St Martins Academy Chester

'An Outstanding School' – Ofsted June 2015   Read the report here

Child Protection Policy

1. Introduction
1.1 The health, safety and well-being of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in our school. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school.

1.2 In our school we respect our children. Through our family ethos we foster trust, mutual respect and a clear sense of community. The atmosphere within our school is one that encourages all children to do their best. We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves.

1.3 Our teaching of Religious Education, personal, social, citizenship and health education, as part of the National Curriculum, helps to develop appropriate attitudes in our children and makes them aware of the impact of their decisions on others. We also teach them how to recognise different risks in different situations, and how to behave in response to them.
2. Aims and objectives
2.1 This policy ensures that all staff and governors in our school are clear about the actions necessary with regard to a child protection issue. Its aims are:
  • To raise the awareness of all staff and identify responsibility in reporting possible cases of abuse
  • To ensure effective communication between all staff when dealing with child protection issues
  • To lay down the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of child protection.
3. Procedures
3.1 The Child Protection Co-ordinator in this school is the Head of School, Miss W Smith. In her absence any concerns must be taken to the second nominated officer Miss Emma Boynton . The Child Protection Governor is Lesley Appleton. Should staff or parents have any concerns regarding the conduct of the Head of School, they must discuss this with the Child Protection Governor.

3.2 If any teacher suspects that a child in his/her class may be a victim of abuse, they immediately inform the named person about their concerns. Abuse can be of a sexual, emotional or physical nature. It can also be the result of neglect.

3.3 Any action that the named person takes when dealing with an issue of child protection must be in line with the procedures outlined in the LEA Child Protection guidelines.

3.4 The school's named co-ordinator works closely with the Social Services Department and the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, but the interest of the child is of paramount importance.

3.5 If a child alleges abuse, the school may make a referral with or without communicating with parents, depending upon individual circumstances.

3.6 When a child speaks to an adult in confidence s/he must be informed that the confidant may need to pass on information.

3.7 If a child protection referral is made, a case conference is held within eight working days of the decision. The case conference offers the opportunity to share information and formulate a plan of action. Staff are expected to attend and participate in all case conferences and meetings held under the LEA guidelines.

3.8 We regard all information relating to individual child protection issues as confidential, and we treat this accordingly. We only pass information on to appropriate persons. We inform the child at all stages of who is involved, and what information we have given them.

3.9 We require all adults working in school, and also our governors, to have their application vetted through police records in order to ensure that there is no evidence of offences involving children or abuse.

3.10 There may be times when adults in our school, in the course of their duty, use physical intervention to restrain children. The Head of School requires the adult involved in any such incident to report this to him/her immediately, and to record it in the interventions book.

3.10 The school aims to ensure that all staff will have the opportunity to receive training in order to raise their awareness of abuse and their knowledge of agreed local child protection procedures.
4. Monitoring and review
4.1 The Governing Body regularly reviews any incidents detailed in the interventions book. A named governor, currently will participate in the school's training with regard to the child protection procedures. This policy is reviewed annually by the Governing Body.
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