|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|
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.
We believe it is crucial that all staff and volunteers understand the continued importance of acting immediately on any safeguarding concerns that arise. 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
For the purposes of this guidance, vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with EHC plans, in line with the DfE guidance.
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. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. In line with Government guidance, we appreciate that many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.
Our Designated Safeguarding Leads and other Senior Leaders 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.
In line with the DfE guidance, we will not be following our usual day to day attendance procedures at this time. We will however be submitting daily attendance data to the DfE in line with supplementary guidance and Local Authority as requested.
At Yaxham CE VA Primary School our DSLs will liaise with allocated social workers and will agree with parents/carers whether children in need should be attending school. School staff will then follow up on any pupil that we were expecting to attend, who does not. We will also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child(ren) and the child(ren) subsequently do not attend.
All families will complete an emergency childcare contract before their children. Staff leading these sessions will use emergency contact details by 9.30am if children do not attend. If they do not receive information this will be followed up by the school office remotely. If contact cannot be made this will be passed onto the safeguarding team and a home visit or welfare call will be made as appropriate.
In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or fails to attend as expected, school staff will notify the child’s allocated social worker and agree a plan to contact the family.
To enable us to effectively support the attendance of vulnerable children, we will ask parents/carers to confirm that emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.
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 (who should be available to be contacted via phone or online video).
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. This might include updating and managing access to child protection/ our safeguarding management information system, liaising with the off-site DSL (and/or deputy) and, as necessary, liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school.
We will ensure that all staff and volunteers know how to contact and have access to advice from a trained DSL (or deputy). 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 will report any concerns to the DSLs through school email where they are working remotely. Using children’s initials for staff to identify and no further personal details to ensure data protection. Details will be attached to the schools concern form as soon as possible.
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.
Children moving schools
Whilst we will endeavour to keep our school open, in some circumstances our pupils may need to attend another setting. In order to support children attending another setting during this time, the DSL will endeavour to contact the DSL at the receiving school to provide any relevant welfare and child protection information including any arrangements in place to support them. We will continue to pay regard to data protection and GDPR but these do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.
As a minimum, we will ensure that the receiving setting has access to a vulnerable child’s EHC plan, child in need plan, child protection plan or, for looked-after children, their personal education plan and know who the child’s social worker (and, for looked-after children, who the responsible VSH is). This will ideally happen before a child arrives and, where that is not possible as soon as reasonably practicable. Where it is not possible for this exchange of information to occur between DSLs the identified senior leaders will take responsibility for this.
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