Our school feels it is of the utmost importance to have good systems for protecting children and safeguarding their welfare, throughout all the activities which the school undertakes. This means that staff and volunteers must be alert to possible concerns about every pupil, and to report these in a proper fashion. The school has a child protection policy and safeguarding policies. It is important for parents to be aware that:
- Staff and volunteers in the school have a duty to report concerns about a child, whether this means that the child may be in need of additional support or help of some kind or whether it is thought that a child may have been abused or be at risk of abuse.
- There are four categories of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect.
- In some cases the school is obliged to refer children to children's social care staff, for children to be assessed for their needs or if an investigation into possible child abuse is required. In many cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child of the child and concerns will not be a surprise to the parents. However, parents may not be told that the school has referred their child to children's social care if it is thought that this might put the child at risk.
- Children's social care tries to carry out its enquiries in a sensitive fashion. It has to gather information and generally it can be open with parents about the steps being taken.
- If you think your child may have been abused you can contact the children's social care office or the Local Authority Access & Welfare Service direct. If you think the abuse may have happened in school, Contact the Headteacher. If you think that your child has been hurt, arrange to visit your doctor. Comfort and reassure your child.
- If school staff need to express concerns about a child or refer a child to children's social care, it is understood that this can cause distress or anger for the child's parents. It is important that all parties, parents and school staff, try to discuss these matters as calmly and sensibly as possible.