BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Name of Designated Teacher for Child Protection: Mrs O McIlroy
Name of Deputy DT: Mrs J Campbell
Name of Designated Governor: Mrs L Martin
Most recent update: 2016/2017
BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
SCHOOL SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT
We, the governors, principal and staff of Belmont Primary School have a responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge. We will carry out those responsibilities by providing a caring, supportive and safe environment in which each individual may develop his/her full potential. Through the curriculum we will encourage the development of high levels of self-esteem and confidence because we believe that this lays the foundation for the child to be able to keep him/herself safe.
All staff and volunteers have been subject to appropriate background checks. We have also adopted a Code of Conduct for our behaviour towards pupils. The purpose of the following procedures on Child protection is to protect our pupils by ensuring that everyone who works in our school has clear guidance on the action which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected.
The welfare of each child is our paramount consideration and all steps are taken to safeguard children’s welfare. The school has a safeguarding Team, made up of the Principal/ Designated teacher, the deputy designated teacher, the Chair and designated member of the board of governors.
The school has a duty to refer issues regarding children’s welfare and child protection on to the relevant bodies. The Department of Education has issued detailed guidance on dealing with all aspects of Child Protection in ‘Pastoral Care in Schools - Child Protection (1999)’. The “ACPC Regional policy and Procedures”, issued by the DHSSPS IN 2005, provides guidance on inter-agency working. We have based our policy on these guidelines. The policy also takes account of the underpinning principles of the Children (NI) Order 1995. All DENI circulars are also adhered to, the most recent of which are included as an appendix.
CHILD PROTECTION – DEFINITIONS OF CHILD ABUSE
The following is an extract from the ACPC Regional Policy and Procedures.
Child abuse occurs when a child is neglected, harmed or not provided with proper care. Children may be abused in many settings, by those know to them, or more rarely, by a stranger. There are different types of child abuse and a child may suffer more than one of them.
Definition of Sexual Abuse
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts.
- They may include non contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Definition of Physical Abuse
- Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child, or the wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering.
- This may include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocation, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriate giving drugs to control behaviour.
Definition of Emotional Abuse
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development.
- It may involve conveying to a child that he is worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as he meets the needs of another person.
- It may involve causing a child to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child.
- Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
- Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance abuse may expose a child to emotional and/or physical harm.
*Domestic violence is described as threatening, controlling, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, virtual, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on anyone by a current or former intimate partner or family member.
Definition of Neglect
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs, likely to cause significant harm.
- It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failing to ensure access to medical care or treatment, lack of stimulation or lack of supervision.
- It may also include non-organic failure to thrive.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Below are a list of some examples of common signs and symptoms encountered by teachers which MIGHT indicate abuse or neglect. Please note, however, that this is not a checklist and some of the signs or symptoms may have other explanations.
Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse
Scratches or bite marks Sexually explicit behaviour
Bruises or burns Running away
Untreated injuries Self mutilation
Unwillingness to undress Inappropriate language
Flinching at sudden movements Sexualised play
Improbable explanations for bruises Sexual themes in writing or art
Neglect Emotional Abuse
Hunger, tiredness etc Fearful or unhappy
Poor personal hygiene Sudden speech disorders
Lack of supervision at home Neurotic behaviour (rocking etc)
Untreated illnesses Over-reaction to mistakes
Over passivity or hyperactivity Excessive dependence
Deficient nutrition Attention seeking
A new category of child abuse was added in May 2016. That is Exploitation.
Exploitation is defined as the intentional ill treatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over a child or young person, to take selfish and unfair advantage of a child or young person or situation for personal gain. It may manifest itself in many forms including
Engagement in criminal activity
Benefit or other financial fraud or
Potential indicators of Child sexual Exploitation include:
Change in mood or low self esteem
Inappropriate sexualised behaviour (explicit words or phrases or inappropriate touching)
Physical symptoms, such as bite marks or bruises
Being collected from school by unknown adults
(a full list is available in the Safeguarding & Child Protection in Schools Guide Section 6.2.1. – available in the Principal’s office or online)
Things to be Mindful of:
Grooming, online or in person, is often associated with child sexual exploitation
Certain communities within Northern Ireland may still have paramilitary influences that may lead to child exploitation
FGM is prevalent in Northern Ireland among certain cultures – see full list if concerned.
FGM is a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. It comprises of all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. Teachers have a statutory duty to report cases, even suspicions, to the appropriate agencies through he agreed and established school procedures. This is also the case where forced marriage is suspected.
There is a risk of the misuse of digital images so only images taken with parental consent should be uploaded or in the public domain
Procedure where the school has concerns or has been given information about possible abuse by a member of the school’s staff.
If a complaint is about someone other than the Principal:
1 Complaint is brought straight to the principal, who then informs the Chairperson of the
Board of Governors.
2 Principal and Chairperson seek advice from Education Authority.
3 If further action is required, the appropriate authorities are involved and disciplinary procedures are instigated.
4 If no further action is required, the teacher is still informed of the complaint that was
If complaint is about the Principal:
The same procedures apply, but complaint is brought straight to Chairperson of Board of Governors rather than to Principal.
A book of “child abuse complaints against staff” is kept by the Principal. This book must be available to the Board of Governors and may be examined by the Inspectorate during any inspection in the school.
PROCEDURES IN BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
Procedure for Reporting an Incident of Suspected/Disclosed Child Abuse by Person Outside of Inside the School
1 Child makes a disclosure to a staff member or staff member has concerns about child as a result of one or several observations. Staff member does not investigate but must act promptly according to the guidelines.
2 Staff member refers the matter to the Designated Teacher (or deputy), discusses and makes full notes, to be handed over to the DT.
3 *Designated teacher meets with deputy designated teacher to plan course of action and ensures that written record is made.
4 Principal/designated teacher may make a referral to Social Services and the PSNI CAIU (Child Abuse Investigation Unit). If a referral is made the DT fills in the UNOCINI form (see appendix), sends to above with a copy to EA-B designated officer.
* Advice may be taken at Stage 3 if there is doubt about how to proceed
Advice is available from EA-B designated officer
Procedure for Reporting Parents’ Concerns About Child Abuse
1 Parent/Carer has concerns about child’s safety
2 S/he talks to Class Teacher
Deputy Designated Teacher
A written record is made of concerns and action taken as necessary.
3 If concerns remain s/he contacts Chairman of Governors.
4 If concerns still remain contact EA-B designated Child Protection Officer.
Advice may be taken from the Gateway Team, EA-B or Police Central Referral Unit.
Record Keeping and Transfer of Records
All child protection records are kept in a locked cabinet separate from the child’s normal file. These records are only accessible by the designated and deputy designated teachers. No outside agencies, teachers or inspectors will have access.
If a child is or has recently been on the Child Protection Register, that fact will be shared with any new school the child may attend.
Child protection will be discussed at each Board of Governors meeting. A written report will update governors on training, training needs and the number of children currently on the child protection register in school.
At the start of each school year and at regular intervals throughout the year, teachers will talk to all pupils in their class and discuss who they can talk to, what they should do etc if they feel uncomfortable, want to talk, or have been hurt. Obviously this is done at an age appropriate level and should be done in a general manner.
IF A CHILD MAKES A DISCLOSURE
· stay calm
· accept information
· take notes, but tell the child why
· let the child talk at their pace
· this is not the child’s fault
· do not make promises about confidentiality or the future
· affirm feelings
· 4 things to say:-
1I am glad you have told me this
2I am sorry this has happened to you
3It is not nor ever was your fault
4We are going to do something together about this.
· do not interrogate, ask leading questions or state opinions
· do not ask the child to repeat disclosure to another person
· do not record, interview or photograph bruising, but take brief notes.
· do not invite other staff to act as witness.
· do not pressure child to sign any records or ask a child to make a written statement.
· follow set procedures.
Designated Teacher for Child Protection Mrs O McIlroy (Principal)
Deputy Designated Teacher for Child Protection Mrs J Campbell
In the event of the absence of both of the above Miss L Boyce
Chair of Governors Mrs G McDougall
Designated Member of Board of Governors Mrs L Martin
It is the responsibility of the board of governors and the principal to ensure that all staff and parents are aware of the nominated child protection person/s.
The designated teacher for Child Protection will:-
· ensure that all staff are aware of child protection procedure
· co-ordinate action by staff in cases of suspected abuse
· report to the appropriate Social Services Officer and to the Education Authority’s designated officer
· inform relevant persons about children on the Child Protection Register.
CHAIR OF GOVERNORS: Mrs G McDougall
Belmont Primary School
215 Belmont Road
Our school ethos, practices and procedures are such that developing children’s self esteem is of great importance. At Belmont children are listened to and relationships are developed so that each child feels secure, valued and confident. Our pupils are encouraged to speak confidently about any issue. In addition work in PDMU, circle time and in play/activity based learning is developed to cover topics such as keeping healthy and keeping safe at an age-appropriate level.
In any school teachers and other staff may be privy to a range of personal, private and sometimes sensitive information eg:
New family relations
Historical or current information which may affect a child’s education
Legislative details etc
To have such information is a privilege and the rights of parents and children to privacy and confidentiality are fundamental, not only to the requirements for good and professional practice as aschool, but also legally, for example under the requirements of the Children (NI) Order 1995.
To endeavour to ensure the confidentiality of information, Belmont Primary School:
- Maintains personal and medical records in a locked filing cabinet, to which access is limited.
- Ensures that documentation, files, telephone messages etc which contain personal or other details are not inappropriately placed for others to access.
- Operates a process of making levels of information available to those who “need to know” so that the best interests of the child may be met. This means that the Principal and the teacher with primary responsibility for the child will be provided with relevant and more detailed information that other members of teaching and non-teaching staff. Exceptions to this would be, for example, medical conditions whereby all staff need to know how to respond in an emergency (eg children with nut allergy).
- Endeavours to provide opportunities for parents and children to advise staff of any changes in personal circumstances in a private setting rather than in the school corridor or within earshot of others.
- Assures parents and children that information shared is confidential and will be maintained as such. NB: THIS GUARANTEE CANNOT BE GIVEN IN RELATION TO CHILD PROTECTION ISSUES (see child protection procedures).
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
All staff know that they hold a position of trust and that their behaviour towards the children must be above reproach. Children gain a great deal from positive interaction with adults and these procedures are not intended to dilute or restrict these experiences. They are laid down to give guidance and to protect staff and volunteers. They are based on respect for children and a recognition of their rights.
All interactions with pupils take place in areas which have visual access and unlocked doors.
As a general principle staff are advised not to make unnecessary physical contact with pupils. It is unrealistic and unnecessary, however, to suggest that staff should touch pupils only in emergencies. In particular a distressed child, especially a younger child, may need physical comforting such as a caring parent would provide. Staff should not feel inhibited from providing this. Younger children may also need help in attending to their physical needs. Where these are associated with toileting two members of staff will be present.
Physical punishment is illegal, as is any form of physical response to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of necessary restraint (safe handling).
Staff who have to administer First Aid to a pupil should ensure wherever possible that this is done in the presence of other children or adults. However, no member of staff should hesitate to provide First Aid in an emergency simply because another person is not present.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT ADMINISTER MEDICINES TO PUPILS (with the exception of epipens inhalers and medicine accompanied by written parental consent. The approval of the Principal must also be sought prior to administration) except in an emergency.
Confidentiality is vital - information about children should only be shared with the class teacher or the designated teacher/principal. Should a child make a disclosure, or should any word or action cause even a slight concern, this must be discussed with the DT/DDT who will ensure the issue in noted. Phone calls from outside agencies requiring information must be approved by the Principal prior to information being given out. Please note that social networking sites must not be a forum to discuss or display any aspect of school life:- pupils, parents, staff or activities. This Code of conduct is based on our existing practice.
Volunteers will be given a copy of this before becoming involved in any activity.
From time to time children can soil and /or wet themselves during school. Our procedure for dealing with such incidences is:
- Parents are asked at the onset of the school year during interview to give signed permission for named personnel to offer intimate care should the need arise. If possible 2 members of staff (the class teacher, classroom assistant) will be present when a child requires such assistance.
- Spare clothing is kept on school property for use in such incidences, to ensure the child’s dignity is maintained.
- Intimate care is given with respect and consideration, ensuring the child is not further embarrassed.
- Children will be actively encouraged to change and clean themselves with discreet supervision from the staff member.
- The parent will be informed when collecting the child from school of the incident in a discreet manner.
Use of Photographs and Digital Images
Digital photographs and video clips are used within school as part of displays and teaching evidence. They may also be used on our website or in local media. Parental permission for each of these situations is sought during initial parental interviews and kept on file. No photographs or video clips are used in any other way without parental consent. All i-pads used to take photographs of pupils are password protected and do not leave the school premises.
Use of Mobile Phones
Children should not bring mobile phones to school. Staff mobile phones will not be used except during times of non class contact. At no times will mobile phones be used to take photographs of children.
We take our E-Safety responsibilities seriously. Firewalls are in place in all computers provided by C2K and other equipment with internet access.. Any work involving internet access in school is done under adult supervision. Pupils will be informed of the need to work with an adult if homeworks require internet research (see E-Safety and Acceptable Use Policy for further details).
CHILD PROTECTION TRAINING
The policy and practice within the school is based on current Child Protection legislation.
- Governors are trained through EA-B governor training.
- Designated teacher Mrs O McIlroy and deputy designated teacher, Mrs J Campbell are trained through EA-B inservice – updated in September/October 2015.
- Deputy designated teacher received training on E-Safety in January 2016.
- E-mails from EA-B and other relevant bodies keep the school up to date with new
- All teaching staff receive Cascade child protection training regularly.
- Caretaker and cleaner trained by principal.
- Supervisory Assistants trained by principal
- Classsroom assistants and clerical staff trained by principal
- School meals staff are given a copy of the school’s Child Protection procedures.
- All volunteers are given opportunities to read child protection policy and are presented
with the Code of Conduct sheet.
- Teachers have their attention drawn to the policy and procedures at the beginning of each school year.
- New or temporary members of staff are provided with a copy of the policy and
opportunities to discuss it with the principal.
- A copy of the policy is available in the school office and on the school website.
- A summary of the policy with relevant names is in the prospectus and in the annual report
- The designated officers’ names are displayed in the school
- A summary sheet is sent out to parents each year. On the first newsletter each year, parents are made aware that a copy of the full policy is available at the school office/website.
- A full copy of the report is given to parents when their child begins school. Parents must sign to acknowledge receipt of the full report. These are kept in the child protection file.
LIST OF USEFUL ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS
EA-B 40 Academy Street
Tel: 028 90564000
Social Services Belfast Health and Social Services Trust
414 Ormeau Road
Tel: 028 90507000 Out of Hours: 028 95041744
PSNI Central Referral Unit Child Abuse Invest. Unit
Antrim Road PSNI Station
Tel: 028 90259299or 101 Ext 30299
The Vetting of Adults
All teachers, both permanent and temporary, have been vetted through their GTCNI membership.
Other Staff Members
All other paid employees of the school are vetted through the selection and recruitment process and by EA-B through completion of Access NI forms.
Volunteers Working with Children
Any volunteers working on a regular basis (eg student teachers, trained Better Reading Partners etc) must complete Access NI forms or hold a valid Access NI certificate. This also applies to coaches involved in curricular or extra-curricular activities. The procedures on the CPSSS adapted tool for NI 2013 are followed. They are included in the CP file.
Parent Helpers and Other Visitors
The department of education circular 2012/19 states that volunteers who are supervised by a vetted professional do not need to be vetted. This includes parents accompanying trips or assisting with craft or other activities.
Governors will be vetted or must hold a valid Access NI certificate at the start of their term of office.
To ensure that transport personnel meet the school’s child protection procedures, only bus companies on the EA-B recommended list will be used. Copies of insurance etc will be requested by the school prior to trips taking place. However, please note that at no time will children will be left in the care of bus staff, personnel at public locations or members of the general public.
APPENDIX 1 Relevant Circulars and Documents
1991 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Pastoral Care in Schools Child Prot.(1999)
Children (NI) Order 1995
2003 Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order
2003 Welfare and Protection of Pupils, Ed and Library (NI) Order
A CPC Regional Policy and Procedures
2006 Education (Prohibition form Teaching and Working with Children) Regulations NI
DE Circular 2006/06Child Protection – Recruitment of People to Work with Children
DE Circular2006/07Child Protection – Employment of Substitute Teachers
DE Circular 2006/08 Requirement for Child Protection Training in relation to Interviewing and Selection panels
DE Circular 2006/09 - Child Protection – Criminal Background Checking for Staff
DE Circular 06/25 Guidance on the requirement for vetting of school governors
DE Circular 07/01 Acceptable use of the internet and digital technologies in schools
DE Circular 08/03 Pre-employment checking of persons to work in schools – new arrangements
DE Circular 08/10 From 1st August 2008 substitute teachers must be booked via NISTR
DE Circular 2010/01 Guidance on Relationships and Sexuality Education
DE Circular 2010/18ESAGS – the Governors’ Role
DE Circular 2010/07 Pupil Attendance: Absence Recording by Schools
DE Circular 2011/22Internet Safety
DE Circular 2012/19Disclosure and Barring arrangements - volunteers
DE Circular 2013/01Disclosure barring arrangement – recruitment
DE Circular 2013/16RSE Policy in school
DE Circular 2013/25 E-Safety – further guidance
DE Circular 2014/27Managing information on persons who pose a risk to pupils
DE Circular 2015/12GTCNI procedures for teacher misconduct
DE Circular 2015/13Dealing with allegations of abuse against a member of staff
DE Circular 2015/22 Relationships and sexuality Education (RSE) Guidance
DE Circular 2015/23 Drugs Education
Cooperating to Safeguard Children and Young People in Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI)
DE Circular 2016/05 Children who display harmful sexualised behaviour
DE Circular 2016/20 Child Protection – Record Keeping in Schools
DE Circular 2016/26 Effective Educational Uses of Mobile Digital Devices
DE Circular 2016/27 Online Safety
School Governors Handbook – safeguarding and Child Protection
DE Circular 2017/04 Safeguarding and Child Protection – A guide for Schools
Safeguarding and Child Protection – A guide for Schools(replaces Circular 1999/10)
BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
POLICY FOR CHILD PROTECTION
SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child lists a number of statements setting out the rights which all children and young people should have, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are. The Convention provides that children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence, that they must be kept safe from harm and that they must be given proper care by those looking after them. It is recognised that teachers and others who work in schools spend a considerable time interacting with children and may play an important role in identifying potential cases of abuse. All schools must, by law, have a designated teacher for child protection who may liaise with other staff and social services. At Belmont Primary School, the designated teacher is Mrs McIlroy. Should she be unavailable, Mrs J Campbell (Room 3)will fulfil this role.
Belmont Primary School has strong home school links and is grateful for those links. However, with child abuse, or suspicion of it, our first and only responsibility must be the child. No promise of confidentiality can be given where abuse has been alleged. All teachers try to ensure that children keep safe, remain healthy and are able to say no. The school has child protection and pastoral care policies which set out specific procedures. These procedures are set out in DENI Circular 1999.10 and details of all these policies are available in the school office should you wish to see them in more detail. A copy of the full policy can be downloaded from our school website (www.belmontprimary.org) or is available on request. Child protection records are kept under secure conditions in the Principal’s office.
The following is a summary of the procedures set up in school:
Procedure 1: Where the school has concerns, or has been given information about possible abuse, by someone outside the school:
- Tell the designated teacher Mrs McIlroy or speak to Mrs J Campbell
- A written statement of allegations is prepared
- The Principal may inform Social services, PSNI CAIU Team and /or Child Protection Officers at EA-B.
- Procedures will be carried out by relevant bodies.
- The Principal will attend case conferences and inform the Board of Governors of any relevant issues.
Procedure 2: How a Parent can deal with concerns about a child’s safety either in school or outside school.
I have concern about a child’s safety
- I can talk to Mrs McIlroy, the principal
- I can also talk to Mrs J Campbell, the designated teacher
- If I am still concerned I can talk or write to the Chairperson of the Board of Governors (Mrs Gillian McDougall).
- At any time I can talk to the PSNI CAIU Team (90259299) or Social Services/Gateway (90507000).