Child Protection Policy

To download a copy of the Child Protection Policy, please click here.

Tollbar MAT's Child Protection Policy, pays due regard to 'Keeping children safe in education' (September 2016) and 'Working together to safeguard children' (March 2015).

Tollbar MAT, in keeping with North East Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire Area Child Protection Committee guidelines for child protection, believes that the protection of children is the proper concern of everyone in a position to help.

Primary responsibility for care and protection of children rests with the parents. However, an Academy is available to, and supportive of, parents in safe-guarding their children. When children are entrusted into our care we see this as forming a partnership with the home. This is in accordance with the statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002.

Each academy will ensure that:

  • There is a designated teacher (SCPCo) in place who is a senior member of staff and has undertaken/continues to undertake child protection training & is conversant with relevant changes of legislation/guidance and good practice.
  • There will also be a nominated deputy to undertake these responsibilities as/when they are unavailable and that they are provided with appropriate training and aware of relevant changes of legislation and guidance for good practice.
  • There will be a nominated child protection governor appointed and that they are provided with appropriate training and aware of relevant changes of legislation and guidance for good practice.
  • All staff will be made aware as to whom these nominated personnel are.
  • All staff in an academy, both teaching and non-teaching, receive relevant child protection training - at least every three years.
  • Students and parents/carers are aware of the responsibilities placed on the school and staff when dealing with child protection concerns, via an academy Prospectus.
  • The MAT will ensure that there is an annual audit of safeguarding policies and procedures which is reported to the Governing Body.

Of paramount importance is the welfare of all the children, and in keeping with the county policy we do not inform the home when we consult Children's Services (previously Social Services) with regard to a concern about the child. Parents will always be consulted if a referral is made to Children's Services.

Our Child Protection Policy is applicable to all of our students. We are aware, however, of the additional vulnerability that children with special needs and/or disabilities may present, particularly if there are communication difficulties.

There is a Child Protection Co-ordinator within each Academy. There is also a nominated governor for child protection. It is to the SCPCo (or in his/her absence, the Deputy SCPCo) that all concerns are reported and for them to report on it.

The responsibility for child protection is incumbent upon all members of staff. All staff, both teaching and non-teaching will be provided with requisite child protection/safeguarding training. This is to be undertaken every three years as a minimum.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children are safe and protected from abuse, including from other students.

Bullying

Our policy on bullying including racial harassment, is set out in the Anti-bullying Policy and is reviewed on an annual basis by the governing body.

Physical Intervention

Our policy on physical intervention set out in the Care Control and Restraint Policy is reviewed on an annual basis by the MAT's Board.

PROCEDURES (For All Suspected Instances of Harm)

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Tollbar Academy is Mrs T Webb. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Miss V Watts.

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Cleethorpes Academy is Mrs A Allenby. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mr B Pharaoh.

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Reynolds Academy is Mr A Clark. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Miss L Waring.

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Somercotes Academy is Mrs M Hammond. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Miss A Bradley.

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Theddlethorpe Academy is Mrs M White. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mrs M Hammond.

The Child Protection Co-ordinator for Pilgrim Academy is Mrs A Turner. The Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mrs R Scott.

Common signs of harm are listed on a separate sheet.

Other signs may indicate child abuse such as failure by parents/carers to report an injury or take advice. An injury which is not compatible with the parents/carers explanation could also indicate abuse and, where necessary, should be acted upon.

If you are aware of any of these signs, or unsure as to how to deal with the situation, please inform the CPO as soon as possible.

When a child shares information about abuse with you, this cannot be kept confidential for two main reasons:

  1. a criminal offence may have occurred
  2. the child and other children may still be at risk from the perpetrator.

Explain to the child why you cannot keep it to yourselves, and who might have to know, i.e. Social Worker, Police, Doctor and possibly Court.

Explain to the child that you have a duty to report situations in which you are concerned that a child has been, or is at risk of being, harmed.

GUIDANCE TO STAFF

When child abuse is suspected inform the Child Protection Co-ordinator immediately. If he/she is not available inform the Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator, or the Principal.

As soon as possible you should note carefully what you have observed and when you observed it. Signs of physical injury should be described in detail, or sketched. A body map is available for staff usage. Any comment by any person about how the injury occurred should be recorded, preferably quoting words actually used. Sign & time/date the original notes - do not destroy these as they may be required as evidence.

If the situation is urgent and Social Services cannot be contacted, the Child Protection Co-ordinator/Deputy SCPCo/Principal will make a referral to the Police Child Protection Unit.

The Principal (or Child Protection Co-ordinator) will inform the Chair of the Governors that a referral has been made.

Please note that all information regarding child abuse must be treated in the strictest confidence and may only be held by the Co-ordinator in his/her office.

North East Lincolnshire Tel:
Families First Action Point (FAPP)
(including out of hours)
01472 326292
Lincolnshire Tel:
Safeguarding of Children Concerns 01522 782111
Out of hours (safeguarding referrals) 01522 782333

STAFF CONDUCT & SAFEGUARDING MATTERS

All staff working with children should adopt high standards of personal conduct at all times in order to maintain the confidence and respect of their peers, students and the public in general. This is particularly important if you are socialising in a public place. You must always be aware that you are easily recognised even if you do not recognise other members of the public. You need to be aware of your own actions, what you are discussing and the language you are using. It is of paramount importance that you remain professional both in and out of the workplace. Do not have students as friends on any social media sites. This is to safeguard yourself and students. If you become aware of the activities of a colleague that breach these instructions you must report it to the Principal of your Academy immediately. These standards apply to all adults who work at the Academy, all staff are in a position of trust.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF

If there is an allegation against a member of staff this must be reported to the appropriate Principal immediately. Allegations against a Principal must be reported to the CEO immediately.

(See further details contained in 'STATEMENT OF PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST STAFF' - November 2014)

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE

  • Unexplained injuries or burns, particularly if they are recurrent
  • Improbable excuses given to explain injuries
  • Refusal to discuss injuries
  • Untreated injuries
  • Admission of punishment which seems excessive
  • Bald patches
  • Withdrawal from physical contact
  • Arms and legs kept covered in hot weather
  • Fear of returning home
  • Fear of medical help
  • Self-destructive tendencies
  • Aggression towards others
  • Running away

SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

  • Physical, mental and emotional development lags
  • Admission of punishment which appears excessive
  • Over-reaction to mistakes
  • Continual self-depreciation
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Fear of new situations
  • Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
  • Neurotic behaviour (for example rocking, hair-twisting, thumb-sucking)
  • Self-mutilation
  • Fear of parents being contacted
  • Extremes of passivity or aggression
  • Drug/solvent abuse
  • Running away
  • Compulsive stealing, scavenging

SIGNS OF NEGLECT

  • Constant hunger
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Constant tiredness
  • Poor state of clothing
  • Emaciation
  • Frequent lateness or non-attendance
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Destructive tendencies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Neurotic behaviour
  • No social relationships
  • Running away
  • Compulsive stealing or scavenging

SIGNS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

  • Sudden changes in behaviour or academic performance
  • Displays of affection in a sexual way inappropriate to age
  • Tendency to cling or need re-assurance
  • Tendency to cry easily
  • Regression to younger behaviour, such as thumb sucking, playing with discarded toys, acting like a baby
  • Complaints of genital itching or pain
  • Distrust of a familiar adult, or anxiety about being left with a relative, a baby-sitter or a lodger
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Apparent secrecy
  • Wetting, day or night
  • Sleep disturbance or nightmares
  • Chronic illness, especially throat infections and venereal diseases
  • Anorexia or bulimia
  • Unexplained pregnancy
  • Fear of undressing, e.g. for sport
  • Phobias or panic attacks

SIGNS OF EXTREMISM/RADICALISATION

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of the Academy's wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.

If you have any reason to believe that a student may be at risk of radicalisation you must report your concerns to the Child Protection Officer, Deputy Child Protection Officer or Principal immediately. Signs that this may be happening are:

  • The day to day behaviour of the student becoming increasingly concentrated around an extremist ideology
  • Changing their style of dress and loss of contact with other friends who do not share the extremist ideology
  • Using insulting or derogatory terms to describe other groups opposed by extremists

Prevent

From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA 2015) to have due regard to the need to prevent students from being drawn into terrorism. If you have any reason to believe that a student may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism you must inform the Child Protection Officer, Deputy Child Protection Officer or Principal immediately. If appropriate a referral will be made to the Channel programme.

SIGNS OF FEMALE GENITIAL MUTILATION (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.

If you have any reason to believe that a female student may be at risk of FGM you must report your concerns to the Child Protection Officer, Deputy Child Protection Officer, or Principal immediately. Signs that this may be happening are:

  • The position of the family and the level of integration within UK society. It is believed that less integrated communities are more likely to carry out FGM
  • Any girl born to a woman who has been subjected to FGM
  • Any girl who has a sister who has been subjected to FGM
  • Any girl withdrawn from PSE/Citizenship (or equivalent lessons) may be at risk as a result of her parents wishing to keep her uninformed about her body and her rights.
  • A female family elder visits a family in the UK from a country of origin
  • A professional may hear reference to FGM in conversation between female students
  • A student may confide that they are due to have a 'special procedure'
  • Parents request or state that they are taking a female child out of the country for an extended period of time
  • A female student may mention a long holiday to their country of origin, or to another country where FGM practice is prevalent

If you have any reason to believe that a student is at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) you must report your concerns to the Child Protection Officer. Summer holidays have been identified as a particular time when young girls are vulnerable, so it is important that concerns are passed through as quickly as possible.

E-SAFETY

Our E-Safety Policy ensures our ability to protect and educate our students and staff in their use of technology. Students participate in e-safety awareness sessions via assemblies, Citizenship lessons and ICT lessons.

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT)

As an Academy, we believe that respect for ourselves and others is a fundamental right and responsibility of, and for all. It is the duty of all staff to ensure that every member of the school community feels valued, irrespective of their sexual/gender orientation, race or religion.

YOUTH PRODUCED SEXUAL IMAGERY (SEXTING)

We have a duty of care towards our students and an obligation to support them in being safe in the online world as well as the physical world.

There are a number of definitions of sexting but for the purposes of this policy sexting is simply defined as:

Images or videos generated

  • By children under the age of 18, or
  • Of children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature or are indecent.

These images are shared between young people and/or adults via a mobile phone, handheld device of websites with people they may not even know.

Sexting or youth produced sexual imagery does not refer to one single activity: it can have multiple facets and activities, be connected to sexual pleasure and be linked to a 'normal' part of sexual development; however, something that transpires online can quickly spiral out of control as it becomes freely available in the public domain. It can then be transferred, forwarded, downloaded, uploaded and shared.

Any situation involving our students and youth produced sexual imagery are taken seriously as potentially being indicative of a wider safeguarding or child protection concern or as being problematic sexual behaviour. The understanding of children and young people around the potential implication of taking and/or sharing youth produced sexual imagery is likely to be influenced by the age and ability of the children involved. In some cases children under 13 (and indeed older) may create youth produced sexual imagery as a result of age appropriate curiosity or risk-taking behaviour or simple due to naivety rather than any sexual intent.

All incidents involving youth produced sexual imagery will be responded to in line with the Academy's safeguarding and child protection procedures.

PEER ON PEER ABUSE

Children and young people may be harmful to one another in a number of ways which would be classified as peer on peer abuse.

Types of abuse

There are many forms of abuse that may occur between peers and this list is not exhaustive;

  • Physical abuse e.g. (biting, hitting, kicking, hair pulling etc.)
  • Sexually harmful behaviour/sexual abuse e.g. (inappropriate sexual language, touching, sexual assault etc.)
  • Bullying (physical, name calling, homophobic etc.)
  • Cyber bullying
  • Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (Sexting)
  • Initiation/Hazing
  • Prejudiced Behaviour
  • Violence, particularly pre-planned
  • Forcing others to use drugs or alcohol
  • Emotional abuse
  • Blackmail or extortion
  • Gang initiation/hazing

Hazing is the practice of rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group. Hazing is seen in many different types of social groups, including gangs, sports teams, school, military units, and fraternities and sororities.

We constantly develop appropriate strategies in order to prevent the issue of peer on peer abuse rather than manage issues in a reactive way.

We recognise that peer on peer abuse can and will occur in any setting even with the most stringent of policies and support mechanisms. In which case is it important to continue to recognise and manage such risks and learn how to improve and move forward with strategies in supporting our students to talk about any issues and through sharing information with all staff. We support this be ensuring that our school has an open environment where students feel safe to share information about anything that is upsetting or worrying them. This is strengthened through a strong and positive Citizenship curriculum that tackles such issues as prejudiced behaviour and gives children an open forum to talk things through.

ADDENDUM

Sometimes children come to a teacher to discuss problems or worries which will not necessarily have any 'Child Protection' significance but nevertheless the child is clearly worried or distressed. If you feel there are underlying problems which ought to be addressed, you should persuade the student to speak to a senior member of the Pastoral team. In any case, you should inform the most appropriate person of your concerns. It would not necessarily mean breaking confidentiality. You should not become involved in regular discussions or 'counselling' with a student before consulting a senior member of management.

Child Protection Officer
(Tollbar Academy)
Mrs T Webb
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Tollbar Academy)
Miss V Watts
Child Protection Officer
(Cleethorpes Academy)
Mrs A Allenby
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Cleethorpes Academy)
Mr B Pharaoh
Child Protection Officer
(Reynolds Academy)
Mr A Clark
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Reynolds Academy)
Miss L Waring
Child Protection Officer
(Somercotes Academy)
Mrs M Hammond
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Somercotes Academy)
Miss A Bradley
Child Protection Officer
(Theddlethorpe Academy)
Mrs M White
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Theddlethorpe Academy)
Mrs M Hammond
Child Protection Officer
(Pilgrim Academy)
Mrs A Turner
Deputy Child Protection Officer
(Pilgrim Academy)
Mrs R Scott

Nominated Governor for Child Protection (all Academies) - Mrs J Aukett

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Stephen Moon
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Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson
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