Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy



Policy Lead:

Designated Safeguarding Lead


Governing Body

Date ratified:

7th December 2017

Review cycle:


Next review:

September 2018

Safeguarding Statement

Route 39 Academy recognises it has a moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all students. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. Child protection forms part of the Academy’s safeguarding responsibilities.

The Governing Body is responsible for establishing and maintaining this policy and for ensuring that it is followed.  The Principal is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Governing Body and for complying with this policy. The policy applies to the Governing Body, volunteers, the Principal and to all staff employed by the Academy.


Note: The contents in the electronic form of this policy provide hyperlinks to each section

Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy        1

Safeguarding Statement        1

Contents        2

Key Personnel        5

Terminology        5

1. Introduction        6

2. Policy Principles        6

3. Policy Aims        6

4. Values        7

Supporting Children        7

Preventing and Protecting        7

5. Legislation and Guidance        8

6. Roles and Responsibilities        8

Governors of the Academy        8

The Principal        9

The Designated Safeguarding Lead:        10

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead        10

All Academy Staff        11

7. Safer Recruitment & Induction        11

8. Confidentiality        13

9. Early Help        13

10. Site Security        14

11. Child Protection Procedures        15

If staff are concerned about a child’s welfare        16

If a student discloses to a member of staff        17

Notifying Parents        17

Making a referral        18

Follow up to a Referral        18

Supporting Staff        18

12. Children who are particularly vulnerable        18

13. Anti-Bullying/Cyberbullying        19

14. On-line Safety        19

15. Online safety for teachers        20

16. Racist Incidents        21

17. Radicalisation and Extremism        21

18. Domestic Abuse        22

19. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)        22

20. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)        23

21. Forced Marriage        23

22. Honour-based Violence        24

23. One Chance Rule        24

24. Private Fostering Arrangements        24

25. Looked After Children        25

26. Children Missing Education        25

27. Peer on Peer Abuse        25

28. Youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)        26

29. Allegations against staff        28

30. Whistle-blowing        28

31.Physical Intervention        29

32. Confidentiality and sharing information        29

33. This policy also links to our policies on:        30

Appendices        31

Appendix 1 - Recognising signs of child abuse        32

Categories of Abuse:        32

Signs of Abuse in Children:        32

Risk Indicators        32

Recognising Physical Abuse        33

Bruising        33

Bite Marks        33

Burns and Scalds        34

Fractures        34

Scars        34

Recognising Emotional Abuse        34

Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse        35

Recognising Neglect        35

Appendix 2 Sexual Abuse by Young People        36

Appendix 3 - Child Sexual Exploitation        37

Appendix 4 - Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)        38

What is FGM?        38

Why is it carried out?        38

Is FGM legal?        38

Circumstances and occurrences that may point to FGM happening are:        38

Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM:        39

The ‘One Chance’ rule        39

Appendix 5 Domestic Abuse        40

How does it affect children?        40

What are the signs to look out for?        40

What should I do if I suspect a family is affected by domestic abuse?        40

Appendix 6 - Indicators of Vulnerability to Radicalisation        41

Appendix 7  What to do if you have an online safety concern        43

Appendix 8 - Further advice on child protection is available from:        44

NSPCC:        44

Childline:        44

CEOPS Thinkuknow:        44

Anti-Bullying Alliance:        44

Beat Bullying:        44

Childnet International        44

Thinkuknow        44

Safer Internet Centre        44

Transgender        44

Appendix 9 - Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Details        45

Appendix 10 - Internal Action Flowchart        46

Appendix 11 - Safeguarding Internal Report Forms Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4        47

Part 1:  Notification of Concern to DSL        47

Part 2: Disclosure Form        48

Part 3: Action Taken (for use by DSL and Deputy DSL)        52

Part 4: Outcome of Referral (for use by DSL and Deputy DSL)        53

Key Personnel

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is: Leighton Tellem

Contact details: email:            Telephone: 01237 431969

The deputy DSL(s) is:  Sam Sansom

Contact details: email:                Telephone: 01237 431969

The nominated child protection governor is: Colin Smith

Contact details: email:                   Telephone: 01237 431969

The Academy Acting Principal is: David Ray

Contact details: email:                       Telephone: 01237 431969

The Chair of Governors is: Richard Bence

Contact details: email:                                Telephone: 01237 431969


Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined 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.

(Reference: Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2015)

Child Protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the Academy, full or part time, temporary or permanent, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child includes everyone under the age of 18.

Parents refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.

1. Introduction

Route 39 Academy is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for children, staff and visitors.  It is also committed to promoting a climate where children and adults feel confident about sharing any concerns about their own safety, or the wellbeing of others. Strong and trusting relationships are the heart of our vision.

The academy’s safeguarding arrangements are inspected by Ofsted under the judgements for leadership and management and they also impact on the judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of children and learners.

This policy is available on the academy website and all staff and volunteers are required to read it and confirm they have done so in writing before commencing work in academy.

2. Policy Principles

Route 39 Academy believes that:

3. Policy Aims

The aims of this policy are:

4. Values

Supporting Children

We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame themselves, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth.  We also acknowledge that the Academy may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.

We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal, to aggressive or withdrawn.

Our Academy will support all children by:

Preventing and Protecting

We recognise that the Academy plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children by providing children with good lines of communication with trusted adults and  supportive friends.

The Academy community will therefore:

5. Legislation and Guidance

The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy:

6. Roles and Responsibilities

At Route 39 Academy, all adults have an equal responsibility to ensure that students are safe.  This responsibility is both moral and statutory.  Within the Academy, certain roles have specific responsibilities assigned to them.  These are as follows.

Governors of the Academy

All members of the Governing Body must understand and fulfil their responsibilities. These responsibilities are to ensure that:

The Principal

The Principal will ensure that:

The Designated Safeguarding Lead:

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Deputy DSL is trained to the same standard as the Designated Safeguarding Lead and, in the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of students. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL the deputy will assume all of the functions above and an interim Deputy DSL will be appointed.

All Academy Staff

All staff at Route 39 Academy understand that safeguarding children is  everyone’s responsibility.  Our staff fully appreciate their role in the safeguarding and welfare of children and recognise that they have a pivotal  role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.  Staff at the Academy:

7. Safer Recruitment & Induction

The Academy takes the utmost care when recruiting new staff and introducing them to academy life.  We adhere strictly to the statutory guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016 together with the Academy’s Safer Recruitment policy.

Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:

NB Regulated activity work that someone who is barred from working with children may not do. It comprises, in summary:

The academy will also:

8. Confidentiality

Route 39 recognises that in order to effectively meet a child’s needs, safeguard their welfare and protect them from harm, the Academy must contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2015  and share information between professionals and agencies where there are concerns.

However, we also recognise that all matters relating to child protection are personal to children and families. Therefore, in this respect they are confidential and the Principal or DSL will only disclose information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis.

All staff are made aware that in matters of safeguarding and child protection, they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.

We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to MASH with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with an Assistant Team Manager at the Children’s Services Area Team on this point.

9. Early Help

We recognise that providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later.  Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life.  

Children and families may need support from a wide range of local agencies.  Where a child and family would benefit from co-ordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, Police), the academy will use ‘Early Help’ assessment and endeavour to identify what help the child and family require.

The academy is committed to working in partnership with children, parents and other agencies to:

The academy will be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for any child who:

We recognise that Early Help can only be effective if it is undertaken with the agreement of the child’s parents/carers.  Due to this, written consent should be obtained at the start of the process.  

The academy will keep the needs and circumstances of children receiving early help under constant review.  If the child’s situation does not improve and/or the child’s parents and/or the child do not consent to early help or the CAF process being initiated, the academy will make a judgement about whether, without help, the needs of the child may escalate.  If this is the case, a referral to Children’s Social Care will be made.

10. Site Security

The Academy will move to a new purpose built academy in September 2018.  Until that time, the Academy is sited in three separate buildings, namely:

Upper School and Lower School have open access to a quiet country lane.  Middle school is separated from this lane by a gate.  Middle School and Upper school are connected by a public footpath and childrens play area.  

All visitors to the Academy are:

Signage at the entrance to Upper School is used to clearly direct visitors to the Academy reception.  In addition, a sign on the entrance to Upper School clearly informs visitors that they are not entitled to enter the building unless they have signed in and, where DBS clearance has not been confirmed, accompanied by an academy member of staff.

The Academy’s safeguarding team are clearly identified by photograph, name and role at the entrance to Lower, middle and upper school.

All staff are aware of their responsibility to challenge any person on site who is not a member of the academy and not in possession of a red or green lanyard with ID card issued on that day.  

In circumstances where a person is on site and not signed in, that person will either be:

In circumstances where a visitor refuses to give their name and reason for being on site:

If a visitor refuses to leave the site when asked by a member of staff, the police will be called.

Members of the public are permitted to use the public play area and the path leading from the Community Hall road entrance to the play area.  The play area is cordoned by a fence and staff must be vigilant and ensure that people using the play area stay within it.  If visitors move to the school field they should be politely reminded that between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, the field is part of the Academy and not available for public use.

11. Child Protection Procedures

To ensure that our students are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect are forms 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 the 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 by another child or children. Further information about the four categories of abuse; physical, emotional, sexual and neglect, can be found in appendices 1 and 2. The appendixes also contain information relating to signs  that may indicate a child may be being abused.

Any child in any family in any school could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “It could happen here”.

There are also a number of specific safeguarding concerns that we recognise our students may experience.  These include:

Staff are aware that behaviours linked to drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger and that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse.

We also recognise that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are complex and are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. Staff are aware that in most cases multiple issues will overlap one another.

If staff are concerned about a child’s welfare

The action to be taken and the subsequent procedure followed is outlined in Appendix 10.

If a member of staff has a safeguarding concern about a child, the concern should be noted on a ‘Safeguarding: Internal Form Part 1 --- Notice of Concern’.  The form should be forwarded to the DSL .  The Notice of Concern form can be found on in the ‘shared with me’ area of ‘google drive’.  To locate the form, type  ‘Safeguarding: Internal Form Part 1 --- Notice of Concern’ in the search area.

Staff may also discuss their concerns in person with the DSL but the details of the concern must be recorded in writing.

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a student may be at risk, but have no ‘real’ evidence. The student’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical or inconclusive signs may have been noticed.

Route 39  recognises that the signs may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. However, they may also indicate a child is being abused or is in need of safeguarding.

In these circumstances staff may try to give the child the opportunity to talk. It is fine for staff to ask the student if they are okay or if they can help in any way.

Following an initial conversation with the student, if the member of staff remains concerned they should discuss their concerns with the DSL and put them in writing.

If the student does begin to reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below regarding a student making a disclosure.

If a student discloses to a member of staff

We recognise that it takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, guilty or scared, their abuser may have threatened that something will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults or believe that was has happened is their fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abuse.

A child who makes a disclosure may have to tell their story on a number of subsequent occasions to the police and/or social workers. Therefore, it is vital that their first experience of talking to a trusted adult is a positive one.

During their conversation with the student staff will;

Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, the member of staff must complete   ‘Safeguarding: Internal Form Part 2 --- Disclosure Form (New)’.  This must be forwarded to the DSL  or Deputy DSL.

Notifying Parents        

The academy will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a student with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure.  However, if the Academy believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s MASH.

Where there are concerns about forced marriage or honour based violence parents should not be informed a referral is being made as to do so may place the child at a significantly increased risk.

Making a referral

Concerns about a child or a disclosure should be discussed with the DSL who will help decide whether a referral to children’s MASH, early help or other support is appropriate in accordance with Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board Threshold Tool.

The DSL will complete  ‘Safeguarding: Internal Form Part 3 ---DSL & Deputy DSL’.  This form will record the action taken by the DSL.or deputy.

If a referral is needed then the DSL should make it. However, anyone can make a referral and if for any reason a staff member thinks a referral is appropriate and one hasn’t been made, they can and should, consider making a referral themselves.

The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.

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 the child’s situation improves.

If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to children’s MASH and/or the police immediately. Anybody can make a referral.

Follow up to a Referral

Where a referral to the MASH has been made, the DSL or deputy DSL must ensure that a response has been received within 48 hours of referral.

On receipt of the response,  ‘Safeguarding: Internal Form Part 4 --- Outcome’ must be completed.

The DSL should collate Safeguarding forms 1 to 4, place in a plastic wallet and store in the ‘Safeguarding Current ‘ file. This is located in the Academy’s secure safeguarding filing cabinet in the main reception.  

Supporting Staff

We recognise that staff working in the Academy who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting.

We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSLs and to seek further support as appropriate.

12. Children who are particularly vulnerable

Route 39 recognises that some children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect.  We also recognise that additional barriers exist when recognising abuse for some children.

In some cases, possible indicators of abuse such as a child’s mood, behaviour or injury might be assumed to relate to the child’s impairment or disability rather than giving a cause for concern. Equally, a focus may be on the child’s disability, special educational needs or situation without consideration of the full picture. In other cases, such as bullying, the child may be disproportionately impacted by the behaviour without outwardly showing any signs that they are experiencing it.

Some children may also find it harder to disclose abuse due to communication barriers, lack of access to a trusted adult or not being aware that what they are experiencing is abuse.

To ensure that all of our students receive equal protection we will give special consideration to children who are:

13. Anti-Bullying/Cyberbullying

Our Academy policy on anti-bullying is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. This includes all forms of bullying including cyber, racist, homophobic and gender related bullying. We keep a record of known bullying incidents which is shared with and analysed by the governing body. All staff are aware that children with SEND and / or differences/perceived differences are more susceptible to being bullied / victims of child abuse.

If the bullying is particularly serious, or the anti-bullying procedures are seen to be ineffective, the Principal and the DSL will consider implementing child protection procedures.

The subject of bullying is addressed at regular intervals in Community Philosophy and Ethics (CPE) education.

14. On-line Safety

Our students increasingly use electronic equipment on a daily basis to access the internet and share content and images via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Oovoo.

Unfortunately, some adults and other children use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts or emails, to grooming and enticing children to engage in sexual behaviour such as webcam photography or face-to-face meetings. Students may also be distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate material such as pornographic websites or those which promote extremist behaviour, criminal activity, suicide or eating disorders.

Route 39 Academy has an online safety policy which explains how we try to keep students safe in Academy and how we respond to online safety incidents (See flowchart, Appendix 7). Online safety training covers the risks in regards to content, conduct and contact.

Students are taught about online safety throughout the curriculum and within CPE programme. All staff receive online safety training which is regularly updated.  

15. Online safety for teachers

At Route 39 academy teachers accept that sound judgement and due care must always be exercised when using electronic communication. This is to protect the teacher, the academy and the teaching profession.  

We acknowledge that teachers can be vulnerable to unintended misuses for electronic communication.  E-mail, texting and social media encourage casual dialogue and very often, innocent actions can be misconstrued or manipulated.

At the academy teachers follow the premise that they should never share information with student in any environment that they would not willingly or appropriately share with that student at the Academy or within the local community.  

To minimise risk when using electronic communication teachers at Route 39 will:

16. Racist Incidents

Our policy on racist incidents is set out separately, and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. We keep a record of racist incidents and report them to the Local Authority.

17. Radicalisation and Extremism

The Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on education and other children’s services to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Extremism is defined as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.  

Some children are at risk of being radicalised; adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous.

Route 39 Academy is clear that exploitation of vulnerable children and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and follows the Department for Education guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism.

The Academy  seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right, Neo Nazi, White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.  Academy staff receive training to help identify early signs of radicalisation and extremism. Indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation are in detailed in Appendix 6.

Opportunities are provided in the curriculum to enable students to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and the Academy follows the DfE advice Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of its CPE course.

When any member of staff has concerns that a student may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DSL. They should then follow normal safeguarding procedures. If the matter is urgent then Devon Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In non-urgent cases, where police advice is sought then police should be contacted using 101. The Department of Education has also set up a dedicated telephone helpline for staff and governors to raise concerns around Prevent.  The number is 020 7340 7264.

18. Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse represents one quarter of all violent crime. It is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. It involves the use of power and control by one person over another. It occurs regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, mental or physical ability. Domestic abuse can also involve other types of abuse.

We use the term domestic abuse to reflect that a number of abusive and controlling behaviours are involved beyond violence.

Living in a home where domestic abuse takes place is harmful to children and can have a serious impact on their behaviour, wellbeing and understanding of healthy, positive relationships. Children who witness domestic abuse are at risk of significant harm and staff are alert to the signs and symptoms of a child suffering or witnessing domestic abuse (See Appendix 5).

19. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse.  It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.  The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual.


CSE does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology.  More information and the indicators of CSE is set out in appendix 3. CSE can happen online and offline and all staff should be aware of the link between online safety and vulnerability to CSE.

Any concerns that a child is being or is at risk of being sexually exploited should be passed without delay to the DSL. Route 39 is aware that there is a clear link between regular Academy absence/truanting and CSE. Staff should consider a child to be at potential CSE risk in the case of regular Academy absence/truanting and make reasonable enquiries with the child and parents to assess this risk.

The DSL will use the Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board CSE Screening Tool on all occasions when there is a concern that a child is being sexually exploited, is at risk of being sexually exploited, or where indicators have been observed that are consistent with a child who is being, or who is at risk of being sexually exploited.

In all cases where the tool identifies a level of concern, the DSL will contact the MASH and email the completed CSE Screening Tool along with a MASH enquiry form.   If a child is in immediate danger the police will be called on 999.

Route 39 is aware that often, a child is not able to recognise the coercive nature of the abuse and does not see themselves as a victim. As a consequence the child may resent what they perceive as interference by staff. However, staff must act on their concerns as they would for any other type of abuse.

Route 39 includes the risks of sexual exploitation in the CPE curriculum. Students are informed of the grooming process and how to protect themselves from people who may potentially be intent on causing harm.  They will be supported in terms of recognising and assessing risk in relation to CSE, including online, and knowing how and where to get help.

20. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act (2003).  It is a form of child abuse and violence against women.  A mandatory reporting duty requires teachers to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s, which are identified in the course of their professional work, to the police.

The duty applies to all persons who are employed or engaged to carry out ‘teaching work’ in the Academy, whether or not they have qualified teacher status. The duty applies to the individual who becomes aware of the case to make a report.  It should not be transferred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, however the DSL should be informed.

If a teacher is informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her or a teacher observes physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth, the teacher should personally make a report to the police force in which the girl resides by calling 101. The report should be made by the close of the next working day.

Academy staff are trained to be aware of risk indicators of FGM which are set out in Appendix 4.  Concerns about FGM outside of the mandatory reporting duty should be reported to the DSL in accordance with academy’s normal procedures.  Staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female students about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period. There should also be consideration of potential risk to other girls in the family and practicing community.  

Where there is a risk to life or likelihood of serious immediate harm the teacher should report the case immediately to the police, including dialling 999 if appropriate.

There are no circumstances in which a teacher or other member of staff should examine a girl.

21. Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities cannot) consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.

Forced marriage is recognised in the UK as a form of violence, domestic abuse, child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. Since June 2014 forcing someone to marry has become a criminal offence in England and Wales under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage which is common in several cultures. In an arranged marriage, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.

IN cases of forced marriage, the academy will not intervene directly or through a third party. Contact will be made with MASH.

22. Honour-based Violence

Honour based violence (HBV) can be described as a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.

Honour based violence might be committed against people who;

Honour based violence is a violation of human rights and may be a form of domestic and/or sexual abuse. There is no, and cannot be, honour or justification for abusing the human rights of others.

23. One Chance Rule

All staff are aware of the ‘One Chance’ Rule’ in relation to forced marriage, FGM and HBV. Staff recognise they may only have one chance’ to speak to a student who is a potential victim and have just one chance to save a life.

Route 39 Academy is aware that if the victim is not offered support following disclosure that the ‘One Chance’ opportunity may be lost. Therefore, all staff are aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they become aware of potential forced marriage, FGM and HBV cases.

24. Private Fostering Arrangements

A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16 or 18, if the child is disabled. Children looked after by the local authority, or who are placed in residential schools, children’s homes or hospitals are not considered to be privately fostered.

Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.

Route 39  recognises that most privately fostered children remain safe and well, but are aware that safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases. Therefore, all staff are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that the child has been trafficked into the country.

By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible. However, where a member of staff becomes aware that a student may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this will the DSL and the DSL will notify MASH of the circumstances.

25. Looked After Children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and neglect.  Route 39 ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe. Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements.  This includes the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility.

At Route 39, the DSL is also the designated teacher for looked after children.  The DSL will therefore have details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the Devon County Council’s virtual school head for children in care.

The designated teacher for a looked after child works with the virtual school head to discuss how Pupil Premium Plus funding can be best used to support the progress of looked after children in the Academy and meet the needs in the child’s personal education plan.  

26. Children Missing Education

Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

The DSL will monitor unauthorised absences and take appropriate action including notifying the local authority particularly where children go missing on repeat occasions and/or are missing for periods during the Academy day in conjunction with ‘Children Missing Education: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities.

Staff must be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

27. Peer on Peer Abuse

In most instances, the conduct of students towards each other will be covered by our behaviour policy. However, some allegations may be of such a serious nature that they may raise safeguarding concerns. Route 39 Academy recognises that children are capable of abusing their peers. It will not be passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. The forms of peer on peer abuse include the following.

The term peer-on-peer abuse can refer to all of these definitions and a child may experience one or multiple facets of abuse at any one time. Our response will cut across these definitions and capture the complex web of their experiences.

Route 39 Academy aims to reduce the likelihood of peer on peer abuse through;

Research indicates that young people rarely disclose peer on peer abuse and that if they do, it is likely to be to their friends. Therefore, Route 39 will also educate students in how to support their friends if they are concerned about them, and instill in all friends the need talk to a trusted adult in the Academy if they have concerns. Students will also be made aware of the services they can contact for further advice.

Any concerns, disclosures or allegations of peer on peer abuse in any form should be referred to the DSL using Academy’s child protection procedures as set out in this policy.  Where a concern regarding peer on peer abuse has been disclosed to the DSL, advice and guidance will be sought from MASH and where it is clear a crime has been committed or there is a risk of crime being committed, the Police will be contacted.

If a student’s behaviour negatively impacts on the safety and welfare of other students then safeguards will be put in place to promote the wellbeing of the students affected and the victim and perpetrator will be provided with support.

28. Youth produced sexual imagery (sexting)

The practice of children sharing images and videos via text message, email, social media or mobile messaging apps has become commonplace. However, this online technology has also given children the opportunity to produce and distribute sexual imagery in the form of photos and videos. Such imagery involving anyone under the age of 18 is illegal.

Youth produced sexual imagery refers to both images and videos where;

All incidents of this nature should be treated as a safeguarding concern in line with the United Kingdom Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) guidance ‘Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people’.

Cases where sexual imagery of people under 18 has been shared by adults and where sexual imagery of a person of any age has been shared by an adult to a child is child sexual abuse and should be responded to accordingly.

If a member of staff becomes aware of an incident involving youth produced sexual imagery, they should follow the child protection procedures and refer to the DSL as soon as possible. The member of staff should confiscate the device involved and set it to flight mode or, if this is not possible, turn it off. Staff should not view, copy or print the youth produced sexual imagery.

The DSL should hold an initial review meeting with appropriate Academy staff and subsequent interviews with the children involved (if appropriate). Parents should be informed at an early stage and involved in the process unless there is reason to believe that involving parents would put the child at risk of harm. At any point in the process if there is concern a young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm a referral should be made to MASH or the Police as appropriate.

Immediate referral at the initial review stage should be made to  MASH/Police if:

If none of the above apply then the DSL will discuss the issue with the Deputy DSL and professional judgement will be used to assess the risk to students involved.  The DSL may decide, with input from the Principal, to respond to the incident without escalation to  MASH or the police.

In applying judgement the DSL will consider if:

If any of these circumstances are present, the situation will be escalated according to our child protection procedures, including reporting to the police or MASH. Otherwise, the situation will be managed within the Academy.

The DSL will record all incidents of youth produced sexual imagery, including both the actions taken, actions not taken, reasons for doing so and the resolution in line with safeguarding recording procedures.

29. Allegations against staff

All Academy staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults. Guidance about conduct and safe practice, including safe use of mobile phones by staff and volunteers is given at induction.

We understand that a student may make an allegation against a member of staff, or staff may have concerns about another staff member.

If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the allegation, or made aware of the information, will immediately inform the Principal.

The Principal on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) at the earliest opportunity and before taking any further action.

If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the Principal, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Chair of Local Governors who will consult the LADO as in 23.6 above, without notifying the Principal first.

The Academy will follow the Devon procedures for managing allegations against staff, procedures set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education and the Academy’s Managing Allegations policy and procedures.  

Suspension of the member of staff, excluding the Principal, against whom an allegation has been made, needs careful consideration, and the Principal will seek the advice of the LADO in making this decision.

In the event of an allegation against the Principal, the decision to suspend will be made by the Chair of Governors.

Staff, parents and governors are reminded that publication of material that may lead to the identification of a teacher who is the subject of an allegation is prohibited by law. Publication includes verbal conversations or writing, including content placed on social media sites.

30. Whistle-blowing

The Academy has a separate policy to cover whistleblowing.  We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.

All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitude or actions of colleagues, poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the Academy’s safeguarding arrangements.  If it becomes necessary to consult outside of the Academy, staff should speak in the first instance, to the Area Education Officer/LADO.

The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285.  Lines are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday.  The e-mail is:

31.Physical Intervention

The Academy has a separate policy for physical intervention.  We acknowledge that staff must only use physical intervention as a last resort and that the force used must be the minimum to prevent a student from:

Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness. Parents will be informed.

We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.

We recognise that touch is appropriate in the context or working with children, and all staff have been given ‘Safe Practice’ guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundary.

32. Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the student and staff involved, but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, Principal or Chair of Governors (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

However, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care at any time if they are concerned about a child.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and HM Gov.Information sharing and Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services to Children, Young People, Parents and Carers, March 2016.

Information sharing is guided by the following principles.  The information is:

33. This policy also links to our policies on:


Appendix 1 - Recognising signs of child abuse

Categories of Abuse:

Signs of Abuse in Children:

The following non-specific signs may indicate something is wrong:

Risk Indicators

The factors described in this section are frequently found in cases of child abuse.  Their presence is not proof that abuse has occurred, but:

The absence of such indicators does not mean that abuse or neglect has not occurred.

In an abusive relationship:

The child may:

The parent or carer may:

Staff should be aware of the potential risk to children when individuals, previously known or suspected to have abused children, move into the household.

Recognising Physical Abuse

The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:


Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as non-accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:

Bite Marks

Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth.  Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped.  Those over 3 cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child.

A medical opinion should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.

Burns and Scalds

It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds, and experienced  medical opinion will always be required require.  Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious.  For example:


Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint.

Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.

There are grounds for concern if:


A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.

Recognising Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical.  The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse.

The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse.

The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:

Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse

Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear.  This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child/family.

Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed.  There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional/behavioural.

Some behavioural indicators associated with this form of abuse are:

Some physical indicators associated with this form of abuse are:

Recognising Neglect

Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting.  Indicators include:

Appendix 2 Sexual Abuse by Young People

The boundary between what is abusive and what is part of normal childhood or youthful experimentation can be blurred.  The determination of whether behaviour is developmental, inappropriate or abusive will hinge around the related concepts of true consent, power imbalance and exploitation.  This may include children and young people who exhibit a range of sexually problematic behaviour such as indecent exposure, obscene telephone calls, fetishism, bestiality and sexual abuse against adults, peers or children.

Developmental Sexual Activity encompasses those actions that are to be expected from children and young people as they move from infancy to adulthood.   Such sexual activity is essentially information gathering and experience testing.  It is characterised by mutuality and the seeking of consent.

Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour can be inappropriate socially, inappropriate to development, or both.  In considering whether behaviour fits into this category, it is important to consider what negative effects it has on any of the parties involved and what concerns it raises about a child or young person.  It should be recognised that some actions may be motivated by information seeking, but still cause significant upset, confusion, worry, physical damage, etc. It may also be that the behaviour is “acting out” which may derive from other sexual situations to which the child or young person has been exposed. If an act appears to have been inappropriate, there may still be a need for some form of behaviour management or intervention.  For some children, educative inputs may be enough to address the behaviour.

Abusive sexual activity includes any behaviour involving coercion, threats, aggression together with secrecy, or where one participant relies on an unequal power base. In order to more fully determine the nature of the incident, the following factors should be given consideration.  The presence of exploitation in terms of:

In evaluating sexual behaviour of children and young people, the above information should be used only as a guide.  Further information and advice is available in the Devon multi-agency protocol “Working with Sexually Active Young People” available at, by choosing Safeguarding Children – Protocols and Guidance for Professionals.  Assessment, Consultation and Therapy (ACT) 01306 745310 can also assist professionals in identifying sexual behaviour of concern in children and adolescents.

Appendix 3 - Child Sexual Exploitation

The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.

Signs include:

Appendix 4 - Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

It is essential that staff are aware of FGM practices and the need to look for signs, symptoms and other indicators of FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

Section 5B of the 2003 Act1 introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. The duty came into force on 31 October 2015.

What is FGM?

It involves procedures that intentionally alter or injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

There are four types of procedure:

Why is it carried out?

Belief that:

Is FGM legal?  

FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.  It is illegal in most countries including the UK.

Circumstances and occurrences that may point to FGM happening are:

Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM:

The ‘One Chance’ rule

As with Forced Marriage there is the ‘One Chance’ rule. It is essential that settings take action without delay and make a referral to children’s services.

Appendix 5 Domestic Abuse

How does it affect children?

Children can be traumatised by seeing and hearing violence and abuse. They may also be directly targeted by the abuser or take on a protective role and get caught in the middle. In the long term this can lead to mental health issues such as depression, self-harm and anxiety.

What are the signs to look out for?

Children affected by domestic abuse reflect their distress in a variety of ways. They may change their usual behaviour and become withdrawn, tired, start to wet the bed and have behavioural difficulties. They may not want to leave their house or may become reluctant to return. Others will excel, using their time in your care as a way to escape from their home life. None of these signs are exclusive to domestic abuse so when you are considering changes in behaviours and concerns about a child, think about whether domestic abuse may be a factor.

What should I do if I suspect a family is affected by domestic abuse?

Contact the DSL or:

Appendix 6 - Indicators of Vulnerability to Radicalisation

  1. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

  1. Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as:
    Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.  We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.  

  1. Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as:

The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:

  1. There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.

  1. Students may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors - it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities.  It is vital that Academy staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities.  

  1. Indicators of vulnerability include:

  1. However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism.

  1. More critical risk factors could include:

The Department of Education guidance The Prevent Duty can be accessed via this link.

Appendix 7  What to do if you have an online safety concern

Child Protection Policy - Appendix 7 - What to do if you have an online safety concern (1).png

Appendix 8 - Further advice on child protection is available from:



CEOPS Thinkuknow: 

Anti-Bullying Alliance: 

Beat Bullying: 

Childnet International

Making the internet a great and safe place for children. Includes resources for professionals and parents


(includes resources for professionals and parents) 

Safer Internet Centre


Appendix 9 - Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Details

For Early Help, Consultation and Enquiries please contact:

 Telephone:  0345 155 1071 


Fax: 01392 448951

Enquiry Form available at:

Post: Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, P.O. Box 723, Exeter EX1 9QS

Emergency Duty Team – out of hours

0845 6000 388

Police – non emergency – 101

For all LADO enquiries Exeter (01392) 384964 Or

Early Help Team

Senior Manager: Phillippa Court

Manager Exeter and South:  Stephen Matthewman 07790362310

Manager Mid & East : Ian Flett

Manager South & West: Karen Hayes

Manager Northern: Sarah Simpson 07854304512

Early Help Advisers:

North: Pete 07817 124965

Mid & East: Karol Stannard: 07891 417159  

South & West: Karen Hayes

Exeter: Jan Mead 07891 417073

0345 155 1071, ask for Early Help 

Appendix 10 - Internal Action Flowchart

Links for electronic forms:

Appendix 11 - Safeguarding Internal Report Forms Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4

Part 1:  Notification of Concern to DSL

Name of Student


What is the nature of the concern?

  • What are you most concerned about? Physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect?  Self harm, bullying, sexualised behaviour, honour based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, e-safety, radicalisation, other …
  • Any evidence of:
  • impairment of health or development;
  • ill treatment.
  • Why are you reporting this concern now?
  • Have you had any previous concerns about this student?  If so, what were they & when were they?


Please continue on separate sheet if necessary and attach.

Any action already taken?


Name & Job Title

Time & Date

Part 2: Disclosure Form

This form should be used when a student discloses to any member of staff or volunteer that they or another student is suffering or is at risk of abuse.



allow the pace of the conversation to be dictated by the student

burden the student with guilt by asking questions such as “why didn’t you tell me before?”

ask neutral questions which encourage the student to talk such as “can you tell me what happened?”

interrogate or pressure the student to provide information

accept what the student says and do not ask for further detail

ask any questions that start with the words, how, what, when, where and why

acknowledge how hard it was for them to tell you

undress the child or examine clothed parts of the child’s body

reassure the student that they have done the right thing

criticise the perpetrator

explain whom you will have to tell (the DCPO) and why

promise confidentiality or make promises that you cannot keep such as “it will be alright now”

1. You         

Your Name:

Date of disclosure:

2. The Student

Name of student:



3. The Alleged Perpetrator

If the student has named or described the alleged perpetrator, note the details here:

4. The Disclosure                 


Record of disclosure

5. Did the student name witnesses?

If so, note them here:


6. Was anyone else present during the disclosure?

If so, note them here:

7. Was the student able to provide informed consent to share?                                          Yes/No

If yes, how did you seek consent - what questions did you ask and what were the responses?

8. If no, did you explain that you would have to share this information with the DSL?                 Yes/No

If yes, what did the student say? Note the exact words used by the student.

9. Where a disclosure mentions physical injury, did you observe any evidence first hand         Yes / No

If yes what did you observe?

10.  If physical injury was disclosed mark on the silhouettes below where this was.

11. Any other comments 

Please record any additional Information here:

Signed ……………………………..……...………………………                           Time and date ……………………….

This form and any notes taken must be passed to the DSL, Leighton Tellem, or in his absence to the deputy DSL, Sam Sansom as soon as possible and in any event no later than the end of the timetabled day. If the allegation or complaint is made against the DSL, this information should be passed directly to the Principal. If the allegation or complaint is made against the Principal, this information should be passed directly to the Chair Governors.

Part 3: Action Taken (for use by DSL and Deputy DSL)


Date and Time information received

Any advice sought

(Date, time, person contacted)

Action Taken

(e.g. Monitoring, TAC, MASH)


  • Date/time
  • Names of persons contacted

Parents informed


Person completing form:  

Name, role, signature.

Continuation sheet used

Yes / No

Part 4: Outcome of Referral (for use by DSL and Deputy DSL)




  • Name of agencies
  • Name of individuals
  • Dates & times

Additional information


  • Where additional info. can be found
  • Staff involved in ongoing support

Name of person completing form