The Independent Grammar School: Durham


 Purpose and Aim

 IGS: Durham’s Child Protection Policy aims to provide clear direction to staff and others about expected codes of behaviour in dealing with child welfare concerns.  The policy also aims to make explicit the school’s commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures to keep children safe in our school. This policy recognises that abuse can occur in all communities and contexts and that all staff have a responsibility and the opportunity to support children, in sharing concerns and worries in school to feel safe. The whole school culture of vigilance at IGS: Durham. creates a safe space where children are supported, listened to and valued in what they choose to share and where ALL staff act immediately with the necessary level of intervention to create the most effective outcome for every individual child.

 The purpose of the policy is, therefore, to ensure that our children’s welfare is of paramount importance, early and additional help is offered to prevent escalation and where child protection concerns are identified referrals are handled sensitively, professionally and in ways that support the needs of the child’s well-being.

 IGS: Durham’s staff and Board Members are committed to keeping children safe by safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in our care through all our policies, procedures and practices. We expect all our pupils, parents and visitors to share this commitment and understanding.


 IGS: Durham fully recognises the contribution it can make to keeping children safe and supporting the pupils in its care.  There are four main elements to our Child Protection Policy:

 1.      Prevention (positive school atmosphere, careful and vigilant teaching, pastoral care, support to pupils, providing good adult role models and the identification of early and additional support/services to children and families and recognising and reducing risks to children including harassment, bullying, victimisation, sexual violence and sexual harassment, exploitation, radicalisation and issues such as Honour Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage.)

 2.      Protection (following agreed procedures, ensuring all staff respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns and that every member of staff has regular training and updates at least annually and is supported to refer concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mr Gray, or The First Contact Team at Durham County Council (03000 267 979) directly IF NECESSARY. In certain specific cases such as Female Genital Mutilation (mandatory reporting of FGM from October 2015), Radicalisation or Forced Marriage there are SPOCS/named teams and individuals within the police who can be contacted).

 3.      Reconsideration (following and challenging the progress of new referrals and existing cases to ensure that individual cases are reconsidered if there remains no improvement to a child’s circumstances).

 4.      Support (to pupils and school staff and to children who may be vulnerable due to their individual circumstances).

 All staff have the added responsibility of recognising that there may be children with additional vulnerability who remain at higher risk of harm or abuse because of their existing vulnerability.  All school and college staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who: 

  • is disabled and has specific additional needs

  • has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory Education and Health and Care Plan)

  • is a young carer

  • is showing signs of being drawn in to anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups

  • is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home

  • is at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation

  • is at risk of being radicalised or exploited

  • is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse

  • is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves

  • has returned home to their family from care

  • is a privately fostered child

(KCSIE 2018)

All staff have a responsibility to recognise child abuse, neglect and peer on peer abuse in its many forms. Additional guidance on how our school supports the following areas of additional need or harm are provided in the hyperlinked documents in Appendix 1 of this Child Protection Policy and includes the full list taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 pages 87 and 88.  Where the school has created, or creates in future, an additional school policy because of any specific area of need this is to be read in conjunction with this Child Protection Policy.

Broadly the areas taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2018 Annex A, include

  • Children in the court system

  • Children missing from education

  • Children with family members in prison

  • Child Sexual Exploitation

  • Child Criminal Exploitation

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Homelessness

  • So called ‘Honour Based Violence’ inclusive of Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and practises such as Breast Ironing.

  • Preventing Radicalisation

  • Peer on Peer Abuse

  • Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

  • Additional advice and support

     (KCSIE 2018)


 In the event of any of the above issues being recognised, information should be shared directly with the Designated Safeguarding Lead which will result in the situation being recorded, evaluated and support offered in school or the pupil/s being referred to specific services.   

This policy applies to The Independent Grammar School: Durham’s whole workforce.

Framework and Legislation

No school operates in isolation.  Keeping children safe from significant harm is the responsibility of all adults especially those working with children.  The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board (to be replaced by the Safeguarding Partner arrangements), which includes the partnership of several agencies who work with children and families across the city.

IGS: Durham is committed to keeping children safe and safeguarding all children in accordance with Child Protection: Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures (to be replaced by the Safeguarding Partner arrangements) and partner agencies in all cases where there is a concern about significant harm

Significant Harm is defined in The Children’s Act 1989 as the ill-treatment (including sexual abuse and physical abuse) or the impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural) as compared to a similar child.

Note: harm now includes the impairment of a child’s health or development as a result of witnessing the ill treatment of another person. (Adoption and Children Act 2002)

Local Authorities have a duty to investigate (under S47 of the Children Act 1989) where a Local Authority is informed that there is a child who is living, or is found, in their area and they have reasonable cause to suspect that child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.  They must make such enquiries as necessary to promote or safeguard the child’s welfare. The First Contact Team undertakes this responsibility on behalf of the Local Authority once a referral has been made.

Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018 contains information on what schools and colleges should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools and colleges must comply. It should be read alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 which applies to all schools, including maintained nursery schools.  The Children Act 1989 sets out the legal framework.

Roles and Responsibilities of all Staff

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy as: protecting ALL children from maltreatment and abuse; (including, in addition to the four categories of harm, issues such as sexual violence and sexual harassment, child criminal exploitation, child sexual exploitation (CSE), Honour Based Violence (HBV) inclusive of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage, preventing radicalisation and extremism, harassment, bullying and victimisation) preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.   This includes everyone under the age of 18.

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children.  Due to the regular, usually daily, contact with children all staff at IGS: Durham have, we hold a particularly important role in safeguarding as we are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children and to prevent concerns from escalating.  Children can make disclosures or show signs of abuse at any time and to any individual and safeguarding incidents can occur within schools.  Therefore, through a thorough induction process and the sharing of this policy to all staff, students and volunteers, it is important that ALL staff:

·         Ensure that they listen to and reflect on the voice of the child at ALL times and take seriously any concerns raised to them by a child.

·         Ensure that they report ANY concerns of harm to any child to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately. (However, ALL staff can refer their concerns directly to the First Contact Team if necessary and the police in the stated incidents above. They should inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible if they have reported concerns directly).

·         Ensure that they immediately share with the Designated Safeguarding Lead information shared with them by a child or directly observed/witnessed, and record it.  This could include sharing information on behalf of the Designated Safeguarding Lead with other agencies.

·         Ensure that they maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ and report any concerns regarding the behaviour of a child/an adult/staff member in school directly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Principal.

·         Ensure that they feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practices of staff and potential failures in the school’s safeguarding regime through whistleblowing procedures and the Staff Behaviour Policy.

·         Ensure that they attend regular formal training/updates at least annually to support them in recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse, particularly in support of early identification of needs of children to prevent an escalation of need or risk to the child.

·         Recognise that under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, April 2015 the school has ‘due regard to Prevent’; and to assess risk of children and young people being radicalised or drawn into extremism (based upon potential risks in local area and that clear protocols are in place for all visitors so that their views are appropriate and not an opportunity to influence others – e.g. see Visiting Speakers Policy).

·         Be aware of, and act accordingly, that there is mandatory reporting to the police in all cases where teachers discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out.

·         Ensure that they understand through online safety training the additional risks for pupils online and continue to promote the school’s Online Safety Policy in the protection of all pupils.  This includes the management of 3G and 4G internet access via children’s own mobile phones or electronic devices that can allow them unlimited access to the internet without any restrictions using their own data allowance.  It should be clear in every school’s online safety policy, the expectations of pupils regarding their own devices whilst on school site and the consequences of any evidence of inappropriate use of the internet.

·         Ensure that they remain vigilant whilst visitors are on site and continue to promote the school’s commitment to keeping children safe through reminding visitors and parents of the school’s appropriate use of personal mobile phones/devices whilst they are on school premises. This includes staff understanding and adhering to the Staff Behaviour Policy inclusive of use of mobile phones and electronic devices.

IGS: Durham will work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead

IGS: Durham has appointed Mr C J Gray, Principal, to be our Designated Safeguarding Lead.  This person has the overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and has the appropriate authority and training to undertake such a role and is able to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters.  This person is able to take part in strategy discussions and inter agency meetings and to support other trained staff to do so as well as contribute to the assessment of children. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and any deputies) are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns (KCSIE 2018).

The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead has a detailed role, (see below)

 However, if there is an IMMEDIATE safeguarding concern and the Designated Safeguarding Lead is unavailable please seek immediate support via the First Contact Team (03000 267 979).

 The broad areas of responsibility for the Designated Safeguarding Leads are identified here:

1. To Manage referrals

  •  Refer cases of suspected abuse to the First Contact Team.

  •  Support staff who make referrals to the First Contact Team.

  •  Refer cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern as required.

  • Support staff who make referrals to the Channel programme.

  •  Refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service as required.

  •  Refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required (including Sexual Exploitation or Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage).

 2. To Work with others

 ·         Act as a point of contact with the three safeguarding partners

 ·         Liaise with the Principal (where the DSL is not the Principal) to inform him or her of issues, especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.

·         As required liaise with the case manager (Headteacher, Principal, or where the Headteacher or Principal is the subject of the allegations the Chair of Governors, Chair of Management Committee or Proprietor of an Independent School) and the Designated Officer, operating on behalf of the Local Authority for child protection concerns (all cases which concern a staff member).

·         Liaise with all staff on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.

·         Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.

3. To Undertake Training

The Designated Safeguarding Lead and any deputies should receive appropriate training updated every two years. They should undertake Prevent awareness raising and in addition to the formal training, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other Designated Safeguarding Leads, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, and at least annually, so they:  

  • Understand and keep up with any developments to their role.  

  • Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as early help assessments.

  •  Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.

  • Ensure each member of staff has access to, and understands, the school or colleges Child Protection Policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff.

  • Are alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers.

  • Understand relevant data protection legislation and regulations, especially the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. 

  • Understand the importance of information sharing, both within the school and college, and with the three safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners.

  • Are able to keep detailed, accurate and secure, written or electronic records of concerns and referrals.

  • Understand and support the school or college with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and be able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.

  • Are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school.

  • Can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online.

  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses.

  • Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, in any measures the school may put in place to protect them.

 4. To Raise Awareness

 The Designated Safeguarding Lead should ensure the school or college’s policies are known understood and used appropriately:  

·         Ensure the school’s Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually (as a minimum) and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with governing bodies or proprietors and the workforce in this regard to ensure its effectiveness.  This includes ensuring that all staff receive the policy on their induction.

·         Ensure the Child Protection Policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of IGS: Durham in this.

·         Link with the Durham Safeguarding Children Board (to be replaced by the Safeguarding Partner arrangements) to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding.

5. To Manage Child Protection Files  

·         Where children leave the school, we will ensure their child protection file is transferred appropriately to any new school or college as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file. We will ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt.  This may be through an electronic system.

 ·         Receiving schools should ensure key staff such as Designated Safeguarding Leads and SENCOs, are aware as required.  

 ·         In addition to the child protection file, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should also consider if it would be appropriate to share any information with the new school or college in advance of a child leaving. For example, information that would allow the new school or college to continue supporting victims of abuse and have that support in place for when the child arrives.

 6. To be Available

  •  During term time the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or a deputy) should always be available (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns.

  • Whilst generally speaking the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputy) would be expected to be available in person, we consider it acceptable that in exceptional circumstances phone and or Skype or other such media may be used.

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead and school should arrange adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities.

Taken from Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2018: Annex B

In addition to the above, the DSL will also ensure:

 •      That each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s suite of safeguarding policies, particularly the Child Protection Policy and the Staff Behaviour Policy, especially new or part-time staff who may work with different establishments.

 •      That he/she is aware of all school excursions and residentials and clarify with educational visit co-ordinator/group leader(s) their role and responsibility in connection with safeguarding/child protection.

 •      That a whole school policy about managing behaviour and discipline including the use of reasonable force, is in place. There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff in schools and colleges to use reasonable force to safeguard children and young people. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. This can range from guiding a child to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’. The use of force may involve either passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of the classroom. When using reasonable force in response to risks presented by incidents involving children with SEN or disabilities or with medical conditions, schools and colleges should in considering the risks carefully recognise the additional vulnerability of these groups. They should also consider their duties under the Equality Act 2010/36 in relation to making reasonable adjustments, non-discrimination.

 •      That an effective whole school policy against bullying/cyber-bullying inclusive of measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils, is in place.

 •      That the LA is informed of any pupil to be deleted from school admission register and that missing from education protocols are followed.

 •      That the LA is informed of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 days or more.

Responsibilities of the School Board  

 Professor Tooley has been appointed to be the Board Member with Safeguarding responsibility and his role is to support the DSL.

 The role of this individual is to:

 ·         Ensure that the allocation of funding and resource is sufficient to meet the current safeguarding and child protection activity; and to challenge the safeguarding activity.

 ·         Ensure the self-assessment tool and Designated Safeguarding Lead report demonstrate fully and accurately the safeguarding arrangements and any action to progress areas of weakness or development.

 ·         Ensure that the governing body receives training to clarify their statutory role in keeping children safe to support their quality assurance of those statutory arrangements.

 ·         Ensure that the governing body is aware of the changes from Local Safeguarding Children Board’s to Safeguarding Partner arrangements and the need for the school/college to understand their role in effective multi-agency working under the new arrangements.

 Where the Safeguarding Board Member is NOT the Chairman of the Board (which at the moment Professor Tooley is) it is important to indicate the role of the Chairman in safeguarding, which is to:

 ·         Ensure that they liaise with the local authority and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Principal or a Proprietor or a Member of the School Board.

 ·         Ensure that in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Principal, allegations should be reported directly to the Designated Officer (DO). Therefore, ensuring effective whistle-blowing procedures are in place is extremely important (see the school’s Whistle Blowing Policy).

 ·         Ensure that the appointed member of the School Board holds the Principal to account on all matters involving safeguarding through an effective Child Protection Policy that is embedded and followed by the entire workforce in all of the above raised areas.

 ·         Ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding training at induction and that they receive regular updates.

 ·         Ensure that the school has appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place for online content (inclusive of 3 and 4G).

 ·         Ensure that children are taught about safeguarding through Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and/or Sex and Relationships Education.

 ·         Ensure that a Designated Teacher is appointed to promote the educational achievement of looked after children, including working with the Local Authority’s virtual school Headteacher and discuss how pupil premium funding for looked after children will be used.

 Information for Parents

 At IGS: Durham, Governors and staff are committed to keeping our children safe and will take any reasonable action to safeguard and promote their welfare.  In cases where the school has reason to be concerned that a child may be suffering significant harm, ill treatment, neglect or other forms of harm, staff have no alternative but to follow Durham Safeguarding Children Board procedures (to be replaced by Safeguarding Partner arrangements) and inform the First Contact Team or police of their concern.


 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputy DSL) will be informed immediately by an employee of the school, pupil of the school, parent of the school or other persons, in the following circumstances:

 -          Suspicion that a child is being harmed

-          There is evidence that a child is being harmed

 The threshold of significant harm is defined in the Children Act 1989 Section 31 (9) as:

•         Ill-treatment

•         Impairment of health (as compared to a similar child)

Note: harm now includes the impairment of a child’s health or development as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person (Adoption and Children Act 2002).

Working Together 2018 defines the categories of harm as:

 Physical Abuse

A form of 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.


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 misuse.

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, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.

Sexual Abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.   They may also include 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 is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Emotional Abuse

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 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 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 participating in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber 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.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will keep a full record of concerns raised and make referrals to the First Contact Team, if necessary.  These records may be either handwritten or electronic but will be stored via a secure system.  The Principal will be kept informed at all times.

Safe Schools/Safe Staff

 The School Board have agreed and ratified the following policies, procedures, processes or systems which must be read and considered in conjunction with this policy:

 Whistle Blowing/Confidential Reporting

 IGS: Durham’s Whistle Blowing/Confidential Reporting Policy provides guidance to staff and volunteers on how they can raise concerns and receive appropriate feedback on action taken, when staff have concerns about any adult’s behaviour.

 Complaints/Allegation Management Towards or with a Child or Adult (Staff Allegation Policy)

 A safeguarding complaint involving a member of staff must be reported to the Headteacher immediately. Where there are concerns about the Principal, this should be referred to the Chairman of the School Board. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against a proprietor of the school, allegations should be reported directly to the Designated Officer(s) at the local authority.  (KCSIE 2018: page 12)

 Consultation without delay with the Local Authority Designated Officer, Sharon Lewis, Tel: 03000 268835 will determine what action follows.  A multi-agency strategy meeting may be arranged to look at the complaint in its widest context, the Principal/senior member of school staff must attend this meeting, which will be arranged by the Designated Officer.  All issues must be recorded on the allegation management form and the outcome reached must be noted to ensure closure.

Training & Support

 All staff members should be aware of the systems within the school which support safeguarding and these will be explained to them as part of their induction into the school to ensure they can discharge their responsibilities effectively.  This includes: The Child Protection Policy; Staff Behaviour Policy; and the names of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and, where appropriate, deputies.

All staff members receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated.  The School Board decides the frequency and content of this CPD.  At IGS: Durham our whole school training is held at least annually.  In addition, all staff members receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates via staff meetings held weekly, or internal CPD as required, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively and allow them opportunities to contribute to reviewing and shaping our safeguarding arrangements in school. 

Professional Confidentiality

Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of safeguarding.  IGS: Durham recognises that the only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. (Child Protection Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures / (to be replaced by Safeguarding Partner arrangements)

 Record Keeping

 Well-kept records are essential to good safeguarding practice.  IGS: Durham is clear about the need to record any concerns, discussions held, decisions made and reasons for those decisions about a child or children within its care.  All staff will ensure record keeping is compliant and in line with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018.  

Safeguarding recording within IGS: Durham is through a paper-based system.  Following a child leaving our school, we will follow the appropriate transfer procedures and retention guidelines, in liaison with the receiving school.

Attendance at Safeguarding Conferences

In the event that we are invited to attend child protection conferences, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or deputies) will represent the school and/or identify the most appropriate trained member of staff to provide information relevant to child protection conference (initial/review). 

Supporting Children

IGS: Durham recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way.  We may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of some of the children in our care.  The school, therefore, recognises that such children might exhibit challenging and defiant behaviour and we will take careful note of the context of such behaviour.

As an Operation Encompass partner we will where necessary work closely with them with regards to domestic violence incidents and offer wellbeing checks to our pupils if we are contacted following an incident which has occurred in a pupil’s home. (Note: this has not yet been implemented at the time of this policy’s preparation, but is in process).

IGS: Durham also recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers.  Peer on peer abuse can take many forms and any concerns raised will be investigated and dealt with appropriately. No peer on peer abuse should be tolerated or minimised as part of growing up and all those involved will be provided with an appropriate level of support. It is understood that those pupils who have experienced abuse in their own lives may in turn abuse others.  This requires a considered and sensitive approach in order that the child can receive appropriate help and support.  (See Peer on Peer Abuse Policy for detailed information.)

Therefore IGS: Durham will endeavour to support all its pupils through:

 ·         The curriculum, to encourage self-esteem, self-motivation, self-protection.

 ·         The school ethos, which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued.

 ·         Approaches which allow children and young people to develop critical thinking, literacy skills and digital literacy skills.

 ·         A curriculum which explores human rights, equality, democracy and tolerance and prepares children and young people fully for life in modern Britain.

 ·         A curriculum where children develop personal resilience, understand and can take appropriate risks or have personal strategies/safety plans that allow them to manage their own safety.  This can include topics covered as part of Relationships and Sex and Relationships Education as well as Fundamental British Values and the SMSC Curriculum which cover harm, abuse, positive and healthy relationships and crime.

 ·         A coherent management of Behaviour and Discipline Policy & Procedures inclusive of the Use of Reasonable Force.

 ·         Liaison with other professionals and agencies who support children and parents.

 ·         A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents whenever it is in the child’s interest to do so.

 ·         The development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group whose role it is to respond appropriately in all safeguarding situations.

 IGS: Durham recognises that, statistically, children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are the most vulnerable to abuse.  School staff who work, in any capacity, with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and/or emotional and behavioural problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse. School staff must give consideration to children who are subject to a statement of special needs, an education and health care plan or have a medical condition, as these can mask safeguarding issues and may often be attributed to the medical condition rather than a child being harmed. Concerns such as changes in behaviour and presentation (both physical and mental) must be considered for each individual child and their own circumstances and must not be dismissed.  Children with SEN are often more prone to peer group isolation than other children and there is greater potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs.  Therefore, time must be taken to ensure that the full circumstances of any child who has additional needs and requires support around language and communication is shared at the point of referral to ensure the best possible outcome for the child is always achieved and their voice through any form of communication is always heard. To address these additional challenges, schools and colleges should consider extra pastoral support for children with SEN and disabilities.

IGS: Durham also recognises that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol misuse or mental health issues children may also be vulnerable and in need of support and protection.

This policy MUST be read in conjunction with other related policies and practices at IGS: Durham. These include:

·         Approach to Recruitment and Selection – this incorporates safer recruitment guidance and regulation, for example the maintenance of a Single Central Record which demonstrates the pre-employment vetting checks for all staff (e.g. identity, professional qualifications, right to work in the UK, further checks on people who have lived or worked outside the UK including recording checks for those EEA teacher sanctions and restrictions), for the workforce who are in regulatory activity (enhanced DBS, children’s/adult barred list, prohibition from  teaching check, section 128 check for management positions) and supervision of those who don’t meet this requirement.

·         Trained panel members who ensure that the policy works in practice in all recruitment and selection within the school.

·         School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, Regulation 9: require governing bodies of maintained schools to ensure at least one member of a recruitment panel must undertake safer recruitment training to satisfy all requirements in the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 and Working Together 2018.   As an independent school, we share this commitment and in our case two Board Members conduct interviews, both of whom have been trained appropriately.

·         The school will ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationships with young people and agree to work within all policies and procedures to safeguard both children and adults.

·         The school will ensure that staff and volunteers are aware that sexual relationships with pupils aged under 18 are unlawful and could result in legal proceedings being taken against them under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Abuse of Position of Trust).

·         Behaviour & Discipline Policies – see also the Use of Reasonable Force Policy.

·         Anti-Bullying Policy/Cyber/Online Bullying.

·         Online Safety Policy inclusive of appropriate usage documentation (covering the use of mobile phones, cameras and all other technology within the school or setting)

·         Inclusion & Special Education Needs Policy.

·         The Schools Educational Visits/Off Site Policy (reviewed annually) reflects the consideration we give to the safeguarding of our children both within the school environment and when away from the school, when undertaking school trips, visits or pupils being creatively educated.

·         Peer on Peer Abuse Policy.

·         Photographic & Digital Imagery Policy with parental consent forms annually signed.

·         Administration of Medicines Policy and procedures with trained staff who manage this.

·         Attendance Policy - school management for attendance and the partnership with the LA in reporting children missing from education and those deleted from the school’s admission register. This includes the need for two emergency contact details for every pupil, where possible.

·         Missing Children Policy inclusive of runaways, missing, and children missing from education, ensuring appropriate safeguarding responses.

·         Complaints Policy

·         Allegation Management Policy

·         Confidentiality and Whistle Blowing Policy.

·         Information Sharing Policy (internal and external exchange of information)

·         Looked After Children Policy inclusive of named Looked After Teacher whose role is to champion the achievement of looked after children in your school and work closely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Virtual Headteacher within the LA who has responsibility for the LAC.

·         Intimate Care Policy – inclusive of procedure to support pupils who have an accident and either wet, soil or menstruate and need assistance.

·         Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum inclusive of Female Genital Mutilation, Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation, Mental Health and Well-being and Fundamental British Values.

This Policy has been informed by the following legislation and national & local guidance

 Children Act 1989/2004

Data Protection Act 2018

 DfE Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017

 Durham Safeguarding Children Board Procedures

 Education Act 2002 Section 175

 Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014

 Equality Act 2010

 General Data Protection Regulations, 2018

 Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing safeguarding services

 Freedom of Information Act 2000

 Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018

 Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015

 Public Sector Equality Duty Guidance for Schools in England

 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

School attendance: Guidance for schools

 Sexual Offences Act 2003

 What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015

 Working together to safeguard children HM GOV (2018)