Safeguarding Children Policy

1. Legislation and Guidance

This policy pays due regard to

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
  • The Children’s Act 1989 (and 2004 amendment)
  • PREVENT Duty 2015
  • FGM Act 2003
  • Serious Crime Act 2015
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (Schedule 4 defining what a regulated activity is)
  • Childcare (Disqualification) and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Education (Independent School Standards) Regulation 2014

2. Aims and objectives

We strive to educate all of our pupils within an environment where they feel safe, confident and secure. Safeguarding and the wellbeing of the pupils should be at the heart of everything we do, whatever aspect of school life we engage in. The overall aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children in our care – in situations where child abuse is suspected our paramount responsibility is with the child This will be achieved by

  • Continuing to develop an awareness in all staff of the need for Child Protection and their responsibilities in identifying abuse
  • Offering regular training and updates through bulletins/e-mails and discussions to give staff confidence to carry out their role effectively including reporting any concerns
  • Ensuring that all staff are aware of the referral procedures within the setting
  • Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘at risk’
  • Ensuring that outside agencies are involved where appropriate
  • Creating an environment where children feel secure, have their viewpoints valued, are encouraged to talk and are listened to
  • Delivering a PSHE curriculum that teaches children about healthy relationships
  • Adopting a zero tolerance to any forms of bullying or abuse

3. Definitions

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children means

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Child protection is part of this definition and refers to activities undertaken to prevent children suffering, or being likely to suffer, significant harm

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child and may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm.

Neglect is a form of abuse and is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.

Sharing of nudes or semi-nudes (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery) is where children share nude or semi-nude images, videos or live streans.

Children includes everyone under the age of 18.

The following 3 safeguarding partners are identified in KCSIE (and defined in the Children’s Act as amended by Chapter 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017) They will make arrangements to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of local children, including identifying and responding to their needs:

  • The Local Authority (LA)
  • A clinical commissioning group for an area within the LA
  • The chief officer of police for a police area in the LA area

Victim is a widely understood and recognised term, but we understand that not everyone who has been subjected to abuse considers themselves a victim, or would want to be described that way. When managing an incident, we will be prepared to use any term that the child feels most comfortable with.

Alleged perpetrator(s) and perpetrator(s) are widely used and recognised terms. However, we will think carefully about what terminology we use (especially in front of the children) as, in some cases, abusive behaviour can be harmful to the perpetrator too. We will decide what’s appropriate and which terms to use on a case-by-case basis.

Section 17 of The Children’s Act 1989 is the legal duty of children’s services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need in the area. Section 17 support can include a range of services such as accommodation, living expenses, or cash help. The aim of Section 17 is to promote the upbringing of children in need by their families.

Section 47 of The Children’s Act 1989 is a legal provision that requires the Local Authority to make enquiries and investigate if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. The purpose of S47 is to gather evidence and determine if any interventions may be beneficial to the child’s welfare.

4, Equality Statement

Some children have an increased risk of abuse, and additional barriers can exist for some children with respect to recognising or disclosing it. We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and recognise children’s diverse circumstances. We ensure that all children have the same protection, regardless of any barriers they may face. We give special consideration to children who

  • Have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or health conditions
  • Are young carers
  • May experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification, or sexuality
  • Have English as an additional language
  • Are known to be living in difficult situations e.g. temporary accommodation or where there are any issues such as substance misuse or domestic violence
  • Are at risk of FGM, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, or radicalisation
  • Are asylum seekers
  • Are at risk due to either their own or a family member’s mental health needs
  • Are looked after or previously looked after
  • Are missing from education
  • Whose parent/carer has expressed an intention to remove them from school to be home educated

5. Roles and responsibilities

At Prestwich Prep we recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of PPS including staff, volunteers and students.

All staff must

  • Read and understand at least part 1 and annex B of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) and review this guidance at least annually
  • Sign a declaration at the beginning of each academic year to say that they have reviewed the guidance
  • Provide a safe space for all children to speak out and share their concerns.
  • Be able and prepared to identify any child in need of early help
  • Be aware of the role of the DSL including when and how to contact them
  • Follow the school’s structures for safeguarding concerns
  • Be able and prepared to deal with any safeguarding concern including knowing who to speak to and understand how to deal with sharing information and confidentiality issues.
  • Receive appropriate training about safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) which is updated via e-mail or bulletins at least annually or as required, checking school safeguarding padlet regularly for this information
  • Be aware of what to do if a child tells them about being abused, neglected or exploited
  • Be able to recognise physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, as well as safeguarding issues surrounding child sexual exploitation (CSE), child criminal exploitation (CCE) including county lines, child on child abuse, serious violence, Prevent related issues and female genital mutilation (FGM) and understand that often safeguarding issues overlap
  • Be able to reassure victims that they are being taken seriously, and will be supported and kept safe. Staff should never give the impression that reporting abuse causes problems, and victims should not feel ashamed.
  • Understand the child protection process including Section 17 and Section 47 of the Children’s Act 1989 and multi-agency meetings, and be aware of local arrangements for the early help process, understanding their role in each.
  • Be aware that safeguarding concerns can be linked to or caused by factors in a child’s wider environment outside of the family, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, and serious youth violence. This is often referred to as contextual safeguarding.
  • Be aware that mental health issues can be a significant indicator of abuse or neglect.
  • Be able to report concerns about safeguarding arrangements within their school and know not to hesitate before doing so.

The Head teacher will

  • Be responsible (alongside the DSL) for the implementation of this and all related policies ensuring that outcomes are monitored
  • Meet regularly with the DSL regarding the effectiveness of safeguarding and implementation of related policies
  • Ensure that the DSL has appropriate time and resources to fulfil all of their functions and ensure adequate cover in the event that the DSL is not available
  • Ensure that everyone connected to the school is aware of and understands
  • this policy
  • Ensure that everyone has appropriate training, including online training – at induction and at regular intervals thereafter
  • Ensure safer recruitment practice is followed when recruiting for posts, and act as a case manager when an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer. This includes being the recipient of any low-level concerns ( those that do not meet the threshold)
  • Ensure that the school has a robust system for gathering all appropriate checks in relation to all staff, volunteers and visitors, including Section 128 checks for people in a management role
  • Ensure the school offers a safe environment via a robust health and safety policy and procedures to meet the statutory responsibilities for the safety of students and staff at the school
  • Ensure that relevant staffing ratios are met where applicable
  • Ensure that each child in the EYFS is assigned a key person

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will

  • Be available in term time – this can in exceptional circumstances be via online if they are not physically in the building, to provide advise or support on child welfare, safeguarding and child protection matters
  • Be the point of contact for staff who have a concern about a child’s welfare, safeguarding, or a child protection issue, including where the concern involves a mental health issue.
  • Act as a point of contact for safeguarding partners – for example, the police in relation to Operation Encompass – and where required taking part in and contributing to strategic discussions and inter-agency meetings, and supporting other staff to engage with this process
  • Liaise with other staff (as needed) e.g. SENCOs when referring matters to children’s social care, so that the reports are as holistic as possible
  • Ensure that account is taken of the risk to children outside their families and considering whether children are at risk of abuse relating to exploitation and serious violence.
  • Discuss with the mental Health Lead any concerns that have a mental health element
  • Manage referrals to the Local Authority Children’s Services or other services, such as the police when a crime has been committed, or to the Channel programme, or DBS
  • Liaise with other agencies and partners in cases where early help is considered to be the most appropriate response, and contributing to any ongoing support and further assessments
  • Work closely with children’s social care and any child’s social worker – in particular when there is a statutory response – and ensuring that the actions the school proposes to take do not jeopardise an ongoing investigation
  • Not be afraid to challenge the decision or action taken by children’s social care and if a decision is made not to investigate will seek other support such as early help
  • Support by advising the school how to proceed in cases where an allegation/report of sexual violence has been made including undertaking an immediate risk assessment of need
  • Take the lead role in any decisions about sexual violence or sexual harassment which are reported to the school
  • Where an allegation is proved to be unsubstantiated, unfounded, false or malicious consider whether the person who made the allegation is in need of support for other abuse and whether the report could be a cry for help. If so will consider a referral to social care.
  • Be aware of local arrangements for Early Help
  • Be aware of local protocols and arrangements in respect of the Prevent referrals
  • Be aware of local and national support systems in place for victims of sexual violence
  • Be the point of contact for all child on child reports and be aware of issues and supporting actions where consent or power balances are an issue
  • Encourage a culture of supportive engagement with parents/carers around safeguarding
  • Ensure that children’s views are heard by encouraging a culture of listening, taking account of their wishes and feelings and building trust between staff and children so that communication and reporting issues is most effective
  • Work with colleagues to promote the educational outcomes of ‘children in need’ by understanding the extra challenges this cohort can face because of the safeguarding/welfare of child protection issues they may have been involved in
  • Know the cohort of children who have or have had a social worker and ensure their academic progress, attainment and aspirations through supporting teachers to provide any reasonable adjustments or extra support and sharing information with staff to help pupils achieve the goals set
  • Be aware of and understand the risk for children posed by some online activity, and the risk for specific groups such as those with SEND
  • Understand the barriers that stop children from reporting issues and how to build up trust to help with this
  • Have the ability to keep accurate, detailed, secure written records of safeguarding and welfare issues.
  • Keep the head teacher informed of any issue
  • Work with the Headteacher to ensure that this and all other related policies are implemented effectively

6. Confidentiality and Record Keeping

Staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with the DSL and potentially external investigating agencies, where possible under the guidance of the DSL.

If a student confides in a member of staff and requests that the information is kept secret it is important that the member of staff tells the student sensitively that they have a responsibility to refer the matter to the DSL. Have a child protection concern they should inform the DSL or Deputy DSL as soon as possible. These will be kept on the pupil’s child protection file.

Accurate, signed and dated written notes must be kept of all safeguarding and related incidents and child protection concerns relating to individual students. If a teacher or other member of staff have a child protection concern they should inform the DSL or Deputy DSL as soon as possible. These will be kept on the pupil’s child protection file.

Arrangements for child protection documentation must comply with the schools Data Protection Policy together with data protection law and regulation applicable at the time. The DSL will ensure that all child protection records are held separately from other student records. Information from the child protection files will only be shared with relevant staff when it is necessary to do so (following the seven golden rules of data sharing) and in a manner that is consistent with data protection law.

If a child for whom the school has, or has had, safeguarding concerns moves to another school the DSL will ensure that their child protection file is forwarded as soon as possible securely and separately form the main pupil file.

To allow the new setting to have support in place when the child arrives, this should be within

  • 5 days for an in-year transfer
  • The first 5 days of the new start of a term

Safeguarding records which contain information about allegations of sexual abuse will be retained for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) for the term of the inquiry.

At Prestwich Prep we will be lead by the current GDPR statutory guidelines – see GDPR and data protection policy – however it should be noted that The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.

7. Abuse and Neglect

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them, or more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child(ren). In many cases multiple issues of abuse will overlap.

Types of abuse

  • Physical abuse: abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
  • Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them, or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may also feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may also involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involve in all types of maltreatment of a child although it may occur alone.
  • Sexual abuse: forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve:
    • Physical contact, including assault by penetration or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside of clothing
    • Non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse.
  • Sexual abuse can take place online and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse can be perpetrated by men, women or other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue (also known as child on child abuse) and set out separately in this policy.
  • Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy e.g. parental substance misuse. Once a child is born neglect may involve a parent/carer failing to:
    • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment) or protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
    • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
    • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

8. Specific Safeguarding Concerns

All staff are aware of safeguarding issues that can put children at increased risk of harm. Behaviours linked to such issues put children at an increased risk of danger. One of the main signs of abuse or exploitation is when a child goes missing from education particularly repeatedly. This can be a vital warning sign of a range of safeguarding concerns as well as an indicator of mental health problems. Early intervention is necessary to identify the existence of any underlying safeguarding risks and to prevent the risks of a child going missing in future. All staff should be aware of the Children Missing Education procedures of the school.

Children Missing Education (CME)

This refers to ‘ a child of compulsory school age who is not on a school roll, nor being educated otherwise (e.g. privately or in alternative provision)and who has been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually 4 weeks of more)’ This is different from persistent absence. Children are identified as persistent absentees if they miss 10% or more of their possible sessions. This is based on individual absence levels and not by comparison to a national threshold.

Attendance is monitored daily through registers. Parents of children not in school when the registers are returned to the office will be telephoned to ascertain the reason for absence/lateness if they have not already contacted the school by telephone or e-mail.

For all pupils, in line with statutory requirements, we hold on our admissions register the full name of the parent the child lives with and their address. We ask parents to inform us of any changes to their information as soon as possible and this will then be amended on the admissions register. It is good practice to hold more than one emergency contact number for each child and we do ask parents for at least two. All of this information will be kept in line with current GDPR guidelines and will help when enquiring about missing children. This includes informing the Local Authority if a child starts or leaves the school noting the setting they will be transitioning from or to. If either is unknown the Local Authority will make enquiries on the DfE’s School2School system.

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) is a form of abuse where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate, or deceive a child into criminal activity, in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator, and/or through violence or the threat of violence.

The abuse can be perpetrated by males or females, and children or adults. It can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse. Children can be moved from area to area – this is known as trafficking. Involvement in this type of abuse can be as a direct result of threats of serious violence to the young person or their family.

The victim can be exploited even when the activity appears to be consensual. Further, it does not always involve physical contact but can happen exclusively online.

Serious violent crime

Some students may be drawn into serious violent crime. Staff need to be aware of the indicators that this may be happening to a student. These may include:

  • Increased absence from school
  • A change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups
  • A significant decline in performance
  • Signs of self-harm or a significant change in well being
  • Signs of assault or unexplained injuries

Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs, and may be at risk of criminal exploitation.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

CSE is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity:

  • In exchange for something the victim needs or wants and/or
  • For the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or
  • By threats of serious violence to the victims and their families

It can be a one off or part of a series of acts over time, and can be opportunistic or organised abuse. It can be perpetrated by men or women, and peers can be involved. Victims of this type of abuse can be male or female. The victim may be subject to criminal exploitation and may be trafficked for the purpose of exploitation.

The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Children or young people who are being sexually exploited may not understand that they are being abused. They often trust their abuser and may be tricked into believing they are in a loving, consensual relationship. CSE does not always involve physical contact; it can occur through the use of technology. For example, young people may be persuaded or forced to share sexually explicit images of themselves, have sexual conversations by text, or take part in sexual activities using a webcam. CSE may also occur without the victim’s immediate knowledge – through others making copies of recordings or images.

Honour-based abuse: Forced Marriage (FM)

This is a separate issue from arranged marriage. Forced marriage is a human rights abuse and falls within the Crown Prosecution Service definition of domestic abuse. It is also a criminal offence to force a person to marry in England and Wales.

Young men and women can be at risk in affected ethnic groups. Evidence shows that the issue of forced marriage affects certain sectors of communities, typically girls in the age range of 14-16 years originating from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh (approx.. 60% of cases) together with a percentage of cases of children originating from the Middle-East and African countries. However, it can affect boys and children with SEND.

Honour-based abuse: Female Genital Mutilation

There is a specific legal duty on teachers regarding FGM. If, during the course of their work, a member of staff discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 years then they must report it to the police. All staff at Prestwich Prep will recognise this responsibility.

The one Chance Rule
As with Forced Marriage, there is the one chance rule regarding FGM. This refers to staff potentially only having one chance to speak to a potential victim and thus may only have one chance to save a life. It is essential that the school take action without delay.

What is FGM?
This involves procedures that intentionally alter/injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. All staff will be made aware of FGM practices and the need to look for signs , symptoms and other indicators of FGM. All teachers have a mandatory responsibility to report FGM if they discover, in the course of their professional duties what appears to be FGM to the police. The DSL, who will offer support, should also be informed immediately.

Child on child abuse

All staff must be aware that children can abuse other children. This is most likely to include but may not be limited to:

  • Bullying, including cyberbullying, prejudiced based and discriminatory bullying.
  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, biting, kicking, shaking, or causing physical harm
  • Sexual violence
  • Sexual harassment and online sexual harassment, such as that which takes place on social media
  • Causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent
  • Consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi=nude images and/or videos (also known as sexting or youth-produced sexual imagery)
  • Upskirting which is a criminal offence in its own right under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019
  • Initiation/hazing types of violence and rituals. This could include activities involving harassment, abuse, or humiliation, used as a way of initiating a person into a group. It may also include an online element.

Sharing nude/semi-nude images (sexting)

If you are made aware of an incident involving the sharing of nude or semi-nude images (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery) you must report it to the DSL immediately.

You must not

  • View, download or share the imagery yourself, or ask a pupil to share or download it. If you have already viewed the imagery by accident you must report this to the DSL
  • Delete the imagery or ask the pupil to delete it
  • Ask the pupil(s) who are involved in the incident to disclose information regrading the imagery (this is the DSL’s responsibility)
  • Share information about the incident with other members of staff, the pupil it involves, or their, or other parents and/or carers
  • Say or do anything to blame or shame any student involved.

You should explain that you need to report the incident, an reassure the pupil(s) that they will receive support and help from the DSL.

Domestic abuse

Often referred to as domestic violence refers to any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. It can occur in intimate relationships between older children. Exposure to domestic abuse can have serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children.

Operation Encompass – this initiative helps police and schools work together to provide emotional and practical help to children who have been involved in domestic abuse. When the police are called to an incident of domestic abuse, where there are children In the household who have experienced the domestic incident, the police will inform the key adult (usually the DSL) before the child(ren) arrive at school the following day. This ensures that the school has up to date and relevant information about the child’s circumstances and can be enable support to be given to the child according to their needs. DSLs should endeavour to alert relevant staff as soon as possible where this is appropriate.


All schools and colleges are subject under Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ This is known as the Prevent Duty.

  • Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
  • Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, such as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces.
  • Terrorism is an action that
    • endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people
    • Causes serious damage to property; or
    • Seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system

The use or threat of terrorism must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

The Prevent Duty should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding obligations. Staff and DSL should familiarise themselves with the Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (particularly paragraphs 57-76). The DSL will undertake Prevent awareness training. The government website Education Against Hate and the charity NSCPCC offer further guidance on this topic.

For any concerns staff have the DSL should be the first point of contact. They will assess the level of risk and decide which agency to make a referral to. This could include Channel, the government’s programme for identifying and supporting individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or the local authority children’s social care team.

The Department of Education also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, which school staff can call to raise concerns about extremism with respect to a pupil. You can also e-mail This is not for emergency situations.

In an emergency, call 999 or the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 if you

  • Think someone is in immediate danger
  • Think someone may be planning to travel to join an extremist group
  • See or hear something that may be terrorist-related

Mental Health

Mental Health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. Staff will be alert to behavioural signs that suggest a child may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one. If you have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern you should follow procedure as set out in this document. If you have a mental health concern that is not also a safeguarding concern speak to either the Mantal Health Lead or DSL to decide on a course of action.

9. Online Safety

All staff must understand the threats to children for online activity are increasingly a factor in many types of abuse. All staff should be aware that these risks also evolve and change. All staff will receive training in online safety in conjunction with their safeguarding training.

The school’s approach to online safety is based on the four key categories of risk as identified by KCSIE 2022

  • CONTENT – being exposed to illegal, inappropriate, or harmful content, such as pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism
  • CONTACT – being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users, such as peer-to-peer pressure, commercial advertising, and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes
  • CONDUCT – personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood oof, or causes, harm, such as making, sending, and receiving explicit images, sharing other explicit images and online bullying
  • COMMERCE – risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing, and/or financial scams

Being safe in the online environment is essential for students – it empowers them to keep themselves safe. Online safety is taught through our PSHE curriculum but it is also embedded through our curriculum provision.

10. Recognising abuse and taking action

Staff and volunteers must follow the procedures set out below in the event of a safeguarding issue. Note that the when referring to the DSL it means DSL or Deputy DSL.


Make a referral to children’s social care and/or police immediately if you believe a child is suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or is in immediate danger. Anyone can make a referral. Tell the DSL as soon as possible is you make a referral directly.


If a child discloses a safeguarding issue to you, you should:

  • Listen to and believe them. Allow them time to talk freely and do not ask leading questions
  • Stay calm and do not show that you are shocked or upset
  • Tell the child that they have done the right thing in telling you. Do not tell them that they should have told you sooner .
  • Explain what will happen next and that you will have to pass this information on. Do not promise to keep it a secret.
  • Write up your conversation as soon as possible in the child’s own words. Stick to the facts and do not put your own judgement on it.
  • Sign and date the write up and pass it on to the DSL. Alternatively, if appropriate, make a referral to children’s social care and/or the police directly and tell the DSL as soon as possible that you have done so. Aside from these people, do not disclose the information to anyone unless told to do so by a relevant authority involved in the safeguarding process.

Do bear in mind that some children may

  • Not feel ready, or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited or neglected
  • Not recognise their experiences as harmful
  • Feel embarrassed, humiliated or threatened. This could be due to their vulnerability, disability, sexual orientation and/or language barriers.

None of this should stop you having a professional curiosity and speaking to the DSL if you have concerns about a child.


Where possible speak to the DSL first to agree a course of action. If in exceptional circumstances the DSL is not available this should not delay action. Speak to another member of the SLT or take advice form the local authority children’s social care. Share details of any actions you take with the DSL as soon as practically possible.


Teaching staff and other designated professionals are responsible for reporting concerns relating to female genital mutilation and reporting is mandatory.


If you have concerns about a member of staff or an allegation is made about a member of staff posing a risk of harm to children, speak to the DSL and Headteacher as soon as possible. Where you believe there is a conflict of interest in reporting a concern or allegation about a member of staff to the Headteacher, report it directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

11. Working with parents/carers

The school recognises the importance of working, where appropriate, in partnership with parents and carers to ensure the welfare and safety of our pupils. The school will therefore

  • Make parents aware of the school’s statutory role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students, including the duty to refer students on, where necessary by making all policies available on the website.
  • Work with parents to support the needs of their child including raising awareness of threats posed online
  • Ensure we have a complaints procedure in place to deal with issues raised by parents/carers
  • Provide adequate and signpost parents/carers to other services where students need extra support

Where appropriate we will discuss any concerns about a child with the child’s parents/carers. The DSL will normally do this in the event of a suspicion or a disclosure. Other staff will only talk with parents/carers about such concerns following consultation with the DSL.

In the case of allegations of abuse made against other children we will normally notify the parents/carers of all the children involved. We will think carefully about the information we provide about the other child(ren) involved, and when. We will work with the police, and/or local authority children’s social care to make sure our approach to information sharing is consistent.

12. Pupils with SEND and/or Health issues

Children with special educational needs or disabilities(SEND) or certain health conditions can face additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group, including;

  • Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s condition without further exploration
  • Pupils being more prone to peer group isolation or bullying (including prejudice-based bullying) than other pupils
  • The potential for pupils with SEND or certain health conditions being disproportionately impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs
  • Communication barriers and difficulties in managing or reporting these challenges

Any abuse involving pupils with SEND will require close liaison with the DSL and the SENCO.

13. Pupils with a social worker

We recognise that pupils with a social worker can need extra support. A child’s experiences of adversity and trauma can last for many years and can leave them vulnerable to further harm as well as potentially creating barriers to attendance, learning, behaviour and mental health.

The DSL and all members of staff will work with the and support social workers to help protect vulnerable children and will help with any reasonable adjustments individuals may need.

When we are aware that a pupil has a social worker, the DSL will always consider this fact to ensure any decisions are made in the best interest of the pupil’s safety welfare, and educational outcomes. For example it will inform decisions about:

  • Responding to unauthorised absence or missing education where there are known safeguarding risks
  • The provision of pastoral and/or academic support

14. Looked After Children and Previously Looked After Children

All staff will have an awareness of issues around safeguarding looked after children. We will ensure that

  • the staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep looked-after children and previously looked after children safe.
  • Appropriate staff have relevant information about children’s looked after legal status, contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility, and care arrangements.
  • The DSL has details of children’s social workers

15. Complaints and Whistleblowing

Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with the school or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels may be open to them.

General guidance on whistleblowing can be found on the _____________________

The NSPCC’s ‘What You Can do to Report Abuse’ dedicated helpline is available as an alternative route for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally, or have concerns about the way a concern is being handled by their school. Staff can call 0800 028 0285 which is available from 8:00am to 8:00 pm Monday to Friday, and email help

16. Training

All staff must complete safeguarding and child protection training as part of their induction. This includes online and whistleblowing procedures to ensure they understand the school’s safeguarding systems and their responsibilities, and can identify signs of possible abuse or neglect. This training will be regularly updated and will be integrated and considered as part of the whole-school safeguarding approach, wider staff training, advise from local safeguarding partners, teacher standards and curriculum planning.

Staff will have their formal safeguarding training updated in line with current guidelines which are currently every 3 years for Safeguarding and every 2 years for DSL and Prevent. The DSL will keep a log of training staff have participated in on a training matrix.

17. Monitoring and Review of this policy

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will monitor the working of this policy and will report to the Headteacher as required. It will be reviewed as required and at least annually.

Annexe 1 – Signs and Indicators of Abuse

Indicators of Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

  • Appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
  • Associating with other young people involved in exploitation
  • Suffering from changes in emotional wellbeing
  • Misusing drugs and alcohol
  • Regularly missing school or education
  • Not taking part in education
  • Being involved in serious violence, carrying weapons, or vehicle crime

Indicators for children who might be being exploited through county lines activity specifically are those who

  • Go missing and are subsequently found in areas away from their home
  • Have been the victim or perpetrator of serious violence (e.g. knife crime)
  • Are involved in receiving requests for drugs via a phone line, moving drugs, and handing over and collecting money for drugs
  • Are exposed to techniques such as ‘plugging’ where drugs are concealed internally to avoid detection
  • Are found in accommodation that they have no connection with, often called a ‘trap house’ or somewhere that is ‘cuckooed’ or a hotel room where there is drug activity
  • Owe a ‘debt bond’ to their exploiters
  • Have their bank accounts used to facilitate drug dealing

Indicators of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

  • Underage sexual activity
  • Inappropriate or risky sexual or sexualised behaviour
  • Repeated sexually transmitted infections
  • In girls, repeated pregnancy, abortions, and miscarriages
  • Receiving unexplained or unaffordable gifts or gifts from unknown sources
  • Going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends
  • Moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing where they are
  • Getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults
  • Having older boyfriends or girlfriends or hanging out with groups of older people
  • Being involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
  • Associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation
  • Recruiting other young people to exploitative situations
  • Truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education altogether
  • Unexplained changes in appearance, behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive, sexual etc)
  • Self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders
  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Getting involved in crime
  • Police involvement, police records
  • Being involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
  • Injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault

Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM

  • Prolonged absence from school and other activities
  • Behaviour changes on return from a holiday abroad, such as being withdrawn and appearing subdued
  • Bladder or menstrual problems
  • Finding it difficult to sit still and looking uncomfortable
  • Complaining about pain between the legs
  • Mentioning something somebody did to them that they are not allowed to talk about
  • Secretive behaviour, including isolating themselves from the group
  • Reluctance to take part in physical activity
  • Repeated urinal tract infections
  • Disclosure of abuse

Identifying child on child abuse and understanding consent

Every pupil will react differently but some recognised indictors of child on child abuse are

  • Bleeding, bruising, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy
  • Becoming withdrawn or displaying other behaviour changes
  • Being fearful of being in school or online
  • Missing education
  • Self-harming
  • Displaying behaviours beyond their stage of development

Consent is about having the freedom and capacity to choose. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.

  • A child under the age of 13 can never consent to any sexual activity
  • The age of consent is 16
  • Sexual intercourse without consent is rape

Some of the possible signs of radicalisation and extremism

  • Becoming increasingly argumentative
  • Refusing to listen to different points of view
  • Being unwilling to engage with children who are different
  • Embracing conspiracy theories
  • Feeling persecuted
  • Changing friends and appearance
  • Distancing themselves from old friends
  • No longer doing tings they used to enjoy
  • Converting to a new religion
  • Being secretive and reluctant to discuss their whereabouts
  • Being sympathetic to extremist ideologies and groups
  • Online, changing their identity, having more than one online identity, spending a lot of time online or on the phone, accessing extremist online content, and joining or trying to join an extremist organisation

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): A. Wadsworth & H. Marshall
P. Shiels (Deputy)