Under the Education Act 2002 (section 175/157), schools must “make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”. Safeguarding is described by the Department of Education in the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2019) 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.’
Safeguarding and Child Protection are of paramount importance at The Vine Inter-Church Primary School, permeating throughout every area of school life and are a shared responsibility for all members of our school community. Our school’s vision encompassing ‘Let love abide here’ is supported through providing a safe and welcoming environment where pupils feel loved and are respected and valued. Also, as ‘many hands build a house’, all our staff are trained to be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and are empowered to follow the Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s procedures to ensure that appropriate and effective support and protection is provided when necessary.
At The Vine Inter-Church Primary School, if concerns are raised about a pupil’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, we pass on information as required by law. Generally, we will discuss any concerns raised with parents/carers and if appropriate will seek consent before passing information about a pupil to Children’s Social Care. We will not seek consent if we believe doing so would place the child at risk of significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded and we ask that parents/ carers appreciate that at such times, school staff with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) were carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children. This may also mean that on rare occasions, we may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.
At The Vine Inter-Church Primary School, we keep all records of safeguarding concerns securely and these are only accessed by our designated safeguarding team. In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively and only with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern. Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
At The Vine Inter-Church Primary School, we see safeguarding and Child Protection as being made up of four main elements: