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Child Protection Policy Jan2011




    Published         January 2011
   P. R. MacDougall B.Ed. (Hons)

  York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                        Page 1 of 7
Child Protection Policy & Welfare of Children

York House School is legally required to have a Child Protection Policy, a Designated Senior
Person (DSP) and to co-operate with the relevant Local Authority; in our case the Hertfordshire
Area Child Protection Committee (HACPC).It is also a legal requirement that we publish this
policy on our website.
York House has had an excellent record in child protection, largely due to the forthright, positive
and action of all staff and the culture of child protection that is actively fostered within the school.
Child safety must never be taken for granted.
In the event of any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection arrangements, the governors of
the school will remedy without delay.

In this policy is information and guidance for staff and other adults who come into contact or who
might come into contact with York House School.
The HACPC have issued a Manual of Child Protection Procedures, in the large blue folder entitled
“Working together for Child Protection” which can be found in the staff room. In addition the
general guidance and discussion is contained in the DfEE publication “Safe Guarding Children in
Education” can also be found in the blue folder.

The Designated Senior Person (DSP) is Mr Vince Kelly (training update May 2011)
The Designated Senior Person for the Pre Prep and EYFS is Mrs Zoe Sylvester (training
update 2012)
The DSP requires training (updated every two years) in child protection and inter agency
working with the designated persons.

The “Independent Listening Ear” is Rev. Miriam Mugan
(All Saints Church, Croxley Green ~ )

Next whole school staff training ~ January 2013
The Governor responsible for child protection is Mrs. L Keating
Mrs Keating will undertake an annual review of the school’s child protection policy and

At York House School, the DSP will normally work in conjunction with, and under the authority
of the Headmaster. (There are two exceptions to this. The DSP is empowered to act independently
if an allegation is made against the Headmaster. Similarly, the Headmaster will act independently
if an allegation is made against the DSP.)
Definitions of Child Abuse
It can be salutary to be reminded that somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or
by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or
community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. Harm is defined as ill-
treatment or the impairment of health or development.

                       York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                             Page 2 of 7
Child abuse and harm are classified within the following 5 categories:-

   Neglect
   Physical abuse
   Sexual abuse
   Emotional abuse
   Intellectual abuse
Recognising Child Abuse

Every person who has contact with children, either caring for or working with them, should be able
to recognise and know how to respond should they become concerned or aware that a child is, or
may be, at risk of suffering abuse or neglect.
Staff should recognise possible indicators of abuse or neglect, or situations where a child requires
extra support to prevent significant impairment to his or her health or development.
Children tend to respond in a non-specific way to specific stresses and show these in their
behaviour, although older children can be very adept at hiding their distress. Children from
different cultural backgrounds may show their distress in different ways and specialist advice may
be needed to understand how race and culture influence children’s behaviour. It would not be
possible to list every indicator connected with abuse. It is important not to react to these indicators
alone as some could be attributed to other events in a child’s life, not just abuse.

Child abuse and neglect are detected in schools by:-
 Staff noticing physical or behavioural symptoms
 Children disclosing information
 Sustainable allegation from a third party.

Dealing with Child Protection Concerns
Staff or parent guidance: if a child tells you of an incident

        1. Always stop and listen attentively to anyone who wants to tell you about an incident or
           suspicion of abuse.

        2. Do not ask leading questions or impose your own interpretations on what you are being
           told. Do not, for example, ask “Did he touch you?” or “Did he say anything to you?”
           etc. Let the person know you are concerned and understanding and stick to asking them
           to tell you what it is they want to say. Only prompt them by saying “Is there anything
           else you might want to add?”

        3. Do not make a promise of confidentiality or secrecy. You need to make it clear that you
           have a responsibility to report the concern so that action can be taken and the child can
           be helped. You can reassure the person that only those who need to know will be told.

        4. Keep a written record of the conversation. If it is appropriate, you can make a verbatim
           record of what you are told at the time, but if this is inhibiting then make the notes as
           soon as possible after the conversation. It is important to keep those original notes

        5. You must immediately report the information to the DSP or the Headmaster. If the
           allegation is about one of these, then you must only report it to the other.
                          York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                                Page 3 of 7
      6. Discuss with the person to whom you have made your report whether any immediate
         actions need to be taken to protect any children involved.

      7. Never attempt to carry out an investigation of your own or with other people in the
         school. The Hertfordshire ACPC Investigation Officers are trained to do this and
         evidence can be made void if handled inappropriately.

      8. As soon as possible the DSP or Headmaster will make contact with the Hertfordshire
         Assessment Team, who will give guidance on any further actions that need to be taken.

      9. Whatever steps are taken thereafter will be according to the Hertfordshire Child
         Protection Procedures Manual.

If you have a concern:-

   1. Any concerns must be reported to and recorded by the DSP.

   2. The DSP will make sufficient enquiries only to establish that there is a cause for concern.

   3. The DSP will then follow the Hertfordshire Area Child Protection Committee procedure
      and, at the same time, will notify the designated member of the Board of Governors.

   4. In situations where the concerns are very unspecific, the DSP may feel it appropriate to
      monitor the situation and record the nature of these concerns, maintaining vigilance over a
      period of time.

   5. If the concern is about any member of the staff of York House School, the Headmaster
      must be informed immediately. The concern will then be discussed, through consultation
      or referral, with the local Social Services office. If an inquiry is considered necessary, the
      member of staff will be immediately suspended on full pay whilst an investigation is held.
      If the investigation finds that there is no case to answer, then the member of staff will be re-
      instated. However, if the investigation finds that there is a case to answer, then the member
      of staff can expect further disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in addition to
      any proceedings initiated by Hertfordshire Social Services.

   6. Allegations against staff, volunteers or the designated person with responsibility for
      safeguarding should be reported to the head. It is also advised that the designated person
      should be contacted (unless he or she is the object of the allegation), since the designated
      person will have received higher level safeguarding training. If the head is absent, the
      allegation should be passed to the chair of governors. If the allegation concerns the head,
      the person receiving the allegation should immediately inform the chair of governors
      without notifying the head first. In case of serious harm, the police should be informed
      from the outset.

                      York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                            Page 4 of 7
                           MEMBER OF STAFF HAS CONCERNS
                          Member of Staff discusses with Designated Person

                          Discussion / Decisions recorded and securely stored
                                  ↓                                    ↓
            Still has concern                                          No longer has concern
    Children, Schools & Families on
                07920 283106
If Child is at risk of immediate harm call
                     999                                     No further child protection action,
                   ↓                                         although may need to act to ensure
                                                             services are provided.
 If a social care case does not already
exist, Client Services will electronically
record the information and refer it to
the relevant Social Care Team Manager
who will decide whether the referral
meets the threshold for a social care
Social Care Team acknowledges receipt
of referral and decides on next course of
action within one working day.
      ↓                       ↓
 Social Care             Not meeting CP
Intervention               threshold

      ↓                       ↓
Social Care feeds back to referrer. If CAF
recommended, social care to contact CAF
Administrator giving contact details of
child and person undertaking the CAF.
If CAF is recommended, the Designated
Person must ensure the
Practitioner/Worker contacts CAF
Administrator is contacted with the
intention to undertaken a CAF on:
Tel:       01438 737511
Fax:       01438737355
Address: Client Services
           PO Box 153
           SG1 2GH
                       York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                             Page 5 of 7
Guidance for staff: Reports and Records, Confidentiality
The need to protect the child is of paramount importance. However, the staff has a professional
responsibility to share appropriate information with other professionals. Promises of confidence
should never be made as they represent a potential breach of trust. Reassurance can be given that
only those who need to know will be told.

At all times the priority lies with the child’s welfare and safety.

Confidentiality means not holding back information that should be shared and not sharing
information unless there is a clear need for it to be known.

Notes and records of conversations with a child who is telling you of an incident, or of your
concerns about a situation are potentially items of evidence if an investigation is required or if it
later established that there is a case to answer. Thus it is important that timed and dated records
are made as soon as possible (within 24 hours). These should include details of observations of the
incident or behaviour, the time and location, who was involved, the sequence of behaviour, any
other relevant signs or symptoms and the context in which this took place.

Guidance for staff or parents helping with children: advice on preventing child abuse, and
avoiding possible accusations and misunderstandings
There is no exhaustive set of hard and fast rules. Common Sense must prevail. However,
colleagues are advised to follow the following guidelines to avoid confusion:

   1. All adults dealing with children on trips must have an enhanced CRB disclosure.

   2. A clear record means the person concerned has had no previous convictions. This does not
      mean that they are not potentially dangerous to children, so keep your eyes open!

   3. Be wary of being isolated with a child, in a class room, car, or hotel room. If this is
      unavoidable (a child is sick and you have to act?) make sure other colleagues are briefed
      and leave the door open (at such times, the Headmaster, for example, leaves his adjourning
      door open and asks his PA to listen in).

   4. Be aware of gender issues. It is generally more acceptable for female colleagues to have
      physical contact with younger children than for male staff.

   5. Male staff should never go into female changing rooms or ablutions.

   6. Female staff should avoid male changing rooms and ablutions, particularly for older (over
      8) boys.

   7. Ensure a good gender balance on residential trips and outings.

   8. Be aware of contact from strangers, such as hotel or service station staff and even such as
      medical staff, emergency services or ministers of religion. Never assume a stranger is

   9. Be careful of the actions of parents on residential trips. They may need guidance.

   10. If in doubt about a person or an action, consult with the Headmaster or the CPLO.

   11. If emergency situations or common sense dictate, act. However, inform the headmaster
       immediately if you fear an action could be/have been misinterpreted.

                        York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                              Page 6 of 7
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
This policy applies to EYFS.

Reporting to the Secretary of State
Please note that is a requirement that the school must report to the Secretary of State, via the DfES,
the name and details of anyone about whom it has been deemed by the school is not suitable to
work with children, and whose services in that regard are terminated, whether they were employed,
contracted, a volunteer or a student, a teacher from an agency, resignation or any other
In recruiting staff to work at the school in any capacity the following will be observed:

All staff are/must be CRB checked with the appropriate level, normally an enhanced disclosure.

Written references will be sought, including the opinion of the referees as to whether the employee
is suitable for work with children.

The school requires training in child protection (updated every three years, next training January
2013) for the head and all staff, and indicates that temporary and voluntary staff who work with
children are to be made aware of the arrangements.

Any staff involved in recruitment must operate safe recruitment procedures and have attended a
safer recruitment course. Both the Headmaster and Bursar have recent training on Safer

Policy updated by P. MacDougall ~ 26/1/11

Approved by Governing Body ……………… 1/2/2011

Due for Review date ~ 26/1/2012 (by Mrs L Keating)

                       York House School Child Protection Policy ~ January 2011
                                             Page 7 of 7

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