CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
We are committed to creating in the nursery an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is responded to promptly and appropriately. The well being of children in our care takes precedence over any other consideration. It is the clear responsibility of all those involved in the nursery to adopt good practice throughout their work.
In order to achieve this we will:
Seek to work in partnership with parents, carers, other agencies and Highland Council to promote good practice in the area of child protection.
Update any changes in child protection policy and practice under guidance from the designated person in the school. This will be the head teacher of the school.
Endeavour to ensure that all staff have access to appropriate child protection training, supervision and support in order to implement this policy effectively and with the minimum of stress.
Plan and organise the nursery so as to minimise situations where the abuse of children may occur.
The detailed arrangements, systems and procedures for ensuring that the above policy statements are fully implemented are contained in the Kirkhill Primary School Child Protection Policy.
The Social Work contact details, to be used by the designated person in school, are:
Social Work Dept
Tel: 01463 724040
The nursery has adopted the following safe caring practices for each play activity to minimise situations where abuse of children could occur:
Parents will be fully informed of the activities their child will participate in, including staffing arrangements.
Staff will not spend time alone with a child unnecessarily and will only do so with the knowledge and consent of senior staff/head teacher.
If, when alone with a member of staff, a child is accidentally hurt, or appears to be distressed in any manner, or appears to be sexually aroused by the adultís actions, or misunderstands or misinterprets anything the adult has done, the adult must report any such incident to the head teacher and follow the correct procedure as indicated in the whole school policy. The childís parents should be informed of the incident at the next opportunity.
Children will not be allowed to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
Staff will not use inappropriate language or make suggestive comments to children or other members of staff even in fun.
Staff will be made aware of their role, area of responsibility, and person to whom they are accountable within nursery as part of their training.
Staff must respect childrenís privacy and dignity particularly when providing intimate care, e.g. toilet assistance and changing. Such assistance should only be given with the full consent and understanding of the parents.
Staff should not allow or engage in any inappropriate touching of any kind.
The role of the nursery staff is to inform the designated person, ie the head teacher if she is present or the principal teacher if she is not of any instance, which suggests that abuse is taking place. It is not the role of the nursery to wait for proof, investigate or gather evidence of abuse.
When a child tells an adult about possible abuse, his or her statements should not be dismissed or ignored. The adult should attend carefully to what the child wants to communicate, taking account of the childís age and stage of development, and allow the child to say what he or she wants to say without being drawn into detailed questioning.
Children with special needs are particularly vulnerable and staff often have to provide assistance with personal care, which may include the physical handling of a child.
Where a child is fully dependant on a member of staff to provide such assistance there is a need to be responsive to the childís wishes, and to give the child choices where possible.
Children should not be assisted to do things of a personal nature that they can do for themselves
The nursery recognises that, in common with all organisations providing activities for children, there is the possibility that allegations of abuse could be made against members of staff.
All such allegations will be investigated with Highland Council
The nursery will always seek to work with families in a clear, positive and open way, bearing in mind always that the welfare of the children is of paramount concern.
Child abuse is a criminal offence. All staff working at the nursery have an ethical duty to report any reasonable concern that a child may be being abused.
Please refer to the accompanying Kirkhill Primary School Child Protection Policy and Highland Council Inter-Agency Guidelines.
HIGHLAND COUNCIL Inter-Agency Guidelines
(To be read in jonjunction with the Kirkhill Nursery and Kirkhill Primary School Child Protection Policies)
CASES COMING TO THE NOTICE OF SCHOOLS (NURSERY, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY) AND TO OTHER SECTIONS OF THE EDUCATION SERVICE
This section deals with members of school staff. For the purpose of child protection, any member of the Education Service (e.g. adviser, educational psychologist, tutor) is also to be regarded as a member of school staff when he/she is present in a school.
In the primary school the designated person with responsibility for child protection is the Head Teacher. In secondary school the designated person is the teacher who has responsibility for Support for Learning.
Members of school staff who are concerned that a child or young person has been, is being, or might be the subject of abuse of any form must immediately inform the designated person. The designated person should state what action he/she proposes.
If following discussion any concerns remain, the designated person must immediately make a referral to the Senior Social Worker at the local Social Work office or the local Police.
If the member of school staff reporting is dissatisfied with the designated persons proposed action he/she should contact the Area Education Office for further advice.
If for any reason, it is not possible to make immediate contact with the local Area Education Manager, the Head Teacher must contact the nominated members of the Directorate at Council Headquarters, Inverness.
Where a referral is made, the designated person must complete a referral form to be submitted to the Senior Social Worker and the Area Education/Assistant Area Education Manager within 7 working days. A copy should also be retained by the school and filed in the pupilís PPR.
The individual school is notified of the case conference. The onus is on the school to ensure representation. (Where this is not possible or advisable, the school should alert the designated person who will then decide whether or not to attend).
If the school is not to be represented at the case conference, a report should always be submitted by the school.
It should be noted that the content of reports proposed for child protection cases will be made known to the families concerned and that parents/carers may be present at the initial case conference.
perceived conflict of interest involving the designated person, the Area Education Manager/Assistant Manager should assume responsibility for initiating and following through child protection procedures, including attendance at case conferences.
The designated person has a responsibility to follow the progress of a referral by regular communication with the other agencies involved.
For employees of the Education Service operating outwith school, the procedures outlined in the above paragraphs apply. Instead of the designated person, the appropriate line manager should be informed initially, e.g.:
educational psychologist and specialist SEN peripatetic teachers - Senior Education Psychologist
community education worker - Area Community Education Officer
out-of-school tutor - Area Education Manager
hostel warden - Area Education Manager
teachers working in an establishment run by a Council Service other than education - Line Manager/Head of Establishment
Situations can arise where it is suspected that a young person has been the subject of abuse on the part of an employee in the Councilís service or other persons associated with school or club activities. No matter how sensitive the exposing of such circumstances may seem, it is the duty of all to report any suspicions or concerns by means of the above procedures.
Child Protection: Referral Record for Education Ė see Appendix.
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Designated Person for Education
Ensuring that all staff are familiar with the Inter-Agency guidelines and any organisational procedures relating to child protection, and that these guidelines are readily accessible to all.
Ensuring that any child protection referral passed to them is dealt with in accordance with the Inter-Agency guidelines and they offer all staff support and supervision throughout the process.
Ensuring that all staff are aware of the role of the designated person and that all staff know how to make contact with their designated person, or another, as necessary.
Ensuring that all relevant staff are informed of all case conferences and that the relevant staff attend all initial case conferences and review case conferences as appropriate.
Ensuring that all relevant information is made available to the case conference.
Providing support to staff attending the case conference if required.
Liasing with other agencies as necessary.
Identifying training and development needs for themselves and those staff involved in child protection issues and facilitate the provision of training opportunities.
When a child protection concern is identified the member of staff working with the child will immediately discuss any concerns with the designated person. In the event of the designated person not being available contact should be made with another member of the SMT.
The discussion will enable one of the following decisions to be taken Ė
Immediate referral to Senior Social Worker or Police
Further discussion with other members of staff e.g. school nurse, learning support auxiliary
Concern noted in appropriate records, with close monitoring for a specified period
The Designated person can have informal discussions with social work colleagues about the circumstances of children they are concerned about. However, if social work believe there are grounds for concern and further action they will act accordingly.