Purpose and Aims
This Safeguarding policy applies to all staff, including paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, one-off visitors, students or anyone working on behalf of Chingford House School.
The aim of our safeguarding policy at Chingford House School is to provide all staff, visitors and volunteers with a framework which will enable them to holistically safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in our nursery.
The safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy as:
• Protecting children from maltreatment;
• Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development;
• Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
We acknowledge that we are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child's behaviour or appearance which could alert us to safeguarding concerns about their well-being. This is especially important in children who are unable to communicate through spoken language e.g. babies, very young children and children with SEND.
We are therefore guided by the following key principles;
• All children have the right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect
• Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility
• It is better to help children as early as possible before issues escalate and become more damaging
• Children and families are best supported and protected when there is a coordinated response from all agencies.
Legislative & Guidance Framework
This Safeguarding policy and procedures have been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and is in line with the following statutory and departmental guidance:
• Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
Safeguarding and Welfare requirements)
• Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020
• Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
• What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015
• “The Prevent Duty Guidance for England & Wales’ 2015
• “Information Sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers” 2018
• Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: Online safety guidance for practitioners 2019
• Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers
• Statutory guidance SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years
Early years settings are responsible for safeguarding and caring for, and supporting, the development of, children who attend as set out in the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). As such Chingford House School will work together with local agencies, services and settings to actively look for signs of harm given the greater risk of harm some children may have been exposed to through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In the case of vulnerable children and particularly those with social workers, we encourage those children to attend regularly and notify their social worker if they stop attending. Chingford House School has put in place rigorous protocols and policies which are being implemented through the current coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. In addition, we follow the latest updates issued by Waltham Forest and the Government.
Our commitment to safeguarding children
As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding children in our care we will ensure that this policy is readily available for professionals, parents and partners, to access via our website www.chingfordhouseschool.co.uk and also to read in our Parents/Carers folder which is located on our Reception desk. We will ensure that parents are also given access to the policy prior to children starting with us, and following each update. Where English is not the parents’ first language, support and consideration will be given to access the information. We ensure all staff are supported to read, understand and put the policy into practice. This we do through the process of training, support and supervision. In addition to this Safeguarding policy we also have other supporting policies and procedures in place to enable us to ensure that all children in our care are supported and feel safe.
Obligatory practice for ALL staff
At Chingford House School we recognise that we as individuals
• Are responsible for safeguarding
• Must be able to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse
• Must be able to identify concerns (Early Help / Child Protection / Allegations)
• Must be familiar with internal reporting procedures and processes (reporting safeguarding concerns to DSLs, and allegations only to Ms Akhtar)
• Must refer concerns to children’s social care in the absence of Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs)
• Must ensure that all safeguarding concerns are shared promptly with DSLs
• Must be able to challenge professional safeguarding decisions internally/ externally with other agencies
• Must refer/escalate a case if they disagree with the DSL not to refer, with respect and transparency
• Must be able to whistleblow when required
• In addition, we are also aware as individuals regardless of where we work in our nursery that we are responsible for reading and reviewing the safeguarding policies of Chingford House School.
Working in partnership
We work in partnership with all agencies i.e. LBWF Safeguarding in Education & Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) service, Early Help, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Social Care, Health and the Police to ensure the children’s safety and welfare is always paramount. We also seek to establish effective working relationships with both parents, carers and other colleagues so that we can develop and provide activities and opportunities that will enable and equip the children in our care with the necessary skills that they will need to develop protective behaviours and life skills to keep themselves safe from harm.
Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
At Chingford House School we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Yolande Farrell who has a specific operational responsibility for implementing our safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures. In the event that Yolande Farrell is unavailable, to ensure safeguarding matters are dealt with promptly, Zarkar Akhtar, our Deputy DSL, will be available to cover the DSL duties.
To safeguard children, our Designated Safeguarding Lead Yolande Farrell will undertake formal DSL training at a minimum every two years. This will be to equip and provide her with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role of the DSL and support staff. In addition, she will attend regular DSL forums at a minimum four times a year and will access safeguarding updates into developments and training relevant to the role of the DSL including managing allegations and managing thresholds.
This responsibility of the DSL includes
• Being the operational person with delegated lead responsibility for safeguarding;
• Inducting staff about emergency procedures, safeguarding, child protection and health and safety arrangements;
• Referring cases of suspected abuse to children’s social care and police as appropriate;
• Referring cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a chid to the DBS as appropriate;
• Liaison with local Statutory children's service agencies, Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children's Board (WSCB) and all other agencies concerned with the protection of children, including social services, police and health colleagues.
• Providing support advice, training to both staff, students, volunteers and guidance to all on an ongoing basis with regards to specific safeguarding issues
• Keeping detailed records in confidential files that are separate from the child’s main file and stored securely;
• Ensure that when a child leaves our nursery that all child protection records are passed to the new nursery (separately from the child’s main file ensuring secure transit) and confirmation of receipt is obtained.
• Ensuring the securer transfer of child protection files where a child leaves our nursery to attend another provider/school;
• Representing us at inter-agency meetings strategy discussions, child protection conferences and core groups;
• Managing and monitoring our role in early help, child in need and child protection plans.
Staffing and Safer Recruitment
We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to using non-discriminatory procedures in our recruitment process, to ensure all candidates who apply for employment at Chingford House School are treated fairly and that we recruit people who are suitable to fulfil the requirement of their role.
To recruit we pay regards to the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 and the EYFS 2017 3.9, 3.10, 3.12 and Criminal record checks for childminders and childcare workers and the London Child Protection 5th edition.
To prevent unsuitable people working with children in our setting we have put in place a robust safer recruitment procedure. All individuals working in any capacity at Chingford House School will be subjected to safeguarding checks in line with the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges, September 2020. We ensure that agencies and third parties who supply staff (temporary) to us provide us with written reassurance that they have made the appropriate level of safeguarding checks on the individuals prior to them engaging in working in our setting. We ensure that any agency worker presenting for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made.
When recruiting staff, we will ensure that every job description and person specification have a clear statement about the safeguarding responsibilities of the post holder which is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
To recruit staff, we ensure that at least one member of every interview panel has completed safer recruitment training and:
• All candidates are subject to qualification and identity checks
• An enhanced DBS certificate which includes barred list information check is undertaken for all candidates
• All records are kept which relate to the employment of staff and volunteers, thus demonstrating that checks have been undertaken, including the date and number of the enhanced child barring DBS and CRB check
• We obtain a minimum of at least two references for all potential new staff
• All new staff are required to produce documentation that confirms they have the right to work in the UK.
• All permanent appointments to Chingford House School will be subject to a probationary period of at least one month.
• All staff and or volunteers are fully inducted with regards to understanding the safeguarding policy and procedures and are trained to identify signs and symptoms of possible abuse.
All Staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children-whether received before, or at the point of recruitment.
Staff and student induction, training & development
The DSL ensures that all new members of staff and students are given an induction that includes the following:
• Issue and explain the safeguarding policy
• Issue and explain the behaviour policy
• Issue and explain the staff code of conduct
• Explains her role
• All new members of staff, volunteers and students are expected to read the above-mentioned documents and to sign an acknowledgement of this.
Staff code of conduct
All staff and students are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with the children. These adults who work with children are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any type of conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions. At Chingford House School all staff will work and be seen to work, in an open and transparent way. We ensure that this professional standard is applied to all children and families regardless of culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.
At Chingford House School our staff will
• Be approachable and friendly, while still being objective and professional and not blurring relationship boundaries.
• Offer advice and support to parents in a respectful way, including initiating possibly difficult discussions, directing parents to other relevant services and making appropriate referrals.
• Focus on the care and development of each individual child, not making comparisons with other children or breaching confidentiality.
Staffing Policy (includes Key Person)
At Chingford House School we acknowledge the contribution to safeguarding that the Key Person role can make in ensuring that all children in the setting feel safe, secure and assured that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken should they feel or become unsafe. To ensure this, every child at the setting is allocated a key person on joining the setting. We make every attempt to deploy the Key Persons so that they are with their Key children as much as possible.
We ensure that all staff are effectively deployed throughout the day to meet the statutory requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We endeavour to provide additional staffing to ensure key times during the day are covered. We also ensure that there is always one member of staff who possesses a full and relevant level 3 qualification and has suitable under twos experience.
Should there be times that we become short of staff, first we will rearrange the grouping of the children with a view to seeing if we can still safely meet the children’s needs and the minimum ratios. Where this is not possible, we will enlist the services of vetted childcare agency staff. We ensure that all agency staff prior to working with the children are inducted into our policies and procedures and that they work closely with another senior member of staff to provide consistent care for the children and are not unsupervised.
Supervision of staff
To ensure staff are supported and developed to effectively carry out their role in protecting and safeguarding children in their care, Chingford House School is led by the nursery manager, Yolande Farrell, who is a qualified level 6 practitioner (NNEB, BA Hons, Early Childhood Studies, Early Years Professional Status). She has the responsibility for ensuring that procedures are in place for all staff to receive regular formal supervision regularly that provides staff with an opportunity to review their performance, practice and development in working with the children and their families.
The supervision staff access provides opportunities to:
• discuss any issues – particularly concerning children’s development or wellbeing, including child protection concerns
• identify solutions to address issues as they arise
• receive coaching to improve their personal effectiveness
Allegations against staff
Should an allegation be made against an adult in a position of trust within our nursery, this should be brought to the immediate attention of the DSL who will advise the owner, Zarkar Akhtar. In the case of the allegation being made against the DSL this will be brought to the immediate attention of the owner, Zarkar Akhtar, who will discuss with the Designated Officer for the Local Authority (LADO) the nature of the allegations made against the DSL with a view to the LADO’s evaluation and guidance. This may result in a strategy discussion depending on the nature of the allegation being made. Where directed to do so by the LADO, police and/or children’s social services, we will support any safeguarding investigation by collecting the facts when an allegation is made. With this regard, it may be that Chingford House School will take a lead on the safeguarding element of the investigation.
In all cases the allegation will be referred to the LADO immediately and followed up in writing within 48 hours. As part of the allegation management process the DSL will consider the safeguarding arrangements of the child to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser. Yolande Farrell will
• Contact the parents or carers of the child if advised to do so by the LADO.
• Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation.
• Advise Ofsted of the allegation within 14 days of the allegation
• Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation is deemed necessary.
• Ensure any decision made in any strategy meeting is acted on.
• We as an employer of practitioners in regulated activity will make a referral to the DBS when the conditions for doing so have been met.
• We have a legal duty to refer any person engaged to work in regulated activity at Chingford House School where an allegation has been substantiated, or where a harm test has been met, irrespective of whether another body has made a referral to the DBS in relation to the same person; failure to do so is an offence.
• A DBS referral will take place at any time during the Allegations / Disciplinary process and will take place at the earliest stage possible. There could be a time when we consider that we should make a referral in the interests of safeguarding children even if we have not removed the person from working in regulated activity; this could include acting on the advice of the police or a safeguarding professional, or in situations where we do no have enough evidence to dismiss or remove a person from working with our children. Making DBS referrals where the referral conditions are not met will be done in consideration of relevant employment and data protection laws.
• When employing agency staff, both Chingford House School and the agency have a responsibility to refer as above. If an allegation is made against the DSL of our setting, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Deputy DSL/owner.
Whistleblowing is when someone raises a concern about a dangerous or illegal activity or any wrongdoing within their organisation. The wrongdoing disclosed must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others.
As a whistleblower, staff are protected by law and will not be treated unfairly or lose their job because they have ‘blown the whistle’.
A staff member can raise their concern at any time about a current incident or in relation to something that happened in the past or that they believe will happen in the near future. We recognise that our children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. For this reason, all staff are aware that they have a duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues via our Whistleblowing policy and that they have a right to seek appropriate advice from the following:
• LADO & safeguarding team telephone number: 020 8496 3646 (9-5pm Monday to Friday) email Safeguardingineducation@walthamforest.gov.uk
• Ofsted whistleblowing hotline: 0300 1233155 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
email firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to: WBHL, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD
• NSPCC Whistleblowing hotline number: 0800 028 0285
To ensure the safety and the wellbeing of the children, we ensure that we follow the current recommended ratios and qualifications for the safe care of children as set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage in the setting. As at April 2017 these were as follows:
• For children under two: one member of staff to every three children
At least one member of staff within the group will hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and will have suitable experience of working with children under two
• For children aged two: one member of staff for every four children.
At least one member of staff will hold a relevant level 3 qualification. At least half of all other staff in the group will hold a relevant level 2 qualification
• For children aged three: there will be one member of staff for every eight children. At least one member of staff will hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half will hold a relevant level 2 qualification
• Only those aged 17 or over will be included in the child/staff ratios. Where there are staff under 17 years of age, they will always be supervised by a level 3 qualified member of staff
• Students on long-term placement aged 17 years or over and staff working as apprentices in early education aged 16 or over will only be included in the ratios if the manager is satisfied that they are competent and responsible
• At least one person who has a current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) is always on the premises and available when children are present, and accompanies children when they go on outings.
To ensure the safety of the children in our nursery Chingford House School has procedures in place for recording the details of visitors and the purpose of their visit to our setting. Our security procedures ensure that the possibility of unauthorised persons having access to the children is minimised. Under no circumstances will visitors/contractors be allowed unsupervised access to the children. Visitors/ contractors will always be supervised whilst on the nursery premises, especially when in the areas that the children use. In addition to these arrangements we ask that parents do not open or hold the door for other persons to gain access to the building.
Mobile phones, photography and technology
To ensure the safety of the children, we operate a no mobile phone usage in the nursery for both parents, visitors and staff. To enforce this policy staff phones are kept in the staff room. For visitors to the setting they are asked not to use their mobile phone whilst in our nursery. Should they need to make a call this they can do either in the Nursery Office or another area where there are no children as directed by the manager or DSL.
At Chingford House School, we recognise information technology provides endless learning opportunities for children. We also acknowledge that not all encounters with information technology are positive and as such can be harmful to the safety and the wellbeing of the children. For this reason, when using information technology programmes and equipment we:
• Check all apps, websites and search results before using them with children.
• Role model safe behaviour and privacy awareness.
• Talk to children about safe use
• Ask permission before taking a child’s picture even if parental consent has been given.
• Check privacy settings to make sure personal data is not being shared inadvertently or inappropriately
Defining Abuse – Signs & Symptoms
All staff are aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse. As Early Years practitioners we recognise the additional barriers that exist when recognising the signs of abuse and neglect in children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
There are four categories of abuse:
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
It is important that all staff working at Chingford House School are aware of the indicators of abuse and that they should always consult when concerned.
Type of Abuse and possible Indicators
Neglect: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments of the child’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 food, clothing and shelter; protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision; ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Obvious signs of lack of care including: Problems with personal hygiene; Constant hunger; Inadequate clothing; Emaciation; Lateness or non-attendance; Poor relationship with peers; Untreated medical problems; Compulsive stealing and scavenging; Rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking; Running away; Low self-esteem.
Physical Abuse: May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child e.g. FGM, breast ironing. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries, delay in reporting or seeking medical advice.
Sexual Abuse: Forcing or enticing a child 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, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts; Sudden changes in behaviour; Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate;Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance;Tendency to cry easily;Regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby;Unexplained gifts or money;Depression and withdrawal; Wetting/soiling day or night; Fear of undressing for PE.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person; Rejection; Isolation; child being blamed for actions of adults; child being used as carer for younger siblings; affection and basic emotional care giving/warmth, persistently absent or withheld.
Bruising in babies
Should we observe bruising in a baby who is not crawling, cruising or independently mobile we will raise the concern with the child’s parent in the first instance depending on the timing and the nature of the concern. In all cases bruising in pre-mobile children a referral will be made to MASH.
At Chingford House School, we ensure that our approach is child-centred, considering always what is in the best interest of the child.
We also ensure that we
• Have clear standards of behaviour for staff
• Promote good health, effective management of medical conditions, and the development of self-care in children
• liaise and work together with other support services and those agencies involved in safeguarding children
• Manage children’s behaviour by anticipating possible concerns, prevention strategies, and clear, fair responses to challenging behaviour
• Monitor all children who have been identified as having welfare or safeguarding concerns and provide appropriate support.
• Maintain records that document safeguarding concerns over time, including low-level worries about a child that together may paint a picture of concern
• Ensure that all of our policies and procedures relating to safeguarding and wellbeing are updated annually
• Ensure that all staff understand the additional safeguarding vulnerabilities for certain groups of children and how to address them
Additional vulnerabilities and characteristics in children under five include:
• Children who are looked after by the Local Authority
• Children previously looked after by the Local Authority
•• Children at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation.
• Children in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse
• Children showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.
• Children at risk of being radicalised or exploited.
• Privately fostered children
• Children with special educational needs or disabilities
Special Educational Needs
All staff at Chingford House School are aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse. As Early Years Practitioners we recognise that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can face additional safeguarding challenges and that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children.
These barriers can include:
• assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration.
• being more prone to peer group isolation than other children.
• the potential for children with SEND being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
• communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
Children and mental health problems
We recognise mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or even exploitation. Where it is known that children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can impact on their mental health, behaviour and in turn impact on their education. We identify the additional needs of these children and provide extra monitoring and support to mitigate these additional barriers. Where necessary, referrals are made to mental health professionals and or early help for further support.
We aim to take a trauma-informed approach to support the children in the setting, considering their lived experience, and using this to inform how best to support them in terms of their welfare and engage them with learning.
In general, we will always discuss any concerns we may have with the child’s parents. Parents need to know that we are worried about their child. However, we will not discuss our concerns if we believe that this would place the child at greater risk or lead to loss of evidence for a police investigation.
If we decide not to discuss our concerns with the child’s parents or carers this will be recorded in the child’s safeguarding file with a full explanation for our decision.
A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (without any involvement of a Local Authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, in their own home, with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more. Both birth parents, private foster carers and persons who are seeking to arrange for a child to be privately fostered are required by law to notify the Waltham Forest Council's Children's Services department of the arrangement.
Should we become aware that a child is being privately fostered we will notify the MASH team.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Chingford House School has a legal duty to protect all children in our care under the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 agenda. This duty extends to protecting young girls and women from FGM, an illegal and extremely harmful practice and a form of abuse. All staff have received training to increase their awareness of the practice and harm of FGM causes.
We recognise that children are at higher risk of FGM if this has already been carried out on their mother, sister or a member of their extended family.. In consideration of this we always maintain a culture of vigilance.
Should a child in our care show any signs and symptoms of FGM or we have good reason to believe that the child is at risk of FGM, we will refer the child to Waltham Forest MASH team using our existing standard safeguarding procedures as it is a form of child abuse. However, should we think a child is in immediate danger, we will contact the police on 999.
As part of the arrangements to safeguard the children we are committed to the Prevent Duty to help protect children from radicalisation and extremism under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. We will do this by:
• Understanding our own role and responsibilities on how to protect children from extremism
• Promoting and embedding fundamental British Values through our activities and policies
• Ensuring that staff have up to date training that provides them with the knowledge on how to identify children at risk.
• Monitoring children’s attendance and following up absences
Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
• emotional abuse.
For children seeing, hearing or knowing of a parent being abused is a traumatic experience and can have long-term damaging emotional and psychological effects. Wherever Domestic Violence is suspected in a home where a child is resident, Chingford House School will refer this information to the MASH team, who have a duty to investigate. We will also offer support and signpost parents to external agencies, if appropriate, so parents are supported.
Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The DSL will refer any concerns to the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.
Specific Safeguarding-related policies
Chingford House School recognises that safeguarding children is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm, but also includes things such as child safety, anti-bullying, racial abuse, health and safety, use of mobile phones, risk assessment. In consideration of this, the safeguarding policy should be read in conjunction with our specific policies and procedures:
• Behaviour Management
• Cameras and mobile phones/E-safety :
• Health and Safety
• Risk assessments
• Equality and Diversity
• Lost child and Non-collection of children
• Non collection of children
• Illness and Infections
• Staffing :
• Safer Recruitment
• Staff Code of conduct
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 policies and procedures as appropriate and update the policy accordingly
The voice of the child
At Chingford House School we ensure that our approach to safeguarding children in our care is always child centred. This means we always consider what is in the best interests of the child. Along with this we try to understand the lived experience of the child in each family, setting or neighbourhood, so that we can give the child a voice in their own safeguarding to ensure that their voice is understood and incorporated into all plans to support and protect them.
Dealing with disclosures made by children
Should a child make a disclosure of abuse as with all Child Protection concerns, we act on the information immediately. If staff are concerned that a child may be at risk or is suffering abuse, they must report the concern to the DSL Yolande Farrell or in their absence to the deputy DSL Zarkar Akhtar
If a child makes a disclosure or an allegation of abuse against an adult or another child, it is important that the member of staff:
• Stays calm and listens carefully to the child.
• Reassures the child that they have done the right thing in telling them.
• Does not investigate or asks leading questions.
• Lets the child know that they will need to tell someone else.
• Does not promise to keep what they have told a secret.
• Informs Yolande Farrell or Zarkar Akhtar as soon as possible.
• Makes a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which must be signed, dated and records the position using the setting concern about a child s welfare & safety form (See Appendix 4).
We are aware that parents are normally the first point of contact should a concern arise regarding their child. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, we will inform parents at the same time the report is made. The only exception to this taking place is where informing the parents will place the child at further risk. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases, the investigating officers will inform parents.
In any event the nursery will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interest of the child.
Chingford House School views information sharing as an essential part of our arrangements to safeguard the children in our care. The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Any information shared will be done on a need-to-know basis to aid the effective assessment and identifying of children at risk. As practitioners we are clear about when we should share information and be alert to the signs and triggers of child abuse. Should there be a suspicion, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information shared will be with guidance from the local authority and police.
MASH is Waltham Forest’s single point of referral to social care for concerns regarding children, young people and vulnerable adults:
• Early Help (parental consent needed)
• Child in Need
• Child Protection
• Adult Safeguarding
Referrals to the MASH will be made immediately when there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so.
MASH will be notified by phone and/or email to discuss the case prior to sending a written referral. This will help determine the level of intervention and will also give children’s social care and the police time to make arrangements to come and see the child that same day in the nursery if deemed necessary.
At Chingford House School, the DSL ordinarily takes responsibility for the referral process, in consultation with staff who know the child. Still, there are circumstances where another member of staff must refer without delay:
• If for some reason, the DSL is not available, the referral should be made without delay by the deputy DSL or another member of staff
• If a staff member disagrees with your DSL’s decision not to refer a case to MASH, then it is their responsibility to refer the case, and to respectfully inform the DSL that they are doing so.
• Should another member of staff refer instead, the DSL must be consulted and updated as soon as possible.
It is noted that all adults in our setting, including the DSL, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency including MASH, LADO, or the Police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency, e.g. Early Years Consultants, Health Visitors, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the DSL in the first instance. Any records made should be kept securely on the Child’s Protection file.
Holding children after a MASH referral
Sometimes MASH social workers and police will want to see a child on the day of referral to ensure that they are safe to go home. In such cases, we will keep the child with us until the visit has taken place.
Because it can take time to organise the visit with an available social worker and police officer, sometimes families will be asked to wait at the setting before a child is released to them, and they may be asked not to see their child during this time. This can be stressful and uncomfortable for everyone concerned and sometimes all are kept at the setting until late in the evening. Where appropriate, we will prepare families for the length of time this process can take and will treat them with compassion and understanding and make every attempt to facilitate this difficult process.
Although settings do not have legal powers to remove or detain children, both police and social workers do have such powers, and it is at their request that we are holding the child. For this reason, families are strongly advised to cooperate in order to ensure the best chances that children will be able to go home that evening.
Approved: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Adopted on October 1st 2020 Review Date: September each year, if not earlier