'The designated safeguarding leaders keep meticulous records of any concerns and ensure that they are followed up in a timely manner. Referrals are made to external agencies when necessary. Parents have total confidence in the school’s work and appreciate the advice they are given to help them keep their children safe. Parents report that they can approach the school with any problem and it will be addressed effectively.' OFSTED 2019
Safeguarding at King’s Hedges Educational Federation
At King’s Hedges Educational Federation we are committed to creating a safe and secure environment for children, staff and people visiting the school. All are encouraged to raise any safeguarding concerns that may arise whilst in the school.
Should any concerns arise, there are designated safeguarding staff who will respond to any concerns
The Designated Lead is Mrs C Smalley.
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads:
Miss S Merritt, Ms J Gallacher (Safeguarding & Prevent Lead), Mr B Brown and Miss C Argue.
Under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), *the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (as amended) to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s 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. Parents/carers should know that records of safeguarding concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies.
Local procedures state that “Consent should always be sought from an adult with parental responsibility for the child/young person before passing information about them to Children’s Social Care, unless seeking consent would place the child at risk of significant harm or may lead to the loss of evidence for example destroying evidence of a crime or influencing a child about a disclosure made.” This includes allowing them to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, if it cannot be reasonably expected that a professional gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
In accordance with legislation and 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. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern.
Schools will contact Children’s Social Care when they 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 Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) 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, 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 promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.
Public - Reporting safeguarding concerns (Cambridgeshire County Council Safeguarding Team)
Please let us know if you have safeguarding concerns, or are worried about a child. If you are not a professional involved with the child or family, you do not have to give your name and your conversation will be treated confidentially.
All volunteers and employees are vetted to ensure that they are suitable to work with children.
Before applicants proceed with an intention to apply for a position or to support in the school are expected to take full consideration of the following points.
- All successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced DBS check. They are required to disclose all previous criminal convictions and cautions on their application.
- Candidates will be provided with an induction process and will be expected to engage with this monitored process.
- The school will assess a candidate’s knowledge of safeguarding by asking specific questions about this area during the interview process and answers to this question will form part of the decision-making process.
- Our safeguarding policies and procedures will be explained during induction and on a regular basis;
- Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone.
- King’s Hedges complies with all guidance on Childcare Disqualification and we will seek further advice from appropriate bodies when necessary.
- Application forms must be completed in full. Particular attention must be made to work history and inform the school of any gaps in employment.
- Full details of qualifications will be required.
- References will be taken up prior to interviews and any discrepancies will be addressed during the interview process. Children are encouraged to think about keeping safe through all areas of the curriculum. This can be during PHSE lessons where relationships and behaviour can be explored, as well as risk taking. During Philosophy discussions topic will include safeguarding themes. Keeping safe whilst on line and when using IT is something that all children are taught as part of the computing lessons.
The Role of the Governing Body
- The Governing body is required to meet its statutory duty as stated under section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989. This refers to schools or any person who has care of a child ‘may …do what is reasonable in all circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare’. Therefore it may be necessary for the school to ‘hold’ a child whilst an investigation of concerns is carried out by the Police and Social Care.