The Ivytree Nursery is committed to working with children, staff, parents, volunteers and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children are paramount and to give them the very best start in life.
We carry out the following procedures to ensure we provide a safe and secure provision for all children, young people and vulnerable adults so they can learn and develop in a safe environment.
We are committed to building a 'culture of safety and vigilance' where children’s welfare is promoted and timely and appropriate safeguarding action is taken to protect children and families who need extra support and help or who may be suffering or likely to suffer harm.
Our designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who co-ordinates child protection issues is: Liane James and the Deputy safeguarding Officer is Maxine Andrews.
- We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too.
- All staff have an up-to-date knowledge and training of safeguarding issues.
- Staff attend regular training and the manager/safeguarding lead regularly cascades up to date government safeguarding info through supervision meetings, staff meetings and email updates.
- Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided to meet the needs of children.
- Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for all staff and volunteers prior to their post being confirmed and again once a term, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting has access to the children.
- Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
- Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone who is working directly with the children working including volunteers and outside entertainers we hire.
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- Information is recorded about staff qualifications and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:
- the criminal records disclosure reference number;
- The date the disclosure was obtained.
- All staff and volunteers are informed that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children every term (whether received before or during their employment with us) also disqualification by association.
- We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.
- All Staff and volunteers are expected to comply with spot checks on their personal belongings for reasons of a child protection concern.
- Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting. Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
- Steps are taken to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child.
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2015).
Responding to suspicions of abuse
We acknowledge that abuse of children can take many different forms Safeguarding action will be promptly taken to protect children and learners from:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse
- Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls
- Radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour
- Child sexual exploitation and trafficking
- Domestic violence female genital mutilation
- Forced marriage
- Fabricated or induced illness
- Poor parenting, particularly in relation to babies and young children
- Other issues not listed here but pose a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- When children are suffering and experiencing abuse this may be demonstrated through:
- significant changes in their behaviour;
- deterioration in their general well-being;
- unexplained absence from the setting
- their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure);
- Changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.
- We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parent’s learning disability.
- We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability such as, abuse of disabled children; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children, such as through internet abuse; and Female Genital Mutilation; that may affect, or may have affected, children and young people using our provision.
- We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.
- Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the procedures below for reporting child protection concerns.
- Where such evidence is apparent, the Manager/safeguarding lead makes a dated record of the details of the concern. Records will be held in a confidential file.
- We refer concerns to the local authority children’s social care department The Single Point of Access (SPA) and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation. In serious cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
- We take account of the need to protect young people aged 16-19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include students or school children on work placement, young employees or young parents. Where abuse is suspected we follow the procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns.
- The views of the young person will always be taken into account, but the setting may override the young person’s refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only where not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
Safeguarding at The Ivytree Nursery Hampton is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care and education, including:
- Children’s and learners’ health and safety and well-being, including their mental health
- Meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
- Meeting the needs of children and learners with medical conditions
- Providing first aid
- Educational visits
- Intimate care and emotional well-being
- Online safety and associated issues
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
- Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; that member of staff:
- listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
- does not question the child;
- makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes: the date and time of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time.
- These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's personal file, which is kept securely and confidentially.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity.
- Where the Local Safeguarding Children Board stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Making a referral to the local authority children's social care team
- Our local Safeguarding Children contains procedures for making a referral to the local children's social care team SPA, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making a referral.
- We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by our Local Safeguarding Children Board SPA.
- Parents are normally the first point of contact. Concerns are discussed with parents to gain their view of events, unless it is felt that this may put the child in greater danger.
- Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in the confidential file and we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.
- If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.
- This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the social workers will inform parents.
Liaison with other agencies
- We work within the SPA and Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.
- The current version of 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' available for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.
- We have procedures for contacting the local authority regarding child protection issues, including maintaining the address and telephone numbers of social workers. The Single Point of Access team (SPA) 0208 547 5008 (020 8744 2442 for out of hours / weekends) would be the agency we would call if we had concerns about a child.
- We notify Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on our premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.
- Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept.
Allegations against staff
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff, volunteer or any other person living or working on the premises, which includes: inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.
- We follow the guidance of SPA and the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
- We refer any such complaint immediately to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to investigate: Vivien Rimmer 020 8891 7969 (name and phone number)
- We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted, as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
- We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
- Where the management team and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the member of staff or volunteer will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff, as well as children and families throughout the process.
Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children and vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for staff and volunteers. We are also committed to empowering young children, through our early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.
- Training opportunities are sought for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of abuse and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
- The Designated safeguarding leads receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the provision.
- The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision for group provision: No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others
- We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
- We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children's heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
- We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
- All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Support to families
- We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers.
- We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, information sharing, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team. We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
- We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting's designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
- Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- Children Act (1989 s47)
- Protection of Children Act (1999)
- Data Protection Act (1998)
- The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
- Sexual Offences Act (2003)
- Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
- Equalities Act (2010)
- Data Protection Act (1998)
- Statutory Guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
- What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2015)
- Safeguarding and child protection, A guide for early years and childcare providers in Kingston and Richmond (2015)
- Richmond Local Safeguarding Children Board
- Prevent Duty (2015)
- Safer recruitment
- Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (2016)
- Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2007)
- Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (HMG 2015)
- Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check
This policy was adopted by The Ivytree Nursery Hampton (name of provider)
On 01/09/17 (date)
Date reviewed 01/09/18 (date)
Date rewiewed 13/04/19
Date to be reviewed 01/09/19
Signed on behalf of the provider
Name of signatory Liane James
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner) Owner/Manager