Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
Ratified by the Governing Body: 01/08/22
Signed by the Governing Body: ZADinally [Chair]
To be reviewed (annually): 01/08/23
Part 1: Safeguarding Policy
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment.
- Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development.
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes;
Children includes everyone under the age of 18.
This means that our organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its customers, including children. We believe that:
- Our children/young people have the right to be protected from harm, abuse and neglect
- Our children/young people have the right to experience their optimum mental and physical health
- That every child has the right to an education and children/young people need to be safe and to feel safe in organisation
- children/young people need support that matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse
- Our children/young people have the right to express their views, feelings and wishes and voice their own values and beliefs
- Our children/young people should be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other
- Our children/young people have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, social and mental health needs as well as their educational needs. Our organisation will ensure clear systems and processes are in place to enable identification of these needs. Including consideration of when mental health needs may become a safeguarding need.
- Our organisation will contribute to the prevention of abuse, risk/involvement in serious violent crime, victimisation, bullying (including homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and cyber bullying), exploitation, extreme behaviours, discriminatory views and risk-taking behaviours.
All staff and visitors have an important role to play in safeguarding children/young people and protecting them from abuse and considering when mental health may become a safeguarding issue.
Organisations will fulfil their local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:
- The most recent version of Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE)
- The most recent version of Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for organisations and colleges (DfE Sept 2020)
- Sexting in Organisations & Colleges – responding to incidents and safeguarding young people (UKCCIS) 2016
- Safeguarding Children Partnership threshold guidance Right Help Right Time
In our organisation the following people will take the lead in these areas:
Our Data Protection officer is:
Mr Chris Hudson
Our Rights Respecting link is:
Mrs Ruth Coalson
Our lead for Mental Health is:
Mrs Sumpa Paul
Our Safeguarding governor is:
Mr Zee Dinally
This policy will contribute to the protection and safeguarding of our pupils/students and promote their welfare by:
- Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and pupils/students;
- Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust ethos in the organisation, built on mutual respect and shared values;
- Introducing appropriate work within the curriculum.
- Encouraging pupils/students and parents to participate;
- Alerting staff to the signs and indicators that all may not be well;
- Developing staff awareness of the causes of abuse;
- Developing staff awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities their pupils/students face;
- Addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage;
- Reducing the potential risks pupils/students face of being exposed to multiple harms including violence, extremism, exploitation, discrimination or victimisation;
- Recognising risk and supporting online safety for pupils, including in the home.
This means that in our organisation we will:
- Identify and protect all pupils especially those identified as vulnerable
- Identify individual needs as early as possible; and
- Design plans to address those needs
- Work in partnership with pupils/students, parents/carers and other agencies.
Our policy extends to any establishment our organisation commissions to deliver education to our pupils/students on our behalf including alternative provision settings.
Our Governing Body/Trustees will ensure that any commissioned agency will reflect the values, philosophy and standards of our organisation. Confirmation should be sought from the organisation that appropriate risk assessments are completed, and ongoing monitoring is undertaken.
These are the seven guiding principles of safeguarding, as stated by Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership (found in Right Help Right Time):
- Have conversations and listen to children and their families as early as possible.
- Understand the child’s lived experience.
- Work collaboratively to improve children’s life experience.
- Be open, honest and transparent with families in our approach.
- Empower families by working with them.
- Work in a way that builds on the families’ strengths.
- Build resilience in families to overcome difficulties.
All staff will be enabled to listen and understand the lived experience of children and young people by facilitating solution focused conversations appropriate to the child/young person’s preferred communication style.
All staff and visitors will:
- Be familiar with this Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy;
- Understand their role in relation to safeguarding.
- Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse (See Appendix 1 for current definitions and indicators);
- Record concerns and give the record to the DSL, or deputy DSL, and;
- Deal with a disclosure of abuse from a child in line with the guidance in Appendix 2 – you must inform the DSL immediately, and provide a written account as soon as possible;
- Be involved, where appropriate, in the implementation of individual organisation-focused interventions, Early Help Assessments and Our Family Plans, Child in Need Plans and inter-agency Child Protection Plans.
This means that in our organisation:
All our staff will receive annual safeguarding training and update briefings as appropriate. Key staff will undertake more specialist safeguarding training as agreed by the governing body.
In recognition of the impact of COVID-19, additional disclosure training will be undertaken by all staff.
Our Governors/Trustees/IEB will be subjected to an enhanced DBS check and ‘Section 128’ check.
We will follow Safer Recruitment processes and checks for all staff.
- The DSL will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Whilst the activities of the DSL can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the DSL. This responsibility should not be delegated.
- DSLs should help promote educational outcomes by working closely with their teachers about their welfare, safeguarding and child protection concerns.
- Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that the DSL role is explicit in the role-holder’s job description and appropriate time is made available to the DSL and deputy DSL(s) to allow them to undertake their duties.
This means the DSL team in our organisation will be:
Lead: Zee Dinally
Deputies: Ruth Coalson
Any steps taken to support a child/ young person who has a safeguarding vulnerability must be reported to the lead DSL.
Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the DSL feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to support an individual child and/or family. A written record will be made of what information has been shared, with whom, and when.
- Safeguarding and child protection information will be dealt with in a confidential manner.
- Our organisation will be clear as to who has parental responsibility for children on our roll, and report all identified private fostering arrangements to the Local Authority.
- Safeguarding records will be stored securely in a central place separate from academic records. Individual files will be kept for each pupil/student: the organisation will not keep family files. Files will be kept for at least the period during which the pupil/student is attending the organisation, and beyond that in line with current data legislation and guidance.
- If a pupil/student moves from our organisation, child protection and safeguarding records will be forwarded on to the DSL at the new organisation, with due regard to their confidential nature and in line with current government guidance on the transfer of such records. Direct contact between the two organisations may be necessary, especially on transfer from primary to secondary organisations.
- All in- year applications and transfers will also be reported to the Local Authority.
Because we store our records electronically on our Google server we do not hold paper files.
We will not disclose to a parent any information held on a child/young person if this would put the child at risk of significant harm.
We will record where and to whom the records have been passed and the date. This will allow the new setting to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child/young person arrives.
KCSiE 2020 writes about the importance of the context in which organisation safeguarding must be considered, including behaviours that are associated with factors outside the organisation which can occur between children outside of these environments i.e. where children are at risk of abuse and exploitation outside of their families.
In our organisation our DSLs will consider contextual safeguarding in their early working of safeguarding processes and give due regard to the effectiveness of the organisation safeguarding system and the wider system in which the child operates. This will be evidenced in:
- Informal and formal assessments of need/risk for the child;
- Case discussions in DSL supervision sessions.
KCSiE 2020 also writes about the impact of abuse, neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences on mental health, behaviour and education.
In our organisation this means that:
- All staff will be made aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation;
- All staff will take immediate action and speak to a DSL if they have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern.
- The governing body must appoint a designated teacher (in non-maintained organisations and colleges an appropriately trained teacher should take the lead) and should work with local authorities to promote the educational achievement of registered pupils who are looked after. On commencement of sections 4-6 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, our designated teachers will have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of children/ young people who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales.
- Birmingham Children’s Trust has ongoing responsibilities to the young people who cease to be looked after and become care leavers. That includes keeping in touch with them, preparing an assessment of their needs and appointing a personal adviser who develops a pathway plan with the young person. This plan describes how Birmingham Children’s Trust will support the care leaver to participate in education or training.
In our organisation the Designated Teacher is:
Our Designated Teacher will:
- Work with the Virtual organisation to provide the most appropriate support utilising the pupil premium plus to ensure they meet the needs identified in the child’s personal education plan.
- Work with the virtual organisation head to promote the educational achievement of previously looked after children. In other organisations and colleges, an appropriately trained teacher should take the lead.
Our DSLs will keep the details of the Children’s Trust Personal Advisor appointed to guide and support the care leaver and will liaise with them as necessary regarding any issues of concern affecting the care leaver.
Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that 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:
- The organisation operates “Safer Recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers (including members of the governing body);
- The * and all other staff who work with children/young people undertake safeguarding training on an annual basis with additional updates as necessary within a 2-year framework and a training record maintainedTemporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the organisation’s arrangements for safeguarding & child protection and their responsibilities;
- The organisation remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay;
- The governing body has a written policy and procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff, visitors, volunteers or governors that complies with all BSCP procedures;
- The Nominated Governor is responsible for liaising with the * and DSL over all matters regarding safeguarding and child protection issues. The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual pupils/students.
In our organisation this means that:
- All governors must have read part 2 of “KCSIE-20”
- Our nominated governor for safeguarding and child protection is: Mr Zee Dinally
- This governor will receive safeguarding training relevant to the governance role and this will be updated every 2 years.
- The governing body will review all policies/procedures that relate to safeguarding and child protection annually.
- A member of our governing body (usually the Chair) is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the Children’s Trust in the event of allegations of abuse being made against any member of our organisation.
- The Nominated Governor will liaise with the * and the DSL to produce a report at least annually for governors and ensure the annual Section 175 safeguarding self-assessment is completed and submitted on time.
The organisation should pay full regard to ‘Safer Recruitment’ practice including scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job.
It also includes undertaking interviews and appropriate checks including disclosure & barring check, barred list checks and prohibition checks. Evidence of these checks must be recorded on our Single Central Record.
All recruitment materials will include reference to the organisation’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of pupils.
This means that in our organisation:
The following organisation staff have undertaken Safer Recruitment training:
And the following members of the Governing Body have also been trained:
1 – Mr Zee Dinally
2 – Mrs Sumpa Paul
One of these will be involved in all staff recruitment processes and sit on the recruitment panel.
All staff, especially staff who have been redeployed in response to COVID-19, must be aware of systems within their setting which support safeguarding, and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction.
Recognising the impact of COVID-19, DSLs should be given additional time, particularly in the autumn term, to support staff and children regarding new safeguarding and welfare concerns. Regular safeguarding supervision will be offered to the Lead DSL within organisation usually offered half termly, safeguarding supervision may need to be offered more frequently and extended to other members of staff as deemed appropriate by the organisation. DSLs will be supported to access training as appropriate including training in behaviour and mental health.
Our staff induction process will cover:
- The Safeguarding & Child Protection policy;
- The Behaviour Policy;
- The Staff Behaviour Policy (sometimes called a Code of Conduct);
- The safeguarding response to children who go missing from education; and
- The role of the DSL (including the identity of the DSL and any deputies).
Copies of policies and a copy of part one of the KCSIE-20 document is provided to staff at induction.
We recognise the importance of practice oversight and multiple perspectives in safeguarding and child protection work. We will support staff by providing opportunities for reflective practice including opportunity to talk through all aspects of safeguarding work within education with the DSL and to seek further support as appropriate.
There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff in organisation to use reasonable force to safeguard children and young people. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involves a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children/young people. This can range from guiding a child/young person to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a child/young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury.
‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’. The use of force may involve either passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of the classroom. Departmental advice for ‘Use of Reasonable Force in Organisations’ organisations is available here.
This means in our organisation:
By planning positive and proactive behaviour support, the occurrence of challenging behaviour and the need to use reasonable force will reduce.
We will write individual behaviour plans for our more vulnerable children/ young people and agree them with parents and carers.
We will not have a ‘no contact’ policy as this could leave our staff unable to fully support and protect their pupils and students.
When using reasonable force in response to risks presented by incidents involving children/ young people including any with SEN or disabilities, or with medical conditions, our staff will consider the risks carefully.
This Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the organisation, which should ensure that pupils/students are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.
Safeguarding issues, including online safety, will be addressed through all areas of the curriculum including extra-familial harm (multiple harms).
This means that in our organisation:
All staff will be made aware of our organisation’s unauthorised absence and children missing from education procedures.
We will provide opportunities for pupils/students to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being.
All our policies which address issues of power and potential harm, for example Anti-Bullying, Discrimination, Equal Opportunities, Handling, Positive Behaviour, will be inter-linked to ensure a whole organisation approach.
We also recognise the particular vulnerability of children who have a social worker.
Where unmet needs have been identified for a child/young person utilising the Right Help Right Time (RHRT) model but there is no evidence of a significant risk, the DSL will oversee the delivery of an appropriate Early Help response.
The child/young person’s voice must remain paramount within a solution-focused practice framework.
The primary assessment document is the 2019 Early Help Assessment (EHA).
Should it be felt that a Think Family or social care response is needed to meet the unmet safeguarding need, the DSL will initiate a Request for Support, seeking advice from Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS) as required.
The DSL will then oversee the agreed intervention from organisation as part of the multiagency safeguarding response and ongoing organisation-focused support.
This means that in our organisation we will: implement Right Help Right Time.
All Staff will notice and listen to children and young people, sharing their concerns with the DSL in writing.
Safeguarding leads will assess, plan, do and review plans.
Senior leaders will analyse safeguarding data and practice to inform strategic planning and staff CDP.
The DSL will generally lead on liaising with other agencies and setting up the Our Family Plan. This multi-agency plan will then be reviewed regularly, and progress updated towards the goals until the unmet safeguarding needs have been addressed.
In our organisation although any member of staff can refer a situation to CASS, it is expected that the majority are passed through the DSL team.
With effect from 1st July 2015, all organisations are subject to a duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism” (section 26, Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015). This is known as The Prevent Duty.
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.
Definitions of radicalisation, terrorism and extremism, and indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation are in Appendix 4.
This means that our organisation:
- Values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs and ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values.
- acknowledges that pupils/students and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions.
However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.
The organisation governors, Safeguarding Lead and the DSL will assess the level of risk within the organisation and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the organisation’s RE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, the use of organisation premises by external agencies, integration of pupils/students by gender and SEN, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the organisation’s profile, community and philosophy. To this end, open source due diligence checks will be undertaken on all external speakers invited to our organisation. An example of this can be found here.
The setting is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will normally be the DSL. The responsibilities of the SPOC are described in Appendix 5.
The organisation will monitor online activity within the organisation to ensure that inappropriate sites are not accessed by pupils/students or staff.
The organisation has a duty to cooperate with the Channel programme in the carrying out of its functions, and with the Police in providing information about an individual who is referred to Channel (Section 38, Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015).
Channel is a multi-agency approach to provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist related activity. It is led by the West Midlands Police Counter-Terrorism Unit, and it aims to:
- Establish an effective multi-agency referral and intervention process to identify vulnerable individuals;
- Safeguard individuals who might be vulnerable to being radicalised, so that they are not at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity; and
- Provide early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks they face and reduce vulnerability.
Further guidance about duties relating to the risk of radicalisation is available in the Advice for Organisations on The Prevent Duty.
We are clear that this exploitation and radicalisation must be viewed as a safeguarding concern and that protecting children from the risk of radicalisation from any group (including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right/Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist, Domestic Terrorism, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements) is part of our organisation’s safeguarding duty.
The SPOC for our organisation is:
All staff within our organisation will be alert to changes in a child/young person’s behaviour or attitude which could indicate that they are in need of help or protection.
We will use specialist online monitoring software, which in this organisation is called *.
Our organisation will make referrals to Channel if we are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation.
With effect from October 2015, all organisations are subject to a mandatory reporting requirement in respect of female genital mutilation (FGM). When a teacher suspects or discovers that an act of FGM is going to be or has been carried out on a girl aged under 18, that teacher has a statutory duty to report it to the Police.
Failure to report such cases will result in disciplinary sanctions.
The teacher will also discuss the situation with the DSL who will consult Birmingham Children’s Trust before a decision is made as to whether the mandatory reporting duty applies.
This means that in our organisation we ensure:
Our staff are supported to talk to families and local communities about sensitive concerns in relation to their children and to find ways to address them together wherever possible.
All staff are up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation around;
- Forced marriage
- Honour based abuse
- Criminal exploitation and gang affiliation
Our staff will be supported to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to each specific issue, and include such issues, in an age appropriate way, in their lesson plans.
A child going missing and or patterns of unauthorised absence, particularly repeatedly, can act as a vital warning sign of a range of safeguarding risks, including abuse and neglect, which may include sexual abuse or exploitation; child criminal exploitation; mental health problems; substance abuse and other issues. Early intervention is necessary to identify the existence of any underlying safeguarding risks and to help prevent the risk of them going missing in future.
Work around attendance and children missing from education will be coordinated with safeguarding interventions.
The organisation must notify the Local Authority of any pupil/student who has been absent without the organisation’s permission for a continuous period of 5 days or more after making reasonable enquiries
The organisation (regardless of designation) must also notify the Local Authority of any pupil/student who is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the prescribed regulations outlined in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2016 amendments.
This means that in our organisation we will:
Hold two or more emergency contact numbers for each pupil.
All our attendance work will liaise closely with the DSL.
We will adapt our attendance monitoring on an individual basis to ensure the safety of each child/young person at our organisation.
Our organisation will demonstrate that we have taken reasonable enquiries to ascertain the whereabouts of pupils/students that would be considered ‘missing’.
We will work closely with the CME Team, Organisation Admissions Service, Education Legal Intervention Team and the Elective Home Education Team.
It is important that organisation and college can recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers, and that this abuse can include bullying, physical abuse, sexting, initiation/ hazing, upskirting, sexual violence and harassment. The organisation’s values, ethos and behaviour policies provide the platform for staff and students to clearly recognise that abuse is abuse and it should never be tolerated or diminished in significance. It should be recognised that there is a gendered nature to peer-on-peer abuse i.e. that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys’ perpetrators.
Organisations should recognise the impact of sexual violence and the fact children/young people can, and sometimes do, abuse their peers in this way. When referring to sexual violence this policy is referring to sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 as described below:
- Rape: A person (A) commits an offence of rape if: there is intentional penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, (B) does not consent to the penetration and (A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents.
- Assault by penetration: A person (A) commits an offence if: s/he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with a part of her/his body or anything else, the penetration is sexual, (B) does not consent to the penetration and (A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents.
- Sexual assault: A person (A) commits an offence of sexual assault if: s/he intentionally touches another person (B), the touching is sexual, (B) does not consent to the touching and (A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents.
This means that in our organisation:
We will not tolerate instances of peer-on-peer abuse and will not pass it off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”. We will recognise that “child-on-child abuse” can occur between and across different age ranges.
We will follow both national and local guidance and policies to support any children/young people subject to peer-on-peer abuse, including sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) and gang violence.
We will follow the guidance on managing reports of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment in organisations.
We will utilise the Children who pose a Risk to Children Organisation Safety Plan produced by the local authority.
Our DSL will follow local guidance to enable provision of effective support to any child/young person affected by this type of abuse.
Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity.
This means that in our organisation we will:
- Notice and listen to children/ young people showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, use the risk assessment screening tool to support our referrals to CASS for any children in our organisation we are concerned about.
- Be aware of and work with the Police and local organisations to disrupt as much as possible criminal exploitation activity within our organisation.
Part 2: Procedures
In general, we will discuss any safeguarding or child protection concerns with parents/carers before approaching other organisations or agencies and will seek their consent to making a referral to another agency. Appropriate staff will approach parents/carers after consultation with the DSL.
However, there may be occasions when the organisation will contact another organisation or agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.
Parents/carers will be informed about our Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy through the Safeguarding Lead.
We work in partnership with other agencies in line with Right Help Right Time to promote the best interests of our children/young people and keep them as a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect them. Our organisation will, where necessary, liaise with these agencies to implement or contribute to an Early Help Assessment and Our Family Plan and make requests for support from Birmingham Children’s Trust. These requests will be made by the DSL to the Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS) – 0121 303 1888. Where the child/young person already has a safeguarding social worker or family support worker, concerns around escalation of risks must be reported immediately to the social/ family support worker, or in their absence, to their team manager.
When invited the DSL will participate in a MASH strategy meeting, usually by conference phone, adding organisation-held data and intelligence to the discussion so that the best interests of the child/young person are met.
We will co-operate with any child protection enquiries conducted by Birmingham Children’s Trust: the organisation will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as Our Family Plan, Children in Need, Initial and Review Child Protection Conferences, and Core Group meetings.
We will provide reports as required for these meetings. If the organisation is unable to attend, a written report will be sent and shared with Birmingham Children’s Trust at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Where a pupil/student is subject to an inter-agency Child Protection Plan or a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) meeting, the organisation will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.
Our organisation staff will offer appropriate support to individual pupils/students who have experienced abuse, who have abused others (peer on peer abuse) or who act as Young Carers in their home situation.
An Our Family Plan will be devised, implemented and reviewed regularly for these children. This Plan will detail areas of support, who will be involved, and the child’s wishes and feelings. A copy of the Plan will be kept in the child’s safeguarding record.
Children and young people who abuse others will be responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others within the organisation community through a multi-agency risk assessment. Within our organisation we will ensure that the needs of children and young people who abuse others will be considered separately from the needs of their victims.
We will ensure the organisation works in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies as appropriate.
See also Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures on allegations against staff and volunteers.
This procedure must be used in any case in which it is alleged that a member of staff, Governor/Trustee, visiting professional or volunteer has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child/young person or may have harmed a child/young person;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child/young person; or
- Behaved in a way that indicates s/he may not be suitable to work with children/young people.
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicated s/he may pose a risk of harm to children.
Although it is an uncomfortable thought, it needs to be acknowledged that there is the potential for staff in organisation to abuse pupils/students. In our organisation we also recognise that concerns may be apparent before an allegation is made.
All staff working within our organisation must report any potential safeguarding concerns about an individual’s behaviour towards children and young people immediately.
Allegations or concerns about staff, colleagues and visitors (recognising that organisations hold the responsibility to fully explore concerns about supply staff) must be reported directly to the Safeguarding Lead who will liaise with the Birmingham Children’s Trust Designated Officer (LADO) Team who will decide on any action required. (Where a Head Teacher is also the sole Proprietor of an Independent organisation it is mandatory to report to the LADO).
If the concern relates to the Safeguarding Lead, it must be reported immediately to the Chair of the Governing Body, who will liaise with the Designated Officer in Birmingham Children’s Trust (LADO) and they will decide on any action required.
If the safeguarding concern relates to the proprietor of the setting then the concern must be made directly to the Birmingham Children’s Trust Designated Officer (LADO) Team who will decide on any action required.
Our Organisation recognises that all pupils/students have a right to be safe. Some pupils/students may be more vulnerable to abuse, for example those with a disability or special educational need, those living with domestic violence or drug/alcohol abusing parents, etc.
When the organisation is considering excluding, either for a fixed term or permanently, a vulnerable pupil or one who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan, or where there is an existing child protection file, we will conduct an holistic multi-agency risk-assessment prior to making the decision to exclude. In the event of a one-off serious incident resulting in an immediate decision to exclude, the risk assessment should be completed prior to convening a meeting of the governing body.
Many adults find themselves looking after someone else’s child without realising that they may be involved in private fostering. A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (that is to say without the involvement of Birmingham Children’s Trust) for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or immediate relative. If the arrangement is to last, or has lasted, for 28 days or more, it is categorised as private fostering.
The Children Act 1989 defines an immediate relative as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership), or a step parent.
People become involved in private fostering for all kinds of reasons. Examples of private fostering include:
- Children/young people who need alternative care because of parental illness;
- Children/young people whose parents cannot care for them because their work or study involves long or antisocial hours;
- Children/young people sent from abroad to stay with another family, usually to improve their educational opportunities;
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children/young people;
- Teenagers who stay with friends (or other non-relatives) because they have fallen out with their parents;
- Children/young people staying with families while attending a organisation away from their home area.
There is a mandatory duty on the organisation to inform Birmingham Children’s Trust of a private fostering arrangement – this is done by contacting CASS (0121 303 1888). The Trust then has a duty to check that the child/young person is being properly cared for and that the arrangement is satisfactory.
Staff who work directly with children/young people, and their leadership team should refer to this information
Guidance on children in specific circumstances found in Annex A of KCSIE 20, and additional resources as listed below:
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
Children and the Courts
Missing from Education, Home or Care
West Midlands Safeguarding
Family Members in Prison
Barnardo’s in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
Birmingham Police and Organisations Panels
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
Birmingham Criminal Exploitation & Gang Affiliation Practice Guidance (2018)
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
WMP, BCSP, BCT
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
BCC Education Safeguarding
BCC Education Safeguarding
Birmingham Police and Organisations Panels
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
The following may be indicators of neglect (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
- Constant hunger
- Stealing, scavenging and/or hoarding food
- Frequent tiredness or listlessness
- Frequently dirty or unkempt
- Often poorly or inappropriately clad for the weather
- Poor organisation attendance or often late for organisation
- Poor concentration
- Affection or attention seeking behaviour
- Illnesses or injuries that are left untreated
- Failure to achieve developmental milestones, for example growth, weight
- Failure to develop intellectually or socially
- Responsibility for activity that is not age appropriate such as cooking, ironing, caring for siblings
- The child is regularly not collected or received from organisation
- The child is left at home alone or with inappropriate carers
2. Physical abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
The following may be indicators of physical abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
- Multiple bruises in clusters, or of uniform shape
- Bruises that carry an imprint, such as a hand or a belt
- Bite marks
- Round burn marks
- Multiple burn marks and burns on unusual areas of the body such as the back, shoulders or buttocks;
- An injury that is not consistent with the account given
- Changing or different accounts of how an injury occurred
- Bald patches
- Symptoms of drug or alcohol intoxication or poisoning
- Unaccountable covering of limbs, even in hot weather
- Fear of going home or parents being contacted
- Fear of medical help
- Fear of changing for PE
- Inexplicable fear of adults or over-compliance
- Violence or aggression towards others including bullying
- Isolation from peers
3. Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by rape and/or penetration or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
The following may be indicators of sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
- Sexually explicit play or behaviour or age-inappropriate knowledge
- Anal or vaginal discharge, soreness or scratching
- Reluctance to go home
- Inability to concentrate, tiredness
- Refusal to communicate
- Thrush, persistent complaints of stomach disorders or pains
- Eating disorders, for example anorexia nervosa and bulimia
- Attention seeking behaviour, self-mutilation, substance abuse
- Aggressive behaviour including sexual harassment or molestation
- Unusual compliance
- Regressive behaviour, enuresis, soiling
- Frequent or openly masturbating, touching others inappropriately
- Depression, withdrawal, isolation from peer group
- Reluctance to undress for PE or swimming
- Bruises or scratches in the genital area
4. Sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation occurs when a child or young person, or another person, receives “something” (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of the child/young person performing sexual activities, or another person performing sexual activities on the child/young person.
The presence of any significant indicator for sexual exploitation should trigger a referral to Birmingham Children’s Trust. The significant indicators are:
- Having a relationship of concern with a controlling adult or young person (this may involve physical and/or emotional abuse and/or gang activity)
- Entering and/or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults
- Possessing unexplained amounts of money, expensive clothes or other items
- Frequenting areas known for risky activities
- Being groomed or abused via the Internet and mobile technology; and
- Having unexplained contact with hotels, taxi companies or fast food outlets.
- Missing for periods of time (CSE and county lines)
5. Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child/young person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child/young person’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children/young people that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child/young person opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child/young person’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child/young person participating in normal social interaction. It may also involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children/young people frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children/young people. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment.
The following may be indicators of emotional abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
- The child consistently describes him/herself in very negative ways – as stupid, naughty, hopeless, ugly
- Over-reaction to mistakes
- Delayed physical, mental or emotional development
- Sudden speech or sensory disorders
- Inappropriate emotional responses, fantasies
- Neurotic behaviour: rocking, banging head, regression, tics and twitches
- Self-harming, drug or solvent abuse
- Fear of parents being contacted
- Running away
- Compulsive stealing
- Appetite disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia; or
- Soiling, smearing faeces, enuresis.
N.B: Some situations where children stop communicating suddenly (known as “traumatic mutism”) can indicate maltreatment.
6. Responses from parents/carers
Research and experience indicate that the following responses from parents may suggest a cause for concern across all five categories:
- Delay in seeking treatment that is obviously needed
- Unawareness or denial of any injury, pain or loss of function (for example, a fractured limb)
- Incompatible explanations offered, several different explanations or the child is said to have acted in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development
- Reluctance to give information or failure to mention other known relevant injuries
- Frequent presentation of minor injuries
- A persistently negative attitude towards the child
- Unrealistic expectations or constant complaints about the child
- Alcohol misuse or other drug/substance misuse
- Parents request removal of the child from home; or
- Violence between adults in the household
- Evidence of coercion and control.
7. Disabled children
When working with children with disabilities, practitioners need to be aware that additional possible indicators of abuse and/or neglect may also include:
- A bruise in a site that may not be of concern on an ambulant child such as the shin, maybe of concern on a non-mobile child
- Not getting enough help with feeding leading to malnourishment
- Poor toileting arrangements
- Lack of stimulation
- Unjustified and/or excessive use of restraint
- Rough handling, extreme behaviour modification such as deprivation of medication, food or clothing, disabling wheelchair batteries
- Unwillingness to try to learn a child’s means of communication
- Ill-fitting equipment, for example, callipers, sleep boards, inappropriate splinting
- Misappropriation of a child’s finances; or
- Inappropriate invasive procedures.
When a pupil tells me about abuse they have suffered, what should I remember?
- Stay calm.
- Do not communicate shock, anger or embarrassment.
- Reassure the child. Tell her/him you are pleased that s/he is speaking to you.
- Never enter into a pact of secrecy with the child. Assure her/him that you will try to help but let the child know that you will have to tell other people in order to do this. State who this will be and why.
- Tell her/him that you believe them. Children very rarely lie about abuse; but s/he may have tried to tell others and not been heard or believed.
- Tell the child that it is not her/his fault.
- Encourage the child to talk but do not ask “leading questions” or press for information.
- Listen and remember.
- Check that you have understood correctly what the child is trying to tell you.
- Praise the child for telling you. Communicate that s/he has a right to be safe and protected.
- Do not tell the child that what s/he experienced is dirty, naughty or bad.
- It is inappropriate to make any comments about the alleged offender.
- Be aware that the child may retract what s/he has told you. It is essential to record in writing, all you have heard, though not necessarily at the time of disclosure.
- At the end of the conversation, tell the child again who you are going to tell and why that person or those people need to know.
- As soon as you can afterwards, make a detailed record of the conversation using the child’s own language. Include any questions you may have asked. Do not add any opinions or interpretations.
- If the disclosure relates to a physical injury do not photograph the injury but record in writing as much detail as possible.
NB – it is not education staff’s role to seek disclosures. Their role is to observe that something may be wrong, ask about it, listen, be available and try to make time to talk.
Immediately after a disclosure
You should not deal with this yourself. Clear indications or disclosure of abuse must be reported to Birmingham Children’s Trust without delay, by the DSL or in exceptional circumstances by the staff member who has raised the concern.
Children making a disclosure may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Listening to and supporting a child/young person who has been abused can be traumatic for the adults involved. Support for you will be available from your DSL.
Inappropriate behaviour by staff/volunteers could take the following forms:
For example, the intentional use of force as a punishment, slapping, use of objects to hit with, throwing objects, or rough physical handling.
For example, intimidation, belittling, scapegoating, sarcasm, lack of respect for children’s rights, and attitudes that discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexuality.
For example, sexualised behaviour towards pupils, sexual harassment, inappropriate phone calls and texts, images via social media, sexual assault and rape.
For example, failing to act to protect children/young people, failing to seek medical attention or failure to carry out an appropriate risk assessment.
For example, using undue influence or pressure to control individuals or ensure obedience, follow religious practices that are harmful such as beatings or starvation.
If a child makes an allegation about a member of staff, Governor/Trustee, visitor or volunteer the DSL must be informed immediately. The DSL must carry out an urgent initial consideration in order to establish whether there is substance to the allegation. The DSL should not carry out the investigation him/herself or interview pupils. However, they should ensure that all investigations including for supply staff are completed appropriately.
The DSL should exercise and be accountable for their professional judgement on the action to be taken as follows:
If the actions of the member of staff, and the consequences of the actions, raise credible child protection concerns the DSL will notify Birmingham Children’s Trust Designated Officer (LADO) Team (Tel: 0121 675 1669). The LADO Team will liaise with the Chair of Governors and advise about action to be taken and may initiate internal referrals within Birmingham Children’s Trust to address the needs of children likely to have been affected.
If the actions of the member of staff, and the consequences of the actions, do not raise credible child protection concerns, but do raise other issues in relation to the conduct of the member of staff or the pupil. These should be addressed through the organisation’s own internal procedures.
If the DSL decides that the allegation is without foundation and no further formal action is necessary, all those involved should be informed of this conclusion, and the reasons for the decision should be recorded on the child’s safeguarding file. The allegation should be removed from personnel records.
Where an allegation has been made against the DSL, then the DSL takes on the role of liaising with the LADO Team in determining the appropriate way forward. For details of this specific procedure see the Section on Allegations against Staff and Volunteers in the West Midlands Child protection procedures.
Where the allegation is against the sole proprietor, the referral should be made to the LADO Team directly.
Radicalisation is defined in KCSiE 2020 as:
The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
Extremism is defined by the government in the Prevent Strategy as:
Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as:
The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
- Encourage, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
- Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
- Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts; or
- Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
KCSiE 2020 describes terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”. Those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.
Pupils may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors – it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that organisation staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities.
Indicators of vulnerability include:
- Identity crisis – the student/pupil is distanced from their cultural/religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society
- Personal crisis – the student/pupil may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging
- Personal circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the student/pupil’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy
- Unmet aspirations – the student/pupil may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life
- Experiences of criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement/reintegration
- Special educational need – students/pupils may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.
This list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all children/young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism.
More critical risk factors could include:
- Being in contact with extremist recruiters
- Family members convicted of a terrorism act or subject to a Channel intervention
- Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element
- Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature
- Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage
- Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
- Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations
- Significant changes to appearance and/or behaviour; and
- Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and/or personal crisis.
The SPOC is responsible for:
- Ensuring that staff of the organisation are aware that you are the SPOC in relation to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Maintaining and applying a good understanding of the relevant guidance in relation to preventing students/pupils from becoming involved in terrorism, and protecting them from radicalisation by those who support terrorism or forms of extremism which lead to terrorism;
- Raising awareness about the role and responsibilities in relation to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Monitoring the effect in practice of the organisation’s RE curriculum and assembly policy to ensure that they are used to promote community cohesion and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs;
- Raising awareness within the organisation about the safeguarding processes relating to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Acting as the first point of contact within the organisation for case discussions relating to students/pupils who may be at risk of radicalisation or involved in terrorism;
- Collating relevant information in relation to referrals of vulnerable students/pupils into the Channel process;
- Attending Channel meetings as necessary and carrying out any actions as agreed;
- Reporting progress on actions to the Channel co-ordinator; and sharing any relevant additional information in a timely manner.
Organisations must have regard to the statutory safeguarding guidance, keeping children safe in education and should refer to the coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in organisations, colleges and other providers guidance and update safeguarding procedures in line with DfE updates.
Designated safeguarding leads (and deputies) should be provided with more time, especially in the first few weeks of term, to help them provide support to staff and children regarding any new safeguarding and welfare concerns and the handling of referrals to children’s social care and other agencies where these are appropriate, and agencies and services should prepare to work together to actively look for signs of harm.
Communication with organisation nurses is important for safeguarding and supporting wellbeing, as they have continued virtual support to pupils who have not been in organisation.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): keeping children safe online – All organisations and colleges should continue to consider the safety of their children when they are asked to work online. The starting point for online teaching should be that the same principles as set out in the organisation’s or college’s staff behaviour policy (sometimes known as a code of conduct) should be followed. This policy should amongst other things include acceptable use of technologies, staff pupil/student relationships and communication including the use of social media. The policy should apply equally to any existing or new online and distance learning arrangements which are introduced.
Organisations and colleges should, as much as is reasonably possible, consider if their existing policies adequately reflect that some children (and in some cases staff) continue to work remotely online. As with the child protection policy, in some cases an annex/addendum summarising key coronavirus related changes may be more effective than re-writing/re-issuing the whole policy.
The principles set out in the guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings published by the Safer Recruitment Consortium may help organisations and colleges satisfy themselves that their staff behaviour policies are robust and effective. In some areas organisations and colleges may be able to seek support from their local authority when planning online lessons/activities and considering online safety.
Organisations and colleges should continue to ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection requirements.
An essential part of the online planning process will be ensuring children who are being asked to work online have very clear reporting routes in place so they can raise any concerns whilst online. As well as reporting routes back to the organisation or college this should also signpost children to age appropriate practical support from the likes of:
- Childline – for support
- UK Safer Internet Centre – to report and remove harmful online content
- CEOP – for advice on making a report about online abuse
Organisations and colleges are likely to be in regular contact with parents and carers. Those communications should continue to be used to reinforce the importance of children being safe online. It will be especially important for parents and carers to be aware of what their children are being asked to do online, including the sites they will asked to access and be clear who from the organisation or college (if anyone) their child is going to be interacting with online.
Parents and carers may choose to supplement the organisation or college online offer with support from online companies and in some cases individual tutors. In their communications with parents and carers, organisations and colleges should emphasise the importance of securing online support from a reputable organisation/individual who can provide evidence that they are safe and can be trusted to have access to children.
Support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online includes:
- Thinkuknow provides advice from the National Crime Agency (NCA) on staying safe online.
- Parent info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.
- Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support.
- Internet Matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world.
- London Grid for Learning has support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online.
- Net-aware has support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, including a guide to social networks, apps and games.
- Let’s Talk About It has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation.
- UK Safer Internet Centre has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services.
Government has also provided:
- Support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online harms, includes advice about specific harms such as online child sexual abuse, sexting, and cyberbullying.
- Support to stay safe online includes security and privacy settings, blocking unsuitable content, and parental controls.
The department encourages organisations and colleges to share this support with parents and carers.