Reporting Safeguarding concerns to school
If you have any concerns about a child or family and you think that the Safeguarding Designated Officer ought to know, you can see me personally, call me or use the following email address to contact me:
I get automatic alerts if a message is sent to this address and can therefore pick it up immediately.
Safeguarding and child protection are two things that the school take very seriously.
Our Designated Officer(the person who deals with any referrals or concerns about Safeguarding of children in school) is Mr Pearse - Headteacher
Mrs Helen Clark and Mrs Debbie Allen are also trained Designated Officers and are the Deputy Safeguarding officers for Churchend School. If you need to contact Mr Pearse about a Safeguarding issue you can call, come in or e-mail on : firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes Mr Pearse, Mrs Clark or Mrs Allen are asked to attend meetings about specific children or families. If we feel it is more sensible to child's teacher to attend, then we arrange for this to happen. We always ask that meetings are held outside of lesson time to minimise disruption to class teacher lessons. Churchend has a 100% record of attendance at such meetings. Our school is always represented at any Safeguarding or Child protection meeting.
Safer Use of the Internet: A Guide for Parents
Explore sites and apps together
Talk about what might be OK for children of different ages. Ask your child what sites or apps they like. Write a list, and look at them together.
Be positive about what you see, but also be open about concerns you have: "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here".
Talk to your child about what you think is appropriate – but also involve them in the conversation. Ask what they think is OK for children of different ages – they'll feel involved in the decision-making.
Be aware that your child might talk about friends who use apps or visit sites that you've decided aren't suitable. Be ready to discuss your reasons, but recognise that they may not agree with you. Listen carefully for the reasons why.
Go through a final list of sites you both agree are OK, and work out when you'll next discuss it.
Ask about things they might see online which make them feel uncomfortable.
Talk about things they, or their friends, have seen that made them feel uncomfortable:
- Be specific. What exactly made them feel uncomfortable and why? Is it people or animals being hurt? Nasty comments about others?
- Link these to things in the real world, and explain that you're always here to protect and help them online and off.
- Reassure your child that they can always talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Show them how to report or block on the sites and apps they use. Use Net Aware to find out how.
- Tell them you'll help them to report anything upsetting they've seen, or to deal with online bullying.
Talk about how they can stay safe on social networks
Ask your child if they know:
- where reporting functions are
- how to block someone
- how to keep information private.
Show them how to do these things. Use Net Aware to help you.
Talk about online privacy, and being Share Aware. Explain that online behaviour – including sharing personal information – should mirror behaviour in person.
Explain that talking to strangers isn't always 'bad', but they should always be careful about what they share and sometimes people aren't who they say they are.
Reassure them that you won't overreact – you're just looking out for them
Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to be and that you're just looking out for them. Tell them they should speak up and not keep secrets if something is worrying them.
Reassure them that you're interested in all aspects of their life. Say that you'd like to talk about stuff they've seen online, sites and apps they visit, and that you'll share the things you've seen too. Recognise that they'll be using the internet to research homework, for example.
Be Share Aware: talk about what's OK, and not OK, to share online
Talk to your child about what 'personal information' is - such as email address, full name, phone number, address and school name - and why it's important.
Explain simple ways to protect privacy. For example, avoiding usernames like birthdates or locations that give away too much information.
Discuss images and photos, and what might be appropriate. Help your child understand how photographs can give people a sense of your personality, and that sharing the wrong kind of image can give the wrong impression.
Explain that it isn't easy to identify someone online. People aren't always who they say they are, so don't share personal information. If it's someone who genuinely knows your child, they shouldn't need to ask for personal information online.
Tell your child that if they're in any doubt they should talk to you first.
What to do if you're worried about your child online
There may be times when you're worried about your child's online safety. If you're unsure what to do, help is at hand.
We've put together some of the things that might be worrying you, and what you can do to help your child.
I'm worried my child is...
Sharing personal information…
Talk to your child about the things that they can safely share, like their interests and hobbies. And explain what counts as personal information, for example:
- their full name
- mobile number
- email address
Remind them they wouldn't share this information with people they didn't know in the real world.
They might be happy to share thoughts and feelings online with friends, but explain that they should be wary of doing this with strangers. Not everyone is who they say they are online, and sometimes things like your hopes and fears can be used against you by people you don't know.
If your child is worried they've shared too much, make sure you're able to help them if needed.
The NSPCC Net Aware guide to the social networks your children use has links to information that will help you and your child, including how to:
- remove content on different apps and sites
- block people
- report abuse
Being bullied on-line:
Recognise that online bullying might be just one part of bullying that's happening in their day-to-day lives, and there might be a lot of underlying issues.
- Reassure them that you can help to remove the content that's upsetting them and block the person who made the comments.
- Look at the negative comments with them and contact the provider to get them removed.
- Save the evidence by taking screen shots.
- Contact their school to let them know about the incident, if you think it's appropriate.
Find out more about keeping your child safe from bullying and cyberbullying.
Bullying others on-line:
If your child has been bullying others online, find out whether other children were involved and what part your child played.
They may not have realised that what happened was bullying. Tell them explicitly that this behaviour isn't acceptable and the fact it's online doesn't mean it's not upsetting.
Help them understand how what they've done feels. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or how they feel when someone says unkind things to them.
Explain that leaving someone out of an online discussion or group can be just as bad as attacking them directly. Encourage them to apologise to the person involved and help them to remove the content.
Spending too much time on-line:
Agree what times your child can go online. For example, not going online just before bed time or in the morning before school.
Explain that you think it's important they do a variety of activities. You recognise that they enjoy being online, but you think it's important they do other things as well.
Discuss your family agreement and remind them why it's important. Use technical tools to help you reinforce online times. Many sites have timers that you can set, or you can set it up on the computer, mobile or tablet.
Make sure that you stick to what you've agreed and that you manage your own time online.
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016
By Andrew Hall on March 30, 2015 in Child Protection, Frequently Asked Questions, Key Documents, Resources, Safeguarding
Update: Keeping Children Safe in Education was updated in September 2016 to reflect the new prevent duty, to emphasise responsibilities concerning children missing from education, and to provide more content on female genital mutilation.
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016’ is a revision of the previous document. The body of the document is largely unchanged, but there are new inclusions that draw in new guidance or legislation since the original was published, including disqualification by association (Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009) and duties under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The new version of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 also refers to two other updated documents ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2016’ and ‘Information Sharing 2016’. It is noted that ‘Working together to Safeguard Children’ has also been updated.
‘Keeping children safe in education 2016 is statutory guidance and all schools and colleges must have regard to it. whatever their status. Schools includes:
- maintained nursery schools
- maintained, non-maintained or independent schools
- academies and free schools
- alternative provision academies and
- pupil referral units.
Colleges includes further education colleges and sixth-form colleges (for students under the age of 18), but excludes 16-19 academies and free schools (which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement).
‘Keeping children safe in education 2016’ emphasises that safeguarding policies should include:
- staff relationships with pupils
- reference to the ‘Position of Trust’ offence (Sexual Offences Act 2003)
- communications on social media
- information sharing
Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff
In the previous edition, where staff had concerns about another adult in school, it could be reported to the headteacher or Designated Safeguarding Lead. In this edition, reports must be made only to the headteacher.
Each local authority must make arrangements for the management of allegations of abuse by staff. In the past the person responsible for those allegations has been called the Local authority Designated Officer (LADO). ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2016 has slightly changed this role to allow LAs to develop teams, integrate the work in other child protection work and, apart from current post-holders, the staff carrying out this work must now be qualified social workers.
After any allegations of abuse have been made, there are a range of specified outcomes:
- false and
‘Keeping Children Safe in education 2016 has introduced a further outcome ‘unfounded’:
Schools may wish to use the additional definition of ‘unfounded’ to reflect cases where there is no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made. It might also indicate that the person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or was mistaken about what they saw. Alternatively they may not have been aware of all the circumstances.
Vetting and Barring Checks
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016’, paragraph 52 sets out the required checks:
For most appointments, an enhanced DBS certificate, which includes barred list information, will be required as the majority of staff will be engaging in regulated activity. In summary, a person will be considered to be engaging in regulated activity if as a result of their work they:
- will be responsible, on a regular basis in a school or college, for teaching, training instructing, caring for or supervising children;
- or will carry out paid, or unsupervised unpaid, work regularly in a school or college where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children;
- engage in intimate or personal care or overnight activity, even if this happens only once.
Checks on Volunteers
Although many schools and authorities have been doing this for sometime, the expectation of vetting checks for volunteers has been clarified: volunteers may have Enhanced checks, but not barred list checks.
Paragraph 53 says that for staff who have an “opportunity for regular contact with children who are not engaging in regulated activity, an enhanced DBS certificate, which does not include a barred list check, will be appropriate.”
Paragraph 54 says ‘In a school or college, a supervised volunteer who regularly teaches or looks after children is not in regulated activity.’
DBS Update Service
Joining the DBS Update service allows for vetting checks to have ‘portability’, that is say be taken from one employer to another, as long as the person has registered with the update service at the point the check was received or within 19 days of receiving it.
The revised ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 says:
Before using the Update Service schools or colleges must
a. obtain consent from the applicant to do so;
b. confirm the certificate matches the individual’s identity; and
c. examine the original certificate to ensure that it is for the appropriate workforce and level of check, e.g. enhanced certificate/enhanced including barred list information.
Transfer of child protection files
CP files must by transferred ‘as soon as possible’, but now the following guidance is included: ‘ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt should be obtained.’
Individual staff may make a direct referral to social services
Whilst the previous version of Keeping Children safe in Education said that ‘anybody can make a referral’, the new guidance says, “In exceptional circumstances, such as in emergency or a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken, staff members can speak directly to children’s social care.“
There is a new update(Sept 2016) which is available by following this link:
Keeping children safe in education – updated guidance document
Implemented from 5th Sept 2016
Key changes include:
- Appropriate filters and monitoring systems must be in place to ensure children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material
- All staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates as required but at least annually
- More information has been provided on ‘honour based’ violence including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing
See page 70 onwards for a table of changes