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VITA ET PAX PREPARATORY SCHOOL

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Safeguarding

 

VITA ET PAX PREPARATORY SCHOOL

CHILD PROTECTION AND

SAFEGUARDING POLICY


Reviewed : May 2017

 

Reviewed by: Gillian Chumbley and Katie Callaghan

Adopted by: Full Governing Body in May 2017

Next Interim Review: November 2017

Next Annual Review: May 2018

 

Child Protection Policy

 

Vita et Pax Preparatory School

'Child centred and Co-ordinated Approach'

 

1.0       Introduction

1.1           The governors and staff of Vita et Pax Preparatory School fully recognise the contribution they make to safeguarding children.  We recognise that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting our pupils from harm.

1.2           All staff and Governors believe that our school should provide a caring, positive safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child.

1.3           The aims of this policy are:

1.3.1        To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence

1.3.2        To raise the awareness of both teaching and non-teaching staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse. See Appendix 1A-1E

1.3.3        To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm.

1.3.4        To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.

1.3.5        To develop a structured procedure within the school which will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse.

1.3.6        To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Social Services

1.3.7        To ensure that all adults within our school who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability.

 

2.0       Procedures

 

2.1       Our school procedures for safeguarding children will comply with:

 

  • §  Enfield’s Children’s Safeguarding Board (ECSB) procedures
  • §  Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2016)
  • §  Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (as amended)
  • §  Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015
  • §  Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2015
  • §  Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006
  • §  Children Missing in Education (2016)

           
We will ensure that:

 

2.1.1     We have designated members of staff who undertake updated Level 3 child protection training at least every two years. There will always be a designated member of staff available for contact. In the rare event that all designated staff are off-site, they will be contactable by phone.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is the Headteacher, Miss Gillian Chumbley. The Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Fionnuala Archer, is the deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Designated Safeguarding Lead for EYFS. The nominated Child Protection governor for this school is Mrs Sandra Fennessy.

 

2.1.2     All members of staff develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse and refresh their training regularly.

2.1.3     All members of staff know how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse.

2.1.4     All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection procedures.

2.1.5     All staff will have read the latest version of ‘Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) Part 1 and, where appropriate, Annex A’ (KCSIE) and the school’s own child protection policy.

2.2        Our procedures will be regularly reviewed and up-dated.

2.3        All new members of staff will be given a copy of our Child Protection Policy and the

 

Government guidance ‘KCSIE Part 1 and, where appropriate, Annex A’ as part of their induction into the school.

 

2.0              Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Governing Body to review this policy at least once a year encompassing the robust review of the effectiveness of the school safeguarding procedures.Staff, Governors and volunteers

 

3.1        All staff, Governors and volunteers of the School are under a general legal duty:

3.1.1     to protect children from abuse;

3.1.2    to be aware of the terms and procedures in this Policy and to follow them;

3.1.3     to know how to access and implement the procedures in this Policy, independently if necessary;

3.1.4     to keep a sufficient record of any concerns, discussions and decisions in accordance with this Policy; and

3.1.5     to report any matters of concern in accordance with this Policy.

3.2        The Governing Body ensures that:

3.2.1     there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children's welfare;

3.2.2     the School's safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the Enfield Safeguarding Children Board, including understanding and reflecting local protocols for assessment and the referral threshold document; and

3.2.3     the School contributes to inter-agency working, including providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and support to children subject to child protection plans.

3.2.4     The Governing Body has nominated one of its members, Sandra Fennessy to take leadership responsibility for the School's safeguarding arrangements.

 

3.3. The Designated Teacher (DSL)

The responsibilities of the Designated Teacher are described in full in Annex B of KCSIE (September 2016). In brief these responsibilities cover the following safeguarding areas:

 

3.3.1    Normally safeguarding concerns should be referred to and managed by the DSL,  liaising with the nominated governor, and other members of the senior leadership team, as appropriate.

3.3.2    Children in need: concerns should be referred to children’s social care as soon as possible, normally by the DSL; where the identification of need is clear, then this referral should take place within 24 hours; in cases where there is doubt about the need, then the DSL should take advice from the LCSB about how best to proceed.

3.3.3    Children at risk: concerns should be referred to children’s social care immediately and certainly within 24 hours, normally by the DSL: there should be no delay when the child is at risk of serious harm.

3.3.4    Children abused by other children: concerns should be referred to children’s social care immediately and certainly within 24 hours, normally by the DSL: there should be no delay when the child is at risk of serious harm.

3.3.5     Children missing from education: all concerns will be reported to the relevant local agencies; in all cases of doubt the relevant local agencies will be contacted for guidance. Such reports will also be made when a child is about to be deleted from the admission register for whatever reason.

3.3.6     Allegations against anyone working or volunteering at the school must be referred to the LADO immediately and within one working day, normally by DSL unless subject to the allegation themselves: there should be no delay when the child is at risk of serious harm.

3.3.7     Seeking confidential (no names basis) guidance from the LADO in those cases where there is any uncertainty.

3.3.8     If a crime may have been committed, the matter should be reported to the police, normally by the DSL unless subject to the allegation themselves.

3.3.9     Training and general awareness: helping to ensure that all staff, head, volunteers and directors receive appropriate safeguarding training and guidance, including for online safety, updated as required at least on an annual basis with formal certificated updates at least every two years.

3.3.10    Specifically ensuring that members of staff, volunteers and directors are fully aware of how they should act should a child make a safeguarding disclosure.

3.3.11    Maintaining written records of all communications and discussions relating to individual cases.

3.3.12    Taking ultimate responsibility for online safety in the school.

 

4.0        Supporting Children

 

4.1       We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may find it   difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth. Children in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated and feel they are to blame.

4.2.      We recognise that the school may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.

4.3.      We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.

4.4.      Our school will support all pupils by:

4.4.1    Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying e.g. via PSHE and assemblies

4.4.2    Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school.

4.4.3    Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.

4.4.4    Notifying Children’s Social Services as soon as there is a significant concern.

4.4.5    Providing continuing support to a pupil about whom there have been concerns, who leaves the school, by ensuring that appropriate information is forwarded under confidential cover to the pupil’s new school.

 

5.0       Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Some children be at increased risk of neglect and or abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse happens, or who have a high level of tolerance in respect of neglect.

To ensure that all of our children receive equal protection, we will ensure every child is given careful attention including those children who are:

  •          disabled or have special educational needs
  •          living in a known domestic abuse situation
  •          affected by known parental substance misuse
  •          asylum seekers 
  •          living away from home
  •          vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying
  •          living in temporary accommodation
  •          living transient lifestyles
  •          living in chaotic, neglectful and unsupportive home situations
  •          vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality
  •          involved directly or indirectly in prostitution or child trafficking
  •          do not have English as a first language.

 

Special consideration will be given if support is required for translation of any materials or for interpretation purposes.

 

6.0       Confidentiality

6.1       We recognise that all matters relating to Child Protection are confidential.

6.2       The Headteacher or Designated Teacher will disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis only.

6.3       All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share  information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

6.4       All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets.

 

7.0       Supporting Staff

7.1       We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the    situation stressful and upsetting.

7.2       We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the designated teacher and to seek further support as appropriate.

 

8.0       Allegations against staff or volunteers

8.1       We understand that a pupil may make an allegation against a member of staff and volunteers.

8.1       If such an allegation is made, the member of staffor volunteer receiving the allegation will immediately inform the headteacher.

8.2       The head teacher on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

8.3       If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors should be informed immediately, without notifying the Headteacher, who will consult with the LEA’s Lead Officer for Safeguarding and Child Protection.

8.4       The school will follow the All London Child Protection Procedures for managing   allegations against staff, a copy of which is available in the school.

8.5       As a registered EYFS provider, Vita et Pax Preparatory school must inform the ISI of 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). Vita et Pax will also notify the ISI of the action taken in respect of the allegations. These notifications will be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made. 

 

9.0              Referrals to DBS and NCTL

9.1       The school will report promptly and within five working days to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), any person (whether employed, contracted or a volunteer) who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm to a child and who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) with children, or would have been removed had they not left earlier. If the school ceases to use the services of a member of staff, contractor or volunteer because they are unsuitable to work with children, a settlement/compromise agreement will not be used.

9.2       Where a teacher has been dismissed, or would have been dismissed had he/she not resigned, for misconduct separate consideration will be given as to whether a referral to the National College for Teaching and Leadership should be made. The NCTL will investigate the matter to determine whether an individual should be temporarily or permanently be prohibited from teaching. Reasons for the issue of such prohibition orders include: ‘unacceptable professional conduct’, ‘conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute’ or a ‘conviction, at any time, for a relevant offence’

 

10.0          Types of abuse and signs of abuse

There are four categories of child abuse which are commonly identified:

10.1          Physical:  a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, 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

10.2          Emotional:  the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe or adverse effects on the child’s development. It may include 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 development; capability 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 cyber-bullying) causing children 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;

10.3          Sexual:  involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily 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 anal 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 males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

10.4          Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the 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 or shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision; or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

10.5          Peer on Peer Abuse(see also the school’s Anti-bullying Policy)

All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but is not limited to, bullying (including cyberbullying), gender based violence/sexual assault and sexting. Staff should always be clear that abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off a “banter” or “part of growing up”.

Allegations against pupils of peer on peer abuse should be reported in accordance with the procedures set out in this policy. A pupil against whom an allegation of abuse has been made may be suspended during the subsequent investigation and the school's policies on behaviour and discipline will apply. The school will seek the advice of children's social care on the investigation of any allegation and will take all appropriate action on the safety and welfare of all students concerned including that of the student accused of abuse. If it proves necessary that any pupil needs to be interviewed by the police with regard to allegations of abuse, the school will ensure that, depending on the advice of children's social care, the parents are informed as soon as possible and that an appropriate adult supports the student during the interview. Where an allegation is made against a pupil, both the victim and the perpetrator will be treated as being at risk and safeguarding procedures in accordance with this policy will be followed.

The threshold for dealing with an issue of pupil behaviour or bullying is subject to local specifics as in any other case: when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’. Our response will include that any such abuse will be referred to local agencies. In the event of disclosures about pupil-on-pupil abuse that all children involved,whether perpetrator or victim, are treated as being ‘at risk’.

10.6          Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

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.

At our school we recognise that no school, community or social group is immune to the risk of child sexual exploitation including online, and can affect both boys and girls. Children can be perpetrators as well as victims. We develop our pupils’ resilience to this around PSHE lessons, online safety, sexuality and development, choice and consent, healthy relationships, harmful social norms and recognising abusive behaviours.

10.7  Honour-Based Violence (HBV) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed supposedly to protect of defend the honour of the family and/or community, including FGM, forced marriage and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such.

Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM, or indeed any form of HBV. Potential indicators that a child or young person may be at risk of FGM or of a forced marriage, which individually may not indicate risk but if there are two or more indicators present this could signal a risk to the child or young person. Victims of FGM are likely to come from a community that is known to practise FGM. Professionals should note that girls at risk of FGM may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so sensitivity should always be shown when approaching the subject. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 11-12 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines referred to previously. it is mandatory for our school to report to the police cases where we suspect or discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Our school activates local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care.

 

10.8     Children missing from education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs they may have. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. The school will report to the Local Authority instances of prolonged unauthorized absence or a pupil being removed from the school roll under the circumstances outlined in KCSIE.

 

10.9      Radicalisation

The current threat of radicalisation in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The schoolis clear that this exploitation and radicalisation will be viewed as a safeguarding concern. All pupils and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, free speech is not an unqualified privilege but is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.

We seek to protect children against the messages of all violent extremism. When any member of staff has concerns that a pupil may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak to the designated teacher.

 

10.10   General indications of possible abuse

Possible signs of abuse include the following (but are not limited to and do not necessarily mean that abuse is occurring):

•      The pupil discloses that he or she has been abused, or asks a question which gives rise to that inference

•      A pupil’s injury cannot be reasonably or consistently explained, or is unusual in type or location

•      A pattern or frequency of injuries is emerging

•      The pupil engages in extreme or challenging behaviour

•      The pupil asks to drop subjects with a particular tutor and seems reluctant to discuss reasons

•      The pupil appears neglected (e.g. dirty, hungry, inadequately clothed)

•      The pupil appears reluctant to return home or has been openly rejected by parents or guardians

•      The pupil’s development is delayed in terms of emotional progress

•      Emotional withdrawal – showing a lack of trust in adults 

•      The pupil shies away from being touched or flinches at sudden movements 

•      Unaccountable mood swings 

•      The pupil loses or gains weight 

 

Further guidance is provided in Appendix 1. Other sources of information on the signs of abuse include: the DfE advice note What to do if you're worried a child is being abused (2015); and the NSPCC website.

 

11.0       Prevention and Early Help

11.1       We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention ofharm to our pupils by providing pupils with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.

11.2       The school community will therefore:

  •          Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always listened to.
  •          Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  •          Include in the curriculum opportunities for PSHCE which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm including online and to know to whom they should turn for help.

 

12.0          Procedure for staff dealing with concerns about children (see Appendix 2)

12.1          A member of staff suspecting or hearing a complaint of abuse must:

• listen carefully to the student and keep an open mind. Staff should not take a decision as to whether or not the abuse has taken place;

• not ask leading questions: that is, a question which suggests its own answer (doing so may prejudice an investigation);

• not make any attempt to investigate the incident themselves;

• reassure the student but not give a guarantee of absolute confidentiality. The member of staff should explain that they need to pass the information in accordance with this policy to ensure that the correct action is taken; and

• keep a sufficient written record of the conversation. The record should include the date, time and place of the conversation and the essence of what was said and done by whom and in whose presence. The record should be signed by the person making it and signed using names, not initials. The record of all other evidence (for example, scribbled notes, mobile phones containing text messages, clothing, computers) must be kept securely and passed on when reporting the matter.

  

12.2     All suspicions or complaints of abuse must be reported to the DSL as soon as possible, unless they constitute an allegation against a member of staff in which case the procedures set out in the section Allegations Against Members of Staff or Volunteers above should be followed. Any member of staff may refer a matter to children's social care directly; this could happen in exceptional circumstances such as in an emergency or if there is a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken.

12.3     All teachers have a statutory duty to report to the police where they discover that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18; unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should also still refer any such case to the DSL. This statutory duty does not apply to at risk or suspected cases, which should be addressed in accordance with normal referral procedures in the preceding paragraph Normal referral procedures must also be used when there are concerns about children who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

 

 

 

13.0     Duties of the Designated Safeguarding Lead on receiving information about possible abuse

13.1     If a suspicion or complaint of abuse is made, the DSL must decide upon the action to be taken, bearing in mind:

• the inter‐agency procedures of the Enfield Safeguarding Children Board; 

• where relevant, local information sharing protocols relating to Channel referrals; 

• the nature and seriousness of the complaint; 

• that, if the complaint involves serious harm, the police and/or children's social care should always be contacted from the outset; 

• the best interests of the child; 

• the child's wishes or feelings; and  

• issues of confidentiality, so far as applicable.

 

13.2     The referral procedures to be followed are determined by the nature of the disclosure being made. The key determinant as to which procedure is to be followed is whether the child is considered to be:

  •          in need; or
  •          at risk of suffering harm.

 

In circumstances where a student has not suffered and is not likely to suffer significant harm but is in need of additional support from one or more agencies, the DSL will liaise with the children's social services department where the child lives. Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from one or more agency (for example: education, health, housing, police) there should an inter‐agency early help assessment and procedures will be put in place by children’s services to arrange this. The college will coordinate with the local inter‐agencies involved.

 

13.3     If there is room for doubt as to whether a referral should be made, the DSL will consult with children's social care on a no‐names basis without identifying the family. However, as soon as sufficient concern exists that a student may be at risk of harm or in immediate danger, a referral to children's social care and/or the police will be made without delay and in any event within 24 hours. If the referral is made by a member of staff other than the DSL, the DSL should be informed as soon as possible that a referral has been made.

 

13.4     If the initial referral is made by telephone, the DSL should confirm the referral in writing within  24 hours. If no response has been received within three working days, the DSL must contact children's social care again.

 

13.5     Where relevant, the school will co‐operate with the Channel panel and the police in providing any relevant information so that each can effectively carry out its functions to determine whether an individual is vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The school will respond to requests for information from the police promptly and in any event within five to ten working days.

 

13.6     When the school decides to refer a particular complaint of abuse to social services or the police, the parents and student will be informed in writing of their right to make their own complaint or referral to social services or the police, where appropriate, and will be provided with contact names, addresses and telephone numbers.

 

 

 

[MOU1] 

 

11.0    Staff training including temporary staff, volunteers and newly appointed staff

 

11.1     Staff training encourages all members of staff to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where abuse is concerned. All members of staff, including the Headteacher, have child protection training which is updated regularly (at least annually) in accordance with Enfield Children’s Safeguarding Board guidance and procedures. Such training is arranged by the DSL, and delivered through a combination of INSET, e‐bulletins updates and staff meetings.

 

11.2     All new members of staff, including temporary employees or volunteers, receive formal child protection training as part of the induction process that includes:

 

  •         this policy and related safeguarding policies on Anti‐Bullying and E-Safety;
  •         the staff Code of Conduct;
  •         the school’s whistleblowing procedures;
  •         the role, identity and contact details of the DSL and Deputy DSLs;
  •         a copy of Part One of Keeping children safe in education (2016), including (for adults working directly with children) Annex A: Further Information

 

11.3 All staff receive updated copies of the above documentation and are required to sign a declaration confirming that they have read and understood it; staff training incorporates opportunities for checking and consolidating their understanding.

 

11.4 The DSL and Deputy DSL regularly update their professional knowledge and skills by engaging with developments in safeguarding throughout the academic year; and they undergo formal training at two‐yearly intervals. This training is provided by an approved agency and covers child protection, inter‐agency working in locally agreed procedures, participation in child protection conferences, supporting children in need, identifying children at risk of radicalisation, recordkeeping and promoting a culture of listening to children.

 

11.5 The nominated Safeguarding Governor will also receive regular training to enable them to provide support to the DSL and scrutinise the school’s implementation of safeguarding procedures to ensure current statutory guidance is being adhered to.

 

11.6 All those working within the school on a temporary basis will receive appropriate safeguarding guidance.

 

 

 

12      Whistleblowing

 

12.1    All staff have a responsibility to report to the Headteacher (or if she is not available and the matter is urgent, a member of the Senior Management Team) any concerns about unsafe practice or the behaviour of colleagues. If the member of staff feels unable to do this or the concerns relates to the Headteacher the matter should be reported to the Chair of Governors. The procedures that will be followed when such concerns are raised are set out in the school’s Whistleblowing Policy.

 

12.2     No member of staff will suffer a detriment or be disciplined for raising a genuine concern about unsafe practice, provided that they do so in good faith and following the whistleblowing procedures. Where an adult feels unable to raise a concern about poor safeguarding practice with the School, or where they feel that their concern is not being addressed, they can raise their concern externally. Guidance can be found at: www.gov.uk/whistleblowingor staff can call the NSPCC helpline 0800 0280285 (open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday) or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .u

 

 

 

13    Safer recruitment of staff

 

13.1     Our school endeavours to ensure that we do our utmost to employ ‘safe’ staff by following the guidance in Part Three of KCSIE together with the ESCB and the school’s individual procedures (see the Staff Recruitment Policy).

 

13.2     Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:

 

  •          complete an application form which includes their employment history;
  •          provide two referees, including at least one who can comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children;
  •          provide evidence of identity and qualifications;
  •          provide evidence of their right to work in the UK;
  •          be interviewed;
  •          be checked in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regulations as appropriate to their role;
  •          be checked against the Prohibition Order list as appropriate to their role;
  •          be checked, as appropriate to the role, that the applicant is not subject to a direction made by the Secretary of State under Section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 barring them from taking part in the management of an independent school
  •          be checked for any teacher restrictions imposed by EEA authorities or other overseas checks;
  •          undergo any further checks considered to be necessary.

 

13.3     At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.

 

13.4     The school will also verify the candidate’s mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities.

 

13.5     Written confirmation will be obtained from supply agencies that agency staff have been appropriately checked.

 

13.6     Members of staff working with children under eight will be required to make a ‘disqualification by association’ declaration, indicating that no one living or working at their households has any disqualification from unsupervised access to children.

 

13.7     A Single Central Register of appointments is rigorously maintained. All employees, governors, supply staff, volunteers and others working at the school are checked in accordance with latest KCSIE guidance and the details of these checks are recorded in the SCR.

 

 

 

14.0     Use of digital images - photography and video, especially in Early Years

 

14.1     Staff are not allowed to take photographs or videos on their personal equipment, including mobile phones. They must not attempt to transfer images onto their equipment at home

 

14.2     We follow the following rules for any external use of digital images:

 

  •          If the student is named, we avoid using their photograph.
  •          If their photograph is used, we avoid naming the student.
  •          Where showcasing examples of students work we only use their first names, rather than their full names.
  •          If showcasing digital video work to an external audience, we take care to ensure that students aren't referred to by name on the video, and that students’ full names aren't given in credits at the end of the film.
  •          Only images of students in suitable dress are used.

 

14.3     Examples of how digital photography and video may be used include:

 

  •          the child being photographed (by the classroom teacher, teaching assistant or another child) as part of a learning activity; e.g. photographing children at work and then sharing the pictures on the Interactive whiteboard in the classroom allowing the children to see their work and make improvements.
  •          the child’s image for presentation purposes around the school; e.g. in school wall displays and PowerPoint presentations to capture images around the school or in the local area as part of a project or lesson.
  •          the child’s image being used in a presentation about the school and its work in order to share its good practice and celebrate its achievements, which is shown to other parents, schools or educators; e.g. within a CDROM / DVD or a document sharing good practice; in our school prospectus or on our school website. In rare events, the child could appear in the media if a newspaper photographer or television film crew attend an event. Note: If we wanted the child’s image linked to their name, we would contact the parent separately for permission, e.g. if the child won a national competition and wanted to be named in local or government literature.


 

 

APPENDIX 1: Further information on signs of abuse

 

Physical abuse

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • Unexplained bruises and welts on the face, throat, arms buttocks thighs or lower back in unusual patterns or shapes which suggests the use of an instrument
  • Unexplained burns, cigarette burns, especially burns found on palms, soles of feet, abdomen or buttocks
  • Scald marks –immersion burns produce “stocking” or “glove” marks on feet and hands or upward splash marks which may suggest hot water has been thrown over a child
  • Human bite marks
  • Broken bones

 

  • Behavioural extremes (withdrawal, aggression or depression)
  • Unbelievable or inconsistent explanations of injuries
  • Fear of parents being contacted
  • Flinching when approached or touched
  • Truancy or running away from home

 

Emotional abuse

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • Eating disorders, including obesity or anorexia
  • Speech disorders (stammering
  • Nervous disorders (rashes, hives, facial tics, stomach aches)
  • Fear of parent being approached about behaviour
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Developmental delay in terms of emotional progress
  • Cruel behaviour towards children, adults or animals
  • Self-harm
  • Behavioural extremes, such as overly compliant-demanding, withdrawn-aggressive, listless-excitable
 

 

Sexual abuse

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothes
  • Pain or itching in genital area
  • Bruises or bleeding near genital area or anus
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down
  • Self-harm
  • Sexual knowledge or behaviour (promiscuity) that is beyond their age/developmental level
  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour
  • Avoidance of undressing or wearing extra layers of clothing
  • Truancy
  • Regressive behaviours (bed-wetting or fear of dark)
 

Neglect

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • Height and weight significantly blow age level
  • Poor hygiene (lice, body odour etc)
  • Inappropriate clothing for weather conditions
  • Indicators of prolonged exposure to the elements (sunburn, chapped extremities, insect bites)
  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from others
  • Erratic attendance at college
  • Chronic hunger or tiredness
  • Having few friends
  • Assuming adult responsibilities

 

 

Grooming

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • See section on sexual abuse
  • Wanting to spend increasingly prolonged time online
  • Secretiveness about who they are talking to online and what sites they visit
  • Possession of electronic devices such as mobile phones or webcams that parents have not provided
  • Becoming emotionally volatile
  • Engaging less with their usual friends
  • Using sexual language that you would not expect them to know
  • Going to unusual places to meet people
  • Using drugs and/or alcohol
 

 

Female genital mutilation

 

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

  • Difficulty walking, sitting or standing
  • Bladder or menstrual problems
  • Severe pain and bleeding
  • Infections such as tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C

 

  • Abroad for a prolonged period
  • Unusual behaviour after a period of absence
  • May talk of a ‘special procedure’ or ‘special occasion to become a woman’
  • Spending longer periods in the bathroom
  • Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations

 

Radicalisation

 

There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Young people at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to hide their views. College Staff should use their professional judgement in identifying young people who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately. 

 

Early indicators of radicalism are:

 

  • showing sympathy for extremist causes
  • glorifying violence
  • evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature
  • advocating messages similar to illegal organisations such as “Muslims Against Crusades” or other non-proscribed extremist groups such as the English Defence League
  • out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships.

 

Broad government guidance on the following is also available via the GOV.UK website (see Part one Keeping children safe in education [September 2016])

 

  • bullying including cyberbullying
  • children missing education
  • child missing from home or care
  • child sexual exploitation
  • domestic violence
  • drugs
  • fabricated or induced illness
  • faith abuse
  • female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • gangs and youth violence
  • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
  • hate
  • mental health
  • missing children and adults
  • private fostering
  • preventing radicalization
  • sexting
  • relationship abuse
  • trafficking

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2

 

 

 

APPENDIX 3A

 

 

 

APPENDIX 3B

 

 

 

     ONLY RECORD VISUALLY APPARENT MARKINGS ON THE BODY DIAGRAM BELOW

 



 

APPENDIX 4

 

 

 

SLT Review of children in need or with known Child Protection Plans

 

When recording, do not use child’s full name and keep this log in a secure and locked cupboard

 

(Name of those at the meeting)                        (Signature)

 

Date & Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATES

Children With CP Plan:

 

 

 

Any updates or action needed:

 

Children in need:

 

 

 

 

Any updates or action needed:

 

 

Children being monitored:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any updates or action needed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 5

 

                       

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 6

 

 

 

Key personnel and contact details

 

Noting that external responsibilities and therefore details of any external personnel named blow may be subject to change without notification to the school.

 

 

 

School

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Prevent Officer

 

Name: Gillian Chumbley

 

Job Title: Headteacher

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Telephone: 020 8449 8336

 

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (Deputy DSL)

 

Name: Fionnuala Archer

 

Job Title: Assistant Headteacher

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Telephone: 020 8449 8336

 

Safeguarding governor: Sandra Fennessy

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Telephone: 020 8449 8336

 

 

 

External

 

Enfield Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB):

 

Children at Risk

 

Name: SPOE

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Telephone: 020 8733 5139

 

Enfield Safeguarding Children Board 

Telephone:  020 8379 2767

 

 

Children in Need

 

Name: Children’s Social Care and Referral Team

 

Telephone: 020 8379 2507 Out of office hours: 0208 379 1000

 

 

 

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO): (Allegations against staff, volunteers, governors)

 

Name: Maria Anastasi

 

Telephone: 0208 379 2746/2850

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Contact details for prevention of extremism:

 

LA Prevent Lead: Suj  Ponnampalam  (PC Garett Pennery) 

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Telephone: 0208 379 6137   or mobile 07787 546395 (or non-emergency police line 101)

 

DfE dedicated helpline for teachers and governors: 020 7340 7264 with information provided via

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Contact details for mandatory reporting Female Genitalia Mutilation (FGM) Police contact; 101 (non-emergency) 999 (emergency only)

 

Advice and guidance available from: 0800 028 3550 with information provided via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

Forced Marriage Unit, Tel 020 7008 0151; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

NSPCC/Home Office Child Abuse whistleblowing helpline: 0800 028 0285

 

 

 

Additional external contact details:

 

Independent Schools Inspectorate

 

CAP House, 9-12 Long Lane London, EC1A 9HA

 

Tel: 0207 600 0100

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

 

Address for referrals: PO Box 181, Darlington, DL1 9FA

 

Telephone for referrals: 01325 953 795

 

Telephone for customer services: 0870 909 08 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000

 

NSPCC website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect.

 

Childline: Tel: 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk

 

Ofsted offers impartial advice and guidance on a special 'whistleblowing' helpline 08456 404046.

 

 

 

Although referrals in cases of abuse and/or need to Children’s Services are usually made through the DSL, anyone may make a referral using the contact details above.

 

Any member of staff or volunteer who has concerns about poor or unsafe practice either in general or in any specific case should follow the guidance given in the school’s Whistleblowing Policy.

 

 

 

 

Useful Websites & Documents

 

 

Enfield Safeguarding Children’s Board website contains a wide range of information for both professionals and parent/carers.

 

The website address is: www.enfield.gov.uk/enfieldlscb

 

 

 

All London Child Protection Procedures website has the relevant links to the procedures

 

http://www.londoncp.co.uk/

 

 

 

Keeping children safe in education: for school and college staff (part 1)

 

Ref: DFE-00215-2016PDF, 21 pages

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2

 

 

 

Working together to safeguard children

 

Ref: DFE-00130-2015PDF, 109 pages

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2

 

 

 

Regulated activity in relation to children: scope

 

Ref: DFE-58201-2012PDF, 10 pages

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2

 

 

 

NSPCC

 

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

 

 

 

Childline

 

https://childline.org.uk/

 

 

 

Prevent Guidance

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/97976/prevent-strategy-review.pdf

 

http://www.preventforschools.org/

 


 

 

Pastoral Care

 

Pastoral Care and Welfare Policy 

Introduction

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for the pastoral care and welfare of all children at Vita et Pax Preparatory School, at the heart of which is ‘Every Child Matters’. 

Rationale

Pastoral care is the underpinning in the wider framework that pupils and all staff work within and to be effective, procedures must be used consistently. Caring for pupils is the responsibility of all members of staff although the class teacher is the key figure and ‘parent substitute’. He/she works as part of a team to provide advice and support for each other. 

Aim

  • To provide a safe and caring environment in which children feel secure and valued
  • To encourage children to realise their full potential, personally, socially and academically.
  • To develop children’s understanding of right from wrong.
  • To develop children’s ability to understand and appreciate differences

 Objectives

  • To recognise progress for all, regardless of race, religion, colour or creed.
  • To acknowledge each child’s achievements in a positive way.
  • To emphasise the positive aspects of each child.
  • To give individual and personal guidance to pupils to help develop moral values.
  • To be aware of any change in personal circumstances (eg: address, telephone number, family matters).
  • To ensure that confidential items/records are sensitively dealt with.
  • To be aware of any changes in a child’s usual pattern of behaviour.
  • To monitor any unusual circumstances/incidents that may become reportable under the Child Protection Policy and to record appropriately any reports or suspicions.
  • to develop personal responsibility for safety in a variety of situations
  • to appreciate and feel comfortable with living in a multi-cultural country
  • To reinforce school rules regarding code of conduct, manners, correct uniform, equal opportunities, anti-bullying, health education, first aid and road safety etc..

PASTORAL CARE GENERAL GUIDELINES

Based on the Church’s teachings

 

The school aims to form and develop moral conscience within the context of the Church’s teaching.

This demands that our school community values will include:

  • telling the truth
  • respecting the rights and property of others
  • acting considerately towards others
  • helping those less fortunate and weaker than ourselves
  • taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions
  • self-discipline at all times

We state that our school values reject totally, the following kinds of behaviour:

  • bullying
  • cheating
  • deceit
  • cruelty
  • irresponsibility
  • dishonesty 

‘Every Child Matters’

The Children’s Act ensures that all organisations involved with providing services to children, team up, sharing information and working together, to protect children and young people from harm and help them achieve.

From the Early Years and throughout the school, we encourage the development of self-regulation to equip our children to cope with the ups and downs of life and to feel part of our caring, sharing school community.

All classes attend an assembly at the start of each new term to reinforce the rules and procedures regarding anti-bullying and keeping safe etc. The School Council consists of representatives from each Junior class and meets every two weeks. They are able to bring particular class issues to meetings and are most helpful in providing a different perspective when helping to problem solve.

 

Everyone has an entitlement to a positive self-image and possess a sense of belonging to the Vita et Pax school community and we work hard to achieve this.

Teaching & Learning

 

Introduction

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for teaching and learning at Vita et Pax Preparatory School.

RATIONALE

The Teaching & Learning policy sets out the overall atmosphere in which we educate our pupils and how best to facilitate their learning.

For learning to become a distinct focus from teaching, it has to be supported, a learning environment created, common aspects and approaches adopted and the curriculum planned accordingly. Pupils have to be empowered with core learning skills. 

AIM

  • To provide a range of high quality learning experiences for our pupils and to establish an agreed progression of practice in all subjects in order that a broad and balanced curriculum can be delivered.
  • To establish an ethos that purveys the day to day life of the school, providing a purpose for the daily events that occur.

 OBJECTIVE

Pupils

  • to encourage a positive self-image in order to promote effective learning
  • to encourage pupils to appreciate, celebrate, accept and respect each others’ differences
  • to value application, perseverance, initiative and independence of thought and action, as well as co-operative endeavours.
  • to appreciate human achievements, failures and aspirations. 
  • Teachers/Staff
  • to be committed to the school ethos through the Teaching and Learning Policy
  • to be mutually supportive team members
  • to interact with the pupils in a manner, which promotes and develops self-esteem
  • to prepare a yearly overview and termly/half termly and weekly plans at the appropriate time
  • to work in an environment, which encourages professional development
  • to be pro-active in developing relevant professional skills, to enhance pupil’s learning 
  • Curriculum
  • to provide a variety of learning experiences, building on previous experiences, to develop new concepts and skills.
  • to use a variety of appropriate teaching styles to accommodate all learners i.e. V.A.K. [visual, auditory, kinaesthetic]
  • to enable pupils to learn concepts thoroughly through group, whole class, independent, discussion, paired, concrete, abstract, sequential, random, problem-solving, etc.
  • to differentiated work as appropriate, by tasks and/or outcome.
  • to provide opportunities for reflection and evaluation of learning activities.
  • Resources
  • to develop an ethos where everyone, both adults and pupils are responsible for looking after class-based resources and for returning shared resources. [Any losses or breakages must be reported or recorded.]
  • to maintain, review and update resources regularly
  • To train each other in the care, use and location of resources 
  • Classrooms
  • to provide a stimulating, secure and cheerful environment conducive to learning
  • to be well-organised with relevant, accessible resources that are well-maintained
  • to ensure pupils are taught the necessary skills to use the resources appropriately.

Equal Opportunities

Introduction

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for the equal provision of opportunities at Vita et Pax Preparatory School.

Rationale

For the purposes of this policy statement, ‘equal opportunities' refers to the development of the intellectual, physical and social potential of all, regardless of faith, age, gender, ethnicity, social background, sexual orientation, physical or intellectual ability. 

Aim

At Vita et PaxPreparatory School, we aim to promote the principle of fairness and justice for all, ensuring equal access to a curriculum which is relevant for all so that they may experience success and achieve their full potential. We aim to value all and develop within them a positive self-image and a sense of personal and collective responsibility since this is a prerequisite of success. Everyone is encouraged to recognise and challenge harmful stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes, showing respect and consideration for all members of the school community in order to promote confidence and achievement.

Objectives

  • to incorporate a V.A.K. (Visual, Auditory & Kinaesthetic) approach to all learning.
  • to abide by the school ‘Teaching and Learning’ and staff development policies.
  • to ensure that children are grouped sensitively to develop their confidence, in order to enhance and promote each individual’s learning.
  • to provide opportunities for collaborative work where children can learn from each other and acquire mutual respect for each other’s point of view.
  • to monitor resources to ensure they provide positive images and where bias is evident, to provide opportunities for pupils to discuss the issues.
  • to monitor displays and topic work to ensure they are representative of the diverse cultures within our school.
  • to provide opportunities for pupils to raise and debate equality issues, impressing upon them that it is unjust to make assumptions based solely on faith, gender, race, social background, physical or intellectual ability.
  • To ensure that all recruitment, employment, promotion and training systems are fair to all, and provide opportunities for everyone.
  • to be aware of all staff’s potential and duty as a role model and focus of attention for pupils.

Complaints

 

 

 

VITA ET PAX PREPARATORY SCHOOL

 

 

Reviewed : May 2017

 

Reviewed by: Gillian Chumbley and Katie Callaghan

Adopted by: Full Governing Body on Tuesday 9th May 2017

Next Annual Review: May 2018

 

 

Complaints

 

Rationale

The School’s Governors and the Headteacher recognise the value to all concerned of dealing fairly, speedily and effectively with any complaint against their decisions, actions or omissions, which a parent of a pupil may have. 

 

Aims

It is our aim that any complaints about the School or its staff are received in a positive manner and are handled seriously and sensitively at an early stage.  We aim to be open and listening to parents and pupils alike, allowing members of the School community to feel comfortable in contacting the Headteacher or other members of staff.

 

Objectives

  • Our complaints procedure:
  • encourages resolution of problems by informal means wherever possible;
  • is easily accessible and publicised;
  • is simple to understand and use;
  • is impartial;
  • is non-adversarial;
  • allows swift handling with established time limits for action and keeping people informed of the progress;
  • ensures a full and fair investigation by an independent person where necessary;
  • respects people’s desire for confidentiality;
  • addresses all the issues and provide an effective response and appropriate redress, where necessary;
  • provides information to the School’s senior management team so that services can be improved.


COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Introduction

 

The School has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils.  However, if parents do have a complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the School in accordance with the three-stage procedure outlined below. Any matter about which a parent of a pupil is unhappy and seeks action by the school is considered to be a complaint.

This policy can be made available in large print or other more accessible format, if required. If assistance is required with making a complaint, for example because of a disability, parents should contact the Inclusion Manager who will be happy to make appropriate arrangements.

Separate procedures apply if the Headteacher expels or asks a pupil to leave and the parents seek a Governors’ Review of that decision (a copy of the School’s Expulsion, removal and review policy is available on request).

This policy applies to complaints from parents of current pupils and to parents of former pupils if the complaint was initially raised whilst the pupil was on the School roll.

Timescales for each stage are set out below in the relevant sections. When we refer to working days, we mean Monday to Friday, when the School is open during term time. The dates of the terms are published on the School’s website. Complaints received during holiday periods will be dealt with as soon as is practicable but are likely to take longer to resolve due to the unavailability of relevant staff. 

 

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

 

  • It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally.

 

  • If parents have a complaint they should normally contact their son/daughter’s class teacher.  In many cases, the matter will be resolved straightaway by this means to the parents’ satisfaction.  If the class teacher cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for him/her to consult the Director of Studies/Headteacher.

 

  • Stage 1 complaints will be responded to by the school within 5 working days of being made. Where a complaint has not been resolved by informal means within this time scale to the parents’ satisfaction, the parents may proceed to make a formal complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this procedure.

 

  • A written record of the complaint, its resolution and any actions taken will be kept by the person dealing with the matter. Such records will be monitored by the Senior Leadership Team.

 

Complaint against the Headteacher

  • A complaint about the Headteacher should first be addressed directly to the Headteacher for an informal resolution. If the parent is dissatisfied with the response of the Headteacher or in the event that the complaint cannot be resolved by informal means, the parent may make a formal complaint under Stage 2 of this procedure.
  • Alternatively, parents may choose to make their complaint about the Headteacher in writing to the Chair of Governors via the clerk to the Governing Body.  In this case, the complaint will be treated as a formal complaint under Stage 2 of this procedure.

 

Stage 2 – Formal Resolution

 

  • If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis, then the parents should put their complaint in writing to the Headteacher.  The Headteacher will acknowledge in writing receipt of the complaint within 3 working days, indicating what action is being taken and the likely time scale. The Headteacher will decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate course of action to take.

 

  • In most cases, the Headteacher will meet or speak to the parents concerned.  If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage.

 

  • It may be necessary for the Headteacher to carry out further investigations. The Headteacher will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.

 

  • Once the Headteacher is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents will be informed of this decision in writing within 10 working days of the formal complaint being acknowledged.  The Headteacher will also give reasons for the decision reached.

 

  • If parents are still not satisfied, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this procedure.

 

 

Stage 3 – Panel Hearing

 

  • If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution), they will be advised to write to the Chair of Governors or his appointed person (the Convenor), who has been appointed by the Governors to call hearings of the Complaints Panel.

 

  • The matter will then be referred to the Complaints Panel for consideration.  The Panel will consist of at least three persons not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, one of whom shall be independent of the management and running of the school.  Each of the Panel members shall be appointed by the Chair of Governors. 

 

  • The Chair of Governors or the Convenor will acknowledge the request within 5 working days of receiving it and schedule a hearing before the Panel to take place as soon as practicable and within 15 working days thereafter.

 

  • If the Panel deems it necessary, it may require that further particulars of the complaint or any related matter be supplied in advance of the hearing.  Copies of such particulars shall be supplied to all parties not later than 5 days prior to the hearing.

 

  • The parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person.  This may be a relative, teacher or friend.  Legal representation will not normally be appropriate.

 

  • If possible, the Panel will resolve the parents’ complaint immediately without the need for further investigation. Where further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should be carried out. 

 

  • After due consideration of the matters discussed at the hearing, the Panel will reach a decision. The Panel’s decision, findings and any recommendations shall be confirmed in writing to the parents and, where relevant, to the person complained about within 10 working days of the hearing. The decision of the Panel will be final. The Panel’s decision, findings and any recommendations will be available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and the Headteacher.

 

 

Additional information with regard to EYFS provision

 

  •    All written complains relating to the fulfilment of EYFS requirements will be investigated and parents will be notified of the outcome within 28 days of the school receiving the complaint.
  •    Parents may make a complaint about the school’s fulfilment of EYFS requirements directly to Ofsted and/or the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Their contact details are as follows:

 

Ofsted                                                                                Independent Schools Inspectorate

Royal Exchange Buildings                                                     CAP House

St Anne’s Square                                                                 9-12 Long Lane

Manchester                                                                         London

M2 7LA                                                                               EC1A 9HA

Tel: 0300 123 4666                                                              Tel: 0207 600 0100

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                              Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

  • The record of complaints will be made available to Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate on request.
  • The record of complaints is kept for at least 3 years.               

 

Confidentiality, records and other matters

 

Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially.  Correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints are to be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 109 of the 2008 Act requests access to them, or where any other legal obligations prevail. In accordance with data protection principles, details of individual complaints will be kept for as long as is considered to be reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

 

A written record will be kept by the Headteacher of all formal complaints, including any action(s) taken by the School as a result of the complaint (regardless of whether it is upheld) and of whether they are resolved at Stage 2 or progressed to a panel hearing. The Governing Body examines this record on an annual basis.

The number of formal parental complaints received by the School in the academic year 2015/2016 is as follows:

 

Stage 2 Complaints: 0    Stage 3 Complaints: 0

 

 

Data Protection

  

General Statement 

The Governing Body of the school has overall responsibility for ensuring that records are maintained, including security and access arrangements, in accordance with Education Regulations and all other statutory provisions.

 

The Head Teacher and Governors of this School intent to comply fully with the requirements and principles of the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Data Protection Act 1988.  All staff involved with the collection, processing and disclosure of personal data are aware of their duties and responsibilities within these guidelines.

 

Enquiries 

Information about the school’s Data Protection Policy is available from the school Bursar.  General information about the Data Protection Act can be obtained from the Information Commissioner’ Office (website www. ICO.gov.uk).

Fair Obtaining and Processing

Vita et Pax Preparatory School undertakes to obtain and process data fairly and lawfully by informing all data subjects of the reasons for data collection, the purposes for which the data are held, the likely recipients of the data and the data subjects’ right of access.  Information about the use of personal data is printed on the appropriate collection form.  If details are given verbally, the person collecting will explain the issues before obtaining the information. 

“processing” means obtaining, recording or holding the information or data or carrying out any or set of operations on the information or data.

“data subject” means an individual who is the subject of personal data or the person to whom the information relates. 

“personal data” means data, which relates to a living individual who can be identified.  Addresses and telephone numbers are particularly vulnerable to abuse, but so can names and photographs be, if published in the press, Internet or media. 

“parent” has the meaning given in the Education act 1996, and includes any person having parental responsibility or care of a child.

 Registered Purposes

 The Data Protection Registration entries for the School are available for inspection, by appointment, at the School Office.  Explanation of any codes and categories entered is available from the School Bursar,who is the person nominated to deal with Data protection issues in the School.  Registered purposes covering the data held at the school are listed on the school’s Registration and data collection documents.  Information held for these stated purposes will not be used for any other purpose without the data subject’s consent.

 Data Integrity

 The school undertakes to ensure data integrity by the following methods:

 Data Accuracy

 Data held will be as accurate and up to date as is reasonably possible.  If a data subject informs the School of a change of circumstances their computer record will be updated as soon as is practicable.  A printout of their data record will be provided to data subjects every twelve months so they can check its accuracy and make any amendments.

 Where a data subject challenges the accuracy of their data, the School will immediately mark the record as potentially inaccurate, or ‘challenged’.  In the case of any dispute, we shall try to resolve the issue informally, but if this proves impossible, disputes will be referred to the Governing Body for their judgements.  If the problem cannot be resolved at this stage, either side may seek independent arbitration.  Until resolved the ‘challenged’ marker will remain and all disclosures of the affected information will contain both versions of the information. 

Data Adequacy and Relevance

 Data held about people will be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which the data is being held.  In order to ensure compliance with this principle, the School will check records regularly for missing, irrelevant or seemingly excessive information and may contact data subjects to verify certain items of data.

The school collects data from the Registration Form, Acceptance Form, Medical Form, Attendance Registers and the Headcount information for Early Years.

Pupil information is also collected from examination results and recorded in Pupil Tracking spreadsheets. Teachers keep weekly mark books for monitoring purposes.

The Bursar will update the School Data-base regularly and archive past pupil information.

The Director of Studies will update the Pupil Tracking annually and archive/remove irrelevant or outdated entries.

Length of Time

Data held about individuals will not be kept for longer than necessary for the purposes registered.  It is the duty of the School Bursarto ensure that obsolete data are properly erased.

Subject Access

The Data Protection Acts extend to all data subjects a right of access to their own personal data.  In order to ensure that people receive only information about themselves it is essential that a formal system of requests is in place.  Where a request for subject access is received from a pupil, the school’s policy is that:

 

¨      Requests from pupils will be processed as any subject access request as outlined below and the copy will be given directly to the pupil, unless it is clear that the pupil does not     understand the nature of the request.

 

¨      Requests from pupils who do not appear to understand the nature of the request will be referred to their parents or guardian.

 

¨      Requests from parents in respect of their own child will be processed as requests made on behalf of the data subject (the child) and the copy will be sent in a sealed envelope to the requesting parent.

 

Processing Subject Access Requests

Requests for access must be made in writing.

Pupils, parents or staff may ask for a Data Subject Access form, available from the School Office.  Completed forms should be submitted to the HeadmistressProvided that there is sufficient information to process the request, an entry will be made in the Subject Access log book, showing the date of receipt, the data subject’s name, the name and address of requester (if different), the type of data required (eg Student Record, Personnel Record), and the planned date of supplying the information (normally not more than 40 days from the request date).  Should more information be required to establish either the identity of the data subject (or agent) or the type of data requested, the date of entry in the log will be date on which sufficient information has been provided.

Note:  In the case of any written request from a parent regarding their own child’s record, access to the record will be provided within 15 school dates in accordance with the current Education (Pupil Information) Regulations. 

Authorised Disclosures

The School will, in general, only disclose data about individuals with their consent.  However there are circumstances under which the School’s authorised officer may need to disclose data without explicit consent for that occasion.

 These circumstances are strictly limited to:

 

¨      Pupil data disclosed to authorised recipients related to education and administration necessary for the school to perform its statutory duties and obligations.

 

¨      Pupil data disclosed to authorised recipients in respect of their child’s health, safety and welfare.

 

¨      Pupil data disclosed to parents in respect of their child’s progress, achievements, attendance, attitude or general demeanour within or in the vicinity of the school.

 

¨      Staff data disclosed to relevant authorities eg in respect of payroll and administrative matters.

 

¨      Unavoidable disclosures, for example to an engineer during maintenance of the computer system.  In such circumstances the engineer would be required to sign a form promising not to disclose the data outside the school. I.T personnel working on behalf of the School are contractually bound not to disclose personal data.

 

¨      Only authorised and trained staff are allowed to make external disclosures of personal data.  Data used within the school by administrative staff, teachers and welfare officers will only be made available where the person requesting the information is a professional legitimately working within the school who need to know the information in order to do their work.  The school will not disclose anything on pupils’ records which would be likely to cause serious harm to their physical or mental health or that of anyone else – including anything which suggests that they are, or have been, either the subject of, or at risk of child abuse.

A “legal disclosure” is the release of personal information from the computer to someone who requires the information to do his or her job within or for the school, provided that the purpose of that information has been registered.

An “illegal disclosure” is the release of information to someone who does not need it, or has no right to it, or one which falls outside the School’s registered purposes.

 

Data and Computer Security

Vita et Pax Preparatory School undertakes to ensure security of personal data by the following general methods:

Physical Security

Appropriate building security measures are in place, such as alarms, window bars, deadlocks and computer hardware cable locks.  Only authorised persons are allowed in the computer room.  Disks, tapes and printouts are locked away securely when not in use.  Visitors to the school are required to sign in and out, to wear identification badges whilst in the school and are, where appropriate, accompanied.

Logical Security

Security software is installed on all computers containing personal data.  Only authorised users are allowed access to the computer files and password changes are regularly undertaken.  Computer files are backed up regularly.

Procedural Security

In order to be given authorised access to the computer, staff will have to undergo checks and will sign a confidentiality agreement.  All staff are trained in their Data Protection obligations and their knowledge updated as necessary.  Computer printouts as well as source documents are shredded before disposal.

Overall security policy for data is determined by the school Bursar and is monitored and reviewed regularly, especially if a security loophole or breach becomes apparent.  The School’s security policy is kept in a safe place at all times.

Any queries or concerns about security of data in the school should in the first instance be referred to the school Bursar.

Individual members of staff can be personally liable in law under the terms of the Data Protection Acts.  They may also be subject to claims for damages from persons who believe that they have been harmed as a result of inaccuracy, unauthorised use or disclosure of their data.  A deliberate breach of this Data Protection Policy will be treated as disciplinary matter, and serious breaches could lead to dismissal.

Further details on any aspect of this policy and its implementation can be obtained from:

The school Bursar/Headmistress.

Date of issue/revision:  ____/____/____

 

ACCESS TO PERSONAL DATA REQUEST


DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998     Section 7.

 

Enquirer’s  Surname…………………………Enquirer’s Forenames………………………………..

Enquirer’s  Address   …………………………………………………………………………………

                              …………………………………………………………………………………

                              …………………………………………………………………………………

                              …………………………………………………………………………………

Enquirer’s Postcode       ……………………………

 

Telephone Number    ……………………….

 

Are you the person who is the subject of the records you are enquiring about               YES    /      NO

(i.e. the “Data Subject”)? 

If NO,

 Are you a parent as defined by the Education Act 1996 of a child who is the “Data Subject” of the            YES   /      NO     records you are enquiring about?                                                                                                                                                                                                         

If YES, 

Name of child or children about whose personal data records you are enquiring                 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………..

 

……………………………………………………………………..

 

……………………………………………………………………..

 

……………………………………………………………………..  

 

Description of Concern / Area of Concern

 

 

 

 

Description of Information or Topic(s) Requested (In your own words)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information.

 Please dispatch Reply to:  (if different from enquirer’s details as stated on this form)

 Name

 Address

 Postcode

DATA SUBJECT DECLARATION 

I request that the School search its records based on the information supplied above under Section 7 (1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 and provide a description of the personal data found from the information described in the details outlined above relating to me (or my child/children) being processed by the School.

I agree that the reply period will commence when I have supplied sufficient information to enable the School to perform the search.

I consent to the reply being disclosed and sent to me at my stated address (or to the Dispatch Name and Address above who I have authorised to receive such information).

 

Signature of “Data Subject” (or Subject’s Parent)              …………………………………………

Name of “Data Subject” (or Subject’s Parent) (PRINTED)  ………………………………………….

Dated                                                                       ………………………………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

                

 

Assess,Record & Report

 

Rationale

Assessment, recording and reporting is a natural part of the teaching and learning process. They are an important feature of the school’s planning arrangements and the monitoring of the progression of individual pupils, providing information on each child’s experience and achievement. They identify what the child knows, understands and is able to do and provide information to guide future learning and development, where the recording and reporting of significant and relevant information is disseminated to those who have a right to know.

Aim:

  • At Vita et PaxPreparatory School, we aim to use assessment, recording and reporting procedures to enhance pupils’ learning, performance and personal development.  They provide a means of evaluating the school’s curriculum and teaching, to assist the progression and continuity throughout the school. They will assist in identifying individual needs [strengths, weaknesses, diagnostic check etc.]. 

Objectives:

  • To assess children’s progress in relation to the School’s Subject Policies
  • To use assessments to plan and provide a broad and balanced curriculum to suit every child’s needs and abilities
  • To keep relevant records, which are simple, meaningful and informative
  • To give children written and oral feedback about their performance, appropriate to the individual needs and lesson objectives
  • To relate marking to learning objectives and setting appropriate targets for children
  • To evaluate where further effort, resources and changes to the curriculum may enhance teaching and learning
  • To inform school reports to parents, governors and the wider community about the achievements of pupils at Vita et Pax Preparatory School

Guidelines

Forms of assessment:

Teachers continually assess pupils’ performance through their observations of children on tasks set and through the work produced.  Formal assessments are also made during the year.

These may be:

a)         Diagnostic – this identifies specific learning difficulties and strengths.

b)         Formative – is on-going and shows how knowledge is integrated and the factors which may prevent achievement

c)         Summative – this sums up what has been achieved and measures performance at the end of each complete unit of work or through nationalised standardised assessment tests. 

Records

Records of attainment are useful to map children’s progress.

 They will include:

  • Scrap Book portfolio
  • Baseline assessments
  • Teachers’ reading files
  • Weekly spelling and dictation results
  • Levelled writing assessment book [twice yearly, covering specific genre]
  • Daniels & Diack Reading & Comprehension test
  • Salford reading test
  • Dolch reading test
  • Vernons spelling test
  • End of topic assessment grids
  • Approach to Learning cards [Autumn & Spring terms]
  • NfER Progress in English & Maths Reception – Year 6 [May]
  • ISEB Assessments in English & Maths – Year 3 – 6 [November] 

Monitoring

Children’s progress will be monitored continually through informal and formal assessments by the class teacher and this will inform both medium and short term planning.

The Head, Deputy and Key Stage Co-ordinators will be responsible for monitoring progress throughout the key stage or school.  Work will be scrutinised and reported back to staff to help inform future planning 

Parents are invited to attend the Curriculum Evening with the class teacher, at the beginning of the Autumn term, to hear about the work and procedures involved in the new academic year.  Opportunities are there to discuss any individual issues that may arise.

In November & May each year ISEB & NfER tests are completed.  These are followed by Parents’ Consultation meetings, which are arranged depending on the examination date.

A written report in July summarises the year’s work. At the end of the autumn and spring terms, parents will also receive an Approach to Learning card, which sets out how pupils’ attitudes to their work are progressing. 

Remember to:

   Start from where you’re at.

   Celebrate success.

   Assess the important.

   Record the significant.

   Personalise feedback

   Edit out the insignificant

   Report the highlights.

 

Anti-Bullying Policy

 

Vita et Pax Preparatory School Anti-Bullying Policy

At this school we seek to create a culture in which bullying of any kind, either against pupils or adults is not accepted by any member of the school community. As an organisation that is serious about child protection, we will also be serious about preventing and tackling bullying of any kind including cyber-bullying, which is often repeated over time, can threaten both the mental health and educational progress of our pupils while also posing threat to their emotional wellbeing. 

The school enables all members of the school community to understand what constitutes bullying; making it clear to pupils, staff, parents and guardians that bullying is completely unacceptable. 

We strongly believe that our pupils have the right to study in a safe, supportive and secure environment, free from physical threats, verbal taunts and any form of harassment. Incidents of bullying threaten this and cause enormous stress to victims. We are therefore strongly committed to the avoidance of bullying in all its forms. We provide a clear framework for dealing with incidents of bullying, ensuring that bullies are dealt with swiftly and firmly. 

Our aim is to promote positive relationships amongst all members of the school community and to develop a culture in which individuals are listened to and their concerns taken seriously. Hence staff training includes building an awareness of bullying and cyber-bullying, of our legal responsibilities and  how  as  a  school  community  we  may  effectively  minimise  the  risks  and dangers posed especially but not only for children identified as particularly vulnerable, e.g. those with SEND. 

We believe that the principle means of prevention is through the maintenance of conditions where bullying is less likely to flourish and is more easily detected. As we are a relatively small school, all pupils are known to us personally and it is therefore easier for us to detect signs of possible distress. Moreover, we feel that it is important that pupils have free and informal access to the Head and other staff. Even so, we also believe that it is important to set down clear sanctions to be applied against those who are bullies, thereby signaling the seriousness with which the school regards this.  

This policy applies to all school activities both on and away from the school site. Records  are kept to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach or to enable patterns to be identified. As part of our Behaviour Policy our school believes that all children and adults have the right  to live in a supportive, caring environment in which pupils feel safe and free from bullying and harassment. 

The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  It is our aim that all pupils achieve their very best. In our school, the term ‘staff’, in the context of safeguarding, is inclusive of all staff and is also inclusive of students on placement, contractors, agency staff, volunteers, and proprietor.   

Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups. For example, this may include cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying on the grounds of race, culture, sex, sexual orientation, homophobia, gender reassignment, SEND (as defined in the Equality Act 2010), the use of discriminatory language, religion and belief, or because a child is adopted or is a carer.    

This policy is made available on the school’s website and on request through the school’s main reception desk.  It is subject to continual review by  the  leadership  and management  and the directors of the school. It is formally reviewed at least annually. An appendix provides details of guidance made available for schools and parents by the DfE.

Agreed by     

                  

Gillian Chumbley                                 Simon Payne
Headteacher                                         Chairman of the Board of Directors
May 2017

 

 

 

1 Bullying  

Child Protection Related Issues

1.1 A bullying incident is treated as a potential child protection concern and particularly so when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. In such cases the school reports its concerns to the local safeguarding children board. The school understands that bullying is potentially emotional and/or physical abuse.  See our safeguarding policy. 

1.2 Any kind of bullying is unacceptable.

1.3 Members of staff are especially vigilant with those children identified as more vulnerable, for example, looked after children or those with SEND.

2 Definition of Bullying

2.1 Bullying may be defined as a deliberate, unprovoked and a repeated (over time) action to intentionally hurt, humiliate, threaten, frighten or hurt an individual or group physically or emotionally.

2.2 It may occur directly or through cyber-technology such as social websites, mobile phones, text messages, photographs and email. A feature of bullying in schools is that its existence is not always immediately known or suspected by those in authority.

2.3 The school recognises the seriousness of both physical and emotional bullying in causing psychological damage and even suicide. The term ‘bullying’ is commonly associated with acts of violence but some form of non-physical bullying is experienced by most pupils at some period during their school career.

2.4 Additionally, as noted in the school’s safeguarding policy, bullying is potentially abuse and therefore may be subject to the school’s safeguarding procedures involving external agencies including if a criminal offence is involved the police.

2.5 Although most bullying is repeated and deliberate, in some cases bullies act just once against a given victim, for example, when sending or posting attacks online: something which is ‘out there’ potentially for all time and may be read and re-read by the victim as well as others. Hence, we are vigilant not just against repeated actions but also against any single action which has a similar impact. 

3 Forms of Bullying

3.1 Bullying may occur in many ways and can take many forms including:

a) Emotional (indirect bullying) including isolation of others by a refusal to co-operate with them and exclusion - being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding  books, threatening gestures), deliberately excluding from social groups or an activity by refusal to sit next to/ talk to/ work/ cooperate with others and refusal to follow staff instructions to do the above, or malicious rumours, e-mails or text messages, and also exclusion from play/discussions etc. with those whom they believe to be their friends.

b) Physical harm or its threat including the abuse of personal property – jostling, serious fighting, pushing, kicking, hitting, taking or hiding  belongings, punching or  any use of violence; deliberately destroying or damaging work or possessions or removing personal property, use of weapons/threatening use of weapon (or any object which could be used as a weapon), intimidation through physical gestures and actions.

c) Cyber – not occurring face to face but rather through electronic means including, but not limited to, social networking sites, internet and intranet sites, email, instant messaging, by mobile phone including through text messages and phone calls, photographs both real and manipulated and so on.

d) Racist - Bullying directed at individuals of a certain race, culture, ethnicity, language, faith, community, national origin or national status. The distinctive feature of racist bullying is that the victim is attacked not as an individual but as the representative of a family, community or group. This is an area where schools are required to keep statistics about incidents.

e) Cultural – focusing on and/or playing off perceived cultural differences or similar.

f) Sexist – covers a wide range of behaviour from name calling to physical sexual assault.  It is the use of sexual language or negative stereotyping on the basis of gender.

g) Sexual - is unwanted or inappropriate physical contact or sexual innuendo.

h) Homophobic - This is bullying which is directed towards people who are openly gay, bisexual, are perceived as gay, or show characteristics. Heterosexual young people subject to homophobic bullying are less reluctant to report it as this may enforce the stereotypical way that they are already viewed by others so sensitivity and positive support is required for victims.

i) Religious – Attacking faith, belief, religious practice or custom.

j) Special Educational Needs and Disability – remarking upon, drawing attention to, or discriminating against persons with physical disabilities or learning difficulties or other identified special educational needs such as emotional and behavioural disabilities (EBD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) - (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia.

k) Verbal  -  name-calling,  sarcasm,  spreading  rumours,  making  snide  comments,  teasing, humiliating others, threatening others, inciting others to humiliate and threaten others and

l) Written – spreading rumours, writing or printing unkind or malicious on paper.

3.2 Bullying can take place between pupil and pupil, staff and staff and staff and pupil. We consider the pastoral care of the pupils and staff to be of prime importance. In class, this role largely rests with the class teacher. It is school policy that any misdemeanour will be dealt with by the member of staff present when it occurs, whether in the playground, classroom, cloakroom or any part of the school.

3.3 A common code of behaviour is expected from everyone at the school (please refer to our Behaviour Policy). All staff and volunteers are expected to treat each other with a professional level of respect.

4 Signs of Bullying

4.1 All members staff must be alert to the signs of bullying. Noting that this list is not exhaustive of all possibilities, these may include:

a) unwillingness to return to school;

b) displays of excessive anxiety, becoming withdrawn or unusually quiet;

c) failure to produce work, or producing unusually bad work, or work that appears to have been copied, interfered with or spoilt by others;

d) books, bags and other belongings suddenly go missing, or are damaged;

e) a  change  in  established  habits  (e.g.  giving  up  music  lessons,  change  to  accent  or vocabulary)

f) psychological damage and diminished levels of self-confidence;

g) frequent visits to first aiders with symptoms such as stomach pains, headaches and so on;

h) unexplained cuts and bruises;

i) frequent absences, erratic attendance and late arrivals to class;

j) nervousness and jumpy when a cyber-message is received;

k) asking for extra pocket money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)

l) choosing the company of adults

m) displaying repressed body language and poor eye contact, difficulty in sleeping, experiences nightmares;

n) verbal taunts;

o) pupils sitting on their own and pupils left out of activity groups during lessons or play activities; and

p) talking of suicide or running away.

4.2 Although there may be other causes for some of the above symptoms, any significant indications and/or a repetition or a combination of these possible signs of bullying should be investigated by parents and teachers whenever possible working together.

5Strategies

5.1 We will work to prevent and eliminate any form of bullying by:

a) promoting good behaviour and positive relationships based on mutual respect;

b) making pupils fully aware of the school’s policy through, for example, a list of expectations outlined in the pupil planner;

c) ensuring pupils understand that if they have been bullied or have witnessed bullying, they should tell a member of staff, their parents or any helpful adult or friend;

d) promoting anti-bullying through educational  elements  such  as  assemblies, projects,  drama, stories,  literature, and using the curriculum, tutorial and circle time and, in particular, the Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) programme to raise awareness of issues relating to bullying, whilst developing Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning, with discussion of differences between people, and the importance of avoidance of prejudice-based language;

e) actively promoting fundamental Catholic Gospel values through planned and coherent opportunities often within the context of PSHE (please refer to both the PSHE and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development;

f) informing parents by various means of the school’s anti-bullying policy whilst encouraging them to support it;

g) providing counselling and help for victims of bullies and for bullies themselves ;

h) ensuring that the perpetrator and his/her parents, are fully aware of the unacceptable nature of the behaviour and the consequences of any repetition;

i) giving support to those involved in bullying to enable them to change their behaviour;

j) imposing reasonable, proportionate and consistent sanctions as and when necessary;

k) seeking the support of outside professional agencies as appropriate;

l) developing initiatives to raise awareness of the negative impact of bullying by any member of our community such as an anti-bullying week and peer mentoring and

m) familiarising all staff at the school with the anti-bullying policy through In-Service training and Professional Development to ensure it is applied consistently and fairly and by showing respect for all members of the school community, they act as good role models for pupils.

5.2 This Anti-bullying Policy is dovetailed with the Behaviour Policy and makes it clear what the sanctions are for bullying. We implement disciplinary sanctions that reflect the seriousness of an incident and convey a deterrent effect. If necessary, strong sanctions, such as exclusion, would be used in cases of severe and persistent bullying.

5.3 It is incumbent on the school to have clear policies that are communicated to parents, pupils and staff, along with creating an environment of good behaviour and respect, with helpful examples set by staff and older pupils. Integral to our policy is involving parents and making sure pupils are clear about the part they can play to prevent bullying, including when they find themselves as bystanders.

5.4 Handling of a bullying incident is given much thought to ensure that the facts are fully known, agreed and understood by the bully or bullies and the victim or victims. Bullying instances are reported and recorded so that patterns can be identified. Records are also kept to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach. As always, our management of personal data is in line with statutory requirements.

6 Classroom Management

 

6.1 Teachers’ classroom management will link strongly to our Behaviour Policy. This includes a positive ethos with emphasis on the dignity of each pupil, on praise and reward, rather than punishment. The skills of self-discipline must be learnt early in life. All pupils will know that their teacher is a person to whom they can talk.

 

6.2 Pupils will be given the opportunity in class to discuss bullying and how to deal with it. Pupils will be encouraged to discuss how they get on with others and how to form positive attitudes towards them. This includes a review of what friendship really is and how to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Teachers will be aware that they can radically affect the incidence of bullying and that it must always be taken seriously.

 

7 Playground Management

 

7.1 The staff on duty should be patrolling the playground areas and constantly monitoring the behaviour of pupils. In the case of minor misbehaviour – a pupil will be given the chance to apologise to the person against whom the misbehaviour has been directed – this may stop the situation getting out of hand. 

 

7.2 The supervisors will report bullying to the teacher on duty, who in turn will act in accordance with the agreed policy. Teachers will be aware that they can radically affect the incidence of bullying and that it must always be taken seriously.

 

8 E-safety and Cyber-Bullying

 

8.1 In accordance with legislative requirements we have a whole school approach to e-safety. This includes annual update training for staff regarding e-safety. The school also organises annually an awareness session for parents with regards to e-safety. We expect all pupils to adhere to the safe use of the internet as detailed in our ICT-Based Forms of Abuse (including Cyber- Bullying) Policy.

 

8.2 The active management of hardware, software and connectivity and vigilance of teachers and parents has an active part to play in the protection of pupils from Cyber-Bullying incidents. Pupils will have access to technologies that have both positive and negative potential. Our policy of the use of technology within the school setting and beyond is understood and respected by staff and it is important the students and the wider school community also respect this policy.

 

8.3 Within our e-safety policy, we have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for online safety as part of the school’s wider safeguarding strategy and how this links with other safeguarding policy (please refer to safeguarding policy cited in related documents). There is clear guidance on the use of technology in the classroom and beyond for all users within the school’s e-safety policy that references permissions/restrictions and agreed sanctions.

 

8.4 The policy also details how the school builds resilience in its pupils to protect themselves and their peers through education and information. Our staff receive training into the professional development of safeguarding techniques that include online safety (please refer to e-safety and safeguarding policies). There are reporting mechanisms available for all users to report issues and concerns to the school and how they are managed and/or escalated. The management of all personal data is in line with statutory requirements.

 

9 Procedures

 

It is important that all staff be alert to early signs of distress in pupils. If a member of staff witnesses a bullying incident, in any form (within, or outside school), or is approached by a pupil about bullying, they should investigate the incident without delay according to the agreed procedures that are as follows:

 

a) Minor cases of verbal or physical unpleasantness should be dealt with on the spot by the teacher

 

b) Pupils should be reminded of the standards of behaviour expected.

 

c) Where an incident gives greater cause for concern, teaching or support staff who witness or are told of the bullying should take a detailed record of the incident and names of those involved. The record of bullying should be passed to the Class Teacher of the pupils involved.

 

d) The class teacher will investigate the incident and see the pupil involved. The relevant Senior Leader should be kept informed of any instances of bullying.

 

e) Parents will always be informed if their child has been found to be either a victim or a perpetrator of a bullying incident.

 

f) Victims, alleged bullies and witnesses should be interviewed separately by the teacher first involved and are required to write down independent accounts of the incidents/situations. In the course of this procedure enquiries should be made to ascertain whether or not the alleged bully has been involved in similar incidents involving this or other pupils, thus enabling patterns of behaviour to be established, and evaluate the effectiveness of any approach adopted.

 

g) If a first offence is of a serious nature, the Deputy Head should be informed as a matter of urgency.

 

h) Bullying which has been recurrent or persistent, should be referred to a member of the senior leadership.

 

i) The school will continue to monitor the wellbeing of the victim and the behaviour of the bully. Meet with the victim on the review date to determine whether the bully/ies have stopped their behaviour. If the bullying has stopped comment favourably to the bully, inform staff that the problem has stopped. Inform the Head if the bullying has continued. The Head will then take appropriate action.

 

j) their action is totally unacceptable;

 

k) it is meant as a deterrent to enabling repeat behaviour and

 

l) it is a signal to other members of the community that bullying is not tolerated

 

m) the threshold for dealing with an issue of pupil behaviour or bullying is subject to local specifics as in any other case: when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’. Our response will include that any such abuse will be referred to local agencies. In the event of disclosures about pupil-on-pupil abuse that all children involved, whether perpetrator or victim, are treated as being ‘at risk’.

 

9.2 Action should then be taken with regard to each of the following:

 

a) Advice and support for the victim in accordance with the Behaviour Management Policy.

 

b) Sanctions imposed will be relative to the age of the pupil. The bully must understand what he/she has done and why the sanctions are being applied. Sanctions and support for the bully are used in accordance with the Behaviour Management Policy.

 

c) Informing the parent of the victim, the bully and possibly others involved.

 

d) Formally recording the incident on the pupil(s)’ files.

 

e) Giving general information to  all staff, through staff briefing and staff meetings, of incidents of bullying, mentioning the type of incident and the individuals involved.

 

f) Giving relevant feedback and reminders about appropriate behaviour to pupils.

 

9.3 Accusations of bullying of a pupil or pupils by any member of staff will be dealt with as a safeguarding matter and will be governed by the procedures set down in the school’s safeguarding policy.

 

10 Good Practice for Staff

 

10.1 Be continually aware, watchful and available promoting good behaviour and encourage the care of others.

 

10.2 Ensure pupils are appropriately supervised.

 

10.3 Report all cases of bullying by other pupils to the relevant Senior Leader.

 

10.4 Parents’ involvement and cooperation can be sought and parents of pupils involved will be kept informed.

 

11 Staff Training

 

11.1 We raise awareness of staff through training, so that the principles of the anti-bullying policy are understood, legal responsibilities are known, action is defined to resolve and prevent problems and sources of support are available.

 

11.2 Where appropriate we invest in specialised skills to understand the needs of the pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

 

11.3 We also emphasise to staff the importance of working in partnership with parents. 

 

 

 

Appendix 

 

Useful guidance is provided by the DfE:

 

General guidance:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444862/Preventing_and _tackling_bullying_advice.pdf

 

Support of bullied children:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444864/Supporting_bulli ed_children.pdf  

 

Advice on cyber-bullying for schools:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374850/Cyberbullying_A dvice_for_Headteachers_and_School_Staff_121114.pdf

 

Advice on cyber-bullying for parents:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444865/Advice_for_pare nts_on_cyberbullying.pdf  

 

 

 

 

 

The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  It is our aim that all pupils achieve their very best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educational Visits Handbook

A HANDBOOK FOR GROUP LEADERS taking Educational Visits 

This is Part 3 of a 3-part supplement to Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits: A Good Practice Guide (HASPEV).   See also HASPEV; Health and Safety: Responsibilities and Powers; and the other parts of this supplement: Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits and Standards for Adventure.  The complete book is kept in the staffroom.

INTRODUCTION 

The purpose of this handbook is to provide practical information that might be helpful to group leaders and others, day to day, whilst taking part in an educational visit.  It adds to and brings together in one place, the advice for group leaders that is spread throughout the Good Practice Guide “Health & Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits” (HASPEV).  It does not cover planning arrangements before the visit, which can be found in HASPEV.

The handbook is not a substitute for training.  We recommend that all group leaders have access to training before taking pupils on educational visits. 

The handbook does not seek to replace local or other professional guidance or regulations. No guidance should be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. That is for the courts.

The handbook includes advice on supervision, ongoing risk assessment, emergency procedures, and some specific types of visit.  The printed version of the handbook will be in loose-leaf style, which will allow for easy amendment when new information comes to light and for additional pages to be added on new topics.  Amendments and any new topics will be posted on the web at http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/visits, from where they can be downloaded and printed for inclusion in the handbook.

Like HASPEV, the supplement can be adopted or adapted by schools for their own purposes. We acknowledge the Department as the source for any such use and declare any local variation of the text.  

Enquiries about the contents of this Supplement should be addressed to the Department’s Pupil Health and Safety Team on 020 7925 5536. 

CONTENTS                                                                                                           

SUPERVISION                                                                                                          

Responsibility

Head counts etc.

The Buddy System

Remote Supervision

Rearranging Groups

Down Time

Night Time 

ONGOING RISK ASSESSMENT

Check the local weather forecast

Local Knowledge 

Plan B

Behaviour problems, illness or injury 

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Preparation

Emergency procedures framework during the visit

ADVICE ON SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES 

Coastal visits

Swimming in the sea or other natural waters

Farm Visits

SUPERVISION

HASPEV Chapter 3 and Standards for Adventure give advice on supervision ratios, vetting suitability of supervisors and brief advice on responsibilities, competence, head counts and remote supervision.  This section aims to give more practical advice on supervision “in the field”.

Responsibility

 The Group leader is responsible overall for the group at all times.  In delegating supervisory roles to other adults in the group, it is good practice for the group leader to:

²   allocate supervisory responsibility to each adult for named pupils;

²  ensure that each adult knows which pupils they are responsible for;

²  ensure that each pupil knows which adult is responsible for them;

²  ensure that all adults understand that they are responsible to the group leader for the supervision of the pupils assigned to them;

²  ensure that all adults and pupils are aware of the expected standards of behaviour.

It is good practice for each supervisor to: 

²  have a reasonable prior knowledge of the pupils including any special educational needs, medical needs or disabilities;

²  carry a list/register of all group members;

²  directly supervise the pupils (except during remote supervision) - particularly important when they are mingling with the public and may not be easily identified; 

²  regularly check that the entire group is present;

²  have a clear plan of the activity to be undertaken and its educational objectives;

²  have the means to contact the group leader/other supervisors if needing help;

²  have prior knowledge of the venue – the group leader should normally have made an exploratory visit, see Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits;

²  anticipate a potential risk by recognising a hazard, by arriving, where necessary, at the point of hazard before the pupils do, and acting promptly where necessary;

²  continuously monitor the appropriateness of the activity, the physical and mental condition and abilities of the group members and the suitability of the prevailing conditions;

²  be competent to exercise appropriate control of the group, and to ensure that pupils abide by the agreed standards of behaviour;

²  clearly understand the emergency procedures and be able to carry them out;

²  have appropriate access to First Aid;

Each pupil should:

²  know who their supervisor is at any given time and how to contact him or her;

²  have been given clear, understandable and appropriate instructions;

²  rarely if ever be on their own;

²  alert the supervisor if someone is missing or in difficulties;

²  have a meeting place to return to, or an instruction to remain where they are, if separated;

²  understand and accept the expected standards of behaviour.                                                                                            

Head counts etc.

Whatever the length and nature of the visit, regular head counting of pupils should take place, particularly before leaving any venue.  It is good practice for all supervisors to:

²  carry a list/register of all pupils and adults involved in the visit at all times;

²  ensure that pupils are readily identifiable, especially if the visit is to a densely populated area.  Brightly coloured caps, T-shirts or a school uniform can help identify group members more easily; 

²  avoid identification that could put pupils at risk e.g. name badges (though some schools find it useful to provide pupils with badges displaying the name of the school or hotel and an emergency contact number, or for visits abroad a note in the language of the country being visited);

²  ensure that all pupils are aware of rendezvous points;

²  ensure that all pupils know what to do if they become separated from the group. 

‘Buddy’ system

Each child is paired with a buddy.  Each regularly checks that the other is present and is OK.    A variant of this is the ‘circle buddy’ system – the pupils form a circle at the start of the visit so that each pupil has a left side buddy and a right side buddy. He or she will check on these when asked. Thus two pupils cannot vanish together and not be missed (as might happen with paired buddies). 

Remote Supervision

Supervision can be close or remote but is always 24 hours:

²  close supervision occurs when the group remain within sight and contact of the supervisor;

²  remote supervision occurs when, as part of planned activities, a group works away from the supervisor but is subject to stated controls (e.g. during certain Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions). The supervisor is present though not necessarily near or in sight, but his or her whereabouts are known;

²  down time (or recreational time) – for example during the evenings – may involve close or remote supervision, but should not be unsupervised  - the supervisors continue to be in      charge;

²  it is essential that everyone involved in the visit understands the supervision arrangements and expectations. 

When supervision is remote:

²  groups should be sufficiently trained and assessed as competent for the level of activity to be undertaken, including first aid and emergency procedures. Remote supervision will normally be the final stage of a phased development programme;

²  pupils will be familiar with the environment or similar environments and have details of  the rendezvous points and the times of rendezvous;

²  clear and understandable boundaries will be set for the group;

²  there must be clear lines of communication between the group, the supervisor and the school. Do not rely exclusively on mobile phones;

²  the supervisor should monitor the group’s progress at appropriate intervals;

²  the supervisor will be in the expedition or activity area and able to reach the group reasonably promptly should the group need support in an emergency;

²  there should be a recognisable point at which the activity is completed;

²  there should be clear arrangements for the abandonment of the activity where it cannot be safely completed. 

Rearranging Groups

Potential danger points can occur when rearranging groups.  In particular:

 

²  when a large group is split into smaller groups for specific activities;

²  when groups transfer from one activity to another and change supervisor;

²  during periods between activities;

²  when small groups re-form into a large group.

 

It is therefore important that the supervisor:

 

²  clearly takes responsibility for the group when their part of the programme begins, particularly making certain that all group members are aware of the changeover;

²  clearly passes on responsibility for the group when their part of the programme is concluded, together with any relevant information ensuring that the group members know who their next leader is.

Down Time

Group leaders should ensure that pupils continue to be properly supervised during downtime before, between and after activities, including the evenings on residential visits.  A group occupied in study or activity is far safer than a group left to its own devices in an unfamiliar environment.  Too much unstructured free time in a residential programme can allow time for mischief, bullying, homesickness and wandering off from the body of the group.    

It is good practice to:

²  ensure that all staff and pupils understand the standards of behaviour that apply at all times, not just during activities;

²  ensure that handover between activities is properly supervised, with a named supervisor responsible for the group if there is down-time between activities;

²  ensure that all supervisors understand that their supervisory role continues in the evening – however hard a day it has been, that it is not a time to relax in the bar or in front of the TV;

²  use down-time in the evening or at the beginning of the day to brief the group on the planned activities for the day to come, e.g. the planned learning outcomes, specific health and safety issues, meal and break times etc.;

²  use down time after activities for individual reflection on personal learning outcomes, and group discussion about the highs and lows of the day;

²  apply the advice contained in “Remote Supervision” above, adapted as necessary, if it is felt reasonable to allow pupils some time without close supervision;

²  occupy the group with mildly active, non-academic activities in the evening, e.g. craft activities, environmental activities, quizzes, team challenges, led-walks.

Night Time

Group leaders should ensure that:

²  the group’s immediate accommodation is exclusively for the group’s use;

²  teachers (of both genders where appropriate) have sleeping accommodation on the same floor immediately adjacent to the pupils’ accommodation;

²  there is a teacher present on that floor whenever the pupils are there;

²  child protection arrangements are in place to protect both pupils and staff;

²  where hotel/hostel reception is not staffed 24 hours a day, security arrangements should be in force to stop unauthorised visits;

²  in the absence of 24 hour staffing of reception, external doors must be made secure against intrusion and windows closed as necessary to prevent intrusion;

²  where possible, internal doors are lockable but staff must have reasonable access to the pupil accommodation at all times;

²  where pupils’ doors are locked, teachers have immediate access, as necessary, to a master key;

²  all staff and pupils know the emergency procedures/escape routes in the event of a fire.  Where windows and doors are locked against intrusion at night, ensure that alternative escape routes are known and that all fire doors function properly.

 

Don’t be lulled into a sense of false security by local assurances, such as “no need to lock doors in this part of the country”.  The presence of the group may attract unwelcome attention that is unusual in the locality. 

Travel

A driver cannot safely drive and supervise children at the same time.  Group leaders should ensure that:

²  transport by road has seat belts and that the pupils wear them;

²  there is adequate supervision at all times when travelling;

²  supervisors are reserved seats that allow them to supervise properly

²  pupils are supervised when boarding and leaving;

²  extra care is taken when leaving a vehicle in a country that drives on the right as some doors may open onto the road side;

²  standards of behaviour are met, and in particular that drivers are not distracted

²  smoking/alcohol etc. bans are observed;

²  pupils are occupied on long journeys – this will help the journey pass quickly;

²  evacuation procedures are clearly understood by everyone, luggage is securely stored and emergency exits are kept clear;

²  there are adequate rest stops for drivers;

²  head counts are carried out when the group is getting off or onto transport.

 

ONGOING RISK ASSESSMENT

HASPEV chapter 2 paragraphs 37-46, and Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits deal with risk assessment. Risk assessment does not end when the visit begins.  Changes to the itinerary, changes to the weather, incidents (whether minor or major), staff illness – all or any of these may bring pupils face to face with unexpected hazards or difficulties and give rise to the need to re-assess risk. 

 

The group leader (and other adults with responsibility) prepares ongoing risk assessments while the visit is taking place. These normally consist of judgements and decisions made as the need arises. They are not usually recorded until after the visit. They should be informed by the generic and visit or site specific risk assessments

 

It is good practice to have briefings each night to take stock and assess the circumstances for the next day, and to spend time early the next morning explaining arrangements to the pupils.

 

Check the local weather forecast

²  to inform decisions on appropriate clothing;

²  to be aware of whether water activities might be in areas prone to flash floods, high winds etc.;

²  to be aware of whether trekking or climbing at altitude might be subject to dramatic changes of weather; potential for fallen trees, avalanches etc.

 

Seek local knowledge of potential hazards, e.g.

²  tides;

²  rivers/streams prone to sudden increases in flow;

²  difficult terrain;

²  crossing points for road, rail or water;

²  unstable cliffs. 

Plan B

²  good forward planning will always include alternative plans in case the itinerary needs to be changed;

²  a flexible itinerary can allow activities from later in the visit to be substituted for earlier activities if those are prevented by unexpected circumstances;

²  group leaders faced with potential difficulties will feel more confident to change the itinerary if a pre-assessed alternative is available;

²  regardless of whether alternatives have been pre-assessed, always take time to reassess risks if the itinerary changes;

²  on arrival at an alternative site or activity that has not previously been risk assessed, we recommend that the group leader should risk assess the situation before allowing the pupils to disembark from the transport;

²  an unknown location might involve hazards not covered in the original risk assessment, for example if the original intention to visit a land-only site has to be changed at short notice to a lake or seaside location.

 

Behaviour problems, illness or injury

²  poor behaviour may be reduced by ensuring that all pupils are signed up to agreed standards of behaviour before (or at least at the beginning of) the visit;

²  educational visits can be a good opportunity for school staff to get to know pupils away from the confines of the school.  But the group leader should resist any temptation to accept lower standards of behaviour.  The different hazards that pupils may be exposed to away from the school will require them to observe standards of behaviour that are at least as high as, or higher than, in the classroom;

²  if one adult has to give prolonged attention to one group member, the group leader should reassess the supervisory roles of the other adults to ensure that all members of the group know who is responsible for them.  Activities may need to be amended until the other adult returns all of his or her attention to the group;

²  group leaders should trust their own knowledge of the young people and use their own professional judgement;

²  this may include challenging an activity leader where the group leader’s knowledge of the group is superior, or intervening to prompt a change of plan.

 

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Preparation

 

See HASPEV Chapter 10 and Standards for LEAs in Overseeing Educational Visits.  By their nature, emergencies are usually unexpected.  But careful emergency planning can mitigate the trauma of being caught up in an emergency.   It is good practice for the group leader to:

²  agree an emergency action plan, which includes 24-hour (i.e. constant cover) contact points at the school/LEA and clear roles for the group leader, school/LEA contact, head teacher e.g. managing media interest, supporting parents of an injured pupil, transport arrangements etc.;

²  ensure that all members of the group know what action to take if there is a problem;

²  hold evening briefings with supervisors to discuss issues for the next day;

²  spend time early the next morning explaining arrangements to the pupils;

²  hold, or ensure that other adults in the group hold, up-to date competence in first aid and other life saving competence as necessary for the activities;

²  ensure that the first aid kit is properly stocked and accessible (see Guidance on First Aid for Schools, paragraph 60 http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/firstaid);

²  ensure that all pupils’ medical needs (e.g. asthma, diabetes, anaphylaxis) are known and that staff are competent to handle them (see Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs: A Good Practice Guide http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/medical);

²  be aware that some diseases are more common in some countries and know what preventative action to take and what to do if a group member becomes infected;

²  recognise that many of the health problems of pupils on longer visits are caused by lack of food, of liquid or of sleep;

²  if appropriate, advise group members about the dangers of over-exertion in the heat and of dehydration, which can cause headache, dizziness and nausea;

²  in warm climates, keep fluid levels high, take extra salt and wear loose, lightweight clothing – preferably made of cotton or other natural fibres – and use suitably factored sun protection creams and sun hats/glasses;

²  ensure that drivers take adequate rest breaks on long journeys;

²  ensure that all pupils understand and follow the code of conduct;

²  practice emergency drills e.g. evacuation of mini-bus;

²  if abroad, know where the nearest British Embassy or Consulate is located and the telephone number.  Depending on the age of the pupils, it may be appropriate to ensure that they have this information to hand. 

 

Emergency procedures framework during the visit

If an emergency occurs on a school visit the group leader should maintain or resume control of the group overall.  The main factors to consider include:

²  establish the nature and extent of the emergency as quickly as possible;

²  ensure that all the group are safe and looked after;

²  establish the names of any casualties and get immediate medical attention;

²  ensure that a teacher accompanies casualties to hospital with any relevant medical information, and that the rest of the group are adequately supervised at all times and kept together;

²  notify the police if necessary;

²  ensure that all group members who need to know are aware of the incident;

²  ensure that all group members are following the emergency procedures and the roles allocated to them – revise procedures and re-allocate roles as necessary;

²  inform the school contact and provider/tour operator (as appropriate).  The school contact number should be accessible at all times during the visit;

²  details of the incident to pass on to the school should include: nature, date and time of incident; location of incident; names of casualties and details of their injuries; names of others involved so that parents can be reassured; action taken so far; action yet to be taken (and by whom);

²  school contact should notify parents, providing as full a factual account of the incident as possible;

²  notify insurers, especially if medical assistance is required (this may be done by the school contact);

²  notify the British Embassy/Consulate if an emergency occurs abroad;

²  ascertain phone numbers for future calls.  Try not to rely solely on mobile phones;

²  write down accurately and as soon as possible all relevant facts and witness details and preserve any vital evidence;

²  keep a written account of all events, times and contacts after the incident;

²  complete an accident report form as soon as possible.  Contact HSE or local authority inspector, if appropriate;

²  no-one in the group should speak to the media.  Names of those involved in the incident should not be given to the media as this could cause distress to their families. Refer media enquiries to a designated media contact in the home area;

²  no-one in the group should discuss legal liability with other parties, nor sign anything relating to accident liability without clear advice from their LEA;

²  keep receipts for any expenses incurred – insurers will require these.

ADVICE ON SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES

Coastal visits

HASPEV chapter 8 “Types of Visit” has advice on coastal visits at paragraphs 181-2. HASPEV states: “…many of the incidents affecting pupils have occurred by or in the sea. There are dangers on the coast quite apart from those incurred in swimming.”

 

The group leader will want to bear the following points in mind when assessing the risks of a coastal activity:

 

²  tides, rip tides and sandbanks are potential hazards; timings and exit routes should be checked;

²  group members should be aware of warning signs and flags;

²  establish a base on the beach to which members of the group may return if separated;

²  look out for hazards such as glass, barbed wire and sewage outflows etc;

²  some of a group’s time on a beach may be recreational.  Group leaders should consider which areas of the terrain are out of bounds, and whether the risk assessment allows swimming in the sea;

²  cliff tops can be highly dangerous for school groups even during daylight.  The group should keep to a safe distance from the cliff edge at all times – a “buffer zone” between the pupils and the hazard.  Be aware that cliff falls can mean that cliff paths stop abruptly at the cliff edge;

²  group leaders should not normally allow pupils to ride mountain bikes on any route that is near a sheer drop e.g. coastal path or canal towpath.  If the risk assessment indicates that the risk could be managed adequately, then there should be a small known group of skilled and experienced riders accompanied by appropriately qualified staff;

²  the local coastguard, harbour master, lifeguard or tourist information office can provide information and advice on the nature and location of hazards.

Swimming in the sea or other natural waters

Swimming and paddling or otherwise entering the waters of river, canal, sea or lake should never be allowed as an impromptu activity. The pleas of children to be allowed to bathe – because it is hot weather, for example, or after a kayaking exercise - should be resisted where the bathing has not been prepared for.  In-water activities should take place only when a proper risk assessment has been completed and proper measures put in to control the risks. The activities should be formal and supervised. 

 

It is good practice that, wherever possible, group leaders seek out recognised bathing areas that have official surveillance i.e. qualified lifeguard cover.  But, even then, group leaders should be aware that pupils might mingle with members of the public and be lost to view.  Pupils should always be in sight and reasonable reach of their supervisors. 

 

The group leader should:

²  be aware that many children who drown are strong swimmers;

²  ascertain for themselves the level of the pupils’ swimming ability;

²  check the weather;

²  be aware of the local conditions – such as currents, weeds, rip tides, a shelving, uneven or unstable bottom – using local information from the lifeguard, coastguard, harbourmaster, police or tourist information office;

²  beware of rocks, breakwaters and other potential hazards;

²  look out for warning signs and flags: a red flag means it is unsafe to swim; yellow flags mean that lifeguards are on patrol in the area between the flags; a black and white flag means it is an area used by surfers and not suitable for swimming;

²  designate a safe area of water for use by the group;

²  brief the group about the limits of the swimming area;

²  avoid crowded beaches where it is harder to see pupils;

²  be aware of the dangerous effects of sudden immersion in cold water;

²  be aware of the dangers of paddling especially for young pupils;

²  ensure that pupils have not eaten (at least half an hour) before swimming;

²  ensure the activity is suitable for the pupils, especially any with special needs or disabilities;

²  adopt and explain the signals of distress and recall;

²  ensure that buoyancy aids, lifejackets etc. are used where appropriate;

²  carry out regular head counts;

²  be aware that it is not always possible to tell when someone is in difficulties.

 

Supervisors should

²  have clear roles – at least one supervisor should always stay out of the water for better surveillance, even where lifeguards are on duty;

²  take up a best position from which to exercise a constant vigilance;

²  divide their careful watching between staff who stand in the sea and look landward towards the group and staff who stay on land and watch the group from that vantage point;

²  give the children their full, undivided attention;

²  always follow the advice or directions of a lifeguard;

²  never swim themselves unless it is to help a child in distress;

²  not join in any of the children’s games;

²  ensure that no child is allowed to wade out or swim further than his or her waist height;

²  nevertheless, be aware that it is possible to drown in one’s own depth, and to act immediately when a child appears to be in difficulties;

²  ensure that children leave the water immediately if they get too cold, especially if toes and fingers look blue or feel numb - could suggest the onset of hypothermia;

²  recognise that a child in difficulty is unlikely to wave or shout – all of their energies will be in trying to keep afloat.

 

It is good practice for the group leader, or another designated adult in the group, to hold a relevant life saving award, especially where lifeguard cover may not be available.  For further advice contact the: The Royal Lifesaving Society UK, River House, High St, Broom, Warwickshire B50 4HN (Tel: 01789 773994) http://www.lifesavers.org.uk/

 

 

Farm Visits

"There is a seasonal increase in the number of cases of E.coli 0157 infection, and there is a link between farm visits and infection in young children. This means that some simple and sensible precautions should be taken."  - Chief Medical Officer -12 April 2000 

Group Leaders should check the provision at the farm to ensure that

²  eating areas are separate from those where there is any contact with animals;

²  there are adequate clean and well-maintained washing facilities;

²  there is clear information for visitors on the risks and the precautions to take.

 

Ensure that

²  there is adequate trained adult  supervision wherever children can come into contact with animals and need to wash their hands;

²  all children wash their hands thoroughly immediately after touching animals and before any eating or drinking;

²  shoes are cleaned and then hands are washed on leaving the farm.

 

Never let pupils:

²  place their faces against the animals;

²  put their hands in their own mouths after touching or feeding the animals;

²  eat or drink while going round the farm;

²  eat or drink until they have washed their hands;

²  sample any animal foodstuffs;

²  drink from farm taps (other than in designated public facilities);

²  touch animal droppings - if they do then wash and dry hands;

²  ride on tractors or other machines;

²  play in the farm area, or in other areas that are out of bounds such as grain storage tanks, slurry pits etc.

 

The Chief Medical Officer’s revised guidance suggests:

 

²  individual supervision by an adult for every child younger than 12 months;

²  a supervision ratio of one adult for two children for children between ages one and two;

²  gradually increasing ratios up to one adult for eight children for children between ages five and eight;

²  higher standards for washing facilities.

   
FURTHER INFORMATION

Department for Education and Skills

Health & Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV), and supplement

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/visits

 

Health & Safety: Responsibilities & Powers http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/responsibilities

 

Guidance on First Aid for Schools http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/firstaid

 

Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs: A Good Practice Guide http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/medical

 

Work experience: A guide for secondary schools 2002

 

Work Experience: A guide for employers 2002

 

Child Protection: Preventing Unsuitable People from Working with Children and Young Persons in the Education Service. DfES May 2002.

 

Safety Education Guidance Leaflet

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/safetyeducationguidance

 

Chief Medical Officer Advice on Farm Visits: A Department of Health Press Notice 12 April 2000.

 

HSE

 

Guidance to the Licensing Authority on the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 1996 (HSC £9)

 

A Guide to Risk Assessment Requirements - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg218.pdf

 

Avoiding ill health at open farms: Advice to teachers AIS23 new edition 28 June 2000 of advice mentioned in HASPEV).

 

Five Steps to Risk Assessment . (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf)

 

Adventure activities centres; five steps to risk assessment (£4.50) 

 

The New General Teaching Requirement for Health and Safety, QCA/HSE, 1999

 

Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools revised edition 1999. HSG 179 £10.50

 

Reducing Risk Protecting People 2001

 

Preparing Young People for a Safer Life (issued with Cheshire County Council and The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health – tel 0116 257 3100). This has a model risk assessment for a sponsored walk.

 

Adventure activities centres: five steps to risk assessment  (£4.50)

 

Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee (AAIAC): Statement of Risk Perception in Adventure and Outdoor Activities

 

Others

 

Information about adventure activity providers covered by the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme http://www.aala.org.uk

 

The Wales Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the British Activity Holiday Association (see next) provide voluntary inspection schemes to complement licensing for providers of activities that are out of scope of licensing

 

The British Activity Holiday Association, 22 Green Lane, Hersham, Surrey, KT12 5HD. Tel/Fax: 01932 252994.  www.baha.org.uk

 

Get Safe for Summer - Amateur Swimming Association.  www.asa.-awards.co.uk

 

Safe Supervision for Teaching and Coaching Swimming.  Amateur Swimming Association and others. 2nd edition 2001  Tel: 01509 618700. Advice on ratios in HASPEV paragraph 187, which are pupil year-based, should be read in conjunction with the competence-based ratios in Safe Supervision

 

The Royal Lifesaving Society UK, River House, High St, Broom, Warwickshire B50 4HN (Tel: 01789 773994) http://www.lifesavers.org.uk/

 

Minibus Safety: A Code of Practice - RoSPA and others 2002 www.rospa.com/pdfs/road/minibus.pdf

 

Safety on School Trips A Teachers and the Law Booklet  - The Professional Association of Teachers. Revised edition 2002

 

Educational Visits - NASUWT 2001

 

Guidance published by the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for various adventure activities as in HASPEV. NGBs also maintain leader training and assessment programmes.

 

Safe and Responsible Expeditions and Guidelines for Youth Expeditions - Young Explorers’ Trust, c/o RGS-IBG Expedition Advisory Centre. £5 inc. p & p or free from website: http://www.rgs.org/eacpubs

 

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s Expedition Advisory Centre, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR provides advice, information and training to anyone planning an overseas expedition. Tel 020 7591 3030 http://www.rgs.org/eac

 

The Independent Schools' Adventure Activities Association (ISAAA) offers help, support and technical advice to any Independent School www.malcol.org/isaaa/

 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has its own clear structure, procedures and guidelines http://www.theaward.org/.

 

Guidance is produced by many of the voluntary youth organisations

 

Guidelines for Off-Site Educational Visits and Activities in the United Kingdom Nottinghamshire CC September 2001 has a section on camping pages 75-79.

 

Safe Kids Campaign Report 2000, Child Accident Prevention Trust

 

Transport for London provides free transport for school groups on the underground, buses, Thameslink and the Docklands Light Railway.  The advice line for the scheme is 0207 918 3954 and the website is at www.tfl.gov.uk/schoolparty.  The general travel advice line can offer information on route planning and station layouts. Apart from its commitment to the safety of its passengers Transport for London does not offer specific advice on health and safety for school groups but refers them to HASPEV and HSE risk assessment guidance.

 

The Waterways Code (leaflet) and The Waterways Code for Boaters (video) are available from British Waterways - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   - tel: 01923 201120

 

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has produced a range of guidance on personal safety, including booklets, videos and training courses http://www.suzylamplugh.org

 

The OCR (Oxford Cambridge RSA) 'Off-Site Safety Management Scheme' provides a training course aimed at those who organise off-site visits. It is exam-based and teachers can combine it with practical experience: http://www.ocr.org.uk/schemes/ownbrand/examined/offsite/Offindex.htm