This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
At Liberty Primary School we take the care, welfare and protection of our children very seriously. We believe all children have a right to feel safe within the school, home and the community. If you have any concerns about the welfare of children in our school you have a duty to report it to us immediately. The Child Protection Liaison Officers (DSLs) in our school are Nadine O'Hara (Headteacher) and Maureen Ebanks ( Parent support partnership advisor). We have a Child Protection Policy, copies of which are available from the school office. The following extract from our Policy summarises our aims and procedures:
Support each child's development in ways that will foster awareness, understanding, security, confidence, resilience and independence.
Provide an environment in which all children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, and also feel confident to approach adults if they are in difficulties believing they will be effectively listened to.
Raise the awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
Provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we, the school, contribute to assessments of need and support packages for those children.
Emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.
Develop a structured procedure within the school, which will be followed by all members of the school community in cases of alleged or suspected neglect, abuse and/or any other child welfare concern.
Develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police and Children Social Care.
Ensure that all adults within the school have been checked as to their suitability.
Should any deficiencies or weaknesses in child protection arrangements become apparent, the arrangements will be remedied without delay.
Our school procedures for safeguarding children have been prepared in accordance with relevant legislation, guidance and the procedures set out by the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures. We will ensure that:
Arrangements are in place at the school to deal with allegations of abuse, or suspected abuse, which will be referred to the child's home social care department, and in the case of allegations of abuse on site, London Borough of Merton. Social Care and the school will engage with other statutory agencies, as necessary, to provide inter-agency support to the child concerned.
All members of the Governing Body understand and fulfil their responsibilities and are provided with a copy of this Policy upon their appointment to the Governing Body. There is one nominated Governor who is responsible for child protection and who has skills commensurate for this role. Relevant training will be provided for Governors.
There is a designated senior member of staff, the Child Protection Liaison Officer (CPLO), who has undertaken relevant child protection training delivered through the local LSCB.
All members of staff are provided with relevant Child Protection Awareness information, as provided by the Proprietor and/or Local Authority, to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse, along with individual responsibilities to respond to any child welfare concerns in accordance with the school's child protection procedures. In particular all staff understand the need to avoid asking leading questions of children when a child protection matter is brought to the staff members' attention.
All members of staff and Governors are advised on how to respond to 'Disclosures of Abuse' through relevant training. In particular training will ensure that they understand the need to: consider measures that may be necessary to protect individual pupils; avoid asking leading questions of pupils; avoid giving inappropriate guarantees of confidentiality; make and keep written records; and report the matter to the CPLO.
We will ensure that safe recruitment practices are always followed through rigorous recruitment process and procedures for staff, striking a balance between the need to protect children from abuse and the need to protect staff from false or unfounded allegations. Our selection and recruitment of staff includes checks for their suitability through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). These checks will also be carried out on staff with a break in service of more than 3 months, or those that were not previously eligible for a Disclosure but have moved to work that involves significantly greater responsibility for children. In accordance with procedures adopted by the London Borough of Merton, CRB checks are also carried out on all new Governors at the School.
We will ensure that where a concern or allegation arises which suggests that a member of staff may be unsuitable to work with children, we consult the relevant LADO for advice regarding investigation, and if the person resigns, we dismiss them, or in the case of a volunteer we cease to use their services and report them to ISA within one month.
All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection procedures through publication of the school's Child Protection Policy on the school website, and reference to it in our introductory school pack. The Policy is also available upon request to the school.
Written assurance is obtained that appropriate child protection checks and procedures apply to any staff employed by another organisation and working with the school's pupils on another site.
Our Lettings Policy will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working with children on school sites at any time.
Community users organising activities for children are made aware of the school's child protection guidelines and procedures.
Where appropriate, senior pupils given positions of responsibility over other pupils will be given clear advice on their role and safe practice, and briefed on appropriate action to take should they observe or receive any allegations of abuse.
The name of the CPLO will be clearly advertised in the school, with a statement explaining the school's role in referring and monitoring cases of suspected abuse and/or risk to a child.
All new members of staff will be given a copy of our Child Protection Policy, and the procedures "What to do if You're Worried a Child is Being Abused", with the CPLO's name clearly displayed, as part of their induction into the school.
Our procedures will be reviewed annually by the Governing Body. The review will also include a review of the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged.