Self Harm - how the school reacts
In all cases of self-harm the school follows the Local Safeguarding Board “Self-harm Protocol”.
If it is disclosed to the school that a student is self-harming
The student will be seen by one of the designated safeguarding leads in the school together with a member of the Year Team or other suitable member of staff except where parents/carers inform the school and provide information.
If the student is expressing suicidal thoughts or is in imminent danger of causing themselves significant harm, parents/carers will be called and advised to take the child to A & E. In extreme cases an ambulance will be called. In these cases, the school is required to make a referral to the Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Where the self-harm does not cause concern for the students immediate welfare, Year Teams will contact parents/carers and advise that a GP appointment is made. Parents/carers will be advised to take their child to A & E if they have imminent concerns. Further support such as a meeting with the School’s Student Support Worker or a referral to CAHMS will be discussed with the parents/carers.
Current LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board) advice is that children should be referred to MASH if the self-harm could lead to possible death, if it could originate from a child protection issue or if the current plan of support is proving ineffective.
Year teams and/or Behavioural and Emotional Support Team will:
- Promote problem-solving techniques and non-harmful ways to deal with emotional distress including through referral to the school nurse
- Provide a space for students to begin to learn how to cope with emotional pain
- Enable students to find places for help and support
- Provide accurate information about self-injury.
- Refer concerns when people other than parents/carers (e.g. social workers, educational psychologists) need to be informed.
- Keep records of concern and contact made with parents/carers and any external agencies
Students will be advised:
- Not to display open wounds/injuries. These should be dressed appropriately.
- To talk to the appropriate member of staff if they are in emotional distress
- To alert a teacher if they suspect another student is self-harming or at serious risk of harm to themselves, and know when confidentiality must be broken.
For further information:-
A useful guide for parents written by the Royal College of Psychiatrists can be found at:-
The following websites/helplines also provide some very helpful information and advice:-
- Childline 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
- Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 www.samaritans.org.uk
Support for parents/carers whose child has self-harmed can be found at:-