Advice for staff
Staff are expected to read the first section of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSE) and attend regular Child Protection training. Staff can revise this training from the staff drive (Training and Development/CP Training/Child Protection training) at any time. A copy of the KCSE document can also be found here.
Staff should be alert to any signs which could indicate that a student is being subjected to abuse. Signs could include:-
- Physical marks, e.g. bruises, cuts etc
- Things said by the student or those who know them
- Changes in behaviour or demeanour
- Reluctance to go home
- Inappropriate sexual behaviour/language or promiscuity
- Destructive behaviour e.g. self-harm, eating disorder, alcohol/substance abuse, lack of self-care
- Neurotic behaviour
- Poor attendance
- Signs of neglect e.g. constant hunger, tiredness, unkempt, dirty, untreated ailments etc
- Lack of supervision
Staff must also have regard to their Prevent Duty, the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Students can be susceptible to radicalisation in the same way as they are susceptible to grooming.
Whenever dealing with a potential safeguarding issue, the welfare of the student must be put first.
What does a member of staff do if a student tells them they are being abused?
This is known as a disclosure. A disclosure is an allegation made by a child of abuse or behaviour by adults which might suggest this.
Staff must never offer confidentiality. *Staff must explain to the student that concerns regarding their welfare must be passed on in order that support can be given to try to improve the situation.
Staff must remain calm and listen to what the student is saying. They do not try to investigate and must never put words into child’s mouth or ask leading questions e.g. “Did your parent hit you?”.
Staff will allow the student to tell them as much as they feel comfortable without pressing them for more information.
At the end of the disclosure, staff will pass on what has been said for the reasons explained above*.
Concerns raised are reported immediately – see below
What does a staff member do if they have concerns about a student?
If there are any concerns at all about the welfare of a student, these must be passed onto the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Leitch, and her deputy, Mrs Gent. Concerns regarding sixth form students may be passed to Mrs Mears. In the absence of the above, staff will contact the Associate Headteacher. If none of the above are available, staff will speak to a member of the Year Team of the student who will discuss the concerns with the Headteacher.
Staff do not delay in passing on a concern; this is because the staff member could be the only person who has a piece of information that could be added to other concerns already held about the child.
Staff do not rely on email; concerns are passed on through a secure welfare reporting system, in person or by phone.
Is a written account made?
Once a verbal report of a concern has been made, staff write up the concern or disclosure on the secure welfare reporting system.
Staff complete a referral, using the student’s own words (where possible) and providing as much detail as is available. Staff distinguish between fact and opinion and avoid their own judgements in the write up.
The Safeguarding Leads and/or Year teams then act on the information as appropriate.
What do staff do if they discover concerns in the evenings or at the weekend?
If staff discover something in the evening or at the weekend which leads them to believe that a student’s welfare could be in imminent danger, they will take advice from the duty social worker on 020 8770 5000.
If the information received is a concern but the child’s welfare is not under imminent threat, the concern will be passed on immediately (as above) on their return to school. If there is any doubt, staff will ring the number (above) for advice.
Further advice can be obtained from the NSPCC on their website or on 0808 800 5000
Information about specific aspects of Child Protection can be found by clicking on the relevant title below: