Child Protection And Safeguarding Policy




Local Authority Designated Officer


Geraldine Allen

Tel: 0300 1231650  Option 3 for Duty LADO

Duty LADOs: Shirley Hosgood, Elizabeth Pollard and Bridget Langford


Surrey Children’s Social Services Tel: 0300 123 1630 for Local Area Contact for Surrey North West (Surrey Heath)
Surrey Children’s Social Services

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)


TEL: 0300 470 9100 (09.00 to 17.00)

Out of hours Tel: 01483 517898 for the emergency duty team



Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) TEL: 01372 833330 (SSCB Support Team)



Support and Advice about Extremism Police

Anti-terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321



Department for Education




NSPCC whistleblowing advice line ADDRESS: Weston House, 42 Curtain Road London


TEL: 0800 028 0285



Disclosure and Barring Service



ADDRESS: PO Box 181, Darlington, DL1 9FA

TEL: 01325 953795



National College for Teaching and Leadership (Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) from 1 April 2018)



ADDRESS: 53-55 Butts Road, Earlsdon Park, Coventry, CV1 3BH

TEL: 0207 593 5393



OFSTED Safeguarding Children



TEL: 0300 123 4666 (Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm)







Proprietor and Nominated Safeguarding Advisory Board Member



Mr. Nick Paterson

Tel: 01276 472115


Nominated Advisory Board Member

Mrs Katie Parsons

Tel: 07768 300998



Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designed Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)


Main DSL for the School

Mrs Danielle Ramage

Tel: 01276 472115



Deputy DSL

Mr. Oliver Paterson

TEL: 01276 472115



Head Mr. David Paterson

TEL: 01276 470023





This policy applies to Woodcote House School (“the School”). This policy is reviewed and updated annually (as a minimum) and is available on the School website.

This policy has regard to the following guidance and advice:

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2019) (‘KCSIE’)
  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (August 2018)
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners (March 2015)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (July 2018)
  • DfE Guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation and Annexes (February 2017)
  • Information sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services (March 2015)
  • Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (July 2015)
  • The Prevent Duty: Departmental advice for schools and childminders (June 2015)
  • The use of social media for on-line radicalisation (July 2015)
  • Making Barring Referrals to the DBS 20 November 2017

This policy also takes into account the procedures and practice of Surrey County Council as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board.


The School has a duty to consider at all times the best interests of the pupil and take action to enable all pupils to achieve the best outcomes.  Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.

The School has arrangements for listening to children and providing early help. Details of these arrangements are show in the document ‘Independent Person Access’. In addition, all students are able to make an appointment with the school counsellor on request.

Definitions of Safeguarding and Types and Signs of Abuse

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as 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; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children. Abuse can be:

  • physical abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse and/or
  • neglect.

Staff are referred to Appendix 1 of this policy for further detail of the types of abuse and also possible signs of abuse.


If staff suspect or hear an allegation or complaint of abuse or neglect from a child or any third party, they must follow the relevant procedure below. All staff should:

  • listen carefully
  • avoid asking leading questions
  • reassure the individual that the allegation/complaint will be taken seriously
  • not guarantee absolute confidentiality (as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child) and explain that the information needs to be passed to the appropriate person who will ensure that the correct action is taken.

All concerns, discussions and decisions (together with reasons) made under these procedures should be recorded in writing. The record should include the date, time and place of the conversation and detail of what was said and done by whom and in whose presence and signed by the person making it.

Where there is a safeguarding concern, the School will ensure the pupil’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide. The School manages this by eliciting each individual pupils wishes and feelings through discussion. The person selected to lead these discussions will be carefully selected dependent upon the age of the pupil and their emotional stability. The School operates its processes with the best interests of the pupil at their heart.

Early Help

All staff are expected to identify when a child may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

In the first instance, staff who consider that a pupil may benefit from early help should discuss this with the School’s DSL. The DSL will consider the appropriate action to take in accordance with the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board referral threshold document. The DSL will support staff in liaising with external agencies and professionals in an inter-agency assessment, as appropriate. If early help is appropriate, the matter will be kept under review and consideration given to a referral to children’s social care if the pupil’s situation does not appear to be improving.

What staff should do if they have concerns about a child

If staff (including advisory board members, agency staff and volunteers) have any concerns about a child (as opposed to a child being in immediate danger), they should, where possible, speak with the School’s DSL to agree a course of action although staff can make a direct referral to surrey children’s social services.  If anyone other than the DSL makes a referral, they should inform the DSL as soon as possible that a referral has been made.  If a child’s situation does not appear to be improving, the DSL (or the person that made the referral) should press children’s social care for reconsideration.  Staff should challenge any inaction and follow this up with the DSL and surrey children’s social services as appropriate. All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing.

What staff should do if a child is in danger or at risk of harm

If staff (including advisory board members, agency staff and volunteers) believe that a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, they should make an immediate referral to surrey children’s social services and/or the Police. Anyone can make a referral. Any such referral must be made immediately and in any event within 24 hours (one working day) of staff being aware of the risk.  Parental consent is not needed for referrals to statutory agencies such as the police and children’s social care.  If anyone other than the DSL makes a referral, they should inform the DSL as soon as possible that a referral has been made.  Staff should challenge any inaction and follow this up with the DSL and surrey children’s social services as appropriate. All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing.

The School’s Local Safeguarding Children Board is Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board (SSCB). A full copy of their local procedures can be found at

What staff should do if a child is seen as at risk of radicalisation

Staff should follow the School’s normal referral processes when there are concerns about children who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism, as set out above. This may include a referral to Channel (part of Prevent) or surrey children’s social services depending on the level of risk. However, if staff have concerns that there is an immediate/significant risk of a child being drawn into terrorism they must call 999 and inform the DSL/DDSL and Head.  Advice and support can also be sought from surrey children’s social services.

The School, in recognition that pupils may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism or other forms of extremism, carries out appropriate risk assessments following consultation with local partners, such as the Police of the potential risk in the local area. Such risk assessments are discussed with the Head, DSL/DDSL and the Advisory Board member responsible for safeguarding to ensure the School’s safeguarding arrangements are sufficiently robust to help prevent and protect children from being drawn into terrorism and are regularly revised.

What staff should do if a child goes missing from education

Children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. The School’s procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children who go missing from education are laid out in the Missing Pupil Policy to be used for searching for, and if necessary, reporting, any pupil missing from education. Further detail can also be found at Appendix 1 of this policy.

The School will report to Surrey County Council a pupil who fails to attend school regularly or has been absent from school without the School’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more.

What staff should do if they have concerns about another staff member

If staff have concerns about another staff member, then this should be referred to the Head. Where there are concerns about the Head, this should be referred to the Proprietor. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Head, staff are referred to the procedures below regarding managing allegations of abuse against staff (including volunteers) and refer the matter directly to the LADO. Staff may consider discussing any concerns with the School’s DSL and make any referral via them.

What staff should do it they have concerns about safeguarding practices in the school

The School aims to ensure there is a culture of safety and raising concerns and an attitude of ‘it could happen here’. Where staff have concerns about poor or unsafe practices and potential failures in the School’s safeguarding regimes, these should be raised in accordance with the School’s whistleblowing procedures which can be found in the school’s Whistleblowing Policy. There will be no disciplinary action taken against a member of staff for making such a report provided that it is done in good faith.

If staff and volunteers feel unable to raise an issue with the School or feel that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, they may use other whistleblowing channels, such as the NSPCC whistleblowing advice line. Contact details for the NSPCC helpline can be found on the Key Contacts page at the start of this policy.


Peer-on-peer abuse is abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil. It can manifest itself in many ways and can include sexting, sexual assault and gender-based issues.  Peer-on-peer abuse should never be dismissed as “banter” or “part of growing up”. The School recognises that children can be particularly vulnerable in residential settings and are alert to the potential for peer-on-peer abuse.

The School recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers. The School also recognises the different gender issues that can be prevalent in peer on peer abuse, for example, boys being subjected to initiation/hazing type violence. All peer on peer abuse will be managed in accordance with this policy and a bullying incident will be treated as a child protection concern where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.

Victims and perpetrators of peer on peer abuse will be offered appropriate counselling by the School.

Where an issue of pupil behaviour or bullying gives ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’, staff should follow the procedures below rather than the School’s Anti-Bullying and Behaviour policies:

A pupil against whom an allegation of abuse has been made may be suspended from the School during the investigation. The School will take advice from the SSCB on the investigation of such allegations and will take all appropriate action to ensure the safety and welfare of all pupils involved including the alleged victim and perpetrator. If it is necessary for a pupil to be interviewed by the Police in relation to allegations of abuse, the School will ensure that, subject to the advice of the SSCB, parents are informed as soon as possible and that the pupils involved are supported during the interview by an appropriate adult and until the investigation is completed. Confidentiality will be an important consideration for the School and advice will be sought as necessary from the SSCB and/ or the Police as appropriate.

The School’s approach to sexting is to not allow boys to use mobile phones in the school. Extra telephone landlines have been installed over the summer break 2017 to allow boarders to phone home as well as parents to phone in. Boys who live abroad can bring a phone to school but they will be locked away and only given back to the boy for exeats/half term/travelling to/from home. All other phones/web enabled devices will be confiscated and return at the end of term. By removing mobile phones from the school environment the risk of boys being able to sext is reduced to an absolute minimum.

In the event of disclosures about pupil-on-pupil abuse, all children involved (both victim and perpetrator) will be treated as being at risk and safeguarding procedures in accordance with this policy will be followed. Victims will be supported by their tutor/form teacher and support from external agencies will be sought, as appropriate.


The School’s procedures for managing allegations against staff who are currently working in the School follows Department for Education statutory guidance and SSCB arrangements and applies when staff (including volunteers) have (or are alleged to have):


  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a pupil, or may have harmed a pupil;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a pupil; or
  • Behaved towards a pupil in a way that indicated that they would pose a risk of harm if they were to work regularly or closely with children.


Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching should be referred to the Police. Historical (non-recent) allegations of abuse should also be referred to the Police.

If an allegation is made against anyone working with children in the School, the School should not undertake their own investigation of allegations without prior consultation with the Local Authority ‘designated officer’ or, in the most serious cases, the Police, so as not to jeopardise statutory investigations. In borderline cases, the School may discuss informally with the ‘designated officer’ on a no-names basis.

All allegations should be investigated as a priority to avoid any delay.

  1.  All allegations which appear to meet the above reporting criteria are to be reported straight away to the ‘Case Manager’ who is the Head OR to the DSL. If an allegation is reported to the DSL, the DSL will keep the Head informed. Where the Head OR DSL is absent or is the subject of the allegation or concern, reports should be made to the Proprietor.  Where the Head OR DSL is the subject of the allegation or concern, the Head OR DSL must not be informed of the allegation prior to contact with the Proprietor and designated officer.
  2.  The Case Manager should immediately discuss the allegation with the designated officer and consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action including any involvement of the Police.  (Where the Case Manager deems there to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence, the Case Manager may involve the Police immediately.)  All discussions should be recorded in writing, and any communication with both the individual and the parents of the child(ren) agreed.  The designated officer should be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to the School’s attention and appear to meet the criteria or that are made directly to the Police and/or children’s social care.
  3.  The Case Manager will ensure that the individual who is subject of the allegation is informed as soon as possible and given an explanation of the likely course or action, unless there is an objection by surrey children’s social services or the Police. The Case Manager will appoint a named representative to keep the individual informed of the progress of the case and will consider what other support is appropriate for the individual.
  4.  The Case Manager should give careful consideration as to whether the circumstances of the case warrant suspension or whether alternative arrangements should be put in place until the allegation is resolved. The Case Manager will give due weight to the views of the designated officer and Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) when making a decision about suspension. Where the individual is suspended, the Case Manager will ensure they know who their point of contact is in the School and shall provide them with their contact details.
  5.  Where a member of boarding staff is suspended pending an investigation, the Case Manager will consider whether arrangements for alternative accommodation away from children should be made.
  6.  The Case Manager will ensure that parents are informed as soon as possible and kept informed about progress of the case, subject to any advice from children’s social care or the Police.
  7.  The Case Manager will discuss with the designated officer whether a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service or National College for Teaching and Learning (Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) from 1 April 2018) should be made where an allegation is substantiated and the person is dismissed or the School ceases to use their services, or the person resigns or otherwise ceases to provide their services.  The School has a legal obligation to report promptly to the Disclosure and Barring Service any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or a student) who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child, or if there is reason to believe the member of staff has committed one of a number of listed offences, and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left.  Further, or in the alternative, if an investigation leads to the dismissal or resignation prior to dismissal of a member of teaching staff specifically, the School must consider making a referral to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (Teaching Regulation Agency from 1 April 2018) and a prohibition order may be appropriate (because that teacher has displayed unacceptable professional conduct, conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute or a conviction at any time for a relevant offence).
  8.  On conclusion of the case, the Case Manager should review the circumstances of the case with the designated officer to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the School’s safeguarding procedures or practices to help prevent similar events in the future.

The School will make every reasonable effort to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity whilst an allegation is being investigated or considered.

Allegations found to be malicious will be removed from the individual’s personnel records.  In all other circumstances a written record will be made of the decision and retained on the individual’s personnel file in accordance with KCSIE and a copy will only be provided to the individual concerned.

Allegations proven to be false, unsubstantiated or malicious will not be included in employer references.  If an allegation is shown to be deliberately invented or malicious, the Head will consider whether any disciplinary action is appropriate against a pupil who made it; or whether the Police should be asked to consider if action might be appropriate against the person responsible even if they are not a pupil.


The School’s staff behaviour policy can be found on the website. The aim of the staff behaviour policy is to provide clear guidance about behaviour and actions so as to not place pupils or staff at risk of harm or of allegation of harm to a pupil.


The School is committed to safer recruitment processes. Members of the teaching and non-teaching staff at the School including part-time staff, temporary and supply staff, and visiting staff, such as musicians and sports coaches are subject to the necessary statutory child protection checks before starting work, for example, right to work checks, additional overseas checks (if necessary), verifying identity, taking up references, checking work history and confirming medical fitness for the role. For most appointments, an enhanced DBS check with ‘barred list’ information will be appropriate. A DBS certificate will be obtained from the candidate before or as soon as practicable after appointment. Alternatively, if the applicant has subscribed to it and gives permission, the School may undertake an online update check through the DBS Update Service.

Full details of the School’s safer recruitment procedures for checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and young people is set out in the School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosures Policy and Procedures.

The School’s protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers, whether invited by staff or pupils themselves, are suitable and appropriate supervised are detailed below.


The School’s DSL is Danielle Ramage who is a member of the leadership team.

Oliver Paterson is the DDSL and the person to whom reports should be made in the absence of the DSL. This ensures there is the required cover for the role at all times.

The DSL and DDSL’s contact details can be found on the Key Contacts page at the start of this policy.

The DSL’s role is to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection matters in the School. The DSL’s responsibility is to maintain an overview of safeguarding within the School, to open channels of communication with local statutory agencies, support staff in carrying out their safeguarding duties and to monitor the effectiveness of the School’s policies and procedures in practice. The DSL works with the advisory board member responsible for safeguarding and the Proprietor to review and update the School’s safeguarding policy. Where a pupil leaves the School, the DSL will also ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new school (separately from the main pupil file) as soon as possible. The DSL will ensure secure transit and obtain confirmation of receipt.

The DSL regularly reviews the School’s and their own practices and concerns about welfare and safeguarding matters. This includes the personal and professional duty of all staff to report welfare and safeguarding concerns to the DSL, or in the absence of action, directly to local children’s services.

During term time, the DSL and/ or DDSL will always be available (during school hours) for staff in the School to discuss any safeguarding concerns. For out of hours/out of term activities, contact should be made with the Head or Proprietor.

Full details of the DSL’s role can be found at Annex B of KCSIE.

Ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the DSL and this responsibility should not be delegated.


Induction and training are in line with advice from SSCB.

All Staff

All new staff will be provided with induction training as laid out in the document ‘Induction of New Staff in Child Protection’. That includes:

  • the child protection policy, including information about the identity and role of the DSL and DDSL
  • the staff behaviour policy including the School’s whistleblowing procedure and the acceptable use of technologies policy, staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media
  • a copy of Part 1 of KCSIE and Annex A
  • School leaders and staff who work directly with children will also be required to read and understand Annex A of KCSIE.

Copies of the above documents are provided to all ‘staff’ during induction.

All staff are also required to:

  • Read Part One of KCSIE and Annex A and confirm that they have done so. Each time Part One of KCSIE is updated by the Department for Education, staff will be updated on the changes via Inset training.
  • Understand key information contained in Part One of KCSIE. The School will ensure staff understanding by Inset training and interviews by the advisory board member responsible for safeguarding.
  • Receive training in safeguarding and child protection regularly, in line with advice from the SSCB. Training will include online safety. It will also include Prevent awareness training to equip staff to raise concerns appropriately by ensuring all staff have the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism; are able to challenge extremist ideas; and know how to refer children and young people for further help.
  • Undertake regular informal updates, at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. The School provides these via, for example, emails, staff meetings and inset training.


The DSL receives updated child protection training at least every two years to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This includes local inter-agency working protocols, participation in child protection case conferences, supporting children in need, identifying children at risk of radicalisation, record keeping and promoting a culture of listening to children and training in the SSCB’s approach to Prevent duties. Further details of the required training content for the DSL are set out in Annex B of KCSIE.

In addition to their formal training, the DSL’s knowledge and skills are updated at least annually to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.

The DDSL is trained to the same level as the DSL.


Katie Parsons is the advisory board lead designated to take a lead in relation to responsibility for the safeguarding arrangements in the School.

A review of the School’s child protection policies takes place at least annually, including an update and review of the effectiveness of procedures and their implementation. The DSL provides an extended report to the Advisory Board scheduled for the Michaelmas Term each year and the board review this as well as any updates to the policy and procedures. During each of his visits the Advisory Board member responsible for safeguarding selects interviews a random selection of staff to establish the effectiveness of training and general level of understanding. The School draws on the expertise of staff, including the DSL(s), in shaping the School’s safeguarding arrangements and policies.

If there has been a substantiated allegation against a member of staff, the School will work with the Local Authority designated officer to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the School’s procedures or practice to help prevent similar events in the future.


Teaching children how to keep safe

The Proprietor ensures that all pupils are taught about safeguarding, including online, through the curriculum and PSHEE to help children to adjust their behaviours in order to reduce risks and build resilience, including to radicalisation. This includes teaching pupils about the safe use of electronic equipment and the internet and the risks posed by adults or young people, who use the internet and social media to bully, groom, abuse or radicalise other people, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Internet safety is an integral part of the School’s curriculum and also embedded in PSHEE.

The School has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place to safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate material online. The School’s systems are managed by Project 5 and the filters on the GFE software are set in discussion with members of the SMT. Access metrics are available to all staff on the Z drive. Such systems aim to reduce the risk of children being exposed to illegal, inappropriate and harmful materials online; reduce the risk of children being subjected to harmful online interaction with others; and help manage online behaviour that can increase a child’s likelihood of, or causes, harm. Further detail of the School’s approach to online safety can be found in the School’s E-Safety Policy.

Pupils are not allowed mobile devices which are capable of accessing 3G and 4G technology on school premises and any boy returning to school with such a device will have it confiscated and returned at the end of term. Three dedicated direct dial telephone are located in the Medicine Room and are available for boarders to contact parents and vice versa during specific allocated hours each evening.

Looked after children in Local Authority care

The Proprietor ensures that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep safe any children on roll who are looked after by a local authority.

Marionne Rees (SENCO) is the designated member of staff who has responsibility for their welfare and progress. The School ensures that the designated member of staff receives appropriate training in order to carry out their role.

Arrangements for Visiting Speakers

The School has clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers are appropriately supervised and suitable. The School’s responsibility to pupils is to ensure that they can critically assess the information they receive as to its value to themselves, and that the information is aligned to the ethos and values of the School and British values.

Visiting Speakers, whilst on the School site, will be supervised by a school employee at all times. On attending the School, Visiting Speakers will be required to show original current identification documents including a photograph such as a passport or photo card driving licence.

Visiting speakers will be expected to understand that, where appropriate, their session should actively promote the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and at no point undermine these. In some cases, the School may request a copy of the Visiting Speaker’s presentation and/or footage in advance of the session being provided.

 Use of mobile phones and cameras

The School’s policy on the use of mobile phones and cameras is laid out in the Staff Behaviour Policy as well as our ‘Taking, Storing and Using Images of Children Policy’. In order to facilitate ease and speed of communication among staff, a school WhatsApp group exists (for important information only.) For this reason, staff are allowed their mobile phones on site. These phones should be on silent during lessons and no staff member should conduct personal business on their phones whilst in the company of the children.



All school staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.

Physical abuse: a form of abuse which 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: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It 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. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

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. They may also include 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: 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. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Specific safeguarding issues: behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger. Safeguarding issues can also manifest themselves via peer-on-peer abuse, such as bullying (including cyberbullying), gender-based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Safeguarding issues can also be linked to, for example, children missing education; child sexual exploitation; domestic violence; fabricated or induced illness; faith abuse; female genital mutilation; forced marriage; gangs and youth violence; gender-based violence; hate; mental health; preventing radicalisation; relationship abuse; sexting; and trafficking.

CSE: Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

Children can be sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point. Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:

  • Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • Children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
  • Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections;
  • Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
  • Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
  • Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
  • Children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.

Radicalisation:  Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. It can also call for the death of members of the armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular have become major factors in the radicalisation of young people. As with other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff should use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately, which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.

Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities: Pupils with SEND may not outwardly shown signs of abuse and/or may have difficulties in communication about abuse or neglect.

These can include:

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

Staff will support such pupils in expressing any concerns they may have and will be particularly vigilant to any signs or indicators of abuse, discussing this with the DSL as appropriate.

Children who go missing from school: A child going missing from school is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. Staff must follow the School’s procedures for dealing with children who go missing, particularly on repeat occasions.  The School’s procedure for dealing with children who go missing can be found in the School’s Missing Children Policy. All unexplained absences will be followed up in accordance with this Policy.

The School shall inform the local authority of any pupil who is going to be added to or deleted from the School’s admission register at non-standard transition points in accordance with the requirements of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended). This will assist the local authority to:

  1. a)      fulfil its duty to identify children of compulsory school age who are missing from education; and
  2. b)      follow up with any child who might be in danger of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of abuse, neglect or radicalisation.

School attendance registers are carefully monitored to identify any trends. The School will inform the local authority (and the local authority where the child is normally resident) of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the School’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the School and the local authority.

Action should be taken in accordance with this policy if any absence of a pupil from the School gives rise to a concern about their welfare.

September 2021