Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures
(includes Prevent Duty of Care, Allegations against a Member
of Staff and Whistleblowing)
Updated April 2022
Safeguarding children is the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. It applies to all children and is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
DESIGNATED AND DEPUTY SAFEGUARDING LEADS
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Kathryn Jeffcoate. Jen Don Carolis is the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL). The DSL and DDSL work together to ensure the setting meets the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements with regard to safeguarding children. They are aware of their responsibilities to safeguard children outside operational hours and will develop effective working relations with other agencies and services as necessary and decide whether to take further action about specific concerns. Pyrford Preschool believes in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers. Their roles are to ensure that:
- Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board (SSCB) procedures are followed within the setting and that they keep up to date with latest safeguarding training and changes.
- All Staff (permanent and temporary), volunteers and helpers are aware that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility.
- All adults working with and looking after children at preschool have read this document and are able to put these procedures into practice.
- Safeguarding training of all staff is up to date.
This policy covers the following sections:
- General points about safeguarding at Pyrford Preschool
- Pyrford Preschool’s Safeguarding Procedure
- Essential safeguarding contact numbers
- Mobile phones and cameras
- Existing Injuries to children
- Child absence from preschool
- Staff supervision meetings
- Bruising in children who are not independently mobile
- Prevent Duty of Care and domestic violence, substance abuse, parental mental ill heath, female genital mutilation, honour based violence, forced marriage, breast ironing, child sexual exploitation and grooming, including online abuse, internet safety, faith abuse, modern day slavery and child trafficking
- Physical intervention
- Allegations against a member of staff
- POINTS ABOUT SAFEGUARDING AT PYRFORD PRESCHOOL
- The preschool owners and staff have an “it could happen here” approach to safeguarding.
- The preschool has a copy of “What to do if you are worried a child is being abused”, produced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, for all parents and staff to refer to on site. All staff know where this booklet is kept (on the counter in the kitchen) and the preschool will follow the guidelines set out in the booklet.
- The preschool follows Ofsted’s requirements in respect of references and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks for staff and volunteers, which ensures that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at our preschool, or has access to the children.
- Staff are aware that they have a duty to inform the DSL if before, or during their employment:
- they are, or have been, involved with the Police (interviewed, questioned, cautioned, convicted).
- anyone involved in their personal life has been, or is being, cautioned or convicted of any offence that may have a bearing on their suitability to work with children
- they have, or had, parental responsibility for a child who is being assessed under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
These three questions are also asked as a regular check at staff supervision meetings. The DSL will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 0300 123 1650 for further advice if appropriate.
- Staff attend “Working together to Safeguard Children” and refresher training every three years.
- We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns within the setting. Staff will be trained to respond to:
– significant changes in a child’s behaviour
– deterioration in a child’s general well being
– unexplained bruising, markings or signs of possible abuse or neglect
– the comments children make which give cause for concern
– any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example
in the child’s home
– inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff or any other
person working with the children. For example, inappropriate sexual
comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond requirements of their
usual role and responsibilities; or the inappropriate sharing of images.
- The DSL and DDSL attend two yearly refresher training.
- Staff are aware that it is a disciplinary offence to be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, they should inform the DSL or DDSL and medical advice will be taken. If medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair that staff member’s ability to look after children, then the member of staff will be allowed to continue working. If any staff medication is brought onto the premises, it is securely stored and out of the reach of children at all times.
- The way in which the hall is set up, allows staff to provide constant supervision to the children at the pre-school. Staff will never be left alone for long periods of time with individual children or small groups of children. An adult without a DBS check completed will never be left alone with a child.
- Volunteers and students do not work unsupervised.
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
- Written parental permission is obtained before children are taken on outings.
2. PYRFORD PRESCHOOL’S SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURE
All staff are aware of the following procedure and understand that the abuse of children can take different forms as follows:
or a mixture of these.
a) What we do if a member of staff has general concerns
If a member of staff has any general concern about a child’s welfare, he or she must inform the DSL and the DDSL immediately. Information regarding concerns must be recorded by the member of staff in the “Safeguarding File” on the “Expression of Concern/Disclosure/Incident form”. It must be signed and dated by the member of staff and DSL/DDSL. The recording of information in the “Safeguarding File” must be accurate and factual. The “Safeguarding File” is kept secure and confidential and will be reviewed termly.
b) What we do if a child makes a disclosure
If a child tells a member of staff that they, or another child, is being abused, the member of staff will act in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child and will:
- show concern and that they have heard what the child is saying
- listen to and allow the child to talk
- not interrupt when a child is recalling significant events
- not prompt the child or ask leading questions.
- not make a child repeat their account.
- explain what actions they must take
- not promise not to pass on the information disclosed
- not act upset, shocked or show disbelief
The member of staff will write down what they were told, using the ““Expression of Concern/Disclosure/Incident form” kept in the Safeguarding File. Exact words will be recorded where possible, making a note of the date, time, place and people who were present. The member of staff will report the concerns immediately to the DSL or Deputy DSL. They should not delay an immediate response to protect a child. Staff will not speculate, make accusations or jump to conclusions. It is not their responsibility to decide if the allegation is true or not.
Responding to a staff member’s general concerns, suspicions of abuse or a disclosure by a child
In most cases the DSL/DDSL will speak to the child’s parent/carer to discuss the concern and to offer support and assistance. If the DSL/DDSL does not feel that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily, they may contact C-SPA to take advice. Staff are aware that on occasions parents/carers may be operating with “disguised compliance”. Should a referral be necessary, this will be followed up by a Request for Support Form within 48 hours. In these cases, the investigating professionals will inform the parents or carers.
Where staff suspect abuse or neglect has occurred, or a child makes a disclosure and it is felt that speaking to the parents or carers may place the child in further danger, the DSL/DDSL may contact C-SPA for advice, without first speaking to parents/carers first. The preschool will follow their advice in all cases. Should a referral be necessary, this will be followed up by a Request for Support From within 48 hours. In these cases, the investigating professionals will inform the parents or carers.
Alternatively the DSL or DDSL may decide to contact the police using the non emergency number 101, or in an emergency, where the safety of a child is at immediate risk, 999. This may be done without prior discussion with parents. It is not the preschool’s responsibility to investigate the situation.
If a referral is made, the DSL/DDSL will ensure that written confirmation using the Multi-Agency Referral Form – MARF. The latest MARF can be found on the SSCB webpage www.surreyscb.org.uk.. All records relating to safeguarding are in a secure locked place. All records which concern child protection will be passed onto new settings and schools.
| 3. ESSENTIAL SAFEGUARDING CONTACT NUMBERS Pyrford Preschool’s Ofsted number EY2611033 / Early years number URN 694815 Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA) 0300 470 9100 (9am – 5pm Mon to Fri) |
C-SPA refers to the Children’s Single Point of Access and the Child Protection Consultation Line. The SPA provides people who work with children in Surrey with direct information, advice and guidance about where and how to find the appropriate support for children and families.
Emergency Duty Team 01483 517 898 (Outside normal office hours, weekends, bank holidays) Police 101 – non emergency number 999 – emergency where safety of a child is at immediate risk LADO 0300 123 1650 option 3 or LADO@surreycc.gov.uk
Ofsted helpline 0300 123 1231
Ofsted to report an allegation against a member of staff 0300 123 4666
Ofsted Whistleblowing Advice Line 0300 123 3155
Surrey Family Services, Supporting Children Team 01372 833833 (Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service) Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) 01372 833330 (9-5pm Mon to Fri)
4. MOBILE PHONES AND CAMERAS
Staff, volunteers and students understand the reasons why they are not allowed to have mobile phones in the setting and why we have to ensure that phones are kept secure and locked away from 9.00am – 12.00pm.
Staff personal phones must be left in the dedicated box in the kitchen under the control of the DSL and DDSL. The phones will be signed in and out at the start and finish of every session. If a member of staff needs to make or take an urgent call during the session, or check their phone, they should ask the DSL or DDSL who will provide supervised access to the phone for urgent matters and record these instances.
Parents, prospective parents and visitors will be asked not to use their mobile phones within the setting. There are signs to enforce this.
Only the camera owned by the preschool can be used in the setting. This is for taking pictures of preschool activities. This camera is kept secure between sessions with the DSL or Deputy DSL. It never goes home with a member of staff.
Staff and parents are not to discuss the preschool on any social media.
5. EXISTING INJURIES TO CHILDREN
Parents/carers should inform a member of staff of any accidental or non accidental injury that the child may have had outside preschool hours and record the injury on an “Existing Injuries” form when dropping their child off. The form will be placed in the “Accident/Incident File”. This file is kept confidential and reviewed. If the parent leaves before staff can discuss the injury with them, staff will contact the parent by telephone and enquire as to the nature of the injury and ask them to fill in an Existing Injuries form at pick up. Parents are reminded that they should inform the preschool of any injuries sustained outside of contracted hours, by notices on our boards in the coat lobby area.
6. CHILD ABSENCE FROM PRESCHOOL
As part of our safeguarding responsibilities, parents/carers are expected to notify us if their child is going to be absent or late and provide a reason by either texting our mobiles on the day by 9.30am, or leaving a voice message (telephone numbers available on the website). Parents/carers should also let us know of any planned absence/holidays in advance. If a child is away, without any notification, then the DSL or DDSL will contact the parent/carer to find out the reason for the absence and a likely return date. The register file will be reviewed termly by the DSL and Deputy DSL.
7. STAFF SUPERVISION MEETINGS
Supervision is part of safeguarding children. Staff have termly supervision meetings with the DSL and DDSL where they have the opportunity to discuss children causing them concern and access support to deal with possible safeguarding issues. They also have the opportunity to reflect on work practices, skills and training needs to ensure high standards of service are delivered. They are asked to answer safeguarding and health and safety questions as a regular termly check.
8. BRUISING IN CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT INDEPENDENTLY MOBILE*
*A non independently mobile child is any child who is not yet crawling, bottom shuffling, pulling to stand, cruising or walking independently. This includes all children under 6 months (even if they are rolling) and children with significant disabilities resulting in immobility.
Bruising is one of the commonest presenting features of physical abuse in children. Therefore, any bruising (or mark that might be bruising), in a child who is not yet independently mobile, is a matter for inquiry and concern. In line with our safeguarding obligations, if the DSL, DDSL or a member of staff, helper or volunteer sees a non independently mobile child with a bruise (even if they do not attend playgroup), we have to refer the matter immediately to children’s services. This is a mandatory reporting requirement of the SSCB.
9. PREVENT DUTY OF CARE
Staff have an awareness of Prevent – to protect and safeguard young children and families deemed at risk, from being drawn into terrorism and radicalisation. As from 1 July 2015 it is a legal requirement for All Early Years Providers to have a Prevent Duty of Care policy.
Pyrford Preschool is committed to providing a secure environment for children. We create an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.
We aim to provide a broad and balanced early years curriculum, delivered by skilled practitioners, so that our children understand and become tolerant of difference/diversity and also to ensure that they thrive and feel valued and respected as individuals. We reinforce fundamental British Values already embedded in the 2017 EYFS. These values are Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs.
We recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views, we are failing to protect our children. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology, but staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection. These behaviours can be evident during free play, group activities, role play and quiet times such as story time or one to one/small group activities. Quiet times are often when children will make disclosures, as they might be closest to their key person or another member of staff. People from any walks of life can be drawn into radicalisation and not necessarily from a particular religion or ethnicity. Dress codes and certain terminology/ phrases used by some communities are not indicative factors that they are at risk of being radicalised. Terrorism is not promoted by any religion. The Prevent duty does not require settings to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we are required to take action when we observe behaviour of concern.
As part of their wider safeguarding responsibilities, staff will be alert to:
- Disclosures by children of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of the setting, such as in their homes or community groups.
- Graffiti symbols, writing, art work promoting extremist messages/images
- The fact that children can be exposed to extremist material online
- Parental reports of changes in behaviour or actions
- Local authority services and police reports of issues affecting children in other local schools or settings
- Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence
- Intolerance of difference. Whether secular or religious or, in line with our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture.
Where there are concerns of extremism or radicalisation staff will make use of our internal safeguarding systems. The DSL or DDSL will seek advice from C-SPA. If there is an immediate risk, police will be contacted on 999. The Counter Terrorism Security Advice number is 01483 639871.
Staff are also aware of other safeguarding concerns which may affect the children or their families, including: domestic violence, substance abuse, parental mental ill heath, female genital mutilation(FGM)**, honour based violence(HBV), forced marriage(FM), breast ironing, child sexual exploitation(CSE) and grooming, including online abuse, internet safety, faith abuse, modern day slavery and child trafficking.
Staff attend “Working Together to Safeguard Children” and Refresher courses as appropriate to ensure that their safeguarding training is up to date. The courses cover the above areas and staff are aware what the above terms mean, who is vulnerable, how to recognise possible indicators and what to do if they are worried.
** Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) FGM is a mandatory reporting requirement (SPA/Police)
Female circumcision is illegal in the UK and it is an offence to take UK nationals or permanent UK residents abroad to aid, abet or carry out FGM abroad. All agencies have a statutory responsibility to safeguard children from being abused through FGM. If staff are concerned that a girl is at risk of FGM this is a child protection issue and must be documented and reported to Social Care and or the police. If a child is at immediate risk of being removed from the country, or for FGM to take place in the UK, we will contact the police. All other concerns will be referred to SPA.
Who is vulnerable to FGM?
- Any young person who comes from a culture where FGM is routinely practised including Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigeria and Eritrean.
- Girls between the age of 0 – 15 (3 – 5 is the most common)
- Families where mother has had FGM
- Families where older siblings have had FGM
Recognising FGM can be very difficult and there are two things to consider:
- If the child is at risk of FGM, we may identify that they:
- Are not attending preschool
- Are returning to their home country for an extended period
- Are talking about a family celebration/coming of age
- Are being given gifts and a special party. OR
- A child who may already have had FGM done may:
- Spend long periods of time in the toilet
- Have lots of urinary infections
- Be unable to take part in physical activities.
10. PHYSICAL INTERVENTION
Staff use positive handling. Some examples of this are:
- giving guidance such as helping hold a paintbrush or use the climbing frame
- providing emotional support such as placing and arm around a distressed child
- providing physical care such as first aid or toileting.
Restrictive physical intervention will only be used when a child is injuring (or about to injure) themselves/another person or is damaging (or about to damage) property. Where it is judged necessary to use restrictive physical intervention, staff should:
- Aim for side to side contact (reducing risk of being kicked)
- Be aware of head positioning to avoid head butts
- Keep their backs as straight as possible
- Hold children by their “long bones” avoiding joints where pain/damage are most likely.
- Avoid holding a child around chest cavity/stomach, thereby restricting ability to
Any use of restrictive physical intervention will be recorded within 24 hours on a form in the Accident/Incident book and signed by the parent/carer. If a parent/carer has a concern about any incident, they should speak to the DSL or Deputy DSL. Staff who are concerned about the actions of a colleague should refer to the whistleblowing section of this policy.
11. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A MEMBER OF STAFF
If a parent/carer has a concern that a member of staff /volunteer may have behaved in a way that has, or may have, harmed a child or possibly committed a criminal offence against/in relation to a child, or behaved towards a child in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children, they should speak to the DSL or DDSL without delay. We will respond to any disclosure by a child, parent or member of staff by first recording details of any such alleged incident.
Procedure for reporting and managing allegations:
- Regardless of the nature of an allegation or who receives the allegation, it must be reported to the Surrey Local Authority Designate Officer (LADO) within 24 hours. This must include situations where a worker resigns.
- Ofsted must be notified of any allegations of serious harm or abuse within 24 hours, if possible and not later than 14 days in writing/email. Ofsted must also be notified of the action taken in respect of the allegation.
- We will co-operate fully with any investigation carried out by the LADO in conjunction with the police/children’s services/Ofsted. We will follow their guidance when responding to any allegation.
- Unless the allegation is found to be malicious, records will be kept for 10 years or until the individual subject to investigation retires; whichever is longer.
- Our policy is to insist that the member of staff be placed on non child contact duties, to be supervised at all times when working with children, or in certain cases, suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.
- Where a member of staff or volunteer is either dismissed, resigns or in the event of disqualification, the preschool will make a referral to DBS.
12. WHISTLEBLOWING (Please also see section on Allegations against a member of staff)
Staff have a responsibility for raising concerns about a colleague’s unacceptable practice or behaviour to the DSL/DDSL or to the relevant agencies.
Although this can be difficult and staff may feel disloyal to colleagues, this is of paramount importance where the welfare of children may be at risk. Examples of inappropriate behaviour may be excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of the role, inappropriate sharing of images or sexual comments.
How to raise a concern:
- Staff should raise their concerns, suspicions or uneasiness as soon as they feel they can with the DSL or the Deputy DSL.
- They should try to pinpoint exactly what practice is concerning them and why.
- If their concern is about the DSL or the DDSL, or they feel they need to take it to someone outside the preschool, they should contact SPA or the Ofsted Whistleblowing Advice line number.
- Staff are not expected to prove the truth of an allegation, but will need to demonstrate sufficient grounds for the concern.
- Staff will be given information on the nature and progress of any enquiries.
- Such reporting will remain confidential in most instances, however, this cannot be guaranteed where concerns raised are about the welfare of safety of children. The DSL/ DDSL has a responsibility to protect the member of staff from harassment or victimisation.
- If the concern was raised in good faith, staff should be reassured that no action will be taken against them if it proves to be unfounded.
- Malicious allegations may be considered as a disciplinary offence.
It is recognised that whistle blowing can be difficult and stressful. However, poor practice or performance should always be challenged in order to safeguard the welfare of children.
All staff members have a responsibility to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to safeguard children at Pyrford Preschool. If a member of staff feels that their concern has not been taken seriously by the DSL or DDSL, they must contact SPA directly to make a referral and seek further advice from the Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service, Safeguarding Advisor. If the DSL/DDSL feel that decisions made by a worker from another agency, on a child protection case, are not safe, they will seek guidance on inter-agency escalation policies and procedures from SCCB.
|Date policy first written: Aug 2011 |
Last Reviewed April 2022