Safeguarding Portfolio

Policy statement and principals

Kozy Cottage fully recognises its responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

Child protection statement

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support and protection

The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff volunteers, visitors and governors and are consistent with those of the local safeguarding children board (NSCB)

Policy principles

The welfare of the child is paramount.

All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection

All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm.

Childs and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support.

Policy aims

To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable them to meet their child protection responsibilities

  • To ensure consistent good practice
  • To demonstrate the nursery’s commitment with regard to child protection to children, parents and other partners
  • To contribute to the nursery’s safeguarding portfolio

The Nursery’s safeguarding arrangements are inspected by Ofsted under the judgements for behaviour and safety, and leadership and management.

This policy is available on the nursery website and made available to all visitors

Our core safeguarding principles are:

  • the nursery’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance
  • safer children make more successful learners
  • this policy will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review.

A nursery should measure its standards with regard to safeguarding against the expectations of the Ofsted Framework (Refer to Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years from September 2015 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inspecting-safeguarding-in-early-years-education-and-skills-from-september-2015t and the arrangements of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html

In best practice, nurseries:

  1. operate safe recruitment practices including ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken according to DfE guidance on safer recruitment, including the maintenance of a single central register of all staff (including volunteers) with DBS numbers and training record;
  2. have an ethos in which children feel secure, their viewpoints are valued, and they are encouraged to talk and are listened to;
  3. provide suitable support and guidance so that child’s have a range of appropriate adults to whom they can turn if they are worried or in difficulties;
  4. work with parents to build an understanding of the nursery’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children and a recognition that this may occasionally require children to be referred to investigative agencies as a constructive and helpful measure;
  5. are vigilant in cases of suspected child abuse, recognising the signs and indicators, have clear procedures whereby teachers report such cases to senior staff and are aware of local procedures so that information is effectively passed on to the relevant professionals;
  6. monitor children who have been identified as at risk, keeping, in a secure place, clear records of child’s progress, maintaining sound policies on confidentiality, providing information to other professionals, submitting reports to case conferences and attending case conferences;
  7. provide and support child protection updates regularly to nursery staff and in particular to designated teachers every two years to ensure their skills and expertise are up to date;
  8. contribute to an inter-agency approach to child protection by developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies;
  9. Use the curriculum to raise child’s awareness and build confidence so that children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others, taking into account sex and relationships guidance.
  10. provide clear policy statements for parents, staff and children and young people on this and on both positive behaviour policies and the nurseries approach to bullying;
  11. have a clear understanding of the various types of bullying – physical, verbal and indirect, and act promptly and firmly to combat it, making sure that child’s are aware of the nurseries position on this issue and who they can contact for support;
  12. take particular care that child’s with additional needs in mainstream and special nurseries, who may be especially vulnerable to abuse, are supported effectively with particular attention paid to ensuring that those with communication difficulties are supported to express themselves to a member of staff with appropriate communicative skills;
  13. Have a clear policy about the handling of allegations of abuse by members of staff, ensuring that all staff are fully aware of the procedures and that they are followed correctly at all times, using the guidance
  14. Have a written whole nursery policy, produced, owned and regularly reviewed by nurseries staff and which clearly outlines the nursery’s position and positive action in respect of the aforementioned standards.

Terminology

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of 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 processes undertaken to protect children who have been identified as suffering, or being at risk of suffering significant harm.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the nursery, full time or part time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child includes everyone under the age of 18.

Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.

This policy is one of a series in the nursery’s safeguarding portfolio which includes

For example

  • Staff behaviour/code of conduct
  • Physical intervention and the use of reasonable force
  • Behaviour
  • Personal and intimate care
  • Complaints procedure
  • Tackling bullying
  • Physical contact
  • Safe working practice
  • Whistle blowing
  • SEND
  • Missing children
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Managing allegations
  • Grievance and disciplinary
  • Staff/child online communication
  • Hand held devices
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Sexual exploitation
  • FGM
  • Forced marriage

Safeguarding legislation and guidance

  • Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 requires local education authorities and the governors of maintained nurseries and further education (FE) colleges to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • The Teacher Standards 2012 state that teachers, including head teachers should safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.
  • The statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2015, covers the legislative requirements and expectations on individual services (including nurseries and colleges) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It also provides the framework for LSCBs to monitor the effectiveness of local services, including safeguarding arrangements in nurseries.
  • The statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016, is issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent Nursery Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Education (Non-Maintained Special Nurseries) (England) Regulations 2011. Nurseries and colleges must have regard to this guidance when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Unless otherwise stated, ‘nursery’ in this guidance means all nurseries, whether maintained, non-maintained or independent, including academies and free nurseries, alternative provision academies and child referral units. ‘Nursery’ includes maintained nursery nurseries. ‘College’ means further education colleges and sixth form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. And relates to their responsibilities to children under the age of 18 (but excludes 16-19 academies and free nurseries, which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement)
  • All staff must read (and sign to confirm this) Part One of this guidance. A record to confirm this has happened is held in the office.
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015 – Advice for practitioners is non statutory advice which helps practitioners (everyone who works with children) to identify abuse and neglect and take appropriate action and can be found in the office.
  • Due to their day-to-day contact with children, staff are uniquely placed to observe changes in children’s behaviour and the outward signs of abuse. Children may also turn to a trusted adult in nursery when they are in distress or at risk. It is vital that all staff is alert to the signs of abuse and understand the procedures for reporting their concerns. The nursery will always act on identified concerns

Roles and responsibilities

Key Personnel

The Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) for child protection is: Denise Iley

Contact Details: Email – denise@kozycottage.co.uk, tel – 01670 736145

The deputy designated person(s) is Kelly Breed

Contact Details: tel – 01670 736145

The Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • has the status and authority within the nursery to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources and supporting and directing other staff
  • is appropriately trained, with updates every two years
  • acts as a source of support and expertise to the nursery community
  • encourages a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings
  • is alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
  • has a working knowledge of NSCB procedureshttp://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html
  • makes staff aware of NSCB training courses (all available through Learning Together http://ncc.learningpool.com/ )and the latest policies and procedures on safeguarding
  • has an understanding of locally agreed processes for providing early help and interventionhttp://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Family/Support.aspx#earlyhelpassessmentforms
  • keeps detailed written records of all concerns, ensuring that such records are stored securely but separate from, the child’s general file
  • refers cases of suspected abuse to children’s social care or police as appropriate
  • notifies children’s social care if a child with a child protection plan has unexplained absences
  • ensures that when a child leaves the nursery, their child protection file is passed to the new nursery (separately from the main child file and ensuring secure transit) and confirmation of receipt is obtained. The child’s social worker is also informed
  • attends and/or contributes to child protection conferences
  • coordinates the nursery’s contribution to child protection plans
  • develops effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies including the NSCB
  • ensures that all staff sign to indicate that they have read and understood the child protection policy
  • ensures that the child protection policy and procedures are regularly reviewed and updated annually, working with governors and trustees regarding this
  • liaises with the nominated governor and head teacher (where the role is not carried out by the head teacher) as appropriate
  • keeps a record of staff attendance at child protection training
  • makes the child protection policy available publicly, on the nursery’s website or by other means
  • Ensures parents are aware of the nursery’s role in safeguarding and that referrals about suspected abuse and neglect may be made.

The deputy designated person(s):

Is/are appropriately trained and, in the absence of the designated person, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of child’s. In the event of the long-term absence of the designated person, the deputy will assume all of the functions above.

Good practice guidelines and staff safeguarding code of conduct

To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards children we need to agree standards of good practice which form a safeguarding code of conduct for all staff. Good practice includes:

  • treating all children with respect
  • setting a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately
  • involving children in decisions that affect them
  • encouraging positive, respectful and safe behaviour among children
  • being a good listener
  • being alert to changes in children behaviour and to signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • reading and understanding the nursery’s child protection policy, staff behaviour policy/ Company rules and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues, for example bullying, behaviour, physical contact, sexual exploitation, extremism, e-safety and information-sharing.
  • maintaining appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children and avoiding the use of sexualised or derogatory language
  • being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of abuse
  • applying the use of reasonable force only as a last resort and in compliance with nursery and NSCB procedures
  • referring all concerns about a child’s safety and welfare to the DSL, or, if necessary directly to police or children’s social care
  • Following the staff behaviour policy/company rules with regard to relationships with children and parents, including on social media.

Abuse of position of trust

All nursery staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards children is unacceptable and that their conduct towards children must be beyond reproach.

In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the nursery staff and a child under 18 may be a criminal offence, even if that child is over the age of consent.

Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Some children may have an increased risk of abuse. It is important to understand that this increase in risk is due more to societal attitudes and assumptions or child protection procedures that fail to acknowledge children’s diverse circumstances, rather than the individual child’s personality, impairment or circumstances. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur.

To ensure that all of our children receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:

  • looked after
  • disabled or have special educational needs
  • young carers
  • affected by parental substance misuse, domestic violence or parental mental health needs
  • asylum seekers
  • living away from home
  • vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying
  • living in temporary accommodation
  • live transient lifestyles
  • living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
  • vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality
  • at risk of sexual exploitation
  • do not have English as a first language
  • at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • at risk of forced marriage
  • at risk of being drawn into extremism.

This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive.

Children Missing Education

Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The DSL will monitor unauthorised absence and take appropriate action, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions and/or are missing for periods during the nursery day. Staff must be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The DfE’s guidance on Children Missing Education is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education

Safeguarding Board procedures

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_child_miss_edu.html

National Guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education

Helping children to keep themselves safe

We recognise that high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and good lines of communication with a trusted adult helps prevention. We will therefore raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills to keep them safe.

The nursery will therefore:

  • establish and maintain an environment and positive ethos where children feel secure, supported and are encouraged to talk, are listened to, can learn, develop and feel valued;
  • ensure children know that there are adults in the nursery whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty;
  • include in the curriculum, activities and opportunities for PSHE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse, develop resilience and that they know to whom to turn for help.

Support for those involved in a child protection issue.

Child abuse is devastating for the child and can also result in distress and anxiety for staff who become involved.

We will support children, their families, and staff by:

  • taking all suspicions and disclosures seriously
  • maintaining confidentiality and sharing information on a need-to-know basis only with relevant individuals and agencies
  • storing records securely
  • offering details of help lines, counselling or other avenues of external support
  • where a member of staff is the subject of an allegation made by a child, ensure that lines of communication are maintained
  • following the procedures laid down in our, whistle blowing, complaints and disciplinary procedures (Copy available Company rules/staff behaviour policy)
  • Cooperating fully with relevant statutory agencies.

Complaints procedure

Our complaints procedure will be followed where a child or parent raises a concern about poor practice towards a child that initially does not reach the threshold for child protection action. Complaints are managed by nursery manager.

Complaints from staff are dealt with under the nursery’s complaints and disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Complaints which escalate into a child protection concern will automatically be managed under the nursery’s child protection procedures.

Whistle blowing

If you have concerns about a colleague.

Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The nursery’s whistle blowing procedure, available in the staff room, enables staff to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.

All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the nursery manager. Complaints about the nursery manager should be reported to the company directors.

Staff may also report their concerns directly to children’s social care or the police if they believe direct reporting is necessary to secure action.

Allegations against staff.

When an allegation is made against a member of staff, set procedures must be followed. It is rare for a child to make an entirely false or malicious allegation, although misunderstandings and misinterpretations of events do happen.

A child may also make an allegation against an innocent party because they are too afraid to name the real perpetrator. Even so, we must accept that some professionals do pose a serious risk to children and we must act on every allegation.

Staffs who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not the default option and alternatives to suspension will always be considered. In some cases, staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that children are protected.  In the event of suspension the nursery will provide support and a named contact for the member of staff.

The full procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016) and in the nursery’s Allegations of abuse or concerns raised against a member of staff policy and procedures.

Staff and parents are reminded that publication of material that may lead to the identification of a staff member who is the subject of an allegation is prohibited by law. Publication includes verbal conversations or writing, including content placed on social media sites.

Allegations concerning staff who no longer works at the nursery, or historical allegations will be reported to the police.

Staff training

It is important that all staff receive training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation and to know what to do if they have a concern.

New staff will receive a briefing during their induction, which includes the nursery’s child protection policy and staff behaviour/ company rules policy, reporting and recording arrangements and details for the DSL. All staff will receive training that is regularly updated and the DSL will receive training updated at least every two years, including training in inter-agency procedures.

Safer recruitment

Our nursery endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ safe staff by following the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) and the nursery’s Suitable persons/Staff Recruitment policy.

At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.

All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with the nursery’s child protection policy and staff behaviour policy/ company rules and identification of their child protection training needs.

All staff signs to confirm they have read and understood the child protection policy and staff behaviour policy/ company rules and have read Keeping Children Safe in education (Part 1)

All relevant staff is made aware of the disqualification and disqualification by association legislation and their obligations to disclose relevant information to the nursery.

The nursery obtains written confirmation from supply agencies or third party organisations that agency staff or other individuals who may work in the nursery have been appropriately checked.

The nursery maintains a single central record of recruitment checks undertaken.

Regulated Activity

Nurseries are ‘specified places’ which means that the majority of staff and volunteers will be engaged in regulated activity.  A fuller explanation of regulated activity can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) part three.

Contractors

The nursery checks the identity of all contractors working on site and requests DBS checks and barred list checks where required by statutory guidance. Contractors who have not undergone checks will not be allowed to work unsupervised or engage in regulated activity.

Site security

Visitors to the nursery, including contractors, are asked to sign in, which confirms they have permission to be on site. Parents who are simply delivering or collecting their children do not need to sign in. All visitors are expected to read our visitors expectations document. The nursery manager will exercise professional judgement in determining whether any visitor should be escorted or supervised while on site.

Photography and images

The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent and legitimate reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or distributing images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place.

To protect children we will:

  • seek parental consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications)
  • use only the child’s first name with an image
  • ensure children are appropriately dressed
  • Encourage children to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them.

E-Safety

Unfortunately some adults and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face-to-face meetings.

Childs may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate websites that promote unhealthy lifestyles, extremist behaviour and criminal activity.

The nursery’s Internet safety policy, explains how we try to keep children safe in nursery and protect and educate children in the safe use of technology. Cyber bullying and sexting by children will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and will be managed through our anti-bullying procedures.  Serious incidents may be managed in line with our child protection procedures.

Staff/Child relationships

The nursery provides advice to staff regarding their personal online activity and has strict rules regarding online contact and electronic communication with children.  Staff found to be in breach of these rules may be subject to disciplinary action or child protection investigation

Child protection procedures

Recognising abuse

To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.

Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children and young people.

Four categories of abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is 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. (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).

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 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 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 cyber bullying), 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

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.

Neglect

Neglect is 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.

Indicators of abuse

Physical signs define some types of abuse, for example, bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The identification of physical signs is complicated, as children may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite difficult for anyone without medical training to categorise injuries into accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For these reasons it is vital that staff are also aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated senior person.

It is the responsibility of staff to report their concerns. It is not their responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused.

A child who is being abused, neglected or exploited may:

  • have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries
  • show signs of pain or discomfort
  • keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather
  • be concerned about changing for PE or swimming
  • look unkempt and uncared for
  • change their eating habits
  • have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships
  • appear fearful
  • be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety
  • self-harm
  • frequently miss nursery, arrive late or leave the nursery for part of the day
  • show signs of not wanting to go home
  • display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
  • challenge authority
  • become disinterested in their nursery work
  • be constantly tired or preoccupied
  • be wary of physical contact
  • be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol
  • display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age
  • acquire gifts such as money or a mobile phone from new ‘friends’

Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw, and each small piece of information will help the DSL to decide how to proceed.

Other key areas where staff may need to take additional advice or action are described below

Bullying

While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress. At its most serious level, bullying can have a disastrous effect on a child’s wellbeing and in very rare cases has been a feature in the suicide of some young people.

All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our tackling-bullying procedures. All parents have access to a copy of the policy/procedures on joining the nursery .If the bullying is particularly serious, or the tackling bullying procedures are deemed to be ineffective, the nursery manager  will consider implementing child protection procedures.

Looked after children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse or neglect. The nursery ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe.  Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child. The nursery manager has details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the local authority’s virtual head for children in care.

Children with sexually harmful behaviour

Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the nursery’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a child’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti-bullying procedures.

The management of children and young people with sexually harmful behaviour is complex and the nursery will work with other relevant agencies to maintain the safety of the whole nursery community. Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator.  Staffs who become concerned about a child’s sexual behaviour, including any known online sexual behaviour, should speak to the DSL as soon as possible.

Sexual exploitation of children

Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking.

All staff are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation via training course and all concerns are reported immediately to the DSL.

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point. Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:

• Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;

• Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;

• Children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;

• Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;

• Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;

• Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;

• Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and

• Children who regularly miss nursery or education or do not take part in education.

It is very important that staff report their concerns – they do not need ‘absolute proof’ that the child is at risk.

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_safeguarding_ex.html

Honour based violence

So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. If in any doubt, staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV.

Indicators

There are a range of potential indicators that a child may be at risk of HBV. Guidance on the warning signs that FGM or forced marriage may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 38-41 of the Multi agency statutory guidance on FGM (pages 59-61 focus on the role of nurseries and colleges) Handling case of forced marriage.

Female Genital Mutilation

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.  Any person found guilty of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 is liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment or a fine, or both.

FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining children, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies. Information on when and how to make a report can be found at Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation procedural information.

Teachers must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should also still consider and discuss any such case with the nursery or college’s designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases (i.e. where the teacher does not discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) or in cases where the woman is 18 or over. In these cases, teachers should follow local safeguarding procedures.

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_fem_gen_mut.html

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.  It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.

Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example). Nevertheless, some communities use religion and culture as a way to coerce a person into marriage. Nurseries and colleges can play an important role in safeguarding children from forced marriage. Nursery and college staff can contact the Forced Marriage Unit if they need advice or information: Contact: 020 7008 0151 or email fmu@fco.gov.uk and more information can be accessed using the following link

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322307/HMG_MULTI_AGENCY_PRACTICE_GUIDELINES_v1_180614_FINAL.pdf

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_force_marr.html

Radicalisation and Extremism

The government defines extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Some children are at risk of being radicalised: adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous.  Nationally, Islamic extremism is the most widely publicised form however nurseries should also remain alert to the risk of radicalisation into white supremacy and extreme right wing factions

Nursery staff receives training to help to identify signs of extremism.  And the nursery follows the DfE advice Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMCS (spiritual, moral, social and cultural education) in Nurseries (2014).

Recognising Extremism

Early indicators of radicalisation or extremism may include:

  • showing sympathy for extremist causes
  • glorifying violence, especially to other faiths or cultures
  • making remarks or comments about being at extremist events or rallies outside nursery
  • evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature
  • advocating messages similar to illegal organisations or other extremist groups
  • Out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships (but there are also very powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online so involvement with particular groups may not be apparent.)
  • secretive behaviour
  • online searches or sharing extremist messages or social profiles
  • intolerance of difference, including faith, culture, gender, race or sexuality
  • graffiti, art work or writing that displays extremist themes
  • attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
  • verbalising anti-Western or anti-British views
  • advocating violence towards others

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380595/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Nurserys.pdf

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_safeg_viol.html

Private fostering arrangements

A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or a close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents.  It applies to children under the age of 16, or aged under 18 if the child is disabled.  Children looked after by the local authority or who are placed in a residential nursery, children’s home or hospital are not considered to be privately fostered.

Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.

By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible.

Where a member of staff becomes aware that a child may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this with the DSL and the nursery should notify the local authority of the circumstances.

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_childrn_away.html

Peer on Peer Abuse

Staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves as peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting.

Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or part of growing up. At our nursery we believe that all children have the right to attend nursery and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm from adults and other children. We recognise that some students will negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the nurseries behaviour policy.

Occasionally, allegations may be made against students by others in the nursery which is of a safeguarding nature. This could include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that to be considered a safeguarding allegation, some of the following features will be found –

  • the allegation is made against an older child and refers to their behaviour towards a younger or more vulnerable child
  • is of a serious nature, possibly including a criminal offence
  • raises risk factors for other children in nursery
  • indicates that other children may have been affected by this student
  • indicates that young people outside the nursery may have been affected by this behaviour

To support young people in this situation we will follow our usual safeguarding procedures ensuring all information is recorded and reported to the DSL , with particular reference being made to NSCB guidance on abuse by children and young people

http://northumberlandlscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_abuse_child_yp.html

In cases of ‘sexting’ we will follow guidance given to nurseries and colleges by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCISS) published in August 2016: ‘Sexting in Nurseries and Colleges, responding to incidents and safeguarding young people

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/551575/6.2439_KG_NCA_Sexting_in_Nurserys_WEB__1_.PDF

Impact of abuse

The impact of child abuse, neglect and exploitation should not be underestimated. Many children do recover well and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives, although most adult survivors agree that the emotional scars remain, however well buried. For some children, full recovery is beyond their reach, and the rest of their childhood and their adulthood may be characterised by anxiety or depression, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol and substance misuse, unequal and destructive relationships and long-term medical or psychiatric difficulties. 

Taking action

Any child, in any family in any nursery could become a victim of abuse.  Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”.

Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:

  • in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, if necessary call 999
  • report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day
  • do not start your own investigation
  • share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • Complete a written record.

If you are concerned about a child’s welfare

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a child may be at risk, but have no ‘real’ evidence. The child’s behaviour may have changed or their patterns of attendance may have altered. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. The signs they have noticed may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. It is fine for staff to ask the child if they are OK or if they can help in any way.

Staff should use the Record of concern form to record these early concerns. If the child does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the child, if the member of staff remains concerned, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL. 

Concerns which do not meet the threshold for child protection intervention will be managed through the Early Help process.

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Children/Family/Support.aspx#earlyhelpassessmentforms.

Advice Area

Contact

Discussion about a CP or child welfare referral and advice on the operation of CP/Safeguarding Procedures , how to refer and where

The following link will provide a map to show the locality office boundaries

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/Child-Families/Safeguarding/Social-Care-Team-Boundaries-2016-w-Key.png

Children’s social care teams

Central Locality Ashington  – 01670 536000

North Locality Alnwick and Berwick  – 01670 629400

South East Locality Blyth and Cramlington –  01670 629600

West Locality Hexham –  01434 611499

Disabled Children Team – 01670 516131

16+ Team                            – 01670 852225

Allegations against people working with children

Adam Hall (LADO) 01670 623979

Queries in relation to the model CP policy for nurseries or related guidance

Carol Leckie 01670 622720

HR advice for nurseries

Wendy Stewart  01670 623126

Co-ordination of Training Requirements for Designated staff (CP)

Anne Lambert  01670 623159

MAPPA – Risk Management re individuals who may pose a risk to children

Patrick Boyle 01670 624035

Monitoring/Quality Assurance re operation of nurseries safeguarding arrangements

Jane Walker 01670 622734

Or Carol Leckie 01670 622720

If a child discloses to you

It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault.  Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive.

If a child talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will need to let the child know that they must pass the information on – staff are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which they tell the child this is a matter for professional judgement. If they jump in immediately the child may think that they do not want to listen, if left until the very end of the conversation, the child may feel that they have been misled into revealing more than they would have otherwise.

During their conversations with the children staff will:

  • allow them to speak freely
  • remain calm and not overreact – the child may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting their listener
  • give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’
  • not be afraid of silences – staff must remember how hard this must be for the child
  • under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what does the child’s mother think about all this
  • at an appropriate time tell the child that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on and explain to whom and why
  • Not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused
  • Avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ or ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing’ may be the staff member’s way of being supportive but may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong
  • Tell the child what will happen next. The child may agree to go to see the designated senior person. Otherwise let them know that someone will come to see them before the end of the day.
  • report verbally to the DSL even if the child has promised to do it by themselves
  • write up their conversation as soon as possible on the record of concern form and hand it to the designated person
  • Seek support if they feel distressed.

Notifying parents

The nursery will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a child with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure.

However, if the nursery believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s social care.

Referral to children’s social care

  • The DSL will make a referral to children’s social care if it is believed that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm.
  • The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.
  • Any member of staff may make a direct referral to children’s social care if they genuinely believe independent action is necessary to protect a child.
  • The DSL should keep relevant staff informed about actions taken, they do not need to share all information but staff must be confident there concerns have been actioned

Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the nursery manager, (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

However, following a number of cases where senior leaders in nursery had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Information sharing is guided by the following principles.  The information is:

  • necessary and proportionate
  • relevant
  • adequate
  • accurate
  • timely
  • secure

Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.

Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

Every effort will be made to prevent unauthorised access, and sensitive information should not routinely be stored on laptop computers, which, by the nature of their portability, could be lost or stolen Child protection information will be stored separately from the child’s nursery file and the nursery file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held. (Via red sticky dot)

The DSL will normally obtain consent from the child and/or parents to share sensitive information within the nursery or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent.

Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a child or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the nursery manager.

The Data Protection Act does not prevent nursery staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.

The nursery’s confidentiality and information-sharing policy is available to parents and children on request,

Reporting directly to child protection agencies

Staff should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s social care, police or the NSPCC if:

  • the situation is an emergency and the designated senior person, their deputy are all unavailable
  • they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety
  • For any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child.

Work Experience

The nursery has detailed procedures to safeguard children undertaking work experience, including arrangements for checking people who provide placements and supervise children on work experience which are in accordance with the guidance in keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)

Our designated member of staff with responsibility for Child Protection issues is/are:

Denise Iley, Nursery Manager          Last trained:    30.09.17

Deputising arrangements

Kelly Breed Last trained     Feb 2017

Safer Recruitment and Selection on-line training

One member of the selection panel for staff appointments must have completed either the on-line or face-to-face safer recruitment training

Currently the following people are trained

Denise Iley, Nursery Manager          Date completed: 30.09.17

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