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 safeguarding and child protection policy: parents may request a copy of this.
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 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 many 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 some cases there will already have been discussions between school staff and the parents of the child, and the situation 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’s Allegations Manager, Safeguarding Unit direct. If you think the abuse may have happened in school, contact the Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection, who is Ms A Meyrick, Headteacher. If you think 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.
Parents should be aware that when Police attend an incident of domestic violence/abuse involving parents from Badgerbrook, then we as a school will automatically be informed first thing the next morning.
For parents’ enquiries please contact: Ms A Meyrick, Headteacher – Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection
All Leicestershire Schools are now part of a safeguarding initiative, which aims to improve outcomes for children and families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
This scheme has been designed to provide early reporting to schools of any domestic abuse incidents that might have an impact on a child that attends their school. The approach, known as Operation Encompass is being rolled out across the UK. In Leicestershire the scheme is run in partnership between Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Leicestershire Police.
All public agencies currently share information where there are safeguarding concerns or risk of harm to children and the Police currently share information on all incidents of domestic abuse in Leicestershire with Leicestershire County Council.
To further support the welfare of children this information sharing is being extended. During the school term our Designated Safeguarding Lead will now be informed when any domestic abuse incident has been reported to the police and one of our pupils was in the household.
This has been introduced because domestic abuse in a household can have a big impact on children, even if they do not see what is happening.
This information will be used to ensure the school is able to provide appropriate support to our pupils. The information will remain confidential and only shared on a strictly need-to-know basis, for example with the class teacher. It will not be shared with any pupils.
If you would like to speak to someone in confidence about domestic abuse or sexual violence, call the United Against Violence and Abuse (UAVA) helpline on 0800 80 200 28. The helpline is open 8am to 8am Monday to Saturday. You can also visit www.uava.org.uk
We look to offer the best support possible for our pupils and believe that this scheme is going to be beneficial and supportive for all those involved. In other areas of the country where it is in place it has been found to be a very effective way of supporting children at a most difficult time.