Safeguarding and Child Protection: Parents' Guide
The designated lead responsible for safeguarding (the DSL) in the whole School and in the Early Years setting is Mrs Rosemary Cox, Head of Pre-Prep. In her absence, the Headmaster takes responsibility for safeguarding.
The named governor responsible for safeguarding is Mr Robert Quinney. In his absence the named governor responsible for safeguarding is Mrs Caroline Jordan.
They are trained in child protection, inter-agency working and the LSCB’s approach to Prevent duties. Their most recent specialist safeguarding training took place in January 2019. Their training is updated every two years.
The Headmaster is responsible for Safer Recruitment Policies; his most recent training took place in May 2019. He is supported in governor-led appointments by Mrs Caroline Jordan whose most recent safer recruitment training took place in January 2016.
All those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including people who do not have a specific role in relation to child protection, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. (Department of Health et al, 2003b, page 2, paragraph 1). The Governing Committee and School recognise the collective expertise of all staff in helping to shape and implement safeguarding policies and provide regular opportunities for that expertise to be shared.
Safeguarding is the process of protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully as well-balanced members of a responsible society. This includes a duty to prevent children from being drawn into terrorism. All decisions about safeguarding and child protection are always to be made in the best interests of the child.
Child protection is a 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.
New College School recognises its responsibility for Child Protection. This policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in school and those in College who have regular contact with children (e.g. Organist, Chaplain, Academical and Lay Clerks). It focuses on five main elements:
• Staff recruitment and selection – ensuring that all staff (volunteers etc) who have unsupervised access to children, have been appropriately checked for their suitability through the DBS/Barred List, (in the case of governors/management a section 128 check), proof of I.D. and qualifications, ‘prohibited’ list, ‘Childcare Disqualification’ disclosure (checked annually), right to work in the UK, medical fitness, gaps in CV, two references including present employer, and DSL notified. Checking in School is carried out by the School Administrator and in College by the Chapel Administrator. Their work is supervised by the Headmaster, the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the School Governing Committee.
• Raising awareness of safeguarding issues with children, including online safeguarding, and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe. Opportunities for reinforcing safeguarding should be sought in PSHCEE and as part of a balanced wider curriculum.
• Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse and neglect including unexplained absence or regular missing of school days/lessons.
• Supporting children who have been abused in accordance with his/her child protection plan.
• Identifying children and families who need additional support through Children’s Social Care.
• Establishing a safe and nurturing environment free from dissemination or bullying where children can learn and develop happily.
We recognise that because of the day-to-day contact with children, school staff are ideally placed to observe the outward signs of abuse and staff in school will therefore:
• Report any inappropriate behaviour / activities to designated staff.
• Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, encouraged to talk and are listened to.
• Ensure that children know that they can approach any of the adults in school if they are worried and they will receive a consistent supportive response.
• Include in the curriculum opportunities in the PSHCEE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.
Staff at New College School will follow the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) Procedures in all cases of abuse, or suspected abuse. We will therefore:
• Ensure that we have a designated teacher for child protection and inform the designated officer (LADO) in the Oxfordshire Schools’ Safeguarding Team when this changes.
• Contact the Safeguarding Team/LADO within 24 hours of suspected or reported abuse. This would normally be done by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, but it is important that all members of staff know that they may contact the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Team directly if concerns are urgent.
• Ensure that the designated teacher receives appropriate training (updated every two years) and that this training is disseminated to all others in the school, including the Headmaster, annually at Michaelmas INSET.
• Ensure that the governors of New College School are aware of their responsibility to safeguard the welfare of pupils in the school.
• Ensure that every member of staff, volunteers and governors know who the designated teacher is and what his/her responsibilities are.
• Ensure that all staff and volunteers are trained before starting their duties and understand their responsibilities in being alert to, and acting appropriately in, cases of abuse or suspected abuse.
• Ensure that all children and their parents in the EYFS know who their ‘key person’ is.
• Ensure all staff have read the latest version (September 2018; September 2019 version issued at the start of Michaelmas Term 2019) of the DfE booklet Keeping Children Safe in Education: Information for all School and College Staff (Part One and Annex A) and have signed they have done so.
• Ensure safeguarding practice follows the DfE booklet Working Together to Safeguard Children
• Ensure safeguarding practice follows the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales, supplemented by Departmental advice for schools and childminders and The use of social media for on-line radicalisation.
• Ensure that parents understand the school’s responsibilities in relation to child protection by setting out these obligations on the school website.
• Inform Social Care if a pupil, whose name is on the Child Protection Register, has unexplained absence of more than two days or is missing form education.
• Establish and maintain links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with enquiries of a child protection nature.
• Ensure that where possible appropriate staff attend case conferences on children in our school.
• Keep accurate written records of concerns on children even where referral is not appropriate immediately.
• Ensure that all child protection records are kept secure and confidential and separate from the main pupil file.
• Ensure that the School follows safe recruitment procedures, as set out in our Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy (see STAFF PROFESSIONAL POLICIES> Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy), and that all staff/volunteers (including visiting agency/cleaning staff) are selected and recruited by this means and that nobody barred from DSB regulated activity is knowingly employed or taken on as a volunteer in the School. Visiting speakers should be supervised at all times by a member of staff and care should be taken to ensure they are not presenting extremist views.
• Ensure all visitors are signed in by the School Office and given a 'Visitors' Badge' and are accompanied at all times round the School.
• Ensure all contractors visiting the site are signed in and accompanied at all times by a member of the maintenance team, unless it is the school holidays and no children are on the premises.
• Ensure no staff or volunteers are disqualified from childcare and that they sign a document to confirm this.
• Ensure that all staff, governors and volunteers understand that there is a procedure to be followed in dealing with child protection allegations made against teaching and non-teaching staff. This procedure must be followed on all occasions. All staff should be aware of this process. All such allegations should be referred to the Headmaster and DSL in the first instance (in his or her absence the Chair of Governors); to the Head if the DSL is the subject of allegations or, in the case of the Head being the subject of an allegation, to the Chair of Governors/Governor responsible for safeguarding. It may be necessary to suspend a member of staff without prejudice while an investigation is pending. All such investigations will be carried out as speedily as possible.
• Ensure all records are kept securely; separate from the main pupil file, in a locked location for at least seven years after the last recorded entry on any one pupil
• Follow the county requirements on reporting and tracking pupils going missing from education
• Ensure that all staff are fully aware of the Code of Conduct ( INTRODUCTION>AIMS, GOVERNORS & STAFF, ROUTINES & DUTIES> Code of Conduct), particularly as it relates to their professional position of trust and the propriety of staff/pupil relationships in person and via social media. Care is particularly taken to ensure staff know how they should avoid isolated one-to-one situations which might put them at risk of allegations.
• Ensure all staff understand the culture of safety and raising concerns (whistleblowing) as set out in the Code of Conduct (INTRODUCTION>AIMS, GOVERNORS & STAFF, ROUTINES & DUTIES> Code of Conduct).
• Ensure that this policy is reviewed annually by the governing committee, is in line with Oxfordshire County Council’s policy and any deficiencies or weaknesses remedied without delay,
We recognise that children who are abused, or witness violence, may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school, their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:
• The content of the curriculum.
• The school ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued.
• The School Behaviour Policy, which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school. The school will ensure that the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred.
• Liaison with other agencies that support the pupil such as Social and Health Care, Education Social Work Service and Educational Psychology Service.
• Ensure that where an NCS pupil moves to another school, any safeguarding/child protection documentation is passed immediately and confidentially to the receiving school, separate from general records. Where possible the DSL will arrange to meet with the DSL from the receiving school to discuss the safeguarding/child protection information in more detail. The receiving school will be asked to sign to confirm that the transfer has taken place successfully and this signed record will be kept on file.
• Where a pupil is transferring to NCS, a request for information will be sent to the previous school if there is no evidence of safeguarding/child protection information shared. Confidentiality must be maintained and information relating to individual pupils/families must only be shared with relevant staff on a strictly need to know basis.
It is noted that the provisions of the Education Act place a general duty on New College School to provide the welfare of children in our care and, as such, staff will adhere to other related school policies. It is important to remember that safeguarding is inclusive of: child protection, anti-bullying, physical safety of the children in and outside the building (including being alert for children who may be brain-washed or radicalised), first aid, e-safety, acceptable use of mobile phones and cameras, equality of opportunity, medicine administration, evacuation of the building, complaints, behaviour management, safe recruitment.
Identifying children in need
Children who are defined as being ‘in need’, under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, are those whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without provision of services, plus those who are disabled. The critical factors to be taken into account in deciding whether a child is in need under the Children Act 1989 are:
- what will happen to a child’s health or development without services being provided
- the likely effect the services will have on the child’s standard of health and development.
Local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need.
It is important to remember that the definition of children in need is wider than those who have suffered or are at risk of suffering significant harm. Some children and families may need additional support at times from one or more agencies. Whilst children in the former category should be reported to the social services immediately, the latter should lead to inter-agency assessment using local processes, following advice from the School’s DSL (Mrs Cox) and/or medical practitioners.
‘Looked-after’ children (ie those under the care of social services) may have particular needs to ensure their safety. The School’s DSL will ensure staff have full necessary information about a child’s status and care arrangements.
The concept of significant harm
Harm is defined in the Children Act 1989 section 31(9) as:
- ill-treatment (including sexual abuse and physical abuse)
- impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural) as compared to a similar child.
NOTE: Harm now includes the impairment of a child’s health or development as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person (Adoption and Children Act 2002).
Definitions of abuse
All staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.
Abuse is defined as 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 (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children (peer on peer abuse).
Bullying (including cyberbullying) is the commonest form of abuse within schools and may take the form of physical or emotional abuse.
It's vitally important to note that safeguarding incidents/behaviours can be associated with factors outside the School, including the actions of children/parents outside School or other environmental factors in a child's life. This is known as contextual safeguarding.
- May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocation or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
- Includes sexual violence or harassment
- Includes initiation violence or rituals
- Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Sexual abuse and exploitation
Involves forcing or enticing (such as with gifts, affection or status) a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact or non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet) or sexting between children.
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Possible signs of sexual abuse
Children under the age of five may:
- become insecure or cling to parent in a fearful way
- show extreme fear of a particular person
- cry hysterically when their nappy is changed
- become hysterical when clothing is removed, particularly underclothes
- have some physical signs in the genital or anal areas
- have soreness or bleeding in the throat, anal or genital areas
- regress to a much younger behavioural pattern
- behave in a way sexually inappropriate to their age, being obsessed with sexual matters as opposed to normal exploration
- stare blankly, seem unhappy, confused, sad
- become withdrawn, stop eating, have chronic nightmares, begin wetting again when previously dry
- play out sexual acts in too knowledgeable a way with dolls or other children
- produce drawings of sex organs
- stop enjoying activities with other children, such as stories or games
- seem to be bothered or worried, but won’t tell why, as if keeping a secret
- change from being happy and active to being withdrawn and fearful
- repeat obscene words or phrases said by the abuser
- say repeatedly that they are bad, dirty or wicked
- become aggressive and hurtful
- act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
Children from ages of five to twelve may:
- Hint about secrets they cannot tell
- Say that a friend has a problem
- Ask you if you will keep a secret if they tell you something
- Begin lying, stealing, blatantly cheating in the hope of being caught
- Have unexplained sources of money
- Have terrifying dreams
- Start wetting themselves
- Exhibit sudden inexplicable changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn
- Stop enjoying previously liked activities, such as music, sports, art, scouts, gym club
- Be reluctant to undress for gym
- Become fearful of or refuse to see certain adults for no apparent reason; show dislike of a particular babysitter, relative or other adult.
- Act in a sexual way inappropriate to their age
- Draw sexually explicit pictures depicting some act of abuse
- Seem to be keeping secret something which is worrying them
- Have urinary infections, bleeding or soreness in the genital or anus areas
- Have soreness of bleeding in the throat
- Have chronic ailments such as stomach pains or headaches
- Takeover the parent role at home, seem old beyond their years (if a victim of incest)
- Become severely depressed, even attempt suicide
- Have a poor self image, self mutilate
- Continually run away
- Regress to younger behaviour, such as thumb sucking, surrounding themselves with previously discarded cuddly toys
- Show discomfort when walking
- Say that they are no good, dirty, rotten
- Be wary, watchful
- Repeat obscene words or phrases which may have been said during the abuse
- Attempt to sexually abuse another child
- Talk or write about sexual matters
- Find excuses not to go home or to a friend’s house after school (places where abuse may be happening)
- Act in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults
Young people from the age of twelve onwards may include:
- Being chronically depressed
- Being suicidal
- Self-mutilation, showing self-hatred
- Experiencing memory loss
- Being unable to concentrate, be in a world of their own
- Having unexplained sums of money
- Exhibiting a sudden change in school/work habits, becoming truant
Persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development. May involve:
- conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- not giving the children the opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- ‘brain-washing’ children with extremist beliefs or intolerant views
- age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.
- interactions beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration & learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
- causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children
- seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
- serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Possible signs of emotional abuse:
- Physical, mental and emotional development lags
- Admission of punishment which appears excessive
- Overreaction to mistakes
- Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
- Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)
- Fear or parents being contacted
- Extremes of passivity or aggression
- Drug/solvent abuse
- Chronic running away/missing from education
- Compulsive stealing
- Scavenging for food or clothes
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairments of the child’s health and development.
Neglect 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 food, clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Possible signs of neglect:
- Constant hunger
- Poor personal hygiene
- Constant tiredness
- Poor state of clothing
- Frequent lateness or missing from education
- Untreated medical problems
- Destructive tendencies
- Low self esteem
- Neurotic behaviour (rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)
- No social relationships
- Compulsive stealing
- Scavenging for food or clothes
Abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil
This may take the form of many of the physical and emotional types of abuse mentioned above. It may take the form of so-called ‘banter’. It may take place in or out of school or online: the School will be particularly vigilant for abusive texting/sexting which may take place outside school and encourages parents to report issues or suspicions. Such concerns may well surface if a child is the subject of bullying and in any case will be treated according to the School’s anti-bullying policy, which sets out the School’s support for victims and appropriate punishment for perpetrators. If a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, then such abuse will be reported to the local authority as a child protection concern.
Protecting children online
- More than 50,000 sexual predators are thought to be online at any one time in the UK.
- CEOP- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre is based in London). To date, CEOP has rescued 131 children from abusive environments and its work has resulted in the arrests of 297 child sex offenders. It is estimated that 1 in 5 young internet users have received unwanted sexual solicitation through the internet. Think U Know is a CEOP website on e-safety aimed at children and young people: www.thinkuknow.co.uk CEOP can provide a range of resources for working with children and young people around e-safety. Their website also explains how to report internet abuse through the ‘report abuse’ icon.
- Terrorist and extremist materials are widely circulated via the internet.
- The School has in place a robust filtering system which protects children form viewing inappropriate material in school; mobile phones must be handed in at the start of the school day.
- Internet safety is integral to the School’s PSHCEE and Computing curriculum and in advice given to parents. (See ICT> ICT Policy (Pupils) and following documents).
- Reference should be made to the School’s cyberbullying policy and any safeguarding concerns relating to abuse of technology should be reported to the Deputy Head Academic.
- Protecting children who go missing from education on repeated occasions is an important aspect of safeguarding and teachers shoudl be alert to the possible risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- The School keeps two or more emergency contact numbers to enable contact with a responsible adult should a child have an unexplained absence from school.
- If a child joins the School after the beginning of the School's first year or leaves before completing the School's final year, the local authority and the child's local authority (if different) will always be informed.
Safeguarding Disabled Children
- Professionals from all agencies must be aware of the vulnerabilities/myths/beliefs which can minimise the impact of abuse on disabled children (disabled children are three times more likely to be abused).
- Disabled children should be treated with the same professional concern as non-disabled children
- Additional resources / time may be need to be allocated since SEN/D may be disproportionally affected by bullying/abuse without showing outward signs
- Basic training and/or awareness about the susceptibility of disabled children should be given to all staff.
- The impairment should not detract from the assessment of need that considers the underlying causes for concern
- Criminal investigations need to be handled sensitively and in accordance with Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on vulnerable or intimidated witnesses including children (2008)
- Parents and carers should be aware of the vulnerability of disabled children and their role in safeguarding them.
The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The main role of the designated lead is to refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies according to the procedures established by their Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB). To be effective the DSL must:
- Have received training for the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (updated every two years ) in how to identify abuse, including radicalisation, (via the Prevent training) and know when it is appropriate to refer a case to Children’s Social Care or simply to seek additional support from other agencies, using CAF or TAC approaches. Also having a working knowledge of how local children’s safeguarding boards, he or she will operate the conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so. Referrals are to be passed to the Children Young People & Families (CYP & F) Assessment Teams.
- Ensure when the child has been taken out of school to be home educated, when the family has apparently moved away, when the child has been certified as medically unfit to attend, when the child is in custody for more than four months, or has been permanently excluded, the facts must be reported without delay to the local authority.
- Act as a source of advice, support and in some cases expertise and be responsible for co-ordinating action referrals by liaising with relevant agencies over cases of abuse and allegations of abuse, regarding both children and members of staff.
- Liaise regularly with the governor responsible for safeguarding. Make themselves (and any deputies) known to all governors and members of staff and ensure governors and members of staff have had training in child protection relevant to their needs and are able to identify and report any concerns they have to the appropriate person.
- Ensure each member of staff has access to and is trained to understand the relevant policies. This is also essential in respect of staff who are perhaps part time, temporary or contractual workers or volunteers. New staff are trained as they join the School to ensure they are familiar with the School’s Safeguarding Policy, Staff Code of Conduct, the identity of the Designated Lead and have received a copy of the latest DfE booklet KCSIE. All staff are reminded of key procedures annually and have formal training refreshed every three years.
- Ensure there is always cover for their role when unavailable
- Contribute to Serious Case Reviews / Internal Case Reviews as required
- Ensure the establishment’s child protection policy is updated and reviewed annually with the proviso that any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection are remedied without delay.
- Ensure that detailed accurate secure written records of concerns / referrals and outcomes are kept
- Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses and to be allowed the necessary time to fulfil this role
- Ensure Child Protection files are kept securely and transferred with the child as appropriate
- Ensure contact with a welfare agency within 24 hours of a disclosure or suspicion of abuse
- Ensure the police are informed if it is suspected a crime may have been committed
The role of all staff
All staff have a responsibility to promote the welfare of students in their care by providing a safe environment in which students feel secure and valued. This environment should provide an atmosphere of trust in which students have the confidence to share problems. All staff have a responsibility to be attentive to INSET training and safeguarding updates and familiarise themselves with latest best practice, particularly that relating to online safety.
It is the responsibility of all staff to be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of abuse, including abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil: it is not the responsibility of staff to interrogate or investigate any disclosures. If staff have a concern about a child, regardless of whether or not a child has disclosed anything, then the DSL must be consulted without delay.If there is a risk of immediate and serious harm to a child, anybody can make a referral to social services via the LADO, but referral via the Headmaster or DSL is much to be preferred. The school operates a ‘whistleblowing policy’ whereby any suspicions about colleagues’ behaviour must be reported in confidence to the Headmaster or DSL. It is important to note,in the context of GDPR legislation, that data protection compliance should never be allowed to stand in the way of safeguarding children.
When a child tells
If a child discloses to you directly, remember that it has taken a lot of courage to get to this point and your response is CRUCIAL. This child has chosen you as someone they trust.
Children and adults who disclose abuse are often asked…”why didn’t you tell someone?” this reaction can be very distressing and shows a lack of awareness about the realities of abuse.
So long as parents or carers are not implicated in any potential abuse or that communicating with parents and carers of a child making a disclosure would not place a child at further risk, the parents or carers of a child making a disclosure should be informed about this at the earliest opportunity.
All concerns/disclosures must be recorded in writing on the Record of Concern/Disclosure form, copies of which can be found on Staffshare > Safeguarding or are available from Rosemary Cox (DSL).
All members of staff are issued with a laminated card outlining key points for safeguarding and child protection as follows:
If a child tells you about a child protection matter:
motivation and intentions
[In Pre-Prep and some subjects eg Music, Games there are particular guidelines for touching or supervising changing; teachers in these areas must be familiar with these]
Procedures for dealing with allegations against staff
Our aim is to strike a balance between the need to protect children from abuse, and the need to protect staff and volunteers from false or unfounded accusations. Allegations are received in a variety of ways:
- If an employee is informed about a possible allegation they should notify the Headmaster or DSL immediately (or in his or her absence the Chair of Governors).
- Where the allegation is against the DSL, the Headmaster or Chair of Governors only should be informed
- Where the allegation is against the Headmaster, the Chair of Governors or the nominated Governor only should be informed.
- All allegations should be referred to the Schools’ Safeguarding Team, or in the most serious cases, to directly to the police. There should be no time delay and care should be taken to maintain total confidentiality up to the point where the accused person is charged with an offence. Under no circumstances should the Headmaster or Governors conduct their own investigation before an agreement is reached with the Schools’ Safeguarding Team.
Safeguarding Team Contacts:
Interim LADO: Alison Beasley
01865 815956 or 07833436649
Child Abuse Investigation Unit 01865 335200
Non-Emergency Number 101
DfE helpline for non-emergency advice 020 7340 7264
All discussions should be recorded in writing and communications with all parties agreed.
In dealing with allegations against members of staff, procedures will be applied with common sense and judgement, in particular whether or not the case warrants suspension or alternatives.
Information about allegations of sexual abuse will be retained by the School until the accused has reached the normal pension age or for a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.
Allegations found to be malicious after investigation will be removed from personnel records and cannot be referred to in employer references.
If any member of staff or volunteer is dismissed or no longer employed or used by the School because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children then he or she will be referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service within one month of leaving the School. Failure to make such a report constitutes an offence.
Disclosure and Barring Service, Post Office Box 181
Where a dismissal does not reach the threshold for DBS referral, consideration will be given to notifying the Teaching Regulation Agency
If there is a substantiated allegation against a member of staff, the School will work with the LADO to improve its procedures and practices to prevent similar events in the future.
Staff at New College School will be issued with a laminated card that they can keep on their person. This has key points about how to deal with a disclosure and offers advice about how to protect yourself.
Date adopted November 2008
Policy reviewed Annually by Governors as a standing agenda item
Next review due November 2019