This information aims to help parents understand the process of protecting children and the procedures which we, as a school, have to follow.
At Cranborne CE VA School children’s welfare is of paramount importance. We are committed to working with parents to ensure that our pupils have a happy, safe and positive learning environment both at school and at home.
As a school we are committed to and have a legal duty to safeguard your child’s welfare. We follow the model policies and protocols outlined by the Dorset Safeguarding Policy in order to ensure the welfare of our children. All members of staff in school are trained in safeguarding children and are committed to ensuring the safety of all our pupils.
If the School is worried about a pupil’s welfare and that a child is at risk of harm, we must legally look into the matter and follow:
- The law
- Guidance from the Department for Education
- Local multi-agency child protection procedures
Harm in these circumstances means child abuse or child maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or not acting to prevent harm. Harm is defined by the NSPCC as:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
Enquiries also have to be made if a child is living with someone who has previously been involved in the abuse of another child.
If a member of staff is concerned that a child is at risk of suffering harm, they will report it to the senior members of staff responsible for child protection matters:
- Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs Annette Faithfull, Headteacher
- Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs Sian Phillips, Assistant Headteacher
- Governor with Safeguarding responsibility: Mr Giles Vigar, Foundation Governor
The senior member of staff will then prioritise the matter and contact Social Care. If the senior member of staff does have concerns about the child’s welfare, they must, by law, refer this on to a social worker.
When the child is referred, school must share all relevant information about the pupil.
This allows schools to share personal information with other agencies where there are child protection concerns about a child. School may let the child’s parent(s) know when the child is referred, but will not contact parents if we think this could put the child at risk. School will seek advice first.
A social worker, sometimes together with a police officer, will talk to everyone in the family. The social worker will talk to all children who are old enough to find out how they feel and what worries them. Children and young people have a right to be protected from harm. Families have a right to expect schools to provide a safe and secure environment.
One of several things may happen after the investigation:
- No further action is taken
- Advice and support is offered (this may be provided by other professionals or agencies)
- A meeting is arranged to decide what will happen next. If there are many concerns about a child, a meeting called a child protection conference will be arranged. People who know the child and their family, for example a teacher, a doctor or a health visitor, will be invited to this meeting, together with parents, partners and in some cases older children.The conference will talk about what has happened and what can be done to help. If necessary a child protection plan will be agreed of all the things people should do to help the child and the family.