Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Guidance

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for safeguarding, child protection and the Prevent agenda is:
Lisa Bloomfield
[email protected] 07976 545744

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is:
Sharon Williams
[email protected] 07824 475047

The Lead on Safeguarding for the Board is:
Ian Alison
[email protected] 07956091966 or 01795 892505

 

Section 1 – Policy & Principles

Policy Statement and Principles

This policy is one of a series in Training 2000’s integrated safeguarding portfolio.

Our core safeguarding principles are:

  • Training 2000’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance
  • safer learners make more successful learners
  • representatives of the Training 2000 community will be involved in policy development and review
  • policies will be reviewed at least annually

Child Protection Statement & Safeguarding

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where young people are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse, neglect and people being drawn into terrorism and follow our procedures to ensure that young people receive effective support, protection and justice. Where it is believed that a young person is at risk of or is suffering significant harm, Training 2000 will follow the procedures set out in the Local Safeguarding Procedures. These procedures and statutory guidance applies to children and young people below the age of eighteen. But Training 2000 recognises its’ responsibility to all its’ learners and will consider this guidance is if there are concerns regarding any young person or vulnerable adult.

Policy Principles

  • Welfare of the child/ young person is paramount
  • All young people, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
  • All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm, or at risk of becoming radicalised (our Prevent duty)
  • Young people and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support

Prevention: Training 2000 is committed to early help and identification of unmet needs and vulnerabilities. Training 2000 works in partnership with other agencies to promote the welfare of young people and keep young people safe.

Protection: All staff are trained to recognise and respond to abuse and neglect. All staff are expected to be vigilant and must act quickly when they suspect a young person is suffering, or is likely to suffer, harm. (In line with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board procedures).

Support: Training 2000 acknowledges the sensitivity and complex nature of safeguarding and child protection and therefore ensures that young people, staff and families are supported appropriately.

At Training 2000 we recognise that effective safeguarding systems are those which:

  • Put the young person’s needs first;
  • Provide young people with a voice;
  • Promote identification of early help;
  • Encourage multi-agency working and sharing of information.

Policy Aims

  • To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable them to meet their child protection responsibilities
  • To ensure consistent good practice
  • To demonstrate Training 2000’s commitment with regard to child protection, safeguarding and preventing radicalisation
  • To contribute to Training 2000’s safeguarding procedures

Statutory Guidance

  • Education Act 2002: Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 requires local education authorities and the governors of maintained schools and further education (FE) colleges to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018: statutory guidance which sets out key roles for individual organisations and agencies to deliver effective arrangements for safeguarding
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008: section 11
  • Keeping children safe in education 2019: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges 2018. This contains information on what schools and colleges should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply
  • What to do if you are worried a child is being abused
  • Guidance for Safer Working Practice
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children Act 2004: section 11
  • The Children and Families Act 2014
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (“the CTSA 2015”): section 26.
  • Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009: Part 9
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015

Definitions:

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting young people from abuse or neglect, preventing the impairment of health or development, ensuring that young people grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and undertaking that role so as to enable those young people to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully. (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018)

Child protection refers to the processes undertaken to protect young people who have been identified as suffering, or being at risk of suffering significant harm. (Children’s Act 2004)

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of Training 2000, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Vulnerable Adult (also referred to as an Adult at Risk) is a person who is 18 years or over and who is or may be in need of, community care or health care services by reason of mental or other disability or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example stepparents, foster carers and adoptive parents or legal guardian

DSL refers to the nominated Designated Safeguarding Lead who acts as a source of support and expertise to the Training 2000 community for safeguarding and Prevent matters.

DO refers to the appropriately trained Designated Officers and, in the absence of the designated person, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of young peoples.
LSCB refers to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board(s)
LSAB refers to the Local Safeguarding Adult’s Board(s)
LADO refers to the Local Authority Designated Officer
Prevent is a government strategy aimed at stopping people being drawn into terrorism. The Prevent duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on specified authorities, including Training 2000, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

The Board of Trustees must ensure that Training 2000 has:

  • a DSL for child protection who is a member of the senior leadership team and who has undertaken training about their DSL role, including inter-agency working, in addition to basic child protection training
  • a child protection policy and procedures that are consistent with LSCB requirements, reviewed annually and made available to learners and parents
  • procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against members of staff
  • safer recruitment procedures that include the requirement for appropriate preemployment checks
  • a training strategy that ensures all staff receive child protection training, with refresher training at three-yearly intervals; and the DSL receives refresher training at two-yearly intervals
  • arrangements to ensure that all temporary staff are made aware of Training 2000’s child protection provision and are appropriately trained

The Chief Executive:

  • ensures that the child protection policy and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff
  • allocates sufficient time and resources to enable the DSL and DO’s to carry out their roles effectively, including the assessment of young people and attendance at strategy discussions and other necessary meetings
  • ensures that all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the whistle blowing procedures

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

  • ensures that Training 2000’s policies are known and used appropriately
  • will refer all cases of suspected abuse to the local authority and other appropriate agencies
  • will act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety, safeguarding and the Prevent agenda

 

Section 2 – Guidance and awareness

To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards young people we need to agree standards of good practice. Whilst these standards are aligned to national child protection guidance at Training 2000 the expectation of good practice applies to all staff and covers all our learners.

All adults working in or on behalf of Training 2000 will:

  • demonstrate an understanding that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility
  • maintain and demonstrate a mind set of “it could happen here”
  • treat all young people with respect
  • treat young people as individuals
  • put the young person’s welfare first
  • set a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately
  • involve young people in decisions that affect them
  • encourage positive and safe behaviour among young people
  • be a good listener
  • be alert to changes in young people’s behaviour
  • recognise that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • (all staff) read and understand Training 2000’s child protection and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example: CSE, FGM, Prevent, bullying and information sharing
  • maintain appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between young people and avoid the use of sexualised or derogatory language
  • be aware and sensitive of different cultures and different communities
  • share concerns immediately with the DSL or DO(s); and in their absence make an immediate referral to children’s services or other agency (see APPENDIX 1)
  • always act in the best interests of the young person

Abuse of Trust

  • All staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards young people is unacceptable and that their conduct towards young people must be beyond reproach.
  • In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of staff and a learner under 18 may be a criminal offence, even if that young person is over the age of consent.
  • All staff read, understand and abide by the Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media (PR/GN74).

Training 2000 is committed to PREVENTING abuse, PROTECTING children from abuse and SUPPORTING those involved in cases of abuse. We therefore ensure that:

  • ALL staff understand the importance of teaching our learners how to keep themselves safe from all types of abuse
  • ALL staff seek out opportunities that are relevant to their role, to teach our learners the skills to keep themselves safe
  • ALL staff make and maintain positive and supportive relationships with our learners which enable learners to feel safe and valued
  • Safeguarding has a high status throughout Training 2000 by being on the agenda at staff meetings/briefings, information being readily available on the intranet
  • ALL staff feel confident in approaching DSL/ DO’s to raise concerns
  • ALL staff have an understanding of the four categories of abuse: NEGLECT, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, SEXUAL ABUSE, PHYSICAL ABUSE.
  • ALL staff understand that there are other ways in which children can be abused such as; Online, Child Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence, Radicalisation, Trafficking, Slavery, Peer Abuse, Forced Marriage and others
  • ALL staff have the knowledge, skills and expertise to recognise the signs and symptoms of
    all types of abuse
  • DSL/ DOs keep up to date with emerging and specific safeguarding issues and update training and Training 2000’s Safeguarding Portfolio accordingly
  • DSL/DOs update staff knowledge and understanding of such issues in order for them to be able to identify children who are at risk of such specific safeguarding issues
  • ALL staff will maintain and demonstrate an attitude of “it can happen here”
  • ALL staff are child(learner)-centred in their practice and act in the best interests of the learner at all times
  • ALL staff recognise and understand that behaviour can be a learner’s way of communicating distress and changes to behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • ALL staff have the skills to respond appropriately and sensitively to disclosures or allegations of abuse
  • ALL staff report cases of suspected abuse to the DSL/ DO’s. This will be done as soon as possible using the agreed format
  • Where a child (learner) is at risk of immediate harm, ALL staff understand that they must refer to the Police or Children’s Social Care
  • ALL staff know how to refer to Children’s Social Care, in the absence of the DSL/DO’s
  • consent from parents/carers and child (if age appropriate) will be sought prior to this referral, except where this will cause delay or place anyone at risk
  • where consent is not given, parents and carers are informed that a referral will still be made, except where this will cause delay or place anyone at risk
  • DSL/ DO’s adhere to policy, procedures and guidance from the LSCB with regard to sharing information
  • DSL/ DO’s will attend CP meetings, produce and present reports, liaise with staff, work with parents, work with other agencies and ensure the voice of the learner is evidenced throughout these processes
  • ALL staff will support victims of abuse in a capacity that is relevant to their role. This will be determined by the DSL
  • DSL will determine what information staff members need to know in order to safeguard and support children. This may be different information for different staff
  • Staff are offered appropriate support and/or supervision that is relevant to their role or involvement in particular cases
  • ALL staff understand that children(learners) who perpetrate abuse or display harmful behaviour should be treated as victims first and foremost and supported in the same way a victim of abuse would be supported
  • Specific programmes of work and support are offered to learners who are vulnerable
  • Risk Assessments will be undertaken where a child’s behaviour poses a risk to others, themselves or the environment

Professional Responsibilities

Section 11 of the Children’s Act 2004 creates a statutory duty for all organisations that work with children, to share a commitment and responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare.

  • All staff have been presented with Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) and asked to acknowledge their understanding of its contents. It is very important to keep upto-date with current issues which can impact on a young person’s wellbeing and safety.
  • Wherever possible we will communicate to staff to make them aware of the local and national picture which includes the Prevent agenda.

Informing ESFA about serious safeguarding incidents

  • The ESFA includes safeguarding clauses in the funding agreements and contract. Whilst the local authority and the institution have primary duties in respect of safeguarding, the Secretary of State (SoS) has a general duty to promote the wellbeing of children in England under section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008.
  • The ESFA’s role is to provide assurance to the SoS, in meeting this general duty, that the right organisations are taking action to keep all learners safe. For this reason, the Training 2000 Chair, CEO or DSL must inform the ESFA when Training 2000 is the subject of an investigation by the local authority or the police.
  • In such circumstances, the Chair, CEO or DSL must email [email protected]. ESFA will need to know the name of the institution, the nature of the incident and confirmation that it is, or is scheduled to be investigated by the local authority and/or the
    police.
  • The ESFA will not ask for, or require any information that could be used to identify individuals or any information that will impact on our data protection duties.

The circumstances in which ESFA funded providers should inform ESFA of safeguarding referrals/concerns:

  • The main issues/referrals ESFA want to be notified about, where any funded learners are concerned, are those that result in police investigations. ESFA needs to be sighted on these cases and satisfied the right action is in hand by responsible bodies.
  • Once ESFA has been alerted that a serious safeguarding incident has taken place at an ESFA funded institution, ESFA will ensure the SoS is made aware. ESFA will then liaise with the organisations that have the primary duty. ESFA will take the action they deem necessary in accordance with the funding agreement.

Information to be provided to ESFA about Prevent referrals to channel panels

  • The ESFA will only require institutions to inform them when we, or one of our subcontractors, is the subject of an investigation by the local authority or the police in connection with a Prevent issue. In such circumstances, the Chair, CEO or DSL must email [email protected].

Children who may be particularly vulnerable

  • Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur.
  • To ensure that all of our learners receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to young people who are vulnerable to abuse because of their age, health, physical or mental abilities, race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality; those being bullied or those regularly absent
    from learning.
  • The Blackburn with Darwen Continuum of Need and Response (CoNR) framework is a tool to assist those whose work brings them into contact with children and young people.

Training 2000 is committed to keeping our children safe from specific forms of abuse. We therefore ensure that:

ALL staff understand that there are specific and emerging ways in which children can be abused, such as:

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism, there is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology.

  • ALL staff will have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’, known as the ‘Prevent Duty’
  • ALL staff will have a general understanding of how to identify a child who may be at risk of radicalisation
  • ALL staff will use professional judgement in identifying learners who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately
  • Training 2000 will ensure the safety of learners online by preventing their access to terrorist and extremist material when using the internet and that suitable filtering software is in place
  • DSL/ DO’s understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel Panel
  • Schools and colleges which are required to have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education are listed in the CTSA 2015 as partners required to cooperate with local Channel panels (this includes Training 2000).

The Department for Education has published advice for schools and additional guidance for FE on the Prevent duty.

  • Prevent-duty-departmental-advice-v6
  • Prevent_Duty_Guidance_FE

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children (young people)

Peer on Peer Abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and / or harmed by their peers who are the same or similar age; everyone directly involved in peer on peer abuse is under the age of 18.

  • ALL staff understand that children can abuse other children
  • ALL staff will inform the DSL/ DO of suspected peer abuse
  • Peer on peer abuse will be taken as seriously as any other form of abuse
  • Physical abuse between peers will be managed under Training 2000’s Behaviour Policy
  • Emotional abuse between peers will be managed under the Training 2000’s Behaviour Policy
  • Harmful sexual behaviour will be identified and managed with support and guidance from the DSL/ DO and LCSB (if required)
  • Sexting will be managed on a case by case basis using national and local guidance and advice from LCSB
  • In cases of suspected or actual peer on peer abuse a risk assessment will be undertaken and appropriate and proportionate control measures put in place to manage and reduce risk. Seek advice from LCC Schools Safeguarding Officer
  • Referrals to Children’s Social Care, Police and/or other appropriate agencies will be made where necessary

Advice has been provided by the Department for Education, see link below.

Sexual_Harassment_and_Sexual_Violence_-_Advice.pdf

 

Children Missing from Education (CME) can be a potential sign of abuse or neglect including sexual exploitation, undergoing female genital mutilation, forced marriage or travelling to conflict zones.

  • ALL staff must follow procedures when a child misses education particularly on repeat occasions to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect
  • The Learner Attendance and punctuality on Funded Programmes policy (PR/TR34) is up to date, reviewed regularly and includes the reporting process for CME.

For all specific safeguarding issues the DSL and DO’s will seek advice and follow national and local guidance:

New safeguarding partners and child death review partner arrangements have come in to place from September 2019. This has comprised of the local authority, a clinical commissioning group and the chief officer for police equally sharing responsibilities for working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children within each area. Safeguarding partners are expected to ensure that Training 2000 are fully engaged, involved and included in the new safeguarding arrangements.

Modern Slavery

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 places a new statutory duty on public authorities, including colleges, to notify the National Crime Agency (NCA) (section 52 of the Act) on observing signs or receiving intelligence relating to modern slavery.

  • The public authority (including colleges) bears this obligation where it has ‘reasonable grounds to believe that a person may be a victim of slavery or human trafficking’.
  • Staff must be aware of the above and contact the DSL should they suspect or receive information that learners (or their families) may be victims of modern slavery. The DSL should then contact the NCA.

Upskirting

Definition: included which describes upskirting as “taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm”. Whilst this is not expected to be a significant issue at Training 2000 staff will be trained on the matter, incidents will be dealt with appropriately and learners will be educated regarding the consequences of this criminal behaviour. Upskirting is now a criminal offence.

Serious Crime:

“All Training 2000 staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that learners are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These could include increased absence from Training 2000, a change in relationships or friendships with older individuals or groups, significant
decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in well-being, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that learners have been approached by, or are involved with individuals associated with criminal networks or
gangs”

All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to measure these – Link to county lines guidance –

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/741194/HOCountyLinesGuidanceSept2018.pdf

If you have Concerns about a Colleague

Staff that are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a learner are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career.

  • All staff must remember that the welfare of the young person is paramount and that they have a duty to respond and inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
  • The whistleblowing policy (PR/GN41) is available on the intranet and enables staff to raise concerns or allegations in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.
  • All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the DSL.
  • Complaints about the DSL or CEO should be reported to the Board of Trustees.

Allegations against staff

When an allegation is made against a member of staff, set procedures must be followed. It is rare for a young person to make an entirely false or malicious allegation, although misunderstandings and misinterpretations of events do happen.

  • A young person may also make an allegation against an innocent party because they are too afraid to name the real perpetrator. Even so, we must accept that some professionals do pose a serious risk to pupils and we must act on every allegation. Staff who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress.
  • Where an allegation relates to an employer or sub-contractor the DSL/DO must be notified immediately.

 

Section 3 – Recruitment & Staff Training

Safer Recruitment

Training 2000 Ltd endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ ‘safe’ staff by following the guidance in the Department for Education’s publication Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education together with the company’s individual procedures. Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment Guidance

Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:

  • complete an application form
  • provide two referees, including at least one who can comment on the applicant’s suitability
    to work with young people
  • provide evidence of identity and qualifications
  • be checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as appropriate to their role
  • be interviewed
  • be subject to on-going vetting through the DBS; for further information refer to the HR procedure (PRHR.14)
  • All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with Training 2000’s child protection and safeguarding policies and identification of their safeguarding training needs.

HR recruitment procedures provide further information on this subject.

 

Staff training

It is important that all staff have appropriate training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse and neglect and to know what to do if they have a concern. New staff and board members will receive training during their induction. All staff, including the CEO and board members will receive training that is updated at least every three years and the DSL will receive training updated at least every two years, including training in inter-agency procedures.

The Dept. for Education “Keeping Children Safe in Education: information for all school and college staff”, part 1 September 2019 is given to every member of staff to assist with appropriate behaviour and minimise allegations of professional abuse; along with Guidance for Safer Working Practice.

The Board, via the CEO, must be satisfied that every member of staff has received, read and understood the guidance, with a signed declaration agreeing to operate in line with the best practice guidance.

Copies of the most recent guidance can be found here; including Blackburn with Darwen LSCB Safer Working Practice, Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education.

LSCB Guidance-for-Safer-Working-Practice-2016

Working_Together_to_Safeguard_Children-2018.pdf

Keeping_Children_Safe_in_Education_Sept_2019.pdf

Keeping_children_safe_in_education_part_1_Sept_2018.pdf

Extended school, off-site arrangements and external speakers

Where extended learning activities are provided by and managed by Training 2000, our own child protection and safeguarding procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures. When our pupils attend off-site activities, we will check that effective child protection arrangements are in place, (see FM/QA.41 Contractors and External Speaker checks form).

Photography and images

Staff will not use their own devices to photograph young people.

To protect young people we will:

  • seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications). See FM/MK371.
  • seek parental consent (if the young person is under 18). See FM/MK371.
  • use only the young person’s first name with an image
  • ensure images are appropriate and professional
  • encourage learners to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them.

Online Safety

Training 2000 is committed to keeping learners and staff safe online. We therefore ensure that:

  • ALL staff understand that learners can be harmed online via hurtful and abusive messages, enticing children to engage in age inappropriate conversations, sharing and production of indecent images or encouraging risk taking behaviour
    Cyber-bullying by learners, via texts and emails, will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and will be managed through our anti bullying procedure (FM/TR113)
  • Training 2000’s Computer Usage Policy for Learners (FM/TR.192) and ICT security policy explain how we try to keep learners safe on Training 2000 premises. Provide learners with a secure learning platform where they can learn the skills needed to use communication technology safely.
  • When Training 2000 use social networking sites in class or for projects this activity will be appropriate to the young person’s age and abilities and stage of learning.
  • Staff must not establish or seek to establish social contact with learners for the purpose of securing a friendship or to pursue or strengthen a relationship. That extends to the use of social networking sites such as Facebook; Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media (PR/GN74) explains how staff can minimise risk when using electronic communication and social networking.

 

Section 4 – Child Protection

Taking action

Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:

  • in an emergency take the action necessary to help and protect the young person, for example, call 999
  • report your concern to the DSL/ DO immediately; or if the DSL/ DO is not available contact Children’s Services or other appropriate agency (if concern relates to Prevent or CSE for example)
  • do not start your own investigation
  • share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • complete a cause for concern form (TR177) or Disclosure Form (GN190) if a disclosure has been made
  • seek support for yourself if you are distressed

If you suspect a young person is at risk of harm

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a learner may be at risk of physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect (ref. pg. 6 Keeping children safe in education, part 1), but have no ‘real’ evidence. The learner’s behaviour may have changed, their work could be bizarre or concerning, or physical but inconclusive signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will give the learner the opportunity to talk. The signs they have noticed may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill. It is fine for staff to ask the learner if they are OK or if they can help in any way.

  • Departmental advice ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for practitioners’ (What_to_do_if_you_re_worried_a_child_is_being_abused.pdf) provides more information on understanding and identifying abuse and neglect. Examples of potential signs of abuse and neglect are highlighted throughout the advice and will be particularly helpful for
    school and college staff.
  • If you suspect, or a young person has disclosed, sexual violence and sexual harassment between their peers then consult the DSL or DO as soon as possible. Sexual_Harassment_and_Sexual_Violence_-_Advice.pdf
  • Staff should use the cause for concern form to record these early concerns. If the learner does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the learner, if the member of staff remains concerned, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL

If a young person discloses to you

It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. If a young person talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will need to let the learner know that they must pass the information on – staff are not allowed to keep secrets.

The point at which they tell the learner this is a matter for professional judgement. If they jump in immediately the young person may think that they do not want to listen, if left until the very end of the conversation, the young person may feel that they have been misled into revealing more than they would have otherwise.

During their conversations with the young person staff will:

  • allow them to speak freely
  • remain calm and collected – the young person may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting their listener
  • give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’
  • not be afraid of silences – staff must remember how hard this must be for the young person
  • under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the young person’s mother think about all this
  • tell the young person that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on
  • do not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comfort to a young person who has been abused
  • avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier.
  • tell the young person what will happen next. The young person may agree to go to see the designated senior person. Otherwise it is the duty of the member of staff to inform the DSL/ DO of what has been discussed. If the young person does agree to go and see the designated person, the staff member should inform the DSL/ DO that the young person will be coming to see them at some point
  • report verbally to the DSL/DO even if the young person has promised to do it by themselves
  • write up their conversation, using the same language as the young person (regardless of how explicit this was), as soon as possible on the CHILD PROTECTION DISCLOSURE FORM – GN190 and hand it to the designated person. Do not take a copy of the form.
  • seek support if they feel distressed (See Appendix 2)

 

Notifying parents

Training 2000 will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a young person with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL/ DO will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure. However, if Training 2000 believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the young person or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s services (See Appendix 1); refer also to Section 5 Confidentiality and Information Sharing.

 

Referral to children’s services

The DSL/ DO will make a referral to children’s services (or appropriate agency) if it is believed that a young person is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The young person (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the young person.

Reporting directly to child protection agencies

Staff will follow the reporting procedures outlined in the policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s services, policy or the NSPCC if:

  • The situation is an emergency and the DSL, DO’s, the CEO and the chair of the Board are all unavailable
  • They are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the young person’s safety

 

Section 5 – Confidentiality and Information Sharing

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the young person and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, DO, CEO or chair of the board (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with Data Protection Act 1998 principles. Information is:

  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate
  • kept no longer than necessary
  • processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
  • secure

 

Child Protection Disclosure forms (GN190), Cause for Concern forms (TR177) and other written information will be stored in a secure facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

  • Every effort will be made to prevent unauthorised access, and sensitive information should not be stored on laptop computers, which, by the nature of their portability, could be lost or stolen. If it is necessary to store child protection information on portable media, such as a CD
    or flash drive, these items will be kept in locked storage.
  • Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a pupil or parent to see child protection
    records, they will refer the request to the CEO or DSL.
  • The Data Protection Act does not prevent staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. Training 2000’s Data Protection policy includes information on confidentiality and information-sharing and is available to parents and pupils on request.

 

Information Sharing

It is necessary to show that a fair balance has been struck between the individual rights of the person and the relevant justification when information is shared.

 

Key Questions to consider are:

  • Is there a clear and legitimate purpose for sharing information?
  • Do you have reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm?

Whilst it is good practice to share with families your intention to make a referral to Children’s Services about their child’s welfare, it is not a prerequisite.

Sharing confidential information without consent will normally be justified in the public interest:

  • When there is evidence or reasonable cause to believe that a child or vulnerable adult is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm;
  • To prevent significant harm to a child or serious harm to an adult, including through the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

Staff must decide whether sharing information is a necessary and proportionate response to the need to protect the child in question. The decision making process must weigh up what might happen if the information is shared against what might happen if it is not shared.

 

Appendix 1

Lancashire Children’s Services – Contact Numbers 

If a child is at immediate risk, contact the police on 999

Blackburn with Darwen Council – Child Protection Phone Number(s) 01254 666400 (8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
Fax Number(s) 0845 606 6654
E-mail [email protected]
Extra Information Out of hours – Emergency Duty Team: 01254 587547

Blackpool Council Child Protection Referral Line
Phone Number(s) 01253 477299
E-mail [email protected]
Extra Information Duty and assessment team, Children’s social care
125 Albert Road, Blackpool, FY1 4BA

Lancashire County Council Child Protection – Children’s Customer Care
Phone Number(s) Care Connect on 0300 123 6720 (8am – 8pm)
Out of hours 0300 123 6722 (8pm – 8am)
Extra Information The NSPCC website has advice about the signs, symptoms and effects of child abuse and neglect.

Reporting abuse if the person is a vulnerable adult (over 18 years of age)
Adult Social Care Services
Telephone 0300 123 6721

Channel Coordinator for Lancashire
01772 413029
or email: [email protected]

Child Sexual Explotation (CSE) – Contact Telephone numbers for Lancashire
West Lancashire – 01253 477261
East Lancashire – 01254 353525
South Lancashire – 01772 209122

 

Appendix 2

Child Protection & Safeguarding – Steps to Dealing With a Disclosure

Is it an emergency?
If YES contact emergency services IMMEDIATELY 999

Or Listen | Tell | Act

Step 1 Listen carefully

  • Allow the learner to explain in their own words
  • Keep calm – giving the learner time and attention
  • Keep your questions to a minimum
  • Do not promise to keep the information confidential
  • Empathise with their situation

BUT remember it is not your role to offer specific advice or to investigate alleged abuse

  • Do not assume facts
  • Do not give your opinion

Step 2 Tell a Designated Person

  • Contact the DSL or a Designated Officer (DO) immediately
  • Do not discuss the issue further with any other member of staff
  • Complete the CHILD PROTECTION DISCLOSURE FORM – GN190

Step 3 Act Today

If you cannot contact the DSL or a DO then contact Children’s Services or appropriate agency immediately!

 

PR/GN66.16 | January 2020

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