Here at Lets Act we are aware that safeguarding is fundamental to the welfare of all children in our care. We, therefore, recognise the importance of providing an ethos and environment that will help children to feel safe, secure and respected; encourage them to talk openly; and enable them to feel confident that they will be listened to. Lets Act has a child-centered approach to everything that we do and this means that we consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
We understand the term of ‘Safeguarding’ and promoting the welfare of children 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” (Department for Education Sept 2016).
We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support and protection if needed.
Let’s Act core safeguarding and child protection principles are:
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and related guidance. This includes: DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 (KCSIE); Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 (WTSC); Ofsted guidance ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills’ (2016); Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000) London Child Protection Procedures 2016 (5th Edition amended on the 31st March 2017); The Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales (March 2015) (Prevent).
The staff at Lets Act acknowledges that this policy will incorporate a range of specific safeguarding issues including (but not limited to):
There are four main elements to our safeguarding policy:
Let’s Act has appointed a member of the leadership team as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The DSL has the overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems in school. The DSL is currently Amy Shone.
The DSL will undergo appropriate and specific training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out their role. The DSL’s training will be updated formally every two years but their knowledge and skills will be updated through a variety of methods (keeping up to date with changes in policy and the requirements for out of school activity clubs etc) at regular intervals, at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role. The DSL has the overall responsibility for the day to day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems at Lets Act. It is the role of the DSL to:
The DSL will decide whether reported concerns/incidents should be reported as a safeguarding issue to the Local Authority.
All adults working for Lets Act (including visiting staff and volunteers) are required to report all instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the DSL. However, if any member of staff has ongoing concerns of harm to a child, they can report these concerns to the Local Authority Children’s Services directly (London/Doncaster), without going through the DSL.
Particular vigilance will be exercised in respect of:
All members of staff have a responsibility to:
All members of staff at Let’s Act know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Members of staff know to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with relevant professionals such as the DSL and other agencies as appropriate. Members of staff know they must never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a concern or allegation as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.
The welfare and safety of children are the responsibility of all staff in school and ANY concern for a pupil’s welfare MUST always be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
In all but the most exceptional circumstances, parents /carers will be made aware of the concerns for their child at the earliest possible stage. In the event of a referral to Specialist Children’s Services being necessary, parents/carers will be informed and consent to this will be sought, unless there is a valid reason not to do so, for example if to do so would put a child at risk of harm to would undermine a criminal investigation.
Children and young people (pupils) have a responsibility to:
Parents/carers have a responsibility to:
All staff in school should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse:
Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one-off event. This can have major long-term impacts on all aspects of a child's health, development and well-being.
Refer to appendix 1 for more detail on categories of abuse and their signs.
Staff will record any welfare concern that they have about a child on the setting’s safeguarding incident/concern form (with a body map if injuries have been observed) and pass them without delay to the DSL. Records will be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event, using the child’s words and will be signed and dated by the member of staff.
All safeguarding concerns, discussions and decisions (and justifications for those decisions) will be recorded in writing. If members of staff are in any doubt about recording requirements, they should discuss their concerns with DSL.
Let’s Act recognises that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The DSL will only disclose information about a pupil to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis.
All members of staff must be aware that whilst they have duties to keep any information about children, families and colleagues which have access to as a result of their role confidential, they also have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.
The DSL will ensure that all new staff and volunteers (including temporary staff) are appropriately inducted as regards Lets Act internal safeguarding procedures and communication lines.
All staff members (including temporary staff) will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (organised by the DSL) which will enable them to:
Let’s Act is committed to ensure a safe culture and that all steps are taken to recruit staff and volunteers who are safe to work with our pupils/students and have their welfare and protection as the highest priority. All staff are DBS checked before being recruited.
We advise all staff to disclose any reason that may affect their suitability to work with children including convictions, cautions, court orders, cautions, reprimands and warnings. Additionally, we make all staff aware that they may also be disqualified because they live in the same household as another person who is disqualified.
All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and such concerns will always be taken seriously by the senior leadership team.
Members of Staff can also access the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline if they do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 (8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All members of staff at Lets Act recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, including (but not limited to) bullying, cyberbullying, gender based abuse, hazing (initiation type violence), sexually harmful behaviour and violence and ‘sexting’. Lets Act is mindful that some potential issues may by be affected by the gender, age, ability and culture of those involved. Lets Act believes that abuse is abuse and it will never be tolerated, dismissed or minimised. Any incidents of peer on peer abuse will be managed in the same way as any other child protection concern.
Let’s Act will ensure that all staff have read, understood and signed this policy to show that they will adhere to its guidelines. This policy will be reviewed annually and any changes / editions will be made. The process will be carried out by the DSL.
Thank you for reading our policy and together, we will work to keep ALL children safe.
All 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.
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. It should be noted that abuse can be carried out both on and offline and be perpetrated by men, women and children. All members of staff should read and understand part one of ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016 and staff who have direct contact with pupils n should also read annex A.
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.
Signs that MAY INDICATE Sexual Abuse
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.
Signs that MAY INDICATE physical abuse
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.
Signs that MAY INDICATE emotional abuse
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.
Signs that MAY INDICATE neglect.
(the 6 R’s – what to do if…)
RECEIVE - Keep calm - Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief -Take what is being said to you seriously -Note down what has been said
RESPOND - Reassure the pupil that they have done the right thing in talking to you - Be honest and do not make promises you cannot keep e.g. “It will be alright now” - Do not promise confidentiality; you have a duty to refer - Reassure and alleviate guilt, if the pupil refers to it e.g. “you’re not to blame” -Reassure the child that information will only be shared with those who need to know
REACT - React to the pupil only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer the matter, but do not interrogate for full details - Do not ask leading questions; “Did he/she….?” Such questions can invalidate evidence. - Do ask open “TED” questions; Tell, explain, describe - Do not criticise the perpetrator; the pupil may have affection for him/her - Do not ask the pupil to repeat it all for another member of staff - Explain what you have to do next and who you have to talk to
RECORD - Make some brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand and write them up as soon as possible - Do not destroy your original notes - Record the date, time, place, any non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child. Always ensure that as far as possible you have recorded the actual words used by the child. - Record statements and observable things rather than your interpretations or assumptions
REMEMBER - Contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) - The DSL may be required to make appropriate records available to other agencies - KSCB: www.kscb.org.uk
RELAX - Get some support for yourself, dealing with disclosures can be traumatic for professionals
Support for staff:
Support for Pupils:
Support for adults:
Support for Learning Disabilities:
Honour based Violence:
Sexual Abuse and CSE:
Radicalisation and Hate: