Safeguarding Children – Policies & Procedures

The nursery adheres to procedures set out by the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) and Diocesan legislation. We aim to focus on the duties laid out in the Children Act 1989 and wherever possible, to work in true partnership with families and provide them with the help and support they need so that children can remain living safely within their families. We intend to create in our Nursery an environment in which children are free from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.

In order to achieve this we will:

Seek and supply training in accordance with guidelines laid down by Surrey Safeguarding Children Board

All adults involved in the Nursery are provided with training opportunities to ensure that they recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect. We have a designated member of staff, Jenny Kissane, who is our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).  If a member of staff has a concern about a child the designated member of staff will be informed and this person will seek advice from the Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) Early Help Co-ordination Hub. (Telephone numbers below).

The Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) telephone number connects you to adult and child social care only.

You can contact the police using the non-emergency number, 101, or in an emergency where the safety of a child, young person or adult is at immediate risk, dial 999.

All staff are aware that they can make a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub  or the Early Help Co-ordination Hub they feel it is necessary.

Prevent abuse by means of good practice

Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or with small groups. Adults, who do not have an enhanced disclosure issued by the D.B.S (Disclosure and Barring Service) will never be left in sole charge of any children and will not help children with toileting or nappy changing.

Mobile phones belonging to staff will remain in a locked safe during sessions. Access to the safe will be restricted to key staff only. The nursery mobile phone will be taken into the garden and remain with a member of staff for emergency use only.

The mobile phones of visitors  will also be stored in the locked safe for the duration of their visit, however an Ofsted regulatory inspector is entitled to keep their business phone with them as they may be required to take photographs as evidence for part of their investigation into a complaint. No children will be included in these photos.

Staff are aware that the use of social network sites in their recreational time, on their own computers must not compromise professional integrity or bring the setting into disrepute. 

Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them.  This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

The layout of the nursery will permit constant supervision of all children.

Images of Children

Nursery employees take photographs of children. These images will be used in your child’s learning journey profiles/displayed within the setting/put on the nursery website.  Parents will be asked to provide signed consent to confirm agreement to this practice.

Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse

The first concern will be the child. Children whose condition or behaviour has given cause for concern will be listened to, reassured and helped to understand that they themselves are valued and respected and have not been at fault. Changes in children’s behaviour/appearance will be investigated.

If we have a concern about a child we will share information with parents/carers, and hope that parents/carers will approach nursery staff if they have any concerns.  However if sharing information may put the child at risk of significant harm we will seek advice from Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) .  If we feel the child will be at risk of significant harm if allowed to go home with a parent/carer we will again seek advice from the Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS). Staff have also been trained to be aware of bruising in children who are not independently mobile. Staff are aware that there are some important causes of bruising which may seriously affect a child’s health, for example, haemophilia, leukaemia or meningitis, but very occasionally bruising may be due to a deliberate injury. Staff are expected to enquire as to the nature of any injuries as they have a professional duty to ensure that children are kept safe from harm and have been instructed to record any evidence of bruising in children who are not independently mobile.. This safeguarding guideline also applies to siblings of children who may not be registered with the setting.

More information can be found in the Surrey Safeguarding Board’s leaflet ‘Bruising in Children who are not Independently Mobile’. Available online at: http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/50217/Bruising-leaflet.pdf  

Any investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know. The people most commonly involved will be the key person and the Nursery manager.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is very different from a complaint or a grievance.  The term whistleblowing generally applies when you are acting as a witness to misconduct that you have seen. Whistleblowing is an important aspect of safeguarding where staff and volunteers are encouraged to share genuine concerns about a colleague’s behaviour.  The behaviour may not be child abuse but they may not be following the code of conduct or could be pushing boundaries beyond normal limits.

If whistleblowing is deemed to be necessary the manager or any other member of staff can contact the Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS)team , the LADO or OFSTED  (See contact details below). Contact details are also displayed on Nursery notice boards.

Accusations of Abuse

If a volunteer or member of staff is accused of any form of child abuse, or does not comply with the setting’s behavioural expectations, the managers or any other member of staff will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within 24 hours who will communicate the appropriate course of action, and also OFSTED will be verbally informed within 24 hours and backed up in writing , within 14 days of the allegation being made. The member of staff or volunteer will be suspended on full pay whilst the investigation into the complaint is undertaken. Confidential records will be kept of the allegation and of all subsequent proceedings.

Exclude known abusers

It will be made clear in all documentation to applicants for posts within the setting that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

All adults within the nursery, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide two references. All references will be checked and every adult will also complete an enhanced disclosure issued by the D.B.S (Disclosure and Barring Service).

In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history, or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.

All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the Nursery is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.

Telephone Numbers

OFSTED 0300 123 1231

OFSTED – whistle blowing 0300 123 3155 whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) contacts:

Telephone: 0300 470 9100 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm .

Out of hours Emergency Duty Team telephone 01483517898

Email: csmash@surreycc.gov.uk

Secure email: csmash@surreycc.gov.uk via Egress

Early Help Co-ordination Hub: North East Hub ( Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell) 01372 833133

For concerns and advice regarding child protection allegations against staff contact the Duty LADO. Tel: 0300 123 1650/option 3  Please note,  if you are hanging on for more than 5 mins, it is suggested that you hang up and resort to email.

Email: LADO@surreycc.gov.uk Or LADO@surreycc.gcsx.gov.uk for secure emails

NSPCC Help Line 0808 800 5000

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups

We will meet our responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which includes a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm.

Keep Records

Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual on-going records of children’s’ progress and development.  The record will include, in addition to the name, age and address of the child; timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation; where possible, the exact words spoken by the child; the dated name and signature of the recorder.

Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people other than the managers and key person or other member of staff as appropriate.

Non Attendance

If you are going to be away on holiday or if your child is sick and will not be attending their usual sessions, please inform us either verbally, or by telephone on 0208 398 7475 or email to info@olnursery.org.uk on their first day of absence.  This allows the nursery to keep all records up to date.

If you do not inform nursery we will contact you  before the end of the first session of their absence.

If  we are unable to contact you,  we will then use your next “In Case Of Emergency” numbers. If we are unable to ascertain the reason for absence within 24 hours we may request a welfare check by police.

Liaise with other bodies

Our Lady’s Nursery Staff are aware of the Interagency Working together to Safeguard Children Guide. The nursery operates in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board. Confidential records kept on children about whom the nursery has concerns, will be shared with the Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) if the nursery feels that adequate explanations for changes in the child’s condition have not been provided by parents/carers.

The group will maintain ongoing contact with the Surrey Children’s SPA (THE SINGLE POINT OF ACCESS) team, with names, addresses and telephone numbers of individual social workers, to ensure that it would be easy, in any emergency, for the nursery and Social Services to work collaboratively.

The work of Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) is part of the wider context of integrated services for children that aim to improve the overall wellbeing of all children living in the area.

Support families

Nursery staff will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff and volunteers in the group.

Where abuse at home is suspected, the nursery will continue to welcome the child with the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount.  The nursery will also do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.

Children and families from black & minority groups may be more likely to be suffering from, or have experience of racial abuse.  This form of abuse can cause significant harm and, when it is known to be occurring, could mean the child and or family concerned will be in need of services or protection.  Failure to consider the impact of racism in the making of enquiries or any other assessment process will undermine efforts to protect children and to provide appropriate services.

Prevent Duty

From 1st July 2015 registered early years providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the CounterTerrorism and Security Act 2015 to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty. As part of this duty, Our Lady’s Nursery actively promotes British values, these values include democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs are embedded within the 2017 Early Years Foundation Stage.

If any member of staff has a concern, or needs advice regarding individuals being drawn into terrorism they should contact;

Safeguarding Advisor for Early Years – Surrey Family Services

Sue Monk – 01372 833826/ 07800 622005

Email: Sue.monk@surreycc.gov.uk  via egress

Community Safety Manager  Surrey County Council

Gordon Falconer – 0208 541 7296

Police

101 or 999 if an immediate risk is identified.

The findings of the Statutory Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie (2003), which highlighted the lack of priority status given to safeguarding children, led to the publication of the Governments Green Paper “Every Child Matters” and the establishment by local authorities of Safeguarding Children Boards, as part of the integration of services around children’s needs, under the provisions of the Children Act 2004. This recognises that shared responsibility and the need for effective joint working between agencies and professionals with different roles and expertise are essential if children are to be protected from harm and their welfare promoted and safeguarded.

This policy was adopted on March 1997

Updated/reviewed May 2019

Manager J Nolan-Davies & DSL Jenny Kissane