From 20th March 2020 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open to provide care for a limited number of children; children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
The key principles of our approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people at our school remain the same. This information should be read in conjunction with the whole school safeguarding policy and not as standalone guidance. Unless otherwise stated , our normal safeguarding procedures should be adhered to.
Providing School places for Vulnerable Children
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children with EHC plans.
At Yaxham CE VA Primary School we will risk assess the needs of all pupils with an EHC plan in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads will continue to work with and support children’s social workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with and supporting children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children.
There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and school staff will explore the reasons for this directly with the parent. Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID-19, school staff and/or the child’s allocated social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads know who our most vulnerable children are. As a school, we have the flexibility to offer a place to other pupils we identify as being vulnerable who may be on the edge of receiving children’s social care support.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead
We aim to have a trained DSL (or deputy) available on site whenever possible. We recognise however that this may not be possible, and where this is the case, we will endeavour to ensure that a trained DSL or deputy from the school can be available to be contacted via phone or online when they are working remotely from home. In some circumstances we might also work with other settings to share trained DSLs or deputies with other schools.Where a trained DSL or deputy is not on site, a nominated teacher will take responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding arrangements in place on-site.
We will ensure that all staff and volunteers know how to contact and have access to advice. Each day, staff will be made aware of who that person is and how to contact them.
We will continue to work in partnership with children, parents and other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Our DSLs will keep up to date with the latest Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership advice and guidance from the LA. Our DSLs will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which can be done remotely in line with the NSCP guidance on attending and contributing to child protection conferences and Developing Child Protection Plans.
Procedures for Reporting Concerns
The principles for responding to safeguarding concerns as outlined in Section 5 of the main body of the safeguarding policy still apply. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy.
During this unprecedented time, when the majority of children will not be physically attending school, staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay in line with our usual procedures.
It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk including at risk from peer on peer abuse and exploitation. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the child protection policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required the police.
Staff are also reminded of the need to adhere to our Staff Code of Conduct and safer working practices guidance. Staff should continue to report any concerns they have about adults who are working with children in line with Section 12 of the safeguarding policy.
Staff Training and induction
All existing staff and volunteers have received a safeguarding induction and training. They have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) and are expected to continue to follow this guidance. The DSL will ensure that all existing staff receive this addendum to the safeguarding policy and will communicate any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.
At Yaxham CE VA Primary School we recognise that it is more important than ever that we provide a safe environment for pupils including online. We will continue to ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect children when they are online via our IT systems and/or recommended resources.
The safety of pupils when they are asked to work online is of paramount importance. The same principles as set out our staff code of conduct must be applied to all online teaching. All staff should ensure that they have read the staff code of conduct and associated safer working practice guidance and are clear about the acceptable use of technologies, staff pupil/student relationships and communication including the use of social media.
We will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.
We will ensure that children who are being asked to work online have very clear reporting routes in place so they can raise any concerns whilst online. As well as reporting routes to key school staff, we will also signpost children to age appropriate practical support from external organisations such as:
We will also communicate with parents to reinforce the importance of children being safe online. We will ensure that parents and carers are aware of what their children are being asked to do online, including the sites they will asked to access as well as who from the school (if anyone) their child is going to be interacting with online.
Where parents and carers choose to supplement the school’s online offer with support from online companies and in some cases individual tutors, we will emphasise the importance of securing online support from a reputable organisation/individual who can provide evidence that they are safe and can be trusted to have access to children.
Advice for keeping children safe online
|Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead||Mrs Jennie Müller||
|Alternate Designated Safeguarding Lead||Miss Zoe Watson||
|Named Safeguarding Governor||Mr Leroy Burrellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chair of Governors||Mrs Michelle Parnellemail@example.com|