This policy was written in August 2013 and is due for review in August 2014. This policy applies to across all of EtonHouse Prep including coverage of the EYFS.
This policy is available to read on the EtonHouse Prep website and on request in the EtonHouse Prep Office. EtonHouse Prep fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding pupils. Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in EtonHouse Prep.
Aims of this Policy
- To ensure a Designated Senior Person for EtonHouse Prep is appointed and that all staff and volunteers know their name
- To ensure that all staff and volunteers understand the nature of abuse, and the correct procedures, should concern over a child in our care arise
- To provide a safe environment for the children to learn and develop
- To identify children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and take appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and at EtonHouse Prep
- To support children who have been abused in accordance with their agreed child protection plan
- To prevent unsuitable people working with children at EtonHouse Prep.
Designated Senior Person (Child Protection Officer)
The DSP for EtonHouse Prep is the Headmaster, Mr Tom Lewis.
Responsibilities of the DSP
- Arranging training for all staff, including the Headmaster and part time staff, every three years and training for all new volunteers and members of staff
- Producing and updating EtonHouse Prep’s Safeguarding Policy
- Providing support and advice for staff and volunteers
- Referring any concerns as soon as they become apparent to the relevant authorities
- Ensuring that relevant information about a child is disseminated to appropriate staff and volunteers within EtonHouse Prep
- Maintaining accurate and secure records
- Ensuring complete records are sent to receiving schools, where necessary
- Providing the Proprietors with the policy and school arrangements to enable them to carry out an annual review of EtonHouse Prep’s policies and procedures including the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged
- To report to the relevant authorities, within one month of leaving EtonHouse Prep, any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or a student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children
Staffing at EtonHouse Prep
EtonHouse Prep will operate safe recruitment procedures. In order to minimise the risk of employing or engaging an individual who poses any risk to the children at EtonHouse Prep, the following procedures are followed:
The employer will apply to the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) for an enhanced disclosure for all staff, including the Proprietors and regular volunteers (including parents) to verify their declaration concerning any convictions, cautions or bind-overs, which they have incurred. If a disclosure comes back, the Headmaster will assess whether the disclosure will affect the role the applicant has applied for. In addition:
- Staff identity is checked by seeing the applicant’s passport
- Verification of the applicant’s qualifications, including QTS, NQT induction, registration with the GTC and checking the applicant has the right to work in Korea
- Staff employment history is checked through the use of an application form
- Expatriate Staff complete a medical as part of the visa process
- References are always taken up and are always obtained directly from the referee. Two written references are followed up, one of which includes the last employer. The referee is asked to comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children and to give any details of disciplinary procedures the applicant has been subject to.
EtonHouse Prep strives to minimise risks of harm. As a education center, we consider a child’s social, moral, spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual development and growth in relation to safeguarding.
Potential risks to minimise may include:
- Risk of accident or injury
- Risk of children being abused, being bullied, becoming lost or being taken by someone
- Risk of children becoming significantly distressed or upset
- Risk of children suffering any form of harm that a reasonable person would consider significant rather than negligible
To minimise these risks the following procedures are in place:
- Adequate supervision at all times within EtonHouse Prep
- Constant supervision of the children when outside EtonHouse Prep, including Park visits, Sport, on EtonHouse Prep buses, at the Swimming Pool or on field trips
- Supervision of children is by CRB checked members of staff
- Contract workers are never left unsupervised with the children.
- CRB checks are obtained for any adult who could potentially have unsupervised access to the children throughout the school day
- Assemblies follow moral issues and PSHE lessons and form time are also linked towards encouraging children to raise concerns or problems and to look at how they can stay safe
- A strong pastoral care system, with weekly meetings among staff
- Promoting tolerance of ‘difference’
- Security is strongly linked to supervision. On arrival at EtonHouse Prep facilities, visitors report to the School Office, where identity checks may be made and visitor passes issued. Staff are aware of the need to challenge the presence of anyone in the building they are uncertain of. All doors to access EtonHouse Prep are manned by senior members of staff during morning drop off and afternoon pick up.
Staff Protection Code of Practice
The following guidelines are made clear to staff and volunteers on appointment:
- The importance of being even-handed in relationships with pupils
- The issue of unambiguous behaviour towards pupils (e.g. the child should initiate the hug, not the teacher and appropriate responses to such actions)
- To avoid secrecy, and understand confidentiality
- To share concerns and worries with colleagues
- To endeavour to avoid being misinterpreted
- To understand issues concerning physical restraint
- To consider their supervision of pupils, especially if alone with a child
- To consider the physical contact involved when working with children e.g. administering first aid and coaching sport/teaching music
- To consider the effects of giving personal information to pupils
- To consider their behaviour at all times e.g. teasing pupils, favouritism, losing their temper and the effect these might have
- To record in writing anything that might be misinterpreted
- To take caution in electronic communication with a pupil
- EtonHouse Prep’s Safeguarding policy and the identity of the DSP
Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect
Working Together April 2006 (4th Edition)
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Physical abuse 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 is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the 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 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, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is 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 and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Staff should familiarise themselves with these signs and must be aware that many children can show some of these symptoms (especially the behavioural ones), but are they:
- Out of the ordinary?
- Showing consistent unhappiness or anger?
- Sufficient to affect normal physical, sexual, emotional, educational or social development?
Responding to Suspicions and Evidence of Child Abuse
Once part of EtonHouse Prep, members of staff have an important role, which includes: daily contact with the children, observing the children’s work, drawings, watching them play and noticing changes in their behaviour. Through conversation alone the child may disclose information to someone at EtonHouse Prep they trust. This may be a teacher or volunteer, and therefore all staff and volunteers need to be aware of the appropriate action, should any indications become apparent.
Staff and volunteers must be careful to take note of anything, which may give cause for concern, irrespective of how trivial it may seem at the time. Note keeping enables EtonHouse Prep to build up a rounded picture and a context within which to assess anything that concerns us about the particular child. Note taking should take into account the date, time, place, people present and what was said and should be given to the DSP immediately.
Following up on an Allegation
The DSP will assess the situation and decide whether the information needs to be shared with other professionals, particularly investigative agencies e.g. Social Services. The DSP will lead the processing of referring a child to Social Services of a disclosure or suspicion of abuse. A referral will be followed up in writing. Where possible, concerns will be discussed with the parents and agreement sought for a referral to the Social Services, unless this may place the child at harm. If the parents are not informed, the DSP will record reasons for this. Social Services may also be consulted for advice without naming the child.
Social Services will then decide whether the child is in need or at risk of significant harm. If a child is viewed to be at risk of significant harm, an initial assessment will be carried out by Social Services.
EtonHouse Prep’s primary concern at all times is to safeguard the child’s welfare.
Urgent referrals should be made if anyone suspects actual physical injury, disclosure of abuse, or clear evidence of neglect. It is vital that members of staff do not seek to take on the role of investigators and that EtonHouse Prep’s procedures are followed strictly.
Allegations against EtonHouse Prep Members of Staff and Volunteers
Allegations may involve behaving in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child; possibly committing a criminal offence against or related to a child; or behaving towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children. The following procedures are followed:
- We ensure that all parents and members of staff know how to complain about staff or volunteer action within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- We respond to any disclosure by children, parents, volunteers or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
- A member of staff or volunteer receiving an allegation of abuse should report this immediately to the DSP. An allegation against the Headmaster should be reported to the Proprietors.
- An initial assessment of an allegation should be made by the DSP to judge whether there is need for immediate action to protect the child. All allegations are thoroughly investigated.
- Enquiries are conducted in the strictest confidence so that information can be given freely and without fear of victimisation and in a way that protects the child, facilitates the enquiries, manages disciplinary/complaints aspects and protects the rights of the alleged perpetrator.
- The DSP should obtain written details of the allegations, signed and dated, from the person who received the allegation (Not the child).
- The DSP should record any information about dates, times, locations and names of potential witnesses.
- Where a referral is made because the child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm or the alleged abuse is a criminal offence the appropriate procedure will be followed. We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by Social Services in conjunction with the police. Social Services will decide whether to authorise a child protection enquiry.
- After liaison with Social Services, a strategy meeting is usually held, which the DSP would attend. This meeting would decide whether it is a Child Protection issue or a practice issue, and in discussion with the DSP a decision would be made whether the teacher needed to be suspended.
The DSP should:
- Ensure the parents of the child who is the alleged victim have been informed about the allegation and the likely course of action. They should be kept informed of the progress and the outcome.
- Inform the member of staff or volunteer against whom the allegation is made and explain the likely courses of action.
- Keep a written record of how the allegation was followed up, take a note of any action taken and decisions reached and ensure this is kept on the person’s confidential personnel file, and a copy provided to the alleged person.
- The ‘alleged’ person may be suspended on full pay, after careful consideration if this is deemed the best course of action until the allegation is resolved. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.
- Where an allegation is proved to be without foundation the Head will decide whether disciplinary actions are required. Child protection enquiries take priority over disciplinary investigations and the disciplinary process must be clearly separated from the child protection enquiries.
Disciplinary Action Against a Member of Staff
Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting or internally disciplined because of misconduct from the setting or internally disciplined because of the misconduct relating to the child, we notify the authorities to provide information about individuals working with children or vulnerable adults where we consider them to have caused harm or pose a risk of harm.
Arrangements for dealing with abuse by one or more pupils against another
Please refer to EtonHouse Prep’s Behaviour Management Policy and Anti-bullying policy. In extreme circumstances it may be necessary to refer an incident to an external agency.