This policy has been approved and adopted by the Governing Body in Sept 2021 and will be reviewed in Sept 2022.
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
We make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both children and adults feel secure, able to talk and believe that they are being listened to.
We maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned.
The purpose of this policy is to provide staff, volunteers and governors with the framework they need in order to keep children safe and secure in our school, and to inform parents and guardians how we will safeguard their children whilst they are in our care.
Specific guidance is available to staff within the procedure documents.
Within this document:
Child protection is an aspect of safeguarding but is focused on how we respond to children who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of significant harm.
The term staff applies to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This also includes parents and governors.
Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18 birthday. On the whole, this will apply to pupils of our school; however the policy will extend to visiting children and students from other establishments
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults in a parenting role for example adoptive parents, step-parents, guardians and foster carers.
Abuse could mean neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse or any combination of these. Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts and / or failure to provide proper care. Explanations of these are given within the procedure document.
Principles and Values
Leadership and Management
We have established clear lines of accountability, training and advice to support the process of child protection and individual staff within that process.
In this school, any individual can contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or their Deputy (DDSL) if they have concerns about a child or young person.
The DSL is Catherine Whatley and the DDSL are Anna Fowles and Alice Eggington. There is a nominated safeguarding governor, Jackie Kelly, who will take leadership responsibility for safeguarding. The Chair of Governors Jackie Kelly will receive reports of allegations against the headteacher and act on the behalf of the governing body.
As an employer we follow safer recruitment guidance as set out in KCSiE 2021.
If a conflict of interests is identified during the execution of a staff member’s safeguarding duties, the role and responsibilities will be allocated immediately to one of the other DSL/DDSLs or transferred to the Chair of Governors. Systems are in place to ensure staff members who are also parents of pupils at SJB do not have access to their own child’s safeguarding record.
All staff in our school are expected to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and must be able to respond appropriately. Training is provided as required: annual whole school safeguarding update, termly additional in-house CPD and email updates. Separate training is provided to all new staff on appointment with the DSL. The DSL will attend training at least every other year to enable them to fulfil their role.
Any update in national or local guidance will be shared with all staff in briefings and then captured in the next whole school training. This policy will be updated during the year to reflect any changes brought about by new guidance.
Following any concerns raised, the DSL will assess the information and consider if significant harm has happened or there is a risk that it may happen. If the evidence suggests the threshold of significant harm, or risk of significant harm has been reached, or if it is not clear if the threshold is met, the DSL will contact Children’s Social Care and, if appropriate, the police. If the DSL or DDSL is not available or there are immediate concerns, the staff member will refer directly to Children’s Social Care and the police if appropriate. We will use the guidance from NPCC to determine when to contact the police.
Generally, the DSL will inform the parents prior to making a referral. However, there are situations where this may not be possible or appropriate, particularly when informing parents, may place the child at further risk
N.B. The exception to this process will be in those cases of known FGM where there is a mandatory requirement for the teacher to report directly to the police. The DSL should also be made aware.
As a school we will educate pupils to recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need it through:
Dealing with allegations against staff
If a concern is raised about the practice or behaviour of a member of staff, this information will be recorded and passed to the headteacher, Catherine Whatley. The headteacher will make an assessment to determine if the matter is a ‘low level concern’ or an ‘allegation’. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be contacted for all allegations and the relevant guidance will be followed. If the headteacher needs advice or guidance they will contact the LADO. If the allegation is against the headteacher, the person receiving the allegation will contact the LADO or Chair of Governors directly. (Annex 4)
Dealing with allegations against pupils
If a concern is raised that there is an allegation of a pupil abusing another pupil within the school, the ‘Peer on Peer Abuse’ guidance will be followed (Annex 5)
Section 175 of the education act 2002; the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014;
Children Act 2004 & 1989
Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership protocols and guidance and their procedures
As a school, we review this policy at least annually in line with DfE, HSCP and HCC requirements and other relevant statutory guidance.
Roles and responsibilities within St John the Baptist Catholic Primary school
All staff have a key role to play in identifying concerns early and in providing help for children. To achieve this, they will:
Senior Management Team responsibilities:
Governing body responsibilities
DSL responsibilities (to be read in conjunction with DSL role description in KCSiE) *****
In this school the DSL is Catherine Whatley
The Deputy DSL are Anna Fowles & Alice Eggington
In addition to the role of all staff and the senior management team, the DSL will
St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School Child Protection Procedures
The following procedures apply to all staff working in the school and will be covered by training to enable staff to understand their role and responsibility.
The aim of our procedures is to provide a robust framework which enables staff to take appropriate action when they are concerned that a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm.
The prime concern at all stages must be for the interests and safety of the child. Where there is a conflict of interest between the child and an adult, the interests of the child must be paramount.
All staff are aware that very young children, those with disabilities, special needs, certain medical conditions or with language deficit/English as a second language may have more difficulty in communicating concerns or feelings. They may be more likely to communicate concerns with behaviours rather than words. Additionally, staff will question the cause of knocks and bumps in children who have limited mobility, which will include children (for example younger siblings) visiting the site in addition to pupils.
If a member of staff suspects abuse, spots signs or indicators of abuse, or they have a disclosure of abuse made to them they must:
5. In the absence of the DSL or their Deputy, be prepared to refer directly to Children’s Social Care (and the police if appropriate) if there is the potential for immediate, significant harm.
Following a report of concerns the DSL must:
If there is indication that the child is suffering significant harm, a call will also be made to Children’s Reception Team (CRT) on 01329 225379.
4. If a child is in immediate danger and urgent protective action is required, the police must be called. The DSL must then notify Children’s Social Care of the occurrence and what action has been taken.
5. When a pupil needs urgent medical attention and there is suspicion of parental abuse causing the medical need, the DSL or their Deputy should take the child to the accident and emergency unit at the nearest hospital and inform Children’s Social Care. Advice should be sought from Children’s Social Care about informing the parents, remembering that parents should normally be informed that a child requires urgent hospital attention.
6. If there is not a risk of significant harm, the DSL will either actively monitor the situation or consider the Early Help process.
7. In cases of allegations against staff or low level concerns, the HSCP procedure or the school Low Level Concerns (LLC) procedure will be followed.
 See Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 Part 4 section 2 paragraph 406 on
Dealing with disclosures
All staff should:
A member of staff who is approached by a child should maintain a positive attitude and try to reassure them. They should not promise complete confidentiality and should explain that they may need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child or other children safe. The degree of confidentiality should always be governed by the need to protect the child.
Additional consideration needs to be given to children with communication difficulties and for those whose preferred language is not English. It is important to communicate with them in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preferred communication method.
All staff should know who the DSL is and who to approach if the DSL is unavailable. Ultimately, all staff have the right to make a referral to the police or social care directly and should do this if, for whatever reason, there are difficulties following the agreed protocol, e.g. they are the only adult on the school premises at the time and have concerns about sending a child home.
Guiding principles, the seven R’s
with you’ or ‘everything will be alright now’ or ‘I’ll keep this confidential’
Review (led by DSL)
What happens next?
It is important that concerns are followed up and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are. The member of staff should be informed by the DSL what has happened after the report being made. If they do not receive this information, they should be proactive in seeking it out.
If a staff member believes that their concerns have not been dealt with effectively or that the child remains at risk, they should initially ask the DSL to reconsider ensuring that the risks are understood. If this does not result in a satisfactory outcome, or the DSL rationale appears to miss the risk to the child, then the Whistleblowing procedures of the school should be followed. If the DSL is unhappy with the response from Children Social Care, they should consider following the HSCP escalation protocol.
Receiving a disclosure can be upsetting for the member of staff and schools should have a procedure for supporting them after the disclosure. This might include reassurance that they have followed the procedure correctly and that their swift actions will enable the allegations to be handled appropriately. For some staff, use of an employee-based counselling service may be appropriate.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) states that organisations should have clear policies for dealing with allegations against people who work with children. Those policies should make a clear distinction between an allegation, a complaint or a concern about the quality of care or practice.
Allegations as defined by KCSiE should be reported to the LADO. Complaints or concerns can be managed independently by the school or college under internal procedures.
Complaints could include: -
Concerns could include: -
Lower Level Concerns LLC’s , which do not reach the allegations harm threshold (or complaints criteria) should be dealt with under a school LLC procedure.
Procedure for Allegations that meet the harm threshold.
This procedure should be used in all cases when it is alleged a member of staff, supply staff, volunteer, Governor, or another adult who works with children has either:
When considering allegations of suitability, (the fourth criteria above) the LADOs would consider the following situations:
Parents of children who are placed on a CIN plan or are receiving Early Help;
Arrests for offences against adults;
Presentation to other professionals around mental health, domestic abuse and/or substance misuse;
Extreme political or religious viewpoints which could be considered Hate Crime;
Concerns about behaviour in their private lives which may impact on children
In any of these situations the LADO criteria for intervention will be assessed against the likelihood and impact of transferable risk to children.
In line with our referral process:
In liaison with the LADO, the school will determine how to proceed and if necessary, the LADO will refer the matter to Children’s Social Care and/or the police.
When receiving information from outside agencies about school staff, the LADO will assess the potential for transferable risk, and make a disclosure to the school where there is the likelihood of transferable risk to children and there is a pressing need.
If the matter is investigated internally, the LADO will advise the school to seek guidance from their personnel/HR provider in following procedures set out in chapter 4 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2021) and the HSCP procedures.
While supply staff are not employees of the school, it is still required that the school report the allegation to the LADO.
If the matter requires an internal investigation, this will be carried out by the school in liaison with an HR rep (acting as the employer) from the supply agency.
Lower Level Concerns (LLCs)
The LLC policy is part of the whole school approach to safeguarding. The purpose of the policy is to encourage an open and transparent culture, which enables the school or College to identify concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour at an early stage. It should also empower staff to share LLCs with the DSL. LLCs will be managed independently by the school or college under internal procedures.
Examples of LLCs include, but is not limited to:-_
The LLC policy will:-
• Ensure that staff are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour, and are confident in distinguishing expected and appropriate behaviour from concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour, in themselves and others;
• Empower staff to share any low-level safeguarding concerns with the DSL
• Address unprofessional behaviour and support the individual to correct this at an early stage.
• Provide a responsive, sensitive and proportionate handling of such concerns when they are raised.
• Help identify any weakness in the school or colleges safeguarding system.
In line with the LLC policy:-
If there is any doubt about the level at which behaviour needs to be addressed, LADO advice will be taken.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges
Peer on Peer Abuse – Policy.
This policy is about how staff should respond to all reports and concerns of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment, including those that have happened outside of school or college premises, and or online. All staff are advised to maintain an attitude of “It could happen here”
Schools and colleges not recognising, acknowledging or understanding the scale of harassment and abuse, and /or downplaying some behaviours relating to abuse can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviour, an unsafe environment and in a worst case scenario a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex. It can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This can adversely affect their educational attainment as well as their emotional well-being. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap; they can occur online and offline (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable. It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support. It is also important to recognise that some perpetrators may themselves also be victims.
Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are extremely complex to manage. It is essential that victims are protected, offered appropriate support and every effort is made to ensure their education is not disrupted. It is also important that other children and young people including school and college staff are supported and protected as appropriate.
We believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and by other children.
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers and this will be dealt with under our child protection policy and in line with KCSiE (2021)
This policy is underpinned by the principle that there is a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment. We are clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up.
We will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by: -
Responding to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment:
Following a report, the DSL will make an immediate risk and needs assessment on a case-by-case basis.
The risk assessment will consider:
The risk assessment will be recorded and kept under review.
Where there has been other professional intervention and/or other specialist risk assessments. These professional assessments will be used to inform the school’s approach to supporting and protecting pupils.
Action: The DSL will consider: -
Options: The DSL will manage the report with the following options: -
Unsubstantiated, unfounded, false, or malicious reports
While a clear focus of peer-on-peer abuse is linked to sexual abuse and harassment, physical assaults and initiation violence and rituals from pupils to pupils can also be abusive.
These are equally not tolerated and, if it is believed that a crime has been committed, will be reported to the police.
The principles from the anti-bullying policy will be applied in these cases, with recognition that any police investigation will need to take priority.
Annex 7 - Online Safety
As a school it is essential that we safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material.
A comprehensive approach to online safety empowers staff to protect and educate pupils, students, and colleagues in their use of technology and establishes the following mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate.
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into four areas of risk:
• content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
• contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes’.
• conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
• commerce - risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams. If we feel pupils, students or staff are at risk, we will report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (https://apwg.org/).
We ensure that online safety is a running and interrelated theme when devising and implementing policies and procedures.
We will consider how online safety is reflected as required in all relevant policies and embedded across all areas of the curriculum, included in teacher training and within the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead as well as discussions with parents.
Annex 8 - Whistleblowing
Whistleblowing in a safeguarding context
While the school has a separate whistleblowing policy, this is a summary sheet that outlines the process when there is a concern that safeguarding issues have not been reported or followed correctly.
This does not replace the whistleblowing policy and should be read in conjunction with the school policy.
Whistleblowing is a term that is used when staff want to report a concern within their organisation that involves their manager or a person senior to them in the organisation which may prevent them from following the normal reporting systems.
There are a limited number of areas that can be called Whistleblowing, and the policy protects staff from being punished for raising concerns.
Within St John the Baptist Catholic Primary school, the headteacher Catherine Whatley is the senior manager and responsible for all staff. If you are concerned that any member of staff within the school is not following safeguarding processes or behaving in a way that is placing children at risk, you should in the first place make the headteacher aware.
If your concern is about the headteacher, you should raise this with the Chair of Governors: email@example.com
If you would prefer to raise your concerns outside the school environment you are able to contact the NSPCC whistleblowing line on 0800 028 0285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for national organisations or make contact with Hampshire County Council.
If you believe that a member of the school staff is harming a child (an allegation) and this has been reported to the headteacher and no action has been taken, or the member of staff you have concerns about is the headteacher, then you are able to contact the Local Authority Designated Officers (LADOs) on 01962 876364 or email@example.com
If you believe that a child is being abused by individuals outside the school, you should make a referral to Children’s Social Care by calling 0300 555 1384 (office hours) or 0300 555 1373 (outside of office hours)
Annex 9 - Briefing sheet for temporary and supply staff
For supply staff and those on short contracts in St John the Baptist Catholic Primary school
While working in St John the Baptist Catholic Primary school, you have a duty of care towards the children and young people here. This means that at all times you should act in a way that is consistent with their safety and welfare. In addition, if at any time you have a concern about a child or young person, particularly if you think they may be at risk of abuse or neglect, it is your responsibility to share that concern with the school designated safeguarding lead (DSL), who is Catherine Whatley and can be found firstname.lastname@example.org
This is not an exhaustive list but you may have become concerned as a result of:
In any of the circumstances listed here, you must write down what you saw or heard, date and sign your account, and give it to the DSL as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours later. This may be the beginning of a legal process – it is important to understand that legal action against a perpetrator can be seriously damaged by any suggestion that the child has been led in any way.
If a child talks to you about abuse, you should follow these guidelines:
The school has a policy on safeguarding children and young people which you can find, together with the local procedures to be followed by all staff, in the staffroom .
If your concern involves the DSL or a member of the senior staff, contact the LADO on 01962 847364 or the NPSCC whistleblowing line on 0800 028 0285
Remember, if you have a concern, report it.
Annex 10 - What is child abuse?
The following definitions are taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children HM Government (2018). In addition to these definitions, it should be understood that children can also be abused by being sexually exploited, through honour-based violence, forced marriage or female genital mutilation. To support the local context, all staff have access to the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) threshold chart.
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.
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 a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a 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 (including cyber 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, although it may occur alone.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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:
Neglect may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
The HSCP neglect strategy is used to provide a more detailed summary of neglect and the local thresholds for referrals.
Indicators of abuse
The nature of neglect
Neglect is a lack of parental care but poverty and lack of information or adequate services can be contributory factors.
Far more children are registered to the category of neglect on child protection plans than to the other categories. As with abuse, the number of children experiencing neglect is likely to be much higher than the numbers on the plans.
Neglect can include parents or carers failing to:
NSPCC research has highlighted the following examples of the neglect of children under 12:
Neglect is a difficult form of abuse to recognise and is often seen as less serious than other categories. It is, however, very damaging: children who are neglected often develop more slowly than others and may find it hard to make friends and fit in with their peer group.
Neglect is often noticed at a stage when it does not pose a risk to the child. The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (What to do if You’re Worried a Child is Being Abused DfE 2015) would suggest that an appropriate intervention or conversation at this early stage can address the issue and prevent a child continuing to suffer until it reaches a point when they are at risk of harm or in significant need.
Neglect is often linked to other forms of abuse, so any concerns school staff have should at least be discussed with the DSL.
Indicators of neglect
The following is a summary of some of the indicators that may suggest a child is being abused or is at risk of harm. It is important to recognise that indicators alone cannot confirm whether a child is being abused. Each child should be seen in the context of their family and wider community and a proper assessment carried out by appropriate persons. What is important to keep in mind is that if you feel unsure or concerned, do something about it. Don’t keep it to yourself. The HSCP neglect toolkit provides a more detailed list of indicators of neglect and is available to all staff
Physical indicators of neglect
Behavioural indicators of neglect
The nature of emotional abuse
Most harm is produced in low warmth, high criticism homes, not from single incidents.
Emotional abuse is difficult to define, identify/recognise and/or prove.
Emotional abuse is chronic and cumulative and has a long-term impact.
All kinds of abuse and neglect have emotional effects although emotional abuse can occur by itself.
Children can be harmed by witnessing someone harming another person – as in domestic violence.
It is sometimes possible to spot emotionally abusive behavior from parents and carers to their children, by the way that the adults are speaking to, or behaving towards children. An appropriate challenge or intervention could affect positive change and prevent more intensive work being carried out later on.
Indicators of emotional abuse
The nature of physical abuse
Most children collect cuts and bruises quite routinely as part of the rough and tumble of daily life. Clearly, it is not necessary to be concerned about most of these minor injuries. However, accidental injuries normally occur on the bony prominences – e.g., shins. Injuries on the soft areas of the body are more likely to be inflicted intentionally and should therefore make us more alert to other concerning factors that may be present.
A body map (annex 2) can assist in the clear recording and reporting of physical abuse. The body map should only be used to record observed injuries and no child should be asked to remove clothing by a member of staff of the school.
Indicators of physical abuse / factors that should increase concern
In the social context of the school, it is normal to ask about a noticeable injury. The response to such an enquiry is generally light-hearted and detailed. So, most of all, concern should be increased when:
You should be concerned if the child or young person:
The nature of sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is often perpetrated by people who are known and trusted by the child – e.g., relatives, family friends, neighbours, babysitters, people working with the child in school, faith settings, clubs or activities. Children can also be subject to child sexual exploitation.
Sexual exploitation is seen as a separate category of sexual abuse. Indicators of CSE can be found in the schools safeguarding policy.
Characteristics of child sexual abuse:
Most people who sexually abuse children are men, but some women sexually abuse too.
Indicators of sexual abuse