Sport Scholars
Policies & Procedures

Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy

 

Sporty Scholars is committed to building a 'culture of safety' in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.

 

Sporty Scholars will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. Sporty Scholars child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

 

There will be a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) available at all times while Sporty Scholars is in session. The CPO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted).

Sporty Scholars designated CPO is Chantel Thibault

Deputy CPO Nicholas Raper

Deputy CPO Monika Ranka

 

Child abuse and neglect

 

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.

  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.

 

Signs of child abuse and neglect

 

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:

  • significant changes in a child's behaviour

  • deterioration in a child's general well-being

  • unexplained bruising or marks

  • comments made by a child which give cause for concern

  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.

 

If abuse is suspected or disclosed

 

When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:

  • reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out

  • listen to the child but not question them

  • give reassurance that the staff member will take action

  • record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below).

If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straightaway using the Logging a concern form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that Sporty Scholars is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.

Peer-on-peer abuse

 

Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.

 

Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:

  • Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting

  • One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older)

  • One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)

  • There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.

 

If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed

We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.

 

Extremism and radicalisation

All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:

  • feeling alienated or alone

  • seeking a sense of identity or individuality

  • suffering from mental health issues such as depression

  • desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause

  • associating with others who hold extremist beliefs

 

Signs of radicalisation

 

Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:

  • changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive

  • claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified

  • viewing violent extremist material online

  • possessing or sharing violent extremist material

If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the CPO.

 

Logging a concern

 

All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:

  • date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern

  • date and time at which the record was made

  • name and date of birth of the child involved

  • a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child's own words

  • name, signature and job title of the person making the record.

The record will be given to Sporty Scholars CPO who will decide on the appropriate course of action.

 

For concerns about child abuse, the CPO will contact Social Care. The CPO will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly.

 

For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the CPO will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) or LADO Local Authority Designated Officer. For more serious concerns the CPO will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the CPO will contact the Police using 999.

Allegations against staff

 

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
  • The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.

  • The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and Sporty Scholars will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.

  • Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.

  • If appropriate Sporty Scholars will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

  • Promoting awareness among staff

  • Sporty Scholars promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. Sporty Scholars ensures that:

  • the designated CPO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it

  • designated person training is refreshed every three years

  • safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff

  • all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding (Child Protection) policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation

  • all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation

  • all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings

  • all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty

  • staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept in the office.

  • Sporty Scholars procedures are in line with the guidance in 'Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)' and staff are familiar with the guidance in 'What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)'.

Use of mobile phones and cameras

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents' permission. Only Sporty Scholars camera will be used to take photographs of children at Sporty Scholars, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children nor visitors may use their mobile phones to take photographs at Sporty Scholars.

Complaints Policy

 

At Sporty Scholars we aim to work in partnership with parents to deliver a high quality childcare service for everyone. If for any reason we fall short of this goal, we would like to be informed in order to amend our practices for the future. Our complaints policy is displayed on the premises at all times. Records of all complaints are kept for at least three years. A summary of complaints is available for parents on request.

 

The manager is usually responsible for dealing with complaints. If the complaint is about the manager, the registered person or other senior member of staff will investigate the matter. Any complaints received about staff members will be recorded on an Incident log and a Complaints log will be completed. Any complaints made will be dealt with in the following manner:

 

Stage one

Complaints about aspects of Club activity:

  • The manager will discuss the matter informally with the parent or carer concerned and aim to reach a satisfactory resolution.

  • Complaints about an individual staff member:

  • If appropriate the parent will be encouraged to discuss the matter with staff concerned.

  • If the parent feels that this is not appropriate, the matter will be discussed with the manager, who will then discuss the complaint with the staff member and try to reach a satisfactory resolution.

 

Stage two

If it is impossible to reach a satisfactory resolution to the complaint through informal discussion, the parent or carer should put their complaint in writing to the manager. The manager will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of the letter within 7 days.

  • Investigate the matter and notify the complainant of the outcome within 28 days.

  • Send a full response in writing, to all relevant parties, including details of any recommended changes to be made to Sporty Scholars practices or policies as a result of the complaint.

  • Meet relevant parties to discuss Sporty Scholars response to the complaint, either together or on an individual basis.

 

If child protection issues are raised, the manager will refer the situation to Sporty Scholars Designated Safeguarding Lead, who will then contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and follow the procedures of the Safeguarding Children Policy. If a criminal act may have been committed, the manager will contact the police.

Making a complaint to Ofsted

 

Any parent or carer can submit a complaint to Ofsted about Sporty Scholars at any time. Ofsted will consider and investigate all complaints. Ofsted's address is: Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD

Telephone: 0300 123 1231 (general enquiries)

0300 123 4666 (complaints)

 

Confidentiality Policy

 

At Sporty Scholars we respect the privacy of the children attending Sporty Scholars and the privacy of their parents or carers. Our aim is to ensure that all those using and working at Sporty Scholars can do so with confidence.

 

We will respect confidentiality in the following ways:

  • Parents can ask to see the records relating to their child, but will not have access to information about any other children.

  • Staff only discuss individual children for purposes of planning and group management.

  • Staff are made aware of the importance of confidentiality during their induction process.

  • Information given by parents to Club staff will not be passed on to third parties without permission unless there is a safeguarding issue (as covered in our Safeguarding Policy).

  • Concerns or evidence relating to a child's safety, will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within Sporty Scholars, except with the designated Child Protection

 

Officer and the manager.

  • Issues relating to the employment of staff, whether paid or voluntary, will remain confidential to those making personnel decisions.

  • Confidential records are stored securely in a lockable file.

  • Students on work placements and volunteers are informed of our confidentiality policy and are required to respect it.

Sharing information with outside agencies

 

We will only share information with outside agencies on a need-to-know basis and with consent from parents, except in cases relating to safeguarding children or criminal activity. If we decide to share information without parental consent, we will record this in the child's file, clearly stating our reasons.

 

We will only share relevant information that is accurate and up to date. Our primary commitment is to the safety and well-being of the children in our care.

 

Data Protection Act

We comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, regarding obtaining, storing and using personal data.