Under the Education Act 2002 (section 175/157), schools must “make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”.
We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. Our main concerns are to keep the children happy, safe and healthy and our processes, protocols and policies serve this end.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. We will make parents/carers aware that records of welfare concerns may be kept about their child. Parents will should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies. However, in situations where the child is suspected to be at risk of harm, the law says that schools may take advice from other agencies without informing parents/carers.
In accordance with local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service.
We seek advice from Social Care where we have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Person for Child Protection) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, schools or any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, as a school we may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the police investigate any concerns further.