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Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Updated January 2021 | Shared with staff: February 2021
Policy owner: Bev Blanchfield

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy for schools and colleges

Covid-19 school closure arrangements for Safeguarding and Child Protection

  1. Context
  2. Key contacts
  3. Other Key Contacts
  4. Vulnerable children
  5. Attendance monitoring
  6. Designated Safeguarding Lead
  7. Reporting a concern
  8. Safeguarding Training and induction
  9. Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff
  10. Online safety in schools and colleges
  11. Children and online safety away from school and colleges
  12. Supporting children not in school
  13. Supporting children in school
  14. Peer on Peer Abuse
  15. Mental health and Well-Being
  16. Staff who bring their own children into school due to a lack of suitable alternative childcare
  17. Support from the Local Authority
  18. The use of personal mobile phones

1.    Context

From 5th January 2021 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response who absolutely need to attend and children who are vulnerable and cannot be safely cared for at home.

It is the responsibility of the host school for safeguarding and child protection for all pupils who are attending regardless of whether they are on roll at that school.

All staff working in schools should understand their specific roles in the safeguarding of children.

This addendum of the Coop Academy Brownhill Safeguarding and Child Protection policy contains details of our individual safeguarding arrangements in the following areas:


2.    Key contacts

Role Name Contact number Email
Designated Safeguarding Lead Emma Kennedy 01132489539 Emma.Kennedy@coopacademies.co.uk
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads Joanna Summers 07970895499 Joanna.summers@coopacademies.co.uk
Headteacher Bev Blanchfield 01132489539 Beverley.blanchfield@coopacademies.co.uk
Trust Safeguarding Manager Claire Dodd 07753307971 Claire.dodd@coopacademies.co.uk
Chair of Governors Ed Powell
Safeguarding Governor / Trustee Ed Powell

3.    Other Key Contacts:

Children’s Services Education Safeguarding Team 0113 3789685 | estconsultation@leeds.gov.uk
Children’s social work service duty and advice team 0113 3760336 | childscreening@leeds.gov.uk
Emergency Duty Team (Out of hours) 0113 5350600 | childrensEDT@leeds.gov.uk
Prevent Team 0113 5350810 | prevent@leeds.gov.uk
LADO service 0113 3789687 |  lado@leeds.gov.uk
Leeds Schools Crisis line 0113 3783645
Inner East Cluster Jo Else 0113 3781184

4.    Vulnerable children

As outlined in government guidance published in January 2021 vulnerable children and young people are defined as those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child;
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
    • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
    • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
    • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
    • those living in temporary accommodation
    • those who are young carers
    • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
    • care leavers
    • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health.

Eligibility for free school meals in and of itself is not a determining factor in assessing vulnerability.

Senior leaders, especially the Designated Safeguarding Lead (and deputy) know who our most vulnerable children are. They have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edge of receiving children’s social care support.

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to work with and support children’s social workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with and supporting children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children. The lead person for this will be Maggie Webb

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and Coop Academy Brownhill will explore the reasons for this directly with the parent.

Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID19, Coop Academy Brownhill or the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.

Coop Academy Brownhill will encourage our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed.


5.    Attendance monitoring

Children for whom on-site provision is being provided should be recorded in line with the normal school attendance requirements.

Shielding advice is currently in place in tier 4 areas, and so all children still deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school.

Coop Academy Brownhill and social workers will agree with parents/carers whether children in need should be attending school – Coop Academy Brownhill will then follow up on any pupil that they were expecting to attend, who does not.

Coop Academy Brownhill will also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child(ren) and the child(ren) subsequently do not attend.

Phone calls will be made to the parents/carers in these circumstances.

To support the above, Coop Academy Brownhill will, when communicating with parents/carers and carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, Coop Academy Brownhill will notify their social worker.

To support the above, Coop Academy Brownhill will, when communicating with parents/carers and carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child with a social worker does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, Coop Academy Brownhill will notify their allocated social worker.

Children on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list are not expected to attend school.


  1. Designated Safeguarding Lead

Coop Academy Brownhill school has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and a Deputy DSL.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Emma Kennedy

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Joanna Summers

The optimal scenario is to have a trained DSL (or deputy) available on site. Where this is not the case a trained DSL (or deputy) will be available to be contacted via phone or online video – for example when working from home.

Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to the above, a senior leader will assume responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site.

This might include updating and managing access to child protection records both offline or online management system, and liaising with the offsite DSL (or deputy) and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school or college.

It is important that all Coop Academy Brownhill staff and volunteers have access to a trained DSL (or deputy). On each day, the staff on site will be made aware of who that person is and how to contact them. All onsite staff should be made aware of the Trust Safeguarding Lead, Claire Dodd, Claire.Dodd@coopacademies.co.uk / 07753307971 should a DSL be unavailable and they require safeguarding advice.

The DSL will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which can be done remotely.

The senior DSL will ensure that operational staff with designated safeguarding responsibilities, access regular supervision, which can be undertaken remotely through electronic communications (e.g. skype, mobile communications etc.)


7.    Reporting a concern

Where staff have a concern about a child, they should continue to follow the process outlined in the school Safeguarding Policy.  This includes making a report and formally recording concerns via the school’s electronic safeguarding systems, (e.g. CPOMS) which can be done remotely. Or secure email systems with completed cause for concern forms attached.

Staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay.

Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children in the school, they should contact their Head Teacher, Bev Blanchfield 01132489539 / Beverley.blanchfield@coopacdemies.co.uk. If there is a requirement to make a notification to the Headteacher whilst away from school, this should be done verbally and followed up with an email to the Headteacher.

Concerns around the Headteacher should be directed to the Chair of Governors: Ed Powell Edward.powell@coopacademies.co.uk

All staff must follow Part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) and Coop Academy Safegusrding and Child Protection policy (section 10.2) guidance for managing allegations against staff. The case manager must use the local authority designated officer (LADO) notification form (see Appendix 13 Coop Academy Brownhill safeguarding and child protection policy) in order to assess the level of concern. As part of this initial consideration, the case manager should consult with their school’s HR Advisor/provider/contact. The completed LADO notification form must be sent to lado@leeds.gov.uk within one working day of the allegation being made.

The Trust safeguarding lead (Claire Dodd, Claire.dodd@coopacademies.co.uk ) will continue to offer support in the process of managing allegations.


8.    Safeguarding Training and Induction

For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if access to their refresher training delayed. Refresher safeguarding training for all staff can be accessed remotely through https://www.leedsforlearning.co.uk/

All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.

Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter Coop Academy Brownhill, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction and training.

Upon arrival, new staff will be issued with the statutory safeguarding documents as outlined in Part One of Keeping Children Safe In Education 2020 including a copy of the receiving setting’s safeguarding and child protection policy, guidance for safer working practice for staff working in educational settings, behaviour policy, children missing education procedures, online safety policy including acceptable use and confirmation of local processes and confirmation of DSL arrangements.


  1. Safer recruitment/volunteers and the movement of staff

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) (KCSIE).

In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-changes-to-dbs-id-checking-guidelines

If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that:

  • the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check
  • there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children
  • there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual

Where Coop Academy Brownhill is utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 183 to 188 of KCSIE (2020). Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found in paragraph 179 of KCSIE (2020).

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per paragraph 182 of KCSIE (2020) and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral.

During the COVID-19 period, all referrals should be made by emailing Misconduct.Teacher@education.gov.uk

Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current National emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers will be in the school or college, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in paragraphs 164 to 171 in KCSIE (2020).


10. Online safety in schools and colleges

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to provide a safe environment, including online. This includes the use of an online filtering system.

Where students are using computers in school, appropriate supervision will be in place.


11. Children and online safety away from school and college

Where students are using digital technology away from school for the purposes of remote learning, the duty to ensure appropriate supervision is the responsibility of the child’s parent/carer.

It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the Child Protection Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police.

Online teaching should follow the same principles as set out in the Guidance for safer working practice (including Covid-19 Addendum issued in April 2020) for those working with children and young people in education settings (National Safer Recruitment Consortium May 2019).

Coop Academy Brownhill will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.

Below are some things to consider when delivering virtual lessons, especially where webcams are involved:

  • No 1:1s, groups only. In cases where 1:1 tuition is essential, staff must seek formal written agreement from a senior manager and the pupil’s parent.
  • Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
  • Where staff are working remotely any technology used for communication should be inappropriate areas, staff need to be mindful that backgrounds do not compromise personal confidentiality or breach the guiding principles of safer working practice guidance for staff working in educational settings.
  • Our school reserve the right for staff members to record live-streamed sessions with pupils as a log of the activity. By joining the learning session parents give permission for this to happen.
  • The purpose of any potential recording of live sessions would be so that the video can be reviewed if any issues were to arise.
  • Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day.
  • Recording of live sessions may be particularly appropriate when there is only one member of staff on the call and no ‘supervising’ second adult is available on the feed.
  • If live streams are to be recorded, this should be reflected in communication with staff, parents and children and highlighted in the acceptable use policy
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
  • Staff must only use platforms specified by senior managers and approved by our IT network manager/provider to communicate with pupils

Staff should record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held as follows. (Please see online Safety Policy)


12. Supporting children not in school

Coop Academy Brownhill is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its children and young people.

Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, they should ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child or young person.

Details of this plan must be recorded, as should a record of all contacts made.

The communication plans can include: remote contact, phone contact, door-step visits. Other individualised contact methods should be considered and recorded.

Coop Academy Brownhill and its DSL will work closely with all stakeholders to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan.

This plan must be reviewed regularly and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.

The school will share safeguarding messages on its website and social media pages.

Coop Academy Brownhill recognises that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Staff at Coop Academy Brownhill need to be aware of this when setting expectations for pupils who are engaging in remote learning.


13. Supporting children in school

Coop Academy Brownhill is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students.

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Headteacher will ensure that appropriate staff are on-site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate, to maximise safety.

Coop Academy Brownhill will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19.

Coop Academy Brownhill will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them.

Where Coop Academy Brownhill has concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as our Designated Safeguarding Lead or first aiders – we will discuss them immediately with the local authority education safeguarding team and/or health and safety team.


14. Peer on Peer Abuse

Coop Academy Brownhill recognises that during the closure a revised process may be required for managing any report of such abuse and supporting victims.

Where a school receives a report of peer on peer abuse, they will follow the principles as set out in part 5 of KCSIE and of those outlined within of the Child Protection Policy.

The school will listen and work with the young person, parents/carers and any multi-agency partner required to ensure the safety and security of that young person.

Concerns and actions must be recorded in keeping with school reporting and recording systems (e.g. CPOMS) and appropriate referrals made.


15. Mental health and Well-Being

Coop Academy recognises that the current exceptional circumstances may affect the mental health and well-being of pupils, parents and staff in many different ways. The school will ensure that they have details of appropriate support available and this will be accessible for pupils, parents and staff.

These are unusual and difficult times for many people and for some families they may become traumatic times and involve loss and grief. We have provided appropriate home learning for our pupils to complete during this period of time whilst the vast majority of pupils are at home. Although learning is very important, and we want to make the best use of this time, we recognise that the expectations of this may be challenging on some students and families. The school will provide reassurance and support to pupils, parents and staff in order to manage these expectations without putting additional stresses and pressure on individuals.

Coop Academy Brownhill will continue to offer pastoral support to their pupils and seek advice from services when necessary about the universal and targeted offer around mental health and wellbeing.  Schools will ensure that there is a plan in place for how any bereavements may be handled, including obtaining support services as appropriate.


Useful contacts

Child line: 0800 1111

www.childline.org.uk

www.nhs.uk

Mind.org.uk

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing

www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/talking-to-children-about-feelings/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing

www.mindmate.org.uk/


 

16. Staff who bring their own children into school due to a lack of suitable alternative childcare

In addition to advice issued centrally by the Local Authority on this issue: where these are preschool children schools must also have regard to the Disqualification Regulations 2018: The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2018 and Childcare Act 2006, which set out who is disqualified from working with children.


17. Support from the Local Authority

The Children’s Services Education Safeguarding Team will continue to provide support and guidance as appropriate to enable DSLs to carry out their role effectively.


18. The use of personal mobile phones

In situations where staff have agreed to use their own personal mobile phone to make contact with families, staff and school will need to put in place systems to ensure the staff member’s personal number is not visible to parents and carers. Staff should not give parents/carers personal mobile telephone numbers as a point of contact. In an emergency situation, where this is deemed essential, specific permission must be granted by an appropriate senior leader.

Staff who require access to their mobile phone during the school day due to: test and trace notifications (for instances such as their own children who may require picking up due to collapsed bubbles etc..) will be required to follow the principles set out in the guidance for safer working practice (12. Communication with children (including the use of technology)).  Mobile phones should be used in line with individual school guidance and should not be used for non-educational purposes when supervising or teaching children. Staff should take reasonable steps to ensure they are not distracted from their duties by non-urgent alerts or notifications. Where staff receive urgent alerts related to the COVID track and trace NHS App or their own children’s school they should follow school procedures to ensure continuity of supervision for any children in their care.


Safeguarding Statement

Co-op Academy Brownhill is committed to safeguarding every student. We acknowledge that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and ensure all of our staff are trained to be vigilant and aware of the signs and indicators of abuse and understand and follow safe working practices.

The viewpoints and voice of students is of paramount importance to our Academy and we will always listen to their wishes, thoughts and feelings, as well as identifying and supporting their needs. We will work alongside students to develop trusting, consistent and professional relationships and show we care by advocating the early help processes where possible.

We will identify any difficulties or concerns early in order to act preventatively. We will always provide support and advice for families and parents/carers, whilst acting in the best interests of the student at all times and doing what matters most.

Safeguarding also includes ensuring we work in an open and honest way, enabling our students to feel safe by providing a secure learning environment, are equally protected regardless of any barriers they may face and are able to grow and develop in the same way as their peers.

Co-op Academy Brownhill safeguards students by:

  • Maintaining a secure site and ensuring that all visitors to the Academy are recorded, monitored and clear about how to raise a safeguarding concern should one arise.
  • Ensuring that safer recruitment practices are followed to prevent those who pose a risk to children gaining access to our students.
  • Filtering and monitoring all internet traffic into the Academy to ensure that students cannot be exposed to harmful material and communication.
  • Ensuring that all staff employed by the Academy have received Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance which is recorded in the Single Central Record.
  • Providing regular training and briefings for all staff in child protection and ensuring that all staff and visitors know who our designated safeguarding officers and designated senior lead are.
  • Ensuring that admission and attendance procedures are robust to protect students, ensure that they are safe and prevent students from going missing from education.
  • Empowering young people to identify risks both within the Academy and in their community; ensuring that they have the skills and confidence to help and protect themselves and others.
  • Making sure that all students understand the importance of reporting concerns about themselves and peers and giving them the confidence to discuss sensitive issues.
  • Providing pastoral and inclusion support to ensure that all students have access to guidance and advice, and when needed referrals for additional agency support to meet their needs.
  • Sharing information when appropriate with other agencies and services to ensure that students, children and their families have support to meet their needs and prevent students from harm or further harm.
  • Taking immediate action and contacting the appropriate agencies when we believe that a student is in danger or is at risk of harm.