Child Protection and safeguarding Policy
This policy has been developed in accordance to government guidance and statutory framework surrounding children and young people. This policy applies to all staff under the employment of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy, as we believe that Child Protection and Safeguarding is the responsibility of every person involved in our education programmes.
At the time of Printing the following roles were held:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Tunde Christie
Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Michelle Christie
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy aims to offer a safe environment in which children can learn and develop. Children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy have the right to protection from harm. Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will seek to ensure the safety and protection of all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in its activities through adherence to this Child Protection Policy.
- The welfare and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults who are students of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy must be the first consideration of every person involved in the provision of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy education programmes.
- Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will raise awareness of child protection issues so that every person involved in the provision of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy education programmes understands their moral obligation to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation.
- Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy has adopted a Code of Conduct which every person involved in the provision of education programmes must comply with. The code is set out on page 4 of this policy.
- Those involved in the provision of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy education programmes will have close contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults and are in a good position to observe signs of possible abuse, changes in behaviour or failure to perform or develop as expected. They may also receive disclosure from a student that she/he has been abused.
- Every person involved in the provision of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy programmes has a responsibility to be aware of the procedures to follow should a disclosure of abuse be made to them or if they have concerns that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is being abused. If abuse is suspected the procedures outlined in this policy (Page 11) should be commenced without delay.
- Abuse occurs in all cultures, racial and religious groups. All staff in the Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy have a responsibility to be sensitive to and respectful of ethnic and cultural backgrounds – however, these factors must not be used as a reason for non-intervention.
- Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and will amend this policy as may be appropriate to comply with current best practice.
- Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy has adopted Child Protection Procedures to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in the Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy. The procedures are set out later in this policy
Code of Conduct
Every person involved in the Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy must abide by the following Code of Conduct:
All staff / personnel should:
- Be aware of situations which may present risks and manage those.
- Plan and organise work and the workplace so as to minimise risks.
- As far as possible, be visible when working with students. Do not spend time alone with children away from others.
- Ensure that a culture of openness exists to enable any issues or concerns to be raised or discussed.
- Ensure that a sense of accountability exists between staff so that poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour does not go unchallenged.
- Talk to students about their contact with staff or others and encourage them to raise any concerns.
- Empower students by discussing with them what they can do if there is a problem.
- Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
All staff / personnel must never:
- Hit or otherwise physically assault or physically abuse students.
- Use physical force against a participant, unless it constitutes reasonable restraint to protect your self or another person or property from danger or harm. In this situation the minimum amount of force should be used for the minimum amount of time and a report of the incident should be recorded in writing immediately afterwards.
- Develop physical/sexual relationships with students.
- Develop relationships with students which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
- Act in any way that may be abusive or may place a student at risk of abuse.
- Use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, discriminatory, offensive or abusive.
- Behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative. There may be rare occasions when a student, particularly a young child, is distressed and needs physical comforting – discretion must be used to ensure that this is appropriate and any contact is necessary and justified.
- Give a student a lift to, or home from, lessons.
- Take a student with whom they are working to, or allow a student to stay overnight at, their home.
- Give students alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or other stimulants.
- Do things for students of a personal nature that they can do for themselves (e.g. taking them to the toilet). In the case of very young children it may be necessary for them to be offered assistance in using the toilet – this assistance should, wherever possible, be provided by someone of the same sex and discretion should be used so that any assistance is appropriate and any contact is necessary and justified. Prior parental consent should always be obtained.
- Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade a student or otherwise engage in any form of emotional abuse.
- Discriminate against, show deferential treatment, or favour particular students to the exclusion of others.
- Conduct a one to one lesson with a student. If there is only one student in a lesson, the session should by cancelled unless there is another person present.
- This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. The underlying principle is that actions or behaviour which may constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour should be avoided.
Child Protection Procedures
- Recruitment Policy
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff to share this commitment.
When undertaking any recruitment process, Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will take the following steps:
- All job descriptions and person specifications will include a specific reference to suitability to work with children and young people and refer to the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people;
- Comprehensive information from applicants will be obtained and scrutinised and any discrepancies or anomalies will be investigated and resolved;
- Independent professional and character references relating to an applicant’s suitability to work with children and young people will be obtained;
- A face to face interview will be held with all successful applicants prior to engagement;
- The identity, qualifications and previous employment history of the successful applicant will be verified before appointment;
- A check will be made to confirm the right of the successful applicant to work in the United Kingdom before appointment;
- Where the successful applicant has lived outside the United Kingdom, such further checks as are considered appropriate will be carried out before appointment;
- A check will be made on the successful applicant’s mental and physical health;
- A check of the relevant mandatory lists (set out below) and a disclosure (currently DBS) check will be carried out in respect of the successful applicant before appointment;
- Any offer of employment or engagement will be made conditional upon the satisfactory completion of the above checks and verifications.
Kip McGrath Education Centres Ltd will ensure that:
- An individual will not be recruited to work on a Kip McGrath education programme where they are named on any of the following lists:
- The Protection of Children Act (PoCA) List (England and Wales);
- List 99 (England and Wales);
- The Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) List (England and Wales);
- The Disqualified from Working with Children List (DWCL Scotland);
- The Disqualification from Working with Children List (Northern Ireland);
- The Disqualification from Working with Vulnerable Adults List (Northern Ireland).
- An individual who is appointed and subsequently found to be named on any of these lists will be removed from the position forthwith.
- An individual will be referred to the appropriate List where the grounds for referral under the Acts are met.
- A disclosure check will be carried out on all new franchisees and further disclosure checks will be carried out periodically during their tenure (disclosure checks being conducted in accordance with the relevant legislation in force from time to time; currently via the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and by Disclosure Scotland in Scotland).
- Franchisees must obtain a DBS check for all teachers, assistants or other staff prior to their engagement. Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy has a zero tolerance policy towards employing or engaging teachers, assistants or other staff in centres before DBS disclosure is obtained and franchisees must adopt the same policy. No member of staff must start work before a satisfactory DBS disclosure is obtained.
- Types of Abuse
Definitions of Abuse
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy recognises the following as definitions of abuse:
- Physical Abuse – When an adult, or sometimes an older child, deliberately injure a chid or fail to prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child. In addition to physical injury this includes giving a child alcohol or drugs.
- Neglect – When parents fail to meet a child’s basic need for food, warmth, clothing or medical attention or fail to protect the child from exposure to danger. Neglected children may be withdrawn or very aggressive and may develop health problems such as nonorganic failure to thrive.
- Sexual Abuse – When an adult, or sometimes an older child, uses a child for sexual gratification. This might mean touching a child in a sexual way, forcing a child to carry out sexual acts, deliberately showing a child adult pornographic videos or magazines and filming or photographing children in a sexual way. Both boys and girls are sexually abused, and it can happen to very young children as well as older ones. The child may be dependent or developmentally immature.
- Emotional Abuse – When Parents continuously fail to show love and affection to a child causing the child severe adverse side effects on emotional and behavioural development. This might include sarcasm, threats, criticism, yelling and taunting. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment. This category should be used where it is the main or sole form of abuse.
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy recognised that some adults are also vulnerable to abuse. These procedures may also be applied to allegations of abuse and the protection of vulnerable adults. A Vulnerable Adult is defined as any person aged 18 or over who:
- Is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental, physical or learning difficulty, age or illness;
- Is or may be unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
- Awareness of Actual or Likely Occurrence of Abuse
There are a number of ways in which abuse becomes apparent:
- A victim discloses abuse.
- Someone else discloses that a student has told him/her or that he/she strongly believes a student has been or is being abused.
- A student may show signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no satisfactory explanation.
- A student’s behaviour may indicate that it is likely that he/she is being abused.
- A colleague’s behaviour or the way in which he/she relates to a student causes concern.
- Receiving Allegations of Abuse
If a child or young person makes a disclosure about possible abuse you are advised to:
- Listen carefully and stay calm.
- Do not interview the child, but question normally and without pressure, in order to be sure that you understand what the child is telling you.
- Do not put words into the child’s mouth.
- Reassure the child that, by telling you, they have done the right thing.
- Inform the child that you must pass the information on to “someone who can help” (e.g. the police or the Child Protection Officer (but do not specify whom, to avoid alarming the child (particularly if they are very young)).
- Make a detailed note of the date, time, place, what the child said and did, your questions etc. This should not normally be done in the presence of the child as it may be intimidating for them. The Incident Form (see Appendix I) is designed to help you do this. Teachers or employees should not investigate concerns or allegations themselves, but should follow the reporting procedure which is outlined below.
- Procedures for Responding to Concerns About Abuse or Neglect
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy has a designated Child Protection Officer (CPO) as shown on the front of this policy. This is the franchise owner of Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy. It is the CPO’s role to monitor and implement this policy and deal with reports of abuse/neglect. The reporting procedure differs depending upon the role of the person making the report.
Reporting Procedure for Teachers and Assistants
1 If a teacher or employee has any concerns about abuse or neglect of a student they should contact the designated CPO (franchise owner) for the centre where the alleged incident took place as soon as practicably possible. Please see 5.6 for the appropriate procedure if the CPO is unavailable. If the concerns relate to the behaviour of the CPO the report should be made to Kip McGrath Education Centres Head Office UK.
2 If a member of staff has reason to suspect abuse, or has received allegations of abuse from a student or third party, they will need to complete an Incident Form (see Appendix I) and send it to the designated CPO (Franchise owner).
3 Upon receipt of the Incident Form the CPO (franchise owner) will check its content and, if necessary, refer back to the originator to clarify and further discuss the situation.
4 The CPO (franchise owner) must then contact the police to formally report the incident/suspicions.
5 The CPO (franchise owner) must then inform Kip McGrath Education Centres Master Franchisee or Franchise Support Manager or Kip McGrath Education Centres Head Office senior management.
6 If the CPO (franchise owner) is unavailable for any reason, the person witnessing the incident or receiving the allegation from the child should contact the police themselves immediately. Then, as soon as practicably possible they should inform the CPO or the Master Franchisee or the Franchise Support Manager for the franchise territory or Kip McGrath Education Centres Head Office senior management. A meeting will then be convened at the earliest opportunity to discuss the issues.
Reporting Procedure for (CPO) franchise Owner
7 If a franchisee has reason to suspect abuse or receives allegations they should inform the police immediately and, as soon as practicably possible, their Master Franchisee or Franchise Support Manager or Head Office Senior Management.
8 The franchisee should complete an Incident Form (see Appendix I), available on the Kip McGrath Website or ordered from the Master Franchisee or Franchise Support Manager. This will help in relaying information to the police/Kip McGrath senior management.
- Investigating and Dealing with Allegations of Abuse
- In cases of allegations against employees Kip McGrath Education Centre UK’s normal disciplinary procedures for investigating allegations will apply.
- In cases of allegations against franchisees the franchise agreement will apply.
- For cases of allegations against teachers the procedures relating to the centre will apply.
- All cases will be referred to the police.
- It is recognised that hastily or ill-informed decisions in connection with an alleged child protection issue can irreparably damage an individual’s reputation, confidence and career. Therefore, those dealing with such allegations within Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will do so with sensitivity and will act in a careful and measured way.
- Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered.
- Referral Process
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy will refer names to the appropriate governmental official (including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State and the equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland) for inclusion in one of more of the lists referred to above in any of the following circumstances:
- Where Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy has dismissed an individual on the grounds of misconduct (whether or not in the course of employment) which harmed a child or placed a child at risk of harm,
- Where an individual has resigned or retired in circumstances such that Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy would have dismissed him/her, or would have considered dismissing him/her on such grounds, if he/she had not resigned or retired.
- Where an individual has resigned or retired and information not available to the organisation at the time has since become available which would have resulted in dismissal being considered on such grounds if he/she had not resigned or retired.
- The types of circumstance where the appropriate government official would expect a referral to be made would be where any action or inaction on the part of the individual harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.
- Only the names of persons who occupied child care positions within the meaning of any act applicable in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland may be referred to the appropriate government official. For Example, in England and Wales child care positions within the meaning of the Protection of Children Act 1999, with specific exceptions, carries the same meaning as a “regulated” position, as defined in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Two of the eight basic sets of regulated positions are:
- Where normal duties include caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children; and
- Where normal duties involve unsupervised contact with children under arrangements made by a responsible person (e.g. a parent, guardian or primary carer).
- The referral of an individual does not lead to automatic inclusion on a list. The minimum information that the government official requires for all referrals is as follows:
- Full name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number of the individual;
- Confirmation that the individual occupied a child care (or “regulated”) position;
- Full details of the alleged misconduct;
- Detailed information about how – by his misconduct – the individual harmed a child or placed a child at risk of harm;
- Details of any investigations carried out to date – and their conclusions – including copies of relevant papers (e.g. statements, notes of interviews, minutes of meetings and minutes/notes of disciplinary hearings) and details of the organisation’s disciplinary procedures;
- Details of the action taken against the individual e.g. whether he has been suspended, dismissed or transferred from a child care position, etc;
- Information on any police involvement (or the involvement of any other agency);
- Details of proposed further action – i.e. dates for disciplinary hearings, timetable for further investigations etc;
- Any other information considered relevant to the circumstances of the alleged misconduct. It is important that the referral process is as short as possible and involves as a few individuals as possible.
8. Protection of Those Reporting Care and Protection Concerns
The law protects those who report care and protection concerns from actions by those individuals who have been implicated in the abuse, harm and/or neglect of a c child or young person as long as the report was not malicious or vexatious.
- Data Protection and Management of Confidential Information
Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy is committed to managing confidential information in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. Children and young people have a right to confidentiality unless Kip McGrath South Lakes Academy considers that they could be at risk of abuse and/or harm.