At Handel House School we are committed to the protection and safety of the children. We maintain rigorous procedures for child protection and we expect everyone working within the setting to take responsibility for following these procedures. The purpose of this policy is to provide staff, volunteers and Headmistress with the guidance they need and to inform parents and guardians how we will safeguard their children whilst they are in our care. Safeguarding children describes the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
We believe that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility and that everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. Children are best protected when our staff are clear about what is required of them individually, and how they need to work together with other agencies, services and families. This policy must be read and understood by staff alongside Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013. Our policy has been prepared in keeping with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014 and in accordance with our legal duty as in an independent school under s157 Education Act 2002 and in compliance with the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010 as amended by SI 2012/2962. As required by the statutory guidance, all staff have read at least part one entitled: Keeping Children Safe in Education: Information for All School and College Staff 2014.
This policy applies to all on and off-site activities undertaken by children whilst they are the responsibility of the School. The health, safety and welfare of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work or volunteer in our school. These include the school’s reporting arrangements whereby contact with the appropriate welfare agency is made immediately and never later than 24 hours of a disclosure or suspicion of abuse.
We develop, implement and review procedures in our school that enable all staff and volunteers to identify and report cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. We support children who have been abused in accordance with their agreed child protection plan and ensure the practice of safe recruitment in checking and recording the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children. It is the responsibility of the school to refer, not to investigate or attempt to resolve allegations of abuse. The prime concern at all stages must be the interests and safety of the child. Where there is a conflict of interests between the child and parent, the interests of the child must be paramount.
Everyone who comes into contact with our children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. We place a high priority on identifying concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating. We do this because we are acutely aware that we play a vital role in the wider safeguarding system for children. Together with our colleagues in the police, health and other children’s services, we promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Our children have the right to respect and protection, regardless of age, gender, religion, race, nationality, sexuality, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school. The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages all children to do their best. We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves. We recognise that abuse and neglect can result in underachievement. We strive to ensure that all our children make good educational progress. All children should care for and support each other. Safeguarding encompasses all aspects of school life where a child’s welfare may be compromised.
Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts or failure to provide proper care or both. Children may suffer neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or a combination of such types of abuse. All children have a right to be protected from abuse. Whilst the school will work openly with parents as far as possible, the school reserves the right to contact Children’s Social Care or the Police, without notifying parents if this is in the child’s best interests. Handel House School has a very good working relationship with the Lincolnshire Local Children’s Safeguarding Board. Advice on how to deal with a child protection concern or to find out whether it is something which should be referred is sought from who is the Child Protection Co-ordinator (Education), providing safeguarding children advice, support and training to Schools. Lincolnshire County Council has produced child protection guides for schools. A Common Assessment Framework Referral form (CAF) is sent by the Headmistress to the Local Authority within 24 hours of making a referral.
Handel House School prides itself on its respect and mutual tolerance. Parents/Guardians have an important role in supporting the school. Copies of this policy, together with our other policies relating to issues of child protection are on our web site, and we hope that parents/guardians will always feel able to take up any issues or worries that they may have with the school. We will never ignore an allegation of child abuse and will always investigate any concerns thoroughly. Open communications are essential. It is the responsibility of the school to refer, not to investigate.
We work in partnership with parents or carers to secure the best outcomes for our children. All parents need to understand that we have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children of our school, that this responsibility necessitates a child protection policy and procedures, and that we may need to share information in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child’s welfare. The child’s safety and welfare will always be our main priority. All parents applying for places at this School will be informed of our safeguarding responsibilities and the existence of this policy. In situations where children sustain injury or are otherwise affected by an accident or incident whilst they are the responsibility of the School, parents will be notified of this as soon as possible.
Download our Policy on Child Protection (Safeguarding) in full by clicking the button below. This policy is made available to parents or guardians of pupils on request to the school office, during the school day, or by e-mail.