SAFE WORKING PRACTICES FOR THE PROTECTION

OF STAFF AND CHILDREN

AT ST.DEMETRIOS GREEK SCHOOL

 

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer (from PTA)

Mr Andreas Chrysanthou

Michael Michael

The Designated Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Zoe Fostini

The Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Stavroula Prodromou

The Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

Elena Talia     

The Safeguarding Team

Mr Nick Daniel

Mrs Katerina Mavroudi

Mrs Andri Tsaggari

Mrs Dora Kolia

 

 

REVIEW CYCLE: 1 YEAR

 

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

To ensure that our pupils are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone. Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children and young people. Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) refers to four categories of abuse. These are:

BULLYING

While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause anxiety and distress. All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our tackling-bullying procedures which can be accessed from the staff handbook and the school’s behaviour and anti-bullying polices. 

TAKING ACTION

Any child, in any family in any school could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”. Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:

  • In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, if necessary call 999
  • Report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day
  • Do not start your own investigation
  • Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • Complete a record of concern
  • Seek support for yourself if you are distressed. If you are concerned about a pupil’s welfare there will be occasions when staff may suspect that a pupil may be at risk. The pupil’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, and they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the pupil the opportunity to talk and ask if they are OK or if they can help in any way. Staff should use the welfare concern form to record these early concerns. If the pupil does reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the pupil, if the member of staff has concerns, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL. If a pupil discloses to you It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive. If a pupil talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will, at the appropriate time, let the pupil know that in order to help them they must pass the information on to the DSL. The point at which they tell the pupil this is a matter for professional judgement. During their conversations with the pupils staff will:
  • Allow them to speak freely
  • Remain calm and not overreact
  • Give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’
  • Not be afraid of silences
  • Under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings, or what does the pupil’s mother think about it
  • At an appropriate time tell the pupil that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on and explain to whom and why
  • Not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort
  • Avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong
  • Tell the pupil what will happen next
  • Report verbally to the DSL even if the child has promised to do it by themselves
  • Complete the record of concern form and hand it to the DSL as soon as possible
  • Seek support if they feel distressed. Notifying parents

The school will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a pupil with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure. Our focus is the safety and wellbeing of the pupil. Therefore, if the school believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s social care and/or the police before parents are contacted.

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the pupil and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence. Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, Head teacher/principal or chair of governors (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. However, following a number of cases where senior leaders in school had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the GDPR guidance Information sharing is guided by the following principles. The information is:

  • Necessary and proportionate
  • Relevant
  • Adequate
  • Accurate
  • Timely
  • Secure.

Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share. Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held. The DSL will normally obtain consent from the pupil and/or parents to share sensitive information within the school or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent.

Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the Head teacher. The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. The school’s confidentiality and information-sharing policy is available to parents and pupils on request. Requests may be made via the school offices.

Reporting directly to child protection agency’s Staff should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s social care, police or the NSPCC if:

  • The situation is an emergency and the designated safeguarding lead, their deputy, the head teacher and the chair of governors are all unavailable
  • They are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the pupil’s safety
  • For any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child

 

Department for Education (DfE)

NSPCC stands for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

DSL stands for Designated Safeguarding Lead