Addendum

COVID-19 Arrangements for

Safeguarding and Child Protection at

Brambleside Primary School

during COVID-19

 

School Name: Brambleside Primary School

Policy owner: Michelle Eaton-Brown

Date: 22/4/20

Date shared with staff: 23/4/20

 

This is a COVID -19 addendum to the main Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and should be read in conjunction with the main policy.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 remains in force and has been supplemented by additional interim guidance from the government titled “Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers” Published 27 March 2020.

This addendum is based on the additional interim guidance for COVID-19 operations.

 1. Context

  • On 20th March 2020 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, as part of the response to COVID-19. Schools and childcare providers were asked 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 way Brambleside Primary School is currently operating in response to coronavirus is fundamentally different, however, our safeguarding principles in accordance with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE) 2019, remain the same:
    • the best interests of children will always come first
    • if anyone has a safeguarding concern about any child they should continue to act and act immediately
    • a DSL or deputy DSL is available
    • unsuitable people are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce and/or gain access to children
    • children should continue to be protected when they are online
  • This addendum of Brambleside Primary School will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.
  • Staff and learners will engage with remote teaching and learning in line with existing behaviour principles as set out in our behaviour policy and code of conduct.
  • Brambleside Primary School will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.
  • Staff and learners will engage with remote teaching and learning in line with existing behaviour principles as set out in our behaviour policy and code of conduct.
  • This addendum of the Brambleside Primary School Child Protection and Safeguarding policy contains details of any amendments to our existing safeguarding arrangements.

 

2. Key School Contacts

 

Role

Name

Email

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Michelle Eaton-Brown

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deputy

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Natalie Goosey

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Headteacher/

Deputy/Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Drew Brown

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chair of

Governors

Bill Parker

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 3. Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Brambleside Primary School has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and a Deputy DSL.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Michelle Eaton-Brown
  • The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are: Drew Brown and Natalie Goosey
  • A trained DSL (or deputy) will be available on site. However if this is not possible a trained named DSL (or deputy) will be available to be contacted via phone or online video - for example when working from home.
  • Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to the above, a senior leader will assume responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site. This might include updating and managing access to child protection online management system, My Concern and liaising with the offsite DSL (or deputy) and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school or college.
  • All school staff and volunteers will have access to a trained DSL (or deputy). Every day onsite staff will be made aware of who that person is and how they are to be contacted.
  • The DSL will continue to engage with social workers and attend all multi-agency meetings which can be done remotely.

 

4. Vulnerable children-Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority.

Vulnerable children include:-

  • Children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans
  • Children who have a Child Protection Plan and
  • Children who are looked after by the Local Authority and
  • Children assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
  • Young carers
  • There is a government expectation that children with a social worker will attend a provision, unless in consultation with the child’s social worker and family it is agreed this is not in the best interests of the child.  Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID19, professionals will talk through these worries with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.
  • Children with an EHC plan will be risk-assessed in consultation with the Local Authority and parents. A decision will be made about whether they should continue to attend school in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary and safe to do so, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.
  • Brambleside Primary School has the flexibility to offer a place to other learners who may also be considered vulnerable by the setting. Please contact Drew Brown or Natalie Goosey to discuss this further. 
  • If vulnerable children are not attending school, we will regularly keep in contact by telephone/skype/home visit with them.
  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to work with those professionals involved with children and share relevant information with them such as social workers, early help workers and virtual school heads (VSH).  This is especially important during the COVID-19 period. This will include information about attendance and any welfare concerns.   
  • If there is a safeguarding concern, this will be shared with the relevant professional as soon as possible. 
  • Brambleside Primary School will encourage our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed.
  • Where a child classed as vulnerable does not take up the offer of a school place the school will continue to have oversight of the safeguarding needs of that child whilst they are not attending school. This includes:-
  • Minimum weekly contact with the child and their family, (frequency determined by an individual risk assessment)
  • liaison with multi agency professionals involved with the child and
  • notifying the Social Worker, Virtual School or EHC Worker of outcomes of contact.

 

5. Attendance monitoring

  • Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance. 
  • Brambleside Primary School and social workers will agree with families/carers whether children in need should attend and Brambleside Primary School will follow up with family/carers where a child/children are supposed to be attending but do not. 
  • In all circumstances where a vulnerable child/children do not take up their place, or discontinues, Brambleside Primary School will notify their social worker and EHC worker where relevant and follow up with the family/carer. 
  • Brambleside Primary School will also follow up with families/carers that have arranged a place for their child/children, namely critical workers or children that are considered vulnerable but not open to any agencies and do not attend.
  • Staff will continue to work with and support children’ social workers to help protect vulnerable children.
  • Brambleside Primary School will complete both the NCC and government daily online attendance form to keep a record of children of critical workers and vulnerable children who are attending school/college as requested by the DfE in the guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): attendance recording for educational settings.

 

6. Reporting a concern 

  • All staff will continue to look out for any signs that indicate a child may be at risk, both on and off site, including online.
  • If a member of staff/volunteer has any safeguarding concerns about a child, this will be reported to the DSL as soon as possible. If the concern is urgent, the member of staff/volunteer will speak to a DSL in person or via phone/video call if they are not on site, immediately.
  • In the event a member of staff or volunteer cannot make contact with a DSL, this will not delay them taking immediate action to safeguard a child in line with school procedures.
  • Concerns will be recorded using existing school safeguarding processes as outlined in our Child Protection Policy.
  • Learners are encouraged to report concerns via existing school systems, or to a trusted adult at home.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to report concerns via existing school systems.
  • Where staff are concerned about an adult working with learners, they should report the concern to the headteacher.
  • If there are concerns about any member of staff or volunteer, the LADO service will be consulted.
  • Concerns around the headteacher should be directed to the Chair of Governors.

 

7. Safeguarding Training and induction

  • It is very unlikely that DSL training will take place whilst there remains a threat of the COVID19 virus.
  • For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if they miss their refresher training.
  • Formal DSL refresher training will be undertaken as soon as possible. DSLs will continue to keep their knowledge up to date through other means.
  • All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so all staff know what to do if they are worried about a child.
  • Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter Brambleside Primary School, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction.
  • Staff will be made aware if any processes have changed with the sharing of this addendum and the DSL will communicate any changes to local processes directly.
  • All new staff and volunteers will have an induction provided via the DSL and will be provided with a copy of the Brambleside Primary School Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Covid-19 Addendum. 

 

8. Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

  • It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children.
  • When recruiting new staff, Brambleside Primary School will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) (KCSIE).
  • In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.
  • Where Brambleside Primary School are utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 167 to 172 of KCSIE. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.
  • If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that:-
    • the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check
    • there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children
    • there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual
  • In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.
  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found in paragraph 163 of KCSIE
  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per paragraph 166 of KCSIE and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral.
  • During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to update the single central record and will log details of any risk assessment carried out on volunteers and temporary staff from other educational institutions.

 

9. Supporting children in school

  • Brambleside Primary School is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students.
  • Brambleside Primary School will be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Headteacher will ensure that appropriate staff are on site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate, to maximise safety.
  • Brambleside Primary School will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19.
  • Brambleside Primary School will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and recorded on My Concern.

 

10. Record Keeping

  • As per paragraph 48 of KCSIE, all concerns, discussions and decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions, should be recorded in writing. If in doubt about recording requirements, staff should discuss with the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy).
  • Review open cases regularly particularly during the duration of the partial school closure
  • During school closure, staff at Brambleside Primary School, will continue to use My Concern.
  • If using an electronic system to record concerns, discussions etc. remember to ensure that the screen is not visible in non-secure areas, for example, at home where other family members may be able to see it.

 

11. Peer on Peer Abuse

  • Brambleside Primary School continues to recognise and respond to cases of Peer on Peer abuse by considering each incident on a case by case basis and basing any intervention on usual processes outlined within KCSIE 19. 
  • Brambleside Primary School recognises that the current circumstances and the changeable nature of current Government guidance may mean that the school/college may need to adapt elements of the process in some cases to ensure that they are able to respond in line with Government advice when required.   
  • The DSL will continue to consult as appropriate with multi-agency professionals to ensure that children’s safety and wellbeing is not compromised when incidents of peer on peer abuse are brought to their attention. 

 

12. Online safety in schools and colleges

  • Brambleside Primary School expectations with regards online behaviour and education when using school provided devices or internet access on site will continue to be implemented in line with existing polices. Any concerns regarding onsite online behaviour or use will be responded to in line with existing policies.
  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to provide a safe online learning environment where learners use school provided devices on site; appropriate filtering and monitoring will continue to be implemented.
  • Learner’s internet use will be supervised by staff according to their age and ability and learners will be directed to use appropriate online resources and tools.
  • Use of staff and learner personal devices, including mobile phones, will be managed in line with our existing online safety policy.

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13. Supporting children not in school

  • Brambleside Primary School will continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people that remain on the school/college roll
  • All DSLs will continue to identify those vulnerable children that would benefit from Early Help as identified in KCSIE 2019, provide pastoral support and consider whether they would benefit from external support also.
  • There will be clear plans around how best to communicate with learners who are identified as vulnerable, as well as those whom DSLs have concerns about who do not receive a statutory service.
  • This could include telephone contact and/or doorstep visits. The way that this communication is managed is at the discretion of the DSL.
  • Brambleside Primary School and the DSL will work closely with all relevant agencies and professionals regarding safeguarding a child who is not on site.
  • Any plans will be reviewed regularly and if concerns become significant, the DSL will consider any requests for support if considered appropriate.
  • Brambleside Primary School recognises that this is a difficult time for children and young people who consider school as a safe place and the current situation may impact on learners’, staff and parent/carers mental health.
  • The school will utilise its website and social media presence to ensure that safeguarding messages are shared with children and their families. This will include links to appropriate services and resources that are aimed at supporting them throughout this period.

 

14. Online safety away from school and college

  • All staff will continue to look out for any signs that indicate a child may be at risk online and will report and respond to concerns in line with the Child Protection Policy addendum.
  • Where necessary, referrals will be made to LADO, children’s social care and as required, the police.
  • Learners are encouraged to report concerns to a member of staff or a trusted adult at home. Where this is not possible, additional support can be accessed online via:
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to ensure children are appropriately supervised online and that appropriate parent controls are implemented.
  • All communication with learners and parents/carers will take place using school provided or approved communication channels; for example, school provided email accounts.
  • Any pre-existing relationships or situations which mean this cannot be complied with will be discussed with the DSL.
  • Brambleside Primary school will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.