Purpose of policy
- Who is it for
- Child protection staff roles
- Reporting and recording process
- Risk management
- Whistle blowing
- Recruitment/ safeguarding children
- Linking with other policy
- Review and compliance
This policy identifies the approach utilised by The Yellow House organisation to keep students safe and to guide staff to implement the appropriate process and practice.
The policy is primarily guided by The Children Act (2004); Every Child Matters (2004); Child Protection Practice Guidelines – Essex Safeguarding Children Board (SET 2011); Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (DFES, 2007) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (DFE 2013).
Who is it for?
Students who are registered pupils of The Yellow House organisation.
Anyone employed by The Yellow House organisation that works either directly or indirectly with the registered students.
Parents / carers and family members who have responsibility for the care of students that are registered with The Yellow House organisation.
Anyone that comes into contact with students at The Yellow House that is not employed by the organisation.
What is a child?
- Anyone under the age of 18.
- Sometimes, for the purposes of child protection, young people are classified as children, due to certain conditions laid out in law.
- Vulnerable adults are those over the age of 18 who are unable to safeguard their own welfare, property or financial affairs and fit certain other criteria for care.
- ‘Youth matters’, part of the ‘Every Child Matters’ (ECM) framework recognises that some young people will have support needs to the age of 19, especially in education.
What is child protection?
- A moral and legal responsibility for children and young people under the age of 18, under the children act 1989 and 2004.
- Recognition that abuse may occur.
- Recognition that non-action is not an option.
- Understanding that all children are entitled to be protected from harm or abuse (UN convention on the rights of the child article 19).
- A framework and procedure setting out the action that must be taken where there are any concerns relating to the protection of children from harm or abuse.
What is child abuse?
- Four main types: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect.
- Also organised abuse and Internet abuse.
- Abuse actually refers to action or inaction by parents or carers. Assault refers to action or inaction by anyone else. Generally the term ‘abuse’ is used to cover all areas.
- It often comes to people’s notice through;
- Disclosure by the child,
- Information from a third party,
- Observation of unexplained injury or changes in behaviour.
What does ‘safeguarding children’ mean?
- Protecting children from maltreatment.
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development.
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
- Undertaking the role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
What is ‘significant harm’?
Some children are in need because they are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. The Children’s Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children, and gives the Local Authority a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
There are no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes significant harm. Consideration of the severity of ill treatment may include the degree and the extent of physical harm, the duration and frequency of abuse and neglect, the extent of premeditation, and the presence or degree of threat, coercion, sadism and bizarre or unusual elements. Each of these elements has been associated with more severe effects on the child, and/or relatively greater difficulty in helping the child overcome the adverse impact of the maltreatment.
Sometimes a single traumatic event may constitute significant harm, e.g. a violent assault, suffocation or poisoning. More often, significant harm is a compilation of significant events, both acute and long-standing, which interrupt, change or damage the child’s physical and psychological development. Some children live in family and social circumstances where their health and development are neglected. For them, it is the corrosiveness of long-term emotional, physical or sexual abuse that causes impairment to the extent of constituting significant harm. In each case, it is necessary to consider any maltreatment alongside the families’ strengths and supports.
(‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ DfE 2013)
Staff Roles in regard to Child Protection
Paul Adams who has overall responsibility for all staff and students associated with The Yellow House organisation and has been child protection trained.
Child Protection Officer
Jonny – Designated Person for Child Protection – Level 3 (2013).
Member of Senior Management Team
Sam – Child Protection Trained.
Therapeutic Support Workers
Peter, Debbie, Nick, Gemma, Brenda and Nandi.
Christine and Lisa.
Child Protection Officer Role
The Yellow House has one designated child protection officer with each staff member receiving in house child protection training.
The “Child Protection Officer” within The Yellow House Organisation is the person who co-ordinates all child protection related activity. Their duties are:
- Be the contact point for child protection issues within the organisation.
- Know how to refer cases outside of The Yellow House organisation.
- Provide information and advice on child protection.
- Ensure appropriate information is available at the point of referral.
- Liaise with external agencies.
- Keep the appropriate management contact informed about action.
- Ensure proper records are kept.
- Advise and provide for child protection training needs.
- Devise and be responsible for child protection policy and procedures.
Training – Child Protection
The Yellow House organisation sources outside training for child protection officers through Graffham Consulting Ltd,18 Baldocks Road, Theydon Bois, Essex. CM16 7EB. This is repeated two yearly.
Additional training is sourced by Essex Safeguarding Children Board when required.
Child protection awareness training is delivered to all Therapeutic Support Workers, managerial roles on an annual basis. This training covers the following:
- The Yellow House Child Protection Policy awareness.
- Recognising and responding to child protection issues.
- Recording a child protection issue.
- Appropriate communication regarding the issue.
After the training, ensure that all staff and volunteers understand child welfare concerns and agree to report any concerns to the nominated person.
Process for Child Protection Intervention
- Practitioner has concerns about child’s welfare.
- Same practitioner completes child protection form and child
- protection log book.
- Same practitioner reports incident to Child Protection Officer and manager as soon as is possible but within same working day.
- CPO, reporting staff and manager decide whether the concern requires further action.
- Contact either the local authority child protection lead team or decide that no further action is necessary or implement steps to manage or eradicate concern.
- Record all details of above implementation.
- If implement steps to eradicate concerns – then communicate this with Local Authority child protection team.
- Where there are concerns for the child’s immediate safety – Follow emergency action plan flow diagram.
- The Yellow House School – Emergency Action Plan Diagram
Emergency Action Plan.
* Emergency action plan must involve at least 1 child protection officer and one member of the management team.
* Undertake immediate strategy discussion with relevant agencies.
* Agree action plan.
* Ensure parental issues are included in plan.
* Decide sharing information parameters.
* Lead professional leads action to ensure safeguarding of child.
* Record all actions and conversations in writing.
The Yellow House undertakes a Risk Management Overview with each child and their family before they commence attendance at the school. Risk management strategies are then written into the student’s individual education plan and communicated with all involved adults on a need to know basis.
The Yellow House undertakes risk assessments for all organised school trips covering transport, staffing, environment and equipment needed.
The Yellow House undertakes environmental risk assessments in the school to ensure compliance with health and safety requirements.
Whistle Blowing at Work
Staff have the right and individual responsibility to raise any matters of concern regarding poor practice at work. All staff are responsible for the welfare and safety for those they care for on the organisations behalf and this comes above and before feelings of loyalty towards colleagues. It is a means whereby staff have an immediate opportunity to express their concerns regarding poor practice at work at the highest level should they wish to do so.
Whistle blowing guidelines are written for staff to encourage them to take action if they have a reasonable suspicion of serious poor practice at work or have been informed about serious poor practice from service users and to reassure them that they will be both protected and supported if they ‘whistle blow’ in line with these guidelines. They are designed to reduce worries of reprisals.
BRITISH VALUES (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural – SMSC)
The Yellow House School promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours at The Yellow House School that are contrary to fundamental British values.
The Independent Schools Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
Through their provision of SMSC at The Yellow House School we:
• enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
• enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
• encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
• enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
• promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
• encourage respect for other people; and
• encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
• The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of The Yellow House School’s promoting fundamental British values.
• an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
• an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
• an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
• an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
• an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
• an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
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. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer.
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part of The Yellow Houses’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation, it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.
As with other safeguarding risks, Yellow House staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff should use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral to the Channel Programme
The Channel Programme focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages.
Mandatory Reporting Duty
Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 places a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils.
Yellow House Staff must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should still consider and discuss any such case with the school’s designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate.
Recruitment Practice at The Yellow House
The recruitment policy for The Yellow House follows a set process established from the guidance received in the Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (DfES, 2007) paper and the SET’11.
Prospective employees and the Yellow House organisation are required to:
- Complete an application form that includes a C.V. that covers at least the last 2 years of employment.
- Prove their identity within the criminal records bureau enhanced disclosure guidelines.
- Provide two written references including where possible one from the last employer.
- Provide proof of all qualifications including the name of the institutions they were attained at.
- To complete an interview process in front of a panel that includes 3 people consisting of a child protection officer, management and another member of staff.
- Explain any reasons for gaps in employment or inconsistencies.
- Complete a self disclosure about previous convictions and The Yellow House should follow this up with appropriate safeguard checks in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974).
- Provide full disclosure through checks from the criminal records bureau were required.
- The Yellow House will allow no unsupervised access to children and young people until this has been completed (e.g. no appointment until references have been reviewed).
- The Yellow House will seek advice about recruiting someone with a criminal record or other types of offences if we have any concerns regarding the employment of an individual from an employment law advisor (HSBC).
- The Yellow House follows a supervised initial induction period to introduce and provide necessary training and support to new employees, they are provided with a staff handbook and The Yellow House will continue to support and train staff throughout their employment within the organisation through supervision and designated training.
As an organisation we often recruit through agencies following these guidelines so as to determine whether prospective employees can build and maintain healthy relationships with our pupils.
The Yellow House has a comprehensive competency and disciplinary procedures that apply to all employed personnel.
Links with Other agencies
All agencies involved with the school
Contact numbers for outside agencies
Social Care Direct Essex – 0845 6037627
Essex Initial Response Team – 01206 266113
Essex Safeguarding – 01245 436744 (Duty Officer)
Essex Safeguarding Children Board – 01245 492211
Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board – 01473 581871 / 01284 352205
NSPCC – 0808 800 5000 Childline – 0800 1111
Criminal Records Bureau – 0870 9090822
Essex– 0300 333 4444
Suffolk– 01473 613500
Review and Compliance.
The Yellow House Child Protection Policy is considered to be a working document and is therefore constantly monitored for compliance with legal developments.
The Yellow House Child Protection Policy will be reviewed by the designated child protection officers on an annual basis.
The policy has a record of implementation date.
Types of Child Abuse
From the Department for Education and Skills document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2013.
Physical: May involve poking, pushing, hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating. It can also include fabricated or induced illness where a parent simulates the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health in a child, and other related issues.
Emotional: Persistent emotional ill treatment that is likely to cause serious harm to the child’s emotional development. This may involve name calling, conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, and cause children to feel frightened, in danger, be exploited or corrupted. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment, but this category is used where it is the main or sole form of abuse.
Sexual: Forcing or enticing a child or adolescent to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. May involve physical contact, penetrative acts, also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.
Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, which is likely to result in serious impairment to their health and development. This may present itself as the parent or carer failing to provide food, shelter, clothing or a failure to protect the child from physical harm and danger, or allow access to medical care and treatment. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
Organised Abuse: Sexual abuse where there is more than a single abuser and the adults concerned appear to act in agreement to abuse children and/ or where an adult uses an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for sexual abuse.
Record of Concern Form
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 DfE.