Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School fully recognises the responsibility it has under section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act, 2021 to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
This responsibility is more fully explained in the statutory guidance for schools and colleges which can be found below.
Staff should read the above document together with ‘Annex B’ of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education', 2022 and ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners’ (March 2015) if they are working directly with children. For those staff who do not work directly with children or where English is a second language, Annex A can be issued instead but this is a matter for the school/college to decide.
Through their day-to-day contact with pupils and direct work with families, all staff in school have a responsibility to:
- Identify concerns early to prevent them from escalating;
- Provide a safe environment in which children can learn;
- Identify children who may benefit from early help;
- Know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected;
- Follow the referral process if they have a concern.
This policy sets out how the school’s governing body discharges its statutory responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school. Our policy applies to all staff, paid and unpaid, working in the school including governors. Teaching assistants, mid-day supervisors, office staff as well as teachers can be the first point of disclosure for a child. Concerned parents/carers may also contact the school and its governors.
It is consistent with the Safeguarding Children Partnership Board procedures.
There are four main elements to our policy:
- PREVENTION through the teaching and pastoral support offered to pupils and the creation and maintenance of a whole school protective ethos;
- PROCEDURES for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
- SUPPORTING CHILDREN, particularly those who may have been abused or witnessed violence towards others;
- PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE FROM WORKING WITH CHILDREN.
- Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Domestic Abuse Lead
- Prevent Lead
- LAC lead
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Online Safety Lead
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
- Safeguarding Governor
- Looked After Children Governor
Are you concerned about a child?
Children's Social Care Services: 0345 045 5203
Cambridgeshire Police: 01353 358966
NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000
IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 999
Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement
Under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (as amended) to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Parents/carers should know that records of safeguarding concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies.
Local procedures state that “Consent should always be sought from an adult with parental responsibility for the child/young person before passing information about them to Children’s Social Care, unless seeking consent would place the child at risk of significant harm or may lead to the loss of evidence for example destroying evidence of a crime or influencing a child about a disclosure made.” This includes allowing them to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, if it cannot be reasonably expected that a professional gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern.
Schools will contact Children’s Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.
As part of Spring Meadow’s commitment to safeguarding and child protection, we fully support the Government's Prevent Strategy and take guidance from Teaching Approaches to help build resilience to extremism.
The Prevent strategy is a Government Strategy designed to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It:
- responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
- provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
- works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online, and health).
At Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School, we ensure that we teach the children about the Prevent Aims. This is done through quality circle time and PSHE activities. In each year group, we teach our children to be safe and to recognise the possible dangers they may face. Teachers make sure that this is done in a sensitive and age-appropriate way.
All staff have been trained to recognise signs of extremism.
Here is a useful website for you to look at to guide your understanding and learning of the systems we use to protect children against radicalisation and extremism.
Please also click here for a link to the official government document. Here you can find out about Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation.
At Spring Meadow, we participate in a jointly run operation between Cambridge County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and our school, which is called ‘Operation Encompass’. ‘Encompass’ has been set up to help schools and colleges provide support to children who have been present at incidents of domestic abuse and violence. We know that children can be significantly physically or emotionally harmed when they are involved in, present at or are a witness to domestic abuse.
The school will receive a confidential, secure email from Cambridgeshire’s Education Safeguarding Team, now working across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, before 9 a.m. or as soon as possible on the morning of any domestic incident which Cambridgeshire Police have attended where a child at their school has been involved in, present at or witness to domestic abuse.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads have received training from the Education Safeguarding Team to allow them to use the information that has been shared to ensure that the right support is available for children and their families who have been involved in or have witnessed such incidents.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our pupils and we believe participation in Operation Encompass to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.
If you have any concerns or questions, then please contact the school office to request a conversation with a Designated Safeguarding Lead and we will be happy to discuss this further.