Ashcombe Primary School
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
This policy will be reviewed annually.
This policy is based upon the North Somerset Safeguarding Children
Partnership (NSSCP) Model Policy
Part 1: Policy
3. Equalities Statement
4. Overall Aims
6. Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
7. What staff need to know and do
8. Governing Body / Chair of Trustees / Management Committee
10. Creating a Safeguarding Culture
11. Managing allegations
12. Key safeguarding areas
Part 2: Procedures
1. Reporting concerns
2. Sharing information
3. Involving parents and carers
4. Multi-agency working
6. Private fostering arrangements
7. Children missing from education
8. Allegations of abuse made against other pupils
9. Sexual violence and harassment
10. Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Appendix A- Categories of abuse
Appendix B- Key areas of safeguarding
Appendix C- Key documents, procedures and guidance
Appendix D- Dealing with a disclosure of abuse
Appendix E- Local contact numbers
PART 1: Policy
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies
- Recruitment and Selection
- Code of Conduct for Staff/ Staff Behaviour Policy
- Anti-Bullying /Peer on Peer Abuse
- Online Safety
- Mental Health
- Policy on Supporting Children in Care
- Attendance including the safeguarding response to children who go missing
- Health and Safety
Safeguarding is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes;
Child Protection refers to the situation where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, and action is required to protect that child.
At Ashcombe School (Kaleidoscope Multi-Academy Trust (KMAT) Schools), safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children, their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding by identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals 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.
Ashcombe Primary/ KMAT is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by:
- The provision of a safe environment in which children and young people can learn;
- Fulfilling our statutory (legal) responsibilities to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
All action taken by Ashcombe Primary / KMAT Schools will be in accordance with:
- Current legislation
- Statutory guidance
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), which sets out the multiagency working arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and protect them from harm; in addition, it sets out the statutory roles and responsibilities of schools.
Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) is statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education which all schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The Teacher Standards 2012 state that teachers, including head teachers, should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.
All Ashcombe Primary / KMAT staff have a duty and responsibility to safeguard children and young people attending our school, irrespective of their role:
- All staff will be responsible for identifying concerns early and providing help for children and young people, to prevent concerns from escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989; i.e. Section 17 (Children in Need) and Section 47 (a child suffering harm, or likely to suffer significant harm). These concerns should be discussed with the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
- All staff should be aware of the process and principles for sharing information within the school which supports safeguarding.
- All staff should be aware of their local early help process and understand their role within it.
- The most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to safeguard and protect a child. Any staff member who has a concern about a child’s welfare should follow the referral processes set out in their school policy.
- All staff should be aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside of these environments. All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) should consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families. Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.
3. Equalities Statement
We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and recognise children and families’ diverse circumstances. We ensure that all children have the same protection, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, race, economic condition, disability and religion. With regards to safeguarding we will consider our duties under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to making reasonable adjustments, non-discrimination and our Public Sector Equality Duty.
4. Overall Aims
This policy will contribute to the safeguarding of pupils/students at KMAT schools by:
- Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and pupils/students;
- Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust safeguarding ethos in the school, built on mutual respect, and shared values;
- Teaching children about safeguarding, including online safety, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of broad and balanced curriculum;
- Alerting staff to the signs and indicators of safeguarding issues including abuse and neglect;
- Developing staff awareness of the causes and consequences of abuse and neglect;
- Developing staff awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities their pupils/students face by addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage;
- Reducing the potential risks pupils/students face of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation or victimisation;
- Working in partnership with pupils/students, parents and agencies.
This policy will contribute to supporting the pupils/students at Ashcombe/KMAT schools by:
- Identifying and protecting the most vulnerable;
- Assessing individual needs where possible; and
- Designing plans to meet those needs.
All staff will:
- Be familiar with this safeguarding policy;
- Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc;
- Be involved, where appropriate, in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and interagency child protection plans;
- Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse and neglect;
- Record concerns and give the record to the DSL.
- If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral. Where referrals are not made by the DSL, they should be informed, as soon as possible, that a referral has been made.
6. Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is a senior member of staff, who undertakes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within the school. Details of our DSL and Deputy DSL are available on each KMAT school’s website, our newsletters or the notice board in Reception of each school.
Ashcombe Primary School
Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr John Clark (Head teacher)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mrs Kathie Light (Pastoral Lead)
Chair of Governors – (Joint role) – Mr Gareth Dickson & Mr Kevin Roberts
Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding – Mr Thomas Johnson
Whilst the activities of the DSL can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding child protection remains with the DSL.
The broad areas of responsibility for the DSL are:
- Liaise with the local authority and other agencies;
- Managing referrals to other agencies including: the local authority children’s social care in cases of suspected abuse; Police South West Counter Terrorism Unit where there is a radicalisation concern; the Disclosure and Barring Service in cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child and the Police in cases where a crime may have been committed in relation to safeguarding. The DSL will also support and advise other staff in making referrals to other agencies;
- Work with others to fulfil statutory responsibilities in relation to children and young people subject to a child protection plan by attending child protection conferences and implementing the multiagency child protection plan; and liaise with the Designated Officer for Allegations (LADO) as required. DSLs should act a single point of contact for all matters of safeguarding and advice for staff, volunteers and governors.
- Undertake Training to ensure the DSL (and any deputies) has the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role (updated every 2 years). Further knowledge and skills should be updated at regular intervals and shared with relevant parties as appropriate;
- Raise Awareness to ensure KMAT safeguarding and child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately. The DSL will also provide an annual report to the governing body on safeguarding and child protection activity within the school;
- Manage safeguarding information through the collection, monitoring, reviewing, safe storage and transfer of safeguarding and child protection files (The NSPCC provides guidance on this)
- Availability of the DSL (or any deputies) during term time and school hours needs to be ensured for staff in the school or college to discuss any safeguarding concerns. In the event of local or national lockdown, the DSL or deputy should at minimum be available on the telephone.
- The role of the DSL is explained in more detail in KCSIE 2020- Annex B.
7. What staff need to know and do
All staff need to be aware of the systems within Ashcombe Primary/KMAT schools which support safeguarding and child protection – this forms part of the induction process but also on-going training which is regularly updated. All staff should:
- Know the DSL and any deputies and how to contact them; Mr John Clark & Mrs Kathie Light
- Know the Chair of Governors – Mr Gareth Dickson & Mr Kevin Roberts, Vice Chair of Governors – (Ashcombe n/a as 2 co chairs) and the Governor responsible for safeguarding – Mr Thomas Johnson
- Know the Trustee who oversees Safeguarding for the KMAT Board Mr Norman Donovan
- Read and understand this policy and revisit it annually or when significantly amended;
- Be aware of Ashcombe Primary/KMAT school’s procedures in order to identify those pupils in need of early intervention/help and take appropriate and timely action where there are concerns for the welfare and protection of children and young people, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect.; Adhere to the school’s Staff Behaviour Policy (sometimes called Code of Conduct) and behaviour management policies;
- Know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with relevant professionals such as the DSL and children’s social care. Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation- as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child (see Appendix D);
- Be clear as to KMAT’s policy and procedures with regard to peer on peer abuse and children missing education;
- Report concerns about a child/young person immediately or as soon as it is practicable to the DSL. If the DSL, deputy DSL or member of SLT is not available and a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to children’s social care or the police immediately. The DSL should be informed as soon as possible after the incident is reported;
- Be aware of signs of abuse or neglect and the additional barriers to recognising abuse and neglect in children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND);
- Have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep looked after children and previously looked after children safe;
- Be aware of their legal responsibility to report cases of FGM to the police
- Report their concerns to the DSL if they think a pupil/student may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism;
- Be aware of KMAT’sl whistleblowing procedures and policy;
- Allegations regarding foster carers or anyone in a position of trust working or volunteering with children should be referred to the LADO on the day that the allegation is reported. The allocated social worker should also be informed on the day. The school should not undertake any investigation unless the LADO advises this.
- ‘Reasonable Force’ refers to the physical contact to restrain and control children,’ using no more force than is needed’. The use of reasonable force is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and will be determined by individual circumstances and the vulnerability of any child with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) will be taken into account. The use of reasonable force will be minimised through positive and proactive behaviour support and de-escalation and will follow government guidance (Use of Reasonable Force in Schools 2013).
8. Governing Body/Chair of Trustees
The Governing Body/Chair of Trustees will ensure that:
- They comply with their duties under legislation;
- The school has a safeguarding policy in accordance with the procedures of North Somerset Safeguarding Children Partnership;
- The school has key policies in place to cover:
-Staff behaviour/Code of Conduct
-Children Missing Education
- That KMAT school’s have more than one emergency contact telephone number recorded for each pupil and this is checked on a regular basis;
- An appropriately trained Designated Teacher is appointed to promote the educational achievement for looked after children, those children who have left care through adoption, special guardianships or child care orders or were adopted from state care outside England and Wales and to work with the Virtual School Head;
- That KMAT school’s operate “safer recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers;
- KMAT Schools and the central KMAT office will maintain a Single Central Record of relevant pre-employment checks as per Regulations detailed in KCSIE 2020) (at KMAT we use the SCR Online system);
- A member of each school’s senior leadership team is appointed as the DSL;
- The Head Teacher/CEO and all other staff who work with children undertake regular safeguarding training;
- Temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for safeguarding and child protection and their responsibilities; and a proportionate risk based approach is used regarding the level of information provided to them.
- The school remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay;
- The school has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff/volunteers;
- The trust board and local governing Board reviews its safeguarding policies/procedures annually or as required due to changes in statutory guidance;
- A nominated governor is appointed with a specific brief for safeguarding and child protection and will liaise with the Head Teacher/Principal and DSL. The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual pupils/students;
- The Nominated Governor will liaise with the Head Teacher and the DSL to produce an annual report for governors and review the annual 175 safeguarding audit for the local authority;
- A nominated Trustee is appointed with a specific brief for safeguarding and child protection. They relevant reports, monitor that training has taken place and monitor that policies and procedures are in place across KMAT.
- The Chair of Governors, is responsible for liaising with the local authority and other partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Head Teacher;
- The school will contribute to multi-agency working in line with statutory guidance (see Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018);
- Appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to support work online, but these should not act as an unreasonable restriction.
- In addition to this policy, all staff should read and understand Part One and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2020.
- All school staff and volunteers on induction will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training. This will be refreshed at least annually taking into account current key learning points and trends from serious case reviews. Refresher training will be completed using ‘The Child Protection Company’ online courses. In addition, all staff should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), throughout the school year, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively (KCSIE, 2020).
- Whistle blowing procedures will be covered in whole school training so that staff know what to do if they have concerns relating to a staff member within the school.
- All training will be effective and comply with the law at all times.
- The DSL and any deputies will undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training will be updated every two years. The DSL or DDSL will also attend at least one DSL Network meeting a year run by the Local Authority.
- Governing bodies will ensure that all staff safeguarding, and child protection training has been completed and is refreshed as required.
- KMAT schools will ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training, in line School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009.
- The Designated Teacher appointed to promote the educational achievement of children in care will undergo appropriate training.
- The DSL will attend face to face Prevent awareness training (WRAP). All other school staff members will complete KMATs online Prevent training.
- Online safety training for staff will be integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.
- At KMAT, all governors, trustees and members have received safeguarding training (including Prevent).
10. Creating a Safeguarding Culture
Safer Recruitment and Selection
KMAT school’s pay full regard to the safer recruitment practices detailed in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2020) including scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking where appropriate, checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) i.e. the enhanced DBS disclosure and the barred list checks) and prohibition checks, (see Part 3 of KCSIE 2020 for further information about the required checks and regulated and non-regulated activity). All recruitment materials will include reference to KMAT’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of pupils.
It is recognised the stressful and traumatic nature of safeguarding and child protection work. KMAT schools will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and to seek further support, as appropriate. Further, KMAT schools will endeavour to create a robust safeguarding culture and environment, so that staff feel comfortable to discuss matters outside the workplace, which may have implications on their practice with vulnerable children in the school.
Opportunities will be provided for pupils/students to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and wellbeing. Relevant issues will be supported through the curriculum including: Relationship Education and through Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. Young people will explore key areas such as self-esteem, emotional literacy, consent, building resilience to radicalisation, online safety and bullying.
Whole School Approach
All policies which address issues of power and potential harm, for example anti-bullying, equalities, use of reasonable force, positive behaviour, will be linked to ensure a whole school approach.
The safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the school, which should ensure that pupils/students are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.
Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.
Identification of those at Increased Risk, or who have Additional Safeguarding Needs
Certain groups of pupils within school are more likely to be identified as requiring extra support to meet their safeguarding needs; these could include: children in care and previously looked after children, children with disabilities and special education needs, young carers, those with mental health problems and those living in households where there is domestic abuse, mental health concerns and/or substance misuse (toxic trio). It is therefore important that those at greater risk are identified, regularly monitored and appropriate measures put in place to support their needs.
Staff should be aware of the harms that can happen to children outside of the family and should consider the contexts with which harm takes place. An understanding of a child/young person’s life outside of school and the family home is vital to provide a full picture of the child’s needs and their exposure to harm.
11. Managing allegations made against members of staff or volunteers
An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff /volunteer 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; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he/she may pose a risk of harm to children.
This applies to any child the member of staff/volunteer has contact with in their personal, professional or community life. It also applies regardless of whether the alleged abuse took place in school.
If any member of staff has concerns that a colleague or volunteer might pose a risk to children, it is their duty to report these to the headteacher. Where the concerns or allegations are about the headteacher, these should be referred to the Chair of Governors.
Ashcombe Primary Head teacher – Mr John Clark
The headteacher/Chair of Governors should report the concern to the Designated officer for allegations (LADO) Julie Bishop - 01275 888808 - firstname.lastname@example.org
All allegations must be managed in line with the statutory guidance in Part 4 of KCSIE 2020 and the school whistleblowing procedure.
12. Key Safeguarding Areas
In addition to the above there are other areas of safeguarding that the school has a responsibility to address and these include:
- Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking
- Child criminal exploitation
- All types of peer on peer abuse
- Domestic violence and abuse and intimate teenage relationship abuse
- So called Honour Based Abuse including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced marriage
- Gangs and youth violence
- Serious violence
- Fabricated or induced illness
- Child and adolescent mental health
- Faith abuse
- Private fostering
- Online sexual abuse
- Online safety
- Children and the court system
- Sexual violence and harassment between children
- Children with a family member in prison
- Alternative provision
For further information on these key topics see Appendix B
Part 2: Procedures
1. Reporting Concerns
All staff will be aware of their responsibility to report any safeguarding concern (no matter how small) ASAP to the DSL or DDSL using KMATs prescribed practice. The Incident or concern will be recorded using the ‘SafeGuard’ system.
2. Sharing Information
Whilst the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018 places duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully, it is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child being placed at risk of harm. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children; if unsure, staff should contact the DSL to discuss. The school will use the government’s guidance ‘Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing services to children, young people, parents and carers’ (2018) to help manage information sharing in school.
Data protection: toolkit for schools - Guidance to support schools with data protection activity, including compliance with the GDPR.
3. Involving Parents and Carers
In general, the DSL will discuss any child protection concerns with parents/carers before approaching other agencies, and will seek their consent before making a referral to another agency. However, there may be occasions when the school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.
4. Multi Agency Working
The governing body will ensure that the school contributes to multi-agency working in line with the statutory guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Staff work in partnership with other agencies in the best interests of the children. If there are child protection concerns, referrals should be made by the DSL (or Deputy DSL) to the Referral and Assessment Team (Tel: 01275 888 808). Where the DSL is unsure about making a referral, a no names consultation can take place for advice.
Staff will co-operate with any child protection enquiries including statutory safeguarding assessments conducted by children’s social care: the school will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as integrated support plan meetings, initial and review child protection conferences and core group meetings.
Where a pupil/student is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan or a multiagency risk assessment conference (MARAC) meeting, the school will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.
When the school is considering excluding, either fixed term or permanently, a vulnerable pupil and / or a pupil who is the subject of a child protection plan, the school will call a multiagency risk-assessment meeting prior to making the decision to exclude. In the event of a one-off serious incident resulting in an immediate decision to exclude, the risk assessment must be completed prior to convening a meeting of the Governing Body.
6. Private Fostering Arrangements
Where schools and colleges become aware that a pupil (a child under the age of 16 or 18 if disabled) may be in a private fostering arrangement/ is provided with care and accommodation by someone who is not a close relative, for longer than 28 consecutive days in that person’s home, they should raise this, in the first instance, with the DSL. The school or college should notify the local authority in writing of the circumstances via Duty.email@example.com. Once notified, the local authority will check that the arrangement is suitable and safe for the child and assess the child’s circumstances.
7. Children Missing from Education (To be read in conjunction with the Attendance and Children Missing in Education Policies)
A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. School and college staff should follow the school’s or college’s procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.
The school must inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority. The school should follow the guidance detailed in Children Missing Education (2016) available at:
The school should hold at least 2 current contact numbers per child to ensure reasonable attempts can be made to locate missing children/ families.
8. Allegations of abuse made against other pupils
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”.
Most cases of pupils hurting other pupils will be dealt with under our school’s behaviour policy, but this child protection and safeguarding policy will apply to any allegations that raise safeguarding concerns. This might include where the alleged behaviour:
- Is serious, and potentially a criminal offence;
- Could put pupils in the school at risk;
- Is violent;
- Involves pupils being forced to use drugs or alcohol;
- Involves sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, such as indecent exposure, sexual assault, or sexually inappropriate pictures or videos (including sexting and Up-skirting).
- If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil, school staff will inform the DSL and record the allegation.
- The DSL will contact the local authority children’s social care team and follow its advice, as well as the police if the allegation involves a potential criminal offence;
- The DSL will put a risk assessment and support plan into place for all children involved – both the child(ren) who experience the abuse and the child(ren) against whom the allegation has been made – with a named person they can talk to if needed;
- The DSL will contact the children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and other agencies if appropriate.
We will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by:
- Challenging any form of derogatory or sexualised language or behaviour;
- Being vigilant to issues that particularly affect different vulnerable groups–ensuring our curriculum helps to educate pupils about appropriate behaviour and consent;
- Ensuring pupils know they can talk to staff confidentially by making them aware in classes, assemblies and using posters/displays to ensure their wishes are understood;
- Ensuring staff are trained to understand that a pupil harming a peer could be a sign that the child is being abused themselves, and that this would fall under the scope of this policy.
9. Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
This is a particular form of peer on peer abuse. Dealing with such cases are complex and the DSL will take a lead role in managing the situation on a case by case basis. However, all staff should ensure:
- All who experience abuse are reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe;
- Those who experience abuse should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment;
- Those who experience abuse must never be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
- In addition, support should be made available for the perpetrator of sexual abuse to understand motivations behind the abuse and challenge attitudes. It is understood that children who abuse other children may well have been abused themselves.
In addition to existing advice about managing a disclosure contained in this policy, staff will follow Searching, Screening and Confiscation Advice 2018.
The DSL will manage any incidents in line with the guidance contained in Part 5 KCSIE 2020 and Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2018.
Relationships Education and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) which will be compulsory from September 2020. This will give schools the opportunity to discuss vital issues such as sexual violence and harassment, consent, bullying and peer on peer abuse and an opportunity for educators to challenge negative gendered attitudes not in line with the school ethos.
Schools have flexibility to decide how they discharge their duties effectively within the first year of compulsory teaching and are encouraged to take a phased approach (if needed) when introducing these subjects. The statutory guidance can be found here:
10. Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) remains in force throughout the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
KMAT schools are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our Children and Young people. Where the DSL and safeguarding team, has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, they should ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child or young person and their family. Details of this plan must be recorded as should a record of contacts made. This plan must be reviewed regularly (at least once a fortnight) and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.
KMAT schools also considers in these times, family circumstances can change quickly and therefore new families may arise as in need or vulnerable. We will keep communication with all families open which can include remote contact, phone contact, door-step visits which will be recorded. We aim to engage with every family at least 2 weeks (at least weekly with more vulnerable families).
We will also ensure that families are aware of how they may contact our pastoral care/ safeguarding team for support. This will be via each schools newsletters, websites parent meetings and specific letters/leaflets.
KMAT schools will share safeguarding and pastoral support messages on their website and social media pages. We recognise that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. We will take this into consideration when providing work and updates families and students.
Our schools will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and where appropriate recorded.
The Department of Education has issued non-statutory guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers. This guidance supports governing bodies, proprietors, senior leadership teams and designated safeguarding leads to continue to have appropriate regard to KCSIE and keep their children safe. It suggests where schools and colleges might consider safeguarding policy and process differently when compared to business as usual.
KMAT understands that guidance from the government changes frequently and will continue to revise any Corona Virus addendums through the period of COVID-19.
Types of abuse and neglect
Abuse and neglect is defined as the maltreatment of a child or young person whereby someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
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. For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) additional barriers can exist when identifying abuse and neglect, these include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- being more prone to peer group isolation than other children;
- the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
To address these additional challenges, schools and colleges should consider extra pastoral support for children with SEND (KCSIE 2020).
The following are the definition of abuse and neglect as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) however, the ultimate responsibility to assess and define the type of abuse a child or young person may be subject to is that of the Police and Children's Services – our responsibility is to understand what each category of abuse is and how this can impact on the welfare and development of our children and where we have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of abuse and neglect (one or more categories can apply) to take appropriate action as early as possible.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Trafficking
CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. Sexual exploitation can take many forms, ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
Child Criminal Exploitation
Criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of cuckooing; a form of crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing, and county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. Consideration should be given to the trafficking element of this area of safeguarding and if appropriate a referral is made to the National Referral Mechanism. Staff should be aware of the following guidance: Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance.
Gangs and youth violence
Teachers and designated staff have a range of powers in relation to discipline to tackle problems, including violence, in the school environment. Such powers cover disciplinary actions, the power to restrain violent pupils, and the power to search pupils for prohibited items.
All staff should be aware of the signs that indicate a child is at risk of, or involved with serious violence, this includes: absence from school, change of friendship group, unexplained injuries, self- harm, unexplained gifts or possessions. Staff should also be aware of relevant guidance: Preventing youth violence and gang involvement
As part of school’s duty to promote pupils’ wellbeing, we have a role to play in preventing drug misuse as part of our pastoral responsibilities (health and wellbeing/Healthy Schools) and to support the Government’s drug strategy (2017). Our school will support students by providing information, advice and support via the curriculum and give students the confidence, resilience and risk management skills to resist risky behaviours and recover.
The Department of Education and Association of Chief Police Officers have provided Drug Advice for Schools to support this aim.
Schools also have the power to search pupils for drugs where there is a belief this student is in possession of criminal property.
KMAT school’s are aware of its responsibilities under the Prevent Statutory Duty through the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The duty requires schools to consider the need to safeguard children from being drawn into terrorism. The duty is designed to help ensure that vulnerable individuals who are at risk of radicalisation are supported as they would be under other safeguarding. We provide a safe environment for our pupils to explore, understand and discuss sensitive topics including terrorism and extremist ideology. We use the curriculum and pastoral support to educate our pupils and to enable them to challenge these ideas and build their resilience to radicalisation. Staff are aware of the risk posed by other students and adults who may have been radicalised and the impact of radicalisation via social media. Staff have received appropriate training and have the knowledge and confidence to identify pupils at risk of being drawn into supporting terrorism and extremism and challenge extremist ideals. Our IT filters are regularly reviewed and monitored in order to prevent and identify access to terrorist and extremist materials on line at the school.
For advice and guidance in making a referral or about a student causing concern: Tel. 01278 647466.
Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages. Guidance on Channel is available at: Channel Guidance.
Each school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (and any deputies) should be aware that as a Channel partner, the school or college may be asked to attend a Channel panel to discuss the individual referred to determine whether they are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and consider the appropriate support required.
Educate Against Hate, a website launched by Her Majesty’s Government has been developed to support and equip school and college leaders, teachers, and parents with information, tools and resources (including on the promotion of fundamental British values) to help recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people. The platform provides information on and access to training resources for teachers, staff and school and college leaders, some of which are free such as Prevent e-learning, via the Prevent Training catalogue.
Honour Based Abuse
So-called ‘honour-based’ Abuse (HBA) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving “honour” often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. All forms of HBA (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.
If you have concerns about an individual, the following helplines will be able to support you
Honour Network (Karma Nirvana): 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
Government Forced Marriage Unit 0207 008 0151 or 0207 008 1500 (out of hours)
In emergencies, dial 999.
Further details from the home office on force marriage can be found here
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.
Professionals in all agencies, individuals and groups from the wider communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There are a range of potential risk indicators which may indicate that a girl may be subjected to FGM or that she may have suffered FGM. These are detailed in the Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation issued by the home office.
Whilst all staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) with regard to any concerns about female genital mutilation (FGM), there is a specific legal duty on teachers. If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police via 101 (KCSIE 2020). This should be completed in consultation with the DSL but the responsibility of reporting lies with the staff member who identified the concern.
Peer on Peer Abuse
Peer or Peer Abuse includes:
- Bullying, including cyber bullying
- Physical Abuse including intimate partner abuse
- Sexual Violence including CSE, Sexual Harassment, Sexting and Upskirting
- Initiation and Hazing type violence including rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation as a way of initiating a person into a group
- Gang violence, threats or coercion
All schools are required to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. Schools should tackle prejudice and promote understanding between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, as set out in the Equality Act 2010. The definition that has been adopted by the government and should be used when considering prejudice related incidents ‘A prejudice related incident is any incident which is perceived to be prejudice by the victim or any other person’
The National Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief is intended to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage practical steps to be taken to prevent such abuse. Schools should promote equality and awareness around cultural and religious practices.
Domestic violence and abuse, Gender-based violence and teenage relationship abuse
Domestic abuse (over 16 years) and teenage relationship abuse (under 16 years) involves any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who are, or have been in relationships or family members regardless of gender or sexuality and is applicable to teenagers as teenage relationship abuse or intimate partner abuse. The curriculum should enable children and adolescents to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, consent and tackle gendered stereotypes.
Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Sexual Violence and harassment can occur between two children of any sex. They can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physical and verbal) and are never acceptable. It is important that all children involved are taken seriously and offered appropriate support.
The law says anyone under the age of 13 can never legally give consent. This means that anyone who engages in any sexual activity with a child who is 12 or younger is breaking the law. Sexual activity with a child who is under 13 should always result in a child protection referral.
Sexually harmful incidents should be viewed by professionals as a safeguarding concern and both victim and perpetrator should be supported. The school should have systems in places to support both students in the school setting to feel safe and heard should an incident occur.
School staff should be alert to negative sexualised or gendered language and behaviours and should be robust in tackling these, not brushing them off as ‘part of growing up’, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘banter’.
Online Sexual Abuse
Online sexual abuse involved the use of technology to manipulate, exploit, coerce or intimidate a child to (but not limited to) engage in sexual activity, produce sexual material/content, force a child to look at or watch sexual activities, encourage a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or groom a child in preparation for sexual abuse (either online or offline). It can also involve directing others to, or coordinating, the abuse of children online. As with other forms of sexual abuse, online abuse can be misunderstood by the child and others as being consensual, occurring without the child’s immediate recognition or understanding of abusive or exploitative conduct. In addition, fear of what might happen if they do not comply can also be a significant influencing factor. No child under the age of 18 can consent to being abused or exploited. Financial gain can be a feature of online child sexual abuse, it can involve serious organised crime and it can be carried out by either adults or peers.
The topic of online safety is considerable and can be linked to issues such as child sexual exploitation, bullying and radicalisation. Issues can be categorised into three areas of risk:
• Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; e.g. Pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views;
• Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; e.g. commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
• Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; e.g. making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.
KMAT schools will ensure it is proactive in addressing online safety through:
- Education of pupils through the curriculum;
- Keeping parents up to date on how to support keeping their children to keep safe online; the government has released new guidance for parents to support children’s online activity Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for parents and carers to keep children safe online
- Reviewing online safety practices as part of a whole school approach to online safety;
- Filtering and monitoring to protect users but not leading to unreasonable restrictions;
- Staff training which is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach;
- Information sharing to enable the school community to be kept up to date.
For further information see government guidance Teaching online safety in school
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
All staff should also be aware that 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.
If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, following their child protection policy and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy.
Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to our children’s physical health, relationships, education and to achieving their potential. The school should promote positive self-esteem and tackling behaviours such as bullying that can impact a young person’s self-esteem. Pastoral care should be available to those with mental health concerns as well as staff being aware of pathways for young people to Early Help and CAHMS.
In North Somerset, schools are encouraged to have a designated Mental Health Lead and offers Mental Health First Aid training as part of the 2020-2021 training offer to embed positive mental health practice in schools.
Fabricated or induced illness
This supplementary guidance, Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (2008), sets out a national framework within which agencies and professionals at local level – individually and jointly – draw up and agree upon their own more detailed ways of working together where illness may be being fabricated or induced in a child by a carer who has parenting responsibilities for them.
Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) should be aware of contact details and referral routes in to the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.
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 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.
Children and the Court System
A child may at some point experience the court system for a number of different reasons this may include being a witness to a crime or it could be as a result of child care arrangement being made in the Family Court. Whatever the reasons it is important the child is supported through this process.
Children with a Family Member in Prison
Children and young people whereby a family member is in prison 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.
Additional information about key safeguarding areas can also be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education - Annex A (2020).
Key Documentation, procedures and guidance
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020)
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners (2015)
- Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education (2019) plus Covid Addendum (2020)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
- Designated teacher for looked after children (2018)
- Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (2015).
- Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2018).
- The Teachers’ Standards (2013)
- Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information (2015)
- Listening to and involving children and young people (2014)
- Alternative provision (2016)
- Behaviour and discipline in schools (2016)
- Children Missing Education (2016)
- School behaviour and attendance: parental responsibility measures (2013)
- Multi-Agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (2016)
- Promoting the education of looked-after children (2018)
- Supervision of activity with children (2012)
- Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (2018)
- Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school (2013)
- SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2015)
- Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2015)
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges (2018)
- Use of Reasonable Force in Schools (2013)
- Searching, Screening and Confiscation Advice (2018)
- Preventing and tackling bullying (2017)
- The Equality Act (2010)
- Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (2017)
Dealing with a Disclosure of Abuse
When a child tells me about abuse s/he has suffered, what must I
- Stay calm.
- Do not communicate shock, anger or embarrassment.
- Reassure the child. Tell her/him you are pleased that s/he is speaking to you.
- Never promise confidentiality. Assure her/him that you will try to help but let the child know that you may have to tell other people in order to do this. State who this will be and why.
- Encourage the child to talk but do not ask "leading questions" or press for information.
- Listen and remember.
- Check that you have understood correctly what the child is trying to tell you.
- Praise the child for telling you. Communicate that s/he has a right to be safe and protected.
- It is inappropriate to make any comments about the alleged offender.
- Be aware that the child may retract what s/he has told you. It is essential to record all you have heard.
- At the end of the conversation, tell the child again who you are going to tell and why that person or those people need to know.
- As soon as you can afterwards, make a detailed record of the conversation using the child’s own language. Include any questions you may have asked. Do not add any opinions or interpretations. Record this on Safeguard.
NB It is not education staff’s role to seek disclosures. Their role is to observe that something may be wrong, ask about it, listen, be available and try to make time to talk.
Recognise – Respond – Reassure – Refer - Record
If you have concerns about a child who lives in North Somerset contact:
01275 888 808 – Single Point of Access (SPA)
Monday-Thursday 8.45am-5pm, Friday 8.45am-4.30pm
Out of hours/Weekends
Remember in an emergency please ring 999