At Trafalgar we agree that the safety and protection of all pupils is of paramount importance and that all staff will adhere to this policy and the child protection procedures established by the area Child protection Committee (ACPC). In all cases we will work appropriately with each child, his/her family and other agencies to protect the child.
To raise awareness of individual responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
To provide a systematic means of monitoring, recording and reporting of concerns and cases .
To provide guidance on recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse.
Headteacher/ designated person
The Head teacher is the designated teacher for child protection. In her absence the deputy head should be approached. They are responsible for:
- co-coordinating action within the school and liaising with Social Care and other agencies over cases of abuse and suspected abuse
- acting as a source of advice within the school
- ensuring that staff are familiar with the policy and procedures
- referring individual cases of suspected abuse
- organising training on child protection
Where verbal referrals are made to social care, the referral should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.
Where there is uncertainty about making a full referral, advice can still be sought from the social care department without giving the child’s details.
New staff are informed of the main points of this child protection policy through the staff handbook and the induction programme.
All staff need to be alert to the signs of abuse as detailed in this policy. They should report any concerns immediately, where possible to the designated teacher or their deputy. If in any doubt they should consult with the designated person.
Apply the procedures detailed below for responding to a suspected case remembering that:
- you cannot promise confidentiality
- information should only be shared with those who need to know
- it is important to stay calm and reassuring
- the needs and safety of the child must always come first
- when in doubt – ask
The Governing Body has an important role in monitoring the operation of the school’s child protection policy and the effectiveness of its procedures, training and curricular provision. This will be carried out through:
- the normal monitoring and review programme of the curriculum and personnel committees
- the Chair acting as designated governor to whom the designated teacher can refer
- receiving and discussing the designated teacher’s annual report as part of the Head’s Report to Governors
- participating in the annual review of this policy
- attending appropriate training
GUIDANCE ON RECOGNISING CHILD ABUSE
Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed by someone often in a position of power. It is not our responsibility to decide whether child abuse is occurring but we are required to act on any concerns and report them to the appropriate party.
The health, safety and protection of a child are paramount.
This can include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, suffocating or causing any form of physical harm to a child. Possible signs include:
- Unexplained injuries or burns
- Refusal to discuss injuries
- Improbable explanations of injuries
- Untreated injuries or lingering illness
- Admission of punishment which appears excessive
- Shrinking from physical contact
- Fear of returning home or parents being contacted
- Fear of undressing
- Fear of medical help
- Aggression / bullying
- Over compliant behaviour
- Running away
- Significant changes in behaviour
- Deterioration in work
- Unexplained pattern of absences
This is persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It can include:
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved
- placing inappropriate age-related expectations on children
- making children feel frightened or in danger on a frequent basis
Possible signs include:
- Continual self-deprecation
- Fear of new situations
- Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
- Self-harm or mutilation
- Compulsive stealing / scrounging
- Drug / solvent abuse
- ‘Neurotic’ behaviour – obsessive rocking, thumb sucking
- Air of detachment a ‘don’t care’ attitude
- Social isolation
- Attention-seeking behaviour
- Eating problems
- Depression, withdrawal
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. They can include non-contact activities such as involving children looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Possible signs include:
- Bruises, scratches, burns or bite marks
- Scratches, abrasions or persistent infection in the anal or genital regions
- Sexual awareness inappropriate to the child’s age
- Frequent public masturbation
- Attempts to teach other children about sexual activity
- Refusing to stay with certain people or go to certain places
- Aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, tearfulness
- Withdrawal from friends
Neglect is also a form of abuse. It is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, and can affect the child’s health and development. It might include failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure appropriate access to medical care and treatment.
Possible signs include:
- Constant hunger
- Poor personal hygiene
- Inappropriate clothing
- Frequent lateness or non-attendance
- Untreated medical problems
- Low self-esteem
- Poor social relationships
- Compulsive stealing or scrounging
- Constant tiredness
- Low warmth, high criticism
Bullying can be defined as using deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. The three main types of bullying are:
All incidents of bullying are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. (See Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policies.)
If it comes to the attention of a teacher/member of staff that a child is self-harming, they alert the designated person for child protection. Actions by the designated teacher might include:
- contacting parents
- contacting Child Adolescent Mental Health Services
- contacting Social Care if the child meets the referral criteria
CHILD PROTECTION AND INTERNET USE
At Trafalgar we recognise the value of the internet as a tool and a resource for enhancing learning. We are also aware of the potential hazards of internet use and the child protection issues involved. The Acceptable Use Policy details the measures in place to ensure pupils are protected on line and access the internet correctly and safely. It includes:
- ensuring parents sign the appropriate usage agreements
- ensuring filters and other security features are in place and up-to-date
- monitoring pupil use of the internet
All planning for the development of ICT will take account of child protection issues.