Chingford House School has a legal duty to protect all the children in its care in accordance with the ‘Children’s Act 1989 and 2004’ and the London Child Protection Procedures. Our School wants to work with children, parents/carers and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.
Our aims at Chingford House School are:
- To ensure the protection of children
- Create an environment in our School that encourages children to develop a positive self image
- Help children to establish good relationships within their families, with peers and with adults
- Encourage children to develop a sense of independence
- Help children to develop the self-confidence to resist inappropriate advances
- Work with parents/carers to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children
As Chingford House School offers long hours of care for children, our staff may be the first people to sense if there is a problem with a child. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse, possibly before their parents or carers. Our primary responsibility is the welfare and wellbeing of all children in our care. We have a duty to the children, parents/carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. The school has a duty to report any suspicions of abuse to the Local Authority, which has a duty to investigate such matters. If there are concerns about the safety or welfare of any child the information will immediately be communicated with the Manager or Owner and the set procedures will be followed.
The School's responsibilities do not include investigating any suspected abuse. However staff will keep an accurate record of their observations and of anything said to them by the child (or other connected suspects), noting that it is always important to listen to children.
We ensure that all members of staff undergo criminal record checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Students are never left unsupervised with children unless they have undergone a criminal records check themselves. It is our policy to provide a secure and safe environment for all children.
To ensure a safer Recruitment Procedure, at least one member of every interview panel must have completed appropriate Safer Recruitment training. This training must be renewed every 3 years.
Designated Safeguarding Lead
We ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) receives the appropriate training and then appropriate annual renewal training delivered by a recognised training provider. At Chingford House School the following person is our DSL.
Ms Yolande Farrell
Tel: 020 8527 2902
Role description for designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
- The DSL is responsible for investigating the welfare of a child, for instance child protection matters which include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, and following procedures for reporting and recording these concerns in line with the local authority guidelines.
- The DSL is part of the interview panel during recruitment and selection of new staff.
Our Policy conforms to the "Information Sharing: Practitioner’s guide” HM Government 2018. As noted in this policy, we ensure that:
- Sharing of information between practitioners and organisations is essential for effective identification, assessment, risk management and service provision. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people at risk of abuse or neglect.
- Information is shared with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respecting the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. Information may be shared without consent if, in our judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. This judgement will be based on the facts of the case. (for guidance on this please refer to Information Sharing: Practitioner’s guide, HM Government 2018 and “Working together to safeguard children, 2018”).
- Information shared is necessary for the purpose for which we are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
- Child protection documents are retained in a ‘Child Protection’ file, separate to the main pupil file. The main file has an alert that a child protection file exists and states its location. The CP file is locked away and only accessible by owner/manager and DSL. When the child leaves our school we ensure that the child protection file is copied and transferred to the new establishment as soon as possible clearly marked Child Protection, Confidential for Attention of Designated Safeguarding Lead. This is separate to the main pupil file.
All information about the children at the Nursery and their circumstances are confidential, unless the safety and welfare of the child is at risk, when information will be communicated with the authorities. The School will follow the procedures set out in the Local Authority Child Protection Documents, and will seek their advice on all steps taken subsequently.
Abuse and neglect of children: Definitions and Impact
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. An individual may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. A child may be abused in a family, institution or community setting, by those known to them, or by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or by another child or children. These procedures apply in all cases.
Neglect or abuse, physically, emotionally or sexually, can have a major long-term effect on all aspects of well-being. Sustained abuse is likely to have a deep impact on the child’s self-image and self-esteem, and on his or her future life. Difficulties may extend into adulthood. The experience of long-term abuse may lead to difficulties in forming or sustaining close relationships, establishing oneself in the workforce and to extra difficulties in developing the attitudes and skills needed to be an effective parent.
Responding to suspicions of abuse or neglect
- When children are suffering from physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect this may be demonstrated through changes in behaviour or play.
- We investigate with sensitivity. Staff at the School take care not to influence the outcome through the way they speak to children.
- Where a child shows signs of abuse or neglect we immediately consult the Designated Safeguarding Lead and make appropriate referrals as below:
If staff have explicit knowledge or any reason to suspect that there has been physical injury to a child, (including deliberate poisoning) which was intentionally inflicted or knowingly not prevented, the following procedure will be undertaken:
- Any physical sign of a mark or an injury to a child will be recorded when the child attends the nursery and the incident will be discussed with the parents/carers
- All discussions with the parents/carers will be recorded
- The parents/carers and the relevant authorities will have access to these records
- The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub at Waltham Forest will be notified, if there appears to be any uncertainty regarding the injury and how it happened
If staff have witnessed occasions where a child has indicated sexual activity through words, play, and/or drawings or had an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, causing concern or suspicions of sexual abuse the following procedures will be undertaken:
- The observed instances will be recorded
- The observations will be immediately reported to the Manager or Owner
- The matter will be referred to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub at Waltham Forest
If staff have reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse affect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child that has been caused by persistent or severe ill-treatment or rejection, the following procedure will be undertaken:
- The concern will be discussed with the parents/carers
- A record will be kept of all discussions
- The parents/carers and the relevant authorities will have access to these records
- If there appears to be any uncertainty or concerns regarding the circumstances, the matter will be referred to Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub at Waltham Forest.
Action will be taken if staff have reason to believe that the child has been the victim of persistent or severe neglect (for example, exposure to danger and experiencing cold and starvation,) which results in serious harm to the child’s health or development, including failure to thrive. The following procedure will be followed:
- The concern will be discussed with the parent/carer.
- The discussions with the parents/carers will be recorded.
- The parents/carers and the relevant authorities will have access to these records .
- If there appear to be any uncertainty or concerns regarding the circumstances the matter will be referred to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub at Waltham Forest.
Allegations regarding person(s) working in or on behalf of Chingford House School (including volunteers)
When an allegation is made against a member of staff, set procedures are followed following the procedures outlines in chapter 7 of the London Child Protection procedures.
Staff who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not the default option and alternatives to suspension will always be considered. In some cases, staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that children are protected. In the event of suspension, Chingford House School will provide support to the staff member.
The full procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2018). Staff and parents/carers are reminded that publication of material that may lead to the identification of a staff member who is the subject of an allegation is prohibited by law. Publication includes verbal conversations or writing, including content placed on social media sites.
Allegations concerning staff who no longer work at the setting, or historical allegations will be reported to the police.
Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of Chingford House School that they have:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children. These behaviours will be considered within the context of the four categories of abuse (i.e. physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect).
we will apply the same principles as in the rest of this document. This includes allegations against staff in their personal lives.
Whilst we acknowledge such allegations, as all others, may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be founded. It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly, in line with agreed procedures and outcomes recorded.
Initial Response to an allegation or concern:
Initial Action by person receiving or identifying an allegation or concern
- Chingford House School will treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind
- We will make a written record of the information using the Safety and Welfare Concern Form, including the time, date and place of incident/s, persons present and what was said and sign and date this
- Immediately report the matter to the DSL (or deputy in their absence or where the DSL is the subject of the allegation)
Initial Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead
The DSL (or if the DSL is the subject of the allegation, then the Deputy DSL) will take the following action:
- Obtain written details of the concern or allegation but they will not investigate or interview child, adult or witnesses
- Contact the Waltham Forest LADO within 24 hours or Children’s Social Care after hours service if they cannot be reached
- Discuss with the LADO the next steps and refer to the London Child Protection Proceduresusing the Flow Charts Allegations/Concerns Against Staff
- Use the Ofsted online notification system no later than 14 days after the allegation to give details of the allegation or concern
- Make a decision whether a referral to social care may be required.
Subsequent Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Owner
The DSL (or deputy DSL if the DSL is the subject of the allegation) will
- Conduct a disciplinary investigation, if an allegation indicates the need for this
- Contribute to the child protection process by attending professional strategy meetings
- Maintain contact with the LADO
- Ensure clear and comprehensive records regarding the allegation, and action taken and outcome are retained on the staff member’s personnel file
- consider with the LADO whether a referral to the DBS should be made.
Liaison with other bodies
We work within the Waltham Forest Early Help and Threshold Criteria guidelines:
- London Borough of Waltham Forest Children and Families Service, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, 221 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9PH. Tel: 020 8496 2310. Out of Hours Tel: 020 8496 3000.
- We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements that affect the wellbeing of children within 14 days of the incident.
Waltham Forest Early Help Support
The Early Help Service works in partnership with other professionals, parents and carers to intervene early in a child's life to ensure that children have the best start in life. The service works with families that need additional help, to enable them to access this support when they need it. The aim is to address problems at the earliest opportunity - before they can escalate - and to enable families to support their children to reach their full potential.
Early intervention may occur at any point in a child or young person's life. The Early Help approach is underpinned by an Early Help assessment and a team around the family meeting. Early Help supports families with children and young people aged 0 to 19 and up to 25 with a disability.
We seek out training opportunities to ensure that all adults at our School are able to recognise physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect so they are aware of the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in line with the local authority guidelines.
The layout of the School allows for constant supervision of all children.
Yolande Farrell, Manager
Policy reviewed: November 19th 2018
Policy reviewed: May 1st 2017
Policy reviewed: April 1st 2016
Policy reviewed: October 15th 2015
Policy adopted: November 19th 2014
Keeping children safe in education. Information for all school and college staff 2018 (Department of Education)
Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers 2018 (HM Government)
London Child Protection Procedures Flow Charts Allegations/Concerns Against Staff