what to do if you are concerned about a child
Don’t keep it to yourself, if in doubt, seek advice.
If you are concerned that a child may be suffering physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect or is at risk of significant harm you should telephone Children Services using one of the following numbers:
Safeguarding Leads at Bourn Primary
Mrs Laura Latham Mrs Sarah Wheatman
Designated Safeguarding Lead Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Prevent Lead Online Safety Lead
Domestic Abuse Lead
Under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), schools must make arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board's procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child's welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Parents/carers should know that records of safeguarding concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies.
Local procedures state that, "Consent should always be sought from an adult with parental responsibility for the child/young person before passing information about them to Children's Social Care, unless seeking consent would place the child at risk of significant harm or may lead to the loss of evidence for example destroying evidence of a crime or influencing a child about a disclosure made." This incudes allowing them to chare information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, if it is reasonably expected that a professional gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains 'safeguarding of children and individuals at risk' as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern.
Schools will contact Children's Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance wit the law an acting the in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, any person who has care of a child 'may...do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding promoting the child's welfare'. This means on rare occasions, a school may need to 'hold' a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.
A Safe and Welcoming Environment
Safeguarding and Child Protection are of paramount importance at Bourn Primary Academy, permeating throughout every area of school life and are a shared responsibility for all members of our school community. Our school’s vision encompassing ‘working together in friendship’ is supported through providing a safe and welcoming environment where pupils feel loved and are respected and valued. All our staff are trained to be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and are empowered to follow the Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s procedures to ensure that appropriate and effective support and protection is provided when necessary.
Staff and Adults Working with Children
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 outlines processes to be followed when dealing with low-level concerns about the behaviour of teachers, other staff, volunteers and contractors. A low level concern is any concern that an adult has acted in a way that
- is inconsistent wit the staff code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work
- doesn't meet the threshold of harm or is not considered serious enough for the school to refer to the Local Authority.
If you have any concerns about any adult working with children at our school, please contact Laura Latham (Designated Safeguarding Lead) or Sarah Wheatman (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead).
Records of Safeguarding Concerns and Sharing Information
At Bourn Primary Academy, we keep all records of safeguarding concerns securely on the My Concern online system and these are only accessed by our designated safeguarding team. In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively and only with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern. Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
Protocol for Children not Collected at the End of the Day
In the case of a child not collected at the end of the school day, or school activity eg club or school trip, the school will follow the protocol outlined below.
Domestic Violence Notifications - Operation Encompass
Operation Encompass is a national Police and Education safeguarding partnership enabling support for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse. Information is shared by the police with the school the day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident thus enabling appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
Further information about Operation Encompass is contained in the link below.
4 KEY ELEMENTS OF SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION
The protective ethos of Bourn Primary Academy helps to keep our pupils safe. Through our teaching and pastoral support, we focus on developing confident learners with high self- esteem and positive friendships who feel safe, both in the real and virtual world. Pupils are given clear boundaries and an understanding that whilst some behaviours are unacceptable, each individual is valued and supported in making the ‘right choices’. Our curriculum provides opportunities which equip pupils with skills they need to stay safe from abuse both in the real and virtual world and information of who to turn to for help. In addition, pupils are taught to assess and manage risk and to take action if they see something that makes them feel unsafe. Pupils learn about bullying and prejudice through the PSHCE curriculum and healthy relationships through our Sex and Relationship Education (SRE). Through our weekly newsletters we offer our parents/carers’ advice and information on how they can work with us to keep their child safe.
At the beginning of each academic year, all staff receive updated child protection training and are provided with and expected to read and adhere to the current key safeguarding documents. These include Keeping Children Safe in Education Part 1 and Annex A (September 2019), Guidance for Safer Working Practice for adults who work with children and young people in education settings (May 2019) and What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (2015). Throughout the academic year further information and training is provided and a clear induction process for new staff is followed as appropriate. As any adult in school can be the first point of disclosure for a child, all staff, paid or unpaid are equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify and report any concerns. Concerned parents/carers are also encouraged to contact school if they are worried about anyone in our school community. There are well-established systems for logging concerns and the school is proactive in discussing concerns with parents and carers and outside agencies where relevant. Logging concern forms are found in various locations around the school. Our guiding principle is
Don't think, 'what if I'm wrong?' Think, 'what if I'm right?'
Supporting Vulnerable Children
At Bourn Primary Academy, we are vigilant to ensure we recognise pupils who may be living in a home environment where there is neglect or any form of abuse, including domestic abuse, substance misuse, concerns for female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation or radicalization. If concerns are raised, we work closely with a wide range of specialist agencies to safeguard our pupils. As part of the wider safeguarding system, we follow the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018).
Preventing Unsuitable People Working with Children
To ensure our pupils are kept safe, any interview panel has at least two members (the Headteacher and a governor)who have completed Safer Recruitment Training. Our Office Administrator is also Safer Recruitment trained, ensuring we always obtain appropriate DBS and reference checks. As part of our induction procedure all staff are made aware of creating and maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries (in both the real and virtual world) in their relationships with pupils as advised in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for adults who work with children and young people in education settings (2019) and in our Staff Handbook and Whistleblowing Policy.
Any visitors to school are asked for proof of identity if they are not already known to the school. Anyone who undertakes regular volunteering at school, including members of the BSA, are required to have an up to date DBS check.
All staff and visitors wear lanyards, and any adults on site not wearing a visitor lanyard should be challenged and escorted back to the office.