Early Years Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
BritAcademy endeavours to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
Our core safeguarding principles are:
- It is my/the setting’s responsibility to take all reasonable steps to safeguard and protect the rights, health and well-being of all children who are in my/our care.
- The setting will ensure that the welfare of children is given consideration when developing and delivering all activities.
- All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection.
- All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm in accordance with this guidance.
- All children and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support from the manager of the setting (if applicable) who will follow this policy guidance in doing so.
- To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable us to meet our statutory responsibilities to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children.
- To ensure consistent good practice across the setting
- To demonstrate the setting’s commitment to safeguarding children.
To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. I/We will ensure all staff understands their responsibilities in being alert to indicators of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated person responsible for child protection.
There are four categories of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.
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 illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).
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 for meeting 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, although 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 and non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or 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 misuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing or 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.
Behavioural expectations to ensure children are safe and to ensure false accusations are avoided.
Whilst caring for other people’s children, we are in a position of trust and our responsibilities to them and the ‘organisation’ must be uppermost in practitioners’ minds at all times.
We do not:
- use any kind of physical punishment or chastisement such as smacking, hitting or rough handling
- behave in a way that frightens or demeans any child
- use any racist, sexist, discriminatory or offensive language
Our staff is trained to take the following measures:
- in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call 112
- ensure the information is shared with the most senior person in the setting that day and ensure action is taken to report the concern to children’s social care
- do not start your own investigation
- share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
- complete a record of concern about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately (dated and signed on each page)
- seek support for yourself if you are distressed.
Where possible, concerns will be discussed with the parent/carer for an explanation, providing it does not put the child at immediate risk.
Parents must notify the setting regarding any concerns they may have about their child and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded.
We will involve parents and carers wherever possible and ensure they have an understanding of the responsibilities placed on the setting for safeguarding children by setting out its statutory duty in the setting’s policy and procedures, prospectus, notice board and newsletter.
Confidentiality and sharing information
All staff understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child and staff involved but also to ensure that being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence. I staff should only discuss concerns with the designated person or manager. That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
- processed for limited purposes
- adequate, relevant and not excessive
- kept no longer than necessary
- processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
Allegations against a member of the family/staff
The setting will:
- report such allegations in the same way as any other child protection referral
- record the details that give cause for concern
- instigate the disciplinary procedure, due to the serious nature of the concerns, and suspend the member of staff until a full investigation has taken place
- not take further disciplinary action until the outcome of the investigation is known
- cooperate fully with the process of Social Care investigations
- support and treat with respect the member of staff whilst suspended
- ensure, if it appears from the results of the investigation that the allegations are justified, that disciplinary action will follow, in full consultation with the management committee