HEZLETT PRIMARY SCHOOL
CHILD PROTECTION AND SAFEGUARDING POLICY
It is our aim to provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment in which our pupils will be encouraged to develop. We accept our duty to care for the enrolled pupils and to be watchful for any signs of abuse. We will contact and co-operate with relevant outside agencies when required for the good of our pupils and as laid down by the procedures in this policy.
The Safeguarding Team
Designated Governor for Child Protection: Dr A Millican
Principal: Mr P Campbell
Designated Teacher for Child Protection Miss H McLean
Deputy Designated Teacher for Child Protection Mrs C McKernan
What is Child Abuse?
(A child is a person under the age of 18 years as defined in the Children Order)
Child Abuse occurs when ‘a child is neglected, harmed or not provided with proper care. Children may be abused in many settings, in a family, in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them, or more rarely by a stranger.’ (ACPC, 2005)
Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse – is the deliberate physical injury to a child, or the wilful neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering. This may include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriately giving drugs to control behaviour. (ACPC, 2005)
Possible signs or symptoms of physical abuse include:
- Unexplained bruises (in places difficult to mark)
- Human bite marks, welts or bald spots
- Unexplained lacerations, fractions or abrasions
- Untreated injuries
- Self-destructive tendencies
- Chronic runaway
- Fear of going home
Emotional Abuse – is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that he is worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as he meets the needs of another person. It may involve causing a child frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child. Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may expose a child to emotional abuse. (ACPC, 2005)
Possible signs or symptoms of emotional abuse include:
- Bullying of others
- Change in personality from outgoing to withdrawn
- Difficulty in forming / maintaining relationships with others
- Signs of mutilation
- Attention seeking
- Chronic runaway
- Wetting and soiling
- Sudden speech disorders
- Low self-esteem
Sexual Abuse – involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children to look at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. (ACPC, 2005)
Possible signs or symptoms of sexual abuse include:
- Bruised or sore genitals
- Genital infection
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
- Inappropriate sexualised language or behaviour
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic depression
- Substance abuse
- Personality changes
- Fear of going home
Neglect – is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs, likely to result in significant harm. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment, lack of stimulation or lack of supervision. It may also include non-organic failure to thrive. (ACPC, 2005)
Possible signs or symptoms of neglect include:
- Poor hygiene
- Constant hunger/cramming food
- Inadequate / inappropriate clothing
- Constant tiredness
- Exposed to danger / lack of adequate supervision
- Untreated illness
- Lack of peer relationships
- Compulsive stealing / begging
Both teaching and non-teaching staff have a duty to exercise care for pupils. This can be expressed in their response to possible indications of abuse. It is important that all staff are aware of the indicators of abuse and the correct procedures when these are displayed.
Exploitation is the intentional ill-treatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over a child or young person; to take selfish or unfair advantage of a child or young person or situation, for personal gain. It may manifest itself in many forms such as child labour, slavery, servitude, engagement in criminal activity, begging, benefit or other financial fraud or child trafficking. It extends to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can be sexual in nature.
These types of abuse detailed above apply equally to children with disabilities but the abuse may take slightly different forms, for example, lack of supervision, or the use of physical restraints such as being confined to a wheelchair or bed.
SPECIFIC TYPES OF ABUSE
Grooming of a child or young person is always abusive and/or exploitative. It often involves perpetrator(s) gaining the trust of the child or young person or, in some cases, the trust of the family, friends or community, and/or making an emotional connection with the victim in order to facilitate abuse before the abuse begins. This may involve providing money, gifts, drugs and/or alcohol or more basic needs such as food, accommodation or clothing to develop the child’s/young person’s loyalty to and dependence upon the person(s) doing the grooming. The person(s) carrying out the abuse may differ from those involved in grooming which led to it, although this is not always the case.
Grooming is often associated with Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), but can be a precursor to other forms of abuse. Grooming may occur face to face, online and/or through social media, the latter making it more difficult to detect and identify.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
CSE is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. CSE does not always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.
Any child under the age of 18 can be a victim of CSE. Although younger children can experience CSE, the average age at which concerns are first identified is 12-15 years of age. Sixteen and seventeen year olds, although legally able to consent to sexual activity can also be sexually exploited. Young males can also be victims of CSE.
CSE can be perpetrated by adults or by young people’s peers, on an individual or group basis, or a combination of both, and can be perpetrated by females as well as males.
While children in care are known to experience disproportionate risk of CSE, the majority of CSE victims are living at home.
CSE can be very difficult to identify and a young person may not see themselves as a victim. However, it is our statutory responsibility to protect all children and young people from abuse, irrespective of whether or not they view themselves as a victim of abuse. Professionals need to be able to identify vulnerability in the midst of challenging behaviour and frequent resistance to, or even apparent disregard for, professional support.
Research repeatedly shows that young people rarely report abuse through CSE. Most concerns are identified by professionals, friends or family or by proactive investigation by authorities. In recognition of this, good practice guidelines state that all areas should assume that CSE is occurring within their area unless they have evidence to indicate otherwise. As such, schools should be alert to the likelihood of CSE and plan to protect children and young people accordingly.
What to Do
CSE is a form of child abuse and, as such, any member of staff suspecting that CSE is occurring should follow the school child protection policy and procedures, including reporting to the appropriate agencies.
Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse
The Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy (2016) defines domestic and sexual violence and abuse as follows:-
Domestic Violence and Abuse - ‘threatening, controlling, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, virtual, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on anyone (irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any form of disability) by a current or former intimate partner or family member.’
Sexual Violence and Abuse - ‘any behaviour (physical, psychological, verbal, virtual/online) perceived to be of a sexual nature which is controlling, coercive, exploitative, harmful, or unwanted that is in inflicted on anyone (irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any form of disability).’
Please note that coercive, exploitative and harmful behaviour includes taking advantage of an individual’s incapacity to give informed consent. We recognise the impact on children of an abusive family setting and cases of concern will be reported to the appropriate statutory agency.
Domestic Violence and Abuse
It is now recognised that children who live in an atmosphere of domestic violence may be at risk. Domestic violence is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
Symptoms can lead to a child / young person being misdiagnosed as having an illness, learning difficulties, or being naughty or disruptive.
If it comes to the attention of school staff that domestic abuse is or may be a factor for a child/young person this must be passed to the Designated/Deputy Designated Teacher who has an obligation to share the information to Social Services.
Children who Display Harmful Sexualised Behaviour
Learning about sex and sexual behaviour is a normal part of a child’s development. It will help them as they grow up, and as they start to make decisions about relationships. Schools support children and young people, through the Personal Development element of the curriculum, to develop their understanding of relationships and sexuality and the responsibilities of healthy relationships. Teachers are often therefore in a good position to consider if behaviour is within the normal continuum or otherwise.
It must also be borne in mind that sexually harmful behaviour is primarily a child protection concern. There may remain issues to be addressed through the school’s positive behaviour policy but it is important to always apply principles that remain child centred.
It is important to distinguish between different sexual behaviours - these can be defined as ‘healthy’, ‘problematic’ or ‘sexually harmful’. (Ref: DE Circular 2016/05 ‘Children Who Display Harmful Sexualised Behaviour’)
Healthy sexual behaviour will normally have no need for intervention, however consideration may be required as to appropriateness within a school setting. Problematic sexual behaviour requires some level of intervention, depending on the activity and level of concern. For example, a one-off incident may simply require liaising with parents on setting clear direction that the behaviour is unacceptable, explaining boundaries and providing information and education. Alternatively, if the behaviour is considered to be more serious, perhaps because there are a number of aspects of concern, advice from the EA CPSS may be required. The CPSS will advise if additional advice from PSNI or Social Services is required.
What is Harmful Sexualised Behaviour?
Harmful sexualised behaviour is any behaviour of a sexual nature that takes place when: There is no informed consent by the victim; and/or the perpetrator uses threat (verbal, physical or emotional) to coerce, threaten or intimidate the victim.
Harmful sexualised behaviour can include:
- Using age inappropriate sexually explicit words and phrases.
- Inappropriate touching.
- Using sexual violence or threats.
- Sexual behaviour between children is also considered harmful if one of the children is much older - particularly if there is more than two years’ difference in age or if one of the children is pre-pubescent and the other is not.
- However, a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them - for example, if the older child is disabled.
Harmful sexualised behaviour will always require intervention and schools should refer to their own child protection policy and, seek the support that is available from the CPSS.
Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. FGM is a form of child abuse and, as such, teachers have a statutory duty to report cases, including suspicion, to the appropriate agencies, through agreed established school procedures. (Ref: ‘Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools – A Guide for School 2017, Section 6. 8)
Where we are made aware or have a reasonable suspicion that a child attending this school is being forced into marriage we will report this on as appropriate to the relevant agencies. We will be mindful of the following in relation to a child:
- Absence and persistent absence
- Request for extended leave of absence and failure to return from visits to country of origin
- Surveillance by siblings or cousins
- Change in behaviour, performance or punctuality
- Being withdrawn from school for ‘home schooling’ and not receiving suitable education at home
- Not allowed to attend extra-curricular activities
- Sudden announcement of engagement
We also recognise that there is a danger in involving the family of the child concerned and alerting them to the fact that the school and others are aware and will act to protect the child - The Right to Choose: Statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage. DFPNI 2012
Self Harm and Suicide
It is most helpful to consider self harm as a continuum, ranging from behaviour which has a strong suicidal intent (for example, some kinds of overdose) to behaviour which is intended to help the person stay alive (such as cutting)’ - John Coleman 2004
Self harm is often a means by which a child can release the tension caused by their anxiety, grief or anger. It can also be seen as a means of communication, to tell themselves and others that they need help. It helps them feel they have a level of control over something in their lives – making ‘real’ the emotional pain they are unable to express.
It is our policy that in instances where a child expresses suicidal ideation or self harm or discloses that he/she has self harmed, we will contact the parents and ask them to take their child to their GP for assessment.
A child may suffer or be at risk of suffering from one or more types of abuse and abuse may take place on a single occasion or may occur repeatedly over time.
Bullying is one form of abuse. It is important that school does all in its power to safeguard pupils from bullying. We define this as deliberate hurtful behaviour repeated over a period of time. Whenever this type of abuse occurs it must be dealt with quickly and firmly and in an open way so that we are seen to be exercising our duty of care. We have an Anti-bullying Policy in place to help us meet our responsibilities to children and parents.
The misuse of mobile phones can result in bullying therefore these are not normally permitted in school with pupils. Procedures have been set in place for these and they are detailed later in this document.
GUIDELINES FOR TEACHING AND NON-TEACHING STAFF
Where you see signs for concern or are approached by a child:-
Do listen to what the child says Don’t ask leading questions
Do assure the child they are not at fault Don’t put words into the child’s mouth
Do praise the child for telling Don’t take investigations into your own hands
Do explain to the child that you Don’t ignore the child’s behaviour
cannot keep it a secret
Do document exactly: Don’t remove any clothing
what the child says, using his/her
exact words and sign and date it
(Use Form SA1)
Do remember not to promise the child
confidentiality - staff have a
responsibility to share relevant
information with other professionals/
investigative agencies but no-one else.
Role of the Designated Teacher
We have two designated teachers, Miss H McLean and Mrs C McKernan. Staff would normally consult them according to the key stage of the child about whom there is concern. However in the absence of one designated teacher or where they are the alleged abuser the other would deputise. If neither designated teacher is available the Principal could be consulted.
In all cases where abuse is suspected or where an allegation has been made by a pupil or a third party, or where serious concerns exist about the welfare of a child, members of staff should report this to the designated teacher.
The designated teacher should:
- Be available for pupils who wish to talk.
- Help and advise staff in the process of reporting and recording child protection incidents.
- Notify the Principal and keep him informed. (Information regarding a pupil
or the Vice-Principal).
- Refer to or consult with Social Services or the Police.
- Notify the CPSS.
- Co-operate with outside agencies with regard to the provision of information,
strategy discussions etc.
- Clarify with investigating agencies when, how and by whom the parents and
child will be told that a referral has been made.
- If a referral is made this must be confirmed in writing to all outside agencies.
Although we will inform our pupils who the school-designated teachers are, we have agreed that the more natural contact person for any child is usually their own class teacher; therefore children will be encouraged to think of their own teacher as a potential confidante without limiting their ability to speak directly to a designated teacher if they so wish.
The designated teacher may consult with the Child Protection Support Service at EANI, School Nurse, Health Visitor or Single Point of Entry staff for advice.
All Child Protection/Safeguarding records and related reports/information will be stored securely in school. The only members of staff with access to these documents are the Principal and both Designated Teachers.
Allegations against School Staff
If a member of staff is suspected of abuse or an allegation is made against them, the member of staff who is the first point of contact (if that person is not the Principal) should inform the Principal. The Principal may need to seek discreet preliminary clarification of the details of a complaint. This would be undertaken without straying into the sphere of investigation. If, after clarification, there remains concern, then it is vital that the Designated Teacher is informed. The EANI Designated Officer, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors/Designated Governor and the Social Services should then be informed.
A strategy discussion should be convened as quickly as possible at which the approach to investigation will be agreed. This discussion will also decide when the alleged abuser is informed and by whom, when the Board of Governors will be informed and also look at the issue of suspension of the member of staff during investigation.
If a school carries out any preliminary enquiries they should have regard to:
- firstly the welfare of the pupil concerned and other pupils at the school;
- the efficient functioning of the school;
until proven guilty.
If the alleged abuser is either a Designated Teacher or the Principal, they obviously will be omitted from the chain for referral of information and decision making.
Conduct of All Staff
All staff have been provided with a Staff Code of Conduct. (see Appendix 4) All staff have been trained in our procedures, received a copy of the code of conduct and signed as agreement to comply fully with it.
It is our duty as those who work directly with children to make sure that our behaviour is of the highest standard. We must never place ourselves in situations which leave us open to allegations by pupils or other adults.
Staff need to be particularly careful in, for example, comforting a pupil who is hurt or upset. Some behaviours which are exhibited by a good parent are not always appropriate in a school context. However, we must not sacrifice our high standards of care exercised towards pupils.
Except in very extreme circumstances ie where a child is liable to cause injury or damage to property, staff should not use any form of physical contact to control, direct or discipline pupils. Staff should be aware of the increasing risk of allegations of emotional abuse. Persistent sarcasm, negative comments or actions could be regarded as unfair and unjustified behaviour. In line with our policy for pastoral care, it is important that our disciplining of pupils is seen to be firm, fair and consistent. It is also important that we abide by the guidelines in the Safe Handling Policy when dealing with discipline situations.
A register of complaints made against members of staff will be maintained and this register will contain details of complaints made as well as actions taken in response to these. This information will be made available to Governors at their meeting at least once each year and signed by the Chairperson.
Volunteers or Helpers from Outside
Anyone wishing to assist with an aspect of our work which will involve contact with pupils without the supervision of a member of school staff will be required to complete all necessary forms for Access NI which will lead to the provision of an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate. They need to be prepared to have a brief talk with the Principal regarding child protection issues as set out in this policy a copy of which will be given to them. A list of all such helpers/volunteers must be ratified by the Board of Governors.
Transport of Children by Members of Staff
Should it be necessary to transport a single child in a staff member’s car, we will ensure that two adults (the driver and one other) travel in the vehicle with the child. The only exceptions to this will be when transport is provided with the express permission of the parent or in an emergency which affects the wellbeing of a pupil and no other option is available.
Release of Children from School
In circumstances where a parent normally collects a child but is unable to do so for some reason, the parent must make arrangements with school in advance informing us of the identity of the person to whom they have given permission to collect their child. However, if a teacher is in any doubt about an adult collecting a child or has any concerns about the situation, we reserve the right to hold the child until contact has been made with their parent and we are satisfied about the child’s safety.
Use of Pupil Images by School
Pupil images will only be used with the written permission of their parents. This permission will be sought by means of a consent form which will be completed at the start of each new school year.
Use of Internet in School
As part of our ICT Policy, we have a specific set of procedures for the use of the Internet by pupils in school and these are contained in our eSafety and Acceptable Use of the Internet policies. These are available on the school website, new families receive a copy when their child/children start school and existing families will receive a copy every 2 years.
We are conscious of the potential risks of exposure of pupils to inappropriate information and images through the use of the Internet and therefore the permission of parents is sought on an annual basis and we have clearly laid down our agreed guidelines for teachers when undertaking this aspect of our work.
Use of Mobile Phones or Similar Devices in School
No pupil is permitted to have a mobile phone in school unless a request is made to the Principal/Teacher by the person with parental responsibility. Permission will be given if the request is based on the use of the phone before or after school to enhance the pupil’s safety/well being. In such a case the pupil or parent should arrange for the phone to be stored securely by a member of staff during the school day and collected just before leaving for home.
These procedures must be adhered to strictly by all staff in the interests of the safety and well being of everyone in the school environment.
- Mobile phones should be switched off or kept on silent mode during class time.
- If staff experience emergency circumstances in which they require access to their mobile phone during class time, the Principal should be informed and permission sought
- Staff are only normally permitted to use their mobile phone during the mid morning break or lunch break and never where pupils are present except in exceptional circumstances.
- Staff should not take photographs of pupils or store them on personal phones or similar devices.
- It is recommended that staff carry their mobile phones when accompanying pupils on activities outside school. During such activities these mobile phones may need to be used for organisational or safety reasons.
Sexting is the sending or posting of sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet. There are two aspects to Sexting:
Sexting between individuals in a relationship
Pupils need to be aware that it is illegal, under the Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008, to take, possess or share ‘indecent images’ of anyone under 18 even if they are the person in the picture (or even if they are aged 16+ and in a consensual relationship) and in these cases the PSNI will be contacted. Please be aware that, while offences may technically have been committed by the child/children involved, the matter will be dealt with sensitively and considering all of the circumstances and it is not necessarily the case that they will end up with a criminal record. It is important that particular care is taken in dealing with any such cases. Adopting scare tactics may discourage a young person from seeking help if they feel entrapped by the misuse of sexual images. Advice will be sought from CPSS.
Sharing an inappropriate image with an intent to cause distress
Schools are not required to investigate incidents. It is an offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 to share an inappropriate image of another person without the individuals consent. Police should be contacted to help prevent further such incidents.
If a young person has shared an inappropriate image of themselves that is now being shared further, whether or not it is intended to cause distress’, the child protection procedures should be followed.
Prevention of Child Abuse
It is important that as a school, we do everything in our power to create an environment in which we minimise as much as possible the risk of any form of abuse to our children. There are ways in which we as a school can help its prevention. We can implement these procedures and work together to provide a school environment which reduces the possibility of abuse from within our organisation. We also have created systems which can be easily understood and used by pupils to report and/or respond to threatening or worrying behaviour, eg Stop! Walk! Talk! and TYT (Tell Your Teacher). The detail on how these systems operate can be found in our Anti-Bullying and our Pastoral Care policies.
As well as our teaching strategies, we also provide information for pupils which is displayed around the school. This includes information regarding outside agencies which exist to support children, e.g. NI Childline, NSPCC and the Children’s Law Centre. Our aim is to provide our pupils with information clearly displayed which they may wish to use independently, thus giving them a confidential source of support.
We aim through our ethos and curriculum to inform children appropriately and encourage within them a sense of self-confidence and self-worth. This we hope will contribute to strengthening children’s individual defences against abuse. We plan to use our Personal Development and Mutual Understanding(PDMU) programmes as well as specific teaching packs which support this work. e.g. PSNI CASE Programme, Childline Workshops and It’s Your Move (SU)
THE PREVENTATIVE CURRICULUM
One way in which we seek to protect our pupils is by helping them learn about the risks of possible abuse, helping them to recognise unwelcome behaviour in others and acquire the confidence and skills they need to keep themselves safe.
The statutory PDMU curriculum requires schools to give specific attention to pupils’ emotional wellbeing, health and safety, relationships, and the development of a moral thinking and value system. The curriculum also offers a medium to explore sensitive issues with children and young people in an age-appropriate way which helps them to develop appropriate protective behaviours. As an integral part of our delivery of the Northern Ireland staff plan and deliver lessons to raise the pupils’ awareness of how they can keep themselves safe from abuse.
In recent years, the use of “keeping safe messages” and the term “preventative curriculum” have become more widely used to denote the proactive promotion of positive emotional health and wellbeing of pupils within and across the broader school community. This is achieved by raising awareness of social, emotional, and health issues, developing the confidence, resiliencies and coping skills of pupils, and in offering early intervention when pupils are experiencing certain difficulties.
Schools are well-placed to teach pupils how to develop healthy relationships, and to make informed choices in their lives so that they can protect themselves. Throughout the school year child protection issues are addressed through class assemblies and there are permanent child protection notices displayed around the school. This information provides advice and displays Child Helpline numbers. A flow diagram of how a parent/carer may make a complaint is also on display in the school.
The school embraces and utilises the work of outside agencies bodies/organisations to support the delivery of its preventative curriculum. For example, Citizenship and Safety Education (PSNI), Bee-Safe Programme (PSNI), Helping Hands Programme (Women’s Aid).
Review of Policy and Procedures
The Safeguarding procedures in school are monitored and evaluated regularly in light of practical and legislative developments. All school staff will take part in a review meeting each August and following this the policy will be formally reviewed. All staff will undergo training every 3 years or as necessary in the light of new requirements. New staff will be trained at the start of their period of service.
The reviewed version of the policy will be presented to Governors for approval and signed by the Chairperson.
The Safeguarding Team will meet during the school year approximately once per term or in response to specific circumstances. Safeguarding is an item on the agenda for all meetings of school Governors and an annual written report will be presented to Governors at the end of each school year.
Child Protection School Support Service Tel: 028 94482223 (9am - 4.30pm)
Child Protection School Support Service email@example.com
PSNI Tel: 028 703 44122
Social Services (Coleraine Offices) Tel: 028 703 52221
Single Point of Entry (SPOE) Gateway Tel: 0300 1234 333
Northern Ireland Childline Tel: 0800 212888
Childline UK Tel: 0800 111
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline Tel: 0800 800500
Children’s Law Centre Tel: 0808 808 5678
Carecall (Staff counselling and support) Tel: 0808 800 0002
HEZLETT PRIMARY SCHOOL
RECORD OF CONCERNS OR SUSPECTED ABUSE
NAME OF CHILD: ______________________________________
CLASS: ____________________ DATE OF BIRTH: _______________
DATE: ____________________ TIME: ________________ (AM/PM)
Reasons for concern or suspicion of abuse. (Please be as factual and detailed as possible, use actual words spoken by the child if appropriate or include a sketch).
Any action taken.
Please complete this form with / give this form to the Designated Teacher immediately.
SAFEGUARDING POLICY - INTIMATE CARE
From time to time in school children need assistance with intimate care, ie help with changing of clothes and cleaning after a wetting, soiling or vomiting incident. It may be that they need general help or that they have had a little accident and may need to change their clothes.
In the situation where a child needs some assistance with intimate care, a member of staff will help but toilet doors should be left unlocked. Another member of staff should be informed so that there is openness and shared information about what help was given. It should be noted that by the time a child starts school they will normally be expected to be independent in terms of their use of toilet facilities.
Should children have an accident as described above, school staff will help by providing spare clothing if available. If the child is able they will be encouraged to change their clothing, however if they need help and are willing to receive it the staff will assist. Again this assistance must not be given without another member of staff being made aware of it. If this situation does occur the parent will be informed that day and we will keep a written record of the incident(s) on our official form. We will use children’s initials to provide anonymity and we will also use the code letters W, S and V (Wetting, Soiling or Vomiting).
When helping children with intimate care, we will aim to provide them with the appropriate level of caring support whilst minimising as far as possible the level of physical contact with the child in intimate body regions.
These procedures are designed to protect both pupils and staff. We need to make sure that we operate a system which is regulated and yet caring. We have every intention of maintaining our level of care and support for the children.
Should any member of staff have concerns about a child or a situation they should report these to a Designated Teacher or to the Principal.
If a parent or carer has concerns about a child or questions about a situation in school, they should contact their child’s teacher, the Designated Teacher or the Principal.
We believe that the positive working relationship between home and school is a major factor in providing care and security for the children. This working relationship thrives upon openness, effort and trust. We will do all in our power to promote this in our dealings with children, parents and the wider community.
INTIMATE CARE FORM
To be completed each time a child requires changing of clothing due to an incident such as wetting and/or soiling themselves
or being physically sick.
W, S, V)
(Person who dealt with the incident)
Appendix 4 - Staff Code of Conduct - Child Protection
All actions concerning children must uphold the best interests of the child as a primary consideration. Staff must always be mindful of the fact that they hold a position of trust, and that their behaviour towards the children in their charge must be above reproach. This Code of Conduct is not intended to detract from the enriching experiences children gain from positive interaction with staff within the education sector. It is intended to assist staff in respect of the complex issue of child abuse, by drawing attention to the areas of risk for staff and by offering guidance on prudent conduct.
- Private Meetings with Pupils.
- Staff should be aware of the dangers which may arise from private interviews with individual pupils. It is recognised that there will be occasions when confidential interviews must take place. As far as possible, staff should conduct such interviews in a room with visual access, or with the door open.
- Where such conditions cannot apply, staff are advised to ensure that another adult knows that the interview is taking place. It may be necessary to use a sign indicating that the room is in use, but it is not advisable to use signs prohibiting entry to the room.
- Where possible another pupil or (preferably) another adult should be present or nearby during the interview, and the school should take active measures to facilitate this.
- Physical Contact with Pupils.
- As a general principle, staff are advised not to make unnecessary physical contact with their pupils.
- It is unrealistic and unnecessary, however, to suggest that staff should touch pupils only in emergencies. In particular, a distressed child, especially a younger child, may need reassurance involving physical comforting, as a caring parent would provide. Staff should not feel inhibited from providing this but should act in line with our Intimate Care procedures.
- Staff should never touch a child who has clearly indicated that he/she is, or would be, uncomfortable with such contact, unless it is necessary to protect the child, others or property from harm.
- Physical punishment is illegal, as is any form of physical response to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of necessary restraint.
- During swimming sessions, since members of the public may use the facilities whilst our pupils are changing, staff will stay in changing rooms to monitor the behaviour and to ensure pupil safety. In school, staff should remain in changing areas and verbally encourage children to change safely and quickly. Staff should only help a child with changing when the child requests it.
- Staff who have to administer first aid to a pupil should ensure wherever possible that this is done in the presence of other children or another adult. However, no member of staff should hesitate to provide first aid in an emergency simply because another person is not present.
- Any physical contact which would be likely to be misinterpreted by the pupil, parent or other casual observer should be avoided.
- Following any incident where a member of staff feels that his/her actions have been, or may be, misconstrued, a written report of the incident should be submitted immediately to the designated teacher or Principal.
- Staff should be particularly careful when supervising in a residential setting, or in approved out of school activities, where more informal relationships tend to be usual and where staff may be in proximity to pupils in circumstances very different from the normal school/work environment.
- Choice and Use of Teaching Materials.
- Teachers should avoid teaching materials, the choice of which might be misinterpreted and reflect upon the motives for the choice.
c.If in doubt about the appropriateness of a particular teaching material, the teacher should consult with the Principal before using it.
- Relationships and Attitudes.
Staff should ensure that their relationships with pupils are appropriate to the age, maturity and sex of the pupils, taking care that their conduct does not give rise to comment or speculation. Attitudes, demeanour and language all require care and thought.
At all times, members of staff will exercise their professional judgement in matters concerning their conduct in relating to the pupils. At intervals, staff will reappraise their teaching styles, relationships with children and their manner and approach to individual children, to ensure that they give no grounds for doubt about their intentions, in the minds of colleagues, of children or of their parents.
Staff should ensure that information regarding pupils is only shared with the appropriate person.
All staff should be aware of the confidential nature of personal information about a child or young person and maintain that confidentiality.
Child Protection information regarding a pupil must be treated on a ‘need to know’ basis only and information should only be shared with the relevant personnel.
Staff cannot promise confidentiality regarding information which causes concern that a child had been or may be at risk of harm.
In line with the school’s I.C.T. policy, the following Code of Safe Practice has been highlighted and agreed to by all staff -
- No social networking site, outside of Learning NI, should ever be used in school without permission from the Principal.
- Staff should never accept a ‘friend request’ from a pupil on any social networking site.
- As is normal good practice, staff should not use their mobile phones during teaching time, unless in an emergency and with permission from the Principal.
- Pupils accessing the Internet should be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Staff should ensure that all pupils are aware of the rules for the safe and effective use of the Internet. These are displayed in classrooms and discussed with pupils.
- Staff should ensure that all pupils using the Internet have written permission from their parents.
- Recommended websites for each year group are available under Favourites. Any additional websites used by pupils should be checked beforehand by teachers, as far as is possible, to ensure that there is no unsuitable content and that material is age-appropriate.
- Deliberate/accidental access to inappropriate materials or any other breaches of the school code of practice should be reported immediately to the Principal/U.I.C.T. Co-ordinator.
- In the interests of system security, staff passwords should only be shared with the network manager.
- Teachers are aware that the C2K system tracks all Internet use and records the sites visited. The system also logs emails and messages sent and received by individual users.
- Teachers should be aware of copyright and intellectual property rights and should be careful not to download or use any materials which are in breach of these.
- Photographs of pupils should only be taken with a school camera and images stored on a centralised area on the school network. An external Hard Drive is used as a ‘back up’ of all folders. Consequently, staff should never take a photograph of a child with their mobile phone or store any images or data regarding any child on any personal laptop etc.
- School systems may not be used for any unauthorised commercial transactions i.e. permission must be sought from the Principal.
Appendix 5 Pastoral Care Procedures - Child Protection
(What to do if you have a concern about your child’s or any child’s safety or well-being)
YOU CAN TALK TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
Class Teacher Designated Teacher for Child Protection: KS1 – Miss H McLean The Principal
KS2 – Mrs C McKernan
If you are still If you are still concerned you can
concerned you can talk to the Principal
talk to Miss McLean
or Mrs McKernan
If you are still concerned you can talk to the
Designated School Governor for Child Protection
Dr A Millican
If you are still concerned you can talk to the Designated
Child Protection Officer at EANI Tel. 028 94482223
At any time, you can talk to the Social Worker Tel: 028 703 52221 or the Police – CARE Unit Tel: 028 703 44122.
All relevant school policies are available on our website or on request from the office.
Policy Review Date: March 2018
Chair of Governors: _________________________________
Date for next review: September 2018