A link to a pdf copy of the policy is provided by clicking on the policy heading within the drop down box.
Paper copies of school information published on this website are available for free from the school office.
Schools are required under the Equality Act 2010 to have an accessibility plan. The purpose of the plan is to:
Our school aims to strengthen inclusive opportunities for learning and living for all children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) to promote their achievements and outcomes and to use resources in the fairest and most effective way possible.
Warren Park Primary is committed to providing an environment that enables full curriculum access that values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs.
The plan will be made available online on the school website, and paper copies are available upon request.
Our school is also committed to ensuring staff are trained in equality issues with reference to the Equality Act 2010, including understanding disability issues.
The school supports any available partnerships to develop and implement the plan. It has been drawn up based upon information supplied by the Local Authority and in conjunction with pupils, parents, staff and governors of the school and will advise other school planning documents.
Our school’s complaints procedure covers the accessibility plan. If you have any concerns relating to accessibility in school, this procedure sets out the process for raising these concerns.
The Equality Act 2010 defines an individual as disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ adverse effect on his or her ability to undertake normal day to day activities.
Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice, ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. The definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and cancer.
Schools are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for pupils with disabilities under the Equality Act 2010, to alleviate any substantial disadvantage that a disabled pupil faces in comparison with non-disabled pupils. This can include, for example, the provision of an auxiliary aid or adjustments to premises.
At Warren Park Primary, we are committed to all aspects of our children’s learning, where we strive to make a positive difference at every opportunity. Research has shown that children who frequently miss school often fall behind. There is also a strong link between good school attendance and achieving good results. We would like to take this opportunity to share our daily routine at Warren Park.
At Warren Park our school day starts at 8:50 for Reception classes and 8:55 for the rest of the school.
It is really important that children are in school, ready for these times as this will help them settle into the school day routine and get the most out of their education.
We must ask that your child doesn’t come to school until 8:45 unless they are in the breakfast club, as there will not be adult supervision until this time. Children can come and play on the playground at 8:45 and parents are welcome to wait with children until the bell goes. Duty teachers will be on the playground from 8:45, which may give you the opportunity to have a chat if needed. If your child’s teacher is not on the playground, then we ask that you make an appointment through the office for a convenient time and not go through the doors into the classrooms, as this poses security issues for the school.
At Warren Park we offer an amazing breakfast club free of charge, this will help give the best start to your child’s day. Breakfast club offers a range of cereals, toasts and healthy spreads to make sure that your child is ready to start the day full of energy. Breakfast club starts at 8:00 and is supervised until the start of the school day.
We understand that sometimes things happen which result in lateness. In these exceptional circumstances, we ask that children come into school with an adult and sign in with the office team. This is to make sure that the legal resister is filled in correctly and appropriately.
Children who arrive in school between 9:00 and 9:30 will need to go directly to the office where they will receive a late mark (L) on the register.
Whilst we understand that in exceptional circumstances, things can happen that prevent a punctual arrival to school, we must stress that these circumstances should be extremely rare. A phone call to the office must be made with a reason provided. Children who arrive after 9:30 will be marked as unauthorised (U) unless there are exceptional circumstances that have already been discussed and agreed with staff.
Unfortunately a (U) mark will affect your child’s attendance. These codes reflect Hampshire County Council policy.
We ask that if a routine medical appointment is needed, that you try to book these outside of school hours. If this is unavoidable then please provide evidence to the office prior to the day to avoid (U) marks in the register.
We ask that, where possible, if the appointment falls within the school day, that your child/children still attend school around the appointment time. This is to avoid unnecessarily missing important lesson time and medical appointment marks (M) affecting your child’s attendance records. Where you have other children in the school, we ask that where possible, you make alternative arrangements, allowing them to be in school as normal for the duration of the school day.
Your child’s attendance will be monitored regularly throughout their time at school. This helps them to achieve the best attendance possible to help them learn. We understand that sometimes your child is unable to attend school however; the expectation is, that if your child is well enough, the law states that children have to attend all the days and all the times that the school requires it.
If we start to become concerned with your child’s attendance, initially a member of your child’s Year Team will want to have an informal chat with you. This is to establish if there are any underlying issues that are preventing your child from attending school. Remember, we are always here to help and want to try to make your child’s time at school an enjoyable and positive experience. We may be able to offer some help to support your child’s attendance.
We want to offer support where needed, to allow your child to attend school. However, if attendance continues to decline then we will need to pursue and monitor the situation more closely.
At Warren Park, we are extremely fortunate to have a Home School Link Worker HSLW who works within the school. Mrs Taylor, our HSLW regularly monitors attendance to make sure that all children are attending school. There may be times where the Year Team require additional support if there are ongoing concerns about attendance. In such instances, a referral will be made to Mrs Taylor for further support.
If your child’s attendance continues to decline further and the Year Teams support hasn’t helped improve attendance, than the HSLW will want to monitor the situation more closely. A meeting will be required, with both parents/carers where it is possible, to discuss the situation in more detail. Remember, Mrs Taylor is there to help and she is able to offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help improve attendance. During the meeting, we would hope to explore a range of strategies to support that ultimately improve attendance.
We would hope at this point that the range of support put in place by the Year Team and HSLW would have shown a significant improvement in your child’s attendance. If your child’s attendance hasn’t shown improvement, or continues to decline further, despite the support, then a meeting with the Headteacher and HSLW will be required to discuss the situation. Ultimately, we want to provide the necessary support to help improve your child’s attendance, which is our end goal.
We would hope that we could offer the appropriate support to help make sure that your child attends school when required.
However, if the support offered hasn’t resulted in significantly improved attendance then we may have to call upon external agencies, e.g. Early Help Team, to work with you, your child and the school.
We may also have to make any further absences unauthorised in accordance with the Hampshire County Council Code of Conduct. This may lead to Penalty Notices being issued.
If attendance continues to be a concern, despite the support offered and no improvements have been made then we are legally obliged to follow the Hampshire County Council guidance policy for issuing Penalty Notices for lateness. Each notice is charged at £60 per parent, per child. Please see the schools website of full details of this policy (HCC Code of Conduct).
We understand that in exceptional circumstances you may not be able to attend school punctually, however these situations should be rare. We would kindly ask that you notify the school office as soon as possible to let them know your child will be attending school late. This is to ensure that your child is marked in appropriately and that teachers are aware.
Lateness at the beginning of the day is monitored by the office team, HSLW and Year Teams. If there are reasons why you or your child/children are struggling to attend school on time, then we ask that you discuss this with your child’s Year Team first, as they may be able to offer some support. This is to establish if there are any underlying issues that are preventing your child from attending school punctually. Remember, we are always here to help and want to try to make your child’s time at school an enjoyable and positive experience.
If your child to continues to arrive to school late (after 8:50 YR & 8:55 KS1&2), the HSLW will contact you to discuss any issues that might prevent your child from attending school punctually and may be able to offer support if appropriate.
If late arrival to school continues to be a concern, despite the support offered and no improvements have been made then we are legally obliged to follow the Hampshire County Council guidance policy for issuing Penalty Notices for lateness. Each notice is charged at £60 per parent, per child. Please see the schools website of full details of this policy (HCC Code of Conduct).
In order to protect the welfare of your child/children it is extremely important that you collect your child on time. For the Reception classes this is 3:10 and 3:15 for KS1&2.
Reception classes – should be collected from the Cactus and Snapdragon class doors.
Year One – children should be collected from the Lower infant playground (blue gate).
Year Two – children should be collected from the KS1 lower playground door.
Year Three & Four – children should be collected from classroom doors on the playground.
Years Five & Six – children will make their own way out of the classrooms and either greet parents on the playground or walk home as instructed.
For years R – 4, if your child is being collected by a friend or relative, it is essential that the Year Teams are made aware prior to the end of the day (preferably at the beginning of the day) as they will not release your child without these instructions in place. Years 5 & 6 are released from class to the playground independently.
We understand that in exceptional circumstances, you may not be able to collect your child from school punctually, however these situations should be extremely rare. We would kindly ask that you notify the school office as soon as possible to let them know your child/children will be collected late. This is to ensure that teachers and office staff are aware.
If your child is not greeted on the playground at the end of the day at the allotted time then they will be taken to the school office. However, at the end of the school day, there are sometimes children who need to wait at the school office so that staff can see they are collected by a named person for safety reasons. It is therefore really important that we don’t also have other children waiting there because they haven’t been collected on time. This is because it is extremely difficult to ensure that we can monitor visitors and children coming and going through the front office.
Whilst we are understanding of exceptional circumstances, there will be occasions where, if children are not collected by 3:30, they will be enrolled in our after school provision ‘Kids Club’. This will be charged at £7 per child regardless of what time they are collected. We have not taken this decision lightly and we must stress that this should only happen in extreme circumstances. If there are adequate spaces at ‘Kids Club’, you will be able to leave your child/children until 6pm.
In line with Government and Hampshire County Council guidance policy, the law states that ‘all pupils of compulsory school age should attend school regularly for the whole day to obtain maximum benefit from their Education.’
From September 2018 the Governing Body at Warren Park has a duty to enforce this policy for any absences from school. Any absence from school, other than for illness, requires a ‘Leave of Absence’ form which must be completed in advance of the dates required.
You are advised not to make any arrangements until your request has been considered by the Headteacher. Holidays taken within term time will not be authorised and your child’s attendance record will be marked unauthorised accordingly.
A Penalty Notice Fine of £60 per parent, per child will be issued for any qualifying unauthorised absences
We would like to thank all our parents and carers who work hard with us to ensure children attend school regularly & punctually. With your continued support, we want to make your child’s time at Warren Park the best it can be. We always want to work with you and will always try our best to help. Regular attendance at school is vital to help children achieve and get the best possible start in life.
For more information, please search for “Information on penalty notices for non-attendance at school, advice for parents and carers, using the link below.
It is the aim of our school that every member of the school community feels valued and respected and that each person is treated fairly and well. At Warren Park our behaviour policy is designed to support the way in which all members of our school work together. We aim to promote the overall wellbeing of pupils and staff and an environment in which everyone feels happy, safe and secure.
It is the role of the Governing body, the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team to promote and support this behaviour policy by their own behaviour and the supporting of all colleagues and children to implement and adhere to the policy.
– that enabling each child to develop personally, socially and emotionally is an important part of the work at Warren Park School, in line with British Values
– that prevention is more effective than responding to disruption.
– that positive approaches which focus on rewarding appropriate behaviour are more effective than those which focus on unacceptable behaviour
– that all adults in the school community have an important part to play in providing good role models
– that a consistent approach is essential to ensure children feel secure
– that children need to understand clearly what is required of them
– that working with parents is an important part of promoting social and emotional development.
We believe that children behave well when:
We regularly celebrate the success of all pupils in a variety of ways as we recognise that focussing on success and positive outcomes is essential in developing a positive culture and ethos across the school. Rewards once given cannot be taken away.
Rewards can be given for achievement, attitude and effort.
Rewards can include
Whole school reward systems include:
All classes will have their own zone board with 5 sections. Children collect a stamp on their card every time they are at the top of the zone board. Once they have filled their class card (6 stamps) they bring their card to the Headteacher where they receive a stamp on their hand and a stamp on their card in her office. 5 class cards = 5 stamps on their card = Cheeky Charlie toy in assembly.
Stars of the week
Every Monday assembly a child from each class, Outdoor Classroom and PSHE receives a Star of the Week award and badge/toy in recognition of good work, achievement, positive attitude, etc.
Big Write stars are also publicly acknowledged during Monday assembly time.
Children from across the school maybe nominated for a Special Award, often linked to SMSC values.
Children are always encouraged to make the right choices with regards their behaviour and attitudes to learning and to each other. The zone board is used as a very clear way to give children opportunities to turn their behaviour around.
Step 1: Children are given a verbal warning regarding the unwanted behaviour and to make the right choice. If they choose to continue with inappropriate behaviour, children will be asked to move their name down on the zone board.
Step 2: Year leaders will take time to discuss with children the reasons for their behaviour and provide opportunities to allow children to ‘turn their behaviour around’.
Step 3: If behaviour continues, children may end up on the bottom of the zone board. This will lead to a more serious sanction
Children should be given every opportunity to think about their actions and to resolve the situation.
Step 4: Child is sent to Headteacher or Deputy Head to discuss their behaviour choices.
Children may be asked to move their name down if they
Detention for KS1 may mean staying in at playtime to complete work and in KS2 may mean loss of playtime. Each year group will organise their own detentions which should be as soon as possible.
Occasionally children may need additional support with their behaviour and so a behaviour plan may be written in consultation with children, parents, staff and SLT, including the SENCo.
It is our school policy to positively encourage and promote good attendance for all children. All staff share the responsibility and the school system of praise and rewards should be used to reinforce and actively promote good attendance.
Each week the class with the best attendance with receive a certificate in Star of the Week assembly.
At the end of each term, attendance certificates, rosettes and badges are presented to children with high levels of attendance. The HSLW works closely with children and parents to support attendance and is responsible for rewarding high attendance. The school ethos supports celebrating high attendance and addresses poor attendance.
The same high levels of behaviour and values are expected at playtimes as well as other aspects of school life. Specific incidents need to be reported, in the first instance, to the child’s class teacher and then passed to a member of the SLT. All incidents will be dealt with according to the behaviour policy but with the best intent of not impacting on learning.
Children attending any activity outside of school or the normal school hours, e.g. sports activities, trips, Kids club, will receive the same consistent response to their behaviour in line with this policy.
Our school anti-bullying policy supports the behaviour policy and any dealings with bullying should be considered alongside this policy.
Staff will be encouraged to have an open and honest dialogue with parents with regards behaviour. Parental support is vital in supporting children in making the correct choices with regards their behaviour and staff will have sensitive conversations with parents to ensure clarity. There are also systems in place to support parents with behaviour at home and staff should refer parents to our HSLW.
This policy should be read alongside the DfE Behaviour and Discipline in school guidance.
This policy is based on advice from the Department of Education (DfE) on charging for school activities and the Education Act 1996, sections 449-462 in which the law on charging for school activities in maintained schools in England is set out.
All the education we provide during normal school hours is provided free of charge to pupils. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum, however we do request a voluntary contribution towards school trips made during the school day which support teaching and learning.
When organising school trips or visits to enrich the curriculum and the educational experience of the children, the school invites parents and carers to contribute to the cost. All contributions are voluntary. If we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may need to cancel a trip. If a trip goes ahead, it may include children whose parents or carers have not paid any contribution. We do not treat these children differently from any others.
If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, we do allow the child to participate fully in the trip or activity. Sometimes the school pays additional costs in order to support the visit. Parents and carers have a right to know how each trip is funded, and the school provides this information on request.
The following is a list of additional activities, organised by the school, which may require voluntary contributions from parents and carers. These activities are known as ‘optional extras’. This list is not exhaustive:
If the school organises a residential visit in school time, or mainly in school time, which is to provide education directly related to the National Curriculum, we do charge to cover the costs of board and lodging and a voluntary contribution to the travel expenses, but do not charge for education during ‘school hours’. If we cannot raise sufficient funding, the visit may have to be cancelled, and that aspect of the curriculum would have to be covered in other ways.
All children study music as part of the normal school curriculum. We do not charge for this.
There is no charge for individual or small-group music tuition, although this is an additional curriculum activity, and not part of the National Curriculum.
The school organises swimming lessons for all children in Key Stage 2. These take place in school time and are part of the National Curriculum. We make no charge for this.
The school offers additional football coaching after school. A coach, who may or may not be a member of the school staff, runs and organises these sessions. We do not make a charge for these sessions.
We normally add a nominal charge to the cost of visits if children are transported in the minibus. However, we use this charge only to cover the expenses of the trip, and not to make a profit.
We do not make a charge if children are transported in the mini-bus to an extra- curricular activity.
When charges are made for any activity, whether during or outside of the school day, they will be based on the actual costs incurred, divided by the total number of pupils participating. There will be no levy on the parents who can pay to support those who cannot pay. Additional support may be available at the Headteacher’s discretion.
The principles of best value will be applied when planning activities that incur costs to the school and / or charges to parents.
Parents can be asked to pay for wilful damage to school property or the misuse of books and equipment.
A charge will be made to replace lost reading books.
Voluntary contributions will be reimbursed if the child is no longer able to participate in the activity.
This policy is monitored by the governing body, and will be reviewed every two years, as necessary.
All bodies, especially parents and guardians should be able to express their views of the school in the knowledge that it will be dealt with fairly.
This document meets the requirements of Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, which states that schools must have and make available a procedure to deal with all complaints relating to their school and to any community facilities or services that the school provides. It is also based on guidance for schools on complaints procedures from the Department for Education (DfE), including the model procedure, and model procedure for dealing with unreasonable complaints.
Warren Park Primary School is dedicated to providing the best possible education and support for its pupils. This means having a clear, fair and efficient procedure for dealing with any complaints to or against the school, so that any issues that arise can be dealt with as swiftly and effectively as possible.
This policy explains the steps that will be followed whenever an issue arises that causes concern. Any person, including members of the general public, may make a complaint about provision of facilities or services that our school provides, unless separate statutory procedures apply.
This procedure does not apply to complaints about:
In these cases, there are other separate and statutory procedures.
Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) about the school’s support are within the scope of this policy. Such complaints should first be made to the SENCO; they will then be referred to this complaints policy.
Complaints about services provided by other providers who use school premises or facilities should be directed to the provider concerned.
The school will not respond to anonymous complaints under this policy, however, the headteacher and / or chair of governors will consider whether the issue and fear of identification are genuine or the issue is one of child protection.
For more information on our school’s provision for protecting our pupils, please refer to our child protection policy which is available on the school website (www.warrenpark.hants.sch.uk).
If we cannot meet the timescales set out in our policy, we will provide a clear explanation of the reason for this along with details of the indicative timescales.
All conversations and correspondence will be treated in confidence; however, it is important that all parties involved should be aware that some information may be shared with others as part of the handling of the complaint in accordance with this procedure.
If you have a concern that you would like to take up with the school you should initially inform a member of staff either in person, over the telephone (02392 475502) or in writing. You may wish to approach your child’s class teacher first as they will be best placed to help you directly or by letting you know which other member of staff you should be speaking to.
We encourage parents to approach staff with any concerns they may have, and aim to resolve all issues with open dialogue and mutual understanding. We will take your concerns seriously and make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
The chair of governors reserves the right to refer complaints that are taken straight to them back to the appropriate member of staff if it does not warrant the governing body’s involvement at that point.
If your complaint is about the Headteacher, you should contact the chair of governors via the school.
If your complaint is about the chair of governors or a member of the governing body, you should contact the clerk to the governing body via the school.
2.1 Initial informal meeting
When a concern has been received, you may receive a telephone call from the member of staff or headteacher to discuss your concerns, or you may be invited to attend a meeting with a member of staff or the headteacher to discuss your concerns.
If invited to a meeting, you are welcome to bring a friend, partner or, in the case of a pupil who has raised a concern, a parent along for support. It may be appropriate for a pupil to attend the meeting if their parent has raised a concern, depending on the nature of the issue.
Staff have a responsibility to ensure that you understand any future points of action that have been agreed and will make a record of what has been discussed, as well as any outcomes and a plan of action, if one has been agreed.
All staff will do their best to ensure your concerns are dealt with appropriately and efficiently, but if an agreement cannot be reached, or if you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can make a formal complaint to the headteacher. If your complaint is about the headteacher you should make your complaint in writing to the chair of governors. It is preferable for you to make your formal complaint in writing, but complaints can be made in person or by telephone.
There is no prescribed timescale for resolution at this stage given the importance of dialogue and informal discussion, although we expect to resolve most issues within 10 school days.
Formal complaints can be raised:
In order to ensure complaints are dealt with efficiently and effectively, Warren Park Primary School deals with formal complaints in three stages.
3.1 Stage 1 – Complaint heard by the Headteacher
If you feel that your concern has not been dealt with as you would like, are unhappy with the outcome of your informal meeting or feel that the issue is serious enough that it warrants it, you can make a formal complaint to the headteacher. It is preferable for you to make your formal complaint in writing and we provide a proforma for you to complete which can be accessed at Appendix One, but complaints can be made in person or by telephone.
The headteacher will acknowledge your complaint in writing or offer a full response within 5 school days. If further investigation is required, the headteacher will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 school days and will advise you that a full response will be provided within 20 school days.
The headteacher may invite you to attend a meeting to discuss your complaint and possible solutions, or to explain what has happened or will happen as a result of your complaint.
The headteacher will keep a record of all interactions with you and other staff, meetings and decisions made in reference to your complaint.
If your complaint is about a member of staff, the headteacher will talk to that employee and invoke the relevant procedure if required. It will not be appropriate to inform you of the outcome of any investigation in relation to an individual member of staff.
The headteacher will respond to you in writing within 20 school days of receiving your complaint outlining their full response to your concern, and any action that has or will be taken. If the headteacher has decided not to take any further action, they will explain what they have decided and how they reached the decision. You will also be advised of your right to take the matter further if you are not satisfied with the headteacher’s response.
3.2 Stage 2 – Complaint heard by the Chair of Governors
If, having spoken to the headteacher, you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you should write to the chair of governors within 10 school days, explaining your concern and the steps that have resulted in you taking this course of action.
The chair of governors will acknowledge your complaint in writing or offer a full response within 5 school days. If further investigation is required, the chair of governors will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 school days and will advise you that a full response will be provided within 20 school days.
The chair of governors may invite you to attend a meeting to discuss your complaint and possible solutions, or to explain what has happened or will happen as a result of your complaint.
The chair of governors will explain that the governing body has a strategic role, and is responsible for the school’s strategic framework and the headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and for advising on and implementing the governors’ policies. The headteacher is solely responsible for making day to day decisions.
This stage offers an opportunity for achieving conciliation between all parties and discussions between the chair of governors and the headteacher will be key to resolving the complaint and agreeing a way forward. The chair of governors will decide what powers are available to governors in respect of the particular complaint. In reaching this decision, the chair of governors will determine to what extent the issues relate to responsibilities that:
(a) are delegated to the headteacher by the governing body; or
(b) fall within the governing body’s remit only; or
(c) are within the headteacher’s Terms and Conditions of Employment and relate to the internal organisation, management and control of the school.
For delegated responsibilities and matters within the remit of the governing body, the chair of governors may look at the whole issue afresh. If the matter relates to the headteacher’s conduct, the chair of governors will decide whether the matter should be dealt with through the Complaints Procedure or Staff Disciplinary Procedure. Advice may be sought from the Local Authority and/or Education Personnel Services. For matters that are the headteacher’s responsibility, the chair of governors is empowered only to look at whether the headteacher’s decision or action was reasonable in the light of the information available at the time.
The chair of governors will keep a record of all interactions with you and any decisions made in reference to your complaint.
If the chair of governors has decided not to take any further action, they will explain what they have decided and how they reached the decision. You will also be advised of your right to take the matter further if you are not satisfied with the chair of governor’s response.
3.3 Stage 3 – Complaint heard by governing body’s complaints panel
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you should write to the clerk to governors within 10 school days of the outcome of stage 2, explaining your concern and the steps that have resulted in you taking this course of action.
The clerk to governors will acknowledge receipt of your request within 5 school days.
The complaints panel will usually be convened within 20 school days of receiving the request for your complaint to be heard by the governing body’s complaints panel. Where it is not possible to find a mutually convenient date within that timescale, all reasonable steps will be taken to agree a time and date mutually convenient to all parties.
The main function of the complaints panel will be to:
The panel will also review whether the headteacher (and chair of governors) acted reasonably.
The clerk to governors will arrange and facilitate the meeting of the complaints panel. You are entitled to an independent panel to hear your complaint and the complaints panel will consist of three governors who have no former knowledge or involvement in the matter being considered. The chair of the panel will be nominated from within the group of panel members. All panel members will have access to, and will be familiar with, this complaints policy. The clerk to governors will confirm to all parties in writing, the date, time and venue for the meeting at least 10 school days in advance.
The clerk to governors will request that you supply any paperwork you feel the panel will require to consider your complaint fully. The headteacher (and chair of governors) will also be requested to supply copies of their responses to the previous stages of the procedure, and any further paperwork they consider the panel will require to consider the complaint fully. Copies of all paperwork will be distributed to all parties by the clerk to governors at least 3 school days in advance of the meeting.
You are welcome to bring a friend or partner for support to the meeting and the chair of the panel will ensure the meeting is conducted within a relaxed atmosphere whilst keeping to the formal agenda. The headteacher (and chair of governors if attending) is also invited to bring a representative or member of staff for support.
No previously undisclosed evidence relating to the complaint should be introduced during the meeting.
The clerk will inform you (and the headteacher and / or chair of governors) in writing of the panel’s decision within 5 school days of the meeting. The letter will include a summary of the issues, an outline of the main points of discussion, the reasons for the decision and the proposed actions or outcome. The panel may suggest you meet with the headteacher and / or chair of governors again to agree a way forward.
The letter may set out recommendations which will be made to the governing body.
The panel’s decision is the final stage in the complaints procedure. If you feel the school has acted unreasonably or has not followed the correct procedures in relation to your complaint, you may write to the Secretary of State using the following contact details:
School Complaints Unit, Department for Education,
2nd Floor, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD
For more information or to refer a complaint, see the following webpage:
Warren Park Primary School is committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially, and to providing a high quality service to those who complain. We will not normally limit the contact complainants have with the school. Operating from a position of mutual respect, we do not expect our staff to tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will take action to protect staff from that behaviour including that which is abusive, offensive or threatening.
Warren Park Primary School defines unreasonable complaints as “those who, because of the frequency or nature of their contacts with the school, hinder our consideration of their or other people’s complaints”.
A complaint may be regarded as unreasonable when the person making the complaint:
A complaint may also be considered unreasonable if the person making the complaint does so either face-to-face, by telephone or in writing or electronically:
Complainants should limit the numbers of communications with a school while a complaint is being progressed. It is not helpful if repeated correspondence is sent (either by letter, phone, email or text) as it could delay the outcome being reached.
Whenever possible, the headteacher or chair of governors will discuss any concerns with the complainant informally before applying an ‘unreasonable’ marking.
If the behaviour continues the headteacher will write to the complainant explaining that their behaviour is unreasonable and asking them to change it. For complainants who excessively contact Warren Park Primary School causing a significant level of disruption, we may specify methods of communication and limit the number of contacts in a communication plan. This will usually be reviewed after 6 months.
In response to any serious incident of aggression or violence, the concerns and actions taken will be put in writing immediately and the police informed. This may include banning an individual from Warren Park Primary School.
Complaints made against the headteacher or any member of the Governing Body should be directed to the Clerk to the Governing Body in the first instance.
The headteacher will report annually to the governing body on the number of formal complaints received and the levels at which they have been resolved. No details identifying the complaint or any member of staff will be published.
The governing body will review and evaluate all complaints no matter how far they are taken or what the outcome to ensure that similar problems are avoided in the future or to see if they could have been managed any more efficiently.
Staff who have a concern about a colleague or volunteer in school should refer to the whistleblowing policy which is available
The procedure for dealing with any other staff complaint or employment grievance is set out in the school’s staff discipline, conduct and grievance policies which are available on the Hampshire County Council’s intranet or from the school Business Manager.
The governing body of Warren Park Primary School will review this policy every 2 years, or sooner if there are any legislative changes. The governing body of Warren Park Primary School will also review this policy following a complaint panel meeting to ensure that it met the requirement to provide a clear, fair and efficient complaints procedure.
The school will record the progress of all complaints, including information about actions taken at all stages, the stage at which the complaint was resolved, and the final outcome. The records will also include copies of letters and emails, and notes relating to meetings and phone calls.
This material will be treated as confidential and held centrally, and will be viewed only by those involved in investigating the complaint or on the review panel.
Records of complaints will be kept securely, only for as long as necessary and in line with data protection law, our privacy notices and record retention schedule.
 Exceptions to this time frame may be considered
 Exceptions to this time frame may be considered
Warren Park Primary School collects and uses personal information (referred to in the Data Protection Act as personal data) about staff, parents and other individuals who come into contact with the school. This information is gathered in order to enable the provision of education and other associated functions. In addition, the school may be required by law to collect, use and share certain information.
The school is registered as a Data Controller, with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Details are available on the ICO website.
The school issues a Privacy Notice to all parents/pupils, this summarises the information held on pupils, why it is held and the other organisations to whom it may be passed on to.
This policy sets out how the school deals with personal information correctly and securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other related legislation.
This policy applies to all personal information however it is collected, used, recorded and stored and whether it is held on paper or electronically.
All school staff and governors involved with the collection, use, processing or disclosure of personal data will be aware of their duties and responsibilities and will adhere to this policy.
Personal information or data is information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data, or from that data in addition to other information available to them. Personal data includes (but is not limited to) an individual’s name, address, date of birth, photograph, bank details and other information that identifies them.
Sensitive personal data includes information as to an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, their political concerns, religious beliefs or beliefs of a similar nature, whether they are a member of a Trade Union, their physical or mental health or condition, sexual life, the commission or alleged commission of an offence and any proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by them, the disposal of those proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.
The Data Protection Act 1998 establishes eight principles that must be adhered to at all times.
1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully;
2. Personal data shall be obtained for one or more specified and lawful purpose;
3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive;
4. Personal data shall be accurate and where necessary, kept up to date;
5. Personal data processed for any purpose shall not be kept for longer than necessary for that purpose or those purposes;
6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subject under the Data Protection Act 1998;
7. Personal data shall be kept secure i.e. protected by an appropriate degree of security;
8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of data protection.
Warren Park Primary School is committed to maintaining the above principles at all times. Therefore the school will:
• Inform individuals when their information is shared and why and with whom unless the Data Protection Act provides a reason not to do this.
• Obtain consent before processing Sensitive Personal Data, even if consent is implied within a relevant privacy notice, unless one of the other conditions for processing in the Data Protection Act applies.
• Check the accuracy of the information it holds and review it at regular intervals.
• Ensure that only authorised personnel have access to the personal information whatever medium (paper or electronic) it is stored in.
• Ensure that clear and robust safeguards are in place to ensure personal information is kept securely and to protect personal information from loss, theft and unauthorised disclosure, irrespective of the format in which it is recorded.
• Ensure that personal information is not retained longer than is needed.
• Ensure that when information is destroyed that it is done so appropriately and securely.
• Share personal information with others only when it is legally appropriate to do so.
• Comply with the duty to respond to requests for access to personal information known as Subject Access Requests.
• Ensure that personal information is not transferred outside the EEA without appropriate safeguards.
• Ensure all staff and governors are aware of and understand these policies and procedures.
Complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the schools complaints polity. Complaints relating to the handling of personal information may be referred to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, or at www.ico.gov.uk.
We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 as both a provider of education and as an employer.
We believe that all pupils and members of staff should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their background, identity and circumstances. We are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and co-operation. We appreciate that a culture which promotes equality will create a positive environment and a shared sense of belonging for all who work, learn and use the services of our school. We recognise that equality will only be achieved by the whole school community working together – our pupils, staff, governors and parents/carers. For pupils, we also achieve this through our provision of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development across the school, encouraging every child to realize their potential and helping them to prepare for life in modern Britain.
This document outlines the principles which will guide our approach to working with our school community and enabling an open culture.
For staff and prospective staff, this policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Employment Equality Policy and Accessibility Policy.
We recognise that we have duties under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the school community to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (applicable only to staff), disability, race, gender (including issues of transgender), maternity and pregnancy, religion and belief, sexual orientation and marital status (applicable only to staff).
We also recognise that we have a duty under the Education & Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion, i.e. developing good relations across different cultures and groups.
We also appreciate that these duties reflect the international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Hampshire is a large and diverse county with over a million residents. There is a mix of urban and rural areas but the majority of the population lives in urban areas. The 2011 census shows that 8.2% of the population of Hampshire are from ethnic communities. In 2015, 6% of the school’s population was from ethnic communities. The largest group other than white British was ‘any other white background’ which was 2.3%. Only 2% of the school’s population had a first language which was not English.
In Hampshire, the 2011 census shows that the main religious group is Christianity (62.4%), followed by Muslim (0.6%). A large percentage said they had no religion (27.8%). The 2011 census shows that 15.7% of the population of Hampshire has declared a disability. The school’s population reflects this data.
Our school serves a community of high social deprivation, where around 40% of children are in receipt of pupil premium funding.
To fulfil our legal obligations, we are guided by a number of principles.
We see all pupils, potential pupils, their parents and carers, and staff as of equal value:
We recognise that treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. We recognise that our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must take account of diversity and the kinds of barriers and disadvantage that staff, parents/carers or pupils may face in relation to their protected characteristics:
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
We ensure that our policies and practices for all staff and potential staff throughout the employment lifecycle, i.e. from recruitment through to the cessation of employment and beyond, are applied fairly and consistently across all groups with full respect for legal rights, taking into account aspects applicable to particular groups (e.g. duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff).
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities avoid or minimise any possible negative impacts and we aim to reduce inequalities that exist between groups and communities different from each other.
In our development of policies, we engage with groups and individuals, including pupils who are affected by a policy or activity to ensure that their views are taken into account. For policies and activities affecting pupils, we will take account of views expressed at school council; for parents, through parent governor representation and for staff, through staff governor representation. Where necessary, we will consult more widely with specific groups.
We intend that our policies, activities and curriculum offer foster greater social cohesion and provide for an equal opportunity to participate in public life irrespective of the protected characteristics of individuals and groups.
We maintain and publish information annually to show our compliance with the public sector equality duty, set out under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Our current equality information can be found in Appendix A to this policy statement.
We develop and publish specific and measurable objectives every four years based on the evidence that we have gathered (principle 8) and the engagement we have been involved in (principle 7).
The objectives can be found in Appendix B to this policy statement and take into account both national, county and school level priorities.
We will set ourselves new objectives every four years, but keep them under review and report annually on progress towards achieving them.
Application of the principles within this policy statement:
The principles outlined in the policy statement will be applied and reflected in:
The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice including, but not limited to prejudice related to protected characteristics. We will ensure that prejudice-related incidents in relation to staff and pupils are recorded and dealt with appropriately.
The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented and that arrangements are in place to deal with any concerns or unlawful action that arises.
The headteacher is responsible for implementation of this policy, ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and given appropriate training and support and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
All staff are expected to work in accordance with the principles outlined in this policy to:
We recognise that the public sector equality duty has three aims, to:
We have considered how well we currently achieve these aims with regard to the protected groups under the Equality Act (race, disability, gender, gender re-assignment, age, pregnancy and maternity, marital status, sexual orientation, religion and belief and sexual orientation).
We have also involved staff, pupils, parents and others in the following ways:
All school data is analysed to ensure that all vulnerable groups are treated with equality. Data is compared and analysed according to gender, pupil premium, children with English as an additional language, special educational needs and disabilities.
This school has less than 150 staff. The Governing Body is therefore not required to publish staff data.
The school has published various policies on the school’s website www.warrenpark.hants.sch.uk. These policies evidence the school’s commitment to the principles outlined in this policy and the public sector equality duty.
We have strategies in place to promote the participation of pupils in decision making and in making a positive contribution to school life. We embed equality and inclusion into these strategies so that learners from diverse backgrounds are involved in shaping provision and improving practice.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development is inherent in daily life at our school. We provide many opportunities to enable pupils to develop the skills, confidence and attitudes to continually adapt and contribute in a changing world. We endeavour to ensure that our children are fulfilled, happy and able to build positive relationships now and in the future. We teach detailed programmes of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and RE in school which help to strengthen pupils’ understanding of different groups of people with regards to religion, culture, gender, belief, disability etc. We address equality issues through the teaching of these programmes of study and through assemblies and the implementation of the school behaviour policy. This includes inviting people from the community into school to work with the pupils. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own and others’ feelings and actions.
Any complaints or incidents of discrimination or bullying (including incidents regarding race) are investigated fully and detailed records kept. Any equality issues are reported to Governors termly through the Headteacher’s report.
The evaluation of performance data with regards to race, disability and gender is monitored on a termly basis. The school’s Self Evaluation Summary (SEF) is updated regularly throughout the year with actions to promote the equality of achievement for all.
NOTE: The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 require Governing Bodies to publish equality information on an annual basis.
We recognise that the public sector equality duty has three aims, to:
We have considered how well we currently achieve these aims with regard to the protected groups under the Equality Act (race, disability, gender, gender re-assignment, age, pregnancy and maternity, marital status, sexual orientation, religion and belief and sexual orientation).
We have also involved staff, pupils, parents and others in the following ways:
Having referred to and analysed our equality information, we have set ourselves the following objective(s) as internal data shows these groups to still be at risk:
Objective 1: Ensure that the attainment gap between those children in receipt of Pupil Premium and other
Pupils is diminished by the end of Key Stage 2.
Objective 2: Ensure any gender differences in attainment are addressed by the end of Key Stage 2.
NOTE: The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 require Governing Bodies to publish equality objectives at intervals of no more than four years but schools should publish detail on progress towards these objectives on an annual basis and publish this detail on the school’s internet site.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Child Protection Policy and Staff Behaviour Policy/Code of Conduct
Safeguarding determines the actions that we take to keep children safe and protect them from harm in all aspects of their school life. As a school we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our pupils.
The actions that we take to prevent harm; to promote wellbeing; to create safe environments; to educate on rights, respect and responsibilities; to respond to specific issues and vulnerabilities all form part of the safeguarding responsibilities of the school. As such, this overarching policy will link to other policies which will provide more information and greater detail.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. As such it does not rest solely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and their deputies to take a lead responsibility in all the areas covered within this policy.
Some areas, such as Health and Safety, are a specialist area of safeguarding and a separate lead for this area is in place in the school.
Safeguarding processes are intended to put in place measures that minimise harm to children. There will be situations where gaps or deficiencies in the policies and processes we have in place will be highlighted. In these situations, a review will be carried out in order to identify learning and inform the policy, practice and culture of the school.
All pupils in our school are able to talk to any member of staff about situations or to share concerns which are causing them worries. The staff will listen to the pupil, take their worries seriously and share the information with the safeguarding lead.
In addition, we provide pupils with information of who they can talk to outside of school both within the community and with local or national organisations who can provide support or help.
As a school, we review this policy at least annually in line with DfE, HSCP, HCC and any other relevant guidance.
Within Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) and the Ofsted inspection guidance (2015), there are a number of safeguarding areas directly highlighted or implied within the text.
These areas of safeguarding have been separated into issues that are emerging or high risk issues (part 1); those related to the pupils as an individual (part 2); other safeguarding issues affecting pupils (part 3); and those related to the running of the school (part 4).
‘Safeguarding’ is defined in the Children Act 2004 as protecting from maltreatment; preventing impairment of health and development; ensuring that children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care; and work in a way that gives the best life chances and transition to adult hood. Our safeguarding practice applies to every child.
The term Staff applies to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This also includes parent volunteers and Governors.
Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday. On the whole, this will apply to pupils of our school; however the policy will extend to visiting children and students from other establishments
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults in a parenting role for example adoptive parents, guardians, step parents and foster carers.
The designated safeguarding lead for the school is: Elizabeth Cooper
The deputy designated safeguarding leads are: Lynne Lofting, James Wood, Pip Mulligan and Jane Taylor
In KCSiE 2019 the DfE refer to contextual safeguarding as a specific term that has come out of research from the University of Bedfordshire.
The definition of Contextual Safeguarding is “an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familial abuse can undermine parent-child relationships. Therefore children’s social care practitioners need to engage with individuals and sectors who do have influence over/within extra- familial contexts, and recognise that assessment of, and intervention with, these spaces are a critical part of safeguarding practices. Contextual Safeguarding, therefore, expands the objectives of child protection systems in recognition that young people are vulnerable to abuse in a range of social contexts.”
For us as a school, we will consider the various factors that have an interplay with the life of any pupil about whom we have concerns within the school and the level of influence that these factors have on their ability to be protected and remain free from harm particularly when it comes to child exploitation or criminal activity.
While this term applies to this specific definition, the notion of considering a child within a specific context is also important. What life is like for a child outside the school gates, within the home, within the family and within the community are key considerations when the DSL is looking at any concerns.
The prevent duty requires that all staff are aware of the signs that a child maybe vulnerable to radicalisation. The risks will need to be considered for political; environmental; animal rights; or faith based extremism that may lead to a child becoming radicalised. All staff have received prevent WRAP training undertaken through e-learning in order that they can identify the signs of children being radicalised.
As part of the preventative process resilience to radicalisation will be built through the promotion of fundamental British values through the curriculum.
Any child who is considered vulnerable to radicalisation will be referred by the DSL to Hampshire children’s social care, where the concerns will be considered in the MASH process. If the police prevent officer considers the information to be indicating a level of risk a “channel panel” will be convened and the school will attend and support this process.
The government have a strategy looking at specific issues that women and girls face. Within the context of this safeguarding policy the following sections are how we respond to violence against girls. Female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour based violence and teenage relationship abuse all fall under this strategy.
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies.
The age at which girls undergo FGM varies enormously according to the community. The procedure may be carried out when the girl is newborn, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during the first pregnancy. However, the majority of cases of FGM are thought to take place between the ages of 5 and 8 and therefore girls within that age bracket are at a higher risk.
FGM is illegal in the UK.
On the 31 October 2015, it became mandatory for teachers to report known cases of FGM to the police. ‘known’ cases are those where either a girl informs the person that an act of FGM – however described – has been carried out on her, or where the person observes physical signs on a girl appearing to show that an act of FGM has been carried out and the person has no reason to believe that the act was, or was part of, a surgical operation within section 1(2)(a) or (b) of the FGM Act. In these situations, the DSL and/or head will be informed and that the member of teaching staff has called the police to report suspicion that FGM has happened.
At no time will staff examine pupils to confirm this.
For cases where it is believed that a girl may be vulnerable to FGM or there is a concern that she may be about to be genitally mutilated, the staff will inform the DSL who will report it as with any other child protection concern.
While FGM has a specific definition, there are other abusive cultural practices which can be considered harmful to women and girls. Breast ironing is one of five UN defined ‘forgotten crimes against women’. It is a practice whereby the breasts of girls typically aged 8-16 are pounded using tools such as spatulas, grinding stones, hot stones, and hammers to delay the appearance of puberty. This practice is considered to be abusive and should be referred to children’s social care
In the case of children: ‘a forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses cannot consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.’ In developing countries 11% of girls are married before the age of 15. One in 3 victims of forced marriage in the U.K. are under 18.
It is important that all members of staff recognise the presenting symptoms, how to respond if there are concerns and where to turn for advice.
Advice and help can be obtained nationally through the Forced Marriage Unit and locally through the local police safeguarding team or children’s social care.
Policies and practices in this school reflect the fact that while all members of staff, including teachers, have important responsibilities with regard to pupils who may be at risk of forced marriage, teachers and school leaders should not undertake roles in this regard that are most appropriately discharged by other children’s services professionals such as police officers or social workers.
Characteristics that may indicate forced marriage
While individual cases of forced marriage, and attempted forced marriage, are often very particular, they are likely to share a number of common and important characteristics, including:
On their own, these characteristics may not indicate forced marriage. However, it is important to be satisfied that where these behaviours occur, they are not linked to forced marriage. It is also important to avoid making assumptions about an individual pupil’s circumstances or act on the basis of stereotyping. For example, an extended holiday may be taken for entirely legitimate reasons and may not necessarily represent a pretext for forced marriage.
Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community.
It is often linked to family or community members who believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with their unwritten rule of conduct. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:
Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys. Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:
If staff believe that a pupil is at risk from honour based violence the DSL will follow the usual safeguarding referral process; however, if it is clear that a crime has been committed or the pupil is at immediate risk, the police will be contacted in the first place. It is important that if honour based violence is known or suspected that communities and family members are NOT spoken to prior to referral to the police or social care as this could increase risk to the child.
Research has shown that teenagers do not understand what constitutes abusive behaviours and controlling behaviours which could escalate to physical abuse, e.g. checking someone’s ‘phone, telling them what to wear, who they can/can’t see or speak to; or that this abuse is prevalent within teenage relationships. Further research shows that teenagers are likely not to understand what consent means within their relationships. They often hold the common misconception that rape could only be committed by a stranger down a dark alley and do not understand or recognise that it could happen within their own relationships.
This can lead to these abusive behaviours feeling ‘normal’ and therefore left unchallenged as they are not recognised as being abusive.
In response to these research findings the school will provide education to help prevent teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of abusive relationships, by encouraging them to rethink their views of violence, abuse and controlling behaviours, and understand what consent means within their relationships.
Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex. It can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Within our school all staff are made aware of what sexual violence and sexual harassment might look like and what to do if they have a concern or receive a report. Whilst any report of sexual violence or sexual harassment should be taken seriously, staff are aware it is more likely that girls will be the victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment and more likely it will be perpetrated by boys.
As a school we are clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up. It cannot be described as ‘banter’, ‘having a laugh’ or ‘boys being boys’.
We will also take seriously any sharing of sexual images (photos, pictures or drawings) and videos; sexual jokes, comments or taunting either in person or on social media; or on-line sexual harassment.
Within the child protection policy, there is a clear procedure for how we deal with situations where sexual assaults or behaviour considered criminal between children has taken place.
As a school we will follow the “Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges” advice provided by the DfE
We will challenge all contact behaviours that have a sexual nature to them such as pushing or rubbing against, grabbing bottoms, breasts or genitals, pinging or flicking bras, lifting skirts or pulling down trousers and impose appropriate levels of disciplinary action, to be clear that these behaviours are not tolerated or acceptable.
In 2019 the Voyeurism Offences Act came into force and made the practice of upskirting illegal.
Upskirting is defined as someone taking a picture under another persons clothing without their knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks, with or without underwear. The intent of upskirting is to gain sexual gratification or to cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm. If this is between pupils, we will follow the peer on peer abuse procedure.
If staff in the school are made aware that upskirting has occurred, then this will be treated as a sexual offence and reported accordingly.
There are behaviours that would be considered as sexual harassment which may be pre-cursors to upskirting. The use of reflective surfaces or mirrors to view underwear or genitals will not be tolerated and the school will respond to these with appropriate disciplinary action and education.
Pupils who place themselves in positions that could allow them to view underwear, genitals or buttocks, will be moved on. Repeat offenders will be disciplined. These locations could include stairwells, under upper floor walkways, outside changing areas and toilets or sitting on the floor or laying down in corridors.
If technology that is designed for covert placement and could be used to take upskirting or indecent images is discovered in the school it will be confiscated. If the technology is in location and potentially may have captured images, this will be reported to the police and left in situ so that appropriate forensic measures can be taken to gather evidence.
Any confiscated technology will be passed to the head teacher to make a decision about what happens to the items and will be carried out under the principles set out in the government guidance on searching, screening and confiscation
If the image is taken on a mobile phone, the phone will be confiscated under the same principles. This may need to be passed to the police for them to investigate, if there is evidence that a crime has been committed.
The term ‘Trigger Trio’ has replaced the previous phrase ‘Toxic Trio’ which was used to describe the issues of domestic violence, mental ill-health and substance misuse which have been identified as common features of families where harm to women and children has occurred.
The above are viewed as indicators of increased risk of harm to children and young people. In an analysis of Serious Cases Reviews undertaken by Ofsted in 2011, they found that in nearly 75% of these cases two or more of the issues were present.
These factors will have a contextual impact on the safeguarding of children and young people.
Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
Research indicates that living within a home where domestic abuse takes place is harmful to children and can have a serious impact on their behaviour, wellbeing and understanding of what constitutes a normal relationship.
Children witnessing domestic abuse is recognised as ‘significant harm’ in law. These children may become aggressive; display anti-social behaviours; suffer from depression or anxiety; or fail to reach their educational potential.
Indicators that a child is living within a relationship with domestic abuse may include:
These behaviours themselves do not indicate that a child is living with domestic abuse, but should be considered as indicators that this may be the case.
If staff believe that a child is living with domestic abuse, this will be reported to the designated safeguarding lead for referral to be considered to children’s social care.
The term ‘mental ill health’ is used to cover a wide range of conditions, from eating disorders, mild depression and anxiety to psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Parental mental illness does not necessarily have an adverse impact on a child’s developmental needs, but it is essential to always assess its implications for each child in the family. It is essential that the diagnosis of a parent/carer’s mental health is not seen as defining the level of risk. Similarly, the absence of a diagnosis does not equate to there being little or no risk.
For children the impact of parental mental health can include:
If staff become aware of any of the above indicators, or others that suggest a child is suffering due to parental mental health, the information will be shared with the DSL to consider a referral to children’s social care.
Substance misuse applies to the misuse of alcohol as well as ‘problem drug use’, defined by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs as drug use which has: ‘serious negative consequences of a physical, psychological, social and interpersonal, financial or legal nature for users and those around them.
Parental substance misuse of drugs or alcohol becomes relevant to child protection when substance misuse and personal circumstances indicate that their parenting capacity is likely to be seriously impaired or that undue caring responsibilities are likely to be falling on a child in the family.
For children the impact of parental substance misuse can include:
These behaviours themselves do not indicate that a child’s parent is misusing substances, but should be considered as indicators that this may be the case.
If staff believe that a child is living with parental substance misuse, this will be reported to the designated safeguarding lead for referral to be considered for children’s social care.
Within Hampshire, the acronym MET is used to identify all children who are missing; believed to be at risk of or being exploited; or who are at risk of or are being trafficked. Given the close links between all of these issues, there has been a considered response to join all these issues, so that cross over of risk is not missed.
Patterns of children missing education can be an indicator of either abuse or safeguarding risks. A relatively short length of time a child is missing does not reduce risk of harm to that child, and all absence or non-attendance should be considered with other known factors or concerns.
DSL’s and staff should consider:
Missing lessons: Are there patterns in the lessons that are being missed? Is this more than avoidance of a subject or a teacher? Does the child remain on the school site or are they absent from the site?
Single missing days: Is there a pattern in the day missed? Is it before or after the weekend suggesting the child is away from the area? Are there specific lessons or members of staff on these days? Is the parent informing the school of the absence on the day? Are missing days reported back to parents to confirm their awareness?
Continuous missing days: Has the school been able to make contact with the parent? Is medical evidence being provided? Are siblings attending school (either our or local schools)?
The school will view absence as both a safeguarding issue and an educational outcomes issue. The school may take steps that could result in legal action for attendance, or a referral to children’s social care, or both.
Children who run away from home or from care, provide a clear behavioural indication that they are either unhappy or do not feel safe in the place of residence.
Research shows that children run away from conflict or problems at home or school, neglect or abuse, or because children are being groomed by predatory individuals who seek to exploit them. Many run away on numerous occasions.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has provided the following definitions and guidance:-
“Missing person is: ‘Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another.’
An absent person is: ‘A person not at a place where they are expected or required to be.’
All cases classified as ‘missing’ by the police will receive an active police response – such as deployment of police officers to locate a child. Cases where the child was classified as ‘absent’ will be recorded by the police and risk assessed regularly but no active response will be deployed.
The absent case will be resolved when a young person returns or new information comes to light suggesting that he/she is at risk. In the latter instance, the case is upgraded to ‘missing’.
Within any case of children who are missing both push and pull factors will need to be considered.
Push factors include:
Pull factors include:
As a school we will inform all parents of children who are absent (unless the parent has informed us). If the parent is also unaware of the location of their child, and the definition of missing is met, we will either support the parent to contact the police to inform them or do so ourselves
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology (Definition and a guide for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation, February 2017).
Indicators a child may be at risk of CSE include:
CSE can happen to a child of any age, gender, ability or social status. Often the victim of CSE is not aware that they are being exploited and do not see themselves as a victim.
As a school we educate all staff in the signs and indicators of sexual exploitation. We use the sexual exploitation risk assessment form (SERAF) and associated guidance to identify pupils who are at risk and the DSL will share this information as appropriate with children’s social care.
We recognise that we may have information or intelligence that could be used to both protect children and prevent risk. Any relevant information that we have will be shared on the community partnership information (CPI) form which can be downloaded from https://www.safe4me.co.uk/portfolio/sharing-information/
Child Criminal Exploitation is defined as:- ‘where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can occur through the use of technology’
The exploitation of children and young people for crime is not a new phenomenon as evidenced by Fagan’s gang in Charles Dickens book, Oliver Twist. Children under the age of criminal responsibility, or young people who have increased vulnerability due to push:pull factors who are manipulated, coerced or forced into criminal activity provide opportunity for criminals to distance themselves from crime.
A current trend in criminal exploitation of children and young people are ‘county lines’ which refer to a ‘phone line through which drug deals can be made. An order is placed on the number and typically a young person will deliver the drugs to the specified address and collect the money for the deal. These lines are owned and managed by organised crime gangs, often from larger cities, who are expanding their markets into rural areas.
Indicators that a child may be criminally exploited include:
We will treat any child who may be criminally exploited as a victim in the first instance and refer to children’s social care in the first instance. If a referral to the police is also required as crimes have been committed on the school premises, these will also be made.
If there is information or intelligence about child criminal exploitation, we will report this to the police via the community partnership information form. https://www.safe4me.co.uk/portfolio/sharing-information/
Serious violence is becoming a factor for those who are involved in criminal exploitation. It can also be an indication of gang involvement and criminal activity.
All staff will be made aware of indicators, which may signal that pupils, or members of their families, are at risk from or involved with serious violent crime.
These indications can include but are not limited to: increased absence from school; a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups; a significant decline in performance; signs of self-harm; significant change in wellbeing; signs of assault; unexplained injuries; unexplained gifts and/or new possessions; possession of weapons.
As a school we have a duty to not only prevent the individual from engaging in criminal activity, but also to safeguard others who may be harmed by their actions.
We will report concerns of serious violence to police and social care.
If there is information or intelligence about potential serious violence, we will report this to the police via the community partnership information form. https://www.safe4me.co.uk/portfolio/sharing-information/
Human trafficking is defined by the UNHCR in respect of children as a process that is a combination of:
Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim.
There is significant evidence that children (both of UK and other citizenship) are being trafficked internally within the UK and this is regarded as a more common form of trafficking in the UK.
There are a number of indicators which suggest that a child may have been trafficked into the UK, and may still be controlled by the traffickers or receiving adults. These are as follows:
For those children who are internally trafficked within the UK indicators include:
These behaviours themselves do not indicate that a child is being trafficked, but should be considered as indicators that this may be the case.
When considering modern slavery, there is a perception that this is taking place overseas. The government estimates that tens of thousands of slaves are in the UK today.
Young people being forced to work in restaurants, nail bars, car washes and harvesting fruit, vegetables or other foods have all been slaves ‘hiding in plain sight’ within the U.K and rescued from slavery. Other forms of slavery such as sex slaves or household slaves are more hidden but have also been rescued within the UK.
If staff believe that a child is being trafficked or is a slave, this will be reported to the designated safeguarding lead for referral to be considered to children’s social care.
Technological hardware and software is developing continuously with an increase in functionality of devices that people use. The majority of children use online tools to communicate with others locally, nationally and internationally. Access to the Internet and other tools that technology provides is an invaluable way of finding, sharing and communicating information. While technology itself is not harmful, it can be used by others to make children vulnerable and to abuse them.
With the current speed of on-line change, some parents and carers have only a limited understanding of online risks and issues. Parents may underestimate how often their children come across potentially harmful and inappropriate material on the internet and may be unsure about how to respond. Some of the risks could be:
The school will therefore seek to provide information and awareness to both pupils and their parents through:
Central to the school’s anti-bullying policy is the principle that ‘bullying is always unacceptable’ and that ‘all pupils have a right not to be bullied’.
The school also recognises that it must take note of bullying perpetrated outside school which spills over into the school; therefore once aware we will respond to any cyber-bullying we become aware of carried out by pupils when they are away from the site.
Cyber-bullying is defined as ‘an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact repeatedly over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself/herself.’
By cyber-bullying, we mean bullying by electronic media:
Cyber-bullying may be at a level where it is criminal in character. It is unlawful to disseminate defamatory information in any media including internet sites.
Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send, by public means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or one of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 makes it an offence to knowingly pursue any course of conduct amounting to harassment.
If we become aware of any incidents of cyberbullying, we will need to consider each case individually as to any criminal act that may have been committed. The school will pass on information to the police if it feels that it is appropriate or is required to do so.
‘Sexting’ often refers to the sharing of naked or ‘nude’ pictures or video through mobile phones and/or the internet. It also includes underwear shots, sexual poses and explicit text messaging.
While sexting often takes place in a consensual relationship between two young people, the use of sexted images in revenge following a relationship breakdown is becoming more commonplace. Sexting can also be used as a form of sexual exploitation and take place between strangers.
As the average age of first smartphone or camera enabled tablet is 6 years old, sexting is an issue that requires awareness raising across all ages.
The school will use age appropriate educational material to raise awareness, to promote safety and deal with pressure. Parents should be aware that they can come to the school for advice.
Online gaming is an activity in which the majority of children and many adults get involved. The school will raise awareness:
Online reputation is the opinion others get of a person when they encounter them on-line. It is formed by posts, photos that have been uploaded and comments made by others on people’s profiles. It is important that children and staff are aware that anything that is posted could influence their future professional reputation. The majority of organisations and work establishments now check digital footprint before considering applications for positions or places on courses.
On-line grooming is the process by which one person with an inappropriate sexual interest in children will approach a child on-line, with the intention of developing a relationship with that child, to be able to meet them in person and intentionally cause harm.
The school will build awareness amongst children and parents about ensuring that the child:
The school will support parents to:
The school will raise awareness by:
As a school we recognise that being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The impact of losing a place of safety and security can affect a child’s behaviour and attachments.
In line with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 this school will promote links into the Local Housing Authority for the parent or care giver in order to raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.
We recognises that whilst referrals and/or discussion with the Local Housing Authority should be progressed as appropriate, this does not, and should not, replace a referral into children’s social care where a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm.
As a school we recognise that children are sometimes required to give evidence in criminal courts, either for crimes committed against them or for crimes they have witnessed. We know that this can be a stressful experience and therefore the school will aim to support children through this process.
Along with pastoral support, the school will use age-appropriate materials published by HM Courts and Tribunals Services (2017) that explain to children what it means to be a witness, how to give evidence and the help they can access.
We recognise that making child arrangements via the family courts following separation can be stressful and entrench conflict in families. This can be stressful for children. This school will support children going through this process.
Alongside pastoral support this school will use online materials published by The Ministry of Justice (2018) which offers children information & advice on the dispute resolution service.
These materials will also be offered to parents and carers if appropriate.
Children who have a family member in prison are at greater risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health.
This school aims to:-
Alongside pastoral care the school will use the resources provided by the National Information Centre on Children of Offender in order to support and mentor children in these circumstances.
There is a separate policy outlining the school’s position on this.
As a school we will make sure that sufficient staff are trained to support any pupil with a medical condition.
All relevant staff will be made aware of the condition to support the child and be aware of medical needs and risks to the child.
An individual healthcare plan may be put in place to support the child and their medical needs.
There will be occasions when children are temporarily unable to attend our school on a full-time basis because of their medical needs. These children and young people are likely to be:
Where it is clear that an absence will be for more than 15 continuous school days the Education and Inclusion branch of Children Services will be contacted to support with the pupil’s education.
Children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities can have additional vulnerabilities when recognising abuse and neglect. These can include:
As a school we will respond to this by:
‘Intimate Care’ can be defined as care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, bodily products and personal hygiene, which demand direct or indirect contact with, or exposure of, the sexual parts of the body. The Intimate Care tasks specifically identified as relevant include:
‘Personal Care’ involves touching another person, although the nature of this touching is more socially acceptable. These tasks do not invade conventional personal, private or social space to the same extent as Intimate Care.
Those Personal Care tasks specifically identified as relevant here include:
Personal Care encompasses those areas of physical and medical care that most people carry out for themselves but which some are unable to do because of disability or medical need. Children and young people may require help with eating, drinking, washing, dressing and toileting.
Where Intimate Care is required we will follow the following principles:
There are three main ways that a carer could fabricate or induce illness in a child. These are not mutually exclusive and include:
If we are concerned that a child may be suffering from fabricated or induced illness we will inform children’s social care.
Form tutors and class teachers see their pupils day in, day out. They know them well and are well placed to spot changes in behaviour that might indicate an emerging problem with the mental health and emotional wellbeing of pupils.
The balance between the risk and protective factors are most likely to be disrupted when difficult events happen in pupils’ lives. These include:
When concerns are identified, school staff will provide opportunities for the child to talk or receive support within the school environment. Parents will be informed of the concerns and a shared way to support the child will be discussed.
Where the needs require additional professional support referrals will be made to the appropriate team or service with the parent’s agreement or child’s if they are considered to be competent.
The school has a separate anti-bullying policy
Prejudice based abuse or hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s real or perceived:
Although this sort of crime is collectively known as ‘Hate Crime’ the offender doesn’t have to go as far as being motivated by ‘hate’, they only have to exhibit ‘hostility’.
This can be evidenced by:
As a school we will respond by:
The school follows the DfE and Hampshire’s advice through the PSHE and COSMIC curriculum.
The number of known cases of child abuse linked to accusations of ‘possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ is small, but children involved can suffer damage to their physical and mental health, their capacity to learn, their ability to form relationships and to their self-esteem.
Such abuse generally occurs when a carer views a child as being ‘different’, attributes this difference to the child being ‘possessed’ or involved in ‘witchcraft’ and attempts to exorcise him or her.
A child could be viewed as ‘different’ for a variety of reasons such as, disobedience; independence; bed-wetting; nightmares; illness; or disability. There is often a weak bond of attachment between the carer and the child.
There are various social reasons that make a child more vulnerable to an accusation of ‘possession’ or ‘witchcraft’. These include family stress and/or a change in the family structure.
The attempt to ‘exorcise’ may involve severe beating, burning, starvation, cutting or stabbing and isolation, and usually occurs in the household where the child lives.
If the school becomes aware of a child who is being abused in this context, the DSL will follow the normal referral route in to children’s social care.
The vast majority of young people will not be affected by serious violence or gangs. However, where these problems do occur, even at low levels there will almost certainly be a significant impact.
As a school we have a duty and a responsibility to protect our pupils. It is also well established that success in learning is one of the most powerful indicators in the prevention of youth crime. Dealing with violence also helps attainment. While pupils generally see educational establishments as safe places, even low levels of youth violence can have a disproportionate impact on any education.
Primary schools are also increasingly recognised as places where early warning signs that younger children may be at risk of getting involved in gangs can be spotted. Crucial preventive work can be done within school to prevent negative behaviour from escalating and becoming entrenched.
As a school we will:
Private fostering is an arrangement by a child’s parents for their child (under 16 or 18 if disabled) to be cared for by another adult who is not closely related and is not a legal guardian with parental responsibility for 28 days or more.
It is not private fostering if the carer is a close relative to the child such as grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt.
The Law requires that the carers and parents must notify the Children’s Services Department of any private fostering arrangement.
If the school becomes aware that a pupil is being privately fostered we will inform the Children’s Services Department and inform both the parents and carers that we have done so.
All parents will struggle with the behaviour of their child(ren) at some point. This does not make them poor parents or generate safeguarding concerns. Rather it makes them human and provides them with opportunities to learn and develop new skills and approaches to deal with their child(ren).
Some children have medical conditions and/or needs e.g. Tourette’s Syndrome, some conditions associated with autism or ADHD that have a direct impact on behaviour and can cause challenges for parents in dealing with behaviours. This does not highlight poor parenting either.
Parenting becomes a safeguarding concern when the repeated lack of supervision, boundaries, basic care or medical treatment places the child(ren) in situations of risk or harm.
In situations where parents struggle with tasks such as setting boundaries and providing appropriate supervision, timely interventions can make drastic changes to the wellbeing and life experiences of the child(ren) without the requirement for a social work assessment or plan being in place.
As a school we will support parents in understanding the parenting role and provide them with strategies to make a difference by:
The school operates a separate safer recruitment process. On all recruitment panels there is at least one member who has undertaken safer recruitment training.
The recruitment process checks the identity, criminal record (enhanced DBS), mental and physical capacity, right to work in the U.K., professional qualification and seeks confirmation of the applicant’s experience and history through references.
The DSL or their deputy will provide all new staff with training to enable them to both fulfil their role and also to understand the child protection policy, the safeguarding policy, the staff behaviour policy/code of conduct, and part one of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
This induction may be covered within the annual training if this falls at the same time; otherwise it will be carried out separately during the initial starting period.
The site, the equipment and the activities carried out as part of the curriculum are all required to comply with the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 and regulations made under the act.
All risks are required to be assessed and recorded plans of how to manage the risk are in place. The plans should always take a common sense and proportionate approach to allow activities to be safe rather than preventing them from taking place. The school has a Health and Safety policy which details the actions that we take in more detail.
We aim to provide a secure site, but recognise that the site is only as secure as the people who use it. Therefore all people on the site have to adhere to the rules which govern it. These are:
A particular strand of health and safety is looking at risks when undertaking off site visits. Some activities, especially those happening away from the school and residential visits, can involve higher levels of risk. If these are annual or infrequent activities, a review of an existing assessment may be all that is needed. If it is a new activity, a visit involving adventure activities, residential, overseas or an ‘Open Country’ visit, a specific assessment of significant risks must be carried out. The school has an educational visits co-ordinator (EVC) who liaises with the local authority’s outdoor education adviser and helps colleagues in schools to manage risks and support with off site visits and provides training in the management of groups during off site visits, as well as First Aid in an outdoor context.
There is a separate First Aid policy.
As a school we have a separate policy outlining how we will use physical intervention.
As a school we will seek consent from the parent of a pupil and from teachers and other adults before taking and publishing photographs or videos that contain images that are sufficiently detailed to identify the individual in school publications, printed media or on electronic publications.
We will not seek consent for photos where you would not be able to identify the individual.
We will seek consent for the period the pupil remains registered with us and, unless we have specific written permission we will remove photographs after a child (or teacher) appearing in them leaves the school or if consent is withdrawn.
Photographs will only be taken on school owned equipment and stored on the school network. No images of pupils will be taken or stored on privately owned equipment by staff members.
On occasions parents and volunteers support with the task of transporting children to visits and off-site activities arranged by the school. (This is in addition to any informal arrangements made directly between parents for after school clubs etc.)
In managing these arrangements the school will put in place measures to ensure the safety and welfare of young people carried in parents’ and volunteers’ cars. This is based on guidance from the local authority and follows similar procedures for school staff using their cars on school business.
Where parents’/volunteers’ cars are used on school activities the school will notify parents/volunteers of their responsibilities for the safety of pupils, to maintain suitable insurance cover and to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy.
All parents/volunteers are therefore asked to complete and return the form attached in the above link to the school before they offer to use their car to help with transporting pupils.
The Childcare Act of 2006 was put in place to prevent adults who have been cautioned or convicted of a number of specific offences from working within childcare. Previously this disqualification also extended to risk by association of anyone living within the same household and required us to carry out a self disclosure process with staff.
The risk by association element of the Act has now been refocused by the DfE and no longer applies to school staff.
We will continue to check for disqualification under the Childcare Act as part of our safer recruitment processes for any offences committed by staff members or volunteers.
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
We make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both children and adults feel secure, able to talk and believe that they are being listened to.
We maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned.
The purpose of this policy is to provide staff, volunteers and governors with the framework they need in order to keep children safe and secure in our school and to inform parents and guardians how we will safeguard their children whilst they are in our care.
Specific guidance is available to staff within the procedure documents.
Within this document:
Child protection is an aspect of safeguarding, but is focused on how we respond to children who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of significant harm.
The term staff applies to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This also includes parents and governors.
Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday. On the whole, this will apply to pupils of our school; however the policy will extend to visiting children and students from other establishments
Parent refers to birth parents and other adults in a parenting role for example adoptive parents, step parents, guardians and foster carers.
Abuse could mean neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse or any combination of these. Parents, carers and other people can harm children either by direct acts and / or failure to provide proper care. Explanations of these are given within the procedure document.
We recognise that staff anxiety around child protection can compromise good practice and so have established clear lines of accountability, training and advice to support the process and individual staff within that process.
In this school any individual can contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or the Deputy (DDSL) if they have concerns about a young person.
DSL is Elizabeth Cooper and the Deputy DSL are Lynne Lofting, James Wood, Pip Mulligan and Jane Taylor. There is a nominated safeguarding governor, Helen Fisk, who will take leadership responsibility for safeguarding. The Chair of Governors Helen Fisk will receive reports of allegations against the headteacher and act on the behalf of the governing body
As an employer we follow safer recruitment guidance as set out in KCSiE 2019.
All staff in our school are expected to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and must be able to respond appropriately. Training is provided every year with separate training to all new staff on appointment. The DSL will attend training at least every other year to enable them to fulfil their role.
Any update in national or local guidance will be shared with all staff in briefings and then captured in the next whole school training. This policy will be updated during the year to reflect any changes brought about by new guidance.
Following any concerns raised, the DSL will assess the information and consider if significant harm has happened or there is a risk that it may happen. If the evidence suggests the threshold of significant harm, or risk of significant harm has been reached, or if it is not clear if the threshold is met, then the DSL will contact Children’s Social Care and if appropriate the police. If the DSL or DDSL is not available or there are immediate concerns, the staff member will refer directly to Children’s Social Care and the police if appropriate.
Generally the DSL will inform the parents prior to making a referral. However there are situations where this may not be possible or appropriate, particularly when informing parents/carers may place the child at further risk
N.B. The exception to this process will be in those cases of known FGM where there is a mandatory requirement for the teacher to report directly to the police. The DSL should also be made aware.
As a school we will educate pupils to recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need it through:
If a concern is raised about the practice or behaviour of a member of staff this information will be recorded and passed to the headteacher, Elizabeth Cooper. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be contacted and the relevant guidance will be followed
If the allegation is against the headteacher, the person receiving the allegation will contact the LADO or Chair of Governors directly.
If a concern is raised that there is an allegation of a pupil abusing another pupil within the school, the ‘Peer on Peer Abuse’ guidance will be followed (Annex 6)
Section 175 of the education act 2002; the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014; the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations
Children Act 2004 & 1989
Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership protocols and guidance and their procedures
As a school, we review this policy at least annually in line with DfE, HSCP and HCC requirements and other relevant statutory guidance.
All staff have a key role to play in identifying concerns early and in providing help for children. To achieve this they will:
(to be read in conjunction with DSL role description in KCSiE)
In this school the DSL is Elizabeth Cooper
The Deputy DSLs are Lynne Lofting, James Wood, Pip Mulligan and Jane Taylor
In addition to the role of all staff and the senior management team the DSL will
The following procedures apply to all staff working in the school and will be covered by training to enable staff to understand their role and responsibility.
The aim of our procedures is to provide a robust framework which enables staff to take appropriate action when they are concerned that a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm.
The prime concern at all stages must be the interests and safety of the child. Where there is a conflict of interest between the child and an adult, the interests of the child must be paramount.
All staff are aware that very young children and those with disabilities, special needs or with language delay may be more likely to communicate concerns with behaviours rather than words. Additionally staff will question the cause of knocks and bumps in children who have limited mobility which will include children visiting the site as well as those who are pupils.
If a member of staff suspects abuse, spots signs or indicators of abuse, or they have a disclosure of abuse made to them they must:
The records must be signed and dated by the author or / equivalent on electronic based records. This is done using CPOMS
Following a report of concerns the DSL must:
If there is indication that the child is suffering significant harm, a call will also be made to Children’s Reception Team (CRT) on 01329 225379.
At Warren Park Primary School we believe that all children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. Children should be free from harm by adults in the school and other students.
We recognise that some students will sometimes negatively affect the learning and wellbeing of others and their behaviour will be dealt with under the school’s behaviour policy.
As a school we will minimise the risk of allegations against other pupils by:-
Allegations against other pupils which are safeguarding issues
Occasionally, allegations may be made against students by others in the school, which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that, to be considered a safeguarding allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found. If the allegation:-
Examples of safeguarding issues against a student could include:
DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (19 September 2018) says that ‘governing bodies should ensure that there are procedures in place to handle allegations against other children’. The guidance also states the importance of minimising the risks of peer-on- peer abuse. In most instances, the conduct of students towards each other will be covered by the school’s behaviour policy. Some allegations may be of such a serious nature that they may raise safeguarding concerns. These allegations are most likely to include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is also likely that incidents dealt with under this policy will involve older students and their behaviour towards younger students or those who are vulnerable.
The safeguarding implications of sexual activity between young people
The intervention of child protection agencies in situations involving sexual activity between children can require difficult professional judgments. Advice for this is outlined in DfE guidance. It is the schools responsibility to respond to the all cases and allegations in line with the Keeping Children Safe in Education (19 September 2018) document
Some situations are statutorily clear – for example, a child under the age of 13 cannot consent to sexual activity. But it will not necessarily be appropriate to initiate safeguarding procedures where sexual activity involving children and young people below the age of legal consent (16 years) comes to notice. In our society generally the age at which children become sexually active has steadily dropped. It is important to distinguish between consensual sexual activity between children of a similar age (where at least one is below the age of consent), and sexual activity involving a power imbalance, or some form of coercion or exploitation. It may also be difficult to be sure that what has or has been alleged to have taken place definitely does have a sexual component.
As usual, important decisions should be made on a case by case basis, on the basis of an assessment of the children’s best interests. Referral under safeguarding arrangements may be necessary, guided by an assessment of the extent to which a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Key specific considerations will include:
There are also contextual factors. Gender, sexuality, race and levels of sexual knowledge can all be used to exert power. A sexual predator may sometimes be a woman or girl and the victim a boy.
Child on Child Sexual Violence and/or Sexual Harassment.
It is the schools responsibility to respond to the all cases and allegations in line with the Keeping Children Safe in Education (19 September 2018) document. Governing bodies and staff should be aware that the department has published detailed advice to support schools and colleges Keeping Children Safe in Education (19 September 2018).
Reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are likely to be complex and require difficult professional decisions to be made, often quickly and under pressure. Pre-planning, effective training and effective policies will provide schools and colleges with the foundation for a calm, considered and appropriate response to any reports. Ultimately, any decisions are for the school or college to make on a case-by-case basis, with the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) taking a leading role and using their professional judgement, supported by other agencies, such as children’s social care and the police as required. There may be an online element, being aware of searching screening and confiscation advice (for schools) and UKCCIS sexting advice (for schools and colleges).
Initial response to a report from a child is important. It is essential that all victims are reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A victim should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor should a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report. Staff will use the CPOMS practice to make reports and have training on safeguarding annually.
Key specific considerations will include:
As always when concerned about the welfare of a child, all staff should act in the best interests of the child. In all cases, schools and colleges should follow general safeguarding principles as set out throughout this guidance. Immediate consideration should be given as to how best to support and protect the victim and the alleged perpetrator (and any other children involved/impacted).
Other relevant policies/Guidance
Keeping Children Safe
The Code of Practice (2014), states that all children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:
At Warren Park Primary School we are committed to offering an inclusive, broad and balanced curriculum to all our pupils and this should ensure the best possible progress for all children regardless of the needs or abilities.
The main aims of our SEND policy are to ensure
Identifying and supporting SEND in Warren Park
Warren Park has a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEND.
We say a child has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for provision different from or additional to that which is normally available to children of the same age.
This could include support from: speech and language therapists, specialist teachers for the hearing or vision impaired, occupational therapists or physiotherapists, Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, as well as teaching in smaller classed based groups or one-to-one learning.
Under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 we follow a graduated approach to supporting children with SEND using the assess, plan, do, review cycle and a register of SEND children will be kept.
The Code of Practice (2014) provides an overview of the range of needs, which is divided into 4 broad areas. These areas are:
Roles and responsibilities
The SENCO/Inclusion lead will:
The SEND governor will:
The Headteacher will:
Year leaders/Class teachers will:
Identifying pupils with SEND and assessing their needs
Class teachers, supported by the Inclusion Leader/senior leadership team, make regular assessments of progress for all children. We seek to identify children making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a child needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs.
Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEND
Identifying children with SEND is an on-going process and may take place at any time during their time at Warren Park Primary School.
Assessing and reviewing progress towards outcomes
We will follow the graduated approach and the four part cycle of assess, plan, do and review. Class teachers will work with the Inclusion Leader to carry out a clear analysis of the pupils needs and all staff working with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, outcomes sought, support provided and strategies and approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on progress through Pupil Progress Meetings.
All children on the SEND register will be closely tracked and monitored. The class teachers will set targets that reflects the next steps in the children’s learning. The Inclusion Leader will be responsible for overseeing interventions and for monitoring progress as part of the school Monitoring, Evaluating and Review cycle. Regular Pupil Progress Meetings are held to discuss progress and to review targets.
IPP’s (Individual Provision Plans) may be written for children who are on the SEND register and who have a Statement of special educational needs or Education Health Care plan (EHC). An IPP will outline the additional provision a child may need. These are also completed to ensure children with a statement/EHC are monitored in light of their annual reviews. The IPPs are written jointly by the class teacher, Inclusion Leader and all adults that work with the child.
Additional support for learning
Our staff and teaching assistants work closely with the Inclusion Leader and are trained to deliver specific interventions and to support pupils on a 1:1 or small group basis.
We work closely with external agencies to provide support for pupils with SEND, including Educational Psychologist, Specialist Teacher Advisory Service, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Services, Primary Behaviour Support and School Nurses.
Working with parents
The school encourages close relationships with parents. Through this we are able to support parents to be involved in their child’s education and be aware of the additional work that is being done to enable their child to achieve their maximum potential. Parents have opportunities to discuss their child’s additional provisions with the Inclusion Leader. As it is a legal requirement to report annually to parents, the spring term reports will inform parents of their child’s needs and the additional support they are receiving.
In line with the school ethos, the Inclusion Leader will help to ensure that all staff are trained appropriately either in house or by attending relevant courses.
SEND information report
Full details of our SEND information report can be found on the school website with a link to the Hampshire SEND local offer.
The term sex and relationships education -SRE- is used in this policy rather than sex education. This is to stress that our approach goes beyond the provision of biological information to also focus on clarifying attitudes and values, and developing self esteem and the skills to manage relationships.
There are three main elements to our SRE programme.
RSE is part of our National Curriculum Science programme. Other aspects are taught through COSMIC and also some areas of relationships through lessons in Literacy and RE.
Occasionally, where appropriate experienced visitors may be invited.
In key stage 1 pupils learn to name main points of the body (including external genitalia), learn recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others, identify and share their feelings with each other, recognise safe and unsafe situations and identify and be able to talk to someone they trust.
In key stage 2 pupils learn to express their opinions about relationships and bullying and to listen and support others, including respecting other people’s viewpoints and beliefs.
Life processes are also discussed including the physical changes that take place at puberty, why they happen and how to manage them.
The specific National Curriculum guidance for SRE learning outcomes in key stage 1 and 2 in Science and PSHE can be found in appendix 1.
Teachers and pupils will mutually agree ground rules to create a safe environment where all concerned do not feel embarrassed or anxious.
These may include
Questions arising from SRE teaching will be answered in accordance with the ground rules established by the school. Questions which are deemed too explicit, too old or inappropriate for the whole class or raise questions of abuse should be dealt with at a later time by the teacher having sought guidance from the PSHE manager if appropriate. If abuse is suspected the teacher should follow the schools child protection guidelines.
The school recognises that parents are key in:
However the school is also aware the parents may need support in:
Parents have the right to withdraw the children from all or part of the SRE provided by the school except those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum.
This policy will be shared with the staff, including LSA’s and office staff as well as with the Governors.
The policy will also be available to the parents.
PSHE and citizenship
Confidentiality – please refer to ‘Safeguarding – Child Protection’
Section 100 of The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on the Governing Body of this school to make arrangements for supporting children at their premises with medical conditions. The Department for Education have produced statutory guidance ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions’ and we will have regard to this guidance when meeting this requirement (this document is set for review in 2017).
At Warren Park Primary School the governing body and the Head Teacher is committed to ensuring children with medical conditions are supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education. The aim is to ensure that all children will medical conditions, in terms of both their physical and mental health, are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy and achieve their academic potential.
It is our policy to ensure that all medical information will be treated confidentially by the Governing Body, Head Teacher and staff. All administration of medicines is arranged and managed in accordance this document. All staff have a duty of care to follow and co-operate with the requirements of this policy. This policy will be available for all of the above to review and refer to on the teacher’s pool.
It is a statutory requirement that the schools governing body and head teacher will ensure that this policy sets out the procedures to be followed whenever a school is notified that a pupil has a medical condition.
It is a statutory requirement that the schools governing body and head teacher will ensure that this policy covers the role of individual healthcare plans, and who is responsible for their development in supporting children at school with medical conditions.
We recognise that Individual Care Plans are recommended in particular where conditions fluctuate or where there is a high risk that emergency intervention will be needed. That Care Plans and are likely to be helpful in the majority of other cases, especially where medical conditions are long term and complex, however not all children will require one. The school, healthcare professional and parent will agree based on evidence when a healthcare plan would be inappropriate or disproportionate. Where children require an individual healthcare plan Michelle Copping will work with parents and relevant healthcare professionals to write the plan.
A healthcare plan (and its review) may be initiated in consultation with the parent/carer, by a member of school staff or by a healthcare professional involved in providing care to the child. The Michelle Copping, and where appropriate Angela Branchett, will work in partnership with the parents/carer, and a relevant healthcare professional e.g. school, specialist or children’s community nurse, who can best advise on the particular needs of the child to draw up and/or review the plan. Where a child has a special educational need identified in a statement or Educational Health Care (EHC) plan, the individual healthcare plan will be linked to or become part of that statement or EHC plan.
If a child is returning following a period of hospital education or alternative provision (including home tuition), that we will work with Hampshire County Council and education provider to ensure that the individual healthcare plan identifies the support the child will need to reintegrate effectively.
Each plan will be reviewed annually unless a child’s arrangements or condition changes, in which case the plan will be reviewed accordingly.
The governing body and the head teacher should ensure that all plans are reviewed at least annually or earlier if evidence is presented that the child’s needs have changed. This will be monitored through spot checks from the Governing Body. Plans should be developed with the child’s best interests in mind and ensure that the school assesses and manages the risks to the child’s education, health and social well-being and minimise disruption.
It is a statutory requirement that the schools governing body and head teacher will ensure that this policy sets out how staff will be supported in carrying out their role to support children with medical conditions, and how this will be reviewed. It should specify how training needs will be assessed and by whom training will be commissioned and provided. Any member of school staff, at Warren Park Primary School, providing support to a child with medical needs should have received suitable training. Staff must not administer prescription medicines or undertake any health care procedures without the appropriate training (updated to reflect any individual healthcare plans)
Where possible and in discussion with parents, children that are competent will be encouraged to take responsibility for managing their own medicines and procedures. This will be recorded in their individual healthcare plan. The healthcare plan will reference what will happen should a child who self-administers refuse to take their medication (this will normally be informing the parent/carer at the earliest opportunity).
Where possible we will endeavour to ensure that children have easy access to allow for quick self-medication. We will agree with relevant healthcare professionals/parent the appropriate level of supervision required and document this in their healthcare plan.
The administration of medicines is the overall responsibility of the parents/carers. Where clinically possible we will encourage parents to ask for medicines to be prescribed in dose frequencies which enable them to be taken outside of school hours. However, the Head Teacher is responsible for ensuring children are supported with their medical needs whilst on site, which may include managing medicines where it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so.
We will not give prescription or non-prescription medicines to a child under 16 without their parent’s/carers written consent (a ‘parental agreement for setting to administer medicines’ form will be used to record this), except in exceptional circumstances where the medicine has been prescribed to the child without the knowledge of the parents. In such cases, we will make every effort to encourage the child or young person to involve their parents while respecting their right to confidentiality.
Types of emergency medicines include:
It is the responsibility of the parents/carers to dispose of their child’s medicines. It is our policy to return any medicines that are no longer required including those where the date has expired to the parents/carers. Parents/carers will be informed of this when the initial agreements are made to administer medicines. Medication returned to parent/ carers will be documented on the tracking medication form.
When necessary, sharps boxes will be in place for the disposal of needles. Collection and disposal of these will be arranged locally through the School Nursing Team.
The Medical Room will be used for all medical administration/treatment purposes. The location/room will be made available when required. For security the medical room has a latch at the top of the door which ensures children seek the help of an adult before entering the door.
A record of what has been administered including how much, when and by whom, will be recorded. The form will be kept on file. Any possible side effects of the medication will also be noted and reported to the parent/carers.
Where a child has an individual healthcare plan, this will clearly define what constitutes an emergency and provide a process to follow. All relevant staff will be made aware of the emergency symptoms and procedures. We will ensure other children in the school know what to do in the event of an emergency i.e. informing a teacher immediately if they are concerned about the health of another child.
Where a child is required to be taken to hospital, a member of staff will stay with the child until their parents arrives, this includes accompanying them to hospital by ambulance if necessary (taking any relevant medical information, care plans etc. that the school holds).
Before arranging a trip/residential teachers will review Care Plans and ensure that are aware of how a child’s medical condition will impact on their participation in any off site activity or day trip, we will ensure that there is enough flexibility for all children to participate according to their own abilities within reasonable adjustments.
Teachers will consider what reasonable adjustments we might make to enable children with medical needs to participate fully and safely on visits.
We will carry out a risk assessment so that planning arrangements take account of any steps needed to ensure that pupils with medical conditions are included. We will consult with parents and pupils and advice from the relevant healthcare professional to ensure that pupils can participate safely.
Teachers should provide a risk assessment that plans in arrangements and takes account of any steps needed to ensure that pupils with medical conditions are included. We will consult with parents and pupils and advice from the relevant healthcare professional to ensure that pupils can participate safely.
Staff are expected to use their discretion and judge each child’s individual healthcare plan on its merits, it is not generally acceptable practice to:
Staff at the school are indemnified under the County Council self-insurance arrangements.
The County Council’s is self-insured and have extended this self-insurance to indemnify school staff who have agreed to administer medication or undertake a medical procedure to children. To meet the requirements of the indemnification, we will ensure that staff at the school have parents’ permission for administering medicines and members of staff will have had training on the administration of the medication or medical procedure.
Should parents or children be dissatisfied with the support provided they can discuss their concerns directly with the Head Teacher. If for whatever reason this does not resolve the issue, they may make a formal compliant via the school’s complaints procedure.
This procedure is intended to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (as amended) (hereafter known as ‘the Act’). The Act gives protection to staff and workers who report colleagues they believe are doing something wrong or illegal, or who are neglecting their duties. The matters that come within scope of the Act and this procedure are set out in Step 2 of the procedure below.
The ‘Whistleblowing’ procedure has been developed for use in maintained schools and can also be adopted by, and used in, Academy schools. It is intended to enable staff to report wrongdoing in the school where it would be in the public interest to do so. The wrongdoing has to be such as to potentially affect the general public, rather than simply being a complaint of an individual nature, such as a personal grievance*, which is not normally covered under whistleblowing law. [*An individual personal grievance will normally need to be dealt with via other internal school procedures.]
The ‘Whistleblowing’ procedure provides for matters to be referred externally where necessary, ultimately to a ‘prescribed person’ (see Step 5.2 of the procedure below). However, the procedure encourages staff to raise their concerns initially within the school as a first priority, rather than to make a disclosure outside of the school. In the vast majority of cases this will enable matters to be dealt with much more efficiently and speedily.
The Act applies to all workers as well as staff and this procedure applies to all teaching and other staff, whether employed by the County Council or employed directly by the school, external contractors providing services on behalf of the school or the County Council, teacher trainees and other trainees, volunteers and other individuals who work for or provide services on behalf of the school. These individuals are collectively referred to in this procedure as staff or staff members.
The Governing Body of the school will treat all disclosures made under the procedure very seriously and allegations about such matters will be dealt with quickly and with appropriate confidentiality at all times.
The procedure gives protection from victimisation, discrimination or disadvantage to staff who make such a disclosure in the public interest. This protection applies in respect of such a detriment arising from an act, or a failure to act, either by the employer or by a fellow worker, whether the latter be with or without the employer’s knowledge. The procedure also ensures that the person making the disclosure receives an appropriate response to their disclosure and is made aware of how they may pursue the matter outside of the school if the response given is not satisfactory.
This “Whistleblowing” Procedure should not be confused with others, such as individual or collective grievance procedures that exist to enable staff to raise concerns about their own employment. It is designed to deal with issues that fall outside of the scope of those procedures and therefore excludes all matters that are more appropriately covered by them.
There are no time limits on raising concerns under this procedure, but they should be raised at the earliest opportunity. Where time limits are included within this procedure, they exist to ensure that disclosures are dealt with as quickly as possible, and to ensure a prompt initial response from management. The investigation that takes place after a disclosure is made is not time limited, but will be conducted as quickly as possible within the circumstances of the disclosure.
Staff are entitled to representation by a professional association/trade union representative/work colleague at any meeting or interview held in relation to the disclosure made. Staff should specify that they are making a disclosure under this procedure.
Concerns under this procedure should initially be raised with the staff member’s immediate line manager. If the staff member believes their manager is involved in the malpractice, they may raise their concerns with a more senior member of staff, including the Headteacher. If the staff member believes it is not appropriate to raise the matter with the Headteacher, he/she may approach the Chair of Governors. (In the event that the matter cannot be raised within the school, the staff member may raise their concerns in accordance with Step 5). The relevant manager is encouraged to take advice from Education Personnel Services who may involve other departments of Hampshire County Council or other relevant external organisations where appropriate.
Within ten working days of a concern being raised, the person receiving it will write to the staff member acknowledging receipt and indicating what initial steps will be taken to deal with it. Where possible an estimate will be given of the time it will take to provide a final response.
Concerns may be raised orally or, preferably, in writing. These disclosures should provide as much information as possible about the matter, including dates, individuals involved, other possible sources of information, etc. Staff must be able to demonstrate to the person hearing the disclosure that there are reasonable grounds for making the allegations.
Staff may wish to make anonymous disclosures although it may be important for the investigating manager to know the source of information to enable a full investigation. The manager would also need to take into account the nature and credibility of an allegation before deciding to proceed with an investigation. However, staff should be re-assured that all disclosures will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made to preserve anonymity. The Act provides protection against victimisation to anyone who makes a protected disclosure in good faith.
Qualifying disclosures are disclosures of information where the staff member reasonably believes (and it is in the public interest) that one or more of the following matters is either happening, has taken place, or is likely to happen in the future:
Following disclosure of one of the above matters, the person receiving the disclosure must determine whether it is a ‘qualifying disclosure’ under the Act, by considering the following:
If the above criteria are met, the disclosure will qualify as a protected disclosure, and the remainder of this procedure will apply. If the criteria are not all met but the staff member’s disclosure was made in good faith, investigations should still take place into the allegations and the staff member should not be discriminated against because they have raised such an allegation. If it is found that the disclosure was made for malicious purposes or for personal gain, the school should deal with this under the disciplinary procedure, where relevant (guidance on disciplinary issues can be found in the Manual of Personnel Practice).
A preliminary investigation will need to be undertaken to establish whether the alleged act or omission could actually have occurred, be occurring or be likely to occur in the future. The investigation is not, at this stage, to determine whether the alleged act or omission has actually occurred, but to determine the facts of the case (e.g. was the alleged individual actually where they were purported to be, what does the evidence show). More about investigations can be found in the Manual of Personnel Practice:.
Allegations that have some foundation to them should be followed up with a full internal investigation, which may result in one or more of the following:
If the allegations are unfounded (no evidence or proper basis that supports the allegation), or unsubstantiated (can neither be proven nor disproven), no action need be taken by the school, although it would be pertinent to determine why the staff member felt the need to raise the allegation in the first place, e.g. is there a training need within the school?
If it is found that the allegation was made for malicious purposes or for personal gain, the school should deal with this under the disciplinary procedure (guidance on disciplinary issues can be found in the Manual of Personnel Practice).
Subject to legal constraints and the need to protect the rights of individuals, the staff member raising the concern will be informed of the outcome of any investigation at the earliest practicable opportunity. Such information will not include confidential details about formal action taken against another staff member.
For reasons of sensitivity and confidentiality, all communications with a staff member who takes action under this procedure will be sent to their home address, unless an alternative arrangement has been mutually agreed.
In the event that a staff member feels that their concerns have not been resolved through the above process, they may write to the Chair of the Governing Body, if he/she has not already been involved, outlining their concern, the action taken to date and the reasons for their dissatisfaction.
Within 10 working days of a concern being raised, a member of authority will be delegated to respond in writing to the staff member to acknowledge that the concern has been received and indicate what further steps will be taken, as well as providing an estimate of the time it will take to provide a final response. The Chair of Governors may decide to set up a small group of governors, where appropriate, to investigate the concerns. The Chair of Governors will then inform the staff member of the outcome of this process on the same basis as required of the manager above. Where appropriate, the Chair of Governors should also involve the relevant Diocese at an early opportunity.
In the event that the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved within the school, the staff member may escalate their concerns further. How they do this will depend on the status of the school, as follows:
Staff should raise their concerns, in writing, with the following officers of the County Council, and in the following order:
These officers will follow the same basic procedure outlined above in the same timescales and will feed back the outcome to the staff member. The address for all of the above is: Children’s Services Department, Hampshire County Council, Elizabeth II Court West, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UG or email@example.com.
If a staff member is dissatisfied with the response of the Governing Body and the County Council, and subject to the concern being a protected disclosure (see step 2 above), they can raise the matter, as appropriate, with any of the following:
Staff in Hampshire County Council maintained schools who are dissatisfied after having raised concerns under 5.1 above, and staff in Academy and Independent schools, can also raise their concerns, as appropriate, with any of the following, subject to the concern being a protected disclosure (see step 2 above):
Staff can only make a disclosure to a prescribed person if they:
In taking their concern outside of the school, staff must ensure that, as far as possible, the matter is raised without personal information relating to other staff, or confidential information about unrelated matters, being disclosed. A staff member who approaches an accredited legal advice centre, e.g. Public Concern at Work (0207 404 6609 or www.pcaw.org.uk) or Citizens Advice Bureau, must not breach the duty of confidence in this procedure to the Governing Body.
Any staff member who unreasonably and without justification raises such issues on a wider basis, such as with the press, without following the steps and advice in this procedure may be liable to disciplinary action.