Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Tom Dawson (Headmaster)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (Deputy DSL)
07904 681 090
01344 786543 (Out of hours)
RBWM Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
1 Policy statement
This policy applies to all staff and volunteers at Sunningdale School and will be supplied to parents and pupils on request and is available on the School’s website
The Headmaster (T.A.C.N. Dawson 07876 351304) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and the Deputy Safeguarding Lead (A.J. Logue 07904 681090) is the Deputy, in his absence. These persons are responsible for ensuring that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part 1 of KCSIE, September 2019.
The RBWM Local Safeguarding Children Board’s “Recognising Child Abuse” Handbook, is kept in the Headmaster’s Office.
All appointments to the staff or volunteers are checked in accordance with the Safer Recruitment Policy.
This policy is reviewed annually by the Headmaster and approved by the other proprietors.
The School aims, in compliance with Section 10 of the Children Act 2004
The school rejects all forms of corporal punishment.
Skills and information will be delivered through the curriculum and through tutorials.
We try to create an environment and ethos in which young people feel secure and their points of view valued. They are encouraged to talk and they are listened to.
We provide a range of appropriate adults whom they may approach if they are in difficulties.
Staff treat pupils with respect and pupils are expected to treat each other and staff with respect.
We try to impress upon pupils the importance of rejecting violence as a means of resolving conflict.
We give pupils opportunities to understand stress and strategies for coping with it.
We include in the curriculum information on personal safety.
We operate clear policies on drugs, alcohol and substance misuse.
We ensure that we prevent radicalisation and extremism developing within the school
We provide Child Protection training regularly to School staff. All staff undergo initial training during the induction programme for new teachers.
Each member of staff must sign a specific register to say that they have read and understood the policy and that they have read Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education, and Annexe A, and accept their duty to cooperate with the School management in promoting Child Protection.
4. What school staff should know and do
1. Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children.
2. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
3. No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
4. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
5. Children includes everyone under the age of 18.
6. All school staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. In the first instance staff should discuss early help requirements with the designated safeguarding lead. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment.
7. Any staff member who has a concern about a child’s welfare should follow the referral processes set out later in this document.
8. All staff members should be aware of the systems within the school which support safeguarding. These include:
9. All staff will receive regular safeguarding training and will receive updates as required but at least annually to provide them with the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. New staff will receive training as part of their induction. Staff meetings will be used to update staff on a regular basis on safeguarding matters.
10. All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment. Any child may benefit from early help but all staff should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
11. All staff should also be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989, especially section 17 (children in need) and section 47 (a child suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.
12. If staff are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
13. All staff should read Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2019 and Annexe A.
14. All staff should be aware of the importance of e-safety and be aware of their duty to report online abuse in the same way as they would any other form of abuse.
15. All staff should complete appropriate Prevent training.
What staff should do if they have concerns about a child
If staff members have any concerns about a child they should act on them immediately. Wherever possible, there should be a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
If in exceptional circumstances, the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) is not available, this should not delay appropriate action being taken.
If anyone other than the Designated Safeguarding Lead makes the referral they should inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead, as soon as possible. Staff should follow up on a referral should that information not be forthcoming.
If after a referral the child’s situation does not appear to be improving the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or the person that made the referral) should press for re-consideration to ensure their concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.
The online tool Report child abuse to local council directs to the relevant local children’s social care contact number. (https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse-to-local-council)
If early help is appropriate the Designated Safeguarding Lead will support the staff member in liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate.
If early help and or other support is appropriate the case should be kept under constant review and consideration given to a referral to children’s social care if the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving.
Children in need
A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Children in need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
What school staff should so if a child is in danger or at risk of harm
If, a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral. Where referrals are not made by the designated safeguarding lead the designated safeguarding lead should be informed, as soon as possible, that a referral has been made.
All concerns should be recorded. A form is available on iSAMS or, if a member of staff does not have access to iSAMS, they should write down their concerns and clearly state the time, day and date and sign the document.
5 What is Child Abuse?
All school staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.
Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children. The school has firewalls in place o filler inappropriate content and alerts are sent to the DSL.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.
Peer on peer Abuse
All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
Steps to prevent peer on peer abuse
At Sunningdale, we encourage boys to talk openly about any concerns they may have. The role of the tutor is very important in helping to identify peer on peer abuse. All staff have a responsibility to help pupils understand what peer on peer abuse is.
Managing and investigating peer on peer abuse
If there is an allegation of peer on peer abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should be informed. A discussion will then follow as to whether or not the case should be referred to children’s social care. The details of the allegation will be investigated but it is essential that this is done in a way that does not put the alleged victim at risk of further abuse.
Supporting victims and perpetrators
Support will be offered to victims and perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse. All parties will be offered counselling from the school counsellor. The school will also liaise with the families where appropriate.
Peer on peer abuse is more likely to be carried out by boys on girls but all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and must never be passed off as ‘banter’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’. It is also not acceptable to pass it off as ‘boys will be boys’.
Sunningdale is committed to do all it can to prevent peer on peer abuse. We do this through our PHSE programme, through the tutor system, by encouraging pupils to talk to someone if the have concerns and through our Six Qualities.
6 Definition of harm and significant harm from Adoption & Children Act 2002
Ill treatment or the impairment of health or development (impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another).
‘Development’ means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development;
‘Health’ means physical or mental health;
‘Ill treatment’ includes sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical
NB: The Adoption & Children Act 2002 s120 amended the definition of HARM to include those instances where a child may witness domestic violence.
Recognition of Significant Harm
Any allegation of a sexual nature, or parents whose behaviour may present risk
Domestic violence, drug & alcohol abuse and mental health problems; any physical injury caused by assault or neglect which requires medical attention. Repeated incidents of physical harm. Any contact with a person assessed as presenting a risk to children, or children who live in low warmth, high criticism environments, and children who suffer from persistent neglect; children who may be involved in prostitution. Other circumstances where professional judgement and/or evidence suggest a child’s health, development or welfare may be significantly harmed.
Indicators of Abuse (From Windsor & Maidenhead Safeguarding Children Board)
Physical abuse may result in the symptoms described below. Aside from direct physical contact, physical abuse can also be caused when a parent or caregiver feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. Signs of physical abuse include:
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving the children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Signs of sexual abuse displayed by children include:
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on children, relative to their actual development or age. Signs of emotional abuse displayed by children include:
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs. This is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Signs of neglect include:
It is important to recognise that the different types of abuse often occur simultaneously. For instance where a child is physically abused, they often suffer emotional abuse as well. If you perceive a combination or repetition of any of the signs of child abuse then please contact the relevant social services office immediately.
Recognition of Abuse
Be open to possibilities; be aware – if you don’t believe it is possible you will never see it, don’t jump to conclusions and look for credible nonabusive explanations, but recognise you may need to seek advice to evaluate the facts. BUT don’t let your preconceptions of the family skew your judgement.
The symptoms of stress and distress
An abused child will usually show signs of stress and distress. Possible signs of abuse include, but are not limited to, those listed below. Many of these may of course have nothing to do with abuse, but are worth consideration in trying to understand the child's behaviour.
Warning Signs of Radicalisation or Extremism
7 The Role of Teachers, support staff and volunteers
The person responsible for safeguarding, know as the Designated Safeguarding Lead, at Sunningdale is the Headmaster.
The broad areas of responsibility for the Designated Safeguarding Lead are:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead should ensure the school’s policies are known and used appropriately:
Teachers have a statutory duty to pass on any Child Protection concerns
and to follow these School (and local LSCB) procedures (Education Act 2002 & Children Act 2004):
The Designated Designated Safeguarding Lead must receive training every two years. All staff require training in child protection (updated every two years) and temporary and voluntary staff who work with children must be made aware of the arrangements for safeguarding children. This will be provided by the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will receive training from the local social services department or an external welfare agency acceptable to the local safeguarding children board.
All staff must receive induction training.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and anyone can make a referral to children’s social care.
Departmental advice: ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for practitioners’ provides more information on understanding and identifying abuse and neglect. Examples of potential signs of abuse and neglect are highlighted throughout the advice and will be particularly helpful for school and college staff. The NSPCC website also provides useful additional information on types of abuse and what to look out for.
8 All Staff: Helping a child who wants to tell you about his abuse
Staff should remember that the priority is to protect the child. The matter should be taken seriously. React calmly, listen carefully, observe but do not judge. Don’t stop the child who is freely recalling significant events. Reassure the child that s/he has done the right thing in telling you. Indicate the action you will take and make it clear that you will have to tell the designated member of staff (no secrets). If the child comes back to talk at a later stage he should be told that you cannot comment or advise as that might affect his/his security, but you can listen. Bear in mind these' must nots':
TEN KEY POINTS TO FOLLOW IF YOU SUSPECT, OR ARE TOLD OF, ABUSE:
Adults looking after children or young people in schools (or in residential establishments or youth organisations) should be aware of the risks of abuse (by adults or other young people), and take steps to reduce those risks. Adults (staff or volunteers) in charge of children or young people should know what to do if they suspect that someone is being physically or sexually abused, or if someone tells them that this is happening. The following key points give a guide on what to do and not to do:
Bullying can develop into physical or sexual abuse – as can idiosyncratic punishments introduced by individuals: make sure you are aware of the school’s procedures.
Be vigilant for early warning signs – such as favouritism, development of excessive one – to –one contact, increased involvement with changing or showering.
Openly discuss within the staff group issues such as acceptable and unacceptable touching.
Openly discuss with pupils issues such as times of day or week, and locations in school, that are high risk for bullying or illicit activities.
A member of staff needs only reasonable cause for concern in order to act. One
sentence from the child indicating abuse or non-accidental injury provides you with
reasonable grounds and is sufficient for you to act. This may also apply if clear
information comes from a sibling or another adult. Any suspicions will be reported to the LADO. If there are concerns under Prevent guidance, the Channel Police Practitioner, DI Prevent, Pete Oliphant will be informed.
We do not require parental consent to refer any case to social care or the police.
In the case of a criminal act, it must be reported directly to the police.
9 Allegations against School staff
These relate to: a member of staff or volunteer who has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child; possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child, behaved towards a child/children in a way that indicates he is unsuitable to work with children.
Teachers and all School staff must protect themselves, and staff should bear in mind that even perfectly innocent actions can sometimes be misconstrued. Children may find being touched uncomfortable or distressing for a variety of reasons. It is also important not to touch pupils, however casually, in ways or on parts of the body that might be considered indecent.
Occasionally false allegations of abuse are made. To avoid as far as possible such an allegation, and situations which may give rise to misinterpretation, Staff should be guided by the following advice:
The Sexual Offences Act (Amended) 2004 states that it is a criminal offence for a person aged 18 or over in a position of trust in a school to engage in any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 (in that school) irrespective of the age of consent, even if the basis of their relationship is consensual.
In circumstances which involve an allegation against a member of staff, the responsibility for dealing with the matter lies with the Headmaster.
Staff who hear an allegation of abuse against another member of staff should report the matter immediately to the Headmaster, unless the Headmaster is the person against whom the allegation is made. In that case the allegation must reported directly to the LADO.
Immediate suspension of the member of staff is only one of a number of options, which will be considered. Others include leave of absence, or providing a classroom assistant or colleague to be present in contact time. A member of staff in such circumstances will be advised of appropriate support, for example from his/his trade union, or a colleague contact.
In the event of an allegation being made against a teacher, the Headmaster will immediately and at least with one working day refer the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) 01628 796693. Allegations against staff do not need to be referred to Children’s Services: where the allegation relates to the use of reasonable force; where the allegation is demonstrably false. If there is any uncertainty as to whether a referral should be made, the school will seek advice from the LADO.
In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Headmaster, allegations should be made directly to the designated officer at the local authority.
If the Headmaster is wholly satisfied that the child or children is/are not at risk of significant harm and that a reportable criminal offence has not been committed he will consider the separate need for disciplinary action. In that case an investigation at School level would be necessary.
If the allegation is substantiated and the person is dismissed or the person resigns the Designated Safeguarding Lead will need to inform the DBS and if the member of staff is a teacher will need to refer the matter the the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).
All staff must be aware of and comply with the Staff Code of Conduct.
Staff should familiarise themselves with the School’s Whistleblowing Policy. It is particularly important in the context of Child Protection. Staff have a statutory duty to report concerns that a child is at risk of abuse, is being, or has been abused, to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. This is because the interests of the child are paramount. However, fear of reprisal is a real issue for staff in reporting abuse by colleagues. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides protection against victimisation for persons who, acting in good faith, raise concerns about a wide variety of malpractices in the public interest.
When establishing the validity of any cause for concern care will be taken
11 Allegation of abuse by a pupil on another pupil.
This relates to a pupil who has behaved in a way that has harmed another child, or may have harmed another child; possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to another child.
If there is any suspicion that this may have happened, the LADO must be consulted and appropriate advice must be followed.
The school should not contact the parents of either child before speaking to the LADO.
If the Designated Safeguarding Lead receives allegations or has any suspicions of abuse, or needs advice, he will inform the Children’s Services department, within 24 hours, of his concerns. If the consultation/referral is by telephone a written confirmation will be made. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will also inform the DBS within one month.If the case meets the criteria for eligibility, the Children’s Services department will make background enquiries, including with the police. If the concerns appear well founded, a strategy discussion will follow, normally within two working days. At this point a decision will be taken either to proceed with an S47 enquiry/criminal investigation or not. If the concerns are substantiated and the child is deemed at continuing risk of significant harm, a Child Protection Conference will be convened.
If there is a risk of immediate significant harm to a child, a referral should be made to the children’s social care immediately.
Once a referral has been made to the LADO, they will take over any investigation. It is not the role of the school to investigate any incidents of suspected child abuse.
If a crime may have been committed, the matter should be reported to the police.
13 Record keeping and storage
Child Protection records are kept securely by the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
14 Teaching the boys how to stay safe
Boys at Sunningdale are taught how to stay safe. This is done through the curriculum and with specific PSHE lectures. We include advice on how to avoid radicalisation.
We also pay specific attention to e-safety. The boys are taught how to avoid risks online in the ICT curriculum and we also invite an outside speaker, Karl Hopwood, to come and talk to the boys and parents about e-safety.
15 Looked after children
In cases where a boy is looked after by a local authority, the DSL will have overall responsibility for his welfare and will communicate with the local authority. It is essential that the DSL keeps up to date with contact arrangements and makes sure that staff are informed as to who is allowed or not allowed access. Consideration must also be made with regard to communication via telephone, email and post.
If staff have any concerns, they must inform the DSL.
GUIDELINES FOR MEMBERS OF STAFF
All members of staff must be aware of the School’s Child Protection Policy and of the professional obligations laid upon them by the 1989 Children’s Act.
All members of staff should be aware of the following steps to be taken should information come to light of the possibility of physical, sexual or other forms of abuse of any boy or concerns under Prevent legislation.
Never assume that abuse is impossible in the school or that an accusation against someone you know well is bound to be wrong.
The Windsor and Maidenhead LSCB (http://www.wamlscb.org) Child Protection Procedures can be found online at http://proceduresonline.com/berks/ . A link to this can be found on the Staff Common Area under Policies.
From Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm, Referral and Assessment / Children’s Social Care Duty Teams are available on 01628 683150. Out of office hours, the number to call is 01344 786543.
Further information on child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point. Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:
Further information on so-called ‘honour based’ violence
So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. If in any doubt, staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV.
Further information on Female Genital Mutilation
On the 31st October 2015, new procedures for reporting on FGM were introduced by HM Government as a mandatory duty for social workers, healthcare professionals and teachers.
FGM is a form of child abuse that can lead to extreme and lifelong physical and psychologicalsuffering to women and girls. The term FGM comprises all procedures involving the partial ortotal removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non- medical reasons. In general, girls undergo female genital cutting from around the age of 3, though this may vary depending on the type of ritual / custom of the local village or region.
There are factors that may indicate a child may be at risk of FGM. As with all other aspects of safeguarding, they may form part of a collective picture of concern such as:
Because of the nature and extent of both the initial and repeated cutting and suturing, the physicaleffects of Type III infibulation are greater and longer-lasting than for the other types of FGM.
The origins of FGM are unclear but there is historical evidence of the practice in ancient Egypt, Tsarist Russia and by pre-Islamic Arabs and African tribes. It is predominantly practiced in the African continent however, following migration, is also practised amongst immigrant communities in Europe, North and South America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. FGM is not an Islamic practice. It is a cross-cultural and cross-religious ritual.
Communities supporting FGM justify the practice for a variety of reasons. These may be:
From October 2015, education professionals in England and Wales have a mandatory duty to report to the police if they know a girl aged under 18 years has undergone FGM. The duty requires the individual who becomes aware of the case to make the report. Unlike other safeguarding or child welfare concerns, the reporting duty cannot be transferred.
Further information on breast ironing
Breast ironing is a form of physical abuse. Also known as breast flattening, it is the pounding and massaging of a pubescent girl’s breasts, using hard or heated objects, to try to make them stop developing or disappear. Usually carried out by elder female family members on girls aged between 9 to 15, the practice is performed to make them appear child-like for longer with the rationale that this will protect them from sexual harassment, rape, pregnancy and forced marriage.
The practice does not stop the breasts from growing and often leads to significant health difficulties such as infection, abscesses, chest pain, breast malformation and breastfeeding difficulties.
Breast ironing is practised in African countries, particularly prevalent in Cameroon, with an estimated 3.8 million girls and women affected. The addition of breast ironing as a safeguarding topic in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) highlights the concern that this practice may be carried out by African communities resident in the UK. Indicators include:
Further information on Child Criminal Exploitation
Recent evidence shows an increase in children being targeted to act as money mules by fraudsters who wish to hide money from the authorities. Targeted through adverts on social media, video sharing sites and in some cases outside schools, children are offered money in exchange for moving the fraudsters money through their bank accounts. The fraud prevention service Cifas reported an upward trend of 4,222 cases as at July 2017 compared to 2,143 in the previous year. Most children are unaware that allowing their bank account to be used in this way is unlawful and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. It is important for DSLs to be aware of this practice, ensure staff are also made aware and that children understand this practice is a form of exploitation.
County lines is another form of CCE. This is where gangs and organized criminal networks use intimidation, violence and weapons, including knives, corrosives and firearms to exploit children to transport and sell drugs. The children are also targeted to replenish stocks from borough to borough and transport money.
Further Information on Forced Marriage
Forced Marriage is when one or both parties do not consent to marriage but are subjected to physical and or emotional pressure to marry. This may be in the form of threats, violence or psychological pressure. Whatever form used, pressure which forces someone into a marriage is an abuse of their human rights. Forced marriage also applies to a marriage involving a personwithout the capacity to consent to the marriage, as defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005,whether or not coercion or the above measures are used. This includes persons with physical or learning disabilities.
The term marriage applies to any religious or civil ceremony whether or not legally binding. It is important to distinguish between forced marriage and arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, families may play an active role in selecting a partner for a family member however, both spouses fully consent to the marriage.
Forced marriage is not specific to one country or culture. Victims include people thought to beat potential risk of future forced marriage, those currently going through a forced marriage and those who have already been forced to marry. Women, men and children are at risk of forced marriage regardless of age or background. Research shows there is no predisposed group at risk of forced marriage, however often lesbian, gay, transsexual or transgender people may be forced into marriage as a means seen to protect family honour. Also persons with a physical or learning disability are at risk by being forced into a marriage in order to provide them with a carer. Some of the key motives for facilitating a forced marriage are:
Similar to domestic violence, those at risk of or trapped in a forced marriage commonly experience isolation and feel they have no one they can speak to or trust. They may be taken abroad without access to their passport, isolating them further from social contact or support. As such disclosure is rare. Victims within forced marriage relationships often suffer physical, emotional and sexual abuseincluding rape and forced pregnancy.
Forced marriage also has a negative effect on children within the marriage. Children are vulnerable as:
All staff should be aware of indicators which my signal that children are at risk from or are involved in serious violent crime.
Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school or college and/or can occur between children outside the school or college. All staff, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur.
USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS
Designated Person (DP)
Tom Dawson (Headmaster)
07904 681 090
01344 786543 (Out of hours)
RBWM Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
DfE (non-emergency advice for staff and governors)
0207 340 7264
Other useful sources of information can be found at:
RBWM Multi Agency Threshold for Safeguarding the Child’s Journey
Safeguarding Cue Card
If any deficiencies or weaknesses are identified in this safeguarding policy, it is essential that this should be remedied without delay.
The proprietor undertakes an annual review of the school’s child protection policies and procedure and of the the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged.
TRA - formerly known as NCTL
Updated 03/09/2019 TACND