Child Protection and Safeguarding
Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary School, in line with our statutory responsibilities and our Mission Statement, believes that all children have a right to freedom from abuse and to be treated with respect and dignity.
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy provides clear direction to staff and others about expected codes of behaviour in dealing with child protection issues. It makes explicit the School’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures. This ensures that child protection concerns and referrals may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways which prioritise the needs of the child.
Parents/carers can request a copy of this policy.
There are three main elements to our Child Protection Policy:
- Prevention - positive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to pupils.
- Protection - following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns.
- Support for pupils, school staff and children who may have been abused.
We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, peer support and clear lines of communication with trusted adults help all children, and especially those at risk of or suffering from abuse.
Our School will therefore:
- establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to;
- ensure that children know that there are adults in School who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty;
- include in the PSHE curriculum activities and opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe and/or communicate their ears or concerns about abuse;
- include in the School Curriculum material which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills;
- ensure that every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents/carers and colleagues from other agencies.
Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection.
Staff will never guarantee confidentiality to a child but advise children that the information they have disclosed may need to be shared with others.
Professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them. This has been recognised in principle by the courts.
Any disclosure of personal information to others, (including Children’s Social Care Services), must always have regard to both common and statute law.
Normally, personal information should only be disclosed to third parties (including other agencies) with the consent of the subject of that information (Data Protection Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8). Wherever possible, consent should be obtained before sharing personal information with third parties. In some circumstances, consent may not be possible or desirable but the safety and welfare of a child dictate that the information should be shared. The law permits the disclosure of confidential information necessary to safeguard a child or children. Disclosure should be justifiable in each case, according to the particular facts of the case, and legal advice should be sought if in doubt.
(See also Document A10 (ii) in Child Protection Information Pack)
RECORDS AND MONITORING
Well kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our School is clear about the need to record any concerns held about a child or children within our School, the status of such records and when these records or parts of these records may be shared with other agencies.
- Child Protection records will be accessed and maintained by designated persons only.
- Child Protection records will be kept in a secure place separate from all other records pertaining to the child.
- Expressions of concern will be maintained as school records in a secure place and accessed only by designated persons.
- If a child leaves or transfers to another school official documentation will be transferred to the receiving school.
TRANSFERRING INFORMATION WHEN A PUPIL LEAVES
Our School recognises how imperative it is that relevant child protection information is forwarded to the receiving establishment as quickly as possible. Such information sharing should occur between the DSP as soon as possible or at least within 15 days of the child’s departure. It is inappropriate to simply forward all documentation as this leaves the former school with no record. All records should be kept securely until the ‘child’s’ 25th birthday, after which they should be shredded.
Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary School operates the following policy on its website regarding the use of photographs, to ensure the privacy and safety of pupils at the school:
By observing these points, the school ensures that visitors to the website cannot link images of pupils to names of pupils. When choosing photographs for the website, the school is mindful of the way pupils may appear in them, and will not include images which are in any way inappropriate, such as close-up portrait shots of individual pupils.
- Where pupils are named, only their first names are given;
- Where a pupil is named, no photograph of that pupil is displayed;
- Where a photograph is used which shows a pupil, no name is displayed.
The school follows a policy of seeking parents' permission before using images which show pupils on the website.
No other private information about pupils is ever published on the website such as surnames or contact details
There are currently no procedures for reporting Domestic Abuse incidents to schools which means that our children are left without the support and nurture that they need when they need it most. Operation Encompass has been created to address this so that by 9.00am on the next school day the school’s Key Adult will be informed that the child or young person has been involved, heard or witnessed a domestic incident. This knowledge, given to schools through Operation Encompass, allows the provision of immediate early intervention through silent or overt support dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
For further information please go to the Operation Encompass website:
At Barrowford St Thomas our Key Adult is Mrs Jo Duckworth (Headteacher)
PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ACCESS A RANGE OF RESOURCES SUPPORTING THE TEACHING OF THE PREVENT CURRICULUM IN LANCASHIRE.