Advice for staff
Staff are expected to read the first section of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSE) and attend regular Child Protection training. Staff can revise this training from Trust or school resources at any time.
Staff should be alert to any signs which could indicate that a student is being subjected to abuse. Signs could include:-
- Physical marks, e.g. bruises, cuts etc
- Things said or written by the student or those who know them
- Changes in behaviour or demeanour
- Reluctance to go home
- Inappropriate sexual behaviour/language or promiscuity
- Destructive behaviour e.g. self-harm, eating disorder, alcohol/substance abuse, lack of self-care
- Neurotic behaviour
- Poor attendance
- Signs of neglect e.g. constant hunger, tiredness, unkempt, dirty, untreated ailments etc
- Lack of supervision
- Reluctance to change for PE
- Lack of trust in adults
Staff must also have regard to their Prevent Duty, the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Students can be susceptible to radicalisation in the same way as they are susceptible to grooming.
Whenever dealing with a potential safeguarding issue, the welfare of the student must be put first.
What does a member of staff do if a student tells them they are being abused?
This is known as a disclosure. A disclosure is an allegation made by a child of abuse or behaviour by adults which might suggest this.
Staff must never offer confidentiality. Staff must explain to the student that concerns regarding their welfare must be passed on in order that support can be given to try to improve the situation.
Staff must remain calm and listen to what the student is saying. Staff do not try to investigate and must never put words into child’s mouth or ask leading questions e.g. “Did your parent hit you?”.
Staff should allow the student to tell them as much as they feel comfortable without pressing them for more information.
At the end of the disclosure, staff must pass on what has been said for the reasons explained above.
Concerns raised must be reported immediately – see below
What does a staff member do if they have concerns about a student?
If there are any concerns at all about the welfare of a student, these must be passed onto the Designated Safeguarding Leads, using CPOMS.
Staff must not delay in passing on a concern; this is because the staff member could be the only person who has a piece of information that could be added to other concerns already held about the child.
Staff must not use email; concerns must be recorded on CPOMS as this is monitored throughout the day.
Staff must complete a CPOMS referral, using the student’s own words (where possible) and providing as much detail as is available. Staff distinguish between fact and opinion and avoid their own judgements in the write up.
Further advice can be found here:
What should staff do if they discover concerns in the evenings or at the weekend?
If staff discover something in the evening or at the weekend which leads them to believe that a student’s welfare could be in imminent danger, they should take advice from the duty social worker on 020 8770 5000.
If the information received is a concern but the child’s welfare is not under imminent threat, the concern should be logged on CPOMS. If there is any doubt, staff should ring the number (above) for advice.
What should staff do if they have concerns about poor or unsafe practices/procedures within the school?
Staff should use the Trust whistleblowing policy which gives School or Trust contacts as well as those external to the school.
Further advice can be obtained from the NSPCC on their website or on 0808 800 5000
Information about specific aspects of Child Protection can be found here: