Please see the Child Protection/Safeguarding section of the website for more information and the lead staff members involved.
At Atlas Community Primary School, we are determined to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children and young people from harm. The following policy establishes the school’s position, role and responsibilities and clarifies what is expected from everybody employed and involved in the delivery of services (core curriculum and extended services). It is the aim of this policy to support the 5 outcomes of the Every Child Matters strategy. As such, this policy promotes:
- Ensuring that children are able to remain mentally and emotionally healthy.
- Supporting parents in keeping their children healthy.
- Ensuring that children are safe from maltreatment, neglect, violence and sexual exploitation.
- Keeping children safe from accidental injury and death.
- Working with agencies to safeguard children in accordance with current government guidance.
Enjoy & Achieve
- Ensuring children are ready for school, attend school regularly, arrive on time and are collected at the appropriate time.
- Encouraging parents to support their children’s learning.
Making A Positive Contribution
- Parents support their children’s social and emotional development.
- Children are supported in managing changes and responding to challenges in their lives.
- Ensuring that children choose to engage in law abiding and positive behaviour.
Achieve Economic Well Being
- Families are supported in maximizing their economic well-being.
- Parents support their children 11 – 19 in preparation for working life.
We believe every pupil should be able to participate in all school activities in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from harm. This is the responsibility of every adult employed by or invited to deliver services at AtlasCommunityPrimary School. As an organisation, we recognise that child abuse can be an emotive subject and therefore it is important to understand the feelings involved and not to allow them to interfere with judgment about any action that needs to be taken. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all our pupils by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect and bullying.
As such, we will ensure that:
- The welfare of the child remains paramount.
- All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/ or sexual identity have the right to be protected from harm.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All staff (paid/ unpaid) working on school premises have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated staff, namely Caroline Carr, Sam Done, Perveen Mughal
- The vast majority of adults who work with children act professionally however we recognize some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. All concerns regarding any individuals’ practice should be reported to the designated staff.
Atlas Community Primary School has a range of supporting policies and procedures to accompany this document which have been developed in accordance with National Government (DCSF & DH) and Local Authority guidelines. All policies have been ratified by the school’s Governing Body and are regularly reviewed. These policies include our arrangements for the following areas:
- Single central record
- Child Protection procedures
- Safe recruitment and selection processes (including criminal record bureau (CRB), List 99 and Overseas checks)
- Delivery of Safeguarding as part of the curriculum across all key stages
- Volunteers and visitors working in school
An additional aim of this policy is to ensure all teaching and non-teaching staff at AtlasCommunityPrimary School are aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and are supported by following the procedures.
Categories of concern:
The persistent or severe neglect of a child, which results in significant impairment of the child’s health or development. e.g.
- Failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter (including abandonment or exclusion from home)
- Failure to protect from physical or emotional harm.
- Failure to meet child’s basic emotional needs.
- Failure to ensure adequate supervision.
- Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care.
Deliberate or intended injury to a child. e.g.
- Hitting shaking, throwing, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating, or poisoning.
- Deliberate inducement of an illness.
Actual or likely sexual exploitation. e.g.
- Use of force or enticement to take part in sexual activity penetrative, or non – penetrative.
- Involvement in non-contact activities such as looking at or making abusive images.
- Encouraging children to watch sexual activities.
- Encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Any sexual activity with a child under the age of 16. (with or without agreement)
Persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection, which adversely affects the child’s emotional and behavioural development. e.g.
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate.
- Overprotection, limiting exploration and learning, preventing normal social interaction or imposing inappropriate expectations.
- Causing a child to feel frightened or in danger by the witnessing of violence towards another person whether domestic or not.
Recognition of possible abuse:
It is extremely difficult to determine if abuse has occurred. Teachers should look carefully at the behaviour of their children and be alert for significant changes. Teachers should be aware that although children may exhibit any of the following abuse might not have occurred:
- Non-accidental injury, bruising or marks.
- Explanation inconsistent with injury.
- Several different explanations for an injury.
- Reluctance to give information about an injury
- A sudden change in behaviour – aggression, extroversion, depression, withdrawn.
- Attention seeking
- Poor attention
- Appear frightened of parents or family members
- Abnormal attachment between parent and child
- Indiscriminate attachment
- Hyper alertness.
- Reduced response.
- Frozen watchfulness.
- Abdominal pain/headaches.
- Poor self-esteem.
- Poor peer relationships
- Act in an inappropriate way for age
- Over sexualised play/talk or drawings.
- Excessive or inappropriate masturbation
- Self harm/eating disorder
- Frequent visits to the toilet (urinary infection).
- Reluctance to change for P.E.
- Failure to thrive
- Poor hygiene
- Recurrent/untreated infections of skin or head lice
- Untreated health/dental issues
- Frequent absence from school or repeated lateness
- Delay in meeting normal developmental milestones
What should you do if a young person reports abuse or displays any of the above?
If you have observed any of the above conditions or a pupil discloses that they are being abused, then upon receiving the information you should
- React calmly.
- Reassure the child that they were right to tell and that they are not to blame and take what the child says seriously.
- Be careful not to be deemed as putting words into the child’s mouth, the easiest way of doing this is by asking questions. Allow the child to talk – ask only open questions e.g. “Can you tell me more about….” Do not press for detail, put forward your own ideas or use words that the child has not used themselves.
- Do not promise confidentiality.
- Inform the child/ young person what you will do next.
Make a full and written record of what has been said as soon as possible. Record the conversation and facts verbatim in writing immediately afterwards (writing notes during the interview may put undue pressure on the child). Sign and date the report (it may be required as evidence).
- Do not delay in passing on the information.
The written record should include:
- The child’s known details including name, date of birth, address and contact numbers.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation, including dates, times, specific factors and any other relevant information.
- Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
- Details of witnesses to the incidents.
- The child’s account if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or others injuries occurred.
- Accounts from others, including colleagues and parents.
When the designated named person needs to make a referral, the referral will be made to the local Social Services- Child Protection Unit tel: 01274 437500
- In some cases, we may need to protect a child immediately- in these situations, emergency action will be taken by dialling 999. The Police are the only agency with statutory powers for the immediate protection of children.
We stress it is not Atlas Community Primary school’s responsibility to decide whether abuse has taken place or not, however should any concerns be raised we will pass on information to the appropriate authority immediately. The best interest of the child is our paramount concern.
Safer Recruitment and Selection
The school pays full regard to current DCSF guidance ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’ Jan 2007. We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school who is likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult including e.g. volunteers and staff employed by contractors. Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and, where appropriate, undertaking List 99 and Criminal Records Bureau checks.
In line with statutory changes, underpinned by regulations, the following will apply:
- a CRB Enhanced Disclosure is obtained for all new appointments to our school’s workforce through staffing personnel and payroll
- this school is committed to keep an up to date single central record detailing a range of checks carried out on our staff – a copy is also held at the Personnel and Payroll Unit, Bradford council and EB services
- all new appointments to our school workforce who have lived outside the UK will be subject to additional checks as appropriate
- our school ensures that supply staff have undergone the necessary checks and will be made aware of this policy
- identity checks must be carried out on all appointments to our school workforce before the appointment is made, in partnership with the LA
Miss Carr (Headteacher) Ms. Keeley (Business Manager)and Mrs. Dallas (Chair of Governors) have undertaken the National College for School Leadership Safe Recruitment training (www.ncsl.org.uk). One of the above will be involved in all staff and volunteer appointments and arrangements (including, where appropriate, contracted services).