Child protection refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm. As administrators and teachers, we have a responsibility to safeguard children and promote their welfare.

Individual children, especially some of the most vulnerable children and those at greatest risk of social exclusion, will need co- ordinated help from us, faculty and staff.

Faculty and staff should:

  • be alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect;
  • be alert to the risks which individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children;
  • share and help to analyze information so that an assessment can be made of the child’s needs and circumstances;
  • contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare
  • take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the child against specific plans  and
  • work co-operatively with parents unless this is inconsistent with ensuring the child’s safety.

Definitions of 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.

Physical abuse

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

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is 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 children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far 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 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.

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.

Aims

The aims of this policy are:

 Raising staff awareness of the responsibility for reporting possible cases regarding child’s abuse;

 Ensuring effective communication between all staff on child protection issues;

 Informing staff of the correct procedures to be followed

Procedures

The principal is the Child Protection Coordinator. Normally she delegates this responsibility to the Vice-Principal, the Supervisors and other team members in the different sections.

The child protection coordinator is guided by two principles:

 the welfare of the child

 the confidentiality of the situation

A GUIDE WHEN CONCERNED ABOUT POSSIBLE CHILD ABUSE

When deciding if you need to report a child protection concern you should have a belief that results in concern for the physical safety, health, psychological or emotional wellbeing of a child .This belief should be based on reasonable grounds such as:

the child discloses;

someone else such as a relative or friend of the child provides information;

a child discloses that they know someone who has been abused (often a child is referring to him or herself);

observation of indicators; and

the child’s writing or drawing depicts abuse .When reporting:

proof is not required;

the injury from physical abuse is considered to be non-accidental; or

the indicators are not typical for the age and gender of the child.

If you are unsure, discuss this confidentially with the:

Principal;

Section Supervisors

School Nurse

Forming a Child Protection Concern

A child protection concern may occur over a period of time or may be formed immediately due to

a   disclosure or presence of indicators.

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GUIDELINES FOR APPROPRIATE STAFF-STUDENT BEHAVIOUR

In order to create a safe and secure environment for students, staff are required to

behave in a manner that conforms to the Staff Conduct policy.

Some considerations and guidelines include the following:

Consider the child’s age, developmental level, maturity and level of care

required,  for example, touching a child to gain their attention, guiding or comforting a distressed child. Work in an open environment; for example, in confidential interviews or a one-to -one meeting, the door should be open with visual access. Exceptions apply for professions with strict confidentiality requirements.

   SCHOOL POLICY

We recognize that for our pupils, high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to prevent abuse.

Our school will therefore:

  1. Establish and maintain an environment where pupils feel safe and secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
  2. Ensure that pupils know that there are adults within the school who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
  3. Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities.
  4. Include in the curriculum material which will help pupils develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills. .
  5. Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from partner agencies. 

                                                      FRAMEWORK

Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children.The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them.

It is the role of the Designated Child Protection Coordinator to ensure that all of the child protection procedures are followed within the school.

The Governing Body and school leadership team are responsible for ensuring that the school follows safe recruitment processes.

PROCEDURES

All action is taken in line with the following guidance;

Staff   are kept informed about child protection responsibilities and procedures through induction, briefings and awareness training.

A statement in the school brochure will inform parents and carers about our school’s duties and responsibilities under child protection procedures. Parents can obtain a copy of the school child protection policy on request.

TRAINING AND SUPPORT

 

The Head of the department and all other staff who work with children will undertake appropriate child protection awareness training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for child protection effectively

Support will be available for staff from the Head of the department in the first instance, and from members of the school’s leadership team where there are concerns about queries about child protection.

All staff should have access to advice and guidance on the boundaries of appropriate behavior and conduct.

PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection.  The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child.  A member of staff must never guarantee confidentiality to a pupil nor should they agree with a pupil to keep a secret, as where there is a child protection concern this must be reported to the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator and may require further investigation by appropriate authorities.

Staff will be informed of relevant information in respect of individual cases regarding child protection on a ”need to know basis” only.  Any information shared with a member of staff in this way must be held confidentially to themselves.

                 SUPPORTING PUPILS AT RISK

Our school recognizes that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth or view the world as a positive place.

This school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of    children at risk.  Nevertheless, whilst at school their behavior may still be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn.

This school will endeavor to support pupils through:

  1. The curriculum to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation.
  2. The school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued.
  3. The implementation of the school’s behavior management policies.
  4. A consistent approach agreed by all staff which will endeavor to ensure the pupil knows that some behavior is unacceptable but s/he is valued.
  5. Regular liaison with other professionals and agencies who support the pupils and their families.
  6. A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the child’s best interest to do so.