Introduction

The Safeguarding policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by legislation including the Children Act (1989), Sections 175 and 176 Education Act  (2002),  the  Children  Act  (2004)  and  related guidance including but not limited to:

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, DfE (March 2015)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE September 2016
  • Local Safeguarding Children Board policies and procedures
  • Disqualification under the childcare act 2006 (DfE March 2015)
  • Serious Crime Act, DfE March 2015
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act, DfE February 2015

The Governors and Executive Leadership Team of Darwen Aldridge Community Academy take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.

This policy applies to all pupils, staff, parents, Board members, volunteers and visitors to DACA.

The Designated Child Protection Co-­ordinator (DCPC) (designated safeguarding lead) who has overall responsibility for child protection practice in the Academy is Mr David Cane, Vice Principal responsible for student care and guidance. The Deputy DCPC is Mrs Fiona Beaumont, Vice Principal responsible for curriculum, innovation and standards.

The designated Governor for safeguarding at DACA is, Glenda Brindle

As part of the ethos of the Academy we are committed to:

  • Ensuring children’s welfare as our paramount concern.
  • Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected; confident to talk openly and sure of being listened to.
  • Providing suitable support and guidance so that students have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties.
  • Using the curriculum to provide opportunities for increasing self awareness, self esteem, assertiveness and decision making so that students have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others.
  • Working with parents to build an understanding of the academy’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations.
  • Ensuring all staff are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the academy’s procedures and lines of communication.
  • Monitoring children and young people who have been identified as “in need” including the need for protection; keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies; particularly around delivering help at the earliest opportunity (early help).

 

Roles and responsibilities

The Governing Body will ensure that:

  • The safeguarding policy is in place and is reviewed annually, is available publicly via our website and has been written in line with Local Safeguarding Children Board guidance.
  • The Academy contributes to inter-­agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015);
  • A member of the leadership team is designated to take the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and that there is an alternate and appropriately trained member of staff identified to deal with any issues in the absence of the DCPC. There must always be cover for this role and it is the responsibility of the DCPC to ensure that cover is in place in his/her absence. All staff receive a safeguarding induction and are provided with a copy of this policy and the staff code of conduct;
  • All staff undertake appropriate child protection training that is updated regularly (as a minimum this should be no longer than every three years); Designated Safeguarding Roles and other key staff will undertake more in-­depth training as appropriate. This will include designated lead training every two years and additional training on wider issues such as female genital mutilation preventing extremism and child sexual exploitation for example.
  • Procedures are in place for dealing with allegations against members of staff and volunteers in line with statutory guidance;
  • Safer recruitment practices are followed in accordance with the requirements of ’Keeping Children Safe in Education’ DfE (July 2015);
  • They remedy without delay any weakness in regard to our safeguarding arrangements that are brought to their attention.
  • The Board will receive a safeguarding report at each termly meeting. The Board has full access at any time to the following documents: record of the training that has taken place, the number of staff attending, all safeguarding activity that has taken place, for example, meetings attended, reports written, training or induction given. Individual student files that have open cases are kept secured and relevant information is accessible by the Board on request.

The Principal is responsible for:

  • Identifying members of the leadership team to be the DCPC.
  • Identifying alternate members of staff to act as the DCPC in case of the absence of the DCPC to ensure there is always cover for the role;
  • Ensuring that the policies and procedures adopted by the Board, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by all staff;
  • Ensuring that all staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and such concerns are addressed sensitively in accordance with agreed whistle-‑blowing procedures;
  • Liaise directly with the LADO in the event of an allegation of abuse being made against a member of staff.

The role of the Designated Child Protection Coordinator:

  • The DCPC will carry out their role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Annex B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ March 2015.
  • The DCPC will provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the DCPC.
  • The DCPC will represent the Academy at child protection conferences and core group meetings. Through appropriate training, knowledge and experience our DCPC will liaise with Children’s Services and other agencies where necessary, and make referrals of suspected abuse to Children’s Services, take part in strategy discussions and other interagency meetings and contribute to the assessment of children.
  • The DCPC will maintain written records and child protection files ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely.
  • The DCPC is responsible for ensuring that all staff members and volunteers are aware of our policy and the procedure they need to follow. They will ensure that all staff, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction and have been trained within the Academy to the agreed Academy’s standard of safeguarding training.
  • The DCPC is also required to complete a Safeguarding Self-‑Review Assessment Report annually which demonstrates that the safeguarding arrangements in the school are being met. If the self-assessment highlights any areas for improvement, this will be detailed in the action plan which will be signed off and monitored by the
  • Named Board member for Safeguarding to ensure these improvements are implemented.

All adults in the academy have a role to play in relation to:

  • Protecting children from abuse
  • Promoting the welfare of children
  • Preventing children from being harmed

The role of the Academy in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.
All adults in the academy have a role to play in relation to:

  • Protecting children from abuse
  • Promoting the welfare of children
  • Preventing children from being harmed

The role of the Academy in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.

 

General strategies

This section gives an opportunity for staff to identify the specific ways in which child protection issues are addressed within the curriculum, policies and guidance or through academy/community initiatives.
This may include:
PHSE
Behaviour Management Policy
Peer mentoring
Community initiatives
Anti-­Bullying Strategies
Care Plans/Personal Education Plans
Early Help Assessments
Complaints Procedures
Health and Safety
Risk Assessments
Extra Curricular Activities

 

Procedures
Any member of staff who has concerns over the welfare of a child, or the actions of others that may put a child at risk, should speak to the DCPC in the first instance and where possible, write a full account of their concerns. Staff should ensure that any emails that are sent are followed up in person.

Concerns of a safeguarding nature are referred to the Blackburn with Darwen by a member of the pastoral team at the Academy. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the central resource for the Blackbum with Darwen area receiving all safeguarding and children in need enquiries. MASH was piloted within Blackburn with Darwen of December 2011 going live in April 2013. MASH brings together a team of multi-disciplinary professionals from partner agencies into the same room to deal with all safeguarding and Child in Need concerns. These professionals share information to ensure early identification of potential Significant Harm and can trigger immediate interventions to prevent further harm. Essentially the hub will analyse information that is already known within separate organisations in a coherent format to inform all safeguarding decisions. As a result, the agencies will be able to act quickly, in a co-ordinated and consistent way, ensuring that vulnerable children and young people are kept safe from harm. Each of these agencies has a responsibility to identify and assess risks to children and young people and, where appropriate, take action. At this time within Blackbum with Darwen MASH there are representations from Childrens Social Care, the Police, Adult Social Care, Heath and a domestic violence ad vacate. They have virtual links with Probation, the Fire Service, The Youth Offending Team and The CAF I Early Years Team. Going forward it is hoped that there will be

The MASH method has resulted in more effective and earlier identification of vulnerable children I young people. The MASH referral formalong with other safeguarding documents are available at

http://www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/child-and-family-assessment.aspx
In addition to this, the Local children safeguarding board (LCSB) procedures and policies can be found at http://www.lscb.org.uk Should a member of staff either feel unhappy with the way in with a disclosure is dealt with by the Academy, the contact is:

Megan Dumpleton on 01254 587547 who is the Local authority designated officer (LADO) for Blackbum with Darwen.

 

Recognition and categories of abuse

All staff in The Academy should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse. These are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

 

Female Genital Mutilation

From October 2015, where a teacher discovers (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18, there is a statutory duty upon that individual to report it to the police. Failing to report such cases will result in disciplinary sanctions.

Note: It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence of FGM, and they should not be examining students. However, the same definition of what is meant by ‘to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies.

 

Children Missing from Education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education that is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. A child missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.

DACA will follow the procedures set out locally 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 Academy must inform the local authority if any student is to be deleted from the admissions register where the following occur:

  • Have been taken out of school by their parents and are being educated outside the school system e.g. home education
  • Have ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered
  • Have been permanently excluded
  • Have been certified by a medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age.

The student’s local authority must be informed before the student is deleted from the Admissions Register, so that the authority can, follow up with any child who might be in danger of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of abuse or neglect.

The Academy must inform the child’s local authority of any student 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.

 

The risk of radicalisation

Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy. Part of the strategy covers both the teaching of living in a democratic society and also how we can protect children from the dangers of radicalisation. Through social media in particular, vulnerable young people have been drawn into the world of extremism and it is our view that we need to protect children from this in much the same way as we would from cyber bullying and sexual exploitation, through a fit for purpose PSHEE curriculum and via SMSC. However, vigilance is important and some students, particularly those with additional needs can be attracted to radicalisation and therefore the message of the dangers of extremism need to be constant. Several cases have been reported nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and democracy which leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.

DACA values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and it is important that staff challenge both extremist viewpoints and those that do not allow the opinions of others. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.

Evidently, extremism comes in many forms. DACA seeks to protect children against the messages of all violent extremism including, those linked to extreme religious ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, and extremist Animal Rights movements. The list is not exhaustive and staff need to be vigilant about any remark or act that could be deemed to be undemocratic.

 

Risk reduction

DACA governors, the Principal and the DCPC have compiled an audit in response to the Prevent Agenda and have put actions in place to reduce the risk of students being drawn towards extremism. This includes a review of DACA’s RE curriculum, assembly rota, the PSHEE curriculum, how we promote SMSC and the validity of any guest speakers that we use. In addition to this, we will continue to promote British values and ensure that resources are differentiated in order for all students to be able to access the key messages.

Furthermore, the use of ICT and internet searches will be monitored closely by our Network Manager.

 

Reporting

The DACA contact for the reporting of any child protection concerns is the DCPC, Mr David Cane, as we view it very much, part of our safeguarding requirements. This person will be the lead within the organisation in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will

If any member of staff has concerns that a student, or another member of staff may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DCPC as soon as possible and record it in the same way as any other safeguarding concern.

 

Safeguarding students at risk of forced marriage, extremism or trafficking

The DACA safeguarding policy aims to work with families and the community in tackling these issues and pastoral staff are trained to deal sensitively with them. The curriculum will tackle these issue at an age appropriate time and if there is a genuine gap in our knowledge, we will seek advice from the local authority or the police when necessary.

This includes concerns about a child who is affected by the behaviour of a parent or other adult in their household.

Staff must report any changes in the behaviours of students, such as becoming insular, secretive, or when they demonstrate opinion that is extreme and does not allow for the opinion of others.

 

Seeking support from another agency

The DCPC may refer to the Multi-°©‐‑Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at Blackburn with Darwen, or involve Channel, who may intervene with a student or family if they are vulnerable to being involved in radicalisation.

If there is imminent danger to the safeguarding of a child, then a direct call to the police may be appropriate. This will only occur via consultation between the Principal and the DCPC.

Responding to concerns about a student who is at risk over concerns other than that of extremism

Concerns for a child or young person may come to the attention of staff in a variety of ways for example through observation of behaviour or injuries or disclosure. Any member of staff who has a concern for a child or young person however insignificant this might appear to be should discuss this with the DCPC as soon as is practically possible. More serious concerns must be reported immediately to ensure that any intervention necessary to protect the child is accessed as early as possible.

If a child makes a disclosure of abuse to a member of staff they should:

  • Allow the child or young person to make the disclosure at their own pace and in their own way.
  • Avoid interrupting except to clarify what the child is saying (attentive listening/reflective feedback).
  • Not ask leading questions or probe for information that the child or young person does not volunteer.
  • Reassure the child or young person that they have been heard and explain what you will do next and to whom you will talk.
  • Record the conversation as soon as possible, by taking hand written notes if feasible.
  • Inform the DCPC.

 

Record keeping

Staff can play a vital role in helping children in need or at risk by effective monitoring and record keeping. Any incident or behavioural change in a child or young person that gives cause for concern should be recorded and handed in person to the designated person – David Cane. It is important that records are factual and reflect the words used by the child or young person. Opinion should not be given unless there is some form of evidence base which can also be quoted. At no time should the child be asked leading questions, just ensure that you have the facts. In addition to this, let the child know that you are unable to keep this information to yourself, and that you must pass it on to the designated person. Records must be signed and dated with timings if appropriate. It is important to remember that any issues are confidential and staff should know only on a ‘need to know’ basis.

 

Information to be recorded:

  • Child’s name and date of birth.
  • Child in normal context, e.g. behaviour, attitude, (has there been an extreme change).
  • The incident(s) which gives rise for concern with date(s) and times(s).
  • A verbatim record of what the child or young person has said.
  • If recording bruising/injuries indicate position, colour, size, shape and time on body map.
  • Action taken.

These basic details are vital to the information gathering process and do not constitute an investigation. Written information should be passed to the DCPC. Preferably using the cause for concern sheets. The Principal should also always be kept informed of any significant issues.

 

Storage of records

The DCPC will ensure that records relating to concerns for the welfare or safety of children are kept separate from other academy files and are stored securely. Information will be shared on a strictly need to know basis and in line with child protection policy guidance.


Referrals to Social Services

It is the responsibility of the DCPC to decide when to make a referral to the Social Services Directorate. To help with this decision s/he may choose to consult with the LADO. Advice may also be sought from the MASH team who offer opportunities for consultation as part of the child in need / child protection process.

Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns for a child or young person and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these. Some concerns may need to be monitored over a period of time before a decision to refer to Social Services is made.

In all but the most exceptional cases parents/carers will be made aware of the concerns felt for a child or young person at the earliest possible stage and in the event of this becoming necessary, their consent to a referral to Social Services will be sought.

Referrals to Social Services will be made using the MASH referral form. In situations where there are felt to be urgent or grave concerns a telephone referral will be made prior to the form being completed and sent to the referral and assessment team.

If a child or young person is referred, the DCPC will ensure that the Principal and other relevant staff are informed of this.

If after consultation with the DCPC a member of staff feels that appropriate action is not being taken in respect of his or her concerns for a child s/he should refer directly to Social Services. The Principal should be informed of this decision.

 

The list of vulnerable children

The DCPC will inform members of staff who have direct pastoral responsibility for children and young people whose names are on this list. The categories for which their names are listed are:

Children on the Child Protection Register.

  • Children in our Care (CIOC).
  • Young carers.
  • Privately fostered children.
  • Children with a CAF.
  • Children in need.
  • Children working with operation engage.
  • Those families referred to “Family wise”.

These children and young persons must be monitored very carefully and the smallest concern should be recorded on a cause for concern sheet and passed immediately to the DCPC or the deputy DCPC/Principal in the DCPC’s absence.

 

Concerns involving members of staff

Any concerns that involve allegations against a member of staff should be referred immediately to the Principal who will contact the LADO to discuss and agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and the member of staff.

Further information regarding the procedure for managing situations involving members of staff, the Principal or the DCPC can be found in the Child Protection Procedures for Managing Allegations Against Staff. These have been emailed to all staff and further copies of this document are held by the Principal.

All staff need to be aware that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. When in doubt – consult. (For specific guidance on how to respond to allegations against staff, please refer to the Child Protection Procedures for Managing Allegations Against Staff).

 

Code of Practice (staff behaviour)

All academy staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with relation to child protection. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults. Physical intervention should only be used when the child is endangering him/herself or others and such events should be recorded and signed by a witness. Staff intervening need to be Team Teach trained. Any physical interventions must be in line with the agreed policy.

All academy staff should work towards providing an environment and atmosphere for children and young people to enable them to feel safe to talk.

However, staff should never promise a child to keep certain information confidential. It must be explained that staff have certain duties to help keep that child safe, which may involve informing others.

In addition to this staff should:

  • Have personal mobile phones switched off during the Academy day.
  • Never give out their personal mobile phone number to any student.
  • Never communicate with students through chat rooms and social media such as Facebook either during the academy day or at any other time.
  • Leave classroom doors open where possible.

 

Supervision and support for staff

Any member of staff affected by issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from the DCPC or the Academy Counsellor directly.

All newly qualified teachers and classroom assistants have a mentor or coordinator with whom they can discuss concerns including the area of child protection.

The DCPC can put staff and parents in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they so wish.

 

Students placed on the vulnerable children list

This is a confidential register that can be accessed by staff in the shared area. The document is read only and cannot be printed. At no time should there be open discussions about any child. The DCPC will let staff know if it is felt that it is necessary to do so about any developments, likewise, if a member of staff has any concerns about a student who is on the register, please contact the DCPC and hand over written information as noted above.

 

Looked After Children (LAC)

We seek to ensure that LAC gain maximum life change benefits through access to high quality educational opportunities and services, appropriate to their individual needs.

A student receiving their education at The Darwen Aldridge Community

Academy can expect -

  • To be treated as an individual.
  • Not to be singled out or discriminated against in any way.
  • To be given the same opportunities and encouragement as all other young people in the school.
  • Cultural, religious and special educational needs will be met.
  • An up to date Personal Education Plan
  • Help to catch up if they have missed school because their placement has changed.
  • Help if they can’t attend school.
  • Support and encouragement to attend activities after school, such as cultural, clubs, arts, drama and music clubs or anything else they might be interested in or want to try.
  • Support and encouragement to meet new people, make new friends and feel more confident.

 

Information we hold about them will be kept confidential. If information is to be shared with others, we will always try to tell them beforehand.

The Academy has a designated Teacher for LAC, David Cane, who will help students with any concerns that they have about their education.

The Academy has a designated Governor to champion the needs of Looked After Children. This is Glenda Brindle.

 

Training opportunities

The DCPC is responsible for ensuring staff including himself receive training in the area of child protection.

 

Monitoring and review

All school personnel and governors will have a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss its contents prior to the approval of the

Governing Body being formally sought.

This policy was initially written in April 2008 and has been reviewed in October 2010 and a full review was undertaken by Governors in September 2015 to reflect the new guidance and legislation issued in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare within educational institutions.

The policy forms part of our academy development plan and will be reviewed annually.

All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its content.

 

Michael Blakey, Chair of Governors

Date of next review: Autumn 2016