The Children Act 1989 and 2004
The intention of the Children Act is to protect children and ensure that their welfare and developments is paramount and promoted. The Act gives local authorities responsibility a responsibility for ensuring that this happened by working together with relevant agencies. The Act states that only the Police, Social Services and the NSPCC have the legal right and responsibility to investigate concerns about a child.
Safeguarding Information for all staff
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who has contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interest of the child.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to ensure all children have the best outcomes.
Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2018 concludes all staff members should be aware of the systems within the school or college which support safeguarding and making themselves familiar with;
- The child protection policy
- The staff behaviour policy (may also be known as the code of conduct)
- The role of designated safeguarding lead
Please follow the link to read part one of Keeping Safe in Education September 2023;
Neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.
Child abuse can take a number of forms but can be defined under five general categories;
Abuse, Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse and Neglect
Please also make yourself familiar with the safeguarding issues listed below. Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues.
Please also access government guidance as required on the issues listed below at GOV.UK and other government websites;
Bullying and Cyber Bullying: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying
Children missing education: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-attendance
Child missing from home or care: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care
Child sexual exploitation (CSE): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-to-do-if-you-suspect-a-child-is-being-sexually-exploited
Domestic Violence: https://www.gov.uk/domestic-violence-and-abuse
Fabricated or induced illness: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-in-whom-illness-is-fabricated-or-induced
Female genital mutilation (FGM): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/multi-agency-statutory-guidance-on-female-genital-mutilation
Forced marriage: https://www.gov.uk/forced-marriage
Gangs and youth violence: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-to-schools-and-colleges-on-gangs-and-youth-violence
Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG): https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/ending-violence-against-women-and-girls-in-the-uk
Missing children and adults strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/missing-children-and-adults-strategy
Preventing radicalisation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-guidance
Relationship abuse: https://www.disrespectnobody.co.uk/relationship-abuse/what-is-relationship-abuse
Abuse Sexting: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/think-before-you-send
Teenage relationship abuse: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/this-is-abuse-campaign
Responding to signs of abuse:
Any concerns about a child should be immediately reported to the designated safeguarding lead to agree on a course of action, although any staff member can make a referral to children’s social care. Other options could include a referral to specialist services or early help services and should be made in accordance with the referral threshold set by the Local Safeguarding Board (LADO).
The local authority should make a decision within one working day of a referral being made about what course of action they are taking and should let the designated safeguarding lead know the outcome. The online tool: https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse-to-local-council directs you to the local children’s social care contact number.
This brief policy guide cannot cover every safeguarding eventuality. You must familiarise yourself with the safeguarding policy of every school you work in, as each may have their own varying procedures.
Throughout your registration with Teach Agency you will be informed of the importance of safeguarding and safeguarding legislation. Teach Agency Education would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the main areas in which you are vulnerable in a school or college, and how to avoid putting yourself in a compromising situation.
Physical proximity- this maybe somewhat impossible at times, however please do not touch a child in a school or college.
Personal life/language- please do not enter into personal conversations about home life and ensure the following subjects are not discussed:
- Illegal activities
- Involving yourself in malicious and false allegations about other staff members.
It is very easy to allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate conversations, always be mindful and vigilant that this does not occur.
Sharing information – As covered in the Teach Agency safeguarding children policy you must share all information with the school or college regarding any pupil safeguarding concerns, be this taking place within school, or out of school. Every minute you delay in telling an appropriate person is another moment that the child is not receiving the help that they potentially need.