Child Protection & Staff Behaviour Policy

STATEMENT OF INTENT

The safety and welfare of all our pupils at Woodcote House School is our highest priority. Our business is to know everyone as an individual and to provide a secure and caring environment so that every pupil can learn in safety.  In all matters relating to child protection the school will follow the procedures laid down by our own (or where appropriate the relevant child’s) Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)[1] which is Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board together with DfE guidance contained in Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education: httpss://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education (KCSIE 2015).  This policy is applicable to the whole school community.

All members of staff have a duty to safeguard our pupils’ welfare and must therefore familiarise themselves and comply at all times with this policy.  This includes a duty both to children in need and to children at risk of harm.  All staff should read at least Part 1 of KCSIE.  All school staff should be aware that safeguarding incidents can happen at any time and anywhere and are required to be alert to any possible concerns.

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?

The NSPCC’s child protection fact sheet ‘Signs of child abuse’ (www.nspcc.org.uk/signsofabuse) dated April 2014 is attached as Appendix 1 and should be referred to by all staff in raising their awareness of and helping them to identify the signs of child abuse.  The KCSIE definitions of abuse are also included as Appendix 2 and should also be referred to by staff.

TRANSPARENCY

Woodcote House School prides itself on its respect and mutual tolerance.  Parents/guardians have an important role in supporting Woodcote.  Copies of this policy, together with our other policies relating to issues of child protection are on our website and we hope that parents and guardians will always feel able to take up any issues or worries that they may have with the school.  Allegations of child abuse or concerns about the welfare of any child will be dealt with consistently in accordance with this policy.  Open communications are essential.

 

SAFER EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

Woodcote House School follows the Government’s recommendations for the safer recruitment and employment of staff who work with children and acts at all times in compliance with the Independent School Standards Regulations.

In line with Part 3 of the DfE’s guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE 2015), the proprietor prevents people who pose a risk of harm from working with pupils by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check all staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond the minimum required, and ensuring volunteers are appropriately supervised.

The School works with external agencies where appropriate including inter-agency working on the part of the DSL and attendance at strategy meetings.

As part of carrying out safe recruitment procedures under KCSIE, 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 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.

Further to the DBS check, anyone appointed to carry out teaching work will require an additional check to ensure they are not prohibited from teaching by order of the Secretary of State.

All volunteers and contractors working regularly during term-time (such as contract cleaning staff) are also subject to the statutory DBS checks.  Confirmation is obtained that appropriate child protection checks and procedures apply to any staff employed by another organisation and working with the school’s pupils at school or on another site.

Should the school or college develop concerns about an existing staff member’s suitability to work with children, it will carry out all relevant checks as if the individual were a new member of staff.

This policy is reviewed by the Proprietor annually. Please also refer to the school’s Recruitment Policy for further details.

RAISING AWARENESS

We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our pupils by providing good lines of communication with trusted adults, supported friends and an ethos of protection.  We include within this the emotional wellbeing of our pupils and recognise the role school plays in recognising and protecting our children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation or exposed to extremist views.    

 

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD

Lynne Woodall is our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).  She has been fully trained for the demands of this role in child protection and inter-agency working.  She is a member of the senior leadership team at our school.  Henry Knight, who is the school’s Headmaster, is the DSL’s deputy. Both the DSL and her deputy regularly attend courses with child support agencies to ensure that they remain conversant with best practice.  They undergo refresher training every two years and they both have a job description for their safeguarding roles and key activities.  The DSL role is to ensure that each member of staff has access to and is aware of and understands the school’s child protection policy and procedures. Their training meets the requirements of the DfE’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE).

The DSL and/or the deputy DSL, who both live on site, can be contacted at any time.

The DSL maintains close links with the LSCB for Surrey and reports at least once a year to the Advisory Board on the child protection issues outlined above.

The DSL will liaise with the local authority when necessary and work with other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and attendance at strategy meetings.  The DSL will work with partner agencies to seek advice, support and guidance, drawing on multi agency expertise, knowledge and experience to support pupils at risk of harm including emotional and intellectual harm via social media and use of the internet.

The DSL receives focused training to support learning and understanding of the ever changing landscape of safeguarding which is underpinned by legislation and guidance and includes issues such as radicalisation.

The school’s records on child protection are kept securely by the DSL and are separated from routine pupil records.  Access is restricted to the DSL and the Head.

INDUCTION AND TRAINING

Every new member of staff, including part-timers, temporary, visiting and contract staff working in the school, receives appropriate induction training on their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse, bullying or children at risk of radicalisation and on the procedures for recording and referring any concerns to the DSL or the Head and, if required, to the SSCB at: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/childrens-social-care/information-for-child-social-care-professionals/surrey-safeguarding-children-board. The Head and all staff attend regular refresher training in line with advice from the school’s LSCB with the designated persons receiving training every two years.  Training in child protection is an important part of the induction process.  Training includes a review of the school’s child protection policy including the staff code of conduct policy/behaviour policy, the school’s whistleblowing policy, awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, the identity of the DSL and a copy of Part 1 of KCSIE. Training also promotes staff awareness of child sexual exploitation.  Staff are made aware of the signs, symptoms and indicators of such practices and are required to take action without delay if such a practice is suspected.

All new staff must read and sign to confirm that they have read Part 1 of KCSIE and the relevant school policies.

STAFF OBLIGATIONS

All staff in our school are required to notify the school immediately if they are any reasons why they should not be working with children.  This includes any staff who are disqualified from childcare or registration including ‘by association’ i.e. they live in the same household (or someone is employed in their household) as someone who has unspent cautions or convictions for a relevant offence (please see a list of the relevant offences set out here: httpss://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/384712/DBS_referrals_guide_-_relevant_offences_v2.4.pdf). The ‘by association’ requirement also applies if you live in the same household as or someone is employed in your household who has been disqualified from working with children under the Childcare Act 2006.

The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 apply to those providing early years childcare or later years childcare, including before school and after school clubs, to children who have not attained the age of 8 AND to those who are directly concerned in the management of that childcare.

The school takes its responsibility to safeguard children very seriously and any staff member who is aware of anything that may affect his/her suitability to work with children must notify the school immediately.  This will include notification of any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands or warnings he/she may receive.  He/she must also notify the school immediately if he/she is living in a household where anyone lives or works who has been disqualified from working with children or from registration for the provision of childcare.

Staff who are disqualified from childcare or registration, including ‘by association’, may apply to Ofsted for a waiver of disqualification.  Such staff may not be employed in the areas from which they are disqualified, or involved in the management of those settings, unless and until such waiver is confirmed. Please speak to the Bursar for more details.

We recognise that it is a key role of the school to support children and that school may provide stability in the lives of children who may be at risk of harm.  We also recognise that our pupils can be vulnerable and exploited by others.  Staff will be alert to the signs of vulnerability and/or susceptibilities to any extremist indoctrination.

Staff acknowledge the need for a culture of vigilance to be present in the school to support safeguarding.  This includes awareness and sensitivity to attitudinal changes of pupils which may indicate they are at risk of radicalisation.

The school will monitor all pupil absences from school and promptly address concerns about irregular attendance with the parent/carer.

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD

The school treats the safeguarding of the pupils in its care as the highest priority and recognises the important role it has to play in the recognition and referral of children who may be at risk.  All our school staff are made aware of their duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the school’s care.  Staff members are alerted to the particular potential vulnerabilities of looked after children.

Every member of staff, including part-timers, temporary, visiting, contract and volunteer staff working in school is required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the DSL. This includes alleged abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil.   Reference will be made to an external agency if there is risk of significant harm. Staff are aware that children in boarding schools can be particularly vulnerable and that they should be alert to pupil relationships and the potential for peer abuse.

If staff members are unsure they should always speak to the DSL. In exceptional circumstances such as in an emergency or a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken, staff members can speak directly to children’s social care.

The DSL will report safeguarding concerns to the Head.   Where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, a referral to Children’s Social Care will be made immediately. The school’s local authority is Surrey which operates the SSCB.  Points of contact are as follows:

External Agency Contact Information

The school’s points of contact for children who are the focus of concern are as follows:

Surrey County Council’s website for child protection: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/childrens-social-care/information-for-child-social-care-professionals/surrey-safeguarding-children-board

Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) – Geraldine Allen

LADO Emergency Duty Desk – 0300 2001006 Option 4 for safeguarding then Option 3 for duty LADO

Duty LADOs: Shirley Hosgood, Elizabeth Pollard and Bridget Langford

Surrey Children’s Social Care (CSC) – 0300 200 1006

Outside of normal working hours call 01483 517898 to speak to the emergency duty team

Independent Listener Dr. Kate Dyerson: 01344-637800

Police Emergency – 999

Police Non-Emergency – 101

OFSTED Safeguarding Children
08456 404046 (Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm)
Whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

Other useful contacts

Disclosure and Barring Service
PO Box 181, Darlington, DL1 9FA
Tel: 01325 953795

National College for Teaching and Leadership
[Tel: 0345 609 0009]

 

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH ALL DISCLOSURES/ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE

Allegations of abuse may be made against a member of staff, a volunteer, the Proprietor, a pupil, parent or other person connected to the school.

Allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff will be dealt with according to the statutory guidance set out in part four of KCSIE.

If a member of staff is made aware of any allegation of abuse, or if knowledge of possible abuse comes to his/her attention it is his/her duty to listen to the child, to provide re-assurance and to record the child’s statements, but not to probe or put words into the child’s mouth.

On hearing an allegation of abuse or complaint about abuse directly from a child, a member of staff should limit questioning to the minimum necessary for clarification.  Leading questions should be avoided.  No inappropriate guarantees of confidentiality should be given; rather the child should be told that the matter will be referred in confidence to the appropriate people in positions of responsibility.

The member of staff should make and submit an accurate written record and inform the Head and the DSL immediately so that appropriate agencies can be informed within 24 hours and the matter resolved without delay.  The DSL will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO also known as DO) for advice or direction and will inform Ofsted as soon as is reasonably practicable, in any event within 14 days of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children at the premises (whether that allegation relates to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere) or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken place on the premises, and of the action taken in respect of these allegations.

Should the allegation of abuse concern the DSL the member of staff should inform the Head who will act in the place of the DSL.  Should the allegation be against the Head the DSL will immediately inform the Proprietor without the Head being informed first.  It will be the Proprietor’s responsibility to contact the LADO.

The Head/DSL or the Proprietor will refer all allegations or suspicions of abuse or cases where there is reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, to the local authority designated officer (LADO) within 24 hours.

Borderline cases will be discussed with the LADO without identifying individuals in the first instance and following discussions the LADO will judge whether or not an allegation or concern meet the relevant threshold.  The LADO and the Head/DSL (or the Proprietor) will decide in the circumstances what further steps should be taken.  This could involve informing parents and calling the police.

If the allegation concerns a member of staff, a volunteer or another pupil he/she would normally be informed as soon as possible after the result of any initial investigation authorised or conducted by the LADO is known.  Advice will always be sought from the LADO first, however.  The school will normally appoint a member of staff to keep the person informed of the likely course of action and the progress of the case.

The outcome of investigation of an allegation will record whether it is substantiated (sufficient evidence either to prove or disprove it), unsubstantiated (insufficient evidence either to prove or disprove it), false (sufficient evidence to disprove it) or malicious (sufficient evidence to disprove it and that there has been a deliberate act to deceive).  If it is established that the allegation is malicious, no details of the allegation will be retained on 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 DfE advice.

If the LADO or any of the statutory child protection authorities decide to take the case further, any staff member concerned may be suspended if this is felt appropriate.  The reasons and justification for suspension will be recorded and the staff member informed of them.  In the case of staff the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.  Where a member of the residential staff is suspended pending an investigation of a child protection nature, suitable arrangements must be put in place for alternative accommodation away from children.  In the case of pupil-on-pupil abuse which the school has reported to the LADO and which the LADO or statutory child protection authority decides to investigate further, the matter will be dealt with under the Student Behaviour Policy after discussion with the LADO.

During the course of the investigation the school in consultation with the LADO will decide what information should be given to parents, staff and other pupils and how press enquiries are to be dealt with.  In reaching their decision due consideration will be given to the provisions in the Education Act 2011 and in Keeping Children Safe in Education relating to reporting restrictions identifying teachers who are the subject of allegations from pupils.

Any pupils who are involved will receive appropriate care.

External reporting

We follow Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) guidance and procedures regarding referrals and barring decisions and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (Prescribed Criteria and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009. Separate to involvement of the LADO, schools have a legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone 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) at the school, or would have been removed had they not left.

Woodcote House School will make such a referral as soon as possible after the resignation or dismissal of any individual (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or a student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children. This includes dismissal, non-renewal of a fixed term contract, no longer using supply teacher engaged directly or supplied by an agency, terminating the placement of a trainee or volunteer, no longer using staff employed by a contractor and resignation and voluntary withdrawal from any of the above.

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 will consider making a referral to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) 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).

Where the school ceases to use the services of a teacher because of serious misconduct, or would have dismissed them had they not resigned, it will consider whether to refer the case to the Secretary of State, as required by sections 141D and 141E of the Education Act 2002. The Secretary of State may investigate the case, and if s/he finds there is a case to answer, must then decide whether to make a prohibition order in respect of the person.

PARENTS

In general, we believe that parents should be informed about any safeguarding concerns regarding their children.  It is important that we are honest and open in our dealings with parents.   However, concerns of this nature must be referred to the DSL or the Head who will decide on the appropriate response.  In a very few cases, it may not be right to inform them of our concerns immediately as that action could prejudice any investigation, or place the child at further risk.  In such cases, advice will be sought from the LADO.

PROMOTING AWARENESS

The School’s curriculum and pastoral systems are designed to foster the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils.  All teaching staff play a vital role in this process, helping to ensure that all pupils relate well to one another and feel safe and comfortable within the school.  We expect all the teaching and matronal staff to lead by example and to play a full part in promoting an awareness that is appropriate to their age amongst all our pupils on issues relating to health, safety and well-being.  All staff, including all non-teaching staff, have an important role in insisting that pupils always adhere to the standards of behaviour set out in our behaviour policy and in enforcing our anti-bullying policy.

Time is allocated in PSHE to discussions of what constitutes appropriate behaviour and on why bullying and lack of respect for others is never right.  Assemblies, drama and RE lessons are used to promote tolerance and mutual respect and understanding.

All pupils know that there are adults to whom they can turn to if they are worried, including the Independent Listener and the medical staff.  If the school has concerns about a child there is always a recognised requirement for sensitive communication and designated staff members are aware of the need to avoid asking leading questions. Our support to pupils includes the following:

  • Our medical centre and games room displays[s] advice on where pupils can seek help.
  • We provide regular lessons to pupils on e-safety and ensure that all pupils understand and adhere to the school’s guidelines in this area. This includes guidance on educating pupils to stay safe including e-safety and online protection. For more details on cyber-bullying please refer to the school’s cyber-bullying policy.

POSITION OF TRUST

As a result of their knowledge, position and/or the authority invested in their role, all adults working with children and young people in education settings are in positions of trust in relation to the young people in their care.  A relationship between a member of staff and a pupil cannot be a relationship between equals.  There is potential for exploitation and harm of vulnerable young people and all members of staff have a responsibility to ensure that an unequal balance of power is not used for personal advantage or gratification.

Wherever possible, staff should avoid behaviour which might be misinterpreted by others, and report and record any incident with this potential.  Staff should refer to the school’s Behaviour Policy below.

STAFF BEHAVIOUR AND CODE OF CONDUCT

In general, pupils should be encouraged to discuss with their parents or guardians issues that are troubling them.  It may be appropriate to suggest that a pupil talks to the Independent Listener or member of the medical staff.

Staff need to ensure that their behaviour does not inadvertently lay them open to allegations of abuse.  They need to treat all pupils with respect and try, as far as possible, not to be alone with a child or young person.  Where this is not possible, for example, in an instrumental music lesson, or sports coaching lesson, it is good practice to ensure that others are within earshot.  Where possible, a gap or barrier should be maintained between teacher and child at all times.  Any physical contact should be the minimum required for care, instruction or restraint.  Staff should avoid taking one pupil on his/her own in a car.

Communication with Pupils including the use of social media 

Staff should not give their personal mobile phone numbers or email addresses to pupils, nor should they communicate with them by text message or personal email.  If they need to speak to a pupil by telephone, they should use one of the school’s telephones and email using the school system.  The group leader on all trips and visits involving an overnight stay should take a school mobile phone with him/her and may ask the pupils for their mobile numbers before allowing them out in small, unsupervised groups.  The school mobile should be used for any contact with pupils that may be necessary.   The group leader will delete any record of pupils’ mobile phone numbers at the end of the trip or visit and should ensure that pupils delete any staff numbers that they may have acquired during the trip. Staff should be aware that it is not appropriate to use social media to communicate with pupils. Staff are reminded that it is a criminal offence for a person aged 18 or over to have a sexual relationship with a child under 18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if the relationship is consensual.

Physical contact with pupils

There are occasions when it is entirely appropriate and proper for staff to have physical contact with pupils, but it is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their professional role.  Staff should, therefore, use their professional judgement at all times.  Staff should not have unnecessary physical contact with pupils and should be alert to the fact that minor forms of friendly physical contact can be misconstrued by pupils or onlookers.

A member of staff can never take the place of a parent in providing physical comfort and should be cautious of any demonstration of affection.

Physical contact should never be secretive, or for the gratification of the adult, or represent a misuse of authority.  If a member of staff believes that an action could be misinterpreted, the incident and circumstances should be recorded as soon as possible, the DSL informed and, if appropriate, a copy placed on the pupil’s file.

Physical Restraint

Any physical restraint is only permissible when a child is in imminent danger of inflicting an injury on himself/herself or on another, and then only as a last resort when all efforts to diffuse the situation have failed.  Another member of staff should, if possible, be present to act as a witness.  All incidents of the use of physical restraint should be recorded in writing and reported immediately to the DSL/Head who will decide what to do next.

Physical education and other activities requiring physical contact

Where exercises or procedures need to be demonstrated, extreme caution should be used if the demonstration involves contact with pupils and, wherever possible, contact should be avoided.  It is acknowledged that some staff, for example, those who teach PE and games, or who offer music tuition, will, on occasions, have to initiate physical contact with pupils in order to support a pupil so they can perform a task safely, to demonstrate the use of a particular piece of equipment/instrument or assist them with an exercise.  This should be done with the pupil’s agreement.

Contact under these circumstances should be for the minimum time necessary to complete the activity and take place in an open environment.  Staff should remain sensitive to any discomfort expressed verbally or non-verbally by the child.

Electronic communication with pupils

Please see the Social Media Policy for staff’s obligations in relation to electronic communications with pupils.

Transporting pupils

It is inadvisable for a teacher to give a lift in a car to a pupil alone.  Wherever possible and practicable it is advisable that transport is undertaken other than in private vehicles, with at least one adult additional to the driver acting as an escort.  If there are exceptional circumstances that make unaccompanied transportation of pupils unavoidable, the journey should be made known to a senior member of staff.

Confidentiality

Staff members should never give absolute guarantees of confidentiality to pupils or adults wishing to tell them about something serious.  They should guarantee only that they will pass on information to the minimum number of people who must be told in order to ensure that the proper action is taken to sort out the problem and that they will not tell anyone who does not have a clear need to know.  They will also take whatever steps they can to protect the informing pupil or adult from any retaliation or unnecessary stress that might be feared after a disclosure has been made.

ACTION IF A PUPIL IS MISSING

Please refer also to the school’s missing child policy and procedures which also include the requirements for a day pupil or boarder missing child in its content.

During the working day:

  • first check with the pupil’s friends
  • check the medical centre
  • check with reception who will check the signing out/in book and if necessary inform the senior member of staff on duty who will then follow up this information.

If a pupil is missing at bedtime or in the early hours:

  • first check with the pupil’s friends
  • do a thorough search of the boarding area and ring the medical centre
  • call the pupil’s mobile telephone
  • consult the senior member of boarding staff on duty in School (see duty rota)
  • check exeat/holiday forms or any other information before contacting the senior member of staff on duty who will then deal with the matter of there is not a suitable explanation.

A record is kept by the school of any instances in which a pupil is missing from school without satisfactory permission and documentation, including the action taken and the pupil’s explanation.

EQUAL TREATMENT

We are committed to equal treatment for all pupils regardless of sex, sexuality, race, caste, disability, religion or belief.  We keep a record of discriminatory incidents.

We aim to create a friendly, caring and perceptive environment in which every individual is valued.  We endeavour to contribute positively towards the growing autonomy, self-esteem and safety of each pupil.  Our staff undertake regular consultation activities with our pupils e.g. through safety questionnaires, participation in anti-bullying week and speaking to children about their experiences at lunchtime and play-times.

BULLYING

Bullying, harassment and victimisation and discrimination will not be tolerated.  We treat all our pupils and their parents fairly and with consideration and we expect them to reciprocate towards each other, the staff and the school. Any kind of bullying including cyber bullying is unacceptable and the school keeps a record of any incidents.  Please see our school policy on anti-bullying for further details.

COMPLAINTS

Copies of the school’s complaints procedure can be sent to any parent on request. Any complaint arising from the implementation of this policy will be considered under the school’s complaints procedure.

WHISTLEBLOWING

KCSIE states that if a teacher or member of staff has concerns about the behaviour of another member of staff towards a pupil, he or she should report it at once to the Head and to the DSL (or to the Proprietor where the concern relates to the Head).  Any concern will be thoroughly investigated under the school’s whistle-blowing procedures.  Such reporting will be without prejudice to the member of staff’s position in the school. Where there are allegations of criminal activity, the LADO (or DO) will always be informed, and advice taken, before the school undertakes any investigation of its own.  Wherever possible, and subject to the rights of the pupil, the member of staff will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.  No one who reports a genuine concern in good faith needs to fear retribution.  Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 the member of staff may be entitled to raise a concern directly with an external body where the circumstances justify it.

DAILY CONDUCT REQUIREMENTS FOR STAFF

Attendance and Timekeeping

Should a staff member need to be absent or expect to be late for any reason, he/she should ask the Head in advance when possible. If this is not possible, he/she is asked to contact the Head at the earliest opportunity.

Smoking

To promote a healthy and pleasant working environment and because of the fire risk, smoking is not allowed anywhere on site. Staff may smoke e-cigarettes in designated areas but must be out of the sight of students.

Alcohol and Illegal Drugs

Consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs is not permitted on site save where, in the case of alcohol, at a school function or otherwise agreed when modest amounts of alcohol may be consumed. Employees’ conduct and performance must not be adversely impacted by alcohol or drugs when undertaking their duties. Staff that reside on site may consume modest quantities of alcohol in private accommodation when they are not on duty.

Security

Staff must not remove any school documents from the site nor take any photographs without due permission. The school reserves the right to search the outer clothing, bags, lockers and vehicles etc. of staff members whilst on site. The staff member may have a colleague in attendance on such (rare) occasions.

Personal Appearance

The school regularly receives visits from parents, potential parents and others, and naturally wishes to convey an impression of efficiency and organisation. Therefore whilst not wishing to impose unreasonable obligations on staff they are, nonetheless, required to look smart in appearance.

Mobility and Flexibility

Due to the demands and nature of the school, staff should be prepared to transfer upon request within departments either temporarily or permanently, to undertake work of a different nature, providing it is reasonable and safe to do so and the staff member is adequately trained.

Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission (provided in writing via consent form).  Photographs will only be taken by a designated staff member/s.  Where photographs are taken by staff to give evidence of children’s progress, photos can only be taken on school cameras.  They must then be downloaded onto school computers, where they will be monitored. Photos cannot be used or passed on outside the school.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF THIS POLICY

The school monitors and evaluates its child protection policy and procedures through the following activities:

  • Senior leadership team discussion sessions
  • Staff meetings
  • Frequent scrutiny of attendance data
  • Frequent scrutiny of Advisor Board meeting minutes
  • Logs of bullying and/or racist behaviour incidents are reviewed regularly by the senior leadership team and the governing body
  • Regular review of parental concerns and parental questionnaires
  • Regular review of the use of pupil-specific leisure rooms and clubs at lunchtime and after school

Appendix 1

Further Guidance on Identifying the Signs of Child Abuse

Advice and guidance on identifying the signs of child abuse can be found in the NSPCC factsheet, dated April 2014, which is available at: www.nspcc.org.uk/signsofabuse.

 

 

Appendix 2

 

Types of abuse and neglect – Extract from Keeping Children Safe in Education July 2015

 

Abuse: 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. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

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.

[1] Although it may sometimes be appropriate to liaise directly with local authorities in relation to the needs of children resident in other local authorities, strictly speaking, in an emergency, it is the duty of the social care department for the school’s locality to assist the school.

Updated February 2016