Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is:
NAME: Sarah Lawrance
The Deputy Safeguarding Lead in this school is:
NAME: Katy Willson
West Sussex Multi-Agency Integrated Front Door (Formerly MASH):
Tel: 01403 229900
(Out of Hours – 0330 222 6664)
Referrals to the Integrated Front Door (IFD) for children and young people under 18
Urgent Referrals should be telephoned into IFD on 01403 229900.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger you must call the police on 999.
Referrals to IFD should be made on the following web-based forms which can be accessed
Referrals for those aged 18 and over
- To discuss concerns relating to a person aged 18 and over please contact West Sussex Adult Social Care on 01243 642121.
- Referral to adult’s social care should be made using the Adult Social Care Referral Form on- line form.
Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO):
LADO Contact Details
LADO should be contacted either by email: LADO@westsussex.gov.uk or by phone, LADO Consultation Contact No. 0330 222 6450 (Mon – Fri 9.00am – 5.00pm)
Safeguarding in Education Team
The Safeguarding in Education Team, including the MASH Education Advisers, can be contacted on
0330 222 4030 or by email to Safeguarding.Education@westsussex.gov.uk
Safeguarding is the action taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing the impairment of children’s mental and physical 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.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process.
It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering from, or likely to suffer, significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.
We recognise that harm also means where a child or young person witnesses harm to another.
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.
The purpose of this policy is to inform tutors and parents about our responsibilities for safeguarding children and to enable everyone to have a clear understanding of how these responsibilities should be carried out.
We believe that the STC should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child.
We will ensure that the STC maintains an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ and feel able to raise concerns either about a child at risk or a member of staff whose behaviour may present a risk to a child.
- Have safeguarding at the heart of everything we do.
- We will maximise opportunities to hear the voice of all our children and young people and do all we can to understand their lived experience.
- Maximise opportunities to teach our children / young people how to keep safe both in the real and virtual world.
- Support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence.
- Provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued, respected and confident.
- Recognise where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. We also recognise it is key that tutors are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour, and education
- Ensure that all of our children / young people know who they can communicate with if they are worried about something.
- Where there is a safeguarding concern we ensure the child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide.
- Make sure all tutors know how to contact child protection agencies should they need to.
- As part of promoting effective working relationships, we are aware of the requirement for children and young people to have an Appropriate Adult present in certain circumstances involving the police – for example, during searches. We will be aware of Statutory guidance – PACE Code C 2019 – and ensure our children and young people are supported as appropriate.
- Ensure that all adults within the setting who have access to children have been recruited and checked as to their suitability in accordance with Part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Voice of the Child – Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
We recognise the findings in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, where children expressed that they wanted an effective safeguarding system to be:
- vigilant: to have adults notice when things are troubling them
- understanding and actioned: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon
- stable: to be able to develop an ongoing stable relationship of trust with those helping them
- respectful: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not
- informed and engaged: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans
- explained: to be informed of the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met with a positive response
- supported: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their family
- advocated: to be provided with advocacy to assist them in putting forward their views
- protective: to be protected against all forms of abuse and discrimination and the right to special protection and help
We will act in accordance with the following. Government legislation and guidance
The Children Act 1989 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents
The Children Act 2004 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents
Education Act 2002 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships- education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education/about-this-guidance
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022
Sexual Violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2021:
Teaching online safety in school (DfE June 2019) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/811796/Teaching_online_safety_in_school.pdf
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2
Regulated Activity in relation to children: scope https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/550197/Regulated_activity_in_relation_to_children.pdf
The Education (Child Information) (England) Regulations 2005 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1437/contents
Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty- guidance
Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/573782/FGM_Mandatory_Reporting_- _procedural_information_nov16_FINAL.pdf
Dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers and Other Staff (2012) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/allegations-of-abuse-against-teachers-and- non-teaching-staff
Children Missing Education https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/550416/Children_Missing_Education_-_statutory_guidance.pdf
West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership and Pan-Sussex safeguarding procedures West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership
The Right to Choose – what services and organisations should do to help people at risk of forced marriage. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-right-to-choose- government-guidance-on-forced-marriage/multi-agency-statutory-guidance-for-dealing- with-forced-marriage-and-multi-agency-practice-guidelines-handling-cases-of-forced- marriage-accessible
Searching, screening and confiscation https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment _data/file/674416/Searching_screening_and_confiscation.pdf
The Equality Act 2010 and schools https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools & https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/public-sector-equality- duty
- As a general principle, all matters relating to child protection are confidential and should only be shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will disclose any child protection related information about a child to other tutors on a need-to-know basis only, where the receiving member of staff can play an active role in safeguarding that child or supporting their education outcomes.
- All tutors must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies to safeguard children.
- All tutors must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets if doing so might compromise that or another child’s safety or wellbeing.
- The intention to refer a child to Children’s Social Care will be shared with parents/carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, advice should be sought from the Integrated Front Door.
- KCSiE very clearly outlines the expectations on our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) in promoting the educational outcomes for children by sharing information about the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children, including children with a social worker, are experiencing, or have experienced.
- STC will ensure tutors have read and understand Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2022 and be alert to signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions.
- STC will participate in safeguarding training
- STC ensure all staff receive safeguarding and child protection updates as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children.
- Ensure tutors know who the Designated and Deputy Safeguarding Lead(s) is/are and how to contact them.
When to be concerned that a child is at risk of abuse:
What is abuse:
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. Harm can include ill treatment that is not physical as well as the impact of witnessing ill treatment of others. This can be particularly relevant, for example, in relation to the impact on children of all forms of domestic abuse. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
- Physical Abuse:
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
- Emotional Abuse:
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental ability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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 although it may occur alone.
- Sexual Abuse:
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
They may also include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet) by establishing a close relationship or friendship. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males; women can also commit acts of sexual abuse as can other children.
The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. 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 adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers), or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Recognising Physical Abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Indicators in the child
It is often possible to differentiate between accidental and inflicted bruises. The following must be considered as non-accidental unless there is evidence, or an adequate explanation provided:
- bruising in or around the mouth
- two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead, (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
- repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally for example the back, mouth, cheek, ear, stomach, chest, under the arm, neck, genital and rectal areas
- variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
- the outline of an object used e.g., belt marks, handprints or a hairbrush
- linear bruising at any site particularly on the buttocks, back or face
- bruising or tears around or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
- bruising around the face
- grasp marks to the upper arms, forearms or leg
- petechial haemorrhages (pinpoint blood spots under the skin) commonly associated with slapping, smothering/suffocation, strangling and squeezing
Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint. It is unlikely that a child will have had a fracture without the carers being aware of the child’s distress. If the child is not using a limb, has pain on movement and/or swelling of the limb, there may be a fracture.
There are grounds for concern if:
- the history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent
- there are associated old fractures
- medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement.
Rib fractures are only caused in major trauma such as in a road traffic accident, a severe shaking injury or a direct injury such as a kick.
Skull fractures are uncommon in ordinary falls, i.e., from three feet or less. The injury is usually witnessed, the child will cry and if there is a fracture, there is likely to be swelling on the skull developing over 2 to 3 hours. All fractures of the skull should be taken seriously.
Tears to the frenulum (tissue attaching upper lip to gum) often indicates force feeding of a baby or a child with a disability. There is often finger bruising to the cheeks and around the mouth. Rarely, there may also be grazing on the palate.
Ingestion of tablets or domestic poisoning in children under 5 is usually due to the carelessness of a parent or carer but it may be self-harm even in young children.
Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth when seen shortly after the injury has been inflicted. The shape then becomes a more defused ring bruise or oval or crescent shaped. Those over 3cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child. A medical/dental opinion, preferably within the first 24 hours, should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.
Burns and Scalds
It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds. Scalds are the most common intentional burn injury recorded.
Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g., circular burns from cigarettes, linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements, burns of uniform depth over a large area, scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid.
Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds, which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation. Scalds to the buttocks of a child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.
The following points are also worth remembering:
- A responsible adult checks the temperature of the bath before the child gets in.
- A child is unlikely to sit down voluntarily in a hot bath and cannot accidentally scald its bottom without also scalding his or her feet.
- A child getting into too hot water of his or her own accord will struggle to get out and there will be splash marks.
A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, or unusually shaped, may suggest abuse.
Emotional / behavioural presentation:
- refusal to discuss injuries
- admission of punishment which appears excessive
- fear of parents being contacted and fear of returning home
- withdrawal from physical contact
- arms and legs kept covered in hot weather
- fear of medical help
- aggression towards others
- frequently absent from school
- an explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
- several different explanations provided for an injury.
Recognising Emotional Abuse
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
- It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
- It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), 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.
Indicators in the child:
- developmental delay
- abnormal attachment between a child and parent/carer e.g., anxious, indiscriminate or no attachment
- aggressive behaviour towards others
- child scapegoated within the family
- frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
- low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others
- over-reaction to mistakes
- fear of new situations
- inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
- neurotic behaviour (e.g., rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking)
- fear of parents being contacted
- extremes of passivity or aggression
- drug/solvent abuse
- chronic running away
- compulsive stealing
- low self-esteem
- air of detachment – ‘don’t care’ attitude
- social isolation – does not join in and has few friends
- depression, withdrawal
- behavioural problems e.g., aggression, attention seeking, hyperactivity, poor attention
- low self-esteem, lack of confidence, fearful, distressed, anxious
- poor peer relationships including withdrawn or isolated behaviour.
Recognising Sexual Abuse
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
- The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
- They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
- Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males, women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
- We recognise children are vulnerable to extremist ideology and radicalisation. Similar to protecting children from other forms of harms and abuse, protecting children from this risk should be a part of a schools’ or colleges’ safeguarding approach.
- Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces.
- Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
- Terrorism is an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
- There is no single way of identifying whether a child is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Similarly, radicalisation can occur through many different methods (such as social media or the internet) and settings (such as within the home).
- It is possible to protect vulnerable people from extremist ideology and intervene to prevent those at risk of radicalisation being radicalised. As with other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection.
The Prevent Duty
The PREVENT Duty will be seen as part of schools’ and colleges’ wider safeguarding obligations.
- Our Designated Safeguarding Leads and other senior leaders in the centre will familiarise themselves with the revised Prevent Duty Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent- duty-guidance especially paragraphs 57-76, which are specifically concerned with schools and childcare.
- The guidance is set out in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training, and IT policies.
- There is additional guidance: Prevent duty guidance: for further education institutions in England and Wales that applies to colleges.
Children Requiring Mental Health Support
- We recognise our centre has an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils.
- We recognise mental health problems can, in some cases,be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- We are aware of recent government publications:
- Preventing and tacking bullying
- Mental health and behaviour in schools
- Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing
West Sussex Single Point of Access (SPoA)
Following a Sussex-wide review of emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people, a new West Sussex Single Point of Access (SPoA) for emotional wellbeing and mental health support launched in June 2022.
The new service provides a simplified single route so that children, young people, families, carers and professionals can be directed to the right service, eliminating the need to refer to multiple services.
Led by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), the new arrangement is delivered in partnership with West Sussex County Council’s Youth Emotional Support Service (YES) and YMCA Dialogue.
The three services work together to process (triage) the referrals and determine which service is the most appropriate offer for the young person, which may also include partnership services. In time, more emotional wellbeing services will be introduced into the service.
Making a referral
Young people, parents/carers and wider professionals can now make a referral to the West Sussex SPoA at www.e-wellbeing.co.uk/support Key details:
- The SPoA will be open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
- The young person must consent to the request for service and understand they may be directed to another service outside the SPoA
- The service will accept referrals for children and young people from the age of four up to the young person’s 18th birthday, who are registered with a West Sussex GP, whilst recognising and working within NHS CHOICE regulations
- If a young person who is close to turning 18 is referred to the service with a mental health need, they will be signposted to adult services.
- If you have any questions about the new service, please contact Naomi Frith, Project
Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, please go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/west-sussex-spoa
- Our staff are aware of the West Sussex Community Mental Health Liaison Service https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/west-sussex-cmhl-service who provide an early intervention and prevention service for professionals who are working with young people under the age of 18 and are concerned about a young person’s mental health and wellbeing. This service is available to our school.
- We are aware that we can obtain advice and support from School Nursing Service https://www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/downloads/services/west-sussex-school- nursing/west-sussex-school-nursing-leaflet.pdf
- We are also aware of the resources available to our school from the Mentally Healthy Schools website https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/
- For our pupils aged 11-19 we are aware of the ChatHealth text service
https://www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/services/chathealth-text-messaging-service/108923 and YES Youth Emotional Support Service https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education- children-and-families/your-space/health/emotional-wellbeing-and-mental-health/youth- emotional-support-yes-service/
- We are also aware of how we can refer a child or young person to CAMHS
Self-harm page accessible to all schools in West Sussex County council can be found at https://schools.westsussex.gov.uk/Services/4720 Here you can find information, training and resource in relation to self-harm. This includes bespoke self-harm and distress tolerance sessions that can be accessed for free at any time as well as updates on new innovative projects in relation to self-harm.
Dealing with a disclosure of abuse
STC is a safe place where children feel able to talk to a trusted adult if they are concerned or worried.
If a child discloses – we will:
- Accept what the child says.
- Stay calm; the pace should be dictated by the child without them being pressed for detail. It is our role to listen – not to investigate.
- If more information is needed to establish if there has been abuse use open questions such as “describe what happened?” “tell me what happened?”
- Use age-appropriate vocabulary and language; avoid jargon or terms the child may not understand.
- Be careful not to burden the child with guilt by asking questions like “Why didn’t you tell me before?” but you could ask ‘Have you spoken to anyone else about this?’
- Acknowledge how hard it maybe for the child to tell anyone what has happened.
- Not criticise the perpetrator, the child may well have a relationship with them.
- Not promise confidentiality but reassure the child that they have done the right thing, explain whom we will have to tell (the Designated Safeguarding Lead) and why and, depending on the child’s age, what the next stage will be. It is important that we avoid making promises that we cannot keep such as “I’ll stay with you all the time” or “it will be all right now.”
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide on when and how to contact the parent / carer to share concerns.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will share concerns with parents / carers before making a referral to IFD unless by doing so could escalate the risk to the child or other vulnerable person or impede a police investigation.
If we are in any doubt as to whether to refer the matter, we will speak and discuss with IFD. When recording information, we will:
- Be aware that any records made may well be used in subsequent investigations and possible court hearings.
- Make detailed notes at the time or immediately afterwards; record the date, time, place and context of disclosure or concern. Record facts and what was said but not your assumption or interpretation.
- If it is observation of bruising or an injury record the detail, e.g., “right arm above elbow”.
- Use skin / body maps if necessary.
- Not take photographs.
- Note the non-verbal behaviour and the key words in the language used by the child but do not to translate into ‘adult language’.
- Record the date, time and location where the notes were made and if anyone else was present.
- Pass the notes as soon as possible to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Reporting forms will be readily available to all staff who may require them.
- Reporting forms will be located together with the latest copies of Keeping Children Safe in Education, Confidential Reporting Policy and the schools’ child protection and safeguarding policy, at an easily accessible point in the centre.
- Even where we have a computerised safeguarding system, we will still have paper reporting forms readily available, so that concerns are recorded as soon as possible. (For example, where the computer system is ‘down’ or where the member of staff cannot gain access quickly to record the disclosure immediately.)
Referring a Child to the Integrated Front Door
If a child is in immediate danger the police must be called by dialling 999. If a tutor has concerns about a child;
- The member of staff will report their concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or in their absence, the Deputy Safeguarding Lead.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will refer to the West Sussex Safeguarding Partnership Continuum of Need/Threshold Guidance and decide whether the concerns should be referred to the Integrated Front Door (IFD). If there are grounds to indicate the child has or is likely to suffer actual or suspected significant harm then a referral will be made to the IFD using the relevant online form. Where concerns are urgent, complex or where it is unclear whether a referral should be made, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should contact the IFD by telephone for advice on 01403 229900, or out of hours on 0330 222 6664.
- If it is decided to make a referral to the IFD, parents must be contacted to inform them that the referral is being made unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm or could impact on a police investigation (the IFD is able to provide advice on this).
- If it is considered likely that by informing parents/carers of the referral will increase the risk to the child (ren) advice MUST BE SOUGHT FROM IFD before INFORMING, the PARENT/CARER.
- The steps outlined in, ‘Dealing with a Disclosure’, will be followed by staff members to record details of any concerns which must be done as soon as possible and on the same day. The signed and dated recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations.
- Where IFD have been contacted for advice and indicate a referral should be made, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure the correct online forms at point 1 in this section above are completed immediately.
- We will comply with the information sharing aspects of KCSiE 2022 – which are outlined at para 2
- Information sharing is vital in identifying and tackling all forms of abuse and neglect, and in promoting children’s welfare, including their educational outcomes.
- Centre staff should be proactive in sharing information as early as possible to help identify, assess, and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children, whether this is when problems are first emerging, or where a child is already known to the local authority children’s social care.
- The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.
- Further details on information sharing can be found:
- in Chapter one of Working Together to Safeguard Children, which includes a myth- busting guide to information sharing
- Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners Providing Safeguarding Services to Children, Young People, Parents and Carers. The seven golden rules for sharing information will be especially useful
- The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which includes ICO UK GDPR FAQs and guidance from the department
- Data protection: toolkit for schools – Guidance to support schools with data protection activity, including compliance with the UK GDPR.
- If in doubt whether to share information we will take advice from IFD. Further advice on the seven golden rules for sharing information for staff can be found in the following document, Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers and guidance, which can be accessed https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_d ata/file/721581/Information_sharing_advice_practitioners_safeguarding_services.pdf
- The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. 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, which must always be the paramount concern.
- Effective sharing of information is essential for early identification of need, assessment and service provision to keep children safe
- Practitioners should be proactive in sharing information as early as possible to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children, whether this is when problems are first emerging, or where a child is already known to local authority children’s social care (e.g., they are being supported as a child in need or have a child protection plan). Practitioners should be alert to sharing important information about any adults with whom that child has contact, which may impact the child’s safety or welfare.
- Information sharing is also essential for the identification of patterns of behaviour when a child has gone missing, when multiple children appear associated to the same context or locations of risk, or in relation to children in the secure estate where there may be multiple local authorities involved in a child’s care. It will be for local safeguarding partners to consider how they will build positive relationships with other local areas to ensure that relevant information is shared in a timely and proportionate way.
- If a practitioner has concerns about a child’s welfare and considers that they may be a child in need or that the child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, then they should share the information with local authority children’s social care and/or the police. All practitioners should be particularly alert to the importance of sharing information when a child moves from one local authority into another, due to the risk that knowledge pertinent to keeping a child safe could be lost.
- Practitioners must have due regard to the relevant data protection principles which allow them to share personal information, as provided for in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To share information effectively: it is important to understand the processing conditions under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR which allow them to store and share information for safeguarding purposes, including information, which is sensitive and personal, and should be treated as ‘special category personal data’.