Safeguarding Policy

St. Edmund Campion Catholic Nursery School

 

SAFEGUARDING POLICY DOCUMENT

 

Devised:          February 2013

Governors:     February 2013          

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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

(Including managing allegations of abuse against a member of staff)

I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.

John10:10

 

MISSION STATEMENT

 

God is at the centre of everything we do

 

To be read in conjunction with the school’s Child Protection Policy

 

Policy statement

 

Our nursery will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our safeguarding policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

 

EYFS key themes and commitments

A Unique Child Positive Relationships Enabling Environments Learning and Development
1.3 Keeping safe 2.1 Respecting each other

2.2 Parents as partners3.4 The wider context4.4 Personal, social and emotional development

 

Procedures

 

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

 

Key commitment 1

The Nursery is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of its service delivery.

 

Staff and volunteers

  • Our designated person who co-ordinates child protection issues is: Headteacher Patricia Opalko and Deputy Head Teacher Sandra Barry
  • In the event of the Hardteacher being away from the premises, Alma Powell  is the named persons in a position of responsibility.
  • Our Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who oversees this work is: Nichola Johnstone (Tel: 01628 683193).
  • We ensure all staff and parents are made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks with DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) before posts can be confirmed.
  • Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Disclosure and Barring Service checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the nursery or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • We abide by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery.
  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • All staff have the appropriate child protection training, which is updated at least every two years.

 

Key commitment 2

The Nursery is committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2006).

 

Responding to suspicions of abuse

  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play.
  • Where such evidence is apparent, the child’s key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the lead practitioner/ head teacher who is acting as the ‘designated person’. The information is securely stored separately to the child’s personal file.
  • We refer concerns to the local authority children’s social care department and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation.
    NB In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
  • We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
  • We use the CAF or pre CAF or the social services own referral form when making a referral to children’s social care or other appropriate agencies

 

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

  • Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observe signs or signals that gives cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect that member of staff:
    • listen to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
    • do not question the child;
    • do not promise that you will not tell anyone
    • make a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
      • the date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
      • the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible;
      • the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and
      • The names of any other person present at the time.
      • A bruise must never be interpreted in isolation and must always be assessed in the context of medical and social history, developmental stage and explanation given. A full clinical examination and relevant investigations must be undertaken by a paediatrician.
      • These records should be signed and dated and kept separately to the child’s personal file which is stored securely and confidentially.

 

Making a referral to the local authority social care team

  • The Pre-school Learning Alliance’s publication ‘Child Protection Record’ contains detailed procedures for making a referral to the local social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making a referral. This is based on ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2006).
  • We keep a copy of this document and follow the detailed guidelines given in conjunction with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010/2013)’.
  • Any child who is found to be seriously ill or injured, or in need of urgent treatment or further investigation, should be referred immediately to hospital before referral to Children’s Services.

 

Informing parents

  • Parents are normally the first point of contact.
  • If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this,  unless you feel that the child will be in danger by doing so.
  • This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

 

Liaison with other agencies

  • We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.
  • We have a copy of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
  • We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children.
  • If a referral is to be made to the local authority social care department, we act within the area’s Safeguarding Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child’s parents at the same time.

 

Allegations against staff

  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the nursery, or working on the premises occupied by the nursery, which may include an allegation of abuse.
  • We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or volunteer within the nursery, or working on the premises occupied by the nursery, has abused a child.
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the nursery, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the nursery, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority’s social care department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted and what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
  • We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
  • Where the management committee and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the Head Teacher will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.

Disciplinary action

  • Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the nursery because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Barring Board administrators so that the name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List.

Key commitment 3

The Nursery is committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout its training and learning programmes for adults. It is also committed to empowering young children, through its early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.

 

Training

  • We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the nursery to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
  • We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the nursery.

 

Planning

  • The layout of the room allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others.
  • The use of mobile phones/camera phones is not permitted in the nursery entrance hall or main indoor and outdoor learning areas during the times that children are present. All staff have been provided with a locker to store personal belongings (including mobile phones). If anyone is seen using a mobile phone during this time, staff will ask for it to be put away and that calls are made off the premises.
  • Parent volunteers are asked to leave all personal belongings (including mobile phones/cameras) in the office during the time they are assisting at the Nursery.
  • Photographs are one way that evidence of learning and development is collected at the Nursery. All practitioners have been issued with a school camera to take photographs, personal cameras must not be used for this purpose. Cameras are handed into the Nursery office and taken to the IT Support Officer for images to be downloaded onto the school computer system. Cameras should be placed in a lockable cupboard in the Nursery office at the end of each day.

 

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the nursery a culture of value and respect for the individual, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.

 

 

Confidentiality

  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know.  Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

 

 

Support to families

  • We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
  • We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
  • We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the nursery’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

 

Legal framework

                                                                                                 

Primary legislation

  • Children Act (1989 s47)
  • Protection of Children Act (1999)
  • Data Protection Act (1998)
  • The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
  • Sexual Offences Act (2003)
  • Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
  • Human Rights Act (1999)
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000)
  • Race Relations (Amendment) Act (1976) Regulations
  • Equalities Act (2006)
  • Data Protection Act (1998) Non Statutory Guidance

 

Secondary legislation

Further Guidance

 

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010)
  • What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2006)
  • Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
  • The Common Assessment Framework (2006)
  • Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2007)
  • Information Sharing: Practitioners’ Guide (HMG 2006)

 

Useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications:

 

  • Child Protection Record (2007)

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