All ISB Staff recognize the responsibility to provide a safe, positive and respectful environment in which students can learn and grow. To do this, the school must take every step to safeguard every child's well-being.  This policy is in-line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child and Act No. 359/1999 Coll., on the social and legal protection of children from the Czech Legal Code.  It instructs ISB staff members on the measures to be taken in the event that an ISB student reports abuse/neglect or their behaviour and/or physical condition strongly indicate(s) that they might be the victim of abuse.  It also sets forth the conditions by which ISB staff members are required to abide during their employment with the school. 

This policy is freely available to parents.

Sections

  1. Code of Conduct for ISB Staff
  2. Definitions of Abuse & Neglect
  3. Protocols for Reporting Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect
  4. Staff members and.or authorities designated to be reported to in cases of child protection concerns

Section 1. Code of Conduct for ISB Staff

Starting points

Rules of Conduct for Staff

Dealing with colleagues

Dealing with students

School situations

Students at Teachers’ homes

Staying after school

Alone with a student in a confined space

Clothes

Contact staff/students outside school

Physical contact

Physical contact (general)

Hugging and sitting on lap

Restraining students for their own safety

Separating fighting students

Patting

Comforting and rewarding

Punishing

Physical violence

Physical Education

Dressing and undressing

Separate changing rooms

Assistance and explanations

Accidents

Gym situations

School trips / camp

School camps

Sleeping

Outdoor activities

Section 2. Defining Abuse and Neglect

It is very important to note that voicing suspicion regarding the abuse or neglect of a child must be done with absolute discretion and sensitivity to all parties involved.  At the same time, it is the child's interests which are paramount.  

Abuse/Neglect

Physical Abuse

It is important to note that conventions regarding the rearing children vary considerably across the globe.  It is therefore vital to delineate physical abuse from certain child-rearing tactics or cultural traditions/practices.  Physical abuse occurs when a student's relationship with a more powerful individual (physically or emotionally) violates their rights and serves the needs of the more powerful individual (family member, teacher, friend).

Physical abuse can consist of any of the following:

Possible indicators of physical abuse include:

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is to commit or allow to be committed a sexual offense against a child as defined in the local criminal code or international convention.  It predominantly consists of touching in some way, either directly or through clothing, any part of a child's body, though in particular the genitals, face, breasts and anus, in a manner that meets the needs of the individual doing the touching and that is in no way committed for the purposes or child-care or hygiene.

It is crucial to note that while physical abuse is typically unplanned and the result of the particular emotions of a discrete situation, sexual abuse requires a build-up of trust between the offender and the child.  The planning required often results in conflicting yet secretly-kept emotions on the part of the victim and so can be difficult to detect and subsequently report.

Possible indicators of sexual abuse can include:

“Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is persistent and, over time, it severely damages a child’s emotional health and development.

It involves:

Possible indicators of sexual abuse can include:

There aren’t usually any obvious physical signs of emotional abuse but you may spot signs in a child's actions or emotions.

It’s important to remember that some children are naturally quiet and self-contained whilst others are more open and affectionate. Mood swings and challenging behaviour are also a normal part of growing up for teenagers and children going through puberty. Be alert to behaviours which appear to be out of character for the individual child or are particularly unusual for their stage of development.

Babies and pre-school children who are being emotionally abused may: be overly-affectionate towards strangers or people they haven’t known for very long

Older children may:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/information-service/definitions-signs-child-abuse.pdf

Neglect

Neglect is defined as the failure on the part of the parents/legal guardians to provide for the basic physical, emotional and medical needs of the child within their environment.  Physical needs consist of clothing, food and supervision.  Emotional needs consist of ensuring that the child is aware that at least one suitable adult is available at all times to provide the appropriate attention.  Medical needs consist of ensuring that a suitable professional is consulted with regards to any physical or emotional needs of the child that cannot be met by the legal guardian.

Possible indicators or neglect can include:

All indicators listed in all three sections by themselves do not indicate abuse or neglect.  Unless they occur with others or the evidence is severe enough that little doubt remains, they are collected as evidence that will be used by school administration to determine the course of action.

Section 3. Protocols for Staff if Abuse or Neglect is Reported or Suspected

Direct reporting from a child

If a child chooses to disclose to a staff member, that staff member is obligated to receive that disclosure immediately.  Children often have varying reasons for choosing to whom they will share their experiences and if they are not heard out the first time, they may be discouraged from sharing their story again.

When receiving a disclosure, staff members are strongly advised to do the following to the best of their ability:

After receiving the child’s disclosure, staff members must:

Reported by a third party or observed

If an ISB staff member deems that there is sufficient evidence indicating that a student is suffering from abuse and/or neglect OR they receive a report from a third party that a student is being abused/neglected, they must complete a Concerns Form and submit it in hard copy to the Designated Safeguard Lead.  Once completed, the Concerns Form is a highly confidential document that must be kept on file in a locked cabinet in the office of the DSL.  

Upon receiving a Concerns Form, the DSL will determine which member of the SLT to approach in order to determine the best course of action to follow.  Together they will decide whether or not to:

As soon as a formal investigation is launched, all evidence and meeting notes will be documented including dates and signatures.

Always, strict confidentiality will be observed, with all contracted ISB staff members privy to the case information signing statements that they will not discuss it with any individual except those responsible for treating the case.  

The purpose of the course of action is always to secure that which is in the best interests of the child.  Given that, ISB will be will assist in whatever way necessary to ensure that the child (and family) receive appropriate support and guidance.

In the event that an ISB staff member is suspected or accused of abusing a child and a formal investigation is launched, they will be suspended, with pay, until the case is resolved.

Section 4. Staff members or Authorities designated to be reported to in cases of child protection concerns:

School leadership team (available at school):

Designated Safeguard Lead: Ms. Chelsea McGill (chelsea.mcgill@isob.cz)

Head of School: Mr. Jan Svihalek, phone: +420776490120

KG/Primary Principal: Mrs. Sona Stepankova, phone: +420725726095

Secondary/HS Principal: Mr. Dylan Vance, phone: +420731558586

Board of Directors (usually not present at school):

Mr. Pavel Ivanyi, phone: +420737204455

Mrs. Pauline Ivanyi, phone: +420736640693

Mr. Jakub Stepanik, phone: +420608028501

 “Czech Help line”, phone: +420 116 111

This agency has been contacted by the school and they confirm that there are always English-speaking operators on duty to receive calls.

(URL: http://www.linkabezpeci.cz/poradna/ublizovani,-zneuzivani,-sikana/sexualni-zneuzivani/?gclid=CKL5jNSi2dUCFQMG0wodhuIKFQ)

Policy update:

26/8/2018 - Dylan Vance

1.9. 2017 - Jan

14/8/2018 - Jan