SAFE WORKING PRACTICES FOR THE PROTECTION

OF STAFF AND CHILDREN

AT ST.DEMETRIOS GREEK SCHOOL

CHILD SAFEGUARDING PROTECTION POLICY

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer

Miss Zoe Fostini

The Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Stavroula Prodromou

The Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

Miss Elena Talia     

The Safeguarding Team

Mr Andreas Chrysanthou

Mr Nick Daniel

Mr.Michael Michael

Mrs Katerina Mavroudi

 

REVIEW CYCLE: 1 YEAR

 

INTRODUCTION

Following current legislation and national guidance this document has been produced to ensure that young people are safeguarded and to reduce the risk of staff being falsely accused of improper or unprofessional conduct. It applies to all adults working in a paid or unpaid capacity in the Greek supplementary schools.

DUTY OF CARE

Teachers and other staff (volunteers, committee members and others) have a duty to keep children and young people safe and to protect them from physical and emotional harm and should always act in the child’s best interests.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Staffs are expected to treat information about children and young people in a discreet and confidential manner. However, there are some circumstances in which information must be shared, for example when abuse is alleged or suspected. In such cases, information should be passed to the designated child protection officer of the school (usually the head teacher or a trained member of staff)

BEHAVIOUR

All staff should adopt high standards of personal conduct and not behave in a manner, which would lead people to question their suitability to work with children. For example, staff should not

discuss their own personal relationships with or in the presence of pupils
discuss a pupil’s personal issues in inappropriate settings
make sexual remarks to a pupil (including email, text messages, letter etc)
make comments which scapegoat demean or humiliate pupils

DRESS AND APPEARANCE.

Staff should ensure they are dressed appropriately. They should wear clothing that is not likely to be viewed as offensive, revealing or which may place staff vulnerable to criticism or allegation.

GIFTS

There are occasions when children or parents wish to offer teachers small tokens of appreciation e.g. at Christmas or as a thank you, which is acceptable. It is unacceptable to receive gifts on a regular basis or of any significant value. Similarly, it is inadvisable to give such personal gifts to pupils, although small gifts, as part of an agreed reward system are acceptable.

INFATUATIONS

Staff should report to the Head teacher any indications that suggest a pupil may be infatuated with a member of staff.

SOCIAL CONTACT

Friendships/social contact between families of staff and pupils is acceptable.

However, staff should not establish or seek individual social contact with pupils. Staff should not give their personal details such as telephone numbers, home or email address to pupils, unless this is agreed by the Head teacher.

PHYSICAL CONTACT

There are occasions when it is appropriate for staff to have physical contact with pupils but it is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their role, and taking into consideration a pupil’s age, stage of development and gender. There may be occasions when a distressed pupil needs comfort and reassurance and this may include age-appropriate physical contact.

CHILD SAFEGUARDING PROTECTION POLICY

The St. Demetrios Greek School is a voluntary organization CHARITY REG. NO: 281574 and belongs under the umbrella of all Church Community Schools KES,which is responsible for the promotion and running of Greek Community schools.

KES recognises its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within the legal framework of the Children Acts, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019

We are aware that many children and young people are the victims of different kinds of abuse and that they can be subjected to social factors that have an adverse impact upon their lives – including domestic violence, substance misuse, bullying, child prostitution and ritualistic abuse. We aim to create a safe environment within which children and young people can thrive and adults can work with the security of clear guidance.

For the purposes of these policies and procedures, children are any persons under the age of 18 years, or those whom are considered vulnerable.

This child protection policy was adopted by the School executive PTA on September 2019 and would be reviewed annually. The next review is to be carried out on September 2021.

These guidelines are for the use of all paid staff, volunteers, visitors and school committee members of the school. We will make them available to the parents and carers of the children and young people who attend our schools. Through them, we will endeavour to ensure that:

Children and young people are listened to, valued and respected.
Staffs are aware of the need to be alert to the signs of abuse and know what to do.
All paid and unpaid staff are subject to rigorous recruitment procedures.
All paid and unpaid staff are given appropriate support and training.

 

ROLE OF DESIGNATED TEACHER

The child protection designated teacher should be the Head or another member of staff appointed by the Head and all members of staff should be aware of who this person is and what their role is.

Each school should have arrangements in place for when the designated teacher is absent.

The designated officer should act as a source of advice and coordinate action within the school over child protection issues. In order to be effective, the designated member of staff should be offered appropriate child protection training.

The designated teacher should be the first person staff and volunteers report cases to and it is the responsibility of the designated teacher to discuss the situation with the Child

Protection Officer or his/her deputy who would inform the relevant agencies such as:Children and Families (Children’s Service) or Police.

The designated teacher should also deal with allegations made against staff and volunteers.

The designated teacher should ensure that all staff and volunteers receive appropriate child protection training.

THESE GUIDELINES ARE DIVIDED INTO THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:

1.  RECOGNISING SIGNS OF ABUSE

It can often be difficult to recognize abuse. The signs listed in these guidelines are only indicators and many can have reasonable explanations. Children may behave strangely or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their families experience changes. It is nevertheless important to know what could indicate that abuse is taking place and to be alert to the need to consult further.

Someone can abuse a child by actively inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse can take place within a family, in an institutional or community setting, by telephone or on the Internet. Abuse can be carried out by someone known to a child or by a complete stranger.

If you are worried about a child it is important that you keep a written record of any physical or behavioural signs and symptoms. In this way you can monitor whether or not a pattern emerges and provide evidence to any investigation if required.

1.1 PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, and suffocating. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention; this is called fabricated illness or Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. Symptoms that indicate physical abuse include:

Bruising in or around the mouth, on the back
Finger mark bruising or grasp marks on the limbs or chest of a small child
Bites
Burn and scald marks; small round burns that could be caused by a cigarette
Fractures to arms, legs or ribs in a small child
Large numbers of scars of different sizes or ages

 

1.2 EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse happens when a child’s need for love, security, praise and recognition is not met. It usually co-exists with other forms of abuse. Emotionally abusive behaviour occurs if a parent, carer or authority figure is consistently hostile,rejecting, threatening or undermining. It can also result when children are prevented from social contact with others, or if developmentally inappropriate expectations are imposed upon them. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:

Excessively clingy or attention-seeking behaviour
Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism
Excessively withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness;
Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please
Eating disorders

 

1.3 NEGLECT

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, causing damage to their health and development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failing to protect a child from harm or danger, or failing to access appropriate medical care and treatment when necessary. It can exist in isolation or in combination with other forms of abuse. Symptoms of physical and emotional neglect can include:

Inadequate supervision; being left alone for long periods of time
Lack of stimulation, social contact or education
Inadequate nutrition, leading to ill-health
Constant hunger; stealing or gorging food
Failure to seek or to follow medical advice such that a child’s life or development is endangered
Inappropriate clothing for conditions

2.   WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR CONCERNS?

In the event that a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or another child or young person, it is important that you:

Listen to them and/or closely observe their presentation and behaviour;
Let them know that you take what they are saying seriously;
Do not attempt to question or interview them yourself;
Let them know that you will need to tell someone else in order to help them. Do not promise to keep what they tell you secret;
Inform your designated child protection officer as soon as possible;
Make a written record of the incident or events.

Sometimes you may just feel concerned about a child but do not know whether to share your concerns or not. In this situation you should always raise your concerns with your designated child protection officer, who will help you to decide what to do.

The responsibility for investigating allegations of abuse, whether they result from the disclosure of a child or the concerns of an adult, lies with social workers where the child normally lives and the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT). It is the responsibility of the designated child protection officer to make a referral to these agencies The Children’s Service also employs Child Protection Advisors (CPAs), who you can contact in office hours for further specialist guidance.

The Duty social worker or CPA will advise you when or whether to inform the child’s parents or carers about any concerns. If they decide to pursue a child protection investigation, you should:

Work closely and collaboratively with all professionals involved in the investigation, in order to keep the child safe;
Attend a child protection conference if you are invited. You will be asked to provide information about your involvement with the child, which is why it is important to keep records of your concerns;
Attend any subsequent child protection review conferences.

WHO TO CONTACT FOR ADVISE

Social Services and Enfield Safeguarding Children Board is based at:

Charles Babbage House, 1 Orton Grove, Enfield EN1 4TU

Contact: Children’s Social Care 020 379 5555

Out of hours – contact the Duty Officer: 020 8379 1000

Enfield Safeguarding Children Board 020 8379 2767

Prevent: 0208 379 6137

The NSPCC has a 24 hr help line: 0808 800 500

 

3. ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS

We are aware of the possibility that allegations of abuse may be made against members of our staff. They can be made by children and young people and they can be made by other concerned adults. Allegations can be made for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common

Abuse has actually taken place;
Something happens to a child that reminds them of an event that happened in the past the child is unable to recognize that the situation and the people are different;  
Children can misinterpret your language or your actions because they are reminded of something else;
Some children know how powerful an allegation can be; if they are angry with you about something they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out;
An allegation can be a way of seeking attention.

The Designated teacher should bring all allegations to the notice of the SCHOOLS child protection officer immediately. In cases where the allegation is made against the Designated Teacher the complainant should inform directly the SCHOOLS Child Protection Officer.

Make sure that the child in question is safe and away from the alleged abuser;
Contact the Children’s Service Referral & Assessment Team relevant to where the child lives
Contact the parents or carers of the child if advised to do so by the social worker/officer in charge of allegations;
Irrespective of any investigation by social workers or the police, you should follow the appropriate disciplinary procedure; the member of staff will either be asked to carry out other duties away from the school setting or be suspended pending the completion of the investigation.
Consider whether the person has access to children anywhere else and whether those organizations or groups need to be informed;
Act upon the decisions made in any strategy meeting.
All incidents should be investigated internally after any external investigation has finished. There should also be a review of organisational practice and if necessary additional measures put in place to prevent a similar thing happening again.

4.    SAFE RECRUITMENT

The application of rigorous procedures for the recruitment of any staff who come into contact with children, both directly and indirectly, can reduce the likelihood of allegations of abuse being made that are founded. As an absolute minimum, the following standards should be followed:

All prospective staff (paid and unpaid) should complete an application form which asks for details of their previous employment and for the names of two referees;
All prospective workers (paid and unpaid) should have a new DBS before they start employment with you – anyone who refuses to do so should not be employed; for those members of staff who have recently arrived to UK from Cyprus or Greece, they will be obliged to produce the equivalent checks All prospective workers (paid and unpaid) should be interviewed to establish previous experience of working in an environment where there is contact with children and perceptions of acceptable behaviour;
Nobody should start work before references have been received. Referees should be reminded that references should not misrepresent the candidate or omit to say things that might be relevant to their employment;
All appointments to work with children should be subject to an agreed probationary period;
New members of staff should be clear about their responsibilities and wherever possible, work to an agreed job description;
These guidelines should be available to everyone and fully discussed as part of an induction process.

 

5. GOOD PRACTISE

Every organization working with children should have a designated child protection teacher who must undergo child protection training. It is the responsibility of this person to make themselves available for consultation by staff, volunteers, visitors, children and their families and to report all incidents to the St, Demetrios Child protection Officer.

All staff are responsible for children while on these premises and must make sure that health and safety guidelines are adhered to;
All staff working with children should receive supervision from a more experienced staff member and should attend basic child protection training.(refresher courses every 3 years)
No member of staff should be left alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others;
Under no circumstances should visitors be allowed to wander around the premises unaccompanied when children and young people are present;
Staff should be alert to strangers frequently waiting outside a venue with no apparent purpose. Children should not be collected by people other than their parents unless notification has been received;
If a child is not collected after a session it is reasonable to wait approximately half an hour for a parent or carer to arrive. If the parent or carer or other identified persons cannot be contacted, staff should contact the Child Protection Officer for advice.

POLICY STATEMENT AND PRINCIPLES SUMMARY

Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the school, which is to ensure that pupils/students are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to. This policy is one of a series in the school’s integrated safeguarding portfolio.  

Our core safeguarding principles are:

· Τhe school’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance

· Safer children make more successful learners

· Policies will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review.  

Child protection statement

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, volunteers and governors and are consistent with those of the local safeguarding children board (LSCB).

Policy principles

· The welfare of the child is paramount

· All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection

· All staff has an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm 

· Pupils and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support Policy aims 

· To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable them to meet their child protection responsibilities  

· To ensure consistent good practice

· To demonstrate the school’s commitment with regard to child protection to pupils, parents.

The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy:

· Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2018 resent updates September 2021

· Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021