Young Person Safeguarding Policy
Trendy Pooches Academy will provide a safe environment for young people by identifying individuals who are in need or likely to suffer significant harm and will take appropriate action to ensure such individuals are kept safe.
At Trendy Pooches Academy the named personnel with designated responsibility for safeguarding are:
Designated Safeguarding Lead – Nicola Rawson firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Glynis Stewart email@example.com
Approved by the Trendy Pooches Academy Board on 13 January 2018
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people is defined for the purposes of this policy as:
- Protecting young people from maltreatment.
- Preventing impairment of a young person’s health or development
- Prevent young people from being drawn into extremist activities
- Ensuring that young people grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
- Taking action to enable all young people to have the best outcomes Child Protection is a part of Safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific young people who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
At Trendy Pooches Academy we recognise the responsibility we have under Section 175 of the Education and Inspections Act 2002, to have arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people. This policy demonstrates the Academy’s commitment and compliance with safeguarding legislation.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who meets young people and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding young people. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals in this Academy make sure their approach is young person-centred. This means that we consider, always, what is in the best interests of the young person.
No single professional can have a full picture of a young person’s needs and circumstances. If young people and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who meets them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. Through their day-to-day contact with students and direct work with families, staff at our Academy have a crucial role to play in noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect and referring them to Children’s Services (in Cheshire East or in neighbouring authorities dependent upon the child’s area of residence). We recognise that we form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This responsibility also means that we are aware of the behaviour of staff in the Academy; we maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. We also recognise our responsibilities under the Governments Prevent Duty for FE Academy’s.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that:
- The welfare of the young person is paramount
- All young people regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity have equal rights to protection
- All staff have an equal responsibility to act on suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a young person is at risk of harm or being drawn into extremism
- Young people and staff involved in Safeguarding issues receive appropriate support
- Staff adhere to a Code of Conduct and understand what to do if a young person discloses any allegations against Academy staff or the Governing Body
- All staff are aware of Early Help and ensure that relevant assessments and referrals take place
- All staff are aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label; they recognise that, in most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another
The procedures contained in this policy apply to ALL staff, volunteers, sessional workers, students, agency staff or anyone working on behalf of Trendy Pooches Academy.
They have been developed in line with Cheshire East Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) child protection procedures.
The policy is provided to all staff (including temporary staff and volunteers) at induction, alongside our Staff Code of Conduct.
In addition, all staff are trained on the content of Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2018). This is achieved through our cylix safeguarding training module, which is mandatory for all staff and allows us to record and report that staff have understood it. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is able to support all staff in understanding their responsibilities and implementing it in their practice.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people refers to the process of protecting young people from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of a young person’s health or development, ensuring that young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all young people to have the best life chances.
Child Protection refers to the activity undertaken to protect specific young people who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Extremism vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the Academy in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
Young Person refers to all young people who have not yet reached the age of 18.
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role – stepparents, foster parents, carers and adoptive parents.
Early Help: means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a young person’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.
Abuse: is a form of maltreatment of a young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a young person by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another young person or young people.
There are 6 main elements to the Policy:
1 Prevention – through the curriculum and pastoral support offered to students and through the creation and maintenance of a whole Academy protective ethos.
2 Procedures – for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse.
3 Staff Roles and Responsibilities
4 Support to a young person – who may have been abused.
5 Preventing unsuitable adults working with young person – by following the DfE guidance in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, (2018) together with the Academy’s individual procedures.
6 Governing Body Responsibilities
The Academy will establish an ethos where:
1.1 Young people feel secure in a safe environment in which they can learn and develop
1.2 Young people know that there are adults in the Academy whom they can approach if worried or in difficulty.
1.3 Adequate signposting to external sources of support and advice is in place for staff, parents and young people.
1.4 Importance and prioritisation is given to equipping the young person with the skills needed to stay safe: including providing opportunities for Personal, Social and Health Education throughout the curriculum and raising awareness of the dangers of extremism and radicalisation
1.5 Young people develop realistic attitudes to their responsibilities in adult life and are equipped with the skills needed to keep themselves safe; including understanding and recognition of healthy/unhealthy relationships and support available.
1.6 Young people are supported in recognising and managing risks in different situations, including on the internet, being able to judge 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 or is drawing them towards behaviour that is extremist whilst supporting them in developing effective ways of resisting pressure.
1.7 Everyone feels comfortable and supported to draw safeguarding issues to the attention of the Safeguarding Lead and are aware of the procedure on appropriate questioning.
1.8 Emerging themes are proactively addressed and fed back to the local authority and LSCB to ensure a coherent approach so that multi-agency awareness and strategies are developed.
1.9 It supports the aims of ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children” 2015 and supports the LSCB Continuum of Need to ensure young people receive the most appropriate referral and access provision; actively supporting multi agency planning for those young people and, in doing so, providing information about the ‘voice of the young person’ and the young person’s lived experience as evidenced by observations or information provided. Staff are aware that they must be prepared to identify those young people who may benefit from early help. If there are concerns about a young person’s welfare that do not meet the thresholds of abuse the Academy will consider whether the early help approach should be considered. Staff are aware that early identification of concerns and the use of early help to develop a multi-agency plan for the young person can reduce the risk of subsequent abuse. In the first instance staff should discuss early help requirements with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will support in liaising with other agencies as appropriate.
1.10 There is a proactive approach to substance misuse. Issues of drugs and substance misuse are recorded and there is a standalone policy which is robustly delivered throughout the Academy and curriculum
1.11 S upport and planning for young people in custody and their resettlement back into the Academy community is undertaken, where necessary, as part of our inclusive approach
1.12 The Academy ensures arrangements for consulting with, listening and responding to young people.
1.13 There is a commitment to the continuous development of staff with regard to safeguarding training. All staff undertake LSCB ‘endorsed’ Basic Awareness in Safeguarding training within the first term of their employment/placement; refreshed every 3 years, to enable them to understand and fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities effectively. • All staff receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, ebulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard young people effectively. • In addition, the Safeguarding team staff receive regular training and updates on safeguarding practice and emerging concerns/themes relevant to the Academy context • The Safeguarding Lead and Deputy attend the LSCB multi agency approved Safeguarding training on an annual basis. • The Safeguarding Lead, and/or Deputy communicate regularly with the relevant members of the SCiES Team, therefore enabling them to remain up to date with Safeguarding practices and be aware of any emerging concerns/themes emerging with Cheshire East.
2 PROCEDURES AND RECORD-KEEPING
Trendy Pooches Academy will follow Cheshire East’s safeguarding procedures with reference to Cheshire East LSCB Recording and Reporting Guidance.
This Policy is updated annually, and changes are made in line with any new DfE guidance.
The Academy will ensure that:
2.1 Safeguarding information including Child Protection information is stored and handled in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 ensuring that information is:
- used fairly and lawfully
- for limited, specifically stated purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than necessary
- handled according to people’s data protection rights
- kept safe and secure.
2.2 Where a member of staff is concerned that a young person is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, they must report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or their Deputy, without delay. A written record should be made of these concerns as soon as possible following the disclosure/concern being raised; this must be within 24 hours. Timely, accurate recording of every episode/incident/concern/activity/actions will be made including telephone calls to other professionals. Support and advice will be sought from the young person’s Social Care or the Local Area Designated Officer, whenever necessary.
2.3 Hard copies of records or reports relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection concerns will be kept in a separate, confidential file, securely stored away from the main student file. Authorisation to access these electronic records will be controlled by the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
2.4 There is always a Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy on hand who has the necessary seniority and skills, undertakes appropriate safeguarding training, and is given the time to carry out this important role.
2.5 In the case of a child protection referral or serious injury the Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS) and/or the Police without delay. Where a young person lives in a different authority the Designated Safeguarding Lead follows the procedures for that authority. Where possible we ensure that contacts with outside agencies are through the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy; however, staff are aware that anyone can make this contact. Where a member of staff makes contact, they ensure that they make the Designated Safeguarding Lead aware as soon as possible.
2.6 Staff in our Academy are aware of their responsibilities under section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 which says that “If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the teacher must report this to the police”.
2.7 Where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff, including against the Deputy or Safeguarding Lead, the concern must be taken to the Principal, who will speak with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to discuss the next steps. If the allegation is against the Principal, the Chair of Governors should be contacted immediately and advice from the LADO sought. If the allegation is against both Principal and Chair the LADO will be contacted. No member of staff will conduct their own investigation or pass on information to the alleged perpetrator. In all allegations the LADO will advise on the action to take. The Emergency Duty Team should be contacted outside normal working hours 0300 123 5022
2.8 Where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff, a disciplinary investigation by the Academy will be conducted in accordance with the existing staff disciplinary procedures and as set out in Appendix 1 to this Policy, only when any formal police or local authority investigations have been completed.
2.9 In the case of poorly explained serious injuries or where behaviour or concerns arouse suspicion, if in any doubt the Designated Safeguarding Lead should consult with Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS)
2.10 The Designated Safeguarding Lead will keep dated records detailing any allegation and action taken as near to the time of disclosure as possible even when no investigation is undertaken, following up any verbal referral in writing within 24 hours.
2.11 Conversations with a young person who discloses abuse should follow the basic principles: ▪ listen rather than directly question, remain calm ▪ never stop a young person who is recalling significant events ▪ never ask a young person if they are being abused ▪ make a record of discussion to include time, place, persons present and what was said (young person’s language – do not substitute words) ▪ advise you will have to pass the information on ▪ avoid coaching/prompting ▪ never take photographs of any injury ▪ never undress a young person to physically examine them ▪ allow time and provide a safe haven / quiet area for future support meetings ▪ At no time promise confidentiality to a young person or adult.
Staff are aware that they should not question the young person; other than to respond with TED – Tell me what you mean by that, explain what you mean by that, Describe that. Staff will observe and listen, but do not probe/ask any leading questions.
2.12 Prevent Duty procedures in addition to the above:
- The Academy will maintain regular contact with the regional Prevent Co-ordinator and Channel link Co-ordinator.
- Should any member of staff have any concerns regarding a young person’s behaviour which would suggest that are displaying extremist tendencies the concern must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will report concerns to our designated Channel Coordinator
3 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Academy will ensure that every member of staff and person working on behalf of the Academy:
3.1 Knows the name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and his/her role and responsibility.
3.2 Has an individual responsibility to refer Safeguarding (Child Protection) concerns.
3.3 Will receive training at the point of induction (and receive child protection and safeguarding updates at least annually) so that they know:
− their personal responsibility / code of conduct / teaching standards − LSCB child protection procedures and how to access them − the need to be vigilant in identifying cases of abuse at the earliest opportunity − how to support and respond to a young person who discloses significant harm
3.4 Knows their duty concerning the observation of unsafe practices in regard to young people by a colleague.
3.5 The Designated Safeguarding Lead will disclose any information about a student to other members of staff on a need to know basis.
3.6 The Academy will undertake appropriate discussion with parents prior to involvement with other agencies unless the circumstances preclude this.
3.7 The Academy will ensure that parents have an understanding of their obligations re: Child Protection by intervention as and when appropriate.
3.8 Work to develop effective links with relevant agencies in relation to Safeguarding (Child Protection).
3.9 Ensure that, where there are unmet needs, support is initiated.
3.10 Send representatives to case conferences, core groups and Child Protection review meetings.
3.11 Ensure that all employees of the Academy understand their responsibilities in relation to the Prevent Duty
4 SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK
The Academy will endeavour to support vulnerable young people through:
4.1 Its ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment; giving young people a sense of being valued.
4.2 Ensuring its policies and procedures protect all young people.
4.3 Liaison with other appropriate agencies which support the student.
4.4 Developing supportive relationships.
4.5 Recognition that young people living in difficult home environments are vulnerable and need support and protection.
4.6 Monitoring young peoples’ welfare, keeping accurate records and notifying appropriate agencies when necessary.
4.7 Allowing designated staff opportunity to attend face to face SCiES/ LSCB multi-agency training. (For example, child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, drugs / alcohol substance misuse etc).
4.8 Notifying key workers or social workers where a young person, identified as being at risk or in need, leaves the Academy (as appropriate).
4.9 The Academy acknowledges serious case review findings and shares lessons learned with all staff to ensure no young person falls through the gap.
4.10 The Academy knows how to identify and respond to: Extremism and Radicalisation Neglect Drug/substance/alcohol misuse (both pupil and parent) Child sexual exploitation / trafficked young person Young person missing education Domestic abuse Peer relationship abuse Risky behaviours Sexual health needs Obesity/malnutrition On line safety including grooming Inappropriate behaviour of staff towards young person Bullying, including homophobic, racist, gender and disability. Breaches of the Equality Act 2010. Self-Harm Female Genital Mutilation Forced Marriage Unaccompanied asylum-seeking young person Modern slavery
4.11 Staff have an understanding of the Framework of Assessment of Need and make decisions based on a young person’s development needs, parenting capacity and family & environmental factors.
4.12 Staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep cared for young people (Looked after children) safe as we are aware that young people often become looked after as a result of abuse and/or neglect.
4.13 Staff have knowledge and understanding of the additional barriers which can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in young people with special needs/disabilities. These barriers can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the young person’s disability without further exploration
- young people with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers
5 SAFER RECRUITMENT AND PROFESSIONAL BOUNDARIES
The school pays full regard to DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2016 and with
reference to the ‘Position of Trust’ offence (Sexual Offences Act 2003). We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the Academy who is likely to be perceived by a young person as a safe and trustworthy adult. We do this by:
5.1 Operating safe recruitment practices including appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and reference checks, 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 undertaking interviews and checking the Children’s List and right to work in England checks in accordance with DBS and Department for Education procedures.
5.2 Ensuring that staff adhere to a published code of conduct and other professional standards at all times, including out of hours activities, educational day trips and residential study tours. Staff are aware of social media/ on-line conduct.
5.3 Ensuring any disciplinary proceedings against staff related to Child Protection matters are concluded in full in accordance with Government guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018” and LSCB, LADO and HR Policy, procedures and guidance.
5.4 Ensuring that all staff and other adults on site are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationship with students and parents, following the Code of Conduct.
5.5 Supporting staff confidence to report misconduct.
5.6 Maintaining an accurate, complete, up to date Single Central Record.
6 GOVERNING BODY RESPONSIBILITIES
The Governing Body fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people in accordance with Government guidance.
The Governing Body have agreed processes which allow them to monitor and ensure that the Academy.
6.1 Has robust Safeguarding procedures in place.
6.2 Operates safe recruitment procedures and appropriate checks are carried out on new staff and adults working on the school site.
6.3 Has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against any member of staff or adult on site.
6.4 Has a member of the Executive Team who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with Safeguarding and Child Protection issues.
6.5 Has a member of the Executive Team who is designated to take a lead on the co-ordination of the Prevent Duty compliance.
6.6 Takes steps to remedy any deficiencies or weaknesses with regard to Safeguarding arrangements.
6.7 Is supported by the Governing Body nominating a member responsible for liaising with the LA and/or partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse against the Principal; this is the Chair.
6.8 Carries out an annual review of the Safeguarding policy and procedures.
6.9 Receives an annual Safeguarding report to monitor compliance and to inform trends and actions.
OTHER RELATED POLICIES
The Academy takes safeguarding seriously and understands this policy is over- arching. The Academy also maintains other linked policies in line with the legislative requirements; together these make up the suite of policies to safeguard and promote the welfare of young people in the Academy. The policies are cited below.
- Safer Recruitment and Vetting Policy and Procedure
- Learner harassment and bullying policy
- Student Charter • Equality and Diversity Policy
- Code of Conduct for Academy Staff
- Safeguarding Adults Policy
Appendix 1 – REPORTING AND DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST MEMBERS OF STAFF
The procedures apply to all staff, whether teaching, administrative, management or support, as well as to volunteers. The word “staff” is used for ease of description.
– In rare instances, staff of education institutions have been found responsible for young person abuse. Because of their frequent contact with young people, staff may have allegations of abuse made against them. The Academy recognises that an allegation of abuse made against a member of staff may be made for a variety of reasons and that the facts of the allegation may or may not be true. It is imperative that those dealing with an allegation maintain an open mind and that investigations are thorough and not subject to delay. – A member of staff may also have concerns about another member of staff. These concerns must be communicated to either the Principal, or to the designated Governor if they concern the Principal, or to the member of staff responsible for safeguarding young people. Where concerns arise with regard to staff, it is vital that the Local Authority responsibility for Safeguarding Children issues is included in discussions from the outset. – The allegation should be reported immediately to the Principal, unless the Principal is the person against whom the allegation is made, in which case the report should be made to the staff member with lead responsibility or the designated Governor. The Principal (or designated person is the allegation is against the Principal) shall: o Obtain written details of the allegation from the person who received it, that are signed and dated. The written details should be countersigned and dated by the Principal (or designated person); o Record information about times, dates, locations and names of potential witnesses.
- Initial Assessment by the Principal (or designated person)
– The Principal (or designated person) shall make an initial assessment of the allegation, consulting with the staff member with lead responsibility, the designated Governor and the Local Authority Child Protection services as appropriate. Where the allegation is considered to be either a potential criminal act or indicates that the young person has suffered, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the matter should be reported immediately to the Local Authority Child Protection services and/or to the police.
– It is important that the Principal (or designated person) does not investigate the allegation. The initial assessment should be on the basis of the information received and is a decision whether or not the allegation warrants further investigation.
– Other potential outcomes are:
- The allegation represents inappropriate behaviour or poor practice by the member of staff and is neither potentially a crime nor a cause of significant harm to the young person. The matter should be addressed in accordance with the Academy disciplinary procedures.
- The allegation can be shown to be false because the facts alleged could not possibly be true.
- Enquiries and Investigations
– With the exception of suspension pending investigation, which is a neutral act, the Academy shall hold in abeyance its internal enquiries while the formal police or the Child Protection Services investigations proceed; to do otherwise may prejudice the investigation. Any internal enquiries shall conform to the existing staff disciplinary procedures. – Child protection enquiries by the Local Authority Child Protection Services or the police are not to be confused with internal, disciplinary enquiries by the Academy. The Academy may be able to use the outcome of external agency enquiries as part of its own procedures. The child protection agencies, including the police, have no power to direct the Academy to act in a particular way; however, the Academy should assist the agencies with their enquiries.
– If there is an investigation by an external agency, for example the police, the Principal (or designated person) should normally be involved in, and contribute to, the inter-agency strategy discussions. The Principal (or designated person) is responsible for ensuring that the Academy gives every assistance with the agency’s enquiries. He/she will ensure that appropriate confidentiality is maintained in connection with the enquiries, in the interests of the member of staff about whom the allegation is made. The Principal (or designated person) shall advise the member of staff that he/she should consult with a representative, for example, a trade union.
– Subject to objections from the police or other investigating agency, the Principal (or designated person) shall:
o Inform the young person or parent/carer making the allegation that the investigation is taking place and what the likely process will involve; o Ensure that the parents/carers of the young person making the allegation have been informed that the allegation has been made and what the likely process will involve; o Inform the member of staff against whom the allegation was made of the fact that the investigation is taking place and what the likely process will involve. o Inform the Chair of Governors and/or the designated Governor of the allegation and the investigation.
– The Principal (or designated person) shall keep a written record of the action taken in connection with the allegation.
- Suspension of Staff
– Suspension should not be automatic. In respect of staff other than the Principal and Senior Post Holders (as defined in the Academy’s Instrument and Articles of Government) suspension can only be carried out by the Principal. In respect of the Principal and Senior Post Holders, suspension can only be carried out by the Chair of Governors (or in his/her absence, the Vice Chair of Governors). – Suspension may be considered at any stage of the investigation and pending investigation. It is a neutral, not a disciplinary act and shall be on full pay. Consideration should be given to alternatives: e.g. paid leave of absence; agreement to refrain from attending work; change of, or withdrawal from, specified duties. – Suspension should only occur for a good reason. For example:
– Where a young person is at risk
Where the allegations are potentially sufficiently serious to justify dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct. – Where necessary for the good and efficient conduct of the investigation
If suspension is being considered, the member of staff should be encouraged to seek advice, for example from a trade union.
Prior to making the decision to suspend, the Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) must not interview the member of staff concerned until there has been consultation with the Local Authority’s Child Protection Services about how to proceed. To interview the member of staff concerned must meet with the approval of the appropriate agency from the Safeguarding Children Board. In particular, if the police are engaged in an investigation the officer in charge of the case should be consulted.
– The member of staff should be advised to seek the advice and/or assistance of his/her trade union and should be informed that they have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague in accordance with the 1999 Employment Relations Act. The member of staff should be informed that an allegation has been made and that consideration is being given to suspension. It should be made clear that if an interview is undertaken then this is not a formal disciplinary hearing, but solely for raising a serious matter which may lead to suspension and further investigation.
– During the interview, the member of staff should be given limited information as to why they may well be suspended. This will assist in not interfering with the investigation into the allegation.
– If the Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) considers that suspension is necessary, the member of staff shall be informed that he/she is suspended from duty. Written confirmation of the suspension shall be despatched as soon as possible and ideally within one working day.
– Where a member of staff is suspended, the Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) should address the following issues:-
– The Chair of Governors (or in his/her absence, the Vice Chair of Governors) should be informed of the suspension in writing. – The Corporation Board should receive a report that a member of staff has been suspended pending investigation, the detail given to the Corporation Board should be minimal. – Where the Principal or Senior Post Holder has been suspended, the Chair or Vice Chair of Governors shall report this to the Corporation Board and the Skills Funding Agency or its successor bodies within two working days or as soon thereafter as practicable. – Where the Principal or a Senior Post Holder has been suspended, the Chair or Vice chair of Governors will need to take action to address the management of the Academy. – The parents/carers of the young person making the allegation should be informed of the suspension. They should be asked to treat the information as confidential and that suspending a member of staff is simply a neutral act in order to conduct a fair investigation into the matter; this does not mean the member of staff is necessarily guilty of what has been alleged. Consideration will be given to informing the young person making the allegation of the suspension. – Senior staff who need to know of the reason for the suspension should be informed. – Depending on the nature of the allegation, the Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) will consider with the nominated Governor whether a statement to the
students of the Academy and/or parents/carers should be made, taking due regard of the need to avoid unwelcome publicity. – The Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) shall consider carefully and review the decisions as to who is informed of the suspension and investigation. The Safeguarding Children Board and external investigating authorities should be consulted. – The suspended member of staff will be given appropriate support during the period of suspension. He/she will also be provided with information on progress and developments in the case at regular intervals. – The suspension should remain under review in accordance with the Academy disciplinary procedures.
- The disciplinary investigation
The disciplinary investigation will be conducted in accordance with the existing staff disciplinary procedures only when the formal police or local authority investigations have been completed.
The member of staff will be informed of:
– The disciplinary charge against him/her – His/her entitlement to be accompanied or represented by a trade union representative or work colleague in accordance with the 1999 Employment Relations Act
Where the member of staff has been suspended and no disciplinary action is to be taken, the suspension will be lifted immediately, and arrangements made for the member of staff to return to work. It may be appropriate to offer counselling. The young person making the allegation and/or their parents will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and proceedings. This will occur prior to the return to Academy of the member of staff (if suspended) The Principal (or designated person) will give consideration to what information should be made available to the general population of the Academy.
- Allegations without foundation
6.1 Obviously false allegations may be indicative of problems of abuse elsewhere. A record should be kept, and consideration given to a referral to the Safeguarding Children Board in order that other agencies may act upon the information.
6.2 In consultation with the designated member of staff and/or the designated Governor, the Principal (or Chair or Vice Chair of Governors) shall:
– Inform the member of staff against who the allegation is made orally and in writing that no further disciplinary or child protection action will be taken. Consideration should be given to offering counselling/support; – Inform the parents/carers of the alleged victim that the allegation has been made and of the outcome; – Where the allegation was made by a young person other than the alleged victim, consideration to be given to informing the parents/carers of that young person; – Prepare a report outlining the allegation and giving reasons for the conclusion that it had no foundation and confirming that the above action had been taken
7.1 It is important that documents relating to an investigation are retained in a secure place, together with a written record of the outcome and, if disciplinary action is taken, details retained on the member of staff’s personal and confidential file.
7.2 If a member of staff is dismissed or resigns before the disciplinary process is completed, he/she should be informed about the Academy’s statutory duty to inform the Secretary of State for Education under the Vetting and Barring Procedures as directed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
- Monitoring effectiveness
Where an allegation has been made against a member of staff, the nominated Governor, together with the staff member with lead responsibility should, at the conclusion of the investigation and any disciplinary procedures, consider whether there are any matters arising from it that could lead to the improvement of the Academy’s procedures and/or policies and/or which should be drawn to the attention of the Safeguarding Children Board. Consideration should also be given to the training needs of staff.
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Glynis Stewart – Vice Principal
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Nicola Rawson– Student Services Manager
Our local contact numbers are: 0151 678 2041
Safeguarding of young person concerns (Young person living in Cheshire East)
0300 123 5012 option 2 Cheshire East Consultation Service (Mon–Thurs 8:30am–5:00pm Friday 8:30– 4:30pm) 0300 123 5022 Emergency Duty Team
Safeguarding of young person concerns (Young person living in other Authorities) Please add in relevant authority contact numbers
Access Team, Ellesmere Port – 0151 357 4500
Birkenhead Central Wirral – 0151 604 3570
Access Team, Cheshire West – 01606 275099
Stoke-on-Trent Access Team – 01782 235100
Allegations against an adult working with young person
01270 685904/ 01606 288931 Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Police (Emergency) Police (Non-Emergency)
Regional Prevent Co-ordinator RegionalChannel Co-ordinator
Nigel Lund DC 2914 Lesley Price (01606 365986)
If at any point you are concerned about the safety of a child or young person, contact Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS)
Tel: 0300 123 5012 (Select option 2)
Tel: 0300 123 5022 (Emergency Duty Team for out of hours)
UNIVERSAL Young person and young people whose needs are being adequately met by their family, friends and community and who are accessing universal services. (e.g. health visiting, GP, schools) • RESPONSE: – Continue meeting child or young person’s needs as a universal service in a safe environment. Universal services will remain at all levels of need.
TARGETED Young person and young people who would benefit from additional help with moderate difficulties in order to make the best of their life chances.
- RESPONSE: – A practitioner who identifies unmet needs for a child or young person should consider how these needs can best be met, usually by some additional help from within their own agency. The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) can help to identify and plan to meet needs and involve others where necessary.
- COMPLEX Young person and young people who have a range of additional needs affecting different areas of their life.
- RESPONSE: Request support from other agencies such as family support, commissioned services Youth Crime Prevention Team and Education Welfare. Agencies work together to provide a network of support to the child or young person and their family.
- Identify a lead professional to co-ordinate support and be primary link with the family. Hold a multi-agency meeting and use the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) with child and family to assess their needs. Develop and implement an Action Plan and review progress.
- SPECIALIST Young person and young people who need immediate protection or who require integrated support from a statutory service such as CAMHS, Young person’s Social Care, or Youth Offending Service.
- Young person’s Social Care lead multi-agency planning and support through a Child-in-Need Plan, Child Protection Procedures, or accommodation by Young person’s Social Care.
- Youth Offending Team lead multi-agency interventions for Court-Ordered Supervision of Young Offenders in the community and in custody.
DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE “WORKING TOGETHER TO SAFEGUARD CHILDREN” 2015
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. It 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 and 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-givers)
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include unresponsiveness to, or neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
- The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve:
- conveying to them that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- not giving them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- . • developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed; interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability
- overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning
- preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
- seeing / hearing the ill-treatment of another.
- serious bullying causing them frequently to feel frightened or in danger
- exploitation or corruption of them.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone
- forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
- physical contact: including assault by penetration e.g. rape or oral sex; or nonpenetrative acts e.g. masturbation, kissing, rubbing & touching outside of clothing
- Non-contact activities: e.g. involving young person in looking at/ in the production of sexual images/ activities, encouraging young person to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, grooming a child for abuse.
- A form of abuse which may involve:
- Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
- Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
- Injuries in babies and non-mobile children and young people
- Neglect Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
Symptoms of Abuse
- Marked change in general behaviour
- Low self-esteem
- Extremely passive/aggressive
- Withdrawn/withdrawal from friends & family
- Sleeping difficulties
- Eating disorder
- Fear of certain adults
- Poor social relationships
- Bullying/anti-social behaviours
- Attendance difficulties
- Bruises, black eyes and broken bones
- Unexplained or untreated injuries
- Injuries to unusual body parts e.g. thighs, back, abdomen
- Bruising that resembles hand/finger marks
- Burns/scalds •Human bites/cigarette burns
- Injuries that the child cannot explain or explains unconvincingly
- Injuries in babies and non-mobile children
- Child cold/inappropriately dressed
- Undernourished/always hungry
- Untreated medical problems e.g. dental decay, head lice etc
- Lethargy, tiredness or aggressive tendencies
- Genital discomfort, pain, itching, bruising, injuries
- Public /compulsive masturbation
- Eating disorders •Sexually explicit behaviour or language not appropriate for their age
- Sexually Transmitted Infection
- Sexually explicit drawings
- Physical, mental & emotional development lags
- Talks of excessive punishment
- Fear of parents being contacted •Sudden speech disorders
- Running away
- Self-deprecation, low self esteem
- Be honest about what you can do
- Listen, try not to look shocked or be judgmental
- Believe what they say, ‘take it seriously’.
- Accept what the young person says.
- Don’t make them feel bad by saying “you should have told me earlier”
- Don’t ‘interrogate’ them – let them tell you, try not to interrupt
- Note the date and time, what was done, who did it, and where it took place
- Use the young person’s own words
- Don’t criticise the perpetrator
- Don’t ask leading questions – use ‘open’ questions to clarify only (T.E.D)
- Tell me what you mean by that?
- Explain that to me
- Describe that….
- Stay calm, tell the young person they’ve done the right thing in telling you
- Reassure them they are not to blame
- Empathise – don’t tell them how they should be feeling
- Don’t promise confidentiality, explain who needs to know
- Explain what you’ll do next
Report and Record
- Make a Brief, accurate, timely and factual record
- Discuss with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or their Deputy, without delay
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the situation and decide on the next steps Things to include:
- Time and full date of disclosure/incident and the time and full date the record was made
- An accurate record of what was said or seen
- Whether it is 1st or 2nd hand information
- Whether the child was seen/spoken to
- Whether information is fact/ professional judgement
- Full names and roles/status of anyone identified in the report
- Avoid acronyms/jargon/abbreviations
- Sign the record with a legible signature. • Record actions agreed with/by the Designated Lead (SMART)
What is your Prevent duty? As part of the safeguarding and Prevent duty and the Equality Act 2010 all staff and volunteers have a duty to demonstrate and help develop values which underpin an awareness of social and moral responsibility in modern Britain. Complying with the Prevent duty including promoting and exemplifying British values: i.e. democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and mutual respect and different faiths and beliefs. This includes complying with the Equality Act 2010 by not discriminating against the following nine groups:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
All staff and volunteers must attend safeguarding and Prevent duty training as identified or provided by your institution.
All staff and volunteers are expected to uphold the values embedded within the Equality Act 2010 at all times. All staff and volunteers should use any relevant opportunities to promote the values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and mutual respect for different faiths and beliefs.
All staff and volunteers must report any safeguarding and Prevent concerns to the named staff responsible. Always refer concerns to the appropriate Prevent (normally the safeguarding) team internally.
As curriculum staff you will have regular direct contact with your students and may get to know them well. You may witness activity and behaviour or receive information which other staff are not privy to. You should use your professional judgement to decide when concerns should be referred to the safeguarding team. If in doubt report your concerns.
All staff and volunteers must report any safeguarding and Prevent concerns to the named staff responsible. Identification of concerns might include, although this list is not exhaustive:
- Expression of views which are discriminately against protected groups or individuals records should be reviewed regularly, and any new concerns should be added and responded to immediately.
- Third party reports of concerns about behaviour e.g. plans to travel abroad or extremist activities
- Evidence of discriminately treatment of other groups or individuals
- Evidence of bullying behaviour or harassment
- Evidence of non-compliance with the providers expectations of behaviour
- Possessing, accessing extremist materials.
- Evidence of family concern about vulnerability to extremism
- Expression of extremist views including on Facebook.
- Use of extremist language
- Threats of violence
If your professional experience gives you concerns about the behaviour of individuals, then discuss this with a member of the safeguarding team.
Other Forms of Abuse
- Radicalisation and Extremism the Prevent Duty requires that all staff are aware of the signs that a young person may be vulnerable to radicalisation. The risks will need to be considered for political; environmental; animal rights; or faith-based extremism that may lead to a young person becoming radicalised.
In Cheshire East if you suspect a child to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, including being radicalised contact: Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS): 0300 123 5012 and contact Police Prevent officer 01606 362121 firstname.lastname@example.org
Indicators of vulnerability include:
- Identity Crisis: the student is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society
- Personal Crisis: they may be experiencing family tensions/ a sense of isolation/ low self-esteem. They may have dissociated from their existing friendship group/ become involved with a new and different group of friends/ may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging
- Personal Circumstances: migration/local community tensions/ events affecting the pupil’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism/ discrimination/ aspects of Government policy
- Unmet Aspiration: the student 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 Needs: students may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others • 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
- Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
- Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations; and
- Significant changes to appearance and / or behaviour
- Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and / or personal crisis.
- Channel: Channel is a partnership approach to support individuals vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremists.
- In Cheshire East the Channel Co-ordinator is Kirsty Hercules – Principal Manager Communities & Partnerships
The CE Channel Panel meets bi-monthly. Attendees sign a Confidentiality Agreement and share case information. Discussion covers the vulnerabilities of individuals and their families, current support, and risks for the individual and community. Attendees agree if the case is appropriate for Channel and the support plan which is needed.
For those already open to Panel support plans are tailored, building on existing support, and may consist of help with family problems, mental health support, religious education, mentoring etc..
For those who are not Channel appropriate: a safe exit from Channel or a referral elsewhere is discussed.
The Safeguarding Children in Education Settings (SCiES) team represent education settings at these meetings. This means that SCiES may contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead before a meeting to request our view regarding the lived experience of the young person. They will contact us afterwards to give us an update.
- Young People Missing from Home or Care Young people who run away from home or from care, provide a clear behavioural indication that they are either unhappy or do not feel safe in the place that they are living. Research shows that young people run away from conflict or problems at home or Academy, neglect or abuse, or because young people are being groomed by predatory individuals who seek to exploit them. Many run away on numerous occasions.
Our Academy is aware of the Pan-Cheshire policy and procedures Pan-Cheshire Missing from home protocol 2016
The association of chief police officers has provided the following definitions Missing person is: ‘Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.’
Absent person is: ‘A person not at a place where they are expected or required to be.’
Within any case of young people who are missing both push and pull factors need to be considered. Push factors include:
- Conflict with parents/carers
- Feeling powerless
- Being bullied/abused
- Being unhappy/not being listened to
- The Toxic Trio
Pull factors include:
- Wanting to be with family/friends
- Drugs, money and any exchangeable item
- Peer pressure
- For those who have been trafficked into the United Kingdom as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children there will be pressure to make contact with their trafficker
As a Academy we will inform all parents of young people who are absent (unless the parent has informed us).
If the parent is also unaware of the location of their child, and the definition of missing is met, we will either support the parent to contact the police to inform them, or we will take the relevant action.
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Sexual exploitation of young people is not limited by the age of consent and can occur up until the age of 18. CSE involves young people being in situations, contexts or relationships where they (or a third person) receive ‘something’ as a result of them performing sexual activities. The something can include food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, or money.
Child sexual exploitation can happen via technology without the young person being aware; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Indicators a young person may be at risk of CSE include:
- going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late;
- regularly missing school or education or not taking part in education;
- appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- associating with other young people involved in exploitation;
- having older boyfriends or girlfriends;
- suffering from sexually transmitted infections;
- mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing;
- drug and alcohol misuse; and
- displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
CSE can happen to a young person of any age, gender, ability or social status. Often the victim of CSE is not aware that they are being exploited and do not see themselves as a victim.
As a Academy we educate all staff in the signs and indicators of sexual exploitation. We use the sexual exploitation risk assessment form to identify pupils who are at risk and the DSL will share this information as appropriate with ChECS.
Staff have been made aware of the Pan-Cheshire CSE policy, procedures and Screening tool. Pan Cheshire CSE procedures
- Trafficked Children Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations, in respect of young people, as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.”
Any young person transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim.
As a Academy we are alert to the signs both for our young people and for their families.
- Shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, and/or has contracted a sexually transmitted infection or has an unwanted pregnancy;
- Has a history with missing links and unexplained moves;
- Is required to earn a minimum amount of money every day;
- Works in various locations;
- Has limited freedom of movement;
- Appears to be missing for periods;
- Is known to beg for money;
- Is being cared for by adult/s who are not their parents and the quality of the relationship between the child and their adult carers is not good;
- Is one among a number of unrelated children found at one address;
- Has not been registered with or attended a GP practice;
- Is excessively afraid of being deported.
- Looks malnourished or unkempt
- Is withdrawn, anxious and unwilling to interact
- Is under the control and influence of others
- Lives in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
- Has no access or control of their passport or identity documents
- Appears scared, avoids eye contact, and can be untrusting
- Shows signs of abuse and/or has health issues
For those young people who are internally trafficked within the UK indicators include: • Physical symptoms (bruising indicating either physical or sexual assault);
- Prevalence of a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy;
- Reports from reliable sources suggesting the likelihood of involvement in sexual exploitation / the young person has been seen in places known to be used for sexual exploitation;
- Evidence of drug, alcohol or substance misuse;
- Being in the community in clothing unusual for a young person i.e. inappropriate for age, or borrowing clothing from older people • Relationship with a significantly older partner;
- Accounts of social activities, expensive clothes, mobile phones etc. with no plausible explanation of the source of necessary funding;
- Persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late with no plausible explanation;
- Returning after having been missing, looking well cared for despite having not been at home;
- Having keys to premises other than those known about;
- Low self- image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour including cutting, overdosing, eating disorder, promiscuity;
- Truancy / disengagement with education;
- Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults;
- Going missing and being found in areas where the child or young person has no known links; and/or
- Possible inappropriate use of the internet and forming on-line relationships, particularly with adults.
These behaviours themselves do not indicate that a young person is being trafficked, but should be considered as indicators that this may be the case.
If staff believe that a young person is being trafficked, this will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and will be reported as potential abuse
- Domestic Abuse Domestic abuse can affect anybody; it occurs across all of society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth or geography. Domestic abuse affects significant numbers of children and young people and their families causing immediate harm as well as damaging future life chances.
Domestic abuse negatively affects children and young people. We know that they are often more aware of what is happening than parents think. How they respond depends on their age, personality and support network; but they recover best when they are helped to understand and to process what is happening/has happened to them.
Their experiences will shape their self-worth, identity, and ability to relate to others in childhood and adulthood; making it much more difficult to succeed at school and Academy and develop friendships.
To support our young people, we:
- Have an ethos which puts young people’s wellbeing at the heart of all that we do
- Create a predictable Academy life with set routines.
- Ensure that rules and expectations are clearly stated and understood by all.
- Understand that oppositional and manipulative behaviours are not attempts to ‘provoke us’, but may be attempts by these young people to control their world when so much feels out of control for them
- Model respectful and caring behaviour, positive conflict resolution and respectful interactions. Helping young people learn not only what not to do, but what to do instead.
- Use the language of choice, making clear the benefits and negative consequences of their choices. Ensuring that you follow through with any consequences or sanctions.
- Support young people to put feelings into words. Build up a vocabulary of emotional words with them so that they can begin to express their feelings more appropriately/accurately. (A young person exposed to domestic abuse may have seen a lot of behaviours that express strong feelings, but may not have heard words to appropriately express/ describe these feelings)
. • Understand that the young person may experience conflicting and confusing emotions when thinking of or talking about their parents.
- Create opportunities for young people to feel successful. Let the child/young person know that they matter; taking an active interest in them.
- Accept that they may not be willing or able to talk about it right away (if ever)
- Provide effective, non-verbal, systems for young people to access support
- Provide reassurance that only people who need to know about the incident will know.
- Allow the young person, where necessary, to safely store work in Academy or shred it after completion when providing interventions
- Have visible and accessible worry boxes/internal support systems /information regarding external sources of support e.g. Childline etc.
- Honour Based Violence: “Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so-called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a young person being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV.” Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016
- FGM: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is also known as female circumcision, cutting or Sunna.
Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse; it’s dangerous and it is a criminal offence.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK. It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.
Indications that FGM may be about to take place:
- When a female family elder is around, particularly when she is visiting from a country of origin.
- Reference to FGM in conversation e.g. a girl may tell other young people about it.
- A girl may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion to ‘become a woman’.
- A girl may request help from a teacher or another adult if she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk.
- Parents state that they or a relative will take the young person out of the country for a prolonged period.
- A girl may talk about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent.
- Parents seeking to withdraw their children from learning about FGM.
Indications that FGM has taken place:
- Difficulty walking, sitting or standing
- Spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet possibly with bladder or menstrual problems
- Unusual/a noticeable change in behaviour after a lengthy absence
- Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations Asking for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
- Prolonged absences/ persistent unexplained absence from school/Academy;
- Seek to be excused from physical exercise without the support of their GP
- Child not allowed to attend extra-curricular activities
- Close supervision of child by family/carers;
- Forced Marriage: A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological.
Young people, especially girls who are forced to marry, or those who fear they may be forced to marry, are frequently withdrawn from education, restricting their educational and personal development.
Indications that a Young Person is at risk of Forced Marriage: Staff should be aware of significant changes in the young person’s presentation emotional and physical, in dress and behaviour.
- Appearing anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem.
- Self-harming, self-cutting or anorexia.
- Criminal activity e.g. shoplifting or taking drugs or alcohol.
- Declining performance, aspirations or motivation.
- Not allowed to attend any extra-curricular or after school activities.
- Girls and young women may be accompanied to and from school/Academy,
- Attending school but absenting themselves from lessons.
- Stopping attendance at school/Academy
- A family history of older siblings leaving education early and marrying early.
- Breast ironing also known as “Breast Flattening”: This is a practice where girls as young as nine have their chests pounded by hot stones/implements to delay the start of puberty; the intention being to protect the child from rape and sexual harassment. Sometimes the child is forced to wear an elastic belt around the area to restrict growth. It is a practice in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa. It is often carried out by the girl’s mother.
- Online Safety With the current speed of on-line change, some parents and carers have only a limited understanding of online risks and issues. Parents may underestimate how often their children come across potentially harmful and inappropriate material on the internet and may be unsure about how to respond. Some of the risks could be:
- unwanted contact
- online bullying including sexting • digital footprint
The Academy will therefore seek to provide information and awareness to students through:
- Curriculum activities involving raising awareness around staying safe online
- Information included in letters, newsletters, web site,
- High profile events / campaigns e.g. Safer Internet Day
- Building awareness around information that is held on relevant web sites and or publications
- Social media policy
- Cyberbullying Central to our Academy’s anti-bullying policy is the principle that ‘bullying is always unacceptable’ and that ‘all pupils have a right not to be bullied’.
The school recognises that it must take note of bullying perpetrated outside Academy which spills over into the Academy and so we will respond to any cyber-bullying we become aware of carried out by students when they are away from the site.
Cyber-bullying is defined as “an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact repeatedly over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself/herself.”
By cyber-bullying, we mean bullying by electronic media:
- Bullying by texts or messages or calls on mobile phones
- The use of mobile phone cameras to cause distress, fear or humiliation
- Posting threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating material on websites, to include blogs, personal websites, social networking sites
- Using e-mail to message others
- Hijacking/cloning e-mail accounts
- Making threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating remarks in on-line forums
Cyber-bullying may be at a level where it is criminal.
If we become aware of any incidents of cyberbullying, we will consider each case individually as to any criminal act that may have been committed. The Academy will pass on information to the police if it feels that it is appropriate or are required to do so.
- Sexting ‘Sexting’ often refers to the sharing of naked or ‘nude’ pictures or video through mobile phones and the internet. It also includes underwear shots, sexual poses and explicit text messaging.
While sexting often takes place in a consensual relationship between two young people, the use of Sexted images in revenge following a relationship breakdown is becoming more
commonplace. Sexting can also be used as a form of sexual exploitation and take place between strangers.
As the average age of first smartphone or camera enabled tablet is 6 years old, sexting is an issue that requires awareness raising across all ages.
- Gaming Online gaming is an activity that the majority of young people get involved in.
The Academy will raise awareness: • By highlighting relevant resources. • By making our young people aware of the dangers including of grooming and how to keep themselves safe • By making our young people aware of how to report concerns
- Modern Slavery
Modern slavery includes slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and salve master use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
Spotting the signs of Modern Slavery:
- Look malnourished or unkempt
- Be withdrawn, anxious and unwilling to interact
- Be under the control and influence of others
- Live in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
- Have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
- Appear scared, avoid eye contact, and be untrusting • Show signs of abuse and/or have health issues
Typical kinds of employment that victims may be forced into: • Factories and farm work • Restaurants, in particular fast food outlets • Domestic service and hospitality • Hand car washes and nail bars.
You can download our Safeguarding Policy document here.