Role and context

Scope of the introductory course
The introductory course will cover:
• the roles of school support staff and the context in which
they work
• promoting positive behaviour
• inclusion
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Aims of the introductory course
The aim of this course is to equip support staff with important
knowledge and skills to help them to:
• contribute to the school’s overall aim of raising educational
• uphold school policies
• provide appropriate and reliable support for the school so
they can provide the best possible education for pupils
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Every child matters: change for children
• Be healthy
• Stay safe
• Enjoy and achieve
• Make a positive contribution
• Achieve economic well-being
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The national healthy school standard
Schools are asked to demonstrate evidence of good practice
in four areas, using an approach involving the whole school
• personal, social and health education
• healthy eating
• physical activity
• emotional health and well-being (including bullying)
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Health and safety
Support staff need to be familiar with:
• health and safety policies and procedures
• areas of risk and how risks can be minimised
• emergency procedures
• accident and security procedures
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Safety on school visits
Support staff who accompany pupils on trips and visits should:
• be clear about their responsibilities
• not be left in sole charge of pupils, except where it has been
agreed as part of the risk assessment
• follow the instructions of the group leader and teacher
supervisors and help with control and discipline
• speak to the group leader or teacher supervisors if they
have concerns about the health and safety of pupils at any
time during the visit
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Aims of this section
• To build a basic understanding of safeguarding matters
likely to be encountered by support staff
• To inform support staff what to do if they have concerns
about pupils that relate to their safety
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Children Act 2004
• Local authorities and governing bodies must make
arrangements to ensure that their functions are discharged
with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of
• They must have regard to any guidance given to them by
the secretary of state
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• All agencies working with children, young people and their
families take all reasonable measures to ensure that the
risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised
• Where there are concerns about children and young
people’s welfare, all agencies take all appropriate actions
to address those concerns, working to agreed local
policies and procedures
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What do we mean by child abuse?
Abuse is when a child is hurt or harmed by another person in a
way that causes significant harm to that child and which may
well have an effect on the child’s development or well-being.
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Duty to refer
Through their day-to-day contact with pupils and direct work
with families, education staff have a crucial role to play in
noticing indicators of possible abuse or neglect, and in referring
concerns to the designated senior person (DSP) in their school.
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Designated senior person
The designated senior person:
need not be a teacher, but must have sufficient authority within
the school management structure to carry out the duties of the
post, including committing resources to child protection matters
and, where appropriate, directing other staff
will have undertaken training to standards set by the local
safeguarding children board and is responsible for coordinating
action to safeguard pupils
liaises with other agencies about safeguarding concerns and
offers support and advice to staff who may have concerns about
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Barriers to diagnosis
“The biggest barrier to diagnosis is the existence of emotional
blocks in the minds of professionals. These can be so
powerful that they prevent diagnosis even being considered
in quite obvious cases. All those working with children should
be warned that their overwhelming impulse on confronting
their first case is to cover it up.”
British Medical Journal (1989)
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Physical abuse
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 fakes the
symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to, a child whom
they are looking after.
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Emotional abuse
Actual or likely adverse effect on the emotional and
behavioural development of a child under the age of 18 years,
caused by persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or
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Persistent or severe neglect of children under the age of
18 years, or the failure to protect a child from physical
harm or danger.
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Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is the actual or likely sexual exploitation of a
child or adolescent under the age of 18 years by any person.
This would include any form of sexual activity to which the
child cannot give true consent either by law or because of
ignorance, dependence, developmental immaturity or fear.
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Golden rules
• It is not the responsibility of education staff to interview
pupils. If a pupil makes a disclosure of abuse they should
listen carefully to what the pupil has to say, but should not
question them in a way that puts words in their mouth
• It is important to make accurate notes about what has
been heard, seen or told
• Interviewing pupils should be left to the police and social
care staff, who have the necessary training to carry out this
role effectively. Inappropriate interviewing may jeopardise
the chances of a successful prosecution at a later date
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Golden rules
• Concerns should always be made known quickly to the
DSP, or in their absence to another senior member of staff
• Concerns should not be discussed with parents/carers until
advice on how to proceed has been obtained from the DSP
• A pupil must not be promised confidentiality about any
information on abuse they may choose to disclose. The
member of support staff must explain that they may need to
pass on information to other professionals to help keep the
pupil or other children safe
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Useful websites
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The nature of bullying
There are many definitions of bullying, but most consider it to be:
deliberately hurtful (including aggression)
repeated over a period of time
difficult for victims to defend themselves against
Bullying can take many forms, but three main types are:
physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings
verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks
indirect – spreading nasty stories, exclusion from social groups,
being the subject of malicious rumours, sending malicious emails or text messages
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Curriculum quiz
1. What is the national curriculum?
2. What are key stages?
3. What age range is covered by the foundation stage?
4. At what ages do children normally take the national tests
popularly known as SATs?
5. Write down four subjects that are compulsory in all key
6. What is the secondary national strategy for school
improvement or the primary national strategy?
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The whole curriculum
The whole curriculum includes:
• the national curriculum
• everything else that is taught or learnt in lessons, at break
times, in assemblies, in extra-curricular activities, etc.
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Aims of the school curriculum
The school curriculum has two aims:
• To provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve
• To promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities,
responsibilities and experiences of life
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Working as a team
Your school has been highly praised in a recent Ofsted inspection
report for the following attributes and improvements:
Improved results in national tests in each key stage
Improved attendance and punctuality
Good work with parents and the local community
A litter-free, well-maintained environment
A consistent and effective approach to managing pupil behaviour
How might your work as a member of the team of support
staff have contributed to the success of the school in one or more of
these areas?
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Supporting transitions
Look out for signs of changes in attitudes and behaviour
Build open and honest relationships with pupils
Employ good listening skills
Empathise and reassure
Understand the limits of your role
Know about school procedures and referral routes
Provide practical help if it has been agreed by senior colleagues
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Contacts with parents
1. A phone call from a parent to report that their child is ill and will
be absent from school
2. A parent, encountered in the playground at mid-day, who is angry
because her son’s new coat has been torn. She claims that
playground behaviour is poorly supervised and out of control
3. An adult encountered on the premises who claims to be a
parent looking for his daughter to take out of school for a
dental appointment
4. A parent who asks a mid-day supervisor to give her eight-yearold daughter a dose of ‘cough mixture’ before the afternoon
school session begins
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Helping pupils to achieve economic well-being
• Careers education
• Work-related learning
• Work experience
• Vocational qualifications
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