Failure so to do may result in the visitor’s escorted departure from the school site and/or being refused permission to access the school site, either temporarily or permanently, in the future.
The policy is designed to safeguard all children and staff under this school’s responsibility both during school hours and out of school hours activities which are arranged by the school. The ultimate aim is to ensure that students at Montpelier Primary School can learn and enjoy extra-curricular experiences, in an environment where they are safe from harm.
The policy outlines a clear protocol and procedure for the admittance of external visitors to the school that is understood by all staff, governors, visitors and parents. It conforms to child protection and safeguarding guidelines. It applies to all non-staff persons accessing the school site and applies during normal school hours, during after-school activities and on school organised (and supervised) off-site activities.
This child protection policy applies equally to activities out of school hours. Arrangements for the management of lettings are outlined in our Lettings Policy. Individuals and organisations using the school premises to deliver activities for children (whether on roll at Montpelier or otherwise) are required to provide a satisfactory child protection policy and safeguarding procedures.
Documentation includes, but is not limited to, confirmation that they adhere to safer recruitment procedures, suitable arrangements in the event of non-collection of a child and confirmation that there will be a suitably qualified first-aider on-site during their activity. Site security remains of paramount importance and organisers/club leaders are responsible for the security of the premises and for controlling access thereto.
If a member of staff or volunteer becomes aware that a pupil may be in a private fostering arrangement, that is, provided with care and accommodation by someone to whom they are not related, it should be raised with the DSL. The school is aware of its duty to inform the local authority of any child in such an arrangement.
Staff, governors and volunteers are given training to be vigilant in cases of suspected child abuse in order to recognise the signs and symptoms through:
Emotional support for staff involved in difficult cases will be provided by the designated teacher and peers will be encouraged to provide a support network. When necessary, support from the local authority will be requested.
The policy will be monitored by the governing body and reviewed annually (or earlier if necessary) by the senior leadership team.