Whole School Safeguarding Policy
Purpose and Aims
The purpose of Westbridge safeguarding policy is to provide a secure framework for the workforce in safeguarding and promoting those pupils who attend our school. The policy aims to ensure that:
All our pupils are safe and protected from harm.
Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable pupils to feel safe and adopt safe practices;
Staff, pupils, governors, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours’ and the school’s legal responsibilities in relation to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our pupils.
Safeguarding in Westbridge is considered everyone’s responsibility and as such our school aims to create the safest environment within which every pupil has the opportunity to achieve their Five Outcomes Westbridge recognizes the contribution it can make in ensuring that all pupils registered or who use our school feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We will do this by endeavouring to work in partnership with other agencies and seek to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues to develop and provide activities and opportunities throughout our curriculum that will help to equip our children with the skills they need. This will include materials and learning experiences that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours.
Responsibilities and expectations
Westbridge has a Governing body whose legal responsibility it is to make sure that the school has an effective safeguarding policy and procedures in place and monitors that the school complies with them. The Governing body should also ensure that the policy is made available to parents and careers if requested. It is also the responsibility of the Governing body to ensure that all staff and volunteers are properly checked out to make sure they are safe to work with the pupils who attend our school and that the school has procedures for handling allegations of abuse made against members of staff (including the Head Teacher) or volunteers. The Governing body has also appointed a Senior Designated Person (SDP) who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our school.
The Senior Designated Person is Carey Fish If they are not available then
their SDP Alternate is Dave Siddall ( This person can also be contacted with any safeguarding concerns).
The Named Member of the Management Committee for Safeguarding is Jon Illingworth
It is the responsibility of the SDP to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in school are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency. They are also responsible for arranging whole school safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with children and young people in our school. The SDP has a role in ensuring that the whole school safeguarding training takes place at least every three years; which they can deliver within schools provided they are linked in to the support and quality assurance process offered by the Local Authority. This includes mandatory attendance at an annual ‘Training for Trainers’ programme and monitoring visits from the Professional Advisor or Local Authority delegated staff.
The SDP is required to attend or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all conferences, core groups or meetings where it concerns a child at our school and to contribute to multi-agency discussions to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
The SDP is required to complete an annual Self-Review Assessment Report which demonstrates that the Safeguarding arrangements in the school are being met. If the self-assessment highlights any areas for improvement, this will be detailed in the action plan which will be signed off and monitored by the Named Governor for Safeguarding to ensure these improvements are implemented. The self-review assessment is to be shared with the Local Authority, who will have an auditing role in ensuring the school is meeting its Safeguarding requirements under sec 175/157 of the Education Act 2002 for both maintained and independent schools.
(see www.suffolk.gov.uk/schoolsurf/safeguarding/self-review tool)
All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you should tell the Senior Designated Person.
All Adults, including the SDP, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency including social services or the police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency, e.g. Connexions or School Nurse, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the School’s Designated Person in the first instance. Where the disclosure is made by a child attending a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) or alternative provision, the referral should be recorded and referred to the On-Site Senior Designated Person and a formal notification made to the school’s SDP where the child is on role for information or appropriate action to be taken. Any records made should be kept securely on the Child’s main school/child Protection file.
Recognising concerns, signs and indicators of abuse
Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. For our school it includes such things as pupil safety, bullying, racist abuse and harassment, educational visits, intimate care, children missing education and internet safety etc. The witnessing of abuse can also have a damaging affect on those who are party to it, as well as the child subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the child. Abuse can take place in any family, institution or community setting, by telephone or on the internet. Abuse can often be difficult to recognize as children may behave differently or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their family circumstances change. However, it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.
This can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, punching, kicking, scalding, burning, drowning and suffocating. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention through fabricated or induced illness. This was previously known as Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.
Emotional Abuse is where a child’s need for love, security, recognition and praise is not met. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else such as in Domestic Violence or Domestic Abuse. A parent, carer or authority figure is considered emotionally abusive when they are consistently hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining toward a child or other family member. It can also occur when children are prevented from having social contact with others or if inappropriate expectations are placed upon them. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:
- Excessively clingy or attention seeking.
- Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism.
- Withdrawn behavior or fearfulness.
- Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please.
- Eating disorders or self-harm
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may include physical contact both penetrative and non-penetrative, or viewing pornographic material including through the use of the internet. Indicators of sexual abuse include: allegations or disclosures, genital soreness, injuries or disclosure, sexually transmitted diseases, inappropriate sexualized behavior including words, play or drawing.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs which can significantly harm their health and development. Neglect can include inadequate supervision (being left alone for long periods of time), lack of stimulation, social contact or education, lack of appropriate food, shelter, appropriate clothing for conditions and medical attention and treatment when necessary.
What to do if you are concerned
If a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, it is important that you:
- Stay calm and listen carefully.
- Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
- Do not investigate or ask leading questions.
- Let them know that you will need to tell someone else.
- Do not promise to keep what they have told you a secret.
- Inform your Senior Designated Person as soon as possible.
- Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which you must sign, date and record your position.
If you are concerned that a member of staff or adult in a position of trust poses a danger to a child or young person or that they might be abusing a child or young person you should report your concerns to the Head teacher. Where those concerns relates to the Headteacher however, this should be reported to the Chair of Governors using the schools Whistle blowing policy.
We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working or may come into contact with children and young people whilst in our school. Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults. Allegations are made for a variety of reasons:
- Abuse has actually taken place.
- Something has happened to the child that reminds them of a past event – the child is unable to recognize that the situation and people are different; Children can misinterpret your language or your actions.
- Some children recognize that allegations can be powerful and if they are angry with you about something they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out.
- An allegation can be a way of seeking attention.
If an allegation is made against an adult in a position of trust whether they be members of staff or volunteers this should be brought to the immediate attention of the SDP who will advise the Headteacher. In the case of the allegation being made against the Headteacher this will be brought to the immediate attention of the Chair of Governors. The Headteacher/Chair of Governors will need to discuss with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) the nature of the allegations in order for the appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made. Head teachers will need to:
- Refer to the LADO immediately and follow up in writing within 48 hours. Consider safeguarding arrangements of the child or young person to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser.
- Contact the parents or carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO.
- Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation.
- Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation is deemed necessary.
- Act on any decision made in any strategy meeting.
- Advise the Independent Safeguarding Authority where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations being founded.
LINK: See Guidance for: Handling Allegations of Abuse made against Adults who Work with Children and Young people November 2009 DCSF.
All members of staff and volunteers will have access to whole school safeguarding training at least every three years. We will also, as part of our induction, issue information in relation to our Safeguarding policy and any policy related to safeguarding and promoting our children/young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff and volunteers.
Our Senior Designated Person and Alternate will undertake further safeguarding training in addition to the whole school training. This will be undertaken at least every two years which updates their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. This will support both the SDP/Alternate to be able to better undertake their role and support the school in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieving better outcomes for the pupils in our school. This includes taking part in multi-agency training in addition to safeguarding training.
Our Governing body will have access to safeguarding training and our Named Governor for Safeguarding will also undertake additional training at least every two years to support their employers’ role in Handling Allegations against adults who work with children and young people, including our staff and volunteers.
Our safeguarding arrangements are reported on a termly basis to our Governing body and our Safeguarding policy is reviewed annually, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
We will include a summary of our Safeguarding Policy to parents in our school prospectus/website and will post copies of our policy throughout the school. We are also able to arrange for our policy to be made available to parents whose first language is not English on request.
Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board www.suffolkscb.org.uk
Customer First: 0845 023 023
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency www.ceop.org.uk
Current Safeguarding Issues
(The following Safeguarding issues are all considered to be child Protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are linked to guidance and local procedures which can be found on the
Some members of our communities hold beliefs that may be common within particular cultures but which are against the law of
Westbridge does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent.
Genital mutilation/female circumcision
This is against the law yet for some communities it is considered a religious act and cultural requirement. It is illegal for someone to arrange for a child to go abroad with the intention of having her circumcised. If any of the above areas of concern is brought to the attention of Westbridge we will report those
concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in the criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the child.
Children Missing Education
“Basic to safeguarding children is to ensure their attendance at school.” (OFSTED 2002). Children are best protected by regularly attending school where they will be safe from harm and where there are professionals to monitor their well-being. At Westbridge we will encourage the full attendance of all of our children at school. Where we have concerns that a child is missing education because of suspected abuse, we will liaise with the appropriate agency including the Education Attendance Service to effectively manage the risks and to prevent abuse from taking place.
Sexually Active under Eighteen years old
It is acknowledged by those working with young people that most young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision of protection or additional services. At Westbridge we will ensure our policy for managing this issue links to the available protocol.
Safeguarding Disabled Children
Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children.
Disabled children do however require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks and ‘created vulnerability’ as a result of negative attitudes about disabled children and unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/ or communication impairment (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009) Westbridge will ensure that our disabled children are listen too and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse of a child.
Safer Recruitment and Selection
It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked. At Westbridge we will ensure that we have a member on every recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. That all of our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the Key Safeguarding Employment Standards.
Honour Based Violence
Honour based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from school and truancy, infections resulting from female genital mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in school activities, unreasonable restrictions at home. Where it is suspected that a child/young person is at risk form Honour based violence Westbridge will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation includes children being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/ sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where Westbridge is made aware of a child is suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
The Government defines domestic abuse as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”.
Staff need to understand what is required of them if children are members of the household where domestic abuse is known or suspected to be taking place. Our policy includes action to be taken regarding referrals to the Police and Children and Young People’s Services and any action to be taken where a member of staff is the alleged perpetrator or victim of domestic abuse. At Westbridge we will follow our safeguarding policy and report any suspected concerns regarding Domestic Abuse to the relevant agency.
Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.
A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation by someone other than:
- A parent.
- A person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility.
- A close relative.
- A Local Authority.
for more than 28 days and where the care is intended to continue. It is a statutory duty for us at Westbridge to inform the Local Authority where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.
Child Exploitation and E-Safety
Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimize the risks to our children and young people Westbridge will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our E-Safety policy. We will ensure that staff are
aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the school and are aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites.
Our E-safety policy will clearly state that mobile phone or electronic communications with a student at our school is not acceptable other than for approved school business e.g. coursework, mentoring. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
The above list is not exhaustive and as new policy guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding we will review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate and in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority.
2015/2016 Non Pupil Dates
2nd September 2015
4th January 2016
11th April 2016
2 further dates TBC
2016/2017 Non Pupil Dates
To be Confirmed