Cambridge Leadership College (College) fully recognises its responsibility for child protection and is aware that the safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children is of paramount importance. This policy complies with DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015)’. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) and DfE statutory guidance ‘Dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers and Other Staff (2012)’. Our procedures are in line with our local safeguarding board Cambridge Local Education Authority.
This policy has been adopted by College and is published as this web page. It is addressed to all members of staff and volunteers and is publicly accessible on this page. It applies wherever staff or volunteers are working with pupils, including when this involves being away from College: for example, on an educational visit.
Staff members working are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned and through their day-to-day contact with pupils and direct work with families, staff at College have a crucial role to play in noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect and referring them to Social Care via the Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre (Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection to refer).
This policy sets out how College’s management discharges its statutory responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at College.
Our policy applies to all staff, paid and unpaid, working in College.
Any member of teaching, support, boarding or cleaning and catering staff can be the first point of disclosure for a child. Concerned parents and carers may also contact College and its Directors.
There are four main elements to this policy:
1. PREVENTION through the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils and the creation and maintenance of a whole school protective ethos.
2. PROCEDURES for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse.
3. SUPPORTING VULNERABLE CHILDREN; those who may have been abused or witnessed violence towards others
4. PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE WORKING WITH CHILDREN
We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with trusted adults help protect students.
- Establish and maintain an environment where students feel safe in both the real and the virtual world, and are encouraged to talk and are listened to
- Ensure students know that there are adults in College whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty and their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate
- Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities which equip students with the skills they need to stay safer from abuse both in the real and the virtual world and information about who to turn to for help
- Include in the curriculum material which will help students develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life
The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection is the Bursar.
The Deputy who has also received the Designated Person training is the Principal.
The designated safeguarding lead will receive updated training every two years in accordance with government guidance and will have the time, training and support necessary to undertake their duties, which include providing advice and support to staff, taking part in inter-agency meetings and contributing to the assessment of students in need.
College will ensure every member of staff, paid and unpaid, knows who the designated members of staff are and the procedures for passing on concerns, from the point of induction.
College will ensure that the designated members of staff take advice from a child protection specialist when managing complex cases.
The Designated Persons have access to both the Advice Line run by the Education Child Protection Service and Children’s Social Care. The Emergency Duty Team is also available.
- Education Child Protection Service Advice Line 01223 703800
- Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre (Social Care) 0345 0455203
- Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours) 01733 234724
- Police child Abuse Investigation Unit 101 or 01480 847743
College will develop effective links with relevant services to promote the safety and welfare of all pupils and co-operate as required, in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013, with key agencies in their enquiries regarding child protection matters.
College will keep clear, detailed, accurate, written records of concerns about students even where there is no need to refer the matter to Social Services immediately. Child Protection information will be sorted and handled in line with the Data Protection Act principles and this does not prevent schools from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parents to see child protection requests they should refer that request to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that students and parents do not have an automatic right to see them.
College will ensure all records are kept securely and away from the main pupil file in a locked location and that all student files are sent to the receiving school when a pupil moves in accordance with guidance.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead and Principal will only disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis, including domestic violence notifications.
Staff are not to promise to keep secrets and to make this clear to students.
College will undertake appropriate discussion with parents and carers under the directive of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, prior to involvement of another agency unless the circumstances preclude this action. If College believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the situation, advice will be sought from Social Care.
Every member of staff must know:
- The name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and their role
- How to identify the signs of abuse and neglect
- How to pass on and record concerns about a pupil
- They have an individual responsibility to be alert of the signs and indicators of abuse and for referring child protection and safeguarding and wellbeing concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- They have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which students can learn
- Where to find the Core Inter-Agency Procedures on the LSCB website
Child Protection Refresher training will be offered annually for all staff so that they are confident about:
- College’s legislative responsibility
- Their personal responsibility
- College’s policies and procedures
- The need to be alert to the signs and indicators of abuse, including possible child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and radicalisation
- The need to record concerns
- How to support and respond to a child who tells of abuse
All staff must recognise their duty to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to students and that such concerns are addressed sensitively and in an effectively timely manner
Liaison with Other Agencies
- work to develop effective links with relevant services to promote the safety and welfare of all pupils
- co-operate as required, in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, with key agencies in their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance and providing written reports at child protection conferences and core groups
- notify the relevant Social Care Unit immediately if:
+ it should have to exclude a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan (whether fixed term or permanently);
+ there is an unexplained absence of a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan
+ there is any change in circumstances to a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan Record Keeping
- keep clear, detailed, accurate, written records of concerns about students (noting the date, event and action taken), even where there is no need to refer the matter to Social Care immediately
- ensure all records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in a locked location
- ensure all relevant child protection records are sent to the receiving school or establishment when a pupil moves schools in accordance with the Education Child Protection Record Keeping Guidance
- make parents aware that such records exist except where to do so would place the child at risk of harm.
Confidentiality and information sharing
Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 principles. The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.
Child protection records are subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 1998. This means that a parent, or young person of sufficient age and understanding, may make a request to see the child protection record. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parents to see child protection requests, they will refer the request to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Principal.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will take advice from the Information Governance Team and together a decision will be made about what information to share. This decision will consider the balance between the potential risk to the child and the principle of working openly and honestly with parents.
- ensure confidentiality protocols are adhered to and information is shared appropriately. If in any doubt about confidentiality, staff will seek advice from a senior manager or Social Care as required. (See “Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers”, DfE 2015)
- ensure that the Principal or Designated Safeguarding Lead will only disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis, including Domestic Violence notifications
- make all staff aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard students
- ensure staff are clear with students that they cannot promise to keep secrets.
Communication with Parents/Carers
- ensure that parents/carers are informed of the responsibility placed on College and staff in relation to child protection by setting out its duties in College prospectus/website.
- undertake appropriate discussion with parents/carers prior to involvement of another agency unless the circumstances preclude this action. If College believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the situation, advice will be sought from Social Care. (Further guidance on this can be found in the Inter-agency Procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board)
- record what discussions have taken place with parents on the Log of Concern about a Child’s Welfare or if a decision has been made not to discuss it with parents, record the reasons why.
College Procedures - Summary of Level One Training
There is no notion of confidentiality between an individual staff and a student. Staff members have a duty to inform the Designated Safeguarding of any welfare and safeguarding issues immediately. Likewise, if it is suspected that a student is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm then it is the staff member’s duty to report any concerns,suspicions or disclosures to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately:
Share concerns immediately with your Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection.
Record all concerns clearly and factually. These records are confidential and must only be shared with Designated Safeguarding Lead and any other persons who need to know.
Add the time and date to your records. Arrange to have staff cover your duties so you can prioritise safeguarding.
Persist – If you feel the problem has not be dealt with or has continued be persistent.
Speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead about your concerns regarding the abuse or handling of the situation. If you are still worried all members of staff have a duty and responsibility to safeguard the child. Speak to the Principal, manager or social care.
Never give up!
Action following a Disclosure
Where a child discloses concerns or makes an allegation no judgement should be made or enquiries initiated by the staff member; merely listening and seeking clarification is required then an account must be recorded by the member of staff no later than an hour following disclosure. Guidance on the response by the staff member who is the initial recipient of the disclosure is to be found in Appendix 1 to this policy.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead, Andrea Joyce, must be contacted immediately. Where the child requires urgent medical treatment an ambulance should be called to take him/her to hospital and alert the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Possible concerns about other staff members, it is important that no discussion should take place with individual named in the disclosure.
Action for the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Following a disclosure, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will take action to remove the student from harm and notify police and/or social services if necessary. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is to report the matter as soon as possible and ask for the LADO should the student be at immediate risk of significant harm or whenever an allegation or disclosure of abuse is made.
Procedure in the event of an accusation made by a child or parent against a serving member of staff or volunteer
3. Supporting Vulnerable Children
At College we recognise that due to the intake of our students many are vulnerable in terms of welfare and safeguarding due to the following factors:
- Being an international student living in a city
- Level of English
- Living in a more independent setting
- Naivety and sheltered background
- Difference in cultures and attitudes to corporal punishment
- Immense pressure to succeed and achieve top marks for families
We recognise that abuse or witnessing violence may have an adverse impact on those students which may last into adulthood without appropriate intervention and support.
This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of students at risk. Nevertheless, when at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may become withdrawn.
We recognise that some vulnerable students may develop abusive behaviours and that these students may need to be referred on for appropriate support and intervention.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will make timely appropriate referrals to Social Care if Female Genital Mutilation is suspected and parents will not be informed before seeking advice. The case will still be referred even if it is against the student’s wishes.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will complete the LSCB Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool if there is a concern that a student is at risk of exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something as a result of engaging in sexual activities, and refer to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub(MASH) if there is a concern that a child is at risk.
We recognise that, statistically, students with emotional and behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse. School staff who deal with students with complex and multiple disabilities and/or emotional and behavioural problems should be particularly sensitive to indicators of abuse.
College has pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties and/or challenging behaviours. College will support staff to decide appropriate strategies that will reduce anxiety for the individual child and raise self–esteem as part of an overall behaviour support plan agreed with parents/carers.
Prevention of Radicalisation
Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. There have been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.
The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism.
The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. College is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.
The Counter-terrorism and Security Act, 2015 places a duty on authorities (including schools)‘to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.Staff in schools should be made aware of this duty.
When any member of staff has concerns that a pupil may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
College will support pupils:
- Offering curricular opportunities to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation
- A school that promotes a positive, supportive and safe environment and one that works closely with parents and carers
- A behavioural policy that is inclusive with all staff agreeing on a consistent approach which focuses on the behaviour of the student without damaging their sense of self-worth
- A clear and supportive attendance policy with staff being proactive in supporting the students entrusted in their care
4. Preventing Unsuitable People from Working with Children
College has a safer recruitment policy in line with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015’ and the Local Authority’s Safer Employment Policy.
Any allegation of abuse made against a member of staff will be reported straight away to the Head Teacher or Principal. In cases where the Head Teacher or Principal is the subject of an allegation, it will be reported to the Chair of Governors.
Under Section 75 of the Childcare Act, 2006 individuals are disqualified from childcare provision if they have committed certain specified offences.
Staff may also be disqualified “by association” if they are living or working in the same household as a person who is disqualified. This applies to any member of staff employed in early years’ childcare (up to the age of 5) or later years’ childcare (up to the age of 8) in
nursery, primary or secondary school settings or the management of such settings. Staff should sign a self-declaration form to confirm that they are not “disqualified by association”.
A record of self-declaration should be kept on College’s Single Central Record.
College will ensure that communication between pupils and adults, by whatever method, are transparent and take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries and are open to scrutiny.
Any external visitors (guests, electricians, plumbers etc) will sign in at reception and wear their visitors’ ID visible at all times, and remain supervised at all times.
Child Protection Responsibilities
The directors fully recognise its responsibilities with regard to child protection and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students.
- nominate an independent listener for safeguarding and child protection who will monitor College’s compliance with statutory requirements and practice and champion child protection issues.
- ensure an annual report is made to the directors, and copied to the Education Child Protection Service. Any weaknesses will be rectified without delay.
- ensure that this Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is annually reviewed and updated and shared with staff. It will be made available on College website.