Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

Date CreatedDate 1st Review DueDate ReviewedVersionNext Review Due
November 2022November 20231
September 20232September 2024
  1. Contents
  2. Safeguarding Statement 2021
  3. Introduction
  4. Roles and Responsibilities – All Staff:
  5. Confidentiality, Sharing and Withholding Information
  6. Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools
  7. Harmful Sexual Behaviours
  8. Anti-Bullying/Cyberbullying
  9. Online Safety/Cybercrime
  10. Racist Incidents
  11. Radicalisation, Extremism and Terrorism
  12. Domestic Abuse
  13. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
  14. Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) & Gangs
  15. Sharing Nudes and Semi Nudes
  16. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  17. Forced Marriage
  18. Honour-based abuse
  19. Private Fostering Arrangements
  20. Looked After Children
  21. Children Missing Education
  22. School Attendance and Behaviour
  23. Restrictive Physical Intervention


Safeguarding Statement 2022 – “Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business”

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.

We make every effort to provide an environment in which children and adults feel safe, secure, valued, and respected, and feel confident to talk if they are worried believing they will be effectively listened to.

Key Personnel

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is:COREY BULMER
cbulmer@eghamparkschool.co.uk
07395646806
Deputy DSL is:AMARDEEP PANESAR
apanesar@eghamparkschool.co.uk
The Principal is:NICKI FOSTER
nfoster@eghamparkschool.co.uk

Terminology

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children 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
  • Preventing impairment of children’s mental or physical health or development

Child Protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

Early Help (or Early Help Assessment) means to provide support as soon as any needs emerge or are identified at any point in a child’s life.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child(ren) includes everyone under the age of 18. Overall, this will apply to pupils of our school; however, the policy will extend to visiting children and students from other establishments

Parents refer to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example stepparents, foster carers, and adoptive parents.

Social Care refers to Children’s Services in the area in which the child is resident, unless a child is a Child Looked After and then this will be the Children’s Services in their home authority.

MAP refers to the Surrey Multi-Agency Partnership

C-SPA refers to the Children’s Single Point of Access

Outside agencies refers to any organisation that the school has an ongoing relationship with, where pupils have continued access to throughout their curriculum.


Introduction

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004; the Education Act 2002, and in line with government publications: ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015, Revised Safeguarding Statutory Guidance 2 ‘Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’ 2000, ‘What to do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused’ 2015. Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021,

The policy also reflects, both statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2023, and Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnerships (SSCP) Procedures

The Proprietor take seriously their obligations under section 175/157 of the Education Act 2002, the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Equality Act 2010, (including the Public Sector Equality Duty), to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure there are robust arrangements within our school to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering harm or at risk of suffering harm.

This policy applies to all members of staff in the school.

Guidance and documents referred to in this policy

Policy Principles and Values

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • Maintain an attitude of “It could happen here.”
  • Children have a right to feel safe and secure, they cannot learn effectively unless they do so.
  • Children have a right to be protected from harm and abuse.
  • All staff have a role in the prevention of harm and abuse and an equal responsibility to act immediately on any suspicion or disclosure that may indicate a child is at risk of harm, either in the school or in the community, taking into account contextual safeguarding, in according with statutory guidance.
  • We acknowledge that working in partnership with other agencies protects children and reduces risk and so we will engage in partnerships working to protect and safeguard children.
  • Whilst the school will work openly with parents as far as possible, it reserves the right to contact Social Care or the Police, without notifying parents if this is believed to be in the child’s best interests

Policy Aims

  • To demonstrate the school’s commitment regarding safeguarding and child protection to pupils, parents, and other partners.
  • To raise the awareness of all teaching and support staff of their responsibilities to safeguard children through identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • To enable the school to effectively contribute to Early Help Assessments of need and support for those children.
  • To provide robust school systems and procedures that are followed by all members of the school community in the case of suspected abuse.
  • To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, in particular Early Help providers, the Police, Health, and Social Care.
  • To ensure that all staff working within our school who have substantial access to children have been checked as to their suitability, including verification of their identity, qualifications, and a satisfactory DBS check (according to KCSIE 2023 guidance), and a single central register is kept for audit.)
  • We comply with the Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 guidance issued in August 2018.

Supporting Children

Egham Park School will support all children:

We recognise that our school may provide a safe place and stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm. We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses abuse and/or violence may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame themselves, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth. We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.

  • We will promote a caring, safe, and positive environment within the school.
  • We will encourage self-esteem and self-assertiveness through our core values of Respect, Kindness, and Growth, as well as through the curriculum and positive relationships within the school community.
  • We will ensure children are taught to understand and manage risk through Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and through all aspects of school life, including staying safe online.
  • We will always allow children the time that they need to manage their distress/and or anxiety.
  • We will signpost other avenues of external support, including helplines and counselling.
  • We will liaise and work in partnership with other support services and agencies involved in Early Help Assessments and the safeguarding of children.
  • We will notify Social Care without delay if there is an immediate risk of significant harm.
  • We will provide continuing support to children about whom there have been concerns who leave the school by ensuring that information is shared confidentially with the child’s new setting. Where children leave the school, the DSL will ensure that their child protection file is transferred to the new school as soon as possible, and within 5 days for an in-year transfer, or within the first 5 days of the start of a new term to allow the new school to have support in place for when the child arrives.

Prevention/Protection

We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children by providing children with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends, and an ethos of protection.

The school community will:

  • Work to establish and maintain an ethos where children feel safe and secure, are encouraged to talk, and are always listened to.
  • Consult with children regularly to ensure that they feel safe in the setting.
  • Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  • Include safeguarding across the curriculum, including PSHE & Personal Development: Safety workshop opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn to for help. This will include antibullying work, online-safety, road safety, self-harm, self-neglect, harm to others, Rule of Law, medical health, community support, community risks, PREVENT, protected characteristics and abuse.
  • Appoint a pupil safeguarding representative to support the safeguarding team in their duties and make them aware of any disclosures or concerns.
  • Ensure all staff are aware of school guidance for their use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks.
  • Ensure all staff are aware of the school guidance and procedures regarding the filtering and monitoring system in place on school technology and internet services and their associated risks.

Safe School, Safe Staff

We will ensure that:

  • The school operates safer recruitment procedures in line with KCSIE 2023 and that it includes statutory checks on the suitability of staff to work with children.
  • All staff receive information about the school’s safeguarding arrangements, the school’s safeguarding statement, staff handbook (code of conduct), child protection policy, the role and names of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and their deputy(ies), and Keeping Children Safe in Education part 1 and Annex A
  • All staff receive safeguarding and child protection training at induction and receive safeguarding and child protection updates as required, but at least annually.
  • All members of staff are trained in and receive regular updates in online safety and reporting concerns.
  • All members of staff maintain a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment.
  • All staff have regular child protection awareness training, updated by the DSL or Deputy DSL as appropriate, to maintain their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse.
  • The Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is made available via the school website or other means and that parents/carers are made aware of this policy.
  • All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members regarding child protection procedures through the publication of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
  • We provide a coordinate offer of Early Help when additional needs of children are identified and contribute to early help arrangements and inter-agency working and plans.
  • The names of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputy(ies), are clearly advertised in the school
  • All staff will be given a copy of Part 1 and Annex A of   Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 and will sign to say they have read and understood it annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

All Staff:

All Staff have a key role to play in identifying concerns early and in providing help for children. To achieve this, they will:

  • Provide a safe environment in which children can learn
  • Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
  • Ensure children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or have concerns.
  • Ensure only appropriately trained professionals attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem.  Staff, however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggest that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or may be at risk of developing one.
  • Take immediate action if they have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, following our Child Protection Policy and procedures.
  • Plan opportunities within the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to assess and manage risk appropriately and keep themselves safe.
  • Attend training to be aware of and alert to the signs of abuse and neglect.
  • Maintain an attitude of “It could happen here” with regards to safeguarding.
  • Understand that safeguarding is “everyone’s responsibility.”
  • Know how to respond to a child who discloses harm or abuse following training of ‘Working together to Safeguard Children (2018)’, and ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being Abused’ (2015).
  • Record their concerns if they are worried that a child is being abused and report these to the DSL immediately that day.  If the DSL is not contactable immediately a Deputy DSL should be informed.
  • Be prepared to refer directly to the Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA), and the Police if appropriate, if there is a risk of significant harm and the DSL or their Deputy(ies) is not available.
  • Follow the allegations procedure if the disclosure is an allegation against a member of staff or outside agency worker.
  • Report low level concerns (as defined in KCSIE 2023) about any member of staff/supply staff or contractor to the DSL (or Deputy DSL) and where a low-level concern is raised about the DSL it will be shared with the Principal.
  • Follow procedures set out by the SSCP and take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education to safeguard children.
  • Provide support for children subject to Early Help, Child in Need or Child Protection that is in keeping with their plan.
  • Treat information with confidentiality but never promise to “keep a secret”.
  • Notify the DSL or their Deputy(ies) of any child on a child protection plan or child in need plan who has unexplained absence.
  • Understand Early Help and be prepared to identify and support children who may benefit from Early Help.
  • Will identify children who may benefit from Early Help, liaising with the DSL in the first instance.
  • Liaise with other agencies that support children and provide Early Help.
  • Know who the DSL and the Deputy DSL’s are and know how to contact them.
  • Have an awareness of the role of the DSL, the school’s Child Protection Policy, Behaviour Policy and the Staff Code of Conduct, and procedures relating to the safeguarding response for children who go missing from education.
  • Be mindful that Teachers Standards states that teachers should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.
  • Assist the Principal in fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities set out in legislation and statutory guidance.

The Principal:

In addition to the role and responsibilities of all staff the Principal will ensure that:

  • The school will contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 guidance.
  • The Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and procedures are implemented and followed by all staff.
  • The school has the appropriate policies in place that make it clear thar sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence (including sexualised language) is unacceptable, with appropriate sanctions and support in place.
  • That the school’s staff have appropriate knowledge of Part 5 the government’s ‘Keeping children safe in education’ guidance.
  • That all children are supported to report concerns about harmful sexual behaviour freely.  That concerns are taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately, and children are confident that this is the case, and that comprehensive records of all allegations are kept.
  • All staff are aware of the role of the DSL, including the identity of the DSL and any deputies.
  • Sufficient time, training, support, funding, resources, including cover arrangements where necessary, is allocated to the DSL to carry out their role effectively, including the provision of advice and support to school staff on child welfare and child protection matters, to take part in strategy discussions/meetings and other inter-agency meetings and/or support other staff to do so; and to contribute to the assessment of children.
  • Opportunities are provided for a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified.
  • The Deputy DSL(s) are trained to the same standards as the DSL.
  • Adequate and appropriate DSL cover arrangements are in place for children to express their views and give feedback.
  • Where there is a safeguarding concern, it is important that the child’s wishes, and feelings are considered when determining what action to take and what services to provide.
  • All staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and that such concerns are handled sensitively and in accordance with the whistle-blowing procedures.
  • Children are provided with opportunities throughout the curriculum to learn about safeguarding, including keeping themselves safe online.
  • The allegations or concerns against staff and other adults are dealt with in accordance with guidance from the Department for Education (DfE).
  • That statutory requirements are met to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service and additionally in the case of teaching staff the Teacher Regulation Agency where they think an individual has engaged in conduct that harmed (or is likely to harm) a child; or if the person otherwise poses a risk of harm to a child.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • In addition to the role and responsibilities of all staff the DSL will:
  • Holds the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) in the school, this responsibility will not be able to be delegated.
  • Have an “It could happen here” approach to safeguarding.
  • Liaise with the Local Authority and work in partnership with other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children.
  • Manage and submit a Request for Support Form for a child if there are concerns about suspected harm or abuse, to the C-SPA, and act as a point of contact and support for school staff. Requests for support should be made securely by email to  cspa@surreycc.gov.uk using the Request for Support Form urgent referrals should be made by telephone 0300 470 9100 (and ask for the priority line).
  • Report concerns that a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, following the Prevent Referral Process and use the Prevent referral form to refer cases by email to preventreferrals@surrey.pnn.police.uk If the matter is urgent then Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In cases where further advice from the Police is sought dial 101 or 01483 632982 and ask to speak to the Prevent Supervisor for Surrey.  The Department of Education has also set up a dedicated telephone helpline for staff to raise concerns around prevent (020 7340 7264).
  • Refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required. NB: NPCC – When to call the Police should help DSL’s understand when they should consider calling the Police and what to expect when they do.
  • Liaise with the “Case Manager” and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for child protection concerns in cases which concern a member of staff/supply staff/contractor or volunteer. The record should include details of the concern, the context in which the concern arose, and action taken.  The name of the individual sharing their concerns should also be noted, if the individual wishes to remain anonymous then that will be respected as far as reasonably possible.
  • Follow KCSIE 2023 guidance and be confident as to what local specialist support is available to support all children involved (including victims and alleged perpetrators) in sexual violence and sexual harassment and be confident as to how to access this support when required.
  • When there has been a report of sexual violence, make an immediate risk and needs assessment.  Additionally, where there has been a report of sexual harassment, the need for a risk assessment should be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be put in place as required.
  • Be available during term-time (during school hours) for staff in school to discuss any safeguarding concerns.  Appropriate and adequate cover arrangements will be arranged by the DSL for any out of hour/term activities.
  • Acts as a source of support and expertise in carrying out safeguarding duties for the whole school community.
  • Encourage and promote a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, amongst all staff.
  • Access training and support to ensure they have the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. DSL training should be updated at least every two years and their knowledge and skills refreshed at regular intervals but at least annually.
  • Have a secure working knowledge of SSCP procedures and understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including the local authority levels of need criteria and referral arrangements.
  • Have a clear understanding of access and referral to the local Early Help offer and will support and advise members of staff where early help intervention is appropriate.
  • Understand and support the school delivery with regards to the requirements of the Prevent Duty and provide advice and guidance to staff on protecting children from radicalisation.
  • Liaise with school staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and consult the SSCP Levels of Need documents to inform decisions making and liaising with relevant agencies.
  • Be alert to the specific needs of children.
  • Understand the risks associated with online activity and be confident that they have the up-to-date knowledge and capability to keep children safe whilst they are online at school; in particular understand the additional risks that our particular cohort face online, and the associated and appropriate support they require
  • Keep detailed, accurate written records, that include all concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral and record the rationale for decisions made and action taken.
  • Ensure that an indication of the existence of the additional child protection file is marked on the child’s school file record.
  • Ensure that where a child transfers school (including in-year), their child protection file is passed to the new school as soon as possible, and within statutory timescales (separately from the main child’s file and ensuring secure transit) and that confirmation of receipt is received.
  • Ensures that where a child transfers school and in on a child protection plan or is a child looked after, their information is passed to the new school/college immediately and the child’s social worker is informed. In addition, consideration should be given to a multi-agency transition meeting if the case is complex or ongoing.
  • If the transit method requires that a copy of the Child Protection file is retained until such a time that the new school/college acknowledges receipt of the original file, the copy should be securely destroyed on confirmation of the receipt.
  • Ensure that all appropriate staff members understand their role in multi-agency meetings to ensure that they attend and can effectively contribute when required to do so.  Where a report is required, this should be shared with parents prior to the meeting.
  • Report to the Principal any significant issues for example, use of the SSCP Multi-Agency Escalation Procedures
  • Ensure that the case holding Social Worker is informed of any child currently with a child protection plan who is absent without explanation.
  • Ensure that all staff sign to say they have read, understood and agree to work within the school’s Child Protection Policy, Staff Handbook (code of conduct) and Keeping Children Safe in Education Part 1, Annex A, Annex B and ensure that the policies are used appropriately.
  • Manage the filtering & monitoring of all school software and ensure it remains effective and fit for purpose following guidance set out in  ‘DfE Filtering and monitoring standards for schools & colleges (2023)’
  • Ensure all staff are trained annually and understand the expectations, applicable roles & responsibilities in relation to filtering and monitoring.
  • Share filtering & monitoring guidance with the school advisory board for quality assurance purposes and action any agreed amendments.
  • Organise Child Protection and Safeguarding Induction, regularly updated training and a minimum of annual updates (including online safety) for all school staff, keep a record of attendance and address any absences.
  • Ensure that in collaboration with the Principal, the Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually, and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly.
  • Ensure that the Child Protection Policy is available publicly and that parents are aware that referrals about suspected harm and abuse will be made, and the role of the school in this.
  • Establish and maintain links with the Local Authority safeguarding partners to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest policies on local safeguarding arrangements.
  • Ensure that the names of the designated members of staff for Child Protection, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and deputies, are clearly advertised in the school.
  • Meet all other responsibilities as set out for DSL’s in KCSIE 2023

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s)

In addition to the role and responsibilities of all staff, the Deputy DSL(s) will:

  • Be trained to the same standard as the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Provide support and capacity to the DSL in carrying out delegated activities of the DSL; however, the lead responsibility of the DSL cannot be delegated.
  • In the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of pupils. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL the deputy will assume all the DSL functions.

Confidentiality, Sharing and Withholding Information

All matters relating to child protection will be treated as confidential and only shared as per the Information Sharing Advice for Practitioners (DfE 2018) guidance. The school will refer to the guidance in the Data Protection: Toolkit for School to support schools with data protection activity, including compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Information will be shared with staff within the school who ‘need to know’.  Relevant staff should have due regards to GDPR principle which allow them to share (and withhold) information.

All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and that the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR are not a barrier to sharing information where a failure to do wo would place a child at risk of harm. There is a lawful basis for child protection concerns to be shared with agencies.

All staff will always undertake to gain parent/carers consent to refer to Social Care unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm or impede a criminal investigation.

Child Protection Procedures

The following procedures apply to all staff working in the school and will be covered by training to enable staff to understand their role and responsibility.

The aim of the procedures is to provide a robust framework which enables staff to take appropriate action when they are concerned that a child is being harmed or abused or it at risk of harm or abuse.

The prime concern at all stages must be the interests and safety of the child. Where there is a conflict of interest between the child and an adult, the interests of the child must be paramount.

All staff are aware that students with special needs and/or disabilities may be more likely to communicate concerns with behaviours rather than words. Additionally, staff will question the cause of knocks and bumps in children who have reduced mobility.

If a member of staff suspects abuse, spots signs or indicators of abuse, or they have a disclosure of abuse made to them they must:
  1. Make an initial record of the information related to the concern.
  2. Report it to the DSL immediately.
  3. The DSL will consider if there is a requirement for immediate medical intervention, however urgent medical attention should not be delayed if the DSL is not immediately available.
  4. Make an accurate record (which may be used in any subsequent court proceedings) as soon as possible and within 24 hours of the occurrence, of all that happened, including details of:
    • Dates and times of their observations
    • Dates and times of any discussions in which they were involved
    • Any injuries
    • Explanations given by the child/adult
    • Rationale for decision making and action taken
    • Any actual words or phrases used by the child
  5. The records must be signed and dated by the author or/equivalent on electronic based records.
  6. All safeguarding concerns are to be recorded digitally via CPOMS. In the event, a staff member is unable to access CPOMS they must record their concern using the safeguarding concern slips (found in reception) and deliver the slip directly to the DSL immediately. If the DSL is unavailable, then the slip may be given to a Deputy Designed Safeguarding Lead and must be stored safely in the Safeguarding folder until they are able to upload to CPOMS.
  7. In the absence of the DSL or their Deputy, staff must be prepared to refer directly to C-SPA (and the Police if appropriate) if there is potential for immediate significant harm.
Following a report of concerns the DSL must:
  1. Using the SSCP Levels of Need, decide whether there are sufficient grounds for suspecting harm, in which case a request for support must be made to the C-SPA and the Police if appropriate.
  1. Normally the school should try to discuss any concerns about a child’s welfare with the family and where possible to seek their agreement before making a referral to the C-SPA. However, this should only be done when it does not place the child at increased risk or impede a Police investigation. The child’s view should also be considered.
  2. If there are grounds to suspect a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, harm or abuse the DSL must contact the C-SPA. By sending a Request for Support Form by secure email to: cspa@surreycc.gov.uk. If a child is in immediate danger and urgent protective action is required, the Police (999) must be called. The DSL must also notify the C-SPA of the occurrence and what action has been taken.
  3. If the DSL feels unsure about whether a referral is necessary, they can phone the C-SPA to discuss concerns.
  4. If there is not a risk of significant harm, the DSL will either actively monitor the situation or consider offering early help.
  5. If there are doubts or reservations about involving the child’s family, the DSL should clarify with the C-SPA or the Police whether the parents should be told about the referral and, if so, when and by whom. This is important in cases where the Police may need to conduct a criminal investigation.
  6. When a child needs urgent medical attention and there is suspicion of abuse the DSL or their Deputy should take the child to the accident and emergency unit at the nearest hospital, having first notified the C-SPA. The DSL should seek advice about what action the C-SPA will take and about informing the parents, remembering that parents should normally be informed that a child requires urgent hospital attention.
  7. The exception to this process will be in those cases of known FGM where there is a mandatory requirement for the teacher to report directly to the Police.  The DSL should also be made aware.

Dealing with disclosures

All staff

A member of staff who is approached by a child should listen positively and try to reassure them. They cannot promise complete confidentiality and should explain that they need to pass information to other professionals to help keep the child and/or other children safe. The degree of confidentiality should always be governed by the need to protect the child.

Additional consideration needs to be given to children with communication difficulties and for those whose preferred language is not English. It is important to communicate with them in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference. All staff should know who the DSL is and who to approach if the DSL is unavailable.

All staff have the right to make a referral to the C-SPA or Police directly and should do this if, for whatever reason, there are difficulties following the agreed protocol, for example, they are the only adult on the school premises at the time and have concerns about sending a child home.

Guiding principles, the seven R’s

Receive

  • Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief
  • Accept what is said and take it seriously
  • Make a note of what has been said as soon as practicable

Reassure

  • Reassure the child, but only so far as is honest and reliable
  • Don’t make promises you may not be able to keep e.g. ‘I’ll stay with you’ or ‘everything will be alright now’ or ‘I’ll keep this confidential’
  • Do reassure, for example, you could say: ‘I believe you’, ‘I am glad you came to me’, ‘I am sorry this has happened’, ‘We are going to do something together to get help’

Respond

  • Respond to the child only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate for full details.
  • Do not ask ‘leading’ questions i.e., ‘did he touch your private parts?’ or ‘Did she hurt you?’ Such questions may invalidate your evidence (and the child’s) in any later prosecution in court.
  • Do not ask the child why something has happened.
  • Do not criticize the alleged perpetrator; the child may care about him/her, and reconciliation may be possible.
  • Do not ask the child to repeat it all for another member of staff. Explain what you must do next and whom you must talk to. Reassure the child that it will be a senior member of staff.

Report

  • Share concerns with the DSL immediately.
  • If you are not able to contact your DSL or the Deputy DSL, and the child is at risk of immediate harm, contact the C-SPA or Police, as appropriate directly.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the level of response, you receive following your concerns, you should press for re-consideration.

Record

  • If possible, make some very brief notes at the time, and write them up as soon as possible.
  • Keep your original notes on file.
  • Record the date, time, place, person/s present and noticeable nonverbal behaviour, and the words used by the child. If the child uses sexual ‘pet’ words, record the actual words used, rather than translating them into ‘proper’ words.
  • If appropriate, complete a body map to indicate the position of any noticeable bruising
  • Record facts and observable things, rather than your ‘interpretations’ or ‘assumptions’

Remember

  • Support the child: listen, reassure, and be available
  • Complete confidentiality is essential. Share your knowledge only with appropriate professional colleagues
  • Get some support for yourself if you need it

Review (led by DSL)

  • Has the action taken provided good outcomes for the child?
  • Did the procedure work?
  • Were any deficiencies or weaknesses identified in the procedure? Have these been remedied?
  • Is further training required?

What happens next?

It is important that concerns are followed up and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are. The member of staff should be informed by the DSL what has happened following a report being made. If they do not receive this information, they should seek it out.

If they have concerns that the disclosure has not been acted upon appropriately, they might inform the Principal of the school and/or may contact the C-SPA.

Receiving a disclosure can be upsetting for the member of staff and schools should have a procedure for supporting them after the disclosure. This might include reassurance that they have followed procedure correctly and that their swift actions will enable the allegations to be handled appropriately. In some cases, additional support might be needed, and staff should be encouraged to recognise that disclosures can have an impact on their own emotions.

Safeguarding concerns and allegations against adults who work with children – referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Procedure
  • 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 would pose a risk of harm to children.
  • behaved or been involved in an incident outside of a setting which did not involve children but could impact on their suitability to work with children.
  • discriminated against one of the Protected Characteristics

In dealing with allegations or concerns against an adult, staff must:

  • Report any concerns about the conduct of any member of staff, volunteer, outside agency worker, or other adult to the Principal immediately. If the event that the Principal is unavailable, this should be reported to the DSL immediately.
  • If an allegation is made against the Principal the concerns need to be raised with the LADO.
  • If the allegation is against the DSL and the Principal is unavailable, the concern needs to be raised with the LADO.
  • There may be situations when the Principal will want to involve the Police immediately if the person is deemed to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence.

Once an allegation has been received by the Principal, they will contact the LADO (as part of their mandatory duty) on 0300 123 1650 option 3 LADO or Email: LADO@surreycc.gov.uk immediately and before taking any action or investigation.

Following consultation with the LADO, inform the parents of the allegation unless there is a good reason not to.

In liaison with the LADO, the school will determine how to proceed and if necessary, the LADO will refer the matter to Children’s Social Care and/or the Police.

If the matter refers to an outside agency worker who is employed by an external provider used by the school. The school will then cease all upcoming and future collaborations with the provider while the investigation is carried out. If the matter is investigated internally, the LADO will advise the school to seek guidance in following procedures set out in part 4 “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023”, Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings: Code of Practice and the SSCP procedures.

What is child abuse?

The following definitions are taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children HM Government (2018). In addition to these definitions, it should be understood that children can also be abused by being sexually exploited, honour-based violence, forced marriage or female genital mutilation. To support the local context, all staff have access to the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership Levels of Need Threshold Document.

What is abuse and neglect?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.  Abuse can include witnessing domestic abuse or the ill-treatment of others.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.

It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.

These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur in isolation.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional.  Children can be victims of domestic abuse.  They may see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse at home and/or suffer domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (teenage relationships abuse). All of which can have a detrimental impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn.

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether the child is aware of what is happening.

The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including online).

Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse. The Neglect Risk Assessment Tool is available to provide a more detailed information regarding the assessment of neglect.


Indicators of abuse

Harm can include ill treatment that is not physical as well as the impact of witnessing ill treatment of others. This can be particularly relevant, for example, in relation to the impact on children of all forms of domestic abuse.  Children may be abused in a family, or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them, or more rarely, by others.

Extra-familial harm

Extra-familial harm is harm that occurs to children outside of the family and usually during adolescence.

Intra-familial harm

Intra-familial harm is harm that occurs inside the family.

Neglect

Neglect is a lack of care, but poverty and lack of information or adequate services can be contributory factors.

Far more children are registered to the category of neglect on Child in Need and Child Protection plans than to the other categories. As with abuse, the number of children experiencing neglect is likely to be much higher than the numbers on the plans. Neglect is a difficult form of abuse to recognise and is often seen as less serious than other categories. It is, however, very damaging: children who are neglected often develop more slowly than others and may find it hard to make friends and fit in with their peer group.

Neglect is often noticed at a stage when it may not pose a risk to the child. The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (What to do if You’re Worried a Child is Being Abused DfE 2015) would suggest that an appropriate intervention or conversation at this early stage can address the issue and prevent a child continuing to suffer until it reaches a point when they are at risk of harm or in significant need.

Neglect is often linked to other forms of abuse, so any concerns school staff have should be discussed with the DSL.

Emotional abuse

It is sometimes possible to spot emotionally abusive behaviour from parents and carers toward their children, by the way that the adults are speaking to, or behaving towards children. An appropriate challenge or intervention could affect positive change and prevent more intensive work being carried out later.

  • Emotional abuse is difficult to define, identify/recognise and/or prove.
  • Emotional abuse is chronic and cumulative and has a long-term impact.
  • All kinds of abuse and neglect have emotional effects although emotional abuse can occur by itself.
  • Children can be harmed by witnessing someone harming another person – as in domestic abuse.
  • Most harm is produced in low warmth, high criticism homes, not from single incidents. 

Physical abuse

Most children collect cuts and bruises quite routinely as part of the rough and tumble of daily life. But accidental injuries normally occur on the bony prominences – e.g., knees, shins.

Injuries on the soft areas of the body are more likely to be inflicted intentionally and should therefore make us more alert to other concerning factors that may be present.

A body map can assist in the clear recording and reporting of physical abuse. The body map should only be used to record observed injuries and no child should be asked to remove clothing by a member of staff of the school.

In the context of the school, it is normal to ask about a noticeable injury. Concern should be increased when:

  • the explanation given does not match the injury
  • the explanation uses words or phrases that do not match the vocabulary of the child (adult words)
  • no explanation is forthcoming
  • the child (or the parent/carer) is secretive or evasive
  • the injury is accompanied by allegations of abuse or assault

Sexual Abuse

 Sexual abuse is often perpetrated by people who are known and trusted by the child – e.g. relatives, family friends, neighbours, babysitters, and people working with the child in school, faith settings, clubs or activities. Children can also be subject to child sexual exploitation.

Sexual exploitation is seen as a separate category of sexual abuse. The SSCP professional guidance provides school staff with information regarding indicators of CSE.

Characteristics of child sexual abuse:

  • It is often planned and systematic – people do not sexually abuse children by accident, though sexual abuse can be opportunistic
  • Grooming the child – people who abuse children take care to choose a vulnerable child and often spend time making them dependent (this may occur online)
  • Grooming the child’s environment – abusers try to ensure that potential adult protectors (parents and other carers especially) are not suspicious of their motives.

Most people who sexually abuse children are men, but women and other children can commit sexual abuse too.


Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools

Child on Child Abuse

Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between children of any age and sex. It can occur through a single child or a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.

Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, likely, adversely affect their education attainment as well as their emotional well-being. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap; they can occur online and offline (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable. It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support.

Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are extremely complex to manage. It is essential that victims are protected, offered appropriate support and every effort is made to ensure their education is not disrupted. It is also important that other children, adults, and school staff are supported and protected as appropriate.

Policy

We believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults and other children in school.

We recognise that children can abuse other children and their peers, and this will be dealt with under our child protection policy and in line with KCSIE (2023).

We are clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up.

We will minimise the risk of child-on-child abuse by: –

Taking a whole school approach to safeguarding & child protection.

Prevention

Providing training to staff providing a clear set of values and standards, underpinned by the school’s behaviour policy and pastoral support; and by a planned programme of evidence-based content delivered through the curriculum.

Engaging with specialist support and interventions.

Responding to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment

Children making any report of sexual violence or sexual harassment including “upskirting” (The Voyeurism Offences Act 2019) will be taken seriously, kept safe and be well supported.

If the report includes an online element staff will be mindful of the Searching, Screening and Confiscation: advice for schools – July 2022 guidance.

Staff taking the report will inform the DSL or the Deputy DSL’s immediately.

Staff taking a report will never promise confidentiality.

Parents or carers should usually be informed (unless this would put the child at greater risk).

If a child is at risk of harm, is in immediate danger, or has been harmed, a Request for Support will be made to the C-SPA securely email: cspa@surreycc.gov.uk  or telephone 0300 470 9100, as appropriate.

Risk Assessment

Following a report, the DSL will make an immediate risk and needs assessment on a case-by-case basis.

The risk assessment will consider:

  • The victim, especially their protection and support.
  • The alleged perpetrator, their support needs, and any discipline action.
  • All other children at the school.
  • The victim and the alleged perpetrator sharing classes and space at school.
  • The risk assessment will be recorded and kept under review.

Where there has been other professional intervention and/or other specialist risk assessments, these professional assessments will be used to inform the school’s approach to supporting and protecting children.

Support regarding risk assessments can be accessed from the Education Safeguarding Team – education.safeguarding@surreycc.gov.uk

Action: The DSL will consider

  • The wishes of the victim.
  • The nature of the incident including whether a crime has been committed and the harm caused.
  • Ages of the children involved.
  • Developmental stages of the children.
  • Any power imbalance between the children.
  • Any previous incidents.
  • Ongoing risks
  • Other related issues or wider context.

Options:

  • Manage internally
  • Early Help intervention
  • Request for support to the C-SPA
  • Report to the Police (generally in parallel with a request for support to the C-SPA)

Ongoing Response:

The DSL will manage each case individually and will ensure the risk assessment is reviewed regularly with relevant partner agencies, for example the Police and Children’s Social Care.

Where there is a criminal investigation into a rape, assault by penetration or sexual assault, the alleged perpetrator should be removed from any classes they share with the victim.

The DSL will consider how best to keep the victim and perpetrator a reasonable distance apart on school premises.

Where a criminal investigation into a rape or assault by penetration leads to a conviction or caution, the school will take suitable action. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances, the rape or assault is likely to constitute a serious breach of discipline and may lead to the view that allowing the perpetrator to remain in the same school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the victim (and potentially themselves and other children).

Where a criminal investigation into sexual assault leads to a conviction or caution, the school will, if it has not already, consider any suitable sanctions in light of their behaviour policy, which may include consideration of permanent exclusion. Where the perpetrator is going to remain at the school, the Principal should continue keeping the victim and perpetrator in separate classes and continue to consider the most appropriate way to manage potential contact on school premises. The nature of the conviction or caution and wishes of the victim will be especially important in determining how to proceed in such cases.

The victim, alleged perpetrator and any other children & adults affected will receive appropriate support and safeguards on a case-by-case basis.

The school will take any disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator in accordance with the school behaviour policy.

The school recognises that taking disciplinary action and providing appropriate support are not mutually exclusive actions and will occur at the same time if necessary.

Physical Abuse

While a clear focus of child-on-child abuse is around sexual abuse and harassment, physical assaults and initiation violence and rituals from children to children can also be abusive.

These are equally not tolerated and if it is believed that a crime has been committed, will be reported to the Police.

The principles from the anti-bullying policy will be applied in these cases, with recognition that any Police investigation will need to take priority.

References:

“Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023”


Harmful Sexual Behaviour

The Brook Traffic Light Tool uses a traffic light system to categorise the sexual behaviours of young people and is designed to help professionals:

  • Make decisions about safeguarding children and young people
  • Assess and respond appropriately to sexual behaviour in children and young people
  • Understand healthy sexual development and distinguish it from harmful behaviour

By categorising sexual behaviours, the school can work with other agencies to the same standardised criteria when making decisions and can protect children and young people with a multi-agency approach.

The school recognises that it is vital that professionals agree on how behaviours should be categorised regardless of culture, faith, beliefs, and their own experiences or values.

Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool

Behaviours: age 9 to 13

All green, amber and red behaviours require some form of attention and response.  It is the level of intervention that will vary.

What is green behaviour?What is amber behaviour?What is red behaviour?
Green behaviours reflect safe and healthy sexual development. They are displayed between children or young people of similar age or neurodevelopmental ability and reflective of natural curiosity, experimentation, consensual activities, and positive choices.Amber behaviours have the potential to be outside of safe and healthy behaviour.  They may be potential concerns due to age, or developmental differences. A potential concern due to activity type, frequency, duration, or context in which they occur.Red behaviours are outside of safe and healthy behaviour.  They may be excessive, secretive, compulsive, coercive, degrading or threatening and involving significant age, developmental, or power difference. They may pose a concern due to the activity type, frequency, duration, or the context in which they occur.
What can you do?What can you do?What can you do?
Green behaviours provide opportunities to give positive feedback and additional information.Amber behaviours signal the need to take notice and gather information to assess the appropriate action.Red behaviours indicate a need for immediate intervention and action.
Green behaviours 9-13Amber behaviours 9-13Red behaviours 9-13
· Solitary masturbation
· Use of sexual language including swear and slang words
· Having girl/boyfriends who are of the same, opposite or any gender
· Interest in popular culture, e.g. fashion, music, media, online games, charring online
· Need for privacy
Consensual kissing, hugging, holding hands with peers
· Uncharacteristic and risk-related behaviour, e.g. sudden and/or provocative change in dress, withdrawal from friends, mixing with new or older people, having more or less money than usual, going missing
· Verbal, physical or cyber/virtual sexual bullying involving sexual aggression
· LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) targeted bullying
· Exhibitionism, e.g. flashing or mooning
· Giving out details online
· Viewing pornographic material
Worrying about being pregnant or having STI’s
· Exposing genitals or masturbating in public
· Distributing naked or sexually provocative images of self or others
· Sexually explicit talk with younger children
· Sexual harassment
· Arranging to meet with an online acquaintance in secret
· Genital injury to self or others
· Forcing other children of same age, younger or less able to take part in sexual activities
· Sexual activity e.g. oral sex or intercourse
· Presence of sexual transmitted infection (STI)
· Evidence of pregnancy
This is intended to be used as a guide only. Please refer to the guidance tool at https://www.brook.org.uk/ourwork/thesexual-behaviours-traffic-light-tool for further information Print date: 01/10/2015 – Brook has taken every care to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the time of being published. As information and knowledge is constantly changing, readers are strongly advised to use this information for up to one month from print date. Brook accepts no responsibility for difficulties that may arise as a result of an individual acting on the advice and recommendations it contains. Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool adapted from Family Planning Queensland. (2012). Traffic Lights guide to sexual behaviours. Brisbane: Family Planning Queensland, Australia

Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool

Behaviours: age 13 to 17

All green, amber and red behaviours require some form of attention and response. It is the level of intervention that will vary.

What is green behaviour?What is amber behaviour?What is red behaviour?
Green behaviours reflect safe and healthy sexual development. They are displayed between children or young people of similar age or neurodevelopmental ability and reflective of natural curiosity, experimentation, consensual activities, and positive choices.Amber behaviours have the potential to be outside of safe and healthy behaviour.  They may be potential concerns due to age, or developmental differences. A potential concern due to activity type, frequency, duration, or context in which they occur.Red behaviours are outside of safe and healthy behaviour.  They may be excessive, secretive, compulsive, coercive, degrading or threatening and involving significant age, developmental, or power difference. They may pose a concern due to the activity type, frequency, duration, or the context in which they occur.
What can you do?What can you do?What can you do?
Green behaviours provide opportunities to give positive feedback and additional information.Amber behaviours signal the need to take notice and gather information to assess the appropriate action.Red behaviours indicate a need for immediate intervention and action.
Green behaviours 13-17Amber behaviours 13-17Red behaviours 13-17
· Solitary masturbation
· Sexually explicit conversations with peers
· Obscenities and jokes within the current norm
· Interest in erotica/pornography
· Use of internet/e-media to chat online
· Having sexual or non-sexual relationships
· Sexual activity including hugging, kissing, holding hands
· Consenting oral and/or penetrative sex with others of the same or opposite gender who are of similar age and developmental ability
Choosing not to be sexually active
· Accessing exploitative or violent pornography
· Uncharacteristic and risk-related behaviour, e.g. sudden and/or provocative changes in dress
· Withdrawal from friends, mixing with new or older people
·  having more or less money than usual
· going missing
· concern about body image
· taking and sending naked or sexually provocative images of self or others
· single occurrence of peeping, exposing, mooning or obscene gestures
· giving out contact details online
·  joining adult-only social networking sites and giving false personal information
arranging a face-to-face meeting with an online contact alone
· Exposing genitals or masturbating in public
· Preoccupation with sex, which interferes with daily function
· Sexual degradation/humiliation of self or others
· Attempting/forcing others to expose genitals
· Sexually aggressive/exploitative behaviour
· Sexually explicit talk with younger children
· Sexual harassment
· Non-consensual sexual activity
· Use of/acceptance of power and control in sexual relationships
· Genital injury to self or others
· Sexual contact with others where there is a big difference in age or ability
· Sexual activity with someone in authority and in a position of trust
· Involvement in sexual exploitation and /or trafficking
· Sexual contact with animals
· Receipt of gifts or money in exchange for sex
This is intended to be used as a guide only. Please refer to the guidance tool at https://www.brook.org.uk/ourwork/thesexual-behaviours-traffic-light-tool for further information Print date: 01/10/2015 – Brook has taken every care to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the time of being published. As information and knowledge is constantly changing, readers are strongly advised to use this information for up to one month from print date. Brook accepts no responsibility for difficulties that may arise as a result of an individual acting on the advice and recommendations it contains. Brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool adapted from Family Planning Queensland. (2012). Traffic Lights guide to sexual behaviours. Brisbane: Family Planning Queensland, Australia

Anti-Bullying/Cyberbullying

Our school policy on anti-bullying is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

We keep a record of known bullying incidents. All staff are aware that children with Special Educational Needs and/or are more susceptible to being bullied/victims of child abuse.

When there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm’ a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern. If the anti-bullying procedures are seen to be ineffective, the Principal and the DSL will also consider child protection procedures.

PSHE and Personal Development education regularly provides opportunities for children to understand bullying is wrong, its impact and how to deal with it.


Online Safety/Cybercrime

The school has an online safety policy which explains how we try to keep children safe in school and how we respond to online safety incidents.

Children increasingly use electronic equipment daily to access the internet, share and view content and images via social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and voodoo and for online gaming.

Some adults and other children use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts or emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in extremist or sexual behaviour involving webcam photography or face-to-face meetings.

Children may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate material such as pornographic websites or those which promote extremist behaviour, criminal activity, suicide or eating disorders. Children are taught about online safety throughout the curriculum.

At Egham Park School, children are safeguarded from accessing inappropriate material through use of our Smoothwall Web Filtering and Firewall S1 Security Appliances. These filters are reviewed as required, but at least annually by the DSL.

If a pupil attempts to search for inappropriate content on a school computer, the forensic monitoring system will notify the IT provider who will then notify the DSL of the following:

  • Device name or ID, IP address, and where possible, the individual 
  • The time and date of attempted access
  • The search term or content being blocked

Racist Incidents

Our policy on racist incidents is set out separately and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. We keep a record of racist incidents.


Radicalisation, Extremism and Terrorism

The Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on education and other children’s services to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Extremism is defined as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

Terrorism is an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes with an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, or ideological cause.

Some children are at risk of being radicalised; adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal, or dangerous. This can happen both online and offline.

The school is clear that exploitation of children and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and follows the Department for Education guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism.

The school seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.

Opportunities are provided in the curriculum to enable children to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and the school follows the DfE advice Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural education) in Schools (2014).

Preventative education is most effective in the context of a whole school approach that prepares pupils and students for life in modern Britain and creates a culture of zero-tolerance for sexism, misogyny/misandry, homophobia, biphobic and sexual violence/harassment.  This will be underpinned by the schools Behavioural Policy and pastoral support system, as well as by a planned programmed of PSHE/RSHE delivered in regular timetabled lessons and reinforced throughout the whole curriculum.

The Principal and the DSL(s) will assess the level of risk within the school and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include due diligence checks for external speakers, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the school’s profile, community, and philosophy.

When any member of staff has concerns that a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DSL in the first instance. They should then follow the safeguarding procedures and refer cases by e-mail to preventreferrals@surrey.pnn.police.uk following the Prevent referral process and use the Prevent referral form. If the matter is urgent, then Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In cases where further advice from the Police is sought dial 101 or 01483 632982 and ask to speak to the Prevent Supervisor for Surrey.

The Department for Education has also set up a dedicated telephone helpline for staff and governors to raise concerns around Prevent (020 7340 7264).

Indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as:

  • The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
  • Encourage, justify, or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of beliefs
  • Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts
  • Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts
  • Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.

There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.

Children may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal, and environmental factors – it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that school staff can recognise those vulnerabilities

Indicators of vulnerability include:

  • Identity Crisis – the child is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society.
  • Personal Crisis – the child may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging.
  • Personal Circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the child’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy.
  • Unmet Aspirations – the child may have perceptions of injustice or a feeling of failure.
  • Experiences of Criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement/reintegration.
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – children may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.

However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism. The Department of Education guidance The Prevent Duty should be referred to.


Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse. It involves the use of power and coercive control by one person over another. It occurs regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, mental or physical ability. Domestic abuse can also involve other types of abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021. The Act introduces the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse and recognises the impact of domestic abuse on children, as victims in their own right, if they see, hear or experience the effects of abuse. The statutory definition of domestic abuse, based on the previous cross-government definition, ensures that different types of relationships are captured, including ex-partners and family members. The definition captures a range of different abusive behaviours, including physical, emotional, and economic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour. Both the person who is carrying out the behaviour and the person to whom the behaviour is directed towards must be aged 16 or over and they must be “personally connected” (as defined in section 2 of the 2021 Act).

We use the term domestic abuse to reflect that several abusive and coercive controlling behaviours are involved beyond violence. Slapping, punching, kicking, bruising, rape, ridicule, constant criticism, threats, manipulation, sleep deprivation, social isolation, and other coercive controlling behaviours all count as abuse. Living in a home where domestic abuse takes place is harmful to children and can have a serious impact on their behaviour, wellbeing and understanding of healthy, positive relationships. Children who witness domestic abuse are at risk of significant harm and staff are alert to the signs and symptoms of a child suffering or witnessing domestic abuse.


Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.

The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur using technology. All staff are aware of the link between online safety and vulnerability to CSE.

Any concerns that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually exploited should be passed immediately to the DSL.

The school is aware there is a clear link between regular non-attendance at school and CSE. Staff will consider a child to be at potential CSE risk in the case of regular non-attendance at school and make reasonable enquiries with the child and parents to assess this risk.

All staff are aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school and/or can occur between children outside of these environments. All staff, but especially the DSL and Deputy(s) will consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside their families. Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.

The DSL will consider the published SSCP guidance and advice when there is a concern that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually exploited or where indicators have been observed that are consistent with a child who is being, or who is at risk of being sexually exploited.

In all cases if the DSL identifies any level of concern the DSL should contact the C-SPA and email a Request for Support Form. If a child is in immediate danger the Police should be called on 999.

The school is aware that often a child is not able to recognise the coercive nature of the abuse and does not see themselves as a victim. Consequently, the child may resent what they perceive as interference by staff. However, staff must act on their concerns as they would for any other type of abuse. Children also rarely self-report CSE so staff must be particularly vigilant to potential indicators of risk.

The school includes the risks of sexual exploitation in the PSHE, RSE and Personal Development curriculum. Children will be informed of the grooming process and how to protect themselves from people who may potentially be intent on causing harm. They will be supported in terms of recognising and assessing risk in relation to CSE, including online, and knowing how and where to get help.


Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) & Gangs

Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity.

There are several areas in which children are put at risk by gang activity, both through participation in, and as victims of, gang violence which can be in relation to their peers or to a gang-involved adult in their household.

A child who is affected by gang activity or serious youth violence may have suffered, or may be likely to suffer, significant harm through physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect.

Children can be vulnerable to recruitment into gangs and involvement in gang violence. This vulnerability may be exacerbated by risk factors in an individual’s background, including violence in the family, involvement of siblings in gangs, poor educational attainment, or poverty or mental health problems.

Criminal exploitation of children is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity. Key identifying features of involvement in county lines are when children are missing, when the victim may have been trafficked for transporting drugs, a referral to the National Referral Mechanism should be considered with Social Care and Police colleagues.

A child who is affected by gang activity, criminal exploitation or serious youth violence can be at risk of significant harm through physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Girls may be particularly at risk of sexual exploitation.

Any concerns that a child is being or is at risk of being criminally exploited will be passed without delay to the DSL. The school is aware there is a clear link between regular nonattendance at school and exploitation. Staff will consider a child to be at potential risk in the case of regular non-attendance at school and make reasonable enquiries with the child and parents to assess this risk.

A request for support to the C-SPA will be made when any concern of harm to a child because of gang activity including child criminal exploitation becomes known. The DSL will contact the C-SPA. If there is concern about a child’s immediate safety, the Police will be contacted on 999.


Sharing Nudes and Semi Nudes

The practice of children sharing images and videos via text message, email, social media, or mobile messaging apps has become commonplace. However, this online technology has also given children the opportunity to produce and distribute sexual imagery in the form of photos and videos. Such imagery involving anyone under the age of 18 is unlawful.

Sharing Nudes/Semi-Nudes refers to both images and videos where:

  • A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18.
  • A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult.
  • A person under the age if 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18.

All incidents of this nature should be treated as a safeguarding concern and in line with the UKCCIS guidance Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people.

Cases where sexual imagery of people under 18 has been shared by adults and where sexual imagery of a person of any age has been shared by an adult to a child is child sexual abuse and should be responded to.

If a member of staff becomes aware of an incident involving making or sharing nudes/semi-nudes, they should follow the child protection procedures and refer to the DSL immediately.

The member of staff should confiscate the device involved and set it to flight mode or, if this is not possible, turn it off. Staff must not view, copy, or print the images.

The DSL should hold an initial review meeting with appropriate school staff and subsequent interviews with the children involved (if appropriate).

Parents should be informed at an early stage and involved in the process unless there is reason to believe that involving parents would put the child at risk of harm.

At any point in the process if there is concern a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm a request for support should be made to the C-SPA and/or the Police as appropriate.

Immediate request for support at the initial review stage should be made to Children’s Social Care/Police if:

  • The incident involves an adult.
  • There is good reason to believe that a young person has been coerced, blackmailed, or groomed or if there are concerns about their capacity to consent (for example, owing to SEND).
  • What you know about the imagery suggests the content depicts sexual acts which are unusual for the child’s development stage or are violent.
  • The imagery involves sexual acts.
  • The imagery involves anyone aged 12 or under.
  • There is reason to believe a child is at immediate risk of harm owing to the sharing of the imagery, for example the child is presenting as suicidal or self-harming.

If none of the above apply then the DSL will use their professional judgement to assess the risk to children involved and may decide, with input from the Head of School, to respond to the incident without referral to the C-SPA or the Police.

During the decision making the DSL will consider if:

  • There is a significant age difference between the sender/receiver.
  • There is any coercion or encouragement beyond the sender/receiver.
  • The imagery was shared and received with the knowledge of the child in the imagery. The child is vulnerable, for example subject to Child in Need, Child Protection or Early Help plans, Looked After, SEND.
  • There is a significant impact on the children involved.
  • The image is of a severe or extreme nature.
  • The child involved understands consent.
  • The situation is isolated or if the image been more widely distributed.
  • There are other circumstances relating to either the sender or recipient that may add cause for concern.
  • The children have been involved in incidents relating to youth produced sexual imagery previously.

If any of these circumstances are present the situation will be referred according to our child protection procedures, including referral to the C-SPA or the Police.

The DSL will record all incidents of making, sharing, and sending nudes and semi-nudes including the actions taken, rationale for actions and the outcome.


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act (2003). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. A mandatory reporting duty requires teachers to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s, which are identified in the course of their professional work, to the Police.

The duty applies to all persons in school who are employed or engaged to carry out ‘teaching work’ in the school, whether or not they have qualified teacher status.

The duty applies to the individual who becomes aware of the case to make a report.

It should not be transferred to the DSL; however, the DSL should be informed.

If a teacher is informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her or a teacher observes physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth, the teacher should personally make a report to the Police force in which the girl resides by calling 101. The report should be made immediately.

Concerns about FGM outside of the mandatory reporting duty should be reported using the school child protection procedures. Staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female children about going on a long holiday during the summer holiday.

There should also be consideration of potential risk to other girls in the family and the wider community. Where there is a risk to life or likelihood of serious immediate harm the teacher should report the case immediately to the Police, including dialling 999 if appropriate.

There are no circumstances in which a teacher or other member of staff should examine a girl.


Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities cannot) consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual, and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.

Forced marriage is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse, and a serious abuse of human rights. Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage which is common in many cultures. The families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.

School staff should never attempt to intervene directly as a school or through a third party. Contact should be made with the C-SPA and/or the Forced Marriage Unit by calling 020 7008 0151, or emailing fmu@fcdo.gov.uk


Honour-based abuse

Honour based abuse (HBA) can be described as a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.

Honour based abuse might be committed against people who:

  • become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion.
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage; become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage.
  • want to get out of a forced marriage
  • wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture.

It is considered a violation of human rights and may be a form of domestic and/or sexual abuse

One Chance Rule

All practitioners working with victims of honour-based violence need to be aware of the ‘one chance’ rule. That is, they may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim and thus they may only have one chance to save a life.

The school is aware that if the victim is not offered support following disclosure that the ‘One Chance’ opportunity may be lost. Therefore, all staff are aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they become aware of potential forced marriage, FGM and HBA cases.

Safeguarding LGBTQIA+ Children

LGBTQIA+ children and young people face the same risks as all children and young people, but they are at greater risk of some types of abuse. For example, they might experience homophobic, biphobia or transphobic bullying or hate crime.

The school recognises these additional risk factors and understands that LGBTQIA+ pupils may require additional consideration when considering their safeguarding and access the school and the curriculum. All considerations will be discussed with the Principal, pupil, DLS and parents/carers (if appropriate) during their enrolment, or when required.

All staff members have a legal obligation to respect the sexual orientation, gender, identify, and pro-nouns of each individual pupil. To best support, staff are required to complete additional training (Supporting LGBTQIA+ pupils).


Private Fostering Arrangements

A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16 years old or 18 years old if the child is disabled.

Looked After Children by the local authority or those who are placed in residential schools, children’s homes or hospitals are not considered to be privately fostered.

Private fostering occurs in all cultures and children may be privately fostered at any age.

The school recognises that most privately fostered children remain safe and well but are aware that safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases. Therefore, all staff are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that the child has been trafficked into the country. By law, a parent, private foster carer, or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify Children’s Social Care immediately. However, where a member of staff becomes aware that a child may be in a private fostering arrangement, they will raise this with the DSL and the DSL will notify the C-SPA immediately.


Looked After Children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is because of abuse and neglect.

The school will ensure that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe. Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.

The DSL has details of the child’s social worker.


Children Missing Education

All children are entitled to an efficient, full-time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude, and any SEND they may have.

The school recognises that children missing education, can be a vital warning sign of a range of safeguarding possibilities. They are also at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of abuse and harm, exploitation, radicalisation, and not being in education, employment, or training (NEET) later in life.

Where possible the school will hold more than one emergency contact number for each child.

The school will ensure that there is a record of joiners and leavers as defined in The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (amended 2016).

When removing a child’s name, the school will notify the Local Authority of: (a) the full name of the child, (b) the full name and address of any parent with whom the child normally resides, (c) at least one telephone number of the parent, (d) the child’s future address and destination school/college, if applicable, and (e) the ground in regulation 8 under which the child’s name is to be removed from the school register.

The school will make reasonable enquiries to establish the whereabouts of a child jointly with the Local Authority, before deleting the child’s name from the school register if the deletion is under regulation 8(1), sub-paragraphs (f) (iii) and (h) (iii)of The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (amended 2016).

The school will:

  • Enter children on the admissions register on the first day on which the school has agreed, or has been notified, that the child will attend the school.
  • Monitor each child’s attendance through their daily register and follow the school’s procedure in cases of unauthorised absence.
  • Remove a child’s name from the admissions register on the date that the child leaves the school.

School Attendance and Behaviour

Additional policies and procedures are in place regarding behaviour.

The school recognises that absence from school and exclusion from school may be indicators of abuse and neglect, including the exploitation of children. The DSL will regularly liaise with members of school staff with responsibility for behaviour and attendance to ensure risk is identified and appropriate intervention is in place to protect children from harm.

Staff will be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Restrictive Physical Intervention

We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child is at immediate risk of harming themselves or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person. Such events should be fully recorded and signed by a witness.

Staff who are likely to need to use physical intervention will be appropriately trained.

Staff understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection and/or disciplinary procedures.

We recognise that sometimes touch is appropriate in the context or working with children, and all staff have been given safe practice guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundaries.

When using physical intervention with the school will consider the risks, given the additional vulnerabilities of our school cohort.

Surrey County Council Guidance Touch and the use of Restrictive Physical Intervention When Working with Children and Young People provides further detailed information. Please download a copy from Surrey County Council


Additional Resources