This policy forms part of our Child Protection Policy which is also available on our policies page.
Wyvern Academy recognises that the welfare of the child is paramount: the needs and wishes of each child will be put first. Throughout this document, ‘child’ refers to a young person under the age of 18. The principles of this policy also apply to students over the age of 18, however, any concerns relating to these students would be referred to the adult safeguarding team.
We take seriously our duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in our care.
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018, HM Government statutory guidance, defines safeguarding 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 life chances.
The Trustees of Wyvern Academy will act in accordance with Section 175 / Section 157 of the Education Act 2002 and the supporting statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2018) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in this school.
The Board of Trustees is accountable for ensuring that the school meets its statutory responsibilities for safeguarding and that all policies and procedures are in place and effective.
It is a Dorset Safeguarding Standard (recommended by the Dorset Safeguarding Children Board) that Trustees receive an annual report from the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Nominated Trustee in order to help monitor compliance with statutory responsibilities.
The Dorset Standards also include that each school and college completes and submits to the Safeguarding Children Board an annual audit of its safeguarding and child protection arrangements, including an action plan. Wyvern Academy completed the DSCB safeguarding audit tool in the Spring term of 2019 and was outstanding for the third year in a row.
All children have the right to be safeguarded from harm or exploitation whatever their:
- health or disability
- gender or sexual orientation
- race, religion, belief or first language
- political or immigration status
Trustees, staff and regular volunteers in this school understand the importance of taking appropriate action and working in partnership with children, their parents/carers and other agencies in order to safeguard children and promote their welfare.
Within this policy it needs to be recognised that Wyvern Academy is a school for children with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. As a result of this there are a number of additional factors that need to be considered within the context of this policy:
- Vigilance, recording and reporting of information are of paramount importance. Statistics would indicate that a higher proportion of our population of children are likely to be abused as a result of their having special educational needs. It is also less likely that our pupils will be able to advocate for themselves or make effective disclosures because of barriers in communication and comprehension.
- Record keeping is always a key aspect of safeguarding work, however, staff should be aware that it is even more important in a setting like Wyvern. Often children with special educational needs will not have sufficient capacity to contribute to a prosecution resulting from abuse. It is essential that any associated documentation is recorded to the highest standard in order to best support any resulting legal action.
- Injuries to our pupils need to be viewed in the context of their abilities, e.g. it is highly unusual for non-independently mobile children to suffer bruising. To this end a copy of the Dorset Safeguarding Children Boards’ protocol “Bruising, bleeding, fractures and possible injuries in Children who are Not Independently Mobile” is discussed with staff as a part of our safeguarding staff meetings cycle.
- In the event that a safeguarding concern results in further investigations it is essential that the communication needs of the child are taken into account.
- Where pupils whose have parents have their own learning difficulties, the complexities around the balanced judgement over neglect concerns and their ability to care for a child with complex needs is born in mind.
- Patterns of attendance amongst this population of pupils are idiosyncratic and so a detailed knowledge of attendance history is essential context.
- We have a higher than average proportion of looked after children and so inter agency information sharing is of paramount importance.
- Our pupils may have complex medical or healthcare needs and as such extra vigilance is required in relation to control of medication, correct procedure and potential incidence of FII (fabricated or induced illness)
- Matters of bullying may also be set in a context of challenging behaviour or idiosyncratic/bizarre behaviours associated with pupils’ conditions which may affect schools response.
The purpose of this policy is to:
- afford protection for all pupils
- enable staff and volunteers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- promote a culture which makes this school a safe place to learn and in which children feel safe
This policy applies to the Head teacher, all staff, including supply and peripatetic staff, regular volunteers (ie those who come into school once a week or more or 4 times in a 30 day period), Trustees or anyone working on behalf of the school.
We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:
- always acting in their interests
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- involving them in decisions which affect them
- never tolerating bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism or any other forms of discrimination
- ensuring the curriculum affords opportunities to learn about keeping themselves safe, particularly when using technology
- exercising our duties under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 by ensuring all staff attend ‘Prevent’ training in respect of radicalisation and extremist behaviour
- supporting attendance and taking action if a child is missing school regularly, including sharing information appropriately when children are taken off the school admissions register
- ensuring staff are aware of the need to be vigilant with regard to FGM (female genital mutilation) and that FGM is always illegal and abusive
- ensuring that staff are aware of the need to safeguard children against CSE (child sexual exploitation), particularly through teaching self-advocacy, sex and relationship education and e-safety practices
- appointing a senior member of staff as the Designated Safeguarding Lead and ensuring this person has the time, funding, training, resources and support to perform the role effectively
- ensuring that there is always cover for this role
- appointing a Designated Teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are looked after/in care, from forces families, from a traveller heritage or from an ethnic minority group.
- making sure all staff and volunteers are aware of and committed to the safeguarding policy and child protection procedures and also understand their individual responsibility to take action
- identifying any concerns early and providing appropriate help to prevent them from escalating
- reporting information to the DSL who then shares information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving children and their parents/carers appropriately
- acknowledging and actively promoting that multi-agency working is the best way to support children and their families
- taking the right action, in accordance with Dorset Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) inter-agency safeguarding procedures, if a child discloses or there are indicators of abuse
- keeping clear, accurate and contemporaneous safeguarding and child protection records
- recruiting staff and volunteers (including host families) safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made in accordance with statutory guidance and legal requirements and also making sure that at least one appointment panel member has undertaken safer recruitment training
- providing effective management for the above through induction, support and regular training appropriate to role
- adopting a code of conduct for all staff and volunteers which includes staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media
- ensuring staff and volunteers understand about ‘whistle blowing’
- promoting a culture in which staff feeling able to report to senior leaders what they consider to be unacceptable behaviour or breaches of the school Code of Conduct by their colleagues, having faith that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken
- dealing appropriately with any allegations/concerns about the behaviour of staff or volunteers in accordance with the process set out in statutory guidance
This child protection policy forms part of a suite of policies and other documents which relate to the safeguarding responsibilities of the school. In particular it should be read in conjunction with the
- staff behaviour policy (code of conduct)
- e-safety policies for pupils and staff
- safer recruitment policy and procedures
- procedures to handle allegations against members of staff and volunteers, including referring to the Disclosure and Barring Service (when appropriate)
- whistle blowing policy
- procedures to respond appropriately when children are missing education
- anti-bullying procedures
These policies and procedures are available on the school website or from the school office.
We have adopted a software package called MyConcern to support our safeguarding arrangements. The requirements of relevant legislation, statutory guidance, our own policies and the safeguarding training provided by us or on our behalf will always remain the definitive source of safeguarding guidance for users of MyConcern. Any questions about the use of MyConcern should be directed to our Designated Safeguarding Lead.