IQRA HIGH SCHOOL
Child Protection and Safeguarding Children and Young People in Education
- Policy Aims
Child Protection is a part of Safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Effective child protection is essential as part of a wider worm to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. However, all agencies and individuals should aim to proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of children so that the need for action to protect children from harm is reduced.
There are six main elements to our policy:
- Ensuring we practise safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children;
- Raising awareness of safeguarding children and child protection
- Equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe;
- Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse;
- Supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with his/her child protection plan;
- Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.
- Statutory Framework
In order to protect children from harm the school will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
The Children Act 1989
The Children Act 2004
Education Act (2002), section 175
Schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations (2014)
Education and Skills Act (2008), section 94
Safeguarding Children Board Child Protection Procedures (2007)
The Equality Act (2010)
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015)
Mandatory reporting of FGM and security Act (2015)
DFE Guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
The Data Protection Act (2018)
HM Government ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018)
HM Government ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2018) requires all schools to follow the procedures for protecting children from abuse which are established by the Safeguarding Children Board. Schools are also expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or are at risk of abuse – these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.
DFE guidance Keeping children safe in Education (2016) places the following responsibilities on all schools:-
- Schools should be aware of and follow the procedures established by the Safeguarding Children Board
- Staff should be alert to signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions
- Schools should have procedures (of which all staff are aware) for handling suspected cases of abuse of pupils, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse, or suspected of abuse
- A Designated Senior Person should have responsibility for co-coordinating action within the school and liaising with other agencies
- Staff with designated responsibility for Child Protection should receive appropriate training
All staff have received their own copy and attended specific training on Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018.
DfES guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (2006) also states that “All parents need to understand that schools and FE colleges have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are their pupils or students, that this responsibility necessitates a child protection policy and procedures, and that a school or FE college may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.”
- Iqra High School Commitment
The school is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children and young people, identifying where there are child welfare concerns and taking action to address them, in partnership with families and other agencies. This policy reflects the policies of Oldham Local Safeguarding Children’s Board www.oldham.gov.uk/lscb and is in line with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015) http://www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk
The school will also contribute through the curriculum by developing children’s understanding, awareness and promoting their resilience by providing a safe environment within Iqra Highschool. To create this safe environment, the school has certain statutory duties and responsibilities.
These duties are listed below:
To provide a safe environment the Governing Body, Head Teacher and the teaching staff will:
- Ensure that everyone from the School Governor Body to the Designated Senior Person for Safeguarding and all members of the school community have appropriate safeguards and supports in place should they choose to raise safeguarding issues, however, unusual or sensitive these may be;
- Cultivate an ethos within the school community where all adults feel comfortable and supported to draw safeguarding issues to the attention of the Head Teacher and/or the Designated Senior person for Safeguarding and able to pose safeguarding questions with ‘respectful uncertainty’ as part of their shared responsibility to safeguard children;
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk without coercion and are listened to;
- Ensure children know that if they are worried they can talk to adults in the school;
- Ensure that every effort is made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from other agencies and are fully committed to the provision of Early Help;
- Ensure all adults working with children are aware of the role of Oldham Safeguarding Children’s Board;
- Include opportunities in the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse and to assess and manage risk as is appropriate to their age, stage of development and level of understanding;
- Take all reasonable measures to ensure risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised;
- Take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of a child, working to local policies and procedures in full working partnership with families and agencies as far as possible;
- Ensure robust safeguarding arrangements are in place and embedded in the daily life and practice of the school;
- Promote pupil health and safety;
- Promote safe practice and challenge unsafe practice in line with procedure;
- Ensure that procedures are in place to deal with allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers;
- Put in place and promote robust anti-bullying, including cyber bullying, strategies;
- Meet the health needs of children with medical conditions;
- Provide first aid;
- Maximise school security;
- Tackle drugs and substance misuse;
- Work with all agencies with regard to missing children, anti-social behaviour/gang related activity and violence/knife crime in the community
The school will identify harm and maintain safety by;
- Everybody having a duty to safeguard children inside and outside the school environment including school trips, extended schools, activities and vocational placements;
- Involving parents and providing advice/guidance regarding safeguarding;
- Maintaining a child focus and listening to children;
- Recognising signs of concern, especially with children who may be vulnerable;
- Documenting and collating information on individual children to support early identification referral and actions to safeguarding;
- Taking appropriate actions to address concerns about a child’s welfare in partnership with other organisations and safeguarding agencies;
- Informing all staff and volunteers who the Designated Senior and Deputy persons for Safeguarding are in school;
- Providing PSHE including raising awareness with children in what are and are not acceptable behaviours;
- PSHE input will provide opportunities for children and young people to learn how to keep themselves safe, for example, by:
- The availability of advice and support in their local area and online;
- Recognising and managing risks in different situations, including on the internet;
- Judging what kind of physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable;
- Recognising when pressure from others, including people they know, threatens their personal safety and well-being;
- Developing effective ways of resisting pressure;
- Developing healthy relationships, including awareness of unhealthy relationships where domestic violence, bullying and abuse occur;
- Our school will ensure that pupils are made aware that information can be found at the following at Childline or by speaking to a member of staff;
- Our school’s arrangement for consulting with and listening to pupils are the school council, pupil questionnaires and listening to children during conversations;
- We make pupils aware of these arrangements by talking about them in assembly and through the school council’s presentations in assembly.
- The roles and responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- An appropriate member of the school’s leadership team has been assigned to the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). They have received appropriate training and are supported in their role: Designated Safeguarding Lead is Ms. Maryam Khalid and Designated Safeguarding Deputy is Ms. Simmia Nasa.
- We acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding pupils. Maryam Khalid will ensure a structured procedure within the school, which will be followed in cases of suspected abuse.
The DSL is responsible for the following:
- 1 Referrals
- Referring cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies;
- The Senior Designated Person is not responsible for dealing with allegations made against members of staff. This is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and/or Director who will inform the Oldham Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Rock Street Centre,
Rock Street, Oldham OL1 3UJ
T: 0161 770 8870 F: 0161 770 6684
Acting as a source of support, advice and expertise within the school when deciding on the most appropriate course of action by liaising with the relevant agencies;
- Liaising with the Head Teacher (where the Designating Senior Lead role is not carried out by the Head Teacher) to inform him/her of any issues and ongoing investigations. The Designated Senior Person will ensure there is always cover for this role on the school site in the event of their absence;
- Ensuring that a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, is in place and that the school contributes to assessments of need and actively supports multi agency planning for those children, following any information raising concern, the Designated Senior Person will consider:
- any urgent medical needs of the child
- the immediate safety and wellbeing of the child
- discussing the matter with other agencies currently known to be involved with the child and family
- the child’s wishes and feelings. Then decide:
- wherever possible, talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk
- whether to make a child protection referral to Contact and Referral Team because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately
- not to make a referral at this stage
- if further monitoring is necessary
- if it would be appropriate to invite the parent or carer to engage with a team around the family assessment and/or make a referral for other services
- All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented
4.2 Action following a child protection referral
The Designated Senior Person or other appropriate member of staff will:
- make regular contact with the allocated social worker or team manager in the event of absence;
- wherever possible, contribute to the strategy discussion;
- provide a report for, attend and contribute to any subsequent child protection conference
- if the child or children are made the subject of a child protection plan, contribute to the child protection plan and attend core group meetings and review conferences
- endeavour to share all reports with parents prior to meetings
- where in disagreement with a decision made by Children’s Social Care eg. not to apply child protection procedures or not to convene a child protection conference, follow the formal Escalation Process in respect of resolving professional disagreements/escalation process.
Phone: 0161 770 8081
- Where a child is subject to a child protection plan moves from the school or goes missing, immediately inform the Contact and Referral Team.
4.3 Raising Awareness
- Working with the governing body to ensure that the School’s Safeguarding Policy is updated and reviewed annually;
- Ensuring that, in order to avoid conflict and mistrust; parents are aware that referrals may be made and the role of the school;
- Ensuring that when children leave the school, their Child Protection File is discussed as soon as possible with the Senior Designated Person at the new school;
- Makings sure that the Child Protection File is transferred separately from the main pupil file within 7 days of transfer; it should be posted recorded delivery to the Senior Designated Person at the school or delivered directly by hand and a signature received, unless the child is leaving year 11 to go to a further education setting, in which case the file should be retained by the current school for a period stipulated in current statutory guidance.
- Where the new school is not known, alerting the Inclusion Team at Oldham Council so the child’s name can be included on the data base for missing pupils and appropriate action taken to ascertain the safety of the child;
- Cascading safeguarding advice and guidance issued by Oldham Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- The Designated Senior Person needs to attend the multi-agency 2day intermediate (Level 2) course in Safeguarding. This training then needs to be updated by attending a refresher course, every 2 years.
This intermediate training will enable the Designated Person to:
- Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral;
- Having a working knowledge of how to support the Team Around the Family;
- How Oldham LSCB operates, how a child protection case conference is conducted, and be able to attend and contribute effectively to all planning meetings when required to do so;
- Be able to keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of referrals/concerns.
The Senior and Deputy Designated Persons will ensure all staff receive appropriate Safeguarding training, if necessary from an external provider using the endorsed Oldham LSCB materials. All staff will be expected to undergo endorsed Basic Awareness in Safeguarding training within the first term of their employment/placement which will be refreshed every 3 years, to enable them to understand and fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities effectively;
- All staff and volunteers, especially new or part-time staff who may work with different educational settings, will receive:
- A copy of a safeguarding summary document prior to starting work
- Induction training to ensure that staff have an overview of the organisation, understand its purpose, values, services and structure are able to recognise/identify signs of abuse which may include:
- Significant changes in children’s general well-being,
- Deterioration in children’s behaviour,
- Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect,
- Children’s comments which give cause for concern,
- Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home, and/or
- Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children. For example, inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of personal information (eg. phone numbers, emails, social networking) or images.
- Know that they must report any concerns immediately as they arise and to whom understand confidentiality issues.
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Head Teacher
The Head Teacher will ensure that:
- The policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are fully implemented and followed by all staff, so that everyone knows what to do if concerned about a child;
- Sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the Senior Designated Person and other staff to discharge their responsibilities, including undertaking the Lead Professional role in the Team Around the Family, taking part in strategy discussions and other inter-agency meetings, and contributing to the assessment of children;
- All staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with agreed whistle-blowing policies;
- They personally, along with other senior leaders undertake safer recruitment training in order to comply with the statutory requirement to have a trained person on every recruitment panel;
- Allegations against a member of staff are referred in a timely manner to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if appropriate.
- Roles and Responsibilities of the Governing Body
The Governing body is collectively responsible for the school’s safeguarding arrangements. The Designated Safeguarding Governor will undertake initial Safeguarding training to understand their roles and responsibilities. Ideally, all governors will undertake the Basic Awareness Safeguarding training with their school.
Allegations of abuse made against the Head Teacher are reported to the Chair of Governors, and referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
The Governing Body will ensure that:
- Safeguarding arrangements are fully embedded within the school’s ethos and reflected in the school’s day to day safeguarding practices;
- Sufficient governors are trained in safer recruitment practices that appointments to the senior leadership team can be adequately supported;
- The school has effective policies and procedures in place in accordance with this policy, and school’s compliance with them is monitored;
- There are policies and procedures in place for dealing with complaints and/or allegations against staff, including the Head Teacher and any subsequent staff disciplinary hearings;
- There is a Designated Safeguarding Governor to champion safeguarding issues within the school, to liaise with the Head Teacher/Designated Senior Person, and to provide information and reports to the Governing Body. The Designated Safeguarding Governor should be supported by the Chair of Governors;
- The Head Teacher, and all staff who work with children, will undertake a full and endorsed Basic Awareness Safeguarding training every three years and have access to a fresher session every year;
- The Senior and Deputy Designated Persons attend at least a minimum of Level2/Intermediate multi-agency course every year
- Temporary staff, volunteers and other regular visitors to the school who work with children are made aware of the school’s arrangements for safeguarding and their responsibilities.
A child: is anyone who has not yet reached his/her 18th birthday or in the case of disabled children 25 years;
Harm: means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
Development: means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development;
Health: includes physical and mental health;
Ill-treatment: includes sexual abuse and other forms of ill-treatment which are not physical;
Abuse and Neglect: are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or 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 the 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.
Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily a high level of violence, whether or not, the child is aware of what is happening. These activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (eg. rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may include non-contact activities, or involving children looking at or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in a sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child 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.
Emotional: Abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve:
- Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
- Not giving the child the opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children
- These may include interactions that are beyond the 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.
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:
- Provide adequate food, clothing or shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment;
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision, including the use of inadequate care-takers;
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
- Identifying Concerns
“Early identification and provision of help is in a child’s best interest and results—services which deliver and support families are vital in promoting children’s wellbeing.”
“All who come into contact with families have a part to play in identifying these children whose needs are not being adequately met.”
Teachers and other adults in school are well placed to observe any physical, emotional or behavioural signs which indicate that a child may be suffering significant harm. The relationships between staff, pupils, parents and the public which foster respect, confidence and trust can lead to disclosures of abuse, and/or school staff being altered to concerns.
There are also a number of specific safeguarding concerns that we recognise our pupils may experience (all are further explained in Appendix 1-6:
- child missing from education
- child missing from home or care
- child sexual exploitation (CSE)
- bullying including cyberbullying
- domestic abuse
- fabricated or induced illness
- faith abuse
- female genital mutilation (FGM)
- forced marriage
- gangs and youth violence
- gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
- mental health
- private fostering
- youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)
- teenage relationship abuse
- peer on peer abuse
Staff are aware that behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and youth produced sexual imagery (sexting) put children in danger and that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse.
We also recognise that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are complex and are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. Staff are aware that in most cases multiple issues will overlap one another.
- If staff are concerned about a child’s welfare
If staff notice any indicators of abuse/neglect or signs that a child may be experiencing a safeguarding issue they should record these concerns in written form and pass it to the DSL. They may also discuss their concerns in person with the DSL but the details of the concern should also be recorded in writing. There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a pupil may be at risk but have no ‘real’ evidence. The pupil’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical or inconclusive signs may have been noticed.
Iqra High School recognises that the signs may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. However, they may also indicate a child is being abused or is in need of safeguarding.
In these circumstances staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. It is fine for staff to ask the pupil if they are OK or if they can help in any way. Following an initial conversation with the pupil, if the member of staff remains concerned they should discuss their concerns with the DSL and put them in writing. If the pupil does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below regarding a pupil making a disclosure.
All members of staff, volunteers and governors must know how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse, and they must be familiar with procedures to be followed. It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel disloyal, 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.
If a pupil talks to you about any risks to their safety or wellbeing you will need to let them know that you must pass the information on—you are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which you do this is a matter for professional judgement. If you jump in immediately the pupil may think that you do not want to listen, if you leave it until the very end pf the conversation, the pupil may feel that you have misled them into revealing more than they would have otherwise. During your conversation with the pupil:
- Allow the speak freely.
- Remain calm and do not overreact—the pupil may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting you.
- Give reassuring nods or words of comfort–‘I’m sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘this is not your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’.
- Do not be afraid of silences—remember how hard this must be for the pupil.
- Under no circumstances ask investigative questions—such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the pupil’s mother thinks about all this.
- At an appropriate time tell the pupil that in order to help them you must pass the information on.
- Respect the child’s personal space. Do not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused.
- Avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying ‘I do wish you had told me this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be your way of being supportive but the child may interpret it that they have done something wrong.
- Tell the pupil what will happen next.
- Report verbally to the Designated Senior Person.
- Write up your conversation as soon as possible on record of concern form and hand it to the Designated Person.
- Seek support if you feel distressed.
While it is recognised that all matters relating to safeguarding individual children are confidential, a member of staff, governor or volunteer, if confided in by a pupil, must never guarantee confidentiality to that pupil. Where there is a Child Protection concern it will be passed immediately to the Senior Designated Person who will consider the most appropriate response, consulting with relevant partners if appropriate.
The parents of the child should be informed immediately unless it is felt that this would not be in the best interest of the child. The Head Teacher or Senior or Deputy Designated Person will disclose personal information about a pupil, including the level of involvement of other agencies, to other members of staff only on a need to know basis. All staff must be aware that they have professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguarding children.
- Records and Monitoring
Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 to ensure that information is:
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Kept no longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations, 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 should refer the request to the Head Teacher.
The General Data Protection Regulation 2018 does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. Any concerns about a child will be recorded in writing within 24 hours. All records must provide a factual, evidence-based account. Accurate recording of actions should be made. Records will be signed, dated and where appropriate witnessed.
Hard copies of records or reports relating to Child Protection concerns will be kept in a separate, confidential file, securely stored away from the main pupil file. The main pupil file will have a specific and confidential form of identification that will indicate that pupil has an additional file. Schools may hold some electronic records, for example, a record of concern log or the multi-agency referral form or a central list of those pupils who have a child protection plan in place. Authorisation to access these electronic records will be controlled by the Senior Designated Person. The school will keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to action the matter immediately. These records will be kept within the separate confidential file. Records will be kept up to date and reviewed regularly. Original notes will be retained as evidence if there are criminal proceedings arising from current or historical allegations of abuse or neglect or civil actions.
Timely and accurate recording will take place when there are any issues regarding a child. A record of each and every episode/incident/activity regarding that child, including telephone calls to other professionals, needs to be recorded in chronological order and kept within the confidential file for that child. Support and advice will be sought from Children’s Social Care or the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO), whenever necessary and recorded.
If the child moves to another setting the Child Protection file should be sent, by registered post immediately to the Senior Designated Person at the new setting, making sure that the Child Protection file is transferred separately from the main pupil file. There must be liaison between the two Senior Designated Persons in order to ensure a smooth and safe transition for the child. Where the new school is not known the Oldham Local Education Authority (LEA, Pupil Tracking Team) should be informed so that the child can be included on the data base for missing pupils and action taken to ascertain the safety and wellbeing of the child and that the child is receiving their right to education.
Pupil Tracking Team Access Service
Level 12, Civic Centre
West Street, OL1 1XJ
Fax: 0161 770 4277
- Supporting children
Some children may have an increased risk of harm. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:
- Disabled or have special educational needs
- Children in the care of the Local Authority
- Living in a domestic abuse situation
- Affected by parental substance abuse
- Asylum seekers
- Living away from home
- Vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying
- Living in temporary accommodation
- Live transient lifestyles
- Living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
- Vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or gender identity disorder
- Involved directly or indirectly in prostitution or child trafficking
- Do not have English as a first language.
Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats.
We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:
- The content of the curriculum;
- A school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued;
- Implementation of the school Behaviour Policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils. The school will ensure that the pupil knows some behaviour is unacceptable, but they are nonetheless valued and are not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred;
- Liaison with other agencies that support the pupil, such Children’s Social Care, Behaviour Improvement Team and Education Psychology Service;
- Ensuring that, where a pupil subject to a child protection plan leaves, their information is transferred to the new school immediately and that the child’s social worker is informed.
- Early Help Intervention
All school staff need to be aware of their responsibility to raise any concerns they have about a child as early as possible in order to prevent the situation worsening. This may present as a change in a child’s behaviour, appearance or speech and language, toileting issues etc. Where this concern does not identify a safeguarding issue but could lead to more serious concerns if left, staff need to follow the procedures set out in the Team Around the Family guidance to fulfil their duties at level 2 and 3 on the Continuum of Need.
- Safer Recruitment
We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school who is likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult including eg. volunteers and staff employed by contractors. Checks will be undertaken corresponding to Safer Recruitment procedures on all adults working in the school to establish their suitability to work with children.
Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity, academic and vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes interviews and checking the Teachers who have failed induction or probation list, Genera Teaching Council for England (GTCE) sanctions list, Teachers and others prohibited from the profession list, Teachers sanctioned in other EEA member states list, Section 128 barring directions list and right to work in England checks. In line with statutory changes, underpinned by regulations, the following will apply:
- An enhanced DBS check is obtained for all new appointments where an individual will ‘intensively and frequently’ have contact with our pupils.
- This school is committed to keep an up to date single central record detailing a range of checks carried out on our staff.
- All new appointments to our school workforce who have lived outside the UK will be subject to additional checks as appropriate.
- Our school ensures that supply staff have undergone the necessary checks and will be made aware of this policy.
- Identity checks must be carried out on all appointments to our school workforce before the appointment is made, in partnership with the Local Authority.
All school staff will take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted with or in view of other adults.
We understand that some people otherwise unsuitable for working with children may use volunteering to gain access to children; for this reason, any volunteers in the school, in whatever capacity, are expected to follow the policies and procedures in the same way as employed staff. Where a parent or other volunteer helps on a once occasion he/she will only work under the direct supervision of a member of staff, and at no time have one to one contact with children. However, if a parent or other volunteer is to be in school regularly or over a longer period then they will be checked to ensure their suitability to work with children.
We will ensure that all volunteers receive guidance on the parameters of their role and what to do if they have any concerns before they start their work within the school.
- Conduct of Staff
The school has a duty to ensure that professional behaviour applies to relationships between staff and children, and that all members of staff are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour and professional boundaries.
Staff will have access to The Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People on appointment/induction.
All staff should be aware of the dangers inherent in:
- Working alone with a child;
- Physical interventions;
- Cultural and gender stereotyping;
- Dealing with sensitive information;
- Giving to, and receiving gifts from, children and parents;
- Contacting children through private telephones (including texting), email or social networking websites or applications;
- Disclosing personal details inappropriately;
- Meeting pupils outside school hours or school duties;
- Making inappropriate sexual comments;
- Excessive one to one attention beyond the normal requirements of the role; or
- Inappropriate sharing of images
If any member of staff has reasonable suspicion that a child is suffering harm, and fails to act in accordance with this policy and Oldham Local Safeguarding Board procedures, this will be viewed as misconduct, and appropriate action will be taken.
Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of the school that he or she has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or
- Has behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
We will apply the same principles as in the rest of this document and will always follow the Oldham Safeguarding Children Procedures. Detailed records will be made to include decisions, actions taken, and reasons for these. All records will be retained securely in a locked filing cabinet in the Head Teacher’s Office. Whilst we acknowledge such allegations, (as all others), may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be with foundation. It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly and in line with agreed procedures.
Initial action to be taken:
- The person who has received an allegation or witnessed an event will immediately inform the Head Teacher and make a record
- In the event that an allegation is made against the Head Teacher the matter will be reported to the Chair of Governors who will proceed as the ‘Head Teacher’
- The Head Teacher will take steps, where necessary, to secure the immediate safety of children and any urgent medical needs
- The member of staff will not be approached at this stage unless it is necessary to address the immediate safety of children
- The Head Teacher may need to clarify any information regarding the allegation, however, no person will be interviewed at this stage
- The Head Teacher will consult the Local Authority Designated Officer in order to determine if it is appropriate for the allegation to be dealt with by school or if there needs to be a referral to Contact and Referral and/or the police for investigation
- Consideration will be given throughout to the support and information needs of pupils, parent and staff
- The Head Teacher will inform the Chair of Governors of any allegation
- If consideration needs to be given to the individuals employment, advice will be sought from HR
If an allegation is made against another member of staff, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Head Teacher or the most Senior Person if the Head Teacher is not present. The Head Teacher or most Senior Person will then consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Allegations against the Head Teacher are reported to the Chair and referred to the Oldham Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
T: 0161 770 8870 F: 0161 770 6684
- Supporting Staff
We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or who appears likely to suffer harm, may find this situation stressful and upsetting. We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through anxieties with the Senior Designated Person or Head Teacher and to seek further support, if necessary. The Senior Designated Person and the Head Teacehr can seek personal support through SCiE Team Chair or other appropriate sources.
T: 0207 535 0900
This provides advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and the circumstances that should be avoided in order to limit complaints against staff of the abuse of trust and/or allegations of abuse.
- Photographing Children
The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. We acknowledge, however, that some people abuse children through taking, using or circulating images.
We will ensure:
- Parental consent will be sought annually at the beginning of the academic year and permissions noted
- Staff and volunteers must seek the authorisation of the Head Teacher prior to taking photographs/videos of children and must only use school equipment unless given specific authorisation by the Head Teacher
- The use of cameras on mobile phones or the downloading of images onto any internet site is forbidden
- Only the pupil’s firs name will be used with an image
- It will be ensured that pupils are appropriately dressed before images are taken
- Pupils are encouraged to tell us if they are worried or unsure about any photographs that are taken of them.
We understand that parents like to take photos of or video record their children in the school production, or at sports day, or school presentations. This is a normal part of family life, and we will not discourage parents from celebrating their child’s successes.
However, if there are Health and Safety issues associated with this (eg. the use of a flash when taking photos could distract or dazzle the child, causing an accident), we will encourage parents to use film or settings on their camera that do not require flash.
We will not allow other people including staff to photograph or film pupils during a school activity without parental permission. This includes the use of cameras on mobile phones or any other device. We will not allow images of pupils to be used on school websites, publicity, or press releases, including social networking sites, without express permission from the parent, and if we do obtain such permission, we will not identify individual children by name.
The school cannot, however, be held accountable for the use of photographs or video footage taken by parents or members of the public at school functions where parental permission has been given.
- Complaints and Compliments
Our complaints procedure will be followed where a pupil or parent raises a concern about poor practice towards a pupil that initially does not reach the threshold for child protection action. Poor practice examples include unfairly singling out a pupil, using sarcasm or humiliation as a form of control, bullying or belittling a pupil or discriminating against them in some way. Complaints are managed by senior staff eg. the Head Teacher and Governors. Complaints from staff are dealt with under the school’s Complaints, Disciplinary and Grievance procedures.
- Young Carers
In many families, children contribute to family care and well-being as a part of normal family life. A young carer is a child who is responsible for caring on a regular basis for a relative (usually a parent, grandparent, sometimes a sibling or very occasionally a friend) who has an illness or disability. Many young carers may experience:
- Social isolation;
- A low level of school attendance;
- Some educational difficulties;
- Impaired development of their identity and potential;
- Low self-esteem;
- Emotional and physical neglect;
- Conflict between loyalty to their family and their wish to have their own needs met.
Where are young carer is identified, the child’s needs will be considered, using the Team Around the Family process.
Our school policy on anti-bullying is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. This includes all forms e.g. cyber, racist, homophobic and gender related bullying. We keep a record of known bullying incidents which is shared with and analysed by the governing body. All staff are aware that children with SEND and / or differences/perceived differences are more susceptible to being bullied / victims of child abuse.
When there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’ a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern. If the anti-bullying procedures are seen to be ineffective, the headteacher and the DSL will also consider implementing child protection procedures.
The subject of bullying is addressed at regular intervals in PHSE education.
- Racist Incidents
Iqra Highschool acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. We keep a record of racist incidents.
- Radicalisation and Extremism
The Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on education and other children’s services to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Extremism is defined as ‘as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Some children are at risk of being radicalised; adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. This can happen both online and offline.
Iqra Highschool is clear that exploitation of vulnerable children and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and follows the Department for Education guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism.
Iqra Highschool seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.
School staff receive training to help identify early signs of radicalisation and extremism. Indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation are in detailed in Appendix 6.
Opportunities are provided in the curriculum to enable pupils to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and the school follows the DfE advice Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural education) in Schools (2014).
The school governors, the Head Teacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will assess the level of risk within the school and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include, the use of school premises by external agencies, antibullying policy and other issues specific to the school’s profile, community and philosophy.
When any member of staff has concerns that a pupil may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DSL. They should then follow normal safeguarding procedures. If the matter is urgent then Oldham Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In non-urgent cases where police advice is sought then dial 101 and ask to speak to the Oldham Police Prevent Coordinator. The Department of Education has also set up a dedicated telephone helpline for staff and governors to raise concerns around Prevent (020 7340 7264).
- Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse represents one quarter of all violent crime. It is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. It involves the use of power and control by one person over another. It occurs regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, mental or physical ability. Domestic abuse can also involve other types of abuse.
We use the term domestic abuse to reflect that a number of abusive and controlling behaviours are involved beyond violence. Slapping, punching, kicking, bruising, rape, ridicule, constant criticism, threats, manipulation, sleep deprivation, social isolation, and other controlling behaviours all count as abuse. Living in a home where domestic abuse takes place is harmful to children and can have a serious impact on their behaviour, wellbeing and understanding of healthy, positive relationships. Children who witness domestic abuse are at risk of significant harm and staff are alert to the signs and symptoms of a child suffering or witnessing domestic abuse (See Appendix 5).
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Financial Exploitation (CFE)
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. All staff are aware of the link between online safety and vulnerability to CSE.
Financial exploitation of a child, also referred to as “criminal exploitation of a child,” refers to the use of a child in any way for economic gain. This often includes child labor, child slavery, child sex tourism, and even the “sale”, trafficking or illegal adoption of children for profit. Children are often used to help sell and distribute illegal drugs, and in some war-ridden countries, children are recruited as soldiers, and forced to fight.
Any concerns that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually or financially exploited should be passed without delay to the DSL. Iqra Highschool is aware there is a clear link between regular school absence and CSE. Staff should consider a child to be at potential CSE risk in the case of regular school absence and make reasonable enquiries with the child and parents to assess this risk. The DSL will use the child protection measures on all occasions when there is a concern that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually or financially exploited or where indicators have been observed that are consistent with a child who is being or who is at risk of being sexually or financially exploited.
In all cases if the tool identified any level of concern (green, amber or red) the DSL should contact Phoenix Oldham MASH. If a child is in immediate danger the police should be called on 999.
Iqra Highschool is aware that a child often is not able to recognise the coercive nature of the abuse and does not see themselves as a victim. As a consequence, the child may resent what they perceive as interference by staff. However, staff must act on their concerns as they would for any other type of abuse. Children also rarely self-report CSE so staff must be particularly vigilant to potential indicators of risk.
Our school includes the risks of sexual/financial exploitation in the PHSE and SRE curriculum. Pupils will be informed of the grooming process and how to protect themselves from people who may potentially be intent on causing harm. They will be supported in terms of recognising and assessing risk in relation to CSE and CFE, including online, and knowing how and where to get help.
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act (2003). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. A mandatory reporting duty requires teachers to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s, which are identified in the course of their professional work, to the police.
The duty applies to all persons in Iqra Highschool who is employed or engaged to carry out ‘teaching work’ in the school, whether or not they have qualified teacher status. The duty applies to the individual who becomes aware of the case to make a report. It should not be transferred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, however the DSL should be informed.
If a teacher is informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her or a teacher observes physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth, the teacher should personally make a report to the police force in which the girl resides by calling 101. The report should be made by the close of the next working day.
School staff are trained to be aware of risk indicators of FGM which are set out in Appendix 4. Concerns about FGM outside of the mandatory reporting duty should be reported as per Iqra Highschool’s child protection procedures. Staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female pupils about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period. There should also be consideration of potential risk to other girls in the family and practicing community.
Where there is a risk to life or likelihood of serious immediate harm the teacher should report the case immediately to the police, including dialling 999 if appropriate.
There are no circumstances in which a teacher or other member of staff should examine a girl.
- Forced Marriage
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities cannot) consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.
Forced marriage is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage which is common in several cultures. The families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.
School staff should never attempt to intervene directly as a school or through a third party. Contact should be made with the contact centre or the Forced Marriage Unit 200 7008 0151.
- Honour-based Violence
Honour based violence (HBV) can be described as a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.
Honour based violence might be committed against people who;
- become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion;
- want to get out of an arranged marriage;
- want to get out of a forced marriage;
- wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture.
It is a violation of human rights and may be a form of domestic and/or sexual abuse. There is no, and cannot be, honour or justification for abusing the human rights of others.
- One Chance Rule
All staff are aware of the ‘One Chance’ Rule’ in relation to forced marriage, FGM and HBV. Staff recognise they may only have one chance’ to speak to a pupil who is a potential victim and have just one chance to save a life.
Iqra Highschool are aware that if the victim is not offered support following disclosure that the ‘One Chance’ opportunity may be lost. Therefore, all staff are aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they become aware of potential forced marriage, FGM and HBV cases.
- Private Fostering Arrangements
A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16 or 18 if the child is disabled. Children looked after by the local authority or who are place in residential schools, children’s homes or hospitals are not considered to be privately fostered.
Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.
Iqra Highschool recognise that most privately fostered children remain safe and well but are aware that safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases. Therefore, all staff are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that the child has been trafficked into the country.
By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible. However, where a member of staff becomes aware that a pupil may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this will the DSL and the DSL will notify Oldham Children’s Social Care of the circumstances.
- Looked After Children
The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and neglect. Iqra Highschool ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe. Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.
The Designated Senior Persons have details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the virtual head teacher, if applicable.
- Children Missing Education
Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
The DSL will monitor unauthorised absences and take appropriate action including notifying the local authority particularly where children go missing on repeat occasions and/or are missing for periods during the school day in conjunction with Oldham Local Education Authority and the Pupil Tracking Team.
Staff must be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Pupil Tracking Team Access Service
Level 12, Civic Centre
West Street, OL1 1XJ
Fax: 0161 770 4277
- Online Safety
Our pupils increasingly use electronic equipment on a daily basis to access the internet, share and view content and images via social media sites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat and oovoo and for online gaming.
Unfortunately, some adults and other children use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts or emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in extremist or sexual behaviour such as webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. Pupils may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate material such as pornographic websites or those which promote extremist behaviour, criminal activity, suicide or eating disorders.
Iqra Highschool has an online safety policy which explains how we try to keep pupils safe in school and how we respond to online safety incidents (See flowchart, Appendix 7).
Pupils are taught about online safety throughout the curriculum and all staff receive online safety training which is regularly updated. The school online safety co-ordinator is Ms. Aleya Begum.
- Peer on Peer Abuse
In most instances, the conduct of pupils towards each other will be covered by our behaviour policy. However, some allegations may be of such a serious nature that they may raise safeguarding concerns. Iqra Highschool recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers. It will not be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. The forms of peer on peer abuse are outlined below.
- Domestic abuse – an incident or pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, financial and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner regardless of gender or sexuality.
- Child Sexual Exploitation – children under the age of 18 may be sexually abused in the context of exploitative relationships, contexts and situations by peers who are also under 18.
- Harmful Sexual Behaviour – Children and young people presenting with sexual behaviours that are outside of developmentally ‘normative’ parameters and harmful to themselves and others (For more information, please see Appendix 2).
- Serious Youth Violence – Any offence of most serious violence or weapon enabled crime, where the victim is aged 1-19’ i.e. murder, manslaughter, rape, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm. ‘Youth violence’ is defined in the same way, but also includes assault with injury offences.
The term peer-on-peer abuse can refer to all of these definitions and a child may experience one or multiple facets of abuse at any one time. Therefore, our response will cut across these definitions and capture the complex web of their experiences.
There are also different gender issues that can be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse (i.e. girls being sexually touched/assaulted or boys being subjected to initiation/hazing type violence).
Iqra Highschool aims to reduce the likelihood of peer on peer abuse through;
- the established ethos of respect, friendship, courtesy and kindness;
- high expectations of behaviour;
- clear consequences for unacceptable behaviour;
- providing a developmentally appropriate PSHE curriculum which develops pupils’ understanding of healthy relationships, acceptable behaviour, consent and keeping themselves safe;
- systems for any pupil to raise concerns with staff, knowing that they will be listened to, valued and believed;
- robust risk assessments and providing targeted work for pupils identified as being a potential risk to other pupils and those identified as being at risk.
Research indicates that young people rarely disclose peer on peer abuse and that if they do, it is likely to be to their friends. Therefore, Iqra Highschool will also educate pupils in how to support their friends if they are concerned about them, that they should talk to a trusted adult in the school and what services they can contact for further advice.
Any concerns, disclosures or allegations of peer on peer abuse in any form should be referred to the DSL using Iqra Highschool’s child protection procedures as set out in this policy. Where a concern regarding peer on peer abuse has been disclosed to the DSL(s), advice and guidance will be sought from Oldham MASH and where it is clear a crime has been committed or there is a risk of crime being committed the Police will be contacted.
Working with external agencies the school will respond to the unacceptable behaviour. If a pupil’s behaviour negatively impacts on the safety and welfare of other pupils then safeguards will be put in place to promote the well-being of the pupils affected and the victim and perpetrator will be provided with support.
All incidents of this nature should be treated as a safeguarding concern and in line with the Department of Education advice ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges’ (2018).
- Youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)
The practice of children sharing images and videos via text message, email, social media or mobile messaging apps has become commonplace. However, this online technology has also given children the opportunity to produce and distribute sexual imagery in the form of photos and videos. Such imagery involving anyone under the age of 18 is illegal.
Youth produced sexual imagery refers to both images and videos where;
- A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18.
- A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult.
- A person under the age if 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18.
All incidents of this nature should be treated as a safeguarding concern and in line with the UKCCIS guidance ‘Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people’.
Cases where sexual imagery of people under 18 has been shared by adults and where sexual imagery of a person of any age has been shared by an adult to a child is child sexual abuse and should be responded to accordingly.
If a member of staff becomes aware of an incident involving youth produced sexual imagery they should follow the child protection procedures and refer to the DSL as soon as possible. The member of staff should confiscate the device involved and set it to flight mode or, if this is not possible, turn it off. Staff should not view, copy or print the youth produced sexual imagery.
The DSL should hold an initial review meeting with appropriate school staff and subsequent interviews with the children involved (if appropriate). Parents should be informed at an early stage and involved in the process unless there is reason to believe that involving parents would put the child at risk of harm. At any point in the process if there is concern a young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to Oldham MASH Team or the Police as appropriate.
Immediate referral at the initial review stage should be made to Oldham MASH Team/Police if;
- The incident involves an adult;
- There is good reason to believe that a young person has been coerced, blackmailed or groomed or if there are concerns about their capacity to consent (for example, owing to special education needs);
- What you know about the imagery suggests the content depicts sexual acts which are unusual for the child’s development stage or are violent;
- The imagery involves sexual acts;
- The imagery involves anyone aged 12 or under;
- There is reason to believe a child is at immediate risk of harm owing to the sharing of the imagery, for example the child is presenting as suicidal or self-harming.
If none of the above apply then the DSL will use their professional judgement to assess the risk to pupils involved and may decide, with input from the Headteacher, to respond to the incident without escalation to Oldham MASH Team or the police.
In applying judgement the DSL will consider if;
- there is a significant age difference between the sender/receiver;
- there is any coercion or encouragement beyond the sender/receiver;
- the imagery was shared and received with the knowledge of the child in the imagery;
- the child is more vulnerable than usual i.e. at risk;
- there is a significant impact on the children involved;
- the image is of a severe or extreme nature;
- the child involved understands consent;
- the situation is isolated or if the image been more widely distributed;
- there are other circumstances relating to either the sender or recipient that may add cause for concern i.e. difficult home circumstances;
- the children have been involved in incidents relating to youth produced imagery before.
If any of these circumstances are present the situation will be escalated according to our child protection procedures, including reporting to the police or children’s social care. Otherwise, the situation will be managed within the school.
The DSL will record all incidents of youth produced sexual imagery, including both the actions taken, actions not taken, reasons for doing so and the resolution in line with safeguarding recording procedures.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.
All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitude or actions of colleagues, poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school’s safeguarding arrangements. If it becomes necessary to consult outside the school, they should speak in the first instance, to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) following the Whistleblowing Policy.
The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: email@example.com.
Whistle-blowing regarding the Headteacher should be made to the Chair of the Governing Body whose contact details are readily available to staff.
- Physical Intervention
We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child is endangering him/herself or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.
Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness.
We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
We recognise that touch is appropriate in the context or working with children, and all staff have been given ‘Safe Practice’ guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundary.
- This policy also links to our policies on:
Behaviour Policy, Staff Code of Conduct Policy, Whistleblowing Policy, Anti-bullying Policy, Health & Safety Policy, COSHH Policy, Allegations against Staff Policy, Complaints Policy, Attendance Policy, Curriculum PSHE, Teaching and Learning Policy, Administration of Medicines Policy, Vistors Policy, Drug Education Policy, Sex and Relationships Education Policy including FGM, CSE, CFE, HBV, Prevent and Forced Marriage, Physical Intervention Policy, Online Safety Policy including staff use of mobile phones, Risk Assessment Policy including educational visits on site and off site, Safer Recruitment Policy, Child Sexual Exploitation Policy, Radicalisation and Extremism Policy,
Recognising signs of child abuse
‘Guidance on Safer Working Practices’ is available on the DfE website
Categories of Abuse:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse (including Domestic Abuse)
- Sexual Abuse (including child sexual exploitation)
Signs of Abuse in Children: The following non-specific signs may indicate something is wrong:
- Significant change in behaviour
- Extreme anger or sadness
- Aggressive and attention-seeking behaviour
- Suspicious bruises with unsatisfactory explanations
- Lack of self-esteem
- Age inappropriate sexual behaviour
- Child Sexual Exploitation.
The factors described in this section are frequently found in cases of child abuse. Their presence is not proof that abuse has occurred, but:
- Must be regarded as indicators of the possibility of significant harm
- Justifies the need for careful assessment and discussion with designated / named / lead person, manager, (or in the absence of all those individuals, an experienced colleague)
- May require consultation with and / or referral to Children’s Services
The absence of such indicators does not mean that abuse or neglect has not occurred.
In an abusive relationship the child may:
- Appear frightened of the parent/s
- Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development (though full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups)
The parent or carer may:
- Persistently avoid child health promotion services and treatment of the child’s episodic illnesses
- Have unrealistic expectations of the child
- Frequently complain about/to the child and may fail to provide attention or praise (high criticism/low warmth environment)
- Be absent or misusing substances#
- Persistently refuse to allow access on home visits
- Be involved in domestic abuse
Staff should be aware of the potential risk to children when individuals, previously known or suspected to have abused children, move into the household.
Recognising Physical Abuse
The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:
- An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
- Several different explanations provided for an injury
- Unexplained delay in seeking treatment
- The parents/carers are uninterested or undisturbed by an accident or injury
- Parents are absent without good reason when their child is presented for treatment#
- Repeated presentation of minor injuries (which may represent a “cry for help” and if ignored could lead to a more serious injury)
- Family use of different doctors and A&E departments
- Reluctance to give information or mention previous injuries
Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as non accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:
- Any bruising to a pre-crawling or pre-walking baby
- Bruising in or around the mouth, particularly in small babies which may indicate force feeding
- Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead, (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
- Repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally
- Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
- The outline of an object used e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush
- Bruising or tears around, or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
- Bruising around the face
- Grasp marks on small children
- Bruising on the arms, buttocks and thighs may be an indicator of sexual abuse
- Bite Marks
Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth. Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped. Those over 3 cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child.
A medical opinion should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.
Burns and Scalds
It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds and will always require experienced medical opinion. Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g.:
- Circular burns from cigarettes (but may be friction burns if along the bony protuberance of the spine) Linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements
- Burns of uniform depth over a large area
- Scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid (a child getting into hot water is his/her own accord will struggle to get out and cause splash marks)
- Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation
- Scalds to the buttocks of a small child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.
Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint.
Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.
There are grounds for concern if:
- The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type
- There are associated old fractures
- Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement
- There is an unexplained fracture in the first year of life
A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.
Recognising Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse.
The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse.
The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:
- Developmental delay
- Abnormal attachment between a child and parent/carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or not attachment Indiscriminate attachment or failure to attach
- Aggressive behaviour towards others
- Scape-goated within the family
- Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- Withdrawn or seen as a “loner” – difficulty relating to others
Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse
Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child/family.
Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional/behavioural.
Some behavioural indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
- Inappropriate sexualised conduct
- Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age
- Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation
- Self-harm (including eating disorder), self mutilation and suicide attempts
- Involvement in prostitution or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners
- An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes e.g. for sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties)
Some physical indicators associated with this form of abuse are:
- Pain or itching of genital area
- Blood on underclothes
- Pregnancy in a younger girl where the identity of the father is not disclosed
- Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing
Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting. Indicators include:
- Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care
- A child seen to be listless, apathetic and irresponsive with no apparent medical cause
- Failure of child to grow within normal expected pattern, with accompanying weight loss
- Child thrives away from home environment
- Child frequently absent from school
- Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent
- Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods
Sexual Abuse by Young People
The boundary between what is abusive and what is part of normal childhood or youthful experimentation can be blurred. The determination of whether behaviour is developmental, inappropriate or abusive will hinge around the related concepts of true consent, power imbalance and exploitation. This may include children and young people who exhibit a range of sexually problematic behaviour such as indecent exposure, obscene telephone calls, fetishism, bestiality and sexual abuse against adults, peers or children.
Developmental Sexual Activity encompasses those actions that are to be expected from children and young people as they move from infancy through to an adult understanding of their physical, emotional and behavioural relationships with each other. Such sexual activity is essentially information gathering and experience testing. It is characterised by mutuality and of the seeking of consent.
Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour can be inappropriate socially, i appropriate to development, or both. In considering whether behaviour fits into this category, it is important to consider what negative effects it has on any of the parties involved and what concerns it raises about a child or young person. It should be recognised that some actions may be motivated by information seeking, but still cause significant upset, confusion, worry, physical damage, etc. It may also be that the behaviour is “acting out” which may derive from other sexual situations to which the child or young person has been exposed. If an act appears to have been inappropriate, there may still be a need for some form of behaviour management or intervention. For some children, educative inputs may be enough to address the behaviour.
Abusive sexual activity includes any behaviour involving coercion, threats, aggression together with secrecy, or where one participant relies on an unequal power base. In order to more fully determine the nature of the incident the following factors should be given consideration. The presence of exploitation in terms of:
- Equality – consider differentials of physical, cognitive and emotional development, power and control and authority, passive and assertive tendencies
- Consent – agreement including all the following:
- Understanding that is proposed based on age, maturity, development level, functioning and experience
- Knowledge of society’s standards for what is being proposed
- Awareness of potential consequences and alternatives
- Assumption that agreements or disagreements will be respected equally
- Voluntary decision
- Mental competence
- Coercion – the young perpetrator who abuses may use techniques like bribing, manipulation and emotional threats of secondary gains and losses that is loss of love, friendship, etc. Some may use physical force, brutality or the threat of these regardless of victim resistance.
In evaluating sexual behaviour of children and young people, the above information should be used only as a guide. Further information and advice to assist in identifying and responding appropriately to sexual behaviour is available from the Brook Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool Assessment, Consultation and Therapy (ACT) 01306 745310 can also assist professionals in identifying sexual behaviour of concern in children and adolescents.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Staff should refer to Part A of ‘Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation’ (2017) for comprehensive guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation.
The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive, but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.
- going missing from home or school
- regular school absence/truanting
- underage sexual activity
- inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour
- sexually risky behaviour, ‘swapping’ sex
- repeat sexually transmitted infections
- in girls, repeat pregnancy, abortions, miscarriage
- receiving unexplained gifts or gifts from unknown sources
- having multiple mobile phones and worrying about losing contact via mobile
- online safety concerns such as youth produced sexual imagery or being coerced into sharing explicit images.
- having unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile) or expensive habits (alcohol, drugs)
- changes in the way they dress
- going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends
- seen at known places of concern
- moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing where they are
- getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults
- having older boyfriends or girlfriends
- contact with known perpetrators
- involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
- hanging out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers
- associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation
- recruiting other young people to exploitative situations
- truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education altogether
- unexplained changes in behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive, sexual)
- mood swings, volatile behaviour, emotional distress
- self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders
- drug or alcohol misuse
- getting involved in crime
- police involvement, police records
- involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
- injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
It is essential that staff are aware of FGM practices and the need to look for signs, symptoms and other indicators of FGM.
What is FGM?
It involves procedures that intentionally alter/injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
4 types of procedure:
- Type 1 Clitoridectomy – partial/total removal of clitoris
- Type 2 Excision – partial/total removal of clitoris and labia minora
- Type 3 Infibulation entrance to vagina is narrowed by repositioning the inner/outer labia
- Type 4 all other procedures that may include: pricking, piercing, incising, cauterising and scraping the genital area.
Why is it carried out?
- FGM brings status/respect to the girl – social acceptance for marriage
- Preserves a girl’s virginity
- Part of being a woman / rite of passage
- Upholds family honour
- Cleanses and purifies the girl
- Gives a sense of belonging to the community
- Fulfils a religious requirement
- Perpetuates a custom/tradition
- Helps girls be clean / hygienic
- Is cosmetically desirable
- Mistakenly believed to make childbirth easier
Is FGM legal?
FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women. It is illegal in most countries including the UK.
Circumstances and occurrences that may point to FGM happening are:
- Child talking about getting ready for a special ceremony
- Family taking a long trip abroad
- Child’s family being from one of the ‘at risk’ communities for FGM (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leon, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea as well as non-African communities including Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdistan, Indonesia and Pakistan)
- Knowledge that the child’s sibling has undergone FGM
- Child talks about going abroad to be ‘cut’ or to prepare for marriage
Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM:
- Prolonged absence from school and other activities
- Behaviour change on return from a holiday abroad, such as being withdrawn and appearing subdued Bladder or menstrual problems
- Finding it difficult to sit still and looking uncomfortable
- Complaining about pain between the legs
- Mentioning something somebody did to them that they are not allowed to talk about
- Secretive behaviour, including isolating themselves from the group
- Reluctance to take part in physical activity
- Repeated urinal tract infection
The ‘One Chance’ rule
As with Forced Marriage there is the ‘One Chance’ rule. It is essential that settings /schools/colleges take action without delay and make a referral to children’s services and/or police.
How does it affect children?
Children can be traumatised by seeing and hearing violence and abuse. They may also be directly targeted by the abuser or take on a protective role and get caught in the middle. In the long term this can lead to mental health issues such as depression, self-harm and anxiety.
What are the signs to look out for?
Children affected by domestic abuse reflect their distress in a variety of ways. They may change their usual behaviour and become withdrawn, tired, start to wet the bed and have behavioural difficulties. They may not want to leave their house or may become reluctant to return. Others will excel, using their time in your care as a way to escape from their home life. None of these signs are exclusive to domestic abuse so when you are considering changes in behaviours and concerns about a child, think about whether domestic abuse may be a factor
What should I do if I suspect a family is affected by domestic abuse?
To talk through your concerns, call the Women’s Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0161 636 7525 www.wdachoices.org.uk, Open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm excluding bank holidays
- Samaritans – 0845 7909 090 or www.samaritans.org
- Women’s Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0161 636 7525 www.wdachoices.org.uk, Open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm excluding bank holidays.
- Shelter– 0808 800 4444 or www.shelter.org.uk
- DIAS Domestic Violence Centres Services at all three centres include; ‘Drop In’ support, advice and information and professional counselling by appointment.
- DIAS-Wigan (01942) 495230, 38 Rodney House. King St. Wigan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DIAS-Tyldesley (01942) 895212, 136A Elliot St. Tyldesley, email: email@example.com
- DIAS-Hag Fold (01942) 892483, 69 Warwick Road. Hag Fold. Atherton, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DIAS-CRV (01942) 491477, 39 Rodney House. King St. Wigan
- Counselling service for children and families affected by domestic violence email: email@example.com
- Respect – 0802 802 4040 or www.respect.uk.net
- Men Experiencing Domestic Violence – 0845 064 6800
- Relate – Counselling – 0161 442 2443
- Victim Support Helpline – 0845 456 8800 (Greater Manchester), 0845 303 0900 (National) or www.victimsupport.org.uk
- NSPCC Helpline – 0808 800 5000 or www.nspcc.org.uk
- Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) Helpline – 0845 330 3030
- Galop – For members of the LGBT community www.galop.org.uk or 0800 9995428
- Rape crisis – 0808 802 9999 or www.rapecrisis.org.uk
INDICATORS OF VULNERABILITY TO RADICALISATION
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as: Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as: The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
- Encourage, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
- Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
- Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts; or
- Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.
Pupils may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors – it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that school staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities.
Indicators of vulnerability include:
- Identity Crisis – the student / pupil is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society;
- Personal Crisis – the student / pupil may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
- Personal Circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the student / pupil’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
- Unmet Aspirations – the student / pupil may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
- Experiences of Criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement / reintegration;
- Special Educational Need – students / pupils may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.
However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism.
More critical risk factors could include
- Being in contact with extremist recruiters;
- Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element;
- Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature;
- Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage;
Iqra Highschool Designated Leads
Ms Maryam Khalid & Ms.Simmia Nasa
Local Authority Designated Officer
Rock Street Centre, Rock Street Oldham OL1 3UJ
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0161 770 8870 F: 0161 770 6684
MASH- Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub Oldham
Oldham LSCB Manager
E: email@example.com T: 0161 770 8096
Pupil Tracking Team
Access Service Level 12 Civic Centre West Street OL1 1XJ
T: 0161 770 4201 F: 0161 770 4277 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further advice on child protection is available from:
CEOPS Thinkuknow: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Anti-Bullying Alliance: http://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
Beat Bullying: http://www.beatbullying.org
Childnet International –making the internet a great and safe place for children. Includes resources for professionals and parents http://www.childnet.com
Safer Internet Centre http://www.saferinternet.org.uk