identify the current legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people including e-safety.
What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
• protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
• preventing harm to children’s health or development
• ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
• taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.
Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( the CRC or UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
It is a recognition by world leaders that children have human rights and people under 18 often need special care and protection that adults do not.
The UNCRC was developed in 1989 And is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full human rights for children
Children Act 1989
The Children Act 1989 allocates duties to local authorities, courts, parents, and other agencies in the United Kingdom, to ensure children are safeguarded and their welfare is promoted.
The Education Act 2002
The Education Act 2002 puts a duty on schools to exercise their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The purpose must be to protect children from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and our values
Children Act 2004
The Children Act 2004 states that the interests of children and young people are paramount in all considerations of welfare and safeguarding and that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. The Children Act provides a legislative spine for the wider strategy for improving children’s lives
Policies which safeguard
Schools must develop a range of policies which ensure the safety, security and well-being of their pupils. These will set out the responsibilities of staff and the procedures that they must follow. Policies may be separate or incorporated into one health and safety policy, but they must include sections which cover the following issues of:
• safeguarding and protecting, and procedures for reporting
• bullying, including cyber-bullying
The Department for Education (DfE) provides guidance for local authorities including schools. Schools use this guidance to develop their own policy and procedures which must be followed.
1.2 – describe the role of different agencies involved in safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.
Social workers have a responsibility to provide services for vulnerable children and their families. This might be because parents are struggling to care for their children or when families are trying to cope with challenging situations like imprisonment or alcohol and other drug use. Social workers will always be involved in situations of abuse or harm with children or young people.
The police work closely with children’s social care to protect children from harm. The police is there to gather information and decide wether a crime as been committed. If a crime has been committed they will go to the crown prosecution and decide whether a case goes to court.
Health professionals, in particular GPs and doctors in emergency departments, may examine children with injuries which they suspect may be non-accidental. They have a duty to alert children’s social care when abuse is suspected. Health professionals may also:
• carry out a medical examination or observations of a child thought to be at risk of abuse or who has suffered abuse.
• contribute to children’s social care reports.
• give evidence in court if a crime has been committed.
The National Society for the Protection of Children (NSPCC)
The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. They help children who have been abused to rebuild their lives, protect those at risk, and find the best ways of preventing abuse from ever happening.
Schools play a key role in promoting internet safety. A whole school approach to e-safety can help involve staff, governors, parents and pupils themselves in keeping children and young people safe online.
The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)
A Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) is a multi-agency body set up in every local authority. However the Chair will work closely with the Director of children services. The role of the LSCB is to: coordinate what is done by everyone on the LSCB to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the area.
• Know what to do when children or young people are ill or injured, including emergency procedures
2.1 – identify the symptoms of common childhood illnesses.
• Ear infection
• Fever & high temperature
• Food allergies
2.2 – describe the actions to take when children or young people are ill or injured.
The responsibility of caring for a child who becomes ill is enormous: it is vital that carers should know the signs and symptoms of illness and when to seek medical aid. When a child is taken ill or is injured, it is vital that the parents and guardians are notified as soon as possible.
• You should make sure that you follow the routines that help protect the children from illness e.g. washing your hands while handling with children.
• While you are waiting for parents to arrive read a story to the sick child to make them fell comfy.
• Most work setting have a policy of a writing consent form for their child to have the medication’s If the child is injured in my nursery first ask the child if he/she is ok . I would take the child to the first aider in the classroom and explain to the supervisor if had saw what had happen.
Reporting and recording
If a child has been feeling ill during the day, or has had a minor injury, the school needs to send a report to the parents or carer. Reporting to parents is particularly important when a child has suffered a head bump. Even where there are no obvious symptoms, the parents must be aware of what has happened and the symptoms they should look for.
Information on incidents and accidents must be recorded in the school incident or accident report book. If you have observed an incident or accident you will have to provide details on what occurred and the action you took. You should make notes as soon after the event as possible. A manager or member of staff with the authority to do so will complete and sign the reports. Serious accidents have to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive by law.
2.3 – identify circumstances when children and young people might require urgent medical attention.
An emergency situation which requires urgent medical attention includes:
• severe bleeding
• breathing difficulties
• head injuries
• epileptic seizure
• suspected fractures
• when it is suspected that children have taken drugs or abused substances
When an accident occurs you must always call for immediate help, even if you are a first aider yourself. You must find out what has happened so that accurate information can be given when dialling 999. Other children can become very distressed when they witness an accident, so you should try to remain calm.
Immediate action should be taken as follows:
• Reassure the child.
• Do not move the child unless it is absolutely necessary.
• If children are unconscious they should be put into the recovery position.
• Do not give the child any food or drink.
• Keep the child warm, for example, by placing a coat over them.
• Ensure other children in the area are not at risk of being hurt.
One of the most common conditions in the schools is asthma. In some schools there may be as many as one in four children with this condition. Asthma affects the airways of the lungs. The symptoms are wheezing and coughing. Most children with asthma manage the illness well and carry an inhaler with them. You should know where these are kept and how to support children when using it. When children have an asthmatic attack which is not helped by the inhaler, it is essential to seek medical help.
Children with epilepsy may rarely have attacks, but it is important that you are aware of what to do when this happens. A first aider should always be called. A child who has an attack must be kept safe from harm. As they recover from the seizure, they will need to be reassured. Urgent medical help must be sought if a child:
• does not recover immediately
• has more than one seizure
• Hasn’t been diagnosed as epileptic
Many children have allergic reactions, which cause sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes or swelling. In rare cases children may have severe allergic reactions which can be life-threatening and need immediate treatment. Common triggers for children with anaphylaxis are foods such as eggs, nuts and seafood. Stings from insects can also cause anaphylaxis. Children in anaphylactic shock have difficulty breathing and suffer swelling (which may be in the throat) which is life-threatening. Children who have been diagnosed may have an auto-injection kit of adrenaline (sometimes called an EpiPen) available at the school. Immediate medical help must be sought in the event of a reaction, even if adrenaline has been given.
Sickle cell disease
This gets its name from the sickle-shaped red blood cells which are present in children with the disease. These clump together causing severe pain. This is known as a ‘crisis’. The school may have medication to give immediately and you should reassure the child and keep them warm. When children suffer a crisis, you should always seek medical help.
Diabetes happens when the body does not produce insulin. Some children may need to inject themselves with an insulin pen during the school day, so may need a quiet area to do this. Sometimes, following activity or when children have not eaten enough carbohydrates, their blood glucose levels can fall. You need to be aware of the signs of this which include hunger, pallor, a fast pulse, glazed eyes, drowsiness, trembling, vagueness and trembling. This state is called hypoglycaemia (often referred to as a hypo’). When this happens the child requires something sugary such as sweets, glucose tablets or a sugary drink. This is followed by carbohydrates such as biscuits or a cereal bar. Children can usually return to their school work. Immediate medical help will be required if a child continues to show signs of a hypo or they become unconscious.
2.4 – describe the actions to take in response to emergency situations including:
• Security incidents
• Missing children or young people
Buildings need to be evacuated quickly in the event of a fire, gas leak or bomb scare. There will be clear procedures on how to do this in your school. These procedures must be displayed in each area of the school, giving information on:
• how to raise the alarm in the event of a fire, gas leak or bomb scare
• what to do if you hear the fire alarm
• the route you should take – including a plan of the route from each room or area in the school
• the nearest assembly point
Security should be in place which minimises the risks to children. You must know what these are and ensure that you follow the procedures at all times. These procedures will include:
• signing-in procedures/visitor badges
• security locks on doors
• procedures for collection of younger pupils
When children are missing
Security procedures should minimise the risks of children going missing from school, so it is essential that you follow school guidelines. You may be asked to accompany children on school visits and to supervise a group. Staff should make regular checks that all children are present. Some schools require children to wear fluorescent jackets or caps of the same colour, so they can be easily spotted.
If children are missing, staff must take action immediately by:
• reporting to the teacher responsible
• Ensuring that other children are present and safe – checking the register
• checking all areas of the school or grounds
• informing the child’s parents
• informing the police.
• Know how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child or young person has been abused, harmed or bullied
3.1 – identify the characteristics of different types of child abuse
Abuse can take many forms. Within the child protection system there are four main categories used:
• Physical abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Sexual abuse
Children may o en suffer more than one type of abuse. A child who is being sexually abused, for example, may also be threatened and made to feel worthless.
Bullying is also recognised as a type of abuse. Bullying is always distressing for the victim and can have serious consequences. Bullying should always be taken seriously. Emotional bullying is the most commonly reported by children and young people and is o en more difficult to spot. Bullying can take place both inside and outside of the school.
Bullying happens when an individual or a group show hostility towards an individual and this can be:
• emotional, such as name-calling, taking or hiding personal items, humiliating, spreading rumours or teasing
• physical, such as pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching or threatening to use physical force
• racist, such as racial taunts or gestures
• sexual, such as inappropriate physical contact, sexual comments and innuendo, or homophobic taunts.
In recent years, a new form of bullying known as ‘cyber-bullying’ has become increasingly common. Studies show that one in five children were cyber-bullied in 2008. Cyber-bullying may be emotional, racist or sexual forms of abuse. It happens through emails, text messages or telephone calls. Information about someone may also be shared by putting it on to social networking sites. This can include the sharing of private photographs.
Children and young people who use this method of bullying o en feel disassociated from their actions, but the consequences can be just as serious for the child. This type of bullying can be particularly distressing as children are unable to get away from it. It even invades their home.
Self-harm is when children deliberately hurt themselves. They usually do this secretly and it can involve cutting, burning, pulling out hair or banging their head. Self-harm o en happens as a result of other types of abuse. If you notice signs of self-harm or children tell you that they are harming themselves, you must take the same action as if they are being harmed by another person.
3.2 – describe the risk and possible consequences for children and young people using the internet, mobile phones and other technologies.
Consequences of sharing personal information
Children increasingly use social networking sites and online diaries. These have a minimum age but children of 9 years or younger have been known to use them. Children often place information about themselves online, which makes it easy for them to be identified. Some include addresses, phone numbers and sometimes even photographs. This makes them easy targets for adults who wish to exploit them by:
• talking to and building ‘friendships’ with children online with the intention of meeting the child – this is called grooming
• encouraging children to engage in conversations which are sexual in nature
• taking and/or distributing photographs using the Internet.
Risks when using the internet
There are risks of sexual or emotional abuse when using the Internet. Research shows that the most common risks for children are:
• giving out personal information about themselves
• accessing inappropriate information – often accidentally when innocent words are entered into a search engine.
3.3 – describe the actions to take in response to concerns a Colleague may be:
• Failing to comply with safeguarding procedures
• Harming, abusing or bullying a child or young person
While you must avoid jumping to conclusions you must always be observant. You may notice physical signs or changes in a child’s behaviour, or the child may hint or disclose to you that they are being abused or bullied. You must also think about how you would respond if a child were to hint or disclose this to you.
• report concerns about possible signs or changes in behaviour to the designated person or your manager
• take what children say seriously – it will take a lot of courage to tell you and children will rarely lie about abuse
• reassure children that they are not to blame if they tell you they have been abused
• tell children that you will have to tell someone who can help them
• write down what you have observed or what has been said – but keep the information secure
• promise to keep information a secret
• investigate further or ask questions
• appear shocked
• make promises to children.
• it is not your responsibility to draw conclusions – only report what you have noticed or have been told
• You have a statutory duty to report concerns under the education act 2002
3.5 – describe the principles and boundaries of confidentiality and when to share information
All staff have a duty to comply with policy and procedures. Failure to comply may put children at risk of harm or abuse, so concerns should always be reported to the designated person for safeguarding or the head teacher.
If you have concerns that a colleague is abusing a child, your actions should be exactly the same as if the abuser is a parent, family member or stranger. You must act immediately to protect children by informing the head teacher. If the allegation is against the head teacher, you should report concerns to the designated person for child protection or directly to the Education Authority.
In some circumstances, when a child may be at risk of significant harm, information can be shared without consent with professionals who need to know. Failure to share information has been highlighted in a number of serious child abuse cases. Sharing information ensures that problems are identified early and action is taken when children are thought to be at risk of abuse. There will be systems within your school on ways that this is done. You should always ask for advice before sharing information.