Covid - 19 ELAN safeguarding addendum
In addition to our existing safeguarding policy we have also published additional information about safeguarding during the Coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 school closure arrangements for Safeguarding and Child Protection
at Walliscote Primary School
Date: April 3, 2020
This addendum of the ELAN Safeguarding and Child Protection policy for Walliscote Primary School contains details of our individual safeguarding arrangements in the following areas:
- Context 2
- Key contacts. 3
- Vulnerable children. 3
- Attendance monitoring. 4
- Designated Safeguarding Lead. 5
- Reporting a concern. 5
- Safeguarding Training and induction. 6
- Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff 6
- Online safety in school 7
- Children and online safety away from school 7
- Supporting children not in school 8
- Supporting children in school 8
- Peer on Peer Abuse. 8
- Support from the Multi-Academy Trust 9
From 20th March 2020 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for:
Children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response - who absolutely need to attend.
Children who are deemed vulnerable – there is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend provision, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at severe risk.
Children with an ECHP whose needs cannot be safely met at home.
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Chair of Governors
3. Vulnerable children
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP).
Those who have a social worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan and those who are ‘Looked After’ by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being a Child in Need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989
Those with an EHC plan should be risk-assessed by their school or college in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHCP’s can safely remain at home.
In addition to the above statement the ELAN MAT have expanded the above criteria to include risk assessing all students who are currently within the process of EHCP.
These risk assessments can be the LA risk assessment document or a school specific COVID 19 risk assessment which should be stored on CPOMS and emailed to the SEN team at email@example.com
Those children who are CP/CIN/CLA are expected to be in school in line with government guidelines. Individual schools and social workers will agree with parents and carers whether children in need should be attending school – schools will be expected to then follow up on any pupil they were expecting to attend who does not, reporting to Social Care as agreed at the outset.
For children who the school have identified as being on the edge of social care involvement/ support, or who would normally receive a pastoral-type support and are not in school – staff should ensure that a planned, recorded and robust communication system is in place for those children and young people – this must include verbal and or visible (where possible) contact with the child themselves.
The above groups of children will now be referred to as ‘vulnerable’ for the purposes of the document.
Where these vulnerable students are not in school as a result of health issues then a school-based care plan should be in place. This school-based care plan must include:
- Up to date home phone numbers.
- Up to date names and numbers of other key adults involved with the child/family including named social worker and emergency contact details.
A communication plan recorded on CPOMS detailing the minimum contact – by phone or face to face of 1 call/contact to each child and each parent/carer each week. NB face to face may be remotely or during FSM drop off for example, practising appropriate social distancing protocol. In addition to this call, the class teacher may also contact the family, to maintain strong home school links and a sense of belonging.
Where communication breaks down and they are not contactable for 2 weeks (especially the child) this will naturally raise concerns and Social Care should be informed though the individual social worker (if they have one) or through the duty team.
If schools do not get the response expected from social care, then staff should alert the head teacher of the individual school and/or Adam Matthews (CEO).
Walliscote Primary School will continue to work with and support children’s social workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with the local authority virtual school head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children. The lead person for this will be: Oriole Harris
Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID19, the school safeguarding leads or the child’s social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.
4. Attendance monitoring
Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance
Walliscote Primary School and social workers will agree with parents/carers whether any child who is supported by social care should be attending school. Walliscote Primary School will then follow up on any pupil that is expected to attend and subsequently does not. Our school will also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child and the child subsequently do not attend. This will be completed in line with our Child Missing Education procedures and will be timely.
To support the above, we will, when communicating with parents/carers and carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.
In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, we will notify their social worker as soon as possible.
5. Designated Safeguarding Lead
Walliscote Primary School will has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and two Deputy DSLs.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Oriole Harris
The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are: Sarah Stacey and Heidi Hudd
The school also has three other key staff who are trained to the level of DSL and can act in the absence of any of the above staff to advise and make decisions about the welfare or safeguarding of children. These key staff are: Tessa Kilvington, Tina Derry and Emma Bishop
The school should wherever possible have a trained DSL (or deputy) available on site. Where this is not the case a trained DSL (or deputy) will be available to be contacted via phone or online video - for example when working from home.
Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to the above, a senior leader will assume responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site.
This might include updating and managing access to child protection online management system, CPOMS and liaising with the offsite DSL (or deputy) and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school or college. The DSL will advise on all these matters.
It is important that all Walliscote Primary School staff and volunteers have access to a trained DSL (or deputy). On each day staff on site will be made aware of that person is and how to speak to them by raising a concern with the school leader on school site who will then liaise with the DSL. (This information is contained in the daily briefing file held by the SLT leader in charge on site.)
The DSL will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which wherever possible should be done remotely.
6. Reporting a concern
Where staff have a concern about a child, they should continue to follow the process outlined in the school Safeguarding Policy, this includes making a report via CPOMS, which can be done remotely.
In the unlikely event that a member of staff cannot access their CPOMS from home, they should email the Designated Safeguarding Lead. This will ensure that the concern is received. Staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay.
Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children in the school, they should report the concern to the Headteacher either face to face or on the phone, with a follow up email.
Concerns around the Headteacher should be directed to the CEO: Adam Matthews who through The Multi-Academy Trust will continue to offer support in the process of managing allegations.
7. Safeguarding Training and induction
For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if they are unable to attend refresher training. If necessary alternative training provision would be implemented in line with North Somerset Children Safeguarding Partnership recommendations
All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.
Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction.
If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that:-
- the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check
- there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children
- there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual
For movement within the Trust, schools should seek assurance from the Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) HR Manager that the member of staff has received appropriate safeguarding training.
Upon arrival, they will be given a copy of the receiving setting’s child protection policy, confirmation of local processes and confirmation of DSL arrangements.
8. Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff
It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, we will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for the setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) (KCSIE).
In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.
Where we are utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 167 to 172 of KCSIE 2019. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.
We will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found at paragraph 163 of KCSIE 2019.
We will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per paragraph 166 of KCSIE 2019 and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral.
During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing Misconduct.Teacher@education.gov.uk
Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current National emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers will be in the school or college, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, we will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in paragraphs 148 to 156 in KCSIE 2019.
9. Online safety in school
Walliscote Primary School will continue to provide a safe environment, including online learning which includes the use of an online filtering system.
Where students are using computers or iPad in school appropriate supervision must always be in place.
10. Children and online safety away from school
It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the Child Protection Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police.
Online teaching should follow the same principles as set out in the MAT code of conduct.
Walliscote Primary School will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.
Below are some things to consider when delivering virtual lessons, especially where webcams are involved:
- No 1:1's, groups only
- Parental consent must be given.
- Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
- Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred.
- The live class should be recorded so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed.
- Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day.
- Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
- Staff should record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.
11. Supporting children not in school
We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all of our Children and Young people, even those that we are not currently considering vulnerable or not known to be at risk of harm.
During this period where contact with families may be undertaken through a variety of methods and where staff may have a concern. (Concerns are not limited to child protection but can also include food poverty, mental health issues or domestic abuse amongst others) it is imperative that they should report this on CPOMS and speak to the ‘on duty designated safeguarding lead. The on-duty DSL will consider what action to take dependant on circumstances but will evidence on CPOMS all actions taken.
We recognise that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Teachers at our school need to be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home.
The school will share safeguarding and pastoral support messages on its website and social media pages to encourage those families’ experiencing difficulties to make contact.
12. Supporting children in school
We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all of our students.
Our school will continue to be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Headteacher will ensure that appropriate staff are on site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate, to maximise safety.
We will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on hand washing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19.
As a school will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and where appropriate recorded on CPOMS.
If any member of the school SLT has concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as our Designated Safeguarding Lead or first aiders – this will be discussed immediately with the trust.
13. Peer on Peer Abuse
Our school recognises that during the closure a revised process may be required for managing any report of such abuse and supporting victims.
Where a school receives a report of peer on peer abuse, they will follow the principles as set out in part 5 of KCSIE and of those outlined within of the Child Protection Policy.
The school will listen and work with the young person, parents/carers and any multi-agency partner required to ensure the safety and security of that young person.
Concerns and actions must be recorded on CPOMS and appropriate referrals made.
14. Support from the Multi-Academy Trust
The Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) will provide support and guidance as appropriate to enable the DSL to carry out their role effectively.