We recognise that the welfare of all children is paramount and that all children and young people, irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability, have equal rights of protection. We recognise our duty of care when children are in our setting and will do everything we can to provide a safe, secure, stimulating and caring environment in which children can interact and explore rich and diverse learning and developmental opportunities.
This policy aims to set out clear systems and procedures to be followed should any concerns be raised concerning the safety and welfare of any child in our care.
This policy is designed to ensure the safeguarding of children, making it safe and acceptable for staff, students and volunteers to raise, in good faith, a concern they may have about the welfare of children.
- Staff, students and volunteers are encouraged to report any safeguarding concerns that they have.
- Staff, students and volunteers are encouraged to discuss any concerns they have with the manager of the setting ensuring appropriate procedures are followed and that confidentiality is respected.
All staff employed by Hardwick B & A Club will receive child protection training; this will be updated every 3 years. Their role will include observing the children through play, this will include observing how they interact with their peers as well as the staff, and this approach will allow staff to see any changes in the child's behaviour which may cause concern.
The 4 classifications of abuse are:
- Physical Injury
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
Although not classified we must also be aware of Racism, Discrimination, Bullying, Cyber Bullying, Sexting, Peer-on-peer abuse, Radicalisation & Extremism.
Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.
Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:
- Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
- One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg older)
- One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)
- There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.
If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed
We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.
Extremism and Radicalisation
All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:
- Feeling alienated or alone
- Seeking a sense of identity or individuality
- Suffering from mental health issues such as depression
- Desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
- Associating with others who hold extremist beliefs
Signs of Radicalisation
Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:
- Changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- Claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
- Viewing violent extremist material online
- Possessing or sharing violent extremist material
If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations and refer the matter to the CPO.
For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the CPO will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board. For more serious concerns the CPO will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 121.
This is primarily to observe and report any changes or events which cause staff concern. It is important to remember throughout that it is not up to us to pass judgement or investigate, but to report the facts to the relevant authorities.
It must be made clear to the child disclosing information that we cannot keep their secret and that we have a duty to tell other people. This may upset the child and frighten them; every effort should be made to make the child feel safe and that it is ok to continue with the conversation.
If a concern is raised it should first be discussed with the B & A Safeguarding Officer (the Manager).
Records should be made as soon as possible after the incident and they should contain only facts,
- Date of the disclosure or of the incident causing concern
- Date and time at which the record was made
- Name and date of birth of the child involved
- A factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words.
- Name, signature and job title of the person making the record.
They will be kept securely (see Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy).
The incident should then be discussed with the school child protection officer who will give further advice and support. It is only after this and with the permission from the school can the incident be discussed with the parents if it will not jeopardise future proceedings.
Please refer to the Hardwick CP Safeguarding Children Policy.
Should an allegation be made against a staff member, committee member, student or volunteer we have a clear procedure to be followed;
- We ensure that all parents/carers/staff member/committee members/students and volunteers know how to complain should they have any concerns concerning a member of staff or indeed a volunteer at our setting which may include an allegation of abuse (see whistleblowing policy).
- On occasion we may seek guidance from a relevant professional at Hardwick Primary School, Suffolk’s Early Years and Childcare Team or our insurers. There is a duty for professionals, including our setting to refer any Safeguarding concerns they have to Customer First and the Local Designated Officer for Safeguarding (0300 123 2044) and to inform Ofsted, regardless of whether the complainant wishes to take the matter further.
- We follow the guidelines laid down by the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board when we respond to any allegation made against a staff member, committee member, student or volunteer that a child has been abused.
- We respond to any alleged disclosure by accurately recording what is said; without questioning/asking leading questions and without interviewing the person making the allegation as we understand that this may jeopardize any future proceedings.
- We refer any such complaint, whatever this may be, immediately to CUSTOMER FIRST by telephone, GIVING THE DETAILS OF THE CHILD, we then contact THE LOCAL AREA DESIGNATED OFFICER FOR SAFEGUARDING (0300 123 2044) and INFORM OFSTED of the procedures followed as we understand that it is an offence not to do so.
- We cooperate with any investigation carried out by the Local Area Designated Officer for Safeguarding in conjunction with the Police.
- Where the management committee and the Local Area Designated Officer for Safeguarding agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chair person/manager will suspend members of staff on full pay, or any student and volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of an admission of guilt but is in place to protect the person who the allegation has been made against and children and their families throughout the process.
- When a staff member or volunteer is dismissed from our setting due to gross misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Barring Board administrators so that their name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred list. If we have to ask a committee member to step down or a student to no longer attend our Setting, we will seek advice and guidance from the Local Authorities Childcare Support and Development Team.
In the event of an allegation being made, to someone other than the manager, information should be clearly and promptly recorded and reported to the manager without delay unless this will jeopardize any future enquiry or compromise confidentiality.
Additionally, concerns and allegations about adults should be treated as confidential and passed to the manager without delay unless this too will jeopardize any future enquiry or compromise confidentiality.
Please also refer to our Mobile Phone, Electronic Device and Camera Policy