Child protection OCT 2013 - North Walls Community School

October 2013
This document must be read in conjunction with the OIC / Child Protection Committee
Policy / Code of Practice (2009).
This document is available to all staff and parents. This policy is intended to contain
relevant background and procedures that support the schools’ aims and ethos in
relation to working with children, parents/carers, referral agencies and professional
colleagues. The staff members will ensure collective responsibility for its
All School Staff are expected to have read and understood the policy statements,
Equal opportunities & Racial Equality
The principle of equality is central to the school’s commitment to improving the social,
economic and environmental well being of our local community. All functions of North
walls Community School will be carried in a way that promotes equality of opportunity.
The school and its staff positively promote racial equality in all areas of its work
and have due regard for the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination; promote equality
of opportunity; and promote good relations between different racial groups.
There are various categories of child abuse. Harm, or threat of harm, may be the result
 A direct act
 Failure to act in order to provide proper care
 Both of the above
Key Points:
The nominated Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mr George McKinlay, Head Teacher,
he has undertaken Stage 1 & 2 Child Protection training.
If in doubt ask. Do not wait for somebody else to accept responsibility. Speak to your
line manager (or any other colleague) if in any doubt whether or not to take action or
what action to take.
Formal interviewing of a child must not be done by any member of staff once an
allegation has been made or suspicion aroused. Staff must listen carefully to what the
child has to say and to address any immediate needs that the child may have.
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013
Basic Philosophies
The school has an ethos where children can flourish and feel valued as well as
All adults are expected to set an example which values the contribution made by others.
All members of the school community are expected to be polite, (pupils, staff, non
teaching staff, etc).
When involved in disciplining children it is best to listen first before reacting, then to be
fair and consistent. Children do not mind if staff are strict as long as they are equally
strict with everyone.
When a child is involved in a Child Protection case, staff involved must be aware that
the whole family will need sensitive handling.
The school has an “open school” policy which means we endeavor to see parents within
an appropriate time of their requesting it.
Confidentiality – all staff should remember that an “open school” is liable to have adults
from the community in any area and therefore individual children and their problems
should not be discussed unless in privacy.
1. To ensure that we implement Orkney Islands Council / Child Protection
Committee Policy
2. To inform all staff of their responsibilities.
3. To provide all children with a secure and consistent environment in which they
feel valued and able to thrive.
1. To ensure that all staff know what the Orkney Islands Council Child Protection
Committee Policy is and how it looks
2. To identify clearly the ethos the school wishes to promote.
3. To have an effective structured system for parents, staff and children involved in
child protection matters.
4. To make sure the curriculum re-enforces and underlines these objectives.
The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all staff. Clarification can
be sought from the Head Teacher in North Walls Community School but
individuals are responsible for bringing any concerns to the attention of the Child
Protection Co-ordinator. The Child Protection Co-ordinator will decide what
action is appropriate to take.
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013
It is the responsibility of staff to be familiar with the Child Protection Committee /
OIC policy on Child Protection, which includes clear guidance on definitions of
abuse; indicators; responses; reporting (2008) appendix a
Staff are given opportunity to attend a basic Child Protection awareness course.
The last School based training was held on October 2012 & Child Protection is
offered to probationary teachers and itinerants as part of the OIC induction
The school encourages community involvement. Volunteer helpers are police
checked under Disclosure Scotland Procedures. Guidance is available to adult
helpers on their role.
A school representative will attempt to attend any case conferences in person but
will at least submit a written report.
All records are confidential and kept in a locked filing cabinet in the Head
Teachers Office. Information will be told on a “need to know basis” eg: Relevant
staff will be made aware that an individual child has a problem and needs careful
handling at the moment.
It is the responsibility of the Responsible Officer to see that the relevant
information is passed to staff as necessary, including when a youngster reaches
points of transition to other classes / schools.
When staff have concerns or suspicions that might indicate Child Protection
issues short notes and contemporary jottings are to be made, signed, dated and
given to the Child Protection Co-ordinator. This is a legitimate means of
registering concerns about children which can be used as evidence.
Child needing immediate medical treatment
If a child is in need of immediate medical treatment they should be taken to the
School Office or Medical room where appropriate action will be taken. This may
be to phone the health centre (01856 701209) or, depending on the possible
treatment required, the Balfour Hospital (01856 888000). If in the judgment of
the Child Protection Co-ordinator there are indications that the problem may be
related to child abuse the relevant Health practitioner will be informed. The Child
Protection Co-ordinator will take any decision to refer the case to one of the
statutory agencies, Social Services or Police.
In such circumstances school would not be expected to delay any action in order
first to contact the child’s parent or guardian.
Child about whom there is a suspicion of possible abuse but no need for
immediate medical treatment
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013
Any suspicion of child abuse, however slight should be reported to the Child
Protection Co-ordinator. They will decide if the suspicion warrants onward
In instances when the Child Protection Co-ordinator and depute cannot be
contacted. Teachers should contact the duty social worker for advice.
In making the decision advice may be sought from the local Health Practitioners
who also hold statutory responsibility for Child Protection and if appropriate the
Assistant Director (Pupil Services) or his team.
If the Child Protection Co-ordinator determines that a referral should be made,
even in the absence of physical evidence, this should be brought to the attention
of the statutory protective services immediately ie Duty Social worker at Social
Services or the Police.
Normal procedures demand that no contact is made with parents or careers
other than by Social Services or Police. In circumstances where the Child
Protection Co-ordinator feels there is good reason for the family to be involved
this will be discussed with the Social Worker / Police after a referral has been
Teachers themselves should not take any further action although if a parent,
guardian or other individual volunteers information this should be recorded. If the
parents are suspected of perpetrating the alleged abuse, they should not be
informed of any referral to Social Services, nor need they be present at any
interview with the child.
When a referral is made to a statutory agency, the Child Protection Co-ordinator
will make clear:
 The reasons for making the referral
 Any special needs of the child & family including linguistic, cultural,
religious, physical or psychological factors
 Expectations of the agency to which a referral has been made
 The action to be taken by the agency in receiving the referral & any
subsequently agreed plan
All verbal communications will be confirmed in writing within twenty four hours.
The Child Protection Co-ordinator should keep handwritten records, timed, dated
and signed, of any signs of abuse, neglect or any other injury and of any action
The Child Protection Co-ordinator will make a note of the injuries or
circumstances causing concern. Indicate injuries on a body map. Also make a
note of any explanation or comment offered by the child / child’s carer, recording
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013
exact words if possible, and whether they were informed of concerns and
Where there is multi agency approach / involvement the Child Protection Coordinator should check with them to see if they have any concerns or reason for
suspicion. Their comments should be noted and passed on to the statutory
investigating officer.
Following a child protection investigation, a child protection conference may be
convened to plan further actions.
If a member of staff becomes aware of allegations of child abuse made against a
however, the Child Protection Co-coordinator is the alleged perpetrator,
colleagues must report their concerns to the Head of Schools, (Peter Diamond).
In the event of an obvious injury, concern or disclosure.
Too many questions should not be asked as school staff are not investigators.
They should be ready to listen and should tell the child they have acted correctly
in telling someone. The child should be reassured that they will be helped. Staff
should never promise to keep a secret.
The Child Protection Co-ordinator should be informed as soon as possible and
they will implement the OIC policy on Child Protection. A record of any
discussion with the child should be hand-written, signed and dated.
The circumstances may be such that a teacher / group leader has to rely on
colleague to have all the children for a short time. A simple message will be
taken by a child eg: “………… needs you to look after class… now, please”
In the event of a less obvious concern
The Child Protection Co-ordinator should be informed as soon as possible. They
will ask for written notes about the concern and will evaluate the situation. It may
be that someone else has already voiced a similar concern so staff should not be
reluctant to intervene.
Members of staff involved in Child Protection Cases can discuss cases with the
Child Protection Co-ordinator or the Named Officer for the case.
Informing Parents of the Policy
Parents are informed via the School Handbook that we have a Child Protection Policy
which is in line with OIC / Child Protection Committee guidance.
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013
The policy will be monitored by the Head Teacher, in line with the Quality Assurance /
School Self Evaluation processes.
The usual school complaints procedure applies.
If a member of staff is not satisfied with the form of action taken by the responsible
Officer (Head Teacher) they may refer directly to the Department of Social Services or
Police for advice.
Policy Review
This policy will ordinarily be reviewed bi-annually.
In addition this policy will be renewed in the light of changing national or local policies or
Child Protection Policy
last updated OCT 2013