(Including managing allegations of abuse against a member of staff)
Who to contact about safeguarding issues
|The nursery’s Designated Safeguarding Lead||Sarah Ticehurst|
|Deputy Safeguarding Lead||Laura Pay|
|East Sussex Single Point of Advice (SPOA)|
(To be used when you have concerns about a child or an adult who works with a child (Service open 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday to Thursday and
8:30am – 4:30pm on a Friday)
|01323 464222 0-19.SPOA@eastsussex.gov.uk or|
|Emergency Duty Services (Available between 5:00pm & 8:30am)||01273 335906 01273 335905|
How to report a safeguarding issue
- If you ever have concerns over a child’s safety you can
- Talk to the nursery’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, Sarah Ticehurst, or the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Laura Pay, who will contact East Sussex’s Single Point of Advice (SPOA) to either discuss a concern or report an incident.
- Contact SPOA directly yourself either by email or phone.
- Refer directly to the Single Point of Advice (SPOA) If you have concerns that a child is at risk of, or has already suffered, significant harm because an adult who is working or volunteering with children has:
- Harmed or may have harmed a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
- Behaved in a way that suggests they may pose a risk to children
- In the event that the child you are worried about has already been allocated a social worker, you should contact the social worker in the first instance.
- If there is an allegation where a criminal offence might have been committed, please contact police or social care for advice before taking any further action. We will always inform the police immediately if it is suspected a criminal offence has been committed.
- The timing of referrals will reflect the level of perceived risk and will always be within one working day of recognition of risk. If you would like to make a referral out of hours you should contact the Emergency Duty Services.
- All referrals made verbally to SPOA must be confirmed in writing by the referrer within 24 hours using East Sussex’s Statement of Referral Form (found in our red Policies and Procedures folder).
- Refer to The Manual when making a referral. All referral/consultation requests must include the following:
- Full names, dates of birth and addresses for member of staff and child/ren involved
- Relevant employment history including any previous disciplinary investigations, allegations or complaints you are aware of.
- Details of any employment in another local authority area where applicable.
- Details of any secondary roles the adult might have if known or make enquiries about this as part of the referral process.
- Any allegation or concern about a member of staff or volunteer can also be reported to Ofsted and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
- If a LADO consultation is required, please go to the LADO webpage (https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies/professional-resources/lado/) and complete the online referral form, which will go direct to the LADO inbox. The LADO/Assistant LADO will make contact with you by phone or email regarding your enquiry and offer advice in the usual way.
What we mean by safeguarding
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
- Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation and promoting the acceptance and tolerance of other beliefs and cultures
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
Our values and principles
Children and young people have the right be protected from neglect and abuse. Everyone has a responsibility to protect children and young people and to report concerns.
Children’s needs are paramount and take precedence over the needs of adults in any conflict between the two. This nursery’s policy and procedures are designed to safeguard all children, to ensure they are all equally valued, and to give them the best start in life.
All allegations and concerns are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately in accordance with this policy.
This policy must be adhered to by all staff, volunteers, employees (contracted and non-contracted), trainees, service providers, and contractors.
To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:
- Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image
- Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct
- Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
- Provide a safe and secure environment for all children
- Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities
- Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling
- Always listen to children
- Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need
- Share information with other agencies as appropriate.
The nursery is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Due to the many hours of care we provide, staff may often be the first people to identify that there may be a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse.
Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for children’s social care, health professionals or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team where needed.
The nursery aims to:
- Keep the child at the centre of all we do
- Ensure staff are trained to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, alert to possible signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection, and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour
- Ensure staff understand how to identify early indicators of potential radicalisation and terrorism threats and act on them appropriately in line with national and local procedures
- Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, share information and seek the help that the child may need
- Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures
- Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board
- Make any referrals relating to extremism to the police (or the Government helpline) in a timely way, sharing relevant information as appropriate
- Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff
- Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or living or working on the nursery premises including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities
- Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Safeguarding children: Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual
The nursery’s safeguarding policy – and the safeguarding procedures that all staff must follow – is based on East Sussex’s ‘Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual’ which can be found online at http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk/. A version of The Manual is kept in the safeguarding folder, in the nursery kitchen, but please note, the online manual is updated regularly and you should consult the website if you need to be sure you’re following the latest procedures.
Types of abuse and particular procedures followed
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.
General indicators of child abuse
The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.
- Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
- Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
- Aggressive behaviour
- Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
- Repeated injuries
- Unaddressed illnesses or injuries
- Significant changes to behaviour patterns.
Peer on peer abuse
We are aware that peer on peer abuse does take place, so we include children in our policies when we talk about potential abusers. This may take the form of bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. We will report this in the same way as we do for adults abusing children and will take advice from the appropriate bodies on this area.
Action needs to be taken if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. These symptoms may include bruising or injuries in an area that is not usual for a child, e.g. fleshy parts of the arms and legs, back, wrists, ankles and face.
Many children will have cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries. These should also be logged and discussed with the nursery manager or room leader.
Children and babies may be abused physically through shaking or throwing. Other injuries may include burns or scalds. These are not usual childhood injuries and should always be logged and discussed with the nursery manager (who is our Safeguarding Lead).
- All signs of marks/injuries to a child when they come into nursery or occur during time at the nursery will be recorded as soon as noticed by a staff member
- The incident will be discussed with the parent at the earliest opportunity, where it is felt appropriate to do so
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
- If there are queries regarding the injury, the local authority children’s social care team will be notified in line with procedures set out by the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Female genital mutilation
This type of physical abuse is practised as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved. This procedure may be carried out shortly after birth and during childhood as well as adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy and varies widely according to the community. Symptoms may include bleeding, painful areas, acute urinary retention, urinary infection, wound infection, septicaemia, incontinence, vaginal and pelvic infections with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physiological concerns. If you have concerns about a child relating to this area, you should contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. There is a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, we will ensure this is followed in our setting.
Breast ironing also known as “breast flattening” is the process where young girls’ breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage. Although this is unlikely to happen to children in the nursery due to their age, we will ensure any signs of this in young adults or older children are followed up using the usual safeguarding referral process.
This is also a type of physical abuse. This is where a child is presented with an illness that is fabricated by the adult carer. The carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation. The signs may include a carer exaggerating a real illness or symptoms, complete fabrication of symptoms or inducing physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation, or inappropriate diet. This may also be presented through false allegations of abuse or encouraging the child to appear disabled or ill to obtain unnecessary treatment or specialist support.
- As above, for physical abuse.
Action needs be taken if the staff member has witnessed an occasion(s) where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing, had an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or language. This may include acting out sexual activity on dolls/toys or in the role play area with their peers, drawing pictures that are inappropriate for a child, talking about sexual activities or using sexual language or words. The child may become worried when their clothes are removed, e.g. for nappy changes.
The physical symptoms may include genital trauma, discharge and bruises between the legs or signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Emotional symptoms could include a distinct change in a child’s behaviour. They may be withdrawn or overly extroverted and outgoing. They may withdraw away from a particular adult and become distressed if they reach out for them, but they may also be particularly clingy to a potential abuser so all symptoms and signs should be looked at together and assessed as a whole.
If a child starts to talk openly to an adult about abuse they may be experiencing the procedure below will be followed.
- The adult should reassure the child and listen without interrupting if the child wishes to talk
- The observed instances will be detailed in a confidential report
- The observed instances will be reported to the nursery’s Lead or Deputy Safeguarding and Child Protection Safeguarding Officers
- The matter will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Working Together to Safeguard Children defines CSE as “…a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”
We will be aware of the possibility of CSE and the signs and symptoms this may manifest as. If we have concerns we will follow the same procedures as for other concerns and we will record and refer as appropriate.
Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.
This may include extremes of discipline where a child is shouted at or put down on a consistent basis, lack of emotional attachment by a parent, or it may include parents or carers placing inappropriate age or developmental expectations upon them. Emotional abuse may also be imposed through the child witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them.
The child is likely to show extremes of emotion with this type of abuse. This may include shying away from an adult who is abusing them, becoming withdrawn, aggressive or clingy in order to receive their love and attention. This type of abuse is harder to identify as the child is not likely to show any physical signs.
- The concern should be discussed with the nursery’s Lead or Deputy Safeguarding and Child Protection Safeguarding Officer
- The concern will be discussed with the parent
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
- An assessment form may need to be completed
- If there are queries regarding the circumstances the matter will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team.
Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been persistent or severe neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation or failure to seek medical treatment, when required, on behalf of the child), which results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including failure to thrive.
Signs may include a child persistently arriving at nursery unwashed or unkempt, wearing clothes that are too small (especially shoes that may restrict the child’s growth or hurt them), arriving at nursery in the same nappy they went home in or a child having an illness or identified special educational need or disability that is not being addressed by the parent. A child may also be persistently hungry if a parent is withholding food or not providing enough for a child’s needs.
Neglect may also be shown through emotional signs, e.g. a child may not be receiving the attention they need at home and may crave love and support at nursery. They may be clingy and emotional. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
- The concern will be discussed with the parent
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
- An assessment form may need to be completed
- If there are queries regarding the circumstances the local authority children’s social care team will be notified.
Domestic Abuse / Honour Based Violence / Forced Marriages
We look at these areas as a child protection concern.
Monitoring attendance of children
Although it is not compulsory for children to attend an early years setting, under our safeguarding responsibilities we are required to monitor children’s attendance and patterns of absence. If a child is not going to attend a session, we ask parents/carers to share the length and reason for the absence. This information will enable us to monitor illnesses that may occur across the setting.
The management of the setting is required to monitor all absences in order to safeguard children, and demonstrate this during inspections, so please help our team by letting us know of any planned or unplanned absences as soon as possible.
Looked after children
As part of our safeguarding practice we will ensure our staff are aware of how to keep looked after children safe. In order to do this we ask that we are informed of:
- The legal status of the child (e.g. whether the child is being looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order)
- Contact arrangements for the biological parents (or those with parental responsibility)
- The child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her
- The details of the child’s social worker and any other support agencies involved
- Any child protection plan or care plan in place for the child in question.
Extremism – the Prevent Duty
Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we have a duty to refer any concerns of extremism to the police.
This may be a cause for concern relating to a change in behaviour of a child or family member, comments causing concern made to a member of the team (or other persons in the setting) or actions that lead staff to be worried about the safety of a child in their care.
Our nursery is aware of the growth of internet use and the advantages this can bring. However it is also aware of the dangers and strives to support children, staff and families in using the internet safely.
Within the nursery we do this by:
- Ensuring we have appropriate antivirus and anti-spyware software on all devices and updating them regularly
- Using approved devices to photograph children in the setting
- Never emailing personal or financial information
- Reporting emails with inappropriate content to the internet watch foundation (IWF www.iwf.org.uk/)
- Ensuring content blockers and filters are on our computers, laptops and any mobile devices
- Ensuring children are supervised if they ever use internet devices
- Talking to children about ‘stranger danger’ and deciding who is a stranger and who is not, comparing people in real life situations to online ‘friends’
- We encourage staff and families to learn more about keeping children safe on the internet. A good place to start is the NSPCC’s Online Safety pages. Also, the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has a free online e-safety briefing which can be found at http://moodle.ndna.org.uk/. This general guide includes an ‘Under 5s checklist’.
- Our nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. If a member of the team believes that internet use at a child’s home is putting that child at risk, it is their duty to report the matter to the nursery’s Safeguarding Lead at the earliest opportunity.
(The above is based on information from: What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners, 2015)
Human Trafficking and Slavery
Our nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that a child is affected by Human Trafficking and Slavery it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the DSL at the earliest opportunity.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
Staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure, supported by the nursery’s Lead or Deputy Safeguarding and Child Protection Safeguarding Officer. This record should include:
- Child’s name
- Child’s address
- Age of the child and date of birth
- Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
- Exact words spoken by the child
- Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen
- Exact observation of any incident including any other witnesses
- Name of the person to whom any concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time
- Any discussion held with the parent(s) (where deemed appropriate).
These records should be signed by the person reporting this and the nursery’s Lead or Deputy Safeguarding and Child Protection Safeguarding Officer, dated and kept in a separate confidential file.
If a child starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important not to promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. As soon as possible after the disclosure details must be logged accurately.
It may be thought necessary that through discussion with all concerned the matter needs to be raised with the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted, and/or an assessment form needs to be initiated. Staff involved may be asked to supply details of any information/concerns they have with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the local authority children’s social care, police, and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
Staff must not make any comments either publicly or in private about the supposed or actual behaviour of a parent or member of staff.
Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local authority children’s social care team/police does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared in line with guidance from the local authority.
Support to families
The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff, students and volunteers within the nursery.
The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interest of the child.
Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate in line with guidance of the local authority with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.
Roles and responsibilities
- The nursery’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, Sarah Ticehurst, or the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Laura Pay. If concerns relate to either of these individuals, contact the Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team or Ofsted.
- All safeguarding concerns relating to allegations against staff and volunteers should be reported to Sarah Ticehurst and recorded (see The Manual).
- If the concerns relate to the Lead Person you should contact the nursery’s Deputy Safeguarding Officer, or SPOA, or LADO.
- The Safeguarding Lead will usually be responsible for passing on concerns, or making referrals, to SPOA. In her absence the next most senior member of staff on will assume responsibility.
- All staff, volunteers, or contractors must adhere to the procedure for reporting concerns to the Lead Person.
- All staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors to the setting must sign a register and record their exact time of arrival and departure.
Record keeping and records management
- All staff will record and report concerns in line with The Manual and Keeping Records of Child Protection and Welfare Concerns Guidance (April 2019).
- The Safeguarding Lead will telephone or email East Sussex’s Single Point of Advice (SPOA) to notify them of a safeguarding concern and follow instructions on completion of East Sussex’s Statement or Referral Form. (Further guidance on what information to provide is in The Manual.)
- The paperwork that referral should include the child’s name, address, gender and date of birth together with full details of the complaint or allegation, including witness statements.
- All records will be held confidentially but will be shared with other agencies (e.g. the police, Children’s Social Care, Ofsted) where this assists an ongoing investigation.
- Records will be held for a reasonable period of time after children or staff members have left the provision in case they are needed for any future investigation.
Safer workforce and managing allegations against people working with children
- All management, staff, volunteers and contractors working at The Old School House will undergo rigorous suitability checks in line with The Manual.
- Allegations against people working with children will be managed in line with The Manual.
- In the first instance, any concerns about an adult working with children should be referred to East Sussex’s Single Point of Advice team in Eastbourne. (See contact information at the top of this policy.)
Staffing and volunteering
Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We only allow an adult who is employed by the nursery to care for children and who has an enhanced clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to be left alone with children. We will obtain enhanced criminal records checks (DBS) for all volunteers and do not allow any volunteers to be unsupervised with children.
All staff will attend child protection training and receive initial basic child protection training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers/potential abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery. During induction staff will be given contact details for the LADO (local authority designated officer), the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.
We have named persons within the nursery who take lead responsibility for safeguarding and co-ordinate child protection and welfare issues, known as the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL), there is always at least one designated person on duty during all opening hours of the setting.
These designated persons will receive comprehensive training at least every two years and update their knowledge on an ongoing basis, but at least once a year.
The nursery DSL’s liaise with the local authority children’s social care team, undertakes specific training, including a child protection training course, and receives regular updates to developments within this field. They in turn support the ongoing development and knowledge update of all staff on the team.
Although, under the EYFS, we are only required to have one designated lead for safeguarding, for best practice and to ensure cover at all times, we have two/three designated leads in place. This enables safeguarding to stay high on our priorities at all times. There will always be at least one designated lead on duty at all times our provision is open. This will ensure that prompt action can be taken if concerns are raised.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Sarah Ticehurst, or the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Laura Pay.
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of all children
- Applicants for posts within the nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information
- We give staff members, volunteers and students regular opportunities to declare changes that may affect their suitability to care for the children. This includes information about their health, medication or about changes in their home life such as child protection plans for their own children
- This information is also stated within every member of staff’s contract We use the DBS update service (with staff consent) to re-check staff’s criminal history and suitability to work with children
- We abide by the requirements of the EYFS and any Ofsted guidance in respect to obtaining references and suitability checks for staff, students and volunteers, to ensure that all staff, students and volunteers working in the setting are suitable to do so
- We ensure we receive at least two written references BEFORE a new member of staff commences employment with us
- All students will have enhanced DBS checks conducted on them before their placement starts
- Volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised
- We abide by the requirements of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Childcare Act 2006 in respect of any person who is disqualified from providing childcare, is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children
- All visitors/contractors will be supervised whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use
- As a staff team we will be fully aware of how to safeguard the whole nursery environment and be aware of potential dangers on the nursery boundaries such as drones or strangers lingering. We will ensure the children remain safe at all times
- The Staff Behaviour Policy sits alongside this policy to enable us to monitor changes in behaviours that may cause concern. All staff sign up to this policy too to ensure any changes are reported to management so we are able to support the individual staff member and ensure the safety and care of the children is not compromised
- All staff have access to and comply with the whistleblowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner
- Signs of inappropriate staff behaviour may include inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images. This is not an exhaustive list, any changes in behaviour must be reported and acted upon immediately
- All staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss any issues relating to individual children, child protection training and any needs for further support
- We use peer on peer and manager observations in the setting to ensure that the care we provide for children is at the highest level and any areas for staff development are quickly highlighted. Peer observations allow us to share constructive feedback, develop practice and build trust so that staff are able to share any concerns they may have. Any concerns are raised with the designated lead and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner
- The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door will be left ajar or other safeguards will be put into action to ensure the safety of the child and the adult.
We also operate a Phones and Other Electronic Devices and Social Media policy which states how we will keep children safe from these devices whilst at nursery. This also links to our Online Safety policy.
Training and development
We are committed to ensuring all staff are qualified, have opportunities for professional development and have relevant up-to-date training in safeguarding children (see The Manual).
- All new staff, volunteers and students will participate in an induction programme before taking up their duties and will be allocated an experienced member of staff to mentor them for the duration of the induction.
- All staff will be required to complete online child protection training upon appointment. This will be consolidated by formal East Sussex County Council-approved training at Level 1 as soon as possible. At the nursery we use an online training programme developed by the Pre School Learning Alliance.
- All volunteers and students will be required to complete the online child protection training.
- The Lead Person will be required to complete East Sussex County Council-approved Level 1 and Level 2 safeguarding training.
All training must reflect the requirements of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and be informed by the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board training strategy and plans.
- Staff are required to update their knowledge by attending East Sussex County Council-approved training every two years.
- Staff supervision meetings will record discussions regarding continuing professional development and subsequent identification and planning of training to meet those needs.
Information sharing and working together with other agencies
The setting respects confidentiality at all times and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.
However, the setting will share information as part of its day-to-day work in order to safeguard and protect children from harm but also to work together to support families to improve outcomes for all. This may involve liaison with police, Children’s Social Care, participation in multi-agency meetings (e.g. case conferences) and participation in serious case reviews if need be (see ‘Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners Providing Safeguarding Services 2018’).
This nursery is registered with Ofsted’s Early Years Registerand is required to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. These registers clearly state the minimum standards that must be met by law.
As a consequence, the setting is subject to routine and regular inspection by Ofsted. The most recent Ofsted report is available to view on the noticeboard in the corridor or online at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk.
Commissioning and procurement
Any external agencies visiting the premises must respect this setting’s policies and procedures at all times and not discuss overheard conversations or information regarding children and families outside the setting. Any concerns regarding safeguarding must immediately be advised to the Lead Person or if concerns relate to her the complainant must contact our safeguarding deputy or the Local Authority Designated Officer (see The Manual).
Breaches of this Safeguarding Policy by external contractors or visitors will be taken very seriously and appropriate action will be taken.
Whistleblowing and complaints
- A separate complaints procedure exists which should be followed by any individual who has concerns about staff or practice in the setting.
- All concerns regarding safeguarding must be directed to the Lead Person.
- If the complaint relates to the Lead Person, the complaint must be directed to her safeguarding deputy or the Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team or Ofsted (see The Manual).
Breaches of policy
Breaches of this policy will be taken very seriously and disciplinary action will ensue for members of staff. A separate Code of Conduct describes this process in more detail.
The legal framework that underpins safeguarding
This policy is based on the following laws and statutory guidance:
Children Acts 1989 and 2004 define safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
- Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.
Childcare Act 2006
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Children and Social Work Act 2017
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) sets out how organisations and individuals must work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Acts 1989 and 2004.
East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCB) Pan-Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures state:
- Ensure that there are prompt methods for alerting, reporting, investigating and managing a child’s protection. The Procedures are available at http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk/
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017
- The mandatory framework for all early years providers, maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools and all providers on the Early Years Register. The safeguarding and welfare requirements are given legal force by regulations made under Section 39(1)(b) of the Childcare Act 2006
Working together to safeguard children 2018
Keeping children safe in education 2018
Data Protection Act 2018
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
Counter–Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
This policy will be reviewed annually and involves the participation of staff in order to promote continuing awareness of safeguarding policies and procedures. Parents will be informed when the policy has been renewed.