Safeguarding Policy 2017

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Named personnel with designated responsibility for Safeguarding

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Nominated Safeguarding Governor

Chair of Governors

Susanna Odysseas

Glen Reddick

Dawn Burke

Chris Henderson

 

 

Named personnel with designated responsibility regarding allegations against staff

Designated Senior Manager

Deputy Designated Senior Manager

Chair of Governors

Nominated Governor

Chris Evans

Doug Sharp

Chris Henderson

TBC (Oct 2017)

 


INTRODUCTION

This policy is in line with the London Child Protection Procedures.

This policy applies to all adults, including volunteers, working in or on behalf of the school.

Everyone working in or for our school service shares an objective to help keep children and young people safe by contributing to:

  • providing a safe environment for children and young people to learn and develop in our school setting, and
  • identifying children and young people who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and taking appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in our school setting

 

SCHOOL COMMITMENT

Yardley Primary School is committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of all of its pupils. Each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance. 

We recognise that:

  • Some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse
  • Children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth and to view the world in a positive way.  Whilst at school, their behaviour may be challenging
  • Children can be victims and perpetrators of abuse
  • Children who harm others may have been abused themselves
  • Allegations can be made against staff, however careful and safe our recruitment practices

There will be an annual audit of safeguarding policy and practice (carried out under section 175 of the Education Act 2002).

 

PROVIDING A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT

Safer Recruitment and Selection

  • The school pays full regard to ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’ guidance issued by the DSCF in January 2007.  We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school and who is therefore likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult. This includes volunteers and staff employed by contractors. Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and checks with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

In line with statutory changes, underpinned by regulations, the following will apply:

  • A CRB Enhanced Disclosure is obtained for all new appointments to our school’s workforce through staffing personnel and payroll and all employees are checked with the Independent Safeguarding Authority
  • This school is committed to keeping an up to date single central record detailing a range of checks carried out on our staff
  • All new appointments to our school workforce who have lived outside the UK will be subject to additional checks as appropriate
  • Our school ensures that supply staff have undergone the necessary checks and will be made aware of this policy
  • Identity checks must be carried out on all appointments to our school workforce before the appointment is made

Chris Evans(Head teacher), Dawn Burke and Sue Emerson (School Governors), Susanna Odysseas (Deputy Headteacher) and Stavros Karayiannis (Head of Early Years) have successfully completed the online Safer Recruitment training or other appropriate Safe Recruitment training.

 

Safe Practice

Safe working practice ensures that pupils are safe and that all staff:

  • are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions;
  • work in an open and transparent way;
  • work with other colleagues where possible in situations that could be open to question
  • discuss and/or take advice from school management over any incident which may give rise for concern;
  • record any incidents or decisions made;
  • apply the same professional standards regardless of diversity issues;
  • be aware of information-sharing and confidentiality policies;
  • are aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them.

 

Information about safeguarding for pupils

Through PSHE and other curriculum opportunities, pupils are helped to talk about their feelings to deal with assertively with pressures and know whom they can turn to for advice and help.

All pupils know that we have a senior member of staff with responsibility for safeguarding and know who this is. We inform pupils of whom they might talk to, both in and out of school, their right to be listened to and heard and what steps can be taken to protect them from harm.

 

Partnership with Parents

The school shares a purpose with parents to educate and keep children safe from harm and to have their welfare promoted. We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child.

The school will, in most circumstances, endeavor to discuss all concerns with parents about their children. However, there may be exceptional circumstances when the school will discuss concerns with Social Care and/or the Police without parental knowledge (in accordance with the London Child Protection procedures). The school will, of course, always aim to maintain a positive relationship with all parents. The school’s child protection policy is available on request.

 

Partnerships with others

Our school recognises that it is essential to establish positive and effective working relationships with other agencies that are partners of the Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board. There is a joint responsibility on all these agencies to share information to ensure the safeguarding of all children.

 

School Training and Staff Induction

The school’s senior member of staff and governor with designated responsibility for safeguarding undertakes safeguarding/child protection training and designated leads professional training and training in inter–agency working at 2 yearly intervals. 

All other school staff, including non-teaching staff, undertake appropriate induction training or safeguarding/child protection training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding effectively, which is kept up to date by refresher training at 3 yearly intervals.

All staff (including temporary staff and volunteers) are provided with the school’s safeguarding policy and informed of school’s safeguarding arrangements on induction.

 

Support, Advice and Guidance for Staff

Staff will be supported by Susanna Odysseas Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) and Glen Reddick Deputy DSL.  The DSL will be supported by Chris Evans Headteacher

The DSL and Deputy DSL know how to access the on-line London Child Protection Procedures and has access to Waltham Forest Safeguarding contacts

 

Related Issues

‘Safeguarding’ covers more than the contribution made to child protection in relation to individual children.  It also encompasses issues such as pupil health and safety, bullying and a range of other issues, for example, arrangements for meeting the medical needs of children providing first aid, school security, drugs and substance misuse, positive behaviour etc. There may also be other safeguarding issues that are specific to the local area or population’.

 

Bullying

While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress. At its most serious level, bullying is thought to result in up to 12 child suicides each year. All incidences of bullying must be reported and will be managed through our discipline procedures. All pupils and parents are made aware of the anti-bullying procedures on joining the school and the subject of bullying is addressed at regular intervals in the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum. The head teacher and the DSL will consider implementing safeguarding procedures if required in cases of bullying.

 

e-Safety

The school recognises that its pupils will use mobile phones and computers at some time. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. However, we know that some people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, web cam photography or face-to-face meetings.  Cyber-bullying by pupils via emails and texts will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and managed through our anti-bullying procedures. The school has an e-safety policy that is known to all staff and pupils.

 

Photography and Images

To protect pupils we will:

  • seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for e.g., on our website or in newspapers or publications)
  • seek parental consent
  • use only the pupil’s first name with an image
  • ensure pupils are appropriately dressed
  • encourage pupils to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them

 

Children Missing from School and Education

The school follows the “Safeguarding Children Missing from School” section of the London Child Protection Procedures and will refer all cases of concern to the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) and Children’s Social Care.

Where parents inform our school that they wish to 'home educate' their child, our school will inform the EWO who will implement the “Children Educated Otherwise than at School procedure.

 

Female Genital Mutilation

This practice is illegal and potentially life threatening. The school is aware that the practice typically happens from the age of 5 years but may happen any time before a young woman is married. Female genital mutilation is serious child abuse and signs of risk or abuse are reported to agencies in the appropriate manner.

 

Prevent Duty

The school has a duty to prevent pupils being drawn into terrorism. Whilst this may seem an unlikely event in a primary school, radicalization and the holding of extreme views tends to happen over time and can begin at a young age.

If a pupil or family displays extreme views or there are suspicions of radicalization staff must report this to the Dedicated Safeguarding Lead when these suspicions occur. They will consider the risk and may refer to the Channel Programme through the Local Authority. Direct reporting to the DFE helpline can be made by phoning 0207 340 7264.

The main prevention of radical thought and act is our curriculum that promotes the British values of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.

 

Extended School and Off-Site Arrangements

Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own safeguarding policy and 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.

 

Confidentiality

The school operates with regard to “Information Sharing: Practitioner’s guide” and have an explicit confidentiality policy. Where there is a concern that the child may be suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the child’s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration.

 

Pupil Information

The School’s record-keeping policy for child welfare and child protection is consistent with DCSF guidance. In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, our school requires accurate and up to date information regarding:

  • names and contact details of persons with whom the child normally lives
  • names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above)
  • emergency contact details (if different from above)
  • details of any persons authorised to collect the child from school (if different from above)
  • any relevant court orders in place including those, which affect any person’s access to the child (e.g. Residence Order, Contact Order, Care Order, Injunctions etc.)
  • if the child is or has been subject to a child protection or care plan
  • name and contact detail of G.P.
  • any other factors which may impact on the safety and welfare of the child

 

The school will collate, store and agree access to this information.

All child protection documents will be retained in a ‘Child Protection’ file, separate from the child’s main file. The main file will clearly show an alert that a child protection file exists and the location of this. This child protection file will be locked away and only accessible to the head teacher and senior designated person. These records will be copied and transferred to any school or setting the child moves to, clearly marked ‘Child Protection, Confidential, for attention of Designated Person Child Protection.  Original copies will be retained according to school policy on retention of records.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

Our Governing Body will ensure that:

  • the school has a safeguarding policy and procedures in place that are in accordance with local authority guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures, and the policy is made available to parents on request;
  • the school operates safer recruitment procedures and makes sure that all appropriate checks are carried out on staff and volunteers who work with children;
  • the school follows the London Child Protection procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers
  • a senior member of the school’s leadership team is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding (and deputy);
  • they have a named governor lead for safeguarding;
  • staff undertake appropriate safeguarding/child protection training, at regular intervals;
  • they remedy, without delay, any deficiencies or weaknesses regarding safeguarding arrangements;
  • a governor is nominated to be responsible for liaising with the LA and /or partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the head teacher ;
  • where services or activities are provided on the school premises by another body, the body concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place in regard to safeguarding children and liaises with the school on these matters where appropriate;
  • they review their policies and procedures annually and provide information to the LA about them and about how the above duties have been discharged

 

Our Headteacher will ensure that:

  • the policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body or Proprietor are fully implemented, and followed by all staff
  • sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the designated person and other staff to discharge their responsibilities
  • All staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with the agreed Whistle Blowing Policy
  • they have completed the on-line Safer Recruitment training
  • the procedure for managing allegations against staff is known to staff and displayed in staff rooms;
  • operate the procedure for managing allegations effectively and refer relevant concerns to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
  • appoint a deputy senior manager to deal with allegations against staff in the absence of the head teacher

 

Senior Member of Staff with Designated Responsibility for Child Protection will:

Referrals

  • Refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to children’s social care and maintain a record of all referrals
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise within the educational establishment and have access to the on-line London Child Protection Procedures
  • Liaise with the headteacher to inform him/her of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role

Training

  • Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and know when it is appropriate to make a referral
  • Have knowledge of the Escalation Policy, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) role, conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute
  • Ensure that all staff have access to and understand the school’s safeguarding policy
  • Ensure that all staff have induction training
  • Keep detailed, accurate and secure written records
  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least every two years

Raising Awareness

  • Ensure the safeguarding policy is updated and reviewed annually and work with the Governing Body regarding this
  • Ensure parents are made aware of the safeguarding policy which alerts them to the fact that referrals may be made and the role of the establishment in this to avoid conflict later
  • Where a child leaves the establishment, ensure the child protection file is copied for the new establishment ASAP and transferred to the new school separately from the main pupil file

 

All staff and volunteers will:

Fully comply with the school’s policies and procedures, attend appropriate training and inform the designated lead of any concerns.

  

IDENTIFYING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO MAY BE

SUFFERING SIGNIFICANT HARM

Teachers and other adults in school are well placed to observe any physical, emotional or behavioural signs, which indicate that a child may be suffering significant harm. The relationships between staff, pupils, parents and the public which foster respect, confidence and trust can lead to disclosures of abuse, and/or school staff being alerted to concerns.

As in the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, a child is anyone who has not yet reached his/her 18th birthday.

Harm means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another; Development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development; Health includes physical and mental health; Ill-treatment includes sexual abuse and other forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.

Abuse and Neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or 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 a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. 

Physical Abuse 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.

Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying 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, though it may occur alone.

Neglect is 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 as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food and clothing, 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 caretakers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

 

TAKING ACTION TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN ARE SAFE

AT SCHOOL AND AT HOME

All staff to follow the London Child Protection Procedures, which are consistent with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’

It is not the responsibility of the school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff, however, have a duty to recognise concerns and maintain an open mind. Accordingly all concerns regarding the welfare of pupils will be recorded and discussed with the designated senior person with responsibility for safeguarding (or another senior member of staff in the absence of the designated person) prior to any discussion with parents.

 

Staff must immediately report:

  • Any suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play
  • Any explanation given which appears inconsistent or suspicious
  • Any behaviours which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm
  • Any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment, or emotional maltreatment
  • Any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance
  • Any hint or disclosure of abuse about or by a child / young person
  • Any concerns regarding person(s) who may pose a risk to children (e.g. living in a household with children present)
  • Information which indicates that the child is living with someone who does not have parental responsibility for them (private fostering)

 

Responding to Disclosure

Disclosures or information may be received from pupils, parents or other members of the public. The school recognises that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak.  Accordingly all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity.

Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the designated person and make a contemporaneous record.

 

Principles

Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, listen, record and pass on information to the designated person in order that s/he can make an informed decision of what to do next.

Staff will:

  • Listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm 
  • Clarify the information
  • Make a written record of what the child has said using the Record Form
  • Try to keep questions to a minimum and of an ‘open’ nature e.g. ‘Can you tell me what happened?’ rather than ‘Did x hit you?’
  • Try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise
  • Not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child
  • Explain sensitively to the person that they have a responsibility to refer the information to the senior designated person
  • Reassure and support the person as far as possible
  • Explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told
  • Explain what will happen next and that the person will be involved as appropriate

 

Action by the Designated Senior Person (or other senior person in their absence)

Following any information raising concern, the senior designated person will:

  • Consider the child‘s wishes and feelings, but not promise confidentiality
  • Consider any urgent medical needs of the child
  • Make an immediate referral to children’s social care if there has been a disclosure an/or allegation of abuse or there are clear grounds for concerns about the child’s safety and well-being
  • Consult with a member of the Waltham Forest Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)  team at Juniper House if they are uncertain whether or not a referral is required

 

In consultation with either children’s social care or the Child Protection team, decide:

  • Wherever possible, to talk to parents, unless to do so may place a child at risk of significant harm, impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk
  • Whether to make a child protection referral to social care because a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and if this needs to be undertaken immediately
  • Contact the designated officer for safeguarding in another agency if that agency is working with the family

OR

  • Not to make a referral at this stage, but retain the information in written notes on the child’s school file
  • If further monitoring is necessary and agree who and how this will be undertaken
  • If it would be appropriate to undertake an assessment (e.g. EHA) and/or make a referral for other services

 

All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented. All referrals to social care for children living in Waltham Forest needs to be completed using the Multi-agency Referral of a Child in Need form.

 

Action following a child protection referral

The designated senior person or other appropriate member of staff will:

  • Maintain contact with the allocated Social Worker
  • Provide a report for, attend and contribute to any Initial and Review Child Protection Conference
  • Share the content of this report with the parent, prior to the meeting
  • Attend Core Group Meetings for any child subject to a Child Protection Plan or Child in Need meeting for any child subject to a Child in Need Plan
  • Contribute to the Strategy Discussion and Strategy meeting
  • Where a child on a child protection plan moves from the school or goes missing, immediately inform the key worker in Social Care

 

Dealing with Disagreement and Escalation of Concerns

The designated senior person or other appropriate member of staff will:

  • Contact the line manager in children’s social care if they consider that the social care response to a referral has not led to the child being adequately safeguarded and follow this up in writing
  • Contact the line manager in children’s social care if they consider that the child is not being adequately safeguarded by the child protection plan and follow this up in writing
  • Use the escalation policy if this does not resolve the concern

 

Supporting the Child and working in Partnership with Parents

  • We will provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for the child
  • The school recognises that the child’s welfare is paramount. Good child protection practice and a good outcome for the child relies on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents
  • Whilst we may, on occasion, need to make referrals without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect any child
  • Children will be given a proper explanation (appropriate to age & understanding) of what action is being taken on their behalf and why
  • We will endeavour always to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will determine which members of staff “need to know” personal information and what they “need to know” for the purpose of supporting and protecting the child

 

Allegations regarding person(s) working in or on behalf of the school (including volunteers)

Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of the school that he or she has:

  1. Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
  2. Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or
  3. Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children

We will apply the same principles as in the rest of this document and we will always follow the procedures outlined in the London Child Protection Procedures for managing allegations against people who work with children. This includes allegations against staff in their personal lives.

Whilst we acknowledge such allegations, (as all others), may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be founded.  It is, therefore, essential that all allegations are investigated properly, in line with agreed procedures and outcomes recorded.

Initial Response to an allegation or concern:

Initial Action by person receiving or identifying an allegation or concern

  • Treat the matter seriously and keep an open mind
  • Make a written record of the information using the Record Form in Appendix 6, including the time, date and place of incident/s, persons present and what was said and sign and date this
  • Immediately report the matter to the DSM or deputy in their absence or where the DSM is the subject of the allegation

 

Initial Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (The DSL will normally be the Head Teacher. If the DSL is the subject of the allegation, then the Chair of Governors will take the following action.

  • Obtain written details of the concern or allegation but do not investigate or interview child, adult or witnesses
  • Contact the LADO within 1 working day
  • Discuss with the LADO next steps using the London Child Protection Procedures Flow charts Allegations/Concerns Against Staff
  • Inform the Chair of Governors of the allegation

Subsequent Action by the Designated Senior Manager

  • Conduct a disciplinary investigation, if an allegation indicates the need for this
  • Contribute to the child protection process by attending strategy meetings
  • Maintain contact with the LADO
  • Ensure clear and comprehensive records regarding the allegation, and action taken and outcome are retained on the staff member’s personnel file
  • Refer to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, if this outcome is agreed with the LADO

Children who harm others

Our School recognises that the harm caused to children by the harmful and bullying behaviour of other children can be significant.

Children who harm others should be held responsible for their harmful behaviour and the school staff alerted to the fact that they are likely to pose a risk to other children in the school, home and community.

Where this harm involves sexual abuse, serious physical or serious emotional abuse, the safeguarding procedures set out in this policy will be applied.

This school recognises that children who harm others are likely to have considerable needs themselves and may have experienced or be experiencing significant harm to themselves.

Referrals

Where a child has caused significant harm to another child, through sexual abuse or serious physical or emotional abuse, the school will make separate referrals to children’s social care of the victim(s) and perpetrator(s).

Our school will be mindful of the sections in the London Child Protection Procedures concerning “Harming Others” and “Sexually Active Children” and work closely with social care, the police and other agencies following the investigation of a referral.

 

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN:  WHISTLE BLOWING

Staff must acknowledge their individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant agencies. Although this can be difficult this is particularly important where the welfare of children may be at risk. 

You may be the first to recognise that something is wrong but may not feel able to express your concerns out of a feeling that this would be disloyal to colleagues or you may fear harassment or victimisation. These feelings, however natural, must never result in a child or young person continuing to be unnecessarily at risk. Remember it is often the most vulnerable children or young person who are targeted. These children need someone like you to safeguard their welfare.

Don't think what if I'm wrong - think what if I’m right

 

Reasons for whistle blowing 

            • Each individual has a responsibility for raising concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour

            • To prevent the problem worsening or widening 

            • To protect or reduce risks to others

            • To prevent becoming implicated yourself

 

What stops people from whistle blowing 

            • Fear of starting a chain of events which spirals out of control

            • Disrupting the work or project 

            • Fear of getting it wrong 

            • Fear of repercussions or damaging careers 

            • Fear of not being believed

 

How to raise a concern

             • You should voice your concerns, suspicions or uneasiness as soon as you feel you can. The earlier a concern is expressed the easier and sooner action can be taken 

            • Try to pinpoint exactly what practice is concerning you and why

            • Approach your immediate manager, Designated Teacher for Child Protection, or Headteacher

            • If your concern is about your immediate manager/Headteacher, speak to the Chair of Governors or if you feel you need to take it to someone outside the school, contact the Education Safeguarding Service

            • Make sure you get a satisfactory response - don't let matters rest

            • Ideally, you should put your concerns in writing, outlining the background and history, giving names, dates and places wherever you can

            • A member of staff is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation but will need to demonstrate sufficient grounds for the concern.

 1Staff includes any adult, paid or voluntary, who works in a school or educational establishment within the Local Authority.

 

What happens next

            • You should be given information on the nature and progress of any enquiries

            • Your employer has a responsibility to protect you from harassment or victimisation.

            • No action will be taken against you if the concern proves to be unfounded and was raised in good faith

            • Malicious allegations may be considered as a disciplinary offence

 

Self reporting 

There may be occasions where a member of staff has a personal difficulty, perhaps a physical or mental health problem, which they know to be impinging on their professional competence. Staff have a responsibility to discuss such a situation with their line manager so professional and personal support can be offered to the member of staff concerned. Whilst such reporting will remain confidential in most instances, this cannot be guaranteed where personal difficulties raise concerns about the welfare or safety of children. 

Further advice and support 

It is recognised that whistle blowing can be difficult and stressful. Advice and support is available from your line manager, HR department and/or your professional or trade union. 

"Absolutely without fail- challenge poor practice or performance. If you ignore or collude with poor practice it makes it harder to sound the alarm when things go wrong" (reproduced with acknowledgement to “Sounding the Alarm” – Barnardos) 

 

MASH Team

Tel:  0208 496 2310 Mon-Thur 9am-5:15pm  Fri 9am-5pm

Fax: 0208 496 3000 (out of hours)