Child Protection

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During the preparation of this Handbook advice and support was received from a
number of individuals and agencies notably David Settle, ACPC Development Worker,
Members of CAPE (Child Abuse and Protection in Education) and other members of
the Durham ACPC member agencies, especially those in the Education Department
and Social Services. The help and support of colleagues in schools – those involved
in the initial 30 schools survey, those who have been involved in commenting upon
the text of the Handbook and those working to produce the self-review practice guide
– their help is also gratefully acknowledged.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                M AY 2002





            A Disclosure.

            The Signs and Symptoms of Abuse.

            How to Make a Referral.

            When to Make a Referral.

            To Whom to Make a Referral.

            An Allegation Against a Member of Staff.

            The Next Steps

             -      supporting the child
             -      the strategy meeting
             -      feedback.


            Staff Structures and the Delegation of Responsibility.

            Procedures for Responding to Disclosures and Possible
             Evidence of Abuse.

            The Decision Making Process

             -      to refer or not to refer - Child Protection or Children in
             -      signs and symptoms of abuse
             -      keeping records
             -      monitoring children who may be abused
             -      the importance of good record keeping and monitoring -
                    building on past experience.

            The Referral Process

             -      making a referral - the process
             -      communications with parents/carers about a referral
             -      the strategy discussion.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                      M AY 2002

            The Initial Child Protection Conference

             -      the procedure
             -      the report to the Child Protection Conference.

            The Monitoring Meeting.

            The Key Worker.

            The Core Group.

            The Core Assessment.

            The Review Child Protection Conference.

            The Child Protection Register.


            Investing in Professional Partnerships.

            Dene House Comprehensive School - A Model.

            Coundon Primary School - A Model.


            Policy Development.

            Policy Dissemination.

            Policy into Practice

             -      the characteristics of good child protection practice in
             -      the characteristics of poor child protection practice in

            Policy Review.

            Self-Review in Child Protection.

            The Role of Governors.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                    M AY 2002


            The Physical Environment.
            The Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers

             -      safe recruitment procedures
             -      recruitment of supply staff and short notice
             -      teachers employed by staffing agencies
             -      student placements
             -      recruitment of volunteers and appropriate supervision
             -      occasional volunteers
             -      staff employed by contractors
             -      confidentiality.

            Professional Conduct

             -      private interviews
             -      physical contact or „touch‟
             -      physical contact involved in teaching elements of the
             -      children with special educational needs
             -      guidelines for good practice in intimate care
             -      physical control of pupils.

            Using the Curriculum to Protect Children.

            Approaches to Bullying or Peer Abuse.

            Approaches to Drug Misuse.

            The Listening School - Children, Families and Staff
             -      key factors
             -      children speaking and adults listening to disclosures

             *      children having difficulty in telling what is happening
             *      gender issues
             *      issues of ethnicity
             *      issues of disability
             *      adults listening to disclosures.

            The Welcoming School - Children, Families and Staff.

            The Supporting School
             -      what children may be feeling
             -      assessing the needs of an abused child and supporting
                    the child
             -      supporting staff.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                   M AY 2002


            The Nature of the Local Community

             -       understanding the nature of domestic violence in the
                     community and the impact on child abuse
             -       understanding the nature of mental health problems in
                     the community and the impact on child abuse
             -       understanding the nature of substance misuse in the
                     community and the impact on child abuse.


            Between Agencies.

            At Disclosure.

            With Parents.

            „Need to Know‟.

            Communication with School.

            A Child Protection File.

            About a Child‟s Sexual Activity.

            Governors.

            Child Protection Conference Reports.

            Volunteers.

            Domestic Violence.



            Basic Training for All Staff.

            Training for the Designated Teacher.


A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                  M AY 2002


1.    Focused Questions which may be asked when making a Referral.

2.    Confirmation of Referral Form.

3.    A Child Protection File - A Model - Cestria Primary School.

4.    Report for Initial Child Protection Conference - A Model.

5.    A Child Protection Plan - A Model.

6.    Report for Review Child Protection Conference - A Model.

7.    Self-Review Inventory - A Model.

8.    List of Those Requiring Police Clearance.

9.    Volunteers - Child Protection Declaration.

10.   Further Advice on Allegations Concerning Staff.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                          M AY 2002

In March, 1998, research was undertaken by David Settle, ACPC Development
Worker, into the Child Protection arrangements in 39 Durham schools. The remit for
the research was:

     to produce an accurate report of the needs of a range of schools regarding
      child abuse, child protection and child protection practice in County Durham

     to produce an outline specification of the guidance required in Durham schools
      to assist them:

      -      to protect the needs of children subject to abuse;
      -      to seek advice in an acceptable and appropriate way at times when they
             have unsubstantiated concerns; and
      -      to develop their practice to fulfil the requirements of the published Area
             Child Protection Committee procedures;

     to identify the need for other materials or proposed actions pertinent to the
      arrangements for effective child protection in Durham schools; and

     to produce an indication of the current position of the baseline of child
      protection practice in Durham schools.

The detailed findings of the survey can be found in the Review report (available from
Pupil Services, Education Department). In brief, it is noted that there is a consistent
desire on the part of those responsible for Child Protection in Durham schools to fulfil
their responsibilities in order to protect children from abuse and significant harm.
There is a consistently expressed view of the importance of listening to children
actively and with sensitivity, and that schools should develop an ethos where it is safe
for children and young people to speak out about issues which are sensitive, which
hurt them or cause concern.

The survey revealed that schools, especially nursery and primary schools, wish to
develop good working relationships with parents, and feel that in some cases the need
to work within procedures can jeopardise that relationship, which they perceive as a
trusting relationship that especially supports children in need or those subject to

The survey also revealed a range of experience in dealing with allegations of abuse
including physical and sexual abuse, mainly emanating from the home setting, but
also including instances of alleged abuse by staff. Many school staff recognise that
they are dealing constantly with children and young people in need, which presents a
wider challenge to their schools, and within the children in need group there is a
smaller group presenting with possible instances of abuse.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 -1-                                M AY 2002
Professional relationships are recognised as being vital to the process of supporting
children. In some cases these relationships were good, founded on an investment of
time and sound communication and mutual understanding of the roles each party
plays. In other cases, relationships lack trust and mutual respect and this is a cause
for concern.

The findings also demonstrated some variation on the school‟s identification of training
needs, and in the approach to record keeping and monitoring strategies.

The participation in Child Protection Conference and core group activities was
recognised as important whilst also recognising the time consuming nature of full
preparation for such meetings. The participation of other parties in such groups was
very varied and the findings were that all parties should demonstrate responsibility in
this field.

Whilst the ACPC procedures were found to be clear and readily accessible by Head
Teachers and Designated Teachers, the view of those interviewed was that they
would welcome clear and practical guidance to help them deal effectively with Child
Protection matters.

This Handbook is an attempt to give that clear and practical guidance. The
specification generated by the research has been broadly followed, as a response to
the needs generated by the findings.

Within the Handbook there are two sections - the first, a “Quick Reference Guide”
which gives direct information about making a referral and which makes reference to
the location of more detailed information available in the main text. The second, fuller
section, not only expands upon procedures but also encompasses guidance on
developing a „Child Protecting School‟ including a model for reviewing a school‟s

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 -2-                                M AY 2002
                               THE ROLE OF THE LEA
The LEA has a responsibility to promote good practice both in terms of protecting
children and securing good outcomes for children. In this connection the LEA is a
contributing member of the Durham Area Child Protection Committee and has agreed
to work within the procedures produced by the ACPC. This means that schools and
other education services have a duty to adhere to and follow the procedures.

The LEA promotes the latest guidance from the DfEE (Circular 10/95) and significant
guidance on protection of children - Circular 9/93 - the Protection of Children:
Disclosure of Criminal Background of Those with Access to Children and Circular
11/95 - Misconduct of Teachers and Workers with Children and Young Persons.

From Circular 10/95 the LEA:

     has a senior officer with responsibility for Child Protection within the LEA;
     provides training (Child Protection) for schools and other educational services;
     ensures that there is a Designated Teacher in all LEA schools aware of the
      responsibilities of that role;
     liaises with other agencies in matters relating to Child Protection;
     accepts that the role of school, and other LEA staff is to identify and inform, and
      not to investigate - the investigating agencies being Social Services and the
     receives copies of all referrals made by schools.

The LEA has drawn up the LEA Child Protection Policy and offers guidance and
support for staff and schools through the Pupil Services Unit at County Hall.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 -3-                                 M AY 2002
                              THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE

                         AND MAKING REFERRALS

This section is designed to help staff focus their responses and direct the appropriate
action in the event of the need to make a referral.

Remember:       Advice is available from the Pupil Services Child Protection Team
                (0191-3833277/3302/4450) or the Team Manager (Children and
                Families) of the local Social Services Office (see Page 108).

The Decision to Make a Referral

This will follow concerns raised by adults, other children and/or the child.


Important points on receiving disclosures:

      Listen carefully to what is said.
      Ask only open questions such as:

       How did that happen?
       What was happening at the time?
       Anything else you want to tell me?

       and only ask questions to the point at which it is apparent that abuse has
       occurred or to clarify points, however, do not stop the person from continuing to
       speak if he/she wishes to do so.

      Do not ask any questions which may be considered as suggesting what might
       have happened, or who has perpetrated the abuse.

      Do not force the child/person to repeat what he/she has said in front of another

      Do not promise to keep the information secret; breaking a child‟s confidence
       would be inappropriate, therefore, it is better to say that you might have to tell
       someone if what is said is very important.

      Note briefly the details using the child‟s words where possible. Date and time
       and sign your record.

      Further guidance on listening to disclosures appears on Page 22 of this guide.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  -4-                                M AY 2002
Child abuse concerns should be referred immediately to the designated teacher or
Head Teacher. However, should neither be available, the school‟s procedures should
allow for an individual member of staff to make a referral. The referral should not be
delayed because, for example, the designated teacher is out of school.


ACPC Procedures in Section 4.2 detail the signs and symptoms of abuse, and these
should be referred to as a guide to the decision making process. For convenience
they are reproduced below.

It should be remembered that, especially in cases of sexual abuse, there may be no
outward signs or symptoms, and in fact the child may appear totally normal in the safe
environment offered by the school.

Remember that it is not a school‟s responsibility to decide whether the abuse is
physical, emotional, sexual or neglect. The fact that abuse has taken place or that
there is the suspicion of abuse should cause a referral to be made.

Further guidance on signs and symptoms can also be found at Page 26 of this

Common Characteristics of Abuse Situations

Certain characteristics have been frequently noted in child abuse situations and
whereas child abuse can occur in any situation, a high concentration of these should
raise awareness regarding possible risk. These include:

     parental history of deprivation/abuse/rejection;
     history of unstable and damaging adult relationships;
     history of drug, alcohol or substance abuse;
     history of mental illness;
     violence, in or out of the home, including self-harm;
     socially isolated;
     previous concerns about the care of this, or any other, child;
     bonding impeded;
     expectation that the child will meet parents‟ needs;
     perception of the child as „difficult‟, or blaming the child;
     jealousy and rivalry in relation to the child;
     unusual possessiveness towards a child, evidence of a „special‟ relationship;
     not allowing the child to mix normally with peers;
     delay in seeking treatment for child;
     conflicting explanations or no explanations for injuries;
     inappropriate response to a child‟s condition;
     resistance to professional intervention by way of overt hostility or passive lack
      of co-operation;
     lies and deceit in dealings with professionals;
     blocking access to the child;
     reluctance of child to undress in certain situations (e.g. school P.E.).

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                -5-                                M AY 2002
Some Possible Signs of Physical Abuse

(a)   Physical

            Any bruising on a baby.
            Fractures on a baby.
            Bruises and scratches to face and head.
            Two black eyes at once.
            Torn upper lip frenulum.
            Fingertip bruising on front and back of chest (gripping)
            Finger or hand marks on any part of the body.
            Bite marks or pinch marks on any part of the body.
            Ligature marks on either neck, arms or legs.
            Cigarette burns.
            Linear or shaped burns or bruises (e.g. iron/radiator).
            „Non-cascade‟ scalds.
            Head injury. May be no outward sign of injury.
            Poisoning.
            Untreated injuries.
            Bald patches.
            Frozen watchfulness.

(b)   Emotional

            Fearful.
            Withdrawn.

(c)   Behavioural

            Withdrawal from physical contact.
            Flinching at sudden movements.
            Fear of returning home.
            Fear of medical help.
            Chronic running away.
            Aggressive behaviour.

(d)   Indirect

            Delay in seeking advice/treatment.
            Lack of adequate explanation for injuries.
            Injuries of different ages.
            Lack of concern by parent/carer.
            Arms/legs covered in hot weather.
            Admission of punishment which appears excessive.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 -6-                         M AY 2002
Some Possible Signs of Neglect and Failure to Thrive

(a)   Physical

            Unkempt appearance, poor personal hygiene.
            Poor skin condition.
            Drop through growth/weight percentiles.
            Small stature (where not familial).
            Repeated accidents.
            Accidental self-poisoning.
            Pot belly.
            Dry sparse hair.
            Severe nappy rash.
            Swelling of hands.
            Extremities - pink, mottled, cold.
            Emaciation.

(b)   Emotional

            Low self-esteem.
            Withdrawn or attention seeking.

(c)   Behavioural

            Frequent lateness/non-attendance at school.
            Destructive tendencies.
            Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb-sucking).
            Chronic running away.
            Compulsive stealing.
            Scavenging of food and clothes.
            Always hungry.

(d)   Indirect

            Constant tiredness.
            Untreated medical problems.
            No social relationships.

Some Possible Signs of Emotional or Psychological Abuse and Emotional

(a)   Physical

            Physical, mental or emotional development delay.
            Mental or emotional disturbance.
            Speech disorder.
            Enuresis/Encopresis (bedwetting/soiling).

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                -7-                                  M AY 2002
(b)   Emotional

            Fear of new situations.
            Inappropriate emotional responses to stressful situations.
            Fear of parents being contacted.

(c)   Behavioural

            Over reaction to mistakes.
            Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair twisting, thumb-sucking).
            Fear of parents being contacted.
            Extremes of passivity or aggression.
            Compulsive stealing.
            Scavenging food or clothes.
            Chronic running away.

(d)   Indirect

            Admission of punishment which seems excessive.
            Self-mutilation.
            Drug or solvent abuse.

Some Possible Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

(a)   Physical (there are no physical signs in the majority of cases)

            Disclosure - always treat what the child says seriously.
            Soreness or bleeding or injury to genital or anal region.
            Vaginal discharge - vaginal warts.
            Enuresis (bedwetting), particularly when previously dry.
            Encopresis (soiling).
            Sexually transmitted disease.
            Persistent headache and/or abdominal pain without obvious cause.

(b)   Emotional

            Depressed.
            Anxious.
            Gender identity difficulties.

(c)   Behavioural

            Withdrawn and unhappy or insecure and „clingy‟.
            Promiscuous.
            Affection seeking.
            Poor academic performance - truancy.
            Sleep disturbances - nightmares.
            Sexualised play.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  -8-                                M AY 2002
             Inappropriate/explicit sexual knowledge/behaviour for age.
             Inappropriate masturbation - exposing themselves.
             Running away.
             Obsessive washing.
             Fear of a particular person/place.
             Cry hysterically when nappy changed or undressed.
             Say of themselves that they are bad or wicked.
             Poor concentration.

(d)    Indirect
             Pregnancy.
             Anorexia.
             Attempted suicide/self-mutilation.
             Alcohol/drug/solvent or other substance abuse.
             Criminal offences.
             Prostitution.
             Unexplained large sums of money/gifts.
             Produce drawings of sex organs.


A referral should be made the same working day as a disclosure is made and should
be made as early as possible in the day to allow further checks to be made.

A direct referral should be made from the school to the Social Services Office in the
area where the child or children in question reside. Advice can be sought from Pupil
Services - Child Protection Team if necessary.

Start your referral by stating that you wish to make a Child Protection referral.

It is important to have appropriate information to hand when making a referral:
      child‟s full name;
      date of birth;
      home address and telephone number;
      parents/carers name;
      child‟s G.P. (if possible);
      details of the reason for the referral
       -      the context and time
       -      the sequence of events/concerns
       -      the child‟s actual words, if possible
       -      any previous concerns leading up to this referral (if appropriate);
      your name;
      position;
      school name and address;
      school telephone number.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  -9-                                    M AY 2002
It is also important that you take the name of the person to whom you made the
referral, at which office and note the date and time of the referral.

Focused questions which may be asked as you make the referral appear on Page
117-9. These questions are likely to be used in referrals for both Child Protection and
Children in Need, though you may not be able to respond to all of them.

If you have initially contacted Social Services for advice (usually via the Team
Manager or a Social Worker experienced in Child Protection) you may be asked to re-
dial to make the referral through the appropriate channel, via the Assessment and
Information Team. Be prepared to re-tell the details and the reasons again.

Once you have completed giving your information you should be asked to listen to
what the person taking the referral has noted. This gives you the opportunity to clarify
any points.

Clarify with Social Services what, if any, contact will need to be made to the parents
by the school. General advice is that the school should not contact parents unless
and until advised to do so by Social Services (except where a child may need hospital
treatment). (See Page 37 of this Handbook.) If a child needs to go to hospital it is
important that you relate your Child Protection concerns to the hospital. This should
ensure that an appropriate paediatrician sees the child.

Send confirmation in writing of the referral - by fax, if possible - to Social Services
Office using the form on Page 121, with a copy to the Child Protection Team, Pupil
Services Unit, Education Department, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UJ.

Keep all rough notes and sign with date and time, together with a copy of the written
confirmation of the referral in the child‟s Child Protection File. Where there is more
than one child involved, ensure a copy is located in each child‟s Child Protection File.
(For further advice on records and Child Protection Files see Page 31 and 123-6.)


A referral should be made as soon as possible after concerns have been raised, but in
any case the same working day. It is helpful if referrals can be made as early as
possible in the day, since this allows Social Services to make their initial checks with
other agencies that working day, prior to any strategy meeting which may be called.

If the referral has to be made after the appropriate Social Services Office is closed,
use the out-of-hours number, or should the child be seriously at risk after hours ring
the Police, whose powers of seeking immediate safety for the child are greater.

The referral should be made by telephone in the first instance and followed up in
writing. If the Social Services telephone line is constantly busy, and you have a fax
machine, use it to inform the Duty Officer - Child Protection that you have a Child
Protection referral to make. Mark the fax „URGENT‟ - but continue to try to phone.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 10 -                              M AY 2002

Social Services

Referrals should be made to the Assessment and Information Teams at the following

             Town                Social Services                Social Services
                                Telephone Number                 Fax Number

Barnard Castle                     01833-690690                  01833-631167

Bishop Auckland                    01388-454800                  01388-454840

Chester-le-Street                  0191-3831010                  0191-3836217

Consett                            01207-290990                  01207-506740

Crook                              01388-763331                  01388-766281

Darlington                         01325-346200                  01325-346474

Durham                             0191-3831010                  0191-3836108

Newton Aycliffe                    01325-314466                  01325-301023

Peterlee                           0191-5186000                  0191-5864130

Seaham                             0191-5186000                  0191-5814875

Spennymoor                         01388-424200                  01388-424242

Stanley                            01207-290990                  01207-290374

                      Out-of-Hours Duty Team: 01740-657796

Addresses of each locality office and the name of the Team Manager appear in the
section „Knowing the Network‟ on Page 107 of this Handbook.


Although most referrals are made to Social Services, the Police can also be a route
for referral. A referral to the Police would most likely be made where children are at
risk, e.g. if going home to an abusive household at the end of a school day when
Social Services are unavailable. For phone numbers see Page 109.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 11 -                            M AY 2002

                        Pupil Services Child Protection Team

Jane Stout          -         Pupil Casework Officer          0191-3833277
Ken Flynn           -         Pupil Services Officer          0191-3834450
Graeme Plews        -         Operations Manger               0191-3833115

The Pupil Services Team offers advice and guidance on Child Protection matters, and
will, as needs arise, make referrals to Social Services. The Team also offers training
for schools, designated teachers and Head Teachers and other related education

(*More detailed advice appears on Page 147.)

The disclosure should be received as would any disclosure.

In the same way, the incident/allegation should not be investigated. This would
include not seeking witness statements from other children nor asking the member of
staff for his/her account of the incident, nor even informing him/her that an allegation
has been made.

The referral should be made to the Social Services locality office where the child

Suspension should be considered in line with the agreed disciplinary procedures, and,
except in serious cases, should await any recommendation as an outcome of the
strategy meeting. The reasons for suspension would be:

     where there are grounds for doubt as to the suitability of the employee to
      continue to work;
     where suspension is necessary to allow the conduct of the investigation to
      proceed unimpeded.

The latter is the most usual reason for suspension.

Advice may be sought initially from the LEA Child Protection Team - see above.


Supporting the Child

Making a disclosure can be an emotional experience for the child. The child therefore
should be re-assured that he/she has done the right thing to tell, and could be offered
the choice of returning to class or withdrawing from class for a space of time.
However, he/she should not be told, for example, that everything will be alright.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 12 -                            M AY 2002
The person to whom the child has disclosed could create for the child further
opportunities for discussion and re-assurance. This person may also need support
since receiving a disclosure can also be an emotional experience. However,
confidentiality must be retained (further advice on this see Page 103 of this

The Strategy Discussion

Following a referral there is likely to be a strategy discussion which decides the next
strategy. As the referrer, the member of school staff may be invited to attend.

The strategy meeting is attended by a member of the local Police Child Protection
Team, a Social Worker and is chaired by a Social Services Team Manager and should
take place within 2 working days of the referral, often the same day.

If the allegation is made against a member of staff it is usual for the Head Teacher
and a member of the LEA Child Protection Team to be invited.

Because of the possibility of disciplinary action or subsequent appeal, it is not
appropriate for the Chair or Vice-Chair to attend a strategy meeting involving a
member of the school staff.

The strategy meeting allows for all information about the allegation to be shared and a
decision is taken as to the next stage - to take no further action under the procedures
or to undertake a joint Police and Social Services investigation, including conducting
interviews or for a separate Police or Social Services investigation to be conducted,
for example.

Should a joint investigation be undertaken an additional strategy meeting may be
called to consider what further action should be taken in the light of the information

For further information about the strategy meeting refer to Section 6.2 of the ACPC
procedures and Page 37 of this Handbook.

After the strategy meeting school staff may become involved in:

     Initial Child Protection Conference (see Page 39).
     Core Group (see Page 42 and Core Assessment Page 43).
     Review Child Protection Conference (see Page 48).

All such procedures are multi-agency where contributions for all agencies are
considered and where all agencies contribute to the decisions.

Feedback from the Referral

Under the procedures the referrer should be given feedback from Social Services.
This helps the school support the child and allows evaluation of procedures. Should
feedback not be forthcoming, contact should be made to the Social Services Office to
whom the referral was made.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 13 -                             M AY 2002
The Importance of Following Procedures

It is vital that procedures are followed carefully by all agencies involved in Child
Protection. Issues will be raised with schools where procedures have not been

It is always possible to seek further advice from the LEA and from Social Services
Team Managers.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK              - 14 -                            M AY 2002

Staff Structures and the Delegation of Responsibility

       DfEE Circular 10/95 sets out clearly the Role of Education in Child Protection
and in particular makes reference to the need for each school to have a Designated
Teacher. Schools should also contribute to the prevention of abuse by following local
ACPC procedures, liaising with other agencies and undertaking training. It is useful if
the co-ordinating of such matters were via the Designated Teacher.

      All staff need to know who carries particular responsibility for child protection
matters in school, and what that responsibility involves.

       It is equally important that all staff know that every adult in a school carries a
degree of delegated responsibility for child protection, since a child or young person
may make a disclosure to anyone, and any member of staff may be witness to actions
which are indicative of abuse. All staff should therefore be appropriately trained in
receiving a disclosure, the signs and symptoms of abuse and the in-school
procedures to follow.

        The Designated Teacher should be a senior member of staff who demonstrates
empathy with children who might be subject to abuse, who has good listening skills
and who has the respect of other staff. The person should also accept the level of
integrity and confidentiality required of such a post.

        Whilst the Designated Teacher should co-ordinate all matters relating to Child
Protection in school, it is essential that the Head Teacher and other Senior Managers
are fully aware of the ACPC Procedures and what might constitute abuse. This will be
particularly relevant where there is a complaint/allegation made against a member of

       The outline responsibilities of the role of the Designated Teacher are given
below. The roles and responsibilities of other people involved in school appear in the
LEA Child Protection Policy and in the Draft Model Child Protection Policy for Schools
(available on the Intranet or from Pupil Services Unit).

Role of the Designated Teacher


     Being fully conversant with the Area Child Protection Committee child
      protection procedures.
     Enacting those procedures when cases of abuse are reported.
     Ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities in connection with child
      protection issues and child abuse cases, and that they remain alert to those
     Liaising with Social Services and other agencies in individual cases, and on
      general issues in connection with child protection.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 15 -                               M AY 2002
     Ensuring that all written procedures are readily available and are correctly
      followed in cases of actual and suspected abuse.
     Being responsible for ensuring that relevant staff training takes place including
      the induction of new staff and that he/she is trained appropriately for the role of
      designated teacher.
     Ensuring that the school is represented when appropriate at child protection
      conferences, and that those representing the school are aware of the
      procedures and requirements of the conference in terms of reports.
     Attending strategy meetings where appropriate.
     In conjunction with the Head Teacher, ensuring that those arrangements
      emanating from the child protection conference which relate to the school are
      carried out fully.
     Ensuring that information on individual cases is passed to people who „need to
      know‟, but that it is passed only to those people.
     Ensuring that appropriate records are kept securely.
     Working with the Head Teacher or other curriculum leaders on areas where
      there may be input on child protection into curriculum areas.
     Supporting any staff involved in reporting child abuse cases.
     Liaising with receiving schools on transfer to ensure necessary information and
      documentation is correctly exchanged.
     Liaising with the Head Teacher on monitoring and reviewing the policy.
     Sending copies of Child Protection referrals to LEA.


     Appropriate support from the Head Teacher and Governors and other staff in
      child protection issues.
     Appropriate regular training to enable him/her to be aware of current child
      protection issues.
     Access to support from other agencies e.g. Social Services and LEA, involved
      in child protection issues.
     A policy framework for management of and guidance of child protection issues
      in school.
     An understanding that all partners will carry out their role in line with ACPC

Procedures for Responding to Disclosures and Possible Evidence of Abuse

It is essential that all staff have clear guidance on what they should and should not do
if a child or young person makes a disclosure or if they observe something which
indicates the possibility of abuse. The following guidance should be made clear to all
staff, and the approach revisited regularly as part of training.


     Listen to the child. If you are shocked by what they tell you, try not to show it.
      Take what they say seriously. Children rarely lie about abuse and to be
      disbelieved adds to the traumatic nature of disclosing. Children may retract
      what they have said, if they meet with revulsion or disbelief.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 16 -                               M AY 2002
       Accept what the child says. Be careful not to burden them with guilt by asking
        „Why didn‟t you tell me before?‟


       Stay calm and re-assure the child that they have done the right thing in talking
        to you. It‟s essential to be honest with the child, so don‟t make promises you
        may not be able to keep, like „I‟ll stay with you‟ or „Everything will be all right

       Don‟t promise confidentiality: you have a duty to refer a child who is at risk. For
        example, you could say: „Some things are so important that I might have to tell
        them to someone else.‟ Be prepared that the child may say no more at this
        stage - but be alert for future attempts to disclose. Record this incident and
        pass to Designated Teacher.

       Try to alleviate any feelings of guilt that the child displays. For example, you
        could say: „You‟re not to blame‟ or „You‟re not alone, you‟re not the only one
        this sort of thing has happened to‟.

       Acknowledge how hard it must have been for the child to tell you what

       Empathise with the child - don‟t tell them what they should be feeling.


       React to the child only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not
        you need to refer this matter; but do not „interrogate‟ them for full details.

       Do not ask „leading‟ questions such as: „What did he do next?‟ (this assumes
        that he did!) or „Did he touch your private parts?‟ Such questions may
        invalidate your evidence (and the child‟s) in any later prosecution in court.
        Instead ask open questions like „Anything else to tell me?‟, „Yes?‟ or „And...?‟

       Do not criticise the perpetrator: the child may love him/her and reconciliation
        may be possible.

       Do not ask the child to repeat everything to another member of staff.

       Explain what you have to do next and to whom you have to talk.

       Inform the Designated Teacher for child protection.

       Try to see the matter through yourself and keep in contact with the child.

       Ensure that if a Social Services interview is to follow, the child has a „support
        person‟ present if they wish (possibly yourself).

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 17 -                               M AY 2002

     Make some very brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand and
      write them up as soon as possible.

     Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by a court.

     Record the date, time, place, any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the
      words used by the child. If the child uses their family‟s own private sexual
      words, record the actual words used, rather than translating them into „proper‟

     Draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising - use the outline

     Be objective in your recording: include statements and observable things,
      rather than your interpretations or assumptions.


     Make sure that you continue to support the child, providing time and a safe
      space throughout the process of investigation and afterwards.

     Get some support for yourself, without disclosing confidential information about
      the child to colleagues.    Receiving a disclosure can be an emotional

                                                         (After Anne Schonveld CEDC)

Good practice would suggest that whenever information is reported following an
observation or disclosure, checks should be run on the procedure adopted. Where
this is found to be correct the adult concerned should receive positive feedback.
Where it is found not to comply with their procedures, the adult concerned must have
their knowledge and understanding updated immediately.


To Refer or Not to Refer - Child Protection or Children in Need

Some cases of abuse are more clear-cut than others when it comes to making a
referral. A child‟s clear disclosure or significant bruising would leave no doubt;
however, where the case is less clear, there is a natural concern by staff to make sure
that they protect a child from possible abuse whilst at the same time not invoking the
considerable weight of the Child Protection procedures and the possible associated
waste of resources for unfounded allegations. Additionally, staff are fully aware of the
disruption and disturbance caused to families and to those against whom unfounded
allegations have been made. It is clear that referrals and registration under Child
Protection procedures should never be made with a view to securing much needed
resources for children in need.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 18 -                                M AY 2002
Recent guidance (Working Together to Safeguard Children (1999)) and the Social
Services revised procedures for „Children in Need‟ (January, 2000) help in effectively
distinguishing a child subject to abuse from a child in need.

However, the need for school staff to differentiate clearly between children in need
and child protection has been reduced since under the new procedures all children in
need and child protection referrals will be channelled through the Assessment and
Information Team in each Social Services locality office. Staff in this team assess the
problem on the basis of the information given by the referrer. It is, therefore, vital that
the information is as clear and accurate as possible, and that it is followed up in
writing (see Page 121 for confirmation of Referral Form). Designated teachers
referring a Child Protection case to Social Services should however state clearly that
he/she believes it to be a Child Protection referral, if that is the case.

This does not ease the difficulty of deciding the threshold of abuse, and the
appropriate time to refer. The following are offered as some key areas:

Recognition of Abuse

Abuse is a complex issue which may include aspects of physical symptoms,
behavioural characteristics and background factors. In trying to recognise abuse it
should be remembered that there will always be a multi-agency approach, and
individual teachers/Head Teachers should feel part of that multi-agency approach
rather than a sense of working alone. It is important to share concerns about the
welfare of a child with multi-agency colleagues, and to seek advice whenever there is
a child protection concern.

Information on Sources of Advice is available on Page 107 (Knowing the Network).

A Child’s Disclosure

A child‟s disclosure of abuse should always be taken seriously, and dealt with as
seriously as would a statement by an adult. Should it be discovered that a false
allegation has been made, this could be a sign of a disturbed family environment and
an indication that a child needs help.

A child‟s behaviour, relationships with adults and peers, general demeanour and
pattern of attendance can all be points to help in assessing the possibility of abuse. In
cases where there is sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond a child‟s years, the
possibility of sexual abuse cannot be ruled out.

Concerns Expressed by Adults, Other Than School Staff
Adults will often contact the school rather than any other agency to express concerns
about a child‟s welfare. These should always be taken seriously. It is not the school‟s
role to assess the veracity of such concerns. Offers of confidentiality or an
expectation that having handed the information to the school that that is as far as the
information will go, should not be given. There is a duty on education staff to pass
such information on.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 19 -                               M AY 2002
Similarly, neither confidentiality nor promises of “no further action” be offered to adults
who inform the school about abuse which they may have inflicted upon a child - e.g. to
explain a child‟s absence due to an injury.

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

The common characteristics of abuse situations are given in the Area Child Protection
Procedures at Section 4.2. It should be recognised that:

      abuse is not always the result of conscious, pre-meditated acts by the
       parent/carer or other adult, although it may be;
      individual signs are difficult to judge; clusters of signs may be more important
       than any one sign;
      signs and symptoms may also relate to more than one category;
      the school may only have part of the picture; other agencies may have other
       information which adds to an overall picture of abuse.

Abuse is categorised into four main areas:


In the section which follows additional advice is given to help in making the decision to
refer; however, it must be stressed that advice can always be sought from Social
Services or the Education Department.


Neglect can affect adversely a child‟s physical and emotional development. There are
occasions when neglect is associated with physical abuse, and in such cases the
consequences for the child can be tragic.

As far as possible it is important to make judgements against objective criteria such as
growth milestones and appropriate weight. However, since neglect is defined as “the
persistent or severe neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure,
including cold and starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care,
resulting in the significant impairment of the child‟s health or development, including
non-organic failure to thrive”, there will be many contributing factors.

Non-organic failure to thrive is applied to babies and children who fail to develop
appropriately or who drop away from growth centiles which have already been
achieved. Such lack of development can be due to parental inexperience in child
care, poor caring knowledge, an inability to understand or accept guidance, lack of
care or feelings of hostility towards the child.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 20 -                               M AY 2002
Neglect may be an added consequence of poverty as much as lack of care. Children
may have an inappropriate diet or may be left unsupervised in dangerous situations,
or indeed be supervising a dangerous situation are the obvious examples of links
between poverty or neglect. Similarly, some children who become carers may be in
need of protection.

Parents/carers neglecting their children also may fail to pay sufficient attention to a
child‟s medical concerns including immunisations. This could put a child at significant

However, the belief that the neglected child is always a „waif‟ should be countered by
the fact that some materially well-off and over-weight children, can also be neglected.

Physical Abuse

      Bruising:               Bruising is an inevitable part of life for an active child.
                              Children usually run and fall forwards, leaving bruises
                              on the front of the body - hands, knees, shins,
                              forehead. A fall downstairs may result in single or
                              multiple bruising.

                              Unprotected areas - the head, back and neck and limbs
                              are vulnerable to both accidental and inflicted bruising.
                              Bruising on children who are less mobile should always
                              be a cause for concern.

                              The most common areas of the body where children
                              are struck are:

                                     head, ears, cheeks, mouth, chest, upper arms,
                                     stomach, thighs and buttocks.

                              Bruising to the lips, gums, genital or rectal area, neck
                              or buttocks should arouse particular suspicion.

                              Finger mark bruising, bruising to the ears, grasp marks
                              and outline marks (e.g. caused by a belt or strap)
                              require considerable force.

      Black eyes:             Two black eyes are rarely accidental and in some
                              cases a single black eye can be a cause for concern.

                              Accidental black eyes are often accompanied by
                              bruises to other parts of the face e.g. the forehead or
                              the bridge of the nose.

      „Easy bruising‟:        Claims of easy bruising are seldom correct. Hospital
                              tests can be used to check if necessary.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 21 -                               M AY 2002
       Bites and               Bites and scratches are common in childhood,
       scratches:              including those from pets. Human bite marks are
                               usually a circle of two discontinuous, semi-circles,
                               corresponding to the upper and lower teeth. The
                               central area is not usually bruised, but may be swollen.
                               „Love bites‟ to a child may be signs of sexual abuse.

       Lesions and cuts:       A torn frenulum (the web of skin joining the upper gum
                               and upper lip) is usually the result of force, which may
                               require specialist investigation.

      A beating with an object may result in a series of marks.

       Burns and scalds:       Scalds and burns are common accidents in children.
                               Non-accidental burns are characterised by their regular
                               outlines and their location.
                               Immersion in scalding water to the level of the liquid
                               often produces a clear linear scald.
                               Scalds to the buttocks and groin are rarely accidental.
                               A child does not sit in scalding water without also
                               scalding his/her feet.
                               Accidental burns and scalds e.g. a child pulling a pan of
                               boiling water over himself should lead to questions
                               about the amount of supervision and protection of the
                               child and should raise the issue of neglect.
                               Cigarette burns - children can sustain very superficial
                               burns by accident if parents smoke. Deliberate burning
                               is characterised by a circular punched-out area of skin
       Frozen                  Whilst difficult to describe in words this outward sign
       watchfulness:           may suggest physical harm.
       Young people who        Self-harm includes a range of risk-taking behaviours:
       self-harm:              substance, alcohol and drug use, eating disorders,
                               compulsive sexual behaviour and deliberate self-harm.
                               This latter category includes self-injurious behaviours,
                               for example, self-mutilation, overdosing, self-poisoning,
                               which may result in injury or death.
Very often a range of behaviours go together. They may be linked with various forms
of social disadvantage or may be a short-term feature of adolescent development and
the level of risk-taking which is part of the process. Staff should try to differentiate
risk-taking activities and responses to fashion from those which suggest concerns for
emotional, mental and physical health. These are likely to require multi-disciplinary
assessment and follow up support. Some may require psychiatric referral, for
example, concern for Anorexia, Munchausen‟s Syndrome by proxy or the possibility of
Clinical Depression.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 22 -                              M AY 2002
Emotional Abuse

                              Emotional abuse can occur throughout the range of
                              social groupings. Children who appear depressed or
                              withdrawn, who have difficulty making and keeping
                              friends or appear passive and apathetic may be having
                              to deal with hostility or rejection.

                              Emotional neglect is the basic failure to respond to a
                              child‟s fears or worries. Emotional abuse is an active
                              form of harm involving the deliberate frightening,
                              bullying or scape-goating of a child.

                              Children who are given responsibilities beyond their
                              years, which preclude their own social activities, may
                              also be deemed to be suffering emotional abuse.

      Munchausen‟s            This is an unusual form of abuse which provides a way
      Syndrome by proxy       for a disturbed parent to gain attention. By inventing
      or Inflicted Illness    symptoms, repeated medical attention can be obtained.
      Syndrome                Additionally, parents may administer unnecessary
                              drugs to their children.

Sexual Abuse

                              Only a proportion of victims of sexual abuse will
                              present any forensic or medical evidence of abuse.
                              Children will most obviously show behavioural or
                              emotional symptoms - which could be interpreted as
                              symptoms of other abuse. Thus, particularly if there
                              have been sudden changes with no apparent
                              explanation, then the possibility of sexual abuse must
                              be considered.

                              Teenage pregnancy, especially where the girl refused
                              to identify the father or seems vague about her
                              pregnancy, may suggest abuse. Sexually transmitted
                              diseases are also a possible sign.

                              Bruising, lacerations, bites or scratches to the inner
                              thigh, breasts, genitals or anal region are all causes for
                              serious concern.

      Sexual abuse            Where bullying or harassment involves sexual assault,
      between children:       advice should be sought on whether or not child
                              protection procedures should be followed.

                              Some minor incidents may be part of normal
                              development, complaints or observations involving
                              fondling/touching of breasts/genitalia or of indecent
                              exposure should be referred.
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 23 -                              M AY 2002
A checklist is given below to help clarify thoughts on the sexual behaviour displayed.

Power differential - was there a difference in age, size, status, strength, intellect,
knowledge, mobility, level of sexual development?

With peer group - generally, is the young person a leader, how does the young
person control others around them in school?

The incident of concern.

Where did the behaviour occur?
(Publicly/secretively/always in the same place, particularly chosen because it lacked

Is this the first time this behaviour has been observed?

If observed previously, was the same child/children involved?

Is there any other information/rumour concerning this child/children/family?

Has any Child Protection referral been made concerning family/siblings?

       Is there any significant information about the family?
       (Domestic violence, video watching, changes in family composition, significant
       events involving changes in Carer, i.e. death/birth.)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 24 -                             M AY 2002
Who observed the behaviour/incident?

What was seen?

What was heard?

Any interventions made?

Reaction from children at the time.

If group behaviour observed, is one child the leader/instigator?

Who needs to know about this behaviour now?
(Parents/Carers/Social Services.)

Keeping Records

Schools are well practised at keeping records. It is important that systems should be
practical and that the reasons for keeping records and what should be recorded are

     Records are kept for a variety of reasons:

      -      to provide information upon which others may act;
      -      to provide evidence which may protect a child;
      -      to act in line with agreed procedures;
      -      to ensure the school can make informed decisions;
      -      to safeguard the person writing the record who may be a teacher, other
             school staff, other LEA staff in regular contact with the child and others.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 25 -                              M AY 2002
         Schools need to record when there are concerns about:

      -        marks on a child‟s body;
      -        unusual or different behaviour;
      -        mood changes;
      -        puzzling stories;
      -        a disclosure (which may have to be passed on as a referral);
      -        information from others;
      -        the welfare of the child.

      There may also be a request from another agency.

     Children subject to abuse over a period of time may demonstrate changes in
      behaviour, demeanour and approach to education. On children giving cause
      for concern, it would be appropriate for schools to record:

      -        patterns of attendance and related absences;
      -        changes in mood and behaviour;
      -        changes in approach to lessons and achievement;
      -        relationships with friends, other peers and adults;
      -        particular statements and demeanour;
      -        changes in home circumstances or family circumstances;
      -        injuries, marks past and present.

     Records used for monitoring purposes should be reviewed regularly, so that the
      frequency of information stored and patterns can be identified. Such records
      are useful additional information in cases which are referred for other reasons.

     To ensure accuracy and clarity it is advised that records should:

      -        be written within 24 hours of any incident or concern being noticed;
      -        be accurate and include a chronology of events;
      -        be factual;
      -        be descriptive stating the content;
      -        not make assumptions;
      -        be signed, dated and timed;
      -        be part of a process, not the task itself.

     Retention and transfer of records:

      -        pupil academic records should be passed on to the next school, and
               after that records should be kept indefinitely at the final school. Child
               Protection files should be kept with the child‟s academic file once the
               child has left school;
      -        informal teachers‟ notes, the content of which would appear as part of
               the report to Conference for Child Protection matters should be kept for
               some time to allow any questions regarding the accuracy of the
               Education report to have appropriate background evidence.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 26 -                             M AY 2002
        Where teachers have kept a diary-type record of a child it should be passed on
         to the Designated Teacher of the new school, in a reasonable form. This would
         enable the new school to use this previous information should the need arise.

        Informal notes made by teachers may be passed between schools, should they
         be considered of a serious nature.

        Child Protection files should only be passed from Designated Teacher to
         Designated Teacher, in confidence.

An example of good practice appears as Appendix 3 on Page 123. The Child
Protection file is chosen to be of one colour for all children recorded and that colour is
used only for Child Protection information. A similar format could be adopted for
recording concerns about a child for whom there has been no referral to Social
Services. A file should also contain any minutes of meetings relevant to the child and
copies of reports to Child Protection Conferences.

Monitoring Children Who May Be Abused

Occasions will arise whereby there are concerns about a child, which individually do
not constitute abuse, but collectively over a period of time, may do so. It is important
that these concerns are noted at the time giving details of:

                  Date of Birth/Class
                  Others Present

Signed .............................................. Dated ............................... Time .................

Such monitoring notes should be kept in a separate file for each child concerned and
then kept in a locked filing cabinet, separately from the child‟s other records. This file
would become the child‟s Child Protection File should the case go further.

It is, however, most important that the monitoring notes are reviewed regularly.
Writing a monitoring note is not an end in itself. Such notes should be used to collate
an overall picture of a child‟s situation which may or may not result in a referral being
made. Using the Children and Families Assessment Grid from the Children in Need
procedures may help in coming to a conclusion as to whether or not the monitoring
information is building to a picture of mild, moderate or serious concern. Should the
concerns appear serious it may be that „child abuse‟ as opposed to a „child in need‟
will be the outcome of the referral. The Assessment Grid refers to a series of
indicators; it is not a checklist in which each indication has to be obvious, similarly
there may be other indicators not noted.

A copy of the Grid is on Page 34. However, the Grid should be read in conjunction
with the full „Children in Need‟ procedures - available separately.

A résumé of the monitoring information should accompany the written confirmation of
any referral.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                              - 27 -                                        M AY 2002
Children in Need Assessment Grid

             Environmental                               Health                         Education                                Identity                       Family/Social                 Emotional/Behavioural

    Insufficient heating, facilities and   Child has serious illness,        Challenging behaviour in school         Confused about self and           Poor relationship with             Insecure
    furniture                              medical condition or disability                                           situation                         parents/carers
M                                                                            Poor Concentration
I   Overcrowded living and sleeping        Feeding problems/Diet poor                                                Lack of age appropriate social    Poor Peer Relationships            Inconsistent parenting/behaviour
    arrangements                                                             Poor Attendance (approximately          skills                                                               management
L                                          Preventative health measures      20% unauthorised attendance)                                              Unkempt/uncared for
D                                          not taken (e.g. immunisation,                                             Experiences of bullying
                                           dental checks, vision and         Parental support/interest lacking                                         Lack of family support networks
                                           hearing)                                                                  Not appropriately dressed for
                                                                             Numerous changes of school              weather or social situations
                                           Not registered with GP

    Subject to infestation                 Frequently attends GP/hospital/   Lack of stimulation/learning            Low self-esteem                   Inappropriate Peer                 Child involved in or at risk of
                                           frequent periods of               materials in home                                                         Relationships                      involvement in criminal activities
M   Home in poor repair                    illness/accidents                                                         Parents are highly critical and
O                                                                            At risk of permanent exclusion          show little affection             Inappropriate Social Behaviour     Self harming
    Lack of basic amenities                Missed appointments/not
D                                          receiving treatments              Non attendance (50% over 6                                                Infrequent contact or              Mental health difficulties
E   Hazards for young children                                               months period)                                                            acrimonious relationships with
                                           Services refused                                                                                            non-custodial parent               Challenging/inappropriate
R                                                                            Parents have no contact with                                                                                 behaviour (e.g. sexual)
A                                          Experimental substance misuse     child‟s school and condone                                                Socially isolated
                                           (young person)                    absence
T                                                                                                                                                      Domestic violence in home
E                                          Hidden pregnancy                  Learning difficulties not

    Serious neglect of primary             Failure to thrive                 Deprived of Stimulation/learning        Scapegoated/rejected by           Frequent changes of primary        Traumatised
    needs (food, safety, basic care)                                         opportunities                           parents                           carers
S                                          Global development delay                                                                                                                       Mental illness/suicidal/eating
E   Homeless                                                                 Global developmental delay              Constantly                        Dangerous/abusive                  disorder
                                           Special needs not met                                                     undermined/denigrated
R   Drug paraphernalia accessible                                            Permanently excluded from                                                 Young child left alone             Running away
I   to child                               Unexplained injury                school                                  Rejected by peers
                                                                                                                                                       Child shows no sign of             Child‟s behaviour beyond
O   Faeces and food left on surfaces       Malnourishment                    Parents hostile to Education            Damaged identity                  attachment to primary carer        parents/ carers control
U   and floors
                                           No ante-natal care                Parents encourage absence               Child embarrassed or ashamed      No long term stable relationship   Abusive/violent behaviour
S   Essential supplies disconnected                                                                                  to form relationships             with at least one adult            (verbal or physical)
                                           Pregnant Intravenous drug user    Significant underachievement in
    Problematic substance misuse                                             all areas at school                                                       Child has no peer relationships    Severe physical punishment
    (parent) in home or whilst caring      Previous death or permanent
    for child                              health impairment of a child of   100% non-attendance                                                                                          Child has inappropriate
                                           the family                                                                                                                                     responsibilities

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                 - 28 -                                                                                             M AY 2002
The Importance of Good Record Keeping and Monitoring - Building on Past

The value of clear detailed records in individual cases are essential elements of good
practice. However, such records are also useful in building up a body of knowledge
and experience which, if used to monitor and evaluate practice, can also be used to
make better judgements and inform future practice. Such evaluation should be
shared with senior management. It goes without saying that no school should find its
child protection (and children in need) practice reliant upon memory recall of long-
standing members of staff, or subject to the vagaries of staff turnover.

It would be very beneficial for comprehensive schools and feeder primary schools to
liaise over the incidence of child abuse and children in need. For example, if a
primary school has a high record of referrals for child protection and the
comprehensive has a very low record by comparison, questions might be raised about
the efficacy of the comprehensive school‟s awareness of child protection matters.

Written records are essential if professionals other than those there at the time are to
learn from past experience and inform their own judgements. This is particularly
relevant for newly appointed Head Teachers when they are faced with decisions
involving children and their families. Access to clear and accurate past records are
vital to helping towards making appropriate decisions.

On a different but similar note, it is helpful for incumbent Designated Teachers to hold
a file of contacts, report formats and additional information on good practice
accessible to an alternative Designated Teacher or indeed his/her successor.


Making a Referral - The Process

     A referral should be made as soon as possible but in any case the same
      working day, as the disclosure or the information received. To allow for initial
      checks to be made the earlier in the day the referral is made the better.

     Prior to making a referral, advice may be sought from the Education

      -      Jean McCalman/Jane Stout Pupil Casework Officer         0191-3833277
      -      Russell Lee, Principal Education Welfare Officer        0191-3833302
      -      Derek Sayer, Pupil Casework Officer                     0191-3834450

      or Social Services:

      -      the Team Manager, Child Protection in the relevant locality.

      But seeking advice should not delay making a referral within the appropriate
      time limit; neither should a referral not be made just because of a failure to
      meet the time limit.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 29 -                             M AY 2002
     The referral should be made by telephone to the relevant Social Services
      locality office. The referral will be received by a member of the Assessment
      and Information Team who will require basic information about the child, the
      referrer and the reason for the referral. The form on Page 121 sets out the
      details required when making a referral. Key phone numbers appear below.
      Focused questions which may be asked when making a referral appear on
      Page 117-9.

     Where there are concerns for the safety of the child going home and when the
      disclosure has been late in the afternoon a referral should be made to the
      Police, who have more immediate powers of safeguarding a child.

     Where a child has been monitored, information from that process should be
      given as part of the referral and a résumé sent with the confirmation of the

In giving the details of the reason for the referral it is important to have a correct
chronology of events with dates and times, what happened, wherever possible using
the child‟s words, and the context of the incident or the disclosure.

       Town             Social Services       Social Services           Police
                          Telephone                Fax

Barnard Castle           01833-690690           01833-631167        01833-637328
Bishop Auckland          01388-454800           01388-454840        01388-603566
Chester-le-Street        0191-3831010           0191-3836217        0191-3884311
Consett                  01207-290990           01207-506740        01207-504204
Crook                    01388-763331           01388-766281        01388-603566
Darlington               01325-346200           01325-346474        01325-467681
Durham                   0191-3831010           0191-3836108        0191-3864222
Newton Aycliffe          01325-314466           01325-301023        01325-314401
Peterlee                 0191-5186000           0191-5864130        0191-5862621
Seaham                   0191-5186000           0191-5814875        0191-5812255
Spennymoor               01388-424200           01388-424242        01388-814411
Stanley                  01207-290990           01207-290374        01207-232144

Out of hours Duty Team: 01740-657796

     The referral should be followed up in writing within 2 working days using the
      form on Page 121. A copy should be sent or faxed to the relevant Social
      Services locality office - the sooner the better.

      A second copy should be sent marked “Confidential” to:

      Child Protection,
      Pupil Services,
      Education Department,
      County Hall,
      DH1 5UJ.
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 30 -                            M AY 2002
      A third copy should be placed on the child‟s Child Protection File and kept
      locked, separate from the child‟s academic record. This information should not
      be disclosed to parents, others - staff may be informed but only on a „need to
      know‟ basis.

Communications with Parents/Carers about a Referral

     Staff and Head Teacher must not take it upon themselves automatically to
      contact parents, but should clarify this at referral.

     At the point of referral to Social Services, the Designated Teacher should
      arrange with the Duty Social Worker when to expect feedback. Once the
      Strategy meeting has taken place future action will become clearer, but it would
      be useful for the Social Worker to be aware of the school‟s needs regarding
      talking to parents, e.g. when the child is taken to school the following day, or
      collected at the end of school that day.

     Where children are taken to hospital by school staff parents will need to be

     Informing Social Services without informing parents/carers first can obviously
      create tensions especially if the school has previously had good/reasonable
      relations with a parent; it is therefore important that parents/carers are aware of
      the stance the school takes on Child Protection, and are knowledgeable about
      the school policy.

     Where a complaint of a Child Protection nature has been received at County
      Hall, the Head Teacher would normally be contacted before a referral is made
      by a member of the Education Department‟s Child Protection Team. This will
      allow the Head Teacher to be part of the decision‟s making process and help
      give greater context to the referral. However, where the Head Teacher/Deputy
      Head Teacher is unavailable then the referral cannot be delayed indefinitely
      and the Head Teacher would be informed after the referral had been made.

     The Strategy meeting should follow within two working days. The Head
      Teacher/Designated Teacher as referrer would normally be invited to attend the
      Strategy meeting at which a decision as to how to proceed will be determined
      (see below).

     The ACPC procedures state that the referrer should receive feedback as to the
      outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This is vital information to help schools
      deal further with an incident which may be “on hold” pending the investigation,
      or to evaluate the school‟s practice in child protection. Should feedback not be
      received, it is important to seek that information from the Social Worker
      involved or his/her Team Manager. Should there be difficulty in obtaining this
      information, contact should be made with the Education Department‟s Child
      Protection Team at County Hall named on Page 35.
     See Section 5 ACPC Procedures for further reference.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 31 -                               M AY 2002
The Strategy Discussion

     Full information about strategy discussions is given in Section 6.2 of the ACPC
      procedures and should be read in conjunction with this section.

     The strategy discussion looks at the available information and considers it from
      a Child Protection, criminal or disciplinary standpoint (in the case of an
      allegation against a member of staff). There may be a decision to take no
      further action by Police and Social Services at this point. This could mean that
      the allegation would then need to be considered from a school‟s disciplinary
      position if necessary, should the allegation be against a member of staff.

     Strategy discussions are usually chaired by the Team Manager - Child
      Protection. Also present will be a Social Worker from the Child Protection
      Team, a member of the Police Child Protection Team and the professional
      making the referral. In some cases other professionals who know the
      circumstances well may also be invited. Where an allegation is made against a
      member of staff, it is usual for a member of the LEA‟s Child Protection Team
      based in Pupil Services Unit (see Page 35) to be present.

     Because of the possibility of disciplinary action or subsequent appeal it is not
      appropriate for the Chair of Governors nor Vice-Chair to be present, where a
      strategy meeting is held to consider an allegation against a member of staff.

     The Strategy Discussion should consider the available information and make
      decisions about:

       (a)   whether child is at risk of significant harm and the need for immediate

      (b)    whether there will be an investigation under the procedures.

      Should the answer to either of the above points be affirmative then agreement
      must be reached on who will investigate.

      (c)    the need for medical examination;

      (d)    communication with parents/those with parental responsibility;

      (e)    the process of the investigation:

             -      the need to interview the child
             -      consent for interview
             -      interviewing witnesses
             -      interviewing the alleged abuser
             -      securing any other evidence
             -      parallel proceedings
             -      advice about legal rights
             -      possible need for expert or independent advice;

      (f)    roles and responsibilities of the investigating team;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 32 -                            M AY 2002
      (g)    timescales of intervention;

      (h)    need for child protection conference.

      It may not be possible to cover all of these areas at an initial strategy
      discussion, as more information may be required. A further meeting may be

     It is important for the professional attending the Strategy Discussion to take
      what information is available with them and to contribute to the discussion. Of
      course this does not mean that there should have been an investigation
      conducted by the school. But knowledge of the people involved, previous
      concerns, knowledge of the context of the incident/reason for the referral will
      always help in contributing to the appropriate decision.

     Where the allegation concerns a member of staff, the outcome of a Strategy
      Discussion may be the recommendation to suspend a member of staff, and
      unless there are serious concerns about the safety of children it is advisable to
      await the outcome of the Strategy meeting before suspending that member of
      staff. (More detailed advice regarding allegations made against members of
      staff and Head Teachers appears as Appendix 10 on Page 147).

     Consideration about suspension of staff would take into account:
      -      the seriousness of the allegations;
      -      the risk of harm to pupils;
      -      contamination of evidence;
      -      the welfare of the person concerned.
     Suspension of staff would be considered where:
      -      there are grounds for doubt as to the suitability of the employee to
             continue to work;
      -      where suspension may assist in the completion of investigation.
     At the end of the Strategy Discussion a record of the meeting and the way
      forward will be circulated and signed by each person attending (Form ACPC1).
      The record should be read and amendments made at that time before signing.
      Each member of the meeting receives a copy. This should be kept in the
      child‟s Child Protection file.

     If the person referring is unable to attend the meeting, he/she should be
      advised of the outcome of the Strategy discussion. This outcome should be
      recorded and placed in the child‟s Child Protection file.

     The outcome of the Strategy discussion may be an Initial Child Protection
      Conference, which would be held within 15 days of the referral being made and
      to which a school representative would be invited and a report required.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 33 -                             M AY 2002

The Procedure

     Child Protection Conferences are considered in Section 7 of the ACPC

     The purpose of the Initial Child Protection Conference is:

      „to bring together family members and professionals from the agencies which
      are concerned with child care and child protection, to share and evaluate the
      information gathered during the investigation, to make decisions about the
      levels of risk to the child(ren), to decide on the need for registration and to
      make plans for the further.‟

                                                                   (Working Together)

      Such a conference called within 15 working days of the referral is held where
      there is an indication that there may be outstanding child protection concerns
      which require a decision about further action under the child protection
      procedures. A report will be required prior to the meeting (Appendix 4 on Page
      127 gives an outline of an appropriate format and content).

     The Child Protection Conference should be seen as a very potent „tool‟ in
      safeguarding the future of the child. All agency representatives will feel jointly
      responsible for the outcome and it is therefore essential that the approach to
      attendance and written contributions are totally professional.         It is the
      responsibility of the Chair of the Conference to ensure that everyone is able to
      express their views fully.

     It is important that schools have, as part of their policy, decided who should
      represent the school at such conferences - class teacher, Head of Year, Head
      Teacher, Designated Teacher.

     The representative should:

      -      be knowledgeable about the child so that they can contribute fully to the
             discussion, and towards making decisions regarding the need for
             registration and determining a child protection plan;
      -      be able to commit the school to continue the work and resources
             involved in supporting the child, and monitoring the child‟s welfare;
      -      know the Child Protection procedures, especially procedures of the
             conference and the roles of the various partners; know what to expect
             and how best to contribute;
      -      understand the vital role which teachers are able to make, not only from
             their close knowledge of the child under discussion, but also from their
             wide experience of children generally;
      -      have the degree of responsibility to agreeing to participants further in
             safeguarding the child, and to the level of that participation (see Core
             Group Page 42);

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 34 -                              M AY 2002
      -       contribute to the risk assessment on the basis of specialist knowledge
              and/or past experience;
      -       have confidence in their role, and thus be able to state and hold the
              school‟s view with confidence;
      -       try not to become emotionally involved, and stick to the facts.

     The Child Protection Conference can be daunting for all staff, most especially
      for inexperienced staff. Tensions can include:

      -       pressures on time;
      -       cost/resource implications for the school;
      -       conflict of perspective between agencies;
      -       the attendance of parents/carers at the conference;
      -       the need to come to the „right‟ outcome for the child.

     Staff should be aware that parents/carers and sometimes children will be
      present throughout the Conference unless this is against the child‟s interest.
      However, this should not prevent or hamper staff giving a clear picture of “the
      child in school” being presented.

     The report should be prepared for the Conference and submitted to the Chair
      by the requested date. The report should be shared with the parents/carers at
      least two days prior to the Conference. If parents/carers do not take up the
      offer to meet to share the report, the Chairperson of the Conference should be
      informed. The parents/carers should not be given a copy of the report neither
      should the report be sent out to the parents/carers as an alternative to sharing
      it with them. Although there are sometimes worries about sharing reports in
      advance, it is believed to be a better approach than surprising parents/carers
      with the content during the Conference, when there will be many other people

     Where a report contains confidential information this matter should be brought
      to the attention of the Chairperson prior to the Conference and prior to the
      meeting with parents. Any information which satisfies the confidentiality
      criteria, should be presented as a separate addendum to the main body of the

     At the end of the Conference, reports and minutes are circulated according to
      the attached schedule.

                              At Conference             Take Away      Receive with
                                                     from Conference     Minutes
       Chair                                                              
       Social Worker                                                      
       Core Group
       Members                                                            
       Child (subject to
       age appropriateness)                               X                X

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 35 -                              M AY 2002
                               At Conference             Take Away       Receive with
                                                      from Conference      Minutes
       Parents (or their
       solicitors)                                         X                    X
       Foster Carers                                       X                    X
       County Solicitors                                                       
       Police                                              X           Only if requested
       Other Invitees                                      X                    

The Report to the Child Protection Conference

     Although Child Protection Conferences are frequently called at relatively short
      notice, it is vital that the report is a professional document which refers to:

      -         all aspects of a child‟s school life, with greater emphasis placed on the
                child‟s interaction with others, rather than subject by subject academic
      -         contains objective facts about incidents and evidence and does not
                reflect personal opinion;
      -         details of how the school has worked and might continue to work with
                the child and his/her family.

     An appropriate format is shown in Appendix 4 on page 127.

     Access to a circulation of reports (which are not as a confidential addendum) is
      strictly laid down by ACPC procedures in Section 7.15. There should be no
      circumstances when this ACPC procedure is not adhered to. It is vital to
      remember that the report from professionals remains as the confidential
      property of the agency of that professional.

The Monitoring Meeting (ACPC Procedures 7.19)

This is a meeting which must take place one month after the initial Child Protection
Conference. The meeting takes place between the Key Worker and Chair of the

Education input might be necessary if the school staff were part of the Core Group,
since the meeting effectively is to monitor whether the Protection Plan identified by the
Conference has been put into practice.

The Key Worker (ACPC Procedures 7.20)

The Key Worker, a Social Worker, who will have been identified at the Child
Protection Conference, has a role to co-ordinate the various agencies‟ contributions to
the Protection Plan, thus acting as a focal point for communication between agencies.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 36 -                              M AY 2002
The Core Group (ACPC Procedures 7.21)
The Core Group is central to the protection of children. It consists of a number of
professionals who should develop and carry out the work in respect of the Protection
Plan, and who should also jointly carry out the comprehensive assessment for a child
whose name has been placed on the Child Protection Register.
The membership of the Core Group is decided upon at the Initial Child Protection
Conference. The initial meeting of the Core Group should take place within one week
of the Conference to finalise the details of the Protection Plan and obtain written
agreement with parents. The Core Group then takes on responsibility for the
implementation of the Plan. The Group should meet at agreed intervals to share and
evaluate progress of the multi-agency work, and may also review membership of the
Group. An outline framework for a Child Protection Plan appears on page 131.
Because school staff are closely involved with children on a daily basis, they are
frequently involved in Core Group work. It is important, therefore, that procedures are
already in place, as part of the implementation of the school‟s policy, for monitoring
and supporting children, as well as appropriate means for identifying a child‟s needs.
Communication between the member of the Core Group should be open and clear
and individuals within the Core Group have specific responsibility to inform the Key
Worker of any changes of circumstances for the child which become known to them,
and to inform the Key Worker of any difficulties being experienced in carrying out the
responsibilities allocated.
The Core Group should be seen as a pro-active group able to work with the child
and/or family in helping to protect the child further. Its purpose is not merely to review
progress, although this is an important function.

The Core Assessment
A Core Assessment is carried out following the decision to put a child‟s name on the
Child Protection Register.
A consistent framework for making such an assessment is needed and an
Assessment Framework has been produced by the Department of Health (1999). The
framework is based on the need to gain a thorough understanding of:
      the development needs of children;
      the capacity of parents or caregivers to respond appropriately to those needs;
      the impact of wider family and environmental factors on parenting capacity and
       the child;
and has been represented in the form of a triangle or pyramid, with the child‟s welfare
at the centre. This is to emphasise that all assessment activity and subsequent
planning and provision of services must focus on ensuring that the child‟s welfare is
safeguarded and promoted.
The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families is a
comprehensive document. Reproduced below are the assessment framework
„triangle‟ and explanations of the child‟s Development Needs, Parenting Capacity and
Family and Environmental Factors. Fuller details of the process are available in the
full document.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 37 -                               M AY 2002
                                                         ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK

                                                             Health                                           Basic Care

                                                      Education                                                      Ensuring Safety

                                       Emotional &
                                                                                                                                     Emotional Warmth
                          Behavioural Development


                              Family &                                             CHILD
                   Social Relationships                                                                                                                    Guidance & Boundaries
                                                                               Safeguarding &
               Social Presentation

                 Selfcare Skills

                                                             Family‟s Social




                                                                                                                      Wider Family

                                                                                                                                          & Functioning
                                                                                                                                          Family History
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                              - 38 -                                                                                    M AY 2002
Family History and Functioning
Child‟s inheritance includes both genetic and psycho-social factors.
Family functioning is influenced by who is living in the household and how they are
related to the child; significant changes in family/household composition; history of
childhood experiences of parents; chronology of significant life events and their
meaning to family members; nature of family functioning, including sibling
relationships and its impact on the child; parental strengths and difficulties, including
those of an absent parent; the relationship between separated parents.

Wider Family
Who are considered to be members of the wider family by the child and the parents?
This includes related and non-related persons and absent wider family. What is their
role and importance to the child and parents and in precisely what way?

Does the accommodation have basic amenities and facilities appropriate to the age
and development of the child and other resident members? Includes the interior and
exterior of the accommodation and immediate surroundings. Basic amenities include
water, heating, sanitation, cooking facilities, sleeping arrangements and cleanliness,
hygiene and safety and their impact on the child‟s upbringing.

Who is working in the household, their pattern of work and any changes? What
impact does this have on the child? How is work or absence of work viewed by family
members? How does it affect their relationship with the child? Includes children‟s
experience of work and its impact on them.

Income available over a sustained period of time. Sufficiency of income to meet the
family‟s needs. The way resources available to the family are used. Are there
financial difficulties which affect the child?

Family‟s Social Integration
Exploration of the wider context of the local neighbourhood and community and its
impact on the child and parents. Includes the degree of the family‟s integration or
isolation, their peer groups, friendship and social networks and the importance
attached to them.

Community Resources
Describes all facilities and services in the neighbourhood, including universal services
of primary health care, day care and schools. Includes availability, accessibility and
standard of resources and impact on the family.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 39 -                              M AY 2002
Basic Care
Providing for the child‟s physical needs and appropriate medical and dental care.
Includes provision of food, liquid, warmth, shelter, clean and appropriate clothing and
adequate personal hygiene.
Ensuring Safety
Ensuring the child is adequately protected from harm or danger.
Includes protection from significant harm or danger and from contact with unsafe
adults/other children and from self-harm. Recognition of hazards and danger both in
the home and elsewhere.
Emotional Warmth
Ensuring the child‟s emotional needs are met and giving the child a sense of being
specially valued.
Includes ensuring the child‟s requirements for secure, stable and affectionate
relationships with significant adults, with appropriate sensitivity and responsiveness to
the child‟s needs. Appropriate physical contact, comfort and cuddling sufficient to
demonstrate warm regard, praise and encouragement.
Promoting child‟s learning and intellectual development through encouragement and
cognitive stimulation and promoting social opportunities.
Includes facilitating the child‟s cognitive development and potential through inter-
action, communication, talking and responding to the child‟s language and questions,
encouraging and joining the child‟s play and promoting educational opportunities.
Enabling the child to experience success and ensuring school attendance or
equivalent opportunity. Facilitating child to meet challenges of life.
Guidance and Boundaries
Enabling the child to regulate their own emotions and behaviour.
The key parental tasks are demonstrating and modelling appropriate behaviour and
control of emotions and inter-actions with others, and guidance which involves setting
boundaries, so that the child is able to develop an internal model of moral values and
conscience, and social behaviour appropriate for the society within which they will
grow up. The aim is to enable the child to grow into an autonomous adult, holding
their own values and able to demonstrate appropriate behaviour with others rather
than having to be dependent on rules outside themselves. This includes not over
protecting children from exploratory and learning experiences.
Includes social problem-solving, anger management, consideration for others and
effective discipline and shaping of behaviour.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 40 -                              M AY 2002
Includes growth and development as well as physical and mental well-being. Genetic
factors may also need to be considered. Involves receiving appropriate health care
when ill, an adequate and nutritious diet, exercise, immunisations where appropriate
and developmental checks, dental and optical care and, for older children, appropriate
advice and information on issues that have an impact on health, including sex
education and substance misuse.
Covers all areas of a child‟s cognitive development which begins from birth. Includes
opportunities for play and inter-action with other children; access to books; to acquire
a range of skills and interests; to experience success and achievement. Involves an
adult interested in educational activities, progress and achievements, who takes
account of the child‟s starting point and any special educational needs.
Emotional and Behavioural Development
Concerns the appropriateness of response demonstrated in feelings and actions by a
child, initially to parents and caregivers and, as the child grows older, to others beyond
the family. Includes nature and quality of early attachments, characteristics of
temperament, adaptation to change, response to stress and degree of appropriate
Concerns the child‟s growing sense of self as a separate and valued person. Includes
how a child views himself and his abilities, feelings of belonging and acceptance by
the family and wider society and strength of a positive sense of individuality.
Family and Social Relationships
Development of empathy and the capacity to place self in someone else‟s shoes.
Includes a stable and affectionate relationship with parents or care-givers, good
relationships with siblings, increasing importance of age appropriate friendships with
peers and other significant persons in the child‟s life and response of family to these
Social Presentation
Concerns child‟s growing understanding of the way in which appearance and
behaviour are perceived by the outside world and the impression being created.
Includes appropriateness of dress for age, gender, culture and religion, cleanliness
and personal hygiene and availability of advice from parents or caregivers about
presentation in different settings.
Self-Care Skills
Concerns the acquisition by a child of both practical and emotional competencies
required for increasing independence. Includes early practical skills of dressing and
feeding, opportunities to gain confidence and practical skills to undertake activities
away from the family and independent living skills as older children. Includes
encouragement to acquire social problem-solving approaches. Special attention
should be given to the impact of disability and other vulnerabilities on the development
of self-care skills.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 41 -                               M AY 2002
The Review Child Protection Conference

A review meeting should be held at least every six months. The meeting is held to
look at the working of the Child Protection Plan which was put in place to eliminate or
minimise the risk of child abuse and to ensure that the child‟s needs are being met.
The date for the meeting is usually set at the Initial Child Protection Conference.

School staff invited should produce a report which demonstrates how the child has
progressed in the period since the previous Conference. Information will be sought on
whether there are continuing concerns, what specific actions the school has
undertaken in supporting the child, and what the outcomes are.

School staff should also be willing to make suggestions/recommendations for future
At every Review Child Protection Conference consideration will be given as to
whether de-registration would be appropriate. The person attending the Conference
on behalf of the school would be expected to contribute constructively to the
discussions about that decision, and to contribute to the decision.
Criteria for De-registration are given in Section 8.8 of the ACPC procedures.
A suggested format for a report for a Review Child Protection Conference is given in
Appendix 6 on page 133.

The Child Protection Register (Section 8.2 of ACPC Procedures)

A child‟s name will only be placed on the Child Protection Register following the
decision of the Initial Child Protection Conference. The Conference will have been
satisfied that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, which requires
a Child Protection Plan.

One of the following requirements needs to be satisfied:

(a)    there must be one or more identifiable incidents which can be described as
       having adversely affected the child. These may be acts of commission or
       omission and can be either physical, sexual, emotional or neglectful. It is
       important to identify a specific occasion or occasions when the incident
       occurred. Professional judgement is that further incidents are likely; or
(b)    the professional involved believes that the child is likely to suffer significant
       harm, based on the findings of the investigation which has taken place, or on
       research evidence.

                                                          (DoH - Working Together 1991)

If possible, the Conference should establish a cause of harm or likelihood of harm -
Physical, Neglect, Emotional Abuse or Sexual Abuse. The child may be registered
under one or more categories.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 42 -                                M AY 2002
The purpose of the Register is:

(a)   to record all children in County Durham who are, or who have been, on the

(b)   to provide an accessible information resource;

(c)   to provide a range of management information against which some practice,
      performance and adherence to procedure, can be reviewed.

Schools should inform the key worker immediately should a child on the Child
Protection Register move from their school. Conversely if a child on the Child
Protection Register moves into a school, the school should inform the local Social
Services Child Protection Team.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 43 -                          M AY 2002
                              INTER-AGENCY WORKING

The good practice guidance which was generated as a result of the „Review of the
Child Protection Arrangements in 39 Durham Schools‟ and which is given on Page 61
encourages schools to share their perceptions of the difficulties they face with the
people whom they believe are the source of those difficulties. This should not be in a
spirit of criticism, but rather as a request to develop better ways of working.

The main features of good inter-agency co-operation are:

     establishing clear and agreed definitions of the functions and tasks of each
      agency and each worker, so that each knows their own role and recognises
      and understands the roles of the others;

     identifying individuals within agencies who are willing and able to make tackling
      child abuse a major commitment and to act as a representative for their agency
      and a link person with other agencies;

     ensuring that there are regular, well organised channels of communication
      between the different agencies, both on a case-by-case basis and more

     overcoming ignorance and prejudice about each other‟s training, functions and
      ways of working (for example, by setting up joint training schemes and regular
      inter-professional discussion groups);

     agreeing common goals and common terminology whilst respecting differences
      in values and specialist language;

     promoting opportunities for individuals to build up long-standing links with
      others in the different agencies, at all levels from grassroots workers to senior

     making sure that all professionals involved in child abuse work are fully
      informed about local arrangements for inter-professional co-operation, and are
      kept up-to-date with new developments.

It may be that ultimately joint guidance from the Education and Social Services
Departments should be available which would set out basic and consistent quality
standards for their inter-agency working practices.

Quality standards may be one way of improving inter-agency working. Investing in
Professional Partnerships will also improve working relationships.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 44 -                             M AY 2002
Investing in Professional Partnerships

It is only through face to face contact and solving problems together that individuals
from different backgrounds learn about each other‟s work and develop mutual regard
and recognition.

The benefits of good multi-agency working

     A coherent approach is developed.
     Differing viewpoints can produce a fairer evaluation of a situation.
     Working together can provide people with a supportive network.
     Inter-professional dialogue can provide checks and balances in situations
      where adults and children could become stereotyped as villains and victims.
     It meets the legal requirement of the Children Act 1989.

Barriers to effective co-operation

     Low morale can affect workers‟ motivation, energy and commitment to working
     As numbers of contacts increase, stress levels can rise.
     There may not be enough time to develop good working relationships.
     Workers have misunderstandings and misconceptions about the roles of
     There may be differences in status between agencies.
     Agencies may have different priorities and different philosophies underpinning
      their practice.
     They may have different management structures.
     There may not be enough resources (for training, for example).
     Professional defences may get in the way of the child always being the central
     Workers may lack confidence in their own role and their own position in society.

How to overcome the barriers

     Multi-agency training should take place regularly, be attended by
      representatives of all agencies and allow local networks to work together.
     Informal contacts should be fostered outside a time of crisis.
     All staff need to be aware that effective inter-agency working should not
      exclude the family.

Effectiveness will depend crucially upon the values, attitudes, decision-making
processes, organisational integration, professional co-ordination, social position,
economic strength and environmental adaptation of each group.

There are several examples within the County of good working practices which bring
people from various agencies together, however, all share the same ultimate aim, that
of protecting children from abuse and supporting those suffering from abuse, and
encouraging a network of professional guidance and support.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 45 -                             M AY 2002
Dene House Comprehensive School, Peterlee - A Model

Multi-agency meetings are held on a monthly basis. The school has links with the
PIEL/LAC project and multi-agency links were seen as important to co-ordinate
agency support.

Personnel involved:

      Deputy Head Teacher - Chair
      Social Services Representative
      Education Welfare Officer
      School Nurse
      Behaviour Support Teacher
      Educational Psychologist
      Police Representative
      PIEL Representative
      SEN Co-ordinator
      Year Co-ordinators for Each Year Group (5).

Pupils discussed (i.e. the agenda for the meeting):

Criteria for consideration are those pupils who:

-     are not responding to current intervention via staged procedures
-     are socially isolated
-     are uncared for
-     are truanting
-     are considered a „nomad‟ child
-     have previous exclusion(s)
-     are anxious/depressed
-     are under-achieving
-     are a danger to himself/herself and/or others
-     show behaviour problems
-     are involved in crime
-     have a medical concern
-     are abused
-     have problems at home.

The pattern for the meetings:

-     meetings are monthly (dates set one term ahead) and last for 2 hours
-     agenda is set by the Year Co-ordinators and SENCO - other agency
      representatives can notify concerns
-     referral sheets (see page 55) completed and act as agenda information
-     agenda circulated one week before meeting, to allow preparation
-     minutes identify agreed action, and by whom, and are circulated within one
      week of meeting to ensure agreed action followed up. (Copied to SENCO,
      pupil files.)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 46 -                       M AY 2002
Format of meeting:

-     Year Co-ordinators present background to a case
-     preparation from circulated agenda information allows appropriate discussion
-     Action Plan decided upon, especially those responsible for ensuring action
-     difficulties anticipated e.g. problematic home/school liaison and solutions


-     via follow-up discussions at successive meetings
-     termly overviews via Action/Outcome sheets via Year Co-ordinator (see page
-     termly audit of referrals by year group and by gender, undertaken by Deputy

Year 6/Year 7 Transfers:

-     during June the agenda concentrates on Year 6 transfer pupils. Primary Heads
      are aware of the criteria used. SENCO and Year Co-ordinator undertake visits
      to feeder schools to discuss individual pupils prior to the meeting.


-     individual pupils have needs considered
-     inter-agency action is planned and monitored
-     routines established for allowing individual difficulties to be addressed and
      resources appropriately directed.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK              - 47 -                            M AY 2002

Date of Birth:
Stage Procedure:
Family Information:

Reason for Referral:

Previous Strategies:

Known Medical History:

Behaviour and                 Number of Fixed Term Exclusions   ..........
                              Attendance (% attendance)         ..........

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 48 -                  M AY 2002
Additional Information:

Action Planning

Date         Action               Who   By When Outcomes

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK   - 49 -                 M AY 2002
                                                                                     Year 7

                         Dene House Comprehensive School

Pupils      Monitoring      Active      Other      Satisfactor    No     On-going   Conclude
                         Intervention                   y        Chang                 d
Pupil A                                                                   
Pupil B                                                                   
Pupil C                                                                   
Pupil D                                                                               
Pupil E                                                                  
Pupil F                                                                   

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                     - 50 -                              M AY 2002
Coundon Primary School - Multi-Agency Group - A Model

The group came together as a response to the school‟s perceived need to share
information on an informal basis, about families and children for whom there may be a
joint concern.

Constituent members:

     Education Welfare Officer.
     Social Services personnel.
     Police representative.
     School Nurse.
     Drugs Education Officer (Police).
     Health Visitor (occasional).
     Head Teacher/Designated Teacher - Child Protection.

The starting point for each meeting is the latest monthly print-out of 80% and less
attendance at school as this seemed to correlate with families causing concern.

Child Protection matters are discussed but no confidentiality is breached - information
and general advice given and shared is on an informal basis - no written agenda is
prepared and no minutes taken.

If an issue emerges which needs action, it is processed through formal channels, as
required by the ACPC.

The group generally meets half-termly and all have found the exchanges beneficial.

The working relationships build up have been particularly useful and personnel
changes could be seen to enhance this rather than detract from it.

To fulfil the requirements of Circular 10/95 and the responsibilities for multi-agency
working, all school staff need to be aware of the processes and management
arrangements needed to help to protect children from abuse. School staff also need
to come to an understanding that schools can offer children a great deal in terms of
preventative strategies, a secure environment and a caring ethos promoting respect
and understanding for each other and for themselves.

For a school to encompass all these aspects there needs to be a detailed Child
Protection Policy which promotes good practice in an child protecting school.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 51 -                             M AY 2002
                        AND GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE


Each school will have its own format for devising and disseminating policy and for
ensuring good practice and outcomes from that policy. In this respect the Child
Protection Policy is no different from other policies. However, the Child Protection
Policy must take account of the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) Procedures
and have regard to the LEA Child Protection Policy.

The school‟s Child Protection Policy, by its very nature, needs a multi-agency
approach and it would be good practice to ensure, through consultation and
contribution, that representatives of the various agencies within a school‟s locality are
given the opportunity to support and respond to the school‟s policy development,
dissemination and review.

The school‟s Child Protection Policy cannot nor should not stand alone, but should
form an integral part of a related set of policies and guidance on, for example:

     staff recruitment policy and induction arrangements
     health and safety
     anti-bullying
     behaviour and discipline
     physical control of pupils
     physical contact with pupils
     personal, social and health education
     spiritual, moral, social and cultural
     special educational needs
     sex education
     drugs education
     pastoral care policy.

Within each policy there should be reference made to the implications of that policy
for, and its implementation on, good child protection practice. Similarly, a school‟s
Child Protection Policy should acknowledge the role which the implementation of
those policies may have in helping to protect children and helping children to protect

As part of the LEA support for schools in Child Protection matters a Draft Model Child
Protection Policy for Schools can be found on the Intranet or from Pupil Services Unit.
In creating this draft policy guide advice was sought from other agencies - Social
Services in particular.

A policy statement summarising the main aims and objectives of the Child Protection
Policy should be created alongside the full policy, and the policy statement made
readily available to others, for whom the full policy may be too detailed.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 52 -                              M AY 2002

     All members of staff teaching and non-teaching, should have a copy of the full
      policy. The policy statement should form part of the Staff Handbook.

     All newly appointed staff, teaching and non-teaching should have their attention
      drawn to the Child Protection Policy in their Handbook, and its content and
      implementation should form an integral part of their induction.

     All parents/carers should know about the Child Protection Policy and its
      importance for school staff and children. It is advisable that the dissemination
      of the Child Protection Policy Statement should be included as part of a wider
      briefing for parents/carers on the work of the school.

     All members of the inter-agency group within which a school operates should
      also receive a copy of the policy statement. The development and subsequent
      review of the policy statement should be part of that group‟s annual work

     All other adults who provide services for the pupils, or who come into contact
      with the children in school, should receive a copy of the policy statement and
      time should be taken to explain in detail the implications that the policy has for
      their work. This will affect youth workers, community workers, school nurses,
      school doctors, educational psychologists, members of the Inspection and
      Advisory Service, advisory and support staff and any adult, including
      parents/carers who may come to work in school, accompany school trips or
      residential visits in a voluntary capacity.

     The school brochure should contain a statement about the school‟s stance on
      Child Protection. Probably the most suitable location would be a section where
      Health and Safety matters are dealt with. A statement could be added in the
      context of:

      “We aim to keep our children in as safe as environment as possible. To this
      end we have a door entry system …… and appropriate supervision
      arrangements. We try to encourage our children to protect themselves by
      raising self-esteem and encouraging positive and assertive behaviour ……
      The school takes its responsibilities for Child Protection seriously and will work
      within the appropriate procedures and with other agencies in carrying out those


Within this Handbook advice is given on good child protection practice. Guidance on
effective management of the school‟s practice, as well as maximising the contribution
schools can make to multi-agency conferences and groups, should be given as
guidance to the implementation of a school‟s own policy.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 53 -                              M AY 2002
The information in this section is drawn from a number of schools which took part in
the research conducted by David Settle, ACPC Development Worker in March 1998.
No one school demonstrated all of these features, but a significant number had
developed many of them.             This represents a sound foundation on which
development and improvement for all schools could be based.

The Characteristics of Good Child Protection Practice in School

It should be noted that the order in which the points appear is not significant.

1.     The Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher demonstrates:

             a clear sense of awareness and understanding of the lives of children
              and young people in need;
             an acceptance of the unavoidable responsibility to respond to these
             a personal commitment to the human rights of the children and young
              people in their school; and
             clear, personal leadership.

2.     These schools work to provide a range of opportunities for pupils to talk to
       adults in confidence, and seek to demonstrate that they will be listened to
       actively. This may include such arrangements as:

             the designation of times and locations when named staff will be
             ready access to the school nurse or school counsellor;
             the use of circle time in tutorial settings or class groups; and
             the designation of student review tutors.

3.     These schools attempt to make parents/carers of pupils:

            feel welcome in school;
            feel sufficiently confident to speak to the Head Teacher or a member of
             staff about the concerns they have for their children or their families;
            know that they will not be judged;
            know that they will be listened to actively; and
            know they will be helped to cope if a possible solution lies within the
             scope of the school.

4.     There is a clear connection established between the day-to-day requirement to
       help children and young people whose home circumstances leave them under-
       nourished, unclean, unhealthy or generally neglected; and, the need for non-
       judgemental understanding and care on the one hand, and alertness and
       vigilance on the other.

5.     There is an understanding of the factors which can operate within families
       against the interest of children and young people, such as repeated exposure
       to a climate in which there is domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty or
       mental ill-health.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 54 -                                M AY 2002
6.    The staff have the knowledge and skills:

            to identify signs which may characterise physical,                sexual   or
             psychological abuse of children and young people;
            to be alert to these signs; and
            to be sufficiently self-confident to act on their observations.

7.    The staff know:

            to whom they should report their observations;
            that they will be listened to;
            that action will be taken; and
            that they will be kept informed of the outcomes.

8.    The Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher:

            is a good listener;
            knows the pupils and staff in their school very well;
            had the calm control not to over-react;
            has a systematic approach to the analysis of the presented facts;
            has established procedures for the collection of further information, if

9.    The Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher has well established
      professional relationships with a wide network of colleagues from across the
      whole spectrum of agencies involved in work with children and young people in
      need and those subject to abuse.

10.   There is regular and structured contact between the school and representatives
      from the other agencies. This may amount to monthly meetings, each time
      involving a social worker, an education welfare officer, the school nurse, a
      representative from the local Police, possibly an educational psychologist, the
      Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher and, in the case of secondary
      schools, other school staff, usually drawn from the year heads, form tutors and
      the Special Needs Co-ordinator.

11.   Multi-agency meetings take place, usually in school:

            they focus on specific cases of children and young people in need
             and/or alleged abuse;
            they concentrate on practical actions in response to the perceived needs
             of the children, young people and their families;
            they act as a forum for information exchange and lead to the further
             development of skills, knowledge and understanding;
            they generate levels of mutual trust and respect; and
            they enable sound judgement to underpin difficult decisions which can
             then be taken with added confidence.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 55 -                               M AY 2002
12.   The Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher:

            has ready access to informal advice from child protection officers within
             the local Social Services‟ office and from LEA child protection officers;
            can discuss with confidence a disclosure; and
            knows that action will not be taken without their prior knowledge, having
             been part of the decision-making process.

13.   Though the feeling of pressure to do the right thing is always present, there is a
      greater sense of clarity and understanding of the threshold between a child or
      young person in need and a child or young person subject to abuse and,
      therefore, greater confidence to refer or not to refer a matter of concern to the
      local Child Protection Office.

14.   There is a sense of realistic expectation about what can be delivered and what
      cannot be delivered by social workers; though this does not prevent frustration.

15.   There is a policy which:

            has been developed with the staff;
            is part of a wider set of related policies which might include such
             subjects as anti-bullying, behaviour management, physical contact with,
             and control of, pupils; and
            relates to the school‟s personal, social and health education curriculum
             and is in line with Curriculum 2000.

16.   The school policy:

            is published in the staff Handbook;
            is reviewed and updated annually; and
            is an integral part of the induction programme for staff new to the school,
             both teaching and non-teaching.

17.   Child protection is one of the recurring elements in the staff INSET programme.
      Within the programme:

            there is information for everyone at the level of basic awareness and
             ability to recognise possible signs of physical, sexual and psychological
            there is more in-depth training provided for staff designated with pastoral
             management and/or child protection responsibilities; and
            at times the training involves local Child Protection Officers from Social
             Sevices and/or local Police Officers from the Children and Family
             Service Branch.

18.   There is a clear and effective pastoral management structure which:

            takes account of the needs of all children in the school; and
            is geared to responding to the particular needs of those children, young
             people and families known to be experiencing greatest difficulties.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 56 -                              M AY 2002
19.   During a child abuse investigation involving a child in the school
      communications with staff are well managed. Information is given to all staff at
      the level of generalisation and they are requested to be alert to any child or
      young person showing unusual behaviour or distress. Staff who work directly
      with the child are given additional information in strict confidence on a „need to
      know‟ basis to enable them to support the child well to be alert continuously to
      their needs.

20.   The school has arrangements for communicating with all families about its
      policies and practice in response to children and young people in need and
      concerns or allegations about the abuse of young people.

21.   Parent/carers of pupils are told that the school will always put the interests of
      children and young people first in circumstances where there is real concern
      about significant neglect, significant harm or abuse or a likelihood of these
      circumstances developing.

      Included with this information for parents/carers is a clear statement that this
      may mean that the school will refer its concerns to the local Child Protection
      Team and the Police.

22.   In the case of residential schools the processes of recruitment and selection

           the school‟s approach to children and young people in need and those
            children known to require protection;
           the school‟s values, principles and beliefs with regard to the rights of
            children and young people away from home;
           the standards to which staff will be expected to work; and
           the contribution they will be expected to make to the maintenance and
            development of a safe, ordered, supportive and nurturing environment for
            children and young people.

23.   The school is part of a local cluster or network which understands the need for
      a concerted approach to the handling of sensitive matters, such as the work
      with children in need or children subject to abuse.

      Consideration is given to the use of joint initiatives so that developments which
      may raise questions of concern or be perceived as „threatening‟ by some
      parents are seen to be part of a coherent and planned undertaking by all

24.   The Head Teacher and/or the designated teacher keep good records which are
      well maintained, clearly designated, thoroughly protected and readily

25.   In these schools the transfer of pupil information as they move between
      schools involves personal contact between the Head Teachers and/or the
      designated teachers to ensure that appropriate and relevant confidential
      information is shared and understood by the receiving school.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 57 -                              M AY 2002
26.   Allegations against staff are treated with the same fairness and equality of
      justice, using the same processes as when dealing with any other form of
      disclosure or allegation of abuse.

27.   The Head Teachers and/or the designated teachers take seriously their
      preparations for case conferences and support their unavoidable and time-
      consuming involvement in core group activities.

The Characteristics of Poor Child Protection Practice in Schools

1.    In these schools there may be a tendency to believe that it has not happened
      here and, therefore, it will not happen here. This is not to imply that previous
      disclosures have been ignored or signs of possible abuse have been missed.
      The point is made in order to reinforce the need for all schools:

            to be alert to the changing circumstances in the lives of children and
             young people;
            to ensure that staff have the basic skills, knowledge and understanding
             to recognise a child subject to neglect, significant harm or abuse; and
            to emphasise that staff need the self-confidence to speak out if they
             observe signs of significant harm or abuse, or hear a child‟s disclosure,
             even if the circumstances in which the school is situated may lead to an
             assumption that all the children within it are safe from neglect, significant
             harm or abuse.

2.    In these schools there may be a tendency to believe that the systems are
      working well; everyone does know, understand and have the skills to act
      correctly in response to a disclosure; and that the children and young people do
      have the confidence to speak out, and do feel that they will be listened to. But
      these are actually assumptions because attempts have not been made to
      collect the evidence that these circumstances do actually exist.

3.    These schools do not have working arrangements with their local child
      protection officers which gives them the confidence to make referrals in the
      sure knowledge that they will manage the ensuing situation together.


The Child Protection Policy should be subject to annual review to assess:

     the effectiveness of their child protection arrangements;
     the extent to which it is aligned to the policy statement;
     the current validity of the policy statement.

In undertaking the review, which ideally should be as part of a school‟s general
arrangements for self-review, schools should be aware of:

     new legislation and Government guidance;
     the changing population of families in school and the social and economic
      circumstances in which they live their lives;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 58 -                               M AY 2002
     staff turnover and the need to ensure consistency of knowledge, skills and

Evidence in support of the school review process should be gathered from all
interested parties, especially those involved directly in the recent past.

The findings from the review should be used to further develop good practice and
amendments should be made to the school‟s published guidance.


Schools are encouraged to conduct self-review as part of the process of becoming a
“self-improving school” and the LEA is working with schools to develop that review
process. In terms of Child Protection, an inventory has been collated to help schools
review their practice in this important area.

The inventory will help schools identify strengths and weaknesses and thus will enable
a school to prioritise the areas for development and for staff training to be
incorporated into the school‟s Development Plan.

A possible self-review inventory for Child Protection will be found as Appendix 7 on
Pages 135-139.

As part of the self-review process the views of children play a vital role. When
considering Child Protection and a children‟s sense of safety and well-being in school,
their views are similarly vital. A methodology of listening to children has been piloted
within the County and details can be obtained from Pupil Services.


Governors are accountable for the employment of staff, for the priorities of the budget
and for the overall welfare of the children in school. Whilst individually these
responsibilities may have some impact on child protection, collectively they
demonstrate the importance of the Governors‟ role in helping to protect children by
ensuring the appointment of appropriate people, providing appropriate resources and
keeping children safe and giving them the skills to keep themselves safe.

Governors need to be aware of the significance of a school‟s role in child protection.
A high percentage of referrals are made by school staff, which results from the unique
position they hold in the lives of children in terms of daily contact, trust and regular
monitoring. Schools are also well placed to work with parents in supporting children
and caring for them.

There will be an awareness amongst Governors of the socio-economic setting of the
school. Whilst it is generally accepted that there will be more cases of physical abuse
and neglect in areas where poverty and deprivation predominate, there will be cases
of all types of abuse in all socio-economic settings. Staff working in schools where
there are significant number of children on the Child Protection Register or living in
abusive situations will find themselves under greater stress and pressure of even
more work as a result of the need to support children and work with other agencies.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 59 -                              M AY 2002
Nominated Governor

There has been a recommendation by the Council of Local Education Authorities
(CLEA) that there should be a nominated Governor with responsibility for child
protection. Because of the implications regarding possible allegations against
members of staff the nominated Governor should be the Chair or, in his/her absence,
the Vice-Chair.

The duties of the nominated Governor would be:

     to develop a working relationship with Head Teacher/Designated Teacher;
     to ensure that child protection policies and procedures are in place and are
      reviewed regularly;
     to ensure an annual item appears on the agenda of Governors‟ meetings which
      would cover the school‟s implementation of the policy, the place of child
      protection in the Curriculum and training needs and outcomes;
     to attend appropriate training;
     to liaise with the Head Teacher regarding allegations against members of staff
      and to oversee procedures in relation to any allegations against the Head
      Teacher, including possible attendance at strategy meetings.

Budgetary Considerations

Governors have responsibility for the overall management of the budget and working
with the Head Teacher to set its priorities.

In schools where there is a significant input from staff into multi-agency work, for
example attending case conferences and core groups, Governors may wish to
consider an allocation for supply cover to reduce stress in allowing teachers to attend
such meetings.

Within the training budget it is important that the designated teacher receives initial
training – currently Levels 2 and 3 of the LEA training – and that whole staff has
awareness raising training. Training should be reviewed regularly.

It may be that counselling skills in teachers would enable more children to feel secure
and supported and consideration should be given to encouraging training for such

Health and Safety

Governors also have overall responsibility for Health and Safety matters, and child
protection should be seen clearly as an issue for Health and Safety. The school‟s risk
assessment should demonstrate that child protection has been considered and
Governors may need to give thought to any budgetary considerations emanating from
the risk assessment.

The overall responsibility of Governors in ensuring that the school may become a
„child protecting‟ school emanates from the sense of promising safety which
Governors can help engender by working with the Head Teacher and staff to an
appropriate ethos of care and respect for individuals.
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 60 -                             M AY 2002
That ethos should emanate from a willingness to listen actively to children, to welcome
and work with parents and other professionals, to support children and adults and to
promote the overall safety of children and adults within and beyond the school‟s own

Governors, many of whom will be local to the school, can help towards informing the
actions of the school in child protection by making the school aware of the nature of
the school‟s context, and understanding the impact this context may have on the
implementation of the school‟s Child Protection policy.

Schools can and do make a difference in the way they relate to their pupils, parents
and the local community. The values which they uphold and practice can offer a great
deal towards the sense of security and well-being which is nurtured in children and
which is responded to by parents and others. However, that sense of security, whilst
not totally inviolable, can be further enhanced by undertaking actions which promote a
safe school from the aspects of personnel, the physical environment and preventative
work with children and adults.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 61 -                             M AY 2002
                                  THE SAFE SCHOOL
The safe school is a school which takes a preventative approach to all aspects of
possible harm. The physical aspects of preventing harm - associated with the site and
buildings - and the appointment of appropriate staff are two aspects; but there is much
which can be done to give children the skills to protect themselves and to deal with the
more insidious factors which might affect a child‟s sense of safety, the most prominent
amongst these are bullying and substance misuse.

Good child protection practice should therefore address all these issues.

The Safe School: The Physical Environment

Under the Health and Safety Legislation schools are responsible for conducting risk
assessments of the school site and premises. The principle of a risk assessment is:

      to reduce risk of harm;
      to identify areas of risk;
      to establish what can be done to reduce the level of risk through existing
      to assess the level of risk posed when existing controls are in place;
      to establish what, if anything, can be done further (which might involve
      to re-assess the level of risk should the proposed controls be put in place;
      to prioritise the action necessary.

                                        (See Guidance in LEA Health and Safety Policy)

The school should therefore conduct its risk assessment with a view to protecting
children from abuse, in particular:

      access to the site from unacceptable visitors and the strategies in place for
      areas where it is difficult for supervision or other abuse to take place and thus
       where bullying may take place;
      the vulnerability of particular children who may be at risk from abduction.

The school should also recognise areas within the school where staff become
vulnerable to allegation. For example, there may be dangers which may arise from
private interviews with individual children and young people.

The Safe School: Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers

The protection of children is the responsibility of all adults, and whilst the vast majority
of adults do not abuse children, those who do, select and plan opportunities to access

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 62 -                                M AY 2002
People who do not abuse children find it difficult to believe that they may be working
alongside a person who might abuse, and others may indeed believe that a child‟s
behaviour contributes to their being abused. Conversely, some adults cannot believe
that they may be accused of abuse, nor that children can misinterpret an adult‟s
action. Occasionally, false allegations of abuse are made.

Safe Recruitment Procedures

Governors have responsibility for the appointment of staff. All people having
significant access to children must be the subject of a Police check - thus teaching
staff, ancillary and support staff and school office and cleaning staff must be cleared
by Police check before taking up post. A complete list of those requiring Police
clearance is listed as Appendix 8 on Page 141.

A Police check is carried out by the LEA on behalf of the Governors. The nominated
person at County Hall is John Bowman, Finance and Staffing Manager, to whom all
queries in connection with Police checking should be addressed. Full details of the
procedures to be carried out can be obtained from the Finance and Staffing Manager.

Detailed DfEE guidance is given in:

       Circular 9/93 - The Protection of Children: Disclosure of Criminal Background
       of Those with Access to Children.
       Circular 11/95 - Misconduct of Teachers and Workers with Children and Young

It has to be realised that some people who abuse children do not have a Police
record; they may have been acquitted of a charge, or have never been accused or
found out. Vigilance is therefore required and a Code of Practice for staff having
suspicions about a colleague‟s practice should form part of the school‟s preventative

Recruitment of Supply Staff and Short Notice Appointments

It is essential that the protection of children is maintained as a priority even in difficult
circumstances. Current advice regarding the employment of short-term contract staff
is that where the appointment involved is a temporary one then, due to the urgency in
finding replacements to cover sickness and the like, it is accepted that there is a need
to be flexible in our approach. In order to overcome the unacceptable delays which
could arise in connection with the appointment of temporary replacements for staff it is
suggested that:

      Form EPC1 (Revised) should be completed and certified by the successful
       applicant and sent to John Bowman, Finance and Staffing Manager, via the
       school under confidential cover, marked “EPC1”;
      if the applicant has not been previously referred to John Bowman for a criminal
       record check and cleared within the previous 6 months then any appointment
       should be on a short-term basis only. It is essential that in such circumstances
       where the results of a check are awaited the temporary employee is supervised
       so far as is possible.
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 64 -                                M AY 2002
Head Teachers may contact Finance and Staffing Section to check whether or not a
person has been Police checked by this LEA.

Teachers Employed by Staffing Agencies

By agreement the LEA is undertaking criminal record checks on behalf of some supply
staff agencies.

However, it is important that Head Teachers wishing to use supply agencies should
confirm that all teachers placed with them are Police cleared and that all appropriate
checks relating to qualifications, health and barring have been carried out.

Student Placements

The LEA has agreed to arrange criminal record checks to be undertaken, on an
individual request basis, on behalf of placements arranged by Action Community
College, Bishop Auckland college, Darlington Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form Centre,
Darlington College of Technology, Derwentside College, East Durham and Houghall
Community College, New College Durham, Ushaw College and Durham University.

It is important that schools should ensure that the arrangements which pertain when
processing supply teacher placements are also applied to college/university students

Recruitment of Volunteers and Appropriate Supervision

Volunteers can have an important and beneficial role in supporting the work of
teachers, both in the formal situation in the classroom, in the informal situations of
raising funds and supporting events and those situations beyond the school day, in
supporting clubs and sports activities. Volunteers may also be involved, for example,
on administrative tasks, which would not normally bring them into direct contact with
children, although on school premises. These latter should be considered with the
same procedures as those for whom access to children is known.

It is important that steps are taken to ensure that no unsuitable volunteer has access
to children. It is well known that schools are recognised as attractive centres to those
who wish to abuse children in a systematic way.

A volunteer is recognised in DfEE guidance as a person who comes into school on a
regular weekly basis or is involved in overnight school visits.

Schools may wish to consider the access which less frequent, but regular, volunteers
have to children and the need to follow the guidance outlined below.

Many of the volunteers offering to help in school will be well known to the school staff
for example, parents or friends of staff. Others may not be well known and may
volunteer for a variety of reasons, for example, they may have skills to share, or be
thinking of teaching as a career. It is important that schools accept volunteers without
feeling under any obligation. The needs of the school should take priority over the

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 64 -                              M AY 2002
needs of the individual volunteer. What is essential is that all volunteers need to be
considered and scrutinised in the same way, whether they are known or unknown.
Volunteers should therefore be asked to provide information about themselves.

A minimum of information should contain:

     personal details - name, address, telephone number and relationship with any
      child in school or member of staff;
     details of qualifications and previous work with children;
     declarations of any:
      -      convictions of criminal offences including cautions
      -      investigation by Social Services for child protection or if children have
             ever been removed from their care;
     agreement to a Police check being carried out;
     proof of identity for those totally unknown to the school.

Schools may wish to interview volunteers to further assess their suitability for working
with children. A sample declaration and form appear as Appendix 9 on Page 143.

Schools should be very clear that the tasks are worthwhile, that the volunteer can
carry out the tasks and that he/she is a suitable person to have access to children.
Conversely, staff should not feel under any obligation to accept a volunteer into their

As general guidance it is recommended that:

     volunteers should not have unsupervised access to children, nor should they
      be in areas where they cannot be fully seen by the supervising teacher;
     the volunteer‟s role is to support staff in carrying out their duties;
     volunteers should not be given tasks beyond their capabilities and therefore
      where they may feel under pressure;
     volunteers should not be asked to undertake tasks which involves the intimate
      care of children, including accompanying children to the toilet;
     staff supervising volunteers should make themselves available to discuss
      difficulties, offer advice and further support;
     volunteers should not be placed in any position of sole responsibility, whether
      this is for children or premises/equipment;
     volunteers should not have the opportunity to feel that they are in charge and
      thus in a position of power, which may then be abused;
     volunteers should not have access to children‟s records, except for example
      where a child has a medical condition of which all adults working with him/her
      are aware. In which case parental agreement should be sought;
     volunteers should receive training for the tasks they are asked to do;
     the school should consider a time limit on the period of a volunteer‟s work with
      the school, enabling new volunteers to be brought in and also avoiding the
      monopoly (and therefore power) position of a particular volunteer. For long-
      term work an induction period might be considered;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 65 -                             M AY 2002
     volunteers should have a direct „line manager‟ to whom they can turn when
      needing advice, but also who can supervise and advise on practice;
     in larger schools particularly, school staff may not recognise genuine volunteers
      as opposed to an unauthorised person. A badge or visitor‟s pass would be
      recommended as part of a security system.

Where volunteers offer to coach sporting activities schools must be satisfied as to the
skills and competence of the volunteer to work in the sport. This may include current
qualifications through the recognised sport‟s governing body. The volunteers must
also demonstrate competence in working with and relating to children and adhere to
the school‟s Code of Practice in terms of gamesmanship and good practice.

If volunteers are to work effectively within a school they should be given the
appropriate information. They should therefore be made aware of:

     the school‟s behaviour policy including the system of rewards and sanctions
      (and whether they have a role within this);
     the school‟s child protection policy (including the name of the designated
     the school‟s health and safety policy.

Occasional Volunteers

Concerns are often expressed about the use of volunteers on an infrequent basis.
Such volunteers may, for example, offer to help with the class Christmas party or on a
class visit, but at no other time and therefore Police checking would be inappropriate.

Suggested good practice is that a letter, which goes out to parents to finalise
arrangements, names those people who have volunteered to accompany the visit, for
example. This practice may alert any parent with concerns to inform the Head

Staff Employed by Contractors (e.g. Catering, Cleaning, School Maintenance,

The LEA will conduct the necessary checks with contractors engaged by the LEA in
schools. This includes drivers and escorts on home-to-school transport.

Where contractors are engaged by schools, both existing or new staff employed by
the contractor need to be checked. Full details of the individuals‟ surnames,
forenames and dates of birth should be sent to John Bowman, Finance and Staffing
Manager. Head Teachers should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the details
given are accurate.


Absolute confidentiality must be maintained in respect of all information passed to
Head Teachers by successful applicants regarding their convictions. Such information
should not be divulged to anyone else, including other members of staff.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 66 -                             M AY 2002
The Safe School: Professional Conduct

Because of the vulnerability of teachers and others to misplaced allegations as a
consequence of their close professional relationships with children it would be
advisable for schools to have a written Code of Conduct to help individuals maintain
high and appropriate standards in terms of relationships with children and young

Private Interviews

There will be occasions when confidential interviews with individual children will need
to take place and in such cases:

     it is advisable that such interviews should take place in a room with visual
      access, or with the door open. Alternatively, a room or area which is likely to
      be frequented by others would be appropriate;
     if the above are not appropriate, another adult should know that an interview is
      underway, or should be present or nearby;
     the use of “Engaged” signs or lights is not advisable;
     schools should have very clear guidance for areas such a photographic
      darkrooms and other such areas to cover particular specific needs of the

Physical Contact or Touch

     Staff should be made aware that any physical contact with a child or young
      person may be misconstrued by the child, colleague or other observer. For
      example, placing a hand on the arm or shoulder of an angry child could lead to
      adverse reaction or repeatedly touching an individual child in a similar way may
      be interpreted as evidence of a more intimate contact or relationship.

     Staff should regularly re-appraise their teaching style and contact to ensure that
      they give no doubt about their intentions in the minds of pupils, colleagues and

     When a distressed child needs comfort and re-assurance, it is appropriate to
      give comfort for example by placing an arm around the shoulders; however,
      staff must use their discretion to ensure that what is normal and natural
      remains so, and does not become unnecessary and unjustified contact. It
      would be helpful to record such incidents and the action taken.

     When giving younger children or children with SEN encouragement or help
      such physical contact should be restricted to the minimum necessary to re-
      assure the child. For some children and young people with profound or multi-
      impairment, physical contact is sometimes the only approach which will
      stimulate any learning response.        However, staff should still retain
      professionalism in their approach.

     Schools should make themselves aware of the cultural difficulties presented by
      touch for some children and families in their community.
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 67 -                              M AY 2002
     Agreed procedures for the administration of medicines should be carefully
      followed and each administration should be logged, dated and signed by the
      person responsible. Similarly, any administration of first-aid should be logged
      with details of treatment undertaken.

     Children with special educational needs, especially those requiring complex or
      repeated physical handling should have a prescribed handling policy and staff
      dealing with them should have specific training (see section below).

     It is not appropriate for children to be physically searched, or asked to remove
      clothing in order to conduct a search for lost or stolen items.

     There should be a clear statement and understanding that corporal punishment
      is illegal, and that no child should be held or restrained as a form of

Physical Contact Involved in Teaching Elements of the Curriculum

Some areas of the curriculum may involve the teacher making physical contact with a
child in the course of their teaching.

Examples include:

     showing a pupil how to use a piece of apparatus or equipment in Technology;
     demonstrating an activity or exercise in games and P.E.

At all times staff should be aware of the limits of “appropriate contact” and the
possibility of such contact being misinterpreted by a pupil. Good practice might
suggest the member of staff asks the child if he/she would be happy to be held or

Some Sports Governing Bodies give technical advice on physical contact in coaching.

Assisting a child at a computer is an area which can be easily misinterpreted if, for
example, the member of staff leans over the child, thereby touching the child with
different parts of the body. Good practice would suggest that the child is asked to
stand up whilst the member of staff sits at the computer to demonstrate.

Children with Special Educational Needs

Children with special educational needs are particularly vulnerable to abuse,
especially to sexual abuse. The vulnerability is enhanced because disability is often
linked with attitudes that encourage devaluation, underprivileged status, rejection and

Thus within the social context children with disabilities may well be seen as
appropriate targets by those who wish to abuse children, as well as being at risk from
those lacking the knowledge that their practices are abusive. Such children have a

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 68 -                             M AY 2002
high dependency on adults, of which there may be many individuals associated
closely with each child. That dependency may be within the physical context which
means that children find themselves in more intimate situations with adults, and
because of this inhibitions on both sides may be reduced. In addition, children with
disabilities may become at risk of accidental and early sexualisation through
insensitive medical attention, which in turn may lead to inappropriate behaviour which
could be wrongly interpreted by adults. Furthermore, children with specific learning
disabilities may well suffer because their apparent immaturity does not match their
physical maturity.

Communication is of course a major issue for children with special educational needs.
Many children in mainstream schools have difficulty in disclosing abuse because they
do not have the language, or are unused to expressing emotions verbally. The
resultant behaviour difficulties may well be wrongly attributed. However, for a child
with disabilities the difficulties of communication are increased and the opportunities
for alternative approaches to encouraging communication are more restricted. The
difficulties are further exacerbated by a more limited understanding of what is
appropriate behaviour on behalf of the child, and a possible unwillingness on the part
of adults to accept that young people with disabilities need suitable sex education as
part of the overall personal and social development of the child.

It is important therefore that children with disabilities have good role models to follow
in all aspects of behaviour, that they come to know respect for them as individuals and
that some preventative approaches are given to them to use, rather than necessarily
always being in the domain of the adults.

A school which takes child protection seriously will also pay particular attention to
monitoring individual children. This should relate to the more obvious physical signs
of abuse as well as behaviour patterns and changes.

Good child protection strategies would also include giving clear guidance on such
areas as intimate care, and given below is an extract from the Guidance on Good
Practice and Intimate Care, produced by Chailey Heritage School (part of South
Downs Health).

“All of the children we work with have the right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect, as
set out in the Chailey Heritage Charter. These guidelines are designed to safeguard both children and
staff, and apply to every member of staff involved with the intimate care of children at Chailey Heritage.
They aim to support good practice in intimate care.

Children with disabilities can be very vulnerable. All staff involved with their intimate care need to be
sensitive to the child‟s individual needs. Staff also need to be aware that some adults may use intimate
care as an opportunity to abuse children, and to bear in mind that some care tasks or treatments could
be open to possible misinterpretation. False allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare, but certain
basic guidelines will safeguard both children and staff. Everyone is safer if expectations are clear and
approaches are consistent as far as possible. If you cannot work within these guidelines for any
reason, talk with your manager or another senior person.

1.      Treat every child with dignity and respect and ensure privacy appropriate to the child’s
        age and situation

        Privacy is an important issue. Much intimate care is carried out by one staff member alone with
        one child. This practice is actively supported unless the child prefers two people or the task

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                         - 69 -                                     M AY 2002
      requires two people. Having people working alone does in some ways increase the opportunity
      for possible abuse. However, this is balanced by the loss of privacy and lack of trust implied if
      two people have to be present - quite apart from the practical difficulties. So, staff are
      supported in carrying out the intimate care of children alone unless the task requires the
      presence of two people, or the child prefers two people.

2.    Involve the child as far as possible in their own intimate care

      Try to avoid doing things for a child that he/she can do alone and if a child is able to help,
      ensure they are given the chance to do so. Support the child in doing all that they can for
      themselves. If a child is fully dependent on you, talk with them about what you are doing and
      give them choices where possible.

3.    Be responsive to a child’s reactions

      Check your practice by asking the child, particularly a child you haven‟t previously cared for,
      e.g. “Is it OK to do it this way?”. “Can you wash there?” How does mummy do this?”. If a child
      expresses dislike of a certain person carrying out their intimate care, try and find out why.

4.    Make sure practice in intimate care is as consistent as possible

      Line managers have responsibility for ensuring their staff have a consistent approach. This
      doesn‟t mean that everyone has to do things in an identical fashion, but it is important that
      approaches aren‟t markedly different between different staff.

5.    Never do something unless you know how to do it

      If you are not sure how to do something, ASK. If you need to be shown more than once, ask
      again. Certain intimate care or treatment procedures, such as rectal examinations, must only
      be carried out by nursing or medical staff. Other procedures, such as giving rectal valium,
      suppositories or intermittent catheterisation must only be carried out by staff who have been
      formally trained and assessed as competent.

6.    If you are concerned, report it

      If during the intimate care of a child you accidentally hurt them, or the child seems unusually
      sore or tender in the genital area, or appears to be sexually aroused by your actions, or
      misunderstands or misinterprets something, or has a very emotional reaction without apparent
      cause; report any such incident as soon as possible to another person working with you and
      make a brief written note of it in the child‟s diary sheet, medical notes or school accident book.
      Some of these could be cause for concern about the child, or alternatively the child or another
      adult might possible misconstrue something you have done.

7.    Encourage the child to have a positive image of their own body

      Confident, assertive children who feel their body belongs to them are less vulnerable to sexual
      abuse. The approach you take to a child‟s intimate care can convey lots of messages to them
      about what their body is “worth”. This includes the basics like privacy and dignity. Also, your
      attitude to the child‟s intimate care is important. Keeping in mind the child‟s age, routine care
      should be enjoyable, relaxed and fun. Playing games with children, tickling and cuddling as
      part of a child‟s care is actively encouraged as long as the child‟s right to say no is respected.”

We must accept the fact that disabled children are more likely to be abused,
sometimes by the professionals around them, sometimes by their family, and the fact
that the abuse is less likely to be reported or investigated. However, children with
special needs are more likely to be protected if adults are alert to:

     the difficulties of communication;
     the increased vulnerability;
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                        - 70 -                                     M AY 2002
      the increased sexuality and the need for sex education;
      the need for preventative approaches for the child as well as for the adults

Physical Control of Pupils

Schools should have agreed a policy and guidance on the physical control of pupils,
following guidance in DfEE Circular 9/94 and the LEA Policy and Guidance on the
Physical Control of Pupils. Governors and staff should be clear about the need to
follow such guidance, whilst realising that this is a very complex issue.

In brief, the school‟s policy should outline the occasions when restraint may be used
and the boundaries the policy sets, i.e.

      to prevent a child committing an offence;
      to prevent a child injuring themselves or others;
      where there is the likelihood of serious damage to property;
      in cases of disruptive behaviour;
      to prevent a child absconding.

Physical control should only be used:

      rarely and exceptionally;
      as a last resort;
      where other action would likely fail;
      with the minimum amount of force required.

It is important that staff are aware that physical control should:

      be used only if the circumstances warrant it;
      be such that the degree of force is in proportion to the circumstances at its
       minimum level;
      not be used automatically;
      not be used as discipline;
      consider the pupil‟s age, sex, understanding and any disabilities.

The child needs to be:

      told what will happen;
      communicated with throughout the incident.

Staff should:

      consider the need for help before and during the incident;
      consider all other strategies first;
      have agreed procedures.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 71 -                         M AY 2002
Staff should not, for example:

     hold a pupil around the neck, by the collar or restrict breathing;
     slap, punch or kick;
     use any implement;
     throw any object;
     twist or force limbs against a joint;
     trip;
     hold or pull by the hair or ear;
     hold a pupil in a way which might be considered indecent.

De-escalation strategies should be used as a priority so that physical control is used
infrequently and as a final resort.

A copy of the LEA Policy and Guidance on the Physical Control of Pupils will be
available on the Intranet or from Pupil Services Unit.

The Safe School: Using the Curriculum to Protect Children

Schools and other educational establishments can help to protect children not only by
having alert staff and sound management systems, but also through the curriculum.
Young people can be given the information about what constitutes abuse, the skills
and attitudes needed to resist abuse, together with preparing young people for
adulthood and the responsibilities of parenthood.

A useful exercise in promoting the use of the curriculum would be to examine the
content, skills, knowledge and understanding of a particular curriculum area for
themes/activities which would help a child to protect themselves - be that, for
example, giving the child the necessary information about inappropriate actions of
others, the vocabulary to express their emotions, the rules for keeping safe and
information about people who can help them.

Areas to consider may include what the school offers to pupils in terms of how they:

     gain an understanding of human relationships and development through the life
     help promote good parenting through teaching about child development and
     build up self-esteem by experiencing a positive learning environment where
      they are encouraged and offered opportunities to succeed;
     learn to solve problems and deal with a range of challenging situations;
     develop in a supportive environment where everyone is valued and respected;
     are able to express emotions and feelings, and deal respectfully with the
      emotions and feelings of others.

The collected information could be collated to stress the importance of the school‟s
Child Protection Curriculum as part of the whole School Policy on Child Protection.

As an example, using the Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 72 -                            M AY 2002
The aim of the PSHE curriculum and Citizenship curriculum is to enable schools to:
     promote their pupils‟ personal and social development, including their health
      and well-being effectively;
     develop pupils‟ knowledge and understanding of their role and responsibilities
      as active citizens in a modern democracy; and
     equip them with the values, skills and knowledge to deal with the difficult moral
      and social questions they face.

Through the proposed guidance there are constantly running themes which promote
good child protecting practice such as:
Key Stage 1 1(b)    To recognise, name and manage their feelings.
            4(e)    To recognise that there are different forms of teasing and bullying,
                    that bullying is wrong and how to seek help in resisting bullying.
Key Stage 2 2(d)    That there are different kinds of duties, responsibilities and rights
                    at home, at school and in the community and that these can
                    sometimes conflict with each other.
             3(c)   As they approach puberty, about body changes.
             4(c)   About different types of relationships among friends and families
                    and to develop skills needed to be effective in relationships.

Key Stage 3 1(d)    To recognise the stages of emotions associated with loss or
                    change in relations to death, divorce, separation and new family
                    members and manage the strength of their feelings in different
             2(g)   To demonstrate personally effective ways of resisting pressure
                    which threatens their own safety and well-being.
             3(c)   To understand some of the cultural norms in society, including the
                    range of lifestyles and relationships.
Key Stage 4 3(d)    To be able to talk about relationships and feelings.
            3(f)    About good parenting, its value to family life ......
            2(b)    The health risks associated with alcohol and drug use, early
                    sexual activity and pregnancy ......
How a school teaches such areas is obviously a matter for in-school strategies;
however, staff should all be aware of the importance of the child protecting aspect of
their curriculum work.
Other policies to be considered might be the school‟s policies on:
             Sex Education                      Special Educational Needs *
             Equal Opportunities                Drugs Education
             Religious Education                Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural
*     Although by no means inferring that all children with special educational needs
      are abused, there are significant cross references between the signs and
      symptoms of abuse and the characteristics of a child with special educational
      needs, and it may be that a child, for whom there are unspecified „gut feeling‟
      concerns, is worthy of monitoring by a school.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 73 -                               M AY 2002
The Safe School: Approaches to Bullying or Peer Abuse

It is now clearly recognised that bullying, child on child abuse or peer abuse can have
a damaging impact on both victims and perpetrators.

Bullying is usually linked with secrecy and threat, even if it is perpetrated openly. It
can be physical, emotional or sexual in nature and thus will manifest itself with the
same signs and symptoms of other forms of child abuse - i.e. feelings of fear, misery,
loneliness, isolation, powerlessness and hopelessness as well as the physical signs -
in the victim, and a sense of power and control in the perpetrator.

It flourishes in environments where there is a culture of intolerance to „difference‟ and
an acceptance of violence as a means of „punishing‟ those who do not conform. Peer
pressure to conform exacerbates the emotional difficulties of the victim in terms of a
sense of rejection and social isolation.

It is vital that all staff are aware of the need to create a safe environment and to be
constant and consistent in their vigilance in dealing with bullying situations - both for
the benefit of the victim and the bully.

Research (Olwens 1987, Lane 1989) demonstrates that there is an increased incident
of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and violent crime in later life, where children have
bullied, and increased likelihood of depression and low esteem in those who have
been bullied. Anti-bullying policies should therefore aim to create a safe environment
where everyone feels a sense of responsibility to address bullying issues. Such an
environment would depend upon such principles as:
     an acceptance that bullying exists and is harmful;
     the belief that the problem is solvable;
     a genuine commitment to pursue resolutions;
     having a policy which has practical strategies.
In dealing with bullying situations it is important that strategies and practices which
could, in themselves, be deemed bullying/abusive are not used.

Bullying situations should therefore be given similar priority to those cases involving
     action should be taken and should be seen to be taken;
     priority should be given to the child‟s immediate safety, in particular assessing
      the risk of further peer abuse;
     establishing the facts, by listening calmly to the child;
     following the school‟s established practice and procedures;
     in cases of serious abuse consideration of involving other agencies, including
      the Police; however, the victims needs should be seen as paramount.
Where the bullying/peer abuse is of a sexual nature it is advisable to go through the
Child Protection procedures. This is particularly important since work with adult
abusers has demonstrated that some began abusing as young people and many were
abused themselves. Thus in order to prevent future abuse early referral is essential,
to allow early intervention by supportive agencies.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 74 -                              M AY 2002
As with all policies, the school‟s anti-bullying policy should be reviewed regularly for its
effectiveness in preventing bullying and for dealing with those cases which do arise.
In addition, the system a school may have to offer support to a victim of bullying,
especially access to a supportive member of staff whom the child has chosen, would
be transferable to the support system for the abused child.

The Safe School: Approaches to Drug Misuse

The LEA Policy Statement on Action to Combat Drug Misuse makes clear that all
young people are entitled to a curriculum which explores drug-related issues at a
stage appropriate to their development and takes account of the particular
circumstances and culture of the groups and communities to which they belong. This
includes those young people with special educational needs.

Any realistic programme of drug prevention which seeks to address needs across all
phases of education must acknowledge the complementary nature of:

       Primary Prevention:          which seeks to discourage experimentation or delay
                                    the onset of drug misuse.

       Secondary Prevention:        which seeks to reduce the harm associated with
                                    drug misuse.

In line with the LEA policy, schools (and the Community Education Service) should:

      raise the awareness of all young people to the risks involved in using drugs in a
       society which tolerates a wide variety of legitimate (though damaging) drug

      assist young people to respond to drug-related situations with the knowledge,
       confidence and skills necessary to make decisions which will be conducive to
       their emotional, social and physical well-being;

      reach out to, and support, those young people who are in situations involving
       the problematic use of drugs by themselves or others close to them.

In viewing the school‟s policy and practice in drugs education from the standpoint of
child protection and child abuse, consideration needs to be given to the vulnerable
position which young people find themselves in when involved with drugs:

      dependency may lead to young people turning to crime and prostitution to feed
       their habit;

      paedophiles and other abusers may use drugs to gain access to young people;

      conversely young people involved in drugs may approach such people

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 75 -                                M AY 2002
     young people need to understand that using drugs may lead them to use
      behaviours which would encourage others to abuse them, e.g. creating anger
      in a parent leading to physical abuse or behave in a sexually provocative way
      leading to sexual abuse;

     mechanisms need to be in place within school to support young people
      involved in drugs;

     schools should decide on confidentiality and a „need to know‟ basis in
      connection with drugs;

     schools should ensure that all staff have knowledge about the sources of
      information about drugs, their effects and the most appropriate ways to respond
      to a range of incidents; however, school staff should not search children if they
      suspect they are in possession of drugs.

Conversely using drugs may lead to aggressive behaviour inflicting physical and
emotional abuse on others both adults and children.

To be effective in their understanding of drugs and their effects, schools should work
with other agencies in their area, to acknowledge the seriousness of the local problem
and to develop a consistency of approach in dealing with and managing incidents.

„The Safe School‟ is an easily stated maxim, however, to implement the concept in
full, all those adults in school should be aware of the far reaching implications across
the whole range of strategies needed to generate good practice and safe practice for
all. It pervades the physical environment, sound recruitment practice, professional
conduct and promotes safer strategies for children to employ, to ensure a safer
environment and their own individual safety. For a school to become more safe will
depend upon the ethos and values made obvious in the school‟s relationships with all
members of its community.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 76 -                              M AY 2002
                          SCHOOL VALUES AND CULTURE

Key Factors

A key aspect of schools as social institutions is the extent to which all those within the
community which the school influences feel that they matter in the eyes of those who
they perceive as having power and influence over them. An important indicator for
pupils, parents/carers and staff is that they feel they are listened to actively and that
they can be confident to speak, even when what they need to say is difficult. In the
context of children in need and children subject to abuse, this set of circumstances is
crucial to their future well-being.

In practical terms this means that the Head Teacher and Senior Managers need to be
assured that the school for which they take responsibility does have those
characteristics of a listening school. This will necessitate an active process: tacit
assumptions are inadequate.

Steps which can be taken include:

      designated staff, known and accepted for their listening skills and powers of
       empathy, available at specified times and locations when they are free from all
       other duties, to listen, in confidence, to a pupil, a parent or a member of staff;
      regular statements by the Head Teacher, other senior staff, class teachers,
       form tutors and year heads reminding pupils of the school‟s policy and practice
       as a listening school;
      the collection of feedback from those who use the services of the listening
       school and use of this information to inform future developments;
      creation of school councils and other fora in which pupils can participate
       actively on behalf of each other for the purposes of school improvement;
      use of group working methods in pastoral settings where a climate of trust can
       be developed in order to explore issues which as the effectiveness of the
       listening school;
      a review of the curriculum to give children the skills and language to become
       active listeners and to make disclosing more easy to achieve;
      to define clearly the characteristics of a listening school and consider the
       implications for all staff;
      to offer training in counselling to those who are identified as key people for
       children and adults;
      to develop a peer support structure.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 77 -                             M AY 2002
Children Speaking and Adults Listening to Disclosures

Staff need to be aware of the reasons why children cannot tell about abuse,
particularly about sexual abuse. Knowing about some of the reasons why children
cannot tell may help staff in trying to open channels to discussion on such topics.
School staff, however, should not insist or pressurise a child. Helping children by
raising self-esteem and appropriate knowledge and offering active listening may be
the limits of school intervention.

Children may have difficulty in telling about what is happening for a wide range
of reasons:

     children are too young to use language (Finkelhor et al, 1988);
     children may have a language disability;
     children use language but do not have the necessary vocabulary;
     children often do not have adult permission to tell about sexual abuse;
     children are taught to obey parents/adults (Peake and Rouf, 1988);
     children who cannot trust a parent/familiar adult do not know to whom they can
     black children and other minority communities not only have to cope with
      racism but often dealing with the feelings of their communities. „Coming out‟
      could mean further isolation and stigmatisation for the families;
     children who are abused by peers or staff in residential setting may not know
      where else to go (Peake, 1996);
     children may well have told or think they have told;
     some children say they do not remember.

Children are subject to actual or implied threats not to tell:

     children may witness violence in the home;
     children may be subject to threats of violence;
     children may well not tell the other parent/carer or significant adult because of
      specific threats;
     the threats which silence a child can be implicit;
     children silenced by racism (Roud, 1996);
     the abuser‟s strategies to bribe the children may also serve to silence them;
     children believe that their acquiescence and silence protects siblings from
     children deduce that sexual abuse is socially reprehensible;
     the alternatives to being abused are unknown;
     the alternatives to being abused are known.

Children may be unable to recognise the abusive experience as abuse, having
been tricked or bribed into acquiescence:

     the child may only have ever known abuse;
     when several children are abused and aware of each other‟s abuse, confusion
      about abuse happens;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 78 -                             M AY 2002
      the abusive experience may be all the children receive to respond to their need
       to be held and cuddled;
      children may well love their abuser and be reluctant to betray him/her;
      children may well have the position of „favoured‟ child emotionally and/or

                                                (ADAPTED FROM TURNING POINTS, NSPCC)

Additionally, there are issues around gender, ethnicity and disability of which staff
need to be aware.

Gender Issues

There are some differences between girls and boys in being unable to tell about
sexual abuse.

Boys can‟t tell because:

      the male ethic of self-reliance suggests that men should be able to rebuff an
       assault, and if they don‟t they are often ashamed to talk about it;

      the absence of teaching directed specifically at boys about the nature of sexual
       assault and strategies for being able to seek help and to tell, leaves them
       vulnerable and unsure what they should do if they are victims;

      the stigma of abuse and the implications for the boys‟ sexuality. Boys
       frequently express shame at not being dominant, and quite wrongly see their
       abuse as an indication that they are homosexual. Society‟s homophobic
       attitudes serve to exacerbate adolescent boys‟ confusion;

      the effect of perceived agency roles influences reporting. There has been a
       lack of awareness of the extent to which boys are also subjected to sexual
       abuse and this has led to professional disbelief;

      for both boys and girls the power of the paedophile lobby is often
       underestimated. Many of those promoting adult-child sexual contacts are far
       from the stereotype of the isolated odd individual, they are intelligent with
       positions of responsibility, and often they are part of considerable networks of
       like-minded and influential people.

                                                                        (Peake, 1989)

Girls can‟t tell because:

      complex social factors associated with inequality of girls and boys in our
       society. Pressures from society, especially the media, on girls/women to be
       attractive and available can underpin a wrong assumption that girls invite

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 79 -                             M AY 2002
     given the majority of assaults are committed by men, girls will find it harder to
      tell while most positions of power and responsibility are held by men;

     girls are socialised as passive objects and available to men; girls will inevitably
      believe their complaints will not be taken seriously (Kelly, 1993);

     the power of the „she asked for it - look at how she dresses‟ lobby, acts as a
      powerful silencer.

                                                                          (Peake, 1989)

Issues of Ethnicity

There are also ways in which children from different ethnic/cultural groups are
additionally silenced:

     their daily experiences will show them that their presence may be viewed at
      best with ambivalence, and, at worst, with hostility and violence;

     racist incidents, coupled with the more insidious effects of institutional racism,
      combine to leave groups with no alternative but to build barriers around

     a black girl or boy can‟t tell because it makes them more vulnerable, and they
      may perhaps feel that they are not only letting down their family by talking
      about abuse but are also letting down their ethnic/cultural group or community
      and providing a further basis for racism.

Consideration needs to be given to the sensitive use of interpreters in situations where
the family use English as a second language.

Issues of Disability

Disabled children can‟t tell because:

     they may not have the vocabulary, words, signs or symbols for body parts or
      sexual or intimate contact on their communication system;

     they may find it hard to distinguish different touches (safe or unsafe) although
      retrospective research conducted with adults abused as children confirms that
      this is less likely to be true than is thought;

     they may have primary dependency needs, such as feeding, dressing,
      medication and toileting, on the person who is abusing them;

     disabled children are taught from early on to be compliant. Compliant, passive
      or „good‟ behaviour is rewarded. They are not brought up with choices nor
      taught to be assertive;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 80 -                               M AY 2002
      the myths about child abuse and disability are powerful factors to prevent
       adults „hearing‟, for example, that it doesn‟t happen; that they don‟t feel it; that it
       does more harm than good to investigate it.

                                                    (ADAPTED FROM TURNING POINTS, NSPCC)

Adults Listening to Disclosures

It is important to understand that children may not tell the whole story at one time, and
should a member of staff receive part of a disclosure or suspect that what was heard
might lead to more information, the detail and context should be recorded and the
incident reported to Designated Teacher. The member of staff should be aware that if
he/she has been singled out, then making himself/herself available for further contact
would be important. This, however, does not mean that a child should be pressurised
to reveal more information.

Adults should be aware that children disclose in a variety of ways - not only through
direct disclosure. They may tell a story - a fantasy or as though a third person. There
may be physical signs such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. They may
draw a picture relating to what is happening e.g. playing „boyfriends and girlfriends‟.
They may change their behaviour in relation to both peers and adults.

However, not all adults find it easy to “listen”.

Research informs us that one of the largest barriers to adults responding to
disclosures is the existence of emotional blocks in the minds of professionals. Such
emotional blocks can be so great that the adult receiving the disclosure may wish to
cover the incident up, refusing to acknowledge that such things can happen.

Other reasons for adults having difficulty in „hearing‟ what children are saying are
many and stem from a person‟s own experience, understanding and attitudes. For
example, an adult may:

      have been abused themselves and re-visiting this is painful;
      have no experience of talking about such explicitly sexual or violent matters;
      feel such a range of emotions such as disgust and anger, that unless these
       emotions can be shared, the adult may become stuck „in denial‟;
      understand that the child may want the abuse to stop and yet want to prevent
       anything happening to the abuser;
      feel incompetent to deal with such matters and be anxious about the outcome;
      be unaware that some firmly held convictions act as a barrier to one‟s
       understanding of a situation about another person.
When children do tell, it demonstrates that the child is desperate to have the abuse
stopped, and that they have put considerable trust in the adult receiving the
Being a good listener is a skill which comes more readily to some than to others.
However, should a child begin to disclose, the approach needs to be one of calm re-
assurance giving the child time and space to say what he/she wants to say asking
only open questions, and not promising confidentiality (see Page 22 - Procedures for
responding to disclosures and possible evidence of abuse).
A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                    - 81 -                                M AY 2002

There are both physical and human aspects of the welcome a school provides for both
visitors and the regular members of its community. The challenge to those who work
in schools on a daily basis is to know that a welcoming approach needs to be worked
upon to maintain the ability to continue to see what the first time visitor sees, to be
concerned at what he/she might see and the willingness to make changes when
necessary and not to become complacent that because many visitors are known, they
will automatically feel welcome.

The physical aspects might include:

     the quality and arrangement of the furniture and fittings in the entrance areas;
     the images it portrays of itself in the entrance areas;
     the extent to which „public space‟ is used to celebrate and display its pupils
     the clarity of directions for strangers;
     the cleanliness and vitality of the area;
     the use of mother tongue languages for signage in the multi-ethnic school

The human aspects might include:

     the warmth and politeness of response from the first person with whom contact
      is made;
     the warmth of the response from the first formal contact, often the office staff;
     the speed of the initial response;
     the confidence shown in answering questions and the clarity of the answers
     a recognition that the telephone is an alternative but vital area where the
      warmth of the human welcome is necessary;
     value and respect is offered to all visitors, regular or occasional;
     maintaining a sense of calm, even in the face of untoward visitors.

The written aspects might include:

     the language in communications with parents/carers is clear and unemotive
      and uncomplicated;
     forms are user friendly and only ask for necessary information;
     in consultations, guidance is given as to the reason and nature of the
      consultation and parents/carers are given feedback on the outcome;
     the contributions parents/carers and others make - money, kind and effort are
      recognised and acknowledged;
     leaflets/brochures/booklets help parents/carers and others to gain an
      understanding of the school‟s ethos and priorities;
     the approach is encouraging and informative rather than impersonal and
      „putting down‟.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 82 -                             M AY 2002
Other professionals:

     It is important that other professionals feel welcome and valued in school so
      that they may make their contributions readily. This means, for example, that
      when appointments are made, rooms are available and the appointments
      promptly kept.
     Conversely, other agencies need to recognise the role which schools can play
      in working with them, and the sense of value and respect should be mutual.
      This can be achieved by acknowledging the help and support given, giving
      feedback on the progress of cases, being willing to share that an agency is
      involved, though not necessarily the detail of that involvement, giving
      recognition for positive contributions.


Children, their families and staff need to feel supported, not only at times where there
is an allegation of abuse, but also at other times of personal difficulty.

A school which takes time and energy to build good relationships with parents may
feel in some difficulty in making referrals about allegations of abuse, especially where
parents/carers are involved. For good relationships to be maintained effective
handling of communication is vital.

There is therefore a need for clear guidance on how communication should be
handled and how members of the team should fulfil their role.

For many abused children school is a haven of security, stability and peace. Schools
have a valuable part to play in recognising such a need in some children and in
creating opportunities for a child to come to know a „haven-like‟ stability. This will be
particularly important for children new to the school, and especially those who have
had to move because of an abusive situation. Opportunities for encouraging the child
to be more self-assured and to raise self-esteem should be provided through the
curriculum to further the individual child‟s sense of safety.

When children are abused, whether this is physical, emotional or sexual abuse or
neglect, or indeed a combination of abuse, they obviously experience a range of
emotions and as a result may demonstrate a range of behaviours which may present
in the classroom, and in more unstructured times. This may strain relationships
between staff and children; children and parents/carers and staff and parents. It may
present difficulties of consistency for all involved.

Although individual school staff may become closely involved with a particular case of
abuse from receiving a disclosure through the investigative process to the monitoring
and support of abused children who remain in the school, all school staff should be
aware of the emotions any abused child may experience and the resultant behaviour
which he/she may demonstrate.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 83 -                              M AY 2002
What Children May be Feeling

     Guilt (because of family break-up, the punishment of the perpetrator).
     Anger (with the perpetrator, with the non-protective parents, with themselves).
     Shame, feeling different, dirty.
     Insecurity, distrust of adults.
     Sadness, depression.
     Low self-esteem.
     Sexual over-stimulation.
     Fear (of the perpetrator, of other adults, of „telling‟).
     Conflicting emotions, especially if the perpetrator is also loved.

What kind of behaviour may result

     Difficulty in attending, concentrating, learning.
     Aggression, sudden over-reaction, mood swings, violent tantrums.
     Excessive withdrawal.
     Attention-seeking, flirtatious, sexually provocative, precocious behaviour.
     Seeking trouble, blame, punishment.
     Eating and sleeping difficulties, tiredness, forgetfulness, carelessness of
     Obsessive behaviour - cleaning things, being perfect (work or appearance).
     Absence from school.

                                                       (After Anne Schonveld, CEDC)

The effects of abuse are likely to be long-term, but some abused children can make
considerable improvement with appropriate support. Not all abused children become
abusers themselves, and fewer will do so given appropriate help as early as possible.
The likelihood of an abused child becoming an abuser derives from poor parental
experiences and therefore a lack of good parenting skills, and/or the fact of having
their own children re-awakening feelings from the person‟s own past.

A supporting school will therefore offer opportunities to feel secure and valued as an
individual, help to raise self-esteem and allow for individual support or counselling.

This is not to say that an abused child will be easy to deal with in school. Such
children frequently alienate themselves from others because of their behaviour and
attitudes, and often make it difficult for adults to help them, to relate to them and
sometimes even like them. It goes without saying that no-one, adult or child,
responds effectively to anyone whom he/she believes does not like them.

There are strategies which schools can employ to improve children‟s self-esteem, for

     Offer them opportunities for taking on new roles and responsibilities.
     Design tasks which are achievable, by breaking down larger tasks into smaller
     Trust them to take responsibility for others, e.g. a pet or younger children.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 84 -                             M AY 2002
      Criticise the action, not the person, when they do something wrong.
      By setting appropriate boundaries and routines and monitoring them.
      Help young people feel a sense of control over their lives by, for example,
       valuing their opinions and involving them in decision making.

                                                          (After Anne Schonveld, CEDC)

Troubled children will present staff with difficult behaviour at times. They can be
exasperating and it is important that at such times adults allow themselves some „time
out‟ and walk away from the situation for a while. What is important is:

      to demonstrate that adults who are responsible and caring do not lose control,
       when they lose their temper;
      that some adults can be trusted to respect the rights of children, especially
       rights over their own bodies;
      that some adults are open to reason when their rights and wishes are in conflict
       with those of children;
      that some adults will not simply use their power as adults to impose their will on
      that some adults can recognise that a child‟s bad behaviour is a problem to be
       solved, not a personal attack on their authority.

Assessing Needs - The Child

Once abuse is recognised, or has been disclosed, and an investigation is underway it
is likely that the child will remain in school. This could be a distressing and anxious
time for the child and also for staff trying to support and help in school. Staff will need
to be alert to the child‟s needs and appropriately responsive, but at the same time give
proper attention to the rest of the class or group.

The child may be particularly responsive to a certain member of staff or to slightly
different approaches, and in provoking the responses to a series of questions school
staff may be able to come to a consistent strategy to be employed for this child in
these circumstances e.g. creating time for the child to be with the person to whom
he/she relates, using specific behaviour management techniques etc.

It may be helpful to try to answer the following questions about the child, to try to
assess the most appropriate action to take.

      What is it about this child‟s behaviour which is causing concern

       -      in the classroom?
       -      elsewhere?

      Is this a change from the child‟s previous behaviour?
      Is the behaviour specific to one setting/one member of staff/the time of day or
       week, or is it general?

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 85 -                               M AY 2002
      Is the child:

       -      uncommunicative
       -      sometimes communicative
       -      generally communicative about the abuse/their own feelings?

      What is the child‟s view of him/herself?
      What helps to change the child‟s worrying behaviour? (For example, being
       ignored, more individual attention, reward strategies, „time out‟ to cool down,
       being comforted, a chance to talk.)
      What makes the behaviour worse? (For example, being shouted out, physical
       contact, being teased or told off.)
      Which member of staff does the child get on with best? Why?
      Does the child‟s behaviour interfere with or harm other children?

It would also be helpful to build a picture of where the child is in relation to the
investigation, so that tensions can be appreciated, for example, is the child
accommodated in foster care, are the parents involved, has the investigation been
completed? Liaison with the Key Worker is vital in these cases. However, it is still
important to „listen‟ to the child in relation to the abuse investigation and not to probe
or question for detail.

                                                         (After Anne Schonveld, CEDC)

Children who are experiencing serious emotional disturbance may need professional
counselling, or assistance from other specialists.

Supporting the child - following an allegation during and after an investigation.

      The teacher to whom a child has disclosed abuse may well have been singled
       out by the child because the teacher is seen as someone with whom the child
       relates easily, or may be someone whom the child sees as having the
       to get the abuse stopped. Whoever that person is he/she must understand the
       child‟s feelings so that the child may be supported once an allegation has been

      As a result of having made the disclosure the child may well feel relieved that
       someone else knows and that something may be done to stop the abuse.
       Similarly they may also feel confused, angry, guilty, emotional, disloyal and
       worried. It is important therefore that the person to whom he/she has disclosed
       makes himself/herself available to listen further to the child. This does not
       mean that more questions are asked, merely that should the child need support
       opportunities are created.

      The child should be given the choice of what further support he/she needs -
       e.g. to remain quietly with another adult closely, to return to class and should
       be kept informed of the progress of any action by other agencies.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 86 -                               M AY 2002
      During the investigation the child may need further support, since a child with
       the low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence may be unable to control
       emotions easily. It is important that he/she continues to have a person in
       school, who has been chosen by the child, for advice, consolation and to be a
       “listening ear”. That person must, however, not put himself/herself in the
       position of having actions misunderstood e.g. over-comforting the child,
       spending long periods alone with the child.

      Following the investigation and the outcome the child may well need
       counselling and it would be appropriate for the school to work with other
       colleagues in securing such help for the child. Much will of course depend
       upon the outcome, whether the child remains in school or moves on. However,
       the school may find the guidance given earlier useful in assessing the abused
       child‟s needs and ways of supporting the abused child in school (Page 93).

Supporting Staff Involved

A member of staff involved with a child who has been abused will need time to record
events, to be available for the child, and, if the school decides that he/she is the
appropriate person, to prepare for and attend the Initial Child Protection Conference.
For staff who may not have been to a Child Protection Conference before nor have
prepared a report, the requirements, the process, the responsibilities and the
difficulties will need to be explained to them. They will also need to be made aware of
the school‟s response to requests for possible further involvement, and to make
suggestions about what that further involvement might include. The key to successful
participation in Child Protection Conferences is preparation, and an understanding
that a teacher probably knows the child better than anyone else around the table,
apart from his/her parents.

A supporting school will also recognise that there will be considerable emotional
impact on the individual member of staff who has become involved in the child abuse
case. He or she will probably feel a range of very strong emotions - anger, disgust,
anxiety and distress and may well be questioning - „Why did I not notice this earlier?‟,
„Did the child try to tell me earlier and I failed to listen?‟, „Why me?‟. It is important that
it is explained that such emotions are not unusual and time should be given to allow
the member of staff express his/her feelings. This could be to another individual but
should not break the confidentiality which must ensue in such cases.

Head Teachers may also need to consider the point at which outside help becomes
necessary. This may take the form of support for the child, for the member of staff or
indeed for themselves. This is particularly the case where an allegation has been
made against a member of the school staff.

A school can make a difference in how children feel about themselves and the respect
they have for each other and the adults around them. A school can also make a
difference in how the adults feel about themselves or the respect they have for each
other and for the children in their care. Much is determined by the school‟s ethos but
understanding the context and nature of the school‟s local community can help in
determining the approach required to engage with both children and adults in that

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                    - 87 -                                M AY 2002
                               THE SCHOOL CONTEXT


To maintain and indeed improve upon the effectiveness of a school as a social
institution, it is important that schools know about the client groups with whom they
are working and as much as possible about the general context in which they live their

Head Teachers should be able to avail themselves of the statistical information
available - most notably from the Community Safety information - to provide
themselves with an overall picture of the school‟s context, for example, in terms of
Domestic Violence, Drug Use and poverty-related crime, and the incidence of mental
health problems in the community, all of which have an additional impact on child

Where clusters of schools, or individual schools, hold regular multi-agency meetings
with other agencies working in the area, different forms and sources of information are
shared. Thus, in addition to the greater understanding achieved by working together,
the sharing of available information adds to the school‟s understanding of its context,
its population and the additional stresses which are placed upon it, by the relative
incidence of the problems caused by Domestic Violence, mental health problems,
substance misuse within that population.

The Context of the School

Understanding the nature of Domestic Violence in the community and the
impact on children..

Domestic violence has been defined as the physical, emotional, sexual or mental
abuse of one person (usually a woman) by another, with whom they have or have had
an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off event. It tends to
escalate in frequency and severity over time.

30% of women admit to having experienced some form of domestic violence and the
incidence crosses social and ethnic groups.

There are well established links with child abuse:

     Many men who abuse women also physically abuse children, and there is a
      raised incidence of child sexual abuse in households where women are

     Disabled children may face increased risk of abuse, and some of their
      disabilities may result from injuries inflicted on mothers during pregnancy.

     Risks to the unborn child are well known.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 88 -                            M AY 2002
     Abused women may punish their children more harshly in order to appease the
      abusive man, or because of their own emotional state.

     The abusive man may force children into participating in abusing the woman, or
      threaten to use violence against them to ensure the woman accedes to his

Domestic violence is not only the major physical abuse of such activities as beatings
and kickings, but also consists of:

     a display of total power;
     enforcing trivial demands;
     threats;
     acts of degradation;
     enforced isolation;
     creation of distorted perspectives;
     creating physical disability;
     exhaustion and manipulation through allowing occasional indulgence;
     economic deprivation;
     enforced pregnancy.

Schools need to understand that witnessing, even being party to, the abuse of their
mother, will have a major impact on children, how they present in school and how they
develop academically, socially and emotionally. Children will, of course, be at risk of
accidental injury, because they may get in the way of an attack on their mother, or
may frequently try to protect or help their mother. Their needs may be neglected
whilst their mother is physically and emotionally unable to look after them, or their
lives may be disrupted by being forced to leave home once or even several times.
This latter is particularly a problem for children from ethnic groups who may need to
leave their supportive community.

Schools also need to understand how the effects of domestic violence will show
themselves in children in school.

     Younger children will show more overt disturbance since at the time that they
      are most dependent upon their mothers, the effects of abuse e.g. anxiety,
      depression and being less able to attend to a child‟s needs.

     Pre-school age children are more irritable, over-active or excessively passive
      and inactive, often having sleep problems with nightmares.

     School age girls are more likely to be anxious, timid, socially withdrawn, afraid
      to go to school, with poor self-esteem; some, however, may be more
      aggressive than their peers.
     School age boys are more likely to be more aggressive, demonstrating bullying
      tendencies which may increase the sense of rejection by peers and teachers;
      some however, may be timid, showing anxiety and depression.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 89 -                             M AY 2002
     Both boys and girls are likely to show an increase in psychosomatic illnesses
      e.g. stomach-ache and asthma, poorer academic performance from poor
      concentration and irregular attendance. A higher than average proportion
      become obsessional - creating order out of chaos, and show a reduced
      empathy for other children.

     Adolescent girls are more prone to depression and acts of self-harm or suicidal

     Adolescent boys are more liable to demonstrate delinquency with misuse of
      drugs and alcohol.

     In general terms, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, eating problems,
      heightened aggression, difficulties with concentration and stress-related
      illnesses may be present as short and long-term effects on children witnessing

Schools located near Women‟s Aid refuges will probably find themselves accepting
children whose mothers are fleeing from domestic violence on a regular basis;
however, all schools may be in that position at some time. It must be remembered
that families where domestic violence exists in some form will be in the static
population of the majority of schools and school staff need to be aware of its
existence, its likely impact on the children and what the school can do to support the
child, and to help reduce the prevalence of domestic violence in the next generation of

Good practice suggests:

    the ready acceptance into school of children fleeing such violent situations, and
     having systems in place to make children feel welcome, as well as finding their
     academic “fit” as quickly as possible to ensure a continuation of their education
     at the appropriate level (Benfieldside Primary School has worked to produce a
     pack to support rapid integration);
    liaising with the children‟s worker in the local refuge, where appropriate, to help
     in understanding the particular difficulties a child may face, for example in
     completing homework or having the correct kit;
    having an ethos in school where all are respected as individuals, and which
     promotes raised self-esteem and empathy for others and where any form of
     abusive situation is not tolerated;
    raising awareness about domestic violence and offering support to those who
     suffer as a result;
    using the curriculum to discuss domestic violence - its existence, its non-
     acceptance socially, and its criminality, and to link it with in-school work on
     bullying, for example;
    being aware of the fact that school may provide a „safe haven‟ for children, and
     that teachers should be aware of what that may mean for individual children, in
     terms of recognising success and giving positive feedback;
    using the curriculum to allow children to express their feelings and emotions;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 90 -                              M AY 2002
     understanding the need for confidentiality as a major safety issue and therefore
      not divulging any information which could assist the abuser in tracing the family
      he has abused. Even to agree to pass on a message reveals that the school
      knows where the child/family is and that could be dangerous for both school
      staff and family;
     supporting the mother by understanding the nature of domestic violence, its
      impact on the children and their mother, the fact that it is hard and may be
      dangerous to ask for help, that leaving the situation is not an easy decision to be
      undertaken without forethought, and to help by making available information
      about local support services even if this is only the local helpline number;
     to be aware of the difficulties of the statutory duty to report information which
      may lead to a Child Protection investigation, whilst at the same time supporting
      the parent.

Understanding the nature of Mental Illness in the Community and the impact on

Many children will grow up with a parent who suffers from mental illness. Most cases
are short-term; however, there are a small number of children who live with a parent
with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or manic depression and a larger
number will live with a parent having long-term problems such as alcoholism, learning
difficulties or long-standing depression. There is an association between parental
mental illness and emotional and behavioural problems with children and other
problems such as attachment disorders.

In terms of child abuse/protection, children are most at risk when they are victims of
aggression, they are targets of delusions or they are neglected for pathological
reasons. More indirectly there are risks due to family disruption, the disruption of
normal parenting and the increase in marital discord - which in itself is associated with
an increased risk of psychological problems in the child.

For the child in school there are significant factors for the staff to consider in
understanding the behaviours the child may be demonstrating and the support

     parental care may not meet the child‟s needs - the younger the child, the more
      serious the problems of care and attachment may be, and the more serious the
      problems in growth, development and behaviour may become;

     the need to care for a parent who is unwell, and the possibility of caring for

     the difficulty in coping with school work or attending school regularly because of
      poor care, or the need to care;

     the fear that the child may become similarly ill in later life;

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 91 -                            M AY 2002
     the distress, anxiety or shame about the parent‟s illness and the resultant
      behaviour - and the response from others, both adults and children;

     some children, boys especially, show more aggressive and disruptive
      behaviour, others become withdrawn, anxious and have difficulty concentrating;

     the effect of the parental illness on a child‟s behaviour may be short-term,
      lasting the length of the illness, or may be long-term.

Schools need to understand the nature of mental illness and how it might impact on
children, and good practice would suggest:

     sound communication and joint working between professionals - Social
      Services, Health and Education - to ensure the best possible outcome for the
     access to information about projects designed to support children affected by
      parental mental illness - Young Carers (DISC), Young Minds;
     an understanding approach to the difficulties of young carers;
     apparent resilience in a child should be supported and not taken for granted. If
      a child‟s competence and sense of self-worth are boosted, a child develops a
      more sustainable inner strength to cope in times of stress;
     recognition that a child‟s behaviour may be the result of parental illness, and
      may indeed be a cry for help;
     awareness that a child may be taunted/bullied as a result of the „strange‟
      behaviour of either parent.

Families where there are mental health problems may wish to hide the fact from the
school and the local community because of the stigma attached to mental illness in
our society. A supportive school and strong and professional links between the
various agencies can help moderate the impact on children and their education.

                                                       (After Turning Points, NSPCC)

Understanding Substance Misuse amongst parents in the Community and the
impact on children

A problem drug user is defined as:

      “Any person who experiences social, psychological, physical or legal
      problems related to intoxication and/or regular excessive consumption
      and/or dependence as a result of his/her own use of drugs or
      chemical substances. This includes any form of drug misuse which
      involves, or may lead to, the sharing of injecting equipment.”

                                     (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs 1988)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 92 -                              M AY 2002
The fact that parents are drug users does not necessarily mean that their children will
be neglected or abused, but it may give reasons for concern. Drug use can mean that
people are in some way in unhappy circumstances, and it may point to a chaotic
lifestyle and possible poor environment for nurturing children. Financial problems,
which may lead to criminal activity, are frequently caused by the need to feed the drug
habit, and money which should be focused on meeting family needs is often diverted
to drug use. Risks, thus, hinge around the mental state and behaviour of the parent,
including drug induced depression, irritability and aggression; the social environment
such as the association with other drug users, and risks in the physical environment
including leaving drugs and associated equipment around the home (Klee 1998).

The abuse most common amongst children of drug using parents is neglect and
emotional abuse, which stem from the chaotic lifestyle. Since drug use is in the main
illegal, many parents are wary of the involvement of professionals, and contact with
school may be restricted as a result, not only of the chaotic lifestyle, but also the

Children whose parents use drugs may feel a range of emotions about their parents,
from anger, frustration and fear, to love. Schools need to be aware that children will
only infrequently discuss their parents drug use openly, if at all, so that unless the
information comes from the community, they may not know of the habit. To help the
stability of such children it is important that in any drugs education or discussion, the
problem of the substance, rather than demeaning the user, takes priority.

     Children of drug using parents may find themselves in the role of carer for their
      siblings and also for their parents.

     Their own mood and response, on a day to day basis, may be dictated by the
      mood and state of parents when the children leave the home to come to
      school, and their concerns for their parents‟ state of mind on their return.

     Children may need to accept a wide range of people coming into the home, and
      this may well cause fear; similarly, violence and arguments in the home may
      also cause fear.

     Poor concentration and poor attendance are likely to feature because of fears,
      worries and poor home management.

     Children may be rejected by their peers because of a known drug connection.
      This in turn may lead to inappropriate/disruptive behaviour in an attempt to gain
      acceptance with peers.

     Conversely, dependent upon the nature of the school‟s context such children
      may be highly respected amongst their peers and indulge in behaviour related
      to power over their peers e.g. threats, aggression.

     Schools should have in place procedures to follow if they feel that a young child
      may have ingested an illegal substance.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 93 -                              M AY 2002
     Schools should also have in place procedures related to contacting and
      meeting with drug-using parents.

A school which understands the nature of its local community, and how the major
themes of that context may impact on the lives of children and their overall safety, will
take steps to ensure that there are strategies in place to help support those children.
Such a school would also ensure that communication between agencies is well
structured and that procedures for the management of child protection are clear and
well understood by all involved with the school.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 94 -                              M AY 2002
Confidentiality is a thread which runs through Child Protection procedures and
processes and is often a cause of concern. As part of this Handbook, therefore,
confidentiality is dealt with in each area where it occurs, but this section draws
together all areas where confidentiality is an issue.

Confidentiality Between Agencies

All agencies have a general duty to assist the Local Authority in carrying out its duties
in connection with Child Protection and would therefore be expected to do so.
Members of an agency who are requested for information should therefore provide it.
It is a useful check to ask the caller for his/her phone number and call back, rather
than giving the information immediately. It is also important to ask for what purpose
the information is required. Confidentiality is not an excuse for inactivity in Child
Protection; there should be effective confidential channels of communication between,
for example, Social Workers and schools, and between individual schools. Social
Services do have a broader brief for sharing information with clients, thus it is
important to use clear unemotive language, avoiding jargon when giving information.
Wherever possible the information should be factual, avoiding personal opinions and
language should be non-discriminatory.

Confidentiality at Disclosure

If a child obviously wishes to disclose, but pre-sets a condition that the information
should not be passed on, then it should be made clear that if the information is
important and concerns the child‟s well-being then it will have to be passed on. This
could mean that the child says nothing more. The member of staff should not try to
force a child to disclose, but it might be helpful if opportunities were made, should the
child try again.

Apart from the designated teacher, and possibly the Head Teacher, the teacher
receiving the disclosure must not discuss the facts with any other member of staff. If
he/she needs to talk to someone to unburden themselves, then only the fact that
some concerns about a child‟s welfare have been disclosed can be discussed.
Neither the child‟s name nor the events should be discussed or passed on.

This is also the case where an allegation is made against a member of staff, should
the allegation be made via another member of staff for example.

Confidentiality with Parents

Schools should not take it upon themselves automatically to inform parents if a child
has made an allegation of abuse. This is important if the parents are not the abusers,
but it is vital if the parents or members of the household are the alleged abusers, since
informing them may give them vital time to destroy forensic evidence.

When a referral is made it is better to clarify the position with the Social Worker,
especially if there are pressures about the parents coming into school, e.g. to collect
the child at the end of the day.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 95 -                              M AY 2002
Where a child is taken to hospital by school staff, parents will need to be informed.

Where parents or other adults report abuse, or disclose as part of a conversation, or
request confidentiality on an abuse matter, the parents will need an explanation that
confidentiality cannot be given where a child‟s safety and welfare are concerned.

Where parents request information abut the progress of a case, they should be
referred to Social Services. Schools may help in describing the process.

Parents should not be informed of the fact that a child is being monitored for abuse
either as a victim or perpetrator.

Child Protection information, records and concerns kept by the school are exempt
from having to be passed on to parents. Legal advice should be sought should there
be a request for such information, e.g. for court proceedings.

Confidentiality and “Need to Know”

All those who work in schools should be aware of the confidential nature of personal
information about a student and the means of maintaining that confidentiality.
Similarly, personal information about a child‟s family should also be regarded as

Giving information to help support children in school or to seek information for a report
should be very limited in nature. If the school staff is alert to the shared
responsibilities about helping to protect children from abuse, it should be enough for
the staff concerned to know the name of the child and that the concerns are about
his/her welfare. This should prepare staff to act sensitively towards a distressed child.
Should information be required staff should be given clear guidance about the type of
information needed. This information should be given and requested only from those
people who come into contact with the child.

Depending upon his/her age, the child should be kept informed of who knows and
what they know, at all stages of procedures/investigations. A child may, indeed, like
to choose who should be told.

Confidentiality and Communication Within School

If a member of staff receives information that there are concerns about a child‟s
welfare, or indeed that Social Services are involved it is not appropriate for that
member of staff to approach the child to ask questions why, or even to say that he/she
is aware that Social Services are involved.

Any written information should be passed personally to the Designated Teacher under
cover of confidentiality, and obviously should not be completed when other children
are around.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 96 -                              M AY 2002
If a child is in care, either with foster carers or in a children‟s home, it is important that
school staff closely involved with the child should be aware of the situation, to help
them in dealing with practical matters, e.g. visits, collection of children after school.
Again the detailed reasons do not need to be discussed and it must be acknowledged
that some children will not wish others to know.

Confidentiality and a Child Protection File

DfEE Circular 16/89 gave Head Teachers specific powers to exclude from school
records confidential information:

      which identifies a person (other than the pupil) to whom the information relates;
      which identifies the source of information;
      which could cause harm to the pupil or another;
      which bears on a case of child protection;
      which discloses information about another.

Thus a file containing child protection reports and records concerns should be kept
separately from the child‟s educational record and stored in a secure place.

A child protection record should be kept safe and access to it should be agreed and
outlined in the school‟s policy on Child Protection. It is likely that access would be
limited to the Designated Teacher, Head Teacher and possibly Head of Year.

Child Protection files should not be shown to parents, Inspectors or Governors. They
should not be shown to any member of staff without good reason.

Information contained in a Child Protection file should always be dated, timed and
signed, and should be discussed with the Designated Teacher before being placed in
the file.

There should be no duplicate of the information held elsewhere. Teachers‟ rough
notes may either go in the file or be destroyed once a formal copy has been made.

Confidentiality About a Child‟s Sexual Activity

If a child is under 13 sexual activity will always be considered as a major concern.
There are difficulties in trying to assess whether or not under-age sex is sexual abuse.
In general, if the relationship is within conventional boundaries - similar age, and
willingly consented to then this is less likely to be considered sexual abuse. The
principle of „consent‟ is an important concern in all issues relating to sexual abuse.
Should there be an imbalance in age or suspicion of adult/family involvement then it is
advisable to seek Social Services‟ advice.

Teenagers are entitled to confidential health care, including contraception, in their own
right without parental knowledge. Thus school staff should not inform parents;
however, schools may encourage young people to discuss such matters with their

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 97 -                                M AY 2002
Confidentiality and Governors

As part of the review of policy, Governors may be informed of such matters as the
number of cases the school staff has been involved in and the costs to the school in
terms of supply cover to allow teachers to attend Child Protection Conferences.
Governors may not be informed of the details of any individual child‟s or family

Where there is a case involving a member of staff, or the Head Teacher, the
Governors must merely be informed that an allegation has been made against a
member of staff, since to give further details may interfere with any future disciplinary
procedures. The Chair of Governors may well be privy to the name of the member of
staff, once suspension has been recommended or decided upon.

Confidentiality - Child Protection Conference Reports

ACPC procedures state:

      “Good practice requires all professional members of a Case Conference to
      submit their reports in writing, having previously discussed them with parents.
      Where a report contains confidential information this matter should be brought
      to the attention of the Chairperson prior to the Conference. Any information
      which satisfies the confidentiality criteria should be presented as an addendum
      to the main body of the report. The Chair can then identify an appropriate point
      in the agenda to allow for the information to be shared.”

Minutes of Child Protection Conferences should be regarded as highly confidential
and stored in the child‟s Child Protection File. Circulation will be agreed as in the
ACPC Procedures. Reports for Child Protection Conferences and Reviews are
confidential to the author and the agency supplying the report.

Confidentiality and Volunteers

Where Head Teachers have requested volunteers to declare any convictions, as part
of the vetting process, there should be absolute confidentiality to that information.
Such information should not be divulged to anyone, including other members of staff.

Confidentiality and Domestic Violence

Confidentiality can be a major safety issue for those feeling domestic violence. Legal
advice should be taken before divulging the whereabouts of children, or giving other
information which may assist the abuser in tracing those he has abused.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                 - 98 -                              M AY 2002
                              KNOWING THE NETWORK


      Bishop Auckland                            1 Kensington,
                                                 Cockton Hill Road,
                                                 Bishop Auckland
                                                 DL14 6HX
                                                 Tel. 01388-454800
                                                 Fax. 01388-454840

      Barnard Castle                             Galgate,
                                                 Barnard Castle
                                                 DL12 8HA
                                                 Tel. 01833-690690
                                                 Fax. 01833-631167

      Crook                                      Crook
                                                 DL15 9HT
                                                 Tel. 01388-763331
                                                 Fax. 01388-766287


      Peterlee                                   Essington House,
                                                 Essington Way,
                                                 SR8 5AZ
                                                 Tel. 0191-5186000
                                                 Fax. 0191-5864130

      Seaham                                     St. John‟s Square,
                                                 SR7 0JR
                                                 Tel. 0191-5186000
                                                 Fax. 0191-5814875


      Durham                                     Hopper House,
                                                 Atherton Street,
                                                 DH1 4DL
                                                 Tel. 0191-3831010
                                                 Fax. 0191-3836108

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK             - 99 -                        M AY 2002

      Chester-le-Street             129 Front Street,
                                    DH3 3BL
                                    Tel. 0191-3831010
                                    Fax. 0191-3836217


      Stanley                       Front Street,
                                    DH9 0ST
                                    Tel. 0191-290990
                                    Fax. 01207-290374

      Consett                       39 Medomsley Road,
                                    DH8 5HE
                                    Tel. 01207-504921
                                    Fax. 01207-506740


      Spennymoor                    Green Lane,
                                    DL16 6JU
                                    Tel. 01388-424200
                                    Fax. 01388-424242

      Newton Aycliffe               21/27 Upper Beveridge Way,
                                    Newton Aycliffe
                                    DL5 4EB
                                    Tel. 01325-314466
                                    Fax. 01325-301023


      Out of Hours                  01325-375724


      Pupil Services Unit           0191-3833277

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK   - 100 -                            M AY 2002

      Barnard Castle                            01833-637328
      Bishop Auckland                           01388-603566
      Chester-le-Street                         0191-3884311
      Consett                                   01207-504204
      Crook                                     01388-603566
      Durham                                    0191-3864222
      Newton Aycliffe                           01325-314401
      Peterlee                                  0191-5862621
      Seaham                                    0191-5812255
      Spennymoor                                01388-814411
      Stanley                                   01207-232144

(For help, counselling, support and assistance for the victims of all crime, including
rape and sexual assault.

      Chester-le-Street                         0191-3871133
      Derwentside                               01207-505012
      Durham                                    0191-3831515
      Easington & District                      0191-5872276
      Gateshead                                 0191-4778395
      Sunderland                                0191-5672896

(Advice lines supporting women suffering Domestic Violence)

      Darlington                                01325-364486
      Derwentside                               01207-508300
      Durham                                    0191-3865951
      Peterlee                                  0191-5863055
      Gateshead                                 0191-4779309
      Hartlepool                                01429-277508
      Wear Valley                               01388-600094
      Wearside Women in Need                    0191-4151506
      (young women‟s Helpline)


      Organisation for Parents Under 0602-819423
      Parents Anonymous                  0171-2638918
      Helping Parents                    01302-833596
      Exploring Parenthood               0171-2216681
      Parentline                         01702-554782
      (Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. - 6.00
      Saturday 1.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 101 -                            M AY 2002

         Cry-Sis, BM Cry-sis                        0171-4045011
         (self-help and support for families with
         excessively crying, sleepless and
         demanding children)

RAPE HELPLINES (Newcastle area)

         Rape Crisis                                0191-2329858
         Incest Crisis Line                         0191-2615317
         REACH (adults abused in adulthood)         0191-2261528


         CHILDLINE                                  0800-1111
         NSPCC Helpline                             0800-800500
         Childline - In Care (6.00 - 10.00 p.m.)    0800-884444
         Children‟s Legal Centre                    01206-873820
         NYAS (National Youth Advocacy              0800-616101
         (provides confidential service for
         young people who get help from
         Durham Social Services)
         Care in Durham (CID)                       0191-3844200
         (helps and supports children currently
         being looked after)
         Young Carers Project (DISC)                0191-3842785


         Durham Family Mediation                  0191-3865418
         (for families undergoing separation or
         divorce focusing on children‟s welfare)
         Children - North East - Family Link      0191-2323741
         (a befriending service for families with
         children under 8 in Derwentside,
         Chester-le-Street, Weardale, Teesdale
         and Durham)
         „DIRECTIONS‟                             0800-393726
         (information on health, family and

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                   - 102 -              M AY 2002

      Bishop Auckland               01388-606661
      Chester-le-Street             0191-3893000
      Darlington                    01325-380755
      Durham                        0191-3842638
      Spennymoor                    01388-420146
      Stanley                       01207-237858


      Samaritans                    0345-909090

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK   - 103 -              M AY 2002
It is the responsibility of all schools to ensure that all staff, teaching and non-teaching,
receive basic training in Child Protection, and that the school‟s Designated Teacher is
appropriately trained through single agency and multi-agency training sessions.

Basic Training for All Staff

All staff should have basic awareness raising training to enable them to fulfil the
degree of delegated responsibility which all staff carry about Child Protection. This
would enable staff to receive disclosures or know what to do should they witness an
abusive situation, for example.

Basic training should therefore have the following outcomes:

      all staff, teaching and non-teaching, should know and understand about child
       abuse, its various forms and its patterns of prevalence, and local procedures;
      all staff should have the skills required for the purposes of recognising the main
       signs of physical, sexual and psychological abuse;
      all staff should know how to respond to a disclosure of abuse and/or an
       observation of signs or actions which may indicate possible child abuse;
      all staff should be aware of the importance and requirements of monitoring and
       recording incidents relating to abuse, i.e. related behaviours and not merely
      all staff should understand and accept the levels of confidentiality required in
       Child Protection matters;
      all staff should know of the ACPC procedures, how to access them and that the
       procedures should be followed.

This training may be delivered, cascade-style, by the trained Designed Teacher. Or it
may be delivered by the LEA Pupil Services Child Protection Team on request. The
school may of course seek training from other agencies, e.g. NSPCC.

The training should be re-visited regularly to retain alertness to and awareness of the
skills and procedures required.

It is essential that all new staff, especially newly qualified staff, have Child Protection
as part of their induction process. Regular volunteers should also be considered as
needing training.

Training for the Designated Teacher

The Designated Teacher should have participated in the LEA Training Programme
(currently Level 2) as a minimum. Further training is offered through ACPC for multi-
agency groupings. This is valuable to help in inter-agency understanding, and to
provide opportunities for networking. Currently multi-agency training focuses on the
referral process, and the Child Protection Conference.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                  - 104 -                               M AY 2002
Further training on specific areas is often available and schools will be informed as
this becomes available via Pupil Services Child Protection Team.

Schools which experience recurring patterns of alleged abuse would benefit from
having some staff trained in child counselling, or a counsellor as part of the staffing
establishment such training is available for example from NSPCC.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK               - 105 -                             M AY 2002

       The purpose of this Handbook has been an attempt to give clear and practical
guidance to help Designated Teachers and Head Teachers deal effectively with Child
Protection matters. Its aim was not merely to take readers through the procedures
and outline where schools could enhance their involvement, although this has been an
important element. A significant emphasis has been placed on what schools can do
to help ease the difficulties faced daily by children who are abused, to work with
children to help them protect themselves, and to prevent the perpetration of abuse by
the next generation of adults by teaching responsible attitudes and respect for others.

        Schools have been made aware of how important it is that they become
knowledgeable about the nature of their local community and the impact of such
elements as Domestic Violence, Substance Misuse and Mental Health can have on
the well-being of the children in their schools. Using multi-agency groups can help
share that local knowledge, and such groups can also have the advantage of allowing
effort and resources to be appropriately channelled, avoiding disjointed and duplicated

      In whatever sphere of activity, good schools aim for continuous improvement,
and take it upon themselves to see out good practice, to share good practice and to
review their own practice against appropriate benchmarks.

        Child Protection is an area of a school‟s activity which is worthy of such
consideration, and should form part of a school‟s review of its own efficiency and
effectiveness. A model for such a review forms part of this Handbook, and if
undertaken would allow a school to identify strengths and weaknesses, and thus plan
for improvement in those areas where such need is identified.

        In conclusion, the Handbook will have served its purpose if it is found useful by
its target audience - Head Teachers, Designated Teachers, staff and Governors - and
if greater consistency and improved strategies for protecting children and preventing
abuse are developed throughout County Durham‟s schools.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                - 106 -                              M AY 2002
                                                                                         Appendix 1


The following checklist and questions should be used to help you complete an initial referral of
concern about a possible child „in need‟. Where the question is written out in full - marked by
an asterisk* - please use the exact wording, but feel free to ask supplementary questions to
obtain more information.

                      Referrer                                            Event

Professional                                          What happened? Detailed description of
Parent                                                observed behaviour.
Public                                                This space is for brief/bullet pointed notes.

   Relationship to identified person/family?         




   Does the child/family know you are referring      

    them now?                                         




   Has anyone been spoken to about this              

    matter?    Other family member? Other             

    professional/agency?                              



   Is the referrer willing to be identified to the      Has it happened before? How often?

   Can the referrer introduce a social worker?          Was there harm/injury to a child?

   Would the referrer be willing to be contacted        What has happened since then?
    in future?

   Is the referrer aware of what will happen            Did you see these things personally or has
    now?                                                  someone told you about them? If hearsay
                                                          then contact details of third party needed.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                   M AY 2002
              Focused Questions

                                                      0   5               10
   If 0 is that your concern is as high as it can
    be, and 10 is that everything is OK -
    what is your level of concern about this
    child now?

   What is happening for the child that is
    making you concerned

   Has the score ever been higher? (when
    things were better) (if the answer is YES)
    How high?

   What was happening then that made it

   For the child

   For the family

   For the agency(ies)

                                                      0   5               10
   What score would tell you things were OK?

   What would be happening then?

   For the child

   For the family

   For the agency(ies)

   What will have to happen for the concerns in
    this case to reduce - for the family to meet
    the child‟s needs more effectively?
    (Search for DETAIL of what will make the
    concerns reduce)

   What will others (family members/agencies
    etc.) be doing differently?

                                                      0   5               10
   Questions for professionals – DETAIL

   If 0 is that there is no likelihood of progress
    and 10 is that progress is certain - where is
    this case now?
    What needs to happen for progress to be

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                   M AY 2002
            Family & Community

   Does the caller know much about the            This space is for brief/bullet pointed notes to
    family/person?                                 provide supplementary information:






   How would the caller describe contact with     

    this family?                                   







   Can the caller tell the agency anything that   

    would help them understand the family?         







   What is the family‟s composition?              







   Ages/gender of children?                       







   Any other information about the child/family   

    which will help to resolve the concern?        







A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                     M AY 2002
                                                                                                                                                          Appendix 2

                    DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
                                                                                                  CHILD PROTECTION REFERRAL
                    EDUCATION DEPARTMENT                                                              CONFIRMATION FORM


  Surname: …………………………………… Forename: ……………………………………… M/F: ………….

  Date of Birth: ……………………………….. Age: ………………………. Year Group: ……………………….

  Address: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


  Parents/Carers: ……………………………………………………… Phone No: …………………………………..


  Name: …………………………………………………… Position: …………………………………………………..

  School: ………………………………………………………………… Phone No: ………………………………….

  Head Teacher: ………………………………………… Designated Teacher: …………………………………….
                       (Name)                              (Name)


                    Social Services Office: ........................................                                                       Police

  Time: …………………………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………...



  WHAT IS THE REFERRAL ABOUT? (Include all relevant details i.e. dates, times, events, presenting facts,
  names and statements made by the child; remember not to embark on further investigations)

                                                                                                                                             (continue on additional
                                                                                                                                                sheets if necessary)

                                                                                         Date: .............................................................................

  Signed: .................................................................. Designated Teacher/Referrer/Head Teacher/Line Manager

  Return to: Manager of Pupil Services, Room 3/93, Education Dept., County Hall, Durham DH1 5UJ –
  marked confidential

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                                      M AY 2002
                                                                                                        Appendix 3

                                                                                                    (Cover for File)

                                    Cestria Primary School

                                       Child Protection File

                 Name: ....................................................

              D.O.B.: .............................

Date File Opened: .............................

                                  Year                              Class                          Teacher








    Transferred to: ....................................................

         Date:       ..................................   Reason: ......................................................

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                  M AY 2002
                              Cestria Primary School

                Child Protection File - Additional Details

Name of Child: _______________________________________ D/B _________

Address:     ________________________________________________________

Tel. No.:    ____________________

Parent(s)/Carer(s): __________________________________________________

Social Worker(s): __________________________________________________


Initial Referral Made: _____________________ File Opened: _____________

Additional Information:

File Closed: __________________ Reason(s): _____________________________


A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                       M AY 2002
                              Cestria Primary School

File Note Re: ________________________________________________________

Date: _______________ Author: ______________________ No. of Pages: _____


Signed: _______________________ Date: _________________ P[ ] of [ ] cont.
[ ]

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                       M AY 2002
                              Cestria Primary School

                                    File Note

Re: _________________________________________________ Date: _________





Initials:___________ File to: __________________ Copy to: ________________

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                        M AY 2002
                                                                                                                                                       Appendix 4
                                              Report for Initial Child Protection Conference
                                             Date of Conference:_______________________

Name of Child                      ..........................................................................................................................………...
Date of Birth                      ...................................
Address                            …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Parents/Carers                     .................………………………………………………………………………………………

Name of person completing this report: ...................................................................................................…
Position                           ....................................................................................................................................…
Signed                             ................................................................................ Date          .....................................…
Involvement in any previous Multi Agency meetings for this child
                       Core Group                                        Review                                      Planning Meeting

This report will be shared with parents prior to the meeting (appointment offered) ...............................
This report has been shared with parents prior to the meeting dated ......................................................

Involvement by other agencies/professionals (name professionals)........................................................
Educational Psychology Service ................................................................                               since (date) .......................
Education Welfare Service ........................................................................................................................…
Learning Support Service …………………………………………………………………………………………
Child and Family Therapy …………………………………………………………………………………………
Other (e.g. DTU, Hearing Impaired) ………………………………………………………………………………



Percentage of unauthorised absence this term:
Any concerns/known factors affecting the pupil‟s attendance?
Any concerns/known factors affecting punctuality?
Are absences notified appropriately?
What reasons have been given for any absence?

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                               M AY 2002
Special Educational Needs

Does the child have a Statement of Special Educational Needs?

Statement initiated             Proposed Statement              Statement finalised   Date:

In brief what are the child‟s Special Educational Needs?;
What Stage of Assessment? Attach copies of IEPs if appropriate.

How does the child/young person perform educationally? (Please note strengths and weaknesses,
attitudes and approaches to learning, attitude to homework, participation in extra-curricular
activities, any particular areas of concern.) Is it the school‟s view that the child is fulfilling his/her

Is the child functioning at a level at, above or below average for his/her age?

How does the child/young person behave in school - in lesson time, in unstructured time? Are
there any patterns or have there been any changes in behaviour/demeanour?

Relationships with People in School

How does the child relate to his peers?
(Does the child have particular relationships with older or younger children?)

How does he/she relate to teaching staff, to other adults?

Describe briefly any specific incident to exemplify, if appropriate.

How does the child present in school (e.g. appearance, personal organisation, respect for

Are there any concerns about the child‟s social, emotional or physical development?

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                    M AY 2002
Relationships with Parents

1. Describe the relationship between parents and school, from the school‟s point of view?

2. Have parents/carers taken up all the opportunities to contact school about the child - e.g. parents
   evenings, meetings to discuss particular incidents?

3. Does the child/young person talk about home at school; if so are any details relevant?

Are parents aware of any concerns school has?

How do they respond?

Are parents willing to work with school over specific issues, e.g. behaviour?


In Summary
(please draw together briefly the main threads of this report)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                 M AY 2002
                                                                      Appendix 5

                     ON (DATE) A DECISION WAS MADE TO PLACE

                             PLACE WITHIN SIX MONTHS

                              CHILD PROTECTION PLAN

Child‟s Name:                                      Date of Birth:

(1)   Names of all those involved in this Agreement/Plan

      CHILD (if appropriate)

      CORE GROUP: (e.g. Health Visitor, School Nurse, Teacher etc.)
      SIGNIFICANT OTHERS: (e.g. Family Members)

(2)   Why was xxxs‟s name put on the Register?

      What are the problems as seen by:

      CHILD (if appropriate)

(3)   What needs to be done?

(4)   How long will it take?

(5)   Work to be done in order to tackle the Problems:

      (a)    By Child (if appropriate)

      (b)    By Parents

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                              M AY 2002
        (c)   By the Core Group Members:

              (i)     Health Visitor

              (ii)    School Nurse

              (iii)   Teacher

              (iv)    Key Worker

              (v)     Others

        (d)   Significant Others e.g. Family Members, Paediatrician etc.

(6)     Who will visit and when?

        (a)   Health Visitor

        (b)   Key Worker

        (c)   Others

(7)     When will this Agreement/Plan be Reviewed?

(8)     What if this Agreement/Plan is not followed?

(9)     What options are available if the problems are not solved?


                                       KEY WORKER

                     (YOU MAY WISH TO DISCUSS IT FURTHER)



A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                M AY 2002
                                                                                                                    Appendix 6

The Review Child Protection Conference Report

Date of Conference:

Name of Child:               .........................................................................................................

Date of Birth:               ............................................................................................……….

Address:                     .........................................................................................................



Parents/Carers:              ...........................................................................................………..

Name of School/Establishment: ......................................................................……...

Phone: .............................................................               Fax: ..................................…...

Name of Person Completing this Report: ..........................................................…...

Position: ………………………………………………………………………………………

Signed: ................................................................           Date: ................................…...

Involvement in any previous meetings for this child

           Initial                               Core Group                            Review                        Planning
           Conference                                                                                                Meeting

This report will be shared with parents/carers prior to the meeting (appointment

This report has been shared with parents/carers prior to the meeting - date.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                              M AY 2002
The school‟s view
(please state: what changes have there been in the child in school since the last
report; whether there are continuing concerns and what these are, whether
there are no further major concerns)

Since the previous meeting the following support/action has been undertaken:

The outcomes of this support/action are:

Recommendation for future support/action/involvement by school or other

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                              M AY 2002
                                                                                                                                                                APPENDIX 7
School Child Protection Self-Review Inventory
The grids below indicate aspects of school life relevant to self-review of Child Protection arrangements.
The grids are intended to enable a systematic annual process of self-review.
It may not be possible to cover all elements every year. However, all elements should be covered over a two year period.
The person responsible for conducting the review should consider taking the following steps:
Step 1 -    Select elements for inclusion in the review.
Step 2 -    For each element identify which participants - pupils, parents, staff, Head Teacher and other agencies - are best placed to provide relevant information.
Step 3 -    Using the headings for each section and the distribution of items amongst the participants create a set of inventories.
                                                                                                                    Pupils      Parents       Staff        Head         Agencies
1.      Head Teacher‟s attributes
1.1     Sense of awareness and understanding of the lives of children and young people in need.
1.2     Acceptance of the responsibility to respond to these needs.
1.3     Personal commitment to the human rights of children and young people in school.
1.4     Clear, personal leadership to make the school a safe place for children and young people.

2.      School‟s arrangements to enable pupils to talk to adults in confidence, and be listened to
2.1     Designated times and locations for pupils to speak to staff.
2.2     Access to specialist staff, e.g. school nurse, school counsellor.
2.3     Use of registration time, circle time, tutorial time for personal contact with pupils.

3.      School‟s efforts to enable parental participation
3.1     Extent to which parents feel welcome in school.
3.2     Degree of parents‟ confidence to approach Head Teacher or form tutors to deal with family matters.
3.3     Extent to which parents with family needs feel judged by school staff.
3.4     Extent to which parents with family needs feel they are listened to in school.
3.5     Extent to which parents feel they will be helped by school to cope with family needs.

4.      Staff knowledge and skills
4.1     Ability to identify signs which may characterise physical, sexual or psychological abuse of pupils.
4.2     Extent to which staff demonstrate that they are alert to these signs.
4.3     Degree of staff confidence to act on signs of potential child abuse observed in school.
4.4     Knowledge of reporting system for making a referral in school.
4.5     Extent to which staff feel confident that their referral will be acted upon.
4.6     Extent to which staff are confident that they will be kept informed after making a referral.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                                         M AY 2002
School Child Protection Self-Reviewnventory
The grids below indicate the main areas for internal investigation.
For each item the columns on the right indicate the key sources of feedback.
                                                                                                                    Pupils   Parents   Staff   Head    Agencies
5.      School culture
5.1     Extent to which staff respond effectively to the personal needs of pupils.
5.2     Level of staff understanding of the factors that may operate in families against the interests of pupils.
5.3     Staff accept of their responsibility to remain alert to abusive behaviour by adults in school.

6.      Attributes of the designated teacher
6.1     Ability as a skilled and trusted listener.
6.2     Depth of knowledge of pupils, parents and staff.
6.3     Ability to remain calm under pressure and not to over-react.
6.4     Extent to which approach to specialist tasks is systematic and analytical.
6.5     Clarity and purposefulness of procedures for collecting further information.

7.      School‟s links with other agencies
7.1     Extent to which Head Teacher operates a network of inter-agency connection for pupils‟ benefit.
7.2     Extent to which school has regular, purposeful meetings with other agency representatives.
7.3     Multi-agency meetings in school focused on children‟s needs.
7.4     Extent to which multi-agency meetings focus on practical responses to pupils‟ perceived needs.
7.5     Extent to which multi-agency meetings focus on information exchange and skill development.
7.6     Levels of professional trust and respect exist between the school and the other agencies.
7.7     Designated teacher has ready access to informal advice from other agencies.
7.8     Designated teacher can discuss with confidence a disclosure or referral with other agency officers.
7.9     Designated teacher knows action will not be taken by another agency without their knowledge.
7.10    Designated teacher has realistic expectations of what social workers can deliver.

8.      School policy
8.1     Policy was developed with staff involvement.
8.2     Child Protection Policy is part of a wider set of related school policies.
8.3     Policy relates to school‟s personal and social education curriculum.
8.4     Policy is published in a Staff Handbook.
8.5     Policy is published in information for parents.
8.6     Discussion of Child Protection Policy and practice is part of staff induction programme, for all staff.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                           M AY 2002
School Child Protection Self-Review Inventory

The grids below indicate the main areas for internal investigation.
For each item the columns on the right indicate the key sources of feedback.

                                                                                                                Pupils   Parents   Staff   Head    Agencies
9.      Staff INSET
9.1     All staff have basic awareness training, and training to recognise possible signs of abuse.
9.2     Senior pastoral staff and designated teacher receive in-depth training.
9.3     Training for designated teacher involves multi-agency work.

10.     Pastoral management arrangements
10.1    Take account of all pupils in school.
10.2    Geared sufficiently to the needs of pupils in families known to be experiencing difficulties.
10.3    During a child abuse investigation communications with staff are well managed.

11.     Communications with families
11.1    School regularly informs parents about its Child Protection policy and practice.
11.2    Parents informed that school will put pupils first when there are concerns about neglect or abuse.
11.3    Parents are given clear information that the school will refer cases to Social Services if necessary.

12.     Staff recruitment and selection (particular significance for residential schools)
12.1    Recruitment documentation highlights determination to protect pupils from abuse.
12.2    Recruitment documentation highlights values and beliefs about pupils‟ rights.
12.3    Selection process makes explicit standards to which staff are expected to work to protect pupils.
12.4    Candidates required to express their commitment to the rights of pupils to protection from abuse.

13.     Record keeping and reporting
13.1    School has well maintained confidential system of recording information about pupils in need.
13.2    When an investigation of alleged abuse occurs the school contributes information effectively.
13.3    At transfer the designated teacher passes all Child Protection information to her counter-part.

14.     Allegation of abuse against staff
14.1    Cases treated with same determination and confidentiality as all other disclosures or allegations.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                       M AY 2002
School Child Protection Self-Review Inventory

The grids below indicate the main areas for internal investigation.
For each item the columns on the right indicate the key sources of feedback.

                                                                                                                   Pupils   Parents   Staff   Head    Agencies
15.     Involvement in and preparation for multi-agency Child Protection meeting
15.1    Designated teacher ensures all staff involved are briefed and prepared for the meetings.
15.2    Notes and background materials are prepared to a high standard.

16.     Review of Child Protection arrangements
16.1    Designated teacher and Head Teacher review policy and practice annually.
16.2    Pupils, parents, staff and officers from other agencies involved in school‟s annual self-review process.

17.     Pupils‟ perspectives
17.1    Pupils feel safe in school.
17.2    Pupils have confidence to go to adults in school if they need to deal with sensitive personal issues.
17.3    Pupils trust staff with confidential information.
17.4    School trains willing pupils to be actively involved in pupil support systems, such as buddies.
17.5    Pupils are taught about keeping themselves safe and being able to speak out against abuse.
17.6    Pupils are protected against intolerant and intimidating staff.
17.7    Pupils are enabled to speak out against any form of bullying in school.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                                                                                          M AY 2002
                                                                              Appendix 8

                              EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
         Categories of posts where Police record checks should be made

(a)     County Hall-based Staff
        Education Welfare Officers
        Careers Officer (including specialist careers officers and other staff)

(b)     School-based Staff
        Supply Teachers
        Music Instructors
        Nursery Assistants
        Technicians and Laboratory Staff
        Matrons/Domestic Assistants
        Supervisory Assistants
        Houseparents/Residential Child Care Officers
        Welfare Assistants
        Swimming Instructors
        Clerical Assistants/Bursars/Administrative Staff
        Crossing Patrols
        Gardeners/Groundspersons (Note: Managed by Contract Services Department)

(c)     Education Centres/Home Tuition/Child Guidance Clinics/
        Youth and Community Centres
        Leaders and Wardens, including part-timers
        Clerical Assistants/Bursars/Administrative Staff
        Domestic Staff
(d)     Other Staff
        Any post not listed above which the Director of Education considers a Police
        check may be required.
(e)     Other
        Taxi Drivers and Escorts
        Volunteers who come into school on a regular basis, defined as coming into
        school on a regular weekly basis, or involved in overnight school visits
        University/college placements (Note: Undertaken on chargeable basis)

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                       M AY 2002
                                                                            Appendix 9

                                             Source: CAPE - North West Region

                        CHILD PROTECTION DECLARATION

                     Volunteers, Governors and Other Staff New
                    to the School/Service Including Supply Staff

Teachers and other people in regular contact with children and young people are in a
position to get to know these individuals well, to develop trusting relationships,
observe changes in behaviour and may be chosen by the young person to share
confidences and concerns. Regrettably there are occasions where child abuse is
alleged or suspected. All such situations must be taken seriously.

It is the policy of this establishment to safeguard the welfare of children and all
others involved in the establishment‟s activities by protecting them from
physical, sexual and emotional harm.

It is the responsibility of each adult to ensure that his or her behaviour is appropriate
at all times. A Code of Behaviour is included in this document to give positive
guidance for all adults. It is essential that all adults follow the Code of Behaviour
whether they work with children, young people or adults. Details of the steps to take if
abuse is alleged or suspected are also included in this document, although more
detailed guidance is available from the designated teacher for Child Protection. It is
important to remember that the Education Service is not an investigation agency. If
there is an allegation or suspicion of abuse then this must be reported to the Head, or
similar responsible person, immediately who will begin the appropriate action. In all
matters of child protection, the welfare and protection of the child is the paramount
consideration. Swift reporting will enable the correct authority to give advice and take
appropriate action.

These procedures are put in place, not to discourage adults to be involved in the life of
this school/service, but to ensure, as far as possible, the safety of children and that
people who may abuse children do not get the opportunity to do so.

All adults coming into contact with children and young people in this school/service
must comply with the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour. As one such
person you are required to sign a copy of this document. By signing you agree to
comply with the policy and to follow the Code of Behaviour. The form must be read,
discussed, signed and handed to the Head Teacher or other designated person
before you take up any duties in this establishment.


If you suspect or are concerned that a child/young person is being abused:

(i)    immediately tell the designated teacher for Child Protection or your Line
(ii)   record the facts as you know them and give a copy to the above person.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                     M AY 2002
If a child/young person tells you that he/she is being abused:
(i)     allow him/her to speak without interruption, accepting what is said;
(ii)    advise him/her that you will try to offer support but that you MUST pass the
        information on to the designated Child Protection Teacher. You must not
        promise confidentiality;
(iii)   immediately tell the designated Child Protection Teacher;
(iv)    record the facts as you know them, including the account given to you by the
        young person and give a copy to the designated Child Protection Teacher;
(v)     if the designated Teacher/Line Manager does not take action to refer the case
        to Social Services, you should take immediate action to do so within the same
        working day.

If you receive an allegation about any adult or about yourself:
(i)     immediately tell the designated Child Protection Teacher;
(ii)    record the facts as you know them and give a copy to the designated Child
        Protection Teacher.
You must refer. You must NOT investigate.

Code of Behaviour
Do      treat everyone with respect.

Do      try to plan activities so that they involve more than one person or at least are
        in sight of hearing of others.

Do      respect a young person‟s right to personal privacy.

Do      provide access for young people and adults to feel comfortable enough to
        point out attitudes of behaviours they do not like, and try to provide a caring

Do      act as an appropriate adult role model.

Do      remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions no matter how
        well intentioned.
Do not permit abusive youth/peer activities (e.g. ridiculing, bullying etc.).

Do not play physical contact games with young people.

Do not have inappropriate physical or verbal banter with others.

Do not jump to conclusions without checking facts.

Do not make suggestive remarks or gestures or tell jokes of a sexual nature.

Do not rely on your good name to protect you. It may not be enough.

Do not believe it could not happen to you. It could.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                     M AY 2002
Every adult or other helper will be required to disclose all convictions whether
spent or not. Checks will be made on everyone who has not already been the
subject of vetting by this or any other organisation.

Name:                ____________________________________________________

Date of Birth:       ____________________________________________________

Address:             ____________________________________________________



Other names by which I may be/have been known:         _________________________


Please delete as appropriate

       I am willing to be checked against Police and other records, and will complete
        the appropriate form.

       I have not incurred any criminal convictions, nor have I committed any offences
        of abuse or causing harm to children or young people, or any other offence
        which may be relevant to the work which I may undertake in this establishment.

       I am not aware of any other investigations which may have been held, or may
        currently be in progress, concerning my behaviour towards others.

I have read and understood this document, consent to the appropriate checks being
made, and agree to adhere to the Child Protection policy and follow the Code of

Name (please print):          _______________________________________________

Signed:                       _______________________________________________

Date:                         _______________________________________________

Signature of Head Teacher/other appropriate officer: _________________________

Position:                     _______________________________________________

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                   M AY 2002
                              CHILD PROTECTION CASES

Child Protection investigations and procedures take precedence over a school‟s
disciplinary procedures. Advice on Child Protection matters is available from Pupil
Services Unit.

In all cases where allegations of a child protection nature are made against a member
of staff including the Head Teacher the Area Child Protection Committee procedures
should be followed and the referral process undertaken as would any referral alleging
harm to a child.

Receiving the Allegation

     The child should be listened to and heard, whatever form their attempts to
      communicate their worries take. On no account must suggestions be made to
      children as to alternative explanations for their worries nor leading questions
      asked. A written dated record must be made of the allegations - using where
      possible, the child‟s own words - as soon as possible after the disclosure but
      certainly within 24 hours. A note should also be made of the dates, times,
      context, locations and names of potential witnesses.

     Confidentiality cannot be promised, since the nature of the allegation may
      dictate that a Child Protection referral should be made.

Consideration of the Allegation

     The allegation should not be investigated by the school beyond the point of
      considering whether there could be substance in the allegation, but the
      member of staff against whom the allegation has been made should not be
      interviewed. These initial considerations would involve discussion with the LEA
      Child Protection Team and would reveal one of the following:

            there is a need for an immediate referral under the Child Protection
             procedures - in which case a referral should be made;
            there is reason to suppose abuse could have occurred and that referral
             under the Child Protection Procedures or under internal disciplinary
             procedures may be necessary - in which case a referral should be made
             unless the allegation is trivial or demonstrably false;
            that the allegation is apparently without foundation (for example, if the
             member of staff were absent on the day in question);
            that the allegation was prompted by inappropriate behaviour which
             needs to be considered under local disciplinary procedures.

Where a decision is taken not to make a referral a written dated note of the allegation
and the reasons for the non-referral should be made.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                     M AY 2002
Where the allegation is made against a Head Teacher it is advisable to inform the LEA
Child Protection Team and the Senior Schools Officer, School and Governor Support
Service as soon as possible, whoever receives the allegation should discuss the
matter with the Designated Teacher, unless that person is the Head Teacher, in which
case the contact should be made with the LEA directly. The Chair of Governors would
then be informed

A referral should be made to the Social Services Team in the area where the child
resides, the same working day as the allegation is made or the disclosure received.

A Strategy Meeting is the likely outcome of the referral being made.

A Strategy Meeting

      A strategy meeting should be called within 2 working days, but more often this
       takes place the same day. At the meeting the allegation will be considered by
       the Child Protection investigating agencies - Social Services and the Police
       with the LEA Officer and Head Teacher.

      The outcome of the Strategy Meeting will influence the subsequent immediate
       action in disciplinary terms. Until the outcome of the strategy meeting the
       member of staff should not be informed of the allegation, unless previously
       agreed with Social Services.

      The Strategy Meeting may have several outcomes including:

             not to proceed further under the Child Protection procedures;

             to continue the process of the referral by a joint investigation by Police
              and Social Services interviewing the child, (having sought the
              permission of parents) and to interview the member of staff;

             to recommend the suspension of the member of staff on the grounds

                    where the allegations are so serious that dismissal for gross
                     misconduct is possible
                    where a suspension is necessary to allow the conduct of the
                     investigation to proceed unimpeded.

Advice on suspension should be sought from the LEA and from Personnel and
Consumer Services and should be carried out in line with agreed procedures. The
strategy meeting can only recommend suspension; it is ultimately the Head Teacher‟s

Where a joint investigation has been conducted a further strategy meeting may be
called to reconsider the allegation in the light of the information gathered, for example
to consider if other children may be at risk.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                       M AY 2002
Once a decision has been taken not to proceed further under the Child
Protection procedures the Head Teacher can initiate the disciplinary

The Head Teacher should then:

     establish the nature of the allegations;
     interview the employee;
     establish who has already been interviewed and obtain statements/reports on
      this from Police/Social Services: liaise with County Secretary and Solicitor for
      information from the Police;
     establish if there are other children/adults who need to be interviewed (when
      contemplating interviewing other children it is strongly recommended that
      advice is first sought from Pupil Services Unit);
     when conducting interviews of this nature, it is important to be able to
      demonstrate that leading questions were not asked;
     finally, when all relevant information has been gathered, re-interview the
      employee and decide if there is a case to answer;
     if there is a case to answer a decision will need to be made as to whether it can
      be dealt with by management advice or whether a disciplinary hearing needs to
      be convened.

Where the allegation is against the Head Teacher, the Chair of Governors would be
supported by School and Governor Support Service in line with agreed procedures.

Any disciplinary procedure should follow the appropriate guidance.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                   M AY 2002

Anne Schonveld                      Schools and Child Protection.
(CEDC Publications)
                                    Developing Your Child Protection Policy.
                                    Child Protection and School Support

                                    School Governors and Child Protection.

Ben Whitney                         Child Protection for Teachers and
(Kogan Page)                        Schools.

Department of Health                Child Protection - Messages from

Department of Education             Pastoral Care in Schools - Child
(Northern Ireland)                  Protection.

Home Office                         Living Without Fear.

N.S.P.C.C.                          Turning Points - A Resource Pack.

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK        - 63 -                               M AY 2002

                      DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL
                                                                                                    CHILD PROTECTION REFERRAL
                      EDUCATION DEPARTMENT                                                              CONFIRMATION FORM


    Surname: …………………………………… Forename: ……………………………………… M/F: ………….

    Date of Birth: ……………………………….. Age: ………………………. Year Group: ……………………….

    Address: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


    Parents/Carers: ……………………………………………………… Phone No: …………………………………..


    Name: …………………………………………………… Position: …………………………………………………..

    School: ………………………………………………………………… Phone No: ………………………………….

    Head Teacher: ………………………………………… Designated Teacher: …………………………………….
                         (Name)                              (Name)


                      Social Services Office: ........................................                                                       Police

    Time: …………………………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………...



    WHAT IS THE REFERRAL ABOUT? (Include all relevant details i.e. dates, times, events, presenting facts,
    names and statements made by the child; remember not to embark on further investigations)

                                                                                                                                               (continue on additional
                                                                                                                                                  sheets if necessary)

                                                                                           Date: .............................................................................

    Signed: .................................................................. Designated Teacher/Referrer/Head Teacher/Line Manager

    Return to: Manager of Pupil Services, Room 3/93, Education Dept., County Hall, Durham DH1 5UJ –
    marked confidential

A CHILD PROTECTION HANDBOOK                                                               - 63 -                                                                     M AY 2002

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