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Safeguarding at St. Helen's Catholic Infant School

Introduction

All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them and to provide a safe environment in which they can learn and achieve their full potential.  However, there are key people within schools and the Local Authority who have specific responsibilities under child protection procedures.   In school we have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), as well as Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads and a Designated Safeguarding Governor.

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. (Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE, 2020)

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputies

The designated safeguarding lead  takes lead responsibility for managing child protection referrals, safeguarding training and raising awareness of all child protection policies and procedures. They ensure that everyone in school (including temporary staff, volunteers and contractors) is aware of these procedures and that they are followed at all times.  They act as a source of advice and support for other staff (on child protection matters) and ensure that timely referrals to Essex Children’s Social Care (Family Operations Hub) are made in accordance with current SET procedures.  They work with the local authority and other agencies as required.

 

Our Designated Safeguarding Team are:

Mrs Morris - Designated Safeguarding Lead

Ms McAuliffe - Deputy DSL

 

All school staff

Everyone in our school has a responsibility to provide a safe learning environment in which our children can learn.  All staff members are aware of the local early help process and our role in it.  They are aware of signs of abuse and neglect so they are able to identify children who may be in need of help or protection.  All staff members are aware of and follow school processes and are aware of how to make a referral to Social Care if there is a need to do so.  If staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they must act on them immediately and speak with the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) – they do not assume that others have taken action.

 

If you are concerned that a child is at risk of immediate significant harm, the first action is to call 999.

 

If you have concerns about adults that work with children contact the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) on 03330 139 797

 

To seek child protection advice if you have concerns for the safety or well being of our children contact the Children and Families Hub on 0345 603 7627.

 

Training

The designated safeguarding lead (and deputy) undertake Level 3 child protection training at least every two years.  The Headteacher, all staff members and governors receive appropriate child protection training which is regularly updated and in line with advice from the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB).  In addition, all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.  Records of any child protection training undertaken is kept for all staff and governors.

 

The school ensures that the designated safeguarding lead (and deputy) also undertakes training in inter-agency working and other matters as appropriate

 

Safer Recruitment

All staff, volunteers or regular visitors must undergo safer recruitment checks, including the correct level of Disclosure and Barring Checks (DBS).  At least one member of any appointment panel has undertaken approved Safer Recruitment training.

 

When new staff, volunteers or regular visitors join our school they are informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place, the name of the DSL (and deputy) and how to share concerns with them.

Any member of staff, volunteer or visitor to the school who receives a disclosure or allegation of abuse, or suspects that abuse may have occurred must report it immediately to the designated safeguarding lead (or, in their absence, the deputy designated safeguarding lead).  

In Essex, all professionals must work in accordance with the SET Procedures (ESCB, 2019) .  Our school also works in accordance with the following legislation and guidance (this is not an exhaustive list):
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