Safeguarding Policy

UGHS SAFEGUARDING POLICY STATEMENT 

UGHS acknowledges that pupils have been entrusted in our care and that we are first and foremost accountable to God in keeping them safe. To that end we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils and the Proprietor expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment by demonstrating their understanding of how each individual adult working on behalf of the school has an active part to play in protecting children from harm and promoting their welfare. 

Introduction 

The Safeguarding Policy of Unity Girls High School (UGHS) is written with due regard to has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004; the Education Act 2002, and in line with government publications. [Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 requires local education authorities and the governors of maintained schools and further education (FE) colleges to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.]  

Section 157 of the same act and the Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2003 require proprietors of independent schools (including academies and city technology colleges) to have arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils at the school.  

This policy is in line with statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Keeping Child Safe in Education (2016), Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015), London Child Protection Procedures (5th Edition), „What to do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused‟ 2015   

The Teacher Standards 2012 state that teachers, including head teachers should safeguard children's wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of their professional duties.  

  • The statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 is issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011. Schools and colleges must have regard to this guidance when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Unless otherwise stated, „school‟ in this guidance means all schools, whether maintained, non-maintained or independent, including academies and free schools, alternative provision academies and pupil referral units. „School‟ includes maintained nursery schools. „College‟ means further education colleges and sixth form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. And relates to their responsibilities to children under the age of 18 (but excludes 16-19 academies and free schools, which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement)  

All staff must read Part One of this guidance and staff can find a copy in the school office in the policy folder.

Everyone working in or for our school service shares an objective to help keep children and young people safe by contributing to:  

  • providing a safe environment for children and young people to learn and develop in our school setting, and  
  • identifying children and young people who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and taking appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in our school setting  

 

The school‟s safeguarding arrangements are inspected by Ofsted under the judgements for behaviour and safety, and leadership and management.  

This policy is available on the school website and is referred to in the staff handbook. 

It will also be available to parents on request.

SCHOOL COMMITMENT  

UGHS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of its pupils. Each pupil’s welfare is of paramount importance. 

This Policy guides the procedures and practices of staff when safeguarding children and promoting their welfare but acknowledges a shared duty of care with other agencies. Unity Girls High School main objective is to ensure that everyone is clear about their responsibility in keeping children safe, in an environment where they feel secure, valued, respected, and heard. In keeping with the new guidelines this policy is aimed at: 

  • Protecting children from maltreatment 
  • Promote children’s health and development 
  • Ensure that all environments including home provides safe and adequate care. 
  • Enabling children to develop positively and successfully into adulthood 

We understand the term safeguarding to mean that we will take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to children’s welfare is minimised.  Unity Girls High School appreciates that our work in safeguarding and protecting children should also be in line with local guidance and procedures.   

At UGHS we believe that a range of other school policies are central to many aspects of the school’s Child Protection Policy, and this document should therefore be read in conjunction with our Policies for: 

  1. Anti-Bullying 
  1. Attendance 
  1. Behaviour Policy 
  1. E-safety 
  2. Health & Safet

Our school procedures for safeguarding children will always be compliant with the Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board. Those procedures which have been adopted by the Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board are available from http://www.barnet.gov.uk/safeguarding-children-board  

Our procedures will be followed by all adults within the school, including volunteers, working with or on behalf of the school.  This policy is available to all parents and the parents of prospective pupils in the internet and in hard copy upon request. 

We recognise that:  

  • Some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse  
  • Children who are abused or neglected may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and to view the world in a positive way. Whilst at school, their behaviour may be challenging  
  • Children can be victims and perpetrators of abuse  
  • Children who harm others may have been abused themselves  
  • Allegations can be made against staff, however careful and safe our recruitment practices  

 

This policy will be updated regularly and known to everyone working in the school . 

 

KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE 

Child Protection - Responding to concerns about individual children. 

All children at UGHS must be able to place their trust and confidence in any adult working in the school. They can speak about any worries or concerns they may have and that they will be listened to, taken seriously and responded to appropriately. All staff must therefore know what to do if a child chooses to talk to them about any matter which raises child protection concerns.  

All staff must: 

  • Listen to what the child is saying without interruption and without asking leading questions. 
  • Respect the child’s right to privacy but not promise confidentiality 
  • Reassure the child that she has done the right thing in telling. 
  • Explain to the child that in order to keep her safe from harm the information that has been shared with must be passed on. 
  • Report what was has been disclosed to the Designated Person in the school.  
  • Record, as soon as is practicable, what was said using the child’s actual words 
  • Use a body diagram to indicate a sign of any physical marks 
  • Sign and date the record. 
  • Forward 'dated and signed' note/statement to designated Designated Safeguarding Lead Sophie Khoury. 
  • Not discuss any aspect of allegation to other than the Designated Safeguarding LeaAll staff must be clear about their own role and that of others in providing a caring and safe environment for all pupils and must know how they should respond to any concerns about an individual child that may arise. To this end UGHS will ensure that all staff and pupils know who the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 

 

Currently, our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Sophie Khoury, who has received required training in order to undertake this important role.  

In the absence of the designated person we will ensure that we have someone else with the necessary skills, training and knowledge to deputies, this is Nora Bashir, the Head-teacher. All new staff and volunteers will receive internal training during their induction period, and regularly thereafter at a minimum of every two years as required. 

UGHS will always follow safe recruitment procedures so that we can be confident that all adults working in our school are safe to do so. 

Any suspicion that a child is injured, marked or bruised in any way which is not readily attributed to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play. 

  • Any explanation which appears suspicious. 
  • Any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment or emotional maltreatment. 
  • Any behaviour which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm (e.g. worrying drawings or play etc). 
  • Any hint or disclosure of abuse from any person. 
  • Any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect. 
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance

Action following a child protection referral: 

The designated Designated Safeguarding Lead, Sophie Khoury will: 

  • Make regular contact with (LADO) at the MASH local safeguarding Hub/Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board. mash@barnet.gov.uk  02083594066/and or pupil borough safeguarding board 
  • Wherever possible, contribute to the strategy discussion. 
  • If the child or children are placed on the Child Protection Register, contribute to the Child Protection Plan and attend meetings and Review Child Protection meetings. 
  • Where a child at risk has moved to another school, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will forward the details of this change with  (LADO) Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board and/or pupil borough and other relevant stakeholders. 

Child Protection – Recognition and Response to Abuse 

Owing to the nature of the day-to-day relationship children at UGHS have with staff, all adults working in the school are particularly well placed to notice any physical, emotional or behavioral signs that a child may be suffering significant harm.  We understand that harm means the ill-treatment or impairment of a child’s health and/or development, including that caused as a result of witnessing the ill-treatment of another person.  

All staff must therefore be alerted to any possible indicators that a child is suffering harm and report any concerns to the Designated Person for Child protection. 

Staff is obliged to immediately report: 

Any suspicion that a child is injured, marked or bruised in any way which is not readily attributed to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play. 

  • Any explanation which appears suspicious. 
  • Any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment or emotional maltreatment. 
  • Any behaviour which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm (e.g. worrying drawings or play etc). 
  • Any hint or disclosure of abuse from any person. 
  • Any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect. 
  • Any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendanc

PROVIDING A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT

Safer Recruitment and Selection   

  • The school pays full regard to the statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Keeping Child Safe in Education (2016). We ensure that all appropriate measures are applied in relation to everyone who works in the school and who is therefore likely to be perceived by the children as a safe and trustworthy adult. This includes volunteers, supervised volunteers and staff employed by contractors. Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  
  • Our school endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ safe staff by following the [guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) together with the LSCB and] the school‟s Staff Recruitment policy and procedures (located in the school’s office under the School‟s Policy folder).

Safer recruitment means that applicants will:  

  • complete an application form which includes their employment history and explains any gaps in that history  
  • provide two referees, including at least one who can comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children  
  • provide evidence of identity and qualifications  

If offered employment, be checked in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regulations as appropriate to their role. This will include an enhanced DBS check and a barred list check for those engaged in Regulated Activity  

  • if offered employment, provide evidence of their right to work in the UK  
  • be interviewed, if shortlisted.

The school will also:  

  • verify the preferred candidate's mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities  
  • obtain references for all shortlisted candidates, including internal candidates  
  • carry out additional or alternative checks for applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK  
  • ensure that applicants for teaching posts are not subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State.  

At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.  

All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with the school's Safeguarding policy and Staff Code of Conduct policy and identification of their child protection training needs.  

All staff sign to confirm they have received a copy of the Safeguarding Policy and staff code of conduct policy.  

The school obtains written confirmation from supply agencies or third party organisations that agency staff or other individuals who may work in the school have been appropriately checked.  

Trainee teachers will be checked either by the school or by the training provider, from whom written confirmation will be obtained.  

The school maintains a single central record of recruitment checks undertaken.  

Regulated Activity  

Schools are „specified places‟ which means that the majority of staff and volunteers will be engaged in regulated activity. A fuller explanation of regulated activity can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) part three.  

Volunteers  

Volunteers will undergo checks that commensurate with their work in the school and contact with pupils. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been appropriately checked be left unsupervised or be allowed to engage in regulated activity.  

Supervised volunteers  

Volunteers who work only in a supervised capacity and are not in regulated activity will undergo the safe recruitment checks appropriate to their role, in accordance with the school's risk assessment process and statutory guidance.  

Contractors  

The school checks the identity of all contractors working on site and requests DBS checks and barred list checks where required by statutory guidance. Contractors who have not undergone checks will not be allowed to work unsupervised or engage in regulated activity.  

This school is committed to keeping an up to date single central record detailing a range of checks carried out on our staff by: 

Mrs Noor Bashir (Headteacher)  

Safe Practice  

Our school will comply will comply with the current Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People and ensure that information in this guidance regarding conduct, is known to all staff, visitors and volunteers who come into the school.  

Safe working practice ensures that pupils are safe and that all staff:  

  • are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions;  
  • work in an open and transparent way;  
  • work with other colleagues where possible in situations that could be open to question  
  • discuss and/or take advice from school management over any incident which may give rise for concern;  
  • record any incidents or decisions made;  
  • apply the same professional standards regardless of diversity issues;  
  • be aware of information-sharing and confidentiality policies;  
  • are aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them.  

 

Helping children to keep themselves safe  

Children are taught to understand and manage risk through our personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education lessons and through all aspects of school life. Our approach is designed to help children to think about risks they may encounter and with the support of staff work out how those risks might be reduced or managed. Discussions about risk are empowering and enabling for all children and promote sensible behaviour rather than fear or anxiety. Children are taught how to conduct themselves and how to behave in a responsible manner. Children are also reminded regularly about e-safety, the risks of sharing content and images online and tackling bullying, including cyber bullying procedures. The school continually promotes an ethos of respect for children, and pupils are encouraged to speak to a member of staff of their choosing about any worries they may have.  

All pupils know there is designated safeguarding lead responsible for safeguarding and who this is; that they have a right to speak to this member of staff in confidence. They are reminded that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, but that they will be listened to, heard and informed of what steps can be taken to protect them from harm and that feedback will be sought, so that their views about actions are known.   

Partnership with Parents  

The school shares a purpose with parents to educate and keep children safe from harm and to have their welfare promoted. We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents‟ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it  

is necessary to do so in order to protect a child.  

The school will, in most circumstances, endeavour to discuss all concerns with parents about their children. However, there may be exceptional circumstances when the school will discuss concerns with Social Care and/or the Police without parental knowledge (in accordance with the London Child Protection procedures). The school will, of course, always aim to maintain a positive relationship with all parents. The school's safeguarding policy is available on request. 

Partnerships with others  

Our school recognises that it is essential to establish positive and effective working relationships with other agencies that are partners of the Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board. There is a joint responsibility on all these agencies to share information to ensure the safeguarding of all children. 

School Training and Staff Induction   

The school‟s designated safeguarding lead with deputy designated responsibility for safeguarding will undertake child protection training for designated safeguarding leads and refresher training at two yearly intervals . 

All other school staff, including non-teaching staff, will undertake appropriate induction training and safeguarding/child protection training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding effectively, which will be updated regularly.  

All staff (including temporary staff, volunteers, supervised volunteers and staff employed by contractors) are provided with the school's safeguarding policy and informed of school's safeguarding arrangements on induction.

All adults working in the school will receive annual Child Protection training in order that their awareness to the possibility of a child suffering remains high. All members of staff will have at least levels 1 and 2 training or equivalent and the designated person at least a level 4 or equivalent. There will be further guidance for all members of staff in addition to their child protection training on how to avoid harming pupils. 

 Dealing with abuse amongst pupils 

UGHS prides itself on its culture of open and effective communication between staff and pupils, and on its excellent pastoral support structures.  We prepare all of our pupils to make reasoned, informed choices, judgements and decisions. To reduce the risk and chances of abuse amongst pupils, we will: 

  • Promote positive behavior towards each other.  
  • Introduce new pupils to all staff, especially the designated Designated Safeguarding Lead. 
  •  Use form time to discuss child protection issues. This time will also be used to advise on how to deal with abuse by one or more pupils against another pupil. 
  • Know that there are adults to whom they can turn to if they are worried.    
  • Display the name of the designated Designated Safeguarding Lead on display boards. 
  • Ensure pupils have access to a telephone helpline, enabling them to call for support in private.  
  • Inform pupils to be aware of behaviours toward them which are not acceptable. 
  • Ensure they know how they can keep themselves safe. 
  • Make sure they know that they will be listened to and heard. 
  • Know what steps can be taken to keep them safe. 

If an allegation has been forwarded or staff has a justifiable reason for suspicion, all these will be investigated in joint accordance with the Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board.  Parents / guardians will be contacted in accordance with local procedures.   

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?  

"Child abuse is the term used when an adult harms a child or a young person under the age of 18”  

Child abuse can take four forms, all of which can cause long term damage to a child: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and child sexual abuse.   

Bullying and domestic violence are also forms of child abuse. 
 
"A child may be experiencing abuse if she: 

  • Frequently is dirty, hungry or inadequately dressed  
  • Left in unsafe situations, or without medical attention  
  • Constantly "put down," insulted, sworn at or humiliated  
  • Seems afraid of parents or guardians  
  • Severely bruised or injured  
  • Displays sexual behaviour which doesn't seem appropriate for their age  
  • Growing up in a home where there is domestic violence  
  • Forms of abuse could also relate to cultural practices such as: 
  • Genital female mutilation 
  • Forced  marriages 
  • Honour killing 
  • Homophobia 

"Remember, this list does not cover every child abuse possibility.  You may have seen other things in the child's behaviour or circumstances that worry you. 
"Abuse is always wrong and it is never the young person's fault." 

    SIGNS 

 Some of the signs and behaviours which may indicate that a child is being abused: 

  • repeated minor injuries  
  • children who are dirty, smelly, poorly clothed or who appear underfed  
  • children who have lingering illnesses which are not attended to, deterioration in school work, or significant changes in behaviour, aggressive behaviour, severe tantrums  
  • an air of 'detachment' or 'don't care' attitude  
  • overly compliant behaviour  
  • a 'watchful attitude'  
  • does not trust adults, particularly those who are close  
  • 'tummy pains' with no medical reason  
  • eating problems, including over-eating, loss of appetite  
  • running away from home, suicide attempts  
  • self inflicted wounds  
  • reverting to younger behaviour  
  • depression, withdrawal  
  • Relationships between child and adults which are secretive and exclude others 
  • Genital bleeding; difficulty urinating, frequent bladder infections (FGM)   

These signs are not evidence themselves; but may be a warning, particularly if a child exhibits several of them or a pattern emerges. It is important to remember that there may be other explanations for a child showing such signs. Abuse is not easy to diagnose, even for experts.  There are four main forms of child abuse: 

Physical abuse includes: 

  • Displeasure shown by physical assault  
  • Loss of temper or control leading to assault  
  • Restraint that leads to bruising or injury  
  • Idiosyncratic punishments that cause injury  
  • Bullying that leads to physical assault  
  • Over-chastisement/excessive discipline  
  • Corporal punishment causing actual bodily harm 
  • Female genital Mutilation( FGM) 

Emotional Abuse 

This is where children are harmed by lack of love and affection, or threats, verbal attacks, taunting or shouting.  Refusing or failing to give adequately love and affection is a case of emotional neglect. 

   Emotional abuse includes: 

  • Terrorising, teasing, tormenting a child  
  • Withdrawing/withholding attention, affection, emotional care  
  • Persistently blaming, rejecting and isolating a child  
  • Derogatory remarks about a person's race, gender, physical characteristics, names and academic or sporting abilities or lack of ability  
  • Breaking confidentiality/using pupils' problems as gossip or humour  
  • Systematically denying a child privacy or access to needed emotional support  
  • Ascribing nicknames that are offensive or derogatory and unwanted by the child  
  • Shunning, rubbishing or publicising concerns of the child  
  • Persistently ignoring the child. 

Sexual Abuse 

This may be by having sexual intercourse or anal intercourse, engaging with the child in fondling, masturbation or oral sex and includes encouraging children to watch sexually explicit behaviour or pornographic material including videos. 

Sexual abuse includes: 

  • Genital and sexual contact between a child and an adult/another person  
  • Genital exposure  
  • Exposing children to pornographic or sexual materials.  
  • Any act where the child is the object of another's sexual gratification 

Note; It is well recognised that children find it hard to tell and that adults find it hard to hear and believe allegations of sexual abuse. 

Neglect 

Where parents (or others) fail to meet the basic essential needs of children, like adequate food, clothes, warmth and medical care. Leaving young children alone and unsupervised is an example of neglect.    

Neglect includes: 

  • Children who are  left alone inappropriately  
  • Children who are  abandoned  
  • Children who are  inappropriately supervised  
  • Children who are  left with inappropriate guardians  
  • Children who are  punitively or carelessly deprived of food 
  • Children from whom necessary medical attention is withheld or omitted. 

Any member of staff or volunteer, who learns that a child has been physically or sexually assaulted, should immediately inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 

Safeguarding & Child Protection in Specific Circumstances 

Attendance 

We are aware that a pupil’s unexplained absence from school could mean that they are at risk from harm. 

We will always report an unexplained absence of a child with a Child Protection Plan to the child’s social worker within one day. 

We will always seek to clarify the reason for a child’s absence from school with the child’s parent or someone designated to care for her as soon as is practicable on the first day. In the case of any absence, the school will ring after registration closes.  All calls made home are logged.  

We will always report a continued absence about which we have not been notified by the parent or carer to the Education Welfare Service 

We will always report to the local authority the name of any child who has been newly registered to attend our school but does not arrive on the expected day. 

We will always report to the Education Welfare Service the continued absence of a child known or thought to have been taken overseas if the child does not return to school on the expected return date. 

 Pupil Behavior 

We will always aim to maintain a safe and calm environment by expecting good behavior from our pupils in line with our behavior policy. 

We are aware that any physical response from a member of staff to a pupil’s poor behavior could lead to a child protection concern being raised by the child or parent/carer.  

No member of staff will use any type of force when dealing with a pupil’s breach of our behaviour policy unless the potential consequences of not physically intervening are sufficiently serious to justify such action 

We will always record any occasion when physical intervention has been necessary. 

We will always notify parents or guardians of any such incident. 

Honour-based violence Forced marriages  

The terms “honour crime” or “honour-based violence” or “izzat” embrace a variety of crimes of violence (mainly but not exclusively against women and girls), including assault, imprisonment and murder where the person is being punished by their family or their community. They are being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour.  

In transgressing this correct code of behaviour, the person shows that they have not been properly controlled to conform by their family and this is to the “shame” or “dishonour” of the family. It can be distinguished from other forms of abuse, as it is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/ community members. Victims will have multiple perpetrators not only in the UK; HBV can be a trigger for a forced marriage. 

Taking away someone’s right in deciding who to marry goes against Islamic principles and is wrong. 

In the UK if a person marries against their will and if one is under the age of 16 it is considered Child abuse. The statuary guidance comes under the Civil Protection Act (2007). Children might suffer emotional abuse and may be threatened or beaten into marriages. All staff should be aware of this; the school has a duty to monitor attendance and keeps a clear record of a child suddenly leaving the school. Teachers must be alerted if a child says she is being taken abroad suddenly and does not know whether she is returning. 

 

Bullying 

We understand that bullying is harmful to children.  We have an anti-bullying policy that sets out our aim of ensuring no child becomes a victim of bullying and the work that we carry out in school to foster an environment where bullying behavior is known to be unacceptable.  We will always take seriously any reports of bullying and respond appropriately.  

We understand that bullying make take different forms and may include racist or homophobic behavior or religious intolerance.   Any such reported or observed incidents will be dealt with in accordance with our anti-bullying and behaviour policy. All incidences of pupil bullying or allegations made, will be reported to parents. 

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious 

Organized crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. 

However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse 

 

What is Child Abuse linked to faith and belief?  

There is no agreed definition of or consensus about the concept of 'child abuse linked to faith or belief'. Child abuse linked to faith or belief can be separated into four areas as follows;  

 

  • Abuse that occurs as a result of a child being accused of witchcraft or of being a witch  
  • Abuse that occurs as a result of a child being accused of being 'possessed by spirits' that is, 'spirit possession'  
  • Ritualistic abuse  
  • Satanic abuse

The forms the abuse can take include;  

  • Physical abuse: beating, burning, cutting, stabbing, semi-strangulating, tying up the child, or rubbing chilli peppers or other substances on the child's genitals or eyes  
  • Emotional abuse: in the form of isolation {e.g. not allowing a child to share a room with family members or threatening to abandon them}. The child may also be persuaded that they are possessed  
  • Neglect: failure to ensure appropriate medical care, supervision, school attendance, good hygiene, nourishment, clothing or warmth  
  • Sexual abuse; within the family or community, children abused in this way may be particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation

Common factors that put a child at risk of harm include;  

  • Belief in evil spirits: this is commonly accompanied by a belief that the child could 'infect' others with such 'evil'. The explanation for how a child becomes possessed varies widely, but includes through food that they have been given or through spirits that have flown around them;  
  • Scapegoating because of a difference: it may be that the child is being looked after by adults who are not their parents (i.e. privately fostered), and who do not have the same affection for the child as their own children;  
  • Rationalising misfortune by attributing it to spiritual forces and when a carer views a child as being 'different' because of disobedience, rebelliousness, over-independence, bedwetting, nightmares, illness or because they have a perceived or physical abnormality or a disability; Disabilities involved in documented cases included learning disabilities, mental ill health, epilepsy, autism, a stammer and deafness;  
  • Changes and / or complexity in family structure or dynamics: there is research evidence (see Stobart, Child Abuse linked to Accusations of Spirit Possession - see related links] that children become more vulnerable to accusations of spirit possession following a change in family structure (e.g. a parent or carer having a new partner or transient or several partners). The family structure also tended to be complex so that exact relationships to the child were not immediately apparent. This may mean the child is living with extended family or in a private fostering arrangement (see Children Living Away from Home Procedure, Private Fostering - see related link). In some cases, this may even take on a form of servitude;  
  • Change of family circumstances for the worse: a spiritual explanation is sought in order to rationalise misfortune and the child is identified as the source of the problem because they have become possessed by evil spirits. Research evidence is that the family's disillusionment very often had its roots in negative experiences of migration: In the vast majority of identified cases in the UK to date, the families were first or second generation migrants suffering from isolation from extended family, a sense of not belonging or feeling threatened or misunderstood. These families can also have significantly unfulfilled expectations of quality of life in the UK;  
  • Parental difficulties: a parent's mental ill health appears to be attributed to a child being possessed in a significant minority of cases. Illnesses typically involved include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

Where does it take place?  

Child Abuse linked to faith and/or belief is not confined to one faith, nationality or ethnic community. Examples have been recorded worldwide among Europeans, Africans, Asians and elsewhere as well as in Christian, Muslim, Hindu and pagan faiths among others.  

Not all those who believe in witchcraft or spirit possession harm children. Data on numbers of known cases suggests that only a small minority of people with such beliefs go on to abuse children. 

The Law in relation to child abuse linked to faith and belief 

There are sufficient existing laws within the UK with which to prosecute those responsible for child abuse linked to faith and/or belief thereby negating any need for further more specific offences. 

What to do if you suspect a child is at risk from abuse linked to faith and/or belief  

Concerns about a child‟s welfare can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness. If you have concerns about a child, you should ask for help. You should discuss your concerns with your manager, a named or designated professional or a designated member of staff.  

For example  

  • for schools staff (both teaching and non-teaching) concerns should be reported via the schools designated safeguarding lead. The safeguarding lead will usually decide whether to make a referral to children's social care;  
  • for early years practitioners, the Early Years Foundation Stage sets out that providers should ensure that they have a practitioner who is designated to take a lead responsibility for safeguarding children who should liaise with local statutory children's services agencies:  

Private fostering arrangements  

A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or a close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child‟s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16, or aged under 18 if the child is disabled. Children looked after by the local authority or who are placed in a residential school, children‟s home or hospital are not considered to be privately fostered.  

Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.  

Most privately fostered children remain safe and well but safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases so it is important that schools are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that a child has been trafficked into the country.  

By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children‟s services as soon as possible. (See school or LSCB guidance for further information.)  

Where a member of staff becomes aware that a pupil may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this with the DSL and the school should notify the local authority of the circumstances.

Domestic Abuse  

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn't just physical violence – domestic abuse includes any emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse. It can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or be abusers.  

Witnessing domestic abuse is really distressing and scary for a child, and causes serious harm. Children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children can experience domestic abuse or violence in lots of different ways. They might:  

  • see the abuse  
  • hear it from another room  
  • see a parent's injuries or distress afterwards  
  • be hurt by being nearby or trying to stop the abuse.

Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship, and it affects young people too. They may not realise that what's happening is abuse. Even if they do, they might not tell anyone about it because they're scared of what will happen, or ashamed about what people will think. 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):  

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total 

removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is 

illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.  

Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need  

to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM.   

FGM has no basis in Islam and although culturally practiced it is illegal in the UK, and considers the rights of a child as stated in the UN Convention (1989). FGM in any form is child abuse and Unity Girls High School will take every measure in safe-guarding pupils from this harmful practice. All suspected cases or actual cases will be subjected to the guidelines and procedures of safe-guarding children. The school will engage with pupils to inform and educate of the long lasting physical and emotional damage.  

Factors that might highlight a girl at risk: 

  • Low level of integration of the family within the society 
  • A girl whose mother has had FGM 
  •  A girl who has a sister who has had the procedure 
  • A girl withdrawn from education relating to FMG 
  • Parents might seek to take the child out of school for a prolonged holiday 

A girl may confide in a teacher that she has had a ‘special procedure’ Schools can also:  

  • Circulate and display materials about FGM  
  • Display relevant information (for example, details of the NSPCC‟s Helpline and appropriate black and minority ethnic women‟s groups)  
  • Ensure that a private telephone is made available should students need to seek advice discreetly  
  • Inform colleagues/raise awareness of the issues around FGM – as well as including appropriate training in continuing professional development  
  • Introduce FGM into the school curriculum in relevant classes, such as personal, social and health education (PSHE), citizenship, religious knowledge, drama and histor

Reference and further information  

  • Keeping children safe in education, DfE (see pages 14-15)

Multi-agency practice guidelines: FGM, Home Office, DfE (see pages 8, 16, 17 and 42  

  • http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/fgm/ 

From October 31st 2015 Teachers (and other professionals) now have a statutory duty to report FGM if they become aware that a child (i.e. someone under the age of 18) has undergone FGM.  Staff can do this by calling 101. 

E-Safety

The school recognises that its pupils will use mobile phones and computers at some time. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education.  

Our pupils increasingly use electronic equipment on a daily basis to access the internet and share content and images via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MSN, tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram.  

Unfortunately some adults and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. Pupils may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate websites that promote unhealthy lifestyles, extremist behaviour and criminal activity.  

The school‟s e-safety policy (located in the school‟s office under the School‟s Policy folder) explains how we try to keep pupils safe in school and protect and educate pupils in the safe use of technology. Cyberbullying and sexting by pupils will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying and will be managed through our anti-bullying procedures. Serious incidents may be managed in line with our sexual exploitation policy or child protection procedures. 

We recognise that children’s use of the Internet is an important part of their education but that there are risks of harm associated with its use.  We have an e-safety policy that addresses how we minimise those risks in school and teach children how to stay safe when using the internet in their lives out of school. Pupils are not permitted to enter chat rooms and will have tutorials on how to be safe on the web, this might also mean explaining to parents the dangers of this.  

Staff must not communicate with pupils directly on their personal e-mail but should use the school e-mails set up specifically for communicating with pupils about their work 

We also recognise that all members of staff and volunteer staff must always be mindful of the need to follow our policy of acceptable use of our IT equipment. From time to time teachers might wish to communicate with pupils about homework or assignments, all communication must be done via the school net.  

Many pupils own or have access to hand held devices and parents are encouraged to consider measures to keep their children safe when using the internet and social media at home and in the community. Parents are encouraged to take up the free e-safety workshop provided by the school. Rules for students on site on-line usage can be found in the school.  

All staff receive e-safety training. 

Chatrooms and social networking sites are the most obvious sources of inappropriate and harmful behaviour, which pupils are not allowed to access in school. Some pupils will undoubtedly „chat‟ on mobiles or social networking sites at home and parents are encouraged to consider measures to keep their children safe when using social media.  

The school has an e-safety policy that is known to all staff and pupils. 

TAKING ACTION TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN ARE SAFE AT SCHOOL AND AT HOME  

All staff should follow the statutory guidance for schools and colleges; Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) – Part One: Safeguarding information for all staff.  

It is not the responsibility of the school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. All staff; however, have a duty to recognise concerns and maintain an open mind. Accordingly all concerns regarding the welfare of pupils will be recorded (appendix 1) and discussed with the designated safeguarding lead with responsibility for safeguarding (or the deputy designated safeguarding lead in the absence of the designated person) prior to any discussion with parents. 

Photography and Images  

The vast majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images, so we must ensure that we have some safeguards in place.  

To protect pupils we will:  

  • seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for e.g. on our website or in newspapers or publications)  
  • seek parental consent  
  • use only the pupil‟s first name with an image  
  • ensure pupils are appropriately dressed  
  • encourage pupils to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them

Extended School and Off-Site Arrangements  

Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own safeguarding policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures.  

When our pupils attend off-site activities which are arranged and supervised by the school, including day and residential visits and work related activities, we will check that effective safeguarding arrangements are in place. 

Health & Safety 

We have a Health & Safety Policy which demonstrates the consideration we give to minimising any risk to the children when on the school premises and when undertaking activities out of school under the supervision of our staff.

Confidentiality 

The school will operate with regard to Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners and managers (2015), and have a clear and explicit confidentiality policy.  

“Where there is a concern that the child may be suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm, the child‟s safety and welfare must be the overriding consideration.“

The school policy should indicate:  

  1. a) When information must be shared with police and social care where the child/young person is / may be at risk of significant harm 
  2. b) When the pupil's and/or parent's confidentiality must not be breached 
  3. c) That information is shared on a need to know basis

Working Together with Parents/Guardians 

Pupil Information  

The School’s record-keeping policy for child welfare and child protection is consistent with DfE guidance, which is known to all staff. 

We recognise the importance of keeping up-to-date and accurate information about pupils.  We will regularly ask all parents/guardians to provide us with the following information and to notify us of any changes that occur.  

In order to keep children safe and provide appropriate care for them, our school requires accurate and up to date information regarding:  

  • names and contact details of persons with whom the child normally lives  
  • names and contact details of all persons with parental responsibility (if different from above)  
  • emergency contact details (if different from above)  
  • details of any persons authorised to collect the child from school (if different from above)  
  • any relevant court orders in place including those, which affect any person's access to the child (e.g. Residence Order, Contact Order, Care Order, Injunctions etc.)  
  • if the child is or has been subject to a child protection or care plan  
  • name and contact detail of G.P.  
  • any other factors which may impact on the safety and welfare of the child  

All communication with parents must be done through the school administrator; teachers at no time will use their own personal phone for such communication.

The school will collate, store and agree access to this information.  

All child protection documents will be retained in a „Child Protection‟ file, separate from the child's main file. The main file will clearly show an alert that a child protection file exists and the location of this. This child protection file will be locked away and only accessible to the head teacher and the designated safeguarding lead. These records will be copied and transferred to any school or setting the child moves to, clearly marked „Child Protection, Confidential, for attention of Designated Person Child Protection. Original copies will be retained. 

Our Headteacher will ensure that: 

The policies and procedures adopted by and  are fully implemented, and followed by all staff;  

Sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the designated person and the deputy to carry out their roles effectively including the assessment of pupils and attendance of strategy discussions and other necessary meetings; for e.g. child protection conferences and core group meetings;  

Whistle blowing  

In accordance to the Islamic ethos of UGHS we all have a duty to correct something that is wrong. All staff should be aware of their responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of the Headteacher  This is most important if a child is at risk, by not reporting such incidences we too become accountable.  

All staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively (more informsation is located at end of policy)All pupils are provided with opportunities throughout the curriculum to learn about safeguarding, including keeping themselves online;  

  • The procedure for managing allegations against staff is known to staff and displayed in staff rooms;  
  • Operate the procedure for managing allegations effectively and refer relevant concerns to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO);  
  • That anyone who has harmed or may pose a risk to a child is referred to the DBS;  
  • A deputy senior manager is appointed to deal with allegations against staff in the absence of the head teacher.  

If you are concerned about a pupil’s welfare  

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a pupil may be at risk, but have no „real‟ evidence. The pupil's behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical but inconclusive signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the pupil the opportunity to talk. The signs they have noticed may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. It is fine for staff to ask the pupil if they are OK or if they can help in any way.  

Staff should use the welfare concern form (appendix 1) to record these early concerns. If the pupil does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the pupil, if the member of staff remains concerned, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL.  

Concerns which do not meet the threshold for child protection intervention will be managed through the Early Help process. 

Responding to Disclosure  

Disclosures or information may be received from pupils, parents or other members of the public. The school recognises that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Accordingly all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity. Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the designated person and make a contemporaneous record.  

Principles  

Staff will not investigate but will, wherever possible, listen, record and pass on information to the designated safeguarding lead in order that s/he can make an informed decision of what to do next.  

Staff will:  

  • Listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm  
  • Clarify the information  
  • Make a written record of what the child has said using the Record Form (Appendix 2)  
  • Try to keep questions to a minimum and of an „open‟ nature e.g. „Can you tell me what happened?‟ rather than „Did x hit you?‟  
  • Try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise  
  • Not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child  
  • Explain sensitively to the person that they have a responsibility to refer the information to the designated safeguarding lead  
  • Reassure and support the person as far as possible  
  • Explain that only those who „need to know‟ will be told  
  • Explain what will happen next and that the person will be involved as appropriate  

Action by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead in their absence)  

Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:  

  • in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, if necessary call 999  
  • report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day  
  • do not start your own investigation  
  • share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family  
  • complete a record of concern  
  • seek support for yourself if you are distressed.  

Referrals to partner agencies  

Referrals  

  • Refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to children's social care (dependent on borough) and maintain a record of all referrals;  
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise within the educational establishment and have access to the online London Child Protection Procedures;  
  • Liaise with the headteacher to inform her of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role;  

Action following a child protection referral  

The designated safeguarding lead or other appropriate member of staff will:  

  • Maintain contact with the allocated Social Worker  
  • Contribute to the Strategy Discussion and Strategy Meeting  
  • Provide a report for, attend and contribute to any Initial and Review Child Protection Conference  
  • Share the content of this report with the parent, prior to the meeting  
  • Attend Core Group Meetings for any child subject to a Child Protection Plan or Child in Need Meeting for any child subject to a Child in Need Plan  
  • Where a child on a Child Protection Plan moves from the school or goes missing, immediately inform the key worker in Social Care  

 Dealing with Disagreement and Escalation of Concerns  

The designated safeguarding lead or other appropriate member of staff will:  

  • Contact the line manager in children's social care if they consider that the social care response to a referral has not led to the child being adequately safeguarded and follow this up in writing  
  • Contact the line manager in children's social care if they consider that the child is not being adequately safeguarded by the child protection plan and follow this up in writing  

 Supporting the Child and working in Partnership with Parents  

  • We will provide a secure, caring, supportive and protective relationship for the child  
  • The school recognises that the child's welfare is paramount. Good child protection practice and a good outcome for the child relies on a positive, open and honest working partnership with parents  
  • Whilst we may, on occasion, need to make referrals without consultation with parents, we will make every effort to maintain a positive working relationship with them whilst fulfilling our duties to protect any child  
  • Children will be given a proper explanation (appropriate to age & understanding) of what action is being taken on their behalf and why  
  • We will endeavour always to preserve the privacy, dignity and right to confidentiality of the child and parents. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will determine which members of staff “need to know” personal information and what they “need to know” for the purpose of supporting and protecting the child  
  • Practitioners need to use the process of assessment as a way of engaging with other practitioners who may already be working with the child and their family, or to bring on board new practitioners who would be able to provide support and advice to the family. This work should be coordinated via team around the family meeting, chaired by the lead professional. 

Children who harm others  

Our school recognises that the harm caused to children by the harmful and bullying behaviour of other children can be significant. 

 

Children who harm others should be held responsible for their harmful behaviour and the school staff alerted to the fact that they are likely to pose a risk to other children in the school, home and community.  

Where this harm involves sexual abuse, serious physical or serious emotional abuse, the safeguarding procedures set out in this policy will be applied.  

This school recognises that children who harm others are likely to have considerable needs themselves and may have experienced or be experiencing significant harm themselves. 

 

Harmful Sexual Behaviour in Education Settings  

If a school or education setting has concerns about a child or young person exhibiting sexualised or harmful sexual behaviour they should first screen the incident.The outcome of this assessment will guide the school with regard to subsequent referrals, internal risk management, strategies and intervention.  

Unless the outcome of the assessment is „Healthy‟, the school should then compile a chronology of relevant incidents to support pattern mapping. This will then inform the school‟s Safety and Support plan both for the child that has harmed and the child that has been harmed. Throughout the process it is desirable that parents are engaged and informed.  

Referrals  

Where a child has caused significant harm to another child, through sexual abuse or serious physical or emotional abuse, the school will make a request for help, support and protection for both the victim and perpetrator.  

Our school will be mindful of the sections in the London Child Protection Procedures concerning “Harming Others” and “Sexually Active Children” and work closely with social care, the police and other agencies following the investigation of a referral.

Training  

  • Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and know when it is appropriate to make a referral;  
  • Have knowledge of the escalation policy, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) role, conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these;  
  • Ensure that all staff have access to and understand the school‟s safeguarding policy;  
  • Ensure that all staff have induction training;  
  • Keep detailed, accurate and secure written records;  
  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses every two years.  

If we have a reason to be concerned about the welfare of a child we will always seek to discuss this with the child’s parents or guardians in the first instance.  On occasion, according to the nature of our concern, it may be necessary for us to make an immediate referral to Children’s Services (Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board) or to the board where the child resides (dependent on residency of child and borough) when to do otherwise may put the child at risk of further harm either because of delay, or because of the actions of the parents or guardians.. List of pupil names and boroughs can be found in the safeguarding folder with links to relevant Safeguarding boards/boroughs if a referral is to be made. 

If, at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral 

           should be made to children’s social care immediately. Anybody can make a 

           referral. If the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the staff member 

           with concerns should press for re-consideration. Concerns should always lead to 

           help for the child at some point. 

  • mash@barnet.gov.uk  02083594066 

 

ADULTS WORKING WITH CHILDREN 

Safer Recruitment 

All staff and volunteers working with children in our school will be recruited safely: 

Preparation 

We will always consider the vacancy that has arisen within the context of safeguarding children and ensure that we include the responsibility to safeguard children within the requirements of the role. 

We always consider carefully the knowledge skills and experience required to safeguard children and include these within a person specification.  

Advertising 

We will always advertise our vacancies in a manner that is likely to attract a wide range of applicants.  

The advertisement will always include a statement about our commitment to safeguarding children and our expectation that all applicants will share that commitment. 

The advertisement will state that the post is subject to an enhanced with barred list DSB check. 

Applications 

We will ensure that our application form enables us to gather information about the candidates’ suitability to work with children by asking specific and direct questions.  

We will scrutinise all completed application forms.  

References 

We will not accept open references or testimonials. 

We will ask for the names of at least two referees. 

We will take up references prior to interview and ask specific questions about the candidate’s previous employment or experience of working with children. 

We will follow up any vague or ambiguous statements. 

Interviews 

We will always conduct a face to face interview even when there is only one candidate. 

Our interview questions will seek to ensure we understand the candidate’s values and beliefs that relate to children. 

All candidates will be asked to bring original documents which confirm their identity, qualifications, and right to work. 

Appointments 

Our offer of appointment will be conditional on all requested checks having been returned as satisfactory, including checks on medical fitness. 

We will refer immediately to the Independent Safeguarding Authority immediately any person whose checks reveal that they have sought work when barred from working with children.  

Induction 

We will always provide newly appointed staff with appropriate guidance about safe working practice, boundaries and propriety and explain the consequences of not following the guidance. 

Continuing Professional Development 

We will ensure that all staff receives regular training in Child Protection. All qualified staff will receive up-to-date training every year .  All staff will receive training at the start of their post and then once every year or more if deemed necessary. The designated person will be trained to an advanced level every two years. 

Supervision 

We will always supervise staff and act on any concerns that relate to the safeguarding of children. 

Allegations 

We will always follow our locally agreed procedures for the management of allegations against staff.  These procedures are in line with the Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board 

Notifications 

We will, within one month, refer to the Independent Safeguarding Authority any member of staff who is dismissed because of misconduct relating to a child. The Independent Safeguarding Authority will also inform OFSTED.  The school will inform Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board within 24 hours of any disclosure or suspicion of abuse and will take no further action with the advice of the LSCB, when it has been obtained. The school will also contact OFSTED within 14 days of any actual abuse or allegation of abuse on the premises.  The school reserves the right to contact these agencies earlier as they deem necessary.    

Safe Practice 

We understand that all adults working in or on behalf of our school have a duty to safeguard children and promote their welfare.  We aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for our children through the relationship we have with them and their parents or guardians and will always seek to ensure that all adults working in our school behave in a manner that fosters this relationship.  

We will ensure that all staff is clear about the expectations we have of their behavior towards all children and that any incident that falls below our expected standards will be dealt with appropriately.  

Procedures in dealing with an allegation concerning a member of Staff 

Procedures must be applied with common sense and judgement – in rare cases the allegations will be serious as to warrant police / social care investigation (see appendix 4) 

            Most will seem much less serious but they must be followed up and take seriously. 

            If any of the following has occurred, then the school will immediately follow the required protocols to investigate and report allegation to the appropriate authorities accordingly 

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child. 
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to child. 
  • Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates that he is unsuitable to work with the children. 

Initial Action following an allegation concerning a member of Staff.  The following details on what the school would do in dealing with allegations against staff. 

  • Person receiving the allegation or any person who has witnessed an event will immediately inform the Head Teacher, Mrs Noor Bashir and make a record of the event. 
  • The Head Teacher, Mrs Noor Bashir will take steps, where necessary, to secure the immediate safety of children and any urgent medical needs. 
  • If the allegation is made against the Head Teacher, then the matter will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Sophie Khoury who will proceed further.  
  • The member of staff will not be approached at this stage unless it is necessary to ensure the immediate safety of children
  • The Head Teacher, Mrs Noor Bashir may need to clarify any information regarding the allegation; however no person will be interviewed at this stage. 
  • The Head Teacher, Mrs Noor Bashir will consult the senior Education Welfare Officer/ Safeguarding in order to determine if it is appropriate for the allegation to be dealt with by school or if there needs to be a referral to Social Services and or police for further investigation. 
  • Consideration will be given throughout to the support staff and information needs of pupil, parents and staff. 
  • If there is an allegation, Head Teacher will contact the LADO in the Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board within 24hours of the allegation. 
  • If the allegation is about a member of staff, Head Teacher, Mrs Noor Bashir will take advice from the social services and then contact the parents. OFSTED will also be notified within 14 days of the allegation against a member of staff.  The independent Safeguarding Authority will be notified within one month of leaving the school any person whose services are no longer used because they are considered unsuitable to work with pupils. 
  • If an allegation is made against the designated Designated Safeguarding Lead, then the complaints should be made to the Head teacher/Proprietor

Prevent and protecting Pupils from Violent Extremism 

The school recognises that it has a duty of care towards its pupils and that safeguarding against extreme radicalisation that may leave them vulnerable to violent extremism is one of those duties. 

What is prevent? 

The Government’s National Prevent strategy aim is to: 

Stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism 

This is supported by three specific objectives: 

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it 
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support (individuals) 
  • Work with a wide range of sectors and institutions (including education, faith health and criminal) where there are risks of radiation which need to address (institution) 

This policy aims to: 

There is no place for extremists at UGHS including expression of extremist views vocal or active which are opposed to fundamental British values.  

 The ethos of the school is centred upon ‘Being Muslim, Being British’.

  • Make it clear that: 
  • violent extremism is not part of the Islamic faith 
  • Protect all pupils from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and the British values of tolerance, democracy and liberty. 
  • Address both Awareness of Prevent and the risks it is intended to.  
  • Enable pupils to explore issues like terrorism and the use of violence in a considered and informed way. 
  • Facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our society is founded and our system of democratic government. 
  • Make pupils aware about extreme views and about those who hold them and why these are religiously wrong. 

This policy describes the activities that The School will undertake in order to ensure that pupils attending the school are safeguarded against being influenced by those who hold violent and extreme views: 

  • Teach material which emphasis the strengths, weaknesses of democracy in contrast to other forms of government in other countries and how democracy works in Britian. 
  • Ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, for example by having democratic processes such as the school council whose members are voted in by the pupils
  • Organise visits to local councils, Parliament and places of worship of other faiths, and encourage contacts with those of other faiths, in political or local office; 
  • Use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold whole school mock elections whereby pupils can learn how to argue and defend points of view. 
  • Use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils to understand a range of faiths, and beliefs such atheism and humanism.’ 
  • Work with the (Local Police team to be confirmed by Barnet Prevent co coordinator Matt.Leng@barnet.gov.co.uk and Prevent team. The school will work with the  Prevent team to provide adequate awareness training for staff, pupils and parents. 
  1. Staff 

The school will:  

  • Strictly apply  its safer recruitment procedures which include DBS checks and references which are in light with ‘Keeping children safe in Education April 16 
  • Ensure that teachers do not use teaching materials which may encourage intolerance 
  • Ensure pupils are not actively encouraged by teachers or visitors to the school to support extremist views of any form. 
  • Provide regular staff training, including newly appointed staff  when undergoing induction on the practice of this policy within the school 
  • Regularly monitor staff conduct and where necessary, i.e. in extreme cases where it is felt that the staff is a cause for concern, the school will contact the relevant authorities (central  

Prevent Team, local Police enforcement, etc) for advice on the matter. 

  1. Overview 

The School will achieve the aims of this section of the policy through a variety of activities throughout the lifetime of the secondary school (below is a small sample of activities which among others can take place in school) 

 

When 

Activity details 

Where 

Monitored By/ 

Those involved 

1 

Throughout the school life  

Teach Islamic values of  

Forgiveness, Helpfulness, Generosity, Respect, Humility, Neighbourliness 

Across the curriculum 

HT/ Islamic co subject teachers/ visitors and speakers 

2 

Throughout the school life  

Teach about Prophet’s (saw) love for all humankind giving specific authentic 

  1. Examples of Qur’anic text 
  1. Examples from Hadeeth 
  1. Examples from the life of Sahabas (ra) 

Across the curriculum 

PSHCE/SMSC Curriculum 

 Assemblies  

RS Studies 

HT 

ALL teachers 

3 

 

Engagement with Other faith groups 

Interfaith week/programme including of visits to places of worship and school twinning, with local schools from other faiths 

visitors and speakers 

HT/SLT 

RS teacher 

4 

 

Teaching of British values  

Citizenship / school activities i.e school council and annual mock general election 

 

PSHCE/SMSC Curriculum 

 Assemblies  

 

HT/ 

SLT 

ALL teachers 

5 

 

Workshops in PSHCE  

IS and Tarbiyyah lessons 

Citizenship Teacher 

PSHCE/SMSC Curriculum 

 

HT/SLT 

6 

 

Projects 

  • Fund Raising – to instill culture of caring for others 
  • Cross-Curricular Annual Day - to appreciate others’ cultures 
  • Living Islam –increase awareness and remove misconceptions  
  • Feed the homeless 

 

 

  • Sponsor orphans across the world 

 

 

  • Various days at school 

 

  • Summer term 
  • ALL classess 
  • Working with Islamic and non Islamic/global government approved charities. 

HT/SLT 

 

If it is found, in any of these or any other school activities that any pupils or groups of pupils agree with the radical narrative then special intervention programmes will be put into place. This will include 1-to-1 mentoring and additional religious literacy to counter the radical and violent extremist narrative.  

There will be regular monitoring of the pupil and where necessary, i.e. in extreme cases where it is felt that the pupil(s) is highly vulnerable: 

The school will ensure that all members of staff receive the relevant training (eg Channel or equivalent) and that at least one member of staff undertakes the WRAP 3 training and cascades to the rest of the school. 

  • The school will inform the Trustees and the parents of the pupil/s 
  • The relevant authorities (central Prevent Team, local Police enforcement) may be contacted for advice/ action should the need arise.  
  • Any concerns must be reported to LBB Community Safety on 0208 3592995 or send a secure email to BarnetCST-gcsx@barnet.gcsx.gov.uk. Inset PREVENT in subject box so the email can be prioritised.  

Key contact list for professionals working with children and families in Barnet 

If you have any concerns about a child in Barnet: 

Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)Tel: 020 8359 4066 

Secure Fax: 0871 594 8766 

Email: mash@barnet.gov.uk 

Operating Hours:  

9am – 5.15pm Monday to Thursday 

9am – 5pm Friday  

Out of Office Hours Emergency Social Work Service Tel: 020 8359 2000 

(Including out of hours Child Protection Referrals) 

The Barnet Council Emergency Service Controller will take initial details and contact the appropriate out of hours officer.  

CAF TeamTel: 020 8359 4405 

CAF CoordinatorEmail: e-caf@Barnet.gov.uk 

Web: www.barnet.gov.uk/caf-practioner-info  

Consultation Line (9.30am - 11.30am Tuesday and Wednesday) Tel: 020 8359 4336 

This number is available for consultation, advice or when you just want to talk over a situation and case names are not required. 

This number is not for referrals. 

Head of Service, Safeguarding Division Tel: 020 8359 7604 

(The Safeguarding Division monitors and promotes best practice in relation to children who are receiving a social care service, promotes Safeguarding work within the wider community and handles all allegations by children against people in a position of trust) 

Allegations against professionals working in a position of trust with children in Barnet should be made to:  

LADO / Investigation Officer (through MASH at top of page) 

 Police Child Abuse Investigation Team (8am-6pm)Tel: 020 8733 5070 

At all other times-contact this number where the controller will take initial details and contact the appropriate out of hour’s officer.Tel: 020 8200 1212 

Private Fostering 

For general enquiries about Private Fostering ContactTel: 020 8359 5315 

Barnet Kinship and Permanence Team Email: Dutykinship&permanency@Barnet.gov.uk 

To make a Private Fostering Referral contact the Referral and Assessment Team (contact details above)

Barnet Safeguarding Children Board  

Business Manager 

For advice and information about training, policies and procedures Tel: 020 8359 4540 

Web: www.barnetscb.org 

Email: barnetscb@barnet.gov.uk 

Barnet Safeguarding Children Board AdministratorTel: 020 8359 7959 / 4519 

Web: www.barnetscb.org 

Email: barnetscb@barnet.gov.uk 

For further guidance for professionals who are working with children and families in Barnet who may have a concern about a child, young person or unborn child can be found in: Barnet Children’s Service CAF and Social Care Thresholds: A Guide for Practitioners in the Children’s Workforce. 

Designated Nurse NHS Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group               Tel 020 8216 2332 

For safeguarding advice and consultation for health colleagues                           07887 633691 

Policy Reviewed in September 2016 by Head teacher/Proprietor 

Next Review date: September 2017 

For the next review. 

  • Has the Head teacher reviewed the effectiveness of this policy? 
  • Has the staff been made aware of any changes to this policy? 
  • Have you set the next review date and recorded this on the annual calendar? 
  • Does the policy achieve its stated purpose? 
  •    Have there been any changes that impact on the policy? 
  •    Are there any legal changes that impact on the policy? 
  •    Is the policy being complied with? If not, what evidence is available to substantiate this? 
  •    Are people clear about their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the policy? 
  •    Are there any barriers to compliance, particularly at an operational level? 
  •    Are the supporting procedures/guidelines consistent with the policy and effective in ensuring compliance? If not, what evidence is available to substantiate this?  

This policy aims to clarify: 

Whistle blowing code for issues relating to children and young people 

Purpose of the code 

The school adheres to the local authority whistle blowing policy and procedures that enable staff to raise concerns relating to: 

  • Crime, including allegations of abuse 
  • a miscarriage of justice 
  • illegality 
  • health and safety 
  • environmental or property damage 
  • unauthorised use of public funds 
  • concealing or attempting to cover up any of the above. 

This code provides additional information to help staff to understand the role of whistle blowing in the context of poor practice and unacceptable conduct and attitudes towards children. 

When to use the code 

The whistle blowing procedures and this code may be used by anyone employed by the school in a paid or voluntary capacity who believes they have reason to suspect that the conduct of an employee towards a pupil is inappropriate.  

Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not confined to: 

  • bullying or humiliation 
  • contravening health and safety guidelines 
  • serious breaches of the school’s code of ethical practice 
  • professional practice that falls short of normally accepted standards 
  • compromising pupils’ welfare but in a way that does not meet the threshold for child protection intervention. 

Reasons for blowing the whistle 

Staff will naturally be reticent to report a concern about the conduct of a colleague. However, each individual must take responsibility for ensuring that pupils are fairly treated. If poor practice is allowed to continue unchecked, it could escalate with serious consequences. 

Your action not only protects pupils, but also deters any suggestion that you have colluded with poor practice that you knew was occurring but chose to ignore. 

Whistle blowing can also support the member of staff who is the subject of the concern. Their conduct may result from inexperience or lack of training that can be addressed by the school, or they may be under stress and be relieved when their conduct is questioned.  

Staff who deliberately fail pupils and show no remorse or desire to improve are unlikely to welcome being exposed, but their conduct has to be confronted for the sake of the pupils and the reputation of the whole school. 

Barriers to whistle blowing 

You may worry that you have insufficient evidence to raise a concern, that you will set in train an unstoppable chain of events, that there will be adverse repercussions for your career, that you may suffer harassment or victimisation, or that your suspicion or concern might be totally misplaced. 

These concerns are entirely understandable but you can be reassured that whistleblowing procedures addresses these issues. 

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects employees from reprisals for public interest whistle blowing. Your union, a solicitor or the local authority legal services can provide you with information about your legal position. 

Confidentiality and anonymity 

All concerns are treated in confidence and, as far as possible, your identity will not be revealed if that is your wish. However, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if, as a result of an investigation, you are required to provide a witness statement or attend a court hearing. 

You can, if you prefer, raise your concern anonymously. The school would need to decide whether the levity and credibility of the concern warrants investigation if the source of the concern, and the key evidence, is not readily available. 

The school will fully support you and do all it can to protect you from any harassment or adverse repercussions that may arise from whistle blowing. 

Allegations that prove to be deliberately fabricated and malicious will be dealt with through staff disciplinary procedures. However, no action will be taken against any member of staff who raises a genuine concern that proves to be unfounded.  

Reporting procedure 

  • It may help if you write down, for your own benefit, what you have observed or heard that is causing alarm. One useful way to decide whether your concern should be reported, is to consider whether you would want the conduct of this member of staff to continue unchecked if your own child or another young family member was involved. 
  • You may raise your concern verbally or in writing. You should report your concern directly to the Headteacher. 
  • If the Headteacher is the subject of your concern, speak to the DSL  
  • A friend, colleague or union representative may accompany you to the meeting if you wish. 
  • Ensure the head informs you of their proposed action and sets a date for a second meeting. 
  • Timescales will depend on the complexity of the initial inquiry but the case should not be allowed to stall and you should receive initial feedback within 10 working days. The timescale for subsequent feedback should then be agreed. 
  • Ask for clarification about confidentiality and ensure you have your wishes regarding the protection of your identity recorded. 

Process and outcome 

  • The Headteacher will make enquiries to establish the facts of the matter and whether poor practice or inappropriate conduct has occurred. 
  • Members of the school community, including Board of Trustees, may be asked to provide information or advice. 
  • External advice, for example, from legal or human resources or children’s services may be sought. 
  • A written record of the conduct, established facts and outcome of the inquiry will be kept. 
  • The whistleblower will be kept informed of the progress of the inquiry. 

The outcome of the inquiry will be one of the following: 

  • No poor practice or wrongdoing is established and the case is closed 
  • The concern has some substance and the subject of the concern will receive advice and support from the headteacher to improve practice 
  • Poor practice or wrongdoing is established and disciplinary proceedings are initiated 
  • The concern is more serious and an investigation is initiated. This investigation may involve the local authority’s legal team, children’s social care or the police. 

If, at any stage in the process, there is reason to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm, children’s social care will be immediately involved. 

Further action 

If you raise a concern and you are dissatisfied with the way it is managed, or the outcome, you may contact the  local authority, Ofsted or DFE for advice. 

Alternatively you can seek advice from your union or professional association, a solicitor, the police, children’s social care or Public Concern at Work (PCaW), a registered charity that offers free and confidential legal advice on workplace malpractice. 

Public Concern at Work 

Suite 301, 16 Baldwins Gardens, London , EC1N 7RJ 

020 7404 6609  

whistle@pcaw.co.uk   www.pcaw.co.uk  

Appendix 1 School welfare concern form 

Use this form to record any concern about a pupil’s welfare and give it to the designated senior person for child protection: 

If you suspect the pupil may be suffering abuse or neglect, or you have received a disclosure of abuse from a pupil, or you have heard about an allegation of abuse, you must complete the child protection record of concern form instead, and hand it to the designated person today. 

Pupil’s full name  
 
Date of this record 
 
Why are you concerned about this pupil? 
 
 What have you observed and when? 
 
 What have you heard and when? 
 
 What have you been told and when? 
 
Date and time you handed this form to the designated person 
 
 Are the parents/carers aware of your concern?            □ Yes     □ No 
 

Class  
 
Class teacher/form tutor 
 
 Your name and designation 
 

Signature  _____________________________ 

 

Have you spoken to the pupil?      □ Yes     □ No 
 

What did they say? Use the pupil’s own words 
 

Have you spoken to anyone else about your concern?           □ Yes     □ No 
 

Who? 
 

Is this the first time you have been concerned about this pupil?        □ Yes     □ No 
 

Further details

Appendix 2 Child protection record of concern:  

Pupil’s details 

Full name  

Address 

Telephone 

Date of birth 

Gender:                 

Is the pupil looked-after by the local authority or are there any other legal family arrangements?  
(for example, a residence order)

When was the pupil first admitted to this school? 

Ethnicity and culture 

Religion 

Does the pupil have any disability or special educational need?            □ Yes     □ No 

Please specify 

Preferred language of pupil 

Is any type of language support required to converse with the pupil?         □ Yes     □ No 

Please specify 
 

Does the pupil know this form has been completed?            □ Yes     □ No 

If not, why not? 
 

If yes, what did the pupil say? 

Details of those with parental responsibility 

Name(s) 

Add

Telephone 

Relationship to pupil 
 
Ethnicity, culture and religion of those with parental responsibility if known 
 

 
 
 

Preferred language of those with parental responsibility 
 
Is any type of language support required? 
 
Do those with parental responsibility have any disability or special need? 
 
How does this disability or special need affect the pupil? 
 
Details of any siblings 
 
Does the pupil regularly spend time with other carers, for example, after-school or holiday carers, or at a short break service? 
 
Has a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) been completed for this pupil? □ Yes     □ No 

Please give date and reason for the CAF 

Why are you concerned about this pupil? 

Please provide a description of any incidents/conversations and the dates they occurred. You must make clear what is fact and what is opinion or hearsay. You must not ask the pupil leading questions or try to investigate the concern yourself 

What have you observed and when? 
(This relates to anything you have personally witnessed) 
 
 What have you been told and when? 
(Write here anything you have been told by the pupil or any other person. Be clear about who has said what) 
 

What have you heard and when? 
(This may be third-party information that is relevant but as yet unsubstantiated) 
 

If an allegation has been made, give any details you have about the alleged abuser 
 

Date and time of this record 
 

Your details 
Full name 
 
 Position 

If you are not a member of the school staff please provide details of your school, agency or service together with a contact telephone number. 

Do those with parental responsibility know this form has been completed?□ Yes     □ No 

If not, why not? 
 
 
If yes, what did they say? 
 
NOTE: Those with parental responsibility should not be contacted by anyone in the school if this could place the pupil at risk. Speak to the designated person first 
 

Does the pupil have any visible injury, or have they told you they have been injured?      □ Yes     □ No 

If yes, has medical advice been sought? 

Has any action already been taken in relation to this concern? (for example, pupil taken out of class, first aid) 
 
Name and position of the person this record was handed to: 
 
Date and time the above person received this record 
 
 If this record has been handed to anyone other than the designated person please explain why 

If you have used additional sheets to complete this record of concern please staple them to this form and write the number of additional sheets here _________ 

If the pupil has a visible injury, please indicate the location on the body map and staple the body map to this form. 

Hand this form to the designated person before you go home. If the designated person is unavailable, hand it to their deputy, the Headteacher. 

 If you do not have certain information, such as the child or family’s ethnicity, do not delay handing in the form. Ask the designated person to complete the information. 

APPENDIX 3 

Guidance For Staff on How to Avoid Harming Pupils or Putting Themselves at Risk of Allegations (based on DCSF Safer Working Practice Guidance)  

  1. A)  Position of trust 

-A relationship of power and trust exists between all staff and pupil, their families or carers. Employees represent the powers and duties of the school. They are placed in a position of trust to assist in the delivery of education to pupils who may be vulnerable. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure they do not abuse or appear to abuse that position of trust in the way they conduct their relationships with service users, their families or carers. Relationships that are thought to be at risk of, or have already extended beyond, what may be considered professional are not acceptable. 

- The key characteristic of the professional relationship is that the sole objective is meeting the assessed needs of pupils within agreed school policies that prevail at any given time. At no point must the needs of the employee, unrelated to professional practice, take precedence. Emotional involvement or behaviour that is, or may be seen to be (by the general public), primarily in employee interests, rather than meeting the assessed needs of service users, may be defined as extending beyond the professional role. 

-Unless there is sound reason to do so, and the action is taken with the express knowledge and approval of the headteacher, and the decision is officially recorded: 

  • An employee must not make personal arrangements to see service users, their carers or families outside directed or contracted hours  
  • An employee must not take service users, their carers or families to their home  
  • An employee must not give their telephone number or address to service users, their carers or families  
  • An employee must neither sell nor buy property from service users, their families or carers (the school will identify what this might reasonably include)*   

Whether motivated by a desire to support pupils, or less well intentioned or illegal motives, all such behaviour presents a risk to the professional relationship. 

- This position of trust also has consequences for actions and behaviour outside of working hours. If employees are engaging in activity or associating with individuals or people, whose current or past behaviour could raise doubts or concerns about an employee's own integrity or ability to be in a ‘position of trust' with regard to pupils this could have a direct consequence on their ability to continue in employment/role. 

- One example could be where an employee working with pupils, has a current relationship with an individual, or is known to associate with individuals, who have convictions for pupil abuse. The employer may not have raised any concern regarding their activity at work but their out of work relationships would call into question their position of trust and may be considered as being the Council into disrepute. 

It is difficult to give the full list of potential conflict of interest, but the simple test is to ask the question: 

“if this issue became public knowledge could it raise questions about my integrity and could it bring the school or the council into disrepute?” 

If the answer is “yes” or “possibly” or “I'm not sure” the employee is obliged to raise it with the headteacher so that this matter can be give further consideration. 

  1. B) Physical Restraint 

 1) Physical Contact 

            This means that staff should: 

  • be aware that even well intentioned physical contact may be misconstrued by the pupil, an observer or by anyone to whom this action is described 
  • never touch a pupil in a way which may be considered indecent 
  • always be prepared to report and explain actions and accept that all physical contact be open to scrutiny 
  • not indulge in ‘horseplay’ 
  • always encourage pupils, where possible, to undertake self-care tasks independently 
  • work within Health and Safety regulations 
  • be aware of cultural or religious views about touching and always be sensitive to issues of gender 
  • understand that  physical contact in some circumstances  can be easily misinterprete

This means that the school should: 

  • ensure they have a system in place for recording  incidents and the means by which information about incidents and outcomes can be easily accessed by senior management, for example by opening an incident book. 
  • make staff aware of relevant professional or school guidance in respect of physical contact with pupils and meeting medical needs of pupils and young people where appropriate 
  • be explicit about what physical contact is appropriate for staff working in their settin

2) Use of Control and  Physical Intervention  

This means that staff should: 

  • adhere to the school’s  physical intervention policy 
  • always seek to defuse situations  
  • always use minimum force for the shortest period necessary 
  • record and report as soon as possible after the event any incident where physical intervention has been used. 

 This means that the school should: 

  • have a policy on the use of physical intervention in place that complies with government guidance and legislation and describes the context in which it is appropriate to use physical intervention 
  • ensure that an effective recording system is in place which allows for incidents to be tracked and monitored 
  • ensure staff are familiar with the above 
  • ensure that staff are appropriately trained

3)  Propriety and Behaviour 

 It is therefore expected that all staff will adopt high standards of personal conduct in order to maintain the confidence and respect of the public in general and all those with whom they work. 

 There may be times, for example, when an adult’s behaviour or actions in their personal life come under scrutiny from local communities, the media or public authorities. This could be because their behaviour is considered to compromise their position in their workplace or indicate an unsuitability to work with pupils or young people. Misuse of drugs, alcohol or acts of violence would be examples of such behaviour.  

Staff in contact with pupils and young people should therefore understand and be aware, that safe practice also involves using judgement and integrity about behaviours in places other than the work setting.  

The behaviour of a member of staff’s partner or other family members may raise similar concerns and require careful consideration by an employer as to whether there may be a potential risk to pupils and young people in the workplace. 

This means that teachers should not: 

  • behave in a manner which would lead any reasonable person to question their suitability to work with pupils or act as a role model. 
  • make, or encourage others to make, unprofessional personal comments which scapegoat, demean or humiliate, or which might be interpreted as such 

This means that staff should: 

  • be aware that  behaviour in their personal lives  may impact upon their work  with pupils and young people 
  • follow any codes of conduct deemed appropriate by UGHS  
  • understand that the behaviour and actions of their partner (or other family members) may raise  questions about  their suitability to work with pupils and young people

 

 

 

 

 

4) Dress and Appearance 

A person's dress and appearance are matters of personal choice and self-expression. However staff should dress in ways which are appropriate to their role and this may need to be different to how they dress when not at work.    

Staff who work with pupils and young people should ensure they take care to ensure they are dressed appropriately for the tasks and the work they undertake.   

Those who dress in a manner which could be considered as inappropriate could render themselves vulnerable to criticism or allegations. 

This means that staff should wear clothing which: 

  • is appropriate to their role 
  • is not likely to be viewed as offensive, revealing, or sexually provocative 
  • does not distract, cause embarrassment or give rise to misunderstanding 
  • is absent of any political or otherwise contentious slogans 
  •  is not considered to be discriminatory and is culturally sensitive 

 UGHS is not a faith school but teachers are expected to dress appropriately and modestly. 

 

 

  

 

 

5) Infatuations 

Occasionally, a pupil or young person may develop an infatuation with an adult who works with them. These staff should deal with these situations sensitively and appropriately to maintain the dignity and safety of all concerned. They should remain aware, however, that such infatuations carry a high risk of words or actions being misinterpreted and should therefore make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour is above reproach.   

An adult, who becomes aware that a pupil or young person is developing an infatuation, should discuss this at the earliest opportunity with a senior manager or parent/carer so appropriate action can be taken to avoid any hurt, distress or embarrassment. 

This means that staff should: 

  • report and record any incidents or  indications (verbal, written or physical) that suggest a pupil or young person  may have developed an infatuation with an adult in the workplace  
  • always acknowledge and maintain professional boundaries 

6) Communication with Pupils   (including the Use of Technology) 

This means that the school should: 

  • have  a communication policy which specifies  acceptable  and permissible modes of communication  

 This means that staff should: 

  • not give their personal contact details to their pupils, including their mobile telephone number and details of any blogs or personal websites 
  • only use  equipment e.g. mobile phones, provided by the school  to communicate with pupils, making sure that parents have given permission for this form of communication to be used 
  • only make contact with pupils for professional reasons and in accordance with any school  policy 
  • recognise that text messaging is rarely an appropriate response to a pupil in a crisis situation or at risk of harm. It should only be used as a last resort when other forms of communication are not possible 
  • not use internet or web-based communication channels  to send personal messages to  a pupil/young person  
  • ensure that if a social networking site is used, details are not shared with pupils and young people and privacy settings are set at maximum 

7) Social Contact 

This means that staff should: 

  • have no secret social contact with pupils or their parents 
  • consider the appropriateness of the social contact according to their role and nature of their work 
  • always approve any planned social contact with pupil or parents with  senior colleagues, 
  • advise senior management of any social contact they have with a pupil or a parent with who whom they work, which may give rise to concern 
  • report and record any situation, which may place a pupil at risk or which may   compromise the school or their own professional standing 
  • be aware that the sending of personal communications such as birthday or faith cards should always be recorded and/or discussed with line manager. 
  • understand that some communications may be called into question and need to be justified. 

 8) Pupils in Distress 

This means the member of staff should: 

  • consider the way in which they offer comfort and reassurance to a distressed pupil and do it in an age-appropriate way 
  • be circumspect in offering reassurance in  one to one situations, but always record such actions in these circumstances 
  • follow professional guidance or code of practice where available 
  • never touch a pupil in a way which may be considered indecent 
  • record and report situations which may give rise to concern from either party 

not assume that all pupils seek physical comfort if they are distressed 

 9) Photography and Videos 

This means that staff should: 

  • be clear about the purpose of the activity and about what will happen to the images  when the activity is concluded 
  • be able to justify images of pupils in their possession 
  • avoid making images in one to one situations or which show a single pupil with no surrounding context 
  • ensure the pupil understands why the images are being taken and has agreed to the activity and that they are appropriately dressed. 
  • only use equipment provided or authorised by the school. 
  • report any concerns about any inappropriate or intrusive photographs found 
  • always ensure they have parental permission to take and/or display photographs 

 This means that staff should not: 

  • display or distribute images of pupils unless they have consent to do so from parents/carers 
  • use images  which may cause distress   
  • use mobile telephones to take images of pupils 

take images ‘in secret’, or taking images in situations that may be construed as being secretive. 

 10) Access to Inappropriate Images and Internet Usage 

This means UGHS should  

  • have clear e-safety policies in place about access to and use of the internet 
  • make guidance available to both staff and pupils and young people about appropriate usage. 

  This means that staff should: 

  • follow their school’s guidance on the use of IT equipment 
  • ensure that pupils are not exposed to unsuitable material on the internet 
  • ensure that any films  or material shown to pupils are age appropriate

Allegations should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 0208 359 6056.