Sandhurst Nursery School
Sandhurst Nursery School

Child Protection

Safeguarding

1. Introduction

  • The Sandhurst Nursery School Child Protection policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and related guidance. This includes;
    • The Early Years Foundation Stage (2017) 
    • DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’  (2016)
    • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)
    • Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000) 
    • Kent and Medway Online Safeguarding Children Procedures 

2. What is ‘Safeguarding’?

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) defines safeguarding children as;   ‘the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm’, including;
    • protecting children from maltreatment; 
    • preventing impairment of children's health or development; 
    • ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision  of safe and effective care; and 
    • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. 
  • It also reminds us that safeguarding “is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.” (WTSC 2015 p. 9)
  • The setting acknowledges that this policy will incorporate a range of specific safeguarding issues including (but not limited to):
    • Bullying (including cyberbullying)
    • Children Missing Education (CME)
    • Child missing from home or care 
    • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
    • Domestic violence 
    • Drugs and alcohol misuse
    • Fabricated or induced illness 
    • Faith abuse
    • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
    • Forced marriage
    • Gangs and youth violence
    • Gender based abuse and violence against women and girls
    • Hate 
    • Honour based abuse
    • Mental Health
    • Missing children and adults
    • Online Safety
    • Prevent duty (radicalisation and extremism)
    • Private fostering 
    • Relationship abuse 
    • Human trafficking and modern slavery
    • Youth produced sexual imagery or “Sexting”

3. Ethos

  • ‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ (EYFS 2017 p5)
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School believe that all those directly involved with our setting have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. Our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and we take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.
  • As part of the safeguarding ethos of the setting we are committed to:
    • Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern;
    • Providing an environment and culture in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected, confident to talk openly and sure of being listened to;
    • Developing appropriate and positive relationships between  children and the adults that care for them;
    • Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties;
    • Using learning opportunities to increase self-awareness, self-esteem, assertiveness and decision making.  This is so that young children develop a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others;
    • Working with parents/carers to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations;
    • Ensuring all staff have regular and appropriate training (including induction) to enable them to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and ensure they are aware of the setting’s procedures and reporting mechanisms;
    • Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
    • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies.

Sandhurst Nursery School adheres to the KSCB Safeguarding Children Procedures. The full KSCB procedures document and additional guidance relating to specific safeguarding issues can be found on the KSCB website: www.kscb.org.uk  

4. Related Safeguarding Policies

  • We are aware that safeguarding is fundamental to the welfare of all children in our care. This policy is therefore one of a series in the setting’s integrated safeguarding portfolio and should be read in conjunction with the policies as listed below: 
    • Behaviour Management
    • Online Safety 
    • Social Media
    • Anti-Bullying 
    • Data Protection and Information Sharing
    • Image Use 
    • Drugs 
    • Personal and Intimate Care 
    • Health and Safety 
    • Risk Assessments (e.g. trips, use of technology)
    • First Aid and Accidents (including medicines) 
    • Managing Allegations Against Staff
    • Code of Conduct for Staff  (including Acceptable Use of Technology or ‘AUP’)
    • Safer Recruitment 
    • Whistle-Blowing

Supporting Guidance (to be read and followed alongside this document)

  • “Safeguarding Disabled Children – Practice Guidance”  - DOH, 2009
  • “Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings” - Safer Recruitment Consortium, October 2015
  • “ What to do if you are worried a child is being abused” – DfE, March 2015
  • KSCB document: “Safe Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People”
  • KCC Safeguarding Children and Child Protection – “Induction Leaflet Guidelines for Early Years Staff”
  • KCC Guidelines for “Safeguarding Record Keeping”
  • KCC Advice notes  - “Dealing with Disclosures”
  • Early Years Foundation Stage 2017 Welfare Requirements

These documents can be found in the office of Sandhurst Nursery School 

5. Responsibilities for Staff and Designated Safeguarding Lead

5.1. All staff

  • The EYFS 2017 requires providers ‘to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well’’ and accordingly, everyone involved in the care of young children has a role to play in their protection. All members of staff in the Sandhurst Nursery School are part of the wider safeguarding system for children and are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance. 
  • All members of staff have a responsibility to identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
  • All members of staff have a duty of care to take appropriate action and work with other services as needed. 

5.2 The Designated Safeguarding Lead Person (DSL)

  • The EYFS 2017 states; ‘a practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting’.
  • The Trustees, whose responsibility it is to ensure all legal requirements are met, have appointed an appropriately qualified and experienced Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to fulfil this role in our setting. They are committed to ensuring that the DSL is properly supported in being able to carry out this role fully, including providing them with appropriate time and resources away from other job commitments.  
  • The DSL Jan Little, Manager has overall responsibility for the day to day safeguarding and child protection systems in the setting.  These responsibilities include;
  • Liaising with other professionals in all agencies, including social services, police and health colleagues;
  • Keeping appraised of any updates in policy and practice as agreed by Kent Safeguarding Children Board (via the Education Safeguarding Team);
  • Being a source of support, advice and guidance to any other setting staff, both paid and voluntary, on an ongoing basis and on any specific safeguarding issue as required; 
  • Co-ordinating child protection action within the setting, including making referrals as necessary;
  • Maintaining a confidential recording system for safeguarding and child protection concerns;
  • Ensuring all staff, visitors and volunteers are aware of the setting’s policies and procedures and their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding children;
  • Ensuring all staff, both paid and voluntary, have received appropriate and up to date child protection training, at least every 3 years (as stipulated by the KSCB) and provide them with appropriate annual updates;
  • Ensuring their own training is kept up to date by attending appropriate Designated Safeguarding Lead training every 2 years (as stipulated by the KSCB) and accessing updates, at least annually, through a variety of methods,  e-Bulletins, newsletters, local meetings, other training etc. to keep up with any developments relevant to their role;
  • Representing the setting at inter-agency meetings in particular strategy discussions, child protection conferences and core groups;
  • Managing and monitoring the setting’s role in early help, child in need and child protection plans.

The welfare and safety of children are the responsibility of ALL staff in the setting and ANY concern for a child’s welfare MUST be reported to the DSL.   

6. Recognition and Categories of Abuse:

  • All staff in the setting are aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse: Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Emotional abuse, Neglect
  • The most up to date definitions and possible indicators and signs of abuse are found in Appendix 1. Staff should also refer to Part 1 and Annex A within ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016 (see appendix 2) and ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ 2015. 
  • All members of staff are aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label; in most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.
  • Members of staff are aware that child welfare concerns may arise in many different contexts, and can vary greatly in terms of their nature and seriousness. For example children may be abused in a family, in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. Children may be abused via the internet by their peers, family members or by unknown or in some cases unidentifiable individuals. In the case of honour based abuse, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation, children may be taken out of the country to be abused. An abused child may often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives.
  • Abuse and neglect can happen over a period of time, but can also be a one-off event. This can have major long-term impacts on all aspects of a child's health, development and well-being. 
  • The warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect can vary from child to child. Children also develop and mature at different rates, so what appears to be worrying behaviour for a younger child might be normal for an older child. Parental behaviours may also indicate child abuse or neglect, so staff should also be alert to parent-child interactions or concerning parental behaviours; this could include parents who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if there is a sudden change in their mental health. 
  • By understanding the warning signs, we can respond to problems as early as possible and provide the right support and services for the child and their family. It is important to recognise that a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused.

7. Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

  • Sandhurst Nursery School adheres to the KSCB Safeguarding Children Procedures. The full KSCB procedures document and additional guidance relating to specific safeguarding issues can be found on the KSCB website www.kscb.org.uk
  • Additional guidance includes:
    • ‘What to do if you are Worried About a Child Being Abused’ (DfE 2015)
    • Information Sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners (2015)
    • Kent and Medway Inter-Agency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need
    • The Assessment Framework for Children in Need and their Families (2000)
  • These documents provide guidance for professionals including when to make a referral to Specialist Children’s Services and can be found in the Office.  
  • ‘What to do if you are worried about a child being abused’ (DfE 2015) p.12 identifies that there are four key steps for professionals to follow to help identify and respond appropriately to possible abuse and/or neglect. All members of staff are expected to be aware of and follow this approach: 
  • It may not always be appropriate to go through all four stages sequentially and if a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made immediately to Specialist Children’s Services (SCS) and/or the Police. 
  • It is the responsibility of the DSL to receive and collate information regarding individual children, to make immediate and on-going assessments of potential risk and to decide actions necessary (with parents / carers in most cases). This includes the need to make referrals to partner agencies and services. 
    • To help with this decision s/he may choose to consult with the Area Education Safeguarding Adviser from the Education Safeguarding Team and/or the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) for online safety concerns.
    • Advice may also be sought from the Early Help Triage Team. Note – this process is currently under review and therefore may change.
    • Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns for a child or young person and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these.
  • All members of staff are made aware of the Early Help process, and understand their role within it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the DSL, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an Early Help assessment. 
  • If Early Help is assessed to be appropriate then the DSL will support staff members involved with the family in liaising with other agencies and submitting an Early Help Notification Form. The DSL will keep all Early Help cases under constant review and will give consideration to making a referral to SCS if the situation doesn’t appear to be improving for the child. 
  • New referrals to services will be made using the agreed process i.e. the Early Help Notification Form or Inter-Agency Referral Form for referrals to SCS. These will be made with reference to the Kent Interagency Threshold Criteria for Children in Need. In situations where there are felt to be urgent concerns, a telephone referral will be made prior to the form being completed and sent to the Central Duty Team. Concerns for children who are already known to services will be passed to the allocated worker / team. If anyone other than the DSL makes a referral to external services, then they will inform the DSL as soon as possible. 
  • In all but the most exceptional circumstances, parents /carers will be made aware of the concerns for their child at the earliest possible stage. In the event of a referral to Specialist Children’s Services being necessary, parents/carers will be informed. Consent will be sought, unless there is a valid reason not to do so; for example if to do so would put a child at risk of harm and/or would undermine a criminal investigation. 
  • The role of the setting in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.
  • On occasion, staff may pass information about a child to the DSL, but remain anxious about action subsequently taken. Staff should feel able to check the progress of a case with the DSL so that they can reassure themselves the child is safe and their welfare is being considered. If following this process, the staff member remains concerned that appropriate action is not being taken, it is the responsibility of that staff member to seek further direct consultation from either a member of the Education Safeguarding Team or Specialist Children’s Services Team who may be able to discuss the concern and provide advice on appropriate action to be taken.
  • If after a referral a child’s situation does not appear to be improving, then the DSL (or the person that made the referral) will request reconsideration to ensure that the settings concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves. Professional disagreements (escalation) will be responded to in line with the KSCB procedures and DSLs may request support via the Education Safeguarding Team.

8. Record Keeping

  • Staff will record any welfare concern that they have about a child on the setting’s safeguarding incident/concern form (with a body map if injuries have been observed) and pass them without delay to the DSL. Records will be completed as soon as possible after the incident/event, using the child’s words and will be signed and dated by the member of staff.
  • All safeguarding concerns, discussions and decisions (and justifications for those decisions) will be recorded in writing. If members of staff are in any doubt about recording requirements, they should discuss their concerns with DSL. 
  • Incident/Welfare concern forms are kept in the register.  
  • Safeguarding records are kept for individual children and are maintained separately from all other records relating to the child in the setting. Safeguarding records are kept in accordance with data protection legislation and are retained centrally and securely by the DSL. Safeguarding records are shared with staff on a ‘need to know’ basis only. 
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School will be kept informed of any significant issues by the DSL.
  • All safeguarding records will be transferred in accordance with data protection legislation to the child’s subsequent school/setting, under confidential and separate cover. These will be given to the new DSL and a receipt of delivery will be obtained.
  • Detailed guidance on Record Keeping is found in a separate document “Guidelines for Safeguarding Record Keeping”. All Staff WILL familiarise themselves with the responsibilities as outlined in this document.  www.kelsi.org.uk/support-for-children-and-young-people/child-protection-and-safeguarding/safeguarding-policies-and-guidance

All documents related to this policy can be found in the Office.  

9. Inter-Agency Working

  • Sandhurst Nursery School recognises and is committed to its responsibility to work with other professionals and agencies both to ensure children’s needs are met and to protect them from harm. All staff will endeavour to identify those children and families who may benefit from the intervention and support of external professionals and will seek to enable referrals, in discussion with parents/carers as appropriate.
  • Settings are not the investigating agency when child protection concerns arise and will therefore pass all relevant cases to statutory agencies. We will however contribute to the investigation and assessment processes as required, and recognise that the setting plays a crucial part in supporting the child while these take place.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School recognises the importance of multi-agency working and will ensure that staff are enabled to attend relevant safeguarding meetings, including Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups, Strategy Meetings, Child in Need meetings and Early Help meetings.
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School and DSL will work to establish strong and co-operative relationships with relevant professionals in other agencies.

10. Confidentiality and Information Sharing

  • We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The DSL will only disclose information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.
  • All staff are aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. 
  • All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing. Further advice is available in the document Information Sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners (2015) and appendix 3.
  • If the setting is made aware of any safeguarding concerns which they feel need to be shared with the wider community (including other local settings) then advice will be sought from the Education Safeguarding Team to ensure that the integrity of any subsequent investigations are maintained and that all members of the community are safeguarded. 

11. Complaints

  • The setting has a Complaints Procedure available to parents/carers, children and members of staff who wish to report concerns. This can be found in the Policy Handbook or on our website  www.sandhurstnuurseryschool.co.uk
  • All reported concerns will be taken seriously and considered within the relevant and appropriate process. Anything that constitutes an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer will be dealt with under the specific Procedures for Managing Allegations against Staff policy. This can be found Policies Handbook or on our website.

12. Staff Induction and Training

  • All members of staff have been made aware of part one of the “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (2016) which covers safeguarding information. DSLs and Trustees have read the entire document. 
  • The DSL will ensure that all new staff and volunteers (including temporary staff) are appropriately inducted and understand the settings internal safeguarding procedures and reporting mechanisms. 
  • All staff members (including volunteers and temporary staff) will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which will enable them to:
  • Recognise potential safeguarding and child protection concerns involving children and adults (colleagues, other professionals and parents/carers)
  • Respond appropriately to safeguarding issues and take action in line with this policy
  • Record concerns in line with the settings policies
  • Refer concerns to the DSL and be able to seek support external to the setting if required
  • All staff members (including volunteers and temporary staff) will receive appropriate training to ensure they are aware of a range of safeguarding issues. This training will enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. This may include:
    • significant changes in children's behaviour;
    • deterioration in children’s general well-being;
    • unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
    • children’s comments which give cause for concern;
    • any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) Female Genital Mutilation;
    • inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children, for example: inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.
  • The staff training will include setting responsibilities, the setting child protection procedures, online safety, safe working practice and external reporting mechanisms.
  • All staff members (including temporary staff)  will receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates through the KCC e-Bulletin, staff meetings or briefings, other training etc.), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. 
  • All staff members (including temporary staff) will also be made aware of the setting expectations regarding safe and professional practice via the staff behaviour policy (or code of conduct) and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which is provided and discussed as part of the induction process.
  • The setting recognises the expertise which members of staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis. Opportunity is therefore provided for all staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and the safeguarding policy through staff meetings and sharing information
  • Other safeguarding policies, for example the setting Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policy, are also sent to staff for their feedback before ratification by the Trustees.

13. Safe Working Practice

  • All members of staff (including temporary staff and volunteers) are required to work within clear guidelines on Safe Working Practice / the setting’s Code of Conduct.
  • Children may make allegations against staff in situations where they feel vulnerable or where they perceive there to be a possible risk to their welfare. As such, all staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position regarding child protection or potential allegations. For example, it is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
  • Physical intervention should only be used when the child is endangering him/herself or others and such events should be recorded and signed by a witness. Staff should be aware of the settings Behaviour Management Policies and any physical interventions must be in line with agreed policy and procedure in which appropriate training should be provided. 
  • Full advice and guidance can be found in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings (2015) which can be found in the Office.
  • Staff should be particularly aware of the professional risks associated with the use of social media and electronic communication (email, mobile phones, texting, social network sites etc.) and should familiarise themselves with advice and professional expectations outlined in Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education Settings, the setting’s Online Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy and Safe Practice with Technology – Guidance for Adults who Work with Children and Young People

14. Supervision and Support

  • The setting will ensure that members of staff are provided with appropriate supervision in accordance with the statutory requirements of Early Years Foundation Stage 2017.
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School recognise regular, planned and accountable supervision, which is a two-way process, offers support and develops the knowledge, skills and values of an individual, group or team. We see its purpose is to monitor the progress of professional practice and to help staff to improve the quality of the work they do, thus improving outcomes for children as well as achieving agreed objectives. Supervision also provides an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues including the safeguarding of children and any concerns raised about an individual or colleague’s practice. 
  • All of our staff and volunteers are expected to have regular and planned supervision sessions.   Uninterrupted time will be set aside to ensure any supervision sessions effective for both practitioner and management.   Further guidance on supervision can be found in the Early Years Supervision booklet.

15. Safer Recruitment, Suitable People and Disqualification

  • Sandhurst Nursery School is committed to ensure that all steps are taken to recruit staff and volunteers who are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles, are safe to work with our children and have their welfare and protection as the highest priority. 
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School are responsible for ensuring that the setting follows safe recruitment processes outlined within guidance, including accurate maintenance of the Single Central Record (SCR). The SCR is a list of staff, volunteers and proprietor/trustees/committee members and includes appropriate information which may include:
    • Dates of recruitment;
    • References;
    • Identity checks;
    • Criminal records check reference number, including date check was obtaining and details of who obtained it;
    • Eligibility to work in the UK checks; 
    • Other essential key data.
  • The setting will obtain an enhanced criminal records check in respect of every person aged 16 and over (including for unsupervised volunteers, and supervised volunteers who provide personal care) who:
    • works directly with children;
    • lives on the premises on which the childcare is provided and/or;
    • works on the premises on which the childcare is provided (unless they do not work on the part of the premises where the childcare takes place, or do not work there at times when children are present).
  • An additional criminal records check (or checks if more than one country) will also be made for anyone who has lived or worked abroad.
  • The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School is responsible for ensuring that the setting adopts an application, vetting and recruitment process which places safeguarding at its centre, regardless of employee or voluntary role. 
  • The Trustees of  will ensure that the manager, other senior staff responsible for recruitment and one member of the Governing Body complete accredited Safer Recruitment Training in line with government requirements.
  • We are also committed to supporting the statutory guidance from the Department for Education on the application of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009. The Trustees of Sandhurst Nursery School are aware of the requirements to make appropriate checks regarding the disqualification status of all staff, including volunteers and temporary staff.
  • We advise all staff to disclose any reason that may affect their suitability to work with children including convictions, cautions, court orders, cautions, reprimands and warnings. Additionally, we make all staff aware that they may also be disqualified because they live in the same household as another person who is disqualified.

16. Allegations against Members of Staff and Volunteers

  • Sandhurst Nursery School recognises that it is possible for staff and volunteers to behave in a way that might cause harm to children and takes seriously any allegation received. Such allegations should be referred immediately to the [proprietor/trustees/committee] who will first contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and staff member. 
  • The Trustees also ensure we meet our responsibilities under Section 35 of Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.  This includes the duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm. 
  • As a registered provide we are aware of our duty to inform Ofsted any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). We will also notify Ofsted of the action taken in respect of the allegations. Notifications will be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made and are aware that to not do so would be an offence.
  • All members of staff are made aware of the school’s Whistle-blowing procedure and that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk.  
  • Members of Staff can also access the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline if they do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 (8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday) or email: help@nspcc.org.uk
  • For specific guidance on how to respond to allegations against staff, please refer to the “Procedures for Managing Allegations Against Staff” and Whistle Blowing Policy which can be found in the staff room/office/staff intranet/network etc.
  • When in doubt – consult

17. Peer on Peer Abuse

  • All members of staff at Sandhurst Nursery School recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, including (but not limited to) bullying, cyberbullying, gender-based abuse, hazing (initiation type violence), sexually harmful behaviour and violence and ‘sexting’. The setting is mindful that some potential issues may by be affected by the gender, age, ability and culture of those involved.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School believes that abuse is abuse and it will never be tolerated, dismissed or minimised. Any incidents of peer on peer abuse will be managed in the same way as any other child protection concern and will follow the same procedures, as outlined in Section 12, above and in accordance with Kent Safeguarding Children Board procedures.  
  • Further information about the settings response to specific allegations can be located in The Policy Handbook or on our website.
  • The setting will respond to cases of “sexting” (or Youth Produced Sexual Imagery) in line with the UKCCIS “Sexting in Schools and Colleges” guidance and KSCB guidance
  • Further information in relation to the settings approach to “sexting” can be found in the settings online safety policy found in the Policy Handbook or on our website.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School is aware of and will follow the KSCB procedures (www.kscb.org.uk) for supporting children who are at risk of harm as a result of their own behaviour. 

18. Safeguarding Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

  • Sandhurst Nursery School acknowledges that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges as they may have an impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. They may have speech, language and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School will ensure that children with SEN and disabilities, specifically those with communication difficulties will be supported to ensure that their voice is heard and acted upon.  
  • Members of staff are encouraged to be aware that children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by safeguarding concerns such as bullying. All members of staff will be encouraged to appropriately explore possible indicators of abuse such as behaviour/mood change or injuries and not to assume that they are related to the child’s disability and be aware that children with SEN and disabilities may not always outwardly display indicators of abuse.

19. Online Safety

  • It is recognised by Sandhurst Nursery School that the use of technology presents particular challenges and risks to children and adults both inside and outside of the setting.  
  • Sandhurst Nursery School identifies that the issues classified within online safety are considerable, but can be broadly categorised into three areas of risk:
    • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
    • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
    • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm 
  • Members of staff with appropriate skills, interest and expertise regarding online safety are encouraged to help support the DSL, and any deputy DSLs as appropriate, for example when developing curriculum approaches or making technical decisions. However the DSL is acknowledged as having overall responsibility for online safeguarding within the setting.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School recognises the specific risks that can be posed by mobile phones and cameras, and in accordance with EYFS 2017 has appropriate policies in place that are shared and understood by all members of the community.  Further information/reading about the specific approaches relating to this can be found in the settings Online Safety Policy, Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Image Use Policy which can be found in the Policies and Procedures Folder and on our website  www.sandhurstnurseryschool.co.uk 
  • Sandhurst Nursery School will ensure that appropriate filtering and monitoring systems are in place when children and staff access systems and internet provision. 
  • Children only have access to education games. Adults provide any research for topics/interest via the internet. 
  • Tablets are used with child safe filters and are monitored by all practitioners when they are in use.
  • Sandhurst Nursery School acknowledges that whilst filtering and monitoring is an important part of the settings online safety responsibilities, it is only one part of our role. Children and adults may have access to systems external to the settings control such as tablets, mobile phones and other internet enabled devices and technology. This is covered in more depth within the settings Online Safety Policy which can be found in  the Policy Handbook and on our website
  • Sandhurst Nursery School will support parents/carers and the wider community (including all members of staff) to become aware and alert to the need to keep children safe online. 
  • Detailed information about the settings response to online safety can be found in the setting’s Online Safety Policy and Acceptable Use Policy which can be found in the Policy Handbook and on our website.

20. Educational Programmes and Staying Safe

  • We recognise that early years settings play an essential role in helping children to understand and identify the parameters of what is appropriate child and adult behaviour; what is ‘safe’; to recognise when they and others close to them are not safe; and how to seek advice and support when they are concerned. 
  • Sandhurst Nursery School will provide age appropriate educational programmes and opportunities to enable early years children to develop self-awareness, self-esteem, social and emotional understanding, assertiveness and decision making so that they have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others, including online. 
  • Systems have been established to support the empowerment of children to talk to a range of staff. Children at Sandhurst Nursery School will be listened to and heard and their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate. 

21. Security

  • All members of staff have a responsibility for maintaining awareness of buildings and grounds security and for reporting concerns that may come to light. We operate within a whole-setting community ethos and welcome comments from children, parents/carers and others about areas that may need improvement as well as what we are doing well. 
  • Appropriate checks will be undertaken in respect of visitors and volunteers coming into setting. Visitors will be expected to sign in and out via the Reception Visitors Book. Any individual who is not known or identifiable should be challenged for clarification and reassurance.
  • Where services or activities are provided separately by another body using the setting premises, the Trustees will seek written assurance that the organisation concerned has appropriate policies and procedures in place with regard to safeguarding children and child protection and that relevant safeguarding checks have been made in respect of staff and volunteers. If this assurance is not achieved then an application to use premises will be refused. 
  • The setting will not accept the behaviour of any individual (parent/carer or other) that threatens security or leads others (child or adult) to feel unsafe. Such behaviour will be treated as a serious concern and may result in a decision to refuse access for that individual to the site.

22. Monitoring and Review

  • All setting staff and volunteers will have access to a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss the contents prior to approval of the proprietor/trustees/committee being formally sought.  The policy will also be available to parents/carers.   
  • This policy has been written in September 2017 to reflect the new guidance and legislation issued in relation to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
  • The policy forms part of our Setting development plan and will be reviewed annually.
  • All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its contents. 
  • The DSL will review the policy following any child protection concerns (including following learning identified from serious case reviews) or allegations against staff to ensure that it reflects appropriate, accurate and up-to-date safeguarding practice. 

22. Local Support

  • All members of staff in Sandhurst Nursery School are made aware of local support available: 
    • Contact details for Area Safeguarding Adviser (Education Safeguarding Team)
  • Robyn Windibank, Area Safeguarding Advisor
  • Linda Funnell, Safeguarding Admin Support
  • 03000 412284
  • Mobile: 07540677200
  • robin.windibank@kent.gov.uk 
  • Contact details for Online Safety within the Education Safeguarding Team
    • Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection): 
    • Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer
    • 03000 415797
    • esafetyofficer@kent.gov.uk (non-urgent issues only)
  • Contact details for the LADO
  • Childrens Specialist Services
    • Central Duty Team: 03000 411111
    • Out of Hours Number: 03000 419191 
  • Early Help and Preventative Services
  • Kent Police
    • 101 (or 999 if there is an immediate risk of harm)
  • Kent Safeguarding Children Board (KSCB)

Appendix 1: Categories of Abuse

All staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label.  In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.

Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. It should be noted that abuse can be carried out both on and offline and be perpetrated by men, women and children. 

Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. 

Signs that MAY INDICATE Sexual Abuse

  • Sudden changes in behaviour and school performance 
  • Displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate 
  • Self-harm, self-mutilation or attempts at suicide 
  • Alluding to secrets which they cannot reveal 
  • Tendency to cling or need constant reassurance 
  • Regression to younger behaviour for example thumb sucking, playing with discarded     toys, acting like a baby 
  • Distrust of familiar adults e.g. anxiety of being left with relatives, a child minder or lodger 
  • Unexplained gifts or money 
  • Depression and withdrawal 
  • Fear of undressing for PE 
  • Sexually transmitted disease 
  • Fire setting 

Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. 

Signs that MAY INDICATE physical abuse

  • Bruises and abrasions around the face 
  • Damage or injury around the mouth 
  • Bi-lateral injuries such as two bruised eyes 
  • Bruising to soft area of the face such as the cheeks 
  • Fingertip bruising to the front or back of torso 
  • Bite marks 
  • Burns or scalds (unusual patterns and spread of injuries) 
  • Deep contact burns such as cigarette burns 
  • Injuries suggesting beatings (strap marks, welts) 
  • Covering arms and legs even when hot 
  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts. 
  • Injuries need to be accounted for. Inadequate, inconsistent or excessively plausible explanations or a delay in seeking treatment should signal concern. 

 

Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone. 

Signs that MAY INDICATE emotional abuse

  • Over reaction to mistakes 
  • Lack of self-confidence/esteem 
  • Sudden speech disorders 
  • Self-harming 
  • Eating Disorders
  • Extremes of passivity and/or aggression 
  • Compulsive stealing 
  • Drug, alcohol, solvent abuse 
  • Fear of parents being contacted 
  • Unwillingness or inability to play 
  • Excessive need for approval, attention and affection 

 

Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 

Signs that MAY INDICATE neglect. 

  • Constant hunger 
  • Poor personal hygiene 
  • Constant tiredness 
  • Inadequate clothing 
  • Frequent lateness or non-attendance at School 
  • Untreated medical problems 
  • Poor relationship with peers 
  • Compulsive stealing and scavenging 
  • Rocking, hair twisting and thumb sucking 
  • Running away
  • Loss of weight or being constantly underweight 
  • Low self esteem 

 

Appendix 2: Specific Safeguarding Issues

(Also see Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016)

Children Missing Education

Sandhurst Nursery School recognises that all children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Sandhurst Nursery School is aware that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. 

This may apply to parents/carers, older siblings, staff or other members of the community.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) 

All Sandhurst Nursery School staff have been made aware of the revised definition of Child Sexual Exploitation, as issued in the Department for Education in February 2017

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.’

Sandhurst Nursery School identifies that CSE involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

Every member of staff at Sandhurst Nursery School recognises that children at risk of CSE need to be identified and issues relating to CSE should be approached in the same way as protecting children from other risks.  They are aware that sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation may involve varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexting, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse or recognise this as abusive.

This may apply to children, parents/carers, older siblings, staff or other members of the setting community.

‘Honour based’ violence including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Members of staff at Sandhurst Nursery School are aware that ‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses a range of crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. 

The indicators of HBV and associated factors will be covered with staff within the setting safeguarding training. All members of staff are alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV. All members of staff are aware that all forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and will be handled and escalated as such. Staff will speak with DSL if they are concerned about HBV. 

The DSL will complete the FGM e-Learning package. The DSL will also ensure that information and training is made available as appropriate to all members of staff. This includes “FGM The Facts”: and “FGM an Overview:” 

All members of staff will follow the setting and KSCB procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care. 

 

Forced Marriage

The Forced Marriage Unit has published Multi-agency guidelines, with pages 32-36 focusing on the role of schools and colleges. Staff should report concerns regarding forced marriage to the DSL or can contact the Forced Marriage Unit if they need advice or information. Contact: 020 7008 0151 or email: fmu@fco.gov.uk  

This may apply to children, parents/carers, older siblings, staff or other members of the setting community.

 

Radicalisation

Sandhurst Nursery School recognises that exposure of children (and adults) to extremist ideology can hinder their social development and educational attainment alongside posing a very real risk that they could support or partake in an act of violence. Radicalisation can be compared to grooming for sexual exploitation.

Sandhurst Nursery School will ensure all members of staff complete an approved training package which includes guidance on how to identify people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and how to refer them into the Channel process. The DSL will attend additional training which includes further information on the Prevent Duty.   

Every member of staff at Sandhurst Nursery School recognises that children exposed to radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability and should be approached in the same way as protecting children from other risks. All members of the community at Sandhurst Nursery School will report concerns regarding radicalisation and extremism to the DSL who will follow local and national guidance.

Additional information about responding to online radicalization and extremism can be found in the settings Online Safety Policy

This may apply to children, parents/carers, older siblings, staff or other members of the setting community.