E-Safety PolicyMay 30, 2023 2023-06-01 18:47
WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING?
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) defines safeguarding children as; ‘the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm’, including;
- 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.
- It also reminds us that safeguarding “is everyone’s responsibility.
Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.”
Child protection is a central part of but not separate from safeguarding. It is the process of protecting individual children identified as either suffering or at risk of significant harm as a result of abuse or programme of work. It also includes measures and structures designed to prevent and respond to abuse.
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe, and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ (EYFS 2014 p5)
The Head of School of Holden Park School considers all those directly involved with our setting have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. Our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and we take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.
As part of the ethos of the setting we are committed to:
- Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern;
- Providing an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected,
confident to talk openly, and sure of being listened to;
- Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties;
- Using learning in HPS to provide opportunities for increasing self-awareness, self- esteem assertiveness, and decision making. This is so that young children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others;
- Working with parents to build an understanding of HPS’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations;
- Ensuring all staff have regular training and are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of HPS’s procedures and lines of communication;
- Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records that are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
- Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies. Holden Park School
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The EYFS 2014 states; ‘a practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting’; whose responsibility it is to ensure all legal requirements are met, has/have appointed an appropriately qualified and experienced Early Years Designated Person (EYDP) to fulfil this role in HPS. Additionally, they are committed to ensuring the DSL is properly supported in being able to carry out this role fully, including providing them with appropriate time and resources away from other job commitments.
The HOS/DSL has overall responsibility for the day-to-day oversight of safeguarding and child protection systems in HPS. These responsibilities include;
- Liaising with other professionals including social services, police, and health colleagues;
- Keeping appraised of any updates in policy and practice as agreed by the Ministry of Education Safeguarding Children Board (via the Education Safeguarding Team);
- Being a source of support, advice, and guidance to any other setting staff, both paid and voluntary. This is on an ongoing basis and on any specific safeguarding issue as required;
- Co-ordinating child protection activities within the setting, including making referrals as necessary and maintaining a confidential recording system;
- Ensuring all staff, visitors and volunteers are aware of the policies and procedures and their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children;
- Ensuring all staff, both paid and voluntary, have received appropriate and up to date child protection training at least every 3 years
- Ensuring their training is kept up to date by attending appropriate designated person training every 2 years
- Representing or ensuring the setting is represented, by an appropriate senior member of staff, meetings or seminars in particular Strategy Discussions, Child Protection Conferences, and core groups;
- Managing and monitoring the setting’s part in the child in need and child protection plans
The welfare and safety of children, however, are the responsibility of all staff in the setting and ANY concern for a child’s welfare MUST be reported to the Safeguarding team.
In Holden Park School is ………Tope Egho
In their absence ……Head of School deputise.
In their absence ……DSL
SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES
Holden Park School adheres to the Safeguarding Children Procedures (2014). Additional guidance including
‘What to do if you are Worried About a Child Being Abused’ (DfES 2015) Information Sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners (2015)
The role of the school in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.
On occasion, staff may pass information about a child to the DSL, but remain anxious about action subsequently taken.
Staff should feel able to clarify with the DSL for further progress so that they can reassure themselves the child is safe and their welfare is being considered.
If following this process, the staff member remains concerned that appropriate action is not being taken, it is the responsibility of that staff member to seek further direct consultation from either a member of the Safeguards Team or the HOS who will be able to discuss the concern and advise on appropriate action to be taken.
RECOGNITION AND CATEGORIES OF ABUSE:
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 defines ‘abuse’ as 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.”
All staff should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse § Neglect
The most up-to-date definitions and possible indicators and signs of abuse are found in Appendix 1 of this document. This also includes information on current safeguarding priorities relating to female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation, and the Prevent strategy.
Staff should refer to What to do if you are worried a child is being abused which says:
“Staff need to remember that child welfare concerns may arise in many different contexts and can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, including, via the internet. In the case of female genital mutilation, children may be taken out of the country to be abused. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one-off event. Child abuse and neglect can have major long-term impacts on all aspects of a child’s health, development, and well-being.
The warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect can vary from child to child. Disabled children may be especially vulnerable to abuse, because they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. They may have speech, language, and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening. Children also develop and mature at different rates so what appears to be worrying for a younger child might be normal behaviour for an older child. Parental behaviours may also indicate child abuse or neglect, so staff should also be alert to parent-child interactions which are concerning, and other parental behaviours. This could include parents who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if there is a sudden change in their mental health. By understanding the warning signs, we can respond to problems as early as possible and provide the right support and services for the child and their family. It is important to recognise that a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused.”
INDUCTION AND TRAINING
All HPS staff, both paid and voluntary, will be expected to undertake an appropriate level of safeguarding training. Advice on appropriate training courses will be sought from the HOS/DSL, but any training should ensure staff has an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues. This will enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. It should also include an understanding of HPS’s own safeguarding policy and procedures including the action to be taken in the event of inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children.
The HOS/DSL/LINE MANAGERS will ensure that staff attends the required safeguarding training when they first take up the role and that they continue to update their knowledge on an ongoing basis and at least every 2 years as required by safeguarding practice guidance.
The EYDP will ensure that all new staff and volunteers are appropriately inducted in the setting’s internal safeguarding procedures and communication lines. A summary information sheet is available to be given to staff and volunteers to support this process.
Staff must record any welfare concern that they have about a child on HPS’s safeguarding incident/concern form (with a body map where injuries have been observed) and pass this without delay to the DSL. Records must be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event and must be signed and dated. Incident/concern forms are kept in the classrooms.
Safeguarding records are kept separate from all other records relating to the child in HPS. They are retained centrally and securely by the DSL/HOS and are shared on a ‘need know basis only.
All safeguarding records will be forwarded to a child’s subsequent school or when they move to school at transition. The records should be sent under confidential and separate cover to the new DSL in the receiving school.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING
We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The DSL will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a need-to-know basis.
All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other management in order to safeguard children. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets that might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.
e-Safety (online safety) relates to the specific challenges and risks presented by new technologies, including the internet, mobile phones, and other devices, for children and young people as well as adults, both within and outside of the setting.
Holden Park School will seek to create an appropriate balance between controlling access to the internet and technology, setting rules and boundaries, and educating children, parents/carers, and staff about safe and responsible use. This will include a range of practices including undertaking appropriate risk assessments of technology, ensuring there is appropriate supervision of children, providing safe and suitable equipment/tools for staff and children, and ensuring that there is up-to-date training/education in place for all members of the community regarding online risks and responsibilities.
Holden Park School is aware that children and staff cannot always be prevented from being exposed to online risks and will therefore seek to empower and educate all members of the community so that they are equipped with the skills to make safe and responsible decisions as well as to feel able to report any concerns.
All members of staff will be made aware of the importance of good e-Safety practices in order to educate and protect the children in their care. Members of staff will be made aware of the professional risks associated with the use of electronic communication (e-mail; mobile phones; texting; social network sites) and will be informed about how to manage their own professional reputation online and demonstrate appropriate online behaviours compatible with their role. Staff should familiarise themselves with advice and professional expectations outlined in HPS’s e-Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.
SUPERVISION AND SUPPORT:
The Head of School recognises regular, planned, and accountable supervision, which is a two- way process, offers support and develops the knowledge, skills, and values of an individual, group, or team. We see its purpose is to monitor the progress of professional practice and to help staff to improve the quality of the work they do, thus improving outcomes for children as well as achieving agreed objectives. Supervision also provides an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues including the safeguarding of children and any concerns raised about an individual or colleague’s practice.
All of our staff and volunteers are expected to have regular and planned supervision sessions. Uninterrupted time will be set aside to ensure any supervision sessions are effective for both practitioner and management.
Holden Park School is committed to ensuring all steps are taken to recruit staff and volunteers who are safe to work with our children and have their welfare and protection as the highest priority. It is the responsibility of the HOS/DSL/HR to ensure that effective systems are in place so that all staff and volunteers are properly checked to make sure they are safe to work with the children who attend our setting. We do not allow people, whose suitability has not been checked to have unsupervised contact with children being cared for.
We advise all staff that they are expected to disclose any reason that may affect their suitability to work with children including convictions, cautions, 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.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MEMBERS OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Holden Park School recognises that it is possible for staff and volunteers to behave in a way that might cause harm to children and takes seriously any allegation received. Such allegations should be referred immediately to the DSL who will first contact the Lead Designated Officer (LADO) to agree on further action to be taken in respect of the child and staff member.
In the event the allegation concerns the DSL, HOS should be contacted.
The HOS also ensures we meet our responsibilities under Section 35 of Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. This includes the duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.
All staff needs to be aware of HPS’s Whistle-blowing procedure and that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. When in doubt – consult.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
All HPS staff and volunteers will have access to a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the contents prior to the approval of the HOS being formally sought. The policy will also be available to parents.
This policy has been written in 2022 to reflect the new guidance and legislation issued in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
The policy forms part of HPS’s development plan and will be reviewed annually.
All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its contents.
Setting Policies on Related Safeguarding Issues
(to be read and followed alongside this document)
• e-Safety Policy
• Mobile Phone and Photographic Images Policy
• Behaviour Management Policy
• Early Years Allegations Against Staff Policy
• Guidelines for Safeguarding Record Keeping in Settings
• Safeguarding Children and Child Protection – Induction Leaflet Guidelines for Early Years Staff
• Health and Safety Policy
• Code of Conduct for Staff
• Safer Recruitment Guidelines
• Whistle-Blowing Policy Appendix 1
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 another child or children. It should be noted that abuse can be carried out by both men, women, and children.
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
- Sudden changes in behaviour and school performance
- Displays of affection that are sexual and age-inappropriate
- Self-harm, self-mutilation, or attempts at suicide
- Alluding to secrets that they cannot reveal
- Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance
- Regression to younger behaviour for example thumb-sucking, playing with discarded acting like a baby
- Distrust of familiar adults.
- The anxiety of being left with relatives, a childminder or lodger
- Unexplained gifts or money
- Depression and withdrawal
- Fear of undressing for PE
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Fire setting
a form of abuse that 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
- Bruises and abrasions around the face
- Damage or injury around the mouth
- Bi-lateral injuries such as two bruised eyes
- Bruising to soft areas of the face such as the cheeks
- Fingertip bruising to the front or back of the torso
- Bite marks
- Burns or scalds (unusual patterns and spread of injuries)
- Deep contact burns such as cigarette burns
- Injuries suggesting beatings (strap marks, welts)
- Covering arms and legs even when hot
- Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts.
- Injuries need to be accounted for.
- Inadequate, inconsistent or excessively plausible explanations, or a delay in seeking treatment should signal concern.
the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to causes 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 from 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
- Overreaction to mistakes
- Lack of self-confidence/esteem
- Sudden speech disorders
- Extremes of passivity and/or aggression
- Compulsive stealing
- Drug, alcohol, solvent abuse
- Fear of parents being contacted
- Unwillingness or inability to play
- Excessive need for approval, attention and affection
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.
- Constant hunger
- Poor personal hygiene
- Constant tiredness
- Inadequate clothing
- Frequent lateness
- Untreated medical problems
- Poor relationship with peers
- Compulsive stealing and scavenging
- Rocking, hair twisting and thumb sucking
- Running away
- Loss of weight or being constantly underweight
- Low self-esteem
Further information on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts, and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.
Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation, or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it is also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
Further information on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There is a range of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM, which individually may not indicate risk but if there are two or more indicators present this could signal a risk to the child or young person. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM.
Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 16-17 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines referred to above. Staff should activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care.
Further information on Preventing Radicalisation under The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act:
- Identifying cases of pupils at risk of involvement in extremist behaviour
- Exposure of children to extremist ideology can hinder their social development and educational attainment alongside posing a very real risk that they could support or partake in an act of violence.
- Radicalisation of young people can be compared to grooming for sexual exploitation.
Every member of staff at Holden Park School recognises that children exposure to radicalisation and extremism is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability and should be approached in the same way as protecting children from other risks.
All staff should complete an e-learning training which includes guidance on how to identify people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and how to refer them into the Channel process.
The Designated Safeguarding Leads should also have attended additional training which includes further information on Prevent Duty.