At Dunstone, the health, safety and well-being of every child are our paramount concern. We listen to our pupils and take seriously what they tell us. Our aim is that children enjoy their time as pupils at this school.
At this school, we take our Safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. This means that we have ensured that everyone working in the school has successfully completed the necessary clearances to enable them to work with pupils. It also means that we have staff members who are specifically trained in Child Protection procedures. We have a wide range of policies which ensure that we are in line with current safeguarding practices.
On rare occasions, our concern about a child may mean we have to consult other agencies, such as the Police, or Social Services. The procedures we follow have been laid down by Plymouth Local Authority.
By working closely with everyone concerned, we firmly believe that we will continue to offer a safe learning environment for all our learners.
- Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection: Katie Patrick
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) for Child Protection: Laurie Archer and Fiona Goodsell
- Chair of Governors: Kay Bailey
- Designated Governor for Child Protection: Kay Bailey
Key Documents and Sources of Information
The following policies are available on the school website:
- Safeguarding Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Anti-Bullying Policy
- Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Staff and Volunteers Policy
South West Child Protection Procedures are available at www.swcpp.org.uk
- Children have a right to be safe.
- Adults have a duty of care to protect children
- Parents have a right to be informed.
The School will inform parents of any concerns about their children (providing it does not compromise their safety) and will help and support them as necessary.
The School will actively seek to prevent children suffering abuse and neglect through the development of an open culture that informs children of their rights and encourages them to speak of any concerns. The School will also address the issue of children’s safety through the curriculum.
Awareness of Concerns
- CATEGORIES OF ABUSE: The following are the standard categories of abuse. Although these are described as discrete definitions, there is usually overlap between them in reality.
a) Physical harm b) Sexual abuse c) Emotional abuse d) Neglect
- SIGNS OF ABUSE: There are a number of signs that may indicate abuse. These include:
- Behaviour: A marked change in a child’s usual temperament or the display of unusual behaviour
- Spoken disclosures: A child may say something that discloses abuse. If this occurs, the person to whom the child has disclosed should do the following:
- Listen to what the child says and then write down word for word what was said as soon as possible,
- Do not question the child as this could jeopardise future investigations
iii. Empathise with and comfort the child but do not agree to keep secret what they have disclosed. Tell the child that you will have to tell someone else in school, ie, Mrs Patrick, Mrs Archer or Mrs Goodsell.
- Physical injuries: Whilst young children may commonly have minor injuries, certain injuries will raise concerns that these have been caused deliberately.
- Appearance: The manner in which a child is dressed or groomed may give cause for concern that their basic physical and emotional needs are not being met.
Responding to Concerns
- Anyone who has concerns that a child has been, or is likely to be abused, should inform the DSL or in his absence, the DDSL of their concerns. Do not contact parents or anyone who is the subject of allegations
- If the DSL or DDSL is not contactable, Child Protection Procedures, as outlined in point 3a) below, should be followed.
- The school will follow Child Protection Procedures as outlined by the South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Group and detailed on their website at www.swcpp.org.uk. (Plymouth Safeguarding Board) These include the following elements:
- The School will refer all allegations or concerns that a child has been, or is likely to be abused or neglected to Children’s Social Care.
- The School will consult when it has concerns that a child may have been abused or neglected.
- The School will discuss with parents concerns they have about their children.
- Parents will be kept informed of what has happened, as is deemed appropriate following the guidance of Child Protection Teams.
Allegations of Abuse Against a Member of Staff or Volunteer
Any allegations of this nature should be reported to the DSL or DDSL and will be dealt with according to the school’s Policy for Managing Allegations Of Abuse Against Staff and Volunteers. Where allegations are made against the DSL/Headteacher, this should be reported to the Chair of Governors.
Child on Child Abuse
Physical and emotional abuse of children by other children will be dealt with through the School’s Anti–Bullying policy and parents will be kept informed. All concerns about possible sexual abuse will be referred to Children’s Social Care.
What Will Happen After the DSL is Informed?
- The DSL or DDSL will discuss your concerns with you and make a record of them. No further action may be taken at this time. The record will be kept on file by the DSL in case future concerns arise.
- The DSL or DDSL may discuss your concerns and then consult an outside agency such as the School Nurse, Educational Welfare, Social Services or parents. The advice given will be acted upon.
- After consulting with outside agencies, a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) meeting may be called so that all interested parties (including parents) can attend and look for ways to support the child. Your observations/concerns may be included in the CAF documentation.
- In some cases, the child protection issue may be serious enough to mean that the DSL or DDSL will make a referral to Social Services, the Police or another agency, to ensure that the welfare of the child is ensured.
What to do if a child discloses abuse (‘The five Rs’)
- RECEIVE the information. Listen carefully and do not ask leading questions
- RESPOND to the child. Let them know what you are going to do next
- REPORT the disclosure as soon as possible to the DSL or DDSL using a concern log
- REFER to Social Care without delay – the DSL should do this
- RECORD fully and accurately, as soon as possible afterwards