Child Protection and
Safeguarding Policy Framework
For Children in Childcare Settings
CHESHIRE EAST MODEL POLICY
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
|Person responsible for the Policy:
|Date for Review:
At Chelford Village Pre-School the named personnel with designated responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding are:
|Designated Safeguarding Lead||Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead||Safeguarding Owner / Committee Chair|
Gemma Jackson (Manager)
Emma Close (Deputy)
The named personnel with designated responsibility regarding allegations against staff/those working in the setting are:
|Senior Manager||Deputy Manager||Owner / Committee
(in the event of an allegation against the Manager)
Andrew Brady (Chairperson)
The named person with designated responsibility regarding Cared for children is:
Designated lead for cared for children
This policy demonstrates Chelford Village Pre-School commitment and compliance with safeguarding legislation.
Early years and childcare providers have a duty under section 39(1)(b) of the Childcare Act 2006 to comply with the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (April 2017).
Early years and childcare providers must ensure that:
- Staff complete safeguarding training that enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity and in a timely and appropriate way; and
- They have a practitioner who is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting and who should liaise with local statutory children’s services agencies and the CESCP as appropriate. This lead must complete child protection training. (Childminders must take the lead responsibility themselves.)
This policy demonstrates the setting’s commitment and compliance with safeguarding legislation; it should be read in conjunction with:
- Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CESCP) procedures
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015
- Keeping children Safe In Education 2020
- Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage” (April 2017)
- Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings May 2019
- Setting online safety policy
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Staff use of mobile phones and Social Media Policy
- “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” DfE July 2017
- Prevent Duty Guidance
- Mandatory reporting of FGM – procedural information
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners in this setting make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that we consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
No single practitioner can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. Through our day-to-day contact with children and direct work with families, staff take notice of indicators of possible abuse or neglect and consult with Children’s Services in Cheshire East (or in neighbouring authorities dependent upon the child’s area of residence). We recognise that we form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This responsibility also means that we are aware of the behaviour of staff in the setting; we maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.
In our setting we ensure that:
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, are treated equally and have equal rights to protection
- All staff act on concerns or disclosures that may suggest a child is at risk of harm
- Children and staff involved in Safeguarding issues receive appropriate support
- Staff adhere to a Code of Conduct and understand what to do in the event of any allegations against any adult working in the setting
- All staff are aware of Early Help and ensure that relevant assessments and referrals take place
- All staff are aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label; they recognise that, in most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another
Adults understand that where children display behaviour which worried adults, this might be a sign of possible abuse or trauma.
This policy is available on our setting website and printed copies of this document are available to parents upon request. We inform parents and carers about this policy when their children join our setting and through our setting newsletter.
The policy is provided to all staff (including temporary staff and volunteers) at induction; alongside our Staff Code of Conduct. All staff are trained to understand the safeguarding policy and procedures and we ensure that their knowledge on safeguarding issues are kept up to date.
In addition, whilst it is not statutory for early years settings it is considered good practice that all staff are provided with Part One of the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2020) and are required to sign to indicate that they have read and understood it. The Designated Lead is able to support all staff in understanding their responsibilities and implementing it in their practice.
2.0 Aims of this document:
- To provide staff with the framework to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children and in doing so ensure they meet their statutory responsibilities
- To ensure consistent good practice across the setting
- To demonstrate our commitment to protecting children
- To raise awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard all children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse
- To emphasise the need for good communication between all members of staff in matters relating to child protection
- To promote safe practice and encourage challenge for poor and unsafe practice
- To promote effective working relationships with other agencies involved with
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, especially with Children’s Social Care and the Police
- To ensure that all members of the setting community are aware of our procedures for ensuring staff suitability to work with children
- To ensure that staff understand their responsibility to support children who have suffered abuse in accordance with their agreed plan e.g. Child in Need/ Child Protection Plan
3.0 Scope of this Policy
This policy applies to all members of the setting community (including staff, children, volunteers, parents/carers, visitors, agency staff and students, or anyone working on behalf of Chelford Village Pre-School.
This policy is consistent with Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CESCP) child protection procedures.
4.0 Definitions of terms used in this document:
Child Protection: refers to the activity undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children: refers to the process of protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Early Help: means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.
Abuse: a form 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 others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or by another child or children.
Staff: refers to all those working for or on behalf of the setting in either a paid or voluntary capacity, full time or part time. This includes parents, Owners, Committee members and Trustees. It also includes child-minding assistants or co-childminders working together in a child-minding setting.
Child: refers to all children who have not yet reached the age of 18. On the whole, this will apply to children from our own setting; however the policy will extend to visiting children from other establishments, teenage parents and children on work experience placements.
Parent: refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role e.g. carers, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents and adoptive parents.
Children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe is promoted. Staff support children in an age appropriate way to recognise and manage risks in different situations, including when using the internet and social media, being able to judge what kind of physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable, recognising when pressure from others, including people they know, threatens their personal safety and well-being and supporting them in developing effective ways of resisting pressure.
The setting has established an ethos where:
- Children feel secure in a safe environment in which they can learn and develop.
- Children are encouraged to talk and are actively listened to. Staff members consult, listen and respond appropriately to all children.
- Clear risk assessments are in place and staff respond consistently to protect children whilst enabling them to take age-appropriate and reasonable risks as part of their growth and development.
- Children know that there are adults in the setting whom they can approach if worried or in difficulty.
- Consistent approaches are in place to promote positive behaviour that is appropriate for individual children’s stages of development.
- All adults recognise that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility and are aware of the signs that children may be at risk of harm either within the setting or in the family or wider community outside the setting.
- Parents are partners in the setting and are encouraged to have an understanding of their obligations regarding Child Protection by intervention as and when appropriate
- Adequate signposting to external sources of support and advice is in place for staff, parents and children (information on staff and parents pin board.)
- There is always a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or Deputy DSL in the setting who has the seniority and skills, undertakes appropriate Safeguarding training, and is given the time to carry out this important role.
- All adults feel comfortable and supported to draw safeguarding issues to the attention of the manager and/or the Designated Safeguarding Lead and are able to pose safeguarding questions with “respectful uncertainty” as part of their shared responsibility to safeguard children.
- Staff are aware of the DfE guidance contained in ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ – guidance for practitioners March 2015.
- We comply with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018 and support the Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CESCP) Timely Support for Children and Families in Cheshire East. This document supports professionals to access the right help and support for children and their families at the right time.
- We systematically monitor children’s welfare, keeping accurate records, speaking to parents and notifying appropriate agencies when necessary
- There is a commitment to the continuous development of staff with regard to safeguarding training.
- The setting has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against any member of staff or adult on site, including an allegation of abuse against the DSL/Manager
- The setting carries out an annual review of the Safeguarding policy and procedures.
- All staff are aware of setting guidance for their use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks.
- We ensure that appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place for devices with internet access.
6.0 Early Help:
All staff understand the Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CESCP) ‘Continuum of Need’ and Child Protection procedures; to ensure that the needs of our children are effectively assessed; decisions are based on a child’s development needs, parenting capacity and family & environmental factors. We ensure that the most appropriate referrals are made. We actively support multi agency planning for these children and, in doing so, provide information from the child’s point of view; bringing their lived experience to life as evidenced by observations or information provided. Staff know how to pass on any concerns no matter how trivial they seem.
Staff members always act in the interests of the child and are aware of their responsibility to take action as outlined in this policy. In our setting staff are aware that they must be prepared to identify those children who may benefit from early help. The staff are alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
- Has a disability and has specific additional needs
- has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan)
- is a young carer
- is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation
- is at risk of being radicalised or exploited
- is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse
- has returned home to their family from care
- is a ‘privately fostered child’
- is a refugee
- are unaccompanied asylum seeking children
If there are concerns about a child’s welfare that do not meet the thresholds of child abuse the setting will consider whether the Early Help approach should be considered. Staff are aware that early identification of concerns and the use of Early Help to develop a multi-agency plan for the child can reduce the risk of subsequent abuse.
If a member of staff has concerns about a child they will need to decide what action to take. Where possible, there should be a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to agree a course of action, although any staff member can make a referral to children’s social care/consult with ChECS/contact the police. Other options could include referral to specialist services or early help services and should be made in accordance with the referral threshold set by the Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CESCP). In the first instance staff should discuss ‘Early Help’ requirements with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. If early help is appropriate the Designated Safeguarding Lead will support the staff member in liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate.
As staff may be required to support other agencies and practitioners and parents/carers and children in an early help assessment; all staff are aware of the relevant assessments and appropriate support is given to them when they undertake an early help assessment.
Where early help and or other support is appropriate we ensure that the case is kept under constant review. If the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving we take appropriate action.
The children in our setting know that there are adults whom they can approach if worried or in difficulty.
There is adequate signposting to external sources of support and advice for staff, parents and children.
7.0 Early Help, Child in Need and Child Protection
In our setting we ensure that we follow Cheshire East’s Multi-agency Practice Standards CE multi-agency practice standards 2016 to ensure that our work, on behalf of our children, is of a consistently good standard. We use these standards to challenge other workers on behalf of children where the standards are not being met.
8.0 Concerns about a child- recording and reporting:
Our recording procedures are in line with those outlined in Cheshire East’s “Recording and Reporting Guidance.” 2019; the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Deputy Lead are aware of this document.
Where a member of staff is concerned that a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm they should report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or their Deputy, without delay. A written record should be made of these concerns as soon as possible following the disclosure/concern being raised; this must be on the same working day.
Where staff have conversations with a child who discloses abuse they follow the basic principles:
- listen rather than directly question, remain calm
- never stop a child who is recalling significant events
- never ask a child if they are being abused
- make a record of discussion to include time, place, persons present and what was said (child language – do not substitute words)
- advise you will have to pass the information on
- avoid coaching/prompting
- never take photographs of any injury
- never undress a child to physically examine them
- allow time and provide a safe haven / quiet area for future support meetings
- At no time promise confidentiality to a child or adult
Staff are aware that they should not question the child; other than to respond with TED – Tell me what you mean by that, Explain what you mean by that, Describe that. Staff will observe and listen, but do not probe/ask any leading questions.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will obtain key information and agree relevant actions after making a timely assessment of the information.
We recognise that parents may hold key information about incidents/allegations therefore, in the majority of situations; the Designated Safeguarding Lead will speak to the parents and gain their consent to discussing the situation with others. Staff are aware that there will be very few instances where, to speak to the parents, could further endanger the child. In those situations they would still consult/refer, but would have clearly recorded reasons as to why they had not gained parental consent.
The following situations are the instances in which parental consent would not be gained prior to a referral:
- Discussion would impede a police investigation or social work enquiry
- Sexual abuse is suspected
- Organised or multiple abuse is suspected
- Fabrication of an illness is suspected
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is suspected
- Forced marriage is suspected
- Honour Based Abuse
- Extremism or radicalisation is suspected
- County Lines activities are suspected
Staff are also aware that, even in situations where the parent does not give consent, the best interests of the child are paramount and therefore, they would share their concerns. In addition, the referral will not be delayed if it has not been possible to contact the parents/carers.
A consultation will take place with Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS) and/or the police immediately. Where a child lives in a different authority the Designated Safeguarding Lead follows the procedures for that authority.
Where possible we ensure that contacts with outside agencies are through the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy; however staff are aware that anyone can make this contact. Where a member of staff makes contact they ensure that they make the Designated Safeguarding Lead aware as soon as possible.
Safeguarding Records are held electronically and hard copies of records or reports relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection concerns are kept in a separate, confidential file, securely stored away from the child’s main file. Authorisation to access these records is controlled by the Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead.
All records provide a factual, accurate, evidence-based account. Records are signed, dated and where appropriate, witnessed.
The setting ensures that safeguarding information, including Child Protection information, is stored and handled in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensuring that information is:
- used fairly and lawfully
- for limited, specifically stated purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than necessary
- handled according to people’s data protection rights
- kept safe and secure.
We ensure that information is transferred safely and securely when a child with a Safeguarding Record transfers to another setting. We also ensure that Key workers or social workers are notified where a child leaves the setting (as appropriate).
9.0 Safe Working Practices
Use of mobile phones, cameras and internet:
The setting and staff take safeguarding seriously and understand this policy is over- arching. We refer staff to the ‘Staff use of mobile phones and Social Media Policy’, ‘Code of conduct’ and ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with children and young people in Education Settings May 2019’.
Personal mobiles and electronic devices:
Personal mobile phones and recording devices (tablets, cameras, laptops etc) are never used by staff at the setting.
If staff have personal phones or devices these are stored securely in the locked filling cabinet (keys with Manager and Deputy) and will be switched off or on silent whilst during the teaching day.
Electronic devices should be password protected so that content cannot be accessed by unauthorised users.
It is the responsibility of the staff member to ensure that there is no illegal or inappropriate content stored or used on their device when brought on to setting premises.
Mobiles belonging to visitors:
We request that mobiles belonging to visitors are to not to enter the site or are switched off and/or can be stored in the lock filling cabinet on entering the setting.
Chelford Pre-school does not allow staff to bring in personal mobile telephones in to the Pre-school room, if staff bring in personal belongings they are to be stored in the staff room in Chelford School or locked in the filling cabinet (keys for this are under the Manager and Deputy).
Mobile phone calls may only be taken during staff breaks or in staff members’ own time. If staff have a personal emergency they are free to use the setting’s phone or make a personal call from their mobile in the staff room.
All parent helpers will be requested to not enter their mobile phones in the building whilst they are in Pre-school.
It is the responsibility of all members of staff to be vigilant and report any concerns to the Manager/ Supervisor.
Concerns will be taken seriously, logged and investigated appropriately in line with our safe guarding policy.
Dedicated setting devices: Only Ipads used- for observations and photographs
To protect children we will ensure that the dedicated setting mobile phone:
(Pre-School does not have a mobile phone just a landline.)
- remains the property of Chelford Village Pre-School and in using them staff will follow the ‘Camera and Mobile Phone Policy’
- is stored securely when not in use.
- is protected with a password, is clearly labelled and its use is open to scrutiny. All staff are vigilant and alert to any potential misuse. (Ipads password protected)
- is only used by allocated people who have a clear understanding of what constitutes misuse and know how to minimise the risk. These staff are responsible for their own behaviour regarding the use of the phone and avoid putting themselves into compromising situations which could be misinterpreted and lead to potential allegations.
- is not used in areas such as toilets, changing rooms, nappy changing areas and sleep areas.
- does not detract from the quality of supervision and care of children.
Cameras photography and images:
Chelford Village Pre-School will obtain parents’ and carers’ consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications).
Staff will ensure the setting’s designated camera (IPad) is only used in the setting and any images taken will not be emailed as it may not be secure. (In some instances, it may be required to seek parental permission to email images, but the potential risks must be made clear to parents).
Staff will ensure that children are appropriately dressed, and that they do not use the child’s name with an image on a photograph.
Staff will ensure that parents personal cameras are not used to take photographs, video or audio recordings in our setting without prior explicit written consent from the setting, for example, for a special event, such as Christmas plays.
Staff will ensure that all images are stored securely and password protected. Where images are stored the setting will register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), in accordance with data protection laws.
Where professional photographers are used DBS, references and parental consent will be obtained prior to photographs being taken.
Ensure ‘acceptable use’ rules regarding the use of cameras by children are embedded in practice.
Staff will ensure that the use of cameras, webcams and CCTV is closely monitored and open to scrutiny. (Information on the use of CCTV can be found on the ICO website) NO CCTV in Pre-School.
Photographs are taken for the purpose of recording a child or group of children participating in activities or celebrating their achievements and are an effective form or recording their progression in the Early Years Foundation Stage. They may also be used on our website, facebook, newsletters and/or by the local press with permission from the parents.
However, it is essential that photographs are taken and stored appropriately to safeguard the children in our care.
Only the designated Chelford Pre-school cameras (IPad cameras) are to be used to take any photos within the setting or on outings.
Images taken on this camera must be deemed suitable without putting the child/children in any compromising positions that could cause embarrassment or distress.
Images taken on the IPad must be deleted off every half term by the Deputy or Manager.
Under no circumstances must cameras of any kind be taken into the toilet area without prior consultation with the manager.
If photographs need to be taken in the toilet area i.e. photographs of the children washing their hands, then the manager must be asked first and staff to be supervised whilst carrying out this kind of activity. At all times the camera must be placed in a prominent place where it can be seen.
On setting equipment we ensure that appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place.
Working off setting premises:
Where staff take setting computer/digital equipment / or records in paper form, off setting site, they do so with the view that they abide by the staff Personal data protection policy.
Staff are reminded that information, both in paper or electric form, is sensitive and protected under data protection and GDPR and should be safe and securely stored off the premises and during transport. Personal data protection policy
10.0 Allegations against staff
“Registered providers must inform Ofsted or their childminder agency of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Registered providers must also notify Ofsted of the action taken in respect of the allegations. These notifications must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made. A registered provider, who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence”.
Para.38. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017
Support and advice is sought from Children’s Services or the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO), and our Personnel/Human Resources advisor whenever necessary.
At Chelfrod Village Pre-School we recognise the possibility that adults working in the setting may harm children; that they may have:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
- committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates that they are unsuitable to work with children
Any concerns of this nature, about the conduct of other adults, should be taken to the Manager without delay or, where that is a concern about the Manager, to the Chair of Committee/Owner and the LADO.
Staff are aware that this must be done on the same working day.
The setting will not internally investigate until instructed by the LADO.
We make all staff aware of their duty to raise concerns. Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them. They have been made aware of those other channels of support in staff meetings and supervisions.
11.0 Safer Recruitment
The setting pays full regard to DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2020 and with reference to the ‘Position of Trust’ offence (Sexual Offences Act 2003). We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the setting who is likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult. We do this by:
- Operating safe recruitment practices; including highlighting the importance we place on safeguarding children in our recruitment adverts and interview questions, appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and reference checks, verifying identity, academic and vocational qualifications, obtaining practitioner references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and checking the Children’s List and right to work in England checks in accordance with DBS and Department for Education procedures
- Ensuring that staff and volunteers adhere to a published code of conduct and other professional standards at all times, including after setting activities. Staff are aware of social media/ on-line conduct
- Ensuring that all staff and other adults on site are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationship with children and parents, following the Code of Conduct
- Requiring all staff to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings that may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment at the setting). Disqualification under the Child Care Act 2006 (amended following the 2018 Regulations)
- Maintaining an accurate, complete, up to date Single Central Record
12.0 Staff training and updates:
In our setting there is a commitment to the continuous development of all staff, regardless of role with regard to safeguarding training:
All staff undertake Cheshire East Safeguarding Children Partnership (CESCP) ‘endorsed’ Basic Awareness in Safeguarding and Child Protection training within the first term of their employment/placement. This training is refreshed every 3 years; to enable them to understand and fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities effectively.
All staff receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
The Designated Lead and any Deputy attend (CESCP) multi agency Safeguarding and Child Protection training on an annual basis.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead, and/or Deputy attend the Designated Safeguarding Leads Meetings held each term coordinated by the SCiES Team, therefore enabling them to remain up to date with Safeguarding practices and be aware of any emerging concerns/themes within Cheshire East. Due to current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Early Start and SCIES Team are reviewing ways in which their training can be delivered in a different way and arrangements will be shared in due course.
The setting acknowledges serious case review findings and shares lessons learned with all staff to ensure no child falls through the gaps.
13.0 Cared for children (Looked after children)
In Chelfrod Village Pre-School we ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep Cared for Children safe as we aware that children often become cared for as a result of abuse and/or neglect. We have identified a designated lead for our Cared for Children; this person works closely with the Virtual school.
14.0 Children with special needs and disabilities
We ensure that staff have knowledge and understanding of the additional barriers which can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in children with special needs/disabilities.
These barriers can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration
- children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers
We aim to build the necessary skills in staff so that they can safeguard and respond to the specific needs of this group of children.
15.0 The use of ‘reasonable force’
There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff in settings to use reasonable force to safeguard children. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. This can range from guiding a child to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a child needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’. Settings will need to ensure staff are appropriately trained, that all incidents must be reported and fully recorded in a different way to the way in which safeguarding incidents are reported and recorded. This is in the settings Behaviour policy.
16.0 Private Fostering
We recognise that our setting has a mandatory duty to report to the local authority when we become aware of, or suspect that, a child is subject to a private fostering arrangement. To aide our awareness we ensure that we establish parental responsibility for each and every child; we take steps to verify the relationship of the adults to the child when we register them.
A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately (without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, in their own home, with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more.
A close family relative is defined as a ‘grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt’ and includes half-siblings and step-parents; it does not include great-aunts or uncles, great grandparents or cousins.
Parents and private foster carers both have a legal duty to inform the relevant local authority at least six weeks before the arrangement is due to start; not to do so is a criminal offence.
Whilst most privately fostered children are appropriately supported and looked after, we recognise that they are a potentially vulnerable group who should be monitored by the local authority, particularly when the child has come from another country. In some cases privately fostered children are affected by abuse and neglect, or are involved in trafficking, child sexual exploitation or modern-day slavery.
Where a member of staff becomes aware of private fostering arrangements they are aware that they need to notify the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will then speak to the family of the child involved to check that they are aware of their duty to inform Cheshire East. The setting would also inform Checs of the private fostering arrangements.
17.0 Specific safeguarding issues
All staff have an awareness of safeguarding issues. They are aware that these safeguarding issues may not directly involve the child in our setting but could be happening to their siblings or parents. They are also aware that some issues could be happening in the lives of staff members.
Staff are supported in accessing and completing the relevant screening tools.
As a listening setting staff would pick up on these issues and would know how to identify and respond to:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Drug/substance/alcohol misuse
- Child sexual exploitation / trafficked children
- Child Criminal Exploitation
- County Lines
- Extremism and Radicalisation
- Children missing from education
- Domestic abuse
- Peer relationship abuse/Teenage Relationship Abuse
- Risky behaviours
- Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviour
- Sexual health needs
- On line grooming
- Inappropriate behaviour of staff towards children
- Bullying, including homophobic, racist, gender and disability. Breaches of the Equality Act 2010
- Self Harm
- Honour based abuse including – Female Genital Mutilation, Breast Ironing, Forced Marriage
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking children
- Mental Health
- Modern Day Slavery
- Children with family members in prison
Staff are aware that behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.
An overview of specific safeguarding issues and our response are provided within appendix 6.
18.0 Owner/Committee Responsibilities
The Owner/Committee fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in accordance with Government guidance.
The Owner/Committee have agreed processes which allow them to monitor and ensure that the setting:
- Has robust Safeguarding procedures in place
- Operates safe recruitment procedures and appropriate checks are carried out on new staff and adults working on the setting site
- Has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against any member of staff or adult on site
- Has a member of the Leadership Team who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with Safeguarding and Child Protection issues
- Takes steps to remedy any deficiencies or weaknesses with regard to Safeguarding arrangements
- Is supported by the Owner/Committee nominating a member responsible for liaising with the LA and/or partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse against the Manager; this is the Chair
- Carries out an annual review of the Safeguarding policy and procedures
- Carries out an annual Safeguarding Audit in consultation with the Owner/Committee.
Staff in Chelford Village Pre-School take the safeguarding of each and every child very seriously. This means that, should they have any concerns of a safeguarding nature, they are expected to report, record and take the necessary steps to ensure that the child is safe and protected. This is never an easy action, nor one taken lightly. They are aware that it can lead to challenge from parents/carers, but at all times staff have the child at the heart of all their decisions and act in their best interests.
Further information on our safeguarding and related policy documents and procedures is available on request from the Manager or Designated Safeguarding Lead.
|Designated Safeguarding Lead||Gemma Jackson (Manager)|
|Deputy Safeguarding Lead||Emma Close (Deputy)|
|Senior person within organisation
(e.g. Owner/Chair of Governors/ Director/Trustee/Committee Chair)
|Andrew Brady (Chairperson)
Our local contact numbers are:
Safeguarding of children concerns (Children living in Cheshire East)
0300 123 5012
Cheshire East Consultation Service
(Mon–Thurs 8:30am–5:00pm Friday 8:30–4:30pm)
0300 123 5022
Emergency Duty Team
Safeguarding of children concerns (Children living in other Authorities)
Please add in relevant authority contact numbers
Allegations against an adult working with children
01270 685904/ 01606 288931
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
|Prevent referrals||Tel: 01606 362147
Police (Non Emergency)
|0300 123 4666|
Children whose needs are being adequately met by their family, friends and community and who are accessing universal services. (e.g. health, GP, schools)
· Response: – Continue meeting child or young person’s needs as a universal service in a safe environment.
Universal services will remain at all levels of need.
Children who would benefit from additional help with moderate difficulties in order to make the best of their life chances.
· Response: – A practitioner who identifies unmet needs for a child or young person should consider how these needs can best be met, usually by some additional help from within their own agency. The Early Help Assessment (EHA) can help to identify and plan to meet needs and involve others where necessary.
Children who have a range of additional needs affecting different areas of their life.
· Response: Request support from other agencies such as family support, commissioned services Youth Crime Prevention Team and Education Welfare. Agencies work together to provide a network of support to the child or young person and their family.
· Identify a lead practitioner to co-ordinate support and be primary link with the family.
· Hold a multi-agency meeting and use the Early Help Assessment (EHA) with child and family to assess their needs. Develop and implement an Action Plan and review progress.
Children who need immediate protection or who require integrated support from a statutory service such as CAMHS, Children’s Social Care, or Youth Offending Service.
· Children’s Social Care lead multi-agency planning and support through a Child-in-Need Plan, Child Protection Procedures, or accommodation by Children’s Social Care.
· Youth Offending Team lead multi-agency interventions for Court-Ordered Supervision of Young Offenders in the community and in custody.
If at any point you are concerned about the safety of a child or young person, contact Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS)
( Tel: 0300 123 5012
( Tel: 0300 123 5022 (Emergency Duty Team for out of hours)
Definitions of Abuse “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2020
· Involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
· The activities may involve physical contact: including assault by penetration e.g. rape or oral sex; or non-penetrative acts e.g. masturbation, kissing, rubbing & touching outside of clothing
· They may also include non-contact activities: e.g. involving children in looking at/ in the production of sexual images/ activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, grooming a child in preparation for abuse
· Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse.
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve:
· conveying to them that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
· not giving them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
· developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed; interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability
· overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning
· preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
· seeing / hearing the ill-treatment of another.
· serious bullying (including cyberbullying) causing them frequently to feel frightened or in danger
· exploitation or corruption of them.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
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.
It may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
· provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
· protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
· ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
· ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include unresponsiveness to, or neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
A form of abuse which may involve:
· Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
· Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
· Injuries in babies and non mobile children
• Listen, try not to look shocked or be judgmental
• Believe what they say, accept what they say and take it seriously
• Don’t make them feel bad by saying “you should have told me earlier”
• Don’t ‘interrogate’ them – let them tell you, try not to interrupt
• Note the date and time, what was done, who did it, and where it took place
• Don’t criticise the perpetrator
• Don’t ask leading questions – use ‘open’ questions to clarify only (T.E.D)
• Stay calm, tell the child they’ve done the right thing in telling you
• Reassure them they are not to blame
• Empathise – don’t tell them how they should be feeling
• Don’t promise confidentiality, explain who needs to know
• Explain what you’ll do next
• Be honest about what you can do
|Report and Record
Things to include:
· An accurate record of what was said or seen, using the child’s words as appropriate
· Whether it is 1st or 2nd hand information
· Whether the child was seen/spoken to
· Whether information is fact/ professional judgement
· Full names and roles/status of anyone identified in the report
· Sign the record with a legible signature.
· Record actions agreed with/by the Designated Lead (SMART)
· Avoid acronyms/jargon/abbreviations
Review records regularly; add any new concerns respond to these immediately.
DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH INJURIES OR MARKS EVEN IF REQUESTED TO DO SO
Forms of Abuse
Breast ironing also known as Breast Flattening
Staff have been made aware of an act of abuse performed on young girls (from around the age of 9 years old) in which their breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded, burned with heated objects or covered with an elastic belt to prevent or delay the development of their breasts; the intention being to protect the child from rape, forced marriage, sexual harassment or removal from education. It is a practice in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa. It is often carried out by the girl’s mother.
Staff are clear that they would follow our usual procedure for recording and reporting this abuse where it is suspected.
Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the setting and/or can occur between children outside the setting. All staff, but especially the Designated Safeguarding Lead (and deputies), should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur. This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare. Children’s social care assessments should consider such factors, so it is important that Early Years settings provide as much information as possible as part of the referral process. This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.
Children Missing from Home or Care
Children who run away from home or from care can provide a clear behavioural indication that they are either unhappy or do not feel safe in the place that they are living. Research shows that children run away from conflict or problems at home or school, neglect or abuse, or because children are being groomed by predatory individuals who seek to exploit them. Many run away on numerous occasions.
Our school are aware of the Pan-Cheshire Joint Protocol on Children and Young People Who run Away or Go Missing from Home or Care 2020-2022.
The association of chief police officers has provided the following definitions a missing person is: ‘Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed’.
Within any case of children who are missing both push and pull factors need to be considered.
Push factors include:
- Conflict with parents/carers
- Feeling powerless
- Being bullied/abused
- Being unhappy/not being listened to
- The Toxic Trio
Pull factors include:
- Wanting to be with family/friends
- Drugs, money and any exchangeable item
- Peer pressure
- For those who have been trafficked into the United Kingdom as unaccompanied asylum seeking children there will be pressure to make contact with their trafficker
As a setting we will inform all parents of children who are absent (unless the parent has informed us).
If the parent is also unaware of the location of their child, and the definition of missing is met, we will either support the parent to contact the police to inform them, or we will take the relevant action.
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 through the use of technology.
CSE involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where children receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups.
In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Child sexual exploitation is a complex form of abuse and it can be difficult for those working with children to identify and assess.
As staff we are aware that the indicators for child sexual exploitation can sometimes be mistaken for ‘normal adolescent behaviours’. It requires knowledge, skills, professional curiosity to ensure that the signs and symptoms are interpreted correctly and appropriate support is given.
Indicators a child may be at risk of CSE include:
- going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late;
- regularly missing school or education or not taking part in education;
- appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- associating with other children involved in exploitation;
- having older boyfriends or girlfriends;
- suffering from sexually transmitted infections;
- mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing;
- drug and alcohol misuse; and
- displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
CSE can happen to a child of any age, gender, ability or social status. Often the victim of CSE is not aware that they are being exploited and do not see themselves as a victim.
As a setting we educate all staff in the signs and indicators of sexual exploitation. We use the Cheshire East Child Exploitation Screening form to identify pupils who are at risk and the DSL will share this information as appropriate with ChECS.
Staff have been made aware of the Pan-Cheshire CSE policy, procedures and Screening tool Child Exploitation.
All staff are alert to possible indicators and will raise concerns as appropriate. They are aware of the pan-Cheshire CSE policy and procedures and of the screening tool including where to find it, how to complete it and what happens next.
Criminal exploitation is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. Key to identifying potential involvement in county lines are missing episodes, when the victim may have been trafficked for the purpose of transporting drugs; in such cases a referral to the National Referral Mechanism should be considered.
Like other forms of abuse and exploitation, county lines exploitation:
- can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years;
- can affect any vulnerable adult over the age of 18 years;
- can still be exploitation even if the activity appears consensual;
- can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and is often accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
- can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults; and
- is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the exploitation. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
Central to our setting’s anti-bullying policy is the principle that ‘bullying is always unacceptable’ and that ‘all pupils have a right not to be bullied’.
The setting recognises that it must take note of bullying perpetrated outside the setting which spills over into the setting and so we will respond to any cyber-bullying we become aware of carried out by children when they are away from the site.
Cyber-bullying is defined as “an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact repeatedly over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself/herself.”
By cyber-bullying, we mean bullying by electronic media:
- Bullying by texts or messages or calls on mobile phones
- The use of mobile phone cameras to cause distress, fear or humiliation
- Posting threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating material on websites, to include blogs, personal websites, social networking sites
- Using e-mail to message others
- Hijacking/cloning e-mail accounts
- Making threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating remarks in on-line forums
Cyber-bullying may be at a level where it is criminal.
If we become aware of any incidents of cyberbullying, we will consider each case individually as to any criminal act that may have been committed. The setting will pass on information to the police if it feels that it is appropriate or we are required to do so.
Chelford Village Pre-School believes that all our children have the right to be safe at our setting and also in their own homes. We are aware that some children may be living in situations where they are directly or indirectly affected by incidents of domestic abuse or violence.
Domestic abuse can affect anybody; it occurs across all of society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth or geography. Domestic abuse affects significant numbers of children and their families causing immediate harm as well as damaging future life chances.
Domestic abuse negatively affects children. We know that they are often more aware of what is happening than parents think. How they respond depends on their age, personality and support network; but they recover best when they are helped to understand and to process what is happening/has happened to them.
Their experiences will shape their self-worth, identity, and ability to relate to others in childhood and adulthood; making it much more difficult to succeed at school and develop friendships.
To support our children we:
- Have an ethos which puts children’s wellbeing at the heart of all that we do
- Create a predictable setting life with set routines
- Ensure that rules and expectations are clearly stated and understood by all
- Understand that oppositional and manipulative behaviours are not attempts to ‘provoke us’, but may be attempts by these children to control their world when so much feels out of control for them
- Model respectful and caring behaviour, positive conflict resolution and respectful interactions. Helping children learn not only what not to do, but what to do instead
- Use the language of choice, making clear the benefits and negative consequences of their choices. Ensuring that we follow through with any consequences or sanctions
- Support children to put feelings into words. We build up a vocabulary of emotional words with them so that they can begin to express their feelings more appropriately/accurately (A child exposed to domestic abuse may have seen a lot of behaviours that express strong feelings, but may not have heard words to appropriately express/ describe these feelings)
- Understand that the child may experience conflicting and confusing emotions when thinking of or talking about their parents
- Create opportunities for children to feel successful. We let the child know that they matter; taking an active interest in them
- Accept that they may not be willing or able to talk about it right away (if ever)
- Provide effective, non-verbal, systems for children to access support
- Provide reassurance that only people who need to know about the incident will know
- Allow the child, where necessary, to safely store work in setting or shred it after completion when providing interventions
- Have visible and accessible worry boxes/internal support systems /information regarding external sources of support e.g. Childline etc.
Staff are all aware that emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.
We understand that it may involve the following:
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
- Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- 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 from participating in normal social interaction
- Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
- Serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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 alone.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Staff are aware of Female Genital Mutilation (also known as female circumcision, cutting or Sunna) and that it is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
Staff are also aware that FGM
- Is child abuse; it’s dangerous and it is a criminal offence. Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM however there is no valid reason for it.
- Is illegal in the UK. It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.
Indications that FGM may be about to take place:
- When a female family elder is around, particularly when she is visiting from a country of origin.
- Reference to FGM in conversation e.g. a girl may tell other children about it.
- A girl may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion to ‘become a woman’.
- A girl may request help from a teacher or another adult if she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk.
- Parents state that they or a relative will take the child out of the country for a prolonged period.
- A girl may talk about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent.
- A girl being withdrawn from PSHE or from learning about FGM (parents may wish to keep her uninformed about her body and rights)
Indications that FGM has taken place:
- Difficulty walking, sitting or standing
- Spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet possibly with bladder or menstrual problems
- Unusual/a noticeable change in behaviour after a lengthy absence
- Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations
- Asking for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear
- Prolonged absences/ persistent unexplained absence from school/college
- Seek to be excused from physical exercise without the support of their GP
- Child not allowed to attend extra-curricular activities
- Close supervision of child by family/carers
Staff in our setting are aware of their responsibilities under section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 which says that “If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the teacher must report this to the police”.
Members of our setting community are alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. They have been made aware that FGM typically takes place between birth and around 15 years old. Potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM have been shared and the next steps have been identified, in that we take the same course of action as we would with any form of abuse; the Designated Safeguarding Lead plays a full part in the process of identification recording and reporting. We are mindful that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity is always shown when approaching the subject.
Staff are aware of Forced Marriage and that it is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological.
Children, especially girls who are forced to marry, or those who fear they may be forced to marry, are frequently withdrawn from education, restricting their educational and personal development.
Indications that a Child is at risk of Forced Marriage:
Staff are aware that they need to be looking out for any signs of significant changes in the child’s presentation, both emotional and physical, in dress and behaviour.
- Appearing anxious, depressed and emotionally withdrawn with low self-esteem
- Self-harming, self-cutting or anorexia
- Criminal activity e.g. shoplifting or taking drugs or alcohol
- Declining performance, aspirations or motivation
- Not allowed to attend any extra-curricular or after setting activities
- Girls and young women may be accompanied to and from setting
- Attending setting but absenting themselves from lessons
- Stopping attendance at the setting
- A family history of older siblings leaving education early and marrying early
Actions our setting takes in relation to Honour Based violence:
- The Manager will discuss with parents extended leave of absence during term time, as we feel this can provide an opportunity to gather important information. We ask for the precise location of where the child is going; the purpose of the visit; the return date and whether it is estimated or fixed
- We check in with the child/children to see if they know and corroborate the purpose of the visit
- If a return date has been specified and a child has not returned to setting, we would contact Cheshire East Consultation Services (ChECS). We would never remove the child from the roll without first making enquiries about their disappearance and referring the case to the police and Children’s Services as appropriate
Online gaming is an activity that the majority of children and many adults get involved in.
The setting will raise awareness by:
- Talking to parents and carers about the games their children play and help them identify whether they are appropriate
- Supporting parents in identifying the most effective way of safeguarding their children by using parental controls and child safety mode
- Talking to parents about setting boundaries and time limits when games are played
- Highlighting relevant resources
- Making our children aware of the dangers including of online grooming and how to keep themselves safe
- Making our children aware of how to report concerns
Honour Based Abuse
Staff are aware that “So-called ‘honour-based’ abuse (HBA) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving “honour” often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. All forms of HBA are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBA, or already having suffered HBA.” Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020
Awareness raising has taken place around HBA and forced marriage; staff are alert to possible indicators. They are aware that forced marriage is an entirely separate issue from arranged marriage; that it is a human rights abuse and falls within the Crown Prosecution Service definition of domestic violence and that HBA and FM can affect both young men and women.
As a setting we would never attempt to intervene directly; where this is suspected we would not speak to the parents before sharing our concerns with ChECS.
Modern Day Slavery
The Modern Slavery Act came into Force in 2015. Modern Slavery can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery.
Staff are aware that:
- a person commits an offence if they knowingly hold another person in slavery or servitude or if they knowingly require another person to perform forced or compulsory labour
- it is an offence to arrange or facilitate the travel of a person with a view to them being exploited. These are serious offences carrying a penalty of up to life imprisonment
- any consent victims have given to their treatment will be irrelevant where they have been coerced, deceived or provided with payment or benefit to achieve that consent
- children (under 18 years) are considered victims of trafficking, whether or not they have been coerced, deceived or paid to secure their compliance. They need only to have been recruited, transported or harboured for the purpose of exploitation
Staff are aware that 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
- may occur during pregnancy, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse
- once a child is born, may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
- may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs
- may potentially be fatal
- causes great distress to children and leads to poor outcomes in the short and long-term
- has possible consequences which may include an array of health and mental health problems, difficulties in forming attachment and relationships, lower educational achievements, an increased risk of substance misuse, higher risk of experiencing abuse as well as difficulties in assuming parenting responsibilities later on in life. The degree to which children are affected during their childhood and later in adulthood depends on the type, severity and frequency of the maltreatment and on what support mechanisms and coping strategies were available to the child
If we suspect neglect we will use the Neglect Screening Tool
With the current speed of on-line change, some practitioners, parents and carers have only a limited understanding of online risks and issues. Parents may underestimate how often their children come across potentially harmful and inappropriate material on the internet and may be unsure about how to respond. Some of the risks could be:
- unwanted contact
- online bullying including sexting
- digital footprint
The setting therefore seeks to provide information and awareness to staff, children and their parents through:
- Acceptable use agreements for children, staff, parents/carers, owners and committees
- Curriculum activities involving raising awareness around staying safe online
- Information included in letters, newsletters, web site
- Parents evenings / sessions
- High profile events / campaigns e.g. Safer Internet Day
- Building awareness around information that is held on relevant web sites and or publications
- Social media policy
Peer on peer abuse
Children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse, peer relationship abuse and teenage relationship abuse). This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
- bullying (including cyberbullying);
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm
- sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault
- sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse
- upskirting, typically this involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm
- sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery)
- initiation/hazing type violence and rituals
Staff are clear on our procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse and do not take it any less serious than adult abuse; they are aware that it should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”;
We ensure that we apply the same thresholds.
Where sexual violence or sexual harassment between children is alleged then the setting follows the guidance issued by the DfE in 2018. Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children guidance
Where youth produced sexual images are part of the abuse then settings should consult the Sexting guidance. Sexting in Schools and Colleges
Staff are aware of the signs of potential physical abuse and that it might involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
They are also aware that physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Prevent, Radicalisation and Extremism
Chelford Village Pre-School adheres to the Prevent Duty Guidance, July 2015 (most recently updated in April 2019) and seeks to protect children against the messages of all violent extremism and to prevent them being drawn into terrorism; 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.
The setting community has been made aware of the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism; they are also aware that the normalisation of extreme views may make children vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation.
In order to raise awareness and reduce risks we ensure that our preventative work is specifically considered, outlined and highlighted in all relevant policies and procedures, Information technology, Special Educational Needs, attendance, assemblies, the use of setting premises by external agencies, behaviour and anti-bullying.
Our taught curriculum includes educating children of how people with extreme views share these with others; we are committed to ensuring that our pupils are offered a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to prepare them for life in modern Britain. Teaching the settings core values alongside the fundamental British Values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society.
In our setting community we are aware of these specific issues, relevant to our setting’s profile.
All staff have received training about the Prevent Duty and tackling extremism. This training is reinforced by circulation of one minute guide and updates in staff meetings.
Chelford Village Pre-School is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern; therefore concerns need to be recorded and discussed with the DSL; with timely, appropriate action then being taken.
The Prevent Duty requires that all staff are aware of the signs that a child maybe vulnerable to radicalisation. The risks will need to be considered for political; environmental; animal rights; or faith based extremism that may lead to a child becoming radicalised.
In Cheshire East if we suspect a child to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, including being radicalised we would contact:
Cheshire East Consultation Service (ChECS): 0300 123 5012
and contact Police Prevent officer 01606 362121 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: they may be experiencing: family tensions/ a sense of isolation/ low self-esteem. They may have dissociated from their existing friendship group/ become involved with a new and different group of friends/ may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging
- Personal Circumstances: migration/local community tensions/ events affecting the pupil’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism/ discrimination/ aspects of Government policy
- Unmet Aspiration: the child may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life
- Experiences of Criminality: which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement / reintegration
- Special Educational Needs: children may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others
- Being in contact with extremist recruiters
- Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element
- Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature
- Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage
- Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
- Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations
- Significant changes to appearance and / or behaviour
- Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and / or personal crisis
Where necessary individuals may be discussed at Channel:
Staff are aware of Channel being a partnership approach to support individuals vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremists.
The CE Channel Panel meets monthly. Attendees sign a Confidentiality Agreement and share case information. Discussion covers the vulnerabilities of individuals and their families, current support, and risks for the individual and community. Attendees agree if the case is appropriate for Channel and the support plan which is needed.
For those already open to Panel support plans are tailored, building on existing support, and may consist of help with family problems, mental health support, religious education, mentoring etc.
For those who are not Channel appropriate: a safe exit from Channel or a referral elsewhere is discussed.
The Safeguarding Children in Education Settings (SCiES) team represent education settings at these meetings. This means that SCiES may contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead before a meeting to request our view regarding the lived experience of the young person. They will contact us afterwards to give us an update.
All staff should be aware of indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from setting, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs.
All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these. Advice for schools and colleges is provided in the Home Office’s Preventing youth violence and gang involvement and its Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance.
‘Sexting’ often refers to the sharing of naked or ‘nude’ pictures or video through mobile phones and the internet. It also includes underwear shots, sexual poses and explicit text messaging.
While sexting often takes place in a consensual relationship between two children, the use of Sexted images in revenge following a relationship breakdown is becoming more commonplace. Sexting can also be used as a form of sexual exploitation and take place between strangers.
As the average age of first smartphone or camera enabled tablet is 6 years old, sexting is an issue that requires awareness raising across all ages.
The setting will use age appropriate educational material to raise awareness, to promote safety and deal with pressure. Parents are made aware that they can come to the setting for advice.
Staff are aware of sexual abuse and that:
- It involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not 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
- It 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
- It can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse
- It is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children
The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education see peer on peer abuse.
Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations, in respect of children, as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.”
Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim.
As a setting we are alert to the signs both for our children and for their families:
- Shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, and/or has contracted a sexually transmitted infection or has an unwanted pregnancy
- Has a history with missing links and unexplained moves
- Is required to earn a minimum amount of money every day
- Works in various locations
- Has limited freedom of movement
- Appears to be missing for periods
- Is known to beg for money
- Is being cared for by adult/s who are not their parents and the quality of the relationship between the child and their adult carers is not good
- Is one among a number of unrelated children found at one address
- Has not been registered with or attended a GP practice
- Is excessively afraid of being deported
- Looks malnourished or unkempt
- Is withdrawn, anxious and unwilling to interact
- Is under the control and influence of others
- Lives in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
- Has no access or control of their passport or identity documents
- Appears scared, avoids eye contact, and can be untrusting
- Shows signs of abuse and/or has health issues
For those children who are internally trafficked within the UK indicators include:
- Physical symptoms (bruising indicating either physical or sexual assault)
- Prevalence of a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy
- Reports from reliable sources suggesting the likelihood of involvement in
sexual exploitation / the child has been seen in places known to be used for sexual exploitation
- Evidence of drug, alcohol or substance misuse
- Being in the community in clothing unusual for a child i.e. inappropriate for age, or borrowing clothing from older people
- Relationship with a significantly older partner
- Accounts of social activities, expensive clothes, mobile phones etc. with no plausible explanation of the source of necessary funding
- Persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late with no plausible explanation
- Returning after having been missing, looking well cared for despite having not been at home
- Having keys to premises other than those known about
- Low self- image, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviour including cutting, overdosing, eating disorder, promiscuity
- Truancy / disengagement with education
- Entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults
- Going missing and being found in areas where the child or young person has no known links and/or
- Possible inappropriate use of the internet and forming on-line relationships,
particularly with adults.
These behaviours themselves do not indicate that a child is being trafficked, but should be considered as indicators that this may be the case.
If staff believe that a child is being trafficked, this will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and will be reported as potential abuse.