Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Covid-19 Addendum

Brambleside Primary School

January 2021

 

Role

Name

Contact

number

Email

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Michelle Eaton- Brown

01536 310680

07817766893

 

Deputy

Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Natalie Goosey

01536 310680

07795521657

 

Head Teacher/

Deputy/Designated

Safeguarding

Lead

Drew Brown

01536 310680

07734392191

 

Chair of

Governors/

Bill Parker

07787577532

 

 

Vice Chair Governors

 

Rachael Early

Doyan Jarvis

 

 

Local Authority Designated Officer

Andy Smith

Christine York:

01604 367862

01604 362633

 

Designated Lead for Looked After
and Previously Looked-After Children

Michelle Eaton-Brown

01536 310680

07817766893

SENDCO

Michelle Eaton-Brown

01536 310680

07817766893

Head of the Virtual School

Charlotte Franks

01604 365912

 

 

Date policy addendum reviewed remotely and agreed by governors

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1 Introduction. 1

2 Context 1

3 The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 2

4 Vulnerable children. 3

5 Attendance. 4

6 Reporting a concern. 5

7 Allegations against staff 5

8 Safeguarding Training and Staff Induction. 6

9 Safer recruitment, volunteers and movement of staff 6

10 Supporting children in school 7

11 Record Keeping. 7

14 Peer on Peer/Child on Child Abuse. 8

15 Online safety and remote learning. 8

16 Supporting children learning at home. 10

Introduction

This addendum should be read alongside Brambleside Primary School’s main Safeguarding and Child Protection policy. It is for use during the partial school closures beginning on 5th January 2021. Further information about the government’s approach to COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Context

Following government guidance, Brambleside Primary School closed to pupils on 5th January 2021, with the exception of children deemed to be ‘vulnerable’, or those with parent/s or carer/s who are critical workers.

Safeguarding and child protection remains an essential part of our duty of care to all students and we have a responsibility to safeguard children, whether they are on-site or staying at home.  We understand that safeguarding, child protection and promoting the welfare of all children is everyone’s responsibility and everyone has a role to play in protecting children. We continue to promote a culture of vigilance, where staff and volunteers act immediately if they have safeguarding concerns about a child. We recognise that our school is part of a wider safeguarding system for children and work closely with other agencies to promote the welfare of children. We maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ and will consider the wishes of, and at all times, what is in the best interests of each child.

The purpose of this addendum is to;

  • Ensure that children are protected from maltreatment or harm;
  • Promote safeguarding and child protection;
  • Demonstrate the school’s commitment to keeping children safe whilst operating under emergency measures related to COVID-19;
  • Provide all members of staff with the information required to meet their safeguarding duty and protect children from harm during this time; and
  • Provide stakeholders with clear information relating to the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak.

All staff will be made aware of this addendum and updated regularly on further developments.

This addendum is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that the school is compliant with;

  • all relevant legislation and statutory guidance;
  • government guidance relating to the COVID-19 outbreak[1]; and
  • guidance from the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.

This policy applies to all teaching, non-teaching, support, supply, peripatetic, contract staff, governors, volunteers and trustees working in or on behalf of Brambleside Primary School. All references in this document to ‘staff’ or ‘members of staff’ should be interpreted as relating to the aforementioned unless otherwise stated. This policy applies to all staff, whether working on-site or at home.

 

The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

Brambleside Primary School has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and two Deputy DSLs.

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Michelle Eaton-Brown
  • The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are: Drew Brown and Natalie Goosey

A trained Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will be available at all times during school hours. Wherever possible, a trained DSL (or deputy DSL) will be available on site. Where this is not possible due to staff self-isolation, a trained DSL (or deputy DSL) will be available to be contacted via phone or Microsoft Teams video-conferencing. In this instance an appropriate senior leader will take responsibility for safeguarding on site.

The DSL will continue to engage with social workers and attend all multi-agency meetings that can be done remotely. Arrangements for contacting the DSL/DDSLs will be regularly shared with staff as well as any relevant safeguarding and child protection updates and training. All DSLs and DDSLs will keep up to date with the latest safeguarding information and guidance via e-bulletins, Local Authority e-bulletins and taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments.

Vulnerable Children

The school has given careful consideration to which children need to continue to attend school, in order to ensure children are safe and to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Each child has been considered on a case by case basis in consultation with any relevant external agencies and the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (where necessary) to establish if a child should be on site.

The school adheres to government guidance on vulnerable children. The school considers children to be vulnerable and may need to attend if they:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child.
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
  • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
  • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
  • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
  • those living in temporary accommodation
  • those who are young carers
  • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
  • care leavers
  • others at the provider and Local Authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health[2].

We strongly encourage vulnerable children to attend.

Children other than those above may be considered vulnerable and some children will become vulnerable during the time that the school is closed. The school will continually review which children will attend school, in line with local and governmental guidance.

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/carers are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID-19, professionals will talk through these worries with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.

All children with an EHC plan will be invited into school in line with government guidance. Decisions about how individual children are supported to engage in education will be made in discussions with parents and all relevant professionals.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead/SENDCO will work closely with other relevant staff to ensure that children with special educational needs and disabilities continue to receive appropriate support.

Brambleside Primary School has the flexibility to offer a place to other learners who may also be considered vulnerable. Please contact Drew Brown to discuss this further.  If vulnerable children are not attending school, we will notify their social worker (if applicable) and agree the best way to keep in contact with them. The school will keep in contact with vulnerable children via weekly phone calls or video calls. The school will check if vulnerable children are able to access remote education support, will support them to access it (as far as possible) and will regularly check if they are doing so.

Brambleside Primary School will continue to work with 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.

If children have existing vulnerabilities but are not attending school, the school will contact them by phone every 1-3 days, liase with the social worker, Virtual School or SEND team.

       In the event that we have to temporarily stop on-site provision on public health advice, we   

       will inform the Local Authority to discuss alternative arrangements for vulnerable children  

       and work towards welcoming back pupils as soon as possible, where feasible to do so.

All children will have daily contact with their class teacher, this may be done through TEAMS chat, emails or a phone call. When there has been no daily contact, the family will be contacted by Michelle Eaton-Brown (DSL) or a DDSL.

Attendance

The school adheres to government guidance, which states that parents should keep their children at home, if they can, and that schools and colleges should remain open only for children of critical workers and those deemed to be vulnerable.

As such, Brambleside School will not be following our usual attendance procedures and non-attendance will not be managed in the way that it normally would. Children should not attend unless there is an agreement with the school.

The school will record attendance in the usual school register. We will provide the Local Authority and the Department for Education (and with any commissioned provider in the case of Children in Care) with requested data as per local and government guidance.

The school will work with families and social workers to agree whether children should attend school or not. If it is agreed that a child should attend and they do not, the school will follow this up with parents/carers.

The school will follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their children and the children subsequently do not attend.

If children who should be attending school develop symptoms or are required to self-isolate, parent should inform the school immediately and they will be asked to remain at home. In the event that this happens, we will contact the family every 1-3 days to ensure their safety when the children are not in school.

The school will take the opportunity when communicating with parents and carers to confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at the school, or discontinues, we will notify their social worker where applicable.

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 our existing school safeguarding processes as outlined in our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

Children are encouraged to report concerns via existing school systems, or to a trusted adult at home.

Parents/carers are encouraged to report concerns via the existing school system.

Allegations against staff

Brambleside Primary School takes all allegations against staff seriously and will manage them in line with this policy, Part Four of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) and guidance from the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership.

If a concern or allegation of abuse arises against the Headteacher, it must be reported to the Chair of Governors (Bill Parker) without delay. In the event that the Chair of Governors is unavailable due to illness or other circumstance, concerns must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Andy Smith or Christine York.

 

If a concern or allegation of abuse arises against any member of staff other that the Headteacher, it must be reported to the Headteacher without delay. In the event that the Headteacher is unavailable due to illness or other circumstance, concern must be reported to Natalie Goosey (Deputy Head). Allegations of abuse against staff should be not discussed directly with the person involved.

The Headteacher or Chair of Governors should consider if the allegation meets the threshold for Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) intervention. Concerns relating to a position of trust issue will be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer within 24 hours.

If a child has suffered abuse or harm, a referral for statutory intervention will also be made. In the instances where an allegation is dealt with internally, the Local Authority Designated Officer will provide information and support to Brambleside Primary School in managing the allegation.

The procedure for whistleblowing is outlined in The Whistleblowing Policy.

Safeguarding training and staff induction

All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020). The DSL will 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 in addition to other documents outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020).  

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, we will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020).

The school will adhere to all government guidance in relation to checking identification for the purposes of obtaining Disclosure and Barring Service checks and when conducting interviews.

Where Brambleside Primary School are utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 183 to 188 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020). 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 adhere to all government guidance in checking their suitability to work in the school.

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 179 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020).

Brambleside Primary School will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per Part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral’.

During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing

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.

Supporting children in school

Brambleside Primary School is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students and will be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Head Teacher 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 COVID-19.

Online activity in school will continue to be monitored through our usual IT monitoring systems. Brambleside Primary School will continue to provide a safe online learning environment, where learners use school provided devices on site and appropriate filtering and monitoring systems will continue to be implemented. The DSL, DDSLs and IT Leader will receive notifications if there are any filtering or monitoring concerns via the WebAdmin team and any concerns will be swiftly addressed with the staff or children involved.

 

Record keeping

As detailed in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020), 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).

We will 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.

Staff should 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.  

Concerns and other record keeping should continue to be recorded on My Concern and in the event that the DSL/DDSLs are offsite, or in the event that the safeguarding team are unable to work, an appropriate senior leader will take responsibility for safeguarding on site, continuing to follow the Brambleside Primary School Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and procedures.

 

Peer on Peer/Child on Child Abuse

Brambleside Primary School continues to recognise and respond to cases of peer on peer (child on child) abuse by considering each incident on a case-by-case basis and basing any intervention on usual processes outlined within Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020).  

We recognise that the current circumstances and the changeable nature of current Government guidance may mean that the school 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. 

During this time, staff will continue to be vigilant in reporting any concerns relating to peer on peer abuse to the DSL and onto the My Concern system.

 

Online safety and remote learning

The school is legally required to provide suitable remote learning for children whilst they are out of school. We are using technology to deliver learning to pupils who are at home.

 In order to ensure that children are safe when learning online, Brambleside School have procedures in place to prepare children and parents for staying safe online.

This includes the Acceptable Use Policies for staff and children and the Remote Learning Policy and Remote Learning Plan which have been shared with parents and staff. These include key information regarding online safety.

Staff and learners will also engage with remote teaching and learning in line with existing behaviour principles as set out in our Brambleside School behaviour policy and code of conduct. Any pre-existing relationships or situations which mean these cannot be complied with will be discussed with the DSL.

All communication with learners and parents/carers will take place using school provided email accounts and the Microsoft 365 platform.

Brambleside Primary School will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.

When delivering remote learning, staff at Brambleside Primary School will:

  • Only use online tools that have been evaluated and agreed by leadership.
  • Ensure remote learning activities are planned in accordance with our curriculum policies, taking learner needs and technology access into account.
  • Where possible, pre-record content.
  • Only members and owners of the team can access live streams.
  • Live sessions should be planned and scheduled during school hours.
  • The attendance register that is available on Teams tells you what time learners log on and log off.
  • A member of SLT, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or another senior member of staff should have the ability to ‘drop into’ live lessons where possible.
  • Parents should be aware that live sessions are taking place and ensure that their child is appropriately supervised.
  • It is recommended that any 1:1 sessions taking place when a teacher is at home (whether camera on or otherwise) should be recorded and securely saved for at least seven days.
  • Schools should be aware that other household members may be present during live sessions, for example staff’s family members or children’s sibling/parents.
  • Learners must follow the agreed online behaviour expectations
  • Staff will revisit our Acceptable use of Technology Policy with learners as necessary.
  • All participants will wear suitable dress, use professional language, and ensure backgrounds of videos (live or pre-recorded) are neutral and appropriate.
  • Staff and learners should ensure personal information and/or, inappropriate or unsuitable personal items are not visible.
  • If live streaming, staff will mute and/or disable learners’ videos and microphones, as required.

Brambleside Primary School recognises that children both on-site and off-site are vulnerable to abuse and radicalisation online. Children who are at home may be spending more time online and this increases their vulnerability. We also recognise that additional safeguarding arrangements are required to ensure that children are safe online at this time.

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.

Governors will review arrangements to ensure that they continue to be appropriate.

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:

 

Staff have received updated safeguarding training to ensure that they are equipped with the skills to keep children safe when using technology for remote learning.  

Use of staff and learner personal devices, including mobile phones, will be managed in line with our existing policies.

A list of useful sources of information relating to online safety is including in Appendix A of this addendum.  

 

Supporting children’s learning at home

Brambleside Primary School will continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people that remain on the school roll.

All DSLs will continue to identify those vulnerable children that would benefit from Early Help as identified in KCSIE 2020, 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.

We will utilise our 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.

Brambleside Primary School recognises that continuing high quality pastoral support is vital to ensure that children are safe and supported. We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all our children and young people. Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, we will ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child or young person.

Details of this communication must be recorded, as should a record of contact that has been made. The communication details can include; remote contact, phone contact, door-step visits. Other individualised contact methods should be considered and recorded. Where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.

Brambleside Primary School will share safeguarding messages on its website and Newsletter. We recognise that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Teachers at Brambleside School are aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home.

The school will provide other remote pastoral support and education via:

  • Daily contact with every child where possible
  • Teachers having regular ‘catch ups’ with pupils in small groups to support social engagement and friendships
  • Well-being and family support provided by the Mental Health Lead
  • Websites and video links (including those recommended by the school nursing team) are shared regularly with parents/carers to support their own and their child’s wellbeing and advice on how to respond to the challenges associated with Covid 19
  • Leaders, teachers and pupils are aware of how to spot potential wellbeing or mental health issues and how to respond.
  • Staff and Parents are encouraged to help children look after their physical and mental health and should refer staff and parents to the ‘pupil wellbeing and support’ in the government guidance for further details.

Appendix A – Online Safety Resources

Support for schools implementing remote learning

Support for professionals when using videos and/or live streaming

Support for children and parents

[1] See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak for further details.

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#vulnerable-children-and-young-people