At Stimpson Avenue Academy School, safeguarding and child protection is paramount and we are fully committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all our children.
We believe that students have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse; where staff are vigilant for signs of any student in distress and are confident about applying the processes to avert and alleviate any such problems.
Our key aims are to ensure;
- All our pupils are safe and protected from harm.
- Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable pupils to feel safe and adopt safe practices;
- Staff, pupils, governors, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours and the school’s legal responsibilities in relation to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our pupils.
Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead Responsibilities & Expectations
It is the responsibility of the Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Zoe McIntyre, Deputy Senior Designated Lead,Tina Berlingieri, and Designated Senior Leads, Christina Hodges, Luci Clapton and Clare Mills, under the direction of the Academy Improvement Board and East Midlands Academy Trust, to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in school are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency. They are also responsible for arranging safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with children and young people in our school. The DSLs have a role in ensuring that the whole school safeguarding training takes place at least every three years and all appropriate other training in relation to safeguarding, including Prevent, is undertaken.
The Senior DSL is required to attend, or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all conferences, core groups or meetings where it concerns a child at our school and to contribute to multi-agency discussions to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
The Deputy DSL is also required to provide an annual safeguarding Academy Improvement Board report and with the headteacher, to ensure the Academy Improvement Board remain fully informed with regards to safeguarding within the school.
All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you should tell one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads at Stimpson Avenue Academy, who are:
- Zoe McIntyre (executive headteacher)
- Luci Clapton (Head of School)
- Christina Hodges (assistant headteacher)
- Tina Berlingieri (Family and Pastoral Support Lead)
All adults, including the Designated Safeguarding Leads, have a duty of care by law to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency including social services or the Police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency, e.g. Connexions or School Nurse, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the school’s Senior Designated Lead in the first instance. Where the disclosure is made by a child attending an alternative provision, the referral should be recorded and referred to the On-Site Senior Designated Lead and a formal notification made to the school’s DSL where the child is on roll for information or appropriate action to be taken. Any records made should be kept securely (locked) on the child’s main school/Child Protection file.
What is considered as child abuse?
The following safeguarding issues are all considered to be child protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are linked to guidance and local procedures which can be found on the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) website:
Some members of our communities hold beliefs that may be common within particular cultures but which are against the law of England. NSCB does not condone practices that are illegal and which are harmful to children. Examples of particular practices are:
NSCB does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent.
In England, a young person cannot legally marry until they are 16 years old (without the consent of their parents or carers) nor have sexual relationships.
Genital Mutilation / Female Circumcision
This is against the law yet, for some communities, it is considered a religious act and cultural requirement. It is illegal for someone to arrange for a child to go abroad with the intention of having her circumcised. If any of the above areas of concern is brought to our attention, we will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in the criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the child.
Children Missing Education
“Basic to safeguarding children is to ensure their attendance at school.” (OFSTED 2002). Children are best protected by regularly attending school where they will be safe from harm and where there are professionals to monitor their well-being. At Stimpson, we will encourage the full attendance of all of our children at school. Where we have concerns that a child is missing education because of suspected abuse, we will liaise with the appropriate agencies, including the Educational Inclusion and Partnership Team (EIPT), to effectively manage the risks and to prevent abuse from taking place.
Sexually Active under Eighteen years old
It is acknowledged by those working with young people that most young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision of protection or additional services. At Stimpson, we will ensure our policy for managing this issue links to the available protocol.
Safeguarding Disabled Children
Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children.
Disabled children do, however, require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks and ‘created vulnerability’ as a result of negative attitudes about disabled children and unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/or communication impairment (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009) Stimpson will ensure that our disabled children are listened to and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this, we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse of a child.
Safer Recruitment & Selection
It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked. At Stimpson, we will ensure that we have a member on every recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. We will also ensure that all of our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the key safeguarding employment standards.
Honour Based Violence
'Honour based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from school and truancy, infections resulting from female genital mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in school activities, unreasonable restrictions at home. Where it is suspected that a child/young person is at risk from honour based violence, Stimpson will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.
Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation includes children being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/ sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where Stimpson is made aware that a child is suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited, we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
The Government defines domestic abuse as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”.
Staff need to understand what is required of them if children are members of a household where domestic abuse is known to be or suspected to be taking place. Our policy includes action to be taken regarding referrals to the Police and Children and Young People Services and any action to be taken where a member of staff is the alleged perpetrator or victim of domestic abuse. At Stimpson, we will follow our safeguarding policy and report any suspected concerns regarding domestic abuse to the relevant agency.
Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.
A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation by someone other than:
- A parent
- A person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility
- A close relative
- A Local Authority
for more than 28 days and where the care is intended to continue. It is a statutory duty for us at Stimpson to inform the Local Authority where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.
Child Exploitation & E-Safety
Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimise the risks to our children and young people, Stimpson will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an Acceptable Use Policy linked to our E-Safety policy. We will ensure that staff are aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the school and are aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites.
Our E-safety Policy will clearly state that mobile phone or electronic communications with a student at our school is not acceptable other than for approved school business, e.g. coursework, mentoring. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.
The above list is not exhaustive and as new policy guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding we will review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate and in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority
Who do I contact?
How to get in touch with the NSCB Business Office.
Telephone: 01604 364036
Northampton Safeguarding Children Board
c/o Northamptonshire County Council
In an emergency, call:
Other useful contacts:
YoungMinds - Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency www.ceop.org.uk