SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Red Box Teachers is committed to ensuring their work is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

All teachers and teaching assistants placed by Red Box Teachers are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure they are alert to possible child abuse and neglect, and to familiarise themselves with arrangements for safeguarding children in the schools where they are placed.

People working with children should be guided by these four principles:

  • Children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect
  • Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility
  • It is better to help children as early as possible, before issues escalate and become more damaging and
  • Children and families are best supported and protected when there is a coordinated response from all relevant agencies.

WHAT ARE OUR SUPPLY STAFF’S RESPONSIBILITIES?

When placed in a new setting you should take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Find out who the designated Safeguarding Lead for child protection is in the school.
  • Ask to see a copy of the school’s child protection policy and procedure. Although policies often give similar messages, there may be local variations you need to know about, so it is important that you read and understand it.
  • Find out whether the school has a Code of Conduct for staff. Similarly, it is essential that you have read and understood it.
  • Ask whether there is specific information that you should have about any of the children you may be working with.

WHEN MIGHT YOU BE WORRIED?

Concerns about child abuse and neglect

You may become worried about child abuse during the course of your duties. For example, a child might tell you something directly that indicates the possibility that they have been abused or neglected. Sometimes child abuse comes to light when a child tells a friend that they are being harmed, who then tells a member of staff.

Alternatively, you may become concerned about the behaviour of another member of staff or a volunteer. This could be as a result of something that could be poor practice, or a child protection concern. Although the overwhelming majority of staff strive to work safely and professionally, there have been instances where staff have behaved harmfully towards children.

If you are worried about possible child abuse you should always talk your concerns through with the School’s designated Safeguarding Lead. You should do this as soon as possible, the same day you become concerned. This is key to providing effective early help where there are emerging problems. Similarly, if you are worried about the behaviour of a member of staff, whether this is about possible poor practice or abuse, you should talk through your concerns with the school’s designated Safeguarding Lead. If she/he agrees with you that there is a possibility abuse may have happened or is likely to take place, they will contact Children’s Social Care and the Local Authority Designated officer (LADO) the same working day.

You should make an accurate, detailed record of your concerns as soon as possible.

OUTLINE OF THE CHILD PROTECTION PROCESS

Initial action by Children’s Social Care

Children’s Social Care will decide whether the referral information warrants investigation as possible child abuse. If so, they will seek information from other organisations that may have knowledge of the child.

Strategy Meeting / Discussion

This is a key stage in the process. Children’s Social Care will meet with the other relevant professionals, including the school, to confirm whether the situation requires (or continues to need) investigation, and if so, plan the next steps. Where the allegation involves a possible crime, the Police will take part in the meeting. In urgent cases, this process can take the form of a strategy discussion by telephone.

Investigation

The strategy meeting (above) decides on the nature and timing of an investigation. The investigation may involve one or more of the following processes, depending on the circumstances:

  • Investigation of suspected abuse, which may concern physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or neglect. Children’s Social Care have lead responsibility.
  • Investigation of a possible crime. The Police have responsibility for investigating crimes, such as suspected physical or sexual assault.
  • Disciplinary process. This may be used when the person who is thought to have harmed a child is a paid worker or volunteer in a position of trust.

It may also be necessary for the child to be medically examined, and/or interviewed jointly by the Police and Children’s Social Care.

Child Protection Conference

The Child Protection Conference brings together the professionals who have knowledge of the case. The aim is to share information and form a view about the level of risk to the child. If the child is thought to be at continuing risk of significant harm, she/he becomes the subject of a child protection plan. The conference agrees the outline of the child protection plan, and the core group.

If an individual wishes to remain anonymous they can contact the Tower Hamlets Child Protection Advice Line.

All schools should have THE CHILD PROTECTION ADVICE LINE – 020 7364 3444 on their boards

The Child Protection Advice Line is a service provided as part of Tower Hamlets

Children’s Services Integrated Pathways & Support Team (IPST) / Multi-Agency

Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This service is available to schools and education settings, education support staff, parents/carers and pupils and to voluntary and community organisations in Tower Hamlets. If there is a concern about the welfare of a child or young person and the Designated Teacher/Person for Child Protection, parent or pupil would like to talk it through then they can contact the Child Protection Advice Line and speak to the Duty Officer. This includes concerns that a child is at risk of imminent harm as a result of extremist narratives or being radicalised. The Duty Officer will be able to discuss the concern, assist in deciding whether a formal child protection referral is appropriate and facilitate the reporting of a formal child protection referral in accordance with Tower Hamlets Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and to offer advice.

The Child Protection Advice Line operates between 9.00am and 5.00pm except at weekends and on public holidays. If the concern arises outside of the hours operated by the Advice Line and it is believed the child may be at immediate risk the Children’s Social Care Emergency Out of Hours Team or the Police should be contacted without delay.

Where there is reason to suspect that a child (or other person) is engaged in terrorist activity, the police or anti-terrorist hotline should be contacted immediately, on 0800 789 321.

If an agency worker has concerns they can request that the concern is raised to the user school by the agency.   Red Box teachers will endeavour to contact a member of the School Leadership Team.  Red Box teachers will request minutes of any meetings arising with regards to the allegation.  This information will then be sent to the agency worker.

As Red Box teacher Recruitment Ltd is the agency sourcing work for individuals and not a member of the School Leadership team it is deemed that the school will accept responsibility of reviewing best safeguarding practices.

If an individual wishes to remain anonymous they can contact the Tower Hamlets Child Protection Advice Line.