St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Primary School.
Review January 2018
The school supports the procedures established by Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board. See ‘Part 1 –Dealing with your concern –Child Protection Procedures’
All school staff and volunteers are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour and failure to develop because they have daily contact with children. They should be aware of the important role the school has in the early recognition of the signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect and the appropriate course of action to take.
1. What Should Staff/Volunteers in School Do If They Have Concerns About A Child or Young Person?
Education professionals who are concerned about a child’s welfare or who believe that a child is or may be at risk of abuse should pass any information to the Designated Child Protection Teacher (DCPT) in school; this should always occur as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours.
The Designated Child Protection Teacher is: Stephen Callaghan
The Back Up Person is: Deborah Gillan
It is these senior colleagues who are responsible for taking action where the welfare or safety of children or young people is concerned. If staff are uncertain about whether their concerns are indeed ‘child protection’ then a discussion with their DCPT/line manager will assist in determining the most appropriate next course of action.
Staff should never:
What should the DCPT consider right at the outset?
Rochdale Safeguarding Children’s Unit
Tel: 0300 303 0350
Fax: 01706 925262
Advice and Assessment team (social care) 0300 303 0440
Fax: 01706 747001
If I am not going to refer, then what action am I going to take? (e.g. CAF to other agency, time‑limited monitoring plan, discussion with parents or other professionals, recording etc)
2. Feedback to Staff Who Report Concerns to the Designated Senior Person
Rules of confidentiality dictate that it may not always be possible or appropriate for the DCPT to feedback to staff who report concerns to them. Such information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis only and the Designated Senior Person will decide which information needs to be shared, when and with whom. The primary purpose of confidentiality in this context is to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
3. Thresholds for Referral to Children’s Services
Where a Designated Teacher or line manager considers that a referral to Children’s Services may be required, there are two thresholds for (and their criteria) and types of referral that need to be carefully considered:
Under section 17 (s.17(10)) of the Children Act 1989, a child is in need if:
Under section 47(1) of the Children Act 1989, a local authority has a duty to make enquiries where they are informed that a child who lives or is found in their area:
Therefore, it is the ‘significant harm’ threshold’ that justifies statutory intervention into family life. A professional making a child protection referral under s.47 must therefore provide information which clearly outlines that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.
The Designated Teacher will make judgements around ‘significant harm’, levels of ‘need’ and when to refer.
4. MAKING JUDGEMENTS ABOUT ‘SIGNIFICANT HARM’
There are no absolute criteria upon which to rely when judging what constitutes significant harm; sometimes a single traumatic event may constitute significant harm. More often, however, significant harm is a compilation of significant events, both acute and long-standing, which interrupt, change or damage the child’s physical and psychological development.
(a) Children Act Guidance and Definitions
Within the Children Act 1989, the following guidance is offered:
Significance is not defined within the Children Act although it is to be ‘measured’ in terms of:
‘Harm’ means ill treatment or the impairment of health or development;
‘Development’ means physical, intellectual, social, emotional or behavioural development;
‘Health’ means physical or mental health; and
‘Ill treatment’ includes sexual abuse and forms of treatment that are not physical, including for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another.
(b) To begin with, in order to understand and establish significant harm, it is necessary to consider:
(c) More specifically, how does the following contextual information shape your professional judgement about this situation?
See Appendix 1 ‘Risk Assessment Checklist’
5. Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process
1. Identify a child/young person has an additional need.
2. Discuss identified need with the child/young person and/or their parent/carer.
3. During the discussion gain consent to complete the common assessment and share information. Any child aged 12 or over and is deemed competent can consent to their own CAF.
4. Check CAF index to ascertain if a common assessment has already been completed by e-mailing Karen Donnelly @ Rochdale.gov.uk giving details of the child/young person’s name, address and date of birth. A response will be e-mailed back to you.
5. If a CAF already exists contact the person who undertook the assessment and inform them of your involvement.
6. If a CAF does not exist undertake the common assessment with the child/young person and/or their parent/carer.
7. Document the information from the assessment on the CAF form.
8. Agree next steps with the family and record these on the action plan of the CAF form.
9. There are 3 likely results from the assessment
a) assessment indicates no additional support is required
b) assessment indicates additional support is required from another single agency - liaise with this agency regarding provision of support
c) assessment indicates a multi-agency response is required – arrange a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting.
Should a TAC meeting be convened it cannot go ahead without the child (if age appropriate)/young person and/or their parent/carer being present.
10. The Lead Professional is appointed at the first TAC meeting. This is not necessarily the person who completed the CAF but usually the person who is most relevant to the action plan.
11. The CAF Action Plan and TAC plan should be reviewed regularly.
12. Copies of completed CAF and TAC documentation including reviews should be:
a) kept as part of your own child/young person in-house records
b) given to the child/young person or parent/carer
c) sent to CAF admin by e-mail.
CAF forms and TAC documentation along with further information on the CAF process and advice on completing common assessments can be obtained from the Rochdale CAF co-ordinator – Karen Donnelly 01706 925127.
(ii) How to Make A Child Protection/Section 47 Referral
If urgent telephone the Advice and Assessment team (0300 303 0350); your referral information will be collated and forwarded to the team manager for consideration and action.
Fear of jeopardising a hard won relationship with parents because of a need to refer is not sufficient justification for not telling them that you need to refer. To the contrary, this lack of openness will do little to foster ongoing trust, particularly as the source of referrals will be disclosed to parents except in a limited number of circumstances. If you feel that your own or another adult’s immediate safety would be placed at risk by informing parents then you should seek advice and/or make this clear on the referral form and in any telephone contact with Children’s Social Care .
6. CSC Responses to Referrals and Timescales
In response to a referral, CSC may decide to:
7. Feedback from Children’s Social Care
CSC have 24 hours within which to make a decision about a course of action in response to a referral. If you do not receive any (same day) verbal feedback following an urgent child protection referral, and where this places school / a child(ren) in a vulnerable position, you should ask to speak to a Duty Social Worker, the relevant Team Leader or the Lead Officer For Safeguarding Schools (0300 303 0350/0300 303 8875)
Good record keeping is essential in recording Safeguarding concerns. The use of chronologies can highlight patterns of concern/harm in particular in cases of neglect or emotional abuse.
The review of such records is a vital role for the designated person a system should be established and recorded that says all records have been reviewed and if any further action has been taken.
Child protection files should always be stored separately to the general school files and stored confidentially (only certain staff should have access).
All school staff are bound by a confidentiality agreement if safeguarding files are accessed inappropriately this could lead to a disciplinary matter.
Appendix 2 of this document is the Government guidelines on information sharing. Record keeping is vital in this area and reasons why information has been shared should be recorded as well as when it has not.
Child Protection raises issues of confidentiality that must be clearly understood by all staff/volunteers in school.
All staff in school, both teaching and non-teaching staff, have a responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals, particularly the investigative agencies (Advice and Assessment Team and the Police).
If a child confides in a member of staff/volunteer and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member of staff/volunteer tell the child sensitively that he or she has a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies for the child's sake. Within that context, the child should, however, be assured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know about it.
Staff/volunteers who receive information about children and their families in the course of their work should share that information only within appropriate professional contexts.
If an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff/volunteer, the person receiving the allegation must take it seriously and immediately inform the Headteacher.
If any member of staff/volunteer has reason to suspect that another member of staff/volunteer may have abused a child at the school, or elsewhere, they must immediately inform the Headteacher. They should also make a record of the concerns including a note of anyone else who witnessed the incident/alleged incident. [If the concerns are about the Headteacher, the Education Welfare Officer must be contacted] The Headteacher will not investigate the allegation itself, or take written or detailed statements, but he/she will assess whether it is necessary to refer to the Advice and Assessment Team in consultation with the other agencies.
If the Headteacher decides that the allegation warrants further action through Child Protection Procedures he must immediately make a referral to the Advice and Assessment Team.
Under these circumstances the member of staff against whom an allegation has been made should not be informed of said allegation until future action is agreed with the Social Work Team Manager. It may be necessary to discuss appropriate steps to ensure other children are not at risk. The allegation will be investigated in accordance with the Rochdale BC ACPC Procedures.
If it is decided that it is not necessary to refer to Advice and Assessment Team the Headteacher will consider whether there needs to be an internal investigation.
Safeguarding on appointment.
All staff and volunteers appointed to St. Vincent’s will undertake an enhanced CRB check and we will follow the LA Guidelines.
At least one governor will have taken the Safeguarding on Appointments training. This is currently Stephen Callaghan.
For further information see
Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures – copy in Admin office.
Appendix 1: Risk Assessment ‘Checklist’
Seven golden rules for
1. Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
2. Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
4. Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.
5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.
6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.
Click here to view the Safeguarding Policy in PDF format. (31.10.17)