At The Old School House, safeguarding children and child protection is of the utmost importance. Here is our policy on safeguarding: we follow it to the letter on a day-to-day basis and it is strictly adhered to by everyone who works or visits our setting.

Who to contact about safeguarding issues

The nursery’s Lead Child Protection Officer Lindy Baldwin
Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealdon:-

01323 747373

Emergency Duty Services

(available between 5:00pm & 8:30am)

01273 335906

01273 335905

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) 01323 466606
Local Authority Head of Children’s Safeguarding

(to be used in absence of LADO)

01273 481289

 

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, and
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

(Definition taken from the HM Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013)

The Old School House Montessori Nursery’s 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 procedure 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, contractors, etc.

Safeguarding children: a manual for those who are for and work with children and young people

This policy should be read alongside the document entitled Safeguarding children: a manual for those who are for and work with children and young people (2014) – referred to henceforth as the Manual. The Manual sets out the safeguarding procedures that all staff must follow.

Roles and responsibilities

  • The nursery’s Ofsted Registered Person is Lindy Baldwin and she has overall legal responsibility for safeguarding. If concerns relate to the Registered Person, contact the Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team or Ofsted.
  • The Lead Person for safeguarding is Lindy Baldwin. All safeguarding concerns relating to allegations against staff and volunteers should be reported to her and recorded (see section 20 of the Manual).
  • If the concerns relate to the Lead Person you should contact the nursery’s Deputy Safeguarding Officer, or the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team.
  • The Lead Person will usually be responsible for passing on concerns, or making referrals, to the Duty and Assessment Team. 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.

 

Reporting procedure and making a referral

  • Refer to the Manual when making a referral (see sections 9 to 11).
  • The police will be informed immediately if it is suspected a criminal offence has been committed.
  • The Lead Person will contact the Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team to either discuss a concern or report an incident.
  • The timing of referrals will reflect the level of perceived risk and will always be within one working day of recognition of risk.
  • All referrals made verbally must be confirmed in writing by the referrer within 24 hours (the next section defines how records will be kept).
  • Any allegation or concern about a member of staff or volunteer must be reported immediately to Ofsted and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) by the Lead Person.

 

Record keeping and records management

  • All staff will record and report concerns in line with the Manual (see section 16) and Keeping Records of Child Protection and Welfare Concerns: Guidance for Early Years Settings, Schools and Colleges (2014).
  • The Lead Person will telephone the Duty and Assessment Team to notify them of a safeguarding concern and follow instructions on completion of paperwork. Further guidance on what information to provide is in the Manual.
  • Where concerns relate to an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer the 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 Allegations against people working with children will be managed in line with section 20 of the Manual.
  • All management, staff, volunteers and contractors working at The Old School House will undergo rigorous suitability checks in line with the Manual (see section 19).

 

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 section 18 of 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 2013 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 section 17 of the Manual).

Quality assurance

This nursery is registered with Ofsted’s Early Years Register and 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 the Local Authority Designated Officer (see section 20 of 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 deputy or the Local Authority’s Children’s Social Care Duty and Assessment Team or Ofsted (see section 20 of 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. East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board’s (LSCB) Pan-Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures state:
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) 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.
  • Ensure that there are prompt methods for alerting, reporting, investigating and managing a child’s protection. The Procedures are available at http://pansussexscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/contents.html
  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014
  • 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

 

Policy review

This policy will be reviewed annually and involve participation of staff in order to promote continuing awareness of safeguarding policies and procedures. Parents will be informed when the policy has been renewed

This policy was updated and reviewed in September 2015

Reviewed date Name Signature
September 2015 Stuart Watt