We intend to create in our Pre-school an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this, we will:
Exclude known abusers
It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the Preschool that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
All applicants who apply for work with the Preschool, whether paid or voluntary, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least one reference. All such references will be followed up. In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history, or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.
All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the Preschool is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with the children.
The pre-school will also ensure that it meets its responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Seek and supply training
We will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the group to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. It is good practice to renew this training every three years.
Prevent abuse by means of good practice
Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or with small groups. An adult who needs to take a child aside – for example, for time out after behaviour which needs improvement will leave the door ajar.
Adults who have not been registered as “suitable persons” will not take children unaccompanied to the toilet.
Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
The layout of the playrooms(s) will permit constant supervision of all the children.
Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse
We will investigate any prolonged absences by a child if the parents have not notified us of these absences. We will usually wait for a period of two weeks and the key worker or manager will phone the parents. On the child’s return to preschool we will actively seek a reason for the absence.
Changes in children’s behaviour/appearance will be investigated as follows:
Mrs Julie Nicholls – Preschool manager
Mrs Sarah Cox – Assistant
Mrs Lisa Pompa – Chairperson of management team
The following procedure shall be adopted
(Ref: DOH Best Practice Guidance March 2015 – “What to do if you are worried a child is being abused”) www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-to-do-if-youre-worried-a-child-is-being-abused--2
POLICE Enquiries 101
Safeguarding children contact information: Children Multi-agency Referral Unit 03001231116
Referral: As for Access and Assessment Team and specify area child lives in.
Out of hours: 01208 251300
Concerns of a professional working with a child – Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) 01872 326536 (refer to referral form for guidance)
DBS Helpline (March 2015) 03000 200 190
If staff members have any concerns regarding another member of staff they should report to Julie or Lisa. If the concerns are about the management team they should report concerns to Mr Phil Banks, head of Padstow School.
Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from an ongoing record of progress/development. The record will include, in addition to the name, age and address of the child:
Timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s
behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation; where possible, and the exact words spoken by the child; the dated name and signature of the recorder.
Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people in the Preschool other than the leader, chair and key worker or other member of the staff as appropriate.
Liaison with other bodies
The Preschool operates in accordance with Local Authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children about whom the Preschool is anxious will be shared with the Social Services Department if the Preschool feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not been provided.
If a report on a child is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parents will be informed at the same time as the report is made.
The group will maintain ongoing contact with the registering authority, including names, addresses and telephone numbers of any individual social workers, to ensure that it would be easy, in any emergency, for the Preschool and the Social Services Department to work well together.
Records will also be kept of the local NSPCC contact, or other contact(s) as appropriate.
The Preschool will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff and volunteers in the group.
Where abuse at home is suspected, the Preschool will continue to welcome the child and family while investigators proceed.
Confidential records kept on a child will be shared with the child’s parents.
With the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the Preschool will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.
Procedure if accusations of child abuse are made against a staff member
Initially, once an allegation has been made to the Manager or Chair, the accused staff member will be suspended on full pay. The Manager will ensure that staff ratios remain adequate. The Chair will report allegations to OFSTED within 14 days of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any persons working at the pre-school and the actions that have been taken. The incident will be thoroughly investigated by an independent body (Preschool Learning Alliance) and the Preschool management team. All actions taken will be handled by the Preschool management team and Preschool solicitor.
Support will be given to all persons involved, whether parent, child or staff member. All conversations, interviews and meetings will remain confidential and be documented, signed, dated and witnessed. Copies of these will be kept in a secure place and will only be available on a need to know basis.
The use of mobile phone/digital cameras in the Preschool
Staff are not permitted to take their mobile phones into any of the playrooms/ changing areas etc. all phones are to be kept in the kitchen, preferably in a drawer or bag.
Any photographs that are taken of the children for display purposes or evidence for profile books will only be taken on the Preschool camera and other equipment.
Staff are asked to share all photographs taken with each other and they are to be downloaded and printed on the main computer in the playroom. Staff are not permitted to take photographs home on disks etc to print off.
Before taking photographs of children please make sure you have written confirmation from the parent or guardian (on the registration form)
Any staff member not conforming to the above policy on the proper use of mobile/digital cameras in the Preschool will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
Statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015”
“What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – summary”
Safer Recruitment Policy
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children, through its criminal record checking and barring functions (Pre-school Learning Alliance)
An enhanced DBS disclosure must be held by all staff, volunteers and members of the committee.
DBS check procedure
The nominated person (Lisa Pompa) will assist the individual applying for the DBS in completing an online application and verify relevant documents of identification. The nominated person will receive written confirmation of suitability of the applicant.
Committee members must apply for the DBS check, complete an EY2 and join the Update Service via the Ofsted Online website. https://online.ofsted.gov.uk/onlineofsted/Default.aspx
Committee members are not registered with Ofsted until their application is complete (Ofsted, Sept 2014)
The minimum age at which someone can be asked to apply for a DBS check is 16 years old (Pre-school Learning Alliance)
A DBS check will only be carried out on a successful job applicant. The job offer can be withdrawn if the check shows the candidate to be unsuitable. The applicant will be informed in writing.
DBS checks for members of staff are carried out through https://www.onlinedisclosures.co.uk/
The update service
This service will keep a person’s DBS up to date so they can take it with them from job to job within the same workforce. The individual can subscribe for an annual fee of £13.00 or free for volunteers to this service. When employing a new member of staff who subscribes to the update service an employer can go online with the employee’s permission and access a free instant check (Pre-school Learning Alliance)
Information from the disclosure must be recorded on the central record (Ofsted, Sept 2014) The nominated person is responsible for creating a list of all individual’s holding a DBS within the setting. Information will include name, address and DBS disclosure number.
Disclosure information will be kept securely in a locked filing cabinet with access restricted to the nominated person and the manager only.
The nominated person must by law refer someone to the DBS if they sack them because they have harmed, or might of harmed a child or adult.
DBS checks for agency staff
Employment agencies must provide written confirmation that the person put forward for employment holds a current DBS check issued within the last twelve months. The written confirmation from the agency must be kept within the setting as proof of suitability (Ofsted, Sept 2014).
Retention of DBS checks
Providers should destroy original DBS disclosures within six months.
The setting will comply fully with the data Protection Act 1998 and the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of disclosure information.
Accepting existing DBS
It is the discretion of the individual setting whether to accept existing DBS checks (Ofsted, Sept 2014).
For further guidance see www.gov.ok/dbs-check-requests-guidance-for-employer
Job vacancies will be advertised locally. Information will include contact details, deadline for application, reference to the applicant completing a DBS check, minimum level of qualification required and hours available. The manager or nominated person may also approach a person directly if they feel they are suitable for the role.
Short listed candidates will be invited to attend an interview. Candidates will be expected to provide written references and qualification documents. The interview will be conducted by a minimum of two members of the management team. All questions and issues to be discussed during the interview will be arranged and agreed in advance. A detailed record of the interview will be kept until all the interviews have been completed. Candidates will be asked to attend a session before a decision is made.
References must be taken up in respect of every applicant. Personal and occupational references should always be seen and considered fully before the candidate is able to take up the post. If there is doubt about the validity or content of a reference, contact referee and question the reference.
All candidates will be informed of the outcome of the application as soon as possible.
The successful candidate will be given a job description and a contract will be agreed and signed before joining the setting. A probationary period of twelve weeks will follow before the appointment is considered permanent. This induction period will include gaining an understanding of the day to day running of the setting and the settings policies and procedures. Training opportunities will be identified and candidates must show they are mentally and physically able to carry out the job requirements.
The fact that a person has a criminal record does not automatically render him or her unsuitable for work with children or other vulnerable people. A number of points should be considered regarding a person’s suitability, such as the relevance of the conviction, the nature of the offence, when the offence occurred and the frequency of the offence.
Disqualification by association 2015 (under the Childcare Act 2006)
The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 set out grounds for disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 where the person or person living in the same household or employed in the same household meets certain criteria set out in the regulations. See ‘Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings’ Oct 2015
The management team will request information regarding disqualification by association at supervision sessions and during induction procedures. This will be recorded and stored confidentially in staff records.
Children in care
At Padstow pre-school we are committed to providing provision based on equality of opportunity for all children and their families. All staff are committed to doing all they can to enable children in care to achieve and reach their full potential.
Definition of “Children in Care” (CIC). Children and young people become “in care” if they have either been taken into care by the Local Authority (LA), or have been accommodated by the LA (a voluntary care arrangement). Most Children in Care will be living in a foster home, which is believed to be more beneficial for children to be in a family environment, however sometimes residential care will be deemed more appropriate.
We recognise that children who are being looked after often have experienced traumatic situations; physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. However, we also recognise that not all children in care have experienced abuse and that there are a range of reasons for children to be taken in to the care of the LA. Whatever the reason, a child’s separation from their home and family signifies a disruption in their lives that has an impact on their emotional well-being.
At Padstow Pre-school, we place emphasis on promoting children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to . Our policy and practice guidelines for Children in Care are based on two important concepts, attachment and resilience. The basis of this is to promote secure attachments in children’s lives as the basis for resilience. These aspects of well-being underpin the child’s responsiveness to learning and are the basis in developing positive dispositions for learning. For young children to get the most out of educational opportunities they need to be settled enough with their carer to be able to cope with further separation, a new environment and new expectations made upon them.
In addition the care plan will also consider;
In order for childcare providers and other settings to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when it is identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be part of a childcare providers wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (i.e. neglect, sexual exploitation, drugs etc.). Whether they come from within the family or are the product of outside influences.
The fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already embedded in the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage. Separately, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 also places a duty on early year's providers "to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" (the Prevent duty). Below are some examples of what this might mean in practice.
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
As part of the focus on managing feelings and behaviour:
As part of the focus on self-confidence & self-awareness and people & communities as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World:
Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff can provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
Staff should encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example in a small group discuss what they feel about transferring into Reception Class.
As part of the focus on people & communities, managing feelings & behaviour and making relationships as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World:
Managers and leaders should create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
Children should acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.
Staff should encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other's opinions.
Staffs should promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children's experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
A minimum approach, for example having notices on the walls or multi-faith books on the shelves will fall short of 'actively promoting'.
o actively promoting intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races
o failure to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys
o isolating children from their wider community
o failure to challenge behaviours (whether of staff, children or parents) that are not in
line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
If a member of staff has a concern about a particular pupil they should follow the settings normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing it with their designated safeguarding lead, and where deemed necessary, with children's social care. See safeguarding policy.
See the Prevent Duty guidance folder for Department advice for schools and childcare providers June 2015.
British Values references and useful websites.