Reporting a Safeguarding Concern
There are a number of ways by which you can report a concern about a child in our school. You can:
- Speak with your child's class teacher or another member of staff when you drop-off or collect from school.
- Phone 0116 253 1382 and ask to speak with a member of the Senior Leadership Team or a Designated Lead for Safeguarding.
- Email the school office on firstname.lastname@example.org
When an individual concern/incident occurs, staff and volunteers should raise this to the DSL’s attention as soon as possible. The DSL’s are then responsible for deciding whether or not a referral is required. DSL’s will seek the advice from the Local Authority if they become unsure on what route to take and that person will then advise the most appropriate next step. If the child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral will be made immediately or a direct call will be made to the appropriate authorities.
Where there is a safeguarding concern, we take into account the child’s wishes and feelings when determining what action to take and what services to provide. We have systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback. We acknowledge that children who are affected by abuse or neglect may demonstrate their needs and distress through their words, actions, behaviour, demeanour, school work or other children. Ultimately, all our systems and processes operate with the best interests of the child at heart.
Referrals to services regarding concerns about a child or family typically fall into three categories:
- Early Help Services
- Child in need
- Child Protection
Any parent or other person/organisation engaged by the school to work in a voluntary capacity with pupils will be subject to all reasonable vetting procedures and Criminal Records Checks.
Under no circumstances a volunteer in respect of whom no checks have been obtained will be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.
Volunteers who on an unsupervised basis teach or look after children regularly, or provide personal care on a one-off basis in our school are deemed to be in regulated activity. We will obtain an enhanced DBS certificate (which will include barred list information) for all volunteers who are new to working in regulated activity. Existing volunteers in regulated activity do not have to be re-checked if they have already had a DBS check (which includes barred list information). However, we may conduct a repeat DBS check (which will include barred list information) on any such volunteer should we have any concerns.
Volunteers will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of the school.
Complaints/Allegations Made Against Staff
We take seriously all complaints made against members of staff. Procedures are in place for pupils, parents and staff to share any concern that they may have about the actions of any member staff or volunteer. All such complaints will be brought immediately to the attention of the Headteacher or one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads if the Headteacher is not available and nothing should be said to the colleague involved.
In cases where the Headteacher is the subject of the allegation or concern, they will be reported to the Chair of Governors, in order that they may activate the appropriate procedures.
These procedures are used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a teacher or member of staff (including volunteers) at school has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children.
The Local Authority’s Designated Officer(s) (LADO) should be informed of all allegations that come to a school’s attention and appear to meet the criteria. Contact can also be made with LA’s Schools Safeguarding Coordinator who will liaise with the LADO.
Many cases may well either not meet the criteria set out above, or may do so without warranting consideration of either a police investigation or enquiries by local authority children’s social care services. In these cases, local arrangements will be followed to resolve cases without delay.
We keep brief and accurate written notes on our online system of all incidents and child protection or child in need concerns relating to individual children. These notes are significant especially if the incident or the concern does not lead to a referral to other agencies. This information may be shared directly with other agencies as appropriate. All contact with parents and external agencies are logged.
None of our records are open to pupils or parents. All records are kept securely on our online system and separately from educational records. They may only be accessed by the Designated Safeguarding Leads and the senior managers of the school.
When pupils leave, Child Protection records will be sent to receiving schools separately from the main pupil file via our online recording system. If the reciving school uses an alternative system, we will manually hand over the file under a confidential cover ensuring secure transit and a confirmation of receipt will be obtained.
In addition to the child protection file, the DSL will also consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new school in advance of a child leaving. By doing this, the information will allow the new school to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.
When we receive child protection records from other schools, we ensure key staff such as the DSL and SENCO are aware as required.
If a pupil is withdrawn from the school having not reached the normal date of transfer; due to a family move or any other reason, all efforts will be made to identify any new address and the school to which they are being admitted and to ensure that their educational records are sent without delay to the child’s new school.
When children leave our school and registers at another school, we will send a Common Transfer File (CTF) to the new school.