The well-being of our children is of paramount importance to all staff. Should any person (parent or staff) have a concern regarding a child’s wellbeing, please inform one of the school safeguarding team (Mrs O’Reilly, Mrs Hourihan, Mrs Gale, or our Chair of Governors Gill Abbott). In cases where school staff have concerns, they have a duty to discuss the issue with Social Services .
During the time of school closure due to COVID 19 any safeguarding concerns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org entitled safeguarding which will be passed onto the safeguarding team.
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. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children 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 from 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. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education (see paragraph 48).
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, for example, 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.
As part of our safeguarding and child protection duties we are fully behind the government’s Prevent Strategy and Educate Against Hate initiatives. From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty for Schools. We build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling our pupils to challenge extremist views. The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify pupils at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. The Home Office has developed a core training product for this purpose –Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) which staff have completed.
We are working with the Metropolitan Police Service as part of Operation Encompass. This is the notification to schools that a child (under 18) has been exposed to, or involved in, any domestic incident. This will ordinarily be done by the start of the next school day. Operation Encompass will ensure that a specially trained member of the school staff, known as a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), is informed. The DSL can then use the information that has been shared, in confidence, to ensure the wellbeing of the child. You can find out more details by clicking on the Operation Encompass button below.