General Information

Child Protection Policy

St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Primary School.

Child Protection Policy

 

2015 – 2018

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

In accordance with our Mission Statement it is the intention of the Governors to provide a safe and secure environment for our pupils.  They will take all reasonably practicable steps within their power to fulfill this responsibility

 

Introduction

The health, safety and well-being of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in our school. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school.  To help facilitate this we have; discipline, bullying and racisim policies which try to ensure a safe and happy environment for all children whilst they are in school.

In our school we respect our children. The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages all children to do their best. We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves.

Our teaching of personal, social and health education and citizenship, as part of the National Curriculum, helps to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others. We also teach them how to recognise different risks in different situations, and how to behave in response to them.

 

Aims and Objectives

This policy ensures that all staff in our school are clear about the actions necessary with regard to a child protection issue. Its aims are: -

  • To raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibility in reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • To ensure effective communication between all staff when dealing with child protection issues.
  • To lay down the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of child protection.
  • To give clear advice to children about who to contact if they are worried or uncomfortable about any situation.

 

Allegations against Staff

School will follow the school procedures for dealing with complaints.  Suspension is not an automatic response to an allegation. The head teacher and or Chair of Governors will consider carefully whether it is the appropriate course in each instance.

 

School will: -

Helping to Keep Children Safe

  • Try to make all children aware of behaviour towards them that is not acceptable and how they can keep themselves safe.
  • Provide opportunities for children to learn about keeping safe.
  • Help children to recognise and manage risks in different situations and then decide how to behave responsibly.
  • Help children to judge what kind of physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Help children to recognise when pressure from others (including people they know) threatens their personal safety and well-being and develop effective ways of resisting pressure; including knowing when and where to get help.
  • Let children know it is okay to talk about their own problem and they will be listened too. If a child discloses abuse the talk should finish as soon as possible, without asking any leading questions, without the abuse being discussed and inform them they can not guarantee complete confidentiality because they have to discuss the disclosure with other professionals.
  • Respond sensitively to a child’s concerns. (Staff will record the discussion with the pupil as soon as possible).

It is not the responsibility of staff to investigate suspected cases of abuse.

 

Concerns about a Child’s welfare

Where there are concerns about a child’s welfare relevant please inform the Child Protection teacher.  This could be in the following areas: -

  • Drug and alcohol abuse by parents / guardians can have a serious effect on their children.
  • The effect of domestic violence (witnessing it or being the subject of it).
  • Change of school.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Neglect

 

Procedures

There is a named person in our school who is the Child Protection Coordinator.  This person is our SEN Coordinator.

If there is any allegation made concerning the nominated member of staff, then a member of the school leadership team must be informed and they will assume the role of ‘nominated member of staff’ until the allegation has been fully investigated and fully resolved.

Detailed records will be kept at every stage. This includes written records or communication logs stored on computer. All records are stored securely.

If any teacher suspects that a child in his/her class may be a victim of abuse, they immediately inform the named person about their concerns.  Abuse can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature.  It can also be the result of neglect.

Any action that the named person takes when dealing with an issue of child protection will be in line with the procedures outlined in the LA Child Protection guidelines.

The school’s named coordinator works closely with the Social Services department and the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, but the interest of the child is of paramount importance.

If a child alleges abuse, the school usually makes a referral without communicating with parents first. In some circumstances we inform parents first. (See below; Parental Involvement)

If a child protection referral is made, a case conference is held within eight working days of the decision.  The case conference offers the opportunity to share information and formulate a plan of action.  Teaching staff are expected to attend with the Child Protection teacher and participate in all case conferences and meetings held under the LA guidelines.

We regard all information relating to individual child protection issues as confidential, and we treat this accordingly.  We only pass information on to appropriate persons. We inform the child at all stages of who is involved, and what information we have given them.

There may be times when adults in our school, in the course of their duty, use physical intervention to restrain children.  The head teacher requires the adult involved in any such incident to report this to him/her immediately, and to record it.  Staff are clear about their right to use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils in certain circumstances

All adults in the school receive regular training to raise their awareness of abuse and their knowledge of agreed local child protection procedures.

These procedures will also apply to the Before and After School Care and Holiday Club.

 

The role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body will:-

  • Review the school Child Protection Policy.
  • Operate safe recruitment procedures, verifying identity, qualifications, references, health and obtaining CRB clearance for all newly appointed staff. All adults employed in school will have their application vetted through police records in order to ensure that there is no evidence of offences involving children or abuse.
  • Appoint a member of the GB as the Governor for Child Protection.
  • Seek assures from the Holiday Club that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place.
  • Encourage all staff to feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to the children.

 

Outcomes

Children will be happy and enjoy their time in school. The protection of children is the responsibility of everyone in school and so all will be vigilant in their duty of care of children.

St Vincent’s school will be a place of safety where the welfare, care and protection of children is paramount.

 

Parental Involvement

Parents need to be informed that the school has a duty to safeguard the welfare of children.  In general school, where possible and depending on the situation, will seek parents/guardians agreement before making reference to social services.  The school will check, in some cases, with the statutory agencies whether, and if so when and by whom, the parents should be told about the referral.

Parents should be helped to understand that a referral is in the interests of the child and that the school will be involved in the enquiry as part of the Children’s Act or a police investigation.

 

Monitoring and review

The Governors seek the help and co-operation of all employees to ensure a safe and secure environment for staff and pupils.  The Governors are committed to ongoing consultation with staff in drawing up, implementing, monitoring and reviewing of the child protection policy.