WILLIAM DAVIS PRIMARY SCHOOL
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
William Davis Primary School fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection.
Our school policy applies to all staff, temporary staff, governors and volunteers working in the school. There are five main elements to our policy:
- Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
- Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse.
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection/child in need plan.
- Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
We recognise 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 all adults in school can be approached 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 in the real and digital world.
Roles and responsibilities
Child Protection is the responsibility of all staff, adults and volunteers working in William Davis Primary School. All staff are expected to know how to recognise the signs of abuse, who to report concerns to and where to access the school’s child protection policy and procedures. Only the police, NSPCC and Children’s social care can carry out child protection investigations.
The designated child protection person (DCPP) at William Davis School is the Head Teacher .The DCPP has received appropriate training for this role. The DCPP liaises with social care, represents the school in multi-agency work, takes responsibility for child protection records and ensures that staff have regular child protection training.
Concerns for any injuries noticed on a pupil or any disclosures made by a pupil must be reported to the DCPP immediately. If the DCPP is not available then the concern should be reported to the Deputy Head teacher or Inclusion Lead ( both trained Deputy DCPP)
The person with a concern or disclosure must not speak about it to any other member of staff. Staff, adults and volunteers are encouraged to speak to the DCPP however slight their concerns as the DCPP will exercise judgement whether or what further action is warranted.
When further action is warranted eg reporting the concern to the Tower Hamlets Child Protection Duty Line 020 7364 3444, parents/carers will not be informed of this action until advice is given to do so. Staff reporting concerns will not suffer adversely from reporting and parents/carers will not be made aware of who reported the concern within the school.
The school governor with responsibility for child protection is Sakina Allali.
The child protection policy is reviewed annually with the governing body.
Every member of staff, volunteer and governor knows the name of the DCPP and their role.
Supply staff are informed of the school’s child protection procedures via induction by the DCPP.
New members of staff and volunteers receive induction training on child protection. Whole school child protection training is repeated every 3 years.
All staff understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the DCPP. All staff receive a copy of Keeping Children Safe – Summary July 2015. Staff should also be aware of the document: LCSB Child Protection procedures for staff working in Children’s Schools and Family settings September 2015.
All staff should:
- Listen carefully to what the pupil has to say. Be receptive and reassure them that telling is the right thing to do and that school staff are here to help and protect them.
- Reassure them that in order to help them you will have to tell the DCPP
- Report what has been disclosed to the DCPP immediately.
- Do not discuss this with any other member of the school community as this could undermine further actions to protect the victim.
- Do not ask any leading questions or make any promises you cannot keep. Try not to judge or leap to a conclusion.
Parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection as this is set out in the school prospectus which is made available to all parents and carers.
Social services are notified if there is an unexplained absence of more than two days of a pupil who is on the child protection register.
Effective links are maintained with relevant agencies regarding child protection matters. The DCPP attends case conferences.
Written records are kept by the DCPP.When there are concerns about children brought to his/her attention by a member of staff the DCPP will:
- Take what the adult or pupil has said seriously and may ask for assistance from the adult in investigating further.
- Record the concerns.
- Contact the Integrated Support Pathways Team duty or advice line if appropriate.
- Discuss with or inform parents or carers that the school will pass this information on to the ISPT duty line which could result in a referral to the social care advice and assessment team(except in the case of sexual or physical abuse when a referral will be made without parents/carers awareness or consent).
Records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil files and in a locked filing cabinet.
If an allegation is made against a member of staff, governor or volunteer the school will adhere to the procedures set out in LCSB: Procedures for Managing Allegations against Staff September 2015 reporting to the DCPP.
If an allegation is made against the Head teacher this should be reported to the Chair of Governors or a local authority officer with responsibility for the school.
Safer recruitment practices are always followed. The school follows Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedures Sept 2014
We recognise 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 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 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.
Out of school hours learning
The safeguarding procedures for out of school hours learning are the same as those for all curriculum time as outlined above.
Specific Topics child protection
According to the latest guidance on safeguarding in Keeping Children Safe in Education (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372753/Keeping_children_safe_in_education.pdf) there are number of additional areas that staff should have an awareness of in relation to keeping children safe. Some of these are given below with brief guidance. For more detailed guidance please follow the links provided.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Some girls are at risk from FGM from parents/ carers who believe this will be in the best interests of the child. Therefore vulnerable girls may well be coached that this will be a normal part of their upbringing. Staff should be aware of the following signs that may indicate a girl is at risk of being taken for FGM:
- Disclosure from a girl stating she is going to have a ‘special operation’;
- Planned withdrawal from school to a country where FGM is prevalent;
- Withdrawal from sessions where FGM is discussed (for example, in Sex and Relationships Education lessons in Year 6).
Staff should also be aware of signs that a girl may have already suffered FGM.
- Prolonged absence from school
- Increased bladder infections, urinary, menstrual or stomach problems
- Disclosure from a girl that she has been subject to FGM
Staff should be aware that FGM is illegal and as such should report any concerns
immediately as it may involve a police investigation. For more guidance please refer to ‘Female Genital Mutilation: Multi-agency practice guidelines’
Children at risk from extremism and radicalisation
An updated Ofsted inspection framework published in January 2013 sets out expectations on preventing extremism. It directs inspectors to examine a school’s response to extremist behaviour when considering the behaviour and safety of pupils, as well as the effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school in preventing extremism. The Government has said that it intends to strengthen these provisions in the near future.
Since 2012, it has been required by law that teachers should not “undermine fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” In our school, there are five key values help us to deter violent extremism. We
- To understand how an extremist narrative, which can lead to harm, can be challenged by staff in schools; and to model to pupils how diverse views can be heard, analysed and challenged in a way which values freedom of speech and freedom from harm;
- To understand how to prevent harm to pupils by individuals, groups or others who promote violent extremism; and to understand how to manage risks within the school;
- To understanding how to support individuals who are vulnerable, through strategies to support, challenge and protect;
- To increase the resilience of pupils and of the school community by helping pupils to acquire skills and knowledge to challenge extremist views, and by promoting an ethos and values that promote respect for others;
- To use teaching styles and curriculum opportunities which allow grievances to be aired, explored and which demonstrate the roles of conflict resolution and active citizenship.
Exposing children to extremist ideology can hinder their social development and educational attainment alongside posing a very real risk that they could support or partake in an act of violence. Radicalisation of young people can be compared to grooming for sexual exploitation.
“Safeguarding vulnerable people from radicalisation is no different from safeguarding them from other forms of harm.” Home Office – The Prevent Strategy
The overall role of schools in safeguarding children is set out in the Government’s statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ updated in July 2015. All staff should also be familiar with the DfE publication: The Prevent Duty 2015.
Training on recognising and responding to the risk of Violent Extremism and the role of professionals is available for school staff and other professionals from the Prevent Project Manager , Nojmul Hussain nojmul.hussain@ towerhamlets. gov. uk; tel: 020 7634 4691) or from the Support for Learning Service (contact Liz Vickerie: email@example.com; tel: 020 7364 6448).
Why might a young person be drawn towards extremist ideology?
A decision by a young person to become involved in violent extremism:
- May begin with a search for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
- May be driven by the desire for ‘adventure’ and excitement;
- May be driven by a desire to enhance the self-esteem of the individual andpromote their ‘street cred’;
- Is likely to involve identification with a charismatic individual and attraction to a group which can offer identity, social network and support;
- Is likely to be fuelled by a sense of grievance that can be triggered by personal experiences of racism or discrimination.
Recognising Extremism – early indicators may include:
- Showing sympathy for extremist causes
- Glorifying violence
- Evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature advocating messages similar to illegal organisations such as “Muslims Against Crusades” or other non-proscribed extremist groups such as the English Defence League.
- Out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships (but there are also very powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online; therefore, young people’s involvement with particular groups may not be apparent through their social presentation.)
To report concerns about a child being involved in, drawn into, or susceptible to violent extremism, Tower Hamlets have developed the following referral route:
- Talk to the family and other professionals working with the young person about the concerns and get their views. (If the family is implicated in potential extremism contact the Social Inclusion Panel first).
- Seek consent to complete a CAF assessment and get a holistic perspective on the situation. Determine if there are additional needs and if so how these could be met.
- Contact other relevant agencies and engage them in a Team Around the Child (TAC) approach to supporting the young person and their family with a programme of support.
- If the concerns persists and the TAC approach does not seem to be having a positive impact, or if it appears the young person is already exposed to or involved with extremist organisations, refer the case to the Social Inclusion Panel (SIP) using the CAF form. If in doubt: REFER to SIP
In Tower Hamlets the SIP is the panel which performs the function of “Channel” for those under 18 (Channel is the multi-agency discussion and planning network for cases requiring Prevent interventions).The Chair of SIP is Liz Vickerie (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: 020 7364 6448).
If at any stage you are concerned that a child or young person is at imminent risk of harm, staff / DCPP should contact the Child Protection Duty Line on 020 7364 3444. If you suspect someone is actually engaged in terrorist activity, you should also contact the police or the anti-terrorist hotline immediately on 0800 789 321.
Interventions with Individuals
The school may implement a number of strategies to support individuals, such as:
- Increased adult support, supervision and encouragement
- Positive buddying programmes
- Positive activities in and out of school
- Behaviour support / anger management programmes
- Attendance support
- 1 to 1 or group counselling
- Parenting programmes with a Preventing Violent Extremism element
- Links with relevant voluntary or religious organisations
- Advice on cyber safety (for pupils and parents)
- And referrals (usually through SIP) for:
- Family Therapy / CAMHS programmes
- Targeted Youth Support
- YISP crime prevention programmes
- Police Prevent team support
- Specialised theological / educational programmes
- Intensive Family Support Programmes
The school seeks to prevent extremism through its curriculum and other activities:
- Work on community cohesion, tolerance and anti-violence addressed throughout curriculum.
- Open discussion and debate of issues and the law in a supportive environment.
- Critical appraisal of sources / internet resilience / identifying propaganda – relevant for all subjects but especially when using the internet for research
- Citizenship programmes – British Values
- Anti-bullying work including homophobia and violence against women.
- Rewarding positive behaviour
- Pastoral and induction support
- Work on safety, risk and crime prevention
- Opportunities for channelling positive engagement e.g. charity work / fund-raising
- Positive in and out of school hours programmes
- Access to youth clubs and holiday programmes
- Parenting programmes to ensure consistent messages between home and school.
Generally, what is good practice for safeguarding in other fields is good practice for safeguarding against extremism. Two main factors impact upon online safeguarding – these are user behaviour and network security.
The school enforces an Acceptable Use Policy, which includes provisions such as preventing access to private email on the network, ensuring web connected computers are in public areas, and monitoring browsing history. There is also, as always, a need to ensure that everyone knows what to do should they become concerned about something they find, or contact they receive, online.
The school has a robust filtering system in place, both at a school and service provider level. The school uses the London Grid for Learning. This has several layers of filtering:
- There is a global list of filtered sites that is determined by the Internet Watch Foundation, followed by a pan-London layer, also in compliance with the Internet Watch Foundation, applied across the capital by Atomwide.
- There is a Local Authority layer (administered in Tower Hamlets by Nic Teeman (email@example.com) where additional bespoke filtering for the borough can be applied, such as key words and URLs.
- There is a school layer. This gives the school the ability to request that specific URLs should be blocked (or unblocked), or to add key words to the proscribed list. The school has the right to amend its filtering settings. The ICT co-ordinator and ICT technician have the necessary access rights, and they also receive training from LGFLand Atomwide. The school chooses to share its access rights with the Levett Consultancy / LA and seeks appropriate support in applying bespoke filtering policies.
The LGFL website has documents to explain these policies and processes in detail under the Support tab on their website www.lgfl.net. Pupils are required to log in using individual USOs (Unified Sign Ons) so that it is possible to track their personal online activity. Further levels of security can be added with other LGFL services such as Webscreen2 and MailProtect.
Visitors and use of school premises/ facilities
The school monitors the activities of any clubs or groups operating under the name of the school, or using its premises or facilities. Appropriate checks will take place for all visitors (e.g. by searching for the person or company on the internet). The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring the checks and monitoring procedures are carried out.
Governors are responsible for ensuring Prevent issues are being addressed through the curriculum and that the safeguarding policy reflects vulnerability to radicalisation. The school will report on these to the Governing Body and the lead Governor for Safeguarding.