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Child Protection

Designated Safeguarding Persons and Contacts

Designated Safeguarding Governor: Michelle Kidwell (Chair of Governors)

Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP): Lee Burnell (Headteacher)

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP): Claire Bate (Deputy Headteacher)

Safeguarding Assistant Officer: Christopher Williams (Assistant Headteacher)

Health and Wellbeing Lead: Miss Carly Gaffney (ALNCo)

 

LA Designated Officer: Lisa Collins (01792) 637148/07827 822700

Social Services Referrals (01792) 635700

Out of Hours Referrals (01792) 775501

 

Introduction:

Llangyfelach Primary School fully recognises the contribution it makes to safeguarding and child protection.

 

There are three main elements to our policy:

  • Prevention through the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils.

  • Procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse (because of our day-to-day contact with children school staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse),

  • Support to pupils who may have been abused.

 

Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the school.

Our school will annually review the policy and is committed to following any new guidance.

 

Safeguarding Statement:

The Governors and staff of Llangyfelach Primary School are fully committed to adhering to section 175 of the Education Act, 2002, which requires Local Authorities and Governing Bodies of maintained schools and institutions to have arrangements for exercising their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  The Governing Body of Llangyfelach Primary School responds to the objective of keeping children and young people safe by:

  • creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children and young people;

  • identifying where there are child wellbeing concerns and taking action to address them, where appropriate, in partnership with other agencies;

  • ensuring that children are listened to if they are expressing concerns; and

  • the development of children’s understanding, awareness and resilience through the curriculum.

 

The Governing Body recognises that achieving this objective requires a system designed to:

  • prevent unsuitable people from working with children and young people;

  • promote safe practice and challenge poor and unsafe practice;

  • identify incidents in which there are grounds for concern about a child’s welfare, and initiate or take appropriate action to keep them safe; and

  • contribute to effective partnership working between all those involved in providing services for children and young people.

 

Governors and staff in Llangyfelach Primary School will work together with other agencies in order to achieve the above objective.

 

At Llangyfelach Primary School the health, safety and wellbeing of all children is of paramount importance.  Parents send their children to school each day with the expectation that the school will provide a secure environment in which their children can flourish. The Governing Body and school staff, therefore, make every effort to ensure that this expectation becomes a reality.  In order to do this, and acknowledging the scope of safeguarding, a wide range of measures and policies have been put in place including adopting the Wales Safeguarding Procedures and Keeping Learners Safe.   

 

Llangyfelach Primary School recognises the value of early intervention and prevention services in order to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children. We are committed to working collaboratively with families and early intervention services. It is essential that regular communication with families is maintained to identify, as early as possible, when other services may be able to offer support. The Governing Body and school staff will work with families to make appropriate and timely referrals for early intervention services.

 

We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to safeguard pupils. At Llangyfelach Primary School we acknowledge our safeguarding responsibilities to prevent impairment of health and development of pupils and ensure they receive safe and effective care. This is why we ensure that safeguarding features throughout all our school policies and procedures.

 

In addition, the school will therefore:

  • establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and 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 or in difficulty;

  • include in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for Personal Social Education (PSE) which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and to know to whom to turn for help;

  • include in the curriculum, material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.

 

Confidentiality:

Confidentiality issues need to be understood if a child divulges information they are being abused. A child may only feel confident to confide in a member of staff if they feel that the information will not be divulged to anyone else. However, education staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with the statutory agencies when a child is experiencing harm.

 

It is important that each member of staff deals with this sensitively and explains to the child that they must inform the appropriate people who can help the child, but that they will only tell those who need to know in order to be able to help. They should reassure the child and tell them that their situation will not become common knowledge within the school.

 

Be aware that it may well have taken significant courage on their part to disclose the information and that they may also be experiencing conflicting emotions, involving feelings of guilt, embarrassment, disloyalty (if the abuser is someone close) and hurt.

 

Please remember the pastoral responsibility of the education service. Ensure that only those with a professional involvement, e.g. the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) and the head teacher, have access to the child protection records. At all other times they should be kept securely locked and separate from the child’s main file or where electronic systems such as my concern are used, appropriate restrictions in place to ensure confidentiality.

 

The Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) in this school is: Mr Lee Burnell

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) in this school is: Mrs Claire Bate

The Designated Governor for Child Protection in this school is: Mrs Michelle Kidwell

 

Procedures:

These should be followed in the event of a child protection disclosure/concern.

We will follow the Wales Safeguarding Procedures that have been endorsed by West Glamorgan Safeguarding Board. The school will:

  • Ensure it has a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) who has undertaken the appropriate training, including the Deputy DSP.

  • Recognise the role of the DSP and arrange support and training at higher levels in accordance with their level of responsibility.

  • Ensure every member of staff and every governor knows:

  • the name of the DSP and their role and the designated governor for child protection,

  • that they have an individual responsibility for reporting child protection concerns using the proper channels and within the timescales agreed within Wales Safeguarding Procedures,

  • how to take forward those concerns where the DSP is unavailable.

  • Ensure that members of staff are aware of the need to be alert to signs of abuse and know how to respond to a pupil who may disclose abuse.

  • 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.

  • Ensure all staff undertake any agreed local authority child protection training relevant to their role.

  • Provide a child protection briefing at least termly for all staff so that they know:

  • their personal responsibility,

  • the agreed local procedures,

  • the need to be vigilant in identifying cases of abuse,

  • how to support a child who discloses abuse,

  • any new child protection issues or changes in procedures.

  • Notify local social services if:

  • a pupil on the child protection register is excluded either for a fixed term or permanently,

  • if there is an unexplained absence of a pupil on the child protection register of more than two days duration from school (or one day following a weekend).

  • Work to develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters.

  •  attend strategy meetings, initial/review child protection conferences and core groups (including the submission of written reports to the conferences).

  • Contribute and be responsible for school actions within children’s safety & care and support protection plans.

  • Keep written records of concerns about children (noting the date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to social services immediately.

  • Ensure all records are kept secure and in locked locations

  • Adhere to the procedures set out in the Welsh Government guidance ‘Keeping Learners Safe’ 2015 and any revisions of the guidance.

  • Ensure that safe recruitment and selection procedures are followed, and appropriate training is accessed.

  • Designate a governor for child protection who will oversee the school child protection policy and practice.

 

Making a Report/Referral to Children’s Services:

All child protection reports must be made via telephone in the 1st instance on:

01792 635700 (Swansea).

 

Your telephone report will be followed up within 24 hours on an Integrated Report/Referral form, this to be submitted via email to the Single Point of Contact/Integrated Information, Access & Advice Services:

singlepointofcontact@swansea.gov.uk (Swansea).

 

For concerns regarding a child who may be ‘at risk’ or in need of care and support a practitioner request form can be submitted without a prior telephone call. All SPOC reports/referrals will be screened and may be allocated for assessment or transferred to the Early Help Hub for discussion and consideration of the most appropriate offer of support.

 

For concerns outside of office hours e.g. parents evenings, trips away etc telephone contact can be made to the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 01639 895455 (NPT) or 01792 775501 (Swansea) and followed up with a written report form submitted to the SPOC / IIAA team within 24 hours. Should a social worker not be available on this number, a child protection concern must be passed directly to the police on 999. A child protection report must not be left until the next working day.

 

Definitions of Child Abuse, Protecting Children in Specific Circumstances:

The definitions of abuse are found in the Wales Safeguarding Procedures but can also be found for easy reference in Appendix C: Definitions and Indicators of Child Abuse.

 

Our school acknowledges that some children can be more vulnerable to abuse and we have specific child protection duties and responsibilities in relation to these. The specific circumstances are outlined in more details in Chapter 4 of the Welsh Government Keeping Learners Safe 2020 statutory guidance.

 

Dealing with a Disclosure Made by a Pupil:

Receive

  • Listen carefully to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief. Accept what is said. The child making the disclosure may be known to you as someone who does not always tell the truth. However do not let your past knowledge of this person allow you to pre-judge or invalidate their allegation.

  • Do not attempt to investigate the allegation. Your duty will be to listen to what is being said and to pass that information on.

 

Reassure

Provide the child with plenty of re-assurance. Always be honest and do not make promises you cannot keep, for example: “I’ll stay with you”, or, “Everything will be all right now”.

  • Alleviate guilt, if the pupil refers to it.  For example, you could say: “You’re not to blame. This is not your fault”.

  • Do not promise confidentiality. You will be under a duty to pass the information on and the child needs to know this.

 

React

  • You can ask questions and may need to in certain instances. However, this is not an opportunity to interrogate the child and go into the territory of in depth and prolonged questioning. You only need to know the salient points of the allegation that the child is making.  Any questions must be open and not leading.

  • Do not criticise the perpetrator as the pupil may still have a positive emotional attachment to this person.

  • Do not ask the pupil to repeat their allegation to another member of staff. If they are asked to repeat it they may feel that they are not being believed and / or their recollection of what happened may change.

 

Record

  • Take notes as soon as it is practical to do so. Record the actual words spoken by the child – do not re-translate them into adult terminology or try to make sense of the structure of what was said. Do not be offended by any offensive language or words used to describe the abuse.

  • Ensure your name, the time and date are on your notes and do not destroy them in case they are required by a court.

  • If you are able to do so, then draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising but do not ask the child to remove any clothing for this purpose.

  • Record statements and observable things, rather than your interpretations or assumptions.

Final Steps

  • Once you have followed the above guidelines, pass the information on immediately to the DSP. They will then have a number of options open to them, including contacting the local Social Services Team to seek their advice as to what should happen next.

 

Managing Allegations Against Adults who work with Children:

In the event of a child protection allegation being made against a member of staff, the person in receipt of that allegation must immediately pass details of the concern to the Headteacher or in their absence a member of staff with Headteacher responsibilities. The Headteacher will then contact the LA Education Safeguarding Officer on 01792 637148/07827 822700 to discuss the next steps in accordance with local arrangements. 

 

If a potential child protection allegation is made against the Headteacher the member of staff in receipt of that allegation must contact the Chair of Governors or the LA Education Safeguarding Officer on:

01792 637148/07827 822700.

 

If the Chair of Governors receives the report they will then contact the LA Education Safeguarding Officer on:

01792 637148/07827 822700.

 

In addition, the local the Social Services SPOC team, 01792 635700 will be able to advise when these situations arise.

 

Abuse of position of trust

Welsh Assembly Government Guidance indicates that all Education staff need to know that inappropriate behaviour with, or towards, children is unacceptable.  In particular, under the Sexual Offences Act, 2003, it is an offence for a person over 18 (for example teacher, youth worker) to have a sexual relationship with a child under 18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if the relationship is consensual.  This applies where the child is in full-time education and the person works in the same establishment as the child, even if he/she does not teach the child.  (See Appendix D – Abuse of Trust)

 

Supporting the Child at Risk:

Child abuse is devastating for the child and can also result in distress and anxiety for staff who become involved. We recognise that children who are at risk, suffer abuse or witness violence may be deeply affected by this. This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless, when at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:

  • taking all suspicions and disclosures seriously,

  • nominating a link person who will keep all parties informed and be the central point of contact. Where a member of staff is the subject of an allegation made by a pupil, separate link people will be nominated to avoid any conflict of interest,

  • responding sympathetically to any request from pupils or staff for time out to deal with distress or anxiety,

  • maintaining confidentiality and sharing information on a need-to-know basis only with relevant individuals and agencies,

  • keeping records and notifying Social Services as soon as there is a recurrence of a concern,

  • storing records securely,

  • offering details of helplines, counselling or other avenues of external support,

  • cooperating fully with relevant statutory agencies,

  • providing nurture and wellbeing support in accordance with our individual wellbeing strategy.

 

The content of the curriculum encourages self-esteem and self-motivation as outlined in Chapter 2 of the Welsh Government ‘Keeping Learners Safe 2020’ Statutory guidance.

  • Promote a positive, supportive and secure environment.

  • Give pupils a sense of being valued.

 

The school will support positive behaviour strategies aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school; we recognise that some children actually adopt abusive behaviours and that these children must be referred on for appropriate support and intervention.

 

The school will endeavour to ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable, but s/he is valued and does not feel blamed for any abuse which has occurred:

  • All staff will agree on a consistent approach which focuses on the behaviour of the offence committed by the child but does not damage the pupil’s sense of self-worth.

  • Liaison with other agencies who support the student such as Social Services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, the Educational Psychology Service, Behaviour Support Services, the Education Welfare Service and advocacy services as well as early intervention and prevention services (Early Help Hubs).

 

When a pupil on the Child Protection Register leaves the school, in addition to the standard transfer of information to the new school, the DSP will make immediate contact with the DSP in the new school in order to inform them that the child is on the Child Protection register. If the pupil is moving in to the area from another local authority, the Care and Support Protection Plan Coordinator (Social Worker) will inform the relevant local authority and request a transfer in conference within 3 days. The DSP must share all child protection records held by the school with the receiving DSP in accordance with Welsh Government Circular 10/2006.

 

Use of Physical Intervention

Our policy on physical intervention is set out in our Positive and Behaviour and Discipline Policy and is reviewed annually by the governing body and is consistent with the Welsh Government guidance on Safe and effective intervention – use of reasonable force and searching for weapons 097/2013.

           

Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence (VAWDASV)/Operation Encompass

Llangyfelach Primary School are aware of the domestic abuse legislation in Wales – Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 as well as the Home Office guidance under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 where children living with domestic abuse should be considered victims. We recognise that pupils living in domestically abusive situations are likely to be suffering trauma, may be feeling scared or nervous and are less likely to achieve in the same way as pupils not living in such circumstances. Our school is committed to responding to such pupils with child protection and safeguarding policies in mind.

 

Llangyfelach Primary School works closely with South Wales Police officers to respond to pupils who may have experienced domestic abuse at home under Operation Encompass processes. If police officers attend a dwelling where domestic abuse is identified, and children are in attendance or recorded as living at the address they will submit an operation encompass report to the child’s school the following morning. The report contains details of the alleged perpetrator and victim alongside a brief summary of the reason for police contact. The purpose of this report is to allow schools to understand why pupils may be feeling worried and or low and provide appropriate wellbeing and nurture support at the time when it is most needed. To find out more about Operation Encompass click:

Home: Operation Encompass

 

Review:

This policy and Appendices will be reviewed and ratified annually at a full governing body meeting at least once a year and recorded in the minutes.  In preparation for this review, the DSP may wish to provide the Governing Body with information on the following:

  • Changes to Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures.

  • Training undertaken by all staff and governors in the preceding 12 months.

  • The number of incidents of a Child Protection nature which arose in the school within the preceding 12 months (without details or names).

  • Where and how Child Protection and Safeguarding appear in the curriculum.

  • Lessons learned from cases.

 

Complaints

The school has in place a Complaints Procedure, which is based on the model included in Welsh Government Circular: 011/2012, Complaints Procedures for School Governing Bodies in Wales, and, in addition, has complaints information for children so that children, staff and the public are able to submit their complaints, in respect of the school, including Safeguarding complaints and concerns that Safeguarding action has not been taken.

 

Reviewed on:

Signed by Chair of Governors:

Date: April 2022

           

Signed by Headteacher:  Mr Lee Burnell

Date: April 2022

          

Previous review dates of this policy format:                                        

May 2021

June 2020

June 2019

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