UPDATED JANUARY 2018
- This policy has been developed to ensure that all adults in Footlights Theatre Schools are working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.
- This policy describes the management systems and arrangements in place to create and maintain a safe learning environment for all our children, young people and staff. It identifies actions that should be taken to redress any concerns about child welfare.
- The Managing Director or franchisee or, in their absence, the Designated Member of Staff, have the ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people goes beyond implementing basic child protection procedures. It is an integral part of all activities and functions of Footlights Theatre School. This policy complements and supports other relevant Local Authority policies (Appendix A).
- Under the Education Act 2002 schools/settings have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils and, in accordance with guidance set out in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, Footlights Theatre School will work in partnership with other organisations where appropriate to identify any concerns about child welfare and take action to address them.
- Footlights Schools aims to create and maintain a safe learning environment where all children and adults feel safe, secure and valued and know they will be listened to and taken seriously. All our schools are committed to ‘Every Child Matters’ and implements policies, practices and procedures which promote safeguarding and the emotional and physical well being of children, young people and staff (Appendix B).
- The Continuum of Needs and Response and the Common Assessment Framework is embedded into everyday practice and procedures when responding to children’s needs. The children have access to appropriate opportunities, including emotional health and well being, to support the development of the skills needed to help them stay safe and healthy, develop their self-esteem and understand the responsibilities of adult life.
- Children and young people are encouraged to express and discuss their ideas, thoughts and feelings through a variety of activities and have access to a range of cultural opportunities which promote respect and empathy for others.
- Access to external activities will provide opportunities to develop self-esteem and self-motivation and to help pupils respect the rights of others, particularly those groups who may be considered a minority.
- All pupils will know that there are adults in the schools whom they can approach in confidence if they are in difficulty or feeling worried and that their concerns will be taken seriously and treated with respect.
- ATTENDANCE & EXCLUSIONS
- In accordance with the Footlights Theatre Schools Attendance Policy, absences are recorded and followed up.
- Young people who require access to alternative provision will have a personalised learning plan designed to meet their needs.
- The designated person will be informed when a fixed term or permanent exclusion is being discussed and any safeguarding issues will be considered. Where it is felt that a child or young person is likely to be permanently excluded, appropriate procedures will be instigated to ensure that there is improved understanding of the needs of the young person and their family and key agencies are involved.
- KEEPING RECORDS
- Footlights Theatre Schools will keep and maintain up to date information on children on the registers including where and with whom the child is living, schooling, attendance at Footlights, referrals to and support from other agencies and any other significant event in a child’s life.
- ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
5.1 The Managing Director or relevant franchisee of Footlights Theatre Schools will ensure that:
- The policies and procedures adopted to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils are fully implemented and followed by all staff including volunteers.
- The school’s safeguarding policy is regularly reviewed and updated and the school complies with local safeguarding procedures.
- The school operates safe recruitment and selection practices including appropriate use of references and checks on new staff and volunteers.
- A Designated Senior Member of Staff for Child Protection is identified and receives appropriate on-going training, support and supervision.
- Sufficient time and resources are made available to enable the Designated Member of staff to discharge their responsibilities, including attending inter-agency meetings, contributing to the assessment of children and young people, supporting colleagues and delivering training as appropriate.
- All temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s safeguarding policy and arrangements and receive appropriate training which is updated every three years.
- All staff and volunteers feel safe about raising concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to the safeguarding and welfare of the children and young people, and such concerns will be addressed sensitively and effectively.
- Procedures are in place for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers and these are in line with Local Authority procedures.
- Parents/carers are aware of and have an understanding of the school’s responsibilities to promote the safety and welfare of its pupils.
5.2 The Designated Senior Member of Staff for Child Protection has a specific responsibility for championing the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people registered in the school, and will:
- Act as the first point of contact with regards to all safeguarding matters.
- Attend up-dated training every two years.
- Provide relevant information to the Local Authority on how the school carries out its safeguarding duties.
- Provide support and training for staff and volunteers and make sure that the Designated Person receives MCSB (Manchester Safeguarding Children Board) approved refresher training every three years or the relevant local education authority pertaining to the area the school is operated from.
- Ensure that the schools’ actions are in line with the Safeguarding Inter-Agency Procedures.
- Support staff to make effective referrals to the Children and Families Service and any other agencies where there are concerns about the welfare of a child.
- Keep copies of all referrals to Children and Families Services and any other agencies related to safeguarding children.
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers receive information on safeguarding policies and procedures from the point of induction.
- Ensure that any staff with specific responsibility for safeguarding children receive Level 2 and above training.
- Manage and keep secure the school’s safeguarding records.
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand and are aware of the school’s reporting and recording procedures and are clear about what to do if they have a concern about a child.
- Ensure that the Safeguarding Policy is regularly reviewed and up-dated.
- Keep up to date with changes in local policy and procedures and are aware of any guidance issued by the DFE (Department for Education) concerning safeguarding.
- Send a pupil’s child protection or safeguarding file to a new establishment if a pupil leaves the school. Keep a copy of the file.
- SAFE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
- The school’s recruitment and selection policies and processes adhere to the guidance set out in the DFE’s “Keeping children safe in education: for school and college staff”.
- Applications must be made in writing, interviews will be carried out face to face, and references will be taken up and recorded.
- Clear and detailed job descriptions will be provided for all members of staff, and role profiles for all volunteers.
- The Managing Director or franchisee will ensure that all staff and volunteers who are in regular contact with children and young people will have updated enhanced DBSs.
- WORKING WITH OTHER AGENCIES
- Footlights Theatre School has developed effective links with other relevant agencies and co-operates as required with any enquiries regarding child protection issues.
- The Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff will contact relevant agencies, including Children’s Services, should the situation warrant this.
- CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING
- Staff will ensure that confidentiality protocols are followed and information is shared appropriately. The Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff discloses any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.
- All staff and volunteers must understand that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. All staff and volunteers must be clear with children that they cannot promise to keep secrets.
- Concerns about a child should be made known in the first instance to the Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff. They will follow procedures regarding contacting parents and/or the Children and Family Services.
- Records of concerns, suspicions and disclosures will be kept on the Recording and Review form, and updated as required.
- TRAINING FOR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
- Training is provided for all staff and volunteers. Induction training includes basic safeguarding information about the school’s policies and procedures, signs and symptoms of abuse (emotional and physical), how to manage a disclosure from a child as well as when and how to record a concern about the welfare of a child.
- All staff and volunteers who are in regular contact with children will receive basic Level 1 training which is up-dated by refresher training every 3 years.
- All staff will receive training or briefings on particular safeguarding issues, for example, Guns and Gangs, Forced Marriage, Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation.
- RECORDING AND REPORTING CONCERNS
- All staff, volunteers and visitors have a responsibility to report any concerns about the welfare and safety of a child and all such concerns must be taken seriously (Appendix C). If a concern arises all staff, volunteers and visitors must:
- Speak to the Designated Person or the person who acts in their absence
- Agree with this person what action should be taken, by whom and when it will be reviewed
- Record the concern using the school’s safeguarding recording system
- INFORMING PARENTS/CARERS
- Our approach to working with parents/carers is one of transparency and honesty and our responsibility is to safeguard and promote the welfare of all the children in our care. We aim to do this in partnership with our parents/carers. In most cases parents and carers will be informed when concerns are raised about the safety and welfare of their child. Parents and carers should be given the opportunity to address any concerns raised.
- Parents and carers will be informed if a referral is to be made to the Children and Family Services or any other agency.
- Parents/carers will not be informed if it is believed that by doing so would put the child at risk. In such cases the Designated Person/Managing Director will seek advice from the Children and Family Services’ Initial Assessment Team.
- DOMESTIC ABUSE
12.1 The school is aware that children and young people’s development, as well as their social and emotional resilience, is affected by many factors including exposure to domestic abuse within the family situation and is a safeguarding issue.
12.2 Children and young people react to domestic abuse in similar ways to other types of abuse and trauma.
12.3 Information about Domestic Abuse and its effect upon children and young people will be incorporated into staff Safeguarding and Child Protection training and briefings and the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection’s Policies and Procedures will be used to protect children and young people exposed to, and at risk from, domestic abuse.
12.4 Any child or young person thought to be at immediate risk will be reported without delay to the police service as a 999 emergency and the Manchester Children’s Service Contact Centre will be contacted as soon as possible.
- FORCED MARRIAGE
13.1 The school is sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and child-rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. Forced marriage is a form of child, adult and domestic abuse and, in line with statutory guidance, is treated as such by this school. Child abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons.
13.2 Information about Forced Marriage will be incorporated into staff Safeguarding and Child Protection training and briefings and the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies will be used to protect a victim or potential victim of forced marriage.
- If a case of forced marriage is suspected, parents and carers will not be approached or involved about a referral to any other agencies.
- 14. CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES AND CORE GROUP MEETINGS
14.1 Members of staff are likely to be asked to attend a child protection conference or other relevant core group meetings about an individual pupil and will need to have as much relevant updated information about the child as possible. A child protection conference will be held if it is considered that the child/children are suffering or at risk of significant harm.
14.2 All reports for a child protection conference should be prepared in advance of the meeting and will include information about the child’s physical, emotional, intellectual development and well-being as well as relevant family related issues. This information will be shared with the parents/carers.
- MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AND CONCERNS AGAINST STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
- The school follows the procedures recommended by the MSCB when dealing with allegations made against staff and volunteers.
- All allegations made against a member of staff and volunteers, including contractors or security staff working on site, will be dealt with quickly and fairly and in a way that provides effective protection for the child while at the same time providing support for the person against whom the allegation is made.
- Any allegation may be made in confidence to the Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff. They will then contact the relevant LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) to discuss the allegation, complete a Safeguarding Report, and follow the guidance given.
- Allegations by a member of staff or volunteer regarding another member of staff or volunteer should also be made in confidence to the Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff. If the allegation is regarding either the Managing Director or the Designated Member of Staff, the complaint should be made directly to the LADO.
- Complete and accurate records of all allegations, the events leading up to them, the professional opinions, decisions made and outcomes will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
- COMPLAINTS OR CONCERNS BY PUPILS, STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS
Any concern or expression of disquiet made by a child will be listened to seriously and acted upon as quickly as possible to safeguard his or her welfare.
- The Managing Director/Designated Member of Staff will report such concerns to the LADO as in point 15.3 above.
- We will make sure that the child or adult who has expressed the concern or made the complaint will be informed not only about the action to be taken but also where possible about the length of time required to resolve the complaint. We will endeavour to keep the child or adult informed about the progress of the complaint/expression of concern.
- SERIOUS CASE REVIEWS
17.1 The Manchester (or other Local education authority) Safeguarding Children Board will always undertake a serious case review when a child or young person dies (including death by suicide) and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in their death. The purpose of the serious case review is to:
- Find out if there are any lessons to be learnt from the case about how local professionals and agencies work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.
- Identify what those lessons are, how they will be acted on and what is expected to change as a result of the serious case review.
- Improve inter-agency working to better safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.
If required Footlights Theatre School will provide an individual management report for a serious case review and will cooperate fully with implementing outcomes of the review including reviewing policy, practice and procedures as required.
Further Information on Safeguarding and Safeguarding Policies can be found on
the MSCB Website at www.manchesterscb.org.uk
MSCB Policies (on MSCB website @ www.manchesterscb.org.uk):
- Managing Allegations and Concerns Against Staff and Volunteers,
- Forced Marriage,
- Domestic Abuse,
- Missing from Home and Care,
- Private Fostering,
- Child Sexual Exploitation,
- Guns and Gangs,
- E-Safety Policy.
A ‘Good’ Safeguarding School
The leadership and staff are committed to a safe school which promotes the well-being and welfare of all its pupils, staff and visitors and the following is embedded into its vision, culture and practices:
ETHOS AND ENVIRONMENT
- Footlights Theatre School is a place where ‘Every Child Matters’.
- The environment is welcoming and pleasant and pupils, staff and visitors are greeted appropriately.
- Achievements and progress are regularly celebrated and pupils have high expectations of themselves and others and understand that long-term goals are worth working for.
- Pupils feel valued and are open and confident in their relationships with staff and one another.
PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
- Footlights Theatre School has a ‘Safeguarding Policy’ which all staff understand and practices are fully implemented.
- Appropriate Policies and Procedures are in place, understood and implemented by all staff.
- All staff involved in safeguarding liaise regularly to ensure continuity in the support they provide.
- The schools/settings have an identified person who administers medicines.
- CRB checks are in place and regularly up-dated.
- Appropriate Risk Assessment procedures are in place and up-dated.
- The progress and attendance of pupils in EOTAS (Education Other Than At School) is as carefully tracked and monitored as for other pupils.
- Pupil tracking systems are in place and used effectively to monitor and track progress and intervene as required.
- Vulnerable groups are identified and tracked for progress, attainments and attendance.
- Effective transition for pupils takes place at all stages.
- The Leadership and Management of the schools are trained in Safeguarding and are effective (identified individual JOANNE FISHER).
- A Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding is nominated and receives regular training and has access to appropriate supervision (identified individual Jo Fisher and Aaron Doherty).
- Staff receive regular up-dated training on Safeguarding and identified staff receive higher level training as appropriate.
- Pupils are given responsibility in supporting other pupils and are involved in routine organizational tasks and activities.
- The organization of teaching and learning and ethos in settings and schools contributes to teaching children and young people about safety issues and building resilience.
- Staff expectations of pupil’s behaviour, attendance and attainment are high.
- There are formal and informal opportunities to praise, reward and celebrate pupils’ behaviour and achievements in lessons, performances, before and after school, trips etc.
WORKING WITH PARENTS/CARERS AND OUTSIDE AGENCIES
- There is effective communication between the school staff, outside agencies and parents/carers.
- Family intervention work is an integral part of the school’s support for children and families.
- The school actively pursues all absence – they know which children are at risk of becoming/or are persistently absent – non-attendance is understood as a potential safeguarding issue.
- The school rarely excludes pupils but tries to find alternative ways of supporting them.
- The school does not see pupils at risk of gang involvement or criminal activity as a ‘crime and disorder issue’ but as a ‘children in need issue’ and works closely with other partner agencies to support them.
The following definitions are from Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006)
The threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life and gives Local Authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
Physical abuse 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 an illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. The activities may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect 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.
Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse for example.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food and clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caretakers).
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
- It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.