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Safeguarding

Updated on: Thu Oct 22, 2020

Aims

The school aims to ensure that:

  • Appropriate action is taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare
  • All staff are aware of their statutory responsibilities with respect to safeguarding
  • Staff are properly trained in recognising and reporting safeguarding issues

2. Legislation and statutory guidance

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)

We adhere to Spanish legislation and are governed by Spanish law. 

In relation to keeping children safe and reporting incidences where the safety is compromised, we follow the practice outlined in the Convivencia Escolar Protocolos de Actuación outlined by the Junta de Andalucia.

This policy also meets requirements relating to safeguarding and welfare in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

3. Definitions

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children means:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s 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

Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering, or being likely to suffer, significant harm.

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child, and may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Appendix 1 explains the different types of abuse.

Neglect is a form of abuse and 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. Appendix 1 defines neglect in more detail.

Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) is the sharing of sexual imagery (photos or videos) by children

Children includes everyone under the age of 18.

4. Equality statement

Some children have an increased risk of abuse, and additional barriers can exist for some children with respect to recognising or disclosing it. We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and recognise children’s diverse circumstances. We ensure that all children have the same protection, regardless of any barriers they may face.

We give special consideration to children who:

  • Are young carers
  • May experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification or sexuality
  • Have English as an additional language
  • Are known to be living in difficult situations – for example, temporary accommodation or where there are issues such as substance abuse or domestic violence
  • Are at risk due to either their own or a family member’s mental health needs
  • Are looked after or previously looked after

5. Roles and responsibilities

Safeguarding and child protection is everyone’s responsibility. This policy applies to all staff in the school. Our policy and procedures also apply to extended school and off-site activities.

5.1 All staff

All staff will read and understand part 1 and Annex A of the Department for Education’s statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and review this guidance at least annually.

All staff will be aware of:

  • Our systems which support safeguarding, including this child protection and safeguarding policy, the staff code of conduct, the role and identity of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and [deputy/deputies].
  • Liaising with the DSL, and sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment
  • The process for making referrals to local authority children’s social care including the role they might be expected to play
  • What to do if they identify a safeguarding issue or a child tells them they are being abused or neglected and how to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality while liaising with relevant professionals
  • The signs of different types of abuse and neglect, as well as specific safeguarding issues, such as child sexual exploitation.

  • Be responsive and supportive to students as they return to campus. Monitor and record any student concerns regarding anxiety or stress.  

5.2 The designated safeguarding lead (DSL)

Our DSL is Christopher Long, (Principal). The DSL takes lead responsibility for child protection and wider safeguarding.

During term time, the DSL will be available during school hours for staff to discus,s any safeguarding concerns.

When the DSL is absent Harriet Gibson will be contact points.  For Online Safeguarding Concerns - Pól Blacker will be consulted. 

The DSL will be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to:

  • Provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters
  • Take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings and/or support other staff to do so
  • Contribute to the assessment of children
  • Refer suspected cases, as appropriate, to the relevant body.

5.4 DSL/Principal

Is responsible for the implementation of this policy, including:

  • Ensuring that staff (including temporary staff/exam invigilators) and volunteers are informed of our systems which support safeguarding, including this policy, as part of their induction
  • Communicating this policy to parents when their child joins the school and via the school website/firefly. 
  • Ensuring that all staff undertake appropriate safeguarding and child protection training and update this regularly
  • Acting as the ‘case manager’ in the event of an allegation of abuse made against another member of staff or volunteer, where appropriate. 

6. Confidentiality

  • Timely information sharing is essential to effective safeguarding
  • The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe
  • If staff need to share ‘special category personal data’, the DPA 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information without consent if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk
  • Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a report of abuse, as this may not be in the child’s best interest
  • If staff are in any doubt about sharing information, they should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy)

7. Recognising abuse and taking action

Staff must follow the procedures set out below in the event of a safeguarding issue.

Please note – in this and subsequent sections, you should take any references to the DSL to mean “the DSL (or deputy DSL)”.

7.1 If a child makes a disclosure to you

If a child discloses a safeguarding issue to you, you should:

  • Listen to and believe them. Allow them time to talk freely and do not ask leading questions
  • Stay calm and do not show that you are shocked or upset
  • Tell the child they have done the right thing in telling you. Do not tell them they should have told you sooner
  • Explain what will happen next and that you will have to pass this information on. Do not promise to keep it a secret
  • Complete a disclosure form (Appendix 1) as soon as possible. Stick to the facts, and do not put your own judgement on it. Send to the DSL in all cases, follow-up activities will be conducted in a manner that ensures that information is documented factually and that strict confidentiality is maintained. 

The following procedure will be used:

  • Interview staff members as necessary and document information relative to the case.
  • Consult with iSAMS to review the child’s history in school.
  • Determine the course of follow-up actions, potentially contacting the parents of the child
  • Completing a "Child maltreatment detection and notification sheet".

In most circumstances when a child alleges abuse the DSL will notify the parents at the earliest opportunity. However, in certain circumstances (usually in response to an allegation of physical or sexual abuse within the family) referral to Children’s Social Care Services (or to the Police) will be made first and a "Child maltreatment detection and notification sheet" will be completed.

In Spain: Institution: Delegación de Bienestar Social /Marbella: Estefania Martin 

Address: Avenida Velazquez Clavel 25, Marbella Tel: 952 900 493.

All other details, documents, images and any other evidence shall be logged via the iSAMS Wellbeing Module.

All documentation of the investigation will be kept confidential and will be stored.

 

7.2 If you have concerns about a child (as opposed to believing a child is suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or in immediate danger)

  • Please create concern in the WellBeing Manager. This concern should be made regarding a child's wellbeing.  Please assign it to the relevant or connected staff.  The Well Being Unit in ISAMS is used tp log safeguarding concerns and issues for students and assists in the recording of important information which may have an impact on students’ behavior and performance.
  • Staff need to respond and record any actions from any assigned concerns. 
  • These concerns will be monitored by the WellBeing Team and DSL.

Early help

If early help is appropriate, the DSL will generally lead on liaising with other agencies.

The DSL will keep the case under constant review and the school will consider a referral to local authority children’s social care if the situation does not seem to be improving. Timelines of interventions will be monitored and reviewed within iSams.

Referral

If it is appropriate to refer the case to local authority children’s social care or the police, the DSL will make the referral or support you to do so.

The DSL or person who made the referral must follow up with the local authority if this information is not made available, and ensure outcomes are properly recorded.

If the child’s situation does not seem to be improving after the referral, the DSL or person who made the referral must follow local escalation procedures to ensure their concerns have been addressed and that the child’s situation improves.

7.3 If you have concerns about extremism

If a child is not suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or in immediate danger, where possible speak to the DSL first to agree on a course of action.

If in exceptional circumstances the DSL is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken. Speak to a member of the senior leadership team and/or seek advice from local authority children’s social care. Make a referral to local authority children’s social care directly, if appropriate (see ‘Referral’ above).

7.4 Concerns about a staff member or volunteer

If you have concerns about a member of staff or volunteer, or an allegation is made about a member of staff or volunteer posing a risk of harm to children, speak to the Principal.

7.5 Allegations of abuse made against other pupils

We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”.

We also recognise the gendered nature of peer-on-peer abuse (i.e. that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys perpetrators). However, all peer-on-peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.

Most cases of pupils hurting other pupils will be dealt with under our school’s behaviour policy, but this child protection and safeguarding policy will apply to any allegations that raise safeguarding concerns. This might include where the alleged behaviour:

  • Is serious, and potentially a criminal offence
  • Could put pupils in the school at risk
  • Is violent
  • Involves pupils being forced to use drugs or alcohol
  • Involves sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or sexual harassment, such as indecent exposure, sexual assault, or sexually inappropriate pictures or videos (including sexting)

If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil:

  • You must record the allegation and tell the DSL, but do not investigate it
  • The DSL will contact the local authority children’s social care team and follow its advice, as well as the police if the allegation involves a potential criminal offence
  • The DSL will put a risk assessment and support plan into place for all children involved (including the victim(s), the child(ren) against whom the allegation has been made and any others affected) with a named person they can talk to if needed

We will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by:

  • Challenging any form of derogatory or sexualised language or behaviour, including requesting or sending sexual images
  • Being vigilant to issues that particularly affect different genders – for example, sexualised or aggressive touching or grabbing towards female pupils, and initiation or hazing type violence with respect to boys
  • Ensuring our curriculum helps to educate pupils about appropriate behaviour and consent
  • Ensuring staff are trained to understand that a pupil harming a peer could be a sign that the child is being abused themselves, and that this would fall under the scope of this policy

7.6 Sexting

Your responsibilities when responding to an incident

If you are made aware of an incident involving sexting (also known as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’), you must report it to the DSL immediately.

You must not:

  • View, download or share the imagery yourself, or ask a pupil to share or download it. If you have already viewed the imagery by accident, you must report this to the DSL
  • Delete the imagery or ask the pupil to delete it
  • Ask the pupil(s) who are involved in the incident to disclose information regarding the imagery (this is the DSL’s responsibility)
  • Share information about the incident with other members of staff, the pupil(s) it involves or their, or other, parents and/or carers
  • Say or do anything to blame or shame any young people involved

You should explain that you need to report the incident, and reassure the pupil(s) that they will receive support and help from the DSL.

Initial review meeting

Following a report of an incident, the DSL will hold an initial review meeting with appropriate school staff. This meeting will consider the initial evidence and aim to determine:

  • Whether there is an immediate risk to pupil(s)
  • If a referral needs to be made to the police and/or children’s social care
  • If it is necessary to view the imagery in order to safeguard the young person (in most cases, imagery should not be viewed)
  • What further information is required to decide on the best response
  • Whether the imagery has been shared widely and via what services and/or platforms (this may be unknown)
  • Whether immediate action should be taken to delete or remove images from devices or online services
  • Any relevant facts about the pupils involved which would influence risk assessment
  • If there is a need to contact another school, college, setting or individual
  • Whether to contact parents or carers of the pupils involved (in most cases parents should be involved)

The DSL will make an immediate referral to police and/or children’s social care if:

  • The incident involves an adult
  • There is reason to believe that a young person has been coerced, blackmailed or groomed, or if there are concerns about their capacity to consent (for example owing to special educational needs)
  • What the DSL knows about the imagery suggests the content depicts sexual acts which are unusual for the young person’s developmental stage, or are violent
  • The imagery involves sexual acts and any pupil in the imagery is under 16
  • The DSL has reason to believe a pupil is at immediate risk of harm owing to the sharing of the imagery (for example, the young person is presenting as suicidal or self-harming)

If none of the above apply then the DSL, and other members of staff, as appropriate, may decide to respond to the incident without involving the police or children’s social care.

Further review by the DSL

If at the initial review stage a decision has been made not to refer to police and/or children’s social care, the DSL will conduct a further review.

They will hold interviews with the pupils involved (if appropriate) to establish the facts and assess the risks.

If at any point in the process there is a concern that a pupil has been harmed or is at risk of harm, a referral will be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately.

Informing parents

The DSL will inform parents at an early stage and keep them involved in the process, unless there is a good reason to believe that involving them would put the pupil at risk of harm.

Recording incidents

All sexting incidents and the decisions made in responding to them will be recorded in iSAMS. 

Curriculum coverage

Pupils are taught about the issues surrounding sexting as part of our PSHE education and computing programmes. Teaching covers the following in relation to sexting:

  • What it is
  • How it is most likely to be encountered
  • The consequences of requesting, forwarding or providing such images, including when it is and is not abusive
  • Issues of legality
  • The risk of damage to people’s feelings and reputation
  • Pupils also learn the strategies and skills needed to manage
  • Specific requests or pressure to provide (or forward) such images
  • The receipt of such images

This policy on sexting is also shared with pupils so they are aware of the processes the school will follow in the event of an incident.

8. Notifying parents

Where appropriate, we will discuss any concerns about a child with the child’s parents. The DSL will normally do this in the event of a suspicion or disclosure.

Other staff will only talk to parents about any such concerns following consultation with the DSL.

If we believe that notifying the parents would increase the risk to the child, we will discuss this with the local authority children’s social care team before doing so.

In the case of allegations of abuse made against other children, we will normally notify the parents of all the children involved.

9. Mobile phones and cameras

Staff are allowed to bring their personal phones to school for their own use but will limit such use to non-contact time when pupils are not present. Staff members’ personal phones will remain in their bags or cupboards during contact time with pupils.

Staff will not take pictures or recordings of pupils on their personal phones or cameras.

We will follow the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 when taking and storing photos and recordings for use in the school.

11. Complaints and concerns about school safeguarding policies

11.1 Complaints against staff

Complaints against staff that are likely to require a child protection investigation will be handled in accordance with our procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against staff.

12. Record-keeping

All safeguarding concerns, discussions, decisions made and the reasons for those decisions, must be recorded in writing. If you are in any doubt about whether to record something, discuss it with the DSL.

Non-confidential records will be easily accessible and available. Confidential information and records will be held securely and only available to those who have a right or professional need to see them.

Safeguarding records relating to individual children will be retained for a reasonable period of time after they have left the school.

If a child for whom the school has, or has had, safeguarding concerns moves to another school, the DSL will ensure that their child protection file is forwarded promptly and securely, and separately from the main pupil file. In addition, if the concerns are significant or complex, and/or social services are involved, the DSL will speak to the DSL of the receiving school and provide information to enable them to have time to make any necessary preparations to ensure the safety of the child.

13. Training

13.1 All staff

All staff members will undertake safeguarding and child protection training at induction (EDUCARE) safeguarding systems and their responsibilities and can identify signs of possible abuse or neglect. This training will be regularly updated.

Staff will also receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, through emails, e-bulletins and staff meetings) as required, but at least annually.

13.2 The DSL and [deputy/deputies]

The DSL and deputies will undertake child protection and safeguarding training at least every 2 years.

13.4 Recruitment – interview panels

At least one person conducting any interview for a post at the school will have undertaken safer recruitment training. This will cover, as a minimum, the contents of the Department for Education’s statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and will be in line with local safeguarding procedures.

14. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Principal. At every review, it will be approved by the full governing board.

15. Links with other policies

This policy links to the following policies and procedures:

  • Behaviour
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Attendance
  • Online safety

These appendices are based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Appendix 1: types of abuse

Abuse, including neglect, and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap.

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.

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Emotional abuse may involve:

  • Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
  • Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
  • Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
  • Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
  • Serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children

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 penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing
  • 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.

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 of maternal substance abuse.

Incident/Disclosure Form

Date of Report:

Person filling out form:

Key Questions Response

Student’s name, gender, age,

 

Names of parents/guardians

 

Reporter’s name reporter’s relationship to the student

 

How and where reporter became aware (first-hand witness?).

 

Write a brief description of disclosure circumstances.

 

Name of alleged perpetrator and relationship to student (if known):

 

Any previous concerns with student:

 

Any other pertinent information:

 

Follow-up (i.e. meeting , future actions taken or action pending etc.

 

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