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Safeguarding Children Policy

MISSION STATEMENT

The Leadership of The Cedars School (The Trustees and Head Teachers of the Cedars School - hereafter referred to as the School Leadership) recognises the importance of its ministry to children and young people and its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the school’s care.

As part of its mission, the School Leadership is committed to:

 Valuing, listening to and respecting children and young people as well as promoting their welfare and protection.

 Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the workers within the school.

 Adopting a procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse.

 Encouraging and supporting parents/carers.

 Supporting those affected by abuse in the school.

 Maintaining good links with the statutory childcare authorities and other organisations.

SCHOOL POLICY

The School Leadership recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children and young people.  It also acknowledges that children and young people can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.  The School Leadership has therefore adopted the procedures set out in this document (hereafter “the policy”).  It also recognises the need to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary child protection agencies.  The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on a model published by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).  The School Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.  

The School Leadership is committed to on-going child protection training for all workers and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.

The School Leadership also undertakes to follow the principles found within the Abuse Of Trust guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.

RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE

Under no circumstances should a school worker carry out their own investigation into the allegation or suspicion of abuse.  The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse will do the following:

 Concerns must be reported as soon as possible to Miss Pakington (hereafter the "Co-ordinator") tel no: 01634 828030, who is nominated by the School Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.

 The Co-ordinator may also be required by conditions of the School’s Insurance Policy to immediately inform the Insurance Company.

 In the absence of the Co-ordinator (or Head Teacher – 01634 828030), or if the suspicions in any way involve the Co-ordinator or Head Teacher, then the report should be made to Mr Salter, the Chairman of  the Trustees (hereafter the "Chairman"), tel. no: 01634 868052.   He may seek help in the first instance from the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ  (Telephone 0845 120 4550) or alternatively contact Children’s Social Services. The local Children’s Social Services office telephone number between 9.00am and 5.00pm is 01634 334466. The out of hours emergency number is 0845 762 6777.  OFSTED may also need to be informed with Nursery children.

 Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with school procedures and kept in a secure place.

 Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Co-ordinator, the absence of the Co-ordinator, Head Teacher or Chairman should not delay referral to the Children’s Social Services Department.

 The Trustees will support the Co-ordinator/ Head Teacher/Chairman in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.

 It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the child protection agencies or seek advice from CCPAS, although the School Leadership hopes that members of the school will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Co-ordinator/ Head Teacher/Chairman has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Co-ordinator/ Head Teacher/Chairman as to the appropriateness of a referral, they are free to contact an outside agency direct.  We hope by making this statement that the School Leadership demonstrate the commitment of the School to effective child protection.

The role of the Co-ordinator/ Head Teacher/Chairman is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to the Children’s Social Services Department. It is Children’s Social Services task to investigate the matter under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.   

ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL INJURY OR NEGLECT

If a child has a physical injury or symptom of neglect, the Coordinator/Head Teacher will:

 Contact Children’s Social Services (or CCPAS) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child's safety or if a child is afraid to return home.  

 Will not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so having contacted Children’s Social Services.  

 Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions.  

 For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of injury.  

 Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them.  In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services direct for advice.

 Seek and follow advice given by CCPAS (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Children’s Social Services.

ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Co-ordinator/ Head Teacher will:

 Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.

 Seek and follow the advice given by CCPAS if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. CCPAS will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

APPOINTMENT, SUPPORT, SUPERVISION & TRAINING OF LEADERS & WORKERS

The School Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with the principles set out in government guidelines “Safe from Harm” ( HMSO 1993), CCPAS guidance and the School’s Good Practice Guidelines attached.  The same principles would be applied to those appointed to work with vulnerable adults.  

The Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator, Miss Pakington, has received training to a standard set by the  LSCB which will be renewed every two years.  Other members of staff are given refresher training every three years.

SUPERVISION OF GROUP/CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES

The School has guidelines for staff on the supervision of children.

SUPPORT TO THOSE AFFECTED BY ABUSE

This policy will be reviewed annually on 1st September

Signed  _M.T.Salter__________ Date  1st September 2013

The School Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate and providing support to those attending the school who  have been affected by abuse.