Early Years Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy(last revised December 2023)

 

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.

 

Principles                                                                                                       

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.

 

Aims

  • 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.

 The aim of this policy is to:

• support the child’s development in ways that will foster security and confidence
• provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties
• raise the awareness of all teaching and non-teaching staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse
• provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure that we, the school, contribute to assessments of need and support plans for those children
• acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding pupils
• develop a structured procedure within the school that will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse
• develop effective working relationships with other agencies involved in safeguarding children

 
We will ensure that:

    • The school understands and fulfils its safeguarding responsibilities.
    • All members of staff must receive training by the Designated Safeguarding Lead in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse every three years.
    • All teachers and teaching assistants will undergo safeguarding and child protection training from Educare before being left alone with children.
    • All adults, new to our school, will be made aware of the school’s policy and procedures, the name and contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
    • All members of staff know how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse and the procedure to be followed in appropriately sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse.
    • All parents/carers are made aware of the school’s responsibilities in regard to child protection procedures through publication of the school’s Child Safeguarding Policy, and reference to it on our website.

    Adults should respect the children’s rights as they are presented in Romanian law.

    • In the event of a member of the staff (teaching and non-teaching) having a Child
    Protection concern about a pupil, he/she will immediately inform the DSL .This information will be accessible only to the DSL. No detail is to be included in the child’s general file.

 
Roles and Responsibilities

We understand that our responsibility to safeguard children requires that we all appropriately share any concerns that we may have about children.

The school will ensure that staff are properly trained in order to provide a high standard of child safeguarding at BritAcademy

The school will ensure that staff receive DSL Training every two years.

The DSL and the Head of School meet every four months to review specific cases in the Child Safeguarding Folder and to discuss the Child Safeguarding Policy and procedures at
BritAcademy.

 
Signs of Abuse and Neglect

Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

  • 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.
  • Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and 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 cyberbullying), 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, 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 (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

    Neglect: 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. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and 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 care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs

    Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

    Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There is a range of potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM, which individually may not indicate risk but if there are two or more indicators present this could signal a risk to the child or young person. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM. Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 11-12 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines referred to previously. Staff should activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care.

     
    Supporting Children

    We recognise that a child who is abused, who witnesses violence, or who lives in a violent environment, or may suffer emotional abuse or neglect, may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame him/herself, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth.
    We recognise that the school may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
    We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.

    BritAcademy will support all children by:
    • Encouraging the development of self-esteem and resilience in every aspect of preschool life including through the curriculum.
    • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the preschool.
    • Liaising and working together with all other Romanian support services and those
    agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
    • Providing continuing support to a child (about whom there have been concerns) who
    leaves the preschool, by ensuring that such concerns and school medical records are forwarded under confidential cover to the Head Teacher at the child’s new preschool as a matter of urgency, a photocopy of these records should be kept in a confidential file.

     
    Information Sharing

    Confidentiality
    We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.
    All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well-being or that of another.
    All staff should not disclose any information on a child to a third party, including a child’s driver, unless there is written authorisation by the parent or guardian of the child.
    The DSL will disclose personal information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis only, directly via word of mouth.
    The DSL must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

    Estranged Parents
    • Unless there is a legal document limiting access to a pupil by one parent, or special circumstances deemed to put the pupil at risk by the school professionals, the school will endeavour to inform both parents on the progress and welfare of the pupil and information on the school. especially when there is an impending legal process.
    Informing the appropriate authorities and agencies

     
    BEWARE!

    • Where is has been discovered that a student is in danger or risk of being abused or neglected, the DSL will contact the local welfare authorities within 24 hours to assist as appropriate, under the direct advisement from the Head of School.
    1. Directia Generala de Asistentia Sociala si Protectia Copilului- Sector 2, Bucuresti: www.social4.ro Email: social@social2.ro; Tel: (021) 252.22.02
    2. Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale Pentru Copii (FONPC): www.fonpc.ro Tel: (021) 314 6611
    • Where a staff member or any person involved in offering the BritAcademy Curriculum has been found to be in breach of Child Safeguarding Standards, the school will inform the following as appropriate, within one month of the person leaving BritAcademy:
    1. Local Police
    2. Directia Generala de Asistentia Sociala si Protectia Copilului- Sector 2, Bucuresti: www.social4.ro Email: social@social2.ro; Tel: (021) 252.22.02
    2. Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale Pentru Copii (FONPC): www.fonpc.ro Tel: (021) 314 6611

    • Where the DSL has good cause for concern in regard to a student withdrawn from BritAcademy, the DSL will contact the DSL at the relevant international school in Romania to share the relevant information in regard to the agreement formed between the schools within the International Schools Association set up within Romania.

     
    Allegations against staff

    All school staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
    We understand that a child may make an allegation against a member of staff. If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Head of School or the most senior teacher if the Head of School is not present.
    Suspension of the member of staff against whom an allegation has been made needs careful consideration. Any disciplinary investigation should be carried out once the child protection investigation has been completed.

     
    Whistleblowing

    All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues. Concerns should be raised directly with the Head of School or to the DSL
    Prevention
    We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children by providing pupils with effective lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.
    The school community will therefore:
    • Establish and maintain an ethos, which is understood by all staff, which enables children to feel secure and encourages them to talk knowing that they will be listened to.
    • Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
    • Provide, across the curriculum, opportunities that equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.

     
    Physical Intervention/Positive Handling

    • Our policy on physical intervention/positive handling by staff is set out separately, as part of our Behaviour for Learning Policy. It complies with DfES Guidance -The Use of Reasonable Force, July 2013 (reviewed July 2015). This guidance states that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, e.g. when a child is endangering him/herself or others and that, at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.

     
    Child Protection in the Curriculum

    • The delivery of the curriculum in general will take into account the needs of all children. The curriculum will include materials and activities, mainly within Personal, Social and Health Education which are designed to help children to be less vulnerable to abuse, without in any way implying that the responsibility for Child Protection lies with the child. The aim will be to raise awareness of Child Protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
    Policy Review
    The DSL is responsible for ensuring the annual review of this policy in accordance with changes in UK and Romanian law.
    The Board will meet twice a year to review the BritAcademyChild Safeguarding Policy and to make recommendations in line with current law and safe practice.
    This policy requires that any found deficiencies or weaknesses in Child Safeguarding arrangements are remedied without delay.