Child Protection

Child Protection refers to situations when a child is suffering abuse or at risk of abuse.

In “Keeping Children Safe in Education”, abuse is defined as “a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. “  

The Trust and its schools recognise that any student might be at risk of harm or abuse; there are no social, geographical, cultural or faith boundaries.  However, it is noted that children that have special educational needs and/or disabilities are of greater risk of abuse.

There are 4 categories of abuse.  These are:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Neglect

More information about what these categories mean can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What training and advice are staff given about child protection matters?

Staff are expected to read the first section of Keeping Children Safe in Education and attend full Child Protection training every three years.  They also get updated information about current national concerns or Local Children’s Safeguarding Board (LSCB) priorities each year together with additional updates as needed.  There are also staff who have additional training to support them in taking the lead in Child Protection matters or referrals.  Advice for staff on dealing with disclosures is summarised here

What happens if a school is made aware of a potential Child Protection matter?

Staff cannot keep concerns about students confidential. 

If a student makes a disclosure of a concerning incident or incidents, or if staff become otherwise aware of issues which could ultimately lead to a student being at risk of significant harm, the school has a duty of care to pass this onto the appropriate authorities; not to do so is against the law. 

The school does not make judgments about such incidents and is not authorised to investigate to validate or otherwise the disclosure.   In taking action, the school must put the child’s welfare first.

Who does the school pass on the concerns to?

Referrals are made to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) of the local authority in which the child lives.  When making a referral, the school takes advice as to whether parents/carers should be informed that this action has been taken.  The school must follow this advice. 

What happens next?

MASH will make an initial assessment as to whether the referral meets the threshold to be passed onto the Referral and Assessment Service (RAS) for further assessment. 

RAS will make a judgement as to whether there should be a single agency assessment or if the police also need to be involved.

What happens once the assessments have been completed?

Parents/carers maybe offered access to services to support the family and young person.  If concerns remain about a child/young person, however, he/she may be made the subject of a Child in Need Plan or professionals may be called together with parents/carers to attend a Child Protection Conference where a decision will be made as to whether the child should be made the subject if a Child Protection Plan.

More information about The London Borough of Sutton procedures can be found here

In addition, the Department for Education has compiled some useful advice and information about Child Protection, together with how to report any concerns, which can be found on

Information about specific aspects of Child Protection can be found by clicking on the relevant navigation.