Child Protection - Safeguarding Children Policy
Meadow High School
The aim of this policy is to set out how Meadow High School will ensure that all pupils are safeguarded and protected from harm in line with statute, regulation, guidance, national minimum standards and good practice.
1. Statement of Policy
This policy provides the framework whereby Meadow High School will safeguard and protect children and young adults from harm whether the source of harm is identified as being within the pupil’s home environment, harm caused by fellow pupils, harm from staff or volunteers or self-harm or harm from any other source. The policy covers child protection procedures, safeguarding, Prevent and FGM.
We will always work in the best interest of the child/young person.
Although principles are similar, the safeguarding and protection of adults and children are governed by different legislation. A child is subject to legislation on account of their age and an adult by their vulnerability. All pupils at Meadow High School are regarded as vulnerable on account of their disability. Meadow High School recognises the right of all people to live and work in a safe environment and in an environment where they feel safe. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and will do this by adopting the following principles:
- Everyone at Meadow High School has a responsibility to prevent, recognise and act on abuse and neglect.
- Everyone has the right to live free from abuse and neglect.
- Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and with a right to privacy.
To ensure this Meadow High School will:
- Help pupils keep themselves safe.
- Not tolerate any kind of abuse to anyone.
- Keep the interests of pupils at the centre of any safeguarding activity.
- Involve pupils and the parents and family, as appropriate, in decision-making and investigations of abuse.
- Ensure our pupils are aware of safeguarding policies and procedures.
- Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their role in relation to safeguarding.
- We will provide appropriate training and ensure staff are competent in preventing, recognising and acting on abuse and neglect, and create the conditions whereby pupils are kept safe.
- Promote an organisational culture of openness so that staff, volunteers and pupils can raise their concerns and know that they will be listened to without worrying that something bad will happen as a result.
- Ensure that all actions will take into account and respond to an individual’s race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and communication needs.
- Ensure that individuals against whom an allegation has been made have the right to fair and unbiased treatment and to be kept fully informed.
- Take positive action where abuse is identified or suspected.
- Ensure that processes are in place to check suitability of staff (including contractors and external pupils, volunteers and pupils working closely with pupils). All adults will have undergone recruitment processes including DBS disclosures in line with Government guidance.
- Operate an effective whistle blowing policy.
- Operate zero tolerance to any forms of abuse, bullying or discrimination.
- Create an environment where the likelihood of abuse and neglect is reduced.
This policy is consistent with Hillingdon Safeguarding Children Board child protection procedures and Hillingdon Adult Safeguarding Procedures.
2. Scope of Policy
The policy applies to all staff (including agency staff) employed by the school, temporary staff, governors, volunteers, contractors and pupils. The policy covers guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
3. Legal Responsibilities
Meadow High School operates with a legal framework and will ensure that all staff work within this.
KEY POLICY DOCUMENTS:
- KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION STATUTORY GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES SEPTEMBER 2016
(Distributed to all staff on 12th September 2016)
- Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children March 2015
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners March 2015
Meadow High School will ensure its policies and procedures comply with statute including: Children Acts 1989 and 2004, Mental Capacity Act 2005, and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
It will also comply with associated regulation and statutory guidance including No Secrets (2000), National Minimum Standards, Ofsted standards and Local Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority procedures.
Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated and where appropriate regulatory and investigatory authorities will be informed.
4. Pupil Focus
The pupil who is at risk of or suffering abuse is the focus of intervention. They must be treated with dignity and respect and involved as much as is practicable in the process outlined in this document. Where communication or other difficulties impede participation steps should be taken to overcome them.
Pupils can be perpetrators as well as victims and their needs must be considered as long as is consistent with this policy.
5. Equality and Diversity
Any activities must take into account and respond to the pupil’s race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and communication needs.
6. Self Determination and Consent
Pupils should have the greatest possible control over their lives. Available information and options should be clearly outlined to assist pupils in expressing their wishes.
7. Sharing Information and Confidentiality
There is a presumption that information will be shared with those who need to know. Most personal information will only be shared with the informed consent of the pupil, however, there will be occasions when lack of consent will be overridden, for example when it is used to prevent harm, a crime has been committed or when it is assessed that the pupil does not have capacity to make the decision.
An assessment of whether a child is capable of giving the necessary consent will depend on the child’s maturity and understanding and the nature of the consent required. The child must be capable of making a reasonable assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the course of action proposed, so the consent, if given, can be properly and fairly described as true consent.
An assessment of whether a pupil aged 16 or over is able or not to give consent will be governed by the Mental Capacity Act.
8. Staff Training and Support
All staff, volunteers and governors will receive safeguarding training, support and supervision appropriate to their role.
- Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.
- A child is anyone up to their 18th Birthday. Young people below the age of 18 will be referred to as children in this policy.
- A vulnerable adult is someone 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (No Secrets, 2000). For the purposes of this policy Meadow High School is a community care service and all adults and children are therefore defined as vulnerable.
- A parent is anyone with parental responsibility of a child.
- Safeguarding goes beyond protection and involves creating the conditions whereby harm is prevented and pupils’ welfare is promoted.
10. Roles and Responsibilities
The governors have a responsibility to hold the Headteacher to account for the effectiveness of Meadow High School’s policies and procedures. This includes ensuring that there are appropriate policies in place that are understood and used effectively and that their effectiveness is regularly monitored.
The Headteacher of the school has a responsibility to ensure that the policies, procedures and systems are effective in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The Headteacher also has a responsibility to ensure that members of SMT prioritise safeguarding.
The Head of Safeguarding
The Head of Safeguarding is responsible for:
- Ensuring that effective policies, procedures and systems are in place for safeguarding pupils.
- The effective implementation and operation of safeguarding policies, procedures and systems.
- Ensuring that staff are trained in safeguarding.
- Enabling pupils to discuss safeguarding matters with a trusted adult.
- Ensuring that the school works with outside agencies where necessary. This will include cooperating with the police and Local Authorities in the investigation of abuse and the prevention of harm.
All managers have the responsibility for:
- Ensuring safeguarding is considered when undertaking all activities.
- Promoting awareness of this policy and related procedures though supervision and distribution of guidance.
- Ensuring their staff receive agreed safeguarding training.
- Ensuring that appropriate action is taken in line with this policy wherever safeguarding concerns arise.
- Promoting the safety of pupils.
- Calling on emergency services appropriately when there is immediate danger.
- Making pupils aware of the policy and procedures.
- Cooperating with any enquiry into safeguarding matters conducted by the Head of Safeguarding and statutory agencies.
- Working with other professionals to prevent abuse.
All staff has the following responsibilities to:
- Treat all pupils with dignity and respect.
- Ensure pupils’ welfare is the paramount consideration in all they do.
- Take action against abuse wherever it is suspected with reference to policy and guidance.
- Cooperate with the police, Local Authorities, CQC and Ofsted in the investigation of abuse and prevention of harm.
- Reassure pupils that they will be listened to.
- Work with other professionals to prevent abuse.
- Be aware of the signs of abuse.
- Ensure their training is updated according to Meadow High School policy.
11. Types of abuse
(Direct from ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ - Sept 2016)
All school and college staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.
Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to; provide adequate food, clothing 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); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
There are other forms of abuse that may also be considered:
Financial or material abuse
This includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions. It includes the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. It includes when a carer or member of staff uses the pupil’s money for their own end such as purchases of drinks when on an external activity.
Discriminatory abuse includes racist or sexist comments and those based on a person’s disability. It can also involve forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
Multiple forms of abuse may occur in a continuing relationship or an abusive service setting to one person, or to more than one person at a time, making it important to look beyond single incidents or breaches in standards, to underlying dynamics and patterns of harm. Any or all of these types of abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent and targeting of vulnerable people, or through negligence or ignorance.
For further information about definitions of abuse please refer to Hillingdon Children Protection Procedures and Hillingdon Adult Safeguarding Procedures at www.hillingdon.gov.uk
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
Female Genital Mutilation occurs mainly in Africa and to a lesser extent, in the Middle East and Asia. Although it is believed by many to be a religious issue, it is a cultural practice. There are no health benefits.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genital organs are injured or changed and there is no medical reason for this.
FGM is a complex issue - despite the harm it causes, many women and men from practising communities consider it to be normal to protect their cultural identity.
FGM is believed to be a way of ensuring virginity and chastity. It is used to safeguard girls from sex outside marriage and from having sexual feelings. Although FGM is practised by secular communities, it is most often claimed to be carried out in accordance with religious beliefs. FGM is not supported by any religious doctrine.
FGM is illegal in the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, civil and criminal legislation on FGM is contained in the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (the act). In Scotland, FGM legislation is contained in the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 was amended by sections 70-75 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.
FGM is sometimes referred to as Female Circumcision or Female Genital Cutting, is defined by the World Health Organisation as the range of procedures which involve ‘the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reason’. It is frequently a very traumatic and violent act for the victim and can cause harm in many ways. The practice can cause severe pain and there may be immediate and/or long-term health consequences, including mental health problems, difficulties in childbirth, causing danger to the child and mother; and/or death. FGM is illegal and causes women and children significant harm.
Up to 6,500 girls are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK each year. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated.
FGM has no health benefits for girls and women and immediate effects include: severe pain, shock, bleeding, infections including tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C, inability to urinate and damage to nearby organs including the bowel.
FGM can sometimes cause death and long-term effects include: chronic vaginal and pelvic infections, menstrual problem, persistent urine infections, kidney damage and possible failure, cysts and abscesses, pain during sex, infertility, complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Girls and women who have been subjected to FGM also suffer serious psycho-sexual, psychological and social consequences.
In the UK, FGM tends to occur in areas with larger populations of communities who practise FGM, such as first-generation immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. These areas include: London, Cardiff, Manchester, Sheffield, Northampton, Birmingham, Oxford, Crawley, Reading, Slough and Milton Keynes. In England and Wales, 23,000 girls under 15 could be at risk of FGM.
At Meadow High School we believe that all our pupils should be kept safe from harm. Female Genital Mutilation affects girls particularly from North African countries, including Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea, Yemen, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
To help staff understand FGM and help them identify and assist girls who are at risk, all staff at Meadow High School will complete the online learning package and training as part of the annual training programme. Awareness of FGM is raised in age appropriate ways through our pupils’ SRE PSCHE programme of study. (See SRE Policy)
Our safeguarding policy through the school’s values, ethos and behaviour policies provides the basic platform to ensure children and young people are given the support to respect themselves and others, stand up for themselves and protect each other.
Our school keeps itself up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation.
Our staff are supported to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to specific issues and include such issues in an age appropriate way in their curriculum.
Our school works with and engages our families and communities to talk about such issues.
Our staff are supported to talk to families about sensitive concerns in relation to their children and to find ways to address them together wherever possible.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads know where to seek and get advice as necessary.
Our school brings in experts and uses specialist material to support the work we do.
WHAT WE DO WHEN WE ARE CONCERNED
Where risk factors are present but there is no evidence of a particular risk then our
DSL (Designated Safeguarding Leads) advise us on preventative work that can be
done within school to engage the pupil into mainstream activities and social groups.
The DSL may well be the person who talks to and has conversations with the pupil’s
family, sharing the school’s concern about the young person’s vulnerability and how
the family and school can work together to reduce the risk.
In this situation, depending on how worried we are and what we agree with the parent and the young person (as far as possible)
- The school can decide to notify the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) of the decision so that a strategic overview can be maintained and any themes or common factors can be recognised; and
- The school will review the situation after taking appropriate action to address the concerns.
The DSL will also offer and seek advice about undertaking an early help assessment
such as the Inter Agency Referral form and/or making a referral to children's social
care. The local family support and safeguarding hub can assist us.
If the concerns about the pupil/student are significant and meet the additional needs/complex need criteria, they will be referred to the MASH. This includes concerns about a child/young person who is affected by the behaviour of a parent or other adult in their household.
It is illegal in the United Kingdom to allow girls to undergo female genital mutilation either in this country or abroad. People guilty of allowing FGM to take place are punished by fines and up to fourteen years in prison.
At Meadow High School we have a duty to report concerns we have about girls at risk of FGM to the police and social services (April 2017.)
- Not a religious practice
- Occurs mostly to girls aged from 5 – 8 years old; but up to around 15
- Criminal offence in UK since 1985
- Offence since 2003 to take girls abroad for FGM
- Criminal penalties include up to 14 years in prison
- low level of integration into UK society
- mother or sister who has undergone FGM
- girls who are withdrawn from PSHE
- a visiting female elder from the country of origin
- being taken on a long holiday to the family’s country of origin
- talk about a ‘special’ event or procedure to ‘become a woman’
High Risk Absences
This procedure often takes place in the summer, as the recovery period after FGM can be 6 to 9 weeks. Schools should be alert to the possibility of FGM as a reason why a girl in a high risk group is absent from school or where the family request an ‘authorised absence’ for just before or just after the summer school holidays.
Although, it is difficult to identify girls before FGM takes place, where girls from these high risk groups return from a long period of absence with symptoms of FGM, advice should be sought from the police or social services.
Post-FGM Symptoms include:
- difficulty walking, sitting or standing
- spend longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet
- unusual 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
Long term health problems
- difficulties urinating or incontinence
- frequent or chronic vaginal, pelvic or urinary infections
- menstrual problems
- kidney damage and possible failure
- cysts and abscesses
- pain when having sex
- complications during pregnancy and childbirth
- emotional and mental health problems
FGM may affect members of the school indirectly; some pupils will have female relations who have the potential to be subject to these practices (anyone learning of an incident of FGM must report this to the Police). The School makes it clear to staff, pupils and parents that they must not hesitate to report any concern regarding pupils in this and other schools, in order that appropriate help can be provided swiftly.
Extremism and Radicalisation
SAFEGUARDING PUPILS WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO EXTREMISM
In adhering to this Policy, and the procedures therein, staff and visitors will contribute to the School’s delivery of the outcomes to all children, as set out in s10 (2) of the Children Act 2004. This Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy is one element within our overall school arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in line with our statutory duties set out at S157 of the Education Act 2002.
Our School’s Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy also draws upon the guidance contained in the “London Child Protection Procedures” and DfE Guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2016”; and “Learning Together to be Safe”, “Prevent: Resources Guide”, “Tackling Extremism in the UK”, DfE’s “Teaching Approaches that help Build Resilience to Extremism among Young People”, ‘The Prevent Duty June 2015’ and the Education Commissioner (Birmingham) Peter Clarke’s report of July 2014. This is in response to duties placed on all schools in The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
When operating this Policy, the School uses the following accepted Governmental definition of extremism which is:
‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas’.
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our School, whether from internal sources (pupils, staff or governors) or external sources 9school community, external agencies or individuals).
As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities school staff will be alert to:
- Disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out.
- Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images.
- Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites.
- Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance.
- Partner schools, Local Authority services and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings.
- Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives.
- Pupils attempting to impose extremist views or practices on others.
- Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence.
- Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture.
- Anti-Western or Anti-British views.
- All concerns should be reported immediately to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Headteacher using the Radicalisation and Extremism Concern Form (appendix ii). The DSL will look for evidence to establish the nature of the behaviour and whether it should be reported.
- Concerns will be reported, in the first instance to Hillingdon LSCB. A decision on referral to the Channel Panel will be taken in consultation with Channel panel coordinator and the Hillingdon LSCB. If referral is not made to Channel, the individual will be directed by the LSCB to other support services. The Police may be informed in the event of concern regarding an immediate risk.
Staff have received training on identifying and dealing with radicalisation and extremism. WRAP (Working to raise Awareness of Prevent) training has been provided by the London Borough of Hillingdon. In addition to this, teaching staff have completed the online training module of Channel General Awareness and staff joining the school from September 2017 will complete this as part of their induction process.
The School promotes the teaching of fundamental British Values through key areas of the curriculum and pastoral system. (Further details of the curriculum may be found in appendix i.) The Life Studies curriculum delivers lessons to all year groups on safe use of the internet and awareness that social media is subject to misuse in order to bully, groom, abuse or radicalise people.
FAST (Families against Stress and Trauma) identifies some features that may be exhibited by young people who are being radicalised. There is no catch-all description, or foolproof signs that we can look out for. However there are factors which mean a young person may be more vulnerable to those seeking to radicalise them, including;
- A conviction that their religion or culture is under threat and treated unjustly.
- A tendency to look for conspiracy theories and distrust of mainstream media.
- The need for identity and belonging.
- The need for more excitement and adventure.
- Being susceptible to influence by their peers/friends.
(Further details may be found in appendix 3. Indicators of vulnerability) as well as the Channels Vulnerability Assessment Framework which is in the Safeguarding area useful documents.
Mental health issues should not be considered a factor in isolation, but can exacerbate other vulnerabilities mentioned above.
In addition, there are certain behaviour changes that we are well placed to notice which indicate that the child may have fallen under the influence of an extremist group such as ISIS, and are at risk of acting upon their new beliefs;
- Have they become more argumentative and domineering?
- Are they quick to condemn those who don’t agree, and do they ignore viewpoints which contradict their own?
- Do they express themselves in a divisive ‘them and us’ manner about others who do not share their religion or beliefs?
- Has their language changed? Have they asked inappropriate questions, or expressed themselves in a way that sounds scripted? Have they used derogatory terms such as ‘kaffir’ or ‘rafidi’, or terms such as ‘dawlah’ or ‘khilafah’?
- Has their circle of friends changed, including on social media, and are they distancing themselves from friends they were previously close to?
- Do their friends express radical or extremist views?
- Have they lost interest in activities they used to enjoy?
- Are they spending increasing amounts of time online, and are they overly secretive about what they are doing?
- Have they changed their style of dress or personal appearance to fit with newfound ideas?
- Have they expressed sympathy with violent extremist groups such as ISIS, condoning their actions and ideology?
- Have they expressed sympathy or understanding for other young British people who have joined these groups?
Often the trigger for young people to act on their new-found beliefs is contact with individuals, sometimes through the internet, who will provide encouragement, practical support and even funding for them to leave their families to travel and join the group.
Meadow High School values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both pupils and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.
Meadow High School follows the DfE guidance regarding Promoting British Values
with the aim of supporting young people to develop a greater sense of responsibility,
respect and citizenship. This is particularly reflected through delivery of our PSCHE
The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation
of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism.
The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people
vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. Meadow High School is clear that
this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.
Definitions of radicalisation and extremism, and indicators of vulnerability to
radicalisation are in Appendix Four.
Meadow High School seeks to protect children and young people against the
messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to
Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish
Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights
The school governors, the Headteacher and the Designated Safeguarding Leads
will assess the level of risk within the school and put actions in place to reduce that
risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the school’s RE curriculum,
SEND policy, assembly policy, the use of school premises by external agencies,
integration of pupils by gender, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the
school’s profile, community and philosophy.
This risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the annual s175 return that is
monitored by the local authority and the local safeguarding children board.
Our school, like all others, is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact
(SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to
protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will
normally be the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The SPOC for Meadow High
School is Mr Ross Macdonald. The responsibilities of the SPOC are described in the Appendix.
Radicalisation and Extremism Risk Assessment
Does the School have a policy?
Does the School work with outside agencies on R and E?
Police, Channel Panel and LSCB
Has the School got a nominated R and E lead and single point of contact?
Do the staff have a process to voice their concerns?
Required: internal referral form and RM
Do the pupils have a process to voice their concerns?
As part of information in PSCHE and assemblies. Form Tutor, Assistant Headteachers, School Council are all readily accessible to pupils.
Are there opportunities for pupils to learn about R and E?
PSCHE, tutor time and assemblies
In the School particularly prone to R and E?
The School is not in an area identified as a priority by the government. The local context of the School is that it has an ethnically diverse pupil mix with a significant Muslim population. The pupils are drawn from a number of boroughs and diverse backgrounds. There are levels of religious observance varying from devout to little outward evidence in daily life. There is some risk of radicalisation and extremism. Pupils’ access to social media and the internet outside school cannot be monitored by school staff.
All staff and pupils to be made aware of the signs and dangers of radicalisation and extremism and to report any behaviour of concern immediately to the DSL who will then report it to Hillingdon LSCB: Fiona Gibbs email@example.com
Parents are advised to monitor their child’s use of social media and the internet.
Are external speakers vetted before talking with the pupils?
Member of staff responsible for booking speaker to ensure vetting has taken place. Speaker must never be left unsupervised with pupils.
Any inappropriate content to be challenged.
How does the School ensure that appropriate steps are taken?
Once a concern has been raised, it will be reported, in the first instance to Hillingdon LSCB. A decision on referral to the Channel Panel will be taken in consultation with Channel panel coordinator and the Hillingdon LSCB. If referral is not made to Channel, the individual will be directed by the LSCB to other support services. The Police may be informed in the event of concern regarding an immediate risk.
Are there documented cases of R and E?
For advice and concerns
Hillingdon LSCB – Sally Morris firstname.lastname@example.org
Metropolitan Police Service Northwood – 01923 828212
Non-emergency police number – 101
Non-emergency advice DfE dedicated number 02073407264 or email@example.com
Child Sexual Exploitation and GANGS
School staff members need to be aware of specific safeguarding issues and be alert to any risks such as child sexual exploitation, fabricated or induced illness, female genital mutilation, private fostering, exposure to domestic violence etc., and the local procedures to respond to risks.
The government website, https://www.gov.uk has broad government guidance on a variety of issues. The following is not a comprehensive list and staff members should search the GOV.UK website and the Hillingdon Local Safeguarding Board http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/lscb for advice on other issues.
- child sexual exploitation (CSE)
- bullying including cyberbullying
- domestic violence
- fabricated or induced illness
- faith abuse
- female genital mutilation (FGM)
- forced marriage
- gangs and youth violence
- gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
- mental health
- private fostering
- preventing radicalisation and the Prevent duty
- teenage relationship abuse
Further information on Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
Teachers and school staff are more likely to see victims on a regular basis than almost any other professional. They will notice recurrent or prolonged absences and significant changes in behaviour. They are key to identifying children at risk and raise concerns at an early stage, to potentially halt the grooming process before sexual exploitation has begun. Teachers will highlight concerns about missing children as they may be at risk of child sexual exploitation.
Due to the nature of the grooming methods used by their abusers, it is very common for children and young people who are sexually exploited not to recognise that they are being abused. As much as possible it is important that the young person is involved in decisions that are made about them.
Link to LSCB Child Sexual Exploitation procedures:
Link to DfE ‘What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually abused’: This should be read in conjunction with statutory guidance
Link to DFE Statutory Guidance outlining how organisations and individuals should work together to protect young people from sexual exploitation.
Further information on Preventing Radicalisation
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, which received Royal Assent on 12 February 2015, places a duty on specified authorities, including local authorities and childcare, education and other children’s services providers, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”).
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 will also place a duty on local authorities to ensure Channel panels are in place. The panel must include the local authority and chief officer of the local police. Panels will assess the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, following a referral from the police and where considered appropriate and necessary consent is obtained, arrange for support to be provided to those individuals. The Act will require partners of Channel panels to co-operate with the panel in the carrying out of its functions and with the police in undertaking the initial assessment as to whether a referral is appropriate.
Schools and colleges which are required to have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education are listed in the Act as partners of the panel. The relevant provisions of the Act came into force on 12 April 2015.
‘Channel’ is the name for the process of referring a person for early intervention and support, including:
• identifying people at risk of being drawn into terrorism
• assessing the nature and extent of that risk, and
• developing the most appropriate support plan for the people concerned.
The Channel process is about safeguarding children, young people and adults from being drawn into committing terrorist-related activity. It is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from risk before a crime occurs.
The Department for education has published The Prevent duty
Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers at:
Link to Hillingdon LSCB guidance on the Prevent duty:
For more details and support relating to the Prevent duty and safeguarding please contact Fiona Gibbs, Stronger Communities and Prevent lead, LBH: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-harm and suicidal behaviour
Definition - Self harm, self mutilation, eating disorders, suicide threats and gestures by a child must always be taken seriously and may be indicative of a serious mental or emotional disturbance.
Link to Hillingdon LSCB guidance on self-harm:
Also known as domestic violence or DV, domestic abuse is a pattern of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by one person against another in a home or family setting.
It can happen to anyone - regardless of gender, age or culture - and can exist in any relationship - with partners, ex-partners or relatives. It can affect children too and there is evidence that DV often occurs alongside child abuse within families
Domestic abuse can take many forms and includes, but is not limited to:
- Assault, punching, kicking, hitting, forced imprisonment, biting, strangling, burning, dragging, using weapons, throwing objects
- Rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution, degradation, using objects, forced to watch or act in pornography
- Verbal or emotional abuse, threats to kill, blaming, mind games, criticism, accusations, jealousy and obsessive behaviours, manipulation, sleep deprivation
- Preventing a person from getting or keeping a job, taking money, not permitting access to or withholding family income
- Not being allowed to see others, to see who you want, denied any form of contact with family or friends and any other support networks
Children who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways, even after a short time.
Children who witness domestic abuse are being emotionally abused.
At St Bernadette School, if a parent makes a disclosure about domestic violence, that parent is always offered the opportunity to meet staff at school alone without their spouse/partner being present.
RECOGNITION – WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Staff should refer to the detailed information about the categories of abuse and risk indicators listed earlier in this policy.
In an abusive relationship the child may:
- Appear frightened of their parents
- Act in a way that is inappropriate to their age and development, although full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups
In an abusive relationship, the parent or carer may:
- Persistently avoid child health services and treatment of the child’s illnesses
- Have unrealistic expectations of the child
- Frequently complain about or to the child and fail to provide attention or praise
- Be absent
- Be misusing substances
- Persistently refuse to allow access on home visits by professionals
- Be involved in domestic violence and abuse
- Be socially isolated
Serious case reviews have found that parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and mental health problems, sometimes referred to at the ‘toxic trio’, if they coexist in a family could mean significant risks to children. Problems can be compounded by poverty, frequent house moves or eviction
ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE MADE AGAINST OTHER CHILDREN
At our school we believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other students. We recognise that some pupils will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Occasionally, allegations may be made against pupils by others in the school, which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that to be considered a safeguarding allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found.
•is made against an older pupil and refers to their behaviour towards a younger pupil or a more vulnerable pupil
•is of a serious nature, possibly including a criminal offence
•raises risk factors for other pupils in the school indicates that other pupils may have been affected by this pupil
•indicates that young people outside the school may be affected by this pupil
Minimising the risk of safeguarding concerns towards pupils from other pupils
On occasion, some pupils will present a safeguarding risk to other pupils. The school should be informed that the young person raises safeguarding concerns, for xample, they are coming back into school following a period in custody or they have experienced serious abuse themselves.
These pupils will need an individual risk management plan to ensure that other pupils are kept safe and they themselves are not laid open to malicious allegations. There is a need to balance the tension between privacy and safeguarding.
What to do
When an allegation is made by a pupil against another pupil, members of staff should consider whether the complaint raises a safeguarding concern. If there is a safeguarding concern the DSL should be informed.
A factual record should be made of the allegation, but no attempt at this stage should be made to investigate the circumstances.
The DSL should contact the Child Protection Lead for Education to discuss the case. It is possible that Children’s Social Care are already aware of safeguarding concerns around this young person. The DSL will follow through the outcomes of the discussion and make a statement of referral where appropriate.
The DSL will make a record of the concern, the discussion and any outcome and keep a copy in the files of both pupils’ files.
If the allegation indicates a potential criminal offence has taken place, the police should be contacted at the earliest opportunity and parents informed (of both the pupil being complained about and the alleged victim).
Where neither Children’s Social Care nor the police accept the complaint, a thorough school investigation should take place into the matter using the school’s usual disciplinary procedures.
In situations where the school considers a safeguarding risk is present, a risk assessment should be prepared along with a preventative, supervision plan.
The plan should be monitored and a date set for a follow-up evaluation with everyone concerned.
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN CONTINUUM OF NEED
The Safeguarding Children Continuum of Need has been developed so that everyone working with children has a common language for understanding the needs and risks surrounding children and their families.
For example, if the school has concerns about a child and needs advice or support from a Duty and Assessment social worker, they will use the Continuum of Need as a guide to understand the school’s concerns and provide advice about what to do or to decide whether the child and family need social care involvement. The Continuum of Need does not replace professional judgement, but it is intended to support decision-making and discussions between services and practitioners.
The Continuum of Need shows that a child’s or family’s additional needs can be on a range from none to very high, and that needs can shift from early help to child protection and back to preventative early help. It covers children whose needs are increasing as well as children whose needs are decreasing after Children’s Social Care involvement. The Continuum of Need will help practitioners to identify the right level of support for the child in the least intrusive way while keeping the child safe.
Link to Hillingdon LSCB’s Threshold document - Continuum of help and support"
The Continuum of Need identifies four levels of need.
Level 1 – Children with No Additional Needs; Universal Services
Level 2 – Children with Additional Needs Showing Early Signs of Vulnerability
Level 3 – Children in Need who Require Statutory or Specialist Services
Level 4 – Child who are Suffering or Likely to Suffer Significant Harm
By referring to the Continuum of Need and indicators, the school can identify when assessment and support for a child and family need 'stepping up' to a referral to Social Care and when the needs of a child and their family have been reduced enough for them the be 'stepped down' to early help services.
Honour Based Violence
So-called ‘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. If in any doubt, staff should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV.
Staff must report any concerns immediately and hand the form to a DSL or the SPOC immediately for action.
12. External Investigation
When a safeguarding issue arises as defined by Hillingdon Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) or Hillingdon Adult Safeguarding procedures, the Head of Safeguarding or his or her deputy will alert relevant authorities. The LADO (local area designated officer) is contactable on 01895 250111.
If it is identified that the harm has occurred at Meadow High School or involved Meadow High School staff or volunteers, a referral will be made to Hillingdon Children or Adult Services in line with LSCB and Hillingdon Adult Services procedures.
If a criminal offence appears to have been committed or alleged, the police will also be informed. The pupils funding authority will also be informed.
CQC will be notified of all referrals to Hillingdon for safeguarding matters in the areas that they have responsibility.
If the harm relates to the pupil’s home or home area, the home local authority will be responsible for any investigations. If there is doubt, for example it is not clear where an injury occurred, Hillingdon must always be notified.
Meadow High School recognises that safeguarding children and vulnerable adults requires more than a response when abuse or risk of abuse is identified. It will therefore strive to create the conditions where abuse and neglect is prevented from occurring in the first place. It will do this by:
- Operating a policy of zero tolerance of abuse and bullying;
- Empowering pupils to take responsibility for their own behaviour;
- Ensuring access to managers with expertise in safeguarding;
- Ensuring that pupils have trusted adults to speak with when the behaviour of others concerns them;
- Ensuring pupils have knowledge of abuse and what to do when they see it;
- Ensuring pupils have knowledge of relationships and sexuality;
- Operating a Sex and Relationship Education Policy which covers personal relationships
- Ensuring that all staff are familiar with this policy and receive appropriate regular training.
Meadow High School will have detailed policies detailing
- safe recruitment practice;
- safe working;
- allegations management
These policies will relate to employed staff, contractors, volunteers and governors.
15. Meadow High School Procedures
Staff are trained in the requirements following any concern or disclosure.
Staff are aware that there are six lead safeguarding officers and two safeguarding governors
Designated Safeguarding Officers
Mrs Jenny Rigby
Designated Safeguarding Lead/ Headteacher
Ms Claire Caddell
Deputy Safeguarding Lead/ Deputy Headteacher
Mr Andy Bunker
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Ms Jane Richards
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Bernie Gamble
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mr Graeme Vickery
Mr John Goodbody
Deputy Safeguarding Governor
Policy/Procedure Communication and Implementation Action Plan
Date Actioned/by whom
Ensure that all managers, employees and volunteers of Meadow High School have access to the related procedures.
Policy sent to all staff
Train all managers, employees and volunteers in the implementation of the policy and the related procedures and courses.
Online courses or direct training as date required (Maintained in central office)
Ensure that all new employees, staff and volunteers are made aware of the policy, understand it, and know where to access a copy and where to access the related procedures.
Training Manager (at induction)
As staff arrive
Ensure that all managers, employees and volunteers of Meadow High School have access to the related procedures.
Staff trained in Safer Recruitment, Child protection, Working together
Ensure that all new employees, staff and volunteers know their responsibilities, and receive training in carrying these out.
Links to other related policies and procedures: –
- Meadow High School Procedure – Previous Version
- Code of Conduct for Staff working in Schools
- Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with children and young people in Education settings
- Policy on the Disclosure of Malpractice (Whistle blowing)
- Policy for the Management of Challenging Behaviour
- Sex and Relationship Education Policy (SRE)
- Recruitment Policy and Procedures
- Guidelines for Professional Practice
- Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
- Harassment and Bullying Policy
- Supervision Policy
PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT (SPOC)
The SPOC for Meadow High School is Ross Macdonald, who is responsible for:
- Ensuring that staff of the school are aware that you are the SPOC in relation to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Maintaining and applying a good understanding of the relevant guidance in relation to preventing students/pupils from becoming involved in terrorism, and protecting them from radicalisation by those who support terrorism or forms of extremism which lead to terrorism;
- Raising awareness about the role and responsibilities of Meadow High School in relation to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Monitoring the effect in practice of the school’s RE, PSCHE curriculum and assembly policy to ensure that they are used to promote community cohesion and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs;
- Raising awareness within the school about the safeguarding processes relating to protecting students/pupils from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
- Acting as the first point of contact within the school for case discussions relating to students / pupils who may be at risk of radicalisation or involved in terrorism;
- Collating relevant information from in relation to referrals of vulnerable students / pupils into the Channel* process;
- attending Channel* meetings as necessary and carrying out any actions as agreed;
- Reporting progress on actions to the Channel* Co-ordinator; and
- Sharing any relevant additional information in a timely manner.
* Channel is a multi-agency approach to provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist related activity. It is led by the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Unit, and it aims to
- Establish an effective multi-agency referral and intervention process to identify vulnerable individuals;
- Safeguard individuals who might be vulnerable to being radicalised, so that they are not at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity; and
- Provide early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks they face and reduce vulnerability.