1.2

Safeguarding Children and Child Protection

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Child Protection


Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:


  • Behaviour

  • Recruitment

  • Whistleblowing

  • Online Safety

  • Policy on Supporting Children in Care

  • Health and Safety


Definitions


  • Safeguarding is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s 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 refers to the situation where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, and action is required to protect that child.

Policy

  • Definitions

  • Introduction

  • Equalities Statement

  • Overall Aims

  • Expectations

  • Role of the   Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Governing Body/ Chair   of Trustees/ Management Committee

  • Training

  • Safer Recruitment

  • Staff Support

  • Support for Children

  • Whole School Approach

  • Identification of   those at Increased Risk, or have Additional Safeguarding Needs

  • Extra Familial harm –risk outside the home

  • Allegation Management

  • Key Safeguarding Areas


Procedures

  • Reporting concerns

  • Involving parents and carers

  • Multi-agency working

  • Escalation/Professional disagreement

  • Exclusions

  • Private fostering arrangements

  • Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation

  • Children missing from education

  • Peer on peer abuse/ Sexual violence and sexual harassment between   children

  • Serious Violence

  • The Prevent Duty

  • Sharing Information

  • Transfer of Safeguarding Records when a child leaves our school


Appendices

  • Appendix A-  Forms of abuse and   neglect

  • Appendix B-  Concerns About a   Child

  • Appendix C- Concerns About a Member of Staff

  • Appendix D- Dealing with a disclosure of abuse

  • Appendix E- Local contact numbers

  • Key documentation: duty, procedures, guidance


Introduction


At Sparklers Pre-School safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone at Sparklers Pre-School who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. Sparklers Pre-School recognises that we are an important part in the wider safeguarding system. All staff will understand and recognise that a one size fits all approach may not be appropriate for all children and a more personalised or contextualised approach for more vulnerable children, children who are victims of abuse and some SEND children may be needed. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all staff will make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they will consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.


Sparklers Pre-School is all staff in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by:


  • The provision of a safe environment in which children and young people can learn;

  • Fulfilling our statutory responsibilities to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

  • Working to protect children from maltreatment, to prevent the impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development

  • Always taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes


All action taken by Sparklers Pre-School will be in accordance with:


Current legislation and Statutory guidance:


  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) which sets out the multi-agency working arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and protect them from harm; in addition it sets out the statutory roles and responsibilities of schools.

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021)is statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education which all schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


All staff at Sparklers Pre-School have a duty and responsibility to safeguard children and young people attending our preschool, irrespective of their role:


  • All staff will be responsible for identifying concerns early and providing help for children and young people, to prevent concerns from escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989; i.e. Section 17 (Children in Need) and Section 47 (a child suffering harm, or likely to suffer significant harm). These concerns will be discussed with our preschool’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or their deputy.

  • All staff will be aware of the process and principles for sharing information within the preschool which supports safeguarding.

  • All staff should be aware of the local early help process and understand their role within it.

  • All staff have a responsibility to contribute to the Early Help Assessment and Plan as requested

  • The most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to safeguard and protect a child. Any staff member who has a concern about a child’s welfare should follow our preschool referral processes.

  • All staff will be aware that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the preschool and/or can occur between children outside of these environments.

  • All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) will consider whether children are at risk of abuse or exploitation in situations outside the home. Extra-familial harms take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple harms including (but not limited to) sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence.


Equalities Statement


We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and recognise children and families’ diverse circumstances. We ensure that all children have the same protection, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, race, economic condition, disability and religion. With regards to safeguarding we will consider our duties under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to making reasonable adjustments, non-discrimination and our Public Sector Equality Duty.


Overall Aims


This policy will contribute to the safeguarding of children at Sparklers Pre-School by:


  • Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and children

  • Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust safeguarding ethos in the preschool, built on mutual respect, and shared values

  • Teaching children about safeguarding, including online safety, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of broad and balanced curriculum

  • Alerting staff to the signs and indicators of safeguarding issues including abuse and neglect

  • Developing staff awareness of the causes and consequences of abuse and neglect

  • Developing staff awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities their children face by addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage

  • Reducing the potential risks  face of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation or victimisation;

  • Working in partnership with children, parents and agencies.


This policy will contribute to supporting the pupils/students at Sparklers Pre-School by:


  • Identifying and protecting the most vulnerable

  • Taking a contextual safeguarding approach to understanding the risks presenting to children outside the family home, taking into consideration extra familial harm

  • Taking seriously the risks presented to children by children, with particular vigilance for child on child sexual harassment and sexual violence

  • Assessing individual needs where possible

  • Designing plans to meet those needs.


Expectations


All staff will:


  • Be familiar with this safeguarding policy, in addition to this all staff will be aware of the systems in place which support safeguarding including; reading the Behaviour Policy; the Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct); safeguarding response to children who go missing from education; and the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

  • Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc.

  • All staff will read and understand Part 1 or Annex A of statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021). Those working directly with children will also read Annex B.

  • Be involved, where appropriate, in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and inter-agency child protection plans

  • Know who and how to contact the DSL and any deputies and the Chair of Committee.

  • Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse and neglect or at risk of harm and be able to identify vulnerable learners and take action to keep them safe.


Information or concerns about children will be shared with the DSL where it includes those:


  • who need a social worker and may be experiencing abuse or neglect

  • requiring mental health support,

  • may benefit from early help

  • where there is a radicalisation concern

  • where a crime may have been committed

  • where there is the potential for peer on peer abuse/child on child sexual harassment or sexual violence

  • be clear as to the preschool’s policy and procedures with regard to peer on peer abuse, children missing education, children who have low and persistent absence,  and children requiring mental health support


Record concerns appropriately and in a timely manner by using the setting’s safeguarding systems.


  • Are aware of the need to raise to the supervisor any concerns they have about safeguarding practices within the preschool.

  • Adhere to the preschool’s Staff Behaviour Policy (sometimes called Code of Conduct) and behaviour management policies;

  • Have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep looked after children and previously looked after children safe;

  • Be aware of signs of abuse or neglect and the additional barriers to recognising abuse and neglect in children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and those with relevant health conditions ;

  • Be aware of their legal responsibility to report cases of FGM to the police. Whilst all staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) with regard to any concerns about female genital mutilation (FGM), there is a specific legal duty on staff. If staff, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, the staff member must report this to the police (KCSIE 2021)


Regulated professionals have a mandatory reporting duty to report cases of known FGM. Teachers are considered regulated professionals. 


The duty requires that they themselves report known incidents to the police. This cannot be delegated to the Designated Safeguarding Lead


  • Report their concerns to the DSL if they think a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism;

  • Aware that up skirting is now a criminal offence.

  • Aware of preschool whistleblowing procedures and policy;

  • Allegations regarding foster carers or anyone in a position of trust working or volunteering with children should be referred to the LADO on the day that the allegation is reported. The allocated social worker should also be informed on the day. The preschool should not undertake any investigation unless the LADO advises this. Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with the supervisor or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them:


General guidance can be found at:


Advice on whistleblowing https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing


The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk.


If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made to MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral. Where referrals are not made by the DSL, the DSL should be informed, as soon as possible, that a referral has been made.


See When to Call the Police


Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)


The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is a senior member of staff, who undertakes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within the preschool. Details of our DSL and Deputy DSL are:


DSL – Sarah Hodges (Supervisor)

DDSL – Natalie Stiles (Deputy Supervisor)

DDSL – Laine Waite


Details can be found on Sparklers Pre-School website.


Whilst the activities of the DSL can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding child protection remains with the DSL.


The DSL and DDSL at Sparklers Pre-School have the appropriate training, knowledge and skills to carry out this substantive role, this includes training on the Prevent Duty. The safeguarding team at Sparklers Pre-School understand the importance of providing information and support to children’s social care in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. They also understand the impact that adversity and trauma can have, including on children’s behaviour, mental health and wellbeing.


The broad areas of responsibility for the DSL are:


  • Liaise with the local authority and other agencies;

  • To hear the voice and views of children, by developing a culture of listening to children, taking account of their wishes and feelings

  • Ensuring staff understand the difficulties some children may have in approaching staff about their circumstances and fostering a culture within Sparklers Pre-School to overcome any barriers

  • Provide advice and support to staff regarding child welfare, safeguarding and child protection matters.

  • Liaise with staff, pastoral support staff, school nurses, IT technicians , senior mental health leads, special educational needs coordinators on matters of safety, safeguarding and welfare, including online and digital safety.

  • Refer cases and managing referrals to other agencies to ensure a child’s needs are considered holistically including: the local authority children’s social care in cases of suspected abuse; Wiltshire Prevent Policing team where there is a radicalisation concern; the Disclosure and Barring Service in cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child and the Police in cases where a crime may have been committed in relation to safeguarding. The DSL will also support and advise other staff in making referrals to other agencies:

  • Refer cases to the Police as required - When to Call the Police

  • Work with others to fulfil statutory responsibilities in relation to children and young people subject to a child protection plan by attending child protection conferences and implementing the multiagency child protection plan; and when required, liaise with the case manager and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in relation to child protection cases which concern a staff member.

  • Promote supportive engagement with parents and/or carers in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including where families may be facing challenging circumstances

  • Work with relevant staff, including senior leaders, taking lead responsibility for promoting educational outcomes by knowing the welfare, safeguarding and child protection issues that children may be experiencing, or have experienced, and identifying the impact that these issues might be having on children’s attendance, engagement and achievement at Sparklers Pre-School.

  • Ensuring the staff at Sparklers Pre-School know the cohort of children who have or had a social worker, and they understand the academic progress and attainment whilst maintaining a culture of high aspirations for these children.  Supporting staff to provide additional academic support or reasonable adjustments to help these children to reach their potential.

  • Ensure staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand that although statutory intervention may have ended for a child that there may be a lasting impact on the child’s educational outcomes

  • The DSL will act as a single point of contact for all matters of safeguarding and advice for staff, volunteers and committee members.

  • Undertake Training to ensure the DSL (and any deputies) has the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role (updated every 2 years). Further knowledge and skills should be updated at regular intervals and shared with relevant parties as appropriate;

  • Ensure every member of staff at Sparklers Pre-School has access to the safeguarding and child protection policies and associated practices are known, understood and used appropriately. This includes part time and new staff.

  • Manage safeguarding information confidentially and safely through:

  • Ensuring that child protection records are kept up to date, and records are clear and comprehensive, that the record contains details of how concerns were followed up and resolved and that records note all actions taken and decisions made including outcomes.

  • That safeguarding records are shared within 5 days of a child leaving Sparklers Pre-School with a signed receipt being obtained.


The DSL will understand that a lack of information about a child’s circumstances can impact on a child’s safety, welfare and educational outcomes, by providing information in a timely manner this will ensure the receiving preschool/school can put in place the right support to safeguard this child and help the child to thrive. The DSL will share information in advance to the DSL at the new education setting prior to the child leaving to enable support to be available to safeguard the child.


  • Availability of the DSL (or any deputies) during term time and school hours will be ensured for staff in the preschool to discuss any safeguarding concerns

  • Help promote educational outcomes by sharing information about vulnerable learners with relevant staff. This includes ensuring that staff:

  • know who these children are,

  • understand their academic progress and attainment and maintain a culture of high aspirations for this cohort;

  • are supported to identify the challenges that children in this group might face

  • make reasonable adjustments so that they act to best support these children.

The role of the DSL is explained in more detail in KCSIE 2021- Annex C.


Management Committee


The Management Committee at Sparklers Pre-School will ensure that there is a whole preschool approach to safeguarding by ensuring safeguarding is at the forefront and underpins all relevant processes and policies. These systems, policies and processes will be readily available and easy to understand.


The Management Committee at Sparklers Pre-School will ensure that there is a senior board member with responsibility for Sparklers Pre-School’s safeguarding arrangements and that a member of staff is appointed to the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). They will also ensure that the DSL has the additional time, funding, training, resources and support they need to carry out this substantial role effectively.


The Management Committee at Sparklers Pre-School will ensure:


  • That safeguarding and child protection practice, process and policy (including online safety) is effective and is compliant with legislation, statutory guidance and local safeguarding arrangements.

  • That the preschool has a safeguarding policy

  • That the preschool has key policies in place to cover:

  • Behaviour

  • Children Missing Education

  • That Sparklers Pre-School has policies and systems in place to prevent, identify and respond to Peer on Peer Abuse and Child on Child Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

  • The committee reviews Sparklers Pre-Schoolsafeguarding policies/procedures annually or as required due to changes in statutory guidance

  • That where possible more than one emergency contact telephone number is recorded for each pupil and this is checked on a regular basis

  • That the staff at Sparklers Pre-School have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep looked after children safe

  • That Sparklers Pre-School operates “safer recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers. In line with Preschool Staffing Regulations at least one person on any recruitment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training.

  • That the preschool has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff/volunteers

  • That the Chair of the Management Committee will liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer, Police and other partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Supervisor.

  • That Sparklers Pre-School will maintain a Single Central Record of relevant pre-employment checks as detailed in KCSIE 2021 and that details of individuals should be removed from the single central record when they leave the employment of  Sparklers Pre-School

  • That all staff who work with children undergo safeguarding and child protection training, including online safety, at induction and this training is regularly updated.

  • That Sparklers Pre-School will contribute to multi-agency working in line with statutory guidance (see Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018)

  • That Sparklers Pre-School consider their duties as required in the Prevent Duty.

  • That children are taught about safeguarding including online safety

  • That the preschool remedies any safeguarding deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay


Training


In addition to this policy, all staff working directly with children will read and understand Part One and Annex B of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2021. Staff members who do not work directly with children will either read and understand Part One or Annex A of KCSIE 2021.


  • All staff members will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training on induction this will be refreshed annually taking into account current key learning points and trends from serious case reviews and local current and emerging issues and trends. In addition, allstaff will receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively

  • Whistle blowing procedures will be covered in our whole preschool training so that staff know what to do if they have concerns relating to safeguarding practice within the school

  • The DSL and any deputies will undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training will be updated every two years. Deputies will be trained to the same level as the DSL.

  • The Committee will ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training will be regularly updated. Induction and training will be in line with advice from the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership

  • Sparklers Pre-School will ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training

  • The DSL will undertake relevant Prevent awareness and in turn will provide training, advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation. All other staff members will complete appropriate training, this will include FGM and Prevent training using quality assured provision such as the Government Online Prevent E-training learning package.

  • Online and internet safety training for staff will be integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach

  • That as a minimum, a committee member will be trained in safeguarding (including Prevent) however where possible more members of the committee will receive this training to ensure suitable succession and robustness of knowledge, skills and support to the wider preschool.


Safer Recruitment and Selection


Sparklers Pre-School has a culture that safeguards and promotes the welfare of children in our preschool. At Sparklers Pre-School we have robust recruitment procedures that deter or prevent people who are unsuitable to work with children from applying or securing employment with us, this includes volunteers who may work in our preschool.


  • Sparklers Pre-School pays full regard to the safer recruitment practices detailed in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2021) including:

  • all our advertisements for positions in our preschool contain safeguarding statements,

  • job description and person specifications include safeguarding information relating to regulated activity,

  • All applications including shortlisting will follow safer recruitment procedures and guidance within KCSIE 2021 which includes pre appointment vetting checks.

  • References will always be obtained, scrutinised and concerns resolved satisfactorily before appointment is confirmed.


All recruitment materials will include reference to Sparklers Pre-School commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of pupils.


Staff Support


It is recognised the stressful and traumatic nature of safeguarding and child protection work. Sparklers Pre-School will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and to seek further support, as appropriate including supervision meetings. Further, Sparklers Pre-School will endeavour to create a robust safeguarding culture and environment, so that staff feel comfortable to discuss matters that occur outside the workplace, which may have implications on their practice to safeguarding of children in our school.


Support for Children


Opportunities will be provided for children to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and wellbeing.

Sparklers Pre-School understand that if children are at risk or have suffered abuse that a child will need support and all staff will understand their responsibilities to always act in the best interest of the child.


Children will always be encouraged and supported to report any incidences of abuse to a member of staff who will liaise with the DSL.

Sparklers Pre-School will take a zero tolerance approach to any child on child sexual harassment or sexual violence. Children at Sparklers Pre-School will never be made to feel ashamed or feel that they are the problem for making a report.


Support for children will be tailored on a case by case basis.

Staff will understand that if a child has experienced abuse, harassment or a sexual assault then they will likely to be traumatised and may struggle in normal classroom environments. Sparklers Pre-School will always endeavour to seek the child’s views and if required allocate a designated trusted adult, as far as reasonable this will be the child’s choice.


Sparklers Pre-School will also consider the needs for support for any alleged perpetrator.


Whole Preschool Approach


Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of our preschool, which ensures that children are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.


Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.


Identification of those at Increased Risk, or have Additional Safeguarding Needs


Certain groups of pupils within preschool are more likely to be identified as requiring extra support to meet their safeguarding needs; these could include: children in care and previously looked after children, young carers, those with mental health problems and those living in households where there is domestic abuse, mental health concerns and/or substance misuse, children with parents who are currently in prison etc. Sparklers Pre-School will take steps to identify those at greater risk, regularly monitored and appropriate measures are put in place to support their needs.


Extra Familial Harm – Risk Outside the Home


Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families, extra familial harm/risk outside the home. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, preschools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers possibly have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familial abuse can possibly undermine parent-child relationships. Therefore staff at Sparklers Pre-School will be considering the context within which incidents and or behaviours occur, and any actions taken will consider the safety and wellbeing of the child within this context. This is known as Contextual Safeguarding.


Managing allegations made against members of staff or volunteers


Allegations that meet the harms threshold: All staff should report any concerns relating to staff to the Supervisor without delay, the Supervisor will report all allegations that meet the harms threshold to the LADO within 24 hours of the allegation having been received.


  • Where there are concerns/allegations about the Supervisor, this should be referred to the Management Committee.

  • All allegations will be managed in line with the statutory guidance in KCSIE 2021 and the preschool whistleblowing procedure.

  • Where an allegation is of a ‘low level concern’ and it is felt it does not meet any of the harms threshold then Sparklers Pre-School will ensure KCSiE 21 processes are followed.

  • Advice will be sought from Swindon LADO in any instances where it is unsure if the harms threshold has been met.

  • Where staff feel unable to raise an issue with the Supervisor or Management Committee or feel their genuine safeguarding concerns are not being addressed NSPCC whistleblowing advice line is available.

Staff can call 08000 28 0285 – 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and email: help@nspcc.org.uk . Alternatively, staff can write to: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Weston House, 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH.


Key Safeguarding Areas


In addition to the above there are other areas of safeguarding that Sparklers Pre-School has a responsibility to address and community safety incidents:


  • Children and the court system

  • Children missing from education, 


these include (see KCSIE 2021 Annex B for full details):


  • Child abduction and

  • Children with family members in prison

  • Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation,

  • County Lines

  • Modern slavery and the National Referral Mechanism

  • Cybercrime

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Homelessness

  • So called ‘honour-based’ abuse (including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage)

  • FGM

  • Forced Marriage

  • Preventing radicalisation

  • The Prevent Duty

  • Channel

  • Additional Support

  • Peer on peer/child on child abuse

  • Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in schools and colleges

  • Upskirting

  • The response to a report of sexual violence or sexual harassment

  • Additional advice and support


Procedures


Reporting Concerns


The procedure to respond to a concern about a child is detailed in Appendix B.


Involving Parents and Carers


In general, the DSL will discuss any child protection concerns with parents/carers before making a referral to another agency including the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). There may be occasions when the DSL will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because they consider that by contacting them it may increase the risk of harm to the child.


The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Multi Agency Working


Staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand the importance of our role to work in partnership with other agencies and that we have a shared and equal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. If there are safeguarding or child protection concerns, referrals should be made by the DSL (or Deputy DSL) to MASH by phone (01793 466903 out of hours 01793 436699) following up with a referral on an RF1. Where the child already has a social worker, the request for service should go immediately to the social worker involved or, in their absence, to their team manager.


If there is immediate risk then a call must be made to Police.


All situations where rape of a child has been disclosed then contact with Police must be made.


At Sparklers Pre-School all staff will understand the age and meaning of consent.


Further information can be found here Sexual harassment and sexual violence between children.


Sparklers Pre-School will co-operate with any child protection enquiries including statutory safeguarding assessments conducted by children’s social care: Sparklers Pre-School will ensure representation at single and multi-agency meetings such as integrated support plan meetings, initial and review child protection conferences and core group meetings.

Where a child is subject to a multi-agency child protection plan or a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) meeting, Sparklers Pre-School will contribute to any information requests.


Escalation/Professional Disagreement


Sparklers Pre-School will use the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership Policy on resolution of professional disagreements relating to safeguarding and protection of children in all cases where escalation is required, to achieve the right outcome for children.


Escalation policy - Swindon Safeguarding Partnership


Private Fostering Arrangements


Where Sparklers Pre-School staff become aware that a child may be in a private fostering arrangement, where a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) is provided with care and accommodation by someone who is not a close relative, for 28 days or more, they should raise this, in the first instance, with the DSL. The DSL will notify the local authority of the circumstances to enable the local authority to discharge their duties.


FGM Reporting Guidance


Mandatory Reporting Duty for Teachers


All staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand the duty to report to Police where they discover that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18. It will be rare for staff to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining children.


Staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand that if there is a suspicion that a girl may be travelling for the purposes of FGM, the staff member or DSL will report this directly to Police as the child may be in immediate risk of harm.


Phone 101 if a known case (999 if the child is in immediate risk of harm). 


It is also good practice to inform MASH of these actions).


Children Missing from Education

(To be read in conjunction with the Attendance Policy)


Staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand that a child going missing from education or there is increased absence, unauthorised absences or are persistently absent for part of the day that this is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect or the child could be at risk of exploitation. All staff will follow Sparklers Pre-School procedures for unauthorised absence and for responding to children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify and protect them from the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual or criminal exploitation.


Peer on Peer Abuse and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children


We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers and that sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue and that this can happen both inside and outside of preschool including happening online.


Abuse will never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. All staff at Sparklers Pre-School understand that even if there are no reports in preschool that it does not mean it is not happening, it may be the case that children are just not reporting it.

All staff will be vigilant to what they hear, are told and see and will report all concerns, disclosures or incidents to the DSL.


Staff at Sparklers Pre-School will challenge any inappropriate behaviour between peers, they will not downplay or dismiss behaviours as ‘just banter’, ‘just having a laugh’, ‘part of growing up’ or ‘boys being boys’. All Staff at Sparklers Pre-School will develop and model the ethos and culture of our preschool’s zero tolerance of this type of behaviour and will support and encourage children to come forward and report any issues or concerns they have.


All staff will be trained to recognsie signs and symptoms which may signal a child is at risk from sexual harassment or sexual violence and all other types of child on child, peer on peer abuse.

If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil:

  • Staff will inform the DSL and record the allegation, but will not investigate it

  • The DSL will contact the local authority MASH and follow its advice, as well as the police if the allegation involves a      potential criminal offence

The DSL will put a risk assessment and support plan into place for all children involved – both the child(ren) who experience the abuse and the child(ren) against whom the allegation has been made – with a named trusted adult they can talk to if needed.


All who experience abuse will be reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe.


Those who experience abuse will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment.


Those who experience abuse will never be made to feel ashamed for making a report.


In addition to existing advice about managing a disclosure contained in this policy, staff will follow Searching, Screening and Confiscation Advice 2018.


The DSL will manage any incidents in line with the guidance contained in Part 5 KCSIE 2021 and Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools and Colleges 2021.


Sparklers Pre-School will minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse by:


  • Challenging any form of derogatory or sexualised language or behaviour

  • Being vigilant to issues that particularly affect different vulnerable groups

  • Ensure our curriculum helps to educate children about appropriate behaviour and consent

  • Ensure staff are trained to understand that a pupil harming a peer could be a sign that the child is being abused themselves, and that this would fall under the scope of this policy


Serious Violence


All staff will be aware of the risk factors which may signal a child is at risk from or are involved in serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from preschool, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm, a change in wellbeing, signs of unexplained injuries or assault. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate a child is being exploited.


All staff are aware of the risk factors which increase the likelihood of a child becoming involved in serious violence such as being male, having been frequently absent from preschool, having experienced maltreatment and having been involved in offending, such as theft or robbery.


All staff will report any concerns to the DSL.


The Prevent Duty


As with other safeguarding risks, staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff will use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include our DSL making a referral using the agreed local Prevent referral procedures.


All referrals will be made to Preventreferrals@wiltshire.police.uk  by our DSL where it will be reviewed, there may be a need for a multi-agency Channel panel where information from partners is reviewed and the referral considered, level of vulnerability agreed and consider what support may be needed. The Sparklers Pre-School DSL will provide information and attend Channel Panels where they are requested to do so.


The Sparklers Pre-School DSL will also consider whether it is appropriate to share information with any new education setting in advance of the child leaving our school. This is to ensure the new setting are able to continue supporting the child through the Channel programme.


Sharing of Information


Sparklers Pre-School recognises the need to 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.


Whilst the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)  and the Data Protection Act 2018 places duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully, it is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would result in a child being placed at risk of harm. Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children; if unsure, staff should contact the DSL to discuss. Sparklers Pre-School will use the government’s guidance ‘Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing services to children, young people, parents and carers’ (2018) to help manage information sharing in school.


Transfer of Safeguarding Records 

(when a pupil moves to a new school)


Where children leave Sparklers Pre-School, the DSL will ensure their child protection/safeguarding file is transferred to the new education setting within 5 days, to allow the new preschool or school to continue supporting children who have had a social worker or have been victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives, also ensuring secure transit, and confirmation of receipt will be obtained. 


This file will be transferred separately from the main pupil file.


The DSL will ensure this file is transferred within 5 days for an in-year transfer and within 5 days of the start of a new term.


The Sparklers Pre-School  DSL will also consider if it would be appropriate to share any additional information with the new education setting in advance of a child leaving to help them put in place the right support to safeguard this child and to help the child thrive in the preschool or school.


Sparklers Pre-School will retain records for pupils where there is an existing safeguarding /child protection file or who have been withdrawn to be electively educated at home. These will be stored confidentially until the child’s 25th birthday and then disposed of in a confidential and secure manner.


Appendix A - Forms of Abuse and Neglect


Appendix B  - If you have concerns about a Child


Appendix C - If you have concerns about an adult


Appendix D - Dealing with a Disclosure of Abuse


Key Documentation, Procedures and Guidance



This Policy was adopted by Sparklers Pre-School

Signatory:

Sarah Hodges

Role of Signatory:

Pre-School Supervisor

Issue Date:

May 2022

Next Review Date:

May 2023

This Policy was approved by Sparklers Pre-School Committee

Signatory:

Darren J. Mogg

Role of Signatory:

Chairman