C) Child Protection

C1) Overview

ELC meets its child protection responsibilities by:

  • making all staff and homestay providers aware of their responsibilities. having an ELC safeguarding team whose members and roles are known to all staff and homestay providers
  • making sure that a member of the safeguarding team can always be contacted 24/7.
  • ensuring the safeguarding team are themselves fully trained.
  • training all staff and homestay providers and making them aware of different child protection scenarios and training them to recognise symptoms of abuse
  • making sure all staff and homestay providers know how to respond when they suspect abuse or when a child tells them about abuse.

C2) ELC’s Safeguarding team – roles and responsibilities

*Full contact details are given in Child Protection C2

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Child Protection officer (CPO)

Mark Calland (Vice-Principal)
Pembroke House Mob: 07954 148249
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

John Duncan (Director)
Pembroke and Summer Centre
Mob: 0774 7021261
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

Margaret Duncan (Director)
Pembroke House
Mob: 0774 7021261
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

Andrea d’Essen (Homestay Manager)
Abon House 0117 9707065
Trained to safeguarding level 3 Responsible for Homestays

 Designated Safeguarding Staff (DSS)

Lily Lunan (Social Programme Manager)
Abon 0117 9707063
Trained:safeguarding level 2 Responsible for Social programme/activities

 Designated Safeguarding Staff (DSS)

Kate Jackson (Admissions Officer)
Pembroke 0117 9707052 Trained:safeguarding level 3 Responsible for safeguarding admin and support

 Designated Safeguarding Staff (DSS)

Andrew Varney (Teacher)
0117 9707063
Trained: safeguarding level 2 Responsible: risk assessments and teaching materials suitability

 Designated Safeguarding Staff (DSS)

Lauren Hyde (Residences Manager)
Abon House 0117 9707062
Trained: safeguarding level 2 Responsible for Transfers + Abon Support

Nigel Heritage – ELC’s Independent Safeguarding Consultant
Tel: 01747 858843, 07786 787027

Nicola Laird - Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO (Acting)

For child protection concerns re under 18s with an adult in a position of trust, ie our staff and homestay providers
Tel: 0117 9037795, 07795 091020 nicola.laird@bristol.gov.uk Out of hours number 01454 615165 or call number given on answerphone message

First Response

For child protection concerns with external parties and other students 0117 9036444 (08.30 – 17.00 Monday to Thursday and 08.30 – 16.30 on Friday.
Out of hours number 01454 615165 or call number given on answerphone message

Bristol Safeguarding in Education Team

for advice with policy and procedures (Bristol North) Lesley O’Hagan 0117 9223786, 07901102652 lesley.o’hagan@bristol.gov.uk

  • ELC has a safeguarding team of 8 members of staff. There are always a minimum of 2 ELC Safeguarding team members in the school at any time of the year (3 in July and August when we open the summer centre).
  • A member of the team can always be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by first calling the school’s emergency phone number 0774 7021261 or the mobile numbers listed above.
  • Members of ELC’s safeguarding team contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if there are ever any child protection issues or concerns with an adult in a position of trust, ie our own staff or homestay providers
  • If the child protection concern is with people not involved directly with the school, or is regarding another student, the safeguarding team contact First Response.
  • ELC also has an independent Safeguarding Consultant who assists with ELC’s annual Safeguarding audit and is available to give advice and updates to the ELC Safeguarding team.
  • For advice and assistance with ELC’s safeguarding policy and procedures, ELC contacts the team leader in Bristol’s Safeguarding in Education team.

C3) When Adults need to respond – Saying nothing is not an option

  • All adults need to respond, whether it is a teacher, an admin team member, a homestay provider, an outside contractor or even another student, anyone who knows or suspects any student at ELC (and specifically any student under 18) is being or has been harmed or is at risk of significant harm, they. It is not their role to investigate or assess whether or not abuse has occurred - they have a responsibility to pass on their concerns to those who can investigate them, so that action to 27/07 2018 Sdrive – safeguarding/policy document (JD) Page 3 protect the child can be taken if necessary. We have a legal duty of care to our students under 18.
  • Who do they report their concern to? If they have a concern, they must report it immediately to a member of the safeguarding team and or to the police if they think a crime has been committed.
  • Depending on the nature of the concern, the safeguarding team will handle the matter internally. If the concern is a serious incident or if it is an allegation of abuse or a disclosure, the safeguarding team must immediately report it to the LADO, if it concerns an adult in a position of trust, ie a member of staff or an accommodation provider, or to First Response if it concerns others not connected to the school or concerns another student. If a crime has or may have been committed they must report it to the police.
  • Staff and accommodation providers in particular need to be able to recognise the symptoms of abuse which are detailed in section C4.
  • The safety and welfare of the child must be the primary consideration in deciding whether or not to share information. This always overrides confidentiality.
  • If a child needs medical attention this must be dealt with as an absolute priority.

What is an allegation? An allegation is information which indicates an adult or another under 18 may have:

  • Behaved in a way that has/may have harmed a child
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child in such a way that indicates s/he would pose a risk of harm towards children.
Screenshot 2019-05-24 at 09.22.53

See flow chart in C7 for more detailed information

C4) Recognising symptoms of abuse

There are several types of abuse and often common related signs to look out for. Sometimes multiple signs are there, however, one has to be cautious because if someone is showing signs, it does not always follow that they are being abused. For a more extensive list of symptoms, please see http://www.kirkleessafeguardingchildren.co.uk/signs-of-abuse.html

PHYSICAL ABUSE:

  • Physical Signs: Injuries not adequately explained including: fractures, bruises, burns, bite marks, slap marks and implement marks (e.g. belt mark) grip marks, symmetrical bruising or bruising in unusual places
  • Behavioural Signs: Appears scared of others, avoids communication with authority. Mood swings, can be both passive and aggressive, frozen watchfulness, equally could appear overly “happy” and “eager to please”. Anti-social and even criminal behaviour.

SEXUAL ABUSE:

  • Physical Signs: Over-familiarity, explicit sexual drawings, pain, soreness or itching in the genital or anal areas or mouth, recurrent genital or urinary infections, pregnancy.
  • Behavioural Signs: Sleep problems, anorexia, bulimia, self-harm or excessive ‘comfort’ eating, fear of a specific person, alcohol or use of drugs, unexplained gifts, money, having ‘secrets’ particularly around internet use or overtly sexual display.

NEGLECT:

  • Physical Signs: Looks excessively thin or ill, unexplained weight loss, complains of hunger; lack of energy, untreated conditions/injuries, repeated accidents, especially burns, repeatedly unwashed, smelly or dressed inappropriately for the weather.
  • Behavioural Signs: Poor level of concentration, constantly hungry, not keeping Doctor or Hospital appointments, frequently not at school or persistent lateness.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE:

  • Physical Signs: Speech disorders, depression, eating disorders, evidence of self-harm and voicing suicidal thoughts.
  • Behavioural Signs: Over-reaction to mistakes, continual self-deprecation, excessive fear of new situations, excessive behaviours, e.g. rocking, head banging, pulling own hair out, self-harm and/or eating disorders, stealing, excessively sad, depressed, withdrawn, low self-esteem, unable to form friendships with other students.

C5) Disclosure (if a child tells an adult) - what you should do

RECEIVE:

Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief Accept what is being said without judgement. Take it seriously. Be calm.

REASSURE:

Reassure the child, but only so far as is honest and reliable. Don’t make promises that you can’t be sure to keep, e.g. “I’ll stay with you” or “everything will be all right now” Don’t promise confidentiality – you have a duty to report your concerns. Tell the child that you will need to tell some people, but only those whose job it is to protect children. Acknowledge how difficult it must have been to talk. Never agree to keep secrets – be honest. Reassure the child that he or she is right to tell

REACT:

Listen quietly, carefully and patiently Do not investigate, interrogate or decide if the child is telling the truth Don’t ask leading questions, e.g. “What did he do next?” (This assumes he did). Ask open questions like “Is there anything else that you want to tell me?” Do not ask the child to repeat what they have told you to another person Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to.

RECORD:

Make brief notes at the time and write them up in detail as soon as possible on an ELC disclosure and allegation form. Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by Court. Record the date, time, place, words used by the child and how the child appeared to you.

Record statements and observable things. Do not assume anything – don’t speculate or jump to conclusions

REMEMBER:

If a child discloses abuse to you, take it seriously Seek advice from the designated members of staff at ELC

DON'T

  • Refuse to listen, tell them you will see them later
  • Over-react
  • Don’t be on your own in a room with the student with the door closed
  • Show worry or concern
  • Put words in their mouth
  • Make comments
  • Ask leading questions
  • Promise confidentiality
  • Leave the student alone after they have disclosed – if you need to leave the office, call another member of staff and ask them to sit with them and not ask questions. Just act as a reassuring presence.
  • Tell any colleagues other than members of the Safeguarding team

C6) Keeping Records

Accurate record keeping is essential in safeguarding. If accurate records are not kept, perpetrators can escape justice and will be free to go on offending.

If someone discloses to you, you must:

  • Make some very brief notes at the time someone discloses to you
  • Write your notes up in detail as soon as possible preferably on an ELC Concern (and Disclosure/Allegation) form - blank forms are kept in the office in Pembroke and Abon, in the appendix at the end of this policy document and on the website.
  • Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by a Court.
  • Record the date, time, place, words used by the child and how the child appeared to you
  • Record statements and observable things – do not add opinions
  • Do not assume anything – don’t speculate or jump to conclusions.

Completed Concern (and Disclosure/Allegation) forms must be given to a member of ELC’s safeguarding team and kept by the DSL/CPO together with all sensitive safeguarding documents in a locked cupboard in Pembroke House. The only members of staff with access to these documents are members of ELC’s Safeguarding Team and LCSB on request Confidentiality must be maintained throughout the process. Witnesses have to be advised not to talk to anyone about the incident. Gossip or leaks to the media can be very damaging to the person accused when it has not yet been proven that they are guilty. The victim’s and accused’s identity must also be kept secret and he/she should be advised not to talk to anyone. Never leave sensitive records lying around. Never leave your computer on with sensitive documents displayed.

Electronic Records

ELC has a system in the school S:drive where it keeps its Welfare and Safeguarding records. On the system, there is an area for

  • Staff training (both initial and refresher)
  • All Safeguarding contact details including the LSCB and the LADO

There are two separate areas on the S:drive which are password protected

  • Safeguarding concerns
  • Allegations.
  • Safeguarding Reports
  • Safeguarding Audits

Annual Safeguarding Report

In December ELC Bristol prepares an annual Safeguarding Report which is not a report on any individual cases but an overview of what has happened in Safeguarding during the previous 12 months. The report notes.

  • Number of concerns raised and dealt with (statistics)
  • If any patterns have emerged
  • How effective safeguarding strategies have been
  • If any major safeguarding issues have arisen
  • Record of training done and any changes made to training procedures
  • Any changes in Safeguarding staff
  • Any feedback from staff / students regarding Safeguarding awareness
  • Any areas of weakness noted.
  • If any new initiatives should be considered /implemented over the coming year.

Annual Safeguarding Audit

ELC independent external Safeguarding Consultant (Nigel Heritage) audits the report and checks it against available evidence and in discussion with the ELC’s Safeguarding Team. Once it has been passed as accurate, a strategy meeting is held with the Safeguarding Team to discuss the report and the way to make improvements.

C7) If an adult is accused

C)-Flowchart-2

Terminology for possible outcomes to investigation

Definition Meaning
SubstantiatedThere is sufficient identifiable evidence to prove the allegation.
FalseThere is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation.
MaliciousThere is clear evidence to prove there was a deliberate act to deceive and the allegation is false.
UnfoundedThere is no evidence which supports the allegation. It could be that the
person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or did not know all the circumstances.
UnsubstantiatedThere is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation (it is not the same as 'false'). Accused could be guilty or innocent .
Resolution of allegation Action by school
Allegation substantiated, leading to prosecution
and dismissal
Inform DBS; record kept on file
Allegation substantiated, leading to disciplinary
action or dismissal
May need to inform DBS; record kept on file
Allegation unsubstantiatedSummary report kept in staff file for future clarification and reduce need for reinvestigation; copy given to accused
Allegation unfounded or malicious Report removed from file. Disciplinary action required against perpetrators of malicious story.

ELC Bristol has a duty of care to its employees and will provide adequate support for anyone facing an allegation. The school must maintain confidentiality regarding the accused. Until any investigation, either internal or external, has been completed, the identity of the accused must not be released. If the allegation is unsubstantiated, unfounded or malicious, ELC Bristol will support the member of staff on their return to work, especially if they have been suspended.

C8) If a child or another student over 18 is accused

It may happen that the person being accused of abusing a child is also a child. In such circumstances the school has a duty of care to both the children involved. In such a case, ELC will also appoint asecond member of the Safeguarding Team to support the accused on a personal level. The procedure is then the same as with any case of suspected abuse by an adult. As always, it is essential that total confidentiality is maintained.

If the person accused of abusing a child is an ELC student over 18, the procedure is the same as when dealing with an allegation of abuse made against any adult. However, the school again has a duty of care to both parties. In all cases, the school’s absolute priority must be to ensure that the alleged victim is kept safe. The DSL/CPO or the ADSL/Principal will contact First Response at Bristol’s LSCB immediately on 0117 9037795, 07795 091020. No decisions will be made on further action without referring to the LSCB.

First Response may suggest additional measures to further protect the victim and the alleged perpetrator may be excluded from the school or asked to change class or homestay in order to avoid a further contact with the alleged victim.

C9) Child Sexual Exploitation - official definition used as statutory guidance in England

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.

Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:

  • Appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions
  • Going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late
  • Misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Having older boyfriends or girlfriends

ELC staff and accommodation providers must be aware about Child sexual exploitation and recognise it is a form of abuse and if this is disclosed to them by an Under 18 or if they believe that this may be happening, they must immediately inform a member of the ELC Safeguarding team.

C10) Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Staff should be aware that FGM is the non-medical partial or total removal of external female genital organs, typically done to young girls from African countries. FGM is illegal if done in the UK and illegal if a UK resident is taken to another country to have it done. If a member of staff or an accommodation provider becomes aware that this has happened or suspects it may happen to a student under 18, it is their duty to notify both the Safeguarding team and the Police.

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