We have said good bye to our chicks for another year, BUT we now have some frog spawn and tadpoles to watch develop! How exciting!  /  

Safeguarding children and child protection

Policy statement

Our setting will work with children, parents, families and professionals in the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our safeguarding policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

Procedures

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

Key Commitment 1

Windmill Pre-School is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of its service delivery.

Staff and volunteers

  • Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child protection issues is Emma McEnteggart (Manager) supported by Monika Bates (Senior practitioner)
  • Our designated officer (a committee member) who oversees this work is: Sophie Cato (Trustee)
  • During term time the Designated LEAD is the Manager Emma McEnteggart, she is always available during working hours so that staff or committee members are able to discuss any concerns.
  • We ensure all staff and parents are made aware of and have free access at all times to our safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • All the staff team have an up to date Knowledge of safeguarding issues with regular training provided.
  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Candidates are informed of the need to carry out ‘enhanced disclosure’ check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before posts can be confirmed.
  • Where applications are rejected because of obtaining information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and DBS checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers and students do not work unsupervised.We require students and volunteers to adhere to our Confidentiality Policy.
  • We record information about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including;
    • The DBS Disclosure and Barring reference number;
    • The date the disclosure was obtained; and details of who obtained it.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.(Visitor Log)
  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • We take steps to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records of their child.

 

Key Commitment 2

Windmill Pre-School is committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘Working together to safeguard Children 2018’.

 

Responding to suspicions of abuse

  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play.
  • Where such evidence is apparent, a practitioner will make a dated record of the details of the concern (Cause for concern forms are located in office) and will discuss what to do with the Manager or committee ‘designated person’. The information is stored on the child’s personal file.
  • We refer concerns to First Response and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation.
    NB In some cases this may lead to referral to the police or another agency identified by the Local Authority Designated Officer(LADO)
  • We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.

 

Undertake Training

All staff are required to carry out Safeguarding training which will be updated every two years, alongside this training all staff are required to carry out Prevent awareness training. In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills will be refreshed (this might be via in house training, meeting with other designated safeguarding leads, reading up to date information on safeguarding developments or training through other independent companies) at regular intervals, as required to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role so they:

 

  • Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment process such as early help assessments;

 

  • Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectivity when required to do so;

 

  • Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the Pre-Schools child protection policy and procedures.

 

  • Are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers;
  • Are able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.

 

Peer on Peer abuse

  • This will always be taken seriously and acted upon and not dismissed as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’.
  • Introduction Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016 states that ‘Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their child protection policy includes procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse and sets out how allegations of peer on peer abuse will be investigated and dealt with’ (page 19). The document also states it is most important to ensure opportunities of seeking the voice of the child are heard, ‘Governing bodies, proprietors and
  • At Windmill Pre-School we continue to ensure that any form of abuse or harmful behaviour is dealt with immediately and consistently to reduce the extent of harm to the young person, with full consideration to impact on that individual child’s emotional and mental health and well-being.

 

Introduction to abuse and harmful behaviour

  • Abusive behaviour can happen to pupils in schools and settings and it is necessary to consider what abuse is and looks like, how it can be managed and what appropriate support and intervention can be put in place to meet the needs of the individual and what preventative strategies may be put in place to reduce further risk of harm.

 

Types of abuse

  • There are many forms of abuse that may occur between peers and this list is not exhaustive. Each form of abuse or prejudiced behaviour is described in detail followed by advice and support on actions to be taken.
  • Physical abuse e.g. (biting, hitting, kicking, hair pulling etc.)
  • Physical abuse may include, hitting, kicking, nipping, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm to another person. There may be many reasons why a child harms another and it is important to understand why a young person has engaged in such behaviour, including accidently before considering the action or punishment to be undertaken.
  • Sexually harmful behaviour/sexual abuse e.g. (inappropriate sexual language, touching, sexual assault etc.) Sexually harmful behaviour from young people is not always contrived or with the intent to harm others. There may be many reasons why a young person engages in sexually harmful behaviour and it may be just as distressing to the young person who instigates it as well as the young person it is intended towards.  Sexually harmful behaviour may range from inappropriate sexual language, inappropriate role play, to sexually touching another or sexual assault/abuse.
  • Bullying (physical, name calling, homophobic etc.)
  • Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both young people who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
  • In order to be considered bullying, the behaviour must be aggressive and include:

An Imbalance of Power: Young people who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.  Repetition: Bullying behaviours happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

 

Prejudiced Behaviour

  • The term prejudice-related bullying refers to a range of hurtful behaviour, physical or emotional or both, which causes someone to feel powerless, worthless, excluded or marginalised, and which is connected with prejudices around belonging, identity and equality in wider society – in particular, prejudices to do with disabilities and special educational needs, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, gender, home life, (for example in relation to issues of care, parental occupation, poverty and social class) and sexual identity (homosexual, bisexual, transsexual).

 

Decide on your next course of action

  • If from the information that you gather you believe any young person to be at risk of significant harm you must make a safeguarding referral to social care immediately (where a crime has been committed the police should be involved also). If this is the case, once social care has been contacted and made a decision on what will happen next then you will be informed on your next steps.

 

  • If social care and the police intend to pursue this further they may ask to interview the young people in school or they may ask for parents to come to school to be spoken to also. It is important to be prepared for every situation and the potential time it may take.
  • It may also be that social care feel that it does not meet their criteria in which case you may challenge that decision, with that individual or their line manager. If on discussion however, you agree with the decision, you may then be left to inform parents.

 

Informing parents

Points to consider:

  • What are the age(s) of the children involved?
  • How old are the young people involved in the incident and is there any age difference between those involved? (In relation to sexual exploration, children under the age of 5, in particular 1-4 year olds who are learning toileting skills may show a particular interest in exploration at around this stage.  This, however should not be overlooked if other issues arise (see following)
  • Where did the incident or incidents take place?
  • Was the incident in an open, visible place to others? If so was it observed? If not, is more supervision required within this particular area?
  • What was the explanation by all children involved of what occurred?
  • Can each of the young people give the same explanation of the incident and also what is the effect on the young people involved? Is the incident seen to be bullying for example, in which case regular and repetitive? Is the version of one young person different from another and why?
  • What is each of the children’s own understanding of what occurred?
  • Do the young people know/understand what they are doing? g. do they have knowledge of body parts, of privacy and that it is inappropriate to touch?  Is the young person’s explanation in relation to something they may have heard or been learning about that has prompted the behaviour?  Is the behaviour deliberate and contrived? Does the young person have understanding of the impact of their behaviour on the other person?
  • In dealing with an incident of this nature the answers are not always clear cut. If you are concerned or unsure as to whether or not there is any risk involved, please seek advice from the Safeguarding designated Officer or Buckinghamshire Local Safeguarding Board.

 

Next Steps

  • Once the outcome of the incident(s) has been established it is necessary to ensure future incidents of abuse do not occur again and consider the support and intervention required for those involved.

 

For the young person who has been harmed

  • What support they require depends on the individual young person. It may be that they wish to seek counselling or one to one support via a mentor.  It may also be that they feel able to deal with the incident(s) on their own or with support of family and friends.  In which case it is necessary that this young person continues to be monitored and offered support should they require it in the future?  If the incidents are of a bullying nature, the young person may need support in improving peer groups/relationships with other young people or some restorative justice work with all those involved may be required.

 

For the young person who has displayed harmful behaviour

  • In this circumstance it is important to find out why the young person has behaved in such a way. It may be that the young person is experiencing their own difficulties and may even have been harmed themselves in a similar way.  In such cases support such as one to one mentoring or counselling may also be necessary. Particular support from identified services may be necessary through a CAF/strengthening families/early help referral and the young person may require additional support from family members.
  • Once the support required to meet the individual needs of the young person has been met, it is important that young person receives a consequence for their behaviour. This may be in the form of restorative justice e.g. making amends with the young person they have targeted if this has been some form of bullying. In the cases of sexually harmful behaviour it may be a requirement for the young person to engage in one to one work with a particular service or agency (if a crime has been committed this may be through the police or youth offending service). If there is any form of criminal investigation ongoing it may be that this young person cannot be educated on site until the investigation has concluded.  In which case, the young person will need to be provided with appropriate support and education whilst off site.
  • Even following the conclusion of any investigation the behaviour that the young person has displayed may continue to pose a risk to others in which case an individual risk assessment may be required. This should be completed via a multiagency response to ensure that the needs of the young person and the risks towards others are measured by all of those agencies involved including the young person and their parents.  This may mean additional supervision of the young person or protective strategies if the young person feels at risk of engaging in further inappropriate or harmful behaviour.

 

After care

  • It is important that following the incident the young people involved continue to feel supported and receive help even if they have stated that they are managing the incident. Sometimes the feelings of remorse, regret or unhappiness may occur at a much later stage than the incident.  It is important to ensure that the young people do not engage in any further harmful behaviour either towards someone else or to themselves as a way of coping (e.g. self-harm).  In which case, regular reviews with the young people following the incident(s) are imperative.

 

Helping to create a positive ethos in Pre-school and one where all young people understand the boundaries of behaviour before it becomes abusive.

 

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

  • Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observes signs or signals that gives cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect that member of staff:
  • listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
  •  does not question the child;
  •  makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
      • the date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
      • the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible;
      • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and
      • The names of any other person present at the time.
  • These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file which is kept securely and confidentially.
  • Information passed to Designated Person may be referred to First Response

 

Informing parents

  • Parents are normally the first point of contact, unless doing we feel there is a risk of harm to the child.
  • If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) does not allow this.
  • This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

 

Liaison with other agencies

  • We work within the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.
  • Copies of the procedure and flowchart to follow can be found at the back of the Safeguarding policy and also on the staff notice board.
  • We have procedures for contacting the First Response on child protection issues on appropriate numbers.
  • We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children within 14 days of the incident or accident.
  • If a referral is to be made to the BSBC/First Response or LADO, we act within 14 days upon guidance given by relevant agency.

 

Allegations against staff

  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse. This should be raised initially with Designated Person. If allegation is against designated person a separate process is followed and deferred to the designated committee member.
  • We follow the guidance of the BSCB when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or volunteer within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority’s Designated Officer (LADO) department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted within 14 days and what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
  • We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
  • Where the management committee and LADO agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chairperson will suspend the member of staff, or volunteer, on full pay or find other duties as, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.

Prevent Duty 

Our setting has a duty under the law to help prevent the radicalisation of children and/or children being exposed to extreme views in accordance with The “Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015”

  • Prevent Duty Guidance defines radicalisation as being the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
  • This guidance defines extremism as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
  • As part of our prevent duty:
  • We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes respect, tolerance and diversity in regards to cultures, celebrations and festivals that are new to us.
  • We encourage children to share their views and (at a developmentally appropriate level) recognise that they are entitled to have their own different beliefs which should not be used to influence others.
  • We embed children’s Personal, Social and Emotional development across our curriculum and endeavour to equip children with confidence, self-belief, respect and tolerance.
  • We set high standards and expectations and enthuse and motivate children to aspire to do their very best.
  • We supervise children at all times if they use the Pre-School tablets within the setting.
  • We support children in developing strategies to seek adult support if they are upset or concerned about anything that they may see on the internet or at other times
  • As part of our prevent duty all staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • Whilst employees are entitled to have their own different beliefs these must not be used to influence others.
  • Employees have an obligation to report any concerns relating to radicalisation or extremism of children and/or adults and these should be communicated using the whistleblowing policy for guidance.
  • Any attempt by an employee to radicalise children and/or adults or expose them to extremist views will be deemed to be an act of gross misconduct and in the case of children a wilful breach of safeguarding and child protection responsibilities and will be dealt with accordingly.

 Child Sexual Exploitation

This involves situation where a child, male or female, receives something from an adult as a result of engaging in sexual activity. The police must be informed immediately if you suspect or know of such activity.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

This is an illegal act of child abuse. It involves a procedure to remove all or some of the female genitalia or any other injury to these organs. Staff will be aware of signs and indicators of this and their legal duty to report this the police.

Children Absent from Pre-School

All absences are recorded and monitored then followed up with a telephone call or e-mail, after a child has not turned up for a session. If the child is missing regular sessions then the manager will speak with the parent to discuss any concerns or issues with the child attending Pre-School. However if the Manager feels that this may cause risk to the child or family the manager will get advice from Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Board.

 

 

Disciplinary action

  • Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting because of misconduct relating to a child, we will notify Ofsted within 14 days.

Key commitment 3

Windmill Pre-School is committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout its training and learning programmes for adults. It is also committed to empowering young children, through its early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.

 

Planning

  • The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others. Only members of staff who have been DBS checked are allowed to assist in the toilet area at all times.

 

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for the individual, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.

 

Confidentiality

  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Authority refer to BSCB flowcharts.

 

Support to families

  • We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
  • We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
  • We follow the appropriate plans in partnership with the child’s social care worker and other authorities in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the (Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure) and only if appropriate under the guidance of the BSCB.