THE ATTIC LEARNING CENTRE
WHOLESCHOOL SAFEGUARDING POLICY
SDP – Judy Sherington 01502 565646 or 07872629214
Alternate SDP – Phillip Woods 01502 565646
Purpose and Aims
The purpose of The Attic Learning Centre Safeguarding Policy is to provide a secure framework for the centre in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of those pupils that attend our centre. The policy aims to ensure that:
All of our pupils are safe and protected from harm.
Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable pupils to feel safe and adopt safe practices.
Staff, pupils, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours and the centre’s legal responsibilities in relation to pupils.
Safeguarding in The Attic Learning Centre is everyone’s responsibility and as such our centre aims to create the safest environment within which every pupil has the opportunity to achieve the Five Outcomes of Every Child Matters. The Attic Learning Centre recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all pupils registered or who use the Centre, feel that they will be listened to and have appropriate action taken for any concerns that they may raise. We will do this by endeavouring to work in partnership with other agencies and seek to establish effective working relationships with parents/carers to develop and provide activities and opportunities throughout our curriculum that will help to equip our young people with the skills they need. This will include resources and learning experiences that will encourage our young people to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours.
Responsibilities and expectations
The Attic Learning Centre is part of EOTAS whose responsibility it is to make sure that the Centre has effective safeguarding policies and procedures in place and to monitor that the Centre complies with them. The policy should be made available to parents and carers if requested. It is also the responsibility of EOTAS to ensure that all staff and volunteers are properly vetted to make sure they are safe to work with the pupils who attend our Centre and that the Centre has procedures for handling allegations of abuse made against members of staff (including the Headteacher and volunteer helpers) EOTAS will ensure that there is a Senior Designated Person (SDP) who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our Centre.
It is the responsibility of the SDP to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in the Centre are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency. They are also responsible for arranging whole school safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with children and young people in our Centre and that this training takes place at least every three years.
The SDP is required to attend or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all conferences, core groups or meetings where it concerns a child at our centre and to contribute to multi-agency discussions to safeguard an promote the young persons welfare.
The SDP is also required to complete a Self-Review Assessment Report annually which demonstrates that the safeguarding arrangements in the centre are being met. If the self-assessment highlights any areas for improvement, this will be detailed in the action plan with the SDP line manager. The self-review assessment is to be shared annually with eh Local Authority, who will have an auditing role in ensuring the centre is meeting its safeguarding requirements under sec 175/157 of the Education Act 2002 for both maintained and independent schools.
All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If staff are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, they should tell the Senior Designated Person immediately.
All Adults, including the SDP, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to Children’s social care or the police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from another agency, e.g. YOS, Integrated Team or School Nurse, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the Schools Designated Peron in the first instance.
Recognising concerns, signs and indicators or abuse.
Safeguarding is not just about protecting young people from deliberate harm. For our centre it includes such things as pupil safety, bullying, racist abuse and harassment, educational visits, intimate care, children missing from education and internet safety etc. The witnessing of abuse can have a damaging effect on those that are party to it, as well as the young person subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the young person.
Abuse can take place in any family, institution or community setting, by telephone and on the internet. Abuse can often be difficult to recognise as young people may behave differently or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their family circumstances change. However, it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.
The following indicators listed under the categories of abuse are not an exhaustive list.
This can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, punching, kicking, scalding, burning, drowning and suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a young person. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention through fabricated or induced illness. This was previously know as Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the young person’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to 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 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 young people. These may include interactions that are beyond the young person’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the young person participating in normal social interaction. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing young people to frequently feel frightened or in dancer, or the exploitation or corruption of young people. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a young person, though it may occur alone. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:
Excessively clingy or attention seeking.
Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism.
Withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness.
Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please.
Eating disorders or self-harm.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the young person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. The may also include non-contact activities such as involving young people in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a young person in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Woman can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other young people.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a young persons basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the young person’s health or development.
Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of 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.
(Source Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010)
What to do if you are concerned
If a young person makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, it is important that you:
Do stay calm and listen carefully.
Do reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
Do not investigate or ask leading questions.
Do let them know that you will need to tell someone else.
Do not promise to keep what they have told you a secret.
Do inform your SDP as soon as possible.
Do make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which you must sign, date and record your position.
Do not include your opinion without stating it is your opinion.
Do refer without delay.
See Appendix 1 for procedure
If you are concerned that a member of staff or adult in a position of trust poses a danger to a young person or that they might be abusing a young person, you should report your concerns to the Headteacher. Where those concerns relate to the Headteacher however, this should be reported as detailed below in `Managing Allegations ` ( see also Whistle Blowing Policy ).
Staff should be aware of the information and reporting arrangements. Please make sure you have read and signed the separate information on this important area.
Exploitation and Extremism
Staff should be vigilant of any circumstances that cause suspicion and should alert the Headteacher immediately.
Training arranged for January 16.
We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working or may come into contact with young people whilst in our Centre. Allegations can be made by young people or other concerned adults and are made for a variety of reasons.
If an allegation is made against an adult in a position of trust whether they be members of staff or volunteers this should be brought to the immediate attention of the SDP (Currently the Headteacher). The Headteacher must discuss with the Manager for Inclusion (currently Georgina Green) and the Area Safeguarding Manager (Local Authority Designated Officer - LADO ) the nature of the allegations in order for the appropriate action to be taken. This will constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion involving the LADO.
Dependent on the allegation being made, the Headteacher will need to:
Refer to the Manager for Inclusion in the first instance and to the LADO immediately and follow up in writing within 48 hours
Consider safeguarding arrangements of the young person to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser.
Contact the parents/carers of the young person if advised to do so by the LA DO.
Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation.
Ensure the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation is deemed necessary.
Act on any decision made in any strategy meeting or evaluation meeting.
Advise the Independent Safeguarding Authority where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations being founded.
In the case of an allegation being made against the Headteacher this will be brought to the immediate attention of The Manager for Inclusion (currently Georgina Green).
All members of staff and volunteers will have access to Level 2 Safeguarding Training at least every three years. We will also, as part our induction, issue information in relation to our Safeguarding Policy, and a copy of the ‘Safeguarding Induction Handbook for Schools and other Educational Establishments ‘ which constitutes Level 1 Training pending access to Level 2 Training and in addition any policy related to safeguarding . We will promote our young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff members and volunteers.
Our SDP and Alternate will undertake further safeguarding training in addition to the whole school training. This will be undertaken at least every two years which updates their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. This will support both the SDP/Alternate to be able to better undertake their role and support the centre in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieve better outcomes for the pupils in our centre. This includes taking part in multi-agency training in addition to safeguarding training.
The Role of the Formal and Informal Curriculum
Issues relating to Safeguarding are covered in the PSE and ICT formal curriculum and through Tutorials.
Staff and pupils at the Attic will always be made aware to respect personal confidentiality and that disclosures about personal experiences should not be sought from pupils or staff. There may be times in a session, or at other times, when personal disclosures are made which need to be passed on for Safeguarding reasons.
The informal Curriculum allows opportunities for young people to speak openly and due to the flexible nature of the curriculum issues can be followed up though the formal curriculum as appropriate
Safer Recruitment and Selection
It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked.
At The Attic Learning Centre we will ensure that we have a member on every recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. That all or our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the Key Safeguarding Employment Standards.
Our safeguarding arrangements are available to EOTAS and our Safeguarding Policy is renewed annually in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
A Self-Review Assessment will be completed annually and an action plan put in place to address issues.
Our Safeguarding Policy is available to parents/carers and all Staff and other agencies. We will arrange for our policy to made available to parents whose first language is not English on request.
Current Safeguarding Issues
See Appendix 2
Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board www.suffolkscbb.org.uk
Customer First: 08088004005
Professional Advisor – Safeguarding in Education
Links To other Policies
Health & Safety
Single Central Record
Substance Use and Misuse
Updated July 15
To be reviewed July 16 or as necessary in line with new guidance /legislation
Current Safeguarding Issues Appendix 2
The following safeguarding concerns actual or suspected should be referred immediately to Children’s Social Care. The concerns featured below are linked to guidance and local procedures which where available can be found on the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board website at www.suffolkscb.org.uk
Some members of our communities hold beliefs that may be common within particular cultures but which are against the law or England. The Attic Learning Centre does not condone practices that are illegal and which are harmful to children. Examples of particular practices are:
Forced Marriage – The Attic Learning Centre does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent and will follow SCB procedures to refer any young person immediately to Social Care.
Honour Based Violence
Honour based violence is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the hour of the family and/or community. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from Attic Learning Centre and truancy, infections resulting from female genitalia mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in Centre activities, unreasonable restrictions at home or forced marriage. Where it is suspected that a young person is at risk from Honour based violence The Attic Learning Centre will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes young people being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where The Attic Learning Centre is made aware of a young person suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
Female Genital Mutilation
This is against the law yet for some communities it is considered a religious act and cultural requirement. It is illegal for someone to arrange for a young person to go abroad with the intention of having her circumcised. If any of the above areas of concern is brought to the attention of The Attic Learning Centre we will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Ritualistic Abuse linked to Spirit Possession
Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in a criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the young person.
Children Missing Education
“Basic to safeguarding children is to ensure their attendance at school” (OFSTED 2002).
Children are best protected by regularly attending school where they will be safe from harm and where there are professional to monitor their well-being. At The Attic Learning Centre we will encourage the full attendance of all our young people at the centre. Where we have concerns that a young person is missing education and/or because of suspected abuse, we will report to Children Social Care and the Education Attendance Service to effectively manage the risks and to prevent abuse from taking place.
Sexually Active Under Eighteen years old
It is acknowledged by those working with young people, that some young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision or protection or additional services. At The Attic Learning Centre we will ensure our policy for managing this issue.
Safeguarding Disabled Children
Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children.
Disabled children do however require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks as a result of negative attitudes and ‘created vulnerability’. This may lead to disabled children having unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/or communication impairment. (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009).
At The Attic Learning Centre we will ensure that our disabled children are listened to and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding the abuse of a disabled child.
The Government defines domestic abuse as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”
Children may suffer both directly and indirectly if they live in household where there is domestic violence. Domestic abuse is likely to have a damaging effect on the health, development and welfare of children, and it will often be appropriate for such children to be regarded as Children in Need under the Children Act 1989.
Where there is evidence of domestic violence The Attic Learning Centre will report our concerns to the appropriate agency including Children’s Social Care and the police in order to prevent the likelihood of any further abuse taking place.
Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.
A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation by someone other than:
A person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility.
A close relative.
A local Authority.
for more than 28 days and where the care in intended to continue. It is a statutory duty for us at The Attic Learning Centre to inform the Local Authority where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.
Child Exploitation and e-Safety
Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimise the risks to our children and young people The Attic Learning Centre will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our e-Safety policy. We will ensure that staff are aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the centre and are aware of the dangers associated with the internet and other mobile technology.
Our e-Safety policy will clearly state that mobile phones or electronic communications with a student at our school is not acceptable other than for approved school business e.g. coursework, mentoring. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying we will report out concerns to the appropriate agency.
The above list is not exhaustive and as new policy guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding we will review and update our policy as appropriate and in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority to ensure The Attic Learning Centre is a safe place to learn and work.