Child Safeguarding Policy

The Rock and Pop Academy is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.

 

The Rock and Pop Academy will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. The Rock and Pop Academy’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation.

The Rock and Pop Academy’s Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) is Dorothy Brown. The DSP coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted). 

 

All teaching staff and managers will also work alongside the schools’ own safeguarding policy and will also report to their designated safeguarding lead in the event of a concern.

These definitions are based on those from Working Together to Safeguard Children (Department of Health, Home office, Department for Education and Employment, 2018 and Department of Education 2019.

 

This policy is based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.

  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

  • We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.

  • We understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All staff (paid/unpaid) have a responsibility to report concerns to the Designated Person with responsibility for child protection.

  • All members of staff, including teaching and office staff receive annual safeguarding training.  This covers all areas in the Department for Education document  ‘Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2020‘ (updated September 2020) – including Mental Health,  the Prevent Strategy, FGM and Child Sexual Exploitation

  • Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.

  • We recognise that all matters in relation to child protection and safeguarding are confidential

 

We will aim to safeguard children by:

  • Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.

  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents and carers, staff and volunteers.

  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know and involving parents and children appropriately.

  • Carefully following the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers.

  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through support, supervision and training.

  • We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice regularly.

 

This policy sets out agreed guidelines relating to the following areas:

  • Responding to allegations of abuse, including those made against staff and volunteers.

  • Recruitment and vetting of staff and volunteers.

  • Supervision of organisational activities.

Child abuse and neglect
 

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.

Physical Abuse
 

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

 

Emotional Abuse

 

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

 
Sexual Abuse

 

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

 

Neglect

 

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

 

Recognising and Responding to Abuse
 
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.

Physical Signs of Abuse may include
 

  • Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them

  • Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or games

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body

  • Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching)

  • Cigarette burns

  • Bite marks

  • Broken bones

  • Scald

  • Injuries which have not received medical attention

  • Neglect-under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses, inadequate care

  • Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains

 
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse:
 

  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation

  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

  • Flinching when approached or touched

  • Reluctance to get changed, for example, wearing long sleeves in hot weather

  • Depression

  • Withdrawn behaviour

  • Running away from home

 
The physical signs of emotional abuse may include:

  • A failure to thrive or grow, particularly if a child puts on weight in other circumstances e.g. in hospital or away from their parents’ care

  • Sudden speech disorders

  • Persistent tiredness

  • Development delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse include:
 

  • Obsessions or phobias

  • Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration

  • Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults

  • Being unable to play

  • Attention seeking behaviour

  • Fear of making mistakes

  • Self-harm

  • Fear of parents being approached regarding their behaviour

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

  • Pain or itching in the genital/anal area

  • Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas

  • Sexually transmitted disease

  • Vaginal discharge or infection

  • Stomach pains

  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down

  • Pregnancy

 
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming withdrawn or aggressive

  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people

  • Having nightmares

  • Running away from home

  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or developmental level

  • Sexual drawings or language

  • Bedwetting

  • Eating problems such as over-eating or anorexia

  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts

  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about

  • Substance or drug abuse

  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money

  • Not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence)

  • Acting in a sexually explicit way with adults

 
The physical signs of neglect may include:

  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children

  • Constantly dirty or smelly

  • Loss of weight or being constantly underweight

  • Inappropriate dress for the conditions

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect include:

  • Complaining of being tired all the time

  • Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments

  • Having few friends

  • Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised

If abuse is suspected or disclosed:

  • Stay calm and listen carefully to what is being said.

  • Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others. Do not promise to keep secrets.

  • Allow the child to continue at his/her own pace.

  • Ask questions for clarification only, and at all-time avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer.

  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.

  • Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.

  • Record in writing what was said using the child’s own words as soon as possible. Note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated.

  • Refer the disclosure to the DSP as soon as possible


The Rock and Pop Academy Ltd is also committed to promoting awareness and providing ongoing training and support with regards to; child sexual exploitation, extremism, county lines, child criminal exploitation and Mental health.

Child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation 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. 

 

The Prevent Duty
Based on government guidance Protecting children from radicalisation: the prevent duty July 2015
Prevent works to stop individuals from getting involved or supporting terrorism or extremist activity. ... The Prevent Programme is designed to safeguard people in a similar way to safeguarding processes to protect people from gang activity, drug abuse, and physical and sexual abuse. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.

 

Extremism
Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to sow division between communities on the basis of race, faith or denomination; justify discrimination towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society. Extremism is defined in the Counter Extremism Strategy 2015 as the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist. 

 

County Lines
County Lines As set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, published by the Home Office, a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money, and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons. 

Child criminal exploitation
Child criminal exploitation As set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, published by the Home Office, where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into any criminal activity 
(a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or 
(b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or 
(c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child criminal exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

 

Mental Health
Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect of exploitation.
Abuse, neglect and other traumatic adverse childhood experiences can have a lasting impact and it’s key that staff are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. The childhood experiences can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education.
Guidance on Preventing and Tackling Bullying and Mental Health and Behaviours in Schools is available in ‘Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2020', but in all cases, if staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguard concern, then immediate action should be taken , following the child protection policy and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead. 

Peer on Peer abuse
Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer o peer abuse. The different forms peer on peer abuse can take, such as:

  • Sexual violence and sexual harassment.

  • Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling or otherwise causing physical harm;

  • Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) 

  • Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.

  • Bullying (including cyberbullying)

 

FGM – Female Genital Mutilation
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.

 

Upskirting
Upskirting typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm. It is now a criminal offence.

 

The role of the Designated Safeguarding Person
 
The role of the designated person is to:
 

  • Obtain information from staff, volunteers, children or parents and carers who have child protection concerns and to record this information.

  • Liaise with the DSP within the Education Setting if applicable

  • Assess the information quickly and carefully and ask for further information as appropriate.

  • They should also consult with a statutory child protection agency such as the local social services department or the NSPCC to clarify any doubts or worries.

  • The designated person should make a referral to a statutory child protection agency or the police without delay.


Rock and Pop Academy Ltd Recruitment Policy

In recruiting and appointing workers, The Rock and Pop Academy Ltd will be responsible for the following:

  • Identifying the tasks and responsibilities involved and the type of person most suitable for the job.

  • Drawing up the Selection criteria and putting together a list of essential and desirable qualifications, skills and experience.

  • All applicants should apply in writing and their application will cover their personal details, previous and current work/volunteering experience.

  • Make sure that we measure the application against the selection criteria.

  • Obtaining a Fully Enhanced check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for all members of staff. If the DBS check is not clear, a full risk assessment is carried out and approved before the individual is considered for a position.

  • Request photographic evidence to confirm the identity of the applicant e.g. their passport.

  • Request documentation of any qualifications detailed by the applicant.

  • Interview our candidate and ask for two references

  • Request two written references from people who are not family members or friends and who have knowledge of the applicant’s experience of working with children. We will ask the referee to also comment on their suitability for working with children. Follow up written references with a telephone call.

  • Apply same principles apply to young people who have been involved with the organisation and have become volunteers.

 

Allegations against a member of staff

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

  • A criminal investigation

  • A child protection investigation

  • A disciplinary or misconduct investigation

 
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.


Actions conducted if there are concerns:

1. Concerns about poor practice

  • If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice, this will be dealt with as a misconduct issue. 

  • If the allegation is about poor practice by the designated person or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the Chair who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not the organisation should initiate disciplinary proceedings.

2. Concerns about suspected abuse

 

  • Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the designated person, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

  • The designated person will refer the allegation to the Social Services department who may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours.

  • The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the Social Services department.

  • If the designated person is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the appropriate Manager or Chair who will refer the allegation to Social Services.

3. Internal Enquiries and Suspension

  • The designated person will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.

  • Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the organisation will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision, particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases the organisation must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.

 

4.    Consider behaviours that indicate someone may not be suitable to work with children

  • Guidance taken from 'Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2020‘ part 4 paragraph 211

  • Where a member of staff is involved in an incident outside school/college which did not involve children but could have an impact on their suitability to work with children.

  • For example: Member of staff involved in a domestic violence at home. No children were involved, but school/college need to consider what triggered these actions and could a child in school trigger the same reaction, therefore being put at risk.

Support and Training
 
The Rock and Pop Academy is committed to the provision of child protection training for all our team members.

  • We will make sure that all members of staff, including teaching and office staff receive annual safeguarding training.  This covers all areas in the Department for Education document  ‘Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2020‘  including the Prevent Strategy, FGM and Child Sexual Exploitation

This policy was adopted by The Rock and Pop Academy Ltd


Date: January 2013
Updated: September 2019
Updated: November 2020
To be reviewed: September 2021