Poole BH12 4LL
Author / Owner
Personal Development, Welfare and Behaviour Lead (inc Designated Safeguarding Lead)
This School recognises that safeguarding and promoting welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and the regulations under Section 157 place a duty on the Governing Body to have arrangements in place to ensure safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The Governors recognise that children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm or exploitation and that pupils cannot learn effectively unless they feel secure. The Governors will, therefore, provide a school environment which promotes self-confidence, a feeling of worth and the knowledge that children’s concerns will be listened to and acted upon.
Governors, staff and volunteers in this school understand the importance of working in partnership with children, their parents/carers and other agencies in order to promote children’s welfare.
This policy is based on the three documents:
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 (KCSIE)
Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings (Update August 2021):
Working Together to Safeguard Children (July 2018) (Working Together):
The Governors will also ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) carries out their statutory duties to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Local Authority Children’s Services (Social Care) and to assist them in taking appropriate action on behalf of children in need or enquiring into allegations of child abuse or neglect. The designated Governor with responsibility for safeguarding will meet with the DSL as agreed in the Schedule of Governor responsibilities; reporting back to the Full Governing Body. The School recognise the contribution they can make to protect and support pupils in their care and contribute to a co-ordinated offer of early help.
Winchelsea School is committed to ensuring that best practice is adopted when working with all children, offering them support and protection and accepts that it has a legal and moral responsibility to implement procedures, to provide a duty of care for children, to safeguard their well-being and to protect them from abuse.
The Purpose of this Policy is to:
- Afford protection for all children at Winchelsea;
- Enable staff and volunteers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- Promote a culture which makes the school a safe place to learn.
This Safeguarding Policy applies to all Governors, employees (including supply and peripatetic staff), volunteers and people using the school. They must all acknowledge that:
- The child’s welfare is of paramount importance and all children have the right to be protected from abuse and neglect;
- All employees and volunteers will receive safeguarding training appropriate to their role. This is to ensure all staff are aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, how to identify children who may benefit from early help, raise awareness of the wide range of safeguarding issues and how to help to respond and support the children in their care;
- Children who are being abused, neglected or at risk of harm will only tell people they trust and with whom they feel safe and that any member of staff needs to be able to respond appropriately to a child who discloses evidence of abuse or raises other concerns about their welfare;
- It is essential that all employees own practice and behaviour puts children’s welfare first and cannot be misconstrued in any way and does not contravene accepted good practice;
- All staff and volunteers are made aware that they should report any concerns about safeguarding practice or any concerns about staff to the Headteacher (or Chair of Governors if concern is regarding the Headteacher) or to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or Ofsted.
Aims of the Policy
- To raise the awareness of all school staff of the importance of child protection and safeguarding children and of their responsibilities for identifying and reporting actual or suspected abuse, neglect or concerns about a child’s welfare;
- To ensure children and Parents / carers are aware that the school takes the safeguarding agenda seriously and will follow the appropriate procedures for identifying and reporting abuse, neglect or concerns about a child’s welfare and for dealing with allegations against staff;
- To promote effective liaison with other agencies in order to work together for the protection of all children;
- To support children’s development in ways which will foster security, confidence and independence;
- To integrate a safeguarding curriculum within the existing curriculum allowing for continuity and progress through all key stages and pupils development;
- To take account of and inform policy in related areas such as Bullying, Behaviour and E-Safety policies.
There are three main elements to the school’s Safeguarding Policy:
- PREVENTION (positive and safe school environment, careful and vigilant teaching, accessible pastoral care and support to all children and good adult role models).
- PROTECTION (agreed procedures are followed, staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to safeguarding concerns).
- SUPPORT (to children, who may have been at risk of significant harm and the way staff respond to their concerns and any work that may be required).
Winchelsea School does not operate in isolation. Safeguarding is the responsibility of all adults at Winchelsea and especially those working or volunteering with children. The school aims to help protect the children in its care by working consistently and appropriately with all agencies to reduce risk and promote the welfare of children. All practitioners work within the same child protection / safeguarding procedures.
Specific Roles in Safeguarding Children
The School has a Nominated Safeguarding Governor. The name of the Governor can be sought from either the main school office or by visiting the school website where their name and contact details can be found. The Nominated Safeguarding Governor takes the lead responsibility for the Governing Body and works closely with the DSL, the Headteacher and Chair of Governors on safeguarding issues. The responsibilities of the Governing Body in relation to safeguarding are in KCSIE Part 2 and Ofsted Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings Annex 1.
Also refer Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is a senior member of staff from the school, designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding. The DSL will;
- Keep secure Child Protection, Children in Need and other plans;
- Write records and reports;
- Review the Safeguarding Policy and procedures: Lead in evaluation, review and revision, ensure available to staff and Parents / carers;
- Provide induction to staff/staff training/ensure staff are aware of Safeguarding Policy and procedure;
- Provide advice, information and support to other staff/adults in the school on safeguarding issues;
- Understand (and participate in) early help assessments and process for Early Help;
- Liaise with the Local Authority and Local Safeguarding Children Board;
- Work in partnership with other agencies; referrals and support; information sharing;
- Ensure a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings;
- Where any roles of the DSL are delegated to appropriately trained deputies they retain the ultimate lead responsibility;
- Undertake a safeguarding evaluation/audit, report to the SLT and Governing Body.
The DSL, Deputy or officer will always be available during school hours for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns (KCSIE 93). Winchelsea School has 2 Deputy DSLs and 1 Safeguarding Officer.
(See also the Role of the DSL – Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance and KCSIE Annex C)
The DSL and Deputy DSLs will liaise with the three safeguarding partners of the Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership and with other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – When to call the Police should help the DSL to understand when they should consider calling the Police and what they should expect. (KCSIE 92).
Definitions of Safeguarding and Child Protection
Winchelsea School considers it helpful to define what is meant by these terms.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer significant harm: (Working Together Appendix A glossary).
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. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children: (Working Together Appendix A glossary).
Staff at Winchelsea receive training on the various types of abuse and neglect, please refer to Working Together Appendix A for more information.
Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. It means providing support as soon as a problem emerges.
All staff are prepared to identify children who 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.
Any staff member who has any concerns about a child’s welfare should follow the Raising a Safeguarding Concern about a Pupil flow chart and discuss with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and any deputies) are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns.
The Teachers’ Standards 2012 state that teachers (which includes Headteachers) should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.
Early help support must be kept under constant review and consideration given to a referral to Children’s Social Care if the child’s situation does not appear to be improving. Winchelsea School use Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s (BCP) Continuum of Need guidance in order to evaluate what action needs to be taken at Early Help stages and other services that could help.
In order to do this, Winchelsea school will work with other local agencies to identify children and families who would benefit from Early Help, this could include:
- Undertaking an assessment of the need for Early Help;
- Providing Early Help services from the Local authority services, other partners or outside agencies. e.g. CAMHS, YADAS, School Nurse, Family Outreach Worker; Early help support available;
- Referring to appropriate services e.g. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Young Adults Drug & Alcohol Service (YADAS), Mosaic, Starfish, Parenting groups.
Contextual Safeguarding issues i.e. children vulnerable to abuse or exploitation outside of their families, should be taken account of, Working Together paragraph 33 and KCSIE 63, and how the school can help to protect children accordingly.
BCP Council operate a single point of contact for both Early Help and other Children’s Services.
If there are concerns about the safety or welfare of children and young people or if support is required in agreeing an Early Help offer, the Children’s Services First Response Hub is the first point of contact for everyone, providing access to all services for children and families living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The Children’s Services First Response Hub provides the public and professionals with advice, information and support for children who are vulnerable and at risk and is made up of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Early Help Team who provide:
- A prompt response when children or young people are considered to be at risk of harm;
- Advice and support for practitioners in agreeing an Early Help offer for children and young people;
- Simpler access to advice and support.
Contact the Children’s Services First Response Hub:
If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk of, or is being hurt or abused or if you know of a child or young person who may be vulnerable without additional help and support if you want to know more about the services available to support children, young people and their families:
01202 123 334 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 5.15pm, Friday: 8.30am-4.45pm
For urgent referrals in relation to child protection:
In an emergency, or if you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999. Out Of Hours - The Children’s Social Care Out of Hours service is the emergency response service for any child who is in crisis, needs urgent help or is at serious risk of significant harm. Hours of operation are 5pm to 9am from Monday to Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday and all Bank Holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day:
01202 738256 ChildrensOOHS@bcpcouncil.gov.uk
For more information about Early Help and Integrated Working in BCP
The Early Help, Family Support and Young People's Strategy (2020 to 2023)
Responding to Disclosures
If a child wishes to confide in you the following guidelines should be adhered to:
- Be honest:
- Do not make promises that you cannot keep.
- Explain that you are likely to have to tell other people in order to stop what is happening.
- Create a safe environment:
- Stay calm.
- Reassure the child and stress that they are not to blame.
- Tell the child that you know how difficult it must have been to confide in you.
- Listen to the child and tell them that you believe them and are taking what is being said seriously.
- Record by the appropriate method, exactly what the child has said to you and include:
- Child’s name, address, date of birth
- Date and time of any incident
- What the child said and what you said
- Your observations e.g. child’s behaviour and emotional state
- Any action you took as a result of your concerns - specific information about who you spoke to, names, phone numbers and resulting actions
- Sign and date the record and provide a copy for Social Care and your records.
- Be clear about what the child says and what you say:
- Do not interview the child and keep questions to a minimum.
- Encourage the child to use his/her own words and do not try to lead them into giving particular answers.
- Maintain confidentiality:
- Only tell those people that it is necessary to inform.
- Do not take sole responsibility:
- Immediately consult your Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy DSL so that any appropriate action can be taken to protect the pupil if necessary.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead should refer these concerns to Social Care before the child goes home if still in school. A decision will be made by the Children’s Services First Response Hub whether to convene a strategy meeting; undertake a social care or joint investigation or provide alternative services or advice.
- Although referrals to the Children’s Services First Response Hub would normally be made by the DSL or in their absence a deputy DSL or other member of the SLT but in exceptional circumstances any other individual with concerns can take advice from the local children’s Social Care (Children’s Services First Response Hub) and any action taken should be shared with the DSL (or Deputy) as soon as is practically possible.
If a child discloses harm to any staff member, it must be remembered that the school role is to recognise and refer abuse, not to investigate. This is to avoid contamination of evidence gained in any subsequent investigation undertaken by Police and /or Social Services and to ensure that the child is not placed in the stressful position of having to repeat their story over and over again.
‘Not investigating’ does not mean that the staff member receiving the concern cannot ask any questions. However, careful thought needs to be given to how and what questions are asked, avoiding anything that can be interpreted as ‘leading’ the child. The basic rule of thumb is that staff should ONLY ask enough questions of the child to clarify whether there is a child protection concern. Once the child has clarified that they are being harmed or are at risk (or the staff member is reassured that the child is safe), no further questions are required.
If a child presents with an injury accompanied by a clear disclosure that they have been harmed, or makes a clear sexual disclosure it should not be necessary to question the child other than perhaps to clarify who was involved and when an incident took place. The child should be listened to actively and their story carefully recorded. In this situation the staff member should ensure immediate information sharing with the DSL / Deputy DSL’s (or alternative senior contact point in DSL’s absence). It is likely that such a scenario will require immediate consultation about action to be taken and an urgent referral to Specialist Children’s Services will be necessary.
In other situations, where the child appears to be making a possible disclosure or has a suspicious injury, it is reasonable to ask open, non-leading questions in order to establish the child’s story. Examples of questions are. “That’s a nasty bruise, how did it happen? Tell me about what happened? You seem a bit upset and I’m worried about you, is anything troubling you? Can you tell me more about that?”
You may wish to use the acronym ‘TED’ as a reminder that the child can be encouraged to ‘Tell’, ‘Explain’ and ‘Describe’ the concern. If it is necessary to seek further clarification, staff should keep to open questions such as What? When? Who? How? Where? It is important to remember that questions should only be asked to help clarify whether the child is at risk of harm. Once clarification is achieved, no further questions should be asked.
Sometimes children choose to disclose concerns through a third party such as a friend ‘telling’ on their behalf, or indirectly e.g. sounding out information and reaction by asking ‘what if my friend…….?’ If such concerns arise they should be taken equally seriously and be followed up with the DSL in the same manner as a direct disclosure.
The DSL / Deputy DSLs / SLT / staff will use the Continuum of Need when making decisions about appropriate support or referral for a child. This should include reference to the ‘Four levels of need’ and the ‘Three domains’.
Basic Guidelines for Dealing with Disclosures
- Remember that the child’s welfare and interests must be the paramount consideration at all times;
- Listen carefully and actively to the child. At this stage there is no necessity to ask questions. Let the child guide the pace;
- Do not show shock at what you are hearing. This may discourage the child from continuing their disclosure as they will feel that the adult receiving the information is unable to cope with what they are hearing and may be thinking badly of the child;
- Do not investigate. If you need to clarify what is being said and whether the child is at risk, ask open questions (TED, what, when, who, how, where, do you want to tell me anything else? etc.) but only to the point of clarification being achieved. Avoid the question ‘why?’ as this can imply guilt / responsibility on the child;
- Stay calm and reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking to you;
- Never promise to keep a secret or confidentiality. You have a duty to ensure the information is passed on to DSL / Deputy DSL and possibly other agencies in order to keep the child safe. If a child requests confidentiality, use a ‘prepared’ response, such as ‘I’m really concerned about what you have told me and I have a responsibility to help ensure that you are safe. To help make sure you are safe, I have to tell someone (name person) who will know how to help us to do this’. Make sure the child understands what will happen next with their information;
- Record factually what the child has told you or what you have observed as soon as possible. Ensure records include the date, time, place of disclosure, behaviour and words used by the child. Failure to accurately record information or writing down your ‘interpretation’ of the child’s account may lead to inadmissible evidence. At Winchelsea we use the Child Protection Online Management System (CPOMS) software system to record all safeguarding and child protection concerns;
- If you have seen bruising or an injury, use the body map function on CPOMS to record details;
- Save all drawings and artwork. This information needs to be shared with Children’s Social Services and the Police;
- Tell your DSL or another member of the Safeguarding Team in person as soon as possible but do not ask the child to repeat what they have told you to another staff member. This is stressful for the child. The more times a child is asked to tell their story the greater the chance of the facts becoming lost and any subsequent investigation being compromised;
- Do not gossip to other staff about what you have heard. The information should remain confidential to those who ‘need to know’;
- Maintain contact with the child. They have trusted you enough to ‘tell’, will need to know that they are not rejected as a result and may need continued support;
- Ensure that you have support for yourself in managing the information you have received.
NOTE: Disclosures relating to allegations against colleagues and members of staff should be treated in the same way. This information must be passed immediately to the Headteacher who will contact the LADO and ensure the appropriate procedures are followed. If the disclosure concerns the Headteacher this must be reported to the Chair of Governors. Please also refer to the Staff Allegations Section later in this document.
The DSL should refer these concerns to Social Care before the child goes home if still in school. A decision will be made by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) whether to convene a strategy meeting; undertake a social care or joint investigation or provide alternative services or advice.
Although referrals to the MASH would normally be made by the DSL, any other individual with concerns can make a referral. Social Care will advise about if and when to share information with parents if there are concerns that this may be putting the child more at risk.
On transfer to another school the DSL will check what records need to be kept and pass these on to the following school obtaining an appropriate acknowledgment of safe receipt in the process. We currently hold a number of written records held in a secure cabinet in a room away from children.
Responding to Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Through training, all staff need to be able to identify signs of abuse or neglect and be able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.
All Winchelsea staff should be vigilant, protective and discuss any concerns with the DSL who will refer to Social Care or other agencies where appropriate.
The DSL / SLT / staff use the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership Levels of Need and Continuum of Support guidance (September 2019) when making decisions about appropriate support or referral for a child. This should include reference to the ‘Four levels of need’ and the ‘Three domains’.
- All concerns must be recorded in line with Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance;
- Staff must have an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned;0
- When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.
Please see Appendix B for some signs, indicators and effects of abuse.
Further guidance is available from the NSPCC.
Following up Referrals
The agency to which the referral was made e.g. Social Care, should inform the referrer of their action. Where this does not happen promptly the referrer will re contact the agency to which it made the referral to be assured that action is being taken or that alternative support is being recommended. If after a referral the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, the DSL will press for re-consideration and if appropriate escalate the concern through the Escalation Policy https://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/p_escalation.html
It is essential that the school remains actively involved in support and plans, even where another agency is taking the lead whether at Early Help, Child in Need or Child Protection level. Where there is a difference of opinion with another agency and this cannot be resolved the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership Escalation policy will be used.
Social Care referrals: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole MASH: 01202 123 334
The Dorset Police MASH email@example.com Call 101
Dorset MASH: 01202 228866
NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000
Whistleblowing Advice Line: 0800 028 0285
Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
Partnership with Parents / carers and the Community
There is a commitment to work in partnership with parents and / or carers and in most situations it may be appropriate to discuss initial concerns with them.
There are circumstances however, where it would be inappropriate to discuss concerns with Parents and / or Carers and may in fact put the child at greater risk. This may include identification of sexual abuse, physical abuse cases where a parent / carer may be responsible for the abuse and parents / carers who may not be able to respond reasonably to the situation.
The DSL and relevant staff will all be aware, on a need to know basis, of any parental factors which may impact on the welfare of a pupil e.g. violence, mental health, substance misuse. Parents / carers should be encouraged to make the school aware themselves but must also realise that other agencies will share safeguarding information. A record of this will be kept at school.
We ensure that all parents / carers are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information until we have permission or it is necessary to do so to protect a child.
Winchelsea will share with parents and / or carers any concerns we may have about their child unless to do so may place a child at risk of harm. The school follows the ‘Actions Where There are Concerns about a Child’ guidance in KCSIE 2021, page 22.
We make parents / carers aware of our Safeguarding Policy and parents / carers are aware that these are on the school website. The website also has links to the Family Information Directory and other safeguarding information.
The school uses the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership Keeping Children Safe leaflet, which is available in a number of languages (https://pdscp.co.uk/working-with-children/schools-and-colleges/bournemouth-christchurch-poole/).
The Data Protection Act 2018 does not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.
Information about safeguarding is readily available and visible in the school e.g. posters, DSL details and other relevant staff e.g. Anti-Bullying Champion, Online Safety Champion, Pastoral Care Worker, KCSIE BCP leaflet in the entrance area, school web site safeguarding page which is up-dated twice a term and has information on a wide range of safeguarding themes.
The Cross-Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological; physical; sexual; financial; and emotional.
All children can witness and be adversely affected by domestic abuse in the context of their home life where domestic abuse occurs between family members. Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result.
Winchelsea receives information from the police to alert the DSL in the school when there has been an incident of domestic abuse in a household where a child lives. This allows us to monitor and support the child. If we have additional concerns, we will discuss the need for further safeguarding actions with Social Care. This information would only be shared with other staff on a restricted need to know basis i.e. those who are immediately responsible for the child’s welfare such as the class teacher. Where a Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) occurs, the school may be asked for information and appropriate school related information may be shared with the school after the meeting.
Our school is part of Operation Encompass. This is a Police and education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people who experience Domestic Abuse.
Operation Encompass means that the police will share information about Domestic Abuse incidents with our school soon after they have been called to a domestic incident.
- All Key Adults (DSL/Deputy DSL) have attended an Operation Encompass local briefing as well as national online training.
- Our Parents / Carers are fully aware that we are an Operation Encompass school.
- The Operation Encompass information is stored in line with all other confidential safeguarding and Child Protection information.
- The Key Adult has also led briefings for all school staff and Governors about Operation Encompass, the prevalence of Domestic Abuse and the impact of this abuse on children. We have also discussed how we can support our children following the Operation Encompass notification.
- The DSL will report on Operation Encompass in the half termly report to Governors. All information is anonymised for these reports.
- The Key Adult will use the Operation Encompass Toolkit to ensure that all appropriate actions have been taken by the school.
Where a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) occurs the school may be asked for information and appropriate school related information may be shared with the school after the meeting.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which can be called free of charge and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which a safe time from the team for a call can be booked.
Additional advice on identifying children who are affected by domestic abuse and how they can be helped is available at:
The school website provides contacts to local domestic abuse services such as National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000247, Poole Domestic Abuse Outreach: 01202 710777.
Children with Child Protection Plans
Children who are the subject of a Child Protection Conference will have either an agreed multi-disciplinary action plan or Child Protection Plan. The DSL or a Deputy will attend planning meetings and core group meetings specified in the plan and contribute to assessments and plans.
The school recognises that children who are the subject of abuse, neglect or who live in situations of domestic violence abuse may exhibit distressed or challenging behaviour and may not be reaching their full academic potential. The school will ensure that appropriate support mechanisms are in place in school.
Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (refer KCSIE 2021 KCSIE 185)
We recognise that children at Winchelsea are especially vulnerable as a result of their special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Through the curriculum and practice we aim to arm children with the knowledge of what is and isn’t appropriate and are always mindful to explore opportunities to teach safeguarding through Sex and Relationship Education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education.
We recognise that some children may need specialist support to enable them to keep themselves safe and not engage in risky or inappropriate behaviour.
We recognise that due to the varying communication needs of the children at Winchelsea we all need to act as advocates for them and notice the small changes that may be present if a child were being abused, neglected or at risk of harm.
Many staff have received additional training to further understand communication difficulties and are able to use these skills to support children to express themselves.
Governors recognise that children with special educational needs or disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges and expect staff to take extra care to interpret correctly apparent signs of abuse or neglect. Indications of abuse will be reported as for other pupils. They may be increasingly vulnerable to being bullied, at higher risk of criminal (including sexual) exploitation, on-line grooming and radicalisation. Staff will work closely with parents / carers in meeting any particular needs and providing any appropriate safeguarding advice.
Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) children e.g. assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration, communication difficulties, not necessarily showing outwardly the signs of the impact of others behaviour towards them such as bullying.
Governors will provide a school environment in which all children feel confident and able to discuss their concerns. Whenever possible, pupils will be given the chance to express themselves to a member of staff with appropriate communication skills.
Children with Mental Health/Emotional Health Needs (KCSIE 113 – 116, also linked to Annex A)
Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Staff however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
Where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. It is key that staff are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education.
Children will have a choice of staff who will listen to their concerns about themselves or other children.
The school’s Pupil Participation Lead (PPL) has completed the Mental Health Leader Certificate. The PPL will liaise with professionals internally and externally as appropriate.
Referrals will be made to CAMHS or other appropriate services in conjunction with the Parent / Carer.
The school is working in line with Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools guidance November 2018 mental health and behaviour in schools guidance.
The school will support children with strategies to develop their own emotional wellbeing i.e. Emotional Literacy and resilience.
Emotional health including support for children at exam and result time is very important. Children, parents and carers will be sign posted to, additional outside support services for Children and their parents including on line support such as Childline, Kooth and Payyrus. This is particularly relevant if the need is not thought to meet the threshold for CAMHS intervention. Additional support will be available during times of transition or after bereavement or tragic events. Class teachers should make referrals as appropriate.
If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken and reported to the DSL or Deputy DSL.
Further information about local services for young people is available at https://www.upinbcp.co.uk/
National help lines: Childline, Kooth, and Papyrus
Children Who are Looked After, those Previously Looked After and Care Leavers (KCSIE 176 – 184)
The DSL and other appropriate staff hold information about a child’s legal status, care arrangements, any contact arrangements, name of the Social Worker and work with the Virtual School to promote excellent outcomes for this group of children. Previously looked after children also remain vulnerable. Opportunities to promote the outcomes for children who are looked after, those previously looked after and care leavers will be prioritised, with a focus on advocacy for this group.
The Designated Teacher (Person) is also the DSL and follows relevant policies and statutory guidance.
Substance Abuse (KCSIE Annex B)
Substance abuse forms part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum. The school will actively work with children, families and other services to educate children and their parents / carers as appropriate to the risks of substance misuse. This could include bespoke packages of education to reduce risk.
Should staff have any concerns around substance misuse, this will be reported to the safeguarding team and appropriate action taken to safeguard the child and or other children.
If there is any concern that a child has either illegal drugs or alcohol at school the DSL will liaise with the Headteacher and the Behaviour Policy will be applied.
Peer on Peer Abuse - Children who Abuse Other Children
Staff must recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers.
This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
- bullying (including cyberbullying);
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
- sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault;
- sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse;
- upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm;
- sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
- initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
At Winchelsea we recognise peer on peer abuse that can take place, abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’.
All allegations will be investigated and dealt with and victims will be supported.
Concerns about peer on peer abuse must be reported to the DSL immediately and where appropriate a referral made to the MASH / contact the Police who will advise on the appropriate action to take. Staffing levels throughout the school reflect the learning needs of children as well as the level of supervision required to create a safe environment and reduce risk. This is also true for possible peer on peer abuse. If a child were to disclose, staff must follow the guidelines as previously detailed in this policy.
The sexual violence and sexual harassment between school children in schools and colleges advice updated 1/09/2021 will be followed.
The school will use the Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool to support us in understanding what is appropriate behaviour. We recognise that given the additional needs of the children at Winchelsea they may not follow development norms. See below for a link to the tool.
Safeguarding Information for Children
All children in the school are aware of staff who they can talk to. The names and face of the DSL / safeguarding team are available and are posted in each classroom on the wall and communal areas.
The school holds an annual Anti-Bullying Week. Assemblies and lessons address a wide range of friendship issues and outline the school procedures to follow if a child feels they are being bullied.
Children are also taught what to do if they have made a mistake on line. It is always better to tell. At the beginning of computing lessons children are reminded how to keep safe on line.
All classes explore the British Values curriculum area. The school has achieved the Silver Level of the Rights Respecting Schools Award promoted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) which has a focus on children’s rights to be heard and protected.
The school holds a least termly fire drills and the children are encouraged to assess their response to guide improvements.
School Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) lessons teach, amongst other things, “Appropriate touch” and “Safe boundaries”. School staff use a range of resources to support children to understand what safe behaviour is.
The school has effective computer firewalls and associated filtering to provide e-safety.
The school recognises it has a duty to protect children whilst gaming online. Where the school feels this is a risk online advice for parents / carers will be sought and discussed with the parents / carers involved.
Covid-19 and Vulnerable Children
Vulnerable children include those who have a Social Worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
Those who have a Social Worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan and those who are Looked After by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
Where it is safe to do so the school will remain operational for as many children as possible. In the event of a further lockdown the school will work with parents, carers and other agencies in order to continue to safeguard children.
The DSL would also write an addendum to this policy to reflect the guidance offered from Government and the Local Authority. It is unlikely that the Governing Body will have opportunity to ratify the addendum as it will be necessary to share with staff to ensure their practice reflects the guidance provided.
The lead person for managing risk, liaising with other professionals to ensure children are safe would be the DSL.
The principles of ‘best interest of the child’ would be considered at every step to safeguard individual children and the wider school community.
All staff recruited are appointed in line with Part 3 of KCSIE 2021. A Single Central Register is kept by the School Business Manager. This is regularly reviewed by the Safeguarding Governor on their half termly visits to school.
The school has a number staff who are Safer Recruitment trained. There will always be at least one of these people involved in each recruitment process.
School staff are asked to complete a ‘staff suitability – self declaration form’ each year, asking a series of questions that continues to check their eligibility to work with children.
For further details, refer to the school’s Safer Recruitment Policy.
Staff Training and Induction
All new staff, volunteers and Governors will receive a safeguarding induction to ensure understanding of the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. A checklist of areas covered is followed. At a minimum this includes a discussion with the DSL covering KCSIE, our Safeguarding Policy, PREVENT duty, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and CPOMS training. Prior to their start date, all new staff will be directed to access online training, including FGM, PREVENT and an online training package that the school has purchased.
The DSL, Deputy and Officers will attend Working Together multi-agency training / refresher training at least once every two years. The DSL and or Deputy will attend the Local Authority’s safeguarding forums and keep up to date with recommendations from serious case reviews, changes to National and Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance. The Nominated Safeguarding Governor will also attend training updates as recommended.
The whole school staff group will receive formal safeguarding training by a suitably qualified person at least every three years with regular and at least annual up-dates and notifications of any necessary changes, reminders being made available as required e.g. via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings .Those not in attendance will be sent level 1 safeguarding training to be completed online. At a minimum each member of staff will annually complete training on how to use “CPOMS”, PREVENT, FGM and the signs of abuse. In addition, safeguarding will be an agenda item on the weekly Friday morning briefing attended by the majority of staff.
When safeguarding issues and updates arise at these meetings they will be minuted and these minutes placed in an area of the school’s computer network available to all staff.
Staff are regularly supplied with a personal copy of safeguarding documentation such as Part 1 and Annex A of KCSIE and must sign to say they have read and understood. The school maintains a record of all safeguarding training. Those who miss training are rapidly followed up to complete their outstanding training.
The school follows the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance in relation to safeguarding training.
Staff will receive regular supervision and support if they are working directly and regularly with children. Supervision will enable the supervisee to consider the best way to support the child’s current needs, reflecting on and adapting responses to achieve the best outcome for the child.
Safer Working Practice
The school follows guidance for safer working practice and ensures that all staff are made aware of the expectations of this guidance and are working within this on a regular basis with specific reminders on particular issues sent out as appropriate. It makes sure that relevant training is given and advice, guidance or sanctions applied, where guidance is not followed.
Safe working practice ensures that children are safe and that all staff, supply staff, Volunteers and Governors.
The guidance is designed to ensure staff:
- Are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions;
- Work in an open and transparent way;
- Work with other colleagues where possible in situations open to question;
- Discuss and/or take advice from school management over any incident which may give rise to concern;
- Record any incidents with the actions and decisions made;
- Apply the same professional standards regardless of gender, race, disability or sexuality;
- Be aware of confidentiality policy;
- Are aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them;
- Before being given access to school computer systems all staff sign an E Safety Acceptable Use agreement.
Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings can be found here:
Staff Behaviour and Conduct
The school has adopted the Local Authority’s Code of Conduct for school employees. In addition to this policy we expect all staff to follow the principles below:
- Treat all children with respect;
- Set a good example by conducting themselves appropriately;
- Involve children in decision-making which affects them;
- Encourage positive and safe behaviour among children;
- Be a good listener;
- Be alert to changes in a child’s behaviour;
- Recognise that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse;
- Read and understand all of the school’s safeguarding and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example bullying, e-safety and information sharing;
- Ask the child’s permission before doing anything for them which is of a physical nature, such as assisting with dressing, physical support during Physical Education, Music or administering First Aid;
- Maintain appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children and avoid the use of sexualised or derogatory language;
- Maintain professional standards and boundaries at all times, on and off the school site;
- Be aware that the personal and family circumstance and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of neglect and or abuse;
- Staff, Volunteers and Governors not being involved in any activity which is illegal and may pose a risk to children e.g. access to child pornography, extremist or radicalisation activities
- Staff and volunteers are reminded to declare any offences or involvement with the Police relevant to their employment;
- Where safeguarding or criminal issues occur in an employee’s private life the impact of this on their suitability to work with children will be assessed with the support of the LADO/Human Resources as appropriate.
Allegations Against Staff
Any report of concern about the behaviour of a member of staff or allegation of abuse against a member of staff must immediately be reported to the Headteacher who will refer to the appropriate LADO.
The LADO is the person to whom concerns and allegations about adults who work with children in schools should be reported.
This is a statutory role and the LADO should be contacted when there is an allegation made against a member of staff or volunteer who works in a school.
The individual may have:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates the individual would pose a risk of harm to children;
- Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
To contact the BCP LADO, telephone 01202 456744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Any concern or allegation against a Headteacher will be reported to the Chair of Governors, who will then report this to the LADO.
KCSIE 2021 part 4 covers allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff details the procedures that will be followed for both the investigation and support for the member of staff.
If You Have Concerns About a Colleague (including supply staff)
Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of a child is paramount. The school will keep records of any concerns raised for 25 years. The school’s whistle blowing code enables staff to raise concerns or allegations in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.
Any report of concern about the behaviour of a member of staff or allegation of abuse against a member of staff must immediately be reported to the Headteacher who will refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
A safeguarding concern (allegation) arises from information which indicates that an individual has or may have:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
- Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
The last bullet point above includes behaviour that may have happened outside of school that might make an individual unsuitable to work with children, this is known as transferable risk.
Where appropriate an assessment of transferable risk to children with whom the person works should be undertaken. If in doubt the Headteacher will seek advice from the LADO.
A low-level concern is any concern about an adult’s behaviour towards a child that does not meet the allegation threshold or is not otherwise serious enough to consider a referral to the LADO.
A low-level concern is any concern – no matter how small, and even if no more than a ‘nagging doubt’ – that an adult may have acted in a manner which:
- Is not consistent with the Code of Conduct, and/or
- Relates to their conduct outside of work which, even if not linked to a particular act or omission, has caused a sense of unease about that adult’s suitability to work with children.
The term ‘Low-Level Concern’ does not mean that it is insignificant.
Any concern or allegation against a Headteacher will be reported to the Chair of Governors, who will then report this to the LADO.
In summary if Winchelsea school staff have a concern about a member of staff they report this to the Headteacher not the DSL. If the concern is about the Headteacher then they should contact the Chair of Governors.
Contact: Laura Baldwin or John McLaughlin
email@example.com 01202 817600
Allegations against Supply teachers (KCSIE 356-359)
Supply teachers, who may be employed by the school or supplied under an agency arrangement are under the supervision, direction and control of the Governing body when working on the site. As such they should ensure that any allegation is dealt with properly and in discussion with the LADO.
Welcoming Other Professionals
Visitors with a professional role, such as the School Nurse, Social Worker, Educational Psychologist or members of the Police will have been vetted to work with children through their own organisation.
Visits by these practitioners should be arranged and booked in advance, as much as possible. Practitioners will be required to bring their identity badges on all visits, to wear and show them on entry to the site, for ID confirmation. They will also be expected to sign in and then out using the school’s electronic Inventory system. Visitors will be provided with a sticky badge that will include their photograph, these should be worn by all visitors at all times.
For agency, third-party staff and contractors, safer recruitment procedures and the guidance in KCSIE 2021 will be followed.
Off Site Visits
Off site visits are the subject of a risk assessment. Safeguarding concerns or allegations will be responded to following the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance. The member of staff in charge of the visit will report any safeguarding concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Offsite Visit Co-ordinator or other member of SLT who will pass to the MASH if appropriate. In emergency the staff member in charge will contact the police and/or the MASH.
The Safeguarding Policy and procedures of an offsite provider e.g. water sport activity, will be checked and satisfied that they are appropriate, before using the facility. All residential visits will be reported to the Local Authority 2 months in advance who will check their suitability and let the school know of their suitability (or not) before proceeding.
Photography and Images
Winchelsea School recognises that the vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so at school we ensure that we have some safeguards in place. To protect children, we will:
- Seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications);
- Seek Parental Consent, parents have the right to withhold permission for photographs and video of their child to be shared;
- Use only the child’s first name with an image;
- Ensure that children are appropriately dressed;
- Encourage children to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them;
- Following the Data Protection Policy.
At events such as Sports Day where Parents / Carers are taking photographs of children the school will make it absolutely clear that should they wish to take images that these are to be for personal use only and that they should not be shared on social media.
Children Missing from Education (CME), Exclusion and Attendance
The school will keep its admission register accurate and up to date. The School Attendance Policy is regularly updated and understood by all staff. Attendance and patterns of attendance will be regularly reviewed.
Any children missing education will be reported as required by the statutory guidance ‘Children Missing Education’ (Sept 2016) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education
‘Attendance’ and ‘Missing from Education’ will be coordinated with all safeguarding interventions.
Attendance monitoring will be on an individual basis to ensure the safety of each child at Winchelsea.
We will demonstrate that we have taken reasonable enquiries to ascertain the whereabouts of any child/young person that would be considered ‘missing’.
We will work closely with the Local Authority CME Team, School Admissions Service and the Elective Home Education Team.
A Child Missing from Education, in any way, such as high absenteeism is at significant risk of under achievement, being a victim of harm, abuse or neglect including criminal or sexual exploitation, at risk from or are involved with serious violent crime or risk of radicalisation.
After reasonable attempts have been made by the school to contact the family, the school will follow the Statutory Guidance and local procedures and refer to the Local Authority education welfare/attendance service.
The DSL will refer to the Local Authority should a child start to be educated outside of the school system e.g. Elective Home Education, ceased to attend, unfit to attend on health grounds, in custody for 4 months or permanently excluded.
Children are considered CME when:
- Agreed reduction to timetable – e.g. shortened week or school day;
- Dual registered with alternative provision – e.g. The Quay School or Christchurch Learning Centre;
- Accessing off site mentoring/support - e.g. The Horse Course, Onwards and Upwards or 360;
- Blended programme – e.g. attendance at College;
- Hospital In-patient - receiving education in Hospital (either through physical ill health or mental health need);
- Has not attended school for 10 consecutive days;
- EHCP completed, awaiting SEN placement.
If a school excludes a pupil from site or educates them off site they will endeavour to ensure their safety.
The Statutory Guidance on ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England’ (September 2021) sets out the lawful use of these powers.
Elective Home Education
Many home educated children have an overwhelmingly positive learning experience. We would expect the parents’ decision to home educate to be made with their child’s best education at the heart of the decision. However, this is not the case for all, and home education can mean some children are less visible to the services that are there to keep them safe and supported in line with their needs.
From September 2016 the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 were amended so that schools must inform their LA of all deletions from their admission register when a child is taken off roll. Where a parent / carer has expressed their intention to remove a child from school with a view to educating at home, we recommend that LAs, Schools, and other key professionals work together to coordinate a meeting with parents / carers where possible. Ideally, this would be before a final decision has been made, to ensure the parents / carers have considered what is in the best interests of each child. This is particularly important where a child has SEND, is vulnerable, and/or has a Social Worker.
Use of Alternative Provision
The cohort of pupils in Alternative Provision often have the most complex needs, it is important that governing bodies and Senior Leadership Teams of these settings are aware of the additional risk of harm that their pupils may be vulnerable to. The Department for Education has issued two pieces of statutory guidance to which commissioners of Alternative Provision should have regard.
Alternative provision - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Where a school places a pupil with an alternative provision provider, the school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the provider meets the needs of the pupil.
Schools / Local Authorities should obtain written confirmation from the alternative provider that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment, i.e. those checks that the school would otherwise perform in respect of its own staff.
The Prevent Agenda
Winchelsea School recognises its responsibilities in relation to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2018. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty:
- The Prevent lead will be the DSL;
- The school will risk assess children for being radicalised and drawn into terrorism;
- Refer any Prevent concerns to police using the Home Office Prevent Referral Form (https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/personal-safety/major-terror-incidents/prevent/) or contact the Prevent Team on 01202 229337 or PreventReferrals@Dorset.pnn.police.uk or call the Anti-Terror hotline on 0800 789 321;
- The school knows what to do to support those assessed and how to make a referral to the MASH or for immediate response call the Anti-Terror hotline;
- Where school has any concerns about children travelling to a conflict zone, advice may be sought from the Home Office and a referral to the MASH if still concerned;
- The school will, working in partnership with other agencies;
- The school will engage with the Parent / Carer and family members who are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation. We will assist and advise families who raise concerns and sign post them to support. The school will discuss any concerns the school has with Parent / Carer unless this is thought to put the child at risk;
- The school will train staff to raise awareness;
- The school has IT policies and suitable filtering to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools;
- British values are being promoted in the curriculum and a statement is made on the schools’ web site;
- The school will publicise the Educate against hate website to staff and parents (via the school web site) http://educateagainsthate.com/
- The PSHE Curriculum and British Values agenda will be actively promoted to reduce the risks of children engaging with extremism.
Terrorism is an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
There is no single way of identifying whether a child is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Similarly, radicalisation can occur through many different methods (such as social media or the internet) and settings (such as within the home). Terror recruits often seem to come from vulnerable backgrounds. There has been a number of high profile cases where children with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) have been radicalised. This may be as a result of increased chances of social isolation due to challenges with social communication.
At Winchelsea the curriculum encourages all children to challenge themselves to fully understand where the information they receive comes from.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is an extremely harmful practice with devastating health consequences for girls and women. Some girls die from blood loss or infection as a direct result of the procedure. Women who have undergone FGM are also likely to experience difficulty in childbirth.
FGM is the mutilation of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is also sometimes known as female circumcision or ‘sunna’.
FGM is abuse and a crime in the UK. Even if someone is taken overseas for the mutilation, it is still a crime in the UK if the mutilation is done by a UK national or permanent UK resident. It is also a crime if a UK national or permanent resident assists or gets a non-UK national or permanent resident to carry out the acts overseas on a UK national or permanent resident. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. In Scotland it is illegal under the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005.
Anyone found guilty of an FGM offence - or of aiding and abetting such an offence - faces a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, a fine, or both. If a teacher in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the Police or refer this to the MASH immediately.
Forced Marriage/ So called ‘Honour Based’ Abuse (HBA) / Breast Ironing
Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example). Nevertheless, some perpetrators use perceived cultural practices as a way to coerce a person into marriage. Schools and colleges can play an important role in safeguarding children from forced marriage.
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has created: Multi-agency practice guidelines: handling cases of forced marriage (pages 32-36 of which focus on the role of schools and colleges) and, Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage, which can both be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage.
There is no statutory definition of Honour Based Abuse.
There is no specific offence of "honour-based crime". It is a term used to encompass various offences that are covered by existing legislation, such as physical abuse (kicking and beating); psychological pressure (strict monitoring, humiliation, threats); forced marriage; abandonment (leaving someone in their country of origin or sending them back there); forced suicide; honour killing (murder). This list is not exhaustive. It is an umbrella term to encompass various offences covered by existing legislation. HBA can be described as a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their code of honour.
All forms of HBA are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBA, or already having suffered HBA.
Breast-ironing should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse.
The harmful procedure which involves flattening a girl’s chest with a hot stone or other objects to delay breast growth is often performed by family members to prevent unwanted sexual attention.
Charities have estimated 1,000 girls in the UK have been affected by the practice, which doctors say can cause breast cancer, scarring, infections, breastfeeding problems, and psychological trauma.
If staff have a concern regarding a child who might be at risk of harm or who has suffered from harm, they should speak to the DSL (or Deputy). As appropriate, the DSL (or Deputy) will activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with the Police and Children’s Social Care.
School and college staff can contact the Forced Marriage Unit if they need advice or information: Contact: 020 7008 0151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
The school works together with other agencies to identify and reduce the risks of child sexual exploitation. The school always refers to Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance and to local practice using the risk tool. Child Exploitation Toolkit.
CCE is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
Some specific forms of CCE can include:
- Children being forced or manipulated into transporting drugs or money through county lines;
- Working in cannabis factories;
- Shoplifting or pickpocketing;
- Being forced or manipulated into committing vehicle crime or threatening/committing serious violence to others.
Children can become trapped by this type of exploitation as perpetrators can threaten victims (and their families) with violence, or entrap and coerce them into debt.
They may be coerced into carrying weapons such as knives or begin to carry a knife for a sense of protection from harm from others. As children involved in criminal exploitation often commit crimes themselves, their vulnerability as victims is not always recognised by adults and professionals, (particularly older children), and they are not treated as victims despite the harm they have experienced. They may still have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears to be something they have agreed or consented to.
Some of the following can be indicators of CCE:
- Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
- 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.
It is important to note that the experience of girls who are criminally exploited can be very different to that of boys. The indicators may not be the same, however professionals should be aware that girls are at risk of criminal exploitation too. It is also important to note that both boys and girls being criminally exploited may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation.
Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery – Links with exploitation
Modern slavery encompasses human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Exploitation can take many forms, including: sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, servitude, forced criminality and the removal of organs. If any staff have any concerns staff must discuss with the DSL or Deputy.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse 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 clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including via the internet.
CSE can occur over time or be a one-off occurrence, and may happen without the child’s immediate knowledge e.g. through others sharing videos or images of them on social media.
CSE can affect any child, who has been coerced into engaging in sexual activities. This includes 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex. Some children may not realise they are being exploited e.g. they believe they are in a genuine romantic relationship.
The above CCE indicators can also be indicators of CSE, as can:
- Children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
- Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant.
Both staff and children receive education about CSE and CCE through the PSHE curriculum and children are supported to keep themselves safe. At times, this includes referral for specialist support from professionals, this is then shared with all stakeholders to support the child. The school raises awareness with children and Parents / Carers providing advice and will sign post Parents / Carers to further advice.eg NSPCC/ PANTS. PANTS is a simple acronym devised to teach children the underwear rule:
- Privates are private;
- Always remember your body belongs to you;
- No means no;
- Talk about secrets that upset you;
- Speak up, someone can help.
The school will use the Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool to support us in understanding what appropriate behaviour is. We recognise that given the additional needs of the children at Winchelsea they may not follow development norms. See below for a link to the tool.
Further information on signs of a child’s involvement in sexual exploitation is available in Home Office guidance: Child Exploitation Toolkit.
Children with family members in prison
Approximately 200,000 children in England and Wales have a parent sent to prison each year. These children are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health. The National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO) provides information designed to support professionals working with offenders and their children, to help mitigate negative consequences for those children. Should the need arise the DSL and other relevant staff will make contact with services as required.
Lock Down Policy (Incident related)
In the event of a serious safeguarding risk the school will initiative the Lock Down Policy / Protocol. Initiating this protocol will reduce movement around school which will minimise the risk of harm to children and staff.
School Safeguarding Responsibilities Summary
The school will:
- Abide by KCSIE 2021 guidance;
- Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children;
- This system is described in Working Together. Schools and colleges should work with Social Care, the Police, Health Services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. (KCSIE 2021 Part one);
- All staff have signed to say they have read and understood it and have knowledge of and access to all of KCSIE 2021 , especially Part 4 Allegations of abuse made against teachers, supply teachers and other staff;
- Have a Safeguarding Policy with procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed inter-agency procedures put in place by the Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership;
- Appoint a lead Governor responsible for safeguarding practice within the school;
- Appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead who is a member of the Leadership Team and Deputies to provide adequate cover. The DSL is Mr Adam Bradford:
- Have safeguarding as a standing agenda item at staff meetings and Governing Body meetings and minutes recorded;
- Ensure that the DSL (usually) leads on the Prevent agenda;
- Require teachers, staff and volunteers to read and implement the appropriate Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures, school policy and good practice guidelines;
- Ensure that teachers, staff, peripatetic staff, contractors and volunteers have completed Disclosure and Barring Service checks as per the safer recruitment guidance and that contacts within extended services require safer recruitment and safeguarding compliance;
- Undertake relevant safer recruitment and allegations management training;
- Ensure any external contractors using or on school premises are signed up to Safeguarding Procedures and ensure they follow guidelines on the use of restraint and comply with the safeguarding requirements, i.e. after school clubs;
- Sign up to the Dorset Information Sharing Charter (DISC) previously the Dorset overarching information sharing protocol and share information relating to MARAC and the Personal information sharing agreement with respect to receiving alerts about domestic abuse;
- Ensure that the relevant staff have undertaken appropriate training to contribute to multi-agency assessments of children;
- Ensure management of allegations procedures are implemented;
- Ensure staff work to the agreed Behaviour Policy / Code of Conduct and safer working procedures;
- Have and use an Anti-Bullying Policy responding to any complaint of bullying or prejudice within the school. Have a member of staff as an Anti-Bullying Champion - Adam Bradford: email@example.com;
- Have an e-safety policy in line with Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership; requirements. Have a member of staff as an E-Safety Champion - Mr Tim Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Have a Prevent lead - Mr Adam Bradford; email@example.com;
- Have a whistle blowing policy to provide a mechanism for staff to raise concerns;
- Be aware of the needs of vulnerable groups, identify and action for all identified;
- Make policies available to Parents / Carers and children via the school website;
- Provide education to children about safeguarding issues;
- Ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account in respect to individual matters as well as safeguarding generally;
- Undertake an annual audit of safeguarding, using the Safeguarding Self Evaluation audit tool (or similar) which will be shared with the Governing Body leading to appropriate actions to ensure that the school is meeting all the requirements in line with national guidance, legislation and Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership;
- Undertake a safeguarding report for the Governing Body at least annually and to review the Safeguarding Policy annually.
The school has a responsibility to work with other agencies on all safeguarding issues which may include:
- Bullying including cyberbullying and prejudice based bullying;
- Domestic abuse;
- Drugs and alcohol misuse;
- Fabricated or induced illness;
- Faith abuse;
- Forced marriage;
- Gangs and youth violence;
- Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls;
- Mental health;
- Private fostering/any regulated activity such as host families;
- Sexting/grooming and other e-safety issues;
- Teenage relationship abuse;
- Trafficking and modern slavery;
- Illegal child employment;
For more information, see the links to Government guidance in KCSIE 2021.
The school uses the following links to relevant law and guidance
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (9 December 2020):
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021:
Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings –August 2021:
Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with children and young people, version 2:
Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership:
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – March 2015:
Information sharing advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers:
Preventing and Tackling Bullying:
Department for Education – e-safety guidelines:
Safeguarding: Disclosure and Barring:
The Information Commissioner’s Office – Data Protection Act in Schools and Education:
Professional Software Design (PSD) Broadband Provider:
Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England (10 September 2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-exclusion
Children Missing Education (September 2016):
Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership Levels of Need and Continuum of Support (September 2019:
BCP Family Information Directory
BCP FID (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
Child Exploitation Toolkit
Teaching Online Safety in Schools June 2019
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is:
Mr Adam Bradford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: 01202 746240
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are:
Mr Geoff Cherrill: email@example.com
Jo Snow: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: 01202 746240
The Lead Safeguarding Governor is Mrs Sue Fallon: email@example.com
Telephone number: 01202 746240
The Chair of the Governing Body is Mr Fritz Penn-Barwell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: 01202 746240
Indicators of Abuse and Neglect
All school and college 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. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by 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 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.
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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education.
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, for example, 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.
Neglect can have serious and long-lasting effects. It can be anything from leaving a child home alone to the very worst cases where a child dies from malnutrition or being denied the care they need. In some cases, it can cause permanent disabilities.
Neglect can be really difficult to identify, making it hard for professionals to take early action to protect a child.
Having one of the signs or symptoms below doesn't necessarily mean that a child is being neglected. But if you notice multiple, or persistent, signs then it could indicate there’s a serious problem.
Children who are neglected may have:
Poor Appearance and Hygiene
- be smelly or dirty;
- have unwashed clothes;
- have inadequate clothing, e.g. not having a winter coat;
- seem hungry or turn up to school without having breakfast or any lunch money;
- have frequent and untreated nappy / pad rash.
Health and Development Problems
They may have:
- untreated injuries, medical and dental issues;
- repeated accidental injuries caused by lack of supervision;
- recurring illnesses or infections
- not been given appropriate medicines
- missed medical appointments such as vaccinations;
- poor muscle tone or prominent joints;
- skin sores, rashes, flea bites, scabies or ringworm;
- thin or swollen tummy;
- faltering weight or growth and not reaching developmental milestones (known as failure to thrive);
- poor language, communication or social skills.
Housing and Family Issues
They may be:
- living in an unsuitable home environment, for example dog mess being left or not having any heating;
- left alone for a long time;
- taking on the role of carer for other family members.
Children who are sexually abused may:
Stay Away from Certain People:
- they might avoid being alone with people, such as family members or friends;
- they could seem frightened of a person or reluctant to socialise with them.
Show Sexual Behaviour that's Inappropriate for their Age:
- a child might become sexually active at a young age;
- they might be promiscuous;
- they could use sexual language or know information that you wouldn't expect them to.
Have Physical Symptoms
- anal or vaginal soreness;
- an unusual discharge;
- sexually transmitted infection (STI);