Singleton CE Primary School
At Singleton School we recognise that providing the best possible opportunities for our children to achieve their very best is at the forefront of what we do on a daily basis. However, we also take very seriously our responsibilities in terms of the health and welfare of our children.
Our school fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children and support pupils in school’.
There are three main elements to our Child Protection Policy’.
Creating a positive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to pupils where children have opportunities to have a voice and that their wishes and feelings are listened to and taken into account.
By following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained to recognise possible signs and symptoms of abuse and are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns.
To pupils and school staff and to children who may have been abused.
Mrs Clayton and Mrs Haigh receive ‘Designated Senior Person ‘training every 2 years and all other staff and governors receive full Safeguarding training every 3 years.
Mrs Reeves (Office Manager) keeps and maintains a log of all staff and volunteers who have DBS clearance to work with children and the Governors review, and general safeguarding in school monthly. Mrs Clayton writes an annual safeguarding report for Mr Davies – our Chair of Governors and named Governor for child protection.
Our Safeguarding Policy and e- safety policy are available for parents to view in the policies section of the website.
We all have a responsibility to keep children safe and there have been cases at our school where parents other than those of the child concerned have reported concerns. Any adults living in our locality who have child protection concerns should contact Social Services;-
The Customer Service Centre 0300 123 6720
Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours) 0300 123 6722
Or alternatively contact the police.
Parents need to understand that Mrs Clayton, Mrs Haigh, the staff and the governors have a statutory responsibility to refer any safeguarding concerns to the Lancashire Safeguarding Team. Our policy is to ‘Put the child First’ and this means we seek advice is there is even a small amount of doubt or concern. This can and has on many occasions led to uncomfortable conversations with parents and carers but we would rather be safe than sorry and the needs of our children are paramount.
Child Protection at Singleton C of E School
Information / Guidance for Staff, Volunteers, Student teachers
DSP – Amanda Clayton / Karen Haigh
A child is considered to be abused, or at risk of abuse when the basic needs of the child are not being met, through avoidable acts of either commission or omission. This includes neglect and physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Abuse can involve children of all ages from all cultures, religions and social classes.
From the moment children are admitted to our school, teachers and other staff / volunteers who are in daily contact with them are well placed to notice signs of neglect, behavioural change or failure to develop as expected, which may be indicators of abuse.
What are my responsibilities?
All those who come into contact with children through their everyday work whether paid or voluntary have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Singleton C of E School’s Recruiting and Selection Procedures specify that all adults who work in ‘regulated activity’ – i.e. unsupervised activities such as teach, train, instruct or supervise children; and work in a ‘specified place’ such as a school; and this work is regular i.e. once a week or more or 4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight – will require an enhanced DBS Disclosure. This is to help ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. If your work with children means that you are supervised at all times, this may not be required.
Common signs of abuse!
Every child is completely different, so behavioural signs of abuse will and do vary from child to child. In addition, the impact of abuse is likely to be influenced by the child’s age, the nature and extent of the abuse and the help and support the child receives. However, there are some behaviours that are commonly seen in children and young people who have been abused:
- The child appears to be distrustful of a particular adult, or a parent or a coach with whom you would normally expect there to be a close relationship.
- He or she has unexplained injuries such as bruising, bites or burns- particularly if these are on part of the body where you would not expect them.
- If he or she has an injury which is not satisfactorily explained or properly treated.
- Deterioration in his/her physical appearance or a rapid weight gain or loss.
- Pains, itching, bruising or bleeding, in or near the genital area.
- A change in the child’s general behaviour. For example, they may be unusually quiet and withdrawn or unexpectedly aggressive. Such changes can be sudden or gradual.
- If he or she refuses to remove clothing for normal activities or wants to keep covered up in warm weather.
- If he or she shows inappropriate sexual awareness or behaviour for their age.
- Some disabled children may not be able to communicate verbally about abuse they may have experienced or witnessed.
It is therefore important to observe these children for signs other than “telling.” Remember that the above signs should be seen as a possible indication of abuse and not as confirmation. If you are concerned about a child or a young person, YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT on these concerns.
What should I do if I am worried about a child?
If whilst working with a child you become concerned about: Comments made by a child, Marks or bruising on a child, Changes in the child’s behaviour or demeanour then report it IMMEDIATELY to Amanda Clayton or Karen Haigh. If neither of these people are available, report it straight to the police or phone Lancashire Safeguarding team on 01772 531196
What should I do if a child makes a disclosure?
Although the likelihood of this is small it is important to know what to do in such an eventuality as children rarely lie about such matters. An abused child is likely to be under severe emotional stress and the staff member may be the only adult whom the child is prepared to trust.
- Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief; accept what is being said
- Allow the child to talk freely
- Reassure the child, but do not make promises that might not be possible to keep
- Do not promise confidentiality but explain to the child that you may have to tell their teacher or Headteacher in order that they can provide appropriate help
- Do not interrogate the child or ask leading questions
- Do not take photographs of injuries – leave this to the police
- Reassure the pupil that it is not their fault
- Stress that it was the right thing to tell
- Do not ask the child to write a statement
- Do not criticise the alleged perpetrator
- Immediately record details of the disclosure, including wherever possible the exact words or phrases used by the child.
- Forms for the recording of information of this nature are available from the Staff room, and should be completed and returned to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding to enable the matter to be dealt with in the most appropriate way.
- Please ensure you have signed and dated the record.
A member of staff who receives a report from a child alleging abuse must not ask leading questions or proffer alternative explanations for the child’s concerns. The child’s report should be listened to carefully and recorded accurately, in the language used by the child, at the earliest opportunity following its receipt. Do not undermine the trust the child has placed in you by disclosing their traumatic information. TRY to pass the pupil on as gently as possible to Amanda Clayton or Karen Haigh as quickly as possible so that the appropriate course of action can be initiated.
Remember… take disclosure seriously…. Respond quickly and calmly……. Seek advice
Each year you will receive the following via e-mail;-
- Staff Handbook
- Safeguarding information pack from LCC
- Health and safety handbook
It is vital that you read this information and if you are then not fully sure of your roles and responsibilities you seek advice from Amanda Clayton or Karen Haigh.
Every three years you will receive Safeguarding training