Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
At REAch2, our actions and our intentions as school leaders are guided by our Touchstones:
We recognise that we lead by example and if we want children to grow up to behave appropriately and with integrity then we must model this behaviour
We act judiciously with sensitivity and care. We don’t make excuses, but mindfully answer for actions and continually seek to make improvements
We acknowledge and celebrate that all people are different and can play a role in the REAch2 family whatever their background or learning style
Providing learning that is relevant, motivating and engaging releases a child’s curiosity and fun, so that a task can be tackled and their goals achieved
Inspiration breathes life into our schools. Introducing children to influential experiences of people and place, motivates them to live their lives to the full
Children and adults will flourish in their learning and through learning discover a future that is worth pursuing
REAch2 aspires for high quality leadership by seeking out talent, developing potential and spotting the possible in people as well as the actual
We recognise that academies and academy personnel are in a unique position in their care of children. The responsibility for all staff to safeguard pupils and promote their welfare, as stated in Section 175 of the Education Act (2002) is one that is central to our ethos, our policies and our actions. All children are deserving of the highest levels of care and safeguarding, regardless of their individual characteristics or circumstances, and we are committed to applying this policy to ensure effective levels of safeguarding and care are afforded to all of our pupils. This policy sets out guidance and procedures that our academy will take to ensure appropriate action is taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils. Its contents are intended to be in accordance with all relevant Government guidelines and legislation, as well as the inter-agency procedures provided by Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- To enable all pupils to feel safe and cared for whilst at our academy, and to ensure that they have a safe place to which they can turn;
- To enable all adults involved with our academy to be fully equipped to fulfil their responsibilities in effectively promoting the safeguarding and welfare of all of their pupils.
Roles & responsibilities
- Pupils will: adhere to academy rules regarding conduct and safe behaviour; report anything that worries them to a trusted adult;
- Parents/carers will: work collaboratively with academy staff to promote the safety of their children and other pupils; support our academy to teach pupils about keeping safe by reinforcing key safety messages; report any safeguarding concerns regarding their own children or another pupil to the academy;
- REAch2 academies will: ensure that all pupils have a safe learning environment and are taught about how to keep safe; train and support all adults involved with our academy to appropriately identify and respond to any pupil at risk of harm; work collaboratively with parents and professional agencies to safeguard our pupils;
- Governors will: ensure this policy is applied robustly throughout the academy; review it regularly (annually at a minimum) to ensure the effectiveness and rigor of safeguarding practice at our academy;
- REAch2 central staff will: learn, understand and follow the safeguarding procedures for each academy within which they work; undertake relevant regular training and updates to ensure their skills and knowledge support them to meet their safeguarding responsibility;
- REAch2 Regional Safeguarding Leads/ASL for Safeguarding will: advise and challenge academies and their staff to support them in deploying best practice to meet their statutory safeguarding responsibilities.
How this relates to national guidance & requirements
Statutory safeguarding and child protection practice for schools and academies is outlined in the following legislation and documents, with which this policy intends to be in accordance:
- Section 175 of the Education Act (2002)
- Section 26, Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015);
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022);
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018);
- Children Missing Education (2016);
- What To Do if You’re Worried A Child is Being Abused (2015);
- Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (2016)
Any key definitions
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) 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.’
Policy Role in Principle
The role and responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- We will appoint a senior member of staff from our academy’s senior leadership team to act as our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) This person will coordinate all safeguarding and child protection procedures at our academy, and will take lead responsibility for this area, which will be specified in their job description;
- We will also appoint one or more Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads, who will be trained to the same level as the Lead, and to whom activities may be delegated;
- During school hours, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy will be available to discuss any safeguarding concerns, either in person or, in exceptional circumstances, via phone or other modes of communication;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will undergo suitable training, including Prevent training, to equip them with the skills and knowledge required to undertake their role, which will be updated at a minimum every two years; in addition, their skills and knowledge will be refreshed at regular intervals, annually at a minimum;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will ensure that all staff know and understand the safeguarding and child protection procedures at our academy, as well as learning and working effectively with the local inter-agency procedures for assessment of early help needs and for referrals of suspected cases of abuse;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead is expected to oversee and manage all referrals of suspected abuse that are made to Social Care, Police, Channel, and other agencies, and will also support and liaise with any academy staff who have either been involved in making such referrals or who have concerns about a pupil which may subsequently require a referral;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies will maintain detailed and secure written records of any concerns and referrals.
Induction and training
- We will train all academy staff and volunteers to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to support them to fulfill their safeguarding responsibilities. This will take place upon induction and will be refreshed regularly, no less than annually, throughout the course of their work with our academy;
- Training and refresher sessions will reinforce understanding of: the types of abuse, including specific safeguarding issues; the adult’s role in recognising and responding to abuse; the academy’s processes for recording and following up on any concerns. Policies, policy updates, and statutory information will also be shared during induction and refresher sessions (see page 6 ‘Implementation’ for further information)
Types of abuse and specific safeguarding issues
- We recognise that adults working in our academy are in a unique position to recognise and respond to signs of abuse, and that these can take place and manifest in a variety of ways, including peer on peer;
- Induction training and regular refresher sessions will equip staff and volunteers to understand the different types of abuse, including specific safeguarding issues such as Female Genital Mutilation and radicalisation, and support them to know how to respond to any concerns;
- Annex 1, pages 7 – 8, details our approach to dealing with the risks posed by abuse, and how we identify and respond to any signs of abuse.
Processes, procedures, and inter-agency liaison
- Our academy has a clear procedure for responding to any possible signs of abuse, using a standardised safeguarding concerns form (see Annex 2, page 9) This will be issued to all staff and volunteers at induction, and copies are available in the academy. Training and refresher sessions will reinforce effective techniques for recording concerns, and will highlight the importance of accurate written records;
- All safeguarding concerns forms, and any other documentation of a safeguarding nature, are held in a safeguarding file separately from any other pupil information, and are stored securely with access limited only to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, their Deputies, and the Headteacher;
- Pupil safeguarding files will contain any relevant information and documentation related to the pupil’s safety and welfare. Their contents will be organised chronologically, and will be prefaced by a chronology form detailing the key events and information related to the case;
- Upon receiving a concern which indicates a suspicion of abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy will follow local inter-agency procedures, local information sharing protocols and statutory/legal expectations in deciding if a referral to an external agency is warranted;
- In the case of a referral being made due to risk of significant harm, the referrer will make a detailed written record of their actions, including: dates and times of any conversations; the name and role of any professionals that were spoken to; the outcome of the referral; any actions that the referrer and the agency receiving the referral have agreed to;
- Any disagreements between the referrer and a professional or agency will be appropriately voiced and discussed, with the referrer following appropriate escalation procedures if they remain dissatisfied and if the circumstances warrant. Any disagreements or escalation will be recorded in writing by the referrer;
- In the case where a concern does not suggest a risk of significant harm but the pupil remains in need of additional support, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will liaise with parents and, with their permission, follow local Early Help Assessment guidelines in order to source the most appropriate support;
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy will be a proactive contributor to any strategy meeting, Child Protection conference/review, core group, Early Help Assessment, and Team Around the Family meeting, and will attend professionals’ meetings where requested, providing appropriate written and/or verbal education and welfare reports related to the child and their family as requested by agencies and in line with statutory information sharing guidance.
Safer Recruitment and the Single Central Record
- We recognise that it is critical to ensure that our pupils are taught and supported by adults who are safe to do so, and that we must promote a culture of safety within our academy environment by preventing unsafe adults from having access to it;
- In line with best practice for safer recruitment, a minimum of one member of academy staff will undertake a training in ‘Safer Recruitment’, and will be present on any interview panel;
- Our School Business Manager/Office Manager will maintain a Single Central Record, detailing the required and relevant recruitment and vetting checks undertaken on all school employees, Governors, agency workers and third-party staff;
- The Single Central Record will be supported by files containing appropriate supporting evidence for recruitment and vetting checks, held in line with Data Protection legislation;
- Please see our Recruitment policy for further detail regarding our adherence to safer recruitment principles for staff and volunteers.
Teaching pupils to stay safe
- We recognise the importance of teaching our pupils how to stay safe, and that opportunities to do so form an inherent part of a broad and balanced curriculum;
- Learning opportunities will take the form of: PSHE lessons, Computing lessons, Sex and Relationships education, assemblies, circle time, class/form time, and visiting speakers, as well as smaller group and focussed intervention for particular vulnerable pupils as needed;
- The ethos of our school and its curriculum will support the promotion of British Values, which is known to build resilience to exploitation and radicalisation;
- We will model and teach safe behaviour and appropriate language (including how to stay safe online), and will promote a culture of safety within our academy where everyone’s opinion is valued and everyone has someone safe to whom they can turn;
- We will actively collect feedback from our pupils, and will regularly engage with Pupil Voice to seek the views of pupils on their experiences of feeling safe at our academy.
This policy applies to all adults involved with our academy, including paid staff, volunteers, visitors, and Governors. It will be publically available on our academy website, and will be available in paper form upon request from the office. We will also make available and/or signpost all relevant statutory and legislation safeguarding and child protection documentation to staff and volunteers for their reference.
All academy staff and volunteers, including Governors, will be issued with a copy of this policy, along with a copy of the academy’s Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing policy and Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) at the beginning of the academic year. They will be required to sign a confirmation that they have received, read and understood these documents, and that they agree to abide by their contents. Any new staff who join our academy subsequent to the annual policy issue will receive a specific safeguarding induction, where this policy, plus our academy’s Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing policy and Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) will be shared and discussed. These staff will also be required to sign a confirmation that they have received, read and understood these documents, and that they agree to abide by their contents.
This policy will be reviewed annually in line with updates of statutory guidance, and additionally on a regular basis by Governors to assess the impact of our academy’s processes and procedures in safeguarding pupils and promoting their welfare.