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Safeguarding: Child Protection Policy

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Document title: Child Protection Policy 2020-2021
Audience: All learners, Corporation members, staff, volunteers, partners working at all College campuses, other external facilities, in the workplace or by distance learning
Version: 1
Approved by: Corporation
Date approved: October 2020
Date of next review: September 2021
Document author(s): Designated Safeguarding Lead
Date issued: September 2020

Monitoring and review

  • This policy will be reviewed by the Corporation at least every year. 
City of Liverpool College Child Protection Policy

This policy provides guidance to all adults working or volunteering within the College whether paid or voluntary or directly employed by the College or by a third party.

1. Child Protection Statement:

The College is committed to safeguarding children and promoting children’s welfare and expects all staff, governors, volunteers, and visitors to share this commitment and maintain a vigilant and safe environment. Everyone has a responsibility to act, without delay, to protect children by reporting anything that might suggest a child is being abused or neglected. It is our willingness to work safely and challenge inappropriate behaviours that underpins this commitment. The College seeks to work in partnership with families and other agencies to improve the outcomes for children who are vulnerable or in need.

‘Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who meets children and their families has a role to play. To fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.’ (KCSiE 2020)

2. Definitions:

A child includes anyone under the age of 18.

Child protection: ‘Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.’ Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE 2020)

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as ‘protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.’  (KCSiE 2020)

The definitions of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are set out in the DFE guidance, Part 1: Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020.

3. Policy Aims:

  • To ensure the College takes appropriate action, in a timely manner, to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
  • To ensure responsibilities and procedures are fully understood and that everyone can recognise signs and indicators of abuse or neglect and respond to them appropriately.
  • To ensure that the College’s practice meets local and national guidance and all statutory requirements are in place.

4. Key Principles:

  • The child’s needs and welfare are paramount. All children have a right to be protected from abuse and neglect and have their welfare safeguarded.
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2020) reminds us that all staff should maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.
  • Children should be listened to and their views and wishes should inform any assessment and provision for them. Staff should always act in the best interests of the child, to protect them.
  • The College recognises that scrutiny, challenge, and supervision are key to safeguarding children.
  • Children have a right to learn ways to keep themselves safe from harm and exploitation.
  • The College is committed to working with other agencies to provide early help for children before they become at risk of harm or require a ‘child in need’ statutory assessment. ‘Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life.’ (KCSiE 2020)
  • All staff should be aware of the early help process and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the Safeguarding Team, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment.
  • ‘All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.’ (KCSiE 2020)
  • All staff have responsibility to report their concerns about a child without delay to the College’s Safeguarding Team. Whilst the Safeguarding Team will normally make referrals to Children’s Services, anyone can refer their concerns to children’s social care directly in emergencies or if they feel they need to do so.
  • Everyone has responsibility to escalate their concerns and ‘press for reconsideration’ if they believe a child’s needs remain unmet or if the child is failing to thrive and in need or if the child is at risk of harm. Concerns about a child should always lead to help for a child at some point and the child’s situation should improve.
  • The College will work in partnership with other agencies to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm, including the need to share information about a child to safeguard them.  ‘Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.’ (KCSiE 2020)
  • The College will work with other agencies to ensure any actions that are part of a multi-agency coordinated plan are completed in a timely way.
  • The College will follow the Local Authority and the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures and provide them with information as required.
  • Staff, children, and families will need support following child protection processes being followed.

5. Legislation and Guidance:

The Children Act 2004 requires each person or organisation to which the duties apply to have regard to any guidance given to them by the Secretary of State; specifically:

  • Section 10: Co-operation to improve well-being
  • Section 11: Arrangements to safeguard and promote welfare
  • Section 16k: Guidance by Secretary of State relating to sections 16E-16J

Section 175 (3) of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on the governing body of an institution within the further education sector to ‘make arrangements for ensuring that their functions relating to the conduct of the institution are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children receiving education or training at the institution.’

Colleges must have regard for DfE statutory guidance. This child protection policy should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children (WT 2019) and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) and all staff must read and understand Part 1 and Annex A of KCSiE (2020).

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2019) makes it clear that protecting children from harm and promoting their welfare depends upon a shared responsibility and effective joint working between different agencies:

‘Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe. No single practitioner can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, 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.’

In addition, Working Together to Safeguard Children also reinforces the need to take action to provide early help before statutory services are required:

‘Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. 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.’ (WT 2019)

The College therefore understands its responsibility to engage with other professionals in Early Help Assessments when a child’s needs according to the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Responding to Need and Level of Needs framework sit below the requirement for a statutory assessment.

The Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty upon local authorities and educational providers to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ (CTSA 2015). ‘The fundamental aims of Prevent, as part of the revised 2018 Contest Strategy are, “to safeguard vulnerable people to stop them becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.” (Work Based Learners and the Prevent Statutory Duty 2018). The DfE has provided statutory guidance for colleges and childcare providers: ‘Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: England and Wales’ (DfE 2015). The guidance summarises the requirements of colleges in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies. Our College will ensure that staff are aware of the indicators of extremism and radicalisation and know how to respond in keeping with local and national guidance. Staff will use their judgment in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately, which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.  Equally, children will be made aware of the risks and support available to them. We will ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in College.  The Government has developed an ‘educate against hate’ website providing information and resources for colleges and parents to support them to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.

‘Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon tutors along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for tutors to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining students, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies. Information on when and how to make a report can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information-accessible-version

Tutors must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the tutor has a good reason not to, they should also still consider and discuss any such case with the College’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases (i.e. where the tutor does not discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) or in cases where the woman is 18 or over. In these cases, tutors should follow local safeguarding procedures.’ DFE 2018

The Teaching Standards (DfE 2013) also requires all tutors to ‘uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside College, including:

  • treating students with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and always observing proper boundaries appropriate to a tutor’s professional position
  • having regard for the need to safeguard students’ wellbeing, in accordance with statutory provisions
  • showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others

In addition, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it clear that all members of staff are in a position of trust and would therefore be committing a criminal offence to have a sexual relationship with a young person below the age of 18, even if that student is over the age of consent. In addition, it would be a breach of trust to have a relationship with any College student over the age of 18. This would result in the issue being addressed under the formal disciplinary procedure and may constitute gross misconduct.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-offences-act-2003-remedial-order-2012

The College will also take account of additional guidance including:

  • The Education Inspection Framework (Ofsted, 2019)
  • Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook (Ofsted, 2019)
  • Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education, and skills settings (Ofsted, 2019)
  • Safeguarding disabled children: Practice guidance (The Children’s Society, 2009)
  • Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales (DfE, 2015)
  • Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings (Safer Recruitment Consortium, 2019)
  • Liverpool multi-agency self-harm practice guidance (Liverpool CAMHS, 2016)
  • What to do if you are worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners (DFE, 2015)
  • Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines (DFE, 2017)
  • Child Sexual Exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (DFE, 2017)
  • Sexting in schools and colleges (UK Council for Child Internet Safety, 2016)
  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents, and carers (HMG, 2018)
  • Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges (DFE, 2018)
  • The Right to Choose: Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage (HMG, 2010)
  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act (DfE, 2006)
  • Other DFE statutory guidance including: attendance and children who go missing from home or care which is found here: https://www.gov.uk/topic/colleges-colleges-childrens-services/safeguarding-children

6. Communicating with Parents/Carers and Visitors:

The College is committed to the principles of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2019) which states that a ‘child centred approach is fundamental to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of every child. A child centred approach means keeping the child in focus when making decisions about their lives and working in partnership with them and their families.’ (WT2019)

The following statement is available to parents/carers through the College’s website, so they are aware of the College’s responsibilities:

‘Our College is committed to safeguarding children and promoting children’s welfare and expects all staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment and maintain a vigilant and safe environment. Everyone has a responsibility to act, without delay, to protect children by reporting anything that might suggest a child is being abused or neglected.’

The College also has a statutory responsibility to share any concerns it might have about a child in need of protection with other agencies and police, health, and children’s services. Colleges are not able to investigate child protection concerns but have a legal duty to refer them. In most instances the College will be able to inform the parents/carers of its need to make a referral; however, sometimes the College can in certain circumstances share information without the consent of the family and may be advised by children’s services or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter or make enquires. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The College follows legislation that aims to act in the interests of the child.

The College will always seek to work in partnership with parents and other agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child and family.

The following notice is made available to all visitors in reception. In addition, all visitors are provided with additional safeguarding guidance.

‘Our College is committed to safeguarding children and promoting children’s welfare and expects all staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to share this commitment and maintain a vigilant and safe environment. Everyone has a responsibility to act without delay to protect children by reporting anything that might suggest a child is being abused or neglected. We would expect you to also report to the Strategic or Operational Designated Safeguarding Leads or Principal any behaviours of any adults working in the College that may concern you. By signing our visitors’ book, you are agreeing to follow the College’s safeguarding advice to visitors and where appropriate the code of conduct for staff and volunteers.’

The names and photographs of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Safeguarding Operational Lead, U16s Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Officer are displayed in each centre.

7. Roles and Responsibilities:

The Principal is: Elaine Bowker

The Chair of Governors is Tony Cobain

The Strategic Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection is: Aamir Butt

The Operational Designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection is Steven Panter

Those trained to provide cover for the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead are:

Members of the Safeguarding Team and Safeguarding Duty Managers

The nominated Safeguarding / Child Protection Governor is Steve Sankson

The nominated governor for dealing with allegations against the Principal is: Tony Cobain

The Governing body should ensure that:

  • The College meets the statutory responsibilities set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE 2020) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (WT 2019).
  • The College has a strategy for providing Early Help together with other agencies and supporting children and families by carrying out early help assessments, drawing upon the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership’s ‘Responding to Needs Framework.’
  • The child protection policy is reviewed at least annually by the full governing body and available to parents/Carers, via the College’s website.
  • The policy is available to staff and volunteers via SharePoint
  • All adults working within the College are aware of the College’s Code of Conduct and this guidance is in keeping with the Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings (Safer Recruitment Consortium, 2019)
  • The College’s practice is reviewed in line with Local Authority guidance, Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) priorities and procedures and any actions identified in the Local Authority 175 Audit are completed.
  • There is a named Designated Safeguarding Lead who is a member of the College’s Senior Leadership Team. There are colleagues trained to provide cover for the role.
  • The College has procedures in keeping with the LSCP for dealing with any allegations made against any adult working within the College.
  • There is a nominated governor, usually the chair, who is the case manager for managing any allegations against the Principal.
  • There is an additional nominated safeguarding governor to liaise with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and champion child protection/safeguarding on behalf of the safeguarding body.
  • The College follows safer recruitment procedures, including the statutory pre-employment checks on all staff working with young people. The Chair of Governors and safeguarding governor together with the Principal review the College’s Single Central Record.
  • The College itself is a safe environment where the views of children and families are listened to and where children are taught about safeguarding and how to keep themselves safe, including on the internet or when using new technology. Any complaints about services lead to improvements in practice.
  • The College will ensure there are appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place in respect of internet use and encourage safe and responsible use of new technologies.
  • The College scrutinises the impact of its training strategy so that all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers, are aware of the College’s child protection procedures. All staff must have child protection training which is regularly updated. The Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads undertake training in keeping with statutory training requirements.
  • The governors are given guidance to support them to ensure the College meets its statutory safeguarding requirements.
  • There is effective analysis of safeguarding data including bullying, attendance, exclusions, behaviour logs, students taken off roll, the views and progress and participation of vulnerable students.
  • All safeguarding practices are quality assured by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, including the auditing of safeguarding records and the supervision of the Safeguarding Operational Lead, Safeguarding Officer, and other members of the safeguarding team.
  • The governing body have appointed an appropriately trained designated person to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after
  • Governing bodies are accountable for ensuring the College has effective policies and procedures in place in line with local and national guidance, and for monitoring the College’s compliance with them. Neither the Governing Body nor individual governors have a role in dealing with individual child protection cases or the right to know the detail of cases (except when exercising their disciplinary functions in respect of allegations against a member of staff or investigating a complaint brought to their attention).

The Principal will ensure that:

  • The Single Central Record is up to date and the safer recruitment practices set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE 2020) are followed in line with the College’s Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedures. At least one member of every recruitment panel has attended safer recruitment training.
  • Job descriptions and person specifications for all roles make specific reference to child protection and safeguarding.
  • There is a listening culture within the College where both staff and children can raise concerns about poor or unsafe practices.
  • Referrals are made to the Disclosure and Barring Service as appropriate.
  • They liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer where an allegation is made against a member of staff.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Leads have a job description in line with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE 2020) and that sufficient time, training and support are allocated to this role, including the appointment of colleagues able to deputise for the Designated Safeguarding Leads who have undertaken the same training.
  • The curriculum provides opportunities to help students stay safe especially when online. Children should be aware of the support available to them.
  • In keeping with the Prevent Duty reasonable checks are made on visiting speakers in line with the External Speakers Protocol, part of the Use of College Premises Policy.

The Principal will normally be informed of any allegations against staff and will ensure appropriate referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service or Teaching Regulation Agency are made. 

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will quality assure the College’s child protection practices including the auditing of safeguarding records and the supervision of the Safeguarding Operational Lead, Safeguarding Officer and other members of the safeguarding team to ensure that actions and decisions are reviewed appropriately, and that staff’s emotional needs are met.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 sets out the broad areas of responsibility for the Designated Safeguarding Lead:

Managing Referrals

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is expected to:

  • Refer cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care as required.
  • Support staff who make referrals to local authority children’s social care.
  • Refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern as required.
  • Support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme.
  • Refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required; and
  • Refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required.

Work with Others

  • act as a point of contact with the three safeguarding partners.
  • Liaise with the Principal to inform him or her of issues – especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.
  • As required, liaise with the “case manager” (as per Part Four of KCSiE 2020) and the designated officer(s) at the local authority for child protection concerns in cases which concern a staff member).
  • Liaise with staff (especially support staff, College nurses, IT technicians and the named person with oversight of SEN in a College) on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.
  • Act as a source of support, advice, and expertise for staff.
Undertake training

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and any deputies) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead should undertake Prevent awareness training.

In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other Designated Safeguarding Leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, but at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role so they:

  • Understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and local authority children’s social care referral arrangements.
  • Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
  • Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the College’s child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff.
  • Are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers.
  • Understand relevant data protection legislation and regulations, especially the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Understand the importance of information sharing, both within the college, and with the three safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations, and practitioners.
  • Can keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.
  • Understand and support the College with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and can provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.
  • Can understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up-to-date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at College.
  • Can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online
  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses; and
  • Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, and any measures the College may put in place to protect them.
Raise Awareness

The Designated Safeguarding Lead should:

  • ensure the College’s child protection policies are known, understood, and used appropriately.
  • Ensure the College’s child protection policy is reviewed annually (as a minimum) and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with governing bodies or proprietors regarding this.
  • Ensure the child protection policy is available publicly and parents know referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the College in this; and
  • Link with the safeguarding partner arrangements to make sure staff are aware of any training opportunities and the latest local policies on local safeguarding arrangements.
Child protection files
  • Where children leave, the College ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new college upon request. This should be transferred separately from the main student file, ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt should be obtained. Receiving colleges should ensure key staff such as Designated Safeguarding Leads and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in colleges, are aware as required.
  • In addition to the child protection file, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should also consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new college in advance of a child leaving. For example, information that would allow the new college to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.
  • The college have in place a highly secure child protection online monitoring system (CPOMS) to log all concerns and actions with regards to vulnerable students.
Availability

During term time the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or a deputy) will be available (during College hours) for staff in the College to discuss any safeguarding concerns.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will arrange adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities.

Additional duties of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

In addition to the role outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 the Designated Safeguarding Lead is also expected to ensure that:

  • The social worker is informed when a child subject to a child protection plan or a child in need plan moves to a new setting, where College has been made aware.
  • A training log is kept of all child protection training include the names of those attending. All staff must have regular training and updates.
  • Child protection records are kept securely and separately from the child’s normal file. Records will be transferred and/or retained in keeping with the Local Authority’s and NSPCC guidance.
  • The College attends and contributes to child protection case conferences and child in need meetings, ensuring actions are completed in a timely manner. The College will complete the LSCB agency report ahead of each child protection conference.
  • The College escalates its concerns with other agencies when a child’s needs are not being met following the Local Safeguarding Children Board Escalation and Resolution Policy.
  • All members of the Safeguarding Team have received appropriate training; that all referrals made are quality assured and the supervision is provided to the Safeguarding Team to monitor all decisions and action taken and the wellbeing of each team member.
  • All staff read and understand part 1 and annex A of the guidance – Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and make available to them other key documents and guidance.

 All staff (and volunteers) should:

  • Contribute to ensuring students learn in a safe environment.
  • Read and understand as a minimum Part 1 and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and engage in training which enables them to identify children who may need additional help or who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and take appropriate action. Staff should understand the specific safeguarding issues outlined in Part 1, e.g. fabricated or induced illnesses, faith abuse. Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting can put children in danger. Staff should be alert to the signs of peer on peer abuse and take appropriate action.
  • Recognise that any child may benefit from early help, but all College staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
  • is disabled and has specific additional needs
  • has Learning Support needs or special educational needs
  • has special educational needs (whether they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan)
  • is a young carer
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home
  • 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 substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
  • has returned home to their family from care or is in care
  • is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect
  • is a privately fostered child
  • is experiencing housing issues
  • are young parents (or about to become young parents)
  • has been excluded from school
  • Report any concerns about a child’s welfare without delay to:
  1. the Safeguarding Team (or Duty Manager) in line with published procedures
  2. the Safeguarding Officer
  3. the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or in their absence a senior member of staff.
  • Understand that any member of staff can make a referral to children’s services should that be required, informing the Safeguarding Team of any action taken.
  • Report any concerns without delay about the behaviour of a worker towards a child to the Principal, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Chair of Governors or if required the Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations against Staff.
  • Understand their responsibility to escalate their concerns and ‘press for reconsideration’ if a child remains at risk or their needs are not met. This includes the understanding that any member of staff can make a referral to Children’s Services if required to do so.
  • Tutors and those providing teaching must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on someone under 18.
  • Follow the College’s policies including this child protection policy and the College’s code of conduct for adults and the ‘Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings’ (Safer Recruitment Consortium, 2019)
  • Be aware safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse
  • Understand that some children, including those with Special Educational Needs or those Looked After, may be more vulnerable to abuse. The DfE has recommended additional practice guidance ‘Safeguarding Disabled Children’ (The Children’s Society, 2009)
  • Understand that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. These can include:
    • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration.
    • being more prone to peer group isolation than other children
    • the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying – without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • ‘communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.’ (KCSiE 2020)
  • Have access to the College’s Code of Conduct and Whistleblowing policy. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285

8. Safeguarding Framework:

In addition to this child protection policy the College has procedures or policies in relation to other areas for safeguarding children including as examples:

  • attendance
  • anti-bulling including cyber bullying
  • alternative and off-site provision
  • behaviour for learning
  • code of conduct for staff, governors, and volunteers (guidance on safer working practices)
  • children in Care (Looked After Children)
  • educational visits procedures
  • data protection
  • emergency planning
  • Emergency Evacuation Procedures
  • First Aid Procedure for Young Persons
  • Risk Assessment Guidelines
  • safe recruitment practices
  • safeguarding advice for visitors
  • Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan
  • special educational needs and disabilities
  • whistleblowing.

9. Procedures for Reporting Child Protection or Child Welfare Concerns:

  • All concerns should be reported without delay following the College’s published Safeguarding Guidelines/Reporting Procedures. This should be followed by a written account of the concerns completed on the College’s Safeguarding Referral/Report Form.
  • Consideration will need to be given to immediately protecting the child and contacting the police and/or ringing for an ambulance if the child is injured or at risk of immediate harm.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads will take immediate action and will make a referral to children’s services by telephone if a child is believed to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This referral will always be followed up in writing.
Area Children Services
Liverpool 233 3700
Halton 907 8305

0345 050 0148 (emergency duty team)

Knowsley 443 2600
Sefton 934 3391

920 8234 (emergency duty team)

St. Helens (01744) 676600

0845 050 0148 (emergency duty team)

Wigan (01942) 828300
Wirral 606 2008
Merseyside Police 709 6010 or 101

999 in emergencies

 

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will follow the LSCP and Local Authority multi-agency procedures and consider the child’s needs alongside the LSCP’s Levels of Needs/Responding to Needs Framework (threshold document) and consider whether an Early Help assessment (level 2 and 3) or referral to children’s services is needed (level 4).
  • Concerns about a child should always lead to help for a child. The College may need to escalate its concerns with Children’s Services to ensure a referral is accepted or work with other agencies to ensure an Early Help Assessment is completed.
  • The College will always seek to follow the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures which can be found on their website:

http://liverpoolscb.proceduresonline.com/

http://www.proceduresonline.com/pancheshire/halton/index.html

http://children.haltonsafeguarding.co.uk/procedures-guidance/

https://www.knowsleyscb.org.uk/professionals/multi-agency-procedures/

https://seftonlscb.safeguardingpolicies.org.uk/may-2017/procedures-manual/11-introduction

https://www.wirralsafeguarding.co.uk/procedures/

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/WSCB/index.aspx

Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DFE 2020) provides key flowcharts and guidance to support staff and volunteers’ understanding and decision making. This will support staff to make a referral themselves should that become necessary. The Safeguarding Team should be informed, as soon as possible, following the need for another member of staff to make a referral. Guidance is also available on the NSPCC website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/

Concerns that a child is being radicalised should follow the normal safeguarding referral mechanism with an additional Channel referral being made to the Local Authority’s Prevent and Channel team.

10. Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers Working at the College:

All staff and volunteers must report any concerns about a member of staff’s behaviour towards children to the Principal. Concerns can also be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Concerns about the Principal should be raised with Chair of Governors or nominated governor. The College’s policy and procedures will support everyone to act. Concerns can also be taken directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (L.A.D.O.), if needed, via Children’s Services. Section 4 of the DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) provides further guidance.

LADO details and referrals

Ray Said -LADO

T: 0151 233 0840

M: 07841727309

email: ray.said@liverpool.gov.uk

Pauline Trubshaw – Deputy LADO

T: 0151 233 0846

M: 07716702034

email:pauline.trubshaw@liverpool.gov.uk

11. Allegations of Abuse Against Another Student (peer on peer abuse):

All concerns must be reported and discussed with the Safeguarding Team (or Designated Safeguarding Lead or Duty Manager). This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender-based violence/sexual assaults and sexting (youth produced sexual imagery). Staff should recognise that children can abuse their peers. Staff must challenge any form of derogatory and sexualised language or behaviour. Staff should be vigilant to sexualised/aggressive touching/grabbing particularly towards girls. Behaviours by children should never be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. The DfE states ‘peer on peer abuse should be taken as seriously as abuse by adults and should be subject to the same child protection procedures. Professionals should not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people and should not develop high thresholds before taking action.’ (KCSiE 2020).

Children with special educational needs and disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment and staff should be aware that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse in these children. Children who are LGBT or perceived to be, may also be targeted by their peers, and harassed or assaulted.

Victims of peer on peer harm will be supported by the College’s pastoral system and referred to specialist agencies including, as examples, ‘CAMHs’, ‘Brook’ and ‘Barnardo’s’. A risk assessment may need to be in place. The College curriculum will support young people to become more resilient to inappropriate behaviours towards them, risk taking behaviours and behaviours that children may be coerced into including ‘sexting’ or ‘initiation/hazing’ behaviours.

Additional guidance on protecting children from online abuse is available on the NSPCC website:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/online-abuse/legislation-policy-practice/

12. Online Safety, Data Protection and the Use of Mobile Phones and Digital Photographic Equipment:

Staff should also report any concerns about sexting (youth produced sexual imagery)  to the Safeguarding Team, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead  or senior member of staff who will follow the guidance in: Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) (https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/uk-council-for-child-internet-safety-ukccis provides clarity as to how staff should respond to these incidents).

The College’s online/E-safety/Acceptable User policy clearly outlines the way in which the College uses technology and the measures in place to ensure safe and responsible use by all. There is a clear code of conduct for staff and volunteers which sets out the use of new technologies, mobile phones, and personal photographic equipment around children. The College will consider looked After Children (Children in Care) who might be put at risk by being included in publicity materials or College photographs.

The DfE highlights the risks of new technologies:

‘The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation – technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate, or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.

Staff should bring immediately to the attention of the Safeguarding Team any behaviours by adults or children themselves that may be risky or harmful.

Government guidance called; Teaching online safety in school (DfE, 2019c) added which outlines how schools can ensure pupils understand how to stay safe online. A protocol for video conferencing was produced at the start of lockdown to be included within the Acceptable User Policy.

References https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-online-safety-in-schools

13. Monitoring Attendance:

A child missing from an education setting is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect including exploitation.  Local Authority guidance and procedures will be followed for dealing with a child who is missing from education, particularly on repeated occasions. The College will follow the pan-Merseyside missing children protocol. Unauthorised attendance will be closely monitored. The attendance of children with known welfare and attendance concerns will be monitored closely, particularly those with chronic poor attendance or persistent absentees. Colleges should also scrutinise the attendance of off-site provision to ensure children are attending and are safe. Similarly, the attendance of children who are vulnerable or with known welfare and safeguarding concerns such as children who have a child protection plan, are children in need, are Children Looked After and/or SEN will be monitored on a regular basis.

The College will seek to ensure it has at least two emergency contacts for each family and consider what urgent action it may need to take when a vulnerable child and family are not contactable and the child has not attended College.

It is essential that all staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage.

14. Early Help:

Any child may benefit from early help, but all school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs.
  • has special educational needs (whether they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan).
  •  is a young carer.
  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups.
  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home:
  •  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.
  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves; • has returned home to their family from care; and
  • is a privately fostered child

Detailed information on early help can be found in Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2019). More information on statutory assessments is included at paragraph 48. Detailed information on statutory assessments can be found in Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2019.

15. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE):

Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse and both occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources. In some cases, the abuse will be in exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or will be to the financial benefit or other advantage (such as increased status) of the perpetrator or facilitator. The abuse can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males’ females, and children or adults.

The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. It can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence. Victims can be exploited even when activity appears consensual and it should be noted exploitation as well as being physical can be facilitated and/or take place online. More information include definitions and indicators are included in Annex A. of Keeping Children Safe in education (2020)

The college takes instances of exploitation very seriously and takes immediate action to support students who are vulnerable.

16. Private Fostering:

Our College has a mandatory duty to report to the local authority if they believe a child is subject to a private fostering arrangement. (This does not include close family relatives e.g. grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or auntie.) A private fostering arrangement is made without the knowledge of the local authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18 for children with disabilities) whereby the child is in the care of someone other than their parent or close relative. Further guidance is available in Keeping Children safe in Education (DfE 2020). When a child is privately fostered a social worker must carry out an assessment to ensure the placement is appropriate and consider any support needed.

17. Up Skirting:

All staff are made aware that ‘up skirting’ is now a criminal offence.  A definition has been included which describes up skirting as, “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” (DfE, 2020)

18. Serious Crime:

Specific guidance is in force to support schools and colleges in recognising where students may be at risk from serious crime. The guidance sets out what we as a college staff look out for: “All staff are 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 college, 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” (DfE, 2019a) And what school and college staff need to know: “All staff are aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to measure 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.” (DfE, 2019)

19. Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment:

The Designated safeguarding leads are aware that the department has published detailed advice to support schools and colleges. The advice is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-violence-and-sexual-harassment-between-children-in-schools-and-colleges

Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are taken seriously by the college. These incidents are likely to be complex and require difficult professional decisions to be made, often quickly and under pressure. Preplanning, effective training and effective policies will provide us with the foundation for a calm, considered and appropriate response to any reports.

The guidance provides effective safeguarding practice and principles for schools and colleges to consider in their decision-making process.

Any decisions are for the college to make on a case-by-case basis, with the designated safeguarding leads taking a leading role and using our professional judgement, supported by other agencies, such as children’s social care and the police as required.

20. Mental Health:

All staff are aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a young person has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Only appropriately trained mental health professionals in college attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. College staff, however, are well placed to observe young people day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.

Where young people have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Staff in college are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour, and education.

If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action is taken, following their child protection policy, and speaking to the designated safeguarding leads or a deputy.

21. Safe Recruitment:

The College will ensure that all appointments follow its recruitment policy and the guidance set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2020). At least one member of the appointments panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training. The College will undertake all the required DfE pre-employments checks and where appropriate record these checks on the single central record and retain evidence in personnel files. The College will seek written confirmation that third-party organisations including contractors and alternative education providers have undertaken appropriate checks.

The College is required to investigate relevant staff who fall within the scope of Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 and establish they are not disqualified. The criteria for disqualification under the 2006 Act and the 2018 Regulations includes inclusion on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Children’s Barred List or committing a relevant offence.

22. The Safeguarding Curriculum:

The College will ensure it has a curriculum map which sets out how to help children keep themselves safe from harm. Children will be supported to develop their understanding, at the appropriate age, of risks including using technology, the internet, and risks associated with grooming and radicalisation, gang and criminal exploitation and misusing drugs and alcohol. Children will also learn about the wider safeguarding curriculum which for children would include road safety, anti-bullying and know how to seek support when needed. The College will ensure the curriculum promotes British Values as set out in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

23. Confidentiality, Information Sharing, Record Keeping and Retention:

The College understands the need to keep child protection and safeguarding records securely.

Where requested by a new provider, College will transfer records securely to the next setting and discuss the child’s needs. The College will retain records in keeping with Local Authority guidance and NSPCC guidelines:

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1442/child-protection-records-retention-and-storage-guidelines-september-2019.pdf

This in turn references the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) 2018 Information management toolkit for school’s version 6.0.

Staff cannot promise children confidentiality but must always act in the best interests of the child and share disclosures made by the child or others with the Safeguarding Team, who will work within the principles outlined in Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (HMG, 2018)

Staff will be told of concerns about a child on a ‘need to know basis’.

The College will aim to seek consent of parents before sharing information with other agencies, however legislation states that colleges and other agencies can share information without the consent of a parent/carer circumstances.

24. Complaints:

Complaints about safeguarding should follow the College’s complaints policy.

The College and Local Authority also have whistleblowing procedures.

(The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285)

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