Safeguarding and Child Protection

Definition of Safeguarding
“Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.“ KCSIE 2016
Children and young people have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. They have a right to expect schools to provide a safe and secure environment. It is a guiding principle of the law and child protection procedures that the protection and welfare of a child must always be the first priority. Failure to provide an effective response can have serious consequences for the child. Sycamore Short Stay School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people both within the school environment and outside. Because of our day-to-day contact with children and young people, education staff are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in children’s behaviour or their failure to develop. We aim to create a culture of vigilance, to be alert to the possibility of abuse occurring, and to be aware of the procedures to be followed if we have suspicions and have the confidence to follow those procedures. The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy applies to all staff, management committee members and volunteers working in the school.
Communication with Parents
Our school will always discuss concerns with parents/carers and consent for any referrals should be sought unless to do so would: • Place the child at risk of significant harm or further risk of significant harm; • Place a vulnerable adult at risk of harm; and • Compromise any enquiries that need to be undertaken by children’s social care or the police. The School will endeavour to ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the School and staff for safeguarding children. In the best interests of safeguarding children there may be occasions when the school has to consult with other agencies without a parent or carer’s prior knowledge. Our first concern and responsibility is the child’s welfare and we have a duty to protect children first and always. Such consultation may result in a formal referral which could prompt visits from social care and/or the police. We fully understand that this can be a very distressing set of circumstances. Our school will follow the procedures required by the Dudley Safeguarding Children Board.
Child safety issues and child protection will be addressed through the curriculum where appropriate, especially through PSHE, ICT and E-Safety, Citizenship, Sex and Relations Education (SRE) and British values. We use a variety of resources and approaches to teach the children how to keep themselves safe, build their resilience and manage risks. The curriculum, and in particular the personal, social and health education development strand of the curriculum, includes an emphasis on relationships (relationships and sex education), building confidence and resilience in pupils and in developing preventative strategies to ensure their own protection and that of others. Opportunities are provided for pupils across all three key stages to develop the skills and strategies they need to stay safe from abuse, including age appropriate discussions about healthy relationships, self-image and being able to say no when necessary. Clear advice and guidance is built into the curriculum to ensure that pupils understand that there is a range of contacts they can turn to for advice and support and that they know where and how to report abuse or neglect. Safeguarding Contacts in School Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mr S Markham, Mr S Derham, Mrs D Timmins, Management Board Safeguarding Lead – Mr M Wilkinson. Child Sexual Exploitation Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse which sees children/young people being manipulated or coerced into sexual activity for receiving ‘something’ such as; gifts, money, food, attention, somewhere to stay etc. Technology is very often used to groom victims. This may occur through social networking sites and mobile phones with internet access. CSE has gained a large amount of media attention over the last year as lots of services involved with children and young people have noticed a big rise in cases involving CSE. Charities such as NSPCC and Barnardos have been campaigning to raise the profile of this form of child abuse.
Internet Safety
Children and young people spend lots of time on the internet. They may go online to research information for homework or to play games, chat with friends and make new ones. The internet holds a massive amount of useful information and can also be a really good way of learning about new things and keeping in contact with friends and family. It can also be a very dangerous place so it is important that children are protected and monitored when they are online. Sycamore invest in regular lessons on internet safety and security and reporting systems integrated with the police that prevent access to any inappropriate materials or images.

CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) has lots of information about how to keep your children safe online and parental controls. The link to the website is below. CEOP – Thinkuknow

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
In April 2014 every school in England received new safeguarding guidelines and detailed information on identifying and responding to Female Genital Mutilation. FGM is a procedure carried out on young girls between the ages of infancy and 15 years of age. Female Genital Mutilation is classified as a form of Child Abuse in the UK. It therefore makes the procedure of it a serious Child Protection issue. It is illegal for anyone to perform FGM in the UK or to arrange for a child to be transported to another country for the procedure. The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison. There is lots of information and support available online for parents/carers concerned about this subject or if you know someone who is at risk: • Contact the Police if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM and is still in the UK. • Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (020 7008 1500) if she’s already been taken abroad. The NSPCC has detailed advice on how to spot the signs, symptoms and effects of FGM and provides support for people who are concerned about a child or who have been affected themselves. The link to the website is below. NSPCC FGM Reporting a Concern of Abuse or Neglect If you have concerns that a child you know is at risk of serious harm through Abuse or Neglect it is important that you report your worries to the correct agency. The link below will direct you to the Dudley Safeguarding Board page, which tells you how to report a concern. Dudley Safeguarding Children Board is a statutory board which has been set up as part of the Every Child Matters government reforms. The Board ensures that all organisations that work with children work together to keep children and young people safe from harm. It undertakes this role through providing training, the development of policies and procedures and raising awareness.