Our school recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We will be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and we will follow our procedures and policies to ensure that children receive effective support and protection.
We keep children safe by:
- Having an up to date child protection policy.
- Check the suitability of all our staff that work with children through stringent checking procedures.
- Have an open door policy where concerns can be shared in confidence.
- Ensure all our staff have up to date child protection and safeguarding training.
- Share information with appropriate agencies if we have concerns.
- Have three identified members of staff who have responsibility for safeguarding.
- Have strong links with e-safety advisors who regularly come in to school and work with our children.
What do I do if I have a concern about the safety, care or welfare of a child or young person?
If you have a concern about a child or young person, you can contact:
- Our designated child protection leaders are Vicky Galt or Karen Gibbon
- Our Educational Welfare Officer is Karen Gibbon
Or you can:
- Contact The Children's Hub 01429 284284
- Contact the police on 101 or 999 if in an emergency.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY OR WELL BEING OF ANY CHILD YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD ACT WITHOUT DELAY.
Many people worry that their concerns or suspicions may be wrong or that they are interfering unnecessarily or that someone else might report it. Our advice would be to report in any case to the school or to the First Contact team where they can give advice and the professionals can process the information you have. Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility and it is always better to be safe, by reporting anything, than sorry!
What are the signs of child abuse?
No parent ever wants to think about the possibility of their child (or any child) becoming a victim of abuse, and most children never have to experience this. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to to know that help is available if the unthinkable happens.
If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child.
Click the image to link to the Hub information page
Harrow Gate Primary participates in the Operation Encompass partnership scheme. This is an arrangement between educational settings and Cleveland Police.
Operation Encompass was created to provide early reporting to school about any domestic abuse incidents that occur outside of school hours to which any pupils attending may have been exposed and which might then have an impact on them.
This information will be shared on academic days during term time.
Where incidents occur on a weekend or during a school holiday, the Police will contact the relevant school the following Monday / next working day.
The Children Act 2004 places a duty on agencies to share information for the purpose of child safeguarding and welfare. Information will only be shared with the school by the Police where it is identified that a young person was present at the time and is focused solely on identifying and addressing child welfare concerns.
A nominated member of staff, known as a Designated Safeguarding Lead Officer (DSLO), has been trained to liaise with Police. They will be able to use information that has been shared with them in confidence to ensure that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children or their families. The DSLO will keep this information confidential, and will only share it on a need to know basis, for instance to teaching staff for the child or young person to ensure their welfare needs are met. It will not be shared it with other students.
Operation Encompass was first introduced in Plymouth in February 2011, and has proved very effective in providing appropriate and timely support to young people affected by domestic abuse. This initiative has been implemented across the whole of the Cleveland Police area since 2016. If you would like some more information about it, you can view it online at www.operationencompass.org.
We are keen to offer the best support possible for our pupils and a recent review of Operation Encompass showed that it is beneficial and supportive for all those involved.
If a child discloses anything to you please follow these procedures:
- Listen to what is being said.
- Accept what is said.
- Try to take notes (if possible).
- Reassure the young person but only so far as is honest and reliable.
- Do not make promises that you cannot keep.
- Do not promise confidentiality.
- Do reassure the young person and try to alleviate the guilt e.g. “You are not to blame”.
- React to the young person only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to do a referral. DO NOT INTERROGATE.
- Do not ask leading questions e.g. “What did he do next?” (this assumes something else did happen) “Did he touch your private parts?” such questions may invalidate your evidence and the child’s if the case goes to court.
- Do ask open ended questions, like “Anything else you would like to tell me?”
- Do not criticise the perpetrator, the young person might love him / her.
- Do not ask the pupil to repeat it to another member of staff.
- Record the time and date of the disclosure and if the child uses “pet” names for parts of their anatomy then use the actual words the child uses and do not translate them into “proper” words.
- Use the body map to record any bruising or marks.
- Record only observable or factual things do not state opinions.
Discuss with your designated person (Mrs Galt or Mrs Gibbon) for Child Protection issues or concerns.
- Have all details ready e.g.
Date of Birth
Mother / Father / Carers name
Any other family members (siblings)
Details of concern.
Our school recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils. We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We will be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and will follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
This information has been put together to give you inform you about how we meet our safeguarding and child protection responsibilities. Some tips to help you to keep your child safe are also included.
Our designated person for child protection is Mrs V Galt & Mrs K Gibbon
Our deputy designated person is Mrs G Holloway
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY OR WELFARE OF YOUR CHILD, OR A CHILD YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD ACT WITHOUT DELAY.
YOU CAN ASK FOR ADVICE, OR REPORT YOUR CONCERN TO:
Children's Hub - 01429 284284 / Out of hours 01642 524552
Police Telephone: 01642 326326 non-emergency telephone / 999 for emergencies
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline Telephone: 0808 800 5000
Many people worry that their suspicions might be wrong, or that they will be interfering unnecessarily. If you wish, you can telephone for advice without identifying the child. If the conversation confirms that you are right to be concerned you can then give the child’s details. You will be asked for your name and address too, but the agencies will take anonymous calls, so if you really do not want to say who you are, you do not have to. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
We help to keep pupils safe by:
- having an up to date child protection policy
- having other safeguarding policies, such as anti-bullying and internet safety
- checking the suitability of all our staff to work with children
- encouraging pupils to tell us if something is wrong
- adhering to health and safety regulations
- training all our staff to recognise and respond to child welfare concerns
- appointing a designated person who has additional training in child protection
- working in partnership with parents and carers
- sharing information with appropriate agencies if we have concerns
- managing and supporting our staff team
Internet and Mobile Phone Safety
Mobile phones and computers are a part of everyday life for many children and young people. Used correctly, they are an exciting source of communication, fun and education but used incorrectly, or in the wrong hands they can be threatening and dangerous.
The risks include:
- cyber-bullying, where hurtful texts or emails are sent to children
- children accidentally or deliberately accessing violent or sexually explicit websites, either on a computer or a mobile phone
- paedophiles talking to children by mobile phone or online and enticing them to engage in sexual conversations, photographs, video or actual meetings.
It probably is not practical to simply ban your child from using mobiles and computers as they may well try to find a way of using them, perhaps at a friend’s house or in an internet café. They also need to learn how to manage the risks. Younger children will be much easier to supervise and you will decide if and when they should begin to use these technologies.
Here are some tips to help you to manage the risks.
- Try to put the computer in a family room where it will be easier for you to supervise your child’s online activity.
- Ensure that your child knows they should never give their full name, address and contact details to people they chat to on the internet.
- Gently explain that some people they talk to on the internet may not be who they say they are and might say or do unpleasant or hurtful things.
- Investigate whether the ‘parental controls’ available from some internet service providers will be helpful.
- Consider installing software that can filter out inappropriate material.
- Talk to your child about their internet use. Ask them which sites they enjoy most, and why. Show you are interested, while understanding their need for some privacy.
- Impress on your child that they can talk to you if they are worried about something that has happened during their internet use.
- Make it very clear that your child must never arrange to meet someone they have chatted to online without your permission. Their new ‘friend’ might well be a local young person of similar age, but they might not.
You may be alerted to question your child’s online activity if they are:
- spending more and more time on the internet
- being secretive – reluctant to talk about their internet activity, closing the screen page when you are close by
- spending less time with the family, or giving up previous hobbies and interests
- losing interest in their schoolwork, regularly failing to complete homework
- starting to talk about ‘new friends’ that you have not met and who do not visit your home
- overly possessive of their mobile phone or computer – perhaps overreacting if someone picks it up or asks to borrow it
- showing fear or discomfort when their phone rings, or quickly turning it off without answering
- undergoing a change in personality that you cannot attribute to any obvious cause.
Remember that none of these signs prove that your child is at risk in any way, but if you notice anything that confuses or worries you try talking things over with them. They may well tell you to stop fussing. They may be laid back.
In any case, think about their demeanour and attitude as well as what they say.
If you are still concerned contact one of the helping agencies listed.
Ten tips for keeping your temper
Children and young people can be infuriating sometimes. They need to be taught the right way to behave and sometimes they test parents to the limit. The trouble is, if we lose our temper too often they may become frightened – or they may realise they have found just how to wind us up.
When you feel you are losing your temper or are ready to shout or lash out, try these tips to calm down. They may defuse the situation and give you time to consider how best to handle it.
- take some deep breaths
- count to 10
- close your eyes for a moment, to decide what to say
- depending on the age of your child, tell them calmly but firmly to go to their room
- also, depending on the age of your child, leave the room and get some fresh air
- turn on some music – nothing too loud
- sit down
- hug a pillow!
- if another adult is present, hand over to them
- phone a friend
Child abuse and what to look for
No parent wants to think about the possibility of their child becoming a victim of abuse, and most children are never abused. Even so, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibility and to know that help is available if the unthinkable does happen.
Although there is always a lot of media focus on ‘stranger danger’, the abduction of children is rare and the threat from strangers is quite small. You should still ensure that your child knows the rules about keeping safe when they are out alone.
Most children know their abusers. They may be family members or friends of family, someone who works with the child or someone who lives in the community.
There are four types of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect.
There are many signs, or indicators that a child might be suffering abuse. There may be injuries, but it is more likely that you will notice some change in your child’s behaviour.
If you notice anything that concerns you, talk to your child to see if you can find out what is happening. Remember that, if your child is being harmed, she or he may be too frightened to tell you. If your child becomes distressed or you are not happy with the explanations, you could talk to an adult you trust or call a helpline or children’s social care services. Our designated person at school will also try to help.
Some signs to look for are:
- bruises or other injuries
- a change in behaviour – from quiet to loud, or from happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
- pain or discomfort
- fear of a particular person, or a reluctance to be alone with them
- secrecy around a relationship with a particular person
- reluctance to discuss where they go, or who they are with
- sexual talk or knowledge beyond their years
- being watchful, or always on edge
- losing interest in their appearance, hobbies or family life
- alcohol or drug taking
- having money and refusing to say where it has come from
- wetting the bed
- becoming clingy
If your child is being bullied
We define bullying as behaviour that is deliberate, repeated more than once and is designed to be hurtful. Bullies tend to pick on children who they think are unable to defend themselves. Bullying is not only about hitting or fighting. It also includes name calling, threats, taking belongings, intimidating and making unkind or abusive remarks.
Children may try to hide the fact they are being bullied because they are afraid or ashamed but you might notice some signs, for example your child might:
- change their behaviour
- come home with torn clothing
- ‘lose’ their dinner money, or ask for extra money
- try to avoid going to school
- complain regularly of headaches or stomach aches
- have unexplained cuts and bruises
- play truant.
We have anti-bullying procedures that help us to identify and deal with any case of bullying in school, but bullying does not only take place in school, it can also happen in the home or in the community.
Bullying can be serious and cause a lot of distress. If your child tells you that they are being bullied in school, ask for their permission for you to tell us. They may not have told us themselves because they are afraid that the bully will find out and the bullying will get worse. Try to help them to understand that the bullying will not stop while it is kept secret. As soon as we know it is happening we will follow our anti-bullying procedures to try to stop it.
It is also distressing to suspect that your child might be bullying other children. Our anti-bullying procedures include trying to support children who bully to change their behaviour, so please talk to us if you think your child needs some help.
You will find some useful sources of information and support at the end of this booklet.
What we will do if we have a concern about your child
If we are concerned that your child may be at risk of abuse or neglect we must follow the procedures in our child protection policy. You can look at the policy on the school website or come into school and see a copy.
The procedures have been written to protect all pupils. They comply with our statutory responsibilities and are designed to support pupils, families and staff. The procedures are based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration.
In almost all circumstances, we will talk to you about our concerns and we will also tell you if we feel we must refer our concerns to children’s social care. We will ask your consent to make a referral, but in some circumstances we may need to make the referral against your wishes. We will only do this if we genuinely believe that this is the best way to protect your child, and the fact that you did not consent to the referral will be recorded.
If we think that talking to you first might in some way increase the risk to your child, we will report our concerns to children’s social care and take advice from them. We will normally tell you that a referral is being made and we will record the reasons why we decided to follow this course of action.
All child protection records are kept separate from your child’s general school file. Records are stored in a locked cabinet or drawer, and if stored on computer they are password-protected. The only staff who have access to the records are those who need to know about the concerns in order to protect and support your child.
Child protection is a very sensitive issue and it raises many questions and a range of strong emotions. We will do everything we can support our pupils and you can be assured that any action we take will be in the best interests of your child.
Sources of support and information – website links and phone numbers below
Child protection – national
NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111
Child Law Advice Line: 08088 020 008
Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA) 0844 660 8607
Bullying – national
NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111
Kidscape: 08451 205 204
Mental health – national
Young Minds: 0808 802 5544
Mental Health Foundation: 020 7803 1100
Mind: 0845 766 0163
Parents’ support – national
ParentlinePlus: 0808 800 2222
Sexual harm and sexually harmful behaviour – national
Stop It Now! 0808 1000 900
The AIM Project (for children with sexual behaviour problems):
Internet safety – national
Child Exploitation and Online Protection: 0870 000 3344
Think U Know: 0870 000 3344
Police: 101 (non-emergency telephone number) 999 for emergencies.
Children's Hub: 01429 284284 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospital 01642 617617
What is Prevent?
Prevent is part of CONTEST, the Government’s strategy to address terrorism. The main aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent focuses on all forms of terrorist threats. E.g. international terrorism, far right extremists (among others).
The Government’s Prevent strategy can be found at the following address: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
Three key themes
The police, Local Authorities, and our partner organisations are working together to help strengthen and empower our communities to reject those who want to cause harm. We work together and focus on three key themes:
- Safeguarding vulnerable individuals through the provision of advice and support and intervention projects.
- Working closely with institutions such as Universities, Schools, Prisons, Health, Charities and faith establishments.
- Challenging terrorist ideology by working closely with other local and national agencies, partners and our communities
The Prevent Engagement Team of officers and police staff aim to encourage discussion ensuring that terrorism is prevented from taking root in our communities. They support the wider engagement activities already taking place in schools, places of worship and community groups.
Through this work they aim to strengthen communities in order to challenge the ideologies and messages of hate which lead to terrorism.
How you can help?
It is important that we all work together, so that we can protect our communities. There are many ways you can help:
- You can get in touch with your local neighbourhood or Prevent team for advice and support, if you are worried about someone you know who you believe may be vulnerable to radicalisation
- You can speak to your local officers or Prevent contact about helping run community events to bring people from different communities together
- You can provide facilities that could help us and our partners hold community engagement events.
How does the PREVENT Strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean for us as at Harrow Gate Academy ?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using software and filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect.
The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Please contact the school, should you have any further questions about the PREVENT Strategy.
Summary of guidance for working with people who are vulnerable to the messages of violent extremism
What are terrorism, extremism and radicalisation?
The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2000. This defines terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
Extremism is the 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. This also includes calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
What makes a person vulnerable to radicalisation?
There is no single profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism, and the process of radicalisation is different for every individual. Radicalisers use normal social processes such as loyalty, self-perception, and fear of exclusion to influence their targets; it is not simply people with low intelligence or from deprived backgrounds who are susceptible as it is often tempting to assume.
What are the indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation?
Safeguarding children and young people from radicalisation is no different from safeguarding them from other forms of harm and is something you can do with no additional training, simply trusting your judgement and using your existing professional knowledge.
Indicators for vulnerability to radicalisation are the same as those you are already familiar with: family tensions, sense of isolation, migration and distance from cultural heritage, experience of racism or discrimination, feeling of failure etc. Those in the process of being radicalised may become involved with a new group of friends, search for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, possess violent extremist literature or advocate violence actions, change their behaviour and language, seek to recruit others to an extremist ideology. It is vital to note that children and young people experiencing these situations or displaying these behaviours are not necessarily showing signs of being radicalised. There could be many other reasons for the behaviour including those you are already familiar with – alcohol or drug abuse, family break down, domestic abuse, bullying etc or even something more minor.
Why is it important to act early?
When we think of terrorism we tend to think of 9/11, 7/7 and bombs going off. However this is only the result of terrorism, resulting from months or years of recruitment, radicalisation and advance planning. These hidden early aspects of terrorism can and do happen anywhere.
What do I do if I suspect a child or young person is becoming radicalised or involved in extremism?
You should refer your concerns using the Channel referral form, remembering to follow your standard organisational safeguarding policy (such as informing your manager).
Cleveland Police will carry out an initial assessment and, if appropriate, set up a multi-agency meeting to agree actions for supporting the individual. If it is deemed that no there are no concerns about radicalisation, support will be arranged for the individual through other means such as a Single Assessment, or through social care or another organisation.
Remember that any information you give to the Police at this stage will be investigated in the pre-criminal arena; it does not assume that any criminal activity has taken place and the Police will be looking to support and guide rather than to criminalise and arrest.